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3 1833 02143 8129 

Gc 974-702 N422sco v. 2 

Scoville, Joseph Alfred 

The old merchants oi New York 


Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2010 with funding from 

Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center 









4128 2 

\r , 1 ^^ 

— Tlie harvest of the river is her revenue, and she is a mart of nations. 
— Whose antiquity is of ancient days. 

— Tiio crowning city, whoso murciumts arc princes, wlioso traffickers 
arc the honorable of the earth. 

Isaiah xxiii. 8, 7, 8. 







(And uniform with this volume) 

A. Tlrird. Series 


"The Old Merchants of New York." 


Price, $1M. 

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 18C3, by 


In tiie Clerk's Office of the District Court of the Soutliern District of 

J\ew Yoru . 


You were really the first merchant that the author ever met, and it 
was to you that he was indebted for his first knowledge of the rudi- 
ments of commerce, and his early acquaintance with the names and 
persons of the leading merchants of the period, among whom none 
ranked higher than yourselfl 

The author also came upon the stage sufficiently early to know that 
AucuiiiALD OiiACiK, Senior, your veneiablo father, who, about the period 
of the pissing of the last into the present century, was among the first 
merchants of this or any other country, — his ships visiting every port of 
the world. AVhen, in writing in these chapters of " Old Merchants," 
about the loftiest commercial integrity, spotless private character, the 
innocence of a child, of grand commercial views bounded only by the 
latitude and longitude of the globe, the dignified presence, the i)hiloso- 
pher in overwhelming misfortune, patience in waiting through long 
weary years for the wrong to be made right, the venerable white haira 
and the soul of goodness, — to write correctly of all, the author had only 
to recal to memory that same father of yours, whose remains he saw 
placed in the family vault more than a third of a century ago in St. 
Thomas churchyard. 

What, then, more proper, than that the author should respectfully 
dedicate t'lis volume to yourself, bearing a name doubly honored in mer- 
cantile annals V 




The extraordinary success that followed the publica- 
tion of the First Series of The Old Merchants of 
New York, was quite unexpected. !Many editions 
have been exhausted, and it is still in active demand. 
This, the Second, is the continuation of the series in 
regular order, and may be found more interesting even 
than the first. 

The material is as correct as it was possible to make 
it up to the time of the publication. The chapters will 
be fully revised and corrected in subsequent editions, 
and the author will cordially thank any one who is bet- 
ter informed than himself as to particular merchants or 
their families, alluded to in any of the series or chap- 
ters, if they will send their corrections, or additional in- 
formation, to the residence of 

Walter Barrett, Clerk. 

No. 27 West 27th Street, Now York. 






Among the many powerful names enumerated among 
tliese '' Old Merchants " since their commencement, 
wlio have lived and moved in this gi'cat commercial city 
for seventy years, who had added to its glory and pros- 
perity, who have given names to flimilies of which their 
descendants may well he proud — who have been re- 
markable for their extended commerce, their wealth, 
th.eir bold operations, embracing a world — as remark- 
able for their intelligence as for their integrity, for their 
capability and their correctness in every relation of life ; 
of vigorous intellect, of a continued perseverance for 
years and years, of unwearied diligence ; yet of how 
little consequence beyond their own sphere, or " off 
change," have any of them been ? 

How very few have wielded i)arty influence, or ob- 
tained political power ? The exceptions to this rule are 
so remarkable, that one can count upon his fingers the 
names of almost every prominent man, who in the last 
lialf century, among mercluints, has been elected to the 
lower house of Congress, or even to either branch of 
our State Ijcgislalure. 

J. G. King was in Congress, but from New Jersey, 

where he has resided while he was alive. 


Moses H. Grinnell, of Grinnell, Minturn & Co.,"wi^ 
once in Congress, lower house, but years ago. 

John I. Morgan and Gideon Lee were both in Con- 

Fernando Wood was in the lower house. He was 
formerly of the firm of Wood & Fairchild. He has also 
reached the mayoralty, as have a few other merchants, 
such as A. C. Kingsland, Gideon Lee, W. H. Have- 
meyer, Philip Hone, D. F. Tieman and others. John 
Broome, was Lieut. Gov. of the State. 

But two merchants of this city have reached the gov- 
ernorship of a State, and of these two, I have to record 
a very curious fact. One came from Connecticut a poor 
boy — become a merchant, and afterwards became twice 
Governor of the State of New York. This one was 
Edwin D. Morgan. 

The other was a Connecticut boy originally, but be- 
fore he came' to New York to be a merchant, had been 
secretary of the treasury to Gt-'iieral Washington in 1705 
to 1799, and then established himself as a merchant in 
New York city, and when he retired from business went 
to Connecticut, and was twice elected Governor of that 
State, as E. D. Morgan has been of New York. I al- 
lude to Oliver Wolcott, Jr. He was the son of the first 
Oliver Wolcott who was Governor of Connecticut in 
tiie Revolutionary times. Young Oliver, when Wash- 
ington became President, took a position as " Comptrol- 
lor of the Navy," of which Alexander Hamilton was 
Secretary'. In 1795, he; succeeded Hamilton as Secreta- 
ry. Shortly alter, Thomas Jeil'erson became I'resident, 
in 1801 — Oliver Wolcott Jr., came to New York, and 
went into business at 52 Pine street, 'under the fiim of 
'> Oliver Wolcott & Co." In lcS02, he was elect.'d 
president of the Merchanta' Bunk, chartered that year, 


""a'Ti<l was surrounded by such grand old fellows as Joshua 
Sands, Richard Varick, Henry A. Coster, Lynde Cat- 
lin, Henry Wyckoff, William W. Woolsey, Peter Jay 
Muni'o, and other great names of the city. To be a 
bank director m this city, when there were but four 
banks, "New York," " Manhattan Company," " U. S. 
Bank," and " Merchants," was an honor, and it gave 
a great financial power. 

lie resigned the presidency of the bank in 1805, and 
dcA^oted himself especially to merchandizing, keeping his 
store at 52, and his residence in an old-fashioned dwell- 
ino; house, 26 Pine street. He did business until 181-1 
at the old store, 52. In 1816 he gave up his house, 26, 
and went to Litchfield, Conn. It was after that he be- 
came Governor of Connecticut. 

While livinfT at 26 Pine street, his beautiful daughter 
married (in that house,) William Gracie, of the firm of 
Archibald Gracie & Son (1810). Never did bridal 
couple enter into married life "With more brilliant pros- 
pects of happiness than these two. She was beautiful 
beyond compare. At this time Archibald Gracie owned 
a country seat, near Hurlgate. It was called " Gracie's 
Point." It overlooked lilackwell's Island — a large, 
yellow, wooden building, on the East River, and almost 
on the bank. Thither the young couple repaired on 
the evening of the day they had been married at 26 
Pine street. The festivities were kept up until a late 
hour. The bride retired with her bridesmaids, and the 
happy husband was sent for to see his young bride — 
die. She had ruptured a blood vessel. It was a melan- 
choly affair. Never was there a more high-spirited gen- 
tlcHian than Colonel William Gracie. lie (many long 
years afterwards) entered into marriage with Miss Flem- 
ing, a beautifid girl, scarcely less lovely than his first 


bride. When he died, about twenty years ago, lie left 
a dauo-htor. 

Governor Wolcott died at Litchfield, Connecticut. 

Thus much for our first New York merchant, who 
became a Governor. Now for the second, E. D. Mor- 

He, too, was a Connecticut boy, born in Hartford, 
the adjoining county to Mr. "Wolcott, who was from 
Litchfield. Young Morgan was placed in a very subor- 
dinate clerkship in a store at Hartford city. His duty 
was to sweep out the store, go of errands, and do a little 
of everything. While lie was acting in this capacity, 
his employer sent him to New York city, a place he had 
never been to before, of which he had no previous con- 
ception, and probably no idea of the important figure 
he would bear in it. AVhile looking about the city, he 
met with a cargo of corn that wiuj for sale. It occurred 
to him that there was money to be made by it. He at 
once acted upon the idea, purchased the cargo, and sent 
it to Hartford. When he reached that place, he went 
to work and sold this lot of corn at a round price, real- 
izing for his employer a very large profit. After this 
somewhat bold operation by the junior clerk, the part- 
ners came to the conclusion that there were other ways 
in which young Morgan could be made more serviceable 
tlian in sweeping out the store, and they promoted him 
to more important duties. Not many montiis after the 
visit to New York, he began to tliink that Hartford was 
rather too circumscribed i'or his growing mercantile am- 
bit i(jn (he had no political lliouglits then,) and with his 
usual promptness he decided to go New York city. His 
accpiaintances in Gotham were limited, but this did not 
daunt him. He })ossessed the irresistible perseverance 
and indomitable industry that would enable him to sur- 


mount anything, and he determined to try his fortunes 
lierc. To this city he came in 1830, I think. I do not 
remember the name of the liouse in which he became a 
clerk ; but he Mved in Jolm street, at No. 67, with 
David Hale', who had just started The Journal of Com- 
merce^ but not being sure of success, aided on his enter- 
prise by keeping a boarding-house of a high character. 

Among other youths from Connecticut at that time, 
George Collins, Morris Earl, John J. Phelps and Amos 
R. Eno accompanied Edwin D. Morgan. At any rate 
they came here about the same time, and one or more 
boarded at David Hale's. 

Later in life, in 18oG or 1837, E. D. Morgan formed 
a partnershij) with his old crony and townsman, under 
the firm of Morgan & Earle, at No. ('1 Front street, 
and their business was the wholesale grocery. Of 
course, their means were very limited, and it was some 
time before their credit became fully establi>hed, and 
their custom was for a long time princijially from the 
section whence they came. 

They added to their profits by being agents of Hart- 
ford Fire Insurance Companies, and as the latter took 
risks at a very low rate, they did a heavy business. 

Morris Earle continued in business with Mr. Morgan 
a year, then the firm was dissolved, and Morgan was so 
lieartily sick of all partnership arrangements, that he 
determined to have no more partners. He continued 
' business at the same store one year, and then moved 
from Oi to 03 Front. His residence was at 45 Pearl, 
First Ward, and he now connnenced to take an active 
part in primary politics. 

This, alter all, is the grand secret of a man's success 
in political life. No matter what party he belongs to, 
he must, to hold a position and obtain nominations, bo 


able to hold his own in the primary work, and do a little 
fur liiniself. Good and great men are not so scarce, that 
they have to be sought after among the secluded men. 
When a princely merchant of any party is sought after, 
it is because a party or men wish to use him, either for 
money, respectability, or some other sellish purpose. 
No man continues to be before the public any length of 
time, unless he is able to control the primary meetings 
in his own party, in his own ward ; nor could he keep 
in public life if he had the eloquence of Clay, or the 
profoundness of a Calhoun, without the same foothold. 

Llaiiy a merchant of both or all parties has waited in 
his countino-room for a nomination to Concrress. Such 
a man may wait until doomsday before he is nominated 
for that or any other position. Did such a man stoop 
to mix Avith the rank and file of the people, serve on 
ward connnittees, half elect them, get on general com- 
mittees, know the masses, learn to pull the strings, he 
could eventually be elected anyAyhere, if his party had 
power. An outsider, however high his rank, cannot 
make up his mind to buy a nomination, and succeed. 
He will be cheated. 

^Morris Earle, after he left the house of Morgan & 
Earle, contmued in the same business on his own ac- 
count. He died ten years ago, worth $100,000. He 
was a hard working merchant. He went to his store 
before seven o'clock, a. m., and staid there until late at 
night. He made his clerks do likewise. In this man- 
ner he shortened his own days, and destroyed the en- 
joyment of his life. 

Kdwin D. INIorgan was a very different person. 
When he was leltahMiein business, he connnenced spec- 
ulating in the great articles of sugar and codec, and 
made no ellbrts to extend his wholesale grocery business. 


In prosecuting these plans, he for many years spent 
Iiis winters at tlie South, particularly at New Orleans. 
He visited all the gre9.t plantations, and not unfrequent- 
ly purchased all the sugar of a planter before it started 
for market. Being calm and shrewd, he was very suc- 
cessful in all such purchases, and made money very rap- 
idly. I should suppose he was now about fifty years 
old. He is a fine looking man, large and tall, and worth 
half a million of dollars. In 1844, Mr. Morgan moved 
his residence to 35 Lafayette Place, Fifteenth Ward. 
Little did he dream when he took that house, that upon 
so trivial an act, hung his future advancement to an As- 
sistant Alderman's birth, a State Senatorship, a Gover- 
nor, and perhaps a President. Quien Sabe ? as the 
Sjumiards say. ^ 

The success of Governor Morgan teaches a great 
moral lesson, and it is this — to have a great political suc- 
cess in after years, you must be faithful and true in the 
first position the people give you. » 

Li 1840, the Whig party in the Fifteenth Ward nomi- 
nated Edwin D. JMorgan for assistant alderman. He 
was elected of course. He was upon the Sanitary Com- 
mittee of the common council that year of cholera ep- 
idemic. He was remarkable for his attention to his pub- 
lic duties as a member of that committee. He never 
failed once to meet with it, during the whole period of 
its existence. He made himself very popular with all 
classes during the short period he was assistant alder- 

In the fall of 1849, assistant alderman Morgan was 
transplanted from the common council to the state sen- 
ate, by being elected senator from the sixth senatorial, 
district. He entered u])on his senatorial duties at Al- 
bany, January 1st, 1850. He held it two sessions 



and in 1851 was re-elected, and served two sessions 
more nntil July 21, 1853. 

While senator, lie was one of the most influential 
persons at Albany. A good merchant must necessari- 
ly make a good legislator. The patient examination 
that he is obliged to bring to bear upon his mercantile 
transactions, he continues to apply to legishitive actions. 

JNIr. INlorgan was a very heavy operator in railroad 
stocks and .interests. He was deeply interested in the 
Hudson River raih'oad company. He was also a large 
holder of the Troy and Schenectady road, with his 
friend James Boorman (already on our list of published 
American worthies.) When the Central railroad stock 
was consoHdated, the T. & S. road was consolichited with 
that stock ; he and his friend realized a large sum by 

In 1858, the name of Edwin D. Morgan, New York 
merchant, was brought forward in the Republican State 
Convention as a candidate for Governor. There were 
several other candidates, and his name was not appar- 
ently as prominent, or his chances of success as good 
as some others. 

James M. Cook, the knowing ones all said, would be 
the Governor nominated. But they underrated Mr. 
Morgan, his sagacity, and his management. jMessrs. 
Schoolcraft and Weed, of AUjany, wore among his 
backers. He had all the Albany influence in his favor. 
As a matter of course he bore down all opposition in 
the Convention, was nominated, and triumphantly 

As the expiration of his first term of two years ap- 
proaclied, it Avas exjiected, or, rather, it was supj)osed, 
from the course which he had pursued in vetoing the 
Susquehanna railroad, that he could not obtain strength 


er.ouj^li in tlie convention to get renominated. Many 
of liis former political friends had deserted him, and for 
a time it reall}' appeared as thongh his old opponent, 
Jaini's M. Cook, of Saratoga county, would be the suc- 
cessful man in the Convention of 1800. But again 
events showed that Mr. Morgan was too shrewd and 
stooil too firm to be easily beaten even by his most 
powerful opponent. He triumphed over all opposition, 
and was again nominated, and again elected — and the 
last time by a majority of over 50,000. 

Luckily too is it for the state and nation, that in this 
year of gloom and rebellion we have an enlightened, 
patriotic New York merchant for our governor. Not- 
withstanding he has been tied up by foolish legislation, 
he has worked wonders, and made the people and the 
State proud of him. In spite of red tape, he has dis- 
played great executive qualities, and such as will forever 
while we are a nation, and New York a state, command 
the admiration of mankind. 

Our New York merchant can map out his own po- 
litical future. He has only to say that he will accept 
political advancement, and he will get it. 

]\Ierchants as a class, should feel })roud of the promi- 
nent advancement of one of their own class — and his 
faithful performance of duty, leads to the advancement 
of others. 

If the merchants of New York acted in harmony, 
they would rule the world. 

With the vast amount of money they control, if it 
^a.i avi'i with r'^r.v.-. r.<',: a r.'i -rub:: of Cl'>p.^T■'•.■vs^ Iv-^icn^la- 
txire, or even a Ward coii-tabi'- could Le (zhzfsvA with- 
out their oon^ont. 

If the men they sent to Congress from this city were 
sensible and well KUpp(H-l(Ml, not an act of l(;glhlali(ju 

y I 


could be passed by Congress without tlio consent of 
this city. 

Not an ambassador or foreign consul to any nation or 
part of the world could be appointed Avithout the con- 
sent of the merchants of New York. 

The merchant members of Congress could say to any 
Administration or any Congress — " Do this, or the 
banks we represent, will do so and so. You shall not 
have a dollar unless you do as the city of New York, 
her mcri'chant princes and bankers speaking through us, 
say you shall do." 

Did New York city exercise and express her just 
rights, a Secretary of the Treasury could not hold pow- 
er an hour. 

Her members in the Ilouse have only to say " her 
will," and it would be done, or no more funds would be 
given for Government use, and it would break when in 
conflict- with Wall street, the banks and the merchants. 

But what sort of members does proud New York — 
the greatest commercial city of the Western world send 
to represent her mighty interests — her jiroperty of five 
hundred millions of dollars in specie that she can raise 
in a week ? 

Does she send her money kings or her merchant prin- 
ces ? 

Does she send a Ilowland, a Goodhue, a Boorman, a 
Bt'lmont, a Perit, a Minturn, a Murray, an Astor, a 
J^aw, a Griswold, a Westray, a Vanderbilt, a Taylor, a 
Tiiompson, a Marsliall, a Jjivingston, a Barclay, a 
>Stewart, a (Jracie, a King, a Duer, or any of our grand, 
good, honest merchants, or linancial names ? 


Who does the queen city send ? 

Ben. Wood, llu; jtolicy dcnK'r and lottery vendm' i 
and men lit to bo his ussociales. 


I tliank God that we have got one merchant from 
New York as governor, who does tlie city honor in re- 
turn for being honored. A little salt, to save a bad lot. 

When the merchants of New York are true to them- 
selves, and the ihigh destiny of the city, no such men as 
some of those who now represent her will do so then. 

Until she sends her best merchants and her experi- 
enced financiers, her true power in the world will never 
be felt. 

I omitted to mention that Edwin D. Morgan was for 
some time a director in the Bank of Commerce ; and 
tliis calls to my mind a very curious fact about that in- 
stitution, with its immense capital. Some years ago a 
law was passed, that in all banks of issue the stockhold- 
ers should be liable to double the amount of stock they 
held. For instance, if I owned $1,000 in the Bank of 
Commerce, or any other, and it should fail, I could be 
called upon t6 pay $1,000 more. The stockholders of 
the Bank of Commerce at once refused to go into any 
such responsibility. It at once ceased to be a bank of 
issue, and has an arrangement with the Bank of the 
State of New York for su^h bank notes as the former 
retpiires to carry on its business. 

I believe Mr. Morgan still carries on business in his 
own name, and has a son, Edwin D. Morgan, Jr., in 



Stephen B. Munn will bo recollected by many in this 
generation. He lived in Broadway, No. 503 — on the 
same block where the St. Nicholas Hotel now stands, 
as late as 1856. He died in that year. 

Stephen B. Munn was a Connecticut boy. He lived 
and worked upon a farm until he was 17 years old, and 
then he went into the" tin peddling" business, as thou- 
sands of others have done, and made their first step on 
the road to fortune. A tin peddler is a traveling mer- 
chant. He generally connects himself with a " tinnei'," 
who also has a store to suj)ply his " peddlers." Tho 
jjcddler first secures a horse and a tin-peddlcr covered 
wagon. The latter is judiciously divided into various 
receptacles, and a great many tin boxes, to contain nee- 
dles and small articles of merchandise. These iioods are 
peddled out by the " tinmen," who calculate to make 
a large profit. A " tinner " of means would frequent- 
ly have out twenty tin peddlers." These wagons and 
peddlers took dillerent routes in the Eastern and West- 
ern States, and some have boldly gt)ne to the South- 
west and South. Besides a large assortment of tinware, 
these wagons can-ied a re<j;ular assortment of nn'rchan- 
dise — a real variety store on wheels. A smart Yankee 
tin peddler was sure to make money^and be sure to ac- 


quire a sharpness in trade, tliat prepared him for the 
shrewd New York mercliant of after years. 

Such an education was given to Mr. Stephen B. 
Munn, Avlio was born in the northern part of Connecti- 
cut. He readied' this city in 1791, and commenced 
operations upon a small scale at 100 Maiden Lane, lie 
afterwards removed to 103 Maiden Lane, between Gold 
and Pearl streets. His stock was principally dry goods, 
but he kept an assorted stock of goods — a sort of ped- 
dfcr's wagon stock, too, on a large scale. 

Notwithstanding his small capital, young Munn work- 
ed wonders with it. lie attended auctions of every 
kind, and bought for cash. lie was never successful in 
buying goods at pi'ivate sale. He always said so. Prob- 
ably his knowledge of dry goods, acquired in liis ped- 
dling operations, was very su])erficial, and he Avas taken 
advantage of at private sale, which he could not be at auc- 
tion, where he could use the sagacity of shrewd buyers, 
and duplicate their purchases. However that may have 
been, it is evident that Mr. Munn coined money up to 
1800, for then he was able to buy the store No. 226 
Pearl street, (near Avhere Piatt street has since been 
opened in.) He bought this place, and occupied the 
lower floor as a store, and lived in tlie upper part with 
his family. It was his stcn'e until 1821 — and his resi- 
dence also until the war of 181o ; that year he moved 
into Broadway, and in 1823 he moved his family into 
the handsome house he had built at No. 503 Broadway, 
where ho died. 

Pro])erty in Pearl street, in 1800, could not have been 
worth a great sum. The reut of a three-story liousu 
and store beneath did not exceed -filOO, and the cost of 
the builcHug and lot, 25x100, was not over $4,000. 

There are several good reasons why rent was reason- 


able and real estate was low. In 1800, the taxes were 
comparatively nothing. There was no water rent. 
People swept the streets. The lamp-lighters used the 
oil given them for street-lamps,-and did not (as was 
done in after years) use dirty, cheap oil, and sell the 
costly city article. 

There was no army of 2,000 policemen to support, 
costing tax-i)ayers at least $2,000,000. On the contra- 
ry, one hundred steady and brave watchmen did duty 
at night, and earned their one dollar. These " good old 
leather-heads," with their clubs cost the city $25,000 a 
year. Not a dollar more, — and how few robberies, rapes 
and murders were counnitted in those good old days. 
The population was smaller in 1800 than in 18G1, and of 
course more honest. The early people did not know any- 
thino- about swindling sewer and other contracts. Street 
opening was not expensive, as peojile not interested did 
• not have to bear the expenses, as is now done. For in- 
stance, Chambers street was extended for no special pur- 
pose except to benefit a few, at an expense to others, of 
a million dollars, and many houses taxed from two tlol- 
lars to twenty-two hundred dollars, that do not receive 
twenty-live cents benefit. Over 6,848 houses were 
taxed for this scheme. Also, look at opening the Bow- 
erv from Chatham to Franklin Square, at a cost of 
$l')00,000. Over 800 pieces of property assessed for 
this purpose. These assessments are made from Old 
Slip to Fourteenth street. Even the projectors of that 
scheme have realized no benefit from it. 

Such things were not done in 1800, consequently it 
was safe to own real estate in those days. 

After S. B. ^[uiin got established in Pearl street, ho 
became a very bold operator, atul bought largely. Dnr- 
iiiii the war, or rather towards its close, he had filled his 


store with goods at war prices. He had bought " in- 
voices " of goods at a fabulous percentage. When war 
closed and peace was declared, he Avas one of the larg- 
est holders, and evidently destined to be ruined. Not 
so. lie was an exceedingly shrewd man, and he at once 
concentrated all his energies to aid him in disposing of 
liis hi»ib cost merchandise and larire stock, Avith as little 
loss as possible. One of the plans to which he resorted^ 
was to exchange his merchandise for soldiers' land war- 
rants. He was about the only man in the city who had 
1)1 uck enough to make the exchange, as the warrants at 
that time were deemed of veiy little value ; but Mr. 
INlunn believed that no species of property could be 
worth less than his dry goods at war prices. By pursu- 
ing this course, he reduced his stock very materially, 
and he also accumulated a large amount of land warrants. 
But even this shrewd scheme barely saved him from 
Ijanjcruptcy. lie weathered the storm, and contin- 
ued to receive land warrants as long as he dared, but at 
hibt they became so depreciated that he declined to ex- 
change his dry goods for any more. 

Finally he went West, and located all the " soldiers' 
land warrants " he had become possessed of, taking up 
an immense tract of land either in Ohio or Illinois. 
The number of acres was immense. Still, this did not 
appear to be a well planned operation. The western 
lauds were of no value. For years and years Mr. IMuini 
was using every exertion to raise money to pay the tax- 
es and expe.'.ses upon this heavy land m vestment. It 
kept him in hot water. lie was always financiering — 
always short ; he was obliged to keep heavily mortgaged 
j)roperty,that he owned in the city, and by such means 
he \vas able to pay the western taxes ; ho was however 
one of those men siud to be born under a lucky star. 


Wliat would have proved ruinous and beggared others, 
bettered him. 

Wlien tlu! great laud speculations of 1835 to 183G 
commenced, a company of moneyed men, headed by 
Knowles Taylor, the son-in-law of" that excellent man 
and merchant, Jonathan Little, conceived the idea of 
purchasing the lands of Mr. Munn. 

J. Little & Co. kept store at 216 Pearl street, near 
Fletcher, and in the neighborhood of IMr. ^Munn's old 
place. Taylor was the partner, and lived in Bond street 
in pretty good style. The family was from Connecticut, 
and Knowles was a brother of the celebrated Jeremiah 
H. Taylor, who lived at 235 Pearl, and was a quiet, re- 
ligious man, already alhided to in tliese pages. 

Jonathan Little & Co.'s was a large silk importing 
house in its day. He was the President of the Marine 
Society of this city in 1817. 

When this company commenced negotiating for the 
lands, they offered Mr. Munn a large price, half cash 
and half the price to remain on bond aiul morto-aoe. 
He knew his men too well. They were all i-ich, and he 
turned a deaf ear to the offer. He had fixed in his own 
mind, upon a just price for the lands for cash, and ho 
would not submit to any deviation ; therefore he named 
$200,000 ca.'jh. There was a short delay ; but the s])ir- 
it of sj)eciihitl()n was abroad with spread wings, and 
flying all over the land, and this com|)any j)aid the price 
demanded in cash, and received a deetl of the lands. sale was the greatest god-send of his life. It re- 
lieved him from his embarrassments ; and shortly after, 
wlien land fell in the city, he was enabled to make some 
Kplejulid purchases, in localities that trebled in value. 
He was always engaged in lawsuits. 

Stephen B. had a brother named Patrick Munn, who 


>vas in the fur business in this city many years, commen- 
cing as early as 1800 in lUirhng shp ; and I think that 
brother was in business as kite us 1830, but of this lat- 
ter fact I am not certain. 

I think the wife of Stephen B. Munn was a Connectr 
icut girl, and came here with him. They had a large 
family of children. Some of his daughters were mag- 
nificent girls, and greatly sought after, both for their 
beauty and their probable wealth. 

There were some runaway matches. One married 
Captain Russell Glover, and it came ujider that head. 
They are both living. Another runaway match Avas 
with Captain Jack Pierce — handsome Jack, as he was 
called. I must say that when he aired one of Wheel- 
er's fashionable suits, he was a gay looking man. lie 
was captain of one of the Havre packets. lie is dead. 
There were three or four children from this marriage. 
, William A, Munn was another son. lie lived with 
his father at 503 Broadway, many years. 

One son went West, and became a large merchant at 
Ithica, N. Y. His name was Stephen, and the old man 
bought the stock of goods for him, and paid for them 
too. That son, I think, failed and made a bad thing of 
it, and died. He left a son, Stephen, that I have not 
seen for some yeai'S. 

A daughter married Thos. F. Cornell, who was in 
the pot and pearlash business at No. 7 Coenties Sli[) 
}nany years, — once, I believe, with his brother Alexan- 
der and. once was of tliG firm of Cornell & Cooper. 

Mr. Cornell lived at No. 505 liroadway, next door 
to his father-in-law, for a few years. Old Stephen 
owned that property. Mr. Stokes married one daugh- 
ter. John 15. l>orst, a broker m Wall street now, mar- 
ried a daughter, but she was the widow of Mr. Stokes, 


-when B. married her. A Mr. Beebe married a daugli- 

I think one of his son's-in-haw was a doctor — Marsliall, 
it may be. Once tlie old man 'said to a friend : " When 
I left business, ilbout 1820, I was worth, clear of the 
world, --35800,000. I have not got half of it now. It 
has been eat up — drank up — squandered — spent — 
all used up — by all except one — that is the doctor; 
he has never drawn u cent out of me, and he shall have 
it all when I die." Who the doctor was I do not know. 
It is pretty certain that when ^Ir. Muiui died, in 1855, 
or 50, his property would not have sold for a quarter of 
$800,000. But })ropcrty rose in value greatly after his 
death. lie left four executors to his will. One was 
Dr. Cheeseman, another was John A. Collyer of Bing- 
hampton, and the other two names I do not recollect. 
Under the judicious management of Mr. Collyer, his 
pi-opert)' realized more than it was ever expected it 
would do. Of the real estate on Broadway, that j)or- 
tion upon which Lord & Taylor's store stands brought 
|! 250,000. The two lots next to the St. Nicholas Ho- 
tel, extending through to Mercer street, brought $75,000 
each. The estate produced a large sum. 

lie was a very shrewd man in every respect. A very 
good financial story is told of him. At one time, when 
he ^vas closely cramped up, he made up a large package 
of " notes," and oifered them for discount at the Me- 
chanics' Bank, where he kept his heaviest account. lie 
at once drew checks for all in the baidc. lie soon after 
received a note statin<x that his " account was ovei- 
drawn." lie hurried to the bank and showed the note 
to the casluL'r. '' What does this mean?" he asked. 

" Wliy, it means tliat you have overdi'awn your ac- 
count, Mr. Muiin." 



" I have done nothing of tlie sort, sir. See here, sir ; 
here is my account, and by it I have not overdrawn by 
several hundred dollars." 

The teller was called, and the moment he cast his 
eye over the litems, he exclaimed, " Why, Mr. Mann, 
you have credited yourself with notes that the bank luis 
not yet agreed to discount. They are not done yet." 

" Then why the devil don't you do them? It is not 
my fault," replied IMr. Munn. . 

The notes were discounted by the bank, and it is not 
at all likel}'- they would have been had not IMr. Munn 
been up to this financial dodge. 

Stephen B. Munn in early life was excessively dissi- 
pated, but he afterwards reformed and became not only 
an extremely good business man, but a leading man in 
the Broome street Baptist Church, where the Rev. Dr. 
Cone preached so many years. 

lie was a man who did not regard time or place, 
when he wanted to make a strike. When the mother 
of Henry Laverty died, her funeral took place from her 
residence in Pump street. 

Several solemn looking old citizens were present. 
Preseiitiy Mr. Munn arrived. lie was greeted with 
ni()urnful looks ; and finally, as he took a seat, he turn- 
ed to an old crony. 

'' Weil, Jack, what is the news in Wall street? " 

Once in Wall street he saw on the opposite side of the 
street, conversing with some highly respected friends, a 
UKiu who owed him $25. Mr. Munn hailed him. 

'•'• B , when are you going to pay that!i!25 you bor- 
rowed long ago. I'romised to pay it several times. Nev- 
er have .seen it yet. Can't you jiay five at a tiuie ? 
(iot any now? Take a dollar on account." 

It is unnecessary to say, that persons in the highest 


walks of life were not at all anxious to become debtors 
to Stephen B. Munn. 

Once when he was passing along South street, in 
front of Tliomas II. Smith's great store, as it was called 
thirty years ago,' he saw several casks of Jamaica rum 
just delivered from a custom house cellar, and ready 
to be received by a prominent grocer, who had purchas- 
ed the lot. lie was an acquaintance of i\Ir. Munu's. 

" Smith, I'll give you five cents a gallon more than 
you paid, if you sell me a single cask." 

The bar<zain was struck. Munn was to send for the 
cask, in about an hour. lie marked it very carefully. 
A short time afterward, he was passing the grocer's 
store, and he saw a negro pumping something out a 

" What are you doing ? " he asked of the darkey. - 

" Tumping out twenty gallons of this rum, and I'se 
goin' to put in fifteen pure spirits and five gallons wa- 
ter. Don't stop me. I got to take the cask up back to 
de £;reat store in South street." 

Stephen's eyes glistened. It was the cask he had 
bought pure. He took a seat. Presently the grocer 
arrived. Munn opened — told the whole story — at- 
tracted a mob — and finally the mortified, cheating gro- 
cer ran olF up the street, and eventually closed his busi- 
ness, and removed away. 

In the days when Mr. Munn was in business, postage 
was enormously high. He received un account sent to 
him by a merchant in Cincinnati. There was an error 
of four cents in the account. So soon as St('])hen's book- 
keeper, Mr. Hoyt, discovered it, he jKjintrd it out to 
Mr. Munn. ^Y\w. latter at oiue wrote the nuirchant 
about it. Thci jxjslage on the letter was twi-nty-fivo 
ct.;nts. Indignant at such a [)aynunt, and determined 

■' ^A A A "i : \A ? 


to punish Munn, lie enclosed him by mail a package 
containing several old newspapers, and Stephen had to 
pay $2. lie returned by mail a package which cost the 
Cincinnati man $5. This was continued to benefit the 
post office filnd, to the extent of $80, when Cincinnati 
sent by mail the " log book " of a ship, for which Munn 
had to pay $17. He then concluded to confess beat, 
and stop that fun. 

He had another wealthy correspondent in St. Louis. 
The two had been kiteing along for several years, and 
there was a heavy interest account that had never been 
settled. It was always put off. Finally Mr. Munn 
said to his book-keeper, " I will give you a hundred dol- 
lars if you will go to work and make out the " interest 
account " of Mr. So-and-so." He agreed. The ac- 
count was made, and showed a balance in Mr. Munn's 
fiivor of $4,300. Shortly after the St. Louis merchant 
arrived here very unexpectedly. Mr. Munn called his 
attention to that account. " I want it settled." 

" Really, Mr. Munn, I came on here this trip for a 
family matter — not to do any buying, and I brought no 
funds with me," said St. Louis. " Well, I want the ac- 
count settled, and it shall be settled. If you dou't set- 
tle it at once I'll have you arrested," said Munn. The 
St. Louis man laughed, and walked away. Before 
night closed, sure enough he was arrested, and he call- 
ed upon Munn with the deputy sheriff. At that time, to 
get out of prison one had to have common bail put in, 
and also special bail. " This is strange conduct, Mr. 
Munn, to a friend," said the indignant St. Louis man. 

'' Ls it, indeed ? 1 told you I would have you arrest- 
ed if you did not settle up that interest accoinit, and I 
want to show you I am as good as my word. Now, old 
follow, I'll go your common bail, and Til be your spe- 


cial bail, and I'll lend you money to pay that account, 
and $ iO,OUO more if you need it, but TU have thai ac^ 
count selilcd.'" It was settled to the satisfaction of that 
odd genius, Mr. Munn. He hired Mr. Iloyt, his book- 
keeper, from the navy yard. His duty was to keep books 
and also the " petty cash." This cash is used to ])ay 
small bills — postage, petty expenses, and amounts it was 
not worth while drawing a check for. 

Mr. Hoyt kept this cash, and every night found him- 
self short two or thi'ee dollars. This, as an honest 
book-keeper he charged to his own account, or made it 
good out of his own })ocket. jNIr. Munn, very likely, 
helped himself. At last the book-keeper said to him, 
" Mr. Munn, I would feel obliged if yon would leave a 
memorandum in the drawer, stating amoiuit and pur- 
pose, when you take money out of the drawer." 

No attention was paid to this request. At last the 
book-keeper found it was becoming a very serious loss. 
So he got a lock-smith, and had a j^iatent lock ])]aced 
upon it. He went to his dinner. When he returned, 
lie found Mr. Munn furious. " 1 can't get that drawer 
open." Mr. Hoyt explained the reason. In a rage, 
Mr. Munn went to a neighbor. " What sort of a book- 
keeper do you think I have got? He* wont let me take 
my own money ! It is my money. What business has 
lie g(jt to lock it u]) ? '' His IViend saw the matter ch'ar- 
1}^, and exjilained it to ]\Ir. IMunii, and told him he ought 
to be thankful that he had a conscientious cash keeper. 



The last chapter I'ehited especially to Stephen B. 
^lunii, but I did nut finish with all 1 recollected about 

On one occasion, he called into a large " stationery " 
store down town, and there he espied a large cask of 
Llack sand. No one was in the store but a lad, who 
wished to be very smart, and make a large sale. 

" What is the price of that barrel of sand ? " asked 
Stei)hen B. The boy put on a pi'etty stiff price, abuut 
double the cost, and watched with anxious eyes the sus- 
j)cnse of his probable customer. Finally he spoke. 
" Youno; man, I will fro home and make a calculation 
liow much my bill will come to. " I will take half a pint 
of the sand." 'J'he lot ordcired wo\dd have amounted to 
about a mill and a half. The old joker never took it. 

A rich mei'chant with whom the relator was a clerk, 
held a mortgage' upon tlie property owned by I\Ir. Munn, 
coi'iier of Broadway and Grand street. It ran along 
]j road way several hundred feet. The property was 
worth ten times the amount for which it was mortgaged, 
but th(;re was often delay in getting the interest. On 
this occasion, Sleplien was in. 'J'iie cpiestion was asked, 
or rather tlie object of the visit was stated as follows : 
'' I called to get the interest on that mortgage of I\Jr. 



Mr. Munn — " Did you, indeed ? Can you read the 
Bible, young man ? " 

'' Yes, sir." 

" I want you to read this cliapter in the Book of 

Young man read a chapter, and Mr. ]\Iunn h'stened 
witii the <i"reatest attention. It was about a horse beinij 
clotheil with tlunider. After the chapter liad been read, 
Mr. Munn observed : " Job was a great old fellow — won- 
derful genius. Now I'll give you a check for the inter- 
est money ; and, mind you, liereafter when you call I'll 
always give it to you ; if I do not, write me a note if 
I'm out, and I Avill leave a check when I come in. 
You read Job first I'ate." 

For several y^^irs he paid tlie interest promptly, and 
at last I'elieved himself from calling by paying the prin- 

When Mrs. Munn died a ^i^vf years ago, at the resi- 
dence 503 Broadway, her body Avas laid out in the 
house. Old Stephen could have been seen apj)arently 
nieasui'ing tlie ^^idlh of tlie street all day. He set 
everybody to work conjecturing what he was tryiuf to 

Ilis brother, Patrick Munn, was in the fur trade 
many yeaps. 

When Christian G. Gunther, theliead of the fur liouse 
of C. G. Gimther & Son, arrived in this city forty-two 
years ago, he hired out to John G. Wendell, a brother- 
in-law of John Jacob Astor, and to this Patrick 
Munn. From these two ho acquired his knowled<re of 
furs. Wendell kept a furrier store at that time at No. 
77 Maiden lane, and Munn at No. 291 Greenvvirh street. 
Stephen B. Munn was a heavy subscriber to the tree 
school when it was first started. 


" Thomas SufFem, h. 11 Washington sq.," says tho 
Directory of 18G1, at page 832. 

If the " Tax book " was consulted, very likely his 
name would appear as paying taxes on one half a mil- 
lion of I'eal estate, and half as much more on personal. 
Yet who would imagine what an active career that same 
man has had in this city, and how greatly he has added 
to its wealth and prosperity, while pursuing and achiev- 
ing it for himself? 

Ask nine men in ten who that apparently very aged 
man is, with such marked features, showino; jrreat ener- 
^y and determined purpose, and they will tell you it is 
IMr. Thomas Suffern, an Irishman. 

Mr. Sufi'ern is an Irishman, but he reached this city 
very young — at least fifty-five years ago. 

His uncle, George Suffern, kept a tobacco store at No. 
2 Depeyster street, as early as 1792. The next year he 
moved to Nos. 4 and 6, where the store was kept as 
late as 1801, when Thomas removed to 166 Pearl street. 
There he kept until 1827, when he removed to 244 
Pearl street, and remained there until he left business 
in 1837. 

The old George SufFem did a tobacco business until 
1810, when Thomas succeeded to that business. The 
entire family lived at No. 59 John street. The old 
gentleman had two nephews — Thomas, who took his 
business, and Edward, who was a lawyer at No. 29 
Pine street, about the time of the war, 1814 ; all the 
rest dird or retired, except Thomas, who kept the old 
store at Np. 6 Depeyster, and lived at No. 59 John 

Of tho circumstances that led Mr. Thomas SufTern 
into a dilVeriint business, I am not aware, buthe was for 
years largely engaged in the Irish dry goods importing. 


111 1827, or tliereabouts, a French teacher came out 
from France, and seUlecl at No. 29 Murray, corner of 
Church, north side. It was a modest two-story house. 
There ho taught French by chisses, and he also taught 
at private houses and in schools. Poor, modest 
Joseph Roeuf ! lie went back to France in 183G with 
hjtsof money, and there, I beheve, died. How many 
tliousantls, male and female, must recollect the mihl, 
amiable Frenchman! lie also took boarders, and 
taught them to eat French. He was the French 
teacher of his day. He taught 10,000 persons in this 
city the French language. A mong his pupils, were Thom- 
as Suffern, Walter IJarrett, George McBride, llichard 
Tucker, John S. Hunt, S. P. Judah, and 500 more of 
solid New York names. 

I confess my amazement even now a't witnessing the 
energy with which Mr. Suffern went into French. He 
must have been fifty-six years old then (1831.) I be- 
lieve he contemplated giving up business, and traveling 
in Europe. 

He resided at that time in Park place. No. 23 ; the 
next year he moved up to Washington square. No. 11, 
Avhere he yet lives. He lived at 80 Greenwich street 
for many years. 

Thomas SuTferp married a daughter of William Wilson 
a very wealthy merchant. Mr. W. lived to a very ad- 
vanced age. He was an intimate friend of old George 
Sutfern, the uncle of Thomas, and it was probably this 
intimacy that led to the marriage between the heir of 
the one and the daughter of the other. 

Ohl George Snifern never married. His property 
descended to Thomas, his nej)he\v. 

William Wilson was such a man and merchant as I 
love to write about. Ho was u Scotchman. I do not 


know wlien lie came to this city ; but it must have been 
toon after the licvolutionary war, tor ho was a member 
of the St. Anch-ew's society in 178G, wlien old Jolm 
INIason was chai^lain. He kept a store in 1790, at 215 
Queen (Pearl) street. 1923350 

I do not know what year William "Wilson left busi- 
ness. He was a heavy importer of British dry goods. 
His correspondents in IManchester, England, was the 
ih'm of " Peel, Yates & Co." That Peel was the first 
Sir Robert Peel, and father of the great Prime Minister, 
About 1709, a son of Yates came out to this country. 
At that time Mr. Wilson kept his store at 217 Pearl 
street, near Fletcher. Young Yates came out to get 
up a large business for Peel, Yates & Co. He was 
fearfully dissipated, got in debt, and was finally locked 
up in the debtor's jail, a square buikling that stood 
wliere the Register's building now stands, in the Park. 
It was a pleasant spot to live in. There was a bell in 
the tower, and a railing around the cupola, wdiere the 
jirisoners went to sun themselves. I believe young 
Yates died there. 

Mr. Wilson when he retired up town, gave up house- 
keeping, and went to boarding. Among his most inti- 
mate cronies were John I. Glover, who had a country 
house out or town, William Renwick, and Thomas Ru-- 
chanan, a great merchant — Scotch too. He lived in a 
house that stood where the Merchant's Exchange now 
stands, in Wall street, and Thomas Pearsall married a 
daughter of Mr. jjuchanan. I\L-. Gilfert died oidy a 
year ago. He has a son, a doctor, in the city. 

l^eonard Kip, a lawyer, married a daughter of Wil- 
liam Wilson, and is a brothc'r-in-law of Mr. Suflern, 
ami has attended to his legal business for many years. 
1 believe Mr. Wilson had no sons. 


Mr. Wilson attended Dr. John jNIason's church in 
Cediir street, until Mr. Mason left it for his new one. 
Dr. McElroy afterwards preached in that cliurch. There 
■were three of these Scotcli churches in this city. One 
in Pearl, hetween Khn and Broatlway ; another was 
]McI"]lroy's ; and the new ]\Iurray street Presbyterian 
church, where Dr. Mason removed. !Mr. Wilson fur- 
nished tlie money to build the church in Murray street. 
Ido was oriy;inally. connected with it, throui^h its vener- 
able pastor. The church in Murray street was finished 
about 1812, and I think that about that time Mr. Wil- 
son went out of business. lie was treasurer of the 
church. Mr. Sulfern also attended that church ; so did 
old tobacco (re()r<:;e Sulfern. It is siuffular, too, that 
an Irislinum should be a warm Scotch Presbyterian ; 
yet such was and is Mr. Suffern, for he is now eif!;hty 
years old, at least. 

The Murray street church was taken down in 1842, 
and removed to Eighth street, near liroadway, its pres- 
ent location. Though it looks to be the same church, 
yet it is really nmch smaller. The church occupied 
four lots in Murray street, and only three in the present 
locality. The pews, and so forth, are all smaller. It 
has been sold for a Catholic church, and that denomina- 
tion now occupy it. 

Mr. Sutfern ceased to attend the Murray street church 
long before it was moved up town. He joined Dr. 
Hut ton's church, next to the University building, and 
the corner of Wa.shington place, facing the Parade 
ground, and near his residence. 

Mr. Sutlrrn has become a large real estate owner, 
and is immensely rich, lb; iiilicrited from his unilo 
and his wife very large properties fn^m each, lie is 
liberal to his church, and frecpieiiUy gives it .":i5l,000 or 
.fl,.0()O to hrlp it along. 


I believe his only son, a young man of twenty-two 
years, died a few years ago. He has daughters. One 
he sent to a Catholic school to finish her education, and 
slie became a Catholic in earnest, much to the annoy- 
ance of her father. His business was an importer of 
Irish linens, diapers, &c. 

A stranger who visits Depeyster street to-day, can 
form no idea of what it was in 1800, and a hundred 
years previous. It is a narrow street extending from 
Water street to the water (South street.) It is a fair 
sample of Dutch streets in New Amsterdam, and also 
of streets in Old Amsterdam and in Rotterdam 
(where the author lived a ^avf years) to this day. 

One of the Depeysters lived on the corner of Pine 
and Depeyster streets, and the mansion is still there 
with its tile roofs. It is occupied now by John D. 
Hennesay, builder. 

It was built at least a hundred years ago. In the 
Revolution, the house adjoining of same age, was kept 
as a crack hotel, and British officers boarded there. 
The upper part is now a tenement house. 

William Wilson Avas one of the " old school " be- 
nevolent old gents. Ho was one of the few that met 
at the City Hotel, Nov. 2'J, 181G, to srart a "Saving's 
Bank." They did it too, although the bank did not 
commenfcc oj)eration until the 3d of July, 1819. 
Mr. Wilson was one of the first trustees. So was 
George Arcularius, the baker so many years in Cort- 
landt slreet. He was boi-n in the old house that stood 
until recently at 11 Frankfort street, now occupied by 
the Leader building. 

Old JMiilip I. jVrcularius, a tanner and currier, put 
up the old building. No. 11 Frankfort, aliout 171)1.' 
Ex-mayor James Harper married Miss Arcularius, the 


daughter of Pliillp I., in the same buikhng, and glo* 
rious old times luive cniie ofF on the premises. 

Tlic autlior of this book has an arranged list of mor- 
cliants that he intends to write about sooner or later. 
Among the names of firms in his portfolio, is that of 
" Bogart & Kneeland," one of the oldest and most re- 
spected commercial houses in this city. They started 
in business at 71 South street, in the year 1804. 

The attention of the author has been called to this 
"firm," by a most melancholy occurrence that happened 
at 4'J William street, on the al'ternoon of the 2d of Au- 

The firm is still Bogart & Kneeland, and continues 
in the cotton business, although the partners of fifty- 
seven years ago must have been dead long since. The 
sign over the present locality is 55 years old. 

Fifty-eiglit years ago, Henry Kneeland, of the firm 
of Bogart & Kneeland, had his private residence at No. 
188 William, near Beekman street. He resided there 
some years, and probably in that same house, young 
Kneeland, who killed himself, was born. Here is the 
Btory : 

" Suicide of a Merchant in William Street. — Coro- 
ner Gamble was called upon yesterday to hold an in- 
quest upon the body of Henry Kneeland, a brother of 
Mr. Kneeland, of the firm of Bogart & Kneeland, cot- 
ton merchants, No. 49 William street, who committed 
suicide on Friday afternoon, by shooting himself in tho 
head with a pistol. Henry K. Bogart, the partner of 
deceased's brother, testified that ^Ir. Kneeland came 
into the office as above about three o'clock on Friday 
afternoon, and closed the door. ISIr. Bogart asked iiiin 
wliy he closed the door, but deceased took a seat and 
made no rej)ly ; deceased then made use of some inco- 

^'T•/',SLU*:iV\A\f v\ao ^iuc 




herent language, in wliicli tlie word " dishonorable " oc- 
curred, and drawing a ])istol out of his coat pocket, shot 
himself through tlie head. Witness ran for a physician 
imniediatel}'. But all niedical skill proved of little avail, 
as the unfortunate man lived Lut a few moments ; de- 
ceased never threatened to commit suicide, nor had the 
witness any idea that he contemplated such a thing ; 
deceased had been pecuniarily embarrassed for some 
time past, and it is supposed that the derangement of 
his financial affairs led to the commission of the rash 
act. The jury rendered a verdict in accordance with 
the above facts, and the body was handed over to the 
friends for interment. Deceased resided at Fairfield, 
Ct., where he leaves a large fiimily to lament his un- 
timely end. ]\Ir. Kneeland was a native of New York, 
and was fifty-four years of age." 

The Mr. Kneeland who founded the great cotton 
house was the subject of scandal connected with Rosina 
Townsend, in ISllG, when Helen Jewett was murdered. 
It Avas said that when he died, proofs were found among 
liis returned checks and papers that he had paid $30,000 
to suppress publications about the matter. 



The most interesting class of merchants for these chap- 
ters, are those that connect the small port, and the 
mammoth city — the New York after the war, Avith its 
12,000 population, and forty years later, when it was 
the greatest city of this continent, and had fairly com- 
menced to be the greatest city in the world. 

The personal history of the merchants of such a pe- 
riod has a charm at the present time, eighty years later. 
There are aged men in tliis city, yet alive, who were 
boys here in those days, 1780. Many who remember 
quite distinctly events of ten or twenty years later, and 
who on holidays were permitted to make country excur- 
sions from this city. A favorite one was to cross the 
fields, jumping brooks and little streams, from where 
Cluuidjer "street touches the Park north, north-Avest to 
a country tavern, about where Spring street market, on 
tlie North River, now is. 

It wvudil be a line thing to know the exact nature of 
the kinil of business of the diilerent merchants in those 
days. Before me are two bills for IujIIow ware, X'lO, 
Orlober ^5, 1771, and receipted by Ivlwaid I'v, William 
Lai;j;lit. William signed thiit in his small, kdy-like 
handwriting. Another is dated April ii'6, 1772, and 
signed by the coarser handwriting t)f r^dward. 


Another receipted bill is dated New York February 
25, 17GG, and signed Walter & Thomas Buchanan — a 
great old firm in our infant New York. I know it was 
Thomas who signed that receipt, because I have another 
dated May 17, 1780, for £339 \\s. M. m full, for 
cliccks and calicoes. That is signed Thomas Buchan- 
an & Co., and it is the same bold, old EnMish writinor 
of 17G6. So I know that Thomas sig-ned both. The 
firm had changed ; Walter had not died, but had gone 
out of business probably, for his name is down as a 
resident member of the St. Andrew's Society in 178G. 

Then I have another for <£G07, an account of bill of 
spirits, dated June 21, 1780. That is signed for Thom- 
as Buchanan & Co., by John B. Coles. Of course I 
know by that, that John B. Coles was a clerk with the 
great commercial firm of T. B. & Co. 

Only a few years later, however. Coles went into 
business on his own account, at No. 12 Dock street (it 
ran from Broad to Hanover square, in what is now 
Pearl street.) He was a large flour merchant in 1795. 
He moved from No. 82 Pearl (No. 39 Great Dock 
street) to No. 1 South street, where he had his store, 
and No. 1 State street, where he resided. 

If in the whole city of New York, such a combina- 
tion of convenience, health, pleasantness, and near to 
business, cap be found, I do not know where it can 
be. No. 1 State street and No. 1 South street. At 
both places he could look upon the ships passing up 
both the North and East rivers. The slip at Whitehall 
must have come up within a few feet of his house. He 
could stand on his handsome door stops, whistle or hold 
up his finger, and in an instant he would have had three 
or more of the <n-ii2;inal ^Vhitehall bargeman rowiii"- up 
to him. Then he could go out with one, and have a 


row nil arouiul the harbor, at that time without beiiif 
run over by anything more furious than a slow mo vine 
horseboat ; for in those days, sixty years and odd ayo, 
there Avcre no steamboats racing up and down, and but 
few ships entered the harbor. 

Tiien, too, our wealthy old merchant could get up at 
daybreak, look out of his window, and see wiiat old 
cronies were walking upon the Battery. Then he couhJ 
stroll there before breakfast, and while driidsing the 
glorious breeze i'resh from the salt sea, could sliake hands 
with his constituents, for John B. Coles was alderman 
fi-om 1707 to 1801 — the period I now write about, 
as he was again in 1815 to 1818, also alderman of the 
good old-fashioned first Ward. In these days, all the 
wealth, aristocracy and dignity lived in the first Ward, 
and it was an honor to be its alderman. 

After breakfast Alderman John had only to walk 
down the east side of Whitehall street (for he lived at 
the corner of State,) a few rods, and then he found his 
flour store all ready to receive him. " Boy, give me the 
spy-glass," would he say to the jum'or cleik, and raising 
it up he would peer over Governor's Island, to see if the 
vessel telegraphed to the signal on the Battery was com- 
ing up or not. 

John B. Coles must have loved that locality, lie 
lived at No. 1 State street until 1810, when he moved 
to No. 2, giving up No. 1 to one of his boys. He had 
several. U. C, Isaac U., B. U., W. F. and one John 
B. Jr. The last lived at No. 1 State street, and in the 
year jn'evioiis ke])t a (hnir store at No. 32 Stone sti-eet. 
I thiid< that one died in 1811 or 1812. Oliver ke])t at 
2'J Old Slip, and afterwards Isaac U. kept there, but 
finally all the sons kept at No. 1 South street. Then- 
they took in a Mr. Morris, and fur a few years the firm 


Mas Coles & IMorris. From 1812 until 1825, I do not 
tliink old John B. Coles meddled with business much, 
but left it entirely to his sons, and son-in-law, for !Mr. 
JMorris married a dauMiter, but in 1825 and 182G the 
business avhs carried on under his name, and those of 
liis sons do not appear to have been connected with him. 

I think he died in 1826 or 1827. He probably was 
cirrhteen or twenty years old in 1780, when he signed 
his autograph as clerk to Thomas Buchanan & Co., 
and if he had liv^ed until to-day, would have been a hun- 

1 notice that there is a John B. Coles in the present 
day. If he is a descendant of the old New Yorker that 
I write about, I will cheerfully give him the document 
I have alluded to signed for six hundred pounds. It is 
worth keeping. At least so I should regard it, if any- 
body would give me " Walter Barrett's " signature da- 
ted 1780, and he was to be a great-grandfather of mine, 
or even a grandfather. It is not everybody who can go 
back on an ancestor in this town, and find that he was 
a worthy old Knickerbocker, and particularly exhibiting 
such uncommon sense as to select a store at No. 1 South 
street, and a dwelling at No. 1 State street. 

In 1827, his suns Isaac U. and William T. Coles, 
kept on the old business, and like their father showed 
great good sense in keejilng in the old ■^aclnity for resi- 
dences. Isaac lived at No. 1 State, and William at No. 
2, next to each othei', for on the opposite side of State 
street is the Battery, and of course the numbers are 
continuous. There they lived and continued in busi- 
ness together at No. 1 South street until 1832, when 
Isaac U. left his brother, and started business at 28 
Front street. In 18113 William left business and State 
street. I am not certain that he died there. 


Isaac kept on business until 1834, when he moved 
from No. 1 State street to 50 Bond, then becoming ar- 
istocratic. He gave up liis store in Front street in ]May, 
1835. He resided in Bond street until 1851. It was 
occasionally a marked house, from the fact that year 
alter year, it was hermetically sealed. From 183C, on 
a few years, I do not believe it was ever entered. It 
was as solemn as if a dozen murders had been commit- 
ted there. The memory of such men as John B. Coles 
ouiiht not to die. But where has au<»;ht been written 
about them, save my Old Merchants ? 

These will not perish, in this handsome book. It is 
fov this reason we ask our readers, and the i'riends and 
relatives of the names mentioned, to correct them when 
they see errors, and send it to me. 

I do not claim to be perfect, or any way near it, but 
this I do claim — I have done more to rescue from ob- 
livion the names of New York merchants, than any oth- 
er author that has ever lived. 

I would do more if I had the materials. There are 
many that exist which could be jilaced at my disposal, 
and be made to serve a useful purpose. JIow many 
have family record, — documents connected with com- 
merce, — statements of trade, lying useless, from 1700 
to 1800, that would be to Walter Barrett invaluable. 

I would use such material, sift out chaff from wheat, 
and work it up into a form that will be imperishable, as 
1 have this. 

I have said that Mr. Coles did a flour business. ITo 
was in it, or his sons, for a j)eriod of over forty-six 
years. He was a man much respected. He was one 
ol' the directors in the Bank of New York. He was. 
elected in 1800, and continued year after year until 
1820, and how much longer I do not know. This is 


an endorsement not fully appreciated. A merchant 
may be once elected a director of this time-honored old 
bank, the first started in the State, in 1784, when Mr. 
C<;les commenced business ; but to be re-elected year 
after year, is paying the highest tribute to any man's 
capacity, integrity and character; for to be a director 
in that bank long, one must possess all these. 

It would be difficult to say what benevolent society 
or moneyed corporation Mr. Coles was not connected 
with. lie gave his name to every good Avork, and 
when he gave his name he worked for the institution. 

Mr. William Neilson married a daughter of John B. 
Coles, and his children have married to some of our 
first people. Robert Gracie married a daughter of Mr. 
Neilson. So did Charles E. Borrowe. 

\s\\\\ this digression finished, I now return to the 
original receipt. 

Thomas Buchanan was a king among merchants. 
He did a very large business, and his firm must liave 
been in existence for full fifty-five years. I know it 
was in 17GG as Walter & Thomas Buchanan. Between 
that date and the close of the Revolution the firm 
changed, and it became Thomas Buchanan & Co. It is 
likely that Walter was the pai'tner, although for some 
cause unknown to me ninety-five years later, his name 
does not aj)pear. 

'J'hey sej)arated in 1772, and Thomas then contiinird 
liis mammoth business on his own hook at 41 Wall 
street. Walter stai-ted a sejiarate concern in Bibrrty 
street. He kept tliere some years and then nunud to 
his son Walk-r W.'s ivsidcnce at 4 Dnane street, wlicio 
1 think he must have died about tJie close of 1804. 
'i'hat son. Doctor \Vahrr W., was a reniarkalilc man. 
He lived in Hudson street not far from Duane, No. 45, 


until tlie war. Then lie moved away and was gone 
until 1825. lie came back to the city that year, and 
lived at 114 Grand street, corner of Broadway. Again 
he disappeared, and I have no track of him. 

Thomas Buchanan became very prominent on his 
own account from 1792 to 1809, when he took in his 
son George, and the firm was Thomas Buchanan & Son. 
The lirm kept at -41 Wall (just below the present Ex- 
change) as late as 1816, when they removed their 
counting house to 4 Slote lane (now Beaver,) and his 
residence to No. 64 Broadway. George lived at the 
home of his parents. In 1819 old Thomas died. Not- 
withstanding, the firm was kept up until 1824, the busi- 
ness behig conducted by George Buchanan. At that 
time it was not necessary to change the stjde of a mer- 
cantile firm when a prominent partner died. That year 
too, George disai)})eared from commercial life. The 
old lady, Almy, the widow of Thomas Buchanan, con- 
tiiuxed to reside in the old mansion, G4 Broadway, (just 
above Beaver) as late as 1832. I do not know when 
she died. She was a fair sample of an old New York 
merchant's wife. 

Two of the sons of Peter Goelet, Peter P. and Rob- 
ert Ratze, married daughters of JMr. Buchanan, and con- 
se(|uently Peter Goelet of 1861, that lives in Nineteenth 
street, is ti grandson of both the noble old merchants. 

Margaret Roberts, formerly Margaret Buchanan, I be- 
lieve is still alive. His daugiiter Almy married a Mr. 
Hicks, and his youngest Thomas Pearsall. Thomas 
Buchanan was buried froin 64 Broadway, as Peter 
Goelet was from 53 ]>roadway, when he died. 

There are no such funerals in these da^^s. Grand 
old funerals — it was worth living in those linu's, jus.' 
to have the pleasure of going to the stylish, conit'urtablo 


funeral of an old Knickerbocker. Nothing of that kind 
can be got up now. In the first place, we lack the ne- 
groes. In those days the servants were all colored, and 
when their master was to be buried, they were dressed 
in black, with white towels on their arms. All the 
rooms in the house Avere flung open. Everybody re- 
ceived scarfs and gloves, and such wines ! There are 
no such wines now in existence as were to be had at an 
old Knickerbocker funeral. Both Peter Goelet and 
Thomas Buchanan had Maderia wine in their cellars 
one hundred years old. Dust, an inch thick, upon the 
bottles. All the friends went to such funerals. So did 
acquaintances, for it was only on such occasions that 
people could get Avine to drink — the best, even in those 
days of cheapness, -$10 per bottle. Could it be had now, 
it would be worth ^100 per bottle ; but it is not to be 
had. Such wine is not in existence. Thomas Buchan- 
an was in business when this city had but 10,381 souls, 
lie was here through all the dark hours of the Revolu- 
tion, and he lived to see it grow to 120,000. He, mod- 
est merchant, little dreamed that it was he and such as 
he, kings of commerce, that had made it grow so great- 
ly, and increase so vastly in wi'alth. 

WMiere are your Clintons — your Tompkins, Jays 
— your Burrs, llamiltons, and the names that adorn 
history — ihere ])oliticians or so called stati.^smen, when 
compared with the creators of the wealth and the glo- 
ry of the great commercial city. 

The merchants were the bees that made the honey — 
the dr()nt\s were tlui statesmen that made the noise. 

Do Witt Clinton has all the ghny of the canal. IIo 
was tlu; fly on the coach wheel. The merchants of 
whom I sp(jke were the spokes, the axles, the wheel 
itself. They had made money by commerce, and Uiey 


lavlslied it in building; tliG groat canal, destined to re- 
turn its cost a liuudred times to the generous city and 
the generous merchants Avho planned and built it. 

It is such names that I am placing on an imperish- 
able record. Even tradition, in a few years, will for- 
get the very names of the true foiuiders of this city, 
and such I rank those alluded to in this chapter. 

It is almost imj)ossihle to tell how closely in every 
way, manner and shape, Thomas Buchanan idcntiticd 
himself with the interests of the city, in commerce, 
finance, charity, and every benevolent society. 

As early as 1702, ho was one of the governors of 
the New Yoi'k hospital. 

In 1834 he was a director of the old United States 
Branch Jiank in this city, and continued so lor many 

Another old firm in 1780 was John and Francis At- 
kinson. They did a very heavy importing business. 
'J'hcir store was at No. 22:;) Queen (Pearl) street, 
about Burling slip. They kept on during the war, and 
Francis was among the founders of the St. Geon'-e's 
Society, in this city (178G.) In fiict, he bt-longetl to a 
St. (jeoigc's Society that existed b(.'ft)re the war. His 
brother John became a member in 1788; and his neph- 
ew, John Jr., in 1801). 'J'hey kei)t their firm at 123 
I'earl street as late as 17*jr>. In IHOI, John Atkinson 
it Son kept (»n the business. Francis had retired. 
Their store was at 132 Fearl street, and they lived at 
No. 20 v^Jourtlandt street many years. As late as 1810 
the firm was kept up at 107 I'earl street, and that year 
changed to J. Atkinson Jr., and G. II. They lived 
npoii Hudson S(piare. Next year it was Atkinson & 
I'Meming. I thinl< Augustus Fleming had joined the 
brother, — the old John had died. The firm of A. ifc F. 


was kept up a3 late as 1825, when John Jr. removed to 
Wall street. He lived at No. 152 Greenwich street. 
The widow of old John lived at No. 126 Chambers 
street many years, as late as 1830, and then they passed 
away from my memory. 

Twenty years ago I knew a tall man, who lived at' 
534 Pearl street, and who was named Atkinson. He 
was a naturalist, and talented. I was well acquainted 
with him then. Last night I met the same six-foot iron- 
gray head, coming down Hudson street, and I have an 
idea that same man is a descendant of the ancient En- 
glish Atkinsons, the znerchants before the Revolution. 



The old book-keepers (and there are thousands of 
ttiis chiss in the city, regulating the financial records of 
the merchants,) have had some remarkaLlc men among 
tl>em. An extraordinary one I remeniLer, named 
Pierpont, who was book-keeper for many years to G. G. 
& S. Ilowland. Another Avas Richard Wilson, who 
had been book-keeper in London for the great bankers 
"■ Smith, Payne & Smith." lie came on here and 
kept books for Oldfield, Bernard & Co., and Gracie, 
Prime & Co., and finally went to Baltimore, where he 
bocame Secretary to the American Life and Trust Com- 
pany, started there some twenty-five years ago, and of 
which a branch was established in this city under charge 
ot" Morris Robinson, one of the best financiers of his 
day. Pie was a long time cashier of the U. S. Branch 
I>ank in this city. The building stood next door to the 
Custom House, Wall street, and is now occupied by 
Sub-Treasurer Cisco. 

In the first volume of this work I mentioned Charles 
ITemy Hall, who was book-kee})ur to Thomas II. Smith 
& Son, the great tea merchants. I mentioned that 
liis successor as book-keeper was William Roberls. 
jViU'rwards Afr. Roberts carried on business under his 
own name at the great store of Thomas II. Siuilli *i Co., 


106 South street. He was there two years up to 1829, 
tlien estabhshed himself at No. 1 Wall street, corner 
of Broadway, in the basement. Probably there was 
never a finer stock of choice brandies and wines than 
he kept ; and he did a very large business, for he was 
well known to nearly all the leading business men in the 
•city. Ilis residence in those days, from 1831 and on, 
was at No. 2 Vesey street, whore the Astor House 
stands. He rented it from John Jacob Astor, whose 
book-keeper he had been until he went to keep the 
books of Thomas Smith & Son, the tea importers. 

Speaking of this firm, puts me in mind that I met 
and shook hands with young Tom only two weeks ago, 
under St. Paul's statue, and a hearty greeting we had. 
I never have seen young Tom look better. He invited 
me to his country house down on Long Island, and 
seemed quite distressed when I refused to go and drink 
Avith him to the memory of the dead, with Avhom we 
have both been more or less connected in this and the 
last century. 

I do not know the precise day when his father, old 
Tom, started business in New York city, but it must 
have been before 1800. His name M'as Thomas How- 
ell Smith, and he was in 1801 at 196 Front street. 
He kept a Avholesale and retail grocery store. The 
next year .after he took in a son-in-law, George W. Bru- 
en, as a partner. The latter was a son of Mat. Bruen, 
of the firm of M. & J. Bruen, merchants at 177 Broad- 
way, si^ ty years ago. It was in 1803 that the firm of 
Thomas H. Smith & Son began to be generally known. 
Prom grocers tliey rose to be the greatest tea importers 
in the United States. 

I sujtpose in the thirty years that followed, Thomas ' 
H. Smith was one of the greatest of the old school mer- 


chants. ITg Imd some of the most extraordinary men 
with him as clerks. 

Peter G. Hart was one, but it is a very curious cir- 
cumstance that when Thomas II. Smitli & Son moved 
from their old store, No. 196, in 180G, that Hart 
should liavc left their employ, and started the whoh.'sale 
grocery business in the same place, and there he contin- 
ued standing for twenty odd years, gaininor daily, and 
becoming very rich, while old Mr. Smith branched out, 
and became ruined. Peter G. Hart had his store at 
No. 19G Front street as late as 1827, when he died. 
He resided at 35 Beekman street, and the family were 
attendants of Dr. Milnor's church. He left several 
charming daughters. The widow, after his death, 
moved to No. 127 Hudson street. She afterwards 
moved to 535 Broadway, two doors this side of John 
G. Coster's house (now Chinese building.) I think 
that property was left to Widow Peter. She afterwards 
went to East Sixteenth street. 

Mr. Roberts was a very methodical man in his busi- 
ness, very precise and careful, and was very reliable in 
all matters of accounts. Long after" he had left Mr. 
Astor's employ, that gentleman used to go and see him 
to consult about accounts. The famous lawsuit, " Og- 
den vs. Astor," was settled up by Mr. Roberts, who 
died only last year (1863,) and was living at the time 
in Prince street, next door to Mr. W. B. Astor's office. 
Mr. Roberts gave up active business about 18-10. He 
has a smi, Dr. Roberts, Avho lives in University place, 
corner ThirteentU street. He married a daughter of 
]\Iartin Hoffman, Avho was a great auctioneer in iiisday, 
and flithcr oi' L. M. Hollinuu wlu) died a few days ago. 
Martin lloiruian was a great merchant once. He was 
of the house of Hodman & Seton, auctioneers. Old 


Iloffman married a Miss Seton. If I was to write all 
tliat I could about those Hoffmans, I should have to 
commence back as far as 200 years ago, when Martin 
Hoffman was an auctioneer in 1661. I can't swear 
positively that he was an auctioneer, but I know he was 
a large tax payer in that year, and of course decidedly 
Dutch. Ho lived (the 1661 gent,) in De Heere Slraat. 

Of all the Iloflmans, I am more pleased with the 
Martin Hoffman who flourished just after the Revolu- 
tion, and who was father of several children, anions 
them, Lind'.ey Murray and Martin, I remember very 
well. There was a daughter, Sarah. I think she mar- 
ried a Roberts ; slie was born in 1783. L. M. Hoffman 
\\as born in 17U3. He had an elder brother named 
Daniel M., and another named Martin. 

Martin (of 1790 memory) was a public-spirited man 
and took an interest in everything that was going on in 
New York then. He made three of his children Ton- 
tine stockholders, and it is curious that out of 203 
shares, based on 197 lives, Lindley Murray Hutinuui 
was born last, 1793. He died a few months ago. Mar- 
tin Hoffman was in everything. He belonged to a fire- 
company, I'iOl. In 1792 he was a Sachem of Tam- 
many Hall, and in business on his own account at No. 67 
Water street that year. He was captain in the first 
Regiment of Infantry, 1792. He was master of St. 
Andiew's Lodge (Free Mason.) In 1795 life founded 
the auction and commission house of Hoffman & Seton ; 
the stoic was at No. 67 Wall street. His j)artner was 
one of (he Selons. It was a great family sixty years 
ago. The head was William Seton, cashier of the 
Rank of New York, when it was first chartered, 1784. 
There was Andrew and William, Jr., and James and 
Charles. William, the older, was of the great bousQ 


of Seton, Araitlaiul & Co., they did business at Gl Stone 
street, and old William lived over the counting-room. 
llis partner was William Maitland. I think Charles 
Seton -was the partner of Iloffinan & Seton, afterwards 
II. S. & Co. 

In 1808, Mr. Hoffman took in a Mr. Glass as a par- 
tner, and did the same business at 67 Wall street, under 
the firm of Hoffman & Glass. That concern continued 
in business under that style until 1822, when they took 
in L. M. Hoffman a partner, and added a Co. to it. 
Old ^[r. Hoffman lived up Broadway, near Jones street. 
In 1823, Mr. Hoffman took in his son L. M., and a Mr. 
Pell, and the firm was Hoffman, Son & Pell, at No. 65 
Wall street. The other son, Martin, Jr., did an auc- 
tion business on the corner of Wall and Pearl, but 
lived with his father, while L. M. was keeping house at 
No. 113 Grand street. In 1820, both of these sons 
joined their father, and kept on the auction business at 
No. 63 Wall street, under the firm of iM. Hoffman & 

IMr. Pell kept the old store at No. 65, and did busi- 
ness under the firm of W. F. Pell & Co. Never lived 
in this city a handsomer race of men than those Pells. 
Old William was a noble old fellow, and his sons AVil- 
liam and Waldron were also splendid fellows. I think 
the old gentleman, JNIr. Hoffman, died in 1827. He 
was burietl from No. 601 Broadway, but the firm was 
not changed for some years, or until the law was passed 
to the off 'ct that no name should be used in a firm, un- 
less it really was in it. In 1834, the old firm was 
changed to L. ^I. Hoffman & Co. — Martin, Jr. being 
the comj)any — and they moved from the old store near 
Pearl, down to No. 83 Wall. Seme years later, they 
moved to No. Ill Pearl, in Hanover a(]uare, and this 


firm was not changed, but was tliorc down to 1861. 
Martin, the brotlier of L. ]M., I beHeve died some years 
ago at Maranoncck ; and I think young L. M. Jr., w 13 
in the dry good business. Now these younger ones, 
grandsons of the famous Martin of 1790, still keep up 
tlio ohl business, imder tlie firm of L. M. IJoflhian's, 
Son & Co., at No. 111. Next door to them, at No. 109, 
under the style of Pells & Co., are these old neighbors 
of thirty-fve ycarg ago, when one house was at No. 03 
and the other at No. G5 Wall street. 

When L. M. IIofTman died, a few weeks ago, the 
journals were filled with notices of him. The Chamber 
of Commerce passed resolutions of condolence. He de- 
served them all, for he was an honorable merchant, and 
a useful citizen. He was as mild and gentle as a lamb. 
I do not know that ho ever s})oke an unkind word to 
any one in his life. He never did a mean action since 
he was born. 

I had an idea that lie would be one of the seven per- 
sons tliat would have inherited that property. His 
chances were far better than others who still live. 
There is a curious history yet to be written about that 
Tontine building, if one could get at all the facts. 
Here arc some of them. The buildmo; now standincr, 
and which is the second erected, stands at the north- 
west ccMiier of Wall and Water streets, and was com- 
menced in 1792 by an association of New York mer- 
chants, and comi)leted in 1794. There had previous- 
ly been no pr()])er ])lace where the merchants could 
iiUH'l to do business. Dy the constitution, 203 sliiuvs 
were subscribed for |200 a share. Each share entitled 
the holder to name a /ifc of each sex. Each nominee 
had his or her age and parentage stated by the nominee. 
During such nominee's life, the subscriber received his 


equal proportion of tlic net income of the establishment. 
Upon the death of the nominee, the subscriber's in- 
terest ceased, and his interest became merged in the 
owners of^the surviving nominees. 

The original shares were assignable and held as per- 
sonal estate, and the Avhole property was vested in five 
trustees, who were to be continued in trust, or by suc- 
cession, until the number of nominees was reduced to 
seven, when the holders of these shares, contingent up- 
on these surviving nominees, became entitled to a con- 
veyance in fee of the whole premises to be equally di- 
vided between them. 

The nominee himself did not necessarily have an in- 
terest in the association ; for each subscriber, in namino- 
a person, generally a child, looked to such as had a 
promise of length of days. 

For instance, old Martin Hoffman nominated before 
March, 1795 — three of his children — one born 1791 
— 1792 — and 1793. L. M. was the latest date — 
none later. His chance was good for many years. One 
nominee was born as early as 1752. Martin was born 
between 1778 and 1790. William Gracie was a nomi- 
nee. There are now alive Chas. King, born 1789 — 
John, born 1787 — and Archibald Gracie born 1791, 
and others whose names I don't know. The constitu- 
tion was signed November 4, 1794. 

All the meetings of citizens were held in the Tontine 
Coffee house. All the famous charities of the city were 
born there. So were banks and coporations. A griev- 
ance was remedied by a meeting at the old Tontine 
Ooilee house, and it decided every thin o". 

It was a hotel, too. George Frederick Cook died 
there in 1812. 


The iMerclm-.'.ts' Excliange was kept in tliis grand 
building in the large room, until 1825. 
It was thirty feet square. 

I remember how Colonel Gracie used to walk to the 
looking-glass, pull up his shirt collar, and say : 

" Don't I look as though my chance for the Tontine, 
one seventh, is as good as any one else ? " 

Alas, his chances died with him in 1840 — twenty 
years and more ao^o. 

I presume the men of that day named all their chil- 
dren who were born then. Rufus King subscribed 
ht$ivy. So did Archibald Gracie. He named William 
UJid Archibald. 

Among the males yet left, beside those named are 
G. C. Vorplanck, 178G ; William Bayard, 1791. 

It was called the Tontine Coffee House ; but the sub- 
scribers, when the Exchange opened, got a decree of 
Chancery authorizing them to let the premises for gen- 
eral purposes, in 183-1. 

In 1843, the legislature altered the title to " Tontine 

On the 4th of June, 18G1, it had existed sixty-seven 

Originally there were 137 males and G6 females, 203 ; 
3 females and 3 males were duplicated, so that really 
only 197 names were mentioned. 

Some parties, a few years ago, made a new proposi- 
tion. They agreed to put up a new building, which 
should revert to the seven left, provided they, the build- 
ers, had the rent of it for the balance of the time. 
For this they agreed to pay the Tontine trustees the 
sum of $20,000 i)er annum. The new buildino-, it Avas 
agreed, should not cost less than §40,000. 

I now return to William Huberts. He adopted a 


young lady as liis daugliter, wlio afterwords became tlie 
wife of the celebrated Doctor Alexander F. Vach(i, who 
was an old New Yorker, and loved it too, as he did his 
own soul. Though not a merchant, yet it will not be 
out of place to mention the son of an old New Yorker, 
wlio was old John Vach^, and was the first artificial 
riower merchant and manufacturer that ever lived in 
New York. lie commenced his business at 28 Liberty 
street in 1790, and he continued it there until he moved 
to Newark in 1827. 

I do not know where the old gentleman died, but I 
believe his family reside in Newark. Yet Alexanaer, 
\\i^t doctor, was born at 28 Liberty street, before this 
CLOtury. It was upon the old house, No. 28, that he 
mounted his first shingle in 182G, " Alexander F. Vachd, 
M. D," That Avas a proud hour for the young medical. 
He had been a fovorite pupil with the celebrated Dr. 
Mott. lie was a graduate of the College of Physicians 
and Surgeons of the University of the city of New York, 
lie was also a great friend of the celebrated Professor 
Samuel L. Mitchell, who thought the world 'of the 
young surgeon. He persuaded young Vachd, in 1821, 
to join a scientific expedition, and sailed from here for 
the Pacific Ocean in the U. S. ship Franklin, Commo- 
dore Charles Stewart, (was is yet living, and the oldest 
(Joi)uno(K)ru in the An!<jrican Navy.) When the party 
got out to tiie coast of Chili, mercantile events arising 
out of the revolutionary condition of the country so 
limited the fiuld of sientific observation by confininirthe 
ship to that iirimediate coast, tliat Dr. Vachd joined tho 
frigate Constitution, Commodore Ridgeliy, and return- 
ed to the United Stati's, after an absence of two years. 
In 1825, the Doctor again went to sea -with Caj^tain J. 
n. Clark, U. S. navy, in the double capacity of mess- 


mate and surgeon, on a voyage to the river Amazon. 
TIic object was to ascertain its navigabilit^^v, and con- 
nections with tlie interior of the Soutli Arr '^rican prov- 
inces. Tlic Emperor of Brazil would tio< permit any 
outsider to do wliat he could not do himself, and he or- 
dered them olF, refusing positively permission to ascend 
the Amazon. On her return the ship stopped at sever- 
al ports and places. In this experience among tropical 
diseases, the Doctor was fitting himself in an admirable 
manner for the office of Health Physician at the Quar- 
anlme ground, that he afterwards filled. 

Dr. Vachd was very much beloved by all who knew 
him. He was an active jjolitician in the Sixth Ward. 
He was a great friend of William Leggett, Richard 
Adams Locke, Ulysses D. French, and others. The 
doctor was one of the original Loco-Focos of 1835 and 
'36. He was a prominent member of the County Con- 
vention of the latter year. He was one of the signers 
of the letter to Colonel R. M. Johnson and to Mr. 
Van Buren. The course pursued by Dr. Vaqlid elect- 
ed Edward Curtis and James Monroe to Congress that 

The doctor was the most ingenious casuist of the 
Loco-Foco party. He spoke at all the meetings in an 
earnest tone of voice, smooth, low, and he used the 
nicest words and a style to fastidiousness. The doctor 
was a great favorite with the highest leaders in the par- 
ty. All knew him personally. He left a fine family 
of chiKiren, one daughter and several sons. He died 
some years since. 

Charles Henry Hall, who in later years was book- 
keeper to Thomas H. Smith & Son, had been l)rought 
uj) by the old house of Murray & Mumford, alluded to 
to before this, and was a clerk with them as late as 1804. 


My friend Thomas Quick,.suggests that I sliould give 
a full description of JMr. Iliiniphreys, who once owned 
the house of Phil. Hone, in Broadway, next to Park 
Place (save one door,) and occupied by the commercial 
hrm of young Fred. Tracy. His name was William 
Humphreys, and sixty years ago he lived at 311 Broad- 
May, in 1804, and was of the lirm of Humphreys <fe 
Whitney in Burling slip. They lasted many years. 



There have been many merchants of great celebrity 
in this city, named Lawrence, but among all the Law- 
rence race, none have been more remarkable than the 
brothers John and Isaac Lawrence. John was in busi- 
ness during the war, and lived and did business at 162 
Queen street (Pearl.) In 1795 he took in his younger 
brother Isaac, who had been clerk with him for two 
years previous, and the new sign was placed over the 
store 154 Water, corner of Fly market. Isaac had re- 
ceived a collegiate education at Princeton College, and 
intended to become a lawyer, but his health was poor, 
and he went into business with his brother John. The 
firni of John & Isaac Lawrence contiimed until 1803, 
when the brothers separated after doing a very prosper- 
ous and extended commerce. They were owners of 
vessels, shippers of goods abroad, and importers. They 
did a very heavy West India business. This was owing 
to their having relations established in the West India 
Islands. In fact, they had a brother named William, 
who owned a plantation in Denuirara, where he died. 
Another brother named Richard was also an eminent 
merchant in New York, and died at Hell Gate, where 
he owned a country seat in 181G. 

When the house of J. & I. Lawrence dissolved, the 


vAO^ ■«• :^A. T^o 


Store was at 208 Pearl, and Isaac lived at 40 Court- 
laiidt street. Isaac continued on with the business at 
tlie same place, 208 Pearl, until 1814. He was out of 
business until 1817, when he became President of the 
United States Branch Bank, that had been established 
in this city. The office was then kept at G5 Broadway. 
His residence at that time was at 480 Broadway. He 
ulterwards moved into a handsome house he had built 
at 408 Broadway, above Broome. 

John Lawrence, the partner of Isaac, lived at 82 
Murray street. He was a great man in this city, and 
engaged in all the benevolent projects. He was a Gov- 
ernor of the New York hospital, a Trustee of Colum- 
bia College, and a Member of Congress. There were 
several John Lawrences living in New York at the close 
of the last century, but the one I am now describin^T, 
who died in the summer of 1817, if I am not mistaken, 
luid been in Congress. He left several daughters. 
They married into some of the first families. One mar- 
ried John Campbell, another Benj. F. Lee, one John P. 
Smith, another Timothy G. Churchill. After he 
moved from Murray street, Mr. John Lawrence lived at 
891 Broadway. 

Isaac Lawrence was a merchant in the most extended 
sense and meaning of the word. From 1795 to 1815 
there was not' as great a chance to make extended oper- 
ations as a few years ago. He had been a director in 
the old United States Bank tliat was located in the city, 
and so also was his brother John. That old Bank of 
i1k! United States connnenced operation before 1792. 
I think its charter exjiired in 1811. The president of 
the bank, in this city, was old Philip J>i\iiigston at its . 
counuencement, and at its close Cornelius Ray. The 
directors were such men as I have written about — 



Thomas Buchanan, John Atkinson, Thomas Pearsall, 
William Laight, William Bayard, Jacob Le Roy, and 
Archibald Giacie. Jonathan BurrelJ was its cashier 
from 1791 to 1811. lie lived in a fine old mansion at 
49 Pine street. 

When the Bank of America was chartered in 1812, 
the leading merchants who got it up had an idea that it 
would take the place of the United States Bank. 
Hence its comprehensive name. Bank of America. 
They made the late casliier of the United States Bank, 
Jonathan Bui'rell, cashier. He afterwards became vice- 
president, and he continued so until 1819. He lived 
then up at 388 Broadway, where, I think, he died. 

Jonathan Burrell was a great patron of one of the 
most extraordinary characters of his day. I mean a 
New York barber named John B. Huo-fj-ins. He flour- 
ished his razor for many years, about the commence- 
ment of this century, and as late as 1808. Mr. Bur- 
rell believed in the United States Branch Bank, and 
in the Bank of America ; he would have trusted either 
with untold millions, and he would have trusted Hug- 
gins with a more valuable article — viz., his throat. 
Mr. Burrell was not alone in his faith in this barber. 
He shaved Archibald Gracie, Col. Richard Varick, 
William W. Woolsey and William Coleman of The 
Evening" Past, Governor Oliver Wolcott, and Thomas 
Buchanan. His shop was their favorite resort. He was 
an ora(do of news. People regard Robert Bonner as 
having carried geiuiino u Iverlising and its humbug stylo 
to an extravagant pitch in this age. lie was not a cir- 
cumstance to John Richard Desbrosses Huggins, 12mpe- 
reurde Frissenrs, Roy deliarbers, Auto(.'rat of Fashions, 
&c., &c. In 18UG, there were more daily j)aper8 than 
now. They wei-u The American Citizen, The New 


York Gazette, The Mercantile Advertiser, TJie Morning- 
Chronicle and The People's Friend, morning papers. 

The afternoon dailies were The Commercial Adver- 
tiser, The Eveni)!^ Post and The Public Advertiser. 
Two of the first named dailies arc now flourishino. 
Of tlie weekly papers there were the Republican Watch 
Tower, the Spectator, the Express, the Herald, and the 
People's Friend, printed from the daily offices. The 
ici^ndar weekly papers were the Museum, Price Current, 
Visitor, Republic and Sp^. 

In all of these papers did Mr. Huggins flourish, both 
in poetry and prose. He liad the cleverest writers of 
the day to aid him. He paid them like an emperor. 
He commenced advertising in 1801. Hamilton wrote 
some of his articles, and they were very clever. His 
place, during the last years, was at No. 92 Broadway, 
opposite Trinity Church. Previous to that, from 179-i 
to 1800, Huggins kept his shop on the basement floor 
of the Tontine Coffee house, then kept by Mr. Hyde. 
Here is one of his cards : 


Kniglit of the Comb, 

ladies' and gentlemicn's hair dresser, 

Tontine Coffee House, 

New York." 

In these days tlic Ladies had their hair dressed with 
great care, and sometimes it was the case with gentle- 
men. Many of our old merchants have kept awake 
and not laid down their heads, for fear of disarrang- 
ing their hair after it had been fixed (perhaps two days 
previous) for a great ball. 

At No. 02 IJroadway, Huggins kept a store, also, with 
trunks of perfumery, essences, " lavender water, with' 
amber perfume," "best pomatum, high scented," fine 


siTjelling water," '• milk of roses," " English honey 
water," "bags, and pin cushions," "Spanish skin,", 
" coral powder," " Venetian sponge," '' pastes," 
" washes," " cosmetics." One of his pupils was 
Maniort, who kept at No. 90 Broadway many years, 
ajid his pupil was George Meyer, who keeps at No. 17 
Park Row, under Power's hotel. 

The Bank of America was chartered for twenty years, 
with a capital of $4,000,000. This was twice the cap- 
ital of any other bank then chartered. It was the 
sixth bank chartered by the State of New York. The 
president was Oliver Wolcott, afterwards Governor of 
Coiuiectlcut, and who had been Secretary of the Treas- 
ury under General Washington, alul the first president 
of the Alerchant's Bank in this city, in 1803. The di- 
rectors were Jonathan Burrell, Archibald Gracie, Wil- 
liam Bayard, Stephen Whitney, George Newbold, and 
others who had been old United States Bank directors. 

They dill not succeed in making the Bank of Amer- 
ica take the place of the United States Bank ; and in 
181G, Congress chartered that institution with a capital 
of -•tf3o,000,000, to last twenty years. It did last that 
time, and then General Jackson crushed it. The branch 
in the city had its office at No. G5 Broadway, and its 
cashier was Lynda Catlin. Its president and principal 
man was Mr. Isaac Lawrence, who until 183G, ])resi- 
ded over its destiny, lie only lived four years after- 
wards, and died July 12, 1841. He was one of the 
rral aristocracy of the city, and was among the first. 
There are two legitimate kinds — one d(.'.s(;cnded from 
the old Holland Dutchmen that came here in 1G30, and 
thereafter, ami another claHs of L^wnglish wlio came hero 
in the same century, although a few years later. John 
ami Isaac l-iawrL-nce were of that stock. Three broth- 


ers came out to tliis country in the troublesome times 
of King Charles the First. Tliey were passengers on 
board the sln'p " Planter," and landed in Massachusetts 
in 1035. They were named John, William, and Thom- 
as. From INIassachusetts they emigrated to Long Island 
in 1G44, ami took a patent of land from worthy old Gov- 
ernor Kief. Old John afterwards moved to New York 
city, then New Amsterdam, and was a great man' 
among the Dutch and English. lie was a merchant, 
lie was alderman fx'om 1665 to 1672, and mayor in 
1673. He was again alderman from 1680 to 1684, 
and mayor again in 1691. 

One hundred years later, another John Lawrence, 
also a merchant, and great grandson of the old one, was 
alderman from 1762 to 1765. 

The eldest one was made Judge of the supreme court 
in 1693, and held it until he died in 1699. lie was 
born in 1618,. in England. Ilis will, in his own hand- 
writing, made when he was eighty years old, is still on 
iile in the county clerk's ofKce. 

From one of these brothers, John and Isaac Law- 
rence were descended — a good old New York stock, 
by the English breed. 

Isaac Lawrence married Miss Cornelia Beach. She 
was a daughter of the Rev. Abraham I3each, one of 
the ministers of Trinity church, and a man of note in 
his day. Mrs. Lawrence was a very remarkable wo- 
man — an exemi)lary Clnistian, and a perfect lady. 
She was charital)h! to all that came in her way. She 
had many chlldrcia — one son and several dau'ditui's. 
She brought them uj) in the right way, and tln'y tQuk 
l)attern after her. 

They used to go to St. Thomas' Church, corner of 
Broadway and Houston street, in it:^ jiahiiy da^s, when 


Dr. Ilavvks preached there, and there never lived in 
this city sucli a family of beautiful daughters. They 
were the prettiest girls in the city. They are all mar- 
ried to prominent men. Cornelia married James A. 
Ilillhouse, of New Haven. Harriet married John A. 
Post. Isaphene married Dr. Benj. McVicker. Julia 
lieach married Thomas L. Wells ; Maria, the Rev. W. 
J. KI]) ; and Hannah, the pride of the family, married 
Henry Whitney, a son of the late Stephen Whitney. 

Isaac Lawrence had but one son, William Beach Law- 
rence, He received all the advantages of an excellent 
education, and was intended for a public career. He 
became Secretary of Legation at London, shortly after 
]\Ir. John Quincy Adams became president of the Uni- 
ted States, in 1825. While in London he was ex- 
tremely popular with all classes. Upon the accession to 
power of General Jackson, Mr. Lawrence was supplant- 
ed by a partisan of tliat gentleman. Mr. Beach La.w- 
rence removed to Rhode Island some years ago, and was 
adopted there by the democrats. He was elected Lieu- 
tenant Governor of the State. He woidd have made 
an excellent merchant, had he entered upon the career. 
He married a daughter of Archibald Gracie, the great 
merchant, alluded to so frequently in these pages, and 
thus became brother-in-law to James G. and Charles 
King, who had married sisters, and to the brothers Gra- 
de. No man was ever placed in a pleasanter positi(Mi 
in life than " Beach," as his relations called him. vSur- 
rounded by loving sisters, a doting father who left him 
rich, he has known or felt but few of the thorns of life ; 
and even now is quite a young man, and no one who 
meets him would suppose for an instant that he was 
over lurty years old. He has children. One of them, 
William Beach Lawrence, Jr., is a you4ig man of uii- 


common promise, and bids fair to keep up the reputation 
of the race he springs from. There was one very pain- 
ful matter connected with " Beach," and his father, I 
allude to the father's indorsement for the son, and his 
final ruin in consequence. In 183-1 a lot of lots on 
IMurray hill of Isaac Lawrence were sold to pay Beach's 
debts for some $50,000, that last year were worth 

I omitted to mention in my sketch of John B. Coles, 
his extraordinary activity in his younger days whenever 
any atlairs of benevolence were concerned — wherever 
suffering humanity was to be relieved. Probably there 
was never more suffering in this city than in the yellow 
fever of 1798. From 29th July to 29th November, 
2,086 died, and at that time the city contained about 
55,000 inhabitants. Its very fii'st victim was an old 
merchant, named Melancton Smith, who was taken 
sick in his store in Front street, near Coenties Slip. 
His death was followed by several of his neighbors being 
taken ill, among them were Peter A. Schenck, the 
father of Peter il. Schenck, of modern times. Al- 
most at the same time it broke out in Cliff street and 
Burling Slip, Ryder street, and Eden alley, at Golden 
Hill street (since John.) 

It raged greatly in Eden alley and Ryder street, 
where not a family escaped it ; and it terminated fatally 
to one or more members except in two houses — one 
of Dr. Ilardie, and the other Mr. McMaster, the gro- 
cer. All the other families sutl'ered fearfully. 

Ryder street j-an from Gold to Fulton, forming the let- 
ter L ; it is now caHed liyder's alley. When called Ryder 
street. Dr. James liiirdie and several of our most respect- 
able citizens lived in it. At No. 1 Ryder street was a large 
printhig ofiiee. It seems almost hicredible now. Tho 


east corner of Ryder street, facing on Fulton street, 
No. G7, is occupied by an old New Yorker, named Ed- 
■\vard Evans, for an extensive clothing establishment. 
The only merchant in Ryder street is a young man, who 
keeps an extensive establislnnent for old books. I fre- 
quently patronize him. From Fulton street Ryder runs 
up a turn and goes out into Gold street. In this sec- 
tion the fever raged fearfully. Eden alley was on the 
opposite side of Gold street. 

At that time there was a prospect of a foreign war, 
and everybody was engaged in making preparation. 
Companies were being formed, batteries were being 
erected, subscriptions were being raised for the purpose 
of building vessels of war to ])rotect our commerce, 
when the yellow fever broke out. At once all the war 
views were silspended. Speedy death was the only 
prospect. Parents were deprived of their children, 
husbands of their wives, wives made Avidows in a few 
hours, and from happy independence made beggars. 
Infiuits cried for dead parents. Whole families were 
cut off. Half of the houses were empty, and the 
frightened occupantg fled to the country. 

It was at such a time as this that John B. Coles 
evinced qualities that made him a benefactor to his race 
and to the city. He was ever where sufferinf was to 
be relieved, and he passed from one to another getting 
aid and using it to the best advantage. He collected 
from the following persons : From General Horatio 
Cates, who was then a resident here, $50 ; from Archi- 
bald Gracie, $i50 ; from Moses Rogers, $G0 ; from 
Thomas Pcarsall & Co., |100 ; from Tracy, l$r>0 ; from 
a man in Stateii Island ho got two sheep, ten bushels of ■ 
potatoes, six bushels turnips and twenty-five pumpkins. 
From Teunis Quick, Mr. Coles received $40. From 


Charles L. Camman, $100. "A man," gave Mr. C. 
$100, he was a man. Henry Seaman, $50. Herman 
Le Roy $50. From Mr. Griffin in Newark, 480 lbs. 
of beef. William Bayard, $100. Boonen Graves 
gave Mr. Coles $100. Isaac Torboss gave five barrels 
of flour. John JilcVicker gave $100. Thomas Lown- 
der gave 100 loaves of bread. Thomas Pearsall & Co., 
gave Alderman Cole $100. Hubert Van Waggcnen, 
$50. Dominick Lynch gave one ox, two pigs, two 
lambs, eighty chickens and sixteen bushels potatoes. All 
the country towns sent down something. Walter 
Bowne gave $10, G. G. Bosset gave twelve bottles 
syrup of vinegar, and two bottles of " vinegar of four 
thieves:' Pots of West Indies sweetmeats, lambs, 
fowls, carl, cigars, loaves of bread, cart-loads of herbs 
and roots, potatoes, beets, turnips, cabbages, carrots, 
radishes, thyme, barrels of pork, ducks, butter, ajjples, 
hams, Indian meal, rye meal, corn, straw, catnip, seven 
dozen castor oil, bag of beims, two cheeses, three pair 
of shoes, cords of wood, barrels of cider, 1000 eggs, 
two barrels shad, four geese, and parsley. Such 
Avere the articles that poured in every day from differ- 
ent sections of the State and New Jersey. 

Good old merchant Thomas Buchanan sent in $100 
and ten barrels of oatmeal. John Watts too, sent in 
oxen, sheep, and forty barrels Indian meal. Sir John 
Temple gave 100. Dirck Ten Broek gave fifty fat 
sheep. Of course, in a time like this, another of our 
Old merv iiants could not have been idle. I allude to 
John Murray Jr., brother of Lindley Murray, the 

The common council, when the yellow fever broke 
out, borrowed a sn)all sum of money, to be appropriated 


to relieving the poor and distressed. In September, 
John iMurray Jr. came forward with $10,000 more. 

It seems incredible to us now, the horrible accounts 
of yellow fever. It was at one time a reguhir scourge 
to the city. Every few years it visited New York and 
Phihidelphia. In 1793' Philadelphia lost 4,041. In 
1795 New York lost 732 ; in 1798, 2,086 ; and Philt- 
delphia 3,056. In 1803, New York lost 609 out of 
1,369 cases. In 1805 the yellow fever cases were about 
600, and deaths 202. In 1822 it raged here with un- 
usual violence. The cases were 601, and deaths 230. 
The citizens all fled ; part of down town was boarded 
In. The custom house, post office, banks, insurance 
offices, and principal merchants, all moved up into 
Greenwich village. Down town all the places of pub- 
lic worship were shut up ; but for this precaution the 
deaths would have been as great as in 1798, when 
John B. Coles was so active. Mr. Coles himself was 
buried in Trinity churchyard. How quickly good 
works are forgotten. If I succeed in rescuing from ob- 
livion such acts as his, I regard myself as having per- 
formed a good work. Had De Witt Clinton done any 
thing so creditable, it would have been heralded over 
the world ; but done by an insignificant merchant, it 
was hardly worth mentioning in old times. 



Last Sunday evening I was walking up Greenwicli 
street, and when I reached No. 337, I stopped and 
looked at the old house, once in a fashionable locality, 
and occupied by one of the first merchants of the city. 
Opposite was a block of handsome three story brick 
buildings (between Jay and Harrison streets) and there 
also lived the first people. But now, how changed 1 
Low tenement houses, dirty, out of repair, and daily 
witnesses of scenes that shock humanity. It is only 
twenty years ago since the occupant of No. 337 moved 
away from that house to Bleecker street. 1 allude to 
Schuyler Livingston. I saw him only a few weeks 
since, as he tottered along the street to his counting- 
house in Beaver street, and com[»lained of rheumatism. 
On Monday, the 2d of Se])tember, he died at White- 
stone, Long Island. Ue was 58 years old. 

Mr. Livingston was vei-y much pleased with what I 
had written about him. I do not think he ever hud as 
much said about him before or since. JSclmyler Liv- 
ingston was a true New York merchant, lie Nvas edu- 
cated to it, serving a regular clerkship of five years, as 
nearly all of our great shipping merchants have done. 

In IblO, when S. Livingston was sixteen years old, 


lie ciitored the counting-house of Henry & George 
liarcluy. This house hatl been in business about five 
years, having commenced just after the war. Their 
office was at No. 3, in the famous Phoenix stores, that 
stood at the corner of Water and Wall streets, as late 
as 1830. 

There were three of the Barclay brothers, — Henry, 
George and Anthony. They were sons of Colonel 
Thomas Barclay, who was Consul General of Great 
Britain for the Eastern States, appointed after the War 
of 1812. 

This firm was continued for some years. In 1824, 
when Schuyler Livingston became of age, he was taken 
in a partner, but his name did not appear, nor was the 
stjde of the firm changed from II. & G. Barclay until 
1834, Avhen it became Barclay & Livingston. This 
change was owing to the law passed, and no name of a 
person should be kept in a firm when he was not in it. 
Henry Barclay had removed from New York to Sau- 
gerties some years previous, and the brother Anthony, 
(afterwards British Consul,) with George Barclay, 
made the firm of Barclay & Livingston. 

The last firm has continued to this day, George Bar- 
clay being in it. 

They were the agents of " Lloyds," London. For 
neaily half a century this huuse has done business, and 
for forty years Schuyler Livingston was its main pillar. 

That man's whole life, from boyhood, was devoted to 
the mercantile profession. He had no ambition outside 
of it. In forty-three years, since he swept out the 
" olHce " as under clerk, he has not probably been out 
of New York over a week at a time. 

To rise early in the morning, to get breakfast, to go 
down town to the coiniting-huuse ol the firm, to open 



and read letters, — to go out and do some business, ei- 
ther at the Custom house, bank or elsewhere, until 
twelve, then to take a lunch and a glass of wine at 
Delmonico's ; or a few raw oysters at Downino^'s : to 
sign checks and attend to the finances until half past one ; 
to go on change ; to return to the counting-house, and 
remain until time to go to dinner, and in the old time, 
when such things as " packet nights " existed, to stay 
down town until ten or eleven at night, and then go 
home and go to bed, — this for forty-three years had 
been the twenty-four hour circle for Mr. Livingston, as 
it is for thousands. The credit of the house — its stand- 
ing at home and abroad — was dearer to his heart than 
all the national difficulties of Europe. He thoroughly 
understood his business. He never neglected it. He 
was careful, prudent and just ; but the moment a mer- 
chant failed, then good-bye to any further feeling of 
equality on the part of the managing partner of the old 
and respected firm of Barclay & Livhigston. He might 
give charity to such a man, but never his countenance. 
To fail, and not pay one hundred cents on the dollar, 
exhibited in the eye of Mr. Livingston something v/rong 
— a lack of moral qualities that Schuyler could not 
comprehend. He never failed — why should other 
l)eupl(3 fail y He was a specimen of hundreds, that are 
great men on change. His routine of thoughts and of 
action was precisely like them. It is not wealth — 
mere gold, bank stock or real estate that such men wor- 
siiip. His business connection brought him constantly^ 
into correspondence with old English merchants and 
firms. Those ho worshipped, and ho modelled his 
own counting-house as far as jjossiblo after theirs. 

Ml-. Schuyler Livingston would not have accepted 
tlie presidency of the United Slates at any period of his 


long mercantile career, unless its duties could be per- 
formed as secondary to tliose of the great house of 
Barclay & Livingston. If by taking the presidency or 
governor of the State he could have extended the busi- 
ness connections of the " linn," he Avould have accept- 
ed the office, the same as he became a director in a 
bank or insurance company. It helped him in business 

In a thousand ways and all unconsciously, this mod- 
est man, but true and thorough-bred merchant, such as 
New York only can produce, loved her, and added to 
her wealth and her greatness. lie has passed away 
fi'om the scene of 15,000 days of labor. In his new 
surroundings, he will be a faitliful man and do his duty, 
and but one thing will confuse or disappoint him. It 
will be to find in Heaven merchants who have allowed 
their names to go to " protest " on earth. 

The Evening Post says a few kind words, viz : " He 
was a man of great intelligence, probity, and kindness 
of heart. In politics he was always a staunch demo- 
crat ; and though always refusing office, he was for many 
years pr*minent in the councils of the party. 

" By his death the city loses another of those mer- 
chants of the old school who made her name and her 
wealth and enterprise known the world over." 

The firm of Paulding & Irving was a very old one. 
Ebene/x'r Irving was of the firm, and lived many years 
at No. 41 Ann street — the lower part of Ann street, 
approaching (iold. Ryder street, and Gold iK'tween 
John and l^'ulton, are at this day lair sampU's of the 
streets of old New York, and even of Rotterdam and 
Amsterdam, after which they were modelled. He was 
a son of William Irving, who was a merchant at No. 
75 William, and did business as eai'ly iuj 1780 ; and he 


continued there until 1795, when he moved to No. 128 
William street. 

I remember the modest two-story wood and brick 
liouse as well as possible. Old William lived there as 
late as 1803. In later years, this house was occupied as 
a milliner shoj), 182G, and when it was torn down, a splen- 
did building was erected there, now occupied by Tie- 
maim & Co., as a paint warehouse. 

There was Washington, Peter, and William Irving ; 
Ebenezer and John T., of the young children. 

Peter was educated as a physician, and kept a drug 
store at No. 208 Broadway ; he had with him young 
William. This was as early as 1705. The two kept 
there until 1803, when the old William and William 
Jr., founded the firm of Irving & Smith. They kept 
in Pearl for twenty odd years, first at No. 102, and 
afterwards at No. 115, as lute as 1820. 

Old William Irving must have died some time in 
1807, at No. 157 William street, to which he had re- 
moved from No. 128. 

Ebenezer Irving, the son, who was a partner of Na- 
thaniel Paulding, lived at No. 157, until a year previ- 
ous to the old gentleman's death, when Peter, Washino-- 
ton and Ebenezer all lived at No. 294 Greenwich 
street. Puter kejjt at No. 07 Water street. 

The firm of Paulding & Irving was extensively en- 
gaged in the wine trade. From 1801, the firm ditl 
business at No. 102 Front street. Niel McKinnon was 
a clerk with them for many years. They did a whole- 
sale as well as retail business, ai^l kept the choicest 
stock of wines, ]>c)rter, brown stout, and imported liquors 
and ales, that could be found, lioth wrote a bold, old- 
fasiiioned handwriting. I have accounts before me 
made out by both j)artners. Ebenezer coatijiued with 


]\rr. Nathaniel Paulding until about 1811, when they 
dissolved. Mr. Paulding kept in the same store, No. 
1G2 Front street, until 1819, when he moved to No. 1G8. 
There he kept his splendid stock of wines until 1835, 
when he, with thousands of others, was burned out in 
the great fire. That event broke the old gentleman's 
heart. How well I remember his remarkable appear- 
ance, and his honest countenance. After the fire, Mr. 
Paulding started business at No. 35 Vesey street. He 
gathered there a fine lot of wines, but there was none 
that he prized as he did those in his old store. In Vesey 
street, Mr. Paulding kept as late as 1847 ; he seemed 
to be ah)ne. He boarded at No. 81 Murray street, and 
I think he died about that time. He was an aged man, 
and nuich respected. In 1811, when the firm of Paul- 
din-r (i: Irvin<i- was dissolved, Ebenezer and Peter went 
into business together at No. 135 Pearl street, under 
the firm of P. & J. Irving & Co. Peter was the doc- 
tor, and I think the company Avas Washington Irving. 
Thejast, with Peter and John T., kept at No. 3 Wall 
for tlie tliree previous years. The widow kept house 
for them at No. 108 Liberty, until she moved to No. 41 
Ann where she lived as late as 1817. 

In 1808, when he and Peter were at No. 3 Wall, 
when he was " Attorney-at-law," Washington planned 
the " Knickerbocker History of New York." In a 
preface, dated " Sunnyside, 1848," to the author's re- 
vised edition, published by G. P. Putnam for the pro- 
prietors in 1859, he says : " The following work, in 
\\'\\\c\\ at the outset nothing more was contemphited than 
a temporary jew (V esprU,wns commenced in coin[)any 
wiOi my brother, the late Peter Irving, Esq. Our idea 
was to ])arody a-*small hand-book which had recently 
appeared, entitled 'A j)icturo of New York.' Like 
that, our work was to begin with an historical sketch, 


to be followed by notices of the customs, manners and 
institutions of the city ; written in a serio-comic vein, 
and treating local errors, follies, and abuses with good- 
humored satire. 

" To burlesque the pedantic love displayed, our his- 
toric sketch was to commence with the creation of the 
world ; and we laid all kinds of work under contribu- 
tion for trite citations, i-elevant or irrelevant, to give it 
the proper air of learned research. Before the crude 
mass of mock erudition could be digested into form, my 
brother dej)arted for Europe, and I was left to prosecute 
the enterprise alone. 

" I now altered the plan of the work. Discarding all 
idea of a parody on ' The Picture of New York,' I de- 
termined that what had been orriginally intended as an 
introductory sketch should comprise the whole work, 
and form a comic history of the city." 

For years after I read that preface, I hunted after 
" the Picture of New York." That of course, must 
have been })ublished about 1807. I could get no one to 
tell me about it. A book that Washin<iton Irving 
would condescend to parody must be a valuable book. 
Jt is only a few days ago that I found the genuine book. 
N(j wonder that Irving noticed it. The title-page reads 
as follows : 


Til ROU fill THE 

Commercial Metropolis of the 

United States, 

By a Gentleman residing in tho city. 


PabliHlied l,y J. Uu.r:v & C^. 

Sold by BlU.SllAN & JJllANNAN, 

City Hotel, Broadway. 
, lb07. 


The book contains 223 pages. The author, " a gen- 
tleman residing in the city," was no less a person than 
Samuel L. Mitchell, as I have evidence in the hand- 
writing of the late Dr. Vachd. 

It needs no evidence of its authorship, save what is 
found upon every page, in the ponderous quotations 
that Washington Irving so hajjpily hits off. Mr. Sam- 
uel L. Mitchell was a wonderful man, and to show how 
quickly a man in political life is forgotten, while Mr. 
Mitchell is remembered for other matters, very few are 
aware of tlie fact that he was United States Senator 
from 1804 to 1810 from this State, and a member of 
the House of Representatives from 1800 to 1801. 

Anyone who will read the picture of New York — 
its preface, giving " authorities," " situation," " size and 
configuration," "discovery," "Long Island," will at 
once recognize the resemblance between Knickerbocker's 
first chapters and it. 

To return to the business firm of the Irving Brothers. 
Irvine and Smith continued in business until 1810, 
when they separated their auction from their commis- 
sion business, keeping the former firm at No. 142 Pearl 
street until 1818, when it took in Robert Uyslop, and 
it was Irving, Smith & Hyslop. 

The auction business was carried on at No. 133 
Pearl street, by Irving, Smith & Holly. They all 
closed up previous to 1825. 

Even the house of Peter & Ebenezer Irving &, Co, 
was dissolved about 1820. It was kept about ten years 
at 123 Pearl street. Ebenezer lived at No. 3 Bridge 
street, and kept store at 127 Water street, lie was 
burnt out in the great lire of 1835, but he did business 
us late as 1841. 1 think he died about tJiat time. 
William Irving, a son of the old William Irving," 


was of tlie firm of Irving & Smifli. lie lived at one 
time at No. 17 State street, and also at No, 3 Hudson 
square. I think lie died about thirty-five years ago. 

John T. lrvin<: died a iud'Te. lie lived in Chambers 
street. At one time he went into partnership at No. 10 
Pine street, in a " loan office " with John Nitchie. 
The firm was Irving & Nitchie. They had an office at 
GO Wall street. Mr. John Nitchie was public admin- 
istrator, and his house was in Broad, just below Ex- 
change street. 

The Irvings of the olden time added greatly to the 
wealth of New York, to her commercial reputation, and 
two of them to her literary names and fame. 



Tliere will be more knowledge conveyed in these 
chapters of the antecedents of prominent merchants of 
New York, than in any other manner yet attempted. 
IIow many will be informed for the first time that fa- 
miliar names in the liannts of commerce, and merchants 
in this ixeneration, have been familiar names amono; the 
same class for three or four generations back, and the 
fathers, grandfathers, great grandfathers and double 
great grandfathers, of men now known on " change," 
liave been known in their day respectively. 

T/ie Loiidon Tijnes recently alluded to the fact, that 
there was no aristocracy in this country except that of 
wealth. Tliere never was a greater mistake. There 
is as distinct an aristocracy here as in any land upon 
earth. Since the power of entailing has been cut off, 
there is no way of keeping property in the eldest son 
from generation to generation, and consequently an aris- 
tocracy of wealth AA^ould have a brief existence. 
Wealth has power, and can make itself exclusive. But 
it has no alHliation with the family aristocracy, or of 
old descent, or ol" hereditary mercantile enterprise. Old 
ITenry Astoi', llio butclier, and John Jacob, the cake 
peddler, who became a sagacious and far-seeing mer- 
chant, possessed great wealth ; but there were and are 



hundreds of families in this city, whose portals as an 
equal John Jacob with all his wealth, nor Henry either, 
could not have crossed. 

We look back in this city 200 years, and not more. 
Before 1662 not much was known about it. It was a 
small town, with few records. There are few tombstones 
in our old churchyards recording names much before 
that date. After 1665 there were two classes of the 
community — those that had come here from Holland, 
or that were descended from the original Dutch. 
Another class was those of English descent. Such a 
one as I described the Lawrences, John and Isaac, were 
of that family. Of the Dutch there are families older 
by ten or fifteen years. The important persons here 
from the date of settlement were merchants. Old 
Wouter Van Twiller; the first governor, was a mer- 
chant, or rather a merchant's clerk, being regularly 
brought up in the West Indian Company's counting- 
room, and that fact ranked him as the cijual of an or- 
dinary merchant. Wouter was born in Nieuwkirk, and 
probably when he ceased to be governor of our ancient 
New York he went back there. I do not know of any 
Van Twillers thatliave kept up the name, and been en- 
gaged in mercantile employment in this city ever since. 
Had they done so, they would have been regarded as ar- 
istocracy, and would have moved in the very first cir- 
cles, as the Stuyvesant family has always done, whether 
poor or rich. The Stuyvesant family would not have 
been (piite as ancient by a few years. The descendants 
of okl l*(;ter have always been engaged in connnerco 
and trade. Their lanil titles cannot be disputed. In 
this country none but fools look across the water for 
an ancestry. 

Old Van Twiller who used to get the people before 


tlie door of the fort in the spring of 1633, break in the 
liead of a barrel of wine, and get all hands drunk, 
drinking toasts "to the health of the Prince of Orancre 
and me," may have been a left hand son of the old 
Prince, or his father may have kept a dance house in 
"New Church " village, — we don't care about that. 
The Van Twiller family would in New York in 1861, 
only be allowed to date back to the 16th of April, 1633, 
when their ancestors landed from the ship " De Zout- 
burg," the first vessel of war that ever entered this har- 
bor. People here don't care what the ancestry was on 
the other side. 

In my sketch of the head of the Isaac Lawrence fam- 
ily whom I knew, and whose ancestors I stated to have 
landed in 1635, I might have added with strict truth, 
that across the water, in England, tlie ancestors of those 
I named, spelled it " Laurens," and that the first of 
note of that race was Sir Robert Laurens, of Ashton 
Hall, who accompanied King Richard (Coiur de Lion) 
to Palestine, and at the siege of St. Jean d' Arc, Rob- 
ert Laurens planted the English banner of the Cross on 
the batteries of that town, for which King Dick slapped 
him on the shoulder, and thus made him a knifjht. 

That would not do. It would make a family claim 
670 years old, and here we do not stand any such non- 
sense. We will go back to the landing in America, 
and give credit for 220 to 226 years to a Lawrence or a 
Van Twiller — to a Dutchman or an Englishman, 
from the above old stock, and when I mention these 
names, I use them as samples of hundreds of families 
in this city who can claim the highest social ancestry 
known here. 

There is no ancestry known in this city higher thiin 
that of a merchant, for it is the only business that is 


heredilary : and as hereditary descents give crowns and 
coronets in Europe, so in America hereditary merchants 
luivo tlieir claim to lionor. 

We liave liad eminent men in professions in tliis city 
during liOO years. They have blazed out in their day 
and generation as lawyers, physicians, clergymen, in- 
ventors, and then died without leaving a successor. It 
is a rare occurrence that even a son has succeeded a 
father in his profession, not so with merchants. There 
are mercantile houses who have father to son succeeded 
each otlier in business from IGGl to 18G1, and scarcely 
conscious of it themselves. This seems sinsular and 
impossible, though I have frequent evidences of it in 
my researches. 

It is easy to see how this can happen. We -ivill take 
a merchant named Jacob Kierstede, in IGGO. lie is 
doing business in Beurs street (Exclumge street ;) it 
lias been since 1G37. He was born in Holland in 1G15. 
He has a son named Martin, and a clerk named Jan 
Cregicre. Jan Cortse Neetje, the daughter of the old- 
er Kierstede, marries him. The firm becomes Kierstede 
& Zoon, in 1G70, and continued for twenty years. In 
1700, old Kierstede dies, and the firm becomes Jan 

Young Martin Kierstede was placed in the store of 
Peter De Groot, in the Iloogh straat (part of Pearl,), 
as a clerk to learn the business, in 1670, when fourteen 
years old. Seven yearAlatei-, he became a partner with 
De Groot, and marriecrliis niece. He succeeded to the 
business, and when De Groot died, in 1700, he used his 
own name, and was in business until 1730. He died in 
1742, aged eighty-six years. He was succeeded in busi- 
ness by two ol' his own clerks. His own son Abraham, 
born in 1G70 was appreuticetl as a clerk to a Mr. Abetil, 


in 1695. In 1702, he became a partner, and the firm 
was Abeel & Kiersted. He died in 1760. His busi- 
ness firm was merged into Abeel & Co. (a son of the 
old partner in 1703 being its head,) in 1750. 

A grand nephew of this Abraham was in business 
in 1781, and kept in business under his own name. 
Long after the Revolution, in 1790, he died. 

At that time other descendants of the old race were 
in business. Simon was pawnbroker at 285 Broadway ; 
James was a brass founder at 2 Chambers street ; and 
John kept a hat store at 23 Courtlandt street, on the 
identical spot or lot of ground where Horace H. Day, 
the celebrated India-rubber dealer, erected a fine store 
a few years ago, and which he occupied until he gave 
up business altogether. He still owns the property. 

Juhn Kiersted, the hatter, had a son named John Jr., 
and the firm was John Kiersted & Son. As late as 
1800, the old man kept the store, and the son moved to 
Greenwich village. 

Between 1810 and 1860, there have been two promi- 
nent Kiersteds that I have known personally. C. N. 
became a partner with Warner & Kiersted, dealers in 
l)aints, at 33 Broad street. 1820, the firm was Warner 
<fe Piatt. Christopher N. Kiersted was a merchant in 
1812, at 215 Duane street ; then in 1817 he kejit book 
accounts, as cHd many merchants, if unfortunate in busi- 
ness. He aftervvardw went in with Warner. Tiiirty 
years ago he li\ed at 58 Broadway, and they kept at 
5>3 Biuad street. In later years they moved to 68 
Broad, and changed the firm to Kiersted, Warner & Co. 
'Jlio same husiness, altliougli partners are changed is, I 
behevi', still cairird on in Beavi'i- street, near HroMii. 
C. N. Kiersted is dead. He was a iine old man, and 
thirty years ago was a most enei'gelie .md usi ful citizen. 



Ilenry J. Kiersted must have started in the drug 
business, in my old favorite Fifth Ward, during the 
last war. At that time, or in 1812, Luke Kiersted was 
a great man in the Fifth. He was a very red-faced 
man, and was a pewterer and plumber at No. 4 Jew's 
alley, and in the rear of No. 40 Charlotte street. 

James Kierstead was an old Fifth Warder, and lived 
at 35 Walker street, in the rear, and also in Lispenard 
street. Another, Hezekiah, was a grocer at 9 Vesey 

Henry T., started in 1814 in Murray street, near 
Broadway. Then he moved to 88 Hudson, corner 
Anthony. In 1820, he moved up to 529 Broadway 
corner of Spring street. He was there until 1856. I 
think now he is at 1339 Broadway, and that the firm is 
Henry T. Kierstead & Son. The senior must be a very 
aged man. The Christopher N. of the old paint house 
must have left a flunily. There are several eminent 
jjhysicians of the same name, I suppose they are his 

I now return to tlie fact that there are many in the 
city who know nothing of the actual business of their 
ancestors, or of such a statement as that one of the 
name and blood has been in continuous business in New 
York from 1637. That is, there never was a time one 
of the number of the same name was not a merchant or 
trader. There are fifl^and perhaps one hundred such 
cases. It ajiplics to the Hoffman family — originally 
spelled IJofman. If the firm was kept on direct from 
father to son, through a long course of years, there 
would be curious old books and writings to show. In 
Europe, Holland — itself for instance, or Amsterdam, 
many firms can show account-books kept with their 
correspondents 200 years previous in New Amsterdam 


and New York. There the same firm is kept up, and 
the law sanctions it. Here it does not. But that is 
not the true reason. In New York the " house " and 
the "store" are two distinct concerns. Probably Mrs. 
Goodhue, the wife of Jonathan Goodhue, never saw, 
except by accident, the vast accumulation of books con- 
nected within the years that her husband was the head 
of Goodhue &c Co. A young Goodhue succeeded his 
father in the same business. Of course he is aware of 
the fact that his father founded a house. But suppose 
he had been brought up in another commercial house, 
and become a partner in that, and his father had died, 
he would not have succeeded to the books and papers 
of his father's house. Thoy would have gone to Mr. 
Pcrit, the successor in business of Goodhue <fe Co. Now 
we have records ; two hundred years ago there were no 
newspapers. Hence, there are many names that are 
directly descended from a highly respected name, but of 
whom little is said, because they have not like the Stuy- 
vesant, De Peyster, and other families of wealth, kept 
a record, and traced every one of the name. 

I have used one or two imaginary changes to show 
how easy it was for a scattered business not to be trace- 
able. I have ryj^r spoken to a Kierstead in thirty 
years, that I know of. Yet I will venture a heavy 
wager, that all of the name are directly descended from 
the original Kierstcde (spelled with an e,) one of whose 
daughters (Blandina) married worthy Pieter Bayard, 
a dweller in de Brcede Weg" (Broadway,) a son of 
Nicholas Bayard, and nephew of old Peter Stuyvesant, 
who arrived heiro INIay 27, 1G47, and ancestor of Peter 
Bayard, who can diiily be seen on Broadway, between 
St. Paul's Church and the Astor, after three o'clock, 
with a book in his hand. 


The Kierstedes are but one of many such. Even of 
those who kept records in their families, they tell noth- 
inir about the business or labors of the merchant citizen. 

I will venture to say, that at this moment the home 
of the most eminent merchant in New York does not 
contain sufficient records of his passing a career as a 
merchant, to light a cigar with. And should he die and 
Iiis business be closed, his " books, accounts and corres- 
pondence " of a life, will become the property of the 
clerk or person who " liquidates " the " business." 

I make use of all such information as is sent to me 
about old merchants, or living merchants of the pres- 
ent day. I add to it — for there are very few wlio 
liave done business in this city of whom I do not know 
somewhat. The more I know, the more interesting 
will be the sketch. If any one is disposed to carp be- 
cause I do not know all about the history of a merchant, 
they should reflect upon the difficulty of actual know- 
ledge of affairs that most men keep a secret. The most 
secret class in the world, and the most opposed to any 
sort of publicity about himself, is the great merchant. 
Why should it be so ? While the politician, and the 
army and navy officer, are anxious to keep their names 
constantly before the world, wh}^hould the merchant 
who brings nations in every quarter of the world into 
constant communication, and is opening up new sources 
of wealth, be afraid of having all known about himself? 

Among the class that I may safely call hereditary 
merchant >, is Peter A. Schenck. His father, Peter A. 
Sclienck, was an honoraljle grocer merchant in Fly 
Market, No. 26, before and after the Revolution in 1782 ; 
in ITDi") he moved to (>(.» J^'roiit street. 

Young Peter 11. was j)laeed as a clerk in the count- 
ing house of Lewis Siniond & CIo., who were amojig 


the heaviest houses after the Revolutionary war. In 
1792 tlicy kept in Queen street, and ' when young 
Schenck was their clerk, the store was kept at No. 4 
William street, near Hanover square. 

Very few merchants of the old school brought up 
their own sons to business in their own stores. A busi- 
ness education was a severe one in old times. Every 
duty, from sweeping out the office to book-keeper, was 
minutely exacted. It was a regular apprenticeship to 
commerce, and it resulted in making thorouirh merchants. 
The progress was as regular as clock work. Sweeping 
out office, doing errands, taking 'letters to post office, 
copying letters, copying accounts, entering goods at the 
Custom House, delivering goods sold, taking an account 
of goods received from the ships, keeping the store-book, 
making sales, assisting the book-keeper, going out su- 
percargo to East or West Indies. I may add, the sys- 
tem of neatness and correctness in reference to copying 
letters, when once acquired, follows a man through hia 
life. Old Archibald Gracie took ten times more pains 
with his clerks than is taken in Columbia College. 
When they were set to copying letters, it was read to 
the first blot or error and then destroyed, and the un- 
happy clerk was set at his task again, and made to copy 
correctly. This achieved, he was promoted to making 
" du|»licates," and even triplicates of letters, and he had 
the honor of knowing that his " fist " went to ports in 
the uttermost parts of the earth, — for on the days of 
sailing ships, while one ship took the " original " letter, 
succeeding vessels carried " duplicates " and " tripli- 
cates," and not unfrequently the last reached their des- 
tination first. 

If I had a son, whom I wished to make a thorough- 
bred rrcntleman — a man of the world and a man of 


business, T would send him to college three years, and 
then let him spend five more in the counting-house of" a 
licavy merchant, where lie should sweep out, and end 
by being a thorough book-keeper. 

The discipline of the modern merchants is nothing 
to what it was fifty years ago. Our merchants of great 
eminence before the Revolution, had been brought up 
in I'higlish or Scotch counting-houses, and sent out here 
to conduct business. Such was the case with Archibald 
Gracie, Thomas Buchanan, Theophilachte and Richard 
Bache, Robert Murray, Francis Lewis, John and Fran- 
cis Atkinson, Lewis Simond, and other eminent mer- 
chants, between 1720 and 1820. 



Ill a previous chapter I wrote about the two Peter 
Scliencks — father and son. I now return to young 
Peter 11. Schenck. At tliat tune, a grocer looked up 
to the great merchant. Consequently, a man of this 
stamp aimed to place his son where he would rise to 
the highest rank of merchant. Buying largely of the 
great merchants, he was a man not to be refused ; conse- 
quently, when old Peter A. Schenck asked Lewis Si- 
mond to educate young Peter, it was granted. He re- 
mained with Simond & Co. until 1798. That year the 
yellow fever prevailed, and Peter A., whose store was 
at (jQ Front street, near Coenties slip, when Smith died, 
was the second person taken. Young Peter was sent 
for to conduct the business of the old man, and I have 
before me an account for " Scythes &c.," made out by 
young Peter H., and signed for his father while the 
latter was laid up with yellow fever — viz., " 7th of Au- 
gust, 1798." I have also another receipt which he 
signed for seventy-five dollars, in full for one year's 
wages, 1792. Peter A. lived and carried on business as 
a grocer many years after in the old store, and residing 
iji Pearl street No. 92. In 1802, ho took in young 
Peter II., and the store was kept at 49 Front street, 
under the firm of Peter A. Schenck & Co., young Po 


ter also being with his father. At this time Martin W. 
Bull was a clerk with the Hrm. They continued on in 
business together until 180G, when Peter A., the father, 
was appointed surveyor of the Port of New York. At 
that time David Gelston was collector and Samuel Os- 
irood was Naval Officer. The business was now con- 
ducted solely by Peter PI. Schenck at the old place. 
Old Peter was kept in office through the Jefferson and 
Madison administrations until 1815, when he went to 
Washington. The young Peter H. kept the old store, 
49 Front street, and did business as Peter H. Schenck 
& Co. until 1824. Then he moved to 40 Fulton street, 
and lived at No. 2 Bowling Green. The next year he 
moved to 123 Maiden Lane, and I think the character 
of his business changed. His ])artner's name was Sam- 
uel G. Wheeler. He was father-in-law to D. B, Allen, 
who is son-in-law to Commodore C. Vanderbilt. 

Peter H. Schenck, in the last war of 1813, gave 
Government $10,000, About that time he built a cot- 
ton factory at " Mattewan," and when New York was 
blockaded, they carted cotton by land from Charleston 
S. C, to Fishkill Landing, N. Y., about 'JOO miles dis- 

He had added greatly to the wealth of the city of 
New York. Few men have done more than this. 
Who represents the name and race now I know not. 

James De Peyster Ogden is an old merchant of this 
city. None have been more eminent than he. I have 
before me writing of his in 1805. At that time he was 
a clerk with Van Home & Clarkson, merchant, of high 
standing, shippers and importers. Their counting-house 
was at 129 Pearl street. The senior of the firm Avas 
old Garret Van Home. The junior partner was David 
M. Clarkson. 




Old David M. Clarkson was in business at 73 Kino- 


street (Pinu) as early as 1784, A few years alter he 
formed the partnership with Garrit Van HoKne. The 
signature of Van llorne & Clarkson, as written by old 
David, is the bold, large, old-fashioned hand-writing, so 
prevalent among the merchants of the llevoliitionary 
])eriod. It has a world of character and meaning in 

Even " James D. P. Ogden," as he signed himself 
fifty-six years ago, wrote a bold, open hand, and one 
■ that evinced character. 

I have no means of knowing the age of the noble 
old merchant, but, in 1805, to be trusted with nine hun- 
dred dollars, he was not likely to have beeh under four- 
teen or fifteen years old. If so, he cannot be far from 
^'^ seventy now. 

Fifty-four years of active mercantile life in this and 
other counties! What a life ! What scenes he must 
have passed through ! What an experience of com- 
merce, happily, has been his ! 

Mr. Ogden received a regular education in the count- 
ing house of Van Home & Clarkson. He went out to 
the north of Europe, where he remained three years, 
acting as the agent of the New York house of Le Hoy, 
Bayard & Co. 1 do not know precisely when the noble 
old tirm of Van llorne k Clarkson dissolved, but I 
think it was aboul 1801) or 1810. 

Garrit Van llorne, the merchant, lived at No. 31 
Broadway (where the counting house of Van Home <k 
Clarkson had been in their last years,) as late as 1825. 
1 think he died about that time. The next year it was 
occupied by David Clarkson, and for many years after. 
Long David they called him. 

Thomas S. Clarkson lived next door at 33 Broadway. 


Da^^d (long) was the son of David M., although the 
partner of Mr. Van Ilorne in 1790, who lived at No. 
IG Courtlandt street, some seven years after he dissolved 
Avith j\lr. Van Ilorne. Old David Matthew (father of 
David and Matthew,) I think died at No. IG Courtlandt 
street, about 1817 or 1818. 

Never was there a nicer family than these old fash- 
ioned Clarksons. Not only the male members, but the 
female members of it were splendid specimens of the 
human race. I do not know why it was so, but they 
always seemed to me to be in mourning. It was a 
sight to see them all go to Trinity church, as they 
moved slowly and dignifiedly up Broadway tliirty or 
forty years ago. 

James De Peyster Ogden went into mercantile busi- 
ness in this city in 1820. His store was at 21 Broad 
street, near the corner of Garden, and he lived at the 
City Hotel. He continued business at that place for 
some years, and then went abroad to Liverpool, Eng- 

While General Jackson was President, Mr. Ogden 
acted as United States consul at that port for a short 

After his return and for twenty- five years, his course 
in this city was one that is to be envied. No man is 
more respected and more esteemed, and no one deserves 
it more. Ills family on both sides is coeval with the 
settlement of New York. Father and grandfather 
were eminent in their day and generation. Ills father 
was a cotcmporary of the celebrated Dr. Hosack, and 
they were students together in the office of the eminent 
Dr.' Bard. Dr. Ogtlen was intimately known and es- 
teemed by the great Washington. 

The remark ipioted from St. Paul, " All save these 


bonds," Morgan Lewis says, was original witli Dr. Og- 

TliG committee of public safety in those days had a 
grudge against him. They took Dr. Ogden to General 
Washington's head quarters. " What," said Washing- 
ton, " is that you ? How are you ? " " Well, I thank 
you, General," said Dr. Ogden, " save these bonds,'' 
looking very contemptuously upon the fellows of the 
connnittce avIio had brought him there. Washington 
replied, *' Ah, those bonds were not intended for you, 
Doctor, and they knew it, but I am very happy to profit 
by the occasion to say how glad I am to see you, and to 
repeat my respect and esteem." 

James D. P. Ogden is a grandson of this spirited old 

As a merchant no man has been more esteemed dur- 
ing the long life spent in this city, only relieved by the 
occasional absence upon important matters alluded to 
above, in Europe. 

He has been one of the most prominent and esteemed 
members of the Chamber of Commerce for years. In 
politics, he has always occupied a prominent position in 
this city. It would have been fortunate had he been 
more identified with it, officially. lie has always been 
a national whig of liberal principals. He was one of 
the most active and prominent members of the Union 
Safety committee. He greatly dreaded the effect of the 
warfare waged against slavery, as it existed under the 

His si)cech, when he presided at the great meeting at 
the Cooper Institute, January 8th, gave his views of 
the then existing state of all'airs, with his ojiinion of the 
necessity of passing the " border state resdlutiuns," as 
prej)ared by Mr. Crittenden. 



No man so deeply deplored the civil war that aftcr- 
Avards broke out, and that is now raging in our own 
prosperous land. But friendly as he always was to the 
South, no man could more sternly recognize to its full- 
est extent, the duty of opposing Secession, which is but 
another word for Revolution, and of maintaining the 
Union, the Constitution and the laws, as the only safe- 
guard of every section of tiic llepublic. 

Few men can realize the honest city pride of such a 
man as J. De I'eyster Ogden. No man can realize how 
deep and abiding the interest that New York city has 
in the momentuous issues of the passing hour. He has 
for more than half a century been a merchant here, and 
he knows that commercially and financially our city is 
destined to exert a paramount influence upon the peace, 
the prosperity and the character of our coumion country. 

If ever there was a time in the history of New York 
when she should jjreparc to be the empress or mistress 
of affairs, no matter how complicated they may become, 
it is now. 

It was an unfortunate hour for the nation when the 
capital was removed from New York to its present loca- 

Had General Washington agreed to let it remain 
liere, millions would have been saved, and the Union 
wuuld have been perpetual. 

But he and other leading men had become scared at 
seeing at Paris tiie French Government overawed by a 
mob, a:id they thought a village location for the Ameri- 
can capital would prevent that ever happening here. 
It w^s a bad hour when they did it. 

When G^'ueral Ross burned Washington forty-eight 
years ago, it was a blessing in disguise. Had wc, then, 
in New York, rel'ust'd to give a dollar (o the (kiieral 


government unless the capital was removed back to 
New York, it would have been better, and saved the 
nation a thousand million of dollars, many lives, and 
prevented rebellion, and, perhaps general anarchy here- 

Even now the dirty hole that nature spurned for her 
caj)ital, while she made her pet city the real capital of 
a continent and of the western world, is in danjier. Jt 
l)as cost us thousands of lives; 200,000 men stand 
leady to protect what, save in honor, need not and ought 
not to have cost us a life or a penny, for it is wortii 
neither ; and if rebellion is happily subdued, it is to be 
ho])ed that the wisdom so dearly bought will be j)rac- 
tised at once, and that regarding the penny-wise policy 
that built Washington, we may consult the pound pol- 
icy that will make us destroy it, and remove the nation- 
al capital back to the city of New Yoi'k, where it legit- 
imately belongs. The Central Park is the proper place 
for our national buildings, and there they will be sate. 

Perhaps upon New York city at this niDment depends 
the safety of the country. All are sanguine, but let us 
suppose for a moment that the rebels should capture 
Washington ? 

New York city will then be forced to be the seat of 
government even if events do not force her to take the 
helm of government. It is here the millions of gold 
are to be I'aised to carry on the war. It is hei*e that ex- 
ists the great power of the nation. 

A tluju.s.uid Washingtons, a hundred presidents and 
congresses may be cut oil", and yet all is not lost, so 
lojig as New York is safe. They are the big and little toes, 
fingers and hairs of the great political body. New York 
City is the heart — the seat of vitality. Stop her beat 


ings, and tlie prosperity, the liberty, aye, the existence 
of the United States is ended. The nation will die. 

How united, then, in such an hour ought the citizfeiis 
to be ? How quickly they ought to prepare to place at 
the head of our powerful municipality a man who may 
in the course of events, if disaster comes, be found not 
only to be chief of the city, but chief of the nation ! 

How important, under any circumstances, it is that 
the mayor of this city, in such a fearful emergency as is 
gaping before us, should be a man that has the entire 
confidence of the various powerful classes of the city ! 
of the merchants, of the bankers, of the large property 
holders, of the great mechanic and other interests, of 
the rich and poor, of labor. How utterly important it 
is that socially, morally, and financially, he should be 
without a stain. 

Before his term of office expires in 18G3, the mayor 
of the city may be called upon to wield more j)o\ver 
than ever the Caesars of Rome did in her palmiest days. 

The " Old IMerchant" articles are read and pondered 
over by the wealthy, the merchants, and time-honored 
old citizens. It is them I address. Why not take one 
of this class and and make him mayor ? 

Where among them will they find such a man as 
James De Peyster Ogden ? 

When will tlie city have ever had such a mayor, 
combining, as he does, qualifications and experience that 
will enable liim to occuj)y any j)Osition that events may 
force the city of New Yoi'k to fill ? 

Slie nnist nut sink, and thougli anarchy and confusion 
may flit, like death, in and out among sections and states, 
she and her two gi-and seaward islands. Long and Sta- 
ton, that make her a Trinity on eartii, must stand as a 
landmark for sections and stat(!3 to I'c-aniiex to ; and 
even if the present four years government is rendered 


important by tlie probable clash AVith military chieftains, 
New York must stand as a rallying point once more for 
the whole Union. 

Siic needs, then, a Chief Magistrate capable of ruling 
a nation, as well as city, in case of emergency, and in 
case of danger. With a mayor at her head that has 
the confidence of the capitalists of the city, New York 
can not only protect herself, but protect the rest of the 

New York city alone, uncmburdened by Washington 
city, could have ])ut down this rebellion six months 
ago ! Left to herself, she could put it down now in 
six weeks ! Her o-reat streno;th cannot be destroyed, 
but it is injured in protecting Washington by millions 
of men and money — a place so useless, so dead, so de- 
moralizing, so expensive, that if God Almighty would 
give time to a few human lives to escape, and then de- 
stroy it by fire and brimstone, as He did Sodom and 
Gomorrah, before a week, it would be the greatest bless- 
ing He could confer upon the American nation, and it 
■would re-unite tlie thirty-four states ; for then the cap- 
ital would come back to New Y'^ork, and here it would 
rest forever. Here it belongs. To this point all the 
great public interests and vast private interests tend. 
There' is not a palace or public building lofty, nor a hut, 
low and poor, in any part of the United States, that 
has not in it some one interest, human or pecuniary, 
in the city of New York. 

She shouKl j)repare ibr her great destiny, by electing 
for her chief ollicer and men to her councils those who 
are ecpial to the task of conducting her afhiirs. 

AmoMii: ail the men 1 have written about no man 
comes so thoroughly up to the high standai'd of htnesa 
for mayor of New York as James De Peyster Ogden. 


Louis Simoiul, of wliom I luivc spoken, as the house 
that gave u luereiuitilo education to Peter II. Schenek, 
continueil in business from the period 1 have written — 
about 1792 — until tlie war. At its commencement, 
L. Simond & Co. was at No. 65 Greenwich street. 
They (.Hd a heavy AV^est India business, and sokl 1,U00 
puncheons of rum every year. Henry Garnett was a 
clerk in that house many years. Then in 181-1 the 
house dissolved, and JMr. Simond lived at 57 Broad- 
way. I am not aware that the house failed, but it is 
most likely. All those who were extensively engaged 
in foreign connnerce in 1813, found their connections 
and resources cut off, and Averc obliged to close up 
their business. Some, like Henry C. De Ilham, went 
through safely. 

Another eminent merchant was Jose Rois Silva. In 
the war his store was at No. 1 lieekman street. He 
alterwards renK)ved it to No. 79 Front street, and resid- 
ed at No. 9 Beaver street. He was doinii a lar<re and 
successful foreign trade as late as August, 1798, when 
the yellow fever seized him, and he died at -8 William 

His book-keeper was Thomas T. Gaston, a regular 
" accountant " of those days, and who lived at No. 4 
New street. Mr. Gaston kept books for perhaps twenty 
other lariie houses. 



I write about clerks, to give my experience. Fatliers 
are generally "willing that their sons or connections 
should do without salary for three or four years to have 
them acquire a knowledge of business. Almost all of 
the great merchants prefer to take boys from out of the 
street or from the country — New England boys espe- 
cially — and give them $50 or $75 the first year. The 
merchants want aid — they prefer a boy without any 
friends or rich relatives. The reason is obvious : a boy 
from the country will work like a hero — do anything 
lie is told to do — acquire a thorough knowledge of 
business — become a confidential clerk, a partner, and 
never have alliances outside of the great house that has 
brought him up. A man like the late Gardner G. How- 
land, doing a business of millions, when he gives a 
check to one of the boys in the office to go to the bank 
and got the money for it, or his coat to take to the tail- 
or's to be mended, has no time to argue the matter with 
the boy, that tlu; one is a legitimate order to a clerk and 
that the other is a servant's duty, as he wcadd be told 
by an aristocratic city boy. 'i'he ccui^tiy boy wculd 
do what, he is lold, if it were to black his cniiilovrr's 
boots, and nevor think of such a thing as doing what he 
ought not. Siudi a series of years of failhfid obedienco 

102 ^^i-E OLD MERCH.1JVTS 

is rewarded by a perfect knowledge of business, unity 
ol |)uri)(j-^e, and a partnershii). Tliii is the reason why 
nine out of ten of our prinei])al American merchants arc 
New Eniihuid born. They enter the countinir room to 
get tJieir bread and get ahead. Tlie New York bov of 
'' prosj)ects," enters it because it's genteel — if nothing 
is given him to do. 

I would say that there is nothing impossible in this 
world — at the same time very few merchants wish to 
take a young man of eighteen as a beginner. 

There are always a large number of applicants of 
friends of the larger merchants. Probably Goodhue & 
Terit, and the llowlands and Aspinwalls have eacli to 
decline, annually, a thousand such aj)plications from 
wealthy parents and friends, who are willing that their 
3'oung connections should enter the countinir-room. 
Fourteen to sixteen years of age is their favorite limit. 
An uncorru))ted boy from a New England district school, 
in ordinary times, is much more likely to get a foothold 
in a large counting-room than any other, and he can 
tell his own story better than a thousand letters of in- 
troduction, if he deals directly with the merchant, vln 
ajiplicant of three days' residence would be successful, 
while a three nronths' residence would be flital. 

The late Schuyler Livingston was generally supposed 
to be a very liberal num. So he was Avhen it was his 
interest to be so. lie Avas not always just. In one 
case he acted the part of an unjust man to two younn- 
and unfortunate nierchants. 

In a former chapter I have alluded to the fact tliat 
about thiity year.- ago, Gciicial Jackson sent out a mer- 
chant namrd Kdiinnid K(J)(.'rts to make a treaty with. 
Japan, Muscat, and Siam. Mr. Roberts succeeded in 
making a treaty with the two last named nations, but 


failed witli tlie former. He went out on a second expe- 
dition, and died. Jiul<Te Aniasa J. Parker, one of the 
puiest and best, as lie is one of the most sagacious dem- 
ocrats of the state, married a daughter of Mr. Roberts. 
At the death of the diplomatist, Mr. Parker-, who was 
then a Member of Congress from the Delhi district, 
published a book at the Harpers. It contained the life 
of Mr. Roberts, and many valuable papers connected 
with the , expedition he made by order of President 

Based upon the information conveyed by Mr. Roberts, 
a commercial house in this city opened a trade with 
]\Iuscat and the Imaum. This continued a long time. 
Among other "matters, some very valuable presents were 
sent to the Imaum himself. One agent of this New 
York house resided at Zanzibar Island, and another at 
Muscat. The Imaum is himself not oidy a priest, but 
indulges in merchandising when he finds a good opening 
He loads one of his own ships in the early part of 1840, 
and sends her to New York, consigned to this house, 
tlih-t had been doino; business with him for some time* 
The New York house had failed, and the consignment 
of the Arab ship and cargo passed into the hands of 
Barclay & Livingston, who made a nice thing of it — 
peihaps $5,000 or $0,000. Did the house of B. & L., 
who woidd have been pu/./.led to have told in what part 
of the globe INhiscat was located, divide the commission, 
or make any return to that young house of Scoville & 
Britton, who had toiled and spent money for years to 
work u[^ that trade ? Not a dime. Schuyler Living- 
ston told Mr. liritton, the only partner who was in the 
city at the time the Imaum's ship arrived here, to kiss 
liis — foot. Mr. ]5i-itton long ago left mercantile busi- ' 
uess, and met with the greatest success in another line ; 



he being tlie liead of tlie house in this city of Britton & 
Warner, bankers. 

That was not all. The " Sultance " brought presents 
from the Imauni to the presitlent of the United States, 
and also to Scoville & Britton, his New York corres- 
pondents. An Arab chief returns present for present. 
The President of the United States had sent the Iniaum 
valuable articles, and he sent back Arab horses to him. 
Scoville tt Britton had frequently sent presents to the 
Imaum, among other things a Colt's rifle and ])istol 
mounted in ivory, and several other fire arms. In re- 
turn to S. & B., the Sultan sent camels-hair shawls 
and certain articles. Barclay & Livingston never had 
sent the Sultan any presents, but they got his, and poor 
Scoville & Britton never received one of them. Mr, 
Livingston claimed that the presents belonged to I^ar- 
clay & Livingston, as consignees of the vessel. Power is 
riglit, and there was never any redress, nor never will 
be in this world. Satan in the other may say : " Schuy- 
ler, that was a clever dodge of yours in 1840 — keeping 
those Arab shawls." As the Sultan is dead, he can ex- 
plain that they were intended for his friends — his cor- 
respondents — those who had made him j)resents in 
1839, and not for a couple of names the Lnaiun had 
never heard of, but who became consignees of the ves- 
sel, becausu they were the agents of Lloyds, London, and 
by consent of Lloyd L. Britton. 

Charles Ilenry Hall, the old book-keeper of Thomas 
n. Smith & Son, became of iireat note afterwards. Li 

1822 he ke])t at 14 John street, aiul in 1824 he lived .it 
570 Broadway. This simple number, standing by itself, 
would not attract attention. It conveys the idea of a 
dwelling-house on Broadway — nothing more. But in' 

1823 it meant an entire block far up town, bounded by 


Prince, Crosb}'', Houston, and Broadway, now occupied 
by the Metropolitan hotel, Niblo's theatre, Smithsonian 
hotel, and half-a-dozen other places. Standinjj|,al()ne in 
the centre was a two-story double house. No. 57G. I 
sec it now as it was then. In the rear were the most 
superb stables ever erected. The building was very 
large. Over the stall of each horse was his name paint- 
ed. The property belonged to the Van Rensellaers of 
Albany, who had leased it to Mr. Hall. Here he resi- 
ded mitil 1829, when in the Spring of that year, 
Charles Henry Hall moved himself, his flimily, and his 
ma'Tuificent horses to Harlem. His business office he 
kej)t at 20 Nassau street. 

The house and ground was rented by William Niblo, 
who up to that time had kept the Bank Coffee House, 
corner of Pine and William streets, in the rear of the 
Bank of New York. It was a famous place. All the 
principal people of business dined and gave dinner par- 
ties there. Niblo opened it during the war in 1814, 
and made it very popular. 

I think Mr. Niblo had been once in the employ of 
Daniel King. At any rate, he-^iarried his daughter. 
Xing was a noted publican of his day. As early as 
1709 he kei)t a tavern at No. 9 Wall street ; ho ke[)t in 
the same spot as late as 1811. In 1815 he moved his 
tavern up Broadway, near Prince street. In 181G he 
moved duwn to G Slote Lane, near Hanover square. He 
kept there several years, or as late as 1820, when he 
moved u}) to Varick street, where he kept a boarding 
house. I think he died about 1825. 

When Mr. Niblo leased the Hall house up at 570, he 

intended to keep a branch of his down town hotel. His 

eustomers were among the very first class of citizens. 

He was not disappointed. Within a week after the 



upper town house was opened, it was filled with emi- 
nent merchants and their families, who preferred such a 
residence to house-keeping. Among this cklfes, was 
Archibald Gracie, Jr. and his family. He had recently 
married Miss Elizabeth 13ethune (1828) of Charleston, 
S. C. Niblo pursued a modest career for a few years, 
when some one suggested that he should open a sort of 
garden for the higher classes, — as " Vauxhall," that 
extended from the Bowery to Broadway, above Fourth 
street, was too far out of town, and was too common 
also. Niblo ado[)ted the idea, and small alcoves Avith 
tables inside, and plenty of flower pots, were introduced 
as a feature. The next improvement was to move 
Hall's old stable building around to a more central part 
of the " garden," and then it was altered into a theatre, 
almost open at the sitles. 

The first performance of note was Ilerr Cline's. He 
was a brother of F. S. Cline, the actor. He is now liv- 
ing somewhere in this city, I believe, and has long been 
forgotten, except his name. There has been an im- 
mense improvement since those days. Mr. Niblo's 
tiieatre is a feature, and the hotel jMetropolitan still 
rnoi-e so. 

There is one feature that has been lopped off long 
ago. In former years, old New Yorkers would sit in 
tlie bar-rooms and adjacent spots, and talk over okl 
New York. ]\Iost of them are dead. One of them I 
met not long ago, alive, fresh, and with as smiling face 
and genial manners as he had thirty years ago, and not 
a bit older. I allude to Edward Sanford, who lujlds a 
responsible position in the bureau of the city inspector, 
Colonel Delevan. 

Now to return to Charles Henry Hall. He was 
brought up by Murray & Mumford. I have his writing 




hofore me of 1S05, large, clear and distinct. This 
house was started hefore 178(3, as Mu<|ay, Mumford & 
Bowen, at Crane wharf, foot of Beekman street. They 
did an immense husiness in 1791. Bowen went out, 
and Murray & MumA)rd continued the business at 73 
Stone street. Old John i>. Murray was the head of 
this house. John P. Mumford was the other partner. 
They were the heaviest mercliants of the period, and 
dealt heavily in teas. Robert Aldrich was a clerk with 
them in 1797. They brought up many young men. 
James Watson was with them in 1805, and was a fel- 
low clerk with C. II. llall. At the close of this year, 
the ln)use was dissolved, and in 180(J, John P. Mum- 
f(j)'d, one of the partner.'^, carried on the business in his 
own name. lie was assisted by his son, I'eter J. Mum- 
ford. The store Avas at 42 John sti-eet. But of these 
Mumfords, I sliall make especial mention in a future 

At Niblo's coffee house a society of merchants went 
refifularly. It had a president and other officers, and its 
members were tlie most prominent merchants in the 
city. Of the society I shall write m one of the suc- 
ceeding chapters. 

There are many merchants who liave succeeded in 
this city, acquired fortunes, and moved away, leaving 
nothing but their names. Others come here fri)m 
abroad, make fortunes and die, and their faniilies movo 

Of the latter class was Joseph Hopkins, an English- 
man, who was a crony of .John J. Glover ; Ji)hn I^llis, 
Thomas Buchanan, all English, and William Wilson, 
the Scotch merchant, of whom I have said something in 
former chai)ters. 

Mr. Josc])!! Hopkins is a name well known to our 



readers. The old " Pewter ^lug," now being torn 
down, was lur many years idontiHcd with the name of 
Joseph Hopkins — " Major Joe," " orI Joe," " Major " 
" our Joe," and other famihar cognomens, lie went to 
the hxnd of goKl niany years ago, and I hope is ricli. I 
am not aware that Joseph Hopkins of the Pewter in 1848, 
is <tny connection of Joseph Hopkins, the old merchant, 
of whom I now write. He was an Englishman, and 
commenced business in this city after the Constitution 
was adoj)ted in 1787. He opened his store at 218 
Queen street (that is, the 221 Pearl street of to-day, 
near Piatt street.) At 221 Pearl street he lived and 
did business until 1803, when he died there. His wid" 
ow continued it until 1807, when she went to No. 3l3 
Beekman street, where they had formerly resitled in 
1798, until in 1801 he built a fine brick stoi-e. His 
dwelHng had previously been at 36 Beekman street, 
antl 1 thiidc he owned it, as in 1808 — four years alter 
he died — his widow moved back to it. 

John J. Glover was next door at No. 223 Pearl. 
He also bou"ht the lot and erected a brick house, but 
long previous to the erection of the three below him.- 
"William Ellis lived on the opposite side of Pearl street, 
at No. 218. His brother John Ellis lived next door to 
]\Ir. Hoi)kins, at 219. He built a house also. 

The three houses No. 217, 219 and 221 were after 
the same models, and in 1801 were regarded as superior 
to any dwelling houses in that or any other section of 
the city. 

Stci)hen B. Munn, of whom I have written, lived at 
22G Pearl, almost in front of these houses. 

It was the custom of those days to have tliT; stores of 
the niercliants on the lirst Huoi" and in front of tlie dir,-' 
ing or sitting-room. Up stairs was tlie thawlng-ruom. 

OF J^EW YORK CIl'V. 109 

It occu})ic(] the wliole front of the house. Back of that 
Avus the bed-room of the merchant ana his wife. The 
sleeping room of the chikh'cn or other members of the 
fiimily were on tlie third or attic floor. 

Along in that vicinity were several Quaker houses. 
Richard R. Lawrence Avas at 251 ; Richard T. at 2G9 ; 
John and Isaac at 207 ; John B., the druggist, at 199 
and 245 ; Jas. Parson & Sons were at 267 ; the Bownes, 
Robert, Robert L. and Robert H. were at 252 and 256 
Pearl ; William Hicks was at 276 ; Clendening, Adnms 
& Co., at 209, and the Franklins were scattered all 
along Pearl from 227 to Franklin square. Sixty years 
nno there were sixteen firms of the name of Frank- 
lin. Where are they all now? There was Samuel at 
279 ; Thomas at 282 ; Franklin, Robinson & Co., 
William Franklin & Co., at 309; Franklin, Newbold 
& Co. ; Henry Franklin & Co. at 227 ; John Franklin 
Jr., 337 ; there was Abraham, Henry P., William 
and i\Iatthew. Martin W. Bull, who was a clerk with 
Peter A. Schenck & Co., in 1804, is an old family 

There was one of them, Francis, who was a transla- 
tor of lanifuan;es in the commencement of this centurv, 
and the lirst that I know of having existed here. . 
I have one of his 180G cards : 



Thankful to his friends and the public for psst favors, infornia them 
that he continues translating the fullowiiig languages : 

((KitMAN, v^l'ANlSIl, 

l>iir(;ii, roiiiiMiUKSic, 

IkIhII, I'iNdl.IMM,, and Italian, 

nnd liice ver^n, with correct neM.s and disii:it(di. 

He settles aecouiitu, ever so uiUieate, I'ur masters of vessels and 
oliiera — all on the most moderate terms. 


lie did that business only a few years, and I think he 
died about 1810. 

There Avas an old house as early as 1795, " Michael 
& Thomas Bull," that did a very heavy business in this 
city for many years. They went out of business about 
1800. Soon after, William G. Bull used to sell teas 
annually in this city. At that time he went out as su- 
percargo to China every year, and was more or less in- 
terested in the venture. He was in this city as a mer- 
chant many years ; in fact, he was regarded as the best 
judge of teas in the United States, nntil he died a i'cw 
months ago. Another branch of that family were en- 
gaged in the saddlery business as early as 180G, and 
they have continued it ever since. 



Tlie founder of the firm of Goodhue & Co., was 
Jonathan Goodhue. He commenced business in tliis 
city in 1808, under the firm of Goodhue & Sweet, at 
No. 34 Okl Slip. The store was afterwards removed to 
No. 44 South street. This buildini;; belono-ed to Theo- 
pliilacht Bache. Goodhue & Sweet did a very heavy 
regular commission business for three or four years, and 
sola largely of foreign dry goods, and acted as agents of 
Salem ship owners. In 1811, the house was dissolved, 
and J. Goodhue carried on business upon his individual 
account until 181(3. It was then Goodhue & Ward, 
and the store was kept at 44 South street. In 1819 it 
became Goodhue & Co., and Mr. Ferit became a part- 
ner. He had formerly been of the house of Perit & 
Lathrop. Goodhue & Co., kept at 44 South street 
luitil 1829, when they removed to 64 South street whera, 
the same large house is still located. I have written 
about this firm in several previous chapters, but not so 
much or their first start as now. 

Mr. Goodhue was born in Salem. Mr. Perit was 
born in Norwich, Connecticut, and received a collegiate 
education at Yale College. This is not often the case 
with merchants in this city. 

In the first partnership of Mr. Perit with Mr. La- 

112 ^^^^ OLD MERCHAJ^TS 

tlirop, his brother-in-law, he was not successful, and 
during the war he was connected with an artillery com- 
pany, and perfoi'nied military service in the forts that 
protected the harbor. 

After he went with Mr. Goodhue, his commercial 
good fortunes returned, and their house coined money. 
In 1833 or 1834 the health of Mr. Pcrit declined, and 
he conceived the idea that it was necessary to take more 
active exercise, and in order to insure that daily, he 
he jiurchased a piece of property on the North river, 
lying between Burnham's and the Orphan Asylum. It 
may have cost him perhaps ,^10,000. He sold it about 
two years ago. I suppose it is worth now half a mil- 
lion of dollars. This is a comment on persevering mer- 
cantile life. By a mere accident Mr. Pcrit buys a small 
lot of land, and makes more money than Goodhue <fe 
Co. ever made in fifty-three years hard work ! Prob- 
ably no house has done a larger business with all parts 
of the world than Goodhue for the fifty-three years that 
it has existed in a continuous business. This house, so 
eminent, commanding means to an extent that an out- 
sider has no conception of, has made merely moderate 
earnings in comparison with some lucky land hit, made 
by unknown and uncrcdited persons, that has realized 
millions. V 

Mr. Goodhue died a few years ago, and his funeral — 
at his own recpiest — was attended only by the members 
of his family and a few of his most intimate friends. 

Since Mr. Perit sold his property in New York,, he 
has renuived to Now Haven, ( -onnecticut, to a magniH- 
cent house in Ilillhouse avenue. He married Miss 
Coit, a very lovely gii'l, and still living, the ornament 
of the circle in which she moves. 'Phcy have no chil- 
dren. He has done more than most merchants do lor 


the benevolent enterprises of the day. He is unequalhid 
as a merchant, and has been tor many years honored 
with being president of the Chamber of Commerce, 

The house of Goodhue & Co. ought to last, for the 
honor of the city, a hundred years more. 

F. Varet & Co., French importers, did a very large 
business at one time. For years this firm was one of 
the heaviest in the silk trade. They imported and then 
sold heavily at auction through John Hone & Sons. 
The old man was named Francis, and the son Lewis F. 
They did a heavy West India sliipping business. The 
old Varet was a French refugee, and settled in New 
York as early as 1797, at 26 Keade street. In 180-i he 
took his son into partnershii), and kept at 112 Chatham 
street. In the war they kept their store at 94 Bowery. 
Perhaps the heaviest business they did was in 1830, 
and for some years prior to that date. Through the firm 
was Francis Varet & Son, as it had been for twenty-six 
years, I am not certain that old Francis was in it active- 
ly. The son was an old man in 1830, and his private 
residence was at No. 30 BeaCh street. 

The house emi)loyed their own buyers in France, and 
he was under engagement not to buy for any other 
New York silk house. At one time James 11. Icard 

Avas their banker at Paris. John B. Viele of Lyons, 

France, was a partner of this house. 

This house, established in 1798, is still in existence 

under the firm of Oscar Varet & Co., 21 Murray street. 

They yet deal in silks and have Paris connections. I 

think the names of the young men are Oscar and Ennl. 
I now return to the old house of F. Varet & Son. 

Th.'ir store was at 117 Pearl street for a long time. 

Lewis Varet was a very close business man ; He kept. 

his allairs to himself and h'm own book-keeper, whose 

c li 


name was Durival. lie made out all the entries of 
goods, and attended to the custom house business liim- 
self. He did not confine himself solely to dry goods ; 
on the contrary, F. Varet & Co. received cargoes of su- 
gar, beeswax, &c., &c., from Matanzas. In Lyone lie 
had large manufactories, monopolized in making little 
laccts braids, one sixteenth of an inch in width. 

He also imported woolen gloves and mittens in hogs- 
heads, and at first used to make immense profits, selling 
them at public sale ; but after a while the market got 
overstocked, and these goods became a drug in the mar- 

It is about eighteen years since Mr. L. Varet died. 

Mr. Joseph Hoxie came here as a school teacher about 
1818. He taught school in the Fourth Ward, where 
he is kindly remembered by many of his old pupils still. 

W'^lien he first began to meddle in politics, it was as an 
active j)artisan of Tanunaiiy Hall ; but I believe he left 
the shade of the Wigwam about the time when Moses 
H. (irinnell and others, now prominent llepublicans, 
left it. 

Mr. Hoxie kept school as late as 1829, when he went 
into the mercantile business, havino; determined to fol- 
low the example of A. T. Stewart, and widen the 
I sphere of his activity and usefulness. 

i He taught many years at 208 William street. It 

was at the old church that stood on the corner, wliere 
the Globe hotel now stands, of William and Frankfurt 

He begin in business about 1829, at 83 William 

street, and in ISIM i-enioved to 101 Maiden lane, which 

locality, at that pc^inod, was regarded as the most favt)r- 

able for the business in which he was engaged — viz., 

^ cloths. 



Wilson G. Hunt was also in that neigliborliood for a 
long time, and made money there. He had formerly 
been in the retail dry goods business in Pearl, near 
Chatham, where he was unfortunate, and was obliged 
to compromise with his creditors ; after which he com- 
meucetl in the cloth business, under the aus))ices of bis 
brother Thomas, at the corner of Pearl and Chatham 
streets. This new business to Hunt was successful, and 
he coined money. Here I must stop to narrate a most 
honorable transaction of Wilson G. Hunt. Although 
lie had settled with his creditors for a certain sum on 
the dollar, and had received a full release from all his 
indebtedness, yet on a certain Now Year's day he invit- 
ed all of his creditors to dine with him; and judge of their 
surprise, when they had taken the seats allotted to them, 
they each found under their plates a check for the full 
amount, of the balance of their original claims, with in- 
terest to that date. No wonder that Peter Cooper se- 
lected such a man for one of his trustees. 

I have a full sketch yet to write of Wilson G. Hunt. 
I now return to Mr. Hoxie. His genial disposition did 
not qualify him for the intricacies of mercantile life. 
" Profit and loss," was an account he could not rightly 
understand. Although popular with the clothing trade, 
and exceedingly industrious, yet the disasters of 1836 
and 1837 forced him to quit merchandizing. He had 
become a prominent politcian in the Whig ranks previ- 
ous to that period. In 1837 he was elected Alderman 
of the H.,venth Ward. The next year he was elected 
county clerk for a three years term. He came uj) again 
lor nomination at the expiration of his term, but was 
defeated by the nomination of Revo C. Hence, Avho was 
defeated by the democratic candidate at the election. 

Shortly after he was elected Judge of the Fourth Ju- 


tlicial District for four years. The difficulties of others 
being constantly brought before hiin, he did not like it, 
and when his term expired he sought employment 
another way. 

He was truly a friend of Henry Clay, and openly ac- 
knowledged as much by the great Kentuckiau for many 
years of his life. While on a visit to Ashland, after the 
expiration of his Justiceship, he formed such an acijuain- 
tance with leading Western men as to secure to him 
the agency of two or three Western fire insurance 
companies. He then opened his office as an under- 
writer agent at the corner of Wall and Pearl streets. 
Some years after, when fire Insurance comj)anies' stock 
became a very profitable investment, and under the new 
insurance laws, permitting the Ibrmation of insurance 
companies without any special act, he with Hugh Max- 
Avell, Moses Taylor, the late J. Hobart Haws and others, 
associated themselves together and formed the present 
Connnonwealth fire insurance company, of wliich Mr. 
Hoxie is the President. 

He w\as one of the early members of the Whig par- 
ty, and when that broke up ho became one of the most 
active spirits in the Republican party, but not an Aboll- 
ti(;nist. ]\Ir. Hoxie is one of the most venerable look- 
ing men In the city. He is a popular speaker, for he 
never speaks long so as to weary his audience, and his 
speeches are always interspersed with such anecdotes as 
bring down the house. This also applies to his social 
Hie. He is one of those great friends of humanity who 
do kindness by making men laugh. He is an honest 
man. He is oppcjsed to cor]Hi[)tion both at Albany and 
at Washington, and dciiounces them whcneviT he gets 
a chance. In the campaign of ISIO, when public sing- 
ing was In vogue, j\lr. Hoxie was one of the best vocal- 


ists of liis party. He is now an officer in the Market 
street church, and still a resident of the Seventh Ward, 
that first elected hiin to public life. His anecdotes, al- 
thuugji perfectly chaste in language would hardly bear, 
my repeating them, except one as a sample. I have 
said nothing about the nativity of Mr. lloxie. Of 
course, he is from the East, or he would never have 
been president of the New England society. 

A friend once met him in Wall street and asked 
" Judge, where were you born ? " Hoxie cocked his eye 
in a very peculiar way, and replied : " There was once 
a man residing in the south-western part of this country 
who prided himself upon his judgment of human na- 
ture, and that he could tell the State in Avhich a person 
Avas born, if he lieard him speak a few words. Being 
seated in a tavern in Kentucky, on a turnpike road, fre- 
quently resorted to by travellers from all sections, lie 
amused himself by his diserimin'ating observation upon 
men who entered, as to the whereabouts of their birth- 
places. On a certain day, a traveller on horseback ap- 
proached the tavern. After alighting, he asked the 
landlord, ' Have you any oats ? ' ' Yes,' reiilied the land- 
lord. ' Give my horse two quarts.' ' That man,' said 
the observer, 'is from Coimecticut.' Shortly after 
ancjtlicr traveller arrived. ' Landlord have you any 
oats ? ' ' Yes.' Give my horse ibur quarts.' *• That 
man,' said the observer, ' is from Massachusetts.' Pres- 
ently, a third traveller arrived and asked ' Have you any 
oats V ' 'Yes.' 'Give my horse as many oats as he 
can eat.' ' 'J'iiat man,' said the observer, ' is from 
Uhode Island.' 'Now,' — says Mr. lloxie, — '1 come 
from the State where they give their horses all the oats 
they can eat.' 

Another of these old dry good merchants now retired, 


and a resitleut of tlio Seventh Ward, is Abner Chi- 
cliester. lie made a large fortune by steady devo- 
tion to business, and hvcs to enjoy it, without changing 
liis habits of hfe or moving into the Fifth avenue. He 
was in business in Pearl street, near Fulton, of the firm 
of (/liichester & Van Wyck, for a long period. 

lie is one of the few of that successful class of dry 
good merchants that have done honor and added to the 
wealth of the city. 

One of his dau<rhters married Jackson S. Schultz of 
the firm of Jackson Schultz & Co., the large leather 
dealers in Pearl street. Mr. Schultz is a director in the* 
Park bank, and has lately distinguished himself by his 
active exertions in putting down this war. 

Another daughter married Robert j\I. Strebeigh, prin- 
cipal business manager and one of the wealthiest and 
most liberal stockholders of Tlie N. Y. Tribune^ who 
has a line mansion in East Thirty-fifth street. 

L/JttV.- j»R< 

OF JVEiv fork: city. 119 


While I take pleasure in writing a chapter about an 
ordinary old merchant, who has merely liis indiviJuality 
to distinguish him, I take a double pleasure, when I can 
strike out with one who not only represents one of a 
class, but who is a type of a grand old race. I have had 
the New England class, such as Jonathan Goodhue rep- 
resented, or G. G. Howland ; the old English race, rep- 
resented by Thomas Buchanan ; the Scotch by Archi- 
bald Gracie. Noble old Francis Lewis, who Avas a 
merchant, and signed the Declaration of Independence, 
was afterwards an insurance broker, was of the Welsh 
class. I have yet to write his history. I have had the 
old Dutch merchant and his descendants, and their 
characteristics. I now take up one of a more ancient 
class, who, in all ages, and in all nations have seemed 
to have had a double nationality — their own, and that 
of the country in which they lived. 

I have now before me the venerable form of Bernard 
Hart, who died about six years ago, at the advanced 
iige of ninety-one. At all times, and in all countries, 
the Israelites have been the leading mercliants, traders 
and bankers of the world. Mr. Hart was born in Eng- 
land in 17G4. Ho came to this country in 1777, dur- 
ing the war, and was then thirteen years old. He made 


a visit to a relative in Canada tor tlu-ee years, and tlien, 
In 1780, settled down for a life in this city, and that life 
was j)rolono;ed seventy-five years more ! 

From 1780 until 178G, Mr. Hart, althongh quite 
3'oung, was making purcliases and sending goods to 
Canaila, for the establishment of his relative, and this 
he continued to do until he made a commercial house 
for himself. 

At that time, 1786, tin's city had 23,614 population 
of which 2,103 Avere blacks, and the taxes £6,100 — or 
about 115,250. \'l i\Ir. Hart had lived a few years longer 
he would have seen them as many millions as they were 
thousands when he started business. The city had been 
incorporated just ninety years. Since 1696. Its out- 
skirts were Chambers street, although there were some 
scattering farm-houses — among them was that of j\Ir. 
Lispenard, who afterwards became a partner of JMr. 
Hart, under the tirm of Lisj)enard & Hart. Standing'" 
where the northwest corner of the Park now is, you 
could see the chimneys of the dwelling of Mr. Lispen- 
ard among the trees, over towards the North river, 
where Desbrosses street now enters Hudson. Broadway 
ended where the Park now ends. To get off the Island 
north, you had to take the road outside of what is now 
the Paik, pass u[> the Bowery, and wind around to 
where Madison sipiare now is. There Kings road sep- 
arated ; and old trees in Madison square yet mark the 
Boston road. Broadway commanded an uninterrupted 
view of the Huilson river, and the j)romenaders up it 
could look down at the sail boats and shij)s. 

Wall street was then (piite a Avide street, and filled 
with costly edifices. Hanover square and Dock street 
(^Pearl street between Hanover sipiare ami Broad street,)' 
was the great place for business, and had many Jiand- 

h qi 


some houses — tlie fliinilies of the great merchants liv- 
ing over head, and the stores beneath. William street 
■was a good street, and it was the place for retail dry 
goods stores. There were other streets, but they were 
narrow and irregular. The City Hall, an old brick 
building, stood in Wall, overlooking Broad street. Tlie 
Battery had })leasant walks. The old city was the gay- 
est place in America in 178G. Water was much needed 
in those days, and there were very few wells in the city. 
There Avas a pump near the head of Queen street (Ciiat- 
iiam and Pearl,) which received water from a spring 
about a mile from the city. Carts conveyed water to 
the doors of people in casks filled from the pump. At 
the time too, the Israelites had a synagogue in the city, 
and the minister was the Reverend Gcrshon Mendos 
Sfixas, Avho ofliciated half a century, and lived until 
ISIG. Among the early settlers of New Y^ork city, 
there were some families of Israelites. As late as 1G8G, 
they were not allowed to have a place of worship. 
They were allowed a burial })lace on the west side of 
Oliver street, o[)posite the ]3aptist meeting house, the 
gift uf a few gentlemen. It is hemmed in with buildings, 
but monuments were there bearing date 1G52. Forty 
years later, however, things changed, and a modern syn- 
agogue was built in Mill street. In 1729 it was rebuilt 
of atone, and there the congregation worshipped until 
1818. But at the close of the last century, the Israelites 
were not powerful or pi'onn'nent. There were a few 
strong n«mes, and among them wc-re Mr. 15ernard Hart, 
[{cnjamin Seixas, T. and M. Sfixa.s, Isaac Moses and 
Son, Simon and Jose[)h Nathan, iienjamin S. Judali, 
and UcniMi'd S. .Iiidali, Uriah and llannon Hendricks, 
and a few others. What a contiMst betweeu the 
connnencement ui" this century, 1800, and 18(i;} '{ 


The Israelite mercliaiits were few then, but now ? tliej' 
have increased in this city beyoml any comparison. 1 
speak of tlieni as a nation, not as a religion. There are 
80,000 Israelites in the city, and it is the high standard 
of excellence of the old Israelite merchants of 1800 
that has made the race occupy the proud positi(Mi it 
d(;es now in this city and nation. 

Towerino; aloft anionrr the marinates of the city of the 
last and present century is Bernard Ilart. 

In 1795 he resided and did business at No. 100 Wa- 
ter street. That was the year the yellow fever raged so 
fearfully; 732 died. Although 2,086 died in 1798 — 
yet it was not so horribly fearful to the citizens as ia 
1795, for then they had got used to it. It was not a 
new pestilence. Mr. Hart and Mr. Pell, of the firm of 
Pell & Ferris, who kept store at 108 Water street, a 
few doors from Mr. Hart, were unceasing in their exer- 
tion — night and day, hardly giving themselves time to 
sleej) and eat ; they were among the sick and dying, and 
relieving their wants, and were angels of mercy in those 
awful days of the first great pestilence. 

Two years before, in 1792, Mr. Hart had become a 
member of the St. George's Society, re-established ia 
178G, and he was a constant watcher on the health of 
the few members of that society in the sickly season of 

In these days, too, they were famed for their sociabil- 
ity. There were all sorts of societies and clubs. There 
were in 1797 tlu^ " Harmonica society," the ''Urania 
Musical society, " the '' C'oluiubian Anacreonie so(;iety," 
the "St. (lecelia society," and the '* I'riary." Ber- 
nard Ilart was "l'\iilu'r" of the " h'riary," (.'harles 
Iiu\t()n was (Miancellor, Haltus P. Melick was Secreta- 
ry. This J{. I'. Melick w;is lumidcr »»f the great com- 


merclal liouse of Melick & Burger. They kept at 76 
AVasliiiioton street, aiul did a lieavy St. Croix business. 
They owned the ship " Chase " in the trade. She was 
commanded by David Rogers, and I tliink tliat in after 
years David Rogers founded the great sugar house of 
David Rogers & Son. Thirty years ago I visited his 
siiirar iilantation in Santa Cruz, an island belonoino- to 

Dr. Buxton was a physician, and hved at 216 Broad- 
way. Jolin IMarsclialk was treasurer. He lived at 3 
Wall street, and was an old-fashioned book-keeper. 

Of this " Friary " Walter liowne, Jacob Bradford, 
and John Motley were " Pj-iors." Walter Bown(^ was 
a merchant in Pearl street. We knew all about him in 
after years. 

Bradford was a merchant, and lived with his sister, 
Catherine, at 38 Courtlandt street. John Motley was a 
merchant, too, and lived at 30 Beekman street, and his 
store was 188 Front. 

The " Friary " men had a standing committee of such 
names as William Ilartshoi-n. He was a large mer- 
chant, of the iirm of Hartshorn & Lindley. Andrew 
Smyth lived at 53 Beekman street, and was of the firm 
of Smyth & Moore, iron mei'chants. Robcirt Murray 
was of the firm of John Murray t% Son, in Burling slip, 
that I have written nuich about. He lived at 31 War- 
ren street. Alithony Pell was an insurance broker, and 
so was Bernard Hart. In 1798 he lived at 12 Broad 
street. . Nicholas (). Carmer kejjt a hat store in Pearl 
street, and was of the firm of N. G. & H. Carmer. 
William Parker was a grocer up in Augusta street (now 
City Hall place.) 

John Banks had been a merchant, but from some ■ 
cause, did not succeed. He was personally acquainted 


with General Washington, and the latter ordered the 
Collector to a])})oint him in the Custom House. 

Isaac L. Kip was a notary public and a clerk in the 
Chancery Court. He lived at 4 Nassau street. 

These gay gents met every first and third Sunday in 
the month, at No. 5G Pine street. 

Mr. Ik'rnard Hart was also a' great military man in 
his early years. In 17U7, although New York was ex- 
ceedingly small, she could sjjort a brigade of militia, of 
Avhich James JNI. Hughes was brigadier general. Ja- 
cob Morton was lieutenant colonel commandant of the 
third regiment. Isaac Ileyer, Henry J. Wyckotl*, 
John Elting, Nathaniel Bloodgood and John Graham 
were caj)tains. William Ilosack, Edward W. Laight, 
Henry Sands, Peter A. Jaj>', Henry Cruger Jr., and 
such old names were lieutenants. Bernard Hart was 
quartermaster, and John Neilson was surgeon mate. 
What a i)arty ! The last was the celebrated Dr. Neil- 
son, who for many years was one of the most prominent 
physicians in this city ! His house at the northwest cor- 
ner of Greenwich street and Liberty is still standing, as 
also a magnificent palace that he built in Chambers street 
near Greenwich, that was afterwards purchased and is 
now occupied by the famous Madam Ilestell. 

I am not positive, but I think Bernard Hart was a 
mason, and belonged to Holhind Lodge No. 8, of which 
John Jacob Astor was Muster in 17'J8, and they met at 
Gl) Liberty street. 

In ISO^, Mr. Hart formed a partnership with Leon- 
ard Lispenard, under the firm of ]vis])enard k Hart. 
At this time or from IT'JO there were two j)rominent 
Lispenards. Th''y owned brewi'ri<'S on wh;it was tiieii 
calh-d the (Jreenwich I'oad. One was named Anthony, 
the other Leonard. There were ihe founders of the eel- 

OF jsTEiv yore: city. 125 

ebrated Lispenard estates. Lispenard & Hart fii-^t 
started in business at 89 Water street. At one time, 
they did a laroje auctioneer business, but always did a 
general commission business.' In 180G, they moved to 
141 Pearl street, and continued there as late as 1812. 

Durinor this time Mr. Hart had made another partner- 
ship. In 180G he married Miss Rebecca Seixas, a 
daughter of Benjamin Seixas, all of whose daugliters 
were famous for their wonderful beauty and exceeding 
loveliness, both in person and character. Mrs. Hart 
■was not an exception. 

Mr. Benjamin Seixas was a merchant, and did a large 
business in Hanover square as early as 1780. In 1702 
lie moved to Broad street, No. 7G. Ho bought the 
o-round and built a large double house on it in 1701. 
At that time he had a country seat up in Greenwich 
village. It was adjoining that of Isaac Moses. The 
house at No. 76 Broad street was for many years the 
residence of Harmon Hendricks, also Mrs. Gilles. Af- 
ter the great fire in 1835, that swept Delmonico off, he 
opened 7G, as Delmonicg's Hotel. 

Benjamin Hendricks was a wonderful old man. He 
was born in this city in 1746. In 1770, he married 
Zii)roah Levy, daughter of old Hay man Levy. The 
latter was once in the fur business, ami in his account 
books are many records of money paid John Jacob As- 
tor for day's work in beating furs, at the rate of one 
ilollar a day. Miss Levy was a beautiful girl, and was 
born ir. 17G0 ; she lived until 1832; and when she died, 
fiftren children were present, and she left seventy 
gi-anc-liildren. His relative, thi; old clergyman, tlu! Rev. 
(JitsIk.u S.fixas, lived at 1.1 Mill street. Mr. 15. Seixas 
in 1800 moved to 321 (ireenwich street. He had sev- 
eral sons as well as daughters ; and when he died, in 


181G, he left sixteen cliildren living, eight sons and 
eight daughters. I have already alUuled to their extra- 
ordinary beauty. Men talked of it half a century after- 

Their destiny is worth noting. Rebecca, as I have 
said, married ^Ir. Bernard Hart. She was born in 1782 
and is still alive, 79 years of age. 

Leah is yet living, having never married. Hester 
married Naj)thali Phillips. They are both living — 
both blind. He is over eighty-five years old. I re- 
member him well, many years ago, when Gen. Jackson 
was President. He was then in the Custom House. 
They have a numerous family of children and grand- 
children. I have before me writinn; of his when he was 
a boy. 

Grace married Jacob I. Cohen, of Charleston, S. C. 
She is, I thjnk, the mother of Gershon Cohen, a suc- 
cessful politician of the Eighth Ward. She is living. 

llachel married Dr. D. M. L. Peixotto, once Presi- 
dent of the Medical College of this city. He is dead, 
but she is still living. , 

Sarah married Seixas Nathan. She is dead, and so is 
Al»igail, who married Benjamin Phillips, of Philadelphia. 
Miriam married David iNIoses of Charleston, S. C. 

1'he sons that I remember are Daniel, who is in busi- 
uess in AVall street, and has been many years. 

The eldest son was named Moses. He married Miss 
Levy, a daughter of Jacob Levy of this city. He is 
dead, bu^ his children are doing business in this city. 

Lsaac was minister of the Congregation Shearith Is- 
rael, in Crosby slivet. He is dead, but his widow is 
ulive, and his sons are in business in this city. 

Hayman L. Seixas, named after his grandfather, H. 


Levy, Is married, has a family, and is, I believe, in a 
department of the custom house. 

Aaron died in 18-32. I knew him well, and a better 
hearted man never lived than he was. 

Solomon is dead. Tie was a colonel in the war of 
1812. His widow is alive, and so are two sons. 

Abraham died in Charleston, where he had married 
Rachel Cardoza. 

Madison is in New Orleans, and a partner of the 
larire liouse of Gladden & Seixas. 

I now return to Mr. Bernard Hart. 

There was another famous society to which INIr. Plarfc 
belonged, and I do not think any one of the members 
of it can be alive. Tiiey called themselves the '^ House 
of Lords," and also " Under the Rose." 

The society held their meetings at Baker's city tav- 
ern. No. 4 Wall street, corner of New. 

Joseph Baker was originally a brass founder, at No. 4 
Wall street, and he pursued his work from 1800 up to 

1804, when it was put ijito his head that he could do 
better by adding a porter-house to his business. In 

1805, the public house became so profitable that he 
dro])ped the brass business, and became a publican. 
Ills ])lace became famous as the old city tavern, and it 
was frequented by the best men in the city. William 
Nil)lo, or " Billy," as the merchants called him then 
was with old Joe some time. 

Joe Baker kej)t that city tavern as late as 1822, when 
he moved to No. 1 Nassau street, and started a boarding- 
house, lie continued there as late as 18;]1. Then he 
moved oil', and 1 have lust his track. There was a Joo, 

\\\ the days of the great glory of Baker's city tavern., 
the "House of i^oi'ds " n)et at his house every week-diy 



night. Bernartl TLirt was president. It met at half- 
past seven, and adjourned at ten o'cloek. Each mem- 
ber was allowed a limited quantity of liquor, and no 
more. The merchants discussed business, and impor- 
tant commercial negotiations were made. In theso 
days, all the prominent men lived down town. Anions 
the members most prominent were Robert ]\Iaitland, 
Thomas U. Smith, Preserved Fish, Captain Thomas Car- 
berry, who lived at No. 79 Greenwich street, old Gulian 
Verplanck, Peter Harmony, Robert Lenox, William 
Bayard, Thaddeus Phelps, Samuel Gouverneur, Solo- 
mon Saltus, and Jarvis, the painter. 

This was a lively crowd of our prominent citizens of 
the olden time. 

In 1813, Bernard Hart'left the Lispenard, and went 
into business under his own name, at No. 8G Water 
street, and lived at No. 24 Cedar street. In 1818, he 
went into -Wall street. I think about this time the 
Board of Brokers must have been founded, for Mr. 
Hart was elected its secretary, without salary, and he 
contiimed its secretary until he died in 1855. 

The title was " Brokers of the New York Exchange 
Board." In 1817 there were only twenty-eight mem- 
bers ; and, as it is in curious contrast to the legion in 
18G1, 1 give the list: 

Leonard IJloccker, QurJon S. MumforJ, 

Beiijuiiiiii IJiitler, 1{. I[. Novitis, 

Lt'uiKinl A. lUueokcr, Scixiis, Natlian, 

Will. G. l?m-kiior, Isuio G. G-deii & Co., 

J;lm. W. & J. lUix'okcr, Prime, AViirl k Siiiida, 

lUeeokor & lA-ll'iTts, Andrew Stockliolui, 

Samuel J. Heebe, Julm Kuo, 

DaveM|)<irt >S: 'I'riiey, Fred. A Triioy, 

A. N. GilUird & Co., .Joliii G. W.inen, 

Bernaid llait, W. II. Kobinson, 


Benjamin Huntington, W. I. Robinson, 

Israel Foote, Smith & Lawton, 

riiilip Kearney, II. Post, Jr., 

A. II. Lawrence & Co., Uenry Ward. 

Bernard Hart was mucli respected, and was one of 
tliose men that ought not to perisli from the records. 
When he died, liis was the peaceful death of the just 
man. He was 91 years of age. What an eventful life 
was his ! 

He left several children, and he lived lono; enough to 
see them occupy positions of uusefulness and high honor. 

Emanuel B. Hart was one of the sons of this old 
merchant. He has been a merchant and a broker, fol- 
lowing in the footsteps of his father. This son was al- 
derman of the Fifth Ward in 1845 and 1846. He rep- 
resented the city in Congress from December, 1851, to 
March, 1853. He was appointed Surveyor of the Port 
in 1859, and left it in 1861. 

Another son, Benjamin I. Hart, is also a broker, and 
married Miss Hendricks, a daughter of old Mr. Hen- 
dricks, of whom I gave a lengthy sketch a year ago. 

David Hart is another son. He was and is a teller in 
the Pacific Bank -^ went to the war, and fought gallant- 
ly at Bull Run, but was badly wounded. 

Another son, Theodore, is in business in this city. 
So also is Daniel Hart, another son. 




Besides tlie large merchant who figures extensively 
in all sorts of commercial transactions, either on his 
own account or doing business on commission, there are 
other very large merchants who devote themselves to a 
special business — as, for instance, an iron merchant. 
There is the larse dealer of tliis class who sells iron in 
bars, bolts, pigs, etc., of all sizes — wholesales it — and 
there is the " hardware " merchant. 

In the early years of the city, there was a class of 
merchants called " ironmongers." They were not ex- 
actly " iron " merchants, but they Avere the class of 
traders now known as " hardware " merchants. They 
used to signify their business with such signs as " tea 
kettles," "anvil and sledge," " a vice," and other em- 
blematic indications. The. name "ironmonger" and 
the signs were both derived from the old En<i;lish cus- 
tom, in the iron manufacturing districts of Birmingham, 
Shefheld, and such to\vns. I am inclined to think that 
the early iron merchant of the city also included the 
hardware business of the present day. The regular 
iron trade was a limited one until within a hundred 
years. In 1741), the city only contained 9,000 inhabi- 
tants. It was nothing but a good large vilhige, and a 
modern hardware store would have supplied it with a 


stock that woui 1 liave lasted ten years. It was well 
known to tlie authorities that governed this province, 
that there were immense quantities of iron ore in this 
region. A year Liter, in 1750, the Parliament of Eng- 
land passsed an act to encourage the exportation of pig 
and bar iron from New York, and added heavy penal- 
ties for any one who endeavored to manufacture it or 
to erect a mill for rolling iron, slitting it, or forge to 
work with a hammer. But one such establishment was 
sujtprcssed in New York. Sam. Scraley, a blacksmith, 
owned a plating forge, then worked Avith a tilt-hammer. 
Of course he had to giv(! it up. Between that date, 1750, 
and 175G, liobert Livingston had the only iron works 
in the New Yoi-k province. 

In 1771, William Hawkshurst procured a grant for 
the sole making of anchors and anvils in this city and 
province, for the term of thirty years. It expired Alay 21, 
1801. I am not certain tliat he lived to enjoy it 
the full term. He or his son went into business as late 
as 1795, under the firm of Hawkshurst & Franklin^ 
ironmongers, 309 Pearl street. They moved to Water 
street, and did not dissolve until 1809. lie left many 

In 17G7, there was a little foundry started to make 
iron pots, by a lew persons who had money. It lasted 
until the Revolution of 177G. 

Governor Cosby as early as 1732 informed the Lon- 
don board of tracle, that he untlerstood Great Britain 
]Kiid in ready money to Sweden for all the iron used. 
He thought that as there was plenty of iron mines both 
of the bog, anil of the mountain ore in New York, tiiat 
if l*]n<rl;ind would encourajj-e " iron work," immenso 
quujilities in " l)iggs and barrs," if free of duty would 
be sent to I^ondon, that could be paid for in the manu- 
factures of Great Britain. 


Iron in all shapes became a (JifTerent kind of business 
after the Revolution. One of the most prominent mer- 
chants in it was Joseph Blackwell, who kept his store 
and resided in Hanover square in 1780. Old Joseph 
Avas a son of Jacob Blackwell, who was a grandson of 
Robert Blackwell, who was a merchant and came out 
from England in 1G61, two hundred years ago. lie 
first did business at Elizabethtown, New Jersey, lie 
moved from there in 177G, and came to New York 
being a widower with several children. He married a 
second wife. 

She liappcned to be Miss Mar}'- Manning, of 
"Manning's Island," East River, where he took up his 
residence, and gave it his name — Blackwell's Island, 
it originally was called " Verken,'' or Hog Island. It 
was granted to a Dutch ofKcer in 1G51, named Fyn. 
In 10G5, when the English conquered this country, it 
Avas confiscated. In 10G8, it was given to Captain 
John Manning, whose sword was broken over his head 
for surrendering the city of New York to the " Dutch " 
in 1G73. After nuirrying the daughter and heiress of 
I\Iainnng, Robert Bhiclcwell became proprietor, and it 
remained in the family until about thirty years ago, 
"when it was sold to the Corporation. His youngest son 
Jacob, succeeded to old Robert's property when he died,, 
in 1717. In size, Jacob was the greatest man in the 
country. He stood six feet' two inches high, and 
weighed 429 pounds. The door-jamb had to be re- 
moved to get his coflin out of the h(juse Avhen he died, 
in Decembi'r, 1711. His son Jacob was born the very 
year old Robert died, 1717. He was a whig in the war, 
and fled when the British took New York ; his estate 
Avas seized and confiscated by the British. The losses 
he sustained hastened his deatli. He died in 1780, aged 


sixty-three years. Col. Jacob was one of the deputies 
in the New York Provincial Conirress. 

I presume that it was owing to pecuniary embarrass- 
ments of this sufferer in the war, that led his sons, Jo- 
seph, Josiah and Jacob, all to embark in trade again, as 
the former of the house, old Robert, had done in 1G70. 
Joseph started after the war, as 1 have said, in Hanover 
square, and here I must mention, in order to avoid con- 
fusion, that his son Joseph was also in commercial busi- 
ness in this city, and of the firm of Blackwell & Ayres. ^ 
Old Joseph married Miss Mary Hazard, a daughter 
of N. Hazard ; and besides Joseph, there was a son 
named WiUiam Drayton, and a daughter named Harriet. 
Joseph married WilUam Bayard's daughter, Justina. 
He was of the firm of Le Roy, Bayard & Co., and gave 
his son-in-law ($20,000. In after years, when Le Roy, 
Bayard & Co. where embarrassed, Mr. Willi;mi Bayard 
asked his son-in-law to indorse for him. He decHned. 
Said he never indorsed, but would give him back the 
$'20,€00 that he had received with his daughter. Never 
was there such a kind-hearted, loving father to his chil- 
dren, as Mr. Blackwell. 

In 1792, one Josejji kept at 45 Great Dock, and the 
young one corner Coenties slip and Little Dock street 
(Water.) The next year it was kept at 8 Coenties 
slip and corner Wiiter street, for many years after. . 
Josiah, another brother, kept his iron store at 31 South 
street. In 1790, Joseph made a partnership with 
Henry Mc Farlane, under the firm of " Blackwell & 
Mc Farlane." Mr. Mc Farlane had been in the iron 
business fur some time, and I think was connected with 
Joim Mc Farlane, who had charge of the " air furnace " 
out on the Creenwich I'oad, at the close of the last cen-r- 


In 1801, tliere were two Blackwells in tlie concern, 
and it was Bhickwells k McFurlane. I think the other 
Ehickwell was his nephew Jacob, wlio succeeded after- 
wards to the business of Josiah. Josiah never married. 
Josiah, the brother of Joseph, was in the iron business 
at 31 South street, as Lite as 1805, when I think he died. 
He was succeeded by Jacob, who kept up tiie firm until 
1810, when he moved round into Cherry street, and 
went into business afterwards under the firm of Black- 
well & Smith. He was a sou of Samuel Black well, 
who was son of Col. Jacob Blackwell and father of Jo- 
se[)h. He had a brother named Samuel ; one named 
Ivobert M., another Henry F., another John. There 
were several daughters, * 

Jacob, above alluded to, married a daughter of 
Thomas Lawrence, of the firm of Thomas & John F. 
Lawrence. Thomas was a son-in-law of George L-e- 
iand, who is still living in this city. 

Jacob was a boy in the counting room of his uncle 
Jusiah. When he died in 1805, Jacob succeeded him. 
He was only eighteen years old when he married. His 
fate was singular. Many will remember a large fire 
that occurred a few years ago, at the corner of Burling 
slip and Front street, in the day time. Jacob was in 
the store. He walked to the front window of the second 
floor, and put out one leg. He was told by hundreds 
to jump. He deliberately pulled of his s[)ectacles, 
wiped them, and turned to descend the stairs. He was 
never seen ali\'e, l)ut his bones were found at the foot 
of the stairs. His brother Robert M., is of the firm of 
U. :M. Blackwell k Co. Mr. Zophar Mills, Jr., so well 
known in the lire cK'pai'Iment, is the partner. Thiy 
•si ill (\o a large commission and naval store business, and 
keep up the old merchant stock. 


Joseph continued in business under the same firm of 
Blackwcll & McFarlane until he died, 1827. The firm 
Avas kept up as B. & McF., until 1830, when it changed 
to McFarlanes & Ayers, Mr. Henry McFarlane se- 
nior, having formed a partnership with Daniel Ayers, 
and his son Henry Mc Farlane, Junior. 

Joseph Blackwell left several children — one son and 
several daughters. The son was named Drayton. Jo- 
sephine married Alfred Livingston, of Trenton. She 
died. He afterwards married her sister Eliza. One 
dautrhter married a Mr. Bleecker. Another married 
Mr. Forbes. 

The Avidow of Joseph lived in the old house, No. 16 
State street, as late as 183G, when tLt.* family moved up 
town. Joseph lived in State street many years, having 
gone there before the war of 1812. He was always a 
First Warder, living many years at 55 Broadway. For 
over thirty years Blackwell & McFarlane was one of 
the heaviest houses in the iron trade. They did an im- 
mense business. They bought out entire cargoes of 
iron Avithout hesitating. When such houses as Boor- 
man & Johnston received a cargo of Swedish iron, 
James Boorman Avpuld Avalk into the store of B. <fe M. 
and say, " Well, I have just got my invoice for a cargo 
of iron. I give you, as usual, the first chance. Do 
you Avish to buy it, ^Ir. McFarlane ? " 

" What do you ask ? " 

Mr. Boorman would name his prices. 

" Very well : Ave Avill look around, see what Ave can 
do, and let you knoAv by Saturday." 

lilackAvell (i McFarlane Avould then write to their 
correspondents at Alltaiiy — Erastus Corning, Isaac <fe 
John Townsend — and state the facts. They Avould 
also see J. G. Pierson, and other leading iron houses in 



this city, and then divided up among them one or ten car- 
goes of iron. Sometimes, they would tell old Boorman 
" We can't take your cargo." He would reply ; 
" ^\''elI, I must sell it ; if you will not buy it, gentle- 
men, I will start an iron store myself." He did carry 
out his threat in after years, much to the annoyance 
of the great iron dealers. He took in a Mr. Clark, 
whose father had been in the iron business largely in 
New York, but fiiiled. Another house that used to co- 
operate with Blackwell & McFarlane, in buying car- 
goes of iron, was David Watkinson & Co., of Hartford 
('onn. He died a short time ago, worth a million of 
dollars. He left a large portion to public charitit-s. 

After the death of Mr. Jilackwell, McFarlunes, & 
Ayres went into manufacturing. Tliey actually bought 
the land and started the town of Dover, New Jersey. 
They started a bank, forges, founderies and everything 
else. Dover is a beautiful j)la(;e, about ten miles from 
Morristown, and you reach it by the Morris and Fssex 
mil road, in about an hour's ride from New York city. 
It is up among the iron mountains of New Jersey, 
and mines are as thick in the region as tombstones in 
Trinity churchyai'd, ' 

The Morris canal company owed McFarlanes & Ayres 
$80,000 to $90,000. Young McFarlane had been sick. 
He went into the office of the canal company, although 
the lirm continued on the isame. That was the timo 
when th(! Moriis company built inclined j)lanes, and 
other improvements. McFarlanes & Ayres im])orted 
iron for their use — drums, chains for ])ulling u[) the 
boats, and uccumidatcd an enormous debt, which the 
Morris canal could not, and did not ])av. 'J'here was 
no written contract, and I thiuk about this tiuje old 
Jleniy McFarlane died. At any rate, the house dis- 


solved about this time. He had been very much es- 
teemed in this city. When lie first commenced busi- 
ness he resided at No. 20 Garden street. In 1806 he 
moved to Vesey street, No. 4, where the Astor House 
now is. In 1810 he moved to No 12, same street, and 
lived there until until 1833, when the Astor House was 
being built and the neighboring houses were all torn 
down. Henry McFarlane was a vestryman of Trinity 
church from 1815 to 1831. That fact shows what kind 
of a man he was. 

. He must have been a prince of a man. He married 
a Miss Carmer. So did Robert Lennox. So did Rob- 
ert Maitland. So did one or more of our first men, who 
thus became his brothers-in-law. In those days, of 
course, business was mixed. Nicholas Carmer was a 
vestryman of Trinity church from 1787 to 1805. Im- 
mediately after the war — 1782 — he had a cabinet- 
maker's store at 31 Maiden Lane. A few years after 
he added to it "ironmonger;" that is, he sold hard- 
ware as well as wooden chairs, bureaus, *&c.,in the same 
old store. He had a son, of whom I have written, 
Nicholas G. Carmer. He was an " ironmonger " at 
230 Queen (Pearl), in 1792 ; afterwards got into the 
hat business with his* brother ; but I do not think that 
things went well with the Carmer males, although ^the 
girls had married well. How many admirers among 
the youths they must have had seventy years ago! 
How many youths attended devoutly every Sutiday at 
l^riuity to see the Miss Carmers ? Old Nicdiolas gave up 
business, aiid became an inspector of lumber, and was so 
until 1808, when he died. His son, Nicholas G., also 
seems not to have succeeded in trade, for he became a 
weighmaster at the Phaonix Coll'ee House ; and died, 1 
think in 180G. " 


All the sons-in-law were rich, of course. 

After the clissolution of McFurlanes & Ayres, Daniel 
Ayres went with James Boornian in 1834. The pre- 
vious year he had separated his business and carried out 
liis plan of starting an iron yard. lie took the store 
No. 119 Gi'eenwich street and its lari^e yard. In 18;>5, 
when ^Ir. Ayres jcjined him, he cariied on the business 
of Boornian, Johnston, Ayres & Co. at this place, ami 
the regular business of Boornian, Johnston, & Co., was 
down at the ohl jjlace, No. 57 South street. Boorman, 
Johnston, Ayres & Co. continued in existence until 184 i, 
when Mr. Ayres retired from it. He is still alive and 
very wealthy. I should think he was not far from 70 
years of a<Te. 

Young H. McFai'lane kept the Dover works all going. 
He has had a concern in New York since 1834. His 
])rivate residence, when he first started house-keeping, 
in 1828, was at No. 79 Dey street. A long time ho 
lived at No. 54 Varick street, but of late years, twenty- 
three or more, he has resided at Dovcu', where he has a 
superb establishment. When he comes into town he 
&t(;ps at the St. Nicholas. His house was at one time 
]\lcFarlane & Cotheal, up at No. 385 Water street, in 

I mentioned William Drayton Blackwell, who was a 
brother of Joseph. He has been dead many years. 
He was ritMi and eccentric. He prided himself on be- 
ing indifl'erent as to dress. He certainly was extreme- 
ly slovenly in his habits. He specailated in stocks hi-av-' 
ily, and his brokers were Dykcrs & Alstyne. A sister 
of the above brt)tlu'r, Harriet, mari'ied William Howell. 
I thiidv he was a captain in the navy. After his death 
slio J'esiiled at No. 3(15 Broadway, corner of ]*'raid\lln 
street. Sho lived there as late as 1838, ^vhen (Miarles 



A. Davis, of tlie firm of Davis & Brooks, took it. Mr.. 
Davis married the only daughter of Mrs. Howell. Those 
who frequent Taylor's immense establishment, if they sit 
on the soutii side, occupy the same ground as Mrs. How- 
ell did in her days of glory. They all moved in the 
highest strata of society, as any lady has a right to do, 
whose history is recorded in the Old Merchants for 200 
years back, 

Blackwell & INIcFarlane brought up many young 
men as clerks, during the thirty-five years that old strong 
iron house existed. Among the number was Daniel A. 
Gallaway. After leaving his old employers, he went 
Avith William Scott, who was a great iron manufacturer 
lip at Parville, New Jersey, and who was a brother of 
Colonel John Scott, so long the president of the Dover 
bank. Scott & Gallaway occupied the store, corner of 
"Water and Coenties slip, occupied by Blackwell & Mc- 
Farlane from 1800, and that had been occupied by 
JMcFarlane & Ayi'es, when they dissolved in 1833. 

Next door to Mr. Scott was D. M. Wilson, who had 
been a grocer under the firm of Wilson & Chamberlain ; 
but seeing how money was coined in the iron trade, de- 
termined to embark in it. The concern No. 41 Water 
street was a large double store, and Wilson joined 
Scott, umler the firm of Scott & Wilson. The fire of 
183.3 burned them out, and the concern dissolved. The 
firm of D. M. Wilson was then formed, and William 
Bruen, a brother-in-law of D. M. Wilson, and a clerk 
named Geoi-ge T. Cobb, were taken into the firm. Mr. 
Cobb is now vice ])resident of the Importers Bank. 

Mr. Gidlawuy left them and formed a partnership 
with Frederick A. Gay, under the firm of Gay A Gall- 
away. 'I'lu-y k('|>t at 73 Wati-r, corner of Ohl slip. 
They kept hollow hardware, iron kettles, and all sorts 


of i.'on. They had a curious itahc lettered sign on 
a green ground. That store, No. 73, was owjied by 
Jacob Southard, a rich coal dealer in the Fifth Ward. 
After a few years Air, Gallaway sold out to Gay, and 
they dissolved, and he went with William Scott again, 
under the firm of Scott & Gallaway. They kept a 
large iron store on the corner of Dey and Washington 
streets. After a few months, one hot day Mr. Scott fell 
dead in front of the store. lie owned an immense 
quantity of property at Powersville, near Dover. He 
owns the Ilibernia, Boonton, Durham, Parnill and other 
forges, besides a vast quantity of real estate. Every 
year he burned hundreds of charcoal pits. After the 
death of Mr. Scott, Francis McFarlane, a son of old 
Henry, of lilackwell & McFarlane, was taken into the 
firm, and it was Gallaway & McFarlane. Finally the 
latter sold out, and Gallaway went back to his old store, 
73 Water street, corner of Old slij), and those monster 
iron kettles graced the front of his store up to within a 
few months. No worthier or more enterprising mortal 
ever lived than that same Mr. Gallaway. As he did an 
enormous Southern business, I suppose the rebellion 
finished him, for I do not recollect seeing a kettle in the 
vicinity of his Old slip store for a year past. 

D. M. Wilson, who kept the old Coenties slip stand, 
was bought out by T. \^. Coddington, who had pre- 
viously been in the tin, coj)per and sheet iron business. 
Thos. B. was a nephew of old Sam. C(jddington, who 
kept a drinking place in Coenties slip near Water. T. 
B. C. was a clerk of John A. Moore, of whom I wrote 
much a year ago in one of the first chapters. I believe 
jNIr. Coddington is stiU in business. 

John A. Moore was brought up by Ilarman Llend- 

OF j^''EJV yoRK ciTr. 141 


Jolin A. Moore after he left Mr. Hendricks, boucrht 
out Troup & Goelet, iron merchants, corner of Old 
slip and Water street. Tiiey did an enormous business. 
Tiie partner was Robert R. Goelet, of whom I have al- 
ready written. John A. Moore was rather an ordinary 
looking person, but as smart as a steel trap. His store 
— the one above alluded to — was a very large one, 
and he added to the old iron business of Troup & Goelet, 
copper, sheathing and nails. He had thoroughly learned 
that business with old Mr. Hendricks, and he deter- 
mined. to make money by it. Mr. IMoore was a regular 
gambler in merchandize. He had his regular business, 
but was not satisfied with that. One day he would 
take it into his head that a rise would occur in a par- 
ticular kind of iron. He would go to a large capitalist 
and connnission house, and by agreeing to pay a cer- 
tain amount of interest and conuuission, would raise 
$10U to 250,000 to buy up all that particular kindtjf 
iron in the market. Now and then he woukl make 
nuuiey by such a bohl operatic;)!, but it was lu^t strict 
'■'■ busiiic.-os," and did not add to his mercantile credit. 

At another time he would buy up all the coftee in the 
market. iSonulimes it wouKl be French brandy. Those 
who wish to see an interesting account of Mr. Moore 


should read chapter eighth in this book. Mr. Moore 
was an energetic man, and added to the wealth of the 
city ; his gambling mercantile operations, however, as a 
general thing, were personally very disastrous to hlm- 

_ Nicliolas G. Carmer, to whom I have alluded, was 
secretary, to the ILmd in II md fire c()m[)any. It was 
instituted in this city in November, 1780, {in- the pur- 
j)ose of averting as nuich as possil)le, the ruinous conse- 
quences which occasionally happen by fire. It contin- 
ued, certainly as late as 1798, for that year Carmer was 
Secretary and John Murray, the merchant, was presi- 
dent. The C(jmi)any consisted of fifty members, who were 
provided with bai^s for the removal of effects at a fire. 

Sir N. G. was standard bearer of the Knights Tem- 
plar encampment. He was master of Howard L(.)dge 
No. 9, for some years. 

Mr. Carmer and his father were both " ironmongers," 
or hardware men ; and I alluded to him as a monk of 
the " Friary " in my article about Bernard Hart. 

He was also in the militia, and, in fact there was 
hardly any good or sociable work that -did not find in 
Mr. Carmer a ready assistant. 

I notice auKjng the list of officers who have gone in 
the naval ex])i!dition that sailed on Wednesday, the name 
of John A. 'Jardy, Jr. He is a lieutenant in the army, 
luiving graduated from West Point in 1800. The 
youth — not over twenty-two — and yet his name is 
one that years ago was heard on 'change. He is a 
grandson of John G. Tardy, an extensive mercJiant in 
this city before 1800. 

He entered at West Point when sixteen years of age, 
and remained there five years. He graduated with the 
liigliest honors, and was appointed hrcNet second lien- 


t-'iiant ill tlie engineer coq)s. lie refused to take liis 
tliree months' leave ot* absence, and was appointed As- 
sistant Professor of Practical Engineering at that post. 
lie was ordered to Washington with his conij)any of 
sappers and miners to defend the Goverinnent, and 
they were the only regulars who were present at the 
inauguration of Mr. Lincoln. After the " Sumter " 
affair, young Tardy was ordered to Fort Pickens, in the 
tirst expedition. There he remained six months fortify- 
ing the place, and was then ordered North, where he 
arrived just in time to be ordered South with the great 
naval expedition, as the second engineer officer in it. 

His grandfather, John G. Tardy, was born in Switz- 
erland, but went to France to learn business in a French 
counting room. 

He was brought up iii the office of Burral Carnes, 
who was American consul at Nantes, in France, ap- 
pointed by General Washington in 1192. ]\Ir. Tardv 
left Nantes to go to Ilayti, or St. Domingo, to establish 
a commercial house, intending to do the American busi- 
ness. He huuled in Boston, came to New York, and 
called on j)resident Washington, to whom he had a let- 
ter of introduction. He saik-d for Hayti, and settled 
there. Hl; received u large share of the vVmerican busi- 
ness, and coinetl money. Then came the terrible in- 
surrection. He sent his wife and two chihlren, and live 
negro servants, with nothing on but their night-clothes, 
on boai'd an American schooner lying off the " Cajje." 
They had no time to take anything else. Ho returned 
to the city to fight the negroes, remained the avIioIo 
night, ami only when the town was in llames did lie 
come on board, and' the vessel sailed for New York. 
He, however, knew many persons in this city — mer- 
chants whom he had done business with — and they 


took liim by tlic hand. Amono; them was Gurdon 
S. Miuiif'oi\l, wlio then Hved at 37 WilUam street. Tliis 
was about 1797. Mr. Mumford went on board the 
vessel when slie arrived in the harbor, and took the Tar- 
dy party on shore, and procured for them a house at 41 
Beaver street. 

Jolin G. Tardy soon got into active and profitable 
business, and took a store and house at 53 Gold street. 
He was a mason, and was made master of the Lodrre 
" L'Union Francaise No. 14." 

His business became very extensive. He sold on 
commission ; all his vessels were running blockades at 
Bordeaux and other ports in Europe, in 1812, when he 
formed a partnership under the firm of Majastre & Tar- 
dy. In the war of 1813 this house loaned the Govern- 
ment $10,000. They did a heavy business as the 
a<rents of French merchants, in Philadelphia, who did 
their business of importing, by way of New York. At 
that time l^ordeaux was the great ])ort of France. 
Havre was nothing forty-eight years ago. It started 
up after the jjeace, in 1815, took place. Mr. Majastre 
died during the war. He was from Marseilles, but was 
only here a short time. Mr. Tardy had several sons. 
Two went to sea in their father's ships. One was in 
the Dai-tmoor jtrisoii ; another died at Plymouth, lOng- 
land, ol' lever. One of his vessels was the " Dart," 
clipper. She was taken by a British frigate. Mr. Tar- 
dy became embarrassed by indorsing custom house 
bonds for his friends. It ruined him. He died in 1881, 
aged 72 ; would have been 102 luid he lived until now. 
The latter years of his life were made comfortable by 
hohling an ollice in the Marine Court. He was ai)- 
j)()iiitc(l clerk of that court by his j)oh'tical friends, and 
he held it until he died. He was politically and per- 


sonally friendly with all those great men who originated 
the old Republican party — now culled the Democratic. 
Among them was Edward Livingston, Aaron Burr, 
Ca])tain Thomas Darling, and others. He was a great 
man in Tammany Hall, and spent money like water. 
At that time, the capitalists and merchants were all 
Federalists, as a general thing. He was an intimate 
acquaintance of Governor Tompkins, until the latter 
died. So also he was of Albert Gallatin, whose princi- 
ples and talents he admired. They were born in the 
same Canton of Switzerland, and Mr. Gallatin only 
preceded him to this country one year. 

He had one son named John A. Tardy, who was ed- 
ucated at Columbia College. He wished to make a 
merchant of him, and for that purpose placed him in 
the counting-room of his friend, Josepli Bouchaud. 

He was there some years, and became the principal 
clerk of the firm of Bouchaud & Thebaud, and only 
left them when he went into partnership with Mr. Voi- 
sin, who was also a clerk Avith Bouchaud. They did a 
very heavy French importing busincsss for some years, 
and then dissolved. Meanwhile, Mr.- Tardy married 
Miss Eustaphieve, one of the belles of the city. She 
is the mother of the young warrior. Tardy, Jr. She 
died early. Her father was the Ilussian consul gener- 
al fifty-two years in this city. He died in 1857. There 
are very few persons who do not remember old Alex- 
ander Eustaphieve. He was a splendid specimen of a 
man, and was much beloved. He was warmly attached 
to the two children of Mr. Tardy aiid his daughter, for 
there was a grand-daughter as well as son. She mar- 
ried Cajttain (^liurlos Seaforth Stewart, of the United 
States engineer corps. He is now the chief engineer at 
Fortress ^Monroe. In the class in which he graduated at 


West Point, he stood number one, and General M'Clel- 
lan number two. 

He married Miss Tardy at BufTalo. The old consul 
was present, but died within a montli of the time. 

After Voisin & Tardj dissolved, iNIr. Tardy went 
with Eujiene Grousset to manaiie his business. Wlio 
don't remember that little, short, dashing French wine 
merchant ? 

Eugene Grousset will be well remembered here by 
many of the present generation. I do not know when 
he made his first appearance in this city, but think it 
must have been about the year 1827. He was celebra- 
ted as being the brother of Grousset de Granier, a wine 
merchant of Marseilles, who, at one time, did an enor- 
mous business with this country and other parts of the 
world. He owed the Bank of France at one time three 
millions of francs. He failed in 1839, or thereabouts, 
and then Eugene's agency on this side was closed. He 
went to New Ch-leans, wliere he died. 

This wine made by Grousset de Granier was sold in 
all parts of the country. It was called Marseilles M(i- 
deira^ and was a very good imitation of the real iVIade- 
ira. It was manufactured at a cost not exceeding $G 
for a quarter cask of 81 gallons. It sold readily in this 
market for 50 or GO cents a gallon — say $15 to ^18 
per cask. The profit was enormous. Grousset ought 
to have made two millions of dollars, if he had managed 
liis business projierly. Unfortunately he was forever 
financiering — selling cargoes at low prices to raise cash 
for iunnediate necessities. He had three clerks, well 
known. One was Goodman. AiU)ther named Braily, 
now clerk in a bank in Broadway ; and a third, named 
John Mitchell, still a resident of this city. 

Mr. (iruusseL was a <rreat wa-j;. At that lime llio 


old City Hotel was in its glory. It boasted of as fine 
a lot of wines as could be had in any part of the world. 
It was at this hotel that the dinners were given by so- 
cieties and parties. On one occasion (I think it was 
after the upsetting of Charles X, of France, and the 
success of Louis' iMiillipe,) a great dinner was given 
to celebrate the event at the City Hotel. The finest 
wines that the City Hotel could furnish were placed 
upon the table. In addition, private individuals who 
possessed rare wines had contributed a bottle. One cel- 
ebrated individual had wine bottled in Madeira in 178G. 
This brought out Grousset. He had sent to his store 
in Broad street for four bottles of wine that he pur- 
posely had carefully dusted to make them look old. It 
was really his trash Marseilles Madeira. Mr. Grousset 
stated that nearly all present knew that he was in the 
wine business. He professed to be a judge of wine 
and his father before him was a judge of wine, and they 
possessed a few bottles of wine that they never offered 
for sale because it was priceless. It was old Madeira, 
and if it was not two hundred years old he did not know 
liow old it was. Of course only a few drops, at most, 
ctjuld be tasted by any one ; it was too i)recious. He 
lioped that the company would api)reciate his patriotism, 
which was as pure as his old wine. He was cheered to 
the clouds. The wine was served in cordial glasses, and 
l)ronounced to be something beyond any wine that had 
over been brought to this country. There were men 
of unquestioned veracity, and also good judges of wine, 
who so pronounced this trash that was selling in the 
market at about ten cents the bottle ! The awful sell 
was confmed to the knowledge of a few French gentle- 
juen who were friends of Eugene Grousset. ^Ir. lar- 
dy was for a long time an active politician in the Whig 


V.V. '<! O 


ranks, and liis influence was very considerable. Of 
late years I do not think he has meddled with commerce 
or with politics. His face is seen occasionally in the 
streets or reading the daily journals at some of the quiet 
hutels. His health is poor, and I do not think the 
world has many attractions left for ohe who has seen 
about all that was going on. His hopes in his two child- 
ren are his life-blood just now — the one daughter 
who is Mrs. Stewart, and this son who bears his name. 
For his sake I hope the expedition will be a success, and 
if he falls he will die a soldier's death. 

Since the above was written, young Tardy has been 
promoted to a higher rank. 



Within a short time, three persons of some distinc- 
tion — mercantile and quite celebrities — among the 
fust and dashing portions of the city have died, and liave 
already been, mentioned among the " Old Merchants," 
during the past two 'years. I allude to Charles Davis, 
Theodore Dehon, William D. Kennedy, Edward Vin- 
cent, J. Sherman Brownell, and Henry P. Gardner. 

The last named died October 4, 1861, aged thirty- 
seven. It is nearly twenty-two years ago, when he en- 
tered mercantile life, under the mercantile auspices of 
Fernando Wood. He was a boy in the store of Fer- 
nando Wood, at No. 133 Washington street. He was 
his clei'kat the time Mr. Wood had $1500 placed to his 
credit wrongfully, and which ]\Ir. Wood with prudent 
foresight drew out of the clutches of the " Merchants' 
Exchange Bank." 

Tiiat year Mr. F. Wood went before the people as 
their candidate for representative to Congress. The 
real fho.ts of the case were laid before the people, and 
honest nien like W. B. Astor, and leading merchants, 
indignant at the swindle attempted to be j)ut upon Wood 
by the " Mei'chaiits' Exchange Bank," took his part, 
and elected him to Congress. 

Henry P. Gardner was a most excellent young man. 


lie knew the real facts of tliis case, but being young ho 
■was taken care of by Charles A. Secor, and went into 
his enij)loy. It is a curious fact, tliat the devil does 
protect and take care of those he loves. There never 
has been a good and true man who has stood up and 
fought Fernando Wood, with naked name, and naked 
facts. I say there has been no such man who did not 
die out before he had succeeded. Lorenzo B. Shepard 
was a glorious fellow. The battle with Wood killed 
him. Had he lived, most probably Mr. Wood would 
not have been in Congress at this time. 

Another man who believed Fernando Wood capable 
of any wickedness, was William D. Kennedy. He was 
a merchant. He knew New York, and I iiave a sketch 
of him that will appear, a\id be one of the deepest in- 
terest. He despised Wood, because lie knew liim to be 
treacherous. He admired his sublime impudence, his 
church membership, his sending his carriage to Irish 
funerals ; but if the colonel's gallant sjjirit could have 
been ])resent at the funeral of his own body, and seen 
Wood weep crocodile tears, and heard his voice say, 
" Poor Bill," while he would probably have begged 
some friend to kick the audacious man out of the pre- 
cincts of the church, he would have added : " Wood 
is right. He acts out his part to the life, to the death, 
and to the last. He hates me. He comes to my fu- 
neral with his feeliniTS crawlino; with (fratification. He 
says to himself, ' I want to see that Kennedy in his 
coiHn, cold, and ready to be food for worms. See it 
with my own eyes — then I can gloat over what I know 
to be an undisputed fact. He has crossed my path day 
and niglit, in season and out of season.' \Vood is 
right." So William 1). would have said, and he was a 
good judge of human motives. 

OF JVEfV YORhr CITV. 15]^ 

Otlicrs who do not know AVood, think he wont to the 
funeral of Kennedy to make political capital. That is 
not so. A shrewd man told me : " Wood went there 
as I once went to see an infernal scoundrel who had 
wronged me individually, who had also wronged the 
State, and was sent to Sing Sing for ten years. I want- 
ed to see with my own eyes that he had met his fate 
I wanted to feel that he who had opposed, thwarted, ex- 
posed, and tried to blast my prospects, was a degraded, 
hapless criminal." 

I am not aware how long Mr. Gardner was with 
Wood. In 1834, Wood himself had left makino; cigars, 
and had been hired as a clerk with Francis Secor & Co., 
at 103 Washington street. To that flnnily, and the 
combinations tliey were enabled to make. Wood owes 
his political start. The old Francis is still alive, has a 
farm out in Westchester county. He was foreman to 
Henry Eckford, when the first steamboats were built. 
Eckford's ship yard was in Water street, up near Clin- 
ton street, in 1810. He had several sons, Thorne, Ze- 
no, Henry, Charles A. and James. TJiey all were con- 
nected witli the establishment in which Wood was a 
clerk. Then there was Joseph Sherman Brownell, at 
100 Washington, where he had commenced business in 
1830. He had hosts of friends. There was John S. 
Gilbert, the ship joiner, at 118 Washington street, 
James Miuison, the block-maker, at 108. Thomas 
Shortland, the cooper, Avas at 101, and lived at 111 
Wasji'ngton street. All these men had great primary 
iiilhience, employed many men, and could cany politi- 
cal meetings in several of the wards. They were ex- 
cellent materials to build up any man. While Wood 
was a clei-k with Secor & Co., he became j)ersoually 
known to these men. Toward the close of 1830, Wood 


proposed to start the liquor store (the lowest three cent 
shop is dignified with the name of '^ ship stores,") at 99 
corner of Rector. At that time there was no West 
street, AVashington faced the North river. The num- 
bers were continued on the same side ; 99 was Wood's 
store; 100 next, was Brownell's ; 101 Shortland's ; 
Secor, 103. Shortland owned the property on the cor- 
ner, and he leased it to Wood, witliout any security, 
believing him to be an enterprising young business man. 
The business was a shocking one. It was to sell bad 
liquor at three cents a glass to the hundreds of work- 
men that worked in the stevedore gangs on board ships 
lying at the docks on that side of the town. These 
men, of course, would have no money during the week, 
and it would have been a losing business but for the ex- 
traordinary mercantile sagacity and commercial foresight 
of Mr. F. Wood. Tliere were several prominent steve- 
dores at that time. Mr. Seeley was one. Everleigh 
was another, and Smith one. Wood arranged with all 
these stevedores that their men should be paid off in his 
groggery. Wood kept an alphabet book of charges, so 
that when Saturday night came, when " Jo Smith," 
" Bully Bob," or " Jack Duff" was called up to be paid, 
Wood was asked, " What have you got against him, 
Fernando ? " Wood would turn to his alphabet, and 
reply, $3, $4,50, $1,25, or 75 cents, as the case might 
be. Tlie sum would then be deducted from the wages 
due of li>9, or $7, and the poor fellow would lun'o 
two or three dollars to take home to his family, while 
the rest went to the till of the future great statesman 
of Now York I 

It was a common occurrence that the men would say: 
*' Wood, you liavc charged me with three dolhirs' worth 
of your stuli; and I know I have not had it. Mr. 


Wood would try on his irresistible amiability, otfer to 
treat, and it would pass over to be renewed again week 
after week for three years. On one occasion, a worthy 
fellow, named Ferguson, said to several of his cronies : 
" Last week, my wages were docked two dollars and 
fifty cents for Wood's charge. I had no sucl; sum, but 
to satisfy myself whether he is a rascal or not, I have 
not drank a drop this week and will not," Saturday 
"night came. Nc^l Ferguson, called the stevedore, 
" How much have you, Wood ? " 

" Seventy-five cents," said Fernando Wood. Fur- 
guson replied : " I have not drank a drop here or any- 
where else this past week, and by the help of God I 
never will again, and thus rescue myself from the 
clutches of such a man as you are. All the men know 
that I have not drank, for they heard me say I woyild 
not, and have watched me." Wood insisted, and got 
the seventy-five cents he had charged. 

When his first year was up, Thomas Shortland, the 
landlord, said : " If you can give me security, you can 
have that place for another year, not without." 

" But Tom, you let me have it when I was poor ; 
you know that I have made money while I have had it, 
and yet you now want security ? " 

" Yes, Wood, tliat is it ; when I let to you first, I 
knew you jioor, but 1 believed you would pay me. No^Y 
I know you have made money, but I believe you to bo 
anxious to make money, and lawless how you make it. 
It shall not be out of me. I know that you can give 
security. I know it will be Charles A. Secor." 

That Thomas Shortland was one of those who added 
to the wealth of New York, though merely a cooper. 
His two sons, Thomas Jr., and Stephen, are carrying 
on the same business in the old locality, and under 

JijC uii;i,:: o: 


Ilcniy P. Gardner's recent store, 50 West street, and 
thu oUl jicntleinan has the Athmtic Docks, Brooklyn, 
and is very weaUhy. One of Tliomas Shorthand's sons 
married a daughter of John S. Gilbert alluded to. 
(jilhert was the inventor of the celebrated Balance 
Dock. It has been adopted by the Goveriunent and by 
several foreign governments. He is worth half a mil- 
h'on of dollars. 

J. Sherman Brownell at 100 Washington street did a' 
large business, and I believe he went into politics after 
Wood's first success. He was led into it by the force 
of example, as have been many others, who have said, 
" If Fernando Wood can be elected to Congress, 
there is no office I can not aspire to." I don't think 
Sherman Brownell would ever have aspired to any civ- 
ic diiinities had he not kept a store next door to L er- 
nando Wood. 

Henry P. Gardner, after leaving Wood, became a 
junior clerk Avith Secor & Co., afterwards Secor & Liv- 
ingston. After being some years with theSecors, Hen- 
ry was taken into partnership under the firm of Secor 
& Co., his partner being Charlus F. Secor, son of 
Charles, Joseph Morton and II. P. Gardner. Young 
Charles married a daughter of James B. Nicholson, 
now one of the Commissioners of Charities and Cor- 

After the firm had existed some time and coined 
money, it was dissolvetl. Henry P. Gardner then be- 
came a par^ler in the large house of William A. Free- 
borne & Co., ship chandlei's, at No. 25i South and No. 
501 Water, and brass founder at No. 498 Water. About 
a year ago Ik; left that Ikuisc, and started the ship chaml- 
liM-y business on the North river side, at No. 5"U West — 
a new street, but fronting the ^Vat(.•l•, as Washington 


sfroet dill avIk^ii he first went with the Secors. TIenry 
Avas very much beloved by all who knew him. He was 
married, had four children, and had every prospect of 
happiness and a successful mercantile career before him. 
He was a member of the ]\fasonic order. His death 
was very sudden. I met him a short time previous, 
and he asked me to drop in and see him at his new store. 
I never was more shocked than when I heai'd of his 

Edward Vincent died suddenly. He was formerly a 
merchant in this city. Curious enough, in Chapter 20 
of this work, I alluded to him pleasantly in this vrciy : 
" Captain Eilward Vincent, James B. Glentworth, and 
George L. Pride, used to go out to Cato's in the early 
summer morning, and drink mint juleps together, pre- 
vious to the late war with England in 1812." The 
next day, Mr. IT — , a broker went to Captain Vincent, 
and asked him if he would sell him a land warrant, 
granted to soldiers of the 1812 war. Of course, the 
cai)tain had none. The visitor expressed surprise, as he, 
Captain Vincent, was out in that war. He took the 
joke at once — said he should have to challenge W. B. 
for making him nearly seventy years old. 

I do not think he was far from sixty years old. Thir- 
ty years ago he was a merchant, under th.e firm of Vin- 
cent & Buttt^rworth, ii\ Pearl, near Old Slip, about No. 
8G. At that time Vincent was a splendid fellow of 
very agreeable manners, plenty'' of customers and plentv 
of casii, lived at Mrs. ^Mann's, or one of those ostenta- 
tious boardijig houses in Broadway, below the old Ci'aco 
Church, (Rector street.) He was a, Virgmian, and 
was welcomed wherever he went. He wa« a military 
man and })opular. He was a regular attendant upon 
the old City Hall assembly balls. He could have 


picked a wife any where. Vincent & Butterwortli did 
a very extensive business, until the cold nioht in Decem- 
ber, 1835, when the lower part of New York, on the 
East river side, was laid in ashes. They were insured, 
but no insurance company paid their losses. I think 
the concern was stafjo-ered and a new order of thinjxs 
was started, for he opened a<:;ain at No. 45 Broad street, 
uniier the lirm of Brett & Vincent. That firm contin- 
ued some years, at least as late as the election of Gen- 
eral Harrison in 1840. From Tyler, his successor, I 
thnik. Captain Vincent received an appointment in the 
Custom House, and if my memory serves me, he was 
not removed from it luitil within a few weeks of his 
death. He was a man with many friends. He enjoy- 
ed society. He had his share of the good things of this 
world, and he knew how to make the most of them, 
I am not aware when he ceased to command the " Light 
Guard," or when that brilliant company was disbanded. 
Certainly it has not been heard of since the war com- 
menced. Of course, Captain Vincent, being a Virgin- 
ian by birth, could not have been expected to connnand 
against his own State, although General Scott took a 
different view of it. George L. Pride has since died. 

Charles Davis and Theodore Dehon were at one time 
both partners of the house of Davis & Brooks. I have 
written fully about the house and its partners in pre- 
vious chai)ters. When they died, they were not of the 
firm. Davis had retired from business altogether, and 
]\Ir. Dehon Avas in business on his own account. He 
died in London. Davis died in this city. 

Twenty-five years ago, no fashionable person could 
have gone to two or four aristociutic parties a week in 
this city without meeting one or both of these men. 
They were welcome everywhere. Such is life, and such 


is (loath. To tlie list I might have added another old 
merchant's name. I had mucli to say of Peter Em- 
bury, and mentioned his son, Daniel Embury, president 
of the Brooklyn Bank. On the 2d of November, a son 
of the latter was killed by an unknown assassin, while 
proceedino; to the residence of W. S. Verplanck, about 
two miles from Fishkill Landing. Piiillip Augustus 
Embury was a young man of much promise. He was 
a clerk of an insurance company in this city, and be- 
trothed to Miss Verplanck. He left the city at 5 o'clock 
p. M., November 2, in the great storm that raged. It 
was a fearfully dark night ; when he left the cars he had 
proceeded but a few rods when he was stabbed in tiie 
back by some unknown assassin. His body was not dis- 
covered until the next day. His age Avas twenty-five. 
His mother was the celebrated authoress, Emma C. Em- 
bury, the most popular poetess and magazine writer of 
the day, from 1840 to 1850. She is dead. 



I have frequently alluded to hereditary commercial 
houses. These are much more common in Europe than 
here. There a firm continues from the founder down 
two hundred and more years. The same name and 
style being retained through this long period, and long 
after any one beai'ing the name of the fountler is con- 
nected with it, and none of the old name in it. This, 
however, cannot occur here. A law passed by the 
IState Legislature, in 1833, prevents it. Now, to con- 
tinue the style of a house, parties of that name must be 
coiuiected with it. This makes not only a hereditary 
commercial firm in name, but in fact. It is more difli- 
cult now to keep even the same firm and same name 
any number of years, but yet there arc many firms that 
do it. None, however, are more remarkable, than the 
fiiin of N. L. & G. Griswold. It exists to-day in 1801, 
and it existed in 179G, at IGU Front street, where the 
house at that time kept a flour store. George Griswold 
came to this city about two years previous to his broth- 
er Nathaniel. At that period many well-known houses 
of merchants did not tintl it necessary to put the num- 
ber of the street in which they lived. The city was 
small, and in offering mi.'rchandize for sale, they made • 
it, adding, apply to N. J^. & G. Griswold. Every- 


body of any consequence knew where ^ucli a heavy con- 
cern lived. It was so in 1803, when this house moved 
from their Front street store to tlicir new store, No. 8G 
South street, near Burhng Slip. I think they lived in 
that spot a tliird of a century or more, when they mov- 
ed to a new, rough, granite, double stoi-e, Nos. 71 and 
72 South, north corner of De Peyster street. There is 
a fitness in things, and the solid stone was just the 
buildino- for two such men as Nathaniel and George 
Griswold. They Avere grand old fellows. I can see 
tiiein in my mind's eye now as they used to look — tall, 
imposing — both brothers men that you would take a 
second look at. 

A bold signature was that of the firm, as written by 
old Natlfaniel. I have it now before me as, in 1804, 
he dashed off " Nath'l L. & Geo. Griswold," with a 
good old-fashioned fiourish under it. These Griswolds, 
too, sprang from a grand old race. They were Con- 
necticut born, and came here from old Lyme, on the 
Connecticut River. 'J'hcir ancestor, a six-fuoter, too, 
named Edward Griswold, came over from Kenihvorth, 
England, in 1(385, and settled at Windsor. Ho had a 
soji named Matthew, born In liih'S, who went aiterwards 
and settled at Lyme, where he was a great man, and 
"represented" that town many years, lie died, in 
1G'J9. Ha left behind him a son named George, who 
was born the 18th August, 11)92. That man was the 
ancestor of the two Griswold boys who, in 1794 — 102 
years later — left Lyme for a larger port, at which they 
were destined in alter years to become eminent mer- 

I think it hardly necessary for me to say, that if the 
fouiHlcrs of the house were both livin-r, (ieorije would 
he about eighty-live yeans old, and Nathaniel about 


''fiV' .71 


W^lien George arrived in this city he was only just of 
age, and his brother Nut. a lew years older. They 
were very stout, fine looking young men, six feet high 
each, and well proportioned. They were "six feet" 
men in all their business operations in after years, when 
they did an enormous business. They shipped flour 
heavily to the West Indies, and in 1804 they had be- 
come large importers of rum and sugar, receiving car- 
goes of these articles. 

The merchants in 1861 who do a business of 
$30,000,000, are not regarded as doing as large a busi- 
ness as the merchant who, in 1800, did a business of 
§30,000 a year. 

I do not know what year this house went into the 
" China trade." They did an immense business in it 
for years, and made a specialile of it at last. They 
owned the ship " Panama," and I do not suppose 
there is a country store however insignificant, in the 
whole of the United States, that has not seen a lar<re 
or small package of tea, marked " Ship Panama," 
and N. L. & G. G. upon it. Millions of millions of 
packages must have been imported from the first to last. 
In fact, they owned in succession three ships named the 
" Panama." The first was 465 tons. When she be- 
came nearly worn out, the firm of N. & G. Griswold 
built a second ship of 650 tons bunlen, named her 
the " Panama," as she succeeded to No. 1 in the China 
trade. When the No. 2 " Panama " got old, the Gris- 
wulds built a thiril ship of 1170 tons burden, and 
named her the " Panama." The three shij)S in the 
successive periods that they flourished, must have made 
an uncoiiUMDn number of ('anton voyages. 

Many men wlu; were afterwards prominent went out 
to Canton as su[)ercargo of the " I'anama." One was 


a son named John N. A. Griswold, who resided out 
there some years. Another was John C. Greene, who 
afterwards became a partner in the great Canton house 
of Russell & Co. When he retired from business and 
returned to tliis country, lie married a daughter of Mr. 
George Griswold. 

Another daughter married George Winthrop Gray, 
wlio has been identified with the house of N. L, & G. 
Griswold, as a partner, over a quarter of a century, and 
is well known to all New Yorkers. I believe Mr. Gray 
is from Salem or Boston, where the name of William 
Gray is as noted as Astor in New York, or Girard m 

This house, like many other houses from the Eastern 
States and ports, did an immense business by merely 
selling, chartering or freighting new ships. A ship- 
builder East would build a large ship — sixty years ago, 
a ship of 350 tons would be the very largest kind of a 
vessel. He would send on, for instance, such a ship as 
I have now an account sale of before me. It was the 
ship " Windsor." She was new, built of the best ma- 
terials ; her upper works were all of live oak, locust 
and cedar, fastened with wrought copper ; duck and cord- 
age of the first quality; completely found in sails, rig- 
ging and furniture, and needed nothing whatever. 
They built ships strong and good in those days. There 
was less fancy work ; but all was solid and substantial, 
as many merchants and ship owners were their own in- 
surers. Tho fad is, lilty or sixty years ago, there was 
not much capital in the city of New York; shijw and 
cargoes were generally founil in ICabtern ports — Salem, 
Boston, New Bedford, and other places. There were 
few houses that like N. L. it G. (iriswold, were able 
to own sliijjs, and make up long voyages, re(pjiriiig 
great outlay oji their own account. 


In their clay, or after tlic war, tlie duty on tea was 
enormous. Green tea paid as high as sixty-eio-ht cents 
per pound. Black tea as high as thirty-four cents, 
from Canton. In all cases the duty was twice or three 
times the cost of the teas in Canton. The credit given 
by the United States Govenmient was twelve and 
eighteen months. This, of itself, became an immense 
cai)ital to any house engaged in the Ciiina trade. They 
could raise say $200,000 and send it in specie or mer- 
chandise in their ships. These ships left in May. In 
a year they would be back loaded with teas. Merely 
sui)i)osing the duty double the cost in China, (it was 
four times on low-priced black teas,) the teas would bo 
worth at least double, being $400,000. Add freight at 
a fliir profit, would make the cargo worth $500,000 at 
least. These teas would be sold, on arrival, to grocers 
at four and six montlis credit. These notes would be 
discounted easily, while the Griswolds had to pay duty, 
$200,000, half in a year and half in eighteen months ! 
Thus really having of the United States an indepeud- 
oiit capital to do an enormous business. 

However, the house, of Griswolds did a safe but heavy 
business. That concern needed no capital but its own. 
Still many houses did go into this kind of business mere- 
ly to get capital for other operations, as for instance, 
nuiuy imported brandy that had an enormous duty, 
forty years ago — about eighty cents a gallon. Govern- 
ment gave a credit of six, nine, and twelve months. 
jMauy, however, imported largely, sold to grocers, got 
tiieir paj)er discounted, and had two thirds of their 
money to use nine and twelve months ! 

Singular as it may seem, both George and Nathaniel 
made a great deal more money outside of the business 
than in it. '' Old Nat " got up a dredging machino. 


lie went up to Albany and made a contract to clean 
out the Albany basin, and also the overslaugh. He 
must have cleared over $100,000 by the contract. He 
also used it in New York at various slips. Then he 
built machines here and sent them South to work. 
1'here was an Albany man named Williams who used 
to be very thick with him, and had an interest in some 
ot" the city jobs. Mv. Griswuld would hire docks from 
the Corporation at so much a year — generally alow 
fj"[ure, and then re-hire them and collect the wharla<!;o 
himself. Nathaniel Griswold lived in Cliff street many 
years, afterwards at No. 3 Robinson (3 Park place.) 
F(jrmerly Robinson street ran from Broadway to the 
Colleo-e Green, and then continued from it on the west- 
ern side to the North river ; but in 1813, the name was 
retained west of the college while east it was changed 
to I'ark place. In 1819, old Nathaniel moved to 78 
Chambers street, where he resided until he died in 1817. 
That year his widow and the family, as well as Nathan- 
iel L., Jr., moved uj) to No. 136 Tenth street. 

Old Nathaniel had several sons and daughters. At 
the tune of his fiither's death, Nathaniel L. Jr., was in 
business at 92 South, under the firm of " I. L. & N. L. 
Griswold," and had been for some years, I believe. 
1. L. is another son. Nathaniel L. Gi'iswold still carries 
on business at 102 Broad street. 

The oldest daughter of Nathaniel Griswold married 
Charles C. Havens. She has been dead many years. 
Another daughter married Peter Lorillard. Another 
married Alfred H. P. Edwards, who was consul at Ma- 
nilla, in the East Indies, many years, and did a very 
heavy business out there. These young ladies were all 
very handsume. Mv. Griswi)ld built the house in Cham- 
bers street, No. 78. It stood near where the " Shoo 


and Leatlier Bank " now stands, within twenty-five feet 
of the roar of that splendid edifice, that nosv graces the 
soutli-west corner of Broadway and Chambers street. 

Old Nathaniel Griswold was very quiet, and retiring. 
lie cared nothing about being a bank director, or having 
anything to do with any one's business but his own. 
lie differed from George in tluvt respect. As early as 
lb07, George was made a director in tlie Columbia In- 
surance Company. From that time until he died he 
was honored with being a director in almost every 
society or monopoly of any importance. He was a man 
to be trusted, and he liked activity. I have already al- 
luded in a previous chapter, to the manner in which the 
Bank of America, with its immense capital, was started 
in 1812, to take the place of the then defunct United 
States bank. Mr. George Griswold was, at that early 
period elected a director, and he continued to be one 
for scores of years. 

George Griswold was of a very speculating turn of 
mnid. lie operates heavily in land speculations. lie 
was in 1830 and 1837 extensively engaged in Brt)oklyn 
purchases. He was an enterprising man and a thorough 
merchant. He was in 1814 a director in the " Humane 
Society," of which Matthew Clarkson was president. 
I do not know how long that lasted. George Griswold too, 
was connected with Swartwout's gold mine operation in 
1836. Gold was to be coined in North Carolina faster 
than it was afterwards in California. That speculation 
also smasjied uj). He was greatly respected, anil tlio 
house of N. & G. (jriswuld lias given wealth to the 

George Griswold died in IS;")!), at his house No. 9 
Washington s(juare. He had a large anil interesting 
I'amily. Two of his sons succeeded him iu the liouso 


that lie estaLlIslied — viz.: John N. Alsop GriswoM and 
Geoj'<^e Griswuld, Jr. Two daugliters married Gray 
and Greene, another married J. W. Haven, formerly 
of Haven & Co., 24 Broad street, twenty-five years 
ago, and of whom I liave written. Another married 
Mr. FreHnghuysen, of New Jersey. He was recently 
Attorney General of that State. 

Mr. George Griswold made an excellent presiding 
officer at political meetings, or at popular meetings for 
any other pnrj)ose. He was always ready to do his 
part in j)ronioting the interests of the city. He loved 
it. He felt the degradation of the New York merchants. 
He felt that hero, in this great city, the merchants were 
what Nick Biddle once designated them — "wealthy 
white slaves." Now and then a scheming lawyer 
woidd rouse up a few of the class to take an interest in 
politics for some specific purpose. George Griswold 
mourned the degeneracy of the race of merchants in 
his latter days. At the commencement of his career, 
the glorious conduct of the merchants of 177G was 
fresh. Those noble old merchants were alive. He 
himself had met John Hancock, of Boston, and Francis 
Lewis, of our own city, both merchants — both smgers 
of the immortal Declaration of Independence. When 
George Griswold arrived in New York in 1794, he 
could not turn a corner without meeting honored mer- 
chants of the city, who had been the " Liberty boys " 
of the Revolution. 

In those years, none but the merchants ruled tlie city. 
There were seven wards. Of the fourteen Aldermen 
and Assistants, twelve were merchants. George Gris- 
wold felt that so it ought to be to tlie end of time. 
That merchants should rule — should command, and 
not be mei'c tools, as they had been. Merchants should 


rule tlie city, and represent it in tlie State Legislature 
and in Congreds. He was ready with his money at any 
tune to spend it freely to give the merchants political 
l)ower. It seemed to him at times that there wei-e no 
merchants with brain jjower, or of an intellect equal to 
other classes of society. 

It not unfrequently happened that a few merchants 
would spend, in some abortive political effort, more mon- 
ey than it would cost to elect six intelligent merchants 
to Congress, if properly spent. As an instanca. In 
the spring of lSo2, a few lawyers, such uj Hiram Ketch- 
uni, Wm. M. Evans, George Woi, and others, wish- 
ed to get up a great city demonstration for Daniel Web- 
ster. The Whig National Convention was shortly to 
come otf ui Bahimore, and these scheming lawyers 
thought that if an immense sensation meeting was got 
up, they would be able to elect Webster delegates from 
all the districts in the city. The merchants of Nl-w 
York, although they never initiate any great political 
scheme, are always ready to be the tools of any lawyer, 
and, as a general rule, they regard lawyers as several 
degrees higher in the social thermometer, higher intel- 
lectually, and they bend and bow to them. The men I 
have named, set George Griswold, Moses H. Grinnell, 
r. Pent, all bell-wether merchants, to get up this meet- 
ing in fk\or of Webster at Tripler Hall. It was accom- 
plished, and cost directly -'$5,370. The advertising bills 
paid newspapers was $1,200. George Griswold presid- 
ed, and it cost him a largo check. It had no more effect 
upon Webster's prospects than a snow Hake. Not a 
delegate was friendly to Webster from New York, and 
the Convention nominated Gen. Scott. 

George Grisv/old had some noble traits. There are 
very few persons in this city who do not know Geor<'-e 


S. Robbins. George started the dry goods business in 
Pearl street, at No. 211, on his own account, in 1822. 
The next year he moved to 148 Pearl street, and there 
he kept until the great fire of 1835. His firm for a few 
years had been Robbins & Painter. The fii'e fixed 
George S. Robbins. Insurance companies were ruined 
and did not pay their losses. George Robbins, like 
George Griswold, came from the banks of the Connec- 
ticut, and they were good friends. After 1837 his af- 
fairs were at a very low ebb. He scratched his head 
often and vigorously, without producing any new com- 
mercial idea. At that time, 1837, he was back at a 
new store, at the old number, and in 1838, he moved to 
114 Water — Robbins, Painter & Co. — there they ke])t 
until 1810, when Mr. Robbins moved to 54 William 
street, above. In these years, and long after, there were 
no regular note-brokers, as now. A few large broker 
houses, such as Prime, Ward & King, and John Ward 
& Co., did this kind of business to a limited extent. 
George Robbins paid George Griswold a visit, to take 
his advice. He got advice, and he also got $30,000 as 
a loan at 6 })er cent, interest per annum, without any 
security being asked. With this capital George S. Rob- 
bins commenced business at the corner of Pine and 
William, where once Wm. Niblo had his " Bank Coffee 
House," and in latter years the great auction house of 
Haggerty, Drajjcr & Jones flourished. In this locality 
the bankinji house of Georn;e S. Robbins & Son still ex- 
ists, as it has in the same [)lace for twenty years, enjoy- 
ing uninterrupted ))rosperIty, and discounting more ni)tes 
than any bank. 'I'he foundation of this prosperity was 
owing to Ceorge Griswold. 

Tlie two Griswolds are in their graves, but they will 


long be remembered, and certainly they added greatly 
to the prosperity of their adopted city. 

A sketch of Duncan Pearsall Campbell, who died re- 
cently, and was buried at Trinity, will appear in the 
next chapter. He was 80 years old. He was once of 
the firm of Le Roy, Bayard & Co., and a son-in-law of 
William Bayard. 



I had prepared a sketch of Mr. Duncan P. Campbell, 
about six months ago. It was very imperfect, and 
knowing him personally, I thought I would some day 
or other fall in with him — show what I had written, 
and get some points from himself. I took time to ac- 
comj)lish my purpose, for I thought that I had noticed 
that Mr. Campbell had been shy of me, since he ascer- 
tained that I was the author of these recollections. The 
last time I ever saw him was in Chamber, near Centre 
street. ETe complimented me on one of the chapters 
that he had recently read. 1 remarked : 

*' Seme day when you are at leisure I want to talk 
over old matters." 

" Any time," was his reply, as he passed on. 

"Any time I " don't hold good with a man wlio is 
eight^^ years old, and shortly alter I read to my amaze- 
ment and also deej) regret : 

l)iEu—Oa Saturday, Nov. Oth, 1861. DuNCAN Peabsau. Campbell, ia 
the 80th year of his age. 

Very few of the people in the present city of New 

York, will recognize this n.imo,orknow anything about 

Mr. (■nmpbell. Yet he was a great man in this city in 

his d;iy. ()f late years lu; luid hardly been known to 

take an active part in public affairs. For twenty years 


lie had frequented a place called '' The Grotto," at 114 
Cedar street, kept either by Barnard or by Patrick Reilly 
since 1840. 1 dure say he has spent two or three houi s 
every lair day in the place, and drank one or perhaps 
two '^ nui<^s " of the unrivalled old beer kept in the es- 
tablishment. At about mid-day in fine Aveather, any 
one on iiroadway could see a pale-laced man turn into 
Liberty street I'roni Broadway, treading carefully — a 
shadow of the past — eyeing suspiciously any face in a 
town where once, but more than half a century ago, he 
knew everybody. When he got safe into Liberty street 
he passed down by Temple street into Trinity place, 
turned the corner, and kept on until he reached Cedar 
street, when he looked anxiously at the place wliero 
stood the little two-story building kept by lieilly, as if 
fearful that that too, like a thousand other things he 
had seen, might have passed away or been moved up 
town. So methodical was this old New Yorker, that 1 
tlo not think, in going to or from his favorite sj)ot to his 
home, he ever varied a hair from one route. 11^ was 
aged, and yet dignified in his bearing until the last hour 
of his existence, although of late years he was very 
feeble. Many will recollect his old residence at No. ^ 
51 Broadway, part way between Morris and Hector 
streets. His door-plate had his name upon it in heavy 
connnercial letters, " Duncan P. Cam})bell." llo 
had lived in that house from 1810 to to 1850, when he 
moved up town to 138 Second avenue. i\\ early life 
Mr. C;r.upbell married a daughter of William Bayard, 
and was himself a partner of the house of Le Uuy, 
Bayard & Co., in the days uf its greatest glory, llo 
also married a second daughter of Mr. Bayard, lie 
was in business on his own account in Water street, 
in IbO'J. 

OF JVEfV VORSr CITY. ■^'j ^ 

lie wa3 lionored during the active part of his life 
with being director in banks, insurance companies, and 
iiuuiy beneficial institutions. lie was also one of the 
most amiable of men. He was one of the directors of 
the city Dispensary in 1815, when old Matthew Clark- 
son was its president, and his colleagues were such men 
as John Watts and Jonathan Goodhue. Peter S. 
Townsend was the Secretary. lie was in after years 
Assistant Editor, with Major Noah, in The Evening- 
Star; and Bennett, of The Herald, crucified him under 
the name of Peter Simple Townsend. He was a phy- 

Mr. Campbell was one of the most active of those 
citizens who founded the savings bank in 1810, and of 
which his relation, William Bayard, was president many 
years. He commenced 'in 1819, and died in office in 
182(3. j\Ir. Campbell was treasurer from 1819 to 1823. 
Mr. Cam])bell, in 1826, was elected one of the trus- 
tees of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of New 
York. I may as well note that this College, establish- 
ed by an act of the Legislature of the State in 1791, 
has had among its trustees, since it commenced opera- 
tions in 1807, some of the best merchants in New York. 
For my knowledge of this last fact I am indebted to 
Doctor George H. Tucker, who has composed a work 
of great value, being no less than a " Catalogue of its 
Alumni Ollicers and Fellows from 1807 to 1859." 
Among many names are George Griswold in 1836, 
George W. Bruen in 1826. 

If Mr. Campbell had died in 1815, he would 
liavo had one of those most extraordinary Knickerbock- 
er funerals, such as had AVynant Van Zandt, Sr., who 
died in 1811, and was buried from his old residence. No. 
85 William street — a fact I forgot to mention in my 
sketch of him. 

io no 



Mr. Campbell used to narrate many pleasing matters 
relative to New York city — not the least interest- 
int'- was one relative to the shooting of Alexander Ham- 
ilton, and the taking of his body to the house of Wil- 
liam Bayard, the father-in-law of ]\Ir. Campbell. The 
latter was twenty-five years old at the time, and the sad 
event made an impression upon his mind that was nev- 
er forgotten. 

He was a man of wealth, and held real estate in the 
city that was valued at over |400,000. 

Mr. Campbell felt a just pride in being connected 
•with the great house of Le Roy, Bayard & Co. Peo- 
ple in these days cannot comprehend the feeling. There 
are so many large houses that we camiot now even im- 
agine the profound respect inspired by Lelloy & Bay- 
ard. They Ibunded the grand old house in 1700. It 
had rolled on for thirty-live years, its partners changing 
its style sometimes. Le Roy & Bayard, then Le Roy 
liayiird & Co. — afterward Le Roy, Bayard & McEvers^ 
and last it was Le Roy, Bayard & Co., in 1824. All its 
j)artners up to this time had been kings, princes, and 
dukes among the merchants. Socially, no families 
stood higher ; commercially, none stood so high. I })re- 
sume tiiere was less capital in the concern in 1825, than 
at any period of its existence since 1790. Its reputa- 
tion, however, was sound, and its credit luidisputcd. In 
1820, an event occurred that made the name of Le Roy^ 
Bayard & Co. ring through the whole world. For a 
long ti'iie they were the lion house in New York. The 
event was of this character. 

The government of Greece was struggling to freo 
itself fiom the tyranny of the sultan of Turkey. It 
was persuaded that there c(nild be n(j salvation, unless a 
iiuvy could be obtained. Tliis led to a decree of tho 

h , 


Greek government, dated August 24, 1824, authorizIn<y 
the Greek deputies in London to purcliase or build as 
speedily as possible eight frigates of fifteen guns each 

At that time there was a strong feeling for Greece in 
New York. A committee had been appointed, of which 
the worthy father-in-law of Duncan P. Campbell was 
the chairman. The Greek deputies in London thou'dit 
they could not do better than to send this order for 
eight frigates to be executed in New York, where they 
had so many friends, among whom was the " Greek 
connnittee," of which William Bayard was chairman. 
IIu was then the head of the house of Le Roy, Bayard 
k Co., and his sons — William Jr., and Robert — were 
partners and managers. At that time no Le Roy was 
actually in the house, although the name was used. 
The Greek deputies selected this liouse in preference to 
any other, fur information as to the cost of the frigates. 
Le Roy, Bayard & Co., on the 7th of December, 1824, 
sent to London an estimate of a 60 gun frigate, and 
stated that the entire cost of such a frigate, e(pial to 
those built for the United States, of live oak, with her 
armament, should not cost over $247,500. They 
agreed by letter to do it for that sum, if they had the 
order in hand. They stated that they had a favorite 
builder ; that they needed a London credit on Baring 
Brothers or N. AI. Rothschild; that 8 to 10 per cent, 
premium would be obtained, that the deputies would 
have no financial trouble, and that they would attend 
to tilt! interests of the oovernment of Greece with their 
usual zeal towai'ds their business friends — augmented, 
if possible, by the sentiments that united them to the 
cause of that unhappy country. Here is the estimate 


sent out. It is a curiosity in these days of government 

ship building : 

Frame, 20,000 feet live oak at f 1,50 per foot. . $30,000 
Other woodeu materials. .... 30,000 

Labor 60,000 

Smith's work 20.0U0 

Copper bolts. |^'^^^ 

Shcathiug copper and nails. .... 12,000 

Joiner's bilL ^.^C"^ 

Carver's do l-'^^^'O 

Painter's do 3,000 

Plumber's do l'^*^0 

Turner's do '^^^ 

Rigger's do L^'^O 

Blockinaker's bUl. '^'^^^ 

Ship Chandler's bill including pitch and oakum . 4,000 

Hull and spars complete 180,(X)0 

liigging, one suit of sails, anchors and cables. . 42,000 
Guns and carriages and other expenses. . 25,000 

Fifteen hundred tons at S165 per ton. . . t2i7,oOO 
No sooner did the deputies get such a fair, square 
statement, than they agreed to order two such frigates 
in March, 1825, and sent out General Laliemand at a 
salary of |;G00 per month. The ord(!rs to build were 
addressed to him, Le Roy, Bayard & Co., and G. G. & 
S. llowland, in case of accident. Tiie agent reached 
•New York in April, 1825. lie bought a credit of 
X25,000 from Samuel Williams, (a celebrated Amer- 
ican banker in London,) and a promise of a credit from 
1. & S. Kicardo, the great London bankers, to whom the 
loan of X2,000,0U0 sterling contracted for the Givek 
govennnent had b(!en entrusted. On the 15th of Aj)rll, 
Le Roy, liayard & Co. acknowledged receipts of cred- 
its for X50,00l) stcrlliig, ,$250,000. G. G. k S llow- 
land also signed this letter. They had got their name' 
in the business through the friendship of Mr. Williams. 


It was hoped the frigates would be built by October, 
and be in a Grecian port by the month of December. 
In August, the firm of Le Roy, Bayard & Co. stated 
that they could not give the exact cost until the frigates 
were completed ; but on that very day Commissioner 
Chauncey, who was employed to superintend the work, 
had given an estimate that each would probably cost 
$500,000. The deputies in London were kept in ig- 
norance of this enormous expenditure and ruinous mis- 
api)lication of their sacred funds. Had the first esti- 
mate been correct, or adhered to, many vessels could 
have been built, dispatched, and Missolonghi would 
not have fallen. Instead of which, one frigate alone 
cost $550,000. The two frigates were named one the 
Hope, ^md the other the Liberator. Tiie Hope was 
built by C. Bergh k Co., directed by Le Roy, Bayard & 
Co. The Liberator was built by Smith »Sj Demon, su- 
perintended by G. G. & S. I lowland. 

1 }>resume, in the history of commerce, there never 
was a more barefaced grab game practised than these 
New York merchahts pursued toward the unfortunate 
Greeks. The placer was a rich one, and worth digging. 
The credit on London was undoubted. The temj)tation 
to acquire a large amount of money was irresistible, and 
both houses, utterly regardless of their business reputa- 
tion, went in. In addition to an extravagance that wag 
unheard of before in ship-building, three houses charg- 
ed about $80,000 for their commission. Instead of 
compleung the vessels in six months, they overran 
(louJjle that time. They drew over $750,000 at the 
first start, before half the hull was completed, $200,000 
more than Le Roy, Bayard k Co., had stated both frig- 
ates would cost, and neither was launched. 

In addition to this, they sold the sterling bills at nine 


per cent, premium, crediting tlie Greeks only at $4,44, 
thus pocketing $70,500 — which, iidJed to the commis- 
sion, gave the agents the nice sum, for their own pock- 
ets, of $156,500. On the 18th November, the Libera- 
tor was launched ; a few days later the Hope was 
launched. About this time old Samuel WiUiams, of 
London, failed, and many drafts came back. However, 
the statements were ready ; 

The Hope cost . . $438,703 68 

The Liberator cost . 449,130 16 

$887,923 83 
The commission charged by Le Roy, Bayard Sf Co., was ten per cent. 
Oa the Hope it was . . . $39,811 82 
On the Liberator .... 40,77037 

$80,G16 19 

Which was divided equally between Le Roy, Bayard & 
Co., and G. G. & S. Rowland. 

The shii)S were ready for sea, but there was a balance 
due of :j^l^7,000, antl Le Roy, liayard & Co., would 
not listen to any proposition. The "money" — "the 
balance" — was what was wanted by the patriotic 
house where its head was chairman of the Greek com- 
mittee of New York, and who had scorned about charg- 
ing commission ! The Greeks sent out an agent, Mr. 
Contostavlos. He came here, went on his knees to the 
Bayards and Howlands — begged in the name of a mer- 
ciful God — a heroic people — that they would keep 
one fiig.ite for security, but allow the other to depart, 
and jicrhaps aveit the awful tragedy that a few months 
later filled the world with horror, I mean the massacre 
at Missolonghi. In vain. " Pay up," said Ba}'ards and 

Still worse than all — on every bill of exchange 


drawn, Le Roy, Bayard &, Co., and Ilowlands, deduct- 
ed a commission at brokerao'O of about 4 per cent., or 
$30,000 ! This, added to $150,000, makes $192,500 
— nearly $200,000, that these two firms received. 

Greek patriotism pays well. So matters went on un- 
til the 5th of June, 182G, the frigates being kept here, 
and Le Hoy, Bayard & Co. trying to sell one to the 
United States. These gentlemen stated that if they sold 
the frigate to the government, they should also charge 
their usual commission of ten per cent, for the sale. 
There were a fbw friends of Greece in this city, and the 
idea that the last resources of the unfortunate Greeks 
•were in the possession of such insatiable merchants, fill 
them with absolute horror. 

Finally it was agreed to leave the arrangement and 
settlement to arbitrators, who should sell the frigates, or 
resort to any other mode to arrange with the eminent 
merchants, Le Roy, Bayard & Co., and G. G. & S. 
Ilowland. These were the arbitrators : Henry C. De 
Rham, Abraham Ogden, and Jonas Piatt. About this 
time matters were made more complicated, by its be- 
coming known that Le Roy, Bayard & Co. were in a 
very delicate situation, and sup})osed to be insolvent. 
It was of course, unsafe to have so much property in- 
volved in their desperate fortunes. 

Both ships were now conveyed to the arbitrators on 
the 24th of June, 182G, in trust. 

They were obliged to make the award within twenty 




It was also ao;reed that the Gh-eek aojents should have 
thirty clays to sell one of the frigates, in order to redeem 
the other from the clutches of the American merchants. 

It was also agreed that the arbiters should be paid 
for their services as arbitrators, cost, charges, commis- 
sion, &c. 

It was also stipulated that the arbitrators should sell 
within ten days, one of the frigates of the Greek gov- 
ernment, if the Greek agent did not, out of which was 
to be paid the balance due Le Iluy, Bayard & Co. and 
G. G. & S. Rowland. 

The arbitrators met for the first time on the 27th of 
June, 182G. 

Among the items passed as correct was a charge for 
the use of the two ship yards, ^50,000 1 One was 
that of old Bergh, up near Grand street and East river. 
The ground of both could have been bought for that 
Sinn I This was sympathy for the Greeks. Christian 
Bergh was a venerable looking man in his later years. 
He was six feet two inches hi<!;h, and his hair was as 
white as snow. He has been dead some years. 


I have not stated all the claims made by Le Roy, 
Bayard & Co. I have stated that 

They charged 10 per cent commission on . . f 80,000 

Thej made on the premium of exchango . 7G,CK)0 

They charged a broker on titerling billd . 3G,000 

' $192,000 

In addition, they claimed damages on sterling 
bills returned from London amounting to 
£55,000, although the bills were paid. Their 
damages were allowed, vLz. . . . ^60,000 


Here is more than the estimate of the cost of a fri- 
gate (^248,000) drawn by the two houses, and received 
by them in one shape or another. This amount was 
actually taken, for it was awarded by the arbitrators, as 
a proof of their approbation of brother merchants in 
manao;infi the resources sole and sacred of one million 
of Greek Christians, struggling at that time not only 
against famine, but against Turkish despotism. 

The $80,000 commission is what was allowed. The 
original charge made was for drafts on London, 
$1,200,000 at 2 1 per cent, $30,000. Commission 
on their disbursements of $1,200,000 at 10 per cent., 
$120,000 — $150,000. 

That was the rate of commission charged by prom- 
inent merchants who were friends of Greece. It almost 
suggests a question, viz : What would the enemies of 
Gre(;^e have char<ied ? 

Facts were brought before the arbitrators to show 
that the Irigate Hrandywine, the largobt and fiiiL-st fri- 
gate in the service of the United States, only cost 
.^272,000. Tills was proved by a certificate, signed by 
the Secretary of the Navy. Tiie Brandywine also was 


Luilt of seasoned live oak, wliile the Greek frigates 
were built of unseasoned white oak. 

It is not true that Mr. Henry Eckford had anything 
to do with building these frigates, lie had built sever- 
al for South American govennnents. 

There was only one way to get out of the hands of 
the merchants. The Liberator had cost ^450,000. 

The Greek agents sold her to the United States 
for half price, viz : $226,000 less than she cost Greece ! 

The best joke is that Le Roy, Bayard & Co., and G. 
G. & S. Ilowland immediately claimed $22,500 com- 
mission for the sale ! It was not allowed. 

The arbitration lasted thirty days. As I have sta- 
ted, the arbitrators were Henry C. De Kham, Abraham 
« Qfrden and Judue Jonas Piatt. The latter acted as 
chairman. They gave their award the 27th day of 
July 182G. They decided that i£)75, 933,81 was yet due, 
and should be paid to William Bayard, Robert Bayard, 
and William Bayard, Jr. They decided that a bahuice 
of $89,921,52 was due to Gardner G. Howland and 
Samuel S. Howland. 

They awarded to themselves, for one month's services, 
$4,500, or $1,500 each. They ordered the one ship 
left to be delivered to the Greek ao;ent, after he had 
paid the above amounts from the proceeds of the sale of 
the other one. 

At this distance of time we can look back upon these 
transactions, nearly forty years ago, without juvjudice. 
It strikes us as incredibly monstrous and horrible. No 
wonder the friends of Greece in New York swore and 

Commodore Channccy got out of this Greek plunder 
about $14,000, and yet he was a ca[)tain in the United 
States Navy all tliat time. 


The most cruel part of the whole proceedlncr was to 
make the Greeks pay the whole of the |i,500, arbitra- 
tors' fees. How a lot of merchants of high character 
could unite to swindle those people — pluck every hair 
from their heads, skin them alive, wlien all Europe and 
America was alive in reference to that nation — when 
subscriptions of every kind, and under a thousand modes, 
were being collected in every nation of Europe in order 
to i)romote a sacred cause, and assist the unecpial and 
exterminating contest between a handful of Christians 
and the whole Turkish Empire — at a time wlien the 
charity before given to the orphan, the blind, and the 
invalid, was taken from their mouths for the jjurjjose of 
sending some little bread to the inhabitants of Greece— 
once the pride of the world, but then oppressed and per- 
secuted — and that two prominent commercial houses 
of New York should perpetrate an enormous swindle 
upon this sacred capital, and that other men, Christians 
and citizens of New York, should award it as all right I 

The facts are plain. TJie frigate Liberator cost 
$449,G0G,41, without arbitrators' fees, and Avas shortly 
after approved by these gentlemen of the highest rank, 
at $283,570,97, and paid for accordingly by the United 
States, less $7,500 expense and conmiission. 

This made the remaining frigate Hope actually amount 
to £155,000 sterling, or $775,000; and this, too, would 
have been lost to Greece but for the Greek agent. On 
the 30th of August he placed her in the hands of Capt. 
F. li. Gregory (still alive, and a gallant captain in the 
U. S. Navy.) The great lawyer, Henry D. Sedgwick, 
was the law counsel of the Greek deputies. 

When the arbitiation was made, JMr. Sedgwick sent 
a note, stating that he considered it both unju.-t and il 


To tliii letter, the following cool repir wai sent : 

N>;vv YoiiK, Air^^ust 3, 1826. 
" Sir — We have received your letter of the 1st in- 
stant. Uj)on reflection, we feel it to be our tluty to 
proceed to sell the frigate s Liberator and Hope with their 
aj)purtenanc'es, and with the extra property assigned to 
us, accordiniX to the terms of the submission and as- 

Jonas Platt, 
H. C. De Rham, 
Abraham Ogden." 

That same day Mr. Sedgwick got an injunction from 
the court, forbidding the arbitrators to dispose of the 
ships, l^ut for this, both ships would have been sold 
and sacrificed, and the swindle been complete. 

But the most horrible ])art of the transaction was 
this. When the Greek de[)Uties connnissioned the 
building of the two frigates, they wrote to Le Roy, 
Bayard & Co., and llowlands, not to luidertake the 
building of them in case the laws of the United States 
should be opposed to their construction and departure, 
Messrs. Bayards & llowlands answered that there was 
no law to prevent it, and, without any further trouble, 
commenced buildin"- the two frio;ates. 

After they were built it was ascertained that the 
transaction was illegal, and that tlie frigates were sub- 
ject to seizure and confiscation at any moment. The 
arbitrators, after paying Le R03-, Bayard & Co. and 
(i. (1. L^ S. S. Jlowland their enoi'mous claims, threw 
upon the agent the whole res[)()iisiblity of evading the 
law, and also of gt-tting out of New York this last re- 
Hource lo his country. It was necessary to give a bond 
f )r !i(5()00,000 to the govenunent before i\w frigate, ccjst-' 
iiig !Jl)TTo,00(), couhl leave. She never would have left 


but for those glorious lawyers, Henry D. and Robert 
Sedgwick. They went to work soliciting persons to 
sign this bond. Jolin Duer and Beverly Robinson aid- 
ed them. Some capitalists became responsible, and the 
frigate was allowed to depart for Greece. 

Le Roy, Bayard & Co. refused to execute a bond, 
and had the collector insisted uj)on such a bond from 
them the fnVate would have rotted at a New York dock. 

They had been the particular friends of Greece. 
They had professed a zeal in their letters unequalled in 
any cause. They took out a register in their own indi- 
vidual names for the frigate Hope, ilere is a copy of 
the affidavit as it now stands on the files of the custom 
house in this city: 

" Pout of New York, ss. 

I, Robert Bayard, of the City, County, and State of 
New York, merchant, do solemnly swear, according to 
the best of my knowledge and belief, that the ship or 
vessel called the Mope, of New York, of the burden of 
1,778 \\ tons, built at the city aforesaid in the year 
1825, as per certificate of C. Bergh & Co., the master 
carpenter under whose direction she was built, that my 
])re.sent })lace of abode is New York aforesaid, and that 
myself together with Wiih'am Bayard, WilHam Bayard, 
Jr., of said city of New York, merchants, citizens of 
the United States, are the true and only owners of the 
said ship or vessel, thut there is no subject, nor citizen 
of any foreign power or State, directly or indirectly, by 
way of trust, confidence, or otherwise interested there- 
in, or in the profits or issues thereof, and that is 

the present master or commander of the said ship. 

Signed, RoitEUT Bayard. 

" Sworn this llith day of April, 182G." 

That was an awful oatli to take. In these days, if a 
merchant was to take such an oath umK-r the circ\u7i- 
stances, it wouhl be called jjcrjury. However, Robert 

r. 3g bolim svcrl birrow 91 1 

284 ^^^^ ^^^ MERCHAJVTS 

Bayard took that oath, and the register stood in the 
name of liiniself and partners. Being thus owners, and 
they not having transfered her, it became necessary to 
sign a bond (merely nominal) which simply binds the 
obligators, that " the owner and owners of the ship " 
should not employ her in contravention of an act of 
Congress of 1818. In violation of this act, Le Roy, 
Bayard & Co. had obtained and placed in jeopardy the 
enormous funds beh)nging to the Greeks. They refused 
to execute this bond, and consequently the frigate Hope 
was forced to traverse the Atlantic Ocean and Mediter- 
ranean Sea, without a register or any document to man- 
ifest her national character. 

The arbitrators received the cash from James K. 
Paulding (who was then the Navy Agent) fur the ship 
Liberator $233,570,97. They paid it out to satisfy the 
awards and the sales. 

David D. Field is a witness to one of these docu- 
ments. He was then a young man, studying law in 
the office of the Sedgwicks. 

The arbitrators issued an address, in which they say : 
" We rejoice that the gallant ship ' Hellas ' has at last 
sailed, according to her original destination, and we 
cherish the fond hope that she will be a minister of ven- 
geance to the oppressors of the heroic Greeks." 

Considering the fact that they had done all in their 
power to have the Greeks swindled out of both ships, 
the above sentence is particularly cool. 

The father of Duncan P. Campbell was an officer in 
the British Army that was sent out in the Revolution, 
lie belontfed to a Hiuhland reo;iment, and was billeted 
in the house of an old (Quaker, Thomas Pearsall, at 
No. 203 Queen street (above Franklin Square, in Pearl 
street.) There he became acquainted with the beauti 


ful and demure Quakeress, Miss Pearsall. Old Thomas 
Avould have as soon consented to the marriage of his 
daughter with a Calmuck Tartar as with a Iliohlander, 
or a British officer. The result was a runaway match. 
Of course the parties were forgiven, but neither hus- 
band or wife lived long after she gave birth to a son, 
who was Duncan Pearsall Campbell. Old Thomas 
adopted the son and brought hira up as his own. 

Old Thomas Pearsall's son, Thomas, married Fanny 
Buchanan, of whom I have spoken. Young Tom was 
the companion of Duncan P., and they were like broth- 
ers. He went to Europe and traveled some years, and 
among other exploits got a party of six high on cham- 
pagne in the dome of St. Peter's. He was a fine young 
fellow — died many years ago. 

Mrs. Pearsall is still living in Waverley Place. One 
of his daughters married Samuel Bradhurst, the eldest 
son of John M. Bradhurst. What a biography can be 
made of old John M. Bradhurst. I Avill do it some 
day. In the latter years of his life he lived out be- 
yond Manhattanville. He had three sons, Samuel, Wil- 
liam, and Henry. Samuel died. I never knew what 
became of William, or whether he is dead or alive. I 
liave not seen him for eighteen years. 

I now return to Duncan P. Campbell. After read- 
ing my first cha])tcr, I find that I have given an ac- 
count of the Greek frigate in a way that Avould lead the 
reader to su])pose he had something to do with it. I 
did not so intend it. I do not believe a ])urer man ever 
lived in this city than Mr. Campbell. His connection 
with Mr. William Hayartl, Senior, led me to speak of 
that house. Mr. Campbell was not a partner. Old Mr. 
15ay;ud's name was usetl, but 1 do not think he iiad 
much to do with the manairement of the ailairs of Le 


Hoy, Bayard & Co. On tlie contrary, when tlie final 
award was agreed to, tlie name of old William Bayard, 
Sept 9, 182G, was signed " by his attorney, Robert 
Bayard." It must have worried his mind very much. 
He died a few weeks after the award was made. 

I have alluded to the Bayards in former chapters. 
There was an old family of that name, tliat came out 
to the city before lG-17. They were Huguenots. Old 
Governor Stuyvesant married Miss Judith* Bayard. 
She was the daughter of Balthazar Bayard, a French 
protestant, who had taken refuge in Holland. She died 
in 1G87. At that time there resided in this city Colo- 
nel Nicholas Bayard, a leading politician. I believe he 
was brother to Balthazar and Peter Bayard. The two 
latter were married and resided on Broadway. Both 
were Aldermen of the city for many years. Nicholas 
married Judith Verletti. They lived on the Uigii 
street. He was Mayor of the city in 1685. 

This Nicholas was a grand old fellow. He had but 
one eye ; he was the ancestor of the present Bayard 
race in this town. How he got in with Queen Anne, I 
don't know, but that he was a favorite with her is a fact. 
In 1709, the Queen, at his recommendation, took steps 
to settle the interior of Ncav York. She issued 
a proclamation in Germany offering land free and an 
exemi)tion from all taxes, to those who would come out. 
Under her ausj)ices many Germans emigrated to New 
York and settled upon Schoharie creek. Later, others 
settled along the Mohawk, and as far up as German 
flats. The lirst j^arty of Germans left England in Jan- 
uary, 1710, and reached New York in June. They be- 
came rich, up in Schoharie. In ViV^ the (^u(,'en 
thought her settlers might be settled in comfort, and she 
sent out her agent, Nicholas Bayard, with power to 



give to any settlor a deed for liis land in use and pos- 

The stupid Germans, mistaking her motives, sur- 
rounded the house where Mr. Bayard was stopping in 
Schoharie, and accused him of a design to enslave them. 
The men had guns and pitclitbrks, and the women hoes 
and clubs, and determined to have Mr. Bayard any how. 
They fired sixty balls into the house. Mr. Bayard had 
Lis pistols, and wanted to fight ; but his friends would 
not permit it, and got him safe off in the night to Al- 
bany. He sent word from thence, that if any of them 
would come to him, acknowledge him as the crown 
aiTent, bring the gift of one ear of corn, they should 
have a free deed of all they possessed. Not one 
would do it. Mr. Bayard got angry, and sold the whole 
of the land to seven persons, who afterwards went by 
the name of the " Seven partners of Schoharie." 
Among them were Lewis Morris INIyndert Schuyler, 
Hut Van Dam, and Peter Vanbrugh Livingston. 

The son of Nicholas Bayard afterwards married into 
the Livingston fiunily. They published queer notices 
in those days. Here is one from The New York Mer- 
cury, published by Hugli Gaines, under marriages : 

« On Tuesday night last (April 26, 1702,) Mr. Nich- 
olas Bayard Jr.", to Miss Livingston, daughter of Peter 
Vauijrugh Livingston, of this place, merchant ; a very 
agreeable young lady, endowed with all the good quali- 
ties necessary for rendering the connubial state perfectly 

I do not know that William Bayard was the son of 
this marriage. That Nicholas Bayard was assistant 
alderman when he got married. He was alderman as 
late as 1778. Two years afterwards, William Bayard 
was assistant alderman of the Second Ward. Old 
Nicholas lived in Bayard's lane. 


Queen Anne's old Nick must have lived to a good 
old age, for in i\I:iy, 17G2, he has an advertisement : 

" To Money Diggers. — Nicholas Bayard offers a re- 
ward of X4 to be informed who it is that comes by 
night to his farm, near the city, and digs great holes 
in the land, to the damage of his j)eoj)le and cattle. If 
they be money diggers, he will allow them the indul- 
gence of a search, if they come to him personally, and 
dig by daylight, and fill up again. I will also give 
them two spades and one pick-axe, left behind in their 
supposed fright." 

Bayard's mount was a small cone-shaped mount, on 
which was erected a small fort, or what is now corner 
of INIott and Grand streets. It looked down upon the 
distant city, having the Kolch between. (That is the 
great lake of fresh water from Reed to Grand.) The 
house and farm of Nicholas Bayard were on the north 
side of the Kulch, and not far Irom the said mount. To 
the west were swam[)3 and woods, and to the north-east 
orcliards and Avoods. 

In 1785, property near New York went down great- 
ly : few or none had money to buy it with. In 1786, 
William Bayard wished to raise cash by selling his 
farm of 150 acres on the western side of Broadway. 
He devised the scheme of oilering them in lots of 25 
by lUU ; only $21 was bid, and but few of theju were 
sohl. It was well for him, for very soon after feelings 
and opinions changed; and those who had bought tor 
.ir25 sold out for !^100. Since then the pri)gressive riso 
has had no end. Some of those lots have Iwought with- 
in five years §20,000 each. 

When I hat, firm \vas in existence Dutch was partly 
spoken in our city — 'to 171)5. Puns and Piulcslcr were 
of universal observance. All made it an idle day ; boys 


and negroes miglit be seen all clay standing in the mar- 
ket laughing and joking and cracking eggs. In the af- 
ternoon the grown up a])prentices and servant girls wed 
to dance on the green in J3ayard's farm. 

Rip Van Dam, a son of one of the seven purchasers 
of land of Mr. Nic. Bayard, kept an iron store in 
Duke street. 



I am not aware that there ever lived in New York 
city a more respectable connnerciul house — one that 
Lore a mercantile credit unstained, and never tainted 
— than the firm of Coster Brothers & Co., before 1786 
and " Brothers Coster & Co.," for ten years after — as 
I have their signature before me in 179G — and " Hen- 
ry A. and John G. Coster," as they signed after 1801, 
until Henry A. died in 1821. 

What a splendid pair of old merchants ? They did 
honor to New York. That house added greatly to its 
wealth. They were Hollanders — modern Dutch — 
the right sort of stuff to make good old merchants of 
in the New World. Of the two brothers, Henry A. 
Coster was the oldest. Both were born in Haarlem, 
Jfollaiid, the city where the great oi'gan is. Probably 
Henry received his commercial education in an Amster- 
dam counting house. He came out to this city previous 
to the 11' volution — I believe he was sent out as agent 
by an Amsterdam house. His brother John G., who 
luid been educated for a physician, did not come out un- 
til a few years later. No better merchants ever lived 
in tliis city than these two. When these two honest, 
guileless merchants formed a partnership in the town, for 
it was a small one, their place of business was at 20 


Dock — now Pearl — street, south side, ten doors from 
Broad. Eight years after, they moved to No. 35 Little 
Dock street. Tliat store, when the names of the streets 
Avere chan"-cd in 1793, became No. 59 Water street. In 
1799, they moved to 26 William street, and there they 
lived and did business until 1821. John G. kept store at 
that place three years longer, until 1825. He lived over 
the store until 1805, when he removed his residence to 110 
Broadway. lie afterwards bought the lot 227 Broad- 
way, corner of Barclay, and built upon it, moving into 
that house in 1810. Henry A., m 1801, lived at No. 
28 William street, next door to the store. No. 2G Wil- 
liam — tliat was on the west side of the street, near 
Garden (Exchange street now.) The great success of 
these two excellent men was in the store No. 2G William 
street. They dealt in all sorts of Holland goods — 
one article in particular, called " krollenvogel," a spe- 
cies of tape, made of flax. They imported all kinds of 
oil cloths. Not only did they imi)ort, but they were 
constantly buying and shipping to Europe all kinds of 
produce. They had strong connections in the old Dutch 
cities, for they had heavy orders, and they traded also 
in their own ships, sending out supercargoes. 

One of the supercargoes was Daniel Ilolsman. He 
was brother-in-law to John G. Coster. Mr. Hols- 
man was a luno' time a clerk in the counting-house of 
the Coster Brothers. His signature is before me, sign- 
ed in 1801. If 1 had jio other evidence I should know 
IVom that signature, that ho was a Hollander. While 
out in HoUaiul, supercargo of one of the ships belong- 
ing to Coster Brothers, he was ai)plied to by tho cele- 
biatod Aaron Burr, who wishetl to get passage to tho 
United St.itrs, from Amsterdam. I\lr. Ilolsman refus- 
ed to have anything to do with him, and would not let 


him return to America in the ship. Bonaparte's broth- 
er Louis ruled in llolhind at that time, and it was not 
exactly safe. I presume, however, the true reason was 
that Daniel Holsman was in New York city when Burr 
shot Hamilton, and consequently had all the prejudices 
a New Yorker would have from that event. After he 
retired from business, Mr. Ilolsman settled in the State 
of New Jersey. He died in 1840 ; he left several child- 
ren — among them a son named Daniel Holsman, who 
was Speaker of the New Jei'sey Legislature a few ses- 
sions since. I believe Mr. Holsman went to the East 
Indies as supercargo of one of the ships of Coster 
Brothers. At any rate, they owned several Indiamen, 
and were largely in that trade. 

They also did a heavy importing business from tlie 
West Lidies, in rum, coffee, and sugar. Over the 
door was a sign (1803) " Henry A. & John G. Coster." 
They received more consignments of Holland gin than 
any other house in New York. They were excessively 
l)rudent and economical. Both partners worked with a 
good will, and they employed no clerks more than was 
actually necessary. One of the firm, Henry A., stood 
up at a little pine desk in the back part of the store ; 
that desk was the plainest ever seen ; the boards were 
planed off and fastened together ; it was not even paint- 
ed. John G. sat down at a table standing near the 
older brother's desk. The store was on the first floor 
of No, 2G William street. Both partners spoke good 
Engl'sh. Everything about their business went on like 
clock work. Their word was as good as gold ; yet they 
were very clever men, and they looked after the pen- 
nies ; everybody, however, respected them. Sometimes 
they would buy an entire cargo of West India goods. 
On one occasion, Henry A. was on the dock when a 



cargo of coffee, that his firm had purchased, was unload- 
ing from the vesseh From some of the bags coffee was 
running out of the httle holes. Henry went along, 
carefully picked up the scattered grains, and placed theni 
back in the coffee bags, and then set a man sewing up 
the ba<TS. Some of our modern merchants Avould call 


that a small business. It was not so. j\Ir. Coster ex- 
hibited the true mercantile spirit of the olden time. 
lie could not bear to see anything wasted. Another 
trait of the old school merchants like the Coster Broth- 
ers, was that they were thorough-bred merchants, and 
attended to the details of their business. They under- 
stood every part. Nothing was beneath their notice. 
If goods were consigned to them from abroad, they ex- 
amined their A-alue, and sold them at the highest price 
in the markets, doing with them as if they were their 
own. When they made out an " account sales," they 
made the charges precisely what they paid, and did not 
seek to make money out of the " charges," as is now 
the case. The modern merchant, if tried by the severe 
standard of honesty of old school merchants like the 
Brothers Coster, would be deemed little better than a 
swindler. A merchant abroad in these days sends a 
consiiinment to a merchant in Ne\v York. He does not 
examine the goods, but passes them for sale to a broker, 
who gets some sort of a price, but the consignee mer- 
chant knows nothing about it, and cares less. There 
is a regular commission to be charged, but the modern 
merchaat is not satisfied with this. lie has his tariff' 
of charges, and they are charged regardless of the 
truth. Storage, labor, cartage, fire insurance, broker- 
age, guarantee cronnnission, wvn if sold for (;ash, and 
the sahi is ma<le out as a time sale. Ho\v little do 

merchants abroad dreaui of the lu)rrible imposition 

) ognuo 


practised upon them. If they were wise they would 
get back to the old custom j and it" they sent an invoice 
of vahiable goods, or a cargo, to New York, would send 
a su])ercargo along with tlieni, instead of trusting any 
'" conuuission house ; " for the larger the business of u 
modern house, the less attention do they give to con- 
signuKiiits from abroad. 

The Costers were model merchants. The costume 
of the oldest one was short breeches, white stockings, 
and shoes with larf>e buckles. Of course there were 
no boots in those days, lie did not wear a cocked hat, 
although many persons did wear them in 1800, and 
long after, liuth wore that sign of an old-fashioned 
gentleman — the queue. It required care. The only 
relic of the queue race now in New York is ex-senator 
Westcott, of Florida. 

Henry A. and Juhn G. Avere both Masons. They 
belonged to the "Holland Lodge, No. 8," of which 
John Jacob Astor was master. The members of the 
lodge met on the first and third Fridays in every month, 
at No. QQ Liberty street. 

As I have before said, the house hired few clerks, as 
both gentlemen were not afraid of work. Besides, Dan- 
iel llolsman, already named, there were John Inness and 
Francis Barretto. 

As early as 1801, Henry A. was elected a director 
of the Manhattan Bank. He withdrew from the direct- 
ory in 18U(J, and connectetl himself with the Merchants' 
Bank. He was a tlirector in that twelve years. John 
(}. was first elected a director of the Maidiattan Bank 
iii 1818. Thirteen years later, in 182G, he was elected 
jiresiilent in j)lace ot" Henry liemsen, and so continued 
until 18-10. J'>oth bri>thors wei-e engaged in many of 
tlie money corporations. John G. was a director ol' the 


Phoenix Insurance Company for twelve years. Henry 
was a director in the Glube Insurance Company from 
1815. It was a famous company in its clay, in 1817. 
llenrj'' A. Coster moved from No. 28 \Villiam to a new 
iiouse in 85 Chambers street. lie had a country seat 
in what is now First avenue, between Thirtieth and 
Tiiirty-first streets. It was sold to Anson G. Plielps in 
18o5. To-day it is for rent. lie died in that house in 
1821. His widow lived there until 1824. She after- 
Avard married the celebrated Dr. Alexander Ilosack. 
She was iunnensely rich. Henry A. Coster left two 
sons. One was named Henry A. — the other Washiiig- 
t(m Coster. It is imj)0ssible for any one hut an old 
New Yorker to conceive of the intense interest that was 
thrown around these two young men. 

There are many among us who well remcmLer young 
Harry Coster, as he was familiarly called. He was the 
eldest son of Hciuy A. Coster. It Avould have been 
far better for poor Harry had he had a dozen brothers. 
He was a noble-hearted young fellow, and possessed 
many noble qualities, but his wealth spoiled all. It 
Cidled around him a lot of worthless hanrjers on, who 
induced him to connnit all sorts of folHes and extrava- 
gances, in order that they might share in them. Young 
Harry was rather wild before his excellent father died, 
hut he did not fairl^'^ break h)ose from all restraint \uitil 
his governor was no more. Tiien he " wctU it." There 
was nothing at all criminal in iiis actions. He spent his 
money like a prince. " A short life and a merry one," 
Kcemed to be his obji'ct, anil he obtained it. His |U(»j»- 
erty was innnense j he ditl his best to sjieiul it, but he 
chd not li\e long enough. He left con.^itlerable when 
lie ihed. 

Harry Coster was an amiable young fellow. Ilia 


brother Washington married JMiss Dcpau, one of tlie 
loveliest girls that ever trod Broadway. I do not know 
wiiat induced Washington to go into business. lie cer- 
tainly was in business as a banker in Wall street. 
Charles Christmas was one of the best brokers and 
bankers in this city. lie is now a partner of the great 
banking house of A. Belmont & Co. Fortunate as Mr. 
Belmont seems to be in everything, he never was more 
fortunate than when he secured the brains, financial ex- 
perience, and the integrity of Charles Christmas, lie 
was for many years the chief manager of Prime, Ward 
& King, whose fame was world wide. Their bankin*/ 
iiouse was at 42 Wall street. IMr. Christmas left that 
house in order to go into the same business at 44 Wall 
street, with llobert I. Livingston, in 1834, under the 
firm of Christmas & Livingston. 

The next year the firm was changed to Christmas, 
Livingston, Prime & Coster, brokers and bankers. 
Wa.shinglon Coster was a partner. He lived at No. 15 
Laight street at that time. Rufus Prime was another 
partner. He was a son of old Nathaniel Prime. I do 
not know how long Washington Coster continued in 
business, but this I know, he died in 184G, suddeidy. At 
that time he was stopping at Blan^ard's old Globe hotel, 
still standing iji Broadway, below Wall street. The 
fate of both of the sons of Henry A. Coster was mel- 
ancholy. Washington left several children. Henry A. 
Coster had several daughters ; the eldest married Fran- 
cis iiarretto, already alluded to, who had been a clerk 
with Coster Brothers. 1 think they live out in We.-)t- 
chester, and are both alive. 

Another daughter married Mr. Hamilton Wilkes, a 
son of old C/liailes Wilki-s, su long ])resident of the 
Bank of New Y^ork. He died in Europe, leaving a 

OF jYElV YORK Cn^V. 197 

lovely daughter, who afterwards niai-ried Count Quelke- 
chow, a member of the body guard of the Pope. 

Another daugliter of Henry A. Coster married Wil- 
liam Laight, a son of Henry Laight, who was president 
of tlie Eagle Insurance Company. She died about two 
years ago, leaving a large family of children. Young 
Laight never did any kind of business in his life. 
Shortly after he graduated from Columbia College, he 
married Miss Coster. John G. Coster left several child- 
ren. He died about 1846. When John Jacob Astor 
wished to build the Astor house, he bought the house 
and lot belonging to Mr. Coster., at No. 227 Broadway. 
The latter moved up to a splendid granite double resi- 
dence he had built in 1833, up at 539 Broadway, where 
he died. That was a palace in its day. It is yet stand- 
ing, and known as the Chinese building. The occasion 
of its being so named, was from the fact that a Canton 
merchant brought an immense quantity of Chinese ar- 
ticles, and exhibited them in that mansion. It was one 
of the most attractive exhibitions ever got up in the 

* One of the sons of Mr. John G. Coster, John II., 
married INliss Boardman. She was one of twin sisters, 
very beautiful, and daughter of Daniel Boardman. 
Both were deemed the prettiest girls in New York. 
Mr. Boardman lived in Broadway 214, next block above 
the residence of John G. Coster, at No. 227. He was 
a very rich man, and the younger members of the two 
families were Very intimate. John IL, at one time, 
owned Washington hall, that stood where A. T. Stew- 
art's great dry goods store now stands. 1 believe ho 
sold that property lor the trilling sinn of $!()"), 000. It 
is worth twenty times that, now. John H. died only a 
lew days ago. 


GL-rard H. Coster was another son, and remarkably 
liandsome. He married Miss Prime, a daughter of Nat. 
Prime. At one time lie was a partner in the banking 
liouse of Coster & Carpenter. Carpenter is still alive, 
somewhere up on the Lakes. Mr. G. II. Coster I meet 
occasionally, on Broadway. 

Daniel J. Coster was another son. He was in the 
auction business for some years, under the firm of Hone 
& Coster. He married the accomplished Miss Delancey, 
descended fi-om one of the oldest fumih'es in the State. 
I believe she was a daughter of OHver Delancy. 

Another son was Henry A. Coster, named after the 
uncle. He died about a year ao-o. 

George Washington Coster was another son of John 
G, Coster. He married ]\Iiss Oakey, a daughter of 
Daniel Oakey, who was a cotemporary of the Costers 
as early as 1800, when Daniel Oakey went into busi- 
ness at 80 Pearl street. In 1803 he formed a partner- 
ship with Henry Watkins, and tliey did business under 
the tinn of Oakey & Watkins, at 51 William street, 
then a great business street. After a few years he dis- 
solved with Watkins, and kept on under his own name 
at the same place, 51 William. Meanwhile he hud mar- 
ried, and lived at 41 Pine street. He kept in that same 
store in William until 1826, when he moved his store 
to where his house had been in Pine street, and removed 
his residence to Art street. (It was a street that 
crossed liroadway, and letl into the Bowery, about 
Eighth street now.) He \\'as a thorough merchant, 
aiul very much respected. Charles Robert Coster was 
the youngest of all John G.'s sons. He died cpiite re- 
cently, making three deaths of sons within a year. 

The eldest daughter of Mr. John G. Coster was a 
beautiful woman. 


She married a Mr. Berryman. lie was a Kcntuck- 
ian, iiiul a line looking man. He was called tlie hand- 
some Berr) man. I believe he was at one time in busi- 
ness with Ilenry H. Coster, under the Hrm of Coster & 
Berryman. His wife died suddenly on the night of the 
great fire in 1835. She left three daughters and two 
boys. He has been dead some years. 

The eldest daughter of Mr. Coster never married. 
Another daugliter married Charles A. Heckscher. At 
that time he was of the firm of Charles A. & Edward 
ileckseher. They were very large merchants thirty 
years ago. Charles A. came out from Bremen in 1830, 
and started business at 44 Exchange place. The next 
year he took in his brother under the above style. 
Later they moved to 45 South street. Charles A. was 
appointed " Mechlenberg " Cuiiiiil. After he married 
I\li3S Coster, his brothcr-iu-law, Gerard H. (already 
mentioned) became a ])artner, under the firm of Heck- 
scher, Coster k Matfield. They retired from business 
some years later, but I belien'e Charles A. Heckscher is 
a lai'ge proprietor of coal mines, and manages them 

200 ^'''^^^ OLD MERCHJIA'TS 


There are many honored mercantile names among the 
citizens of dilferent periods, but none stand higlier than 
that of " Ogden." I have in one chapter given a sketch 
of James De Peyster Ogden, once an extensive mer- 
chant, and ever a most useful citizen. I will now give 
another mercluuit of tlie name of Samuel G. Ogden. 

He was one of the Now Jersey Ogdens. His father 
was a clergyman at Newark. Samuel G. Ogden was 
one of several sons ; one went to China. Samuel 
served the usual apprenticeship, or rather clerkship, in 
order to thoroughly learn mercantile business, with the 
then (1795) great connnercial firm of Gouverneur & 
Kemble, No. 94 Front street. Joseph and Isaac Gouv- 
erneur were both partners at that time ; although Jo- 
sej)h was absent in Europe, and ho died shortly after 
his return, a]>uut 1798. Isaac lived a few doors from 
the stoi'e, at No. 98 Front street. 

The house did an enormous tratle, and young Ogden 
was in a good school to learn business. As one item of 
tlie business they did a commission business. The ship 
" Cleopatra " came consigned to them from the Isle of 
France; she was commanded by Captain Heare. G. 
& K. sohl one invoice of sundry goods, and the )iet pro- 
ceeds were £[>4.,VJh — or !iplt35,488. G. &> K.'s com- 

•AA\f. aJiO ■:vi' 

OF jYEW York; CITY. 2OI 

mission, and tliey only cliargcd 2 \ per cent, in those days, 
was |JJ,38T 20. 

That was seventy-six years ago, Avhen New York was 
small ; but, even now, there are not many commission 
merchants who carry $^3,887 20 to the credit of the 
" connnission account" in one line on one day. Be- 
sides Samuel G. Ogden, Gouverncur & Kemhle had 
other clerks. There were John Wilkes, Nic Ogden, 
and A. Carroll. Five years later, in 1800, Samuel G. 
Ogden went into business under his own name at No. 
119 Pearl street. For some years he did an extensive 
shipping business, and owned several vessels. Their 
names were the " Empire," the " Indostan," the " Di- 
ana," and the " Lcander." 

About that time he married Miss Lewis, a daughter 
of Francis Lewis, and <2;i"^nd-dau<'hter of the celebrated 
Francis Lewis, the worthy old merchant who signed the 
Declaration of Lulep(?ndence. 

]\Iost of the vessels belonirinn' to Samuel G. Ofrden 
were- armed, as the custom was in those days. When 
the oldest son of Mr. Ogden was born, Samuel G. Jr., 
he was saluted with sixty guns, fired from the ships 
owned by his father. 

\\\ 1800, JMr. Ogden was so unfortunate as to make 
the acquaintance of the celebrated General Miranda. 
At that time the Surveyor of this ])ort was a high- 
spirited gentleman, known as Colonel William Steuben 
Smith. lie had received his appointment from Presi- 
dent Washington, lie was a son-in-law of one of the 
j)i-i'sidents of the United States. I thiidc he owned a 
cottage, that he l)uilt the year Washington dit'd, 17i)'.) ; 
it is located at Sixty-first street, ICast ri\er. CoL Smith 
becani(; acipiainted with (ieneral Alii'anda. The hitler 
was born in Caraccas, South America, and was for 


many years in tlie service of old Spain. He left in 
1785, and then entered his brain an idea of freeing that 
section of South America from Spain. lie came to the 
United States for this pur})ose. He went to Europe on 
the same business, and pursued his project for many 
years, applying successively to France, Great Britian 
and the United States for aid. In 1805 he came to 
New York, and commenced getting up a mihtary expe- 
dition against the province of Caraccas. He knew the 
surveyor of the port, Col. Smith, and he explained to 
him all his views. 

Colonel Smith promised to aid him, and pointed out 
to him one excellent vessel that could be obtained for 
the ctxpedition. It was the sliii) " Leander," behin<Tin(T 
to Samuel G. Ogden, whose place of business, as well 
as residence at that time, was at 102 Greenwich street. 
The surveyor was a shrewd man. He met jNIr. Ofj-den 
in the street. 

" Sam, have you heard of Miranda ? ' 
- "Yes, I have." 

" Well, how would you like to make his acquaint- 
ance ? He has been a very great traveller — he is a 
man of science — has extended views of matters and 
things in general, and I dare say he might open up new 
commercial fields to you." ' 

•" I should like very much to make his acquaintance," 
was the reply of the merchant. 

That same evening General Miranda spent at the res- 
idence of Samuel G. Ogden, and, with the aid of a few 
bottles of old ]\ladeli-a, such as couKl be i)rocured only 
by old New York merchants in those days, the two 
talki.'d u[)on various subjects. 

Tlh'y spent a pK'asaiit evening, and agreed to meet 
the next morning upon the battery. Tiiis was not uii 



uncommon tliir.g for the first people in New York, to 
make appointinL'Uts and walk upon the battery in winter 
as well as summer mornings. At this interview Gener- 
al Miranda explained to Mr. Ogden that he had recent- 
ly returned, from Washington, where he had met Presi- 
dent Jeft'erson, and had talked freely with Mr. Madison, 
the Secretary of State, who thought the freedom of 
South America generally a very desirable and praise- 
worthy object ; and proposed to Mr. Ogden to go into 
it, and aid him with vessels and means to fit out an ex- 
pedition to fi-ee the province of Caraccas. 

I may as well add, that at this time, no one dreamed 
that President Jefferson would be openly hostile to such an 
expedition. General Francis Miranda, when at Wash- 
ington, was received in the most cordial manner by all 
the high qlTicials of the Federal Government. This in- 
troduction by Surveyor Smith of General Miranda to 
Mr. Ogden, cost Colonel Smith his Surveyorship. He 
was removed a few days later. He was so confident of 
the success of the " Miranda " expedition, that he al- 
lowed his own son, William S. Smith, to go out as su- 
percargo of the ship " Leander " belonging to Mr. Og- 

The result of several interviews between General 
Miranda and Samuel G. Ogden, in December, 1805, 
v/as that in January, 180G, the latter went to work 
heart and soul to fit out his ship, and load her for the 
rebel service. He bought cargo, shipped 150 men, can- 
i> )ns, gunjjowder, muskets, stores, etc., to a very large 
amount. The cai)tain of the ship " I^eajider " was 
named Thomas Lewis. While the e.\i)eiHtii)n was fit- 
ting out. General Miranda boarded at the Widow 
Avery's, No. 7 State street, until the ship "- Leander," 
was reatly to sail, and then he went on board of her, 


She had on board all told, eiglitj persons, and mounted 
seventeen cannons, as the complement of the ship. 

Tlie caro-o fitted out by Mv. Ogden was a very valua- 
ble one. William Armstrong was the princi})al agent of 
Mr. Ogtlen in shipping the men and cannon. When 
the"Leander" cleared at the Custom House, it was 
for Jaquemel, in the West Indies. Mr. Ogden was, 
liowever, too shrewd a merchant to fit out such an ex- 
pedition upon the mere word or promises of General 
Miranda. The latter had a nnich more substantial ba- 
sis. When he reached here he brought a letter of credit 
for .£700 .sterling on Daniel Ludlow & Co., merchants 
at No. 19 South street. Daniel Ludlow lived at that 
time at No. 5\j Broadway. This sum Ludlow & Co. 
paid over to Samuel G. Ogden for General Miranda. 
Miranda gave Mr. Ogden his bill on Nicholas Van 
Sittart, Londbn, for £-2,000; others for X5,000 on Jo- 
seph Lambert and Wm. Brown, of Trinidad. I do not 
know whether the last was ever paid. The " Leander " 
was to clear for Jaquemel, but on her way, near the 
Province of Caraccas, she was to land what she had on 
board, and then and there JNIr. Ogden's captain or agent 
was to receive, in cash, the cost of cargo — which was 
^40,000 — the amount of outfit, and 200 per cent, ad- 
vance on the amount of the cargo and outfits. (Out- 
iils included, of course, money advanced to the soldiers 
of the exi)edition.) The whole sum,. adding 200 per 
cent., estimated to be paid lor by General Miranda, was 
;ii;-il7,000. Ju conversation, Miranda stated that tho 
" J^eander " Avould land her cargo near the town of 
Caraccas, probaliiy at La (^uayra. lie did not believe 
that Ijii (uiayi-a had a force of but few men. 

J llimk llicre w as some lack (»!' knowli'dge in refer- 
ence to landing a cargo near C'arucras. I have myself 



been from La Guayra to Caraccas, but it is over a 
mountain several thousand feet liigh, and wliich only 
mules can travel. Caraccas is up in the mountain. 
It Avas nearly destroyed by an earthquake in 1812, a 
few years after the celebrated Miranda expedition. 

Mr, Ogden bought the cargo partly for cash, but the 
greater part was on time. The ship sailed in January, 
and her owners expected that she would be back in the 
month of March. After landing General IMiranda, his 
men and ammunition, the " Leander " was to proceed 
to Jaquemel, and there load with a return cargo of 
coft'ee, to be bought with a part of the money received 
from General Miranda, according to agreement. All 
the leading men of New York city at tlie time, and 
among them was Rufus King, were perfectly familiar 
■with the expedition and its object. Mr. Ogden took a 
great risk, and if it succeeded he meant to get a propor- 
tionably large share of profit. 

Some of the sons and relatives of many of tli% first 
people of the State were in the expedition. The " Le- 
ander " sailed about the 1st of February, 180G. On 
board were Thomas Lewis; William Steuben Smith, 
alluded to, who ranked as «id of General jMiranda ; 
there were Henry Sands, Barent Iloorbach, William 
Hosack, Edwai-d Gates, Elisha King, James B. Gard- 
ner, Alexander Buchanan, Joim Moor, David Burnett, 
Dr. Samuel Scofield (surgeon to the army,) Henry 
Perry, John T. O'SuIlivan, and such like names. 
That Henry Perry was an uncle of mine. Here is one 
of the cunimissioiis of Miranda: 

" Don FiiANcisco de Miuanda, 
Commander-in-Chief of ihe Columbian Army. 
By virtue of j)ower and authority invested in me, I 
hereby constitute and appoint William Hosack a first 

\ MO 


Lieutenant of Artillery in the army of Colaml)ia, un- 
iler my command ; and all otlicers, his superiors and in- 
teriors, non-commissioneil otiicers and others, are hereby 
required to respect and obey him as such, agreeable to 
the articles of War. 

Signed, Miranda, 
Thomas Molini, Secy RegH .*' 

The " Leander" went straight to Jaquemol, reaching 
that harbor on the 10th of February. 

There they expected to be joined by the " Emperor," 
another ship belonging to Mr. Ogdcn. She did not 
come, and the schooner " Bacclms " was liired to ac- 
comj)any the " Leander." She did not leave Jaquemel 
until the 28th of iMarch. The " Leander " was aecom- 
l)anied by the schooners " Bee " anil " Bacchus." All 
the men to conquer Caraccas did not exceed 200 on 
board the three vessels. These were to drive the King 
of Spain out of South America. After being twelve 
days at sea, they landed at Aruba, seventy miles to the 
leeward of where the expedition really wished to go. 
The troops went ashore, and staid until the IGth of 
April, when they embarked again. For several days 
more they were cruising about, and came near the 
Dutch island of Curagoa. They fought on board ; all 
Avas confusion from day to day. Captain Lewis, wlio 
liad been appointed a colonel in Miranda's service, now 
said he would have no more to do with Miranda or his 
enterprise, except as captain of the " Leander," to se- 
cure the interest of Mr. Ogden. I believe he was his 
brother-in-law. April 24th the vessel reached Cura^oa. 
Two days after they reached the Sjianish main, and 
were ready to land, Avhen they were attacked by the 
Si)aniards, and nearly all caj)tured. Two Spanish 
Guarda CusUis first attacked and captured the two 

o F jYE w voRhT cir V. 207 

schooners, with sixty men and officers. This was off 
Puerto Cabell o. Tiie " Leaiidor " stood off for sea. 
The cause of the capture of the schooners was the cap- 
tains of those vessels not obeying orders and keeping 
near the " Leander." 

The battle was fouglit April 20th, 1806. May 6th 
the " Leander" was at sea with but six gallons of water 
on board. She went to Bonair. She put to sea again 
after getting water, and wandered about, JMiranda 
quarrelling with his men, until May 28th, when the 
ship reached the Island of Granada. From that island 
she went Barbadoes, where the celebrated Lord Cochran 
liad a British fleet. She contiiuied there initil June 
28th, when Capt. Lewis had a serious quarrel with Mi- 
randa, and left for New York. She was now the repu- 
ted property of General Miranda. July 14th the " Le- 
ander " reached Port of Spain, Trinidad. August 1st, 
the " Leander " got to sea again, and on the 3d troops 
were landed on the Spanish main, and the Columbia 
flag hoisted in place of the royal standard of Spain. 
General Miranda fooled about the interior for a short 
time, but finally went on board ship. He left the " Le- 
ander " on the 27th of September. A Capt. Atkins 
now took counndnd of the " Leander," but having no 
ability he was succeeded by a lieutenant of the British 
navy. Nov. 26th the " Leander " was lying in Trini- 
dad, the agent trying to get a settlement with Miranda, 
who Avas lying at the Government House. I will now 
give the final 6f the ship " Leander." She lay in the 
harbor of Trinidad xuitil Feb. 24th, 1807, when the 
sailors belonging to'her went in a body to the Governor 
and told him that they were hungry and naked, that 
the shi[) hud no stores, and they wanted their wages. 
He tried to get their wages from Miranda, and failing 


in tliat, tried tlie ship's agent. Finally 33 out of 2G6 
shipped from America, addressed the governor a peti- 
tion. He promised pay, and they waited. Day by day 
the little band became less. They were pressed on 
board of British ships of war. At last the ship " Lean- 
der " was sold in September, 1807. Some of the mon- 
ey was paid to the few sailors who adhered to the ship. 
Mr. Ogden, her owner, never received a dollar. Most 
ol' the young men who joined Miranda in New York, 
were liberally educated. Such as Hosack, Sands, Sco- 
field, Loudon, Burnett and others. 

Of the prisoners taken from this expedition by the 
Spaniards,- near Puerto Cabello, ten were hanged on 
the 24th of July, 180G ; ten were sentenced to labor at 
Omoa ; ft)urtcen were sent to Porto Rico to labor ten 
years ; nineteen were sentenced to labor at Bocca Chica, 
near Oartliagena, for eight years. Among them was 
lleiny Perry. He was never heard of again from that 
day to this. 

All that Mr. Ogden ever got out of the concern was 
the X800 sterling I have alluded to, and one of the 
drafts for .£2,000 was paid. lie never received a pen- 
ny from the proceeds of the " Leander." All the prop- 
erty of his that Miranda took out of New York was 
spent, dissij)ated or lost. General Miranda was at last 
ca[)tured by the/S[)aniards, and died in a Spanish prison. 
His son came to this city some years ago. When Co- 
lumbia became free, in later years, President Bolivar 
always expressed a det'p symjiathy for that expedition, 
and if ever Samuel G. Otiden had irone to Caraccas be- 
fore B(jlivar died (about 1828,) a portion of his losses 
would have been rel'unded to him. 



It would seem hardly creditable were I to state that 
while his commercial adventures in this direction were 
so unprosjierous, and cuhninating so unhappily not only 
to his prospects but to human life, and that Samuel G. 
Ogden was suffering quite sufficiently for any mistake 
he had made, that the United States Government should 
take a part in the proceedings. Yet so it was. The 
ship " Leander " liad barely time to got outside of San- 
dy Ilook, when Nathan Sauford, the United States Dis- 
trict Attorney, commenced legal proceedings against 
]Mr. Ogden. He and his friend. Colonel W. S. Smith, 
were both indicted by the Grand Jury, April 1, 1806. 
He was held to bail in the sum of !$20,000. Samuel 
Gouverneur was one of the sureties, and Mr. Ogden 
himself was one. Mr. Gouverneur was a son-in-law of 
James Munroe. Mr. Ogden employed as his counsel 
Thomas A. Emmett, Cadwallader Golden, and Josiah 
Ogden Hullinan. Mr. Smith was first tried. The trial 
com-aenced bt^fore Judge Talmadge — July, 1800. 
'i'he following jurors were sworn. 'J'here is a hjt of 
my uld morchaut nanics among them : J(dm Sullivan, 
Jnlm A. Eort, John luithbone, Jr., Luwis C. Hanuncrs- 
li;y, Courland liabcijck, John 1'. llaif, Gcjold Hoyt, 
James Masterton, Schuyler LivingstuJi, Hemy l*anton, 


Gabriel Furman, Augustus Wynkoop. This jury ac- 
quitted Mr. Smith. A few days after, the trial of Mr. 
Ogden came on. A new jury was drawn up, viz. : Jo- 
seph Strong, Benjamin Butler, William Coit, James 
IMcConell, David A. Cunningham, James Palmer, Jr., 
John Bachellur, Ezra Weeks, John P. Groshon, John 
McPhie, William Dunstan, and Andrew S. Norwood. 

Those jurors' names are some of them well known. 
At that time Ezra Weeks was an object of curiosity. 
Oidy a ^(i\\ years previous he and his brother Levi lived 
at the corner of Greenwich and Harrison streets. The 
last was an architect, and the former a builder. On the 
5th of INIarch, 1800, Levi was tried for the murder of 
the beautiful Gulielma Sands. It made quite a noise. 
Ezra was the princi])al witness. 

The jury chosen in the case of Mr. Ogden found him 
" Not Guilty." 

1 am not certain of the fact, but I think that of those 
two celebrated juries there is not now living one man. 
Of many of them long sketches have been published in 
the " Old Merchants," in the first series. John Rath- 
bone, Jr., was one. He was of the firm of John Hath- 
bone <fe Co. So too was Lewis C. Hammergley, in a for- 
mer chapter. Goold Iloyt, also, has appeared in tho 
" Old Merchants." lie was one of the <i;reat East Lidiu 
firm of lloyt k. Tom. They owned the siii[) '^ Sabina," 
that bri)ught in tea cargoes I'rom Canton for many years. 
Old Goold lloyt lived at the corner of Park place and 
Church street ; Jiis coach house was in the rear, and 
faced on ]\Lirray street. That ground is now occujjied 
by a large store of Wihuerchug &, Mount, auctioneers of 
ohi staiuhng and great wealth. 

Mr. Samuel Ogden does not seem to have been at all 
discouraged by his ill-luck with General Miranda. It is 


quite evident his credit was not injured amontr the otlicr 
murdiants of New York when lie went into the husiness, 
for nearly all the merchandise, ammunition, etc., that he 
purchased, was on time. Among those who sold him 
poods was John JIcLane, Avho was at the time commis- 
.sary of military stores, at No. 27 Oliver street. He had 
been in the habit of arming all the vessels belonging to 
Mr. Ogden. lie sup])lied a large amount on time. 

Ebenezer Stevens also sold him six iron nine pound- 
ers on time. That Mr. Stevens was afterwards a mer- 
chant hi South street, and had a firm of Ebenezer Ste- 
vens & Sons. Those sons are now old men, but lead- 
ing merchants, John A. Stevens is one of them. 

John Jacob Astor sold Mr. Ogden all the swords re- 
quired for the expedition. 

liernard Hart, of whom I have written, sold fourteen 
cannon to Air. Ogden on time, and took his note for the 

Abraham Vannest, an old saddler, sold 250 saddles 
for Mr. Ogden. He Avas a very wealthy man in after 
years in this city. He formerly did business in Han- 
over square, and owned a cottage with an acre of o-round 
corner of Bleecker and Charles streets, where he lives 
now. , 

Jonathan Ogden — no relation, I believe, of our Mr. 
Ogden — sold him a large quantity of gunpowder. It 
was delivered from the powder house of Martin Boerum, 
at Brooklyn. The people of that great city would not 
stand a })0wder magiizine, in these days, in the heart 
of their city. Old John Murray, of whom I have 
written, sold a large amount of swords and cutlasses to 
Ml-. Ogden for this expedition. At that time Augustus 
Firming was a elerk with Mr. Murray. Mr. F. became 
in alter years a very noted citizen. There was anothei 


great firm at that time — " Corp, Ellis & Shaw." Sara 
uel Corp was at the head of it, and he lived over the 
store at 171 Pearl, corner of Pine, in those years. 
This concern sold a large quantity of cannon to Mr. 
Ogden for his notes. 

Mr. Ogden continued on in his business in the city of 
New York for some years. He lived at No. 9 Hudson 
street, until 1815, when he went to France and estab- 
lished himself in commercial business at Bordeaux. 
There he did a very large business for several years, 
forming many valuable mercantile connections. He 
left Bordeaux for New York in 1825, and became agent 
for several large houses in France. One was the housu 
of Lafitte & Co., merchants, Havre. lie was a brother 
of the great banker Lafitte of Paris, once so celebrated 
in history. Another house there i\Ir. Ogden represent- 
ed, was Vassner & Co., of Havre, and sent to his friends 
large consignments of cotton and otlier American prod- 
uce. He advnnced heavily to sluppers, and drew bills 
on the credit furnished him by the French house i'ov 
whom he was acting. His counting house, when he 
held these agencies, was at No. 49 Wall street. His 
private residence was at No. 41 Warren street, a large 
house, where he entertained in the most maonificent 
style. His dinner i)arties were unequalled, and there 
met the first merchants in the city, i have mentioned 
that his first wife was a grand-daughter of old Fianeis 
Lewis, one of the signers of the Declaration of Inde- 
] eiulence. Of course she was a niece of Governor 
Morgan Lewis, a famous man in this city in the oldcu 

The second wife of ;Mr. Ogden was Miss Fairlie, a 
daughter of Major Fairlie, a celebrated man in his day. 
He was alderman for many years. JIc was clerk of 


the Supreme Court of this State a great many years, 
and had several daughters. One married Tliumas 
Cooper, a popular actor. His daughter married Robert 
T^dcr, a son of John Tyler, president once of the Uni- 
ted States. The old jNIajor James Fairlie lived at No. 
41 Courtlandt street. His liomo was a favorite resort 
of the citizens. He had one daughter named Louisa, 
that was very pretty and very witty. She never mar- 
ried. All the young men were afraid of her. Slidell, 
who is now at Fort Warren, will remember her very 
well. His father was a highly respectable tallow chan- 
dler in early lite, and president of Mechanics' Bank in 
after years. Young John had travelled extensively in 
Europe. After his return, he met Louisa Fairlie, upon 
whom he was nither sweet. He told lior of many 
jdaces he had visited. " Did you go to Greece ? " she 
asked. " No, why do you ask ? " replied Slidell. " Oh, 
nothing — only it would liavc been so very natural that 
you should have visited Greece^ to renew early associa- 
tions.'' He had no more to say. 

Cora A., daughter of Mr. Ogdcn, married Mr. Mo- 
watt. He was very rich when Miss Ogden married him, 
but in 1837 he became largely involved in land specu- 
lations, ruined himself, and became |)oor. This was the 
cause of her going upon the stage. He died after a few 
years, and she married a second time, INIr. Ritchie, a 
son of old " Father Ritchie," of Richmond, Virginia, 
Mrs. Ritchie is now in Paris, and a great favorite. 

Anuther daughtcMr of Mr. Ogden married a Frcncli- 
man of the name of Guillet. He lived in this city, and 
afterwards moved to Richmond, where he became a 
clerk in tlie great tobacco house of Rogers, Harrison & 
Gray. She was an artist and painted very well. She 
died many years ago, leaving several children. 


A son of Samuel G. OgJeii of the same name is au- 
ditor in the Custom House in New York, and has been 
for many years. I think Mr. Ogden succeeded " okl 
Shultz " as he was called, during the time of Sam 
Swartwout. Mr. Shultz was an old Dutchman, and I 
think was appointed about the commencement of the 
Government, under President Washington. lie was 
celebrated for two things. One was for the enormous 
quantity of tobacco that he chewed, and the other was 
the extraordinary correctness of his accounts. It used 
to be told of him, that on one occasion when his ac- 
counts were made up and sent on to the Treasury de- 
])artment, an error of one cent was found, and the ac- 
count was returned to Shultz. Ue re-examined them, 
and ascertained that the error was not his, but in the 
Treasury department. That was conceded finally, but 
Shultz was requested to alter the New York C/Ustom 
house books, so as to make them agree with the Wash- 
ington treasury accounts. He refused to do it, saying 
" They made the mistake, let them correct it." 

Whe*i an auditor understands his business, it is not 
safe to remove him. A valuable and experienced ac- 
countant is not picked up every day." 

Mr. Sanmel G. Ogden, Sen., had several other child- 
ren beside those I have named. Mr. Qo-den had a 
brother who was a leading merchant in Canton, China, 
and very extensively mixed up in business transactions 
with tlie late John Jacob Astor. 

He had been sent out to China by Mr. Astor, and 
was a partner in business with him. He had been 
abroad many years, and had acquired, as every one sup- 
posed, a very lai'ge fortune. His letters to his brother 
Sam, and other relatives, had conveyed that idea, and it 
was probably so. At any rate the Canton Ogtlen had 


determined to retire from business, and go to New York. 
He embarked at Whainpoa on board of one of the 
sliijis belonging to Jolni Jacob Astor, that was bound 
tu New York, He had with In'm in the ship all his 
books and j)apers. On the passage he died. All his 
j)aper3 went into the possession of Mr. Astor. His 
relatives applied to Mr. Astor for a settlement, but they 
coukl get no satisfaction. I believe Samuel G. 0<i-den 
bought up all the claims of other relatives, and t!ien 
commenced a suit against John Jaccjb Astor. This 
suit histed many years, and was going on when Mr. As- 
tor (bed. Alter that event, Mr. W. Ji. Astor took 
the matter in his own hand, and made an ofl'er for a s(.!t- 
tlement. I believe the amount was over $'200,000. 
This was a handsome sum, and made the latter years of 
Viw Ogden very comfortable. He died in 18G0. 

Some time ago a friend sent me a printed handbill, 
without date, lieaded, " Funeral of our murdered coun- 
tryman, John Pierce." The document states that a 
]>ublic funeral will be given to the deceased under the 
direction of Aklernien Fairlie, Mott, and John D. Mil- 
ler ; that " the corse is now in the Council chamber, 
and will be interred to-morrow at 12 o'clock, in St. 
I'aul's churchyard." It adds : " The Mayor has trans- 
mitted intelligi'iu'e to the president, in onler tluit meas- 
ures may be taken to obtain satisfaction to our injured 
and insulted nation." I am asked to exjjlain that doc- 
ument, which I shall keep as a curiosity. It should 
have been dated A|)ril l27, 1800. It is signed, " T. 
Wortmaii, city clerk." 

1 give it now, as it is likely the British Government 
will i;Ive us a few years of the "same sorts." For 
years before we declaretl war against England in ISI-, 
the En-'lioh were ijibulliuLf us on our own coast: 


April 26, 1806. 
The British ship " Leunder," of fifty gans, the " Cam- 
briam " ol' forty-four, aiul the " Drain " sloop of war, 
were off Sandy Hook yesterday. They brought to and 
boartled every vessel that left this })ort, and i)ressed sev- 
eral seamen from them. They also captured the ship 
" Amour " from Havana, the brig " Ceres " from Mar- 
tini([ue, and the ship " Nimrod," Curocoa. The sloop 
" Richard," a coaster coming from the Brandywine, while 
entering theharb(jr, was fired at by the "Leander," and 
bnnight to ; altiiough the sloop lay to upon the first 
shot, another was fired that struck John Pierce, the 
helmsman, and killed him on the spot. 

Tiiis John Pierce lived at No. 55 Mulberry street, 
and was resi)ected. His body was brought up to Bur- 
ling slip, and there lay ex])osed all day to thousands of 
spectators. Our peo})le were crazy at the sight. They 
became mad with rage. Four schooners were fitted up 
to go and retake tlie prizes. The ])urser of the " Le- 
ander " had been uj) in town, and purchased three boat- 
loads of all kind of j>rovisi(jns ; two of the boats wero 
stopped at the vvliarf, thf.- iilln-.r v/h-} av liniu n iifni' iii^i 
Hook by a pilot-boat, and brought back ; the j/rov/'s/o/iS 
were put into carts, and paraded through the streets 
with drum, fifes, etc., and were afterwards left at the 
poor house. 

Next day the Grand Jury indicted Henry Whitbay, 
captain of the "Leander," for the murder of John 



There have been some illustrious merchants in this 
city — men who have added to its wealth by their ex- 
tended business operations — to its fame by their indi- 
vidual efforts, standing out in bold relief above all oth- 
ers. Those who in the last century have done most, 
have been rewarded least, and names that would adorn 
any city or nation, are now almost obscured or forgotten. 
1 looked to-day at a Directory for 18G2. I found there : 

«• Pintard, Phsebo, widow John, h. 30 Canal." 
"i'lDtard, Samuel, Boamau, h. 3 Biriuiiigbam." 

I know these are neither kith or kin of the proud old 
mercantile race of l^ntards, that have flourished in this 
city almost 200 years, and that I am going to write 
about to-day. 

All the males of that great merchant race lie in a 
vault in the church of St. Clement in Amity street, be- 
tween Sullivan and MacDougal streets. John Pintard, 
of whom I shall have much to say, and to whom the 
word illustrious applies, as much as to any man that 
ever lived, was an only son of John Pintard, and tho 
younger left no males of the race. He had two dau'di- 

How few of the hundreds of thousands that live in 
thi^5 cily now c:in aMswor llii.'j (publluu : '^ Who was 



Jolin Pintard ? " Yet no man did m(H-e or as mucli to 
raise the character of tliis city. He was in everythin<T. 
He was born in it, wlien it contained but a few thous- 
ands. Yet nearly sixty years ago he foresaw its future 
o-randeur, and I liave before me as lie wrote it at the 
time, the very jjuper left by him. Here it is : 

Sla/islica/. — By the numeration of the inlia-bitants 
of this city recently published, the progress of i)0]nda- 
tion for the last 5 years appears to be at the rate of 25 
per cent. Should our city continue to increase in the 
same ])roportion during the present century, the a^rcrro- 
gate munber, at its close, will far exceed that ot^any 
other city in the old world, l\"kin 'not exceptt-d, as will 
ajjpear from the following table. Progress of iM)pula- 
tion in the city of New York comi.uted at the rate of 
25 per cent, every 5 years. 



451, (IKJ 



2,01)1, S37 

_ From tliis table it appears, that the population of this 
city, fifty years hence, will considerably exceed the re- 
puted population of the cities of Paris and London. 
Cities and nations, however, like intlividuals, experience 
their, ise, progress, and decline. It is hardiv probable 
that New York will be so highly favored as to prove an 
exception. Wars, pestilence, and |)ulitical convulsions, 
must be our lot, and be taken into calculation. With 
every aUowaiice, however, for the " numerous ills which 
lile IS heir to,'' from our advantageous maritime situa- 
tion, and the increase of agriculture and commerce, our 


miiriljcrs will in all probability, at the end of this cen- 
tury, exceed tiiose of any other city in the world, Pekin 
alone excepted. 

From the data here furnislied, the politician, finan- 
cier, and above all the speculator in town-h)ts (a sub- 
ject to our shame be it s})oken, which absorbs every 
<j;enerous passion,) may draw various and interesting in- 

Is not that wonderful ? IIow can we reconcile it that 
a man possessing sucli wonderful sagacity — convinced, 
too, in his own mind that he was ri^ht, — that the city 
would be a mine of ^old to speculation, — that he should 
not have availetl himself of his knowledge, but should 
have died comparatively poor, having lost a great deal 
in the fire of 1835 — about nine years previous to his 
death. Yet so it was. lie left the speculation in towff 
lots — "which absorbs every generous passion," as he 
expresses it — to others. And men roll in wealth, and 
are surrounded by every luxury, because they did buy 
town lots, and from no other cause. 

Few knew that John Pintard was a merchant. Yet 
he was so, and a most able merchant. He was one of 
the most famed in his day, and would have been one of 
the most wealthy but for his confidence in others. I 
hardly know how to begin with John Pintard, and with 
su(;h a sketch as will render him even oiu-' jvart in a hun- 
dred of his just dues. The Pint;ird family was Hugue- 
not, original immigrant being Anthony Pintard, who 
settUnl at SJirewsbury, Monmouth (yo., N. J. 

Oi.r John Pintaid was born in Ni!W York, May 18, 
IT^VJ. 'rin'ee weeks Inter his mother died, and the next 
year, in 17bO, his father, John Pintard, sen., dii:d leav- 
ing the little human boat to navigate alone beft)re ho 
was a year old. 'Tlie fallu-r, .John i'intard, was a m^;i- 
chaiit of the old seho(;l. He ownetl vessels — he coin- 


rnanded, and was supercargo of his own vessel, and was 
on a voyage to tlie West Indies when he died at Port-au- 
Prince. Anotlier John Pintard, who was grandfather 
of our Jolui Pintard, was Ahlurman and Assistant of 
tlie Dock Ward in this city for ten years — viis., from 
17;38 to 1747. Tlic Dock Ward was a httle fellow. 
It was bounded by Broad to wliat is now Water street, 
(the water came np to it in those days) — Wall from 
Broad to William, and William down to the Water at 
the Old Slip. Besides the streets I have named it had 
but these, viz., Garden (now Exchange,) Prince (Bea- 
ver,) Duke (South William,) Mill, and Dock (Pearl) 
streets. I fancy in that district, not many people sleep 
at night even now. In 17o7 Jolm Pintard, son of the 
alderman, married the lovely Miss Cannon. She died 
shortly after giving birth to John Pintard, Jan. She 
was the daughter of John Canmm — a great mercluint 
of the city about those days. The family was Uugue- 
not also; and John 0. was brother to the famous Le 
Grand Cannon, of Canada notoriety. 

After the death of his parents, the child John Pin- 
tard, in 1700, was taken by his uncle, Louis Pintard, to 
bring up. As soon as h'e was old enough he was sent 
to the famous grammar school of the Rev. Leonard Cut- 
ting, at Hempstead, Long Island. Mr. Cutting was a 
remarkable man, and a great disci})linarian. He was 
the grandfather of the present Francis B. Cutting, one 
of our most eminent lawyers. Mr. Cutting said that 
John Pintard was the best Latin scholar in his school. 
He was there three years. Prom the celebrated school 
of Mr. Cutting, John went to the college at Princeton, 
and was nearly p!'c|)ared to graduate, when the war of 
177G broke out. He was I'cady to take his degree. 
At this time the entire eollrgcj was ready to enli.-^t. 

O F .YE IV YO n -T CIT 7. 221 

The professors became captains, and enlisted companies 
of soldiers. The professor of mathematics raised a 
company, and it was immediately started for New York 
city. He forbid John Pintard joining it ; bnt he did, 
notwithstanding, and smuggled himself off with it to 
New York. Before he left Princeton, he drilled sol- 
dJL'i-s every day. lie went back with his company to 
Princeton, and received his degree, notwithstanding his 
disobedience in iroino- to New York. After he left col- 
lege, he went to the residence of Louis Pintard, at New 
Kochelle, where he had a country residence, as well as 
a counting-room in New York city. When the troops 
came in the vicinity, he went to Norwalk, Connecticut, 
where he had relatives. After being there a short time 
lie was sent for by his uncle, Louis Pintard, who had 
been appointed by General Washington as commissary 
for the prisoners in New York city. He gave his neph- 
ew, John Pintard, the ajjpointment of deputy, and for 
years he did the entire duties of the office held by his 
uncle. Dr. Poudinot, a brother-in-law, was commissa- 
ry general of the American army. 

It was the duty of young John Pintard to procure 
articles for the prisoners, and to relieve them as much 
as possible. It was known that 11,500 prisoners died 
on board the British prison-ships. How many died in 
the jirisons in this city never will be known. The sugar 
house in Liberty street, torn down a few years ago, was 
one. The provost prison (the Quaker church in Pearl 
street, between Franklin scjuiu'e and Oak street, erected 
In 1775, of biick, Mid torn down in 1821) was used as 
a hospital. In that gloomy and terrific abode many of 
the principal citizens Avere ■ conlined. In December, 
1777, the state ol" the prisoners became so horrible that 
the prison doors were opened in order to disgoi'ge their 

222 ^^^^ (^^^J^ MERCHAJVTS 

■wretched contents. The poor prisoners started to go to 
Jersey and the country for relief, but they were so weak 
from disease and famine, that many fell dead in the 
streets before they could get to the boats on the river 

When John Pintard was released from his duties, 
and from witnessing horrid ontrages upon prisoners, in 
1780, he went to Paranius, N. J., where resided Col. 
Abraham Brasher, a great "Liberty boy" in his day, 
and also a distant connection of Mr. Pintard. 

That Abraham Brasher was a member of the first 
Provincial Convention that assembled in the Exchange 
in New Yoi'k, April 20, 1775, for tlie purpose oi' cIhjos- 
iug delegates to I'cpresent the colony of iS'ew York in 
the continental Congress. Old Philip Livingston pre- 
sided. Col. Brasher was also a member of the second 
and third New York Provhicial Congress, as well as the 
lirst. lie was also a member of the Convention of the 
State of New York, held in 1770 to 1777- 

At the residence of Col. Brasher, Mr. Pintard met 
Eliza Brasher, a daughter of the })atriotic colonel. 
They became engaged, and in 1785 they were married. 
A more splendid couple never ajiproached the marriage 
, altar. He was a very handsome man, and she was the 
very loveliest girl in the land. Her hair was black and 
massive, and done up on the cushions of that dav, made 
her look magnificent — this, too, comliined ^^illl the 
most lovely liice, made her, — as she was for many years 
— a charming woman. He, too, looked well, with his 
])owdered hair, blue coat, staiuling collar, and handsome 
person. If our girls in iHlio, would adopt the style antl 
mode of dressing the hair one hundred years ago, they 
woidd look a thousand times more lovely than now. 
Pity the girls "don't see it ! " 

OF jYEW yorf: CITY. 223 

After 1782, Jolin liad gone to clerkiiicr It aiiain with 
Ills uncle Lewis, wlio was duiiii; a lieavy East India 
business, and was among the first t(j go into that trade 
largely after the war closed in 17«2. Before that, in 
1G85, King James issued an order prohibiting all trade 
from New York colony with the East Indies. 

Lewis Pintard continued business during the war, 
although on a limited scale. He was one of the 
original incorporators of the Chamber of Commerce 
of this city, granted by George III, in 1770, and 
incorporated by the New York legislature in 1784. 
John Pintard remained with his uncle, Lewis, until af- 
ter he married ; then he started upon his own account, at 
No. 12 W^all street. He went into the East India trade, 
and bought or built the ship " Belgiosa." Ue owned 
the ship '' Jay," and she was among the first vessels that 
brought cargoes from China. In 1789, he was so pop- 
ular that he was elected assistant alderman of the East 
Ward, and was re-elected until 1792. The East Ward 
took in Wall street, below William ; and in 1788 John 
moved from 57 King (Pine) street to 43 Wall. The 
East Ward was next to the Dock Ward, and ran 
up William street as far as Golden Hill (John,) 
and down to the water. He gave up the alder- 
manship when he was elected to the legislature, in 

1790. It held its session in New York city in tiioso 
days (as they should do now,) and began in January 
and ended in INIarch. John Watts was speaker of 
the fourteenth session, when Mr. Pintard was a member. 
l>ut a calamity was coming upon him at thut time, that 
was to end all jjolitical as well as commercial success for 
a few y(;;us. He was a happy man in the year 178G to 

1791. His eM.v^t daughter (E\v/m Noel) was horn in 
17.'^7. in alter years she married Deleter Davidson, of 


New Orleans ; went tliero and died. A second daugh- 
ter (Louisa) married Mr. Thomas L. Servoss, an emi- 
nent morcliant of New York city. 

In 171)2 John Pintard, wlio did not owe a dollar' in 
the world — who was rich by property inherited from 
liis grandfiither Cannon — who was doing a heavy and 
successful business, put his name on the back of notes 
drawn by his friend AVilliam Duer, for over a million 
of dollars. Mr. Duer lived at that time at 12 Partition 
street, (Fnlton street now from Broadway to the North 
river.) lie had married the Lady Kitty, daughter of 
the celebrated Earl of Sterling. Mr. Duer 'was the 
bosom friend, and the agent and manager of Alexander 
Hamilton, who then lived at 67 Wall street, only a few 
doors below JNIr. Pintard. It was about the time the 
debts of the United States were funded accordinrr to a 
scheme of Hamilton. Everybody had confidence in 
Duer, for he was supposed to be a great financier. He 
was operating enormously in these stock operations. 
But he failed, and [)oor John Pintard was the great 
sufferer. lie gave up all he had to jiay these indorse- 
ments — ships, houses, cargoes, furniture, library, every- 
thing, but it was not a drop in the bucket. Then he 
moved from this city and went to Newark to live. In 
1791 he had been appointed one of the commissioners 
fur erecting bridges over the Ilackensack and Passaic 
rivers, and also to survey the country between Powei's 
Hook (Jersey city now) and Newark. I have the map 
and report he made, before me now. That work was 
done in February, 1701. 

That year he was doing another Avork. Who that 
passes the American Museum of Barnum, with a thou- 
sand (lags, etc., ever dreams tliat John Pintanl j)lanted. 
the acorn that grew u[) to be Ihe oak? Barnum has no 


idea of tlie liistoiy of it. What connection can there 
be between Tanunany Hall and Jiarnuui's nmseuui? 
Yet, Tammany Hall started that museum ! I have be- 
fore me a document, dated May 1, ITUl. It is headed 
" Amekican Museum, under the patronage of the 
Tanunany Society, or Columbian order." 

The Corporation granted a room in the City Hall for 
its use, to be o[)cn every Friday and Friday afternoon. 

" Any article sent on those days, or to Mr. John Fin- 
tard, JMo. 57 King street, will be thankfully accepted." 

J(jhn Fintard was the secretary of that " American 
museum," and Gardner Faker was keeper. It went 
along very successlully for some years. In 1808, it 
was the sole property of Gardner Faker, and was called 
Baker's American nniseum ; then he sold it to Doctor 
Scudder, and he kept it; the building then used to be 
at the back of the City Hall, up in the third story, and 
it was Scudder's American museum. Then the innnor- 
tal Farnum bought it. Once John Fintard loaned 
Scudder a large square block of crystal ; Scudder sold 
it with the '* other things " as if it was his own. I have 
watched that block (it used to stand in the cornerj for 
about thirty years. I believe Mr. F. took it up to Iran- 
istan, when he had that })lace. 

I will go back to the Fintard indorsements of William 
Ducr's notes. The creditors were unmerciful. They 
inllowed Mr. Fintard into New Jersey, and they incar- 
ceiated him in the Newark jail lor fourteen months^ for 
debts not his own. He read innnensely while in jail, 
and when Ibrty years old concluded to study law. He 
passed his examination, but found that he could not 
make a [)ublic sj)eaker, and gave it up. His powers of 
conversation were very great, but he was excessively 
modest, and could not speak in public. In 1707 he 


took the benefit of the act in Jersey, but found that it 
-would do him no good, and he came to New York and 
afterwards took the benefit of the general bankrupt law 
of the United States, in 1800. 

The exasperated creditors never let up the drawer 
of the notes.. Mr. William Duer was put into jail in 
tine city, and finally died on the jail limits. He was 
the father of William Duer, president of Columbia 
college, and also of Judge John Duer, both of whom 
have died within a few years. 

William Duer was a prominent man in the Revolu- 
tion. He was in the first Provincial Congress, and was 
one of the committee to draft a constitution for the 
" State of New York." He hailed from " Charlotte 
county " in New York. 

Old William Duer would have succeeded in all his 
great financial operations, but for an accident and an 
unjust charge. When Alexander Hamilton was Secre- 
tary of the Treasury, in 1791, he frequently used Gov- 
ernment money fur secret purposes, known of course by 
president Washington. This money was given to Wil- 
liam Duer to buy up Government debts, or other pur- 
poses as the agent of Hamilton, and was charged to 
ilr. Duer. When Oliver Wolcott succeeded Hamilton, 
a lar<i;e sum was found charged to William Duer. The 
clt-rk who made the discovery at once announced that 
William Duer was a defaulter to the government. The 
news Went to New York. Mr. Hamilton made the 
mutter straight in a few days, but not before the credit 
of Mr. Duer was damaged, and he became a ruined 

About 1800, Mr. John Pintard came back to this 
city iVom New Jersey, and went into business. Not 
being a Sachem of Tanunany Hall, I have no right to 

OF .YE IV VORli: CITV. 227 

look at their sacred records, bat I am aware tliat John 
Piiitard was a brother of higli standing. He was tlio 
first Sagamore of the Society. On the evening of the 
last Monday in April, 1791, at the annual election of 
officers of the Tammany Society, held at their Great 
Wigwam, in Broad itreet, the following brothers were 
duly elected, viz: Sachems — John Pintard, Cortland 
Van Buren, John Campbell, Gabriel Furman, Thomas 
Greenleaf, Josiah Ogden flotlman, William Mooney, 
John Ondcrdonk, Anthony Post, Jonathan Post, Wil- 
liam Pitt Smith, Melancthon Smith, Ebenezer Stevens 
and James Tylee. Treasurer — Thomas Ash. Secre- 
tary — Joim Swartwout. At the annual meeting of 
the Council of Sachems of said society, the following 
brothel's were duly elected, viz : May 21, 1791, Josiah 
O. llolihian. Grand Sachem ; James Tylee, Father of 
the Council ; DeWitt Clinton, scribe of the Council. 
John Pintard has been a Grand Sachem. 

The following also was written by John Pintard, 
" On Thursday last (May, 1791) was celebrated by 
the sons of Tammany, the anniversary of the Tam- 
many society or Columbian order. The day was ush- 
ered in by a Federal salute from the battery, and. wel- 
comed by a discharge of thirteen guns from the brig 
' Grand Sachem,' lying in the stream. Tiie society as- 
sembled at the Great Wiowum in Broad street, five 
hours after the risin<i; of the sun, and was conducted 
from there in an elegant procession to the brick meeting 
house in Beckman street. Before them was borne the 
cap of I^iherty ; alter following seven hunters in the 
Tauimanial dress, then tlu- groat standard of the socie- 
ty, in the rear of which was the Grand Sachem and 
other oilici'rs. On eitlior side of these were lormetl the 
members in iribcs, each headed by its standard bearers 

228 ^f^^ OLD MERCIIAJVrs 

and Sacliem in full dress. At the brick meeting house 
an oration was delivered by their broth er, Josiah Ogden 
lIolFnian, to the society, and to a most respectable and 
crowded audience. In the most brilliant and j)athetic 
language, he traced the progress of the liberty we enjoy, 
and thence elegantly deduced the origin of the Colum- 
bian order, and the society of the Cincinnati. From 
the meeting house the ])rocession proceeded (as before) 
to Camj)bell's grounds, where upwards of two hundred 
jicople partook of a handsome and plentiful repast. The 
dinner was honored by His Excellency the Governor 
(old George Clinton,) and many of the most respec- 
table citizens." 

No wonder old Tammany prospered in those days. 
Why were those ceremonies dropjjcd ? Where are all 
those worthies now ? The old Wigwam in Broad 
street is gone. The "brick church" is no more, 
" C'amjjbeU's grounds " are covered with lofty buildings, 
and — Well, \\ell, it does us good to wake up those 
])leasant memories. That brig " Grand Sachem ? " I 
have an itiea that she was owned by John Pintard, and 
was sold to pay his unfortunate indorsements for Wil- 
liam Duer, who left his family well off, if he did die 
" on the jail limits." 

In the above procession Mi*. Pintard was a prominent 
object. He was dressed in the full tog of old Tam- 
many, but not an artiide was u})on his person that was 
not Jhnerican. The very buttons of his coat were 
made of American conk shell, set in buttons of Ameri- 
can silver. 

Wluui our splendid old Sachem and merchant got 
l)ack into the United States again from New Jersey, 
\\ here he was locked up in jail fourteen months, ho 
went into the book trade and auction business — that is, 


lie sold books at auction. lie ^Yas a born book-dealer ; 
lie was fond of tliem ; liked to handle them, overhaul 
the contents, and make them useful. I have an 
idea that those wlio know David T. Valentine in these 
years, know such a man as John Piiitard was in 
Lis palmy days. No one seemed to' have thought 
John Pintard a wonderful man in his day, yet now 
what think those who know who and what he was? 
So, too, it will be with Uncle David, wdien he has passed 
from among us, and other generations look on what he 
has done to preserve the past : he will be honored and 
appreciated, though I hope his children Avill not be al- 
lowed to almost starve in their old age. It is a sin and 
a shame, and a disgrace, that in this city of wealth, the 
children of those who have been its greatest benefac- 
tors should have to worry and struggle for a home. 

But to return to John Pintard, whose name and Avhat 
he has done shall be better known before I have finished 
this chapter. In 1801 he was at work in the city once 
more, and had his family at No. 31 Dey street. I think 
he had tried brokerage a year or two, but not with much 

After his return his uncle, Lewis Pintard, bought 
The Daily Adverliser, and gave John one quarter in- 
terest in it, and his son-in-law, Samuel Bayard, another 
(piarter. Old Lewis eventually died at Princeton, leav- 
ing his only daughlerl From some cause or othei- Mr. 
.John Pintard did not long continue an editor. About 
18U2 he went to New Orleans, then just amiexed to this 
country, and regarded as a wonderful place. Mr. Pin- 
tard went there determined to try a new career. Ho 
i"eniaiiie(l out there several months, ami gat hei\'d very 
>aliial)le slatislics ; luil he did nul like the place, and re-- 
tui'ued to his liivoriti' city. 



After the return of John Pintard from Newark, in 
the winter of 1804 — 05, he was appointed Clerk to the 
Corporation of New York, and City Inspeetor. His 
olHcc was in the City Hail, then at the corner of Nas- 
sau and Wall street, where the Custom House now 
stands, and he livod at upper Reed street. No. 11, (up- 
per Reed, upper Chambers, or upi)er Duane, meant 
those streets on the east side of Broadway.) 

I think that the City Inspector oflice must have been 
created about that time, as I have seen no mention of it 

Dr. Francis made an address to the Historical Socie- 
ty in N(jveinber, 1857, and ho says : " Our enlifrhten- 
ed founder, John Pintard, was personally known, dur- 
in<i; a long life, to a majority of our citizens." The doc- 
toi' then goes on to say : "■ Examine for yourself the re- 
ct)rd of the ollice of thei City Ins])cctor, and learn the 
obstacles he encountered to establish the de|)artmeiit 
of the city institutioit. for the registry of births and 

While Mr. Pintard was " Clerk " and City Inspector, 
lie was the fast friend of the firemen of the city, and 
all the laws nuist coiidiicivi! to thrir ad\aiila<'e were 
drafted and recommendcil bv him. 



In 1812, when tliere was a scarcity of change, the 
Corporation a])pointeJ John Pintard to sign all tlie pa- 
per notes of a small denomination that were issned at 
that time and during the war. I give here a fac similo 
of those small bills of 4, 6, 9 and 12', cents. 

I 4J _l-\>iir Ceat«. [4 | 

The Corporation of tlie City of m '^ 
Nfw York promise to pay the ^ t?' 

CENTS ^ & 

^, « New York, z6th Dec. 1814. ^ | 
^ S 15y order of the Corporutiou. ^ |g 

^ 4] Four Ccsils. [4 i 

The ahove lias the following cut on the back : 

'-^i, feik.j'iS'iL. 

2t^r rxT 


t ^ «ax €B':i\TS. 6 I 

^ Tho Oorporiitiou of the City of ** 

New York promise 
Bearer ou aem;irid, 

^ ^ 
« S 

New York promise to pay the ^ 

a SIX 

I _^ New Yorh, 26th Dec. 1 814. 
^ ^ hy order of the Corporation. 

I 6 SIX €EI\'TS. 6 
The above has the followinfij cut on the Lack 



3 9 jy>'E.VE cj: .vt s._9 t 

^ The Corporation of the City of^ I* 

^ • New York promise to pay tho ^ 
■^ r? Bearer ou d{;maiid, ^ ^ 

^^ fl^ ^& 


^ P !► 

5 ^ New York, z6a Dec. 1814. ^ ^ 
•< K^ By order of the Corporation. ' g» 




The preceding has tlie following cut on the back. 










12.^ CENTS. 

Tho Corporatiun of the City of e 
New York |)roiiilso to j>ay tlio C 
Bearer ou deiuaud, |» 

i "^ fe^l " I 

^Twelve -M. ^5^ 2 Cents o| 

^' AVm; York, iSth Dec. 1814. ° | 

By order of the Corporation. 

g 12^ CENTS, 

The above has the followino; cut on the back. 





n. -^o 

234 ^^'^^ ^^'^ mercuAjXTS 

It is a singular coincidonoc that we are now ap- 
proaching an era wlien " sliiniilasters " (as tliose sort 
of issues were denominated in 1837) will be in vogue 

I do not know why Mr. Pintard left the office of city 
insj)ector, but he did leave it in 1809, and was succeed- 
ed by General Jacob jNIortou, who was both clerk of the 
Corporation and city inspector in 1810, as Mr. Puitard 
had previously been. Mr. Pintard Avas aj)pointed 
secretary of the Mutual Insurance Company in 1809, 
at No. 52 Wall street. This company was the 
oldest in the city of New York. It was estab- 
lished in 1787, was chartered in 1798, and re-char- 
tered in March, 1809. When Mr. Pintard became its 
secretary, R<jbert Lenox was pnisident of it at the 
time, and Mr. Pintard's old friend, Gabriel Furman, 
(who was afterwards its president) was a director. It 
was a lire insurance company, uj)on the mutual jdaii, 
although not so at the present. He was secretary of 
this company ibr twenty years, or until 1829. Aiter- 
wards George Ireland was president, and A. B. Mc- 
Donald, the successor of Mr. Pintard, was secretary, 
and kept at 52 Wall street, until 1815, where it had 
been from 1807, when it was in Pine street, opposite 
the old French church. I believe it suffered a great loss 
in the terrible fire of 1835. In 184G, the name was 
changed to the " Jvnickerbocker " Fire Insurance Com- 
pany, but Mr. Ireland s^nd Mr. McDonald remained; 
and, in fact, the comjjany was the same. Mr. Pintard 
had died two years bi'fore, or it wouhl have added one 
m-ief more to his many, ibr he fondly loved old names 
as well as old faces. It is credital)le to that old com- 
j.any that they continued Mr. Tintai'd a diiector, \\\WV 
he ceasi'd to be capable of performing the tluties of 
Bccrelary, (he was seventy years old when he re.-.igned 


the office in 1829,) and he had a desk in the office as 
long as he hved, though in the last years of his life he 
was almost blind — quite deaf, and his "world was inside of 
liiniself — the old world of the past. Ilis deafness arose 
from having been blown up by gunpowder, while cele- 
brating the 4th of July, when young, and when Inde- 
pendence day was young also. The old Mutual, under tlie 
name of Knickerbocker, still flourishes. Mr. Ireland 
had been succeeded by Mr. Tucker, a much esteemed 
citizen, and once alderman of the Eighth Ward. 

When the Mechanics' Bank was cliartered in 1810, 
the leaders in it were Ciabriel Furman, George Ireland, 
Stej)hen Allen, Matthew L. Davis, John .Slidell, and 
other ii'icnds of Mr. Pintard, and they insisted he should 
be cashier. For reasons that I am not aware of, ho 
would not take the position. John Slidell, father of 
the rebel in Fort Warren, was made president, and W. 
Fish was cashier. 

The Historical Society, now one of the most valuable 
literary institutions in the worKl, and one that the city 
may well be proud of, owes its existence mainly to John 
Piutai'd. Dr. Francis calls him " our enlightened 
founder." It was oiganized in 1804, and was chart- 
ered by the Legislature in 1809. Dr. Francis, as well 
as Mr. Pintard, was one (jf its most cHicient members. 
A li:^t of its odicers in 1810 is Avortli looking at just 
iirty-one years later ; Egbej't Penson, President ; Gov- 
orneur Morris, first Vice President; De W^itt Clinton, 
second Vice President ; Samuel Miller, Corresj)onding 
Secretary; Charles \Vilkes, Treasurer ; John Pintard, 
Pecoi-tling Sicrelai-y and Librarian. The standing 
committee were William Johnson, Samuel 1^. Mitchell, 
Jolin Alason, Daviil llosack, ,K)lin McKesson, AnthiMiy 
Pleecker, and (iidian C. Verplanck, All dead, 1 be- 


lleve, but the last. In 1807, tlie officers were the same, 
except that Benjamin Moore was first Vice President, 
and Brockholst Livingston, second Vice President, and 
Daniel D. Tom}jkins was one of the committee, and 
John Foster was Librarian. They have a portrait of 
Mr. Pintard at the Historical Society rooms. 

Mr. Pintard was also a trustee of the New York So- 
ciety Library — another very old concern, having been 
established in 1772. Most of tlie books were destroyed 
during the Revolution, but in after years it was re[)len- 
islied, and is now as sj)lendid a library as we have in 
the city. 

On the 19th of February, 1805, twelve persons as- 
sembled, at the request of two or three individuals, who 
f^esired to extend tlie benefits of education to poor chil- 
dren. Thus commenced the " Free School System '' 
tliat is bearino; such <rlorious fruit. John Pintard was 
among the lirst in this humble inovement, which bus 
had such magnificent results in the present j)ublic 
schools of New York city. There were subscribers 
from $5 to $10,000. Standing on the list is John Pin- 
tard ; but tliis is a small matter compared with the val- 
be of his active personal services in perfecting the early 
inovement. j 

Mr. Pintard in 1807, took a very active part in the 
preliminaiy steps that led the Legislature of the State 
to pass an act, A})ril 3, 1807, appointing Governeur 
Morris, Simeon De Witt, and John Ruthfurd, as Com- 
iiiissioiurs of streets and roads in this city. 

Those commissioners did their work liiithfully and 
well. They reported on the 22il of March, 1811, and 
that splendid jilan of avenu 's and strocts was started. 

I have mentioned that Lewis Pintard was one of ' 
tbe incnipuralor-i ol' llr: Chuiul/cr of (Jomuierce John 


PinuirJ was one of its early mGmbers. In fact, after 
the llevolutiunary War, it lay dormant. It was Mr, 
Pintard who went to work and revived it, giving it a 
new vitality, fur it was almost dead. 

In 1817 he was elected secretary, and continued to 
perform those duties until 1827, when he was sixty- 
eight, lie was succeeded by John A. Stevens. 

lie was a prominent member of the American Bible 
Society ; was one of its ft)unders in 181tJ. lie was at 
one time secretary, and afterwards vice-president for 
many years. 

lie was secretary for a long time to the Brooklyn 
Ste-amboat C<nn[)any, of which Wilham Cutting (fath- 
er of Francis B.) was the princiital stockholder. 

There never lived that man in the city who could 
start great measures as John Pintard coidd do. lie 
could indite a handbill that would inflame the minds of 
the j)eo[)le for any good work. He could call a meet- 
ing with the pen of a poet, and before the people met, 
he would have arranged the doings for a perfect success. 
lie knew the weak point of every man, and he would 
gratify the vanity of men and get their money, and ac- 
complish his good purpose, without any of them sus- 
])ecting that they wci'e merely the respectable names 
and moneyed tuols that Mr. Pintard re(|uired. Here 
is an instance. 1 will here mention that he was the 
friend, from first to last, of De Witt Clinton, antl he 
coidd always get the latter to j)reside at a meeting, or 
give his iiamo for any pur[)Ose. lie had fliith in John 
l^intard. lie was the propeller of the first meeting to 
establish a Savings' Bank in New York." It was called 
at the old City Hotel in Broadway, Nov. 29, 1810. 
All his men were fixed, and it was 


Resolued, TImt it is expedient to establish a savinga* 
buni< in New York city. 

So far so ii;oo<l. Then Zach Lewis submitted a eon- 
stitution — prepared by John Pintard. 

Then a list of twenty-eight directors and officers w<ii 
])ro[)osed and carried. (Prepared by John Pintard J 
The list of directors was headed hy De Witt Clinton 
and ended with Joiui Pintard. 

It did n(jt conmiunce operations until tlic 3d of July, 
18PJ, and then John Pintard beaded the " Attenilni:; 
Connnittee " for the month. When the savings' bank 
got fairly under way, John Pintard withdrew, as was 
his usual custom when he had achieveil a gi'eat success. 
Jle kept away from it for some yenrs, but in 1828 the 
buidv elected him its president, autl he c(jntinued to oe 
su until Ibll. When eighty-two years old, his irame 
began to give away and he became blind. It was in 
184J, when he ceased to be the bank president, that he 
made his will, leaving his few earthly valuables to liis 
only surviving daughter, Mrs. Louisa II. Servoss, with 
whom he had made his home I'ur many years. lie 
died in 1844, aged eighty-six years, and his body was 
buried in the family vault in St. Clement's Church, in 
Amity street. That church was built in 18;50. Mr. 
Louis Bayard was its rector for many years. To that 
same vault, John Pintard, with pious and reverential 
hands, had removed the bones of his parents, uncle, and 
grandparents from the old French graveyard that stood 
between Pine and Cedar streets, near Nassau (opposite 
the i)Ost-olHce.) They were all mendjers of that church, 
and John Pintanl, who was a good French scholar, 
made the translation of the English Common Prayer 
Book, into French, precisely as it is now used in the 
French l^pi^co[)al Church in this city. 


In 1811, the plan had been mooted for connectnig the 
^vatel•s of Lake Erie with the Hudson river by means 
of a canal. A bill in favor of it passed the Legislature 
in 1811 ; between ihat and 1815 ajjplieutions were made 
I'or aitl from the general goveriunent. During the war 
nothing could be done. The whole affair hung heavily, 
when John l*tntard went to work to get up (Hie of his 
oroat meetings of citizens. This was near the close of 
the year 1815. TJie meeting was a great success, f jr 
innnetliately after, a law was })assed, appointing a board 
of counnissioners to lay out the track of the Erie Canal, 
and DeWitt Clinton was made its president. On the 
4th of July, lyl7, the first jjlough that opened a furrow 
was used. In 1825, the canal was completed, New 
York then containing 1G0,000 j)eople. On the 7th of 
September, 1825, the merchants and citizens of New 
York had a great meeting in the chamber of commerce, 
in the Tontine coffee house, to make arrangements for 
celebrating the completion of the great western canal. 
John Pintard was appointed Secretary, and the follow- 
ing resolutions were submitted by W. W. Woolsey. 
Of course, the whole progrannne was written by John 
Pintard — the whole arran<>ement was his. The Res- 
olutions are his style. The last one says : 

Resolved., That a connnittee, consisting of the follow- 
ing gentlemen be appointed to make inquiry, and to 
give public notice of the day on which the great event 
will occur, and where the celebration should take place, 
and tl'.it it be the duty of the connnittee to confer with 
the Corporation on this subject, and take such measures 
wi may be deemed necessai-y to call out a full expri'ssion 
of public feeling, In I'elation to un event so important to 
the interests of the c()inuiunity. 

llcs(jlvfd, That the committc'e consist of fifteen mom- 
bc;is ; William jjayani, John Pintard, Thomas il. iler- 


cien, William W. Woolsey, M. M. Noah, John Rath- 
bone, Jr., Ehlad Ilohnus, George Griswold, Joseph G. 
Swift, Campbell P. White, Jonathan Goodhne, Cadwal- 
Jader D. Golden, Isaac Carow, Silas Richards and Lock- 
wood Deforest. 

John Pintard, Secretary/. 

The meeting tlicn adjourned. 

I believe of all those name, not one is now alive. 1 
have written sketches of nearly all of them who were 

On the 28th of Sept., 1825, the merchants delegated 
John Pintard and Tlunnas R. Mercien to go to Albany 
and meet the committee from all parts of the state in 
reference to the celebration. 

The arrangements were all made, and the ^dan pub- 
iisiied was draftetl by Pintard. 

Mr. Pintard carried the bottle that contained tho 
T.ake Erie water that was emptied into the Atlantic, as 
an emblem of the union of the great inland water of 
the West, and the still greater outside Ocean. 

I need not add any details of wdiat occurred. I al- 
luded to it, to show more of the character of John Pin- 
tard. De Witt Clinton never forgot him. lie was 
mayor when Mr. Pintard was city insjiector. The at- 
tachment only ended when De Witt Clinton died, and 
tne last letter he ever wrote was in reply to our friend, 
Mr. Pintard. In the letter ho used this remarkable 
sentence : " I do not know that I have a hostile feel- 
ing against any human being." The next day, in a lit 
of apoplexy, he died. 

I could allude to many others of our best institutions 
that John Pintard aided materially in founding. One 
was the House of Refuge, an<l another the Merchants' 
and the ]\Iercaiitile Library. 


The wife of John Piiitard was a fit companion for 
him. She was a sharer in his prosperity, as well as ad- 

I have not space to enumerate all the performances 
of John rinturd for the good of this city, any con- 
temphited institution found a friend in him. He was 
ever ready to aid it. He regarded money as water, ex- 
cept when it woukl benefit tlie city. He pleasantly 
said to his friends, " I will be my own executor," mean- 
ing that he would spend all he had for useful purposes 
while alive. 

As an instance, he felt a deep interest in the general 
Theological Seminary of the Episcopal church, founded 
in this city. He did everything for it, laid out his plans, 
imported writings of the Fathers, and valuable works 
at his own expense, and he went to everybody that he 
knew that had money. Among others, he applied by 
letter, to a very rich man named Jacob Sherrard, who was 
a painter and glazier at No. 37 Broad. Jacob lived 
next door at No. 35. Jacob had no children nor near 
relatives. He belonjred to the Dutch Reformed church. 
On the 18th day of a month he wrote him a letter com- 
mencing with : " Lord, let me know the end of my 
days." John Pintard in this most charming letter stat- 
ed the claims of his fiivorite society, told him much 
good could be done if it had money. He did not stop 
there. He talked it all over with the wife of Jacob, 
and so convinced her that she agreed to it, and what 
was the result ? When Jacob died in 1820, the semi- 
nary was his " residuary legatee," and Ixmefited some 
J35l)O,O0O. At his fimeral, John Pintard was one of the 
pall beai'ei's. 

lie was not ii-ss successful with George Loi'rillard. 
I'l'cvioiis to uiakinif a «lead .set at Georm-, he wintc a 


242 ^^^-^ 0^^ MERCHA.VTS 

letter to botli Jacob uiul Peter Lorrillanl, asking tliom 
ir tliey luul any objection to his getting as niueli money 
as he could out of their brother George, for the benefit 
of the Theol(;gical Seminary. Tliey replied in the 
most prompt manner, " No." Then he went at Geoi'ge 
with a letter that was so convincing that Geoige J^or- 
rillard gave the institution ;^25,000. 

He was not so successful with Dennis Mc Carthy. 
Most of us remember when Dennis lived at 352 Broad- 
way, second door from Leonard street, in the Sixth 
Ward. His house was torn down to build up the Carl- 
ton house, that has also gone down in its turn to make 
way for great stores. Dennis had stores in Chami)ers, 
Chatham, and Market streets. He was a wholesale as 
well as retail grocer. He was a Catholic. To him Mr. 
Pmtard went, and stated the claims the Roman Cath- 
olic Orphan Asylum had upon him. He apj^eared to ba 
convinced. He had a wife, but no children, and no 
near relations. " Leave her well olT," wrote the active 
Pintard, " and leave the rest to the Catholic Asylum, 
and your memory will be blessed." Mr. Mc Carthy 
thought so, too. He had been the father of a beautiful 
daughter, but she had died. Dennis IMc Carthy lacked 
the moral courage to make a will, and he died without 
one. His property was in litigation for years. Distant 
relations made claim to it. 

" Do all the good you can, young man," was his advice 
to every friend who was younger than himself. 

He was very active in old matters of the city. For 
instance, the Wwnk of New York, though it was started 
in 178-i, had no chai'ter from the state. It did business 
upiin its own hook. After the war was over, the Lc"- 
islalure doubteil tlmir power to charter a bank. How- 


ever, after the constitution was adopted in 1787 by the 
" United States," and after Congress had chartered a 
United States Bank, our State Legislature concluded to 
charter two banks. It did so. One was the Bank of 
JS'ew York, and the other the Bank of Albany. The 
person most active in getting this matter arranged satis- 
factorily, was John Pintard. 

W^lien New Year's day arrived in 1790, General 
Wasliington had a house in this city at No. 1 Cherry 
street, lie was well aware that the receiving and mak- 
ing of calls on New Year's day was an old Dutch custoni. 
He liked it, and he determined to add the power of iu^ 
name as an example of the observance of the time hon- 
ored custom. Everybody in New York on that day 
called upon the general and his huly. In the evenuig 
there was a grand levee, and both the general and ins 
laily were present, lie told John Pintard, who wa.s 
present : " I am delighted. I have experienced tho 
most intense gratification in observing this good old 
Dutch custom. I am ai)[)rehensive that in time it will 
be laid aside and rooted out, owing to the immense num- 
ber (jf pjrhons who will come to New York on account 
of its favorable situation, but who will have no sympa- 
thy with this time-honored Dutch custom and ceremo- 

John Pintard was the man who went to work and 
hatl the names of all streets bearino; foreii^n names 
changed — such as King, Queen, Duke, Princess and 
Crown — to good republican names. 

He was one oi' the most active Sailors' Retreat friends. 

He wanted to die in harness as an othcer of the Bible 
Society, and the pi'csidcnt of the Savings' Bank. The 
last was not his happiness, although his own fault. 


244 1"^^ OLD jMERCHA.YTS 

Wc sluiU find ill our city few such men as John Pin- 
tanl, the last of his race. 

Since writing the above the private papers of Mr. Pin- 
tard have been phiced in my possession. I am compiling 
a work, to be called " The Life of John Pintard." It 
will be issued by Mr. G. W. Carloton, the Publisher, 
in 18G3. 




There are many tilings that I forget at the moment I 
am writuig a yketch about a particular person, firm, or 
matter, and that j)roperly belong to it. For instance, 
when 1 was writing about Mr. Samuel G. Ogden and 
the expedition of General Miranda in the " Leander," 
to the Spanish main, I ought to have mentioned the fate 
of two of those New Yorkers who went out in it. I 
knew both personally. John M. Elliott and Thomas 
Gill were sentenced to ten years' labor at Omoa. They 
were im[)risoned at Carthagena. I do not know how 
tiiey made their esca[)e, or whether they served out tho 
ten years to which they were sentenced. Thomas Gill, 
alter his return, was connected with the Eucninif Post. 
lie managed the business of that concern, and he was 
considered to be quite as important a personage as the 
eilitor. That was thirty years ago, when the Eveniiu^ 
Post office was in William street, No. 49. Mr. Cole- 
man, the editor, was lame. At precisely 3 o'clock he 
would come out and get in a carriage, and drive otf to 
Gl Hudson street, whert; he lived. Mr. Gill was regard- 
ed as so important a {tart of a well regulated newspaper 
establishnicnl, he ix'ing a niethodlcal business man, that 
Major Noah, when he started the Daiiij Eocnin^ SUir, 
secured the ser\ ices of iMr. (Jill, by giving him a half 



interest in tlic new enterprise, and it was owned by 
" Noah & Gill." 

Mv. Elliott, after his return from campaigning in 
South America, went back to the printing business again . 
I think it must be as early as 1817. In 1827, he formed 
a j>artnershlp with John W. Pahnor, another printer, 
and the firm was Elliott & Palmer, at No 7 Wall street, 
corner of New. Afterward they moved to No. 20 
WilHam street, where they opened a moderate sized 
" stationery store," and kej)t all kinds of books and 
blanks, such as are used by merchants. Mr. Palmer 
used to attend in the store, and iNIr. Elliott on the 
upper floor, wliere the printing ofHce and presses were 
stationeil. In that store I used to meet Samuel Wood- 
worth, the poet, author of the " Old Oaken Bucket." 
Tliere was nothing poetical about the looks of Mr. W. 
Elliott & Palmer were getting out a book of poems for 
the poet. I was presented with a copy, and kept it 
many years. The firm j)ul)li.shed many books and 
])am[)hlets for some years. In their time, the pamphlet 
was a connnon resort. " Efl'ects of establishing a recip- 
rocal exchange with Europe, by Publican ; " "■ Disser- 
tation on Political Equality, by J. C. ; " " Vindication 
of Andrew Jackson, by Grotius ; " " Dissertation on 
tlie French claims, by Lucius Junius Brutus," and such 
sort of stull". Some of these In-'ar the im[)rint of '' El- 
liott & Pahner, 20 WilHam street, New York. 

" What ever become of Nick Pahner?" 1 asked the 
other day, of a person who knew both of us a third of 
a century ago. 

" Nick? — why lie is cashiiH' (jf the Leather Manu- 
laclurcrs' Hank," was the reply. 

1 uli^scd Air. I'jlliott many years, and naturally sup. 
posed he had gone to a betti-r world, uutd last week, 

' .dl, 

OF .YEW yore: city. 24J ■ 

■w'licn I was told tliat an old printer named Elliott, the 
oldest printer in New York, could probably set up the 
f'iic simile of the old Corporation money (published in 
last chapter) in the same (piaint style. I went to Old 
t)lip, No. 1:^, and there found out that the old printer 
was still living, now eighty years old, in Jersey city, 
but did not attend to business any more, having resigned 
it to John M. Davis. 

Abraham Vannest is yet alive, and I should think must 

be among the oldest of the Old Merchants now alive. 

]Iis father, William Vaimest, was in the same business at 

47 Hanover square (111 Pearl,) soon after the peace 

of 1782. He died about 1794, and then his widow 

Deborah continued the business for a short time. 

About 179G, Abraham put up his own sign, and he kept 

it up many years. As he was in business sixty-six 

years ago, and did not publicly engage in it until he saw 

twenty-one, he must be eighty-six or eighty-seven yc-'^rs 

of age now. The house has continued down to this day, 

and is now Abraham R. Vannest & Co., " Saddlery, 

Hardware and Carriage goods," at No. 50 Warren and 

ir>0 Ciiamber streets, store extending through the block. 

JdIiu Haggerty is still alive, and a very aged man, but 

he did Jiot go into business under his own name until 

1800. George B. Kajielje is an old merchant, is still 

alivi', but he did not go into busijiess until after 1802, 

1 have his bold signature beibi-e me, signed December. 

Ih04. John Robbins is yet hale and hearty, as when 1 

wrote about him in last edition. He commenced about 

1800 to do business on his own account. 

The first ship ever sent to Canton from this city was 
sent by tlu; old lii"m of Frankliu, Robinson & Co. 
Their couiiting-houx' was at No. 279 I'earl stri'ilt. 
Tlie partners were Abraiiam and Samuel Franklin, and 



218 7-/^7;: OLD MERCrMJ\rTS '^^^ 

William T. Il(>l)in,son. They did a licavy East India 
business. I tliink tlie foinuL-r of the house was Walter 
Fi-anklin, who died in 1780. lie lived at No. 1 Cherry 
street. Gen. Washington occu])ied his house afterwards. 
His dau<^hter married De Witt Clinton. The ship that 
was sent by the house of Franklin, Robinson & Co., 
was one of the largest that had then been built in the 
city. The supercargo was William Bell. During the 
later years of his life, any one passing down Wall street 
■would see him, in the middle of the day, sitting upon '( 

the stoop of Mr. McCormick, No. 57 Wall street. JMr. 
Bell was a Scotchman, and a tall, fine-looking man. 
He was often seen in company with Captain Frederick 
Phillips. The latter was a half pay British officer, 
who lived in the splendid mansion corner of Pine and ■ ' 

William streets. After his death, Niblo took it as his 
Bank Coffee House. His only child, a daughter, mar- 
ried Samuel Gouverneur. His son Samuel L. Gouver- 
neur yet lives in this city, and he married Miss Mon- 
roe, a daughter of James Monroe, who was President 
of the United States. 

This Captain Phillips was one of the most popular '>;' 

men of the town. He remained here after the war, and '■! 

1 think died about 1813. lie was tall, stuoil as straight ]0 

as an arrow ; he carried under his arm a short cane, and /"■^' 
when he appeared in Wall street, with his head flung >,'': 

liack, any one could discover that he had received a mil- i' 

itary education. He was a thorou'di Eny-lishmen. He . '^^ 
juiued th'i St. George's Society in this city in 1788; he ^ 

was a long time vicc-j)resident of it. This daughter I 
have alluded to, who married Sannul (Jouverneur, was a 
liivored belle in her day, saiil to have been a most 
charuuny; as well as beautiful irirl. Tiie (iou\erni'ur faiu- 
ily was then in its prime, and Sam was a great match. ;|^ 


Ho was one of the firm of Gouverneur & Kemble. Tim 
eldest son of this inurriagc took tlie name of the superb 
old Captain " Frederick Phillips," his grandfather, and 
dropped that of Gouverneur. The captain was a very 
rich man when he died. 

What talking times those old jokers (young once) 
used to have on stoop No. 57 Wall street. The house 
stood below the present Merchants' Exchange, on the 
south side, three doors this side of Pearl street, until the 
great fire. It was forty feet wide. It was built of 
brick — plastered over to represent stone, and was 
paiuted blue. Daniel McCormick bought the property 
about 1790, built that house, and moved into it about 
1792. He was a bachelor. I am not aware that he 
liad any near connection, but one. That one came out 
from Ireland, and it was the intention of his uncle to 
make him his heir, but they did not agree. Onfi was 
raw and uncouth, and the other (old Daniel) was one - 
of the most polished gentleman in the city. The raw 
ono. went back to the old country, and strange to say, 
rose to high rank in the legal profession. I think he 
became " Lord Advocate," or somethino; of the sort, 
iiefore the war Daniel had been in the auction business I 
think. He was an Irishman by birth, came to this 
country poor, but amassed a large fortune and retired. 
He was president of the St. Patrick Society for many 
)ears, and I believe a member all his life. It is curious 
to look back and see who were the leadin<x Irishmen in 
ilns city, and ollicers of the St. Patrick Society, from 
1790 to 1801. J(jhn Charleton was one. He was jdiysi- 
cian at No. 110 Broadway as early as 17HG. Thom- 
as Roach (jtresident in 1792) was a wine merchant in 
W'ater sticet. AVilliiuu lulgar, was vice i)resitlcnt. 
He was the founder of the Edgar I'amily, in this city. 

250 TllK OLD jMERCil.l.VTS 

The wliitii marble piihicc of Mr. Edgar is still standincr 
at 7 Greensvich street. In 1797 he li\^ed at No. 7 Wall 
street. Ke was treasurer of the lirst insurance company- 
started in 1793, " jNIutual." He was director in the 
Bank of New York, lie was a merchant, and promi- 
nent in everything; that was going on for many years. 
John Shaw was a merchant in \\'^ater street. Carlisle. 
Pullock was a merchant, and li\-ed in Whitehall street, 
but had his store on Gouverneur wharf. Janies Con- 
stable, who was one of St. Patrick's " Council,''' was a 
merchant, and one of the firm of William and James 
Constable. They lived corner of ^Vall and William 
streets. John JMcVicker was a merchant, and had iiia 
store and dwelling house at 27 Queen (would be about 
half way betwen Pine and Wall in Pearl.) He was an 
Irishman, and head of tiie great McVicker family of 
the city. He was lather of Professor AlcVicker of 
Columbia Colleo-e. A irrandson of his, Bard MeVicker, 
was one of the cleverest vonni!: man that ever <rradu- 
ated at Columbia ColK-ge. He died, 1 believe, tjf con- 
sum[)tion about twcnty-i.ive years ago. William Wade 
was a grocer in Water street, only a few doors I'rum 
Whitehall. " Hugh Gaine " was the treasurer of the 
St. Patrick's Society. He was a printer, and a wijudrr- 
i'ul j)erson. In 1752, 110 years ago, he started the 
New Yurk Mercury, a weekly. During the Uevulutiou, 
he was regarded as rather unsound upon the " goose 
(juesitit)n " of that ilay, but after the war was ovei', lio 
became all r-ght and was a great favorite. In 17w7 he 
got out a Univi'isal iii'gister, and in it he gives tho j)opu- 
lalion of IMcw York at yO,UUO inhabitaiiLs ami -1,2U0 
houses. iVbout that time he was a bookseller and sta- 
tioner, at 2-3 Hanover sipiai'e. What is i\Uo very c:u- 
rit)us, he was a vestryman of Triuily church liuni 1792 

OF J\''E \V YO n K CIT Y. or^\ 

to 1808. So, too, was John McVickar, from 1801 to 
1812. So, too, was William Hill from 1812 to 1818. 
He was a merchant in Broad and lived in Courthmdt 
street. He was treasurer of the society for some years. 

Dominick Lynch was for a long time a counsellor of 
St. Patrick. lie was of the firm of Lynch & Stoughton, 
merchants at 41 and 42 Little Dock street (Water 
street, from Whitehall to Old slip.) INIr. Lynch lived 
at No. 10 Broadway. Don Thomas Stoughton, his 
partner, was the Spanish Consul General. I have a 
chapter written ahout this firm, and it will be one of 
the most interesting of any that I have wi'itten, when 
published. So that I will say no more about it now. 
These Irish families are the cream of the cream of the 
old families here. Oeor<i;e l>arnewell was an imnoi'tino- 
merchant, and had his counting-room at No. 21 Wall, 
in the rear of No. 19, with such vice presidents and 
other officers as William "W. Wallace, Robert R. Wad- 
dell, William Hill, Hugh Gaine, George Barnewall, 
John Caldwell, Cornelius Hceney, and they were all 
leading h'ishmu'n seventy-five years ago. Irishmen used 
to be aldermen in those days, too, for Daniel McCormick 
was alderman of the East Ward in 1789 and 1790. It 
is curious, too, that John Pintard, of whom I wrote, 
should have been his assistant. In those two years 
James Duane and Richard Vaiiek were mayors. 

AVhen the Bank of New York was started, Daniel 
McCormick was among the first directors ; Sanuiel 
Franhlin, of the firm of Franklin, Robinson & Co., was 
another. Isaac Roosevelt was the president. j\Ir. Mc- 
Cormick contiiuied in the board of directors twenty 
years. His house as I have said before, was the resort 
of several of the leading men. On his stoop, in the 
middle of the day, could be seen Caj)laiu JMiillips, who 


was the acknowledged authority in war matters, as was 
Supercargo Bell about Ciiinese matters, he havino- bt'en 
the lirst siijiercargo out there. In another chair could 
be seen Colonel William Steuben Smith, surveyor of 
tlie port, that President Jefferson afterward removed for 
supposed complicity with the General Miranda expedi- 
tion. Two doors above Mr. IMcCormick, at No. 53, lived 
;Mrs. ]Mary Daubeney, the wife of Captain Daubeney. 
At 43 lived Thomas Pearsall, and at 41, Thomas Bu- 
cluman. Next door below Mr. McCormick, at 59, was 
the Eagle Insurance Company. He himself was a di- 
rector in the United Insurance Company, at 49 Wall, 
and so were his neighbors, Buchanan and Pearsall. At 
the time Mr. McCormick left the board of directors of 
the Bank of New York, his friend, Nicholas Gouverneur, 
"was president of it. 

Mr. McCormick was a glorious sample of the old 
New Yorker. He stuck to Wall street to the last. 
Death alone could get him out of it. He died in 1834 
and from 1792 until that date he never budged an inch 
out of the honored old street. He witnessed the re- 
moval of his neighbors one by one, year after year, un- 
til all had gone. He saw ofiices and business crowding 
into the cellar and lloors and garrets of the vacated 
huildings ; he saw new buildings put up for offices ; but 
he was firm, and finally was left alone, the oidy gentle- 
man wiio continued to reside in his own house, in the 
g'iod old fashioned style. He never changed his habits. 
he stuck t' short biceches and white st(jckin<'-s and 
l>uckles to the last. He wore hair-powder as long as ho 
lived, and beliL'Vcil in curls. Ho was without a stain 
Upon his chaiacter. ile was Ibnd of his friends, and 
tlie_y lovecl him, although he saw ni'arly all of tliem en- 
ter the grave. He gave good duiUer parties, and hud 


choice old wines upon the table. In his invitation? for 
dinner he invited three, or five, or seven persons to dino 
with him, but never an even number ; and he was ul- 
M'ays anxious to have those come that he invited, so 
tliat ill-Kick might not chance by one not coming, thus 
giving the unlucky even number of persons to entertain. 
After dinner came a ffood old jj-ame of whist for one or 
two tables, according as he invited more or less. He 
was fond of the game, and his friends also were good 
whist player. Pie owned a large landed property, and 
when he died was very rich. On those days, and for 
years, the great topic of conversation was Bonaparte. 

In a former chapter, I alluded to that great old firm 
of Gouverneur & Kemble. lie was the one that gave 
the name to Gouverneur's lane, back or near his house. 
That house was quite a remarkable one in its day. It 
was destroyed in the great fire in 1835. ]\Iany people 
used to visit it to see the paper hangings on the walls, pa- 
per imported from Canton, having been used by ^fr. 
Gouverneur. The counting house of Gouverneur & 
Kenible was up on Gonvernenr's wharf, which was at 
the bottom of Gouverneur alley, at the second wharf 
east of Old Slip. About 170S, Isaac commenced build- 
inir his irrand house on the corner of Sloate lane (now 
the end of Hanover) and Hanuver scpiare ; it was No. 
121 Pearl street. That house was a great ;i flair, and 
Avliat added to its wonder was that it had a drain 
to Old Slip, inde})endent of any other drain. Ho 
CO'.. hi not have enjoyed his new luiuse very h)ng, for ho 
died about the commencement of the century. His 
widow resided in it until 1803. It was afteiwai ds rent- 
cil (o the ceK'bi'ated (Jeiieral Moreaii, (jI" wlumi I liavo 
.spoken in fornur cliaplers. I lire iMore.iii li\ I'd in giMiid 
blyle, entertaining like a Prince, until he went back to 


Europe to join the allies against Napoleon, and lose liiti 
lii'e at Dresden. 

The firm had an immense law suit with a French- 
man, involving over a hundred thousand dollars. It was 
taken up to Albany. Aaron Burr and Alexander 
Hamilton were counsel for the Frenchman Le Guin, 
and all the celebrated lawyers of the state were engaged 
uj>on it. It was decided against Gouverneur & Kcm- 
l)le, and it killed Isaac Gouverneur. He died at Al- 
bany shortly after the result of this suit was known. 
His brother Nicholas married a Miss Kortwright. The<^ 
lived at 23 Beaver street for many years. He died in 
that house in 1807. Samuel L. Gouverneur who was 
postmaster, was a son of this Nicholas. A daughter of 
Nicholas married Johnson Verj)lanck, who was a son of 
Gulian Verplanck, an eminent citizen, who was as early 
as 1790 and for many years after, president of the 
Bank of New York, and who is uncle to our Gulian C. 
Verplanck. Johnson Verplanck at one time was the 
editor of the celebrated New York American, with 
which Mr. Charles King was so long connected. It 
was the organ of the Federalists in its day, as the Eve- 
nhiir Post was of the Republican. 

oi 9qc7Ji5[ 

OF j\rE}y voiiK CITY. 256 


In the last I spoke of Guliaii Verplanck, tlie second 
president of tlie Bank of New York in 1790, and who 
was a man of extraordinary abiHty. He was born in 
this city, and received an education in Amsterdam, 
He came over to tliis city to act as the agent of an 
old established Dutch house in Amsterdam. Al- 
though extremely young for such a great responsi- 
bility, yet he conducted their business to the perfect sat- 
isfaction of his former employers. In after years he 
did a very heavy business with Holland. About 1792, 
he bought of Alexander Hamilton a house and lot in 
Wall street. He tore dnwn the house and erected a 
ejth'udid mansion iij)on it, where the Merchant's Bank 
now is. In his day it was No. 12 Wall street, (now 
83.) He was an accom[)lishud man and a good speak- 
er, and was much esteemed. As early as 1788, when 
the Ijegislature met at l*oughkee|)sie, and we sent such 
men as Uidiard Vai'ick, I'^vcrt Hanker, Nicholas Bay- 
aril, Nicholas Low, Comfort Sands, to represent this 
city, Gulian Verplanck was among them. He contin- 
ued to represent this city until 1790. That year he 
was speaki.:r of the assembly. Ho was sent to the Leg- 
islatm-e again in 1790, and was elected s})eaker again- 
lle died about 1800. His wiilowcontinued to reside- in 
the old mansion until 1803. 

256 'J'ii^ ^^-0 MERC'HAXTS 

The name of Gulian lias been before this city for 
eighty years. The first was Gulian who was speaker 
at^A'lbany in 170G. He died in 1800. He left a 
worthy and even more distinguished representative of 
the name in the person of his nephew (who was named 
after him,) Gulian C. Verplanck. A few years later, 
ill 1808, he took his place among the citizens as an 
attorney-at-law, 50 Wall street, and residing in Partition 
(Fulton) street. This Gulian C. was In the Legislature 
lor some years, commencing in the Assembly in 1821, 
and ending in 1823. Ten years later he was elected to 
the twenty-second Congress from this city, and held it 
IVoin 1831 to 1833. He was in the Senate of this State 
from 1838 to 1841. He is now and has been for many 
years one of the commissioners of emigration. \ic is a 
most remarkable man. It would recjuire a volume, in- 
stead of a part of one of my chapters to give any idea 
of the varied occupations of Mr. Gulian 0. Verplanck. 
Tliey have been almost as numerous as those of John 
Pintard. In former years, when New York was young- 
er, hardly any institution. Literary, Scientific, Benevo- 
lent, Political or Religious, could get along without his 
name. I have been forced to allude to liim, In this 
sketch, in order to draw a line between my good old 
merchant, Gulian Verjilanck, and the one who is yet 
liviiiii;, and who 1 h()i)e will live many more years to be 
an honored " landmark " in the progress of the city. 

I mentioned as clerks of Gouverneur k, Keinble, 
Sanuul G. Ogden, and John Wilkes, and NIc Ogdeii. 
I might have mentioned Staats Lawrence, W. 11. Jep- 
.son, "n. G. Rutgers and Oeorge A. Bibby, who were 
clerks WW years later (in 1801) than the former ones. 
John Wilkes, I think, was in the countlug room, but 
did not continue in commercial business. There were 

-ilVrf ) V/i>.. 

0^. V,' 


two brothers came out to this country after the Revolu- 
tionary War, — Charles and John. They were nephews 
of the celebrated Wilkes, who made such a fi^fure in 
English politics for a long period. He was the (North 
Briton) Wilkes, member of Parliament — locked up in 
tJie tower, and a great public favorite. 

Charles Wilkes had been a banker's clerk, I think in 
London. When the Bank of New York was started in 
1784, he went into it as principal teller, lie must have 
been somewhat experienced, for in 1794, he was made 
cashier. lie had amonn; the directors who voted for 
hun, Nicholas Gouverneur, Daniel McCormick, and 
Gulian Verplanck, who was })resident of the bank that 
year. John Wilkes, the brother of Charles, was a pub- 
lic notary in 1792. He lived at No. 13 Wall street. 
He was the father of several st^ns : John, Edward, Ilen- 
ly, and Charles. The last married Miss Ilenwick, a 
aister of Professor Renwick. He is the celebrated^ 
" Commander " Wilkes, the hero of the capture of Ma- 
Min and Slidell. Here I must mention one of those cu- 
rious coincidences that are reall}" laughable. 

There was another John Slidell, a tailor, at No. 21 
Duke (South William.) His brother was a shoemaker, 
at No. 21 Broadway. Yet another brother, Joshua, 
was a measurer of grain, and lived in Dutch street. 
These last were distant relatives of the John Slidell of 
■whom 1 shall speak. In 1794 he had his factory at No. 
oO iJroadway. 

U\ 179.'>, the old man continued to live at the old 
Boap iiulory, No. 50 Broadway ; but he gave up the 
busuiess to John Ji'. (who had served an apprenticeshi[) 
to it,) and he became a soaj) and candle maker at the 
old stand. He- li\id al that time at 1)0 Hroailway, 
where John Slidell, the future ex-senalor, llehel Minis- 

258 ^f^^ (^LD MERCHAJVTS 

ter, and so fortli, was born. The son of one nelglibor and 
First Warder, became tlie capturer of the son of anotli- 
er. Tliese boys, old boys they are now, both being 
over sixty-five, liave phxyed together in their early years, 
neither dreaming of their future destiny, or liow they 
would afterwards meet. When John Slidell went on 
hoard the " San Jacinto" and met Commodore Wilkes, 
what curious sensations they must both have felt ! The 
old First Ward times, when as boys they called each 
other "Jack" and "Charley" — went to school to- 
gether, played tag together, snowballed each other ; and 
when a little later, they becalne older, and experienced 
])U|)py love for the first time, it was for a First Ward 
little o-irl ! 

If a London paper were to make such a statement as 
this it Avould be called " romancing." It would not be 
believed. New York journals would call it a fabrication. 
Here it is different. There are a hundred, perhaps a 
thousand people who will see this article, who will know 
that what is stated is true. There are persons who have 
known them as boys. 

In 17U8, John yiidell Jr., took his brother Tiiomas 
into partnership, and the business was then continued 
under the firm of" John Slidell, Jr., & Co." The old 
John moved up into Winne (IMott) street, where he 
died in 1804, and after that the firm was John Slidell 
& (\)., and so it was continued at the same old stand 
and manufactory. No. 50 Broadway, until 1817. 

In 1804 there was a " General Society of Mechanics 
and Tiadesnien " in the city of New York. This soci- 
ety had its ['resident J(jhn Slidell ; its first and second 
vice-pi-e.sidents, its secretarv, its collector, its poor over- 
seer, and loaning connnittee. Jacob Sheri'ed, AVil- 
liam G. ^Miller, Andrew Morrill, Jonathan Wcedover, 


Anthony Steenback, and such otlier good names among 
them. Mr. John Slidell, Jr., had belonged to it in oth- 
er years, as early as 1708, when James Tylee was pres- 
ident ; Thomas Timpson, vice-president; CorneUus 
Crygier, second vice-president ; John Striker, treasur- 
er ; WiUiam Wliiteliead, Abraham Labagh, Daniel 
Ilitclicock and Samuel Delamatcr, were the " Poor 

Wliat possible connection there could have been be- 
tween a benevolent society and a bank, passes my com- 
prehension, yet so it way In 1810, the Mechanics' 
Bank was chartered, and John Slidcll, Jr., Anthony 
Steenback, Mr. Miller, Jacob Sherred, and other namctj 
of the old society, " P(Jor Overseers " were made di- 
rectors of the new Baidc of Mechanics, and John Sli- 
dell was made the first president of the Mechanics' 
Bank. He kept that place as president until ISlT. 
IMeantime his soap and tallow candle manufactory was 
moved up to No. 180 Elizabeth street, near the cathe- 
dral, and the old gentleman moved his residence to 
Bloomingdale. About 1825, he moved back into town, 
and his house was at No. 621 Broadway. That year 
1825, the Traders' Fire Insurance Company was char- 
tered, and Mr. John Slidcll, Sr., was president. Pre- 
vious to this, however, in 1817," John Slidell, Jr. (R<.bel 
now) had gone into mercantile business at No. 52 South 
street, with James jMcCrea. The linn was " McCrea 
& Slidell." This firm continued in busine ss as late as 
1820. The store was at No. 41 South street in 1818, 
and afterwards John Slidell Jr., (Rebel) lived at No. 
50 Broadway, and so did James McCrea. It was about 
this time the concern I'ailed. James McCrea married 
;i daughter ui' iVugusliue 11. Lawrence. It was about 
this time that Jtdni Slidell, Jr. had a duel wilji Stephen 

W-jhW?. MifoL .il 


Price, the manager of the Park Tlieatre. Tliey fought 
in the morning, and SHdell sliot his antagonist, giving 
jiim a had wound. It was tlio failure of his firm and the 
scandal of this duel that determined John Slidell, Jr., 
10 go to a new State when there was an opening. Ue 
pitched \ipon New Orleans. 

The old John lived up at No, 174 Grand street, 
-where he died of the cholera in 1832. lie limped for 
many years, having had a leg amputated. One of his 
daughters married Commander M. C. Perry, a brother 
of Oliver II. Perry, of Lake Erie fome. M. C. was 
famed for his great Japan expedition, and was a most 
excellent man. A daughter of Commander Perry mar- 
ried Auo-ustus Belmont, the celebrated banker — a 
most excellent man, now in Europe. 

Thomas Slidell, the brother of John (Rebel,) died a 

Another brother, Alexander Slidell, was placed In 
the Navy. He rose to be a connnander, but put to 
deatli two persons on board the U. S. brig " Somers." 
One of the men happened to be a son of the lion. John 
(J. Spencer, who was then the Secretary of ^Var. A 
nice lime was made in conse(]uence. Previous to this 
sad affair,- Alexander Slidell had had his name changed 
by act of the Legislature, to Mackenzie. An old Scotch 
relative had left him a large simi of money, on the con- 
dition that he would do so. He died many years ago. 
J think he married a daughter of ^lorris Kobinsoii, who 
was the celebrated cashier of the United States Branch 
P>ank in this city, until its affairs were wound up in the 
days of General Jackson. Mr. llobinson left several 

In a former chapter I had a sketch of N. L. cfe G. 
Griswold, the extensive East India merchants and shij) 


owners. Tliere were other Griswolds, who were also 
ship owners. One was John GrisvvolJ, Junior^ when 
he came to this city in 1812. 

I presume the father of this family was named John 
Griswokl. Young John opened at 08 South street, and 
lived at 52 Broadway. In 1815, ahout the close of tho 
war, John took into partnership Charles C. Griswold. 
lie was a brother. That firm lasted until 1818, when 
I tliink, Charles died. At any rate the house was dis- 
solved, but John still continued the business under his 
own name at 08 South street. He kept in that storo 
until 1827, when he moved next door to 09, corner of 
Tine street. About fifteen years later he moved to 70 
South street. 

The history of packet ships, and of those who started 
them, is very attractive. Up to 1815 there were noth- 
ing but transient ships. Then was first commenced 
that regular line of packets, such as the world had never 
beh)re seen. The merchants of the city of New York 
led off' in this imdertaking. In 1815 a line of Liver- 
pool packets was established. The ships were to leave 
New York and Liverpool on the first day of every montli. 
Isaac Wright & Son and Francis Thompson were the 
proprietors of that line, and they ran it with such suc- 
cess, that after seven years' trial they determined to run 
a second line, starting from Liverpool and New York 
simultaneously on the 10th of each month. Additional 
ships were added, and they were all of the first class, in 
mercantile observation. 

The great success of the Liverpool line led John 
Griswold to start a London line of packets about 1823. 
At first they sailed on the 1st of each month from Lon- 
don and from New York, touching at Cowes. Fish' & 
Grinnell became interested, and a second line was start- 


eil, tlio ships to leave New York, on the IGth of each 
moiitli. They had eight of the finest ships that sailed 
out of port. John Griswohl's ships were the " Sover- 
eign," " Cambria," " President," and " Hudson." 
Those belonging to Fish & Grinnell were the " Colum- 
bia," "Hannibal," " Corinthian," and " Ontario." 

A few years later when the packet ships were in the 
height of their glory (1837, just before steamer ships 
sui)erseded them in part,) the London line was increased 
to twelve magnificent shi])s, leaving New York on the 
1st, 10th, and 20th of each month. With the excep- 
tion of two of the former list, all the rest were new, viz. : 
" St. James," " Montreal," " Gladiator," " Mediator," 
" Quebec," " Wellington," " Philadelphia," " Samson," 
" Toronto," " Westminster," " President," and " On- 
tario." Such was the rivalry, and so great was the 
fear of Leing outdone, the owner would not keep these 
fine ships in the line for but three or four years. The 
London line touched at Portsmouth, instead of Cowes 
as at first. 

What popular fellows their captains were ! Where 
now are the Delanos, Champlins, Hebards, Morris, 
Morgans, Chadwicks, Sebors, Brittons, Griffins, Gris- 
wolds, Sturges, and a host of the old fashioned packet 
ship captains of this line ? 

For fifteen years after the London line was started, our 
packet ships went everywhere. There was Havre, Bel- 
fast, Greenock, Hull, Carthagena, Havana, Vera Cruz ; 
and as for domestic packet lines, they ran all over — 
New Orleans, Mobile, Charleston, Savannah. Old and 
new lines to each, in most cases. 

Mr. John Griswold, the founder of the London line, 
died within a very few years. The line of ])acket ships 
continues still in existence. 


As I have said much about tlie rise of the house of 
Goodhue & Co. iu former numbers, giviu*^ a full account 
of its commencement as Goodhue & Swett in 1808, and 
its changes to Goodhue & Co., and its partners, good 
old Jonathan Goodhue, Pelatiah Perit, C. Durand, and 
others, I ought now to give its closing chapter. The Ibl' 
lowing a})peared iu the j(jurnals on the first day of this 

The co-partnership heretofore existing under the firm 
of Goodhue &, Co. is this day dissolved by mutual con- 

The outstanding concerns of this house will be ad- 
justed by cither of the partners, who will use t]ie sig- 
nature of the firm in licjuidation. 

New York, December 1, 1861. 

The undersigned have this day fjrmcd a co-partner- 
ship under the firm of Weston & Gray, and will contin- 
ue the business heretofore conducted by Goodhue & Co. 


New York, January 1, 1802. 

For this country, a continued existence of one house 
fifty-iuur years, is a long time. The above Rcjbert and 
Charles Goodhue are sons of the old "-entleman who 
founded the house. 



In one of the previous chapters when speaking of the 
celebrated house No. 57 Wall street, occupied by Daniel 
McCormick, I said : 

" What talking times these old jokers (young ones) 
used to liavc on stoop No. 57 Wall street. The house 
stood below the ]»resent Merchant's Exchange, on the 
south side, three doors this side of Pearl street until the 
great fire. It was forty feet wide. It was built of 
brii-k — plastered over to represent stone, and was j)aint- 
ed blue. Daniel JMcCorniick bought the property aboutf 
17UU, built that house, and moved into it about 1702." 

I was in error when I said he built that house. It 
was an old house before the Revolution broke out, in 
1770. In 177U, William backhouse lived there, and 
kejjt boarders of a high class, lie charged rather high, 
viz., eight dollars a week, and a dolhu- extra for wash- 
ing. John J. (Hover boanh'd there, and so ilid dozens 
<)l"oiu Ills' nu'rclianls. Wm. Uackhouse himself was a 
very suecessl'nl merchant in after years. In 1700 ho 
was a jtartner with William Laiglit, and they did busi- 
ness at No. 200 (^ueen stre(!t. I think William Pack- 
lionse (lied in 1702. y\bout that time there was another 
William liaekhouse in this city, lie was ('aptain liack- 
house, a celebiated sea captain in his day. 


That grand old fellow, Daniel McCormick, had so 
many good points, that I forget some of them. He was 
a IMasun, and as early as 178G was Gralid Treasurer of 
the Grand Lodge of Free and aceepted Masons of New 
York. I wish those who have read this, and who have 
read the former chapters, and who arc in possession of 
facts about Mr. McCormick, would send them to me. 
I will make good use of them. 

Some of the firms in which the Suydams were mem- 
bers, were great mercantile houses in their day, and 
three existed previous to the commencement of this cen- 

There was a house of R. & J. Suydam as early as 
1791. They kept at No. 10 Albany pier (where Co- 
enties slip now is.) Rynier Suydam, of that firm, lived 
at No. 1 State street. In 1701, two new firms were 
started. One was Suydam & Wyckoff, at Nos. 11 and 
13 Coenties slij), the same John Suydam that was with 
Jlynier. John lived over the store, at No. 11, in the 
slip. Henry J. Wyckoff was of this firm, and lived at 
No. 42 Stone street. 

j\Ir. Wyckoff was one of those men who ought not soon 
to be forgotten in New York. He died in 1830. Hq 
was one of those good old-fashioned Aldermen, such as 
New York used to have in tlie olden time. lie was Al- 
derman of the First Ward from 1821 to 1825. Early 
in life he married Phebe Suydam, a cousin of his part- 
ner. They had but one daugliter ; she married Francis 
Olmstead, a partner in the house of Peter Ivemsen & Co. 
The only daughter of Mr. Olmstead married Henry \W . 
Sargent. Henry J. Wjckolf was oiie of the Directors 
of the Mei'chant'ri ilaid;, when it apj)lied lor a charter ill 
1805, and he was one of its leading men for many years. 

The Eagle Firi' In^in\uiee Coiiipauy A\as bLaiud ill 


1807 ; W. W. Woolsey was its first President, and John 
INIeyer, Secretary, Nuo'J Wall street. I have bel'ure me 
iMW one of its liandhilis, dated March 11, 1807, i)riiited 
in the clear tyj)c of those days. Mr. Wyckoff was a 
Director at the start ; in 180'J he was chosen President 
of it, and iield it until 1815. I helievc the company (Ea- 
<de and Albion) is still in existence, at No. 11 Wall 
street. Mr. Wyckoff was elected a (xovernor of the New 
York Hospital in 1802, and he held the same position 
until he died, in 18o9. Just before Alderman Wyckoff 
died, his son Ifenry failed, and the old gentleman altered 
his will, and made Henry W. Sargent, his oraudson-in- 
law trustee for the portion of his son Henry, and ^Ir. Sar- 
gent paid off' all young Wyckoff's debts. The house of 
Suydam & Wyckolf dida very heavy business for thirty 
years. Mr. John H. Bailey was a clerk lor them in 
1797. He was afterwards of the tirm of Bailey & Voor- 
hees. The house of Suydam & Wyckoff dealt largely 
in teas, wines, and groceries generally. John Suydam, 
who was of this firm, was called "' Boss John." He 
was son of Hendrick Sudyam, of Long Island, who died 
in 1818, aged eighty-one. John, of the Hini of Suydam 
<fc Wyckoff", was born in 1703. He had a brother Sam- 
uel, who was of the firm of Suydam & Heyer. Isaac 
Heyer was of that firm. He married Jane Suydam, the 
sister of his jtartner. Suydam k Heyer coiumenced busi- 
ness in 1791, at No. 07 Front street. The iirm lasted 
until Sanuu'l Suydam died, in 1797. Isaac Heyer con- 
tinued iiie bqsiness for many years, and was one of our 
nu)st respecti-d merchants. He was brother-in-law to 
Stephen Whitney, who married Harriet Suydam, his 
wile's sister. 

Another brother, Henry, went into business in 1800, 
under the firm ofll. Suytlam & Co. They did business 


at No. 45 Front street. He lived at No. 23 Whiteliull. 
lu 180-i he I'onned a partnership with John Wilbon, a 
iScotflinian, who came to this country about 17U0. lie 
Avas a clerk with Isaac lleyer lor some years. In 1801 
he was an accountant, and lived in Beaver lane No. 1. 
lie was then Junior. I think he was son ot" an o\A ba- 
ker, John Wilson, who had a bakery at No. \)'6 Fair 
street, I'rom 1705 to 1808. Whether he was a son or 
connection I do not know. In l80o this one, while vet 
an act-'ountant, embarked all his ca})ital to aid his brother 
Alexander, under the firm o\! >] . & A. Wilson, at GO 
John street. That baking' establishment continued fur 
years and years at that locahty. h\ 1815 it was changed 
to No. 34 Fulton and No. 45 Front, wdiere the firm of 
Suydam k Wilson was kept. That last Hrm continued 
in business in the same street, at No. 45 Front, until 
1834, when the firm was dissolved, old Mr. John Wil- 
son retiring from business. His son, James IJ. Wilson, 
Avho was a junior j)ai'tuer in the house, miited with San- 
ford Cobb, Jr. (of llerriman, Nash & Co.) and Ibrmed 
the house of ^Vilson & Cobb. That was dissolved in 
1854, young iMr. Wilson then retiring from active mer- 
cantile business. i\lr. Cobb still continues on the busi- 
ness in the same place, under the firm of Cobb, March 
& Gross. 

A half century ago business Avas not done " with a 
rush," or on the railroad plan, as in the present "fast 
times." Business men in those days had more leisure 
to conver ;e on bushiess matters and the topics of the day. 
On entering a merchant's olHce you were not admon- 
ished, by the peremjjtory and positive connnand, in 
flaming letli.'rs on a lai'ge placartl, wai'uing the \'i.siior 
not to open his mouth on any subject but that of busi- 
ness, ami that, too, ■\vithiu the limits of certain hours ; 


and when tlirougli to " go about his business." This is 
one of the imin'ovenients of the age and the two-forty 
system. They had time to " drop in '' and see their 
neighbors, and tlie store of Suydam & Wilson was the 
favorite meeting ])hice of the mcrcliant* in the vicinity, 
among whom were Samuel Gilford, Edward H. Nieoll, 
Peter Remsen, Henry J. Wyckotf, Gabriel Wisner, 
James Bailey, Francis Saltus, Stephen Whitney, and 
others, all \\o\w deceased, llobert Lenox, Samuel Craig, 
and John Laurie, among other prominent rich Scotch 
merchants, were frequent visitors. 

Mr. Wilson was wlde'ly kiu)wn among the business 
men of that day, and highly esteemed for his high-toned 
purity of character as a merchant and a citizen. lie 
lived and died an humble Christian : peculiarly domes- 
tic in his habits, he found his greatest enjoyments in the 
society of his immediate family. He often told the fol- 
lowing incident on his arrival in this country, on landing 
fcom the vessel at one of the wharves in the City of 
Pliiladelphia. He was accosted by a fine looking, el- 
derly Quaker gentleman, with, " Well, my lad, in which 
part of the States do you intend to settle ? " He replied, 
" I have not yet made uj) my mind, sir, whether to go 
to the North or to the South." " Well," said the (Qua- 
ker gentleman, " if thee wants to retain thy morals and 
thy liealtli, thee must go to the North ; if thee wanls to 
lose them both, thee nuist go to the South." 

Just before the declaration of war in 1812, the Hon. 
John Smith, of the United States Senate (by the way, 
a very extraordiiuiry man ; he was elected to Congress 
as a representative from Sullblk in 1799, kept in until 
1801, when he was made a Senator to lill a vacancy, 
and re-appointeil, and was senator imtil 18L3,) wrote to 
his step-^uu, Edward H. Nicoll (Smith &i NicoU that I 

OF .YEjy voril ciTV. 2G9 

Imve wrote much about) that war was inevitable, and 
sujTgosted the purchase of such goods as would be at- 
i'vcicd in value by the war. This letter was submitted 
to Suydam & Wilson, and joint purchase was proposed ; 
but the conservative, patriotic character of the house 
forbade the idea of speculating under such circumstan- 
ces. Neither of these great houses availed themselves 
of the information of the senator, and missed a glorious 
0[)i)ortunit_y of making an immense fortune. Edward 
A. Whitlock, of the house of B. x\r. S: K. A. Whitlock & 
Co., was a clerk with the firm of Suydam & Wilson for 
some Lime, an<l left it to go West. Mr. Wilson left his 
family (Ijcsides his estate) tiio rich legacy of a pure and 
unsullied name. 

I mentioned in a previous chapter that Moses Taylor 
married a daughter of Mr. Wilson, the ship-bread baker. 
He is the one I have been writing about as of the firm of 
Suydam & Wilson. The ship bakery is still carried on by 
John T. Wilson, a grandson of the old one, at 73 Ful- 
ton street, same locality. 

Edward Holland Nicoll, of Smith & Nicoll, married 
Miss Mary Townsend, a daughter of Captain Solomon 
Tovvnsend. I have already mentioned old Thomas Bu- 
chanan, who died in November, 1815, aged 71 — a 
royalist mc^rchant of the city. Dui'ing the war, he re- 
sided at Oyster Bay. He married Almy, a daughter 
of Jacob Townsend. 

He left her a widov/'. They had issue eight child- 
ren. 1. Jane Buchiinan, died unmarried. 2. Almy, 
married Peter I*, (loelet. 3. Martha, married Thomas 
] licks. 4. Margaret, married Robert Ji. (Joelet. 5. Eli- 
za, who married Sanniel Gilford. 0. (recn-ge Buchan- 
an, born September 7th, 1775. 7. Frances, who mar- 
ried Thomas C. rearsall. 8. Fanny lUichanan, who 


died unmarried. The only survivor is Mrs. Frances 
rearsall. She was born the 4th oF June, 1799, and is 
one of the few survivors of the nominees for the Ton- 
tine stock. Her father took up two shares, and nomi- 
nated two lives, Mvx own, ancl her brother Geori^e. 

IMi'. Buelianan owned the ship " Ghisgow." Solo- 
mon Townsend above was the master. The vessel trad- 
ed to and from London about the time of the llevolu- 
tion. She was in London when the war broke out, and 
lier owner, Mr. Buchanan, ordered her not to come 
liome. Captain ^rownscnd went to Paris, took the oath 
of aUen;iaiice to the United Stiites ])ef()re ISeii. Franklin, 
who commissioned him a midsjiii^mau in the Ameri- 
can navy. He got home in. 1778. He married his 
cousin, Ann Townsend. His (hui;4hter Mary marrietl 
liidward H. Nicoll, as I have above stated. Henry 
Nicoll, formerly an M. C, and Solomon Townsend 
JSficolI, are sons of this marriaL!;e. These last were <j;reat 
grandsons of Benjamin Nicoll, Avho settled in New 
York about 1745, where he married Mary Man;dalen, 
the daughter of Edward Holland, an eminent merchant. 
One of Benjamin's sons named Henry, married Eliza- 
beth Woodhidi, the only daughter of General Nathan- 
iel Woodhull, who was president of the first Ctjutinent- 
al Congress. 'J'heir eldest son was l^^dward HoHand 
Nicoll, who married Ca{)tain Townsend's daughter iMa- 
ry. ]\Irs. Henry Nicoll, after her husband's death, 
married the above John Smith, who was " General." 
]Ie was a member C)f our State Legislature from 1784 
to 1800. In J 788 h(3 was a member of the convention 
that adopted the constitution of the Uniti'd States; in 
1800 he was in Congress, as above slated ; Li 1814, 
James INIadison aj>pointed him U. S. Marshal for tin's 
distj'ict, and he held the ollice when he died in 181d. 


Ilt'iiry Suyclam, of the firm of Saydam & Wyckoff, is 
still alivu — a hale, hearty speeiineu of the old school 
merchant and (gentleman. He was also brother-in-law 
of Isaac Lawrence. lie married a half-sister of Mr. 
Lawrence, presitlent of the United States Bank, of 
whom I recently wrote a lengthy sketch. 

The continnation of ., the Snydam merchants and 
their firms, as well as that of the lleyers, — Isaac, AValter 
and Cornelius, — will be in next chapter. 



Another brotlier of the Suytlams was Ferdinand Suy- 
dam, who was born in 178G. lie started business in 
New York on his own account at No. '61 Front street, 
in 1808. Previously he had been a clei'k with Suydam 
& WyckofF f(n' some years. I ]la^■e liis signature before 
me now, assigned in 1805, Avhen he Avas at liis brotlier's 
learning business. The next year he became a partner 
of Wilhani Boyd, and tlie firm was Boyd & Suydam, at 
No 21 South street, lie Hved in tlie liouse No. 9 Bridge 
street, with liis brother Henry. Ferdinand married a 
daugliter of Anthony Lisi)enard Underbill, who kept at 
No. 172 Front street. Old Andrew in 1700 lived in 
107 Queen street, and his store was at No. 20 Peck slip ; 
Ills firm was Underbill and Bulckly. His brother Da- 
vid commenced business in 179-3, at No. 78 Water street. 
Old Andrew, I think, died about 1794, for the next 
year Anthony L. started business as a grocer at No. 170 
Water street ; and the same year David took his son 
into partnership, imder the firm of David Underbill & 
Son, at No. 231 Water street ; they were iron mongers 
or hardware merchants. Old David lived at No. 337 
Pearl, near Beekman street. Andrew L., in 1797, 
while he was living at No. 31 Dey street, took into part- 
nership Mr, Bi'ujamiu Ilustace, and the firm was for 



some years Underliill & Hustace, at No. 172 Front street. 
] hrlieve it dissolved in 1802. Ilustace lived next door 
to iMr. Underhill, at No. oo Doy street. AVlien they 
dissolved, 1 benjamin Ilustaee started next door to his old 
])artner, at No. 170 Front street. Anthony L. moved 
his residence to No. 42 Dey street, and lived there a 
great many years. It was in that house Ferdinand Suy- 
dam married Eliza Underhill. 

David Underhill &, Son kept steadily in the hardware 
business from 1705 to 1810, when they moved to No. 
112 Maiden Lane. The old gent lived at No. 13 Oliver 
street. The house went under about 1813. 

In 1811, Ilichard Suydam, another brother, com- 
menced business in New York at No. 140 Pearl street. 
In the same year he married a young lady named Miss 
Henderson, of Pennsylvania, a very accomplished girl. 
He resided at No. 6 Stone street. 

Anthony L. ke])t on his house at 42 Dey until 1817, 
when he moved next door, to 44. He retained the old 
store No. 175 Fulton until 1810. In April 2, that year, 
tiie Fulton Fire Insurance Co., was incorporated. An- 
lliony L. Underhill was elected Pi-esiilent, and O. II. 
Hicks was Secretary. He continued President of it \ui- 
til the great fire in December, 1835, when the losses 
made that comjtany go into liipiidation. Still Mr. Under- 
hill continued to reside at 41 Dey street until 1835, when 
he moved to 28 Couitlandt street, but kept his office at 
the Insurance Company No. 8 Wall street. In 1837, 
he had his-j)lacc of bnsiness in Broad street, and follow- 
ing the up-town track, moved into Fourth street. From 
that time he passeil from a business life. I believe ho 
di(Ml in 18 17 at Saratoga Springs. Fi'om 1811 to 1847, 
u jjcriod ol' 30 years, he was a vestryman of Trinity 

Churtdi. This mere fact is an unwritten story of a long 

274 "^tlt: OLD MERCIIA.YTS 

Christian life. He was Assistant Alderman of the Third 
Ward from 1814 to 181G, and Alderman in 1817—18. 
Suydani & Wyckoif, ol Soutli street, of which John 
Suydam who lived at No. 4 Broadway, was a partner, 
continued nntil 1821, and then it dissolved — 40 years 
a'l'O, but John kept on the business in the same street 
until 1885 and the fire, when he was burned out. Uq 
had a large family of sons. There was Henry, John R. 
and Peter M. — all in business. About 1840, old John 
moved up town to Waverly Place. These Suydams 
were great peo])le for sticking in one place and were not 
eternally moving, Frederick, who married J\Iiss Un- 
derhill, was of the firm of Suydam & Boyd. That firm 
kept their store in South street, No. 21, from 1800 up to 
18-'J4, when the house of Suydam, Sage ife Co. was start- 
ed. Ferdinand Suydam resided in these early years in 
]>ridge street, No. o, near ^Vhitehall, more than a quar- 
ter of a century. When he died, he left three sons — 
.Henry L, FeriHuand, and Charles. Young Ferdinaiul 
married iMiss Whitney, a daughter of Stephen Whitney. 
Suydam, Sage & Co. did an enormous business in South 
street until about 1850 and '51. I do not know but 
they failed. I have heard they did, but failing is no 
crime. It is evidence of doing an open, generous, and 
grand business — of carrying on commercial oi^erations 
on a most maii;nificent scale — of addini;' wealth to our 
city, giving emj)loyment to thousands. These are the 
merchants who iail. Merchants of minor minds, who 
can calculate ( lostly, and know to a IVactiou that twice 
one are two, and that two times tw(j are four, never fail. 
< 'n the contrary, they make princily I'ortunes, but they 
do not add to the city wealth. The cilv a<lds to tlu-irs 
by its growth. It is the nn'rchaiils who fall lliat add to 
the wealth of the city, though they may die in the giaml 


charitable institutions their bohl operations have lielped 
to erect. The merchants who like Suydam, Sage & Co. 
throw millions into the West to atlvance on ^iVQixt o;rain 
crops and bring them forward to this city, that sometimes 
fail when times are against them, tliey only are the suf- 
ferers, not the city. In that firm when it failed were the 
three sons I have named, of the old founder, Ferdinand. 
I believe he lived nj) in Broadway, corner of .Se\entcetU 
street, until a year or two after ISoO, and then I think 
he died in Bulfalo, being there on business. 

lliebard ^^uydam, too, another brother, was one of the 
immovable Suydams. I have already alluded to him as 
having started in 1811 at 1-10 Pearl street. He never 
moved his stt)re from that number until 1830, and then 
only moved a few doors away. In 182-1 or '25, he 
founded the house of Suydam, Jackson & Peck, llis 
partners were Daniel Jackson and vVllen Peck. The 
latter lived in Courtlandt street. He was in the firm 
only one year, and then it became the great house known 
to all New Yorkers in the days of General Jackson, as 
" Suydam & Jackson." Not that Dan was any relation 
of the President, but he was a worslii[)per of Old Hick- 
ory, and dowi\ upon the Old United States Bank, and 
somehow or other, his house of Suydam & Jackson had 
all the great Indian contracts, sold blankets by the mil- 
lion, and g(jt Government j)ay. That was all right. 

What Tammany man does not remember old Dan 
Jackson, with his hard features, great and express- 
ive, and a. very determined man he was. He married 
Miss Dunham, a daugiiter of David Dunham, who was 
a large auctioned' about the eomuu-nci'mcnt of this ci'u- 
tury. lie lived in iMoore street. The auctinnet;r's store 
at the time was 144 Pearl, under the firm of'' Dunham 
& Davis." The lust named was the celebrated Mat- 


thew L. Davis, the friend and biographer of Aaron Burr, 
The latter was at tlio wedding of Miss Dnnliara. Her 
father, old David, was killed by being knocked over- 
board from a sloop while coming from Albany to New 

In 1830, the above firm of Suydam & Jackson was 
changed to Suydam, Jackson & Co., and so continued 
mitil 1841. Richard, too, was a down town man, liv- 
ing at No. 6 Stone street, until 1820, and after that at 
Qiy Pearl street, '' close by the store," in the good, old 
fashioned style of our ancestors, until 1835, when he, 
too, moved up town to No. G Carrol Place, not near so 
cosy and so nice as it was at No. Stone street, with 
the young Pennsylvanian wife in 1811. I do not think 
there were any sons. There were five daughters — Ma- 
ry, Caroline, Adeline, Jane and Louisa. Suydam, 
Jackson & Co., was ki-pt uj) until 1840. Another firm 
■was in the same buiiiliug, No. 78 Pearl — Suydam & 
Kevan. iNIr. Alexander Kevan and that partnership 
ceased about 1844 and 1845, and then Ilichard Suydam 
closed a concern in Pearl street he had started more than 
a third of a century previously. He left business, but 
he resided at No. G Carroll Place until 1858, Avhen he 
moved to Bleecker street. I think he died that year. 

I cfid not finish Avhat I had to say about Suydam & 
Ili>yer. Saunu'l, wlio was of that fnan, was a sjilendid, 
gay fellow ; he went into business with his brother-in-law, 
Isaac Ileyer, in 17U4, when he was twenty-one years 
old ; he died in the autumn of 17iJ7, only twenty-four 
years old. Had he li\'e(l, he would have been a splen- 
did merchant. The firm was kept up for a few years, 
loi- not at that time, nor until 18oo, was there any law 
against doing business untler any style or firm. If a 
]i;u-tner died, his partner continued on the firm as Icjug 

O F jYI'J IV VO R K a IT Y. 27 7 

as he pleased. So in 1796. Isaac Heyer kept tip the 
name until 1803, at the old store No. 07 Front street. 
He did a very heavy business for many years at that 
same i)laee. George B. Rapelje was a clerk with him 
ia 1804. There were three distinguished brothers of the 
Heyers — Isaac, Cornelius and Walter. They were sons 
of William Ileyer, who, as late as 1793, was an iron 
monger (hardware) in Smith street ; four years later, 
" Walter & Isaac Ileycr," in 1797, started the iron- 
monger business at No. 234 Pearl street, and they kept 
at the same old stand far into the next century, at least, 
twenty years. The Isaac of the hardware firm was our 
Isaac. In those days the name of one brother was used 
to give credit and standing to another younger fellow. 
Yet I do not believe that Isaac shared in the profits of 
the hardware concern in which his name appeared. 

In 1815 Isaac Heyer went into partnership with Hen- 
ry Rankin, at the same old stand Suydam & Heyer had 
in 1705, No. 67 Front street. Isaac then lived at No. 
24 Beaver. It was a large double house, south side. 
Ilis brother Cornelius lived upon the opposite side, at 
No. 29, a high stoop three story house. He dissolved 
with :\Ir. Rankin about 1824. In 1825 the firm was 
Ileyer &^ Black. He took W. II. Black into partner- 
ship, and so it continued until Mr. Ileyer died. Then 
I think his only son, John S. Ileyer, continued the busi- 

He closed his life of distinguished usefulness on the 
Cth of April, 1827. He left a large family. He was 
an olHcer of the Collegiate Dutch Reformed Clan-ch, 
now tiie Post Oflu-e. He was a pillar and an ornament 
of It. He; was aniDng the fn'st in every work ol' mercy 
aud uumifRH'nce. His mind, means, and labors, were 
devuloj with unsparing liberality to the promotion of 



good. lie was one of tlie soundest and most valnaLle 
citizens. Tlic'i-e were few sueh as liim to lose. There 
were more sj)Iendid men in his day than he, but none 
more })urc and bhunelcss. He had an active, busy life, 
in the years we liavc mentioned, and he went to liis 
grave unsuHied by a spot. 

Just as he was about to die, he said, " I find much 
neglected that miglit have been accomj)lished.'' 

lie was an efficient member of the Board of Confer- 
ence of the Grand Synod. He was Treasurer of it. 
He was a Director of Rutger's CoHege. When he died 
lie gave $2,500 to the Dutch Theological College, $1,000 
to the Mission Society, and $1,000 to the American Bi- 
ble Society. 

It was a melancholy sight for many to see his large 
family of daughters, dressed in deep black, leaving Bea- 
ver street on their way up to the old Dutch Church, 
where their father so long worshi])ped. 

There was a sister Avho married Richard Duryee. He 
became a partner with Cornelius Heyei', under the firm 
(jf Duryee & Heyer. They kej)t a hai'dware store at 47 
and 48 Walter street. This C. Heyer was for many 
years Cashier and President of the Bank of New York. 

Guliun C. Verplanck was a son of Daniel Crommeline 
Vei-planck, a very distinguished man in his day. He 
married Miss Johnson, a daughter of President Johnson 
of Cohunbia Collejie. Gulian C. resembled his father 
very nuudi in his personal a})pearance. The father also 
rej)resented this State in Congress. 

Ciuliau, of whom I have written, also married a INIiss 
Ji)liiison, a daughter of Daniel Johnson, a farmer in 
Dutchess county. After the death of Mr. Gulian Ver- 
planck, she married (George Caines, ^lay 27, ISO.-, a 
reporter in the Supreme Court. 



Our readers will recollect the long notice of John W. 
IMulligan, in the iirst volume. He died January 17, 
18lJ2, aged 88 years. After the volume appeared, ho 
called once or twice at the office to see the author. I 
add a few lines from an obituary notice published in the 
Conunercial. Those who wish to see a more comjilete 
biography can look back for the chapters that contained 
the sketches to which I allude. 

" The subject of the above notice was born in New 
York while New York was under British rule, but he 
well remembered and frequently related how he stood as 
a little boy on a hill Avhere Grand street now crosses 
Broadway, and saw the last British sentinel file off, on 
the m('nu)ral)le ^fith November. He graduated in Co- 
lumbia College, and aflerwartls practised law. Cov. 
King was a student in his ollice. At one time he was a 
meujber of Baron Steubei\'s family, and assisted at hia 
inteiinent. He was aci[uainted with Jay and Hamilton 
as well luj with other distinguished men of those times, 
and i)artook of their strong lederal views. In reliirion 
he was an Episco])alian — a churchman. Some yeara 
since he had the pleasure of visiting Athens and seeinj^ 
the fruits of labors lor the cause of Christ in the school 
founiled by his daughters, Mrs. Hills and Frederica Mul- 
ligan. His manners were urbane, and his conversation 
remarkably interesting — his memory being good to the 
last. AVe shall never see his like again." 

I will add a few words correcting my statement in 
regard to the Slidells. Thomas Slidell married Miss 
(Jallender of this city, and has two children — one, Lieu- 
tenant William Slidell, in tlu; Fe(lcral army, and onu 
younger. Thomas and -fohu were law prinicptors in 
New Orleiuis IS I I |() IS IS. 'i'tiiu Wiii on llie Sujireuio 
rnMU'li of iiOuisauia in lSl7,!Uid was Cliiel' .lu-^liee. 
That year John went to Mexico. AVhen Daniel Lord 


made Ins fiery speecli in tlic Sumner (Broadway Taber- 
nacle) indiii;nation meeting, 185G, and gave John Slidull 
a rhetorical milling, Tom challenged Daniel Lord to 
fight. Then Daniel, a second time went to judgment, 
and issued execution against Thomas. Shortly after- 
ward, at an election in New Orleans, Tom was so badly 
(not accidentally) injured, by a blow on the head, that 
he has become insane, and is a patient in a Rhode Island 
lunatic asylum. The Sumner abolitionists said this 
was a judgment for his justification of the " Sumner 
head beating," and that he would soon follow Brooks 
and Butler to the tomb. 

OF A'^EW York: CITY. 'j,si 


Among other of tlic olJen time merchants, is one to 
wliom I have often alhulecl, and who is tlie founder of 
u family, whose name is interwoven with tlie prosperi- 
ty of the city — John McVickar, lie was a merchant 
of the hist as well as present century. The manner in 
Avln'cii he came to this country is as curious as his sid)se- 
quent successful mercantile career. He was Irish born. 
John and Nathan were sons of an Irish gentleman of 
moderate estate, and he lost his first wife — their mother. 
He afterwards married a second time, to give a mother 
to his boys. She was not different from the general 
i'un of step-mothers, and the home ceased to be a home 
to them. Under those ])ainful circumstances, J(din, the 
eldest brotiiL'i-, deteimined to abandon it and try his 
foi'tune in the Western hemisphere. He told his young- 
er brother that if he succeeded in New York, whither 
he was bound, he would send for him. 

He came to New York at about the age of seventeen 
years. He had an micle already established in this 
city, and In; was under the special guardianshl[) of Dan- 
iel McCormick, of whom I have written s(j nuich. 'J'ho 
familiar address to him of " John," in after life by the 
old merchant, ulten awakened the surprise of strang\u>:. 
John was fortunate. He did succeed, and he sent for 


Nathan, who came out, and they established tlicmselvos 
in the city. I have uh'eady alluded to him as 
being among the founders of the St. Patrick's 
Society, when such men as William Edgar, Hugh 
Gaines, and Daniel jNIcCormick belonged to it, iu 
11\)1. At that time Mr. McYickar was establishe-d 
and doing a leading business under his own name 
at U7 Queen street (Pearl.) He commenced in this 
city in Maiden lane, No. 39, before 17SG. In 1793 he 
was elected a director in the Bank of New York, and 
continued to be re-elected annually until 1810. In 
179o he was made a dircjctor of the Mutual Insuranc-o 
Company. At the same time he was a director in the 
Ignited Insurance Company, of which his friend Nic. 
Low was president, and so was until 1809. At that 
time he lived in 228 Pearl street, his old place, and 
kept his place of business at 2 Burling slip. lie 
was vice-president of the St. Patrick's Society in 1797. 
In 1798 Nathan o;ot here, and the iirm was John & Na- 
than McVickar. In 1801, the style was changed to 
John MeVickar & Co. John moved I'rom 228 Pearl 
street to 231 Broadway, and Nathan went to house- 
ki'e|)ing in the house John lel't. In all this time John 
had continui.'d a director in the -Bank of New York', 
lu that year he was elected a vestryman of Ti'inity 
Church, and ln-M it until he died iu 1S12. 

Mc Vicar tt Co., in 1803, and Ibr some years after- 
wards, had among their clerks Hubert Van W^igenen, 
Jr., who afterwards became very celebrated in \\\\& city. 
Hubert, Jr., was a son of Hubert Van Wagenon, of the 
llrm of (1. it 11. Van Wageneii, iroiimongL'rs. For 
yeai's tiny kept their store iu Bci'kman Slip. The 
"(J," of the Iirm was (Jarritt II. V^aii Wagenen. 

HubcTt, Jr., \vas piai/i'd with iMe.v)i'h. MrVirlvai" & Co., 


to learn business thoron^lily, but lie afterwards joined 
liis father Hubert, and they carrietl on business at 211 
Pearl street, under the firm of II. Van Wagfuen & Son. 
The old Hubert lived to be a very aged man. Hubert 
Jr., was a very rellgous man, and for years attended at 
St. George's clnirch in Beekman street, with his inter- 
esting family. Few men were more universally respect- 
ed than the Van AVagencns. 

I now return to .John iMcVickar. He married a 
Miss Ann Moore. She was a daughter of John Moore, 
of Long Island. She was born 17<J1, au'd was sister to 
Patience, who was Lady Dongan, having married John 
Carleton Dongan. 

They had nine children — seven sons and two dau'di- 

James was the oldest. He was a merchant and a 
])artner in the house of J. McVickar, Stewart k. Co. 
He married J'^uretta a daughter of William Constable, 
and his son John A. McVickar, M. D., is still a resident 
of this city, aiul has a large practice. 

Archibald j\IcVickar the second son of merchant 
John ^IcA'^ickar was- a lawyer in the city. He marrietl 
Catherine, a daughter of Judge l>i'ockhoIst J-iivingston. 
Arciiibahl, alter he graduated at Columbia College, New 
York, went to l^ngland and linishetl his etlucation at 
Peterhouse College, C-ambridge. 

John, the third son, was a professor and clergyman. Ho 
married b'dizn, daughter of the celebrated Dr. Hard who 
was president of the first Medical College. He is still 
alive and has several children. One isamiudi esteemeil 
clergyman, ^Villiam McVickar. 

One son named Uai^l, 1 have alluded to in the first se- 
ries of Old Merchants. 

The fourth son of old merchant John McVickar was 


named Henry, lie was a merchant and was lost over- 
board coming from Europe. He was one of the finest 
young men m New York, very handsome and a great 

Edward, the fifth son, married Matilda, a daughter of 
William Constable. He has chiefly resided in northern 
New York, but spends his winter in the city. 

Nathan was a merchant and in business with his fath- 
er, lie died unmarried. lie was a young man of great 
promise and brilliant talent. 

Benjamin, the seventh son, was a physician. lie 
married Isaphene Lawrence, a daughter of Isaac Law- 
rence, the president of the U. S. Bank in this city. 
He was very well off, but became mixed up in some 
way Avish the sjieculations of his brother-in-law, Wil- 
liam Beach Lawrence, and lust a large amount of 
property. I think ho moved out West. He was a 
very clever (English clever) man. In fact, so were all 
the iMcVickars that came from the old John and Nathan 

Doctor McVickar is still living, and has a large prac- 
tice in this city. 

Eliza McVikar married William Constable, a son of 
old merchant William, and settled at Gonstableville, 
Lewis County, New York. 

Augusta, married William Jay (Judge Jay), the 
youngest son of Governor Jay, the friend of Washington. 

Eliza, Edward, John and Benjamin are the children 
living of the elder Juhn McVickar. His grand children 
are very numerous, and are intermarried with the first 
families in the United States. 

In 17U8 to 1802 John was a Governor of the New 
York Hospital. 

Juhn Mc:Vickar, in 1805, became one of the Directors 


of the Western and Noithern Coal Company. About 
this time, 1800, the first hiJies of New York city began 
to discover that there was a great fiehl open for tlieir 
aid in reheving sufiering and misery, and they com- 
menced to band tofiether in or^anizin": societies. The 
iirst was the Or[)lian Asyhun. It was founded hi 
March, 1800. Mrs. McVicar was one of the trustees, 
and associated witii her were iMrs. Bethune, (Divie Be- 
th une's wife,) Mrs. FairUe (wife of the INIajor), and 
other leading Indies. They a])})ealcd to the public, and 
started off with tlie bold declaration, that no institution 
so much merited the aid of the well-inclined as this, — 
to feed and clothe the inhmt bereft of father and mother. 
They said : " We believe chai'ity in this coinitry con- 
sists more in finding employment for the needy, than in 
supporting them in idleness." 

" Pity, I own, to the distrcst is due ; 
But ^vlieu tlie nfflicHcil nuiy tliciiisclvea relieve, 
TLe fault 'a their own if they will tsutler on." 

The next year a Society was started for the " Relief 
of i)oor Widows,'' of which also Mrs. McVickar was a 
first manager, and so such female good works have gone 
on almost sixty years in our midst. 

In 1809 John took into i)artnershij) his son James and 
a i\lr. Stewart, and the firm was " John McVickar, Son 
& Stewart," at the old stand, No. 2 Burling slip. But 
both son and John, the father, lived at 231 Broadway, 
wiiile the ohb Nathan lived at 20 Dey street. In 1810 
Mr. Jolui McVickar moved to No. G Vesey street. I 
think lie gave up business in 1811, to his brijther Nathan, 
and the firm was McVickar A'- Stewart, until 1812. h\ 
that year John McVickar diecL His widow removed 
iiom No. Vesey street back to the old Mo. 231 Broad- 

286 2^-^^' (^I-D MERCHAM'TS 

way. The firm di.ssolved, and Nathan resided at 24 
Wliite street. 

Among tlie leadhig traits of the character of John 
]McViel;ar may be nt)ted that nice sense of commercial 
honor which gives to the merchant his liighest (Ugnity 
a1id leads to tiie noblest use of wealth, lie was marked 
accordingly by generous aid to deserving young mer- 
chants in trouble so much so that it became a com- 
mon speech on Change in disastrous times "Well ! who 
is McVickar going to help to day ? In building church- 
es and aiding the clergy, he was always prominent — on 
the "■ Dongan Domain" Statcn Island, he both gave the 
land and built the church. 

Of this lariie Domain comino; down from Donoan, the 
first Go\ernor of the Province, one legal claim still re- 
main to the heirs of McVickar, viz : the original reserva- 
tion to the Lord of the Manor, of " all Ponds, water 
cuurses and mines.' Such reservation being expressly 
named and provided for in all the early deeds. 

At his late seat at Blpomingdale, he was one of the 
original founders of St. jMichael's church, and during the 
occurrence of the yellow fever in the city, he provided 
for the family of llev. Dr. Ilobart his clergyman, a safe 
country retreat. 

As a merchant ho was marked by sound judgment 
and large views. In addition to his regular business of 
importation, he was a large shi[) owner, and one of the 
earliest in the direct tjratle with China from the port of 
Islcw Yurk. His fiivorite shi[) " Petsy," 'Captain Car- 
beiry, was familiai'ly known. 

Though himself without classical education, he highly 
valuetl it for his sons, and jjrized and patronizeil the best 
schools. Cohimbia (Jijllcge received the next son. One, 
Archibald, cnjnycd the I'arther advantage o( an English 


University training, and all in tnrn had tliu benefit of a 
European visit fur liealtli or j)leasure. 

In 180-1, he revisited for the seeond and last time, his 
native land, acconij)anied by his son John, born in 
America — a circumstance which in these days of 
alien laws, in England led to u singular controversy 
with government — the otlice refusing to regard the 
father as lien, and JMcVickar insisting that as an 
American citizen he was an alien, and demanding that 
ho should be included in all the penalties and I'estrict- 
ions that rested on such, — a proof of i)atriutism, we may 
add more uncpiestionable than many that now pass I'ur 

In his visit to Ireland, so familiar was his name and 
reputation in I'onmunercial circh's, that it was jokingly 
prt)posed that the Lord Lieutenant should confer on 
him the dignity of knighthood, as a benefactor to Ire- 

The two brothers John and Philip Hone, afterwards 
so prominent in the city were ,trained from boyhood in 
his counting-liouse, and then established in business. 
John Hone in after life often acknowledging that he 
owed all his success to the unlimited credit opened for 
him in London by John McVickar, with his correspond- 
ents, more especially with the great house of Phyn, 
Ellice tt English. 

In 1814 Henry McVickar started in business at 
No. 55 Pine street, and the next year took in a partner, 
and the firm was 11. AK'Vickar k, Co. 

Archil)ald McVickar, of whom I have written, v/as a 
lawyer in W\\\\ street, having married the daughter of 
Hon. H. Livingston, Judge of the supreme court of U. 
S., until l8ltj. 

Old John McVickar had a country seat out at 


Bloomingdale, where he used to spend a great deal of 
his time in summer, after he retired i'rom business?, and 
Avhile lie lived at No. G Vesey street. That was a 
large mansion. 

The old merchant John was one of the most sterling 
men in the city. His firm did a general commission 
business — receiving; vessels and caro-oes I'rom all parts 
of the West Indies as well as from Europe. In adtli- 
tion, his house dealt heavily in Irish goods. John Mc- 
Vickar & Co. were the heaviest importers of Irish lin- 
en into the New York market. Every vessel from Bel- 
fast brought them heavy invoices. They never sold less 
than a case of their linens. The store of old John, 
where he did business so many years, was on the right 
hand side of Burling Slip as you go from Pearl to Wa- 
ter. It was about in the rear of where a bank is now 
located. In these times, we can form no idea of the 
vastness of the Ii'ish linen trade sixty years ago. It 
was all old fashioned made, spun and wove by hand in 
Ireland, and of course, there was no machinery as now. 
It was the irreat article of trade. Here we had no 
such goods. The highest of our manufactures then 
was old " tow cloth. 'I We had no cotton, or woolen 
goods made here. No sattinets, and the ninnerous fab- 
rics of American nia)iufacture were inadi; in a thou- 
sand I'actorirs. So lor this small village in the olden 
times, Iri.-ih lim-n was a great article of trade. 

All tip' bnvers used to go to old John himself, or if 
not in, to the brcjtlirr Nathan. (Merks were not tieenicd 
the right persons to buy of. 'I'he buyer thought, of 
course, he could get better bargains of tho |)rincipals ; 
and tlu'ii' say, Un), as to ])riiH's was (iiial, while with the 
clei'ks it was not. Old John was not above; his business. 
Sometimes, he would lake out his watch antl look at it. 


" T am to meet the board of directors at tlie bank, won't 
brother Nathan do?" It' brother Nathan woidd not 
do, althongh such an answer was rare, then brother 
Jolm woukl do the selling nntil the customer was satis- 
iird, tur he reiianled <i()od sales as one lireat element of 
success in the career of a leading merchant, and he was 
always the salesman when at home. lie was rather 
tall, somewhat shai'j) featni'ed, and looked like a for- 
eigner. An early [)ortrait of him suj)[)Osed to be by 
Copley, gives the im^)r;.•.s^i()n of a line and resolute will, 
yet gentle heart. 

In those days, the great merchants like John McVick- 
ar & Co., always sent the goods home to the store of 
their customers, free of ex[)ense. Only goods bought 
at " yendue " were carted home at the ex[)ense of the 

Nathan, as I have stated, kept up the firm of jNIcVick- 
ar & Stewart at the old store, Nij. 5 Uurling slip, until 
181;), when the house (.Hssolved. 

Mr. Nathan jMcA'^ickar h^d accjuired a large property, 
anil was much res[)ectid. After retiring from an active 
and successful business, though a baclielor all that while, 
he concluded to marry. His clioice was directed to 
^liss Catherine l>uckiior, the daughter of a West India 
gentleman, wlio came out liere l)efure tlie Ivevolutionary 
W'wv on a vi.^it, and while \\c\\' mai'rlt'il iMiss (iuelct, a 
daughter of t)ld Peter Cloidct, of whom i ha\e wi'itti.'n so 
much. I>y this marriage Nathan connected himself 
with some of the oldest and hest families in the country. 
The Goelets were 1 luguenot refugees, and were by mar- 
riage allied to many of the titletl exiles who at that pe- 
I'iod made this counlry tlieii- home. Mi-s. Nathan Me- 
V'iekar was a sister of one of the most n'Uiai'kaMe m"u 
ol'thodiiy. 1 alhide, to W^'iUiaui ( io.lel Huekuor. He 


was a clashing, go-ahcaJ, clever man, worth a thousand 
old fogies in a gay city. IIo made things fly. I re- 
memher him as well as if I had only seen him yesterday. 
lie was a j)rince of a man. He was slim in size, but as 
wiry as a cat. lie was an uncommon man. lie com- 
menced business at No. x'i\ Wall street, just after the 
bito war. In IHltl, old Nathan IMcVickar lived at No. 
52 Walker street, and William G. liucknor lived next 
d(M)r to him, at No. f50. These numbers were about 
half wuy between Broadway and Church street. At 
that time that range was the most fashionable part of the 
town. I think William G. Bucknor did business in 
New York nearly twenty years. I alluded to him some 
time ago, when I published his name among the list of 
tliose who founded the Board of Brokers about 181G. I 
think he continued in business at No. 44 Wall street 
\mtil 18oG. If I am not mistaken, he then went West. 
He married a Cliarleston lady, and had sons and daugh- 
ti rs. One of the latter I believe manned Mr. Hurry, a 
bri)kcr in Wall street. Wm. G. Bucknor has been dead 
s»;me years. He died In this city. His widow lives 
with her daughter. 

Tlie sister that married Nathan INIcVickar is alive yet. 
Nathan lived at No. 52 Walker street until 1827, when 
he died in lliat house. His widow resided there some 
yeiirs after. 

Nathan left several children. One was named Na- 
than, but f believe oidy one of them is now living, 
NV'illiaiu \\. Mc\'ickar. lie married a daughter of 
'rhuildeiis IMielps, an eminent merchant in the city. 
Mii» IMielps was one of the most bi'autiful girls in the 
city. Williauj 11. MeViekar, of the old Nathan .slock, 
iH an uctivi', fiiergetie biv iuess man, and lias acquire (I 
u liir-^e fortnue in business, and is \i'ry much respected 

u'ud I'.st vMU d. 


I have many Old Merchants that I have partly Avrit- 
ten sketches of, and, sooner or later, they will be print- 
ed. Among them is old Thaddeus Phelps, the father 
of Mrs. McVickar above mentioned. He was a splen- 
did merchant. He was one of the founders of the ear- 
ly packet lines, and was a great shipper of cotton and 
other produce to Europe. He had one of the best 
heads that ever sat on a man's shoulders. His smile 
was perfectly fascinating. To see him halt on those 
crutches, and hear some of his pleasant words, was 
worth remembering. He was a man of extraordinary 
ability, and a merchant of a sagacity such as we do not 
see in these days often. I do not know that my sketch 
of him, when it appears, will do him justice ; but if 
it does, even in part, it will be worth reading. 



Tlic race of magnificent old East Tiidia mcrcliants 
of the early part of this century, and a later period, arc 
j)a.ssinij; away — in fact, have nearly all <^one. I'liere 
is something grand in the title of an East India mer- 
chant. It conveys the idea of large ships, long voy- 
ages occuj)ying a year and more to the distant Orient- 
al climes, whose commerce is still a mystery. East In- 
dia mci'chant ! — we at once tliiidc of " India's coral 
strand," " the golden Ind," " palmy plains," " the 
breezes of the S[)ice Islands," and a thousand other 
things that Columbus started to discover when he blun- 
dered upon this great continent. 

We are all accustomed to accord the highest mark of 
mercantile greatness to the merchant Avho owns his own 
ship, hxuls her with silver, ginseng, lead, and sterling 
bills, and starts her off on a voyage of a year, with or 
without a gentlemanly supercargo, and to come back a 
wooden island of spicv perfumes, equal to any from 
Ai"aby the blessed, as she lies at anchor in the North or 
ICast river, loaded with teas of all classes, with silks, 
}iankeens, cassia, and a thousand other things that 
come from China. To us, the real Isast India mer- 
chant is the one who sends his ships to China. We do 
Dot have as much trade with lirilish India, and the Cal- 



i ciitta mercliant of tlie olden time ranks second to those 

liouses who have in former years, before other j)orts 
Avere opened to tlie ^s'orhl, done a hirge trade with Can- 
ton. Among tliose enjinent houses in this city, well 
hnown to us of this generation, were the Franklins, 
i\linturns, and Cham[)lin3. Arehibald Gracie & Sons, 
Thomas II. Smith & Son, John Jacob Astor, Iloyt & 
Tom, N. L. & G. Griswold, Talbot, Olyphant & Co., 
Alsop & Co., Russell tc Co., Edward Carrington & 
Co., Goodhue & Co., llowland & Aspinwall, and Wet- 
moie & Co. The founder of the latter house was 
AVilliam S. Wetmore, who was of a more recent gener- 
ation of East India merchants. When the East India 
houses I have named were in their glory, about the 
commencement of this century, he was born in a little 
Vermont town in the early j)art of the year 1801. He 
received the ordinary district school education of a New 
England boy, and when about fourteen started out into 
the great world, as so many of the sons of New Eng- 
land do. At the age of twenty-thrue, he was ship- 
Avrecked near Val])araiso, to which i)ort he had gone as 
supercargo of one of the shii)s of Edward Carrington 

I it Co., of Providence. Samuel Wutmore, an uncle of 

1 .y<Jiiiig William, was the partner of Mr. Carrington. 

The latter was the largest t;hip owner and East India 

\ merchant in the^United States. The chief clerk in the 

house ibr many }ears was Thomas P. Ikicklin, now 
of the firm of Bucklin k Crane of this city, in the 

I East Indiii trade. The agent in Canton of Mr. Car- 

rington was Isaac J\I. Hull, now of the firm of !>ull, 
Purdon & Co., in China. At present, Mr. Pull re- 
sides in this counti-y. 

* 'fhe scniling of young W. S Wetmore to South 

America, as supercargo of one of his ships, by Mr. Car- 


rln^ton, was the stepping stone to liis getting into tlic liouse 
of Alsop & Co., and this accident led to the formation in 
1824, of the great house of Alsop, Wetniore & Crjder 
in that city. That Alsop was named Richard. lie 
was great grandson of Jno. Alsop, a freeman in this 
city, who died in 17G1. lie left two sons, John and 
Ixichard. They were brought up as merchants in the 
city, and did a heavy business in the cloth and dry 
good line. John also engaged in politics, and repre- 
sented New York city in the Colonial Legislature, and 
was a delegate to the first Continental Congress, in 1774. 
lie was a vestryman of Trinity cliurch. He died in 
1794. He left one chihl, Mary, who married Rufus 
King, father of Gov. John A. King, and president 
Charles Kino;. The Ex-o;overnor was named John Al- 
sop. Tile other brother and partner of John, the cloth 
[ merchant and legislator, was named Richard. lie 

[ served his time with the extensive merchant, Philip 

I Livingston. After he retired from business he removed 

I to Middietown, .Conn, lie had a son Richard wlio was 

born in 17G1, and was bred up a merchant, but devoted 
liimself chiefly to literature, for which he had an unusual 
fondness. lie became very familiar not only with our 
literature but witii that of Europe. He loved poetry, 
and was himself a poet. lie wrote a book, the " Na- 
j lioiial :u\d C/ivil History of ChiU," in ^.wo volumes 8vo. 

' In 1800 he wrote a monody, in heroic verse, on the 

death of Washington. He died in 1815, leaving one 
son, who w;'S the celebrated Richai'd Alsop, who found- 
ed the hoiise of Alsop & Co., in Vidparaiso, Chili, and 
Lima, Peru. He was paitner of \V. S. W'ctmore. I 
may as well nu-ntion that this, tlu' most celebrated of 
» the commercial Alsops, ilied in 1812, without ivsue. 

', He hud a relativo named Juseiili W. Alsop, who died 


OF jYEW YORK city. 205 

in 1844, and whose daughter Lucy married Henry 
Chauncey, of the firm of Alsop & Chauncey, of this 
city, and a son named Joseph W., of the same firm, at 
42 South street. 

Richard Alsop, when he died, left by will his one- 
third interest in the house of Alsop & Co., to his rela- 
tive, Joseph W. Alsop. This was a fortune of itself, 
for it was notorious for many years, that Alsop & Co., 
every five years, made a profit of over a million of 

The widow of Richard is still alive. These Alsops 
are a roving race. They are scattered all over the 
world. Their arms are on a field sable, three doves ao;- 
ate, wings expanded, and beak gules. Crest, a dove 
argent, wings expanded, holding in his beak an ear of 

There are Alsops in every grade of society. They 
trace back to Richard Alsop, who was Lord Mayor of 
London in 1597. His descendant, Richard, Avas a 
major in Cromwell's army, but having had a flare up 
with the Protector, was obliged to fly for safety to New 

1 now return to Alsop, Wetmore & Cryder, of Val- 
paraiso. The house did all the English and American 
business of the (;ld Chilian city. Their common fame 
was world witle. Mr. John Cryder was born in the 
United States, lie had married a daughter of Mr. 
Samuel Wetmore, uncle of W. S. Wetmore, and of 
the house of Wetmore, lIoi)i)in k Co., in this city, for 
many years. 

W, S. Wetmore also manned Miss Esther Wetmoro 
in 18u7, a daughter of Sanniel Wetmore, his cousin, 
lor liis first wife. W. S. left the house of Alsoj) & Co. 
in loul, retiring from it with a large fortune, lie 


came hack to tlic United States. Not long after lie 
Aveiit Xi> Canton, C'liiiia, and in connection with Joseph 
Archer of riiilaiKdiiliia, e^taljlishctl the liouse of Wet- 
nioi-e it Co., and .siicccL'ded to the lar^c and profitahle 
hiiMine.vs of Nathan Dunn it (Jo. There has always 
heeii a ureat nnndjcr of IMiiiadi-lpliia merchants engaged 
in the China trade. Such men as Dunn, W. R. Tlionip- 
.son, Israel, Sanniel Condy, Henry Tolland, Richard 
Al.ioj), Uevan Sc Humphreys, John MeCrea, Eyne, 
Massey and others.' 

Mr. Wetmore in 1841 married Miss Rogers, of Salem, 
for his second wife. ShiJ was a dauMiter of the cele- 
hi-ated merchant Rogers of that ])lace. He was largely 
en<''ai'eil m the East India trade, and also to the domains 
of the Sultan of INIuscat. He had an agent who con- 
stantly resided at Zanzil)ar. 

W. S. ^V'^etmore remained in Canton, ])ersonally su- 
perintending his large business, until his return in 180i*. 
He arrivetl in New York in February, 1840, and estab- 
lishetl himself in this city. 

His principal clerk and business manager from the 
time of his arrival was Fk'tcher Westray, who had been 
previously wjtli the house of Wetuiore, Hoj)pin & Co.", 
for some years. 

'i'he latiier of Mr. Westray was in business in New 
Yoi'k for a long time. He ilied in 1832. His widow is 
still living in this city. After W. S. Wetmore retired 
from active business, Mr. Westray continued the East 
India trade on his own account. He is now at the head 
of the liouse of Westray, (Jibbes & Ilardcastle, largely 
engageil in the East India trade. His i)artners are Eng- 
lish, and were biought up to business in oKl-f ishioia-d 
Eiiglisii counting-iujoms. Mr. Westray has a brother 
John J. in his ei>Labll.^hment. 

.10 awi 




Before W. S. Wetmore cstablislicJ liimself in New 
York city, in 1840, Richard Alsop had been the princi- 
pal agent in America of Wetmore & Co. of Canton. 
This connection continned until an unfortunate quarrel 
broke oft" all intimacy between the two old friends and 
partners. After that quarrel, Mr. Wetmore acted as 
the agent of his Canton house, and established in the 
city the house of Wetmore & Cryder. 

I ought here to mention that previous to this time 
John Cryder had -resided several years in London, 
where he had formed a partnership with the celebrated 
John JMorrison, under the firm of JMorrison, Cryder & 
(/()., bankers. About I806 ov '37, in those bacl times, 
the house lost immensely. This absorbed all of the 
capital of Mr. Cryder, but was nothing to Morrison. 
James JMorrison had made an immense sum in the dry 
goods business, under the firm of IMurrison, Dillon ifc 
Co. It still exists now, although Mr. JMorrison, senior, 
is dead. After the retirement of JMr. Cryder, the bank- 
ing firm became Morrison, Sons, &, Co. This house 
afterwards purchased all the assets of the Baid'C of the 
United States, and it turned out a splendid purchase 
ibr them. 

I'he history of the elder Morrison is singular. lie 
started j)oor. When he died, a i'^iw years ago, his af- 
i'airs were alluded to as follows in the London i)a})ers : 

" The will of James JMorrison, of Up/K>r Ilarley 
street, ivondon, and of Hasilton Park, Berks, dated ^d 
July, liS.VJ, with tlu'ee codicils attached, has been ad- 
ministt;red to in Doctors Connnons. It is the longest 
document upon I'ecord. Upon its j>i'()(hictioii were en- 
gaged conveyancei's and barristers of emiut-iiee, and dur- 
ing its ])ro'.';ress t^) com|)h',tioii the testator evinced much 
nuxiety. Thi! estate exceeds four milMons ol' ])ounds 
Bteriing (twenty millions of dollars.) The last codicil 


was dated in 1856. He left to the widow an annuity 
of X10,000 — a legacy of X5,000, the residences in 
Upper Harley street and Basilton Park. The last cost 
j6 126,000, and the furniture there alone has been val- 
ued at X'JO,000. To his eldest son, Charles, X1,000,000 
including the estate of Basilton, the Islay estate in 
Scotland, and estates in JNIidtllesex, London, and at Go- 
ring. To his son Alfred, ,£750,000, including estates 
in Wiltshire, Ilampsliire, and Glamorganshire, and all 
otlier articles of vertu and art, and other effects at Font- 
hill. To his son Frank £800,000, including estates in 
Kent, Surrey and SUssex. To his son Walter £800,000 
including estates in the West Riding, Yorkshire. To 
liis son George £300,000, including estates in Bucking- 
hamsjiire and Oxfordshire. To his sou Allan £800,000 
including estates in Suffolk and Essex. To his three 
(laughters, £50,000 each. His business he transferred 
to his son Ciiarles Morrison for £850,000. Mr. Morri- 
son owned £80,000 in the Victoria Docks, and vast ac- 
quisitions in America." 

]\fr. Cryder came to this country after leaving j\Ir. 
]\Iorrison, and joined Mr. W. S. Wetmore under the 
firm of Wetmore & Cryder. Afterward Mr. Wetmore 
retired from that firm, and from all active business, in 
June 20, 1847, and removed his residence to Newport, 
where he had purchased a magnificent property, and 
erected an elegant stone villa known as the chaleau sur 
vicr^ at which he resided until his death, that has oc- 
curred there June, 1862. 

lie conunenced his career with no capital, save his 
education, honesty, and a deteiinined will to succeed. 
lie did succeed in becoming one of the most eminent 
and extensive merchants in the world. He left the 
S(nith American house with a large fortune. Wlien ho 
retired fnMu the China honse, he hail acijiiired an addi- 
tional fortune, lie was a man of sjilendiii peraojud ap- 


poarance. He was large, stood six feet high, was well 
proportioned, lie was a perfect philosopher. When 
he married his second wife in 1837, he settled a large 
income upon her. The whole country was shocked 
at her indiscretion a few years after with the coachman 
of Mr. Wetmore. It was a terrible calamity for a 
high-spirited man like Mr. Wetmore. He bore the trial 
like a hero. Instead of making a town talk, he quiet- 
ly flung over it the veil of charity and silence. No one 
ever heard what -become of his wife or his coachman. 

;Mr. Wetmore was a fortunate man in all his finan- 
cial o])erations. In the China war of 1841 and 1842, 
Nvhen the Chinese refused to do business with Enolish 
houses, the American houses did all the trade, and Wet- 
more & Co. got the lion's share. 

His property is very large. lie has in this vicinity 
property valued at over a million of dollars. At ]\Ias- 
.sillon, Ohio, he has 10,000 acres of the finest farm 
lands. In Tennessee he named a town after himself 
(Wetmore,) and there he owns 70,000 acres. 

His firm in Canton and Slianghai, is still kept up as 
Wetmore, Cryder & Co. The partners are W. S. 
AVetmore (same name as his own, but a nephew,) and 
Mr. Wetmore Cryder, also a nephew and son of John 
Cryder, who is yet living, though retired from business, 
and managing the estate ol' his late brother-in-law. 
'i'he house of Wetmore, Cryder & Co. is still in exist- 
ence in this city, at No. 77 William street. 

When George Peabody, of London, canK^ out to this 
country, iji 1S57, Mr. Wetmore gave at Newport ajcle 
chatnpclrc upon the most magnificent seah". Notliing 
api'roaching it was ever before seen in this countr>\ 
iV'alx.dy was a life-long friend of i\lr. Wetmore. Ho 
named one of his sons after him. A son died a few 

300 '^'^^^ <->^^ merch.'IjXTs 

years ago. Tliero are other eliilclren by the second 
wife. 'J'lie first wile iliecl in eliild-beJ, aiul the chihl 
cL'ccl alhu. 

Air, Carrin^ton who first sent ]\Ir. Wetmore to sea 

in one ot" his shij)s, ched some years ago. lie has a son 

yet living in Providence, \\. I. 

j James Wehher Lent was a large merchant in this 

'■ city. His father, John, was a master bnilder, and died 

in North Carolina in 1708. liki married Ann, a dan<di- 

1 ter of Adrian Ilooghuid, of tliis i-ity. lie was a caj)- 

I tain in 15rad(h)cl<,'s expedition during the old French 

J -war. lie \\ as also present when General Wolf fell at 

} ((^nebec. lie ^\asaiierce ohl fellow, i'nll of light and 

lull of fun. He left several ciiildren, and two of them 

] ANL'utinto business in New York, — James AVebber and 

Jidm. John was a gold and siher smith at No. 18 

1 Nassau street, after jieace was prtjclaimed. James W . 

I I'ought all througii the Revolutionary war. Alter that, 

iji ITliO, he opened a grocery, corner of Little Water 

and liroad sti'eets. In 1784 he miuried Miss Macomb, 

a daughter of Nathan Maeomb. In 1798, he h:ul 

ino\ed into South street, where he ke})t a flour store in 

addition to groceries. In 1802 he was appointed in- 

Sj)ector of pot and pearl ashes. His office was at No. 

\)1 Broad, and house at No. 97 Stone streets. He held 

that ollice; fur several years. James W. l^eiit was elect- 

I'd register aliout thirty-two years ago, and held the 

office several years. His son George W. Lent went 

into business on liis own account at No. 82', Pearl 

street in lo28, but lived with his father down in the 

First Ward, at No. ^1 Water street. James W. died in 

17tjl*. The son is yet living. 

There was another James Lent^ who was a mer- 
chant in this city for some years, lie married a Miss 


Bull, of Connecticut. He went to reside on Long Ls- 
hind, and was elected to Congress from King's County 
in 181;], and died at Washington in 18o3. He had a 
sister who married iVnthony JJarclay. lie died in 1805. 
lie was the son of Henry Barclay, who became rector 
of Trinity churcli in 1740. He was called Dr. Barc- 
lay. He married Mary, the daughter of Anthony Rut- 
gers. His eldest son, Thomas, the brother of Heiuy, 
Avas British Consul Creneral for the United States many 
yuars. He left -several children ; — Anthony, who mar- 
ried idiss Lent ; one daughter married Colonel Bever- 
ly Robinson ; another married Colonel Stephen I)e 
Lancy, the father of Miss De Lancy, who married Dan- 
iel I. Coster. 



There have been many merchants in this city, dur- 
ing the past^ one hundred years, of the name of" Ilicks. 
Some were very eminent, and became very rich. Prob- 
ably they all came from the same stock. 

Oliver II. Ilicks, who was of note here for some 
years, was a son of Stephen, and came from Rockaway, 
Long Island. He had a brother Stephen. 

Another family of the Ilicks name was that of Isaac, 
Sanuiel and Valentine, that afterwards became the great 
house of Samuel Ilicks & Son, of which the principal 
w^as Samuel Hicks, Jr. All were sons of Samuel Hicks, 
who was a clev(;r tailor at Westbury, L. I. He went 
about doing small jobs. Isaac started the house in 179G, 
at 14 Crane wharf (South street.) He did a very exten 
sive commission business : and if he had done notliin<r but 
brmgmg up Jacob Barker, that would have been suill- 
cient to inmiortalize his name. The celebrated Jacob 
was in the countiiig-huuse of Mr. Hicks until 1800, a 
l)eriiHl of three years. In 1802, Samuel and Valentine 
Hicks (bruthci's to Isaac) opened a store at 345 Pearl. 
The next year, Sylvanus Jenkins was taken into part- 
nership, and the linn was changed to Ilicks, Jenkins & 
Co. In 1805, the concern moved to 07 South street. 

About this time, or in I80i5, Isaac retired fronj busi- 



ness witli a very large fortune, and gave his business to 
the firm of his two brotiiers. lie hved at 272 Pearl. 
I believe he died about 1811. Samuel moved to 215 
Bi'oadway, opposite the Park, in 1814, and there he 
lived a great many years. His firm, Hicks, Jenkins 
& Co., continued in business as late as 1818. They 
had moved up to 15-4 South street, above Peck 
slip. About that time Sylvanus Jenkins died. He 
was a splendid merchant. A Liverpool packet ship 
Avas named after him. In 1819, Samuel Hicks con- 
tinued on the business under his own name. In 
1825 he took into partnership two of his sons, John 
and Henry, and the firm became Samuel Hicks & Sons. 
They moved down to 80 South street, where the firm 
did an enormous business until 1837, when old Samuel 
died at his house No. 245 Broadway. The concern was 
then changed to Hicks & Co., and the sons carried on 
the business for a great many years after. John Hicks 
died about six years ago. Both of the sons had fami- 
lies. Old Samuel Hicks was very much respected. I 
could write a lengthy article about him and his house, 
but I did not commence to do it. I have digressed. 

The Hicks merchants of Avhom I intended to write, 
are another funily. I have alluded to the above houses 
in order to make the distinction. Whitehead Hicks was 
a celebrated merchant, who came to this city in 1796. 
He was descended from Thomas Hicks, who married 
Deborah, a daughter of Daniel Whitehead, a great 
land owner in Flushing, about 1723. He had a son 
Whitehead, who was born in 1728, and who was tlio 
last Hritisli mayor. Ho was a lawyer, and I have 
nothing to say about him, except that he married, in 
1757, C!harlolte, the only child of John Bennett, and 
their son, Thomas, married Martha Buchanan, ti daugh- 


ter of Thomas Bucliaiian, spoken of in tlie last chapter. 
IIl! IkuI throe daughters, and he died in 1815. Mayor 
Whitehead Ilieks had a brother Gilbert, who married 
Mary Allen. The latter had a son that he named 
Whitehead, after his grandfather Whitehead ; he mar- 
ried in 1795, and the next year started as a lumber 
merchant in Lumber street (changed in 1805 to Lom- 
liardy street, and yet later to Monroe street.) About 
tlie year 1801 he moved to No. 1 East Rutgers street. 
He was one of the founders of the Seventh Ward, and 
bought the first foot of land that old Henry Rutgei-s 
ever sold in JNIarket street. That old Henry Rutgei\s, 
had he lived until now, could not ha\'e done what he did 
do for many years, from 1800 to 1820, viz : to every New 
York boy that would call upon him on New Year's he 
gave a cake and a book. Thousands of boys would go 
and see him on these conditions. Whitehead Ilieks 
made a larc-e fortune in the lumber business, lie built 
blueks of houses, and got the famous Georges street 
broken up. It is now Market street. It began in Di- 
vision street, and ended in Cherry street. It was the 
devil's own hole. It was worse than the Five Points 
was in 1830. 

The Quakers clubbed together and bought a block 
of ground to build up(jn, and trieil to imj)rove this fear- 
ful neighborhood, where all kinds of debauchery w:is 
carried on. In 1814, the Quakers and resj)ectable 
]H'o[)le in the vicinity, who did not wish their property 
(h'preclatc .1 in conse(pience of the bad name of the street 
and its well known vile character, petitioned to the 
C(jrj)oration that it might be changed from Georges to 
Market stri'et. At the same tinu', all the bad wonn'n 
gi)t u]) a petition and presented it to the Corporation. 
They, too, wisheil (leorges street to be changud, and to 


liave it named after Commodore Rodgers, a popular 
naval commander, who had iust been wimiinrr a iireat 
victory over the English. The quakers carried the 
day against the frail women, and the street was named 
Market strei-t. It is now one of the best streets in the 
city. In 1811 he tcjok into jtartnership ^lichael M. Ti- 
tus, and the ih-ni was llicks & Titus. Both parties are 
now dead. Mr. Titus left a son, who is now in the 
Seventh Ward Savings Bank. Mr. Whitehead Ilicks 
died in 1830. He had two sons. One was I'lamed (iil- 
LtTt, after his graudfither, and the other was Robert T. 
liicks Jr. In 18i'J, the latter went into the ship clian- 
dlery business, under his own name, at 107 South-street. 
That property was owned by the old house of Bogert 
& Kneeland (still in existence.) At that time, 1820, 
the water had just been filled in with dirt. Those stores 
were just j)ut one story, and tlien allowed to stand one 
year. It was called Crane's wharf. I have already allud- 
ed to it in this chapter. The store, No. 107, was three 
doors above the Fulton market. That same store stamls 
now. Mr. Ilicks bought it. In 18i!5, Robert took in 
his brother Gilbert, and the firm became G. & R. T. 
IIic;ks. The house did a \'ery heavy business in supply- 
ing ship chandlery to niunerous \cssels. It also owned 
a great many vessels, that tradeil to the West Indies 
antl South America. 

(Gilbert Ilicks married Miss Endjury, a daughter of 
EfHngham Embury. His health was very poor, and his 
i'riends advised that if he wished to save his life, or to 
])rolong it, he should go to the Wi'st Indies. He se- 
lected St. ThouKis, and there opened a house in con- 
nection with the New York house. He i-cci-ivrd mvs- 
si'is ami coiisignnu'nts of goods IVom all |)arts of the 
United States, and he shipped goods I'rom St. Tlujiuas 


on his own account. St. Thomas, with its splendid cli- 
mate and mild government, is a paradise. It is won- 
derful to me that thousands do not go thither every 
winter. It belongs to Denmark, and so does Santa 
Cruz, a lovely island only a few hours' sail from St. 
Thomas. Mr. Gilbert Hicks was a very hopitable man, 
and no American visited that island that he did not in- 
vite to his house — and it made no difference whether he 
did business Avith him or not. I dined with him fre- 
quently in 1833, being in that port with a brig and car- 
go that I afterwards took down the Spanish main. Al- 
though I consigned to W. B. Furniss <fe Co., yet at no 
house was I so kindly received as by Mr. Hicks. Of 
course -he spoke Danish freely, and the best Danish so- 
ciety on the island could be found at his dinners. 
They have a good old fashioned custom after dinner of 
all kissing each other, and saying in Danish something 
like this : " May God bless what you have eaten and 
drunken to your future good, and may you always be 
very happy." At any rate it is very pleasant. Mr. 
Ilicks found that at home or abroad consumption had 
fastened upon his vitals, and he returned home to die. 
I think he lived until June of 1834 — the next year af- 
ter I met him. 

Robert T. Hicks kept the same business for a num- 
ber of years, under the firm of Robert T. Hicks & Co. 
He married in 1822 a daughter of Thomas Everitt, a 
heavy leather dealer in the Swamp, but who resided in 
Brooklyn. This fact made the son-in-law go over there 
and bu} ground to buihl a house on for himself. Land 
was cheap, and he bought largely, resulting in making 
him the owner of a large proj)erty in after years. Old 
I\Ir. iMeritt was a fnie man, and an extensive merchant. 
He dill business many years. His house at one time 

OF .vK;r voRk' ciTv. 8Q7 

was Thomas Everitt & Sons. He had several sons. 
There were Ileury, Richard and Valentine. I believe 
the house is still continued in the business, under the 
firm of Hyde & Everitt, at No. 32 Ferry street. 

Robert T. Hicks kept in business in the old stand in 
South street until about 1848, when he retired rich. 
About 1859, he moved up to Pouglda^cpsie, where he 
had built him a splendid country seat. No man has 
worked harder tlian he to acquire a competency, and 
lie has proved himself a sagacious merchant. He hud 
two sons. One was named Gilbert. He married Miss 
Gibbs. Archibald Gracie Jr., a son of our much es- 
teemed New Yorker, Robert Gracie, married another 
sister. Another son is "Robert. After old Robert T. 
Hicks retired from business it was carried on by Hicks 
& Bailey, at 36 South street, for four or five years later. 
The partner was Gilbert E. Hicks. 

Oliver H. Hicks, to whom I alluded, was a very em- 
inent and a very extensive merchant in the early part 
of this century. He did a large commission business, 
and sold more pipes of imported Holland gin than any 
other merchant of his day. He went into business as 
early as 1800. His counting house was at 83 South 
street, and he lived at 87 Maiden lane. He contiimed 
to do a very large business as late as 1819. In that 
year, the Fulton Fire Insurance Company was incorpo- 
rated with a capital of $500,000, and he became its 
secretary. Anthony L. Underbill, of whom I have 
written, was its president. ]\Ir. Hicks was secretary of 
that company until 1828. In 1831, ho was elected 
president of the Farmers' Fire Insurance and L(jan 
('()jni)any, and he continued to be its president until 
1832, when he died of the cholera, lie was a man 
universally respected. 

TO 1 



I have had occasion in former chapters to mention at 
some leno'th two hw'iQ commercial firms that once ex- 
isted in this city ui' the name of Rogers. One was 
tlie firm of David Rubers Sl Suii, hirge su;;ar mercliants 
forty years ago. The other was Rogers & Co., a heavy 
shipping house, largely interested in forwarding tobacco 
vuidur French government contracts for several years. 
Ruth of these houses have been long since extinct. 
Tlie business of the latter is still continued by the 
fuunder, John T. Farish, who was a nephew of the 
founder Lewis Rogers, of Richmond, Va. 

The Rogers' commercial house that I shall write 
about in this chapter, existed soon after the Revolution- 
ary war. In 1784, Rogers & Lyde did business at 200 
C^ueen street. The founder of that house was lleniy 
Rogers, who resided at 28 Reekman street. Ilis pai'tncr 
was l^dward Lyde. That house did an immense iron 
business, and were called iron importers. It kejjt in the 
t;ame store (229) Pearl, as late as 1821 — thirty-seven 
years. 1 will give a hlstorj' of it and of its eminent 
]iartners, befoi'e I finish this sketch. 

Another brother of lleniy was named Moses Rogers. 
11(! ceilainly was in luisine,s.s innnetliatel)' after the Rev- 
olution, if not before it. Jle married, about 177^5, a Misa 


"Woolsey. In 1785 he did business at No. 26 Queen 
street. Arterwardi, he founded Moses Rogers &, Co. ; 
after tluit it was Rogers & Woolsey in 1703— atliO'o 
(^ueen — (235 Tearl,) and tliere it was kept for nearly 
Ibrty years afterwards. I will give a sketeh of him and 
his partner before I finish. 

The oldest brother was Fitch Rogers. He settled at 
Stamford, Coini. He lived in New York in 1803 and 
IcSOl, and was a partner with one of his brothers. lie 
lived in Connecticut and died there. 

Nehemiah was the youn.gest brother; in 1702 ho 
came here from St. Johns, New Brunswick, antl tbinidcd 
the house of Rogers & Asjmiwall at 45 C^ueen. lb; 
lived at 18 ]]eckman. ITis partner was Cilbert Aspiii- 
wall. It was tlissolved in 1703, and (lilijcrt startc^d 
business at 18G Queen (207 Pearl) with his brother 
John, under the Hrm of Gilbert & John Aspinwall. 
Nehemiah Rogers kejjt his store at 272 Pearl, until 
1700, when he took the store 232 Pearl, and founded 
the house of N. Rogers & Co. llis partner was David 
R. Lambert. In 1709 the firm was chanfjed to Rogers 
& Lambert, still at 232 Pearl, where it was kept 28 
• years later. These Avere all (irent firms. liefore Ne- 

■ hemiah came to this city from the 15ritish I'roviiu.'es, 

\ Avherc he had established himself, he was the first may- 

or of St. John, N. B., and entertained the Duke of 
Kent, father of Queen Victoria. lie married a daugh- 
j ter of James Bell of Frederickton, N. B., who was 

I Jather of Isaac Bell — captain they call him, though lie 

never was a caj)tain but had been supercargo to the 
East Indies several times. Ca[)tain Isaac Bell was one 
of the finest nu-n that ever drciw breath. lie was for 
many years connected with Fraiuls Di'pau and his line 
of Havre packets. His son is the present Isaac Bell — 


one of our most prominent city officials. Nehemiah 
Rogers was probably married about 178G to MTsh Px.ll. 
lie was born in 17o4. lie died iu 1840 — aged 05, al- 
most the last of the great race of old merchants who 
were in active business in the last century. II!s ven- 
erable form could have been frequently seen in Green- 
wich street until within twelve years. His was one 
of the finest of human faces. 

These brothers had a sister, Esther Roo-ers. She 
founded a family, or a race of merchants. She married 
the celebrated Archibald Gracie. He came out to this 
country from Scotland as supercargo of a small vessel, 
directly after the Revolutionary war was finished. He 
became one of the heaviest merchants New York had 
seen up to his time. When he was in his prime, he was 
doing business with all parts of the world. He owned 
many ships. There was the " Eliza Gracie," the 
" Braganza," the " Mary," and many whose names I 
do not recollect. Mr. Gracie suffered severelv from the 
Berlin and Milan decrees. He could not get any re- 
dress during his life. After his death, which occurred 
i<i 1829, General Jackson forced the French Govern- 
ment to pay this as well as other claims. Between the 
liritish and French governments he had suffered losses 
to an incredible extent. Over a million dollars was his 
loss. As many of the readers have heard about French 
claims, I will give a statement made by Mr. Gracie 
himself He had waited and waited until he was heart 
sick for redress. None came. Finally he sent the fcd- 
lowing eloquent petition to Congress before he died : 


To (he Honorable (lie Senate and House of Rrprcsenl- 
a/ines of the United States of America in Congress 
assembled : 


Of New York, a citizen of the United States, 


That your memorialist, in the year 1806, loaded the 
brig "■ Perseverance," and in 1807 the ship '' Mary ; " 
that they were cleared directly for Antwerp — sailed — 
were captured by J>ritisii cruisers, and alter a Ibrcible 
detention of a few days in England, arrived at Antwerp, 
one in AEarch, the other in July, 1807. At the time 
of their arrival, the only extraordinary decree in exist- 
ence which alfected the navigation of neutrals was the 
Berlin, of the 21st of November, 180G, which, amijiig 
other provisions, declared that English pro[)orty, or inau- 
ufactures, or her colonial [)roduce, were good prize ; 
that no vessel coming directly from England, or going 
to England or her colonies, should be permitted to en- 
ter a French j)ort ; and that every vessel contravening 
the decree, by a false declaration, should be seized and 
her cargo confiscated. In consequence of an applica- 
tion to obtain the property in question, the French 
Government gave orders to admit and land the cargoes 
in Entrepot. This decision evinced that the government 
did not consider the relache forcce in England as sulli- 
cient to justify the non-admission of the vessels and car- 
goes ; subsequently an inquiry was directed to be lield, 
to ascertain if there were any English property on board. 
This inquiry was scrupulously carried into eti'ect by the 
agents of the government, and a report was made that 
no English property was on board. The ship's papers 
are acknowledi'cfl to have been re<iular, and no ground 
was ever set up that there was a false declaration ; uuv 
couhl it have been set iqt ; for the fact of having been 
forced into England was stated by the captains on arriv- 
al. Thus none of the provisions of the Berlin decree 
of 18UG having been contravened, all opposition to the 
property passing into the hands of the consignees was 
expected to cease ; but, though the vessels were suilered 


to (Icjiart, upon bonds being trivcn to abide tlic issue of 
su(;h decision as should be made, the cargoes were still 
retained in Entrepot ; nor was it until their ])erishing 
condition was represented, that orders were issued to 
sell them under the joint inspection of the government 
ofKcers and the consignees, and to place the proceeds 
proinsionalli/ in the Caisse d'amortissement. At length, 
by a financial decree of Bona[)arte, without trial, adju- 
dication, or any civil process whatever, the proceeds of 
all sequestered property were directed to be taken out 
of the Caisse d'amortissement, and j)laced in the public 
treasury. Part of the cargoes of the " Mary " and the 
" Perseverance " being ashes, had been ])reviously, in 
1800, delivered over to the department of war, accord- 
ing to a decree, by which the value thereof Avas direct- 
eil to be paid into 'the Caisse d'amortissement (though 
such payment was the condition of the delivery, yet it 
never has been made,) there wasaprtjcess verbal drawn 
up at the time by the comuiittee appointed by govern- 
nu'iit, detailing the transaction by wiiich the weiglits 
are given, and the value, notwithstanding heavy deduct- 
ions, stated to be about fr. 4oU,UUU ; the remainder of 
the " Mary's " cargo j)rodnced about tr. 027,711, and 
that of the " Perseverance " about lUi5,2l2, nuikin<i: the 
claim amount to in all, fr. 1,270,000, without including 
interest, which, as the French nation has had the use 
of the money, is as fairly due as the principal ; more es- 
})ecially as no claim is made for the depreciation of the 
ii'oods bv damage duriu"- the illeiral detention in Eiiti'e- 
pot, which dejireciation was great, in general, and upon 
the ashes amountetl to t\venty per cent. No possible 
ground exists for withholding this pro[)erty. 

Enouiih seems to have been said of tlie undeniable 
justice of this claim ; ami of the duty incumbent ujxiu 
the Fri, lU'h (ujvernment (having in several instances 
udmilted American claims and j)aid them .separately) 
no longer to wltidiojd the same measure of justice from 
your memorialist. Under this statement of his case, 
yonr nn'morialist submits with conlldenee to the wisdom 
of Congress to such steps in relation thereto as to them 
bhull beeui lit. 


Few in tlie present day know how much many of 
the 01(1 Merchants suftered by war. The descendants 
of Archibald Gracie and Esther Rogers have married 
into most of the principal families. The firm was 
Archibald Gracie & Sons. William, the eldest son, 
and afterwards ])artner of his father, married a daugh- 
ter of Oliver Wolcott for his first wife, llis second 
was Miss Fleming. Archibald Gracie, his second son, 
is yet living at Elizabethtown, New Jersey. lie mar- 
ried Miss Bethune, of Charleston, S. C. Robert I shall 
speak of fully before I finish this sketch. A dauuhr-:-, 
Sally, married James G. King. Eliza married Charks 
King, the president of Columbia College, who was of 
the firm of A. Gracie & Sons. Another daughter, 
Hetty, married William Beach Lawrence. Another 
sister of the celebrated Rogers byothers married Da\-id 
Lambert. His son was David Rogers Lambert, who 
Avas a ])artner of Nehemiah Rogers, under the firm of 
Rogers, Lambert & Co. until 1811, at 232 Pearl. 
That year two of the younger Lamberts started a store 
at No. 2ol Pearl, opposite. Da^'id R, Lambert was 
killed many years ago up by the Sailor's Snug Harbor 
(near where Tenth street now is.) lie was comin<'' 
home I'lctm a party at Julward Lyde's house. They 
met a gang of rowdies; t>ne of them struck him a blow 
that killed him instantly. The parties were tried for 
murder, convicted of manslaughter, and sentenced to 
ten years in the Stale ])rison. D. Lyde was a partner 
of Ly(K', Ivogers tt Co. in J7U2. At the time of his 
death, Mr. Lambert was ii\ing in Bond striict, and 
owned two others besides the marble luuise he lived in. 

Another sister of Nehemiah Rogers never married. 
Jler nanu: was I'ili/.abelh. 

Nehemiaii Rogers \\\vd at. N(». 1 (ux'.'usvich -treet 


from 1810 to 1819, wlicn lie cliod. lie moved there 
from No. 19 Robinson (now Park place), wliere lie had 
lived from 1801. While he was living at No. 19 Rob- 
inson street, in his own house, old Colonel George Turn- 
bull, an English gentleman of wealth, who lived many- 
years at 43 Broadway, had a country seat, out of town 
(where Waverley place is now.) It was a pretty cot- 
tage, with twenty or twenty-two acres of land attached. 
One afternoon the Colonel met Mr. Rogers, and said : 

" Rogers, I like that house of your's very much in- 
deed. IIow will you trade for my country seat and 

" IIow will you trade ? " asked Mr. Rogers. 

" I will make an even exchange with you." 

" That is about fair ; but I will not exchange for one 
reason. It is too far out of town," replied jMr. Rogers. 

" Nonsense, you keep a carriage, and can ride into 
town every day," urged Colonel Turnbull. 

At that time (180G) there were only fifteen persons 
that kept a carriage in New York. Among them were 
Archibald Gracie, Moses Rogers, Colonel Turnbull, Ne- 
hemiah Rogers, Herman Le Roy, Mr. liayard, and a 
few others. 

The house, 19 Robinson — it ran through to ^lurray 
street— was worth $15,000. He sold it for i^l7,000, 
"svhen he moved to Greenwich street — 1810. The 
t\\eMty acres out of town (^\^•lV(,■rl('y Place neighbor- 
hood) would now be woi'th millions. Either Henry or 
lulwai'd Wilkes married a daughter of the Colonel 
Turnbull, who lived u])on his income. Nehemiah Rog- 
ers in 1807 took in his son Saiiuu!] as a partner, and the 
llim was Jvogers, Landicrt (fit Co. When IMr. Land)eit 
I'etired, it was changt'd in iSll to N. Rogers, Son vt Co. 
They did u very heavy busliu.'ss. 'i'lie lii'ni was largfly 


engngcd in importing for many years, from all parts of 
Europe. It received consignments from all parts of the 
South — cotton, turpentine, tar, and provisions. Mr. 
Rogers was largely engaged in the East India trade, 
helping to make up cargoes for the East India siiips 
owned by his brother-in-law, Archibald Gracie. Mr. 
Kogers also owned interests in some vessels. He was 
much esteemed in every relation of life. He was a 
courteous merchant of the old school. He was truly a 
Christian, and did everything that he could do to pro- 
mote the good of his fellow men. In 1807, he was 
elected a vestryman of Trinity Church, and so contin- 
ued until 181G, wdion he became a warden, and kej)t the 
honorable office until 1842 — a period of over thirty- 
five years. He was in several of our moneyed corpora- 
tions as director. In 181G, he was a Director of the 
Lank of New York, and was chosen several years. He 
had several sons. Samuel, Edward M., Henry, who 
married INIiss Livingston, a dauohter of John S. Livinn-s- 
ton ; George 1., Archibald Gracie, named after the old 
merchant, his uncle. I believe all are living, except 
l^dward and Henry. The mother died this year (l8(Jti) 
aged 9;3 years. 

When Mv. Rogers moved into Greenwich street, all 
the wealth and fasjiiou of the city was in that quarter. 
1'he old Custom House was in front of the Bowlinij; 
Green Row. When he died, in 1849, the character of 
Greenwich street had completely changed. Up to 
1825^ there' wi're n'maiiiing twenty or more of his old 
cronii's. Coh^ncl lu)l)iiis()M, father of Hiwerly Robin- 
son, Isaac i5rll, Yarick, William Jiayartl, Robert Len- 
ox, Joshua Waddiugton, Cornelius Ray, Mr. Lewis, Ja- 
cob Stout, and others. Tliesi; use(l to meet and dino 
together occasionally, at each other's house, and talk 


over old New York. Old Captain Jacob would tell me 
with groat glue about bringing over in the ship he com- 
niandeil, John Jacob Astor as a steerage passenger, and 
recite the regulations, that no steerage passenger should 
be allowed to go on the quarter deck among the cabin 
])assengers ; and was ready to take oath that Astor had 
a tew things such as are used in making umbrellas, aiul 
that they were not worth ^00 ; and these facts, that 
e\en now can be proved, but which have been most ter- 
riitly i'alsified, would be commented upon by these old 
New Yorkers, whose early career had made New York 
the great commercial city that she is. One by one these 
old diners wei-e cai'rietl to their graves ; and, after a 
long delay, Mr. Rogers followed to the tomb, with none 
of his old com])anions to follow him. Had he lived mi- 
til now, he would have been 108 years old. He was 
executor of the estate of Archibald Gracie. 



Moses Rogers was a grand old mercliant. He was in 
business as early as 1785. Ilis place was at 26 Queen 
street. In 17D2, he formed the house of Moses Rogei's 
& Co., at No. 206 Queen street. His partner was Wil- 
liam Walter Woolsey, his brother-in-law. In 1793, the 
firm was changed to Rogers & Woolsey. When Queen 
street was changed, it became 245 Pearl. Meanwhile 
Moses Rogers lived at 272 Pearl as late as 1795. 

Moses Rogers married Sarah Woolsey about 1780, 
daugl iter of Benjamin Woolsey, who was father of W. 
W. Woolsey — a famous New York merchant, and 
brother-in-law of Mr. Rogers. They had several chil- 
dren. One was Benjamin Woolsey Rogers, who was 
born the 18th May, 1775. Another, Archibald Rogers, 
and a daughter, Julia Ann, who married F. B. Win- 
throp, a brother of John Stille Winthroj). F. B. Win- 
throp was of the house of Winthrop, Rogers k AVil- 
liams, about 1820. ]\Ioses Rogers was cai'ly a member 
of the Marine Society, in 1780. In 1798, ho was a 
member of the Society to relieve Distressed Prisoners. 
It is dillicult to understand at this lime, how there should 
be a regular society to relieve ))risoners in old New York. 
Yet, so there was, and it was a humane society, that 
numbered the iirst merchantd of New York amon<i iti 

3;18 "^^^^ OLD MERCHA.XTS 

mcu)l)ers. It lasted many years, ami tlie venerable and 
reverend Dr. John Rodgers was president of it. 

In tliosc years we had a jail, and our fellow-citizens 
M ho could not pay their debts outside were locked up in 
the debt<jr's j)rison in the Park. This society mitigated 
the hardship by giving the prisoners decent food and fu- 
el : al)out 150 persons were constantly locked up. The 
jail, 1 believe, allowed no fire, and only bread and wa- 
ter. The humane society furnished wood and soup to 
the extent of 10,000 quarts annually. 

Two years later INIoses Rogers was one of the jury 
on the trial of John Young, an actor, who had killed 
the sheriff's olKcer in the l*ark. The latter was iroinc; 
to arrest Mr. Young, and take him to the old jail that 
stood where the Hall of Records now is. Youn<r shot 
him. lie was then arrested in good earnest, and locked 
lip in the Bridewell, that stood on the Broadway side 
of the present City Hall. He was tried, and the jury 
found him guiltv. He was huno; on the hiirli hill east 
of where the Tombs now is, and on the ground- now 
bounded by Broadway, Benson and Leonard streets. 
The military and all the citizens turned out to see the 

In 1793, Moses Rogers was one of the mdst active 
members of the Society for the ilanumission of Slaves. 
So was his brother-in-law, William Dunlaj), the celebra- 
totl historian, who had married a Miss Woolsey. W. W. 
Woolsey, his wife's brother, \\ as the secretary of this 
society. iNIoses Rogers was a director of the United 
States Branch Bank in this city, in 17'J3. At that time 
he lived at No. 27li Peail street: it was near J5eekman 
street, a large lumsi', with a hanging garden extending 
over the }'ard and stable. He was a governor of the 
Wew York Hospital from 17l»2 to 179'J. hx 171i7 he 


^vns one of tlie principal manvigers of the City Dispen- 
sary. He Avas treasurer. That same year he was elect- 
ed a director of the ilutual Insurance Company, and 
he continued to be so until 1807. In 1798, the firm at 
No. 285 Pearl was changed to Woolsey & Rogers, I 
think that year old Moses liogers went out of the con- 
cern, and that his son, B. Woolsey Rogers, took his 
T)]acc. The old gentleman then went into the su^ar re- 
fniing business. He took for that purpose the old sugar 
liouse in Liberty street, No. 42. It was used as a pris- 
on in the war. It stood, until within a few years, adjoin- 
ing the Dutch church, now used by the Post-OfHce. 
The firm was iNIoses Rogers & Co. He kept in the su- 
gar refinery until 180G. At that time he lived at No. 
7 State street. That grand house with j)illars stood as 
late as yesterday, and Valentine's Manual of 1859 has 
a capital engraving of it. It was built by Moses Rogers. 
He occupied it as late as 1826. His son, B. W., lived 
next door at No. 5, in 182G, and after his father died he 
moved to No. 7 and lived there until 1830, when the 
house was taken by G. G. Howland. The family still 
own it.' 

In 1 80-1, Afr. W. W. Woolsey retired, and the busi- 
ness was carried on under tlie fii'm (;f B, W, Roirers & 
Co., at 235 IV'arl street, until 1S2G, when it was 
changed to Rogers, Taylor & WilHams. Mr. Taylor 
was Jeremiah 11., a brother of Knowles Taylor. Ho 
had been a clerk with B. W. Rogers for some years. 
The other partner was Timothy Dwight Williams. 
This house lasted only imtil 1830, when B. W. liogers 
continued it in his own name, as he had commenced it 
in 1801, for one yeai", and then he m()V(Hl his place of 
biiuiiess to JS'o. -1 h'letehiM' slreel, whi.'re Ji'remiah II. 
Taylor had conunenced business on his own account. 


Tills house, conductecl by lather and son, existed over 
forty-six years, and for forty-two of those years it was 
in the same store. So it lias been with the three great 
mercantile houses founded by the brothers Moses, Hen- 
ry and Nehemiah. They believed in the proverb, that 
a " rolling stone gathers no moss." Old Moses was a 
vestryman of 'J'rinity church from 1787 to 1811, and 
his son, B. Woolsoy, was the same from 1821 to 182G. 
I have already mentioned that old Moses was a govern- 
or of the New York hospital for seven years. His son 
was governor from 1818 to 1855, and some portion of 
tliat time Avar, assistant treasurer. 

The first wile of B. Woolsey Rogers was a daughter 
of William Bayard. His second wife was a Miss El- 
wyn. Her mother was a daughter of the famous Gov- 
ernor Langdon, of New Hampshire. She married Mr. 
Elwyn, of an old wealthy English family. Each of the 
dauohters of B. W. Rogers, Eliza and Sarah, became 
the wife of W. P. Van Rfusselaer. His brother, Archi- 
bald Rogers, married Miss Pendleton, a daugliter of 
old Judge Pendleton, and sister of the Judge Pendle- 
ton who died a few days ago. One daughter of Moses 
Rogers married Francis B. Winthroi). Archibald 
Rogers died about ten years ago. He left several child- 

One daughter married a ^Ir. Livingston, who is con- 
' cerned in the Havana line of steamers. B. Woolsey Ro- 
gers lunl three sons. Elwyn died many years ago. The 
second son was Woolsey, who married Miss Iloflinan. 
He is dead. The eldest son, Atiliiam Bayard Rogers, 
is still living. The heaviest importers in the hanlware 
trade fifty years ago, were B. W. Rogei-s and W. W. 
Wooluy, \Vlu:n Mos(.'S Rogers and his son J). W. 
Rogers resided in State street, their neighbors werj 



Jolin B. Coles, Win. Neilson, Henry Overing, Jonathan 
Oo-den, William Bayard, General Jacob Morton, and 
Corrie's public garden. 

B. Woolsey Rogers died in 1859 or 1860, in tins city. 

I have already alluded to the house founded by Hen- 
ry Rogers in 1785, of Rogers & Lyde. In 1793 it was 
changed to Lyde & Rogers, and their store was at No. 
209 Queen street. The partner was old Edward Lyde, 
who was very rich. He married a daughter of Gover- 
nor Belcher, of Massachusetts. He was every inch a 
gentleman. He was in business as early as 1777. He 
occupied No. 200 Queen street for a store, and paid 
for it $240 per annum. Same store now rents for 
$1400. When Queen was changed to Pearl, the num- 
bering was changed, and- it became No. 229 Pearl street, 
same buikling though. In 1797 the firm became Lyde, 
Rogers & Co. I think Edward Lyde, Jr., was taken 
into the house that year. In 1807, Edward Lyde, Jr., 
went out of the concern, and started business at No. 
230 Pearl street, opposite the old store. The old house 
was continued on under the style of Rogers, Son & Co. 
At that time Francis B. Winthrop was taken into part- 

The son was Henry F. Rogers. Old Henry Rogers 

lived at No. 42 Courtlandt street for a great many 

years. In 1811 the firm became Rogers & Winthrop, 

at the same old store. No. 229 Pearl street. A sister 

of Henry F. married Daniel Remsen, of the firm of 

Peter Remsen & Co. Henry F. married for his first 

wife a liaughter of Fitch Rogers, of Stamford. So did 

John S. Winthrop, and there were two sons, John S. Jr., 

and Henry. In 1818 the firm became Rogers, Winthrop 

k Co. I think J. Symth Rogers, a son of old Hemy, . 

became a partner. He married Miss Winthrop, a daugh- 

'I G .■ f I 

322 '^i^^ OLD MERCHA.YTS 

ter of Gov. Wintlirop, of Boston. The firm kept in the 
same old store until 1821, when they moved to No 56 
South street, and went into the commission business. In 
that year Henry F. Rogers became a partner of Robert 
Gracie at No. 5G South street, under the firm of Rogers & 
Gracie. Robert was the youngest son of old Archibald 
Gracie, the great New York merchant, who died in 1829. 
He married Miss Neilson, a daughter of Wm. Neilson, a 
great merchant half a century ago, and afterwards a lead- 
ing man in mai-ine insurance companies. Robert Gracie, 
who probably commenced business on his own account 
in 1821 with INIr. Rogers, is a very remarkable man. 
He is yet alivx', and has for forty odd years j)lodded on 
steadily, working like a beaver, iiulustrious as a bee. 
Faithl'id to every duty, never tiring, of an unquestioned 
integrity, he ought, if wealth is any reward for a faith- 
I'ul service, to be worth many millions. He had one son 
by his first wife, named Archibald Gracie ; I saw him 
when he was a baby, some thirty years or more a<TO, 
and have not seen him since. I have alluded to him in 
a previous chapter as having married a Miss Dash wood, 
her mother was a Ludlow, and his second wife was a 
Jliss Gibbs. Robert Gracie, for his second wife, mar- 
ried the accomplished and beautiful daughter of John 
J]. Fleming, an old merchant. A quarter of a century 
ago, she and her sister, jNIrs. William Gracie, wei-e two 
of the most beautiful girls in the city of New York. 

Robert Gracie was once a great church goer, and a 
leading man in the St. Thomas church, where the bones 
of his fa*^her lie in one of the vaults close to Broadway. 
His was tlie first funeral I ever attended in my life. 
Rogers & Gracie continxied in business until 1820, at G4 
Pine street. The firm was then changed to Gracie & 
Co., but Henry F. Rogers I think C(;nLinued the com- 


])any for many years after. In 1820, Gracie & Co. 
moved to 20 Broad street. It was the tliird or fourth 
store tliat was erected in Broad street. The entire 
street was filled with dwelling houses, and occupied by 
our principal people up to twenty-five years ago. A 
store was a rarity. Now, a dwelling house is the nov- 
elty in the street. Gracie & Co. did a very heavy bu- 
siness in choice wines and English beer and porter for 
many years. In his time he educated many clerks. 
Among th<?m was John S. Winthrop, Jun., a son of the 
old member of the firm of Rogers, Winthrop & Co. 
John, Jan., was afterwards a clerk with Prime, Ward 
& King. He afterwards married in North Carolina, 
and resided South. Richard K. Anthony was another 
clerk of Mr. Gracie. He was one of the old Dutch 
Anthony family. Their names are among the early 
Dutch records in 1644. The father of Richard Antho- 
ny was one of the principal tellers in the United States 
Branch ]\Iint in this city for a great many years. I 
think Richard Anthony became a partner of Gracie & 
Co. in the wine business, but I am not certain. He 
still carries on the business in Liberty street. 

Mr. Henry F. Rogers married, for his second wife, 
Miss Maxwell, a sister of Mrs. George Douglass. lie 
died In 1802. 

There was in this city, after the Revolution, a John 
Rogers, who was a merchant of extensive business, and 
highly res])ectable. Ilis residence was at 7 Beaver 
.street, ;i'id his slore was in Hanover scpiare. Ih; had 
two sons. One named ,]o\\u Rogers, .iun., who was 
born IDlh June, 17H7. Another son was (jeorge I'ix- 
ton l^ogers, who was born 15th. December, 1780. The 
latter is yet ;ilive, and lives at 17 NVashinglon scpiar^i. 
Old John R(jgers was an eminent mercliaul in his day, 



and very much respected. Ho was a memLer of the 
]M;iriiie Society in 1784. 

John Holers died at 7 Beaver street about 1800. 
His widow continued to reside there as late as 1809. 
(icoi'ge Pixton Rogers eif^ht years ago paid taxes on real 
estate, $o29,000. Ilis chances are good tor being one 
of the seven to wliom the Tontine property will fall. 
He was one of the nominees. I have been frequently 
asked, who, out of the 203 names nominated, are alive. 
As near as I now recollect, George P, Rogers, born 
1789 ; Gulian C. Vei-planck, born 178G ; his sister, I\Iary 
Aim Veri)lanck, born 1793 ; William Bayard, born 1791. 
His sister Maria, born 1788; Miss Frances Buchanan 
(Mrs. 'Jliomas Pearsall), born 1779 ; John A. King, 
burn 1788 ; Charles King, born 1789. There are others 
yet alive ; I think about thirty-five of the nominees. 

In one of my chapters I alluded to unfortmiate mer- 
chants of a high class, and their desperate fortunes. 
Frequently, alter having assigned every dollar to credit- 
ors, they, perhaps at an advanced age, are exposed to 
the evils of the worst species of poverty. True, the 
city provides for such, at the almshouse on Blackwell's 
Island. I heard of one of them there to-day, who, but 
a few years ago, was one of the largest liouses in the 
city, and his partner was a descendant of one of the old 
Dutch Governors. This merchant did a large business, 
and added to the wealth of the city. Tiie city will not 
k't him starve, but will feed and home liim for a fuw 
mouths, aiul then find him, free of cost, a pauper's coffin 
and a grave. 

There are many in the same situation at this hour. 
I pcrsimallij IlHOiv oJ such. 

It is a black shame to merchants that it is so. Tho 
Chamber of Commerce of thiscit_y is a remarkable body 



of men. It is getting quite democratic, and thoy aro 
extending tlieir admission to everybody who buys or 
sells, whether it be ships, tea cargoes, old rags, or clams. 
Tho members offer resolutions upon every subject. At 
one meeting, they pass a resolution, thanking the Arctic 
Ocean for something that it has done. At the next, 
they " Resolve to do honor to " John Bright, or Bill 
Jones, or Jack Ericsson, or Commodore Wilkes, or 
somebody else. The chamber is eternally recommend- 
ing somebody, or something to somebody, or " grate- 
fully recognizing, " or " placing on record. " The last 
effort of this kind was on Wednesday last, when they 
pitched into the " JMonitor" as follows : 

Resolved, That the floating battery " INIonitor " de- 
serves to, and win be forever mentioned with gratitude 
and admiration. 

If the " Monitor " after surviving the hard whacks of 
the " INIerrimac " can survive the soft soap of the Cham- 
ber of Connnerce, it will stand up against any thing. 
Certainly, the coolest thing that was ever done by any 
outside corporation, was passing such resolutions as the 
following : 

Resolved, That the Chamber of Commerce, expect 
that the Government of the United States will make to 
Ca|)tain Ericsson such suitable return for his services as 
will evince the frratitude of a o-reat nation. 

Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions, duly cer- 
tified, be forwarded to Captain Ericsson and to the Pres- 
ident of the United States. 

" Tho Chamber expects that the President &c., " is 

There is a report in town that the private Secretary 

Jic.jvi i. 


of tlie President was ordered totelegrapli to tlic Cham- 
ber of Comnifrcc to mind its own business. If John 
Smith, who was made a member of the Chamber of 
Commerce hast week, pleases, I would suggest, that the 
next time the body meets, he should offer the fullowino- 
resolutions : 

Resolved, That the Chamber of Commerce of the 
State of New York gi-atefuUy recognize, and desire to 
place on record, their profound sense of the obligations 
under which they rest to former merchants in tliTs city, 
and who are now in the Alms House at lilackwell's Is- 
land, or in more desperate fortunes and worse otF than 
if they were there. 

Rcsulued I'urther, That the five [M'inci[)al stereotyped 
speakers of this Chamber be appointed a Committee to 

seek out such cases — to buy old clotht's for them to 

])rovide cheap but respectable lodging for the said Old 
Merchants at the Globe Hotel, price seven shillings per 
week, or one shilling per night, and tluit arrangements 
be made for a free lunch in Chatham street for old bro- 
ken down merchants generally ; and that the President 
ol the United States be requested to appropriate some 
part of the <i;l 50,000,000 raised to ''carry on the war," 
to the support of some of these Old Merchants, who 
luive contributed in former years to make New York 
City so imperial, so great, aiid so wealthy, that she is 
now able to bear the burden of these millions while they 
arc without a cent in their pockets. 

Ilfso/vcd further. That a j)ermanent fund be estab- 
lished for the support of Old Merchants, by this Cham- 
ber of Commerce, we iiulividually bearing in mind that 
by the Providence of Cod, some of us, in our old a-e, 
may be reaj^ers in the lield that wo now benevolenUy 
sow ior others. 

IMerchants of other years since that Chamber was es- 
tablished, in 1770, have seen most strikiii'^ chan-es. 


^^fisfortiinos may come to all. It is possible for the rich- 
est to become poor. Astor may fill a plain pine box, if 
God so wills it. Neither Mr. Astor, nor any other rich 
man, would feel the loss of a few dollars appropriated 
to tlie relirf of unfortunate, but honest, deserving mer- 
chants, wiiomay become poor, helpless, and — beggars, 
in this great mart of commerce, where they once were 
princes. Sailors have their " Sailor's Retreats," or 
" Snug Harbors. " There are " Blind Asylums," there 
are '^ Deaf and Dumb Institutions," there are "Orphan 
Asyhnns," there are " Mad Houses," — " Asylums for 
Lying-in Women, " " Associations for the Relief of 
Aged and Indigent Females," fjr " Colored Orjjhans," 
*' Homes for Indigent Christian Females," etc. There 
are hospitals for men and for women. There is a "• So- 
ciety for the Relief of Destitute Children of Seamen," 
and there is a home for the broken-down prostitute in 
the JMagdalen societies, but no home provided for the 
once worthy but now poverty-stricken old merchant, and 
his loved ones. 

If the Chamber of Commerce should build a palace 
for its broken-down ones, God will bless it. Dying old 
merchants and their families will bless it. It will be a 
]>ractical deed. It will be caring for its own glorious 
list. It will be a deed worth recording by men and by 

I angels in 18G2. 

j The Chand)er()f Commerce of the city of New Ytivk 

ought lo be rr,s[iet'lrd (hroughont (ho woild. 'Hie way 
it goes o)' now, makes ils i)rociHMUng.s as tasteless as dish- 
water, and its '* thanks " and rece[)tion3 as conniion as 
at cheap eating houses. 

j T glory in the probable fact, that when " Walter Bar- 

. retl, Ck'ik," goes to his grave, the newsjiapers that ])ul)- 

lish his obituary may spcai; of him as one of the excej)- 


tions to Chamber of Commerco lions, and say " Mr. 
Barrett was never ' honored,' ' noticed,' ' forever men- 
tioned,' ' resolutionized,' or ' received,' by tlie Cliam- 
ber of Commerce among the promiscuous mass of 18G2 
wlio were, and consequently passed through the world 
without being rendered supremely ridiculous. " 



It would be a very difficult matter to find a name 
more filmed in mercantile annals in this city for the last 
one hundred years, than that of Aspinwall. Old John 
Aspinwall — father of Gilbert & John Aspinwall, a fa- 
mous mercantile house in this city in 17U0, was a sea 
captain. lie commanded vessels out of this port long 
before the Revolutionary War. He was made a mem- 
ber of the Marine Society, April 13, 1772, but he had 
been a master of a vessel loner before that. He was 
also in mercantile business, and he owned considerable 
real estate. In 1701, the Colonial Legislature that then 
met in this city, ])assed a law that all buildings to be 
erected after 17GG in New York, south of the Fresh 
Water (below Duane street,) should be of stone or 
brick, covered with slates or tiles. Such materials 
could not be had in sufficient quantities, and so the time 
was extended to 1708, when it was finally extended to 
1774. After that date, no wooden buildings were to be 
erected, nor any houses to be covered with shingles, in 
what is now First, Second, Third, and part of the Fourth 
and Sixth Wards. The law was beheld with such hor- 
ror, that the citizens ap])lit.Hl to the Legislature to have 
it sus[)euded. It \vas not granted. Three thousand 
then signed a petition to the Governor, May 2, 1771. 


The list of names is headed by John Aspinwall. It was 
the most funny petition ever got up. They had never 
had any very large fires in the city, but two years later 
a fire broke out that destroyed 500 buildings, including 
j Trinity Church, of which this same John Aspinwall 

[ was vestryman from 1756 to 1700. The petitioners 

I stated in the most affecting terms, that if no wooden 

j buildings wore allowed to be put up, and nothing but 

i brick or stone, with slate or tiles on the roof, there 

♦ would be fearful times in the city. " Useful members 

of society will be unable to pay their just debts, the 
wives and families of many will become burdensome to 
1 the city, and jails will l^e filled with objects of the 

I greatest compassion, viz : men willing to extricate tliem- 

I selves by their daily labor from which they are prevent- 

; cd by this grievous law." It seems incredible that sen- 

I sible men would have so* thought not quite a hundred 

I years ago. 

Cajjtain John Aspinwall married late in life, then set- 
tled down, and became the father of six children. He 
bought a country seat and mansion at Flushing, L. L, 
and there he assisted mainly to erect a church. Ilis 
sons were Gilbert, William and John. He had three 
daughters. lie died about 1779. His youngest son, 
John, was born about a month after his father cfied. 

One daughter married vVbijah Hammond, a great 
man in this city, in the Revolution, and afterward. He 
owned a large quantity of land on this island, and ought 
to have been worth more tlian Astor. Taxes and assess- 
ments were high, and his tracts were unproductive. Ho 
owned nearly all of that part of the city called Green- 
wich, lie sold a large portion of his real estate at auc- 
tion to j'ay taxes, and Astor bought it. He has a sou 
living in this city, I believe. 

"rrlffHA. f»'f-'^ 

i-OXfl otii 


Anotlier daugliter marrietl Colonel Piatt, a rovolutioii- 
ary otiicor. 

There \Yas a third daughter, but I do not know who 
she married. 

Gilbert Asplawall lived at 29 William street in 1790, 
and next year formed a partnership with Nehcniiah 
Rogers, under the firm of Rogers & Aspinwall. Gilbert, 
at that time was ensign of a militai'y company in town. 
In 1794, Gilbert took into partnership his brother, John, 
and they did business at No. 186 Queen street, under 
the firm of Gilbert tt John As]mnvall. They were 
heavy importers as well as wholesale jobbers of dry 
goods, and all importers in early New York had to be, 
for oven the importer could not sell over a case of gootls 
at a time, and more frequently had to sell b}'' the [)ieco. 
Tiiey also did a large general commission business, and 
received consignments of goods from foreign ports, as 
well as domestic merchandise. They were large pur- 
chasers of domestic produce for foreign account, and the 
old house shipped abroad largely on their own account. 
They owned several ships ; also after the brothers parted, 
each owned vessels. Gilbert owned the ship " Aristom- 
ines," about 350 tons burthen. She traded direct to 
St. Petersbilrg. Gilbert and John did the business for 
Some years of a large house in St. Petersburg, sold Rus- 
sian goods to the extent of $100,000 per annum, and 
never made a bad debt for the foreign house. In those 
days, and down to 1814, the great merchants of New 
^'ork, never kej)t a guarantee acc(tunt. 'i'liey sold the 
goods ibr the owner, and they ran the risk, not the sell- 
ers, 'i'hey dill the best ])ossible. The losses ilnally be- 
came so severe to the foreign houses who consigned 
mi'rclianilise to this port, that they proposed that the 
Beller should {guarantee all sucii sales and cliar<i;e therefor 


a guarantee commission of 2], per cent. The old sys- 
tem developed great integrity in the commission mer- 
chant. John Aspinwall also owned vessels. He was 
for making money rapidly. One of his vessels was the 
brig " Blooming Rose. " In the war, she went into 
the French business, and cleared $20,000 in one trip. 
Gili)ert was plain, methodical, and extremely prudent. 
John was more venturesome, and a very generous man. 

In 1795, when Queen was changed to Pearl, the 
number was 207. Until 1800 the brother Gilbert lived 
over his store. That year he moved to No. 80 Green- 
wich street, and the store to 21G Pearl street. In 1803, 
Gilbert lived at 2 Beaver street, corner of Broadway, 
and there he remained until he died in 1810. Gilbert 
was in many of the leading financial corporations as a 
director, and among others he was in the Eagle Fire 
Insurance Company, and also he was a director in 1805, 
of the Northern and Western Canal Com})any. He 
Avas in the Ocean Insurance Company. He was a Gov- 
ernor of the New York Hospital in 1799, and in 1819, 
Avhuu he died in that ollice. 

In 1812, the two brothers dissolved partnership. 
John kept the old store, and Gilbert a year or two after- 
wards took his son John M. into partnership, under 
the firm of G. Aspinwall & Son. Ilis place of business 
was at 3 Coenties slip, and afterwards at 98 Pearl street. 
When Gilbert dit-d, John INI. continued the business at 
the same place, but resided at 2G Whitehall street. Jn 
those; (lays, Whitehall street was the residence of some 
of the most nott'd nuTchants, Jonathan Goodhue re- 
Kided (Ml the corner of IV.arl and Whili-'liall for many 
years. Many suppose that this Whitehall name was 
d M-ivt'd I'rom liie English Whitehall. It is not so. In 
old times, say in iGtil, before the capture of the city by 


the British, the best house In town was the Governor's. 
It stood in Water, between Whitehall and jMoore streets. 
It was built by Governor Stuyvesant, of stone, and call- 
ed the '• Governor's House." The water came up to it. 
It was called llie " White Hall" by the people, and this 
gave the name to the street in alter years. John i\I. 
only continued business a year or two, and then lie died 
in 1829. He married a Miss Winthro]), a daughter of 
Francis B. Wiuthrop. The second son was named 
Thomas Sowers, after his old grandfather the captain — 
his mother's fathei-. He was a young man of uncom- 
mon promise. After he graduated from college, he 
went to study law with the eminent Slosson, at 48 Pine 
street. He continued there until he died in 181C, a"ed 

Another son was named James Scott Asplnwall, af- 
ter old James Scott, wdio had married the sister of Mr. 
Gilbert As])inwall. He was a Scotchman, did a large 
business in Washington street, and lived at 102 Green- 
wich street. He was a great friend of Robert Lenox. 
He was a son of James Scott who did business in this 
city as early as 1784, under the firm of James Scott k 
Co. All of these Scotts belonged to the St. Andrew's 
Society. Old James joined in 17H4,- and young James 
in ISOl. James S. married one of the accompli:shed 
and beautiful Miss Maxwells. There were three sis- 
ters. Their father, Dr. Maxwell, was a celebrated phy- 
sician in Scotland when he died. J I is widow, an ac- 
coni|.IIslicd lady, came out to New York city. One 
daughter married (Jcorge Douglass, who died a short 
tune ago, a man of large i)roperty. Another daughter 
married Mr. Rogers. Mrs. ]\[axwell is still living, but 
a very aged lady. 

Tho son, James S. Aspiuwall, was regularly bred iu 


a South street counting-room, but in 1830 went into the 
chug business with Wm. L. Ilushton, who had started 
in 1828, at No. 81 WilHam street, between Liberty and 
JMaiden Lane. The new liouse was Rushton & As})in- 
walL For years the concern thd an iunnenso bushiess, 
both wholesale and retail. The largest wholesale store 
was in William street. At one time there was a retail 
branch at No. 110 Broadway, and another under the 
Astor House, I think the partnership between Rush- 
ton &, Aspinwall Avas not dissohed until 1813, and Mr. 
Aspinwall, old Gilbert's son, kcj^t the wholesale store 
No, 8(3 William street, which had been built for the firm 
by old ]\Ir. Post, the owiier of the property. There 
the wholesale store has been kept until now, lie Avas 
in that thirty-one or thirty-two years. A more nK'tlu)d- 
ical man or merchant never existed, I do not think ho 
was ever sick or absent a'day from his business from 
that cause since he commenced it. William liegeman, 
who has founded several drug stores, was brought uj) by 
the old house. 

G. & J. Aspinwall received consignments of cotton 
from every part of the South. James Scott was in the 
same business. He had a country seat on Long Island. 
He had no children. Rufus King had a place in his 
vicinity. ' Miss Aspinwall (Mrs. Scott) had an immen'Se 
cat that she was very fond of, and exhibited it to visit- 
ors. She only died a short time ago, aged eighty-six 

'I'he concerns of G. & J. Aspinwall were as method- 
ical as a clock. All the Old Merchants of the time used 
t(; have what they called Jilcs. They were made of 
thick pasteboard, neatly covcrinl, and about the size of • 
a h;dl-slu'(!t of foolscap. A litth' brass wire I'an through 
this pasteboard, and had a sharp point with a hook. 


Tliese hung up on nails ; and were very neatly labelled 
" Bills Paid," " Memorandums," " Bills of Lading In- 
ward," " Bills of Lading Outward." Tliese were neat- 
ly backed by the head clerk or partner. The stationers 
kept them of every variety and pattern. It is many 
years since I have seen a genuine one, the same seen 
sixty or eighty years ago. I suppose there are families 
who possess these relics, but they must be very rare. 

At the time Gilbert lived over his store, at No. 207 
Pearl, in 170(j — '7, he was a prominent member of a So- 
ciety, called " The Friendly Club." In those days there 
was not the promiscuous dissipation that there is now. 
There were no frightfully bad liquors either. Men of 
standing — young or old — drank freely, and thought no 
harm of it : but they drank at each other's houses, or at 
some famous resort, like Baker's Tavern in Wall street. 

Now, this Friendly Club to "which I have alluded, 
met in rotation at the house of the members every Tues- 
day evening. If it was in winter, refreshments were 
served, or could be had from the side-board — wines, 
metheglin, cider, cakes, hickory nuts and apples. Tiiey 
were an intellectual sort of people in those days. The 
member who receivi^d his IViends at his house, had to 
read a passage from some author, in order to lead con- 
versation into a particular channel. All form was reject- 
ed. As soon as the for the evening had read a 
])assagi-', every one took turns in talking about it. It 
kept up for some years until after \V^ashington's death, 
when the members of the Friendly Club began to take 
sides with the Republican and Federal parties, headed 
])y the elder Adams and JeO'erson, and they got wrang- 
ling, and eventually broke up. Among the members of 
the Fi'iendly Club was William Dimlap, the histui'ian, 
who then managed the new theatre (Park), ^riiero 


was James Kent the Recovder, Cliarles Brockilen Brown, 
the author of " Wic'la4itl," W. W. Woolsey, his brother 
George jMiririison Woolsey, Dr. Samuel M. Mitchell, 
William Johnson, Anthony Bleeker, Dr. Edward Mil- 
ler, John McViekar, Dr. Elihu II. Smith. He died 
during the yellow fever of 1798, and was carried to the 
grave by a few of the club, when the pestilence had be- 
come so fearful that everybody who could quit New 
York had done so, and no persons were seen in the 
streets except such as were engaged in burying dead peo- 
j)le. Gilbert As])inwall did not leave his business or his 
house. He had the ievci* in 1705, and consequently, in 
after years, when the fever prevailed in 1798, 1803 and 
1805, he never feai-ed it. Gilbert As])inwall in 1768 
married Ann, a daughter of Captain Thomas Sowers, 
one of the New York sea captains of the olden time. 
Besides the sons I have named, — John I\l., Thomas 
Sowers, and James Scott, lie had three daughters. Eliz- 
abeth S. married John Van Buren, a large merchant in 
Washington street, thirty-five years ago. He was in 
the Hour trade, and also owned a distillery. He resided 
in the old lieaver street mansion owned by Gilbert As- 
]jinwall, and where he had lived so long. 

The Van Burens moved out to Ohio some years afo, 
and have quite a numerous family. She is still alive, 
liebecca, the second daughter, married the celebrated 
Dr. Francis E. Berger, the celebrated French i)hysician 
in this city from 1825. He and his family are now in 

Sarah, a younger daughter, married Thomas Irving, 
of the well kncjwn house of Thomas Irvine- & Co. 

The second son of old Captain John Aspinwall, Wil- 
liam, died early in life. He left but one child, a daugh- 
ter. She marrie<l the well knowJi David Haddeii, an 



eminent mercliant before 1810, and many years after- 
wards. His descendants keep up the firm of Hadden & Co. 
yet. David Hadden was one of the most respected men 
in this city. He was president of the St. Andrew's So- 
ciety many years, and a great favorite with the Scotch 
people in the town. He was a prudent, careful man. 

John Aspinwall, the youngest brother of Gilbert 
married Miss llowland, a sister of Gardner G. & S. S. 
Howland. They had several children. One was Wil- 
liam II. Aspinwall, the founder of Aspinwall city. 
Another son was G. Woolsey, another, John Lloyd As- 
pinwall. William II. married Ainia Brock of Bristol, 
Delaware. Her iiithcr was a member of Congress from 
Pennsylvania, and she was adopted by a Mrs. Lloyd, 
fi-om whom she received a Ibrtune of $70,000. Her 
money was invested in the building No. 67 AVall street. 
AVilliam II. has one son named J. Lloyd Aspinwall, who 
is at the present moment one of the firm of Howland & 
- Aspinwall, the great house founded by his ftither. 
Another son is at present in Gambler Colloo-e, Ohio. 
His name is John A. He is studying for the ministrv. 
The oldest daughter of W. If. married Kenwick, the 
architect — a son of Professor lienwick of this city. 
He has others. 

George Woolsey As])inwall, another son of old mer- 
/ chant John, was bought, up by G. G. & 8. Howland. 
He went to Philadelphia, and formed the house of Pope 
& Aspinwall. He married Miss Hare, the daughter of 
the celcbr.itcd Di-. Jbiri-, and a great belle in her day. 
Ho is dead. John Lloyd Aspinwall, another brother, 
was once a partner in the house of Howland k As])in- 
wall. Jle marri(>d Miss Breck, a sister of Mrs. W. H. As- 
])mwall. He relinnl from business, and lives in a mng- 
nificent country scat upon the banks of the North river, 


and liis brotlier William II. also has a superb scat near 
Tarrytown, Mr. KeaJ of Charleston, S. C, nuirrieJ 
another Miss Breck. 

Beside these sons, John Aspinwall had three daugh- 
ters — Margaret, who married Doctor Ilodgc, of Phila- 
delphia ; Emily Phillip, who married Edward John 
AVoolsey, a son of George jMuirison Woolsey ; and 
JMary Rebecca, who nianied a son of James Roosevelt, 
of tlie Isaac Roosevelt family. 

W. U. Aspinwall had been brought up in the house 
of G. G. & S. S. Rowland, his uncles. They gave him 
an interest in the business, and he signed the name of 
the firm as early as 1830 or 1831. lie received twenty 
])er cent, of the commission account. lie became an 
open partner, under the name of Ilowland & Aspinwall, 
about 1837. At that time the two old Iluwiands went 
out, leaving about .'$150,0'00 each in cash as special part- 
ners. William Edgar Ilowland, a son of G. G., wiis 
one of the genend partners, W. II. Aspinwall the other. 
William II. was the engineer of the house. When he 
went out of the house, his brother John Lloyd became 
a partner, with Mr. Comstock. It \\uuld require a vol- 
ume to give any idea of the mercantile career of W. II. 
Aspinwall, and yet he is, comparatively speaking, quite 
a young man. His father lived until 1848 or 1819, at 
00 Bleecker street. The latter years of his life he was 
a broker in Wall street. His wife died a few years ago. 
He never did much business as a broker, though he was 
greatly iesj)ected. 

A large drug house, like that of Rushton <fe Aspin- 
wall, with their wholesale store at one ])()int and tiieir 
retail stores in the most prominent parts of the city, must 
have had a great many young men with them. I think 
the only one with ihe old h.aise .s(M)n after it first slart- 


ed was "William ITefrcman. I can recollect when lie was 
a smart, active boy in William street, not over twelve 
years of age. After Rusliton &, Aspinwall dissolved, I 
think Mr. Aspinwall kept on the wholesale store in Wil- 
liam street, and Rusliton the retail drug store on Broad- 
way, under the firm of Rushton & Co. Mr. Rusliton 
took in a j\Ir. Clarke who had formerly been a partner 
in the firm of Clarke & Saxton, in Broadway. Shortly 
after, Rushton died. I think at that time Mr. Hegeman, 
who was the man of the business, was a partner of 
Rushton & Co., and afterwards Rushton, Clarke & Co. 
The stores were at 110 and 2TH Broadway, and 10 As- 
tor House, in 1850. Clarke was no druggist. Then 
tlie fii-m was Clarke, Hegeman Si. Co. Then Clarke K-ft, 
and his son came in under the firm of Hcii-eman, Clarke 
& Co., with stores at 1(55, 273, 511 and 756 Broad- 
way. Later it became Ilegeinan «& Co., occupying the 
above storc!S, except changing 27o to 399 Broadway. I 
believe the company consists of Henry King, who has 
charge at 399 liroadway, corner of Walker, and of 
Ray B. ICastei'brook, who is at 511, under the St. Nich- 
olas. Tlu^y have an estalilishment for making soda wa- 
tei', that supplies the whole city. 

Mr. Hegeman liimsell' is not only the best druggist 
in the city, but he is a man of great wealth and reliue- 
nu'iit. He has his house filled with pictures of gieat 
merit, and what is more meritoi'ious, ho painted them 

Ill this tiiapter I have counnenced at the fountain 
lu-ad — wlu'uNi'W Yolk bail but its 12,000 inhabitants — 
with old Ciiptain Aspinwall, of 1702, down to the i)res- 
ent day. C\'rt:iinly but lur the old captain, there would 
have been no Howlaiul & Aspinwall, with their ships 
ixn^ trade all over the world, or the drug house of As- 



pinwall, and tlic half dozen well kept drug stores on 
Broadway, of liegeman & Co. 

The family of Moses, and the other brothers Rogers, 
were originally from Connecticnt, where they resided 
before the war, but some of them taking part in the fa- 
vor of the Crown and against the rebellion of 1776, 
went away to the British Provinces. 

There was a Moses Rogers who was a captain of a 
ship out of this port, and was the commander of the 
steamship "Savannah" that sailed from this city in 
INIarch, 1819. She went to Savannali, Ga. She left 
Savannah on the 25th of May, and arrived at Liverpool 
on the 20111 June. SIil" Irft theiv 2;;d July I'or St. Te- 
tersburgh, moored od Cronstadt the .Oth of September, 
left there the 10th October and arrived back at Savan- 
nah on the :50th Nt)vember. She did not meet with a 
single acridcnt. This was really the commencement of 
Atlaulic straui navigatiou. In April 22tl and 23d, 1838, 
British steamers the ^ Sirius " and the " Great Western " 
arrived in this city. This was not tho first successful 
experiment, although the British officers were loaded 
with honors. A New Yorker, Moses Rogers, is entitled 
to the real fame. He stopped five days with his steam- 
ship ''Savannah" at Copenhagen, and four days at Ar- 
undel, in Norway. She was visited by the Em[)eror of 
Russia, Alexander the First, and also by Bernadotte, 
King of Sweden. Each made Captain Jloses Rogers a 
present, as a token of their approbation of his skill and 
entei-prise. The '" Savannah " afterwards went to Con- 
stantinople, where Cajjtain Mt)ses Rogers also received 
a preseut from the Sultan. The present from the Em- 
jierorof l\ussia wasasiher tea-kettle — the first noticed 
jieiiei-aloi' aud coudeusor of steam. 

1 iegt\,L to hear ol' the death of I'liilip DaLer, Eotp, 


of the lionse of Daters & Co., in this city. Mr. Datcr 
luid been connected with tlie grocery trade for some forty 
years, formerly as one of the firm of Lee, Dater & 
Miller, and at the time of liis death at the liead of the 
firm of Daters & Co. Long in business, lie was always 
noted for his nicety in all business relations. lie was a 
man full of charity to the poor, as many now living can 
testify, and peculiarly genial in his social relations. We 
gave a lengthy sketch of him in the first series. 



Thomas Eddy was one of the commissioners appoint- 
ed March 20, 1796, to build one of the State prisons in 
New York. His associates were John Watts, Matthew 
Clarkson, Col. Isaac Stoutenburgh and John Murray. 
They went to work soon after their appointment, and 
November 27, 1797, they had completed, ready to re- 
ceive prisoners, the New York prison, known as New- 
gate. Eddy and his associates surrendered their powers 
to tlie Inspector, February 15, 1799. A portion of the 
old prison is still standing. It was found totally inade- 
quate to the purpose for which it was erected, the re- 
form of offenders, and for wjiicli Thomas Eddy — his 
heart overflowing with humanity — was anxious. It 
Avas crowded. In 181G, a new prison was commenced 
at Auburn. It worked so well, that on the 9t]i of 
]\rarch, 1825, a new set of connnissioners — Stei)h(Mi 
Allen, George Tibbits and Samuel M. Hopkins — were 
appointed to build a new prison at Sing Sing, and sell 
the old one in New York, to defray the expenses of the 
new one. 

Mr. Eddy commenced business as a merchant about 
1780. His parc.'jits were Irish. His father Avas largely 
engaged in the sliippiiig business vnitil 17GG, when he 
died. Young Eddy was born in Philadelphia in 1728. 

OF J\-EIV VORk" CTTY. 343 

Four years after tlie death of liis father, his mother ap- 
])renticecl him to tlie tanning business at Burlington, 
N. J. He only remained there a couple of years, and 
then went back to Philadelphia, When the British 
evacuated the city, ho came to New York, 1779, whence 
his brother Charles had just sailed for London. He 
was then twenty-one years old, and had $0G capital in 
his pocket. 

Mr. Eddy when he reached this city, boarded at the 
house No. 57 Wall street, that I have described as the 
residence of Daniel McCormick, in the chapter where I 
spoke of that celebrated merchant. Mr. Eddy com- 
menced business in this city in a funny way ; he had 
not the first rudiments of a mercantile education ; he 
knew nothing about it. However, with his little caj)i- 
tal, he used to go down into Coffee House Slip, where 
most of the auction sales were conducted. There he 
would buy a small lot and resell it ; or first get a sample 
of the goods the day previous to a sale, and with this 
sample he would go to merchants and dealers and ascer- 
tain what they would give him for such an article. If 
the otfer was more than the goods sold for at the auction, 
he would become the purchaser. Where there is a will, 
there is a way. He used to advise, too, with the shrewd 
(*1(1 feHows who boarded where he did. He made the 
most of his ninety-six dollars' capital. Money never 
])ro(lu('ed such an interest before. It was living by 
mercantile wit and many thousands of persons have 
got on <he same way. It is about as genteel a mode of 
getting a li\Iiigas collecting advertisements from mer- 
chants f(jr a newspa])er, 

He had not been many months in New York, doing 
the i)usinc'ss oC buying at auction ;uid selling again, be- 
fon.' he I'ell in with aut^her siiiait young man nameil. 

044 ^'^^^' OLD MERCIMJYTS 

Benjamin Sykes. His brother, Charles, returned from 
Irehuid in 1780, where he had made many business cou- 
iieecions, and large consiiiinnents oi:' provisions, linens, 
etc., were sent over with him by merchants in Cork and 
Eeliast. The three then formed a house under the 
firm oi' Eddy, Sykes & Co. Sykes was an I'^nglishman ; 
and altlu)uu^h he was not very active, yet he brought to 
the new house many valuable connections, and the con- 
cern did a large business. The two brothers Eddy be- 
longing to this house, had another brother in Philadel- 
phia whose name was George. 

They made a splendid thing after Lord Cornw^allis 
surrendered at Yorktown, by agreeing to suj)ply him 
and the British and other foreign troops wlio had been 
captured, with money. This was done with the consent 
and appi'obation of General Washington. It was a 
sort oi' kUeing" business. George Eddy, in Philadelphia, 
drew drafts on Eddy, Sykes & Co. in New York. 
These drafts lie got cashed, and paid the proceeds over 
to the paymaster of the British forces for use among 
the Bi-itish ])risoners at Lancaster, Pa. He put drafts 
on the British paymaster in New York into the hands 
of George Eddy, who remitted the same to Eddy, 
Sykt.'s cfe Co. On these transactions, amouiitiMg io mil- 
lions of dollars. Sir Henry Clinton, the British cuin- 
mander, paid them six i)er cent, couunission. 'i'his was 
so good a start in one ])artnership, that Thomas Eddy' 
detoi'uiined to try another partner. He had loved a 
])retty girl named JLuniah Hartshorne. In 1782 he 
married her. The ceremony was performed in the old 
Quaker meeting house that stood in Crown street, north 
side, half way between Bi'oadway and the little alley 
back of Nassau street. (J rant 'J'hornbui'n used it af- 
terwards as a seed store, lie bought it, and the deed 

oy .vEiy i'OKhr ciTi'. ol3 

for tlie premises speaks of it as being " outside the Avail 
ot' tlic city," meaning of course, Wall street. Mauy 
^\[\\ remember that when the Manhattan Company's 
])ipes were laid, and the men were digging in Broadway, 
at the junction of Wall, they dug up the posts of the 
city oate. It was built in 1G96 was this old Quaker 
UK-eting house. J\Ir. Eddy was a Quaker. So was his 
iuther, the Irishman, who came over, being the first 
Irish Quaker I ever heard of. 

The result of this marriage with the pretty Quaker- 
ess, Hannah Ilartshorne, was a son, who was born on 
tlie 14th of March, 1783. He was named John Ilarts- 
liorne Eddy, after the father of his motlier. Another 
son was Thomas Eddy, Jr. 

Previous to 1788, and before the Americans got pos- 
session in November of that year, Mr. Eddy went to 
riiiladelphia, and went into business with his brother 
(leorge. Charles had gone to Europe and settled in 
London, where he did a very heavy business, until 
aMiomas & George Eddy bought tobacco largely, and 
ruined themselves and their brother in London. It was 
a general smash up. 

In 1790 he came on to New York, and opened busi- 
ness as an insurance broker, being about the first of that 
kind that started. He made money rapidly. In 1791, 
when the public debt of the United States was iunded, 
lie s])eculatetl heavily and coined money. At that time 
he lived at 184 (^ueen street (277 Pearl.) He left off 
(,pei-a;ing as an insurance broki-r, but betook risks as an 
mulerwriter, and was very successful. In 1792, he was 
eU'cted a ihrector in thi^ Mutual Insurance ('unipariy, of 
which 1 have said so nnich. Many of our principal 
men were in it. I am inclined to thiidv it was the first 
time he ever had his name iiguriug in the papers as an 


officer of a corporation. It was seen often enough af- 
terwards, and for many years, until lie died in Septem- 
ber, 1827, lacking one year of threescore and ten. 
Wherever JMr. Eddy could do any good, he went to 
work with all his heart and soul. In 17U3, he was one 
of the members to receive donations for " The Society 
for the Relief of Distressed Prisoners." That year, too, 
he was elected one of the Governors of the New York 
Hospital. In 1794, he was made Secretary to the 
Board of Governors ; he held it eleven years. He was 
treasurer of the same from 1808 to 1818 — ten years. 
lie was vice-president to 1822 — four years; and he 
was i)resident of the Board of Governors until he died 
in 1827 — five years more, lie was thirty-four years 
in harness, and died in the harness. But for him the 
Hospital would have been dead broke a dozen times. 
He could out-lubby at Albany any other man alive. 
Members respected him, and what he i)roj)osed was lis- 
tened to and acted upon. 

(Jf course, he was one of the very fii'st to form the 
" Society for Promoting the Manumission of Slaves, and 
for protecting such as have been or may be liberated," 
and of which John Jay was president in 1786. In 
1707, Mr. Eddy became chairman of the corresijondinir 
comunttee of that society. 

He was one of the directors of the Western Inland 
Navigation Company, a corporation that bi'oke down. 

He was very active in the great work of the Erie 
Canal. He was also one of the oi-iginators of the sav- 
ings banks of this city. Few of the old school mer- 
chants were more useful. He died in 1827. 

This is the lirst opportunity that I have had to cor- 
rect a few items in rcfcrciKv to aii article about the 
Wallons that appeared in the lirst series. The iiimily 


came from Norfolk, in Enrrland, and settled at first on 
Loiit^- Island. I si)oke of lit^bcrt Walton, who was a 
mayor. I got it from Goodrich's Pictures of New 
York, generally a very reliable book, lie so states it, 
page 48. He meant Robert Walters. Tlie first of the 
Walton name of note was William Walton. lie mar- 
ried jNIary Santford, in 1698, and died in 1747, aged 82. 
His wife died in 1768, in the ninetieth year of her age. 
It was this William Walton who purchased the proper- 
ty in Pearl street, running to the water, and established 
the ship yard. His name appears in the subscription 
list for finishing the steeple of Trinity Church, in 1711, 
and for enlarging the church in 1730. He had two 
sons, Jacob and William. Jacob married Mary Beek- 
nian, and had a large family. One of the daughters 
married David Johnston, of Annandale, Dutchess Co., 
N. Y. Another married Lewis Morris, Jr., of Morris- 
ania. Jacob died in 1749, aged 46 years. His wife 
died in 1782. 

William Walton, the old New Yorker, called Boss 
Walton., was not a bachelor. He married Cornelia 
IJeckman, a sister of Mary, but had no children. He 
died in 1768, at the age of 62. His wife survived him 
several years, and died about 1780. The number of 
his house was 328, and not 326. He devised it to his 
iui)he\v, William, for life, with remainder to his eldest 
son in fee. 

The jirinter made me say that the ship yards existed 
in 17!'6, I wrote 1696. Tliey could not have existed 
in 1796, because the land irom Water to Front streets 
was filleil uj) long i)efore that. 'J'he old store at 213 
Front street was built about tlie commencement of the 
jiresent century. ^Vilhalu Walton (3) died in the fam- 
ily mansion in 1796, in the sixty-lilth }iar of his age. 

348 '^'^^^' OLD MEIiCIMJVTS 

His nephew William succeeded in the possession under 
the will of his <j;ivat uncle. He never married, and 
died in ISOG, in his I'orty-seventli year. He was social 
and hospitable, and nnich regretted by his many rela- 
tives and friends. His lather founded the Marine So- 

James DeLancy Walton, his brother, was very far 
from morose. He was genial with those who knew him, 
and liked to talk of old times. He had a Vdvue circle 
of relatives and old friends, by whom he was much es- 
teemed, and, not being in business, he confined himself 
to them. He was a vestryman and churchwarden for 
many years of St. George's Church, and a warm friend 
of its rector, the late Dr. JMilnor. He died in Novem- 
ber, 1884, in the seventy-thirtl year of his age. 

Gerard W^alton was never in the Hritish Navy. He 
lived at No. 328 Pearl street, and died in 1821, in his 
eightieth year. He was a bachelor. 

The family vault was in Trinity churchyard, and the 
interments have generally been made there. Mrs. 
lioosevelt was the daughter of Abraham Walton, the 
brother of William, Jacob and Gerard. 

Jacob Walton was the youngest of the children of 
William Walton. He entered the British navy when 
twelve years old, and saw some hard fifjliting in the 
West Indies, in 1780, as a midshipman in the ''Intre- 
pid," \)-L In his|Uent sei'\icc'S hesaw every rpiar- 
ter of the world, lit: attained tin; rank of Rear Admi- 
ral of the Red, and dieil in this city (^where he had re- 
siiled ibr upwards ui' twenty years) in lYprii, 1811, hav- 
ing very nearly completed his seventy-seventh year. 
He had a immerous funilv. The R''V. Dr. William 
A\^alton, Nvho nuuiii.'d a daughter of Dr. Seaburv, is a 



son. One daughter married Sylvester L. L. Ward, and 
another is married to John G. Storm. 

I mentioned John S. Winthrop, Jr., as a clerk with 
Prime, Ward &, King, and as having married a lady in 
North Carolina. I should have mentioned that he 
was dead. James and Edward N. Strong, who are 
aids to General Foster, with the Burnside expedition, 
mention in their letters home that they saw Mr. Win- 
throp's house in Newbern, N. C. 

Philip Dater, one of our old, respected merchants, 
and of whom I gave a lengthy sketch, died about two 
weeks ago, of congestion of the lungs. lie was well 
and attended to his business on Thursday, but was 
taken sick on Friday, and never left his room aiter that 
day. Mr. Dater was one of the oldest merchants of 
New York, having been in the wholesale grocery trade 
upwards of thirty-five years. He was esteemed as an 
honorable and upright man. His benevolent and char- 
itable disposition will cause his loss to be severely felt 
by many who -were reci})ients of his bounty. 

I have received this following letter : 

New York, April 2, 18G2. 

Walteh Barrett : In reading your " Old Mer- 
chants " in the Leader of Saturday last, I was much 
struck by your story of the decayed merchant, now en- 
joying the hospitalities of the alms-house. On inqui- 
ry I tind that I know the man, and that it is even so. 

Yoi' ai'gue justly, I think, in this matter: the soldier, 
the sailor, the shipmaster, the mechanic, all have a har- 
bor, a home, a rest, Ibr their days of pDVcnly — and 
j)r()vi(led, too, by their class ; but the /joor nu'ri-haut 
must liud his bread auioiig the wvy smun ol' socii'tv —^ 
the depraved, the debauched, the vagabondized. This 


sliouUl not l)(j ; ho is intelligent, educated, refined ; in 
iUct, has till theaLti'ibutes that drive the sting of poverty 
deeper into his heart of hearts, and makes his existence 
a daily death compared with the suffering of the hun- 
gry hod carrier, who eateth ami is satisfied. 

The merchant has made this city great, and more 
than any other, our country strong. Thcjugh he may 
be in the alms house, he has done his wcjrk, and it re- 
maineth to our benefit. The work he failed in, he sug- 
gested, started, and it is being carried out by other 
hands. Surely, the debris of the " man on change," 
the " merchant prince " wo talk of, may in his reverse of 
fortune have something better than city charity and a 
pauper's grave. 

We liave unquestionably in tliis large city a great 
many most excellent men who are anxious to do good, 
and to sj)end a portion of their gifts in the amelioration 
of the sufferinos 'of their fellow creatures : these men 
only need to know, to do. I think, Mr. Barrett, I can 
point my finger to at least a dozen such, whom, some 
third oj a cenlury a^o^ in the days of d(;wn-townism, 
were the active, now the retired, merchants of our city 
— and its glory, too, let me tell you — for the article 
has, I fear, depreciated in the market. 

A Mrrchanfs Home — it sounds well. A few thous- 
ands would start it ; a yearly contribution (with right 
of access) kceji it alive. The hard times I consider no 
bar ; the liberal are more .so in times uf adversity. I 
would suggest a plan, but think it best to hear what 
others think first ; and perhaps y(ni may elicit infoi'ina- 
tion [vi>\\\ them by juinling this ; if otherwise, consign 
it to your waste paper basket. Yours ifcc, 

The nanu- of the !ib()\'i' niciiliaiil has been left with 
nie. Jl,,« i.s one (jf tin; most respei'lable in the city. 



In the chapter relating to the Tardy family, I stated 
that John A. Tardy was for a long time a clerk with 
the late Joseph liouchaud, who was a great merchant 
in his day, antl did an immense amonnt of business with 
France, Mexico, Campeachy, and South America, lie 
came to this country about 1805, having been sent for 
when quite a lad by Joseph Theband. He formerly re- 
sided at Nantes. Joseph Theband wrote to his corres- 
pondent in France to seiid him a competent and reliable 
young man to take charge of the interior department of 
his counting-house. Joseph Bouchand was the youno- 
gentleman selected, and possessing testimonials of the 
highest character in his native country, arrived in this 
city in 1805, being then twenty-two years of age. 

Joseph Thebaud, his patron, came to the United 
States near 1703. He was the agent of the French East 
India Company, and representative of several French 
capitalists and merchants. He first settled in Boston, 
remained there a slijrt time, then chaniied his residence 
to New Haven, whei'e he becauie acquainted with and 
married Miss Le Breton, a daughter of a highly respec- 
table Martini(jue gentleman of that place, and from 
then(,'e came to the city of New York, where he })erma- 
nently established himself in mercantile ailairs, and up 

."'?T^.?> " 


to his death remained one of the leading merchants of -' 
this city, lie resided at No. 12 Beekman street, and 
hail his counting-room opposite, at No. 11. He possess- 
ed what in those days was esteemed a magnificent coun- 
try phice, situate where Orchard street now runs. The 
okl family mansion, built of brick, situate on the west- 
erly side of that street, near Rivington, still stands, al- - 
thouoh somewhat modernized. Could it speak, what 
glorious tales it could tell of the hospitality, the festive 
scenes, and tiie olil French regime style its four walls 
have witnessed ! Old Joseph Thcbaud was a great bot- 
anist and passionately fond of flowers. lie possessed 
m.'itniilicent m-een-houses, at that time the wonder of the 
town. He took great })ride in showing his flowers, and 
Avas the intimate friend of old Dr. llosack, whose ta^te 
in this respect was similar. His neighbors were David 
Duidiam, Cornelius Dubois, and the Stuyvesants. He 
spent, a great deal of his time in his green-luHises, to 
■which is ascril)ed his early death, which occurred in the 
year 1811, aged 45. He was a very benevolent, kind- 
hearted man, and was the originator of the French Be- 
nevolent Society of this city, and was a leading director 
and friend to the old Mechanics' Bank. 

At the time of his death the newspapers of this city 
teemed with flattering and highly eulogistic obituary no- 
tices of him. 

Previous to his death he recommended his wife and 
children to the constant care and watchfulness of Mr. 
liouclrmd, entrusting them to his protection, and to 
that connsed and sup])ort wdiich he knew he could rely 
upon their receiving frum him. 

lie left a wvy large estiite, and apixiiuted .li)sej)li 
liouchaud, his cleik, logelhc i- w ilh I\Ir. .J(»hn S. lioulet, 
Ills executors. His children at the lime of" hi^ deatli, be- 


ing all minors, Bouchf\u(l immediately took charge of 
the estate, continued the business of his late employer, 
and mari'ied his widow. In the meantime, two of Jo- 
seph Theband's sons, John and Edward, returned to 
New York, haN'ing completed their education at the Mo- 
ravian school at l^ethleliem, Penn, (which still exists), 
and found handsome fortunes awaiting them. Edward 
Thebaud, of industrial habits, entered the house of Gard- 
ner G. Howland, principally to acquire a knowledge of 
business, where after remaining some years, Joseph 
Boucliaud, wishing to increase his capital, made proposi- 
tions to him as well as to his brother John J., Avhich 
were accepted, and in 1820, the house of liouchaud & 
Thebaud was formed. Mr. IJouchaud became ac(|uain- 
ted with a gentleman named John L. McGregor, of 
Charleston, S. C, and he introduced Mr. Boucliaud to 
the South American trade. McGregor settled at Cam- 
peachy and Yucatan, and the house and he did a joint 
business together, purchasing and sending goods from 
this market, receiving in return specie, log wood, sisal- 
liemp, goat skins and hides. He also did a large busi- 
ness with Bordeaux, Havre and Marseilles. Up to 1824 
the house of Boucliaud & Thebaud was the largest im- 
l)orter of French brandies in the city of New York. 
They were constant and heavy slnj)pers of goods. In 
size, Mr. Boucliaud was a very small man, but in bold 
mercantile operations he was a very large one. He mov- 
ed liis store to No. 37 South street, a great business part 
of the ti.wn ibr foreign merchants, and at this period his 
residence was at No. lUO Fuhon street, a favorite street 
for EivnchMieii. ICdward Thebaud mai'ried in 1823 
]\Iiss Boisaubin, a daughter of a distinguished I'rench 
noble exile in this 'country, a victim to the Eivnch Rev- 
olution. In 1821, the hou.-^e was obliged to suspend 


payment, liavinnr been involved to a larf^e amount by tlie 
failure of Le Seigneur, Alexandre, Freres & Co., of 
Havre. After having honorably settled the affairs of 
the concern, the partnership of Bouchaud k Thebauds 
Avas dissolved, at -svhich time Mr. Tardy's connection 
with the house ceased. 

Edward Thebaud, retiring into the country, near his 
father-in-law, lived the life of a country gentleman upon 
a beautiful estate at Morristown, New Jersey, and 
John J. went to Mexico, engaged in some financial 
scheme, where lie was overtaken with u prevalent dis- 
ease of that country, and died. 

In a short while after, Joseph Bouchaud resumed busi- 
ness on his own account upon a capital of $5,000, loaned 
him by his mother-in-law, Madame Le Breton, together 
with consiffuments which were made him to a lar<ie 
amount by his old and steadfast friend, McGregor, of 
Cani[)eachy. By his frugal management, together with 
his indomitable [)erse\'erance, ho again became success- 
ful, and with the first fruits of his returning fortune, 
paid with interest the loan so kindly made him by his 
mother-in-law. At this period, his store was at No. 6-1 
Exchange jdace, corner of New street. From this time 
forward, his business became one of considerable lucra- 
tiveness. He afterwards purchased the property 171 
Duane street, where he resided lUitil ho removed, a few 
years before his death, to 258 Fourth street, opposite 
Washington Parade Ground. Meanwhile, matters had 
remainetl in statu quo with Edward Thebaud, who in 
the beginning of the year 1835, wrote to his old partner 
and f itlier-in-law, Mr. Bouchaud, representing that Iroiii 
the increase of his family and the accunudating de- 
mands apjx'rtaining iherelo, he thought of abandoning 
his rural life among the blue lulls of Jeresy, antl once 


more embarking in mercantile pursuits. Mr. Bouchaud 
invited him to an interview, which re.-sulted in his gener- 
ously tendering him a partnership on an equal footing, 
Avhich being accepted, led to the re-establishment of the 
house of J>oucliaud Sc Thebaud, the latter contributing 
to the ca})ital about ,^15,000. The new firm continued 
the business at 64 Exchange place, and afterwards re- 
moved to 35 New street. 

In about the year 1850 the firm was changed to 
Bouchaud, Thebaud & Company, having admitted into 
their firm the eldest son of Edward Thebaud. In 1851, 
at his new residence in Fourth street, Joseph Bouchaud 
died. He was an honest, upright man, and endeavored 
to emulate the virtues and high-toned principles of his 
benefactor and i)atron, Joseph Thebaud. lie was an ac- 
tive member of the French Benevolent Society, and 
connected with many of the leading banks of this city, 
more especially with the National Bank, which was re- 
garded and generally called the Frenchman's Bank. 

Air. Bouchaud had three children, a son and two 
daughters. The son died of the croup about the time 
his business troubles commenced. His youngest daugh- 
ter Celeste married Joseph A. Voisin, a French import- 
ing merchant. She has left one son, Joseph A. Voisin, 
Jr., a student of meilicine. 

The other sister, I'^stelle N. Bmichaud, married Victor 
Arnaud, a French gentleman of Paris. 

The other partner, Edward Thebaud, retired from ac- 
tive businesi shortly alter the death of his old ])artner, 
and jiow lives in (piiet elegance near the homestead of 
his wife, in Madison, New Jersey. His old house, under 
the Jiame of Edward Thebaud's Sons, was continued by 
two of his sons for some years, when each ioniiiu"- al- 
liances \vilh other mercantile houses in this city, dissol- 




veJ this old mercantile house wliicli had been in exist- 
ence since IT'JG. It is the boast of tiiis establishment, 
that since the day of its formation to the day of its dis- 
solution, from old Joseph Tiiebaud down to Edward 
Thebaud's Sons, their word was as good as their bond. 


I liiivo fri>quriitly alhulcJ to tlu' dIiI iron inongors, iis 
the luu'ilwai'c iiiei-cluiuts were clcslgiiatt'd until about a 
lialf century ago. I mentioned tliat they frequently 
had over their doors, on the front of their stores, pecu- 
Har signs. One wouhl have an oKl scytlie snath, paint- 
ed handsomely, and jjerhaps gilded. Another would 
have a golden padloek of innnense size. That denoted 
everything for sale, because it locks up everything. 
Another was a handsaw. The scythe indicated that all 
sorts of farmers' utensils were -kept, as it is only within 
the recollection of many wdien agricultural stores have 
become a specialty in this city. Another sign, and one 
that many will remember, was a hardware store in 
Greenwich street. It was an immense long plane, near- 
ly half a foot square, that extended from the third 
down to the second story. That indicated all sorts of 
carpenters' tools ke})t in that particular hardware store. 
Other signs were equally signilicant — the " golden tea 
kettle," ''' the anvil," as large as life, but made of wood, 
and painted ii'on color. About the first of the hard- 
ware merchants that had the boldness to move up town, 
or <ro above Canal street, were the Delevans. 

Forty-two years ago the house ol' Ivlward C. Dele- 
van was at Vll i'earl street, and Mr. D. lived at o'd^ 



Broadway. In 1827, Robert J. Di'lcvan opened a hard- 
ware store u[) at 489 liroadway, near Broome street. 
The next year, Daniel E. Delevan opened tlie same 
store under liis own name. That was thirty-four years 
ago. Daniel E. had been brought up to the business 
by E. C Delevan, the celebrated temperance. benefac- 
tor at Albany, who built, and I believe owns the Delevan 
House. He was here several years. He once did a very 
large business. He had a commercial house in this city, 
and one in Birmingham, England. He did a lar<'o busi- 
ness, and was a capital meichant. 

When Daniel E. Delevan commenced up town, you 
had to pass only a few streets above to find, not a wil- 
derness, but a very few houses. Niblo's garden, with a 
boarding house in the centre, occupied the whole of the 
block where the Metropolitan Hotel now stands. Op- 
posite the block there were no buildings. Collect street 
(now Centre) ran up to Grand street, where it connect- 
ed with llynders (now Alarion) street, llynders and 
Cross streets had large sluices in the middle, instead of 
being elevated, and when there was a freshet the water 
rushed down like a small river, and poured over a wall 
at the junction of what is now Howard and Centre 
streets, forming a comj)lete water-fall. There were no 
buildings above North (Houston) street, on the East 
river side. Thirty-three years ago, too, the city had 
not advanced su llir in civilization. h\ it was the old 
Bridewell, the terror of every one who gazed upon it. 
In the rear of the City Hall stood Scudder's Museum — 
a long buildijig. The museum that now belongs to 
Barnum was kept there, and was only open on Tues- 
days and Fridays. 

The old debtor's prison cupola loomed up in the? Pai'k, 
and contained on an average about two hundred uii- 



fortunate debtors. In' these clays, if sueli a barbarous 
law existed, it would be the few who don't owe money 
that would have to be locked up — there would not be 
room for the hundreds of thousands who do owe mon- 
ey. However, locking up was not so close as it might 
have been. There were jail limits, and these were easi- 
ly known, because they were lettered on boards, and 
these were nailed up in all parts of the city on the cor- 

There were but seven public school buildings, and the 
only one down town was at No. 1 Tryon row, corner 
of Chatham street. That was the time when the solid 
Fine Arts flourished here. Old honest John Trumbull 
was alive, and was president of the American Academy 
of Fine Arts, and Gulian C. Verplanck was vice presi- 
dent. May he live a thousand years longer ! Col. Wil- 
liam Gracie was alive then, and next to John Trumbull 
was John Vanderlyn. The colonel had boufht the 
"Ariadne," and he introduced me then to the artist, 
and I knew him years after — met him twenty years 
later, night after night, at the old French coffee house 
kept by the fomous Blin, at No. 9 Warren street. Blin 
has wilted down to keeping a small cigar store in ETudson 
near Vandam street, and he who has known and served 
the cleverest intellects in the country, now sells two 
cent cigars to the roughs of the Eighth Ward. 

I now return to my hardware merchant, Daniel E. 
Delevan. The merchants are the legitimate monarchs 
of New York city. They shoukl rule here undisputetl, 
and when I see one of the class step out of the usual 
bi-aten, two and two make four tracks, of neai-ly all of 
them, and take a position in city alVairs, it does me good. 
I love New York city with all my heart and soul, and 
I despise the [)retentinus suburbs in pro[)()rtion. New 


York city lias a population to-day of nearly 1,500,000, 
if she exercised her just rii^hts. Greenpoint, Brooklyn, 
Williamsburg, Astoria, Flushing, Fort Hamilton, and 
Long Island generally, are really parts of New York ; 
so is Staten Island ; so is Jersey City, Newark, Railway, 
Elizabethtown, Saltersville, Hudson City, Bergen, Ho- 
boken, Weehawken, and New York city should stand 
upon its rights. If these suburbs are not willing to be 
called New York, and be annexed to New York, then pass 
a, i'ew such laws as these : "Any person living outside of 
New York, and doing business therein, shall pay $10,000 
annually to the said city for the privilege ; and any per- 
son failing to do so, shall be conhned in the state prison. 
±\.nj person living in any j)lace, city, or town in New 
Jersey, and coining in the city daily, shall be charged 
IfioOO annually ior the ])rivil("m;." 

This is the idea. It could be carried out in a thou- 
sand sha])es, so as to prevent anybody being allowed to 
live anywhere within twenty miles of New York, unless 
they were willing to be classeil as " New-Yorkers," and 
give her what is justly her due in the census table. 
Every true New-Yorker feels keenly upon this subject. 
I despise all those outside places. I would not live in 
Brooklyn, Saltersville, or any of those illegitimate suck- 
ers uj)on the teats of New York, if I was presented with 
a house and barn in either of them. Any place in this 
region that does not add to the glory of New York, I 
will have nothing to do with. 

Altei this digression I once more return to Mr. Del- 
evan. For several years Daniel E., did business under 
his own name. Then he had his brothers Charles H., 
and Christian S. In 1S;57, I think the firm was Dele- 
van Brothers, Clirisliau bi'ing the paitiu'r. 

Charles H. was at one time in the Jjroadway store, 

OF JVEW York: city. 3131 

and thereafter lie was in a similar business on his own 
account in Maiden Lane. Probably Charles was one of 
the most active men in the Whig campaign of 1840, for 
" Tippecanoe and Tyler too." As a reward for such 
devotion, " Tyler too " appointed him to the American 
Consular agency at the beautiful island of St. Thomas, 
lie held it for some years. Since his return he has 
been in commercial business, but more recently has be- 
come deeply interested with insurance agencies. 

Daniel E. Delevan is a fair sample of a New Yorker. 
With an integrity, political, commercial and social, that 
has never been questioned, Mr. Delevan unites a fine 
old school personal appearance, that wins with all who 
aj)proach him. 

lie has been connected, directly or indirectly, with 
everything that could add to the strength of the city, or 
do her honor. 

For a long time he was connected with her military 
matters, and hence his designation of colonel and gen- 
eral. He made a splendid officer. 

In politics he has ever held a cominanding influential 
primary j)osition, but used his influence more for the 
benelit of otiiers than himself 

At one time the Federal government of Mr. Pierce 
made him naval storekeeper at this port. 

Since that time he has received and now holds the 
important position of city ins[>ector. 

For many years he has been connected with the 
Tannnany Society or Columbian Order. We have few 
moie ancient or more useful, and it lias numbered 
among its members some of the first men in the nation. 

On syveral elections Mr. Delevan has been chosen 
Grand Sachem. I lind in I'ormer years that much more 
was published abmit this society than now. Its Sa- 


chems had a particular closignatiou. There was the 
Sachem of the New York, or Eagle Tribe ; ditto of 
the New Hampshire, or Otter Tribe ; ditto of the ^las- 
sachusetts, or Panther Tribe; ditto of the Rhode Is- 
land, or Beaver Tribe ; ditto of the Connecticut, or 
]>ear Tribe; ditto of the Now Jersey, or Tortoise 
Tribe ; ditto Pennsylvania, or Rattlesnake Tribe ; ditto 
of the Delaware, or Tiger Tribe ; ditto of the Mary- 
land, or Fox Tribe ; ditto of tlie Virginia, or Deer 
Tribe; ditto of the North Carolina, or Buft'alo Tribe; 
ditto of the South Carolina, or Racoon Tribe ; ditto of 
the Georgia, or Wolf Tribe, etc. 

Mr. Delevan Avas in mercantile life until within a few 
years. He did not leave his hardware store in Broad- 
way until 1850, and for more than one thiixl of a cen- 
tury he has lived in the Eighth Ward, lie is a man 
any party may be j)roud of, and in his hands any inter- 
ests of the city, no matter how important, are perfectly 
safe. Few possess his general knowledge of the city 
and its interests. 

Mr. Daniel E. Delevan was for mjiny years promin- 
ently connected with our militia system. He served for 
fifteen years in the First Division under Gen, Sandfbrd, 
holding the first position of a staff olHeer — brigade in- 
spector. He was elected major, and afterward was lieu- 
tenant colonel and then colonel in the Second Regiment 
of Gen. Storms' brigade, and he diil active military du- 
ty until within the last few years, when the new con- 
solidation took place, which reiuU'red him a supernumer- 
ary and took him from active service. 

Colonel Delevan used to be one of the old Knicker- 
hocker Club. It met. in I'^ultou street, at SloucalPs. Jt 
had among its members such mm ms .Jose|)h (). Halt. 
Levi D. Slannu, who wa.s President of the Club, was 


then editing the New York Dai/i/ Plebeian. Gen. Hen- 
ry Storms, John J. Cisco, Charles A. Secor, Emannel 
Vj. Hart, and Thomas Jefierson Smith. There weie 
some fine fellows in it, and all New Yorkers. Jo. IIa)-t 
Avas a lively person in such a club. lie died many 
years ago, at Santa Cruz, Tenerift'e, to which place ho 
had been appointed United States Consul by President 

Gen. Henry Storms was an old New Yorker, and a 
merchant. Daniel E. Dclevan took an active part in 
supporting this old military worthy some years ago, 
Avhen an attemi)t was made to stop the celebration of 
Evacuation Day, in this city, on the 25th November. 
Gen. Sandford, who was an Englishman by birth, wished 
to abolish it; Gen. Storms, on the contrary, insisted 
that it should be celebrated by a military jjarade, and 
took strong ground for it, going so far as to say that if 
it was decided not to celebrate the day, he would do it 
on his own responsibility. There was a great time made. 
Gen. Storms, however, carried his point, and the day 
has been celebrated every year since then. The view 
lie took was deemed so patriotic that it was determined 
to give him a massive silver salver, and two silver j)iteh- 
ers, all appropriately inscribed. Tiiere was a grand 
dinner on the occasson, and 1 recollect that Col. Dele- 
van made a very hai)j)y speech upon the occasion. The 
lM;iVor and all the principal people wore present, and 
there was a gay time generally. 

The De'evans came from the good old Dutch stock, 
'j'lieir ancest(;rs came out here from North Holland two 
hnndi'ed years ago, and went and settled in Westchester 
county, (/ol. Delevan's grandfatheT fought all throngh 
■ the Revolutionary war, together with his eight brothers, 
including' the lather of Col. Delevan. He iinally rose 

304 ^^■^-'' ^^D MERCHAXTH 

to be a colonel, and was afterwards a general in tlie war 
of 1812. 

Tliere is probably no politician of modern times who 
has passed through tlie trying ordeal of party change 
and fluctuation, wlio has preserved a greater degree 
of consistency than that which lias marked the career 
of the Colonel. As a leadin"; member of the Democrat- 
ic party he is governed by those principles of upright 
dealing and manly candor that mark his character in 
private life, and which have established for him a repu- 
tation that any man might envy. Had his counsel been 
listened to at the Charleston Convention, it is more than 
probable that Horatio Seymour, instead of Abralunn 
Lincoln, would to-day have been President of the Uni- 
ted States. 

It is as an officer of the City Government that Col. 
Delevan has made himself consj)icuously known to the 
inhabitants of our city. Without questioning the abili- 
ty of his j)redecessor, it is but justice to the Colonel to 
give him a front rank by pronouncing him one of the 
most thorough-going and efficient City Inspectors that 
New York has ever possessed. And this efficiency 
would have been even greater, were the Department 
over which he presides, placed solely under his control 
and management, without being interfered with by out- 
side politicians and managers, the banc of all good gov- 
ernment. But we must take the world as it is, and 
make all due allowance for these political conlre temps 
that I'oUo-.v^ in the wake of office, the necessary conse- 
quence of our "peculiar institutions." The Colonel is 
yet a young man, comparatively sjteaking, notjvithstand- 
ing we have phiccd him under the head (;f " Old Mer- 
chants," of which be it known, he is but a jmiior mem- 




I have never mentioned the name of a prominent old 
mercliant, even hicidcntally or accidentally, Avithout in- 
tending to give, sooner or later, a full sketch of him. 
In the first series I mentioned ann)ng the wealthy 
contributors to the loan of 1814, Isaac Clason, who 
loaned to Government $500,000. I have intended to 
give a com'pletc history of this once eminent merchant. 
A man who could loan this sum, fifty years ago, was a 
great merchant — for $100,000 was a greater sum then 
than a million is now. On one occasion Mr. Clason 
wished to get a large loan (t|)200,000, I believe,) in 
specie, fi-om the Manhattan Bank, to send out in the 
ship "Francis Henrietta" — which he was fitting out 
to China — without an endorser. To obtain it, he 
swore he was worth $750,000. 

Originally he was a grocer, and kept his store, 
" Flour and Grocery," at 1-4 Albany pier, as early as 
1789. His dwelling was in Smith (William) street. 
He had a clerk named John DulHe at one time. The 
latter had a clerk named Sanuiel Tooker. The last 
started in business on his own account as early as 17U8, 
at 13 Coenties slip, in the very store formerly occuj)ied 
by Isaac ('hisun, who moved to No, 51 Broadway. 
Sanuicl Tooker did an inuuense business, and had sev- 


eral clerks. One was Ralph i\[ead ; another was Ben- 
jainhi Mead. i\Ir. Tooker lived at No. 8 Bridge street, 
in an old two-story wooden house, that belonged to 
Peter Kemble. He afterwards bought a lot and built a 
fine house at No. 5 Bridge, next door to the house he 
had in 1802, and first occupied. lie occupied the store 
at 13 Coenties slip until 1816, when he moved to 20 
South street. 

In 1800 he took in as a partner Benjamin Mead, and 
the firm was S. Tooker & Co. That house went lar"e- 
\y into the privateer business in 1812, as did many oth- 
er houses of that day. One vessel that he fitted out 
had a singular career, and I will give a detailed account 
of her to show how the business was done at the time. 
INlr. Tooker fitted out a brig called the " Arrow " with 
fourteen guns. He selected for her commander Ca])tuiu 
Conkling, a favorite captain, who had been in the East 
India trade. The stock was |05, 000. The shares were 
$1,000 each. As soon as it was known that Conklim^ 
had charge, they were all taken, for it was known that 
Captain Conkling's East Indiaman had been captured 
by the British, and that in the "Arrow" he woultl do 
all in his power to injure British commerce and pr()i)er- 
ty. The su[)ercargo or purser was to be William Bo- 
gardus, who had been a clerk with Mr. Dutlie, but had 
started on his own account in 1800, as a salt merchant, 
and after a few years failed, in 1808. Mr. Tooker de- 
termined to give him a start and chance. j\fr. Tooker 
was the agent who got up the privateer, and if she suc- 
ceeded would have the selling of her prizes, thus earn- 
ing large commissions, besides owning the principal 
shares. Everything looked bright for the privateer 
"Arrow." She eventually was destined to hit the" 
mark. Just as she was ready to sail, a Um'tetl States 


vessel of war discharged her crew. One hundred and 
twenty of them went at once on board of the '' Arrow," 
tliat bid fair to do well. Of course the harbor was 
blockaded closely ; but one dark night the " Arrow " 
and her galhmt cajjtain and brave crew, sailed. Two 
utiier privateers left the same night, one named the 
" Whig," and the other the '' Warrior." They re- 
turned successful, after some weeks, but the " Arrow " 
was never heard of from that day until this. Of course 
she was a total loss. No insurance. 

Mr. Tooker was from Newberg. He had no child- 
ren. He adopted Ellen, a daughter of Henry Laverty, 
by his first wife, lie and Laverty married two sisters 
named Smith. She always went by the name of Ellen 
Tooker. She married Joseph Hudson, one of the old 
importing firm so well known to old New Yorkers as 
J. & D. Hudson. I think she had two children, a son 
who married Miss Johnson, and a daughter that mar- 
ried my friend Henry Robinson, a son of Morris Robin- 
son, the famous cashier of the Bank of the United 
States. His sister, by the way, married Alexander 
SHdell, brother of the famous John Slidell, now rebel 
minister in France, and son of good old Knickerbocker 
John Slidell, president of Mechanics' Bank. Mr. 
Tooker was a great old merchant in his day. He died 
about 1820. His partner, Benjamin Mead, carried on 
the firm of S. Tooker & Co. until the law compelled its 
change in 1884, at 20 South street. Afterwards the 
same house was kept up, and he took into the concern 
Mr. Rogers, wlu; had been a clerk in the house, and its 
btyle was Mfad, JJogcrs cfc Co. Tiie conii>any was 
Seelah lieeves, a nephew of old Samuel Tooker. They 
kept in South street, No. 20, until 18-12, when they 
moved to 01 Water street, 'i'iie house ceased in 18;j1. 


Tlie old Benjamin Mead liad retired some years before, 
and lids Mead ul' the liuuse wa.s his bon Joseph S., now 
in Chica<2;o. 

Old Samuel Tooker the founder, in religion was an 
Universalist. He was the head of the church. Isaac 
Pierson Avas another leader of the church. After 1815 
Mr. Tooker was the financier in renting ground, corner 
of Duane and Augustus streets, now City Hall Place, 
Avhere he erected a brick building for a Universalist 
church, at a cost of about ;i;20,UU0. In 1837 this 
church was sold out to the West IJaptist Church, and 
subsequently to the Roman Catholic Church. In 1820, 
S. Tooker was alderman of First Ward. 

Benjamin Mead, the partner of S. Tooker, was a 
splenchd man. He died in 18(J0. There had not been 
a death in his or his father's I'amily before for G2 years, 
and then it was his elder brother, who died in 17'J8. 
These jNIeads are all from Greenwich Ct., once known 
as Horse Neck, and made so memorable and so named 
from Gen. Israel Putnam, who in the early years of the 
Revolution, rode down the height closely pursued to 
its brink by British soldiers. The father of Benjamin, 
Ralph, and Staats M. Mead, was Ednumd Mead. He 
was an only son of a wealthy farmer, who married a 
highly respectable lady — named Theodosia Mead — of 
the same name. The iirst Meads that came from Eng- 
land settled in Greenwich. Edmund and Tiieodosia 
Mead had ten children, all in the eighteenth century, 
seven of whom were living in 18G0, and whose aggre- 
gate ages at that time exceeded oOO years. Their names 
were Benjamin, horn Ajiril 21, 1780 ; Sarah, born Aug. 
22, 1782 ; Obediah, born March 10, 1785; Maiy, born 
June 1, 1787 ; Ralph, born April 21, 178'J ; Staats M., 
born April 28, 17'J1 ; Biurkhurst, bora Aug. 8, 17'J7. 


Edmund Mead, tlie father, Ly his extravagant tastes 
and habits, made shipwreck of himself and pro})erty, 
and his wife with her hirge family returned to her fath- 
er's house, where they were cared for until old enough 
to do for themselves. Five sons came to New York. 
The sixth was left at the farm and homestead on the 
death of his grandfather. The eldest died as I liave 
stated, shortly after he came to the city, in 1798, of yel- 
low fever. His name was Solomon, and he was a clerk 
of Joseph Eden, a merchant of this city. Benjamin 
and his brother Ralph, who was only fourteen years old, 
Avent as clerks with Samuel Tooker, who always pro- 
phesied that the Meads would have a brilliant success. 
Benjamin, who became his partner, retired about 1847, 
and built a country seat. He died in 18G0, leaving six 
children and a large number of grandchildren. He died 
Dec. 10, while attending a Union prayer-meeting, in 
Newark, N. J., aged 81. He was a Methodist, and 
worshipped in the old John street church forty years 
ago, and " Father Mead " will long be remembered by 
tiiose Christians, as the meek and quiet man who was 
prompt as punctual in his devotions, and so continued 
to the close of his life. When he died, he was in com- 
pany with his wife, of whom I shall have something ro- 
mantic to say before I have finished. He was taken to 
tiie residence of his son-in-law. Dr. Annin, when it was 
founil that he was quite dead. 

Ralph, the next brother, who was born in 1789, went 
into the store of old Samuel Tooker, when he was four- 
teen years ohl, in IbUo, with his brother \\<^\\. Staats 
]\I., a third brolher, ciiiue to the city two years later, 
and went to learn the trade (jf cabinet making with Ja- 
cob B. Ta}'lor, who started cabinet making business at 
No. 94 Broad street in 1804. Mr. Taylor was Alder- 


man of the Eighth Ward from 1817 to 1826. He was 
thu father of tlie celebrated merchant, Moses Taylor. 
Old Alderman Taylor was a sort of chief business man 
for John Jacob Astor. Staats M. Mead made a mair- 
jiificent fortune in the cabinet making business, and re- 
tired rich, built a splendid house on Fifth avenue, and 
afterwards resided in Europe, where he had been en- 
joying himself for the past two years. He died a few 
days ago. He left one son and two daughters. The 
son is a Methodist clergyman. The eldest daughter 
married Amos Mead Sackett, of the house of Sackett, 
Belcher & Co. The youngest daughter married Wil- 
liam Belcher, of the same house. 

Ralph Mead clerked it with S. Tooker seven years, 
until he had thoroughly learned the business, and then, 
in 1810, left him to go in business on his own account. 
His capital was this thorough mercantile experience, and 
what he had saved out of his small salary. This is, by 
the way, the best capital for a young merchant to jkjs- 
sess, when he commences in this city. Mr. Mead took 
the store No. 74 Pearl street, corner of Coenties slip ; 
one of those old Dutch buildings (to which I have so 
frequently alluded) with the gable end to the street. At 
that time it was 129 years old, for the date on the house 
was 1G9L October 22, 1813, a few years after he had 
started into business, he married Miss Sarah Holmes, 
of West Bloomfield, New Jersey. It was then called 
Cranetown. She was born there in 1792. Her father 
was William Holmes, and her mother Abigail was a 
daughter of Matthias Crane, i'rom whom the })lace de- 
rived its original name. 

Old Matthias Crane and his wife were both members 
of the old L'resijyterian Ciiuri-li. He was a merchant, 
did a large business, and had but one child. She was 


very beautiful, and, of course, had many offers for her 
liand, and there were many ai)plicatioiis fur tluj situation 
of son-iu-hiw to lier father. Her father had in his store, 
as a clerk, a dashing young fellow named William Holmes, 
a young emigrant from Ireland. His industry and hon- 
esty won the respect of her father. His gentlemanly 
manners won the affections of the dauiihter. He called 
one evening at her father's house, to have the matter 
settled in the prompt way that Irishmen usually prefer, 
when he found several rival suitors there, all of whom 
were candidates for the hand of the uncjuestioned belle 
of the place. Fie sat awhile, joining in social inter- 
change with his rivals, and then he made up his mind 
that somethinji had irot to be done, aird likewise conclu- 
ded to do it immediately. 

" Miss Abigail, will you get me a small piece of the 
cake you made yesterday ?" 

" Certainly, Mr. Holmes ;" and she went out into 
the hall. He followed her. 

" Abigail, I love you ; will you marry me if I get the 
consent of your father." 

" I will, William." 

The cake was forgotten, or postponed until the wed- 
ding. She married the young Irishman before she was 
sixteen, lived with him sixteen years more as his wife, 
and died at thirty-two, leaving several daughters. Sa- 
rah, who married Ralph Mead, was at the time her 
mother died, only seven years old. And now I am 
going to tell one of those cm'ious I'acts, that if told in a 
I'omance, would be regarch'd as proper .suhjects for lic- 


The eldest daujihter of the successful Wm. Holmes 


was nanu'(l ICli/a. She was coiu'tt'd, and married Ben- 
jamin Mead, the eldest brother, and partner of Sanuiel 


Tooker & Co. Of course she moved to New York city, 
and they went to housekeeping. Surah, who was a 
heuutiful girl, with dark eyes and expressive forehead, 
went to visit her sister. She was fond of dress, and 
loved to array herself in a style that set off to advan- 
taiie her handsome features and graceful form. There 
she met Ralph Mead, and in 1813, at the age of twenty- 
(me, became his wife, and went to housekeepmg with 
him over his store, at 74 Coenties slip, in which ueigh- 
Lorhood, with the exception of brief intervals, he kept 
it fifty-seven years. Her younger sister Lydia after- 
wards married Staats ]M. Mead, the third brother, mak- 
ing three brothers husbands of three sisters. 

These three families resided in the same locality. 
Staats M. and his young wile at No. 2 Coenties slip, iu 
181G, where he connnenced business ; ltal])h at his 
place, and Hen, at 12 JNIonroe street, where he resided. 
Nut an evening passed that they did not spend in each 
other's society. This was broken uj) in 1820 by the 
death of the youngest of the sisters, Mrs. Staats j\I. 
Mead. All of these sisters were amung "those women 
whose chiklren arise and call them blessed, and their 
husbands trust and ])raise them." 

During the war of 1812, Kalph Mead, then doing a 
large business, served two years in the military defence 
of his country. Jle belonged to tlie secouil lirginient 
of iSew York Slate Artillery. 'J'he entire regiment 
volunteered for the war, and it was stationed at the 
liattery Fort, now called Castle Garden. During the 
continuation of the war with ]']nghuid, speculation ran 
very higli. The priee of c-verytliing ran uj*. Sugar 
was forty cents per pouuil hy the ([uantity. Molasses, 
§2 per gallon, llvson skin tea, '!^\\ jjcr II)., and oilier 
qualities of tea in proportion. Lidigo was •'^li per lb. 


OF jYKir YORK'- CITY. 373 

Nutmegs, il2 per lb., by the case. Things continued 
at tliesu high prices until the arrival of a Russian sloop 
of war, '' Bramble," with the offer to mediate. Al- 
though it did not amount to anything, it had the same 
eii<?ct iipon the market as if peace had been declared. 
Every article fell at once, and at leubt one half of the 
merchants of the city failed, and niiuiy of those who 
failed had previously been very wealthy. The banks 
got alarmed, as they would not discount for any one, 
but gave the merchants until 5 o'clock P. JM. to }>av 
their notes, instead of 3, as was the usual custom. If 
peace had liai)pened at once, it would not iiave distressed 
the merchants so much. Peace took place about six 
months after the time to wliich I allude, and many 
kinds of goods advanced instead of falii:"j;, tlie demand 
was so great, and there were so few goods in market. 

These were days that tried merchants' souls. When 
banks refused to aid their customers, and would hardly 
discount the best of })aper, and there were then only 
eight banks in the city : Bank of New York, Manhat- 
tan, Merchants', Union, Bank of America, City, and 
New York Manufacturing Company (Phoenix.) Mon- 
ey was veiy scarce, and some of the leading merchants 
would act in a family manner with their customers, 
lialph iNlead was duing business in a small way, on the 
corner of the slip. lie needed money, and went to 
Jonathan Guodhue, and said to him : " Mr. Gooilhue, I 
wish to borrow your note for $2,0J0, for sixty days." 

^Ir. Goodhue knew Mr. Mead, felt that he could 
trust him, and at once drew his note for that sum, and 
gave it to the young merchant. 

Fifty years ago, and even at a later period, it was 
customary for the old wholesale grocer merchants to 
club together, and purchase whole cargoes of sugar. 

374 ^^^^^' OLD MERCIMA'TS 

rum, brandy, cofFeo, &c.,and then divide them up. On 
one occasion, a Dutch house in the city had received a 
cargo of" gin. When it was Landed from tlie vessel, 
the old importer fixed his price for the article. Ho 
lived out of town, a little above where the City Hall 
now stands. It was under custom house lock and key, 
and the shippers abroad had limited it at a price above 
the current market rates. Still, some of the grocers con- 
stantly called to ask the Dutch consignee, if he was 
ready to sell his gin. He \yould say, " when the mar- 
ket prices reach the price at which I am limited, I will 
then be ready to sell." 

V>y the arrival of a packet ship, that came into port 
durino; the nifrht, information was received that gin had 
advanced very materially in the European markets. 
As this news reached the grocers, they at once con- 
ceived the idea of buying the gin of the Dutch import- 
er before he received his advices. As I have said, he 
lived out of town. They all tried to intercept him on 
his way down, but missed him. Each made his way to 
the counting house of the old Dutch importer, which 
was in Coenties slip, and there he found congregated all 
his associate neighbors, the grocers. An exchange of 
glances was sufficient for a mutual understanding be- 
tween the parties — mum being implied, and a division 
of the spoils understood. The Dutch importer and gin 
owner suon made his a[)pearance, when the usual ques- 
tion was propounded to him, to which he replied as 
usual, that when the market prices reached his limits, 
he would sell the cargo. The grocers, finding him 
still in the dark respecting the advance in the article 
abroad, labox'ed hard to j>urchase the gin at sixpence a 
gallon less than his limit. Nut succeeding, they agreed 
tu iuljourn without purchasing — each, l.w.vever, with 


OF JVEw yo UK CITY. 375 

tlie intent, as it afterwards appeared, of getting rid of 
his brother grocers, that he might privately return and 
secure the cargo for his own account. With this view, 
the parties left, each taking a diiferent route ; but after- 
the lapse of a few minutes, they re-appeared in ra})id 
succession in the office of the gin importer, neither hav- 
ing had the chance to buy ahead of iiis neighbor. They 
then selected one of their number to purchase the gin 
at the price demanded by the owner, leaving him to dis- 
cover the rise at his leisure. They made a splendid. 
})rofit by the operation. Ralph Mead was always very 
])opular among the grocers. ^He remained a few years 
in the corner of Pearl street and Coenties slip, living 
over the store, according to the old Dutch fashion years 
ago, when real and domestic comfort and happiness 
stood in place of the fashionable frivolities of the pres- 
ent age. While in that store, April 18, 1818, he lost his 
eldest son, whom he had named after his old and much 
respected employer, Samuel Tooker. 

In 1822 he bought the old stand 13 Coenties slip, 
where he had served seven years' clerkship with j\Ir. 
Tooker, and then he removed his family to a snug little 
house at 27 Stone street. lie })rospered and made 
money. His business increased, and he bought the store 
next door to lo Coenties slip. After taking down the 
old buildings he erected a large and substantial store on 
tlie same ground. At diiferent })eriods he took into 
j)artnership his two brothers-in-law Holmes. In 1813 
he took in Hugh Holmes, and the firm was JNlead & 
lioimes. This was (Hily for a year or so. In 1815, 
■when he formed the firmof Ual[>h Mead ife Co., he took 
in Israel C. Holmes. He remained some time in the 
firm, but is now a, Pre>,bytei'ian cliM'g^inan out AVest. 

Ualph iMead had in his em[)lity at tHU'erent tiiues as 

cq odt 


clerk, and afterwards took into the firm, liis ncplicws, 
young men of good business talents and habits, also his 
son and son-in-law. 

In 1827 he purcliased a residence at No. 45 Pearl 
street, near the Jlattcry, Both he and his charming 
Avife joined the John street j\Ietlu)dist Church, soon after 
the loss of their eldest child in 1818. In 1834 he went 
up town with the emigration that commenced about 
that time, into No. 254 Fourth street, opposite Wash- 
ington square. That was a long way to go to church 
every Sunday in John street ; so several of them got 
together, to see if they colild not get uj) a ]\Ietho(list 
Church, Avith laniily pews, "up town." They succeed- 
ed, and erected the JNIulberry street Methodist Church, 
and old Dr. Banns dedicated the church. The John 
street folks were terribly down upon the arrangement, 
and they prophesied tliat it would not prosper, and that 
never a revival would occur in the new concern. Tins 
did not prove so. The Rev. Eobert Seeny was tlieir 
clergyman, and shortly after a revival occurred tliat 
furnished the new church four hundred converts. Dan- 
iel Drew and Ralph Mead were the leading men in this 
business, and are now. There would have been no em- 
barrassment in the finances of the new church if they 
liad sold the pews, instead of renting them. But for 
the liberality of Mr. Mead and Mr. Drew, the prophe- 
cies uf the oj)position to the Mulberry street Church 
would have become ti-uc. 'i'hey annoyed Mr. Mead so, 
that on r-ne occasion he took Bishop Emory to survey 
the new church. When he had examined the suj)erl) 
pews, and the finished mahogany pulpit, the Bishoj)said : 
" It is beautiful, it is just what the ]jord has made and 
man has polished." 

In 1838, while }Ai'. Mead was residing in the Fourth 


Street house, he purchased lots on Second Avenue, a 
healthy and pleasant location, and there he built a line 
house, in which he resided for twenty years. There, 
too, he sustained a heavy loss, in the death of the love- 
ly woman he had rnarrietl 30 years previous, and who 
had shared his cares and prospei'ity. She died October 
5, 1842, leaving six children, — two sons, and four 

The eldest son is Samuel Holmes Mead. He married 
a (hiughtcr of F. T. Luqueer, who once did a large 
harilware business in Hanov^er Square. They are trav- 
elhng in Europe. 

Melville Emory Mead, who was named after the 
Bishop that praised the pulpit in the new cliurch, is one 
of the firm of E. & R. Mead & Co., at No. 13 Coen- 
ties slip, where the old business has been so long con- 
ducted. He married Elizabeth ^. Hyde, a daughter of 
Josej)h B. Hyde of Auburn. 

The eldest daughter, Elizabeth, married Edwin Hyde, 
wdio is a partner in the above firm. They have nine 
sons. He and I had an excitiufj night of it to<]!;ether 
about twenty-seven years ago, when we were neighbors 
in Exchange ])lace, and were saving goods out of tluj 
great fire of 1835. He was with David N. Lord, whoso 
store was blown up at No. 50 Exchange j)lace — a cai>- 
ital old merchant by the way ; and 1 was factotum lor 
llogers & Co., No. 40 Exchange jjlace ; heavy East In- 
dia house. 

Anoth-r daughter married Nathan J. Bailey, foi'mor- 
ly of the large grocery house of Hoffman & Bailey. 
They have three daughters. 

Harriet, another daughter, nuirried Philip A., the 
only son of James Harper, by his lii'st wife, who was a 
daughter of i'hilip J. Arcukuius, who lived in a house 


tliat stood at No. 11 Friuildort street, upon tlio very lot 
whuro the Leader Luilclinu- is now located. This 
duLightei- left one son, a fine lad now of twelve, and a 
grandson of the old mayor, who always called me col- 
onel. The mother of the lad is dead. 

Caroline, another dangliter, married the Rev. Archi- 
bald C. Foss, now Professor of Middleton college. 

On October 21, 1846, Mr. Ralph Mead married Ann 
E. Van Wyck, a daughter of Gen. Abraham Van 
AVyck, of Fishkill, with whom he lived fifteen years. 
This lady died September 18; 1800. 

This venerable old merchant remained in business at 
Nos. 13 and 35 Coenties slip, until he retired from mer- 
cantile life in the year 1859, having done business in 
one spot for nearly 49 years, leaving it to be continued 
by his nephews, his son Melville, and son-in-law Edwin 
Hyde, under the firm of E. & R. Mead & Co. 

In November, 1859, lAIr. JMead purchased the elegant 
liouse No. 29 West Thirty-fourth street, where this ven- 
erable patriarch now resides with his eldest daughter, 
enj.jying a hale and happy old age, the result of a well 
sj>ent and well regulated life, in the society of a numer- 
ous and loving circle of grandchildren. His brother 
Brockholst is an aged bachelor in the vicinity. Ho 
once was a clerk in the City iJank. 

In the year 1857, the Mulberry street M. E. church 
was s(-ld, the congregation removing to Eighth Avenue 
and 22d street, where they erected, througli the inllu- 
eiiceand perseverance of Messrs. Muad it Drew a beau- 
til'ul white marble church, one of the finest in the city. 



I liavo IkuI frequent occasion in this work to speak of 
an old niercantilti family in New York of the name of 
Woolsey. Tiiere have been great merchants of that 
name in this city, from the time of its first foundation 
to the jiresent hour. George Woolsey came to this city 
in 102-5, with the lirst Dutch emigrants ; probabfv he 
Avas a boy lo years old at the time. Nine years later he 
became a merchant, or trader, as was the more proper 
designation in the early years of this city, when it was 
calletl New Amsterdam. George kept in business in 
this city until lG-17, when he retired, having bought a 
country place on Long Island, where he died in 1G08, 
aged hi*). He was not a Dutch boy, but was English, 
and a relative of the great Thomas Woolsey, of massive 
intellect and ambition, who was Prime IMinister to King 
Henry the Eighth. 'JMie grandfather of George was 
named Thomas, after the Cartlinal. His grandson, IJen- 
jaiuin, was exiled to Holland in IGIO, when he had the 
son CJeorge burn to him, who afterwards became a dis- 
tinguished New York merchant, as ai)(>ve stated. 'I'liis 
George had [i son, also named CJeorge, who was boiJi in 
this city in ll>r)0, and ismentioni'd in the ])ati'nt of (iov- 
crnor Dongan of IGSG. He died in 1711, agi'tl 'JO. 
He had a son IJenjamIn, who was borii in iGbV and died 

380 ^^^^ OLD MERCHA.VTS 

in 1756. Hugh Gaines, Mtrcunj for August, 175G, has 
ii lung obituary, in which it speaks of" him as a very re- 
markable man, and tliat •■' his intellectual powers were 
much above the common level." JJis son Benjamin 
was born in 1717, and died in 1751. His second wife 
Avas a daughter of Doctor George Aluirison. His sons 
by her were Benjamin Aluirison, John Taylor, George, 
AVilliani, Walter, and George Muirison. One daughter, 
Sarah, married Moses ll(jgers, of wiiom I have written 
a sketch ; and another married the celebrated Willian^ 
Dunlap, the historian, theatre manager and writer. Of 
course these last were brothers-in-law of William Wal- 
ton Woolsey. This latter was called after one of the 
William Waltons, a connection by marriage. 

B. M. Woolsey was burn February 17th, 1758, and 
died at liridgeport in 181;]. John Taylor Woolsey was 
born in 1702, and died in the We.-.t Indies in 17l>8. 

I think George AVoolsey died early. If I am not 
mistaken, he was with Daniel McCurmick as a clerk 
abuut the time of the War of the Revolution, in 1780. 
I have his receipt beture me, signed January 30, 1781. 

William Walton Woolsey, the eminent merchant for 
many years, was born Sept. 17, 17GG. In 1792 he 
married Miss Dwight, of New Haven. He was in busi- 
ness in the house of Rogers & Woolsey, at No. 285 
Tearl street, as early as 1795. Mr. Woolsey was doing 
an immense mercantile business for a great many years. 
He had several children. His daughter Mary Ann 
married George HoatUey, of New Haven. Eh/abeth 
married Francis 15. Winthro]); one of the cliiKh'en of 
this marriage is the gallant Major Winthrup, who was 
killed near Newport News, and who had so ilistinguislicd 
himself as a writer. His (.K'alh was as widely lamented 
as that ol' any ollicer who has been killed in this war. 


William Cecil was bom in 1706, and mari'iod Cath- 
erine, daughter of Theodorus Bailey ; died in 1840. 
John Mumford, twin brother of William Cecil, married 
Jane Andrews, and lives at the West. Laura, another 
daughter, married William Samuel Johnson, who was 
a lawyer in tliis city, and in 18t51 was Assistant Alder- 
man of the Third Ward, flo also ran for Congress 
that year. Mr. Johnson had chiklren, one son and a 
daughter Susan. I believe the family has removetl to 
the West. Another daughter, Sarah, married Charles 
F. Johnson, of Oswego. Another son was Theodore 
D wight Woolsey, who was born in ISOl, and is a Pro- 
fessor of Greek in Yale Colleo-e, New Haven. 

Mr. Woolsey was one of the most prominent members 
of the Chamber of Commerce in this city, lie was 
elected its secretary in 1790, and held it some years. 
In 1825 he was elected Vice President, and continued 
to be re-elected until August 18th, 18o8, when he died, 
aged seventy-three. lie was engaged in every benevo- 
lent and useful work. He was elected Vice President 
of the Manufacturing Society of this city as early as 
1797. In 1803, the ^Merchants' Bank was start- 
ed, and old Oliver Wolcott (afterwards Governor of 
Connecticut), was made its first President. The Bank 
was not incorporated by act of the Legislature until 
March 2G, 1805, and then \V. W. Woolsi-j- was named 
as one of tlie Directors, incorporated with such other 
strong names as Joshua Sands, Isaac Ilicks (that 
brought up Jacob Barker), David Lydig, Henry A. 
Coster, and others. The Bank obtained a charter to 
save it from the operation of an " Act to restrain unin- 
corporateil lianking Associations " that had passed the 
previous Legislature. Joshua Sands succeeded Oliver 
Wolcott as President of the Merchants' Bank, and Mr. 
Woolsey remaiu'.d a Director many years. 


As an c^'l^l(.'ncc of tlie sjictnly mnnncr in wlilcli jus- 
tice was meted out in old times to criuiinals in this city, 
I will relate the following : 

On Monday night, the 1st of February, 1803, the 
store and counting-room of Woolsey & Rogers, No. 235 
]*earl street (INIoses Rogers Avas the partner with W. 
W. Woolsey), was broken open, and a red morocco 
pocket book was taken thence. It contained a bill of 
exchange for $2,500 sterling, one for XlOO, one for 
X173, one for X326, one for XG7, and two notes of the 
l^ank of New York for !it!5 each,' and a note of hand tor 
$!50. There was also stolen ten dollars in silver, a tick- 
et in the South Iladley Canal Lottery, and a steel moun- 
ted pistol. The house offered a reward of §40 for " ap- 
])rehending the person or persons." It was successful. 
( )n the 5th four negroes were taken up. On the M()n- 
(lay afternoon of the 7th February, in the Court of 
(Jeneral Sessions of the Peace, held in this city, and 
then adjom'ucd that same evening, came on the trial of 
these four colored thieves. After an hour's trial, they 
■Nverc convicted on two indictments. Three of them 
•were sentenced to be imprisoned in the State prison, at 
lianl labor, for seventeen years each, and the fourth ne- 
gro for eight years. In these times it would have been 
a year, if not three, before these thieves would have 
been tried o^- punished. 

An eminent merchant in these davs, if he was robljed 
of a lottery ticket, would keep shady, but in the old 
time, there was hardly a mei'chant of note, unless he be- 
h)nged to the church, who did not speculate in lottery 
tickets. Such accounts as this were quite connnon. 
*' The ticket No. 11,508 which drew the; jjrize of !i!l5,000 
in the lottery No. ], for encouragi'mcnt of liti-raliirc, 
drawn on the 13th of February, IbOo, was sold by T. 


V>. Janscn, bookseller, No, 248 Pearl street, to Messrs. 
'J omliiison & Co., merclrints of this city." The last 
firm was one of the most eminent in this city. 

As Moses Rogers, who started the sugar refining in 
the old Liberty street ]>rison in 1804, Avas once a part- 
ner of the Woolseys, I presume that is the way the 
Woolseys became so extensively engaged in sugar refin- 
ing in later years. 

He was also one of the prominent Governors of the 
New York Hospital ; was elected in 1799, and contin- 
ued until 1802. lie was re-elected again in 1829, and 
continued to 1834. ]\Ir. Woolsey was one of the most 
prominent citizens'as well as most cnter])rising of mer- 
chants, sixty years ago. He belonged to a popular club 
of that day, as did his brother George Muirison Wool- 
sey, Charles Brockden Brown, Samuel L. Mitchell, and 
William Dunlap, his brother-in-law. 

In 1807, Mr. Woolsey became president of the Eagle 
Fire Insurance Company, that had been started under 
very favorable officers a few years previous. When Mr. 
Woolsey dissolved with Mr. Rogers, the latter paid him 
a very handsome sum not to go into the iron monger 
trade in this city for a stijjulated number of years. Mr. 
Woolsey became sick of having made such an arrange- 
ment, so ho went to New Haven and started a hardware 
store in that city. He was also i)resident of a bank, 
(Kagle I think.) He remained in the Elm City until 
1815, when he canie back to New York and started busi- 
ness aiiain ul 227 Pearl street, i\nder the firm of ^V. 
W. Woolsey & (!!o., the term for which he had agreed 
not to do business (ten years) ha\ ing I'xpired. His 
jiartner was Abraham W. Woolsey. While at New 
Haven the baidv tlid well, under his management; Mr. 
Winthrop, his son-in-law, ami Mr. Hoadley, another sou- 


in-law, were both directors. The latter was made pres- 
itlcnt after IMr. Woolsey returned to New York. Mr. 
lloadley broke the bank, I beUeve, by issuuig post notes, 
and used the funds in specuhition. Mr. Woolsey must 
have had unbounded confidence in the bank, for I think 
he was a Treasurer of the American Bible Society, and 
he placed the funds of the sacred society in the New 
Haven Bank. By some action of \V. C. Holly, of the 
firm of Irving, Smith &- Holly, the amount was saved. 
I»h'. Winthrop lost a large sum by that bank. There 
was a long law suit in connection with the sum that 
was secured by Mr. Holly. In 1818, Mr. Woolsey 
moved to 61 Greenwich street. I believe he owned 57, 
59 and 61 in that street, for he lived many years at 59. 
The house stood on the corner of an alley way, was 
large, and in its palmy days was one of the most desir- 
able houses in New York. It was the abode of good old 
fashioned New York hospitality. In 1825, Mr. Wool- 
sey })resided at the great Erie Canal meeting held in the 
city. His son, W. C. Woolsey, for some time lived at 
59 Greenwich. In 1832, he was of the firm of Wool- 
sey, Poor k Convers at 16 Hanover street. W. C. 
Woolsey did business at No. 161 Pearl street. W. W. 
Woolsey was president of the Merchants' Exchange 
Company for some years. 

George M. the brother of W. W. Woolsey, and who 
was intimately connected with him in business, was born 
in Aj)ril, 1762. He went into business in 1797, and 
that same year married Abby Ilowhmd, a sister of G. 
(x. & S. S. llowhuid, the famous merchants. She died 
in London, in 1833. They had a son named Charles 
WiUiam, who was born in 1802, aiul lost in the " Lex-: 
iiigton " steamer when she \viis l)urnt in Long Island 
Sound, January 13, 1810. He left seven young daugh- 


tors, and a son born after liis decease. Another son of 
George M. was Edward John Woolsey, who married 
Emily Phillips Aspinwall. 

George Muirison Woolsey was an extensive shipping 
merchant for many years. After he married in 1797, 
he resided at 32 Greenwich street, and later at 5G same 
street. He has only been dead a few years. During 
the embargo he luid several ships that carried cotton 
cargoes abroad, evading the blockade. He was under 
heavy bonds to the Government for each vessel that left 
to go to another domestic port, that she should not go to 
Eui'ope. He did manage to send ^several vessels to 
Perth Aniboy, and by some understanding with the 
Collector of the Port, those shij)s did go to sea, and 
made immense fortunes. Mr. G. I\I. Woolsey had to 
go abroad also to save property from confiscation and 
himself from confinement, for vic^lating the embargo. 
He went to J^iverpool, and resided there for some years, 
or until the Custom house at Perth Amboy was burned 
and the bonds with it. 

The Woolseys, at a very early period, became large- 
ly interested in the sugar refining business. They 
made inmiense sums of money in it. They counnenced 
u]) near the old tobacco warehouse, in South street, be- 
tween Clinton and Montgomery streets, on the East river 
siile of the town. 1 think the business was chartered un- 
der the name of the New York patent sugar refinery — 
at any rate it was made a stock companj'. I believe 
George Mui'-ison W(n)lsey was the founder of it,' and 
then it was condnctcil under the firm of Woolsey & 
Woolsey. G. ]\I. Woolsey owned the {)ro|)erty of 
Green Ho(»k on Long Island. Tliis old cotton mer- 
chant left a huge property to his sons, and they are 
among the most of our citizens. Xlie Wool- 

r 2 p. Fit .mj 


seys were among the first that carried on the sugar re- 
fining business on a very large scale, although early 
there was a stock New York sugar refining company as 
early as 1804. It was about the middle of the block in 
Church street, west side between Franklin and Leon- 
ard. The company owned nearly all the block. They 
sold off portions of it, — at first to the French churcli 
on the north corner, and then to the old Italian Oi)era 
company on the south corner. That company carried 
a large amount of -px'operty, but closed their affairs 
-without loss to the stock holders iibout thirty years ago. 
Towards the close Benjamin Strong was the president. 
About that time the Woolseys commenced the business, 
but carried it on in a much more extensive manner. 

W. W. Woolsey was at one time in the firm of 
Dwight, Palmer & Co., as a secret partner. The senior 
Avas one of his New Haven relatives by marriage. 

One of the sons of W. W., went to Augusta, Ga., 
and established himself in mercantile business, but did 
not remain there long. 

In the early days of Mr. Woolsey, or about the com- 
mencement of this century, all the principal merchants 
woidd go out to the country to Ilardenbrooks, to dine 
cvei-y Saturday, and once a month they all took their 
families. It was a great day for the junior members of 
the i'amily, who looked forward to this day of jubilee 
when they could go and room in the coiuitry. This 
llardenbrook had a ])lace of public resort on the East 
river siile, that wuuhl be about Twenty-fifth street. 
You turned down a lane from the Boston high road, 
and there found the house buried in tn.'cs. Several 
acres of ground were attached. Only a limited number 
(jf merchants woidd l)el()ng to this set. Another set 
was composed of FjiglishniL-n, headed by John J. do- 


ver. They bouglit a place and called it the Belvidere 
House. When the club broke up Mr. Glover bought 
the place for his own account. 

These were good old days in 1797, and on to 1812. 
In every case one of the partners used to live over the 
store, no matter how extensive the busijioss. They 
dined at diilerent hours. One partner got his dinner at 
one o'clock ; when he returned, the other partner would 
then go and get his dinner. This was done, so that one 
of the partners should be at the place of business con- 

Merchants, during business hours, used to go and 
get their drinks at tlie Tontine Coflee House. The Ex- 
change was held there, and there was a si)lendid bar 
kept. Upon it was a large bowl of punch, and anoth- 
er of lemonade. There were crackers, cheese and cod- 
lish. The merchants called it lunch, and from eleven 
o'clock to one, the bar of the Tontine would be well 





293, 294, 

284, 'I'yo, 

Abeel & Co. 

Abecl & KitTstedo 

Ailutns, John Q. 

AMrich, Hubert 

AUfii, L). 15. 

AUt-'ii, Stephen 

Alsop, The family 

Alsup & Chauuoey, 

Alsop & Co. 

Alsup, John 

Alsop, Joseph W. 

Alsop, Richucd 

Alsop, Rieh:u\l (author) 

Alsop, Wetmorc & CryJer, 294, 

American Life & Trust Co. 

Aiuhews, Jane 

Aiinin, Ductor (Newark) 

Anthony, Hicluird K. 

Archer, Jotje]5h 

Arculu-lus, (Jeorgo 

Arcularius, Pliilip I. 37, 38, 

Arni.stroiijj;, Wni. 

Anmml, V'ictor (Paris) 

Ash, ThoMiius 

Aspinwall, Emily Phillips 

Aspinwall, Gilbert 30'.», 329, 

331, 332, 833, 334, 

33(;, 337 
Aspinwall, G. & John 809, 
331, 334, 
Aspinwall, 0. & Son 
A.spinwall, Q. Woolsey, 
A^piiiw ill Jiiiiies Scott, 333, 

Aspinwall, John 

329, 330, 
332. 337 







20 1 



, 335 


, 338 

Aspinwall, John Lloyd, 837, 338 
Aspinwall, John Lloyd (2) 337 

Aspinwall, Joiin A. 337 

Aspinwall, Capt. John 829, 330, 
Aspinwall, John M. 832, 333 

Asfjinwall, Thomas Sowers 333 

Aspinwall, The Misses 330, 331, 
333, 334, 336, 837, 338 
Aspinwall, AVilliani 330 

Aspinwall, William H. 337, 338 
Astor, Henry 81, 82 

Aitor, John Jacob 32, 61, 81, 82, 
Vl\, 194, 197, 211, 214, 
215, 293, 330, 370 
Astor House 51 

Astor, Wm. B. 52, 149, 215 

Atkinson, John 63 

Atl<inson, John Jr. 48, 49 

Atkinson & Fleming, 48 

Atkinson, John & Francis 48, 40, 

Atkinson, John & Son 48 

Atkins, Capt. 207 

Avery, Widow 203 

lyres, Kaniel 185, 138 

ISabcock, Courland 209 

llache, Uicliard 9fi 

Hache, Theopiiylaclito 90 

naclullor, J(,im 210 

HickhouM', William 2i'. t 

15 leiduiusc, Will. Capt. 2t)t 

liailey, Calherino 38 1 






20 8 



B;iil y, Jamps 
IJniley, Juliu II. 
JJailoy, Nalhaii J. 
Bailey, Tliuodorus 
Bailuy & Voorhoos, 
Bukur, GiuJuer (museum) 
B:ikei-'s City Taveru, 
Bakcr'a T.ivcni, 
Biuigs, I4cv. Dr. 
B:uik of Amevica, 63, 65, 373 

Bank of Comiacrce, 18 

B:iiik, Leather Manufacturers 210 
Bank, Manhattan 11, 1',)!, 305,373 
BuJik, Mecluuiics, liO, 235, 25'.', 
352, 307 
Bunk, Merchants 10, 11, 05, lUl, 
255, 205, 373, 3«1 
liaiik. Merchants Bx.changc 1 1'.) 
15ank, National 355 

Bank, Paciiio 12',t 

]?aiik, I'aik 118 

Bank of New York 11, '11, 53, 251, 
251, 255, 257, 282, 373 
Bank of Savings 37 

Bank of Slate of New Yolk, 1',) 
Bank of United States 11, 48, 5(), 

62, 03, 30 
Banks, Joliii 
Banker, Invert 
Barclay, Anthony 
Barclay, Geurgo 
Barclay, Henry 
Barclay, Henry & George 
Barclay, Rev. Henry 
Barclay, ('(j1. Thomas 
Barclay, The family 
Barclay & Livingston, 73, 74, 75, 
103, 104 
Bard, Dr. Samuel 
Baring Brotiiers & Co 
Barker, Jiwub 
Bariiewell, George 
Barnum (museum) 
Biu-rett, Walter 34, 43, 44, 31U 
Bayard, lle-v Louis 238 

Bayard, Maria .321 

Bayard, Nicholiui, 87, 180, 187, 



73, 301 





73, 301 

73, 301 

04, 283 


302, 381 


224, 2 

Bayard, Peter, 
Bayanl, lloljcrt 

Bayard, Samuel 
B.iyard. Wm. Jr. 

18'.l, 255 


173, IHO, ISI!, 

181, 180 


173, 180, 1S3, 

Bayard, William 57, 65. 70, 128, 
133, 108, 170, 171, 172, 
173, 18U, 183, 185, 18ij, 
187, 188, 23'J, 311, 315, 
320, 321. 
Bayard, The family, 186, 187, 183 
Beach, Abraham 00 

Beach, Cornelia 00 

Beach, The girls 07 

Beare, C;ipt. 200 

Bcebc, Mr. 20 

Bcebe, S,imuel J. T^S 

Beekman, Cornelia 317 

lUekrimn, Maiy £ 17 

Belcher, Gov. (.Maaa.) 321 

Belcher, William. 370 

Bell, I.saac 300, 310 

Uell, Caj)t. Isaac 30'J, 315 

Bell, James (N. B.) 300 

lull, William 248,252 

Heliniint, Augustus 200 

I'.cimont, \. & Co. r.'O 

IJennett, James Gordon 171 

Bennett, Jolin 303 

Ik'iLsun, i'.'gbert 2;'.5 

Berger, Dr. Francis 330 

I5errym:ui, E H. 100 

I'.ethune, .Mi^s J'lizabcth 106,313 
Bethune, Divio 285 

Bethuiie, Mrs. 2-5 

Bergh, C. & Co. 175, 178, 18.^ 

Bevan & Humphreys (I'hil.) 2'j6 
Bibby, Geo. R. 250 

Black, W. II. 277 

Black well, Harriet 133 

Blackwell, J;tcob 132, 133 

Blackwell, Josiah 133 

Blackwell & McFarlane, 133, 134 
135, 130, 130, 140 
Blackwell, Joseph 132, 133, 134, 
135, 130 
Blackwell, Robert 132, 133 

Blackwell, Rubert M. 134 

Blackwell, R. M & Co. 134 

Blackwell, Wm. Driyton 133, 138 
Blackwell, The family, 132, 133, 
134, 135, 130 
Blackwell's L-ilaiKl, 11, Antlmny • 235, 336 
Bh(vl<er, I.conatd 1.8 

Blecrker, I^.,Mard A. 128 

Bleeckcr, J. W. ^t I. 128 

Blee^iker & Leir<--ts 128 

Bliuii's CoU'ce lluuso, 35'J 


o J J. 

Blooilgood, Nathaniel 124 

V,n:ivd uf IJiukeis, List of, 11^8 

l>oar(liiiiui, Diiiiiul ]'J7 

liocriim, Maitiu 211 

Bocuf, Joseph oi 

Bogaidus. \\'illiam 300 

]5o;rart, Henry 11. 38 

]!(i;rut .St KiieclanJ, . 38, 305 

Bwi'jiiilier, oT),'} 

IJc.liviu-, Gen. L'MH 

IJoiJiiur, Kuhert 0^5 

JJ.Hiniiiui, .lames 10, 135, KiK 

JtuDi-iimii it .IdliMston, 135, 138 
liuoruum, Juliustuii, Ayrea \. (-o., 
Borrowe, Charles E. 45 

Burst, John B. 2o 

Bosset, G. G. 70 

Bouchaud, Celeste Sf.S 

Boiicliaiid, ]']stelle 355 

Bouchaud, Jo.-icph 851, 852, 353. 
351, 355 

Bouchaud, Joseph Jr. 355 

Boach;iud & Tliebaud, 354, 355 

Buudinot, Dr. 

Bowne, The Family 

Bowne, Walter 

Boyl. William 

Boyd & Suydain, 

Brad lord, Jacob 

Bradhurst, John M. 

Bl-adiiurst, Samuel 

Bradhurst, 'I'he Family 

Brasher, Abraham 

Brasher, Misi Eliza 

Bi'eck, Miss .'\iiiia (Delaware) 

Brecli, Hon. .Mr. 

Brette & V'incent, 

Brishan & Hrannan, 

Britton, Lloyd L. 103, 

BriltoM & AVariier, 

Broome, Joiin 

Brown, Charles Brockden 335, 

Brownell i: .Sherman, 14'.), 

Brucn, Ocor;i;e W. 
I'-ruen, Mull!' vv 
iSriicn, WilHaiii 
Jtriii'ii, M. iSt J. 
Bueliuiian, Alexander 
ISue.liaiian, Aliiiy 
Bui'liaiiau , I'unny 
Bu(di man, (joorgu 
Buohajian, Janu 



4 a. 



















. 383 







20'. I 

Buchanan, Margaret 40 

Buclianau, The Misses 200, 270, 


Buchanan, Thomas 35, 41, 45, 4(), 

47, 48, 03, 70, M, 107, 

ll'J, 252, 2G'J, 270, 303, 


Buchanan, Tiiomas & Co. 41, 43, 

45, 4() 

Buchanan, Walter W. 45 

Buclianau, Wallia' .t Thos. 41, 45 

Buriianan, William Goelct 28'J, 2'.)0 

Buckljii, Thomas 1'. 
Buclilin vS:. Cran(!, 
Bucknor, Catherino 
Bucknor, Wm. G. 
Bull, Francis 
Bull, Isaac M. 
Bull, Martin W. 
Bull, Thomas & Michael 
Bull. Wm. G. 

2'. 13 
128, 289, 2'.)0 
92, lO'J 

Bull, I'urdon & Co. 2!t3 

Burnett, David 205 

Burr, Aaron 145, 101, 102, 254 
Burrel, Jonathan 03, 05 

Butler, Benj.amin, 128, 210 

Buxton, Dr. Charles 122, 123 


Caincs, Geo. 278 

Caldwell, John 251 

Callender, Miss (Phil.) 27'J 

Calhoun, Jolm C. 11 

Campbell, l»uncan P. 108, 100, 

170, 171, 172, 173, 184, 

185, 180 

Campbell, Jolin 227 

(Jamman, Charles L. 70 

('luinon, LeGrand 220 

Carberry, CapL Thomas 128, 2H0 

Cardeza, Rachel 127 

Carleton, G. W. 211 
Carmcr, Nicholas G. 123,137, 112 

("arne.s, Burrall, 113 

Carow, Isaac; 2 )0 

Carpeidi'r. Mr. T.iS 
Carrinrloii, Kdw'd & Co. 203, :,0() 

Catlin, Lyndo, 11, 0,5 

Calo'H, 155 

Cliamlier of Commoroo, 05, 113 

Cliarlelori, John 2I'.» 

Chaunccy, Commodore, 175, IB) 



Carroll, A. 201 

Chauiiccy, Henry 201 

Cliuebeiiiau, Dv. John C. 20 

Cliichcster, Abncr 117, 118 

Cliioliester & Van Wyck, 118 

Chriatmas, Cliarlcs I'JG 

Cbristmas & liivingston, I'JG 

Christmas, Livingston Prime & 

Coster, 196 

Churchill, Timothy G. 62 

Cisco, John J. 363 

City Hotel, 37 

Clark, Capt. J. H. 58 

Clai-kson, David (long) 93, 91 

Clarkson, David M. 92, 93, 91 

Clarkson, Matthew, 91, 171, 312 
Clarkson, 'I'lionias S. 93 

Clarkson, The family 91 

Clarke, Mr. 339 

Clark, liegeman & Co. 339 

Clark & Sexton, 339 

Clason, Isaac Sti') 

Clay, Henry M, 116 

Clendeaiiig, Adams & Co. 109 

Cline, F. S. 106 

Cline, llerr 106 

Clinton, DeWitt 47, 71, 227,235, 

237, 238, 23^9, 210 
Clinton, Sir Henry, 311 

Clinton, Gov. George 228 

Cobb, George T. 139 

Cobb, Sanford .Ir. 267 

Cobb, March k Gros3 267 

Cochran, Lord 207 

Coddington, Samuel 140 

Coddington, T. B. 140 

Cohen, Gershom 12t) 

Cohen, Jacob I. (Charleston) 126 
Coit, Miss (Mrs. I'erit) 112 

Cuit, AVm. 'JIO 

Coldcn, Cadwalladcr 200, 210 

Coleman, VVm. 63, 24.') 

Coles, Isaac U. 42, 43, 41 

Coles, John B. 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 

68, 69, 70, 71, 321 
Coles, AVm. T. 4S 

Coles family, 42, 43, 44 

Collins, George 13 

Columbian A nacrconio Society, 122 
CoUimbi.i Cullego 89 

Collyer, John A. 26 

Condy, Samuel (riiil.) 29() 

Comstock, Samuel 338 

Cone, Dr. Spencer S. 27 

Conkling, Capt. 
Constal)lo, i']ui-ctta 
Constable, James 
Constable, V/m. 
Constable, Wm. Jr. 

36G, 367 



283, 281 


Constable, Wm. & James 250 

Cook, George Frederick 66 

Cook, James M. 16, 17 

Cooper Institute, 95 

Cooper, Peter 115 

Cooper, Thomas 213 

Copley, (painter) 289 

Cornwallis, Lord 344 

Corrie's garden . 321 

('ornell A Cooper, 25 

Cornell, Thomas F. 25 

Corp, Fllis ^ Shaw, 212 

Corning, Frastus (Albany) 135 
Cosby, Gov. 131 

Coster ,Si Berryman, 199 

Coster, Brothers & Co. 190, 191, 
Coster k Tarpenter, 198 

Coster, Charles Robert VjS 

Coster, Daniel J. 198, 3(il 

Coster, Geo. W. 198 

Coster, Gerard II. 198, 199 

Custer, Harry 195 

Coster, Henry A. 11, 190, 191, 

192, 193, 194, 195, 196, 
197, 381 

Coster, Henry II. 199 

Coster, Henry A. & John G. 190, 

191, 192, 194 

Coster, John G. 52, 190, 191, 192, 

193, 191, 197, 198, 199 
Coster, John II. 197 
Coster, Washington 195, 196 
Coster, The family 190— 1'.)9 
Craig, S.imuel 268 
Crane, Matthias 370, 371 
(Jrane Wharf, 107 
Cregiere, Jan 84 
Crittenden Resolutions 95 
("ruger, Henry, Jr. 121 
Cryder, Jolin 295, 297, 298, 2'.i0 
Cryder, Wetmore & Co. 299 
Crygier, Cornelius 259 
CuVtiss, Ivhvard 69, David A. 210 
Culling, Francis B. 220, 2:17 
Culling, Rev. Leonard 220 
Cultiug, VVm 237 



Darling, Capt. Thomas 145 
iJatcr, Philip 340, 341, 31'J 

DatLTS & Co. 310, 341 

Daubeiicy, Capt. 252 

Daubeiiey, Mrs. Mary 252 

Davis, Charles 149, 15G 

Davis, Charles A. 138 

Davis, John M. 247 

Davis, Mattiiow L, 235, 27G 

Davis & Brooks, 138, 150 

Davenport & Tracy, 128 

Davidson, Doctor 223, 224 

Davidson, Mrs. Eliza 223, 224 

Day, Horace II. 85 

l*el''orest, Lockwooil 240 

DeOroot, Abrahuia 84 

]>eUroot, Peter 84 

Dehon. Theodore 149, 150 

Delaniater, .Samuel 259 

Delancy, Miss r.i8 

Delancy, Oliver 198 

Delanoy, Stephen 301 

Delevan, ISrolherS 300 

Delevan, Charles II. 8G0, 301 

Delevan, Christian S. 300 

Delevan, Col. Daniel E. 106, 358 

359, 300, 301, 302, 303, 


Delevan, Edward C. 357, 858 

Delevan, llobert J. 358 

Delevan, The family 803. 304 

Delnionico's, 74, 125 

Dcpau, Miss 190 

Depau, Francis 30'J 

Del'eyster, The family 87 
Dellhani, Henry C. 100, 177, 180, 

DeWitt, Simeon 230 

Dongan, .lohn Carleton 283, 37".) 

Dongan, Lady 283 

lioiiglass, George 333 

Douglass, Mrs. Georgo 323, 333 

Dcjwhing's, 74 

Diew, Daniel 870, 378 

Du:ine, .James 251 

Dubois, Cornelius 352 

Duer, John 1^3 

Duer, Judge John 220 

Duer, Lidy Kitty 224 
Duer, Wm. 224, 225, 220, 228 

Duer, Wm, (Prcs.) 220 

Dullie, Johu 805, 300 

Dunham, David 275, 276, 352 

Dunham & Davis, 275 

Dunham, Miss 275, 270 

Dumi4), Wm. (Historian) 318, 
335, 380, 083 
Dunn, Nathan & Co. (Phil.) 290 
Dunstan, Wm. 210 

Duraud, C. 203 

Duryea, Ricliard 278 

Duryee & lleyer, 278 

Dwigiif, Palmer & Co. 380 

Dykers & Alstyne, 138 


Eagle Fire Insurance Co. 265, 883 
Earle, Morris 13, 14 

Easterbrook, Ray B. 339 

Eckford, Henry 161,180 

Eddy, Chailes 843, 344, 346 

Lddy, George 344, 345 

Eddy, John Ilartshorne 345 

Eddy, Sykes & Co. 344 

Eddy, Thomas 342, 343,344, 315, Thomas Jr. 815 

Eddy, Thomas & George, • 345 
Eden, Joseph 309 

Edgar, William 249, 260, 282, 
Edwards, Alfred H. P. 103 

Ellis, John 107, 108 

Ellis, William 108 

Elliott, John M. 245,240,217 
Elliott & Palmer 246 

Eking, John 124 

Elwyn, Miss 320 

Ehvyn, Mr. 320 

I'lmbury, Daniel 157 

Embury, Ellingham 300 

Embury, Miss 31)6 

Emljury, Mrs. Emma 157 

Eud)ury, Philip Augustus 157 

Embury, Peter 157 

Emmett, Thomas Addis 209 

Emory, 876, 377 

Eno, .\mos II. 13 

Eustaithieve, Alexander 145 

Evans, Edward 69 

Evarts, Wm. M. 100 

Everett, Henry 307 

Everett, Ku hard 807 

i'lventt, Tiiomiis o()() 

Kverett, Thomas k Sons 3'>7 

Everett, Valeuliuo 307 




Fairlle, Louisa 

l'";iirlie, Major 

Fairlio, Mia. 

riirish, John T. 

Field, David D. 

Fish, Mr. 

I'ish & Grinnell 

Fi.sli, I'lCHorved 

Flc'iiiing, Augustus 

FlerTiiiifr, Joliu 13. 

Fleujiuf;, Alisa 

Foute, Israel 

Fort, Joliu A. 

Fobs, Rev. Archibald C 

Foster, .John 

Foster, Gen. 

Fr.uicis, L)r. John W. 

Fiiinkliu, Abraham 

Frankliu Bciijaiuin 

Franklin, Robinson & Co. 

Franklin, Samuel 
Franklin, 'i'lie firms 
Franklin, Walter 
Freeboriie, William & Co. 
French iienevolont Soc. 
French, Ulysses 1). 

Fulton Fire Ins. Co. 
Furman, Gabriel 210, 


212, 285 





261, 262 


«8, 211 





230, 236 




218, 251 

2-47, 251 

352, 355 

122, 123 

227, 234 

Gaine, Hugh 187,250,251, 

(iallaway, Daniel A. 13'J, 

Gailaway & Md'arlane 

(iardner, Henry I', I |'J, 161, 

<Jiiidii. r, .laiiics |{. 

GariirU, llciiry 

G.iston, Thomas T. 

(iates, Kdward 

(iales, Horatio 

Gay, Frrd, rick A, 

Gay iSc Gallaway, 

Gil-tnn, David 

<iill.-r.|, A. N. .\i Co 

Giibeit, .Jdhn S. 

Giles, Mrs 

(iillord. Samuel 

Gill, Thmiias 



DM ] 
205 I 
1(»() I 
KM) I 

Glcntworth, James B. 155 

Glover, Capt. Kussel 25 

Glover, John I. 35, 107, 108, 2G4 

Goelet, l\Iis3 
Goelet, Peter, 
Goelet, Peter P. 
Goelet, Robert R. 
Goodhue, Charles C. 


46, 47, 289 

46, 209 

46, 141, 269 


Goodhue, Jonathan 87, 111, 112, 
ll'J, 171, 240,263,332, 
Goodhue, Mrs. 87 

Goodhue, Robert C. . 263 

Goodhue ci Co. 87, 111, 112, 113, 
263, 2'j3 
Goodhue & Swett, 111, mZ 

Goodhue & Ward, lU 

Governeur, Isaao 200, 253, 254 
Governeur Joseph 200 

Governeur, Nicholas 252, 254, 257 
Governeur, Samuel 209, 248 

Governeur & Kemble, 200, 201, 
218, 253, 254, 256 
Governeur, Samuel L. 128, 248, 
Graeie, Archibald 11,56, 57, 63, 
65, 67, 6'.), 8U, yO, 106, 
11".). 310, 311,;.13, 314, 
315, 316, 322 
Graeie, Archibald 2d 313 

Graeie, Arc) li bald 3d 807, 322, 
Graeie, Archibald 4th ■3-'2 

Grade, Archibald & Co. 322, 3.3 
Graeie, Archibald ii Sous 11,293, 
Graeie, To. 822, 3li3 

Graeie, The Misses 313 

Gr.aeie's Point 11 

Graeie, Prime & Co. 50 

iracic, Uobcrt 45, 807, 313, 322 
haeie, William 11, 12, bli, 5/, 
313, 359 







2(1 '.I 
. L'16 
Gladden 6ot3cii.u3 (N. Oikunb) 127 


85, 26K, 

Iracie, Mr . Wm. 

iraham, John 
Graves ,^ Bonner, 

hay, Geoi-ge Winthrop 

!ray, Horace 

Jray, William 

lieene, .lolin ( \ 

iieeuK if, Thomas 

Ire^ory, Ca],!. F. 11. 

Jriniiell, Miiiturn &, Co 

Iriiiiicll, Mu^(•^ II. 
Giiawold, Cliarleii (.'. 



161, li;5 



161, 165 




0, 111, IOC, 




GrL^wold, Ooorgc, 158— 1G7, 

Griawold, John 
OrUwcM, Jolui N. A 
Gi-uiwiilil, I. L. & N. L. 
(ji-isAvoUl, N. L. 158, 
162, 103, 
Ori3\vold, N. L. Jr. 
GriBWold, N. L. & G. 

100, IGl, 164, 

Oriswold , nic fimuly, 

Groslieu, Jilm P. 

Groussctt, I.Hv;cne 

Groussolt, do Gnuner 

Gu.nther, CUriifun G. 

Guiither, C. G. & Son 

Gaillct, Ml-. 







, 2tV2 

, 165 



, 165 



, 2U3 








125, 126 

344, 315 

Iladden, David 336, . 

Hidden & Co. ' 

II.iiT, John P. ' 

II:iggerty, John 
ILi-fi^n-rty, Draper & Jones, 
llde" ]>avid 

Hall, Charles Henry 50, 5J, ] 
105, 106, 
Hamilton, Alexander, 10, 6 1, 1 
224, 226, 2;j4, 
Hammcrslcy, Lewis C. 209, 
Hammond, Ahijah 
Hance, Ucvo C. 
Hanlie, Dr. James 
Have, I>r. (Phil) 
Hare, Muss 
Hai-monica Society, 
Harmony, Peter 
11 uper Brotliers, 
JI iriH-'r, James Mead 
Hiirper, Mrs. Harriet 
Hariier, I'hilip A. 
nurjier, James 37, 38, 377, ■ 
Hart, lknj;uiin I. 
Hart, liernardllO, PJO, 121, 
123, 121, 125, 12t., 1 
128, 12'J, 112,211 
Hart, Daniel 
Hart, David 

Hart, Hon. I'manucl B. 1-9, 
ILirt, Jost ph C. 
Hart, Peter G. 

I Hart, Mrs. Rebecca 
H.irt, Theoilore, 
Hartthorne, Hannah 
lliirt.-horne, John 
Ilarttfhornc, AVm. 
Hartshorne & Lindley, 
Havens, Charles C. 
Haven & Co. 
Hayemeyer, Wm. H. 
Hartford Fire Ins. Co. 
Hav/ks, Francis L. 
Haws, J. Holjart 
IlawL-ihurst, Wm. 
Hawlcshurst & Franklin 
Hazard, N. 
Hazard, .Miss Mary 
Ileckshcr, Charles A. 
Heeksher, Edward 
Ikxikshcr, Cotter & Matficld, 
llecny, Cornelius 

liegeman, William 334, 338, 330 

liegeman, Chirl< & Co. 330 

liegeman A Co. f;^J 

Henderson, Miss -'^^ 

Hen Iricks, Benjamin !-■;> 

Hendricks, Harmon 121, 125, 141 

Hendricks, Uriah 1^1 

Ilennesay, John D. Jl 

Herriman, Nash i Co. 207 

Heyer, Cornelius 271. 277, 2/8 

IIeyer.Is.uac 124. 266 267 271. 


Heyer, John S. |77 

Heyer, William f ; ' 

Heyer, Walter & Isaac ^77 

















Heyer & Black, 
Heyer, VS alter 
Hic;<s, Gilbert 
Hicks, Gilbert Jr. 
Hicks, G & K. T, 
Hicks, Gilbert E. 
Hicks, Henry 
Hicks, Isiuic 
Hicks, Jolui 
Hicks, Ji'nl<iji3 & Co. 
Hicks, Ib-U'it r. Jr. 
Hicks, Itobert T. ii Co. 
I Hicks, Samuel 
•Hicks, Sl.'phen 
Hicks, Samviel & Sons 
Hicks, Thomas 
' Hicks, Oliver II 
Hicks, V:ilcnti)ie 


271, 277 

30 1 

305, 306 




302, 303, 381 


302, 303 

305, 30 7 


302, 303 


302, 303 

269, 31)3, 301 

273, 302, 307 


Hicks', W kite head 303. 301, 305 



Hicka, Whitehead (mayor) 303 
Hicks, William, 100 

Hicks i ii:iiley * 307 

Hicks & Titus 801 

Hicks i: Co. 303 

Hicks, The Family 802, 303 

Hillhouse, James A. 67 

Hills, Mis. 297 

Hill, William 251 

Hitchcock, Daniel 250 

Uoay;laiul, Adrian 300 

Hoadlcy, George (N. Haven) 380, 
383, 381 
Hohart, Rev. J. H. (bishop) 280 
Hnlliiiiin, Josiah Ogden 209, 227 
HoiFinau & Bailey, 377 

JIulluian, .Martin 52, 53, 54, 56 
Huiliiian, L. .M. 52, 53, 54, 55, 56 
Hotliiian, The i'aiuily 52, 53, 54, 
55, 56, 86 
Hoiiman & Si ton 52,53,54 

Ih.ll'iiian it Glass, 

HollnKUi, Son .t I'ell 

Hollinan's ( L. M.) Son k Co 

Holland, lvlwai>d 

Hdilan.l Lodge, 

llolUy, Will C. 

Jhilsinaii, I'aiiicl 

ilolsiiiaii, iJanicl, 

Holmes, Abigail 

Holmes, Eldad 



191, V.r>. 
370, 371 
ues, Eliza (Mrs. Benj. Mead) 
Holmes, Hugh 375 

Holmes, Israel C. 375 

Holmes, Lydia (Mrs. StaatsMead) 
Holmes, Sarah (Mrs. Ralph i\Iead) 
370,372, 377 
Holmes, William 370, 371 

Hone, .Tolin 113, 287 

Hone, .John >t Sous 113 

Hone, I'hilip 10, 00, 287 

Hone & Coster 198 

Hopkins, Joseph 107, 108 

Hopkins, V ijor Joseph 108 

Hopkins, Samuel M. 342 

Hosack, David 235 

Hospital, N. Y. 48 

Howxck, Wm. - 124, 205 

Hosack, Dr. Alexander 195, 352 
llonack, Dr. 94 

I lowland, Gardner G. 101, 119, 
319, 353 

Howland, G. G. k S. 50, 174, 175, 
170, 177, 178, 180, 182, 
337, 338, 384 
Howland, Miss Abby 384 

Howland, Wm. Edgar 338 

Howland & AspiuwuU, 293, 338 
Howell, Mrs. Wm. 138, 139 

Hoyt, Goold 209, 210 

lioyt & Tom, 210, 293 

Hoxie, Joseph 114, 115, 116, 118 
Hudson, J. A D. 367 

Hudson, Joseph 867 

Hudson River Riilroad Co. 16 

Hughes, James M. • 124 

Iluggius, Jno. B. 63, 64, 05 

Humphreys, Wm. 
Humphreys & Whitney 
Hunt, John S. 
Hunt, Wilson, G. 
Huntington, Benjamin 
Hurry, Mr. 
Hustace, Benjamin 
Hutton, Dr. 
Hy.le, IMwin 
Hyde, Elizabeth B. 
Hyde, Mrs. Elizabeth 
Hyde, Joseph B. 
Hyde & Everitt, 
Hyslop, Robert 










377, 378 







Icard, James R. 113 

Imaum of Muscat, 103, 104 

Inncss, John 194 

Ireland, George 134, 234, 235 

Irving, Ebenezer 75, 77 

Irving, John T. 76,77,80 

Irving, Deter 76, 77 

Irving, 1'. ii J. & Co. 77, 79 

Irving, Thomas 330 

Irving, Thomas & Co. 336 

Irving, Washmgton 76, 77, 78, 79 
Irving, Wm. 75, 76, 79 

Irving, The family 76, 77, 78, 80 
Irving & Smith, 76, 79, 80 

Irving, Smith & Hyslop 79 

Irving, Smith & H'olly 79, 384 
Irving & Nitchie, 8U 

'IV. > aiii 



Jackson, .Vnarew G5/J4, 10l>, 

2<;o, : 

Jackson, Daniel 275, ' 

Jaiiscn, 1'. B. 

Jarvis, the painter 

Jay, John (Chief Justice) 

Jay, I'eter A. 

Jettorson, Thomas 10, 203, : 

Jenkins, Sylvanus "02, 

Jep-son, W. H. 

Johnson, Charles F. (Oswego) 

Johnson, Daniel 

Johnson, R M. 

Johnsc n, W'm. 

Juhnson, PrsiJent Wm. 278, 

Johnson, William Samuel 

Johnstone, David 

Journal of Commerce, 

Juilali, Ik'ujamin S. 

Jii'lah, Uernanl S. 

Ju.lah, S. i'. 


Kearney, Philip 

Keevaii, Aloxamlcr 

Ke]iihle, Peter 

Kennedy, William D. 149, 

Kent, Duke of 

Kent, J imcs 

Ketehum, Hiram 

Kief, Gyv. 

Kierstei, C. N. 

Kiersteil, Ileiiiy J. 

Kierstead, Henry T. 

Kiersleil, Jacdlj 

Kiersteil, Jolm 

Kieisted, Warner & Co. 

Kieistede, The family 81, 8 

Kierstedo & Zoon, 

King, Charles &G, 07, 294, 

King, Daniel 

King, Mli^ha 

King, Ihriry, 

King, .Innu'H 0. 9, CI 

King, John A. Hfi. 279, 291 

King. l;uru.s r)7, 2()'i, 29 1 

King, Mrs. Mary 

Kingbland, A. C 

Kip, Leonard 

Kip, Rev. W. J. 
Kip, Isaac L. . 
Kortright, Miss 
Kncelaud, lleiiry 


Labagh, Abraham 259 

Lntitte .^ Co. 212 

Lafitte, (banker Paris) 212 

Laight, Edward W. 40, 124 

Laight, Henry 197 

Laight, Wm. 40, 03, 197, 2(i4 

Laiglit, Edward & Wm. 40 

Lallemand, Gen. 174 

Lambert, David 313 

Lambert, David R. 309,313 

Lambert & Brown (Trinidad) 204 
Langdon, Gov. (N. H.) 320 

Laurie, John 208 

Laverty, Henry 27, 3(17 

Lawrence, Au-ustine 2r)9 

Lawrence, A 11. & Co. 129 

Lawrence, Isaac 01. 02, G5, 07, 
82, 83, 109, 271, 28-1 
Lawrence, Isaphene 284 

Lawrence, J. it I. 01,62,100 

Lawrence, John B. 109 

Lawrence, John 61, 62, 65, 82, 
Lawrence, Richard R. 109 

Lawrence, Richard T. 109 

Lawrence, Staats, 25G 

Lawrence, Thomas & John 134 
Lawrence, Wm. Beach 67, 08, 
Lawrence, Wm. Beach Jr. 67 

Lawrence, The family 01, G2, 65, 
GG, 07, 08, 82, 83, 109 
Leader (New York Weekly) 378 
Lee. Later .St Miller, 341 

Le Breton, Madam 851, 354 

Lie, Gideon 

Lee, Benjamin F. 
Le Guin. ,M. 
Leggett, William 
Lenox, Robert 

Lent, G.'.irgo W. 

El nl, .lame.s 

bent, .bimes \Velil)er 

l,ent. The liimily 

Lo Roy, Bayard & McEvers 





128, 137,2:'.!, 

2r,H, 315 


301), :01 




Le Roy Herman 70, 314 

Le lluy, Jacob G."{ 

Lc lluy, ii.iy.u-a & Co. 93, 133, 

KiH, 170, 172,173, 171,- 

175, 170, 177, 178, 17'.), 

ISO, 182, 183, 181, 18G, 

Le Seigneur, Alex'r Freivs i: Co. 

33 1 
Levy, Ilayraan, 125 

Levy, Jacob 12G 

Le\y, Mi.^d Ziproah 125 

Lewis, Francis 'JO, 119, 1G5, 201, 
212, 315 
Lewis, Morgan 05, 212 

Lewis, Capt. Thomaa 203, 205, 
206, 207 
Le^vis, Zach. 238 

Lincohi, .Vbraliara 143, 301 

Lisponani, Anthony 121 

Lispcnai-J, Leonard 125 

Lispenard .St Hart 120, 124, 125 
Little, Jonathan 24 

Little, J. & Co. 24 

Livingston, AllVed (Trenton) 135 
Livingston, (Judge) 

230, 283, 287 
Livingston, Edward 145 

Livingbtun, Jolin S. 315 

Liviiigstciu, IVter Van Brugh, 187 
Lixitjgstuu, I'hilip 02, '>22 

Livingston, Robert J. I'.IG 

Livingston, Robert (1750) 131 
Liviugoton, Schuyler (senior) 209 
Livingston, Schuyler 72, 73, 74, 
75, 102, 103, 104 
Lloyd's (London) 73 

Locke, Rich.ird Adams 69 

Lord & Taylor, 20 

Lord, Daniel 28(1 

Lord, David N. 377 

j^orriliard, (leorgo 241, 212 

Lonilhud, .Jacob 2 12 

Lorrillard, IVter 1G3, 212 

Low, Niciiola.s 255 

Lownder, T'loiuas 70 

Ludlow, Daniel 201 

Ludlow, D. >S: Co. 21 1 1 

Luijueer, 1"'. T. 377 

Lyde, Kdward 308, 313, 3::i 

l.ydc, Kdward Jr. 321 

l,>dr, ll.ger:wS6 Co. }il3, 321 

l.ydig, D.uiil ;i8l 

l,yh>h, DoiiiiMick, 251 

Lynch ibi. iSlougiitoii 251 


Macomb, Nathan 300, 

Madison, James (President) 270 
Madison, James 203 

Marine Socitty 24 

Maitland, Robert 128, 137 

Maiil.uid, William 64 

Majastro i Tardy, 144 

Manning, Capt. John 132 

Manning, Miss Mary 132 

Mann, Mrs. 155 

MarschalU, John 1-3 

JIason, John 235 

Mason, Rev. John 35, 30 

Mason & Slidai 257 

Maslerton, James 
M. ax well. Dr. 
Maxwell, Hugh 
M.ixwell, The .Misses 
M. IX well, ^Viduw 
McUride, George, 
McCarthy, Dennis 
McClellaii, Gen. Geo. B. 
McConnell, James 










i McCormick, Daniel 248, 249, 

251 , 252, 257, 204, 2G5, 

281, 282, 343, 380 

McCrea, James 259 

McCrea, John (Phil. ) 296 

McCrca >i Slidell, 259 

McDonald, A. B. 234 

McEhoy, Dr. 36 

McFurlaiie, Henry 133, 134, 135, 

130, 137 

McFarlane, H. Jr. 133,130,138 

McFailane John 133 

McFarlane &Ayres, 134, 136, 138 

McFarlane & Cotheal, 
M( Farlano Francis 
Mctiregor, John L. 
McKinnoii, Niel 
McKesson, .lohn 
McLane, John 
Mcl'hic, .lohn 
McVickar, Archib.ald 
McVickar, Augustus 
McVickar, Hard 


iMo\'icloir, llcnty 
McVickar. Jamea 






283, 280 


250, 283 


iicni. (MiiwauUie) '.'SI 

IMuurd 28 » 

i;ii/,a 281 

/8I, •:■<! 


■n -r-p o.i 



McVickar, Julin & Co. 282, 288 
McVickar, Julm 70, 2.")0, 281, 

2o2. 283, 281, 255, 28G, 
287, 288, 2b'J, 2'JU, 330 
McVicar, Julia & N. 282 

McVicai', Kuv. John (Professor) 

250, 28;5, 287 
McVickar, Mrs. Jobu 281, '285 
McVickur, Dr. Jolm A. 283,281 
McVickar, Nathau 281 , 282, 281 
288, 28'J, 2-.)0 
McVickar, Mrs. Natliaa 28'J 

McVickar, Nalliau Jr. 281 

xMcVickar, William 283 

McVickar, William 11. 2'JO 

McVickar, Mrs. William 2'Jl 

McVickar, Stewart & Co. 283, 
281, 285, 28'J 
Mead, The family 3GU, 3G8, 3(j'.t, 
Moa.l, Hcnjaiaiu 8G(), 3C,T, 3C.8, 
3G'J, 371, 372 
Mcail, Urockholst 3(;8, 378 

Meaa, {•Muiiiii.l 3G8, 3t;'J 

Mead, Miss IJizabcth 377 

Mra.l, .loseph S. 3(;8 

Mea.l, .MeMlle Kinory 377, 378 
Meail, The Misdea 3(18, 3G'J, 377, 
Meail, Obciliah 3i)8 

Mead, Ralph 3116, 3fi0, 370, 871, 
372, 373, 375, 37G, 378 
Mead, Samuel Holmes 377 

Mead, .Solomon uO'.i 

Mead, Staatb M. 808, 3G9, 370 
Mead, Thcodosia 3G8 

Mead & Holmes 375 

Mead, Kali-h & Co. 375 

Mead, Ru-ers & (^o. 3G7, i;. .i II. 6i Co. 377, 378 
Mechanics and Tradesmen's Soc 

Melick, B.iltusP. 122, 123 

IM.lick & lilr•lr^.,■, 1:23 

Merchants llxcliaiigc, 57 

Meiceir, Thomas 11. 239, 210 

Meyer, George Vih 

Meyer, .lohn 2Gii 

Miller, ]>r JMward 33(; 

Aliller, John D. (Alderman) 215 
Mllkr, S.imuel 235 

Miller, Win. G. 258, 25'.) 

Mills, Zophar Jr. 131 

Milnor, Rev. Dr. James 52, 318 
Mitchell, Jdhn liG 

Miranda, Gen. 201, 202, 203, 2!J1, 

205, 20G, 207, 208, 210, 

2 J 5, 252 
Mitchell, Samuel L. 58, 79, 235, 
83C, 383 
Molini, Thomas 205 

Mooney, Wm. 227 

Moore, Miss Ann 2S'i 

Moore, Benjauun 236 

Moor, Jdhu 205 

Moore, John 283 

Moore, John A. 140, 141, 1 12 

Monroe, James (President) 209 
Moreau, Gen. 253 

Morgan, Edwin D. 10, 12, 13, 
M, 15, 16, 17, 18 
Morgan, Eilwin D. Jr. 18 

Morj^an .^ ICarlc 13, 11 

Morgan, John 1. 10 

Morrill, Andrew 258 

Morri.'s, Govei-neur 5^85, 230 

Morris, Lewis lb7 

Morris, Lewis, Jr. 317 

.Morrison & Crydcr & Co. 297 

Morrison, Dillon & Co. (Loudon) 

2', (7 
Morrison, James (London) 297 
Morrison, Sons & Co. (London) 

Morrison, The family 298 

Morton, Jacob 124, 234, 321 

Morton, Jo.seph 154, Uavid 126 

Moses, Isaac 125 

Moses, Isaac & Son 121 

Motley, John 123 

Mott, Dr. 58 

Mowatt, Mr. & Mrs. 213 

Muirison, Dr. Oeorgo y 380 

Mullig.aii, Miss Fredcrica \f 279 
Mulligan, John W. 279 

Mumford, Gurdon S. 128, 1 14 
Mumford, John P. 107 

Mumlbrd, Peter J. 107 

I ;\Iiinn, Patrick, 24, 32 

Mniui, S 15. Jr. 25 

Munn, Stephen B. 20, 21, 22, 23, 
21, 25, 21), 27. 28, 2'.t, 
30, 31, 32, 108 
Aluini, Wm. A. 25 

Munro, .J.uiK's 69 

Munro, Peter Jay 11 

' M 



llunson, James 151 

Murray, .lolm 211, 342 

Murray, Julia Jr. 70, 71 

Murray, .Juliii li. 107 

Murray, Jolm ii Son, 123, 1 12 

Murray, Limlloy 70 

Murray, Robert, 90, 123 
Murray & MumlbrJ, 69, 106, 107 

Musit'uin, Amoricaa 221, 225 

Museum, Baker's 225 

Museum, Baker's 225 

Museum, Banmm'a 225, 358 

Museum, bouilder's 225, 358 

Mutual Insunuice Co. 282, 315 


Natlian, Joseph 121 

Nathan, Simon 121 

Nathan, Seisiis 126, 128 

Neil on, Dr. John 121 

Neilson, William 45, 321, 322 

Nevina, II. 11. 128 

Newspapers, New York G3, Gl, 
75, 118, 187, 251 
NewboM, George 05 

New York lIos|)ital 18 

Nilih.'s Cnllee House lOG 107 

Niblo, William 105, lOG, 1G7, 

218, 358 
Nicholson, James B. 154 

Nicoll, Benjamin 270 

Nicoll, Edward H. 2C8, 269, 270 
Nicoll, Henry 270 

Nicoll, ."Mrs. Henry 270 

Nicoll, Solomon Tuwnsend 270 
Nitchie, John 8') 

Noah, M \I. 171,240, 215 

Noah .Si Gill, 211". 

Norivuod, Andrew S. 210 

Oakcy, Daniel 198 

Oakey & Watkina I'.tS 

O-den, Abraham 177, 180, 182 
Ogden rmilon 214 

O-dcii, C.ira ;V. 213 

Ofrdeii, lir. 94, '.i5 

O^'K'ti, Isaac G & To. 128 

Ogden, Jaiiie.s DeTeyster 92, '.'.', 
94, 95, 9G, 98, 99, 2U0 

Ogden, Jonathan 
Ogden, Nicholas 
Ogden vs. Abtor, 
Oi'dtield, Bernard & 
Ogden, Samuel G. 
203, 2U1, 
209, 211, 
215, 245, 
Ogden, Samuel G. J 
Olmstead, Francis 
Onderdonk, John 
Orange, Prince of 
Osgood, Samuel 
Overing, Henry 
O'SuUivan, John 


211, 321 

2U1, 256 
206, 208, 

201, 214 

Palmer, James 210 

Palmer, .lohn W. 246 

Palmer, Nicholas 246 

Parker, .\masa J. 103 

Parker, Wiiliani 123 

Parson, James & Sons 109 

Panton, Henry 209 

Paulding & Irving, 75, 76 

Paulding, James Iv. 181 

Paulding, Nathaniel 7G, 77 

Peabody, Georgo (London) 299 
Pearsall, Mrs. Francis 185, 270 
Pearsall. Thomas 35, 4G, 63, G9, 
70, 185, 252 
Pearsall, Thomas C. 270, 324 

Pearsall, Thomas Jr. 185 

Peck, Allen 275 

Peel, Sir Hobert 35 

Peel, Yates i Co. 35 

Peixotto, Dr D. M. L. 126 

Pell, Antliony 123 

Pell, Mr. 122 

P<dl, AV.ildron 54 

Pell, William 54 

I VI 1, The family 54- 

Pell, Wm. F. & Co. 54 

Pell (Si Ferris, 122 

Pells & Co. 55 

Pendleton, Judge and Miss 820 
Peril, Pehitiah 87, 111, 1 12, 1 13 
166, 263 
Pirit & l.athrop, 111 

P rry, Henry 205, 208 

Perry, (»li\er II. 2r,0 

Perry, M. V.. 260 




Phelps, Anson G. 195 

Phelps, John J. 13 

Phflps, ThuAlcus 128, 290, 291 
Phillips, Ik'iijiunia 126 

Phillips, Napthiili, 12>j 

Phillips, Capt. Frederick 248, 219 
Phyn, Ellice & English 2»7 

Pierce, Cupt. Jack 25 

Pierce, John 215, 21G 

Pieisou, Isaac 308 

Pierson, J. G. 135 

Piutard, Anthony 219 

Piiitard, Eliza Noel 223 

Piutard, John (Alderman) 217, 
219, 220 
Pintard, Capt. John 217, 219, 220 
Piiitard, John 217, 218, 219, 220 
221 222 223 221 225, 
22(ii 227,' 2 .8,' li2'J,' 23o', 
231, 23'J, 'J33,'J3i,2;i5, 
2.;G, L'37, 238, 1'3',I,-J1(), 
241, 242,243, 251, 25G 
Pintard, Lewis 220, 221, 223, 

229, 231) 
Pintard, Louisa H. 224 

Pintard, The family 217, 219, 2li0 
Phut, Colonel 331 

Plait, Jonas 177, 180, 18li 

Pollock, Carlisle, 250 

Post, Anthony . 227 

Post, Henry, Jr. 129 

Post, John A. 67 

Post, Jonathan 227 

Price, ytephen 259 

Pride, Geonre L. 155, 15G 

Prime, Nathaniel 196, 198 

Prime, Uui'us, 196 

Prime, Ward & King, 1G7, 196, 
323 31'.), 
Prime, Ward & Sands, 128 

Putnam, G. P. 77 

Putnam, Gen. Israel 368 


Quick, Thomoa 
Quick, Teunia 


Rankin, Henry 
ILipeiJL, George B. 


Rathbone, John ,Tr. 209, 210, 240 
Rathbonc, John Si. Co. 210 

Ray. Cornelius 62, 315 

Read, Mr. (Charleston, S. C.) 338 
I'^eeves, Sclah 367 

Reilly, Barnard 170 

Reilly, Patrick 170 

Kemsen, Daniel 321 

Remsen, Henry 194 

Renisen, Peter ^68 

Kemsen, Peter & Co. 265, 321 
Renwick, iMiss 257 

Renwick, Professor 36, 257, 337 
Renwick, Wm. 35, 257 

Ricardo, L. i: S. 174 

Ricliards, Sihis 240 

Ridgely, Charles G, 58 

Riley, J. & Co. 78 

Ritchie, Father (Richmond) 213 
Koach, Thomas 219 

Rol.liins, (;row-e S. 106, 167 

Kohl. ins, (ieorge 8. & Son 167 

Robbins, John 247 

Rubbins, Painter & Co. 167 

Roberts, Di'. 52 

Roberts, Edmund 102, 103 

Roberts, Mar^^aret 40 

Roberts, Wm. 50, 51, 52, 57, 58 
Robinson, Reverley 183, 315 

Robin on. Col. 315 

Robinson, Henry 367 

Robinson, .Morris 60, 260, 367 
Robinson, W. I. PJO 

Rolanson, W. H. 128 

Robinson, AVm. T. 248 

Rodgers, Commodore 305 

Rodgers, Rev. Dr. ;John 318 

Roe, John 128 

Rogers, Archibrld 817, 320 

Kogers, A. Gracio 31t) 

Rogers, B. Woolsey 817, 319, 321 
Rogers, B. W. & Co. 319 

Rogers, David 123, 308 

Rogers, David & Son 123, 308 
Rogers Edward 315 

Rogers, Elwyn 320 

Rogers, E.sther (Mrs. A. Grncic) 

[iU), 313 
Rogers, Fitch 3U'J, 321 

Rogers, George L 315 

Kogers, (!e(,rge P. 3:^3, 32 t 

Rogers, Harrison & Gray 213 

Rogers, Henry 308, 320, 3/1 

Rogers, lleniy 315 



Rogers. Henry F. 321, 322, 323, 

Kogers, John 323, 

lliij^eid, Lewis 

Ilogers, Mo^es G9, 308, 309, 

317, 318, 319, 320, 

382, 383 
Rogers, IMoaes & Co. 809, 




Rogers, Nchciniah 309, 



314, 315. 310, 



Rogers, N. Son & Co. 



Rogers, Samuel 



Rcigers, Son & Co. 


Rogers, 'l';iylor ,v Williams 


Rogi'rs, 'J'lie I'aniily 


Rogers, 'rill! Misses 


Rogers & Co. 



Rogers & Lydo 



Rogers & Aspinwall 



Rogers (i Lambert 309 



Rogers, Wm. R.iyarJ, 


Rogers & (jlracic 


Riigi^rs & Winllirop 


Rogers & AVoolHi-y. 809 



Rogers & Siiiylh 


Rogers, Cape .Muses 

3 JO 

Roorbacli, ]5,u'ciit 


Roosevelt, I.Niac 



Roosevelt, James 


Ross, Gen. 


Rotlischil.l, N. xM. 


Roulet, Jolin S. 


Rubhtou, Wm. L. 



Rushton & Aspinwall, 



Rush ton & Co. 


Rushton, Clark & Co, 


Russell i Co. (Canton) 



Rutgers, Anthony 


Rutgers, Henry 


Rutgers, N. 0. 


Rutlierlinii, John 



Sackett, Amos Mead 370 

Saekett, belcher & Co. 370 

Salt us, Fraiieis 1>('j8 

Salrus, Solomon VJH 

SinilCorl, {Wi\. ;i(;2 

Saiuls, (NriiiCnrt 255 

Sanils, Oulielnu 210 
Sands, Henry 121, 205 

Sands, Joshua 

Saul'ord Ldw.ird 
Saulonl, Nathan 
Saniittbrd, Mary 
Sargent, Henry W. 
Scheuok, I'eter A. 


205. liOO 
68, 88, 91, 92, 
Schenck, Peter II. 68, 88, 91, 9.-, 

Schenck, JPetcr A. & Co. 
Schoolcraft, Henry 
Schultz, Au.litor 
Schultz, Jackson S, & Co 
Schuyler, Myndert 
Seolielil, Dr. Samuel 
Scott, James, Senior 
Scott, J.'imes Jr. 
Scott, Mrs. James 
Scott, James &i Co. 
Scott, John 
Scott, W'ni. 
Scott & Calloway 

Scott & Wil-l.M, 

Scovillo & liritton, 
Sco\illc, J(,,seph A. 
Scr.ilry, Samuel 
Scmlder, Dr. (museum) 
Seabury, Rev. Dr. 
Seaman, Henry 
Secor, Charles A 

Secor, Charles F, 
Secor, James 
Secor, Zeno 
Secor, The family 
Sectjr, Francis ^c 
Secor & Livingston, 
Sedgwick, Henry D. 


Sedgwick, Robert 
Seeney, Rev. Dr. 
Seixas, Aaron 
Seixas, Abraham 
Seixas, Abigail 
S ixas, B iijamin 
Sci.xas, Daniel 
Seixas, (Ir.ace 
Seixas, Rev. Gcrshon Mendez 121, 
Seixas, Ile.ster I'Jti 

Seixas, iiiiyiuan L. 12(), l-aac lliO 

Seix Ls, I eih 1 "Jt» 

Seixas, M.idiaon 127 

91, '.12 
883, 3;14 
139, 140 
139, 110 
103, 104 
150. 151, 152, 
153, 154, 303 
1 51 
180, 181, 
182, 183, 184 
121, 125, 126 



Scixas, Miriam 
Sfisiis, Mo«c's 
Seixus, R.ichel 
Seikas, Rel)ecca, 
Scixas, Sarah 
Si'ixas, Solunion 
Scixaa, T. k U. 


ServosH, Mia. Louisa IT. 2;18 

Servoss, Tliouias L. 221 

St-'ton, Win. 53, 54 

Seton, The flimily 53, 51 

Si'tou, :\Iaitlaiul & Co. 51 

Suyiiioiir, Gov. Horatio 801 

Fliaw, John 250 

Shophanl, Lorenzo B. 150 

Shcrml, Jacob 241, 258, 25'.) 

Shortlaiid, Stephen 153 

Shortlan.l, Thomas 151, 152, 151 
Shortlaiid, Tlioinas Jr. 153 

Siinoiid, Lewis & Co. 88, 91, 100 
Silva, Jose Rois 100 

Slainm, Levi U. 302 

Slidell, Alexander (Commodore) 

200, 307 
Slidell, Jolin (founder) 257 

Slidell, Jolm (tailor) 257 

Sliddl, Jului (Uel.el) 213, 285, 

257, 258,250,200,270, 

2«0, 307 
Slidell, John, Senior 213, 235, 

257, 258, 259, 200, 3i;7 
Slidell, Joshua 257 

Slidell, Thuinas 258, 200, 270, 280 
Slidell, Will. (Lieut.) 270 

Slidell, 'i'lie faiiiilv 267, 258,200 
Slidell, John Jr. & Co. 25.S 

Slidell, John & Co. 258 

Slossoii, (lawyer) 33:! 

Smith, Dr. Kliiiu 330 

Smith, Hon. Jolin 208, 270 

Smith, John P. 02 

Smilli, Mela.'ictiion 08, 227 

Smith, Thomas H. 28, 50, 51 

Smith, Young 'J'oin 51 

Smilh, Tlios .lei)'- j-.4on 303 

Smith, Wm. S. 203,21)5 

Smith, Col. Win. Sleuhen 2(ll, 

2112, 203, 20n, 252 
Smith, The family 50,51 

Smith <<: Demon, 175 

Hmitli, I'ayiie .S: Smith (Lond.) 50 
Smith .Si L.iwton 120 

Suiilh k Ni.ioU 200 

Smith, Wm. i'itt 227 

Smith, Tliomas H. & Son 50, 51, 
52, 50, 101, 128, 2'.i3 
Smyth, Andrew 123 

Smyth & Moore 123 

Society, St. Cecilia 122 

Society, St. Andrew's 35 

Society, St. George's 48, 122, 218 
Southard, Jacob 1 10 

Sowers, Tliomas 333, 336 

Spencer, Hon. John C. 200 

Society, St. Patrick's 

Steenb^lc, Anthony 
Sterling,', Karl of 
Steuben, Baron 
Stevens, LOenezer 
Stevens, John A. 
Stevens, E. iS:, Sons 
Stewart, A. T. 

240, 250, 

251, 282 

258, 250 



211, 227 

211, 237 


114, 107 

Stewart, Capt. Chas. Seaforth 145 

Stewart, Commodore 

Stockholm, Andrew 

Stokes, Mr. 

Stoneall, Alien 

Storm, John G 

Storms, Gen. Henry 

Stou^hton, Lkm Tomas 

Stout, Capt. Jacob 

Strebeiftli, Robert M. 

Striker, John 

Strong, Deiij. 

Strong, Edward 

Strong, James 

Strong, Joseph 

Stuyvcsant, Gov. Peter 

Stuyvcsant, The family 

Sulfern, Edw.ard 

Siiirerii, CKMirgc 

Sull'ern, Thom.aa 

Sullivan, lohn 

Sult.aiioe, The 

Suydain, Charles 

Snydam, Ferdinand 272, 273, 275 

Siiydam, Fetdinand Jr. 274 






302, 303 


815, 310 





3 JO 


82, 87. 

18(i, 333 

82. 87. 



83, 84, 30 

83, 31, 35, 30 


103, lot 


Siiydam, Hairiet 
Siiydam, Ibiidriidc 

Suydam, Jolin 
SuyJani, John R 

II. my 
lliiiiy Jr. 
lleiuy L. 

200, 271 
2C5, 266, 271 




Suydam, Phebe 
Su^'dam, I'utcr 11. 
Su^'tlaiii, Rioliai'd 273, 
Suyilaui, Rynier 
Suydaiu, Samuel 
Suydam, The Misses 
Suydam & Boyd 
Suydam, 11. ^; Co. 
Suydam & Ilcyer, 266, 
Suydam & Jackscn 
Suydam, Jacksoa & Peck 
Suydaui & Kevan 
Suydam, 11. & J. 
Suydam, Sage & Co. 
Suydam & Wil.son, 267, 
Suydam & Wyckoli", 

Swartwout, Jolm 
Swii't, Joseph G. 




9.7 i, 



Talbot, Olyphant & Co. 
Tahnadge, .lud^^O 
Tamuiany Society 361, 

Tardy, John A. 142, 143, 
146, 117, 148, 
Tardy, John A. Jr. 142, 143, 
Tardy. Jolm G. 112, 143, 

Tardy, Miss 
Taylor, Jacob B. (Alderman) 



Taylor, Jeremiah IL 
Taylor, Knowles 
Taylor Moses 
Temple, Sir John 
Ten Brueck, Dirck 
Thebaud, Edward 853, 354 
Thebaud, Edward's Sons 355 
Thebaud, .lohu J. 3.')3 

Thebaud, Joseph 351, 352 

Thompson, Francis 
Thompso-,, W. U. (Phil.) 
Thorburn, Grant 
Tihbits, Gwv^o 
Tieman, D. F. 
Times, London 
'J'iiniiSdii, Thomas 
Titu.'j, Miehacl M. 
Toland, Ibiiry 
ToiuliinDii, Kiiac Si, Co. 
ToiiiiikiJis, Daniel 1). 

31 U 


2' 10 


Tontine Association 55, 56, 57, 

64, 387 

Tooker, Ellen 307 

Tookir, Samuel 365, 366, 307, 

308. 369, 370, 371,372, 


Tooker, S & Co. 366, 367, 372 

Torboss, Isaac 70 

Towusend, Isaac & John (Albany) 

Towusend, Jacob 26'J 

Townsend, iMary 269 

Towusend, Dr. Peter S. 171 

Townsend, Capt. Solomon 269, 27Q 
227, 259 

Tracy, Frederick 
Tr.aey, Friderick A. 
Traders Fire Ins. Co. 
Troup 6i Goelet 
Trumbull, John 
Tucker, Alderman 
Tucker, Dr. George H. 
Tucker, Richard 
Turnbull, Col. George 
Tylee, James 
Tyler, John (President) 
Tyler, Robert 


Underbill, Anthony Lispenard 

272, 273, 274, 807 

Underliill, Andrew 
Underbill & Bulekley 
Underbill, David 
Umlerhill, David & Son 
Underbill, Eliza 
Underbill .S:, 
Urania Musical Society 


272, 273 

273, 274 

Vachc, Dr. Alexander F. 58, 50, 
Vachc. John 58 

Valensine, David T. 229 

Vanderbilt, Cornelius 92 

Vauderlyn, John. (Painter) 359 
Vaiiiicst, Abraham 211, 2(7 

V.'inncst, R. & Co. 217- 
Vanmst, Wid.,w Deborah 2J7 

VutiMfsl, ^Villialu 217 

Vuret, Francis 113 



Varet. F. & Co. 118, 114 

Vaiet, Lewis F. 113, lU 

Varet, (hciir & Co. 
Vassner & Co. (Havre) 
Vaiick, Kiohard 11, Go, 251, 









92, 93, 'Jl 

92, 'Ja 



Van Buren, Cortland 

Van Buren, John 

Van lUnen, Martin 

Van Buren, Tlie Misses 

Van I'ani, Kip 

V^iii Dam, But 

Van Home, Garrit 

Van Home & Clarkson 

Van Benwselaer, W. P. 

Van Sittart, Nicliolaa (Lend.) 201 

Van T\vnier, AVuuter 82, 83 

Van Wagenen, Garrit II. 282 

Van AVageneu, Hubert 70, 282, 

Van Wagcnen, Hubert Jr. 

Van Wageuen & Son 

Van Wyck, Miss Ann E. 

Van AVyck, Gen. Abraham 

Van Z.imlt, Wynant, Sen. 

Verletti, Jmlith 

Veriihmck, Daniel Crommeline 278 

Verplauck, Gulian 128, 251, 255, 
25G, 257, 273 
Verplanck, Gulian C. 57, 23:., 251, 
256, 278, 321, 35'.) 
Verplanck, Johnson 251 

Verplanck, Mary Ann 321 

Verplanck, Miss 157 

Verplanck, W. S. 157 

Victoria, (Queen) 30'.) 

Viele, John B. 113 

Vincent, IMward 149, 155, 15G 
Vincent »Si, Butterworth 155 

Voisin , Joseph A. 3,).) 

Voi.-^in, Joseph .\. Jr. 355 

Voibin &, Tardy, 146, IB) 


Wa.ldoll, Bobert R. 251 

^Vaddillntcm, Josiiua 315 

"Wado, William 250 

AVallaco, William W. 251 

Walton, Abraham 318 

Waltnn, Gerard 3 t« 

Walton, Jacob 318 

Walton, James DeLancy 34B 

Walton, Robert 847 

Walton, The family 316 

Walton, Wm. (1) 31? 

Walton, Wni. (2) [Boss] 347,318 
Walton, Wm. (3) 347, 348 

Walton, Rev. Dr. William 318 

Ward, Henry 129 

Ward, John & Co. 1G7 

Ward, Sylvester L. L 340 

Warner & Kierstede 85 

Warren, John G. 128 

Warner & i'latt 86 

Washington, Gen. 10, 65, 94, 95, 

'JG, 124, 148, 201, 221, 

243, 248, 344 
AVatkin.s, Henry 198 

Watkinson, D. & Co. (Hartford) 

AVatson, James 107 

Watts, John 70, 171, 223, 342 
U ebster, Daniel 1G6 

Weed, Thurlow IG 

Weedovcr, Jonathan 258 

Weeks Ezra 210 

Well , Thomas L. G7 

Wendell, John G. 32 

West India Co. 82 

AVestern Inland Navigation Co. 34G 
Westcott, Senator I'Jl 

Weston >!i Gray 2G3 

AVeston, Richard AVarren 2C3 

AVestray, Fletcher 2'J6 

AVestr.iy, GibLes & Ilardcastle 29G 




2':i3, 2'.(5 


Westray, John J. 
AVestray, AVidow 
AVetmore, Miss Esther 
Wetmore, S.iniuel 
Wetmore, AVilliam S. 

205, 2'M, 297, 208, 2'J9 
AVetmore .Si Cryder, 207, 208 

AVetmore Cryder & Co. 207, 208 
Wetmore & Co. 203, 29G, 207 

AVetmore, Hoppin & Co. 205 

AVheeler, Hezekiah 25 

AV heeler, Samuel G. 92 

AVhitbay, (■Mi)t. Henry 21G 

AVhite, I'umi.bell 1'. 210 

Whitehead, Daniel 303 

AVhitehend, AVilliam 25'.) 

AV hit lock, Edward A. 2GU 

Whitlock, K. M. \ E. A. 2G9 

06, 07, 2f.G, 
2G8, 274 

Whitney, Stejdien 



"Whitney, Henry f)7 

WiUa-s, Charka 19G, 235, 357 

^VilkL■s, Couiiuodore CliLiiles, 257 
Wilkes. Kdward 314 

Wilkes, Hamilton I'Jtj 

Wilkes, Henry 3U 

Wilkes, J oil II 201, 25G, 257 

\Vilkes, :\lr. (Loiidou) 257 

AVilkes The llimily 257 

AVilliains, Samuel 174, 170 

W illiauis, Tiuiotliy Dwight 31'J 
A\'ilmerdiiigs & .Muuut 
Wilson, Alexander 
Wilson, John T. 
Wilson & Cobb, 
\\ilson, U. M. 
Wilson, James B. 
Wilson, John 
Wilson, J. & A. 
AVilson & ('liamberlaLn 
Wilson, Richard 
Wilson, William 





139, 140 


267, 208 




34, 85, 86,37, 


Winthrop, Francis B. 817, 3l'0, 

321, 333, 380, 3«3, 381 

Winthrop, Hi^nry H. 321 

Winthrop, Jolm Stillo 317, 321 

AViu;hrop, Jolm S. Jr. 821, 3J3, 


Winthrop, Major S80 

AVintluop, Miss ?>?>'i 

Wintiirop, Rof^ers & Williams 37 7 

AVisner, Gabriel -''^ 

Woloott, Oliver 10, 11. 12, CJ, ''5, 

22G, 3'^, 3H1 

Wolcott, Oliver Jr. 10,11 

Woloott, Oliver & Co., ^^ 

AVood, Benjamin ^° 

Wood & Fairchild, l'> 

AVood, l-'eruumio 101, 1 I'.t. 150. 

151, 152, 153, 151 

Wood, Georgo lOG 

Wood worth. Samuel 246 

Woodhull, Gen. Nathaniel 270 

A\ool.sey, Abraham W. 3b3 

Woolsey, Benjamin 317, 379, 380 
Woolsey, B. M. 3bO 

Woolsey, Charles AVm. 384, obb 
\\oolsey, Edward Jolm 338, 385 
AVoolsey, George 37'J, 3bO 

A\'oolse3', George Muiri.son 3oG, 
338, 383, 384, 3b5 
Woolsey, John Mumtord 381 

Woolsey, Laura (Mrs. W. S. 

Johnson) S81 

Woolsey, Miss (Mrs. Dunlap) 318, 
AYooIscy, Poor & Convers, 584 
Woolsey & Rogers ZV), 381, 382 
AVoolscv, Sarah (Mrs ]\1 J^ngcis) 
'611, 380 
Woolsey, The M' 38.' 

Wortman, T. (city cUrk) j^ 

Woobey, Ti;codore i^wight -^^J 

A'.'ooisey, riic fi.n-'Vy 37'J, 3/«. ;;^f 

'v\ oolse/, Tlie C.-'dinal "' •• 

Woolsty, The-iii^ses ^»1 

Woo/.^ej, W/niam Cecil 381, .;«-t 

WoolH'y. UiUiam W. 11, 03, 2uJ, 

21(1, 2i;G, 317, 31-, -19, 

320, 330, 'i^O, 381,383. 

S8i, 386 

W^oolsey, ^. W. & Co. S83 

W ool^ry & Woolsey 385 

Wright, Isaac & .-uu 2Gl 

WycA>)tl, lli'nry H, -''6 

Wyckoll, Henry J. 124, 2G5, 206, 

^ 208 

Wynkoop, Augustus 210 

Young, Jolm 



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