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Full text of "The iconography of Manhattan Island, 1498-1909 : compiled from original sources and illustrated by photo-intaglio reproductions of important maps, plans, views, and documents in public and private collections"

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V i'^ --^' 




















• 1498 * 1909 • 






B.O B E RT • hT D O D D 

M D C C C C XV 1 1 1 

Copyright, 191 8 
By I. N. Phelps Stokes 












OUR city's 


■'Calm soul of all things! make it mine 

To feel, amid the city's jar, 
That there abides a peace of thine, 

Man did not make, and cannot mar." 



THE present volume completes our survey of the history and de- 
velopment of Manhattan Island. There remains only to record, 
in chronological order, such extracts and summaries from the 
primary and secondary sources consulted as may prove of value in con- 
nection with further or more detailed researches. This material will be 
found arranged, and to a certain extent annotated, in the fourth volume, 
which, in addition to the Chronology, and the Index, will contain also 
the Bibliography, which could not be completed in time for inclusion in 
the third volume. In the Addenda to the present volume will be found 
reproduced, and very briefly described, such important maps, plans, and 
views, as have come to light during the progress of the work, too late to 
be included in their chronological sequence. Although, doubtless, many 
gaps still exist which time, chance, and further research, will fill, it is 
gratifying to the author to feel that, through the generous co-operation of 
collectors and custodians of public documents, wherever appealed to, it 
has proved possible to include among the reproductions every important 
map, plan, and view, of Manhattan interest known to him to exist. 

Since the appearance of the first volume ot the Iconography, the 
splendid collection of views of American cities formed by Mr. Percy R. 
Pyne, 2d, has been dispersed.* In the number and importance of its 
early New York views, this collection rivalled that of Mr. Edward W. C. 
Arnold, who, through acquisitions made at the sale, now possesses the 
finest and most complete collection of New York City prints in existence, 
and one unlikely ever to be surpassed. Although Mr. Pyne's collection 
and Mr. Arnold's have been formed since the work on the Iconography 
began, and were therefore not available when the original selection of 

* The Pyne Collection was sold at public auction at the American Art Galleries, on February 5th, 
6th, and 7th, 1917. 


plates was made, they have proved of the greatest value during the later 
progress of the work, serving as a source of ready information whenever 
a knotty question required reference to the original print, as well as in 
determining, comparing, and describing, "states," and checking titles and 
dimensions. They have also supplied much otherwise unavailable col- 
lateral information for the historical notes. 

It is a very real pleasure to add to the list of those who have gener- 
ously contributed to the work the name of Mr. Harris D. Colt, whose 
ever ready advice and encouragement have been most helpful, and also 
that of Mr. Henry Goldsmith, whose enthusiasm as a collector and whose 
affection for his prints have proved a frequent incentive to renewed effort 
on the part of the author. 

I should be lacking in a proper sense of appreciation if I failed to 
record also my thanks to the F. A. Ringler Co., and to Mr. Charles 
Furth, who have spared no pains to reach and to maintain a high ideal in 
the execution of the photogravure plates, as well as to L. van Leer & Cie., 
of Amsterdam, whose gelatine reproductions of the maps in the second 
volume deserve high praise. 

Finally, I must add a word of explanation and regret for the long 
delay attending the issue of this volume, a delay due, in part at least, to 
a period of exile from New York — at a time when no man has the right 
to give much thought, or his best effort, to a hobby, even if it happen to 
be a serious one. 

L N. Phelps Stokes 
July, 1918. 



Introduction ix 

Chapter V. The War of 1812 (1812-1815); Period 

OF Invention, Prosperity, and Progress (1815-1841). 475 

Historical Summary 577 

Plates 80-122 533 

Plate Descriptions* 535 

Chapter VI. Period of Industrial and Educational 

Development (1842-1860) 631 

Historical Summary 633 

Plates 123-150 681 

Plate Descriptions 683 

Chapter VII. The Civil War (1861-1865); Period of 

Political and Social Development (1865-1876) . . 727 

Historical Summary 729 

Plates 151-155 1^1 

Plate Descriptions 769 

Chapter VIII. The Modern City and Island (1876-1909) 781 

Historical Summary 7^3 

Plates 155A-173 833 

Plate Descriptions 835 

*The descriptions are divided into two parts: (a) technical information of special interest to the collector, 
such as medium employed, date depicted, date issued, dimensions, author or artist, engraver, provenance, 

other copies, states, etc.; (i) information of general history, antiquarian, or topographical, interest relating 
to the buildings or sites depicted. 



Addenda Plates 

A. Plates 1-3 1 857 

Plate Descriptions 859 

Supplementary List of Prints, Drawings, etc 887 

Landmark Map 

Plates 174-180 917 

Plate Descriptions 919 

Reference Key 923 

Block Key 1013 



Frontispiece I Federal Hall The Seat of Congress [The Lacour- 
Doolittle Federal Hall] 1789 

Owner: I.N.P.S. 

Frontispiece H [The Collect or Fresh Water Pond] 
Owner: Edward W. C. Arnold, Esq. 


following chapter V 

Plate 80-a A View of the City of New-York from Brooklyn Heights 
(etc.) [The St. Memin Panorama] 1796 

Owner: I.N.P.S. 

Plate 80-b Map of the City of New York and Island of Manhattan 
as laid out by the Commissioners appointed by the 
Legislature April 3" 1807 [The Bridges Map or Randel 
Survey] 1811 

Owner : N. Y. Public Library (Eno Collection) 

Plate 8i-a [The Strickland View of Broadway and St. Paul's Chapel] 

Owner : N. Y. Historical Society 

Plate 8i-b [The Strickland View of Broadway, showing Grace and 
Trinity Churches] 1809-13 

Owner: N. Y. Historical Society 

Plate 82 Map of the Country thirty Miles round the City of 
New York [The Eddy Map] 181 1 

Owner: I.N.P.S. 


Plate 82A A Military Topographical Map of Haerlem Heights 
AND Plain 1814 

Owner: City of New York, deposited in N. Y. Historical Society 

Plate 82B-aMiLL Rock and Hell Gate from Fort Stevens 1814 
Owner: City of New York, deposited in N. Y. Historical Society 

Plate 82B-bGATE at M^Gowan's Pass 181 

Owner: City of New York, deposited in N. Y. Historical Society 

Plate 28B-cView at Fort Clinton M'^Gowan's Pass 1814 

Owner: City of New York, deposited in N. Y. Historical Society 

Plate 83-a Launch of the Steam Frigate Fulton the First, at 
New York, 29'^" Oct^ 1814 1814 

Owner: I.N.P.S. 

Plate 83-b (Stone Bridge, Tavern and Garden, Canal and Broad- 
w^AY, 1812) 1812 ? 

Owner : N. Y. Historical Society 

Plate 84 Newyorks Hamn och Redd Fran Brooklyn pa Longis- 
LAND [The Klinckowstrom View] 1820 

Owner: I.N.P.S. 

Plate 85 Broadway-gatan och Radhuset i Newyork 1819 

Owner: I.N.P.S. 

Plate 86 [Randel's MS. Map of Farms] 1819-20 

Owner: City of New York, filed in the Bureau of Topography, 
Office of the Commissioner of Public Works (Manhattan) 

Plate 87-a Hell Gate 18 19 

Owner: I.N.P.S. 

Plate 87-b Spiten Devil's Creek 1819? 

Owner: Harris D. Colt, Esq. 

Plate 88 View of the New York Hospital [Broadway Elevation] 
Owner: I.N.P.S. 1811-41 

Plate 89 (New York from Governors Island) [The Wall Street 
View from the Harbour] 1820 

Owner: I.N.P.S. 

Plate 90 A View of Cooke's Tomb (etc.) 1821 

Owner: I.N.P.S. 


Plate 91 (Interior of the Park Theatre, New York City, November, 

1822) 1822 

Owner : N. Y. Historical Society 
Plate 92 New York from Weehawk [The Wall View from Wee- 

hawken] 1820-3 

Owner: I.N.P.S. 
Plate 93 New York from Heights near Brooklyn [The Wall View 

from Brooklyn] 1820-3 

Owner: I.N.P.S. 
Plate 94-a Landing of Gen. La Fayette (etc.) 1824 

Owner: Henry Goldsmith, Esq. 
Plate 94-b Landing of Gen. Lafayette (etc.) 1824 

Owner: Henry Goldsmith, Esq. 
Plate 95-a Grand Canal Celebration (View of the Fleet Preparing to 

form in Line) 1825 

Owner: I.N.P.S. 
Plate 95-b New York City Hall Park (etc.) 1825 

Owner : N. Y. Historical Society 
Plate 96 New York Fire Engine N° 34 c. 1830 

Owner: R. T. H. Halsey, Esq. 
Plate 97 City Hall [The Wall View of City Hall] 1826 

Owner : N. Y. Public Library (Eno Collection) 
Plate 98 Broad Way from the Bowling Green [The Bennett View 

of Bowling Green] c. 1826 

Owner : Down Town Association 
Plate 99 A Map of the City of New York [The Goodrich Plan] 


Owner : N. Y. Historical Society 

Plate 100 Park, N. Y. 1827 1827 

Owner : William Loring Andrews, Esq. 
Plate igoA [The Battery and Harbour] 1828? 

Owner: Edward W. C. Arnold, Esq. 
Plate loi-a (Grace, & Trinity Churches, Broadway) 1830 

Owner : N. Y. Historical Society 
Plate loi-b (Council Chamber, City Hall, New York) 1830 

Owner : N. Y. Historical Society 
Plate 102-a Shot Tower 183 i 

Owner: I.N.P.S. 


Plate 102-b New York Theatre 1826-8 

Owner: I.N.P.S. 

Plate 103-a Leroy Place c. 1830 

Owner: I.N.P.S. 

Plate 103-b La Grange Terrace — La Fayette Place (etc.) c. 183 i 
Owner: I.N.P.S. 

Plate 104-a South St. from Maiden Lane [The Bennett View of 
South Street] 1828 

Owner : Down Town Association 

Plate 104-b Fulton St. & Market [The Bennett View of Fuhon Street] 

c. 1834 
Owner: Down Town Association 

Plate 105 [Wall Street] c. 1830 

Owner : N. Y. Historical Society 

Plate io6-a View of St. John's Chapel, from the Park 1829 

Owner: I.N.P.S. 

Plate io6-b Castle Garden, N. York 1825-8 

Owner: N. Y. Historical Society 

Plate 107 Kips Bay bei Newyork 1830 

Owner: I.N.P.S. 

Plate 108 View of St. Pauls Church and the Broadway Stages, 
N. Y. 1831 

Owner: Edward W. C. Arnold, Esq. 

Plate 109-a The Residence of W" B. Crosby Esq^ Rutgers Place 
New York (North Front) 1830-5 

Owner: I.N.P.S. 

Plate 109-b The Residence of W" B. Crosby Esq^ Rutgers Place 
New York (South Front) 1830-5 

Owner: I.N.P.S. 

Plate iio New-yorck [The Garneray View] 1834 

Owner : N. Y. Public Library (Eno Collection) 

Plate hi Wall Street and the Heights of Brooklyn (etc.) [The 
Maverick View of Wall Street] 1834 

Owner: Mr. George D. Smith 


Plate 112 Manhattanville, New York 1834 

Owner : Mr. Robert Fridenberg 

Plate 113 Broadway, New-York (etc.) [The Hornor View of Broad- 
way] 1834? 
Owner: I.N.P.S. 

Plate 114-a View of the Great Fire in New- York, Dec^ i6'^." & 

17" 1835 As SEEN from the TOP OF THE BaNK OF AmERICA, 

cor. OF Wall & W" St. 1835 

Owner: I.N.P.S. , 

Plate 114-b View of the Ruins After the Great Fire in New-York 
Dec^ 16™ & ly'^." 1835 As seen from Exchange Place 

[This view and that reproduced as Plate 114-a are known as 
the Calyo Fire Prints] 
Owner: I.N.P.S. 

Plate 115 The Great Fire of the City of New- York, 16 December 
183s 1835 

Owner: I.N.P.S. 

Plate 116 New-York. Taken from the Bay near Bedlows Island 
[The Chapman-Bennett View] 1834-5 

Owner : From the Lander-Daly-Borden Collections 

Plate 117 New York, from Brooklyn Heights [The Hill-Bennett- 
Clover View] 1837 
Owner: Robert Goelet, Esq. 

Plate 118 Merchants' Exchange, New York 1837? 

Owner : From the Holden Collection 

Plate 119 St. Marks Church New York 1836 

Owner : From the Pyne Collection 

Plate 120 New York from Brooklyn [The Hornor View] 1833-9 
Owner: J. Clarence Davies, Esq. 

Plate 121 Arrival of the Great Western Steam Ship, Off New 
York on Monday, 23^? April 1838 1838 

Owner: I.N.P.S. 


Plate 122 Trinity (Old) Church, New York 1839 

Owner : William Loring Andrews, Esq. 


Plate 123-a Panoramic View of New York (Taken from the North 
River) [The Havell North River View] c. 1839 

Owner: I.N.P.S. 

Plate 123-b Panoramic View of New York, from the East River 
[The Havell East River View] c. 1843 

Owner: I.N.P.S. 

Plate 124 Topographical Map of the City and County of New- 
York, AND THE adjacent Country (etc.) [The Colton Map] 

Owner: I.N.P.S. 

Plate 125 City Hotel, Broadway, New York 1839-41 

Owner: Nicholas F. Palmer, Esq. 

Plate 126-a Croton Water Celebration 1842 1842 

Owner: N. Y. Historical Society 

Plate 126-b The Times 1837 

Owner: J. P. Whiton-Stuart, Esq. 

Plate 127 38TH Regiment Jefferson Guards New York State 
Artillery 1843 ? 

Owner: I.N.P.S. 

Plate 128 First Division New York State Artillery 1844 ? 

Owner : From the Lander-Daly-Borden Collections 

Plate 129-a Suburban Gothic Villa [The Waddell Villa] 1844 

Owner: I.N.P.S. 
Plate 129-b Church of the Holy Communion, New York 1846-7 

Owner: I.N.P.S. 
Plate 130-a Front View of the New York Post Office 1844 

Owner: I.N.P.S. 
Plate 130-b North Interior View of the New York Post Office 1844 

Owner: I.N.P.S. 
Plate 131 New-York. Taken from the North west angle of Fort 

Columbus, Governor's Island [The Catherwood-Papprill 

View] 1846 

Owner: I.N.P.S. 


Plate 132 (New York From the steeple of St. Paul's Church 
LOOKING East, South and West) [The Papprill View from 
St. Paul's Chapel] 1848 

Owner: N. Y. Historical Society 

Plate 133-a View of Broadway in the City of New York with the 
PROPOSED Elevated Rail-way invented by John Randel, 
JuN? C. E. 1846 

Owner: J. P. Whiton-Stuart, Esq. 

Plate 133-b Proposed Arcade Railway. Under Broadway. View 

near Wall Street 1869 
Owner: N. Y. Public Library (Eno Collection) 

Plate 134 (New York from the Heights above St, George's, Staten 

Island) 1849 
Owner: I.N.P.S. 

Plate 135 New-York [Union Square looking South] 1849 

Owner: I.N.P.S. 
Plate 136 View of Union Park, New York, from the Head of 

Broadway 1849 

Owner: I.N.P.S. 
Plate 137-a Bay of New York Taken from the Battery [The Bornet 

View from the Battery] 1851 

Owner: Edward W. C. Arnold, Esq. 

Plate 137-b View on the Harlem River, N. Y. (etc.) 1852 

Owner : Down Town Association 

Plate 138 Map of the City of New-York Extending Northward 

TO Fiftieth St. [The Dripps Map] 1851 

Owner: N. Y. Historical Society 
Plate 138 A Map of that Part of the City and County of New- York 

North of 50'^" St. [The Dripps Map] 185 1 

Owner : N. Y. Historical Society 

Plate 139 National Guard 7^" RegT N. Y. S. M. 
Owner: I.N.P.S. 

Plate 140 [Broadway at Grand Street] 1852 

Owner: N. Y. Historical Society 

Plate 141-a The New York Crystal Palace, and Latting Observa- 
tory 1853 
Owner: Henry Goldsmith, Esq. 


Plate 141-b Hippodrome 1853 

Owner: I.N.P.S. 

Plate 142-a [View of the Battery] 1853 

Owner: N. Y. Historical Society 

Plate 142-b [View of Columbia College] 1853-4 

Owner: N. Y. Historical Society 

Plate 143 -a The Life of a Fireman. The Race: — "Jump her boys, 
Jump her !" 1854 

Owner: I.N.P.S. 

Plate 143 -b The Life of a Fireman. The night alarm — "Start her 
lively boys" 1854 

Owner: I.N.P.S. 

Plate 144 (New York) 1852 

Owner: N. Y. Historical Society 

Plate 145 New York, 1855. From the Latting Observatory 1855 
Owner : Down Town Association 

Plate 146-a (The Old South Church in Garden Street, etc.) c. 1807 
Owner : Reformed Dutch Church 

Plate 146-b (North Reformed Dutch Church, etc.) c. 1856 

Owner : Reformed Dutch Church 

Plate 147 [View of Wall Street and Trinity Church] 1856-7 

Owner : Edward W. C. Arnold, Esq. 

Plate 148-a Ceremonies of Dedication of the Worth Monument 
(November 25, 1857) 1857 

Owner: I.N.P.S. 

Plate 148-b Row of Dwelling Houses, Fifth Avenue, (Murray Hill,) 
New- York 1858-9 

Owner: I.N.P.S. 

Plate 149-a [Original Design for the Central Park; by Messrs. Olmsted 
and Vaux] 1858 

Owner : City of New York, Department of Parks 

Plate 149-b [Photographs of Central Park] 1862 et seq. 

Owner: N. Y. Public Library 

Plate i49A-aMAP of Lands Included in The Central Park (etc.) 1855 
Owner : City of New York, Department of Parks 


Plate i49A-b Central Park r. 19 lo 

Owner : City of New York, Department of Parks 

Plate 150-a [Broadway and City Hall Park, looking North] 1859 

Owner : N. Y. Historical Society 

Plate iso-b [Nassau Street and the Post Office, from Wall Street] 1866-7 
Owner : N. Y. Historical Society 

following chapter vii 

Plate 151 (Central Park) 1864 

Owner : N. Y. Public Library (Eno Collection) 
Plate iS2-a [Wall Street] 1864 

Owner : N. Y. Historical Society 
Plate 152-b Printing-House Square, New York 1864-5 ? 

Owner: Robert Goelet, Esq. 
Plate iS3-a The Village of Bloomingdale In 1867 1867 

Owner: I.N.P.S. 
Plate 153-b Taking Away St. George's Chapel, Erected by Trinity 

Church, 1749 1868 

Owner: I.N.P.S. 
Plate 153-c The Grange In 1869. Alex. Hamilton's Home 1869 

Owner: I.N.P.S. 
Plate iS3-d Coster "Mansion" Homestead of Anson G. Phelps i860 

Owner: I.N.P.S. 
Plate 154 The City of New York 1879 

Owner: I.N.P.S. 
Plate i5S-a [Panorama of New York from the Post Office] 1874 

Owner: John N. Golding, Esq. 
Plate i5S-b Sanitary & Topographical Map of the City and Island 

OF New York [The Veille Map] 1864 

Owner: I.N.P.S. 
Plate iS5-c [Panorama of New York from Brooklyn] 1875-6 

Owner: I.N.P.S. 

following chapter VIII 

Plate 155 A Colton's New Map of the City & County of New York 
(etc.) 1878 

Owner : N. Y. Public Library 


Plate 155B [Funeral of General Grant] 1885 

Owner: I.N.P.S. 

Plate is6-a [Steamship Row and Produce Exchange] 1898 

Owner: Charles F. W. Mielatz, Esq. 

Plate is6-b [Coenties Slip and Produce Exchange] 1 890-1 

Owner: Charles F. W. Mielatz, Esq. 

Plate 157-a "The Past And The Present" etc. [Comparison of Sky- 
lines of New York from Jersey City in 1873 and 1898] 

1873 and 1898 
Owner: J. Clarence Davies, Esq. 

Plate iS7-b General Map of the City of New York, (etc.) 1900 

Owner: N. Y. Public Library 

Plate 158-a [St. Paul's Chapel and Cemetery from the Corner of Fulton 
and Church Streets] 1904 

Owner: N. Y. Public Library 

Plate 158-b [Trinity Church looking East along Rector Street] 1908 

Owner: N. Y. Public Library 

Plate 159-a [Broadway, looking North from the Washington Building, 

No. I Broadway, showing the North End of Bowling Green] 

Owner: N. Y. Public Library 

Plate 159-b [Broad Street and the Stock Exchange, looking South from 
the Steps of the Sub-Treasury] 1909 

Owner: N. Y. Public Library 

Plate i6o-a ["Sky-scrapers" and the East River Bridges] 1908 

Owner: I.N.P.S. 

Plate i6o-b [Lower Broadway, looking South from the Corner of Fulton 
Street] 1905 

Owner: I.N.P.S. 

Plate i6i-a [Broadway and Grace Church, looking North from loth 
Street] 1909 

Owner: N. Y. Public Library 

Plate i6i-b [Fifth Avenue looking South from 60th Street] 1906 

Owner : Harper & Brothers 

Plate 162 General Map of the City of New York 1907 

Owner: I.N.P.S. 


Plate 163 [City Hall Park and Broadway, looking South from the Dun 
Building, on the North-east Corner of Broadway and Reade 
Street] igo8 

Owner : N. Y. Public Library 

Plate 164-a [The Battery Park, looking North] 1909 

Owner : N. Y. Public Library 

Plate 164-b [Central Park and Fifth Avenue looking North from the 
Roof of the Plaza Hotel] 1909 

Owner : N. Y. Public Library 

Plate 165 [View of the Bowling Green and the new Custom House] 1909 
Owner : N. Y. Public Library 

Plate 166 [Wall Street looking West from a Platform erected over Wil- 
liam Street] 1909 
Owner : N. Y. Public Library 

Plate 167-a [Roger Morris House or Jumel Mansion] 1909 

Owner: N. Y. Public Library 

Plate 167-b [Fraunces Tavern] 1909 

Owner: N. Y. Public Library 

Plate 168 [Madison Square] 1909 

Owner : N. Y. Public Library 

Plate 169-a [View of the City, looking South from the Top of the Met- 
ropolitan Tower] 1909 
Owner: N. Y. Public Library 

Plate 169-b [View of the City, looking North along Madison and Fourth 
Avenues, from the Top of the Metropolitan Tower] 1909 

Owner: N. Y. Public Library 

Plate 170 [Columbia University] 1909 

Owner : N. Y. Public Library 

Plate 171-a [Panorama of Manhattan Island taken from Woodcliff, 
N. J.] 1909-11 

Owner : N. Y. Public Library 

Plate 171-b [Panorama of Manhattan Island taken from the Palisades] 

Owner: N. Y. Public Library 

Plate 171-c [North End of Manhattan Island] 1915 

Owner: N. Y. Public Library 


Plate 171-d [Riverside Drive looking North from 96th Street toward 
Grant's Tomb] 191 7 

Owner : N. Y. Public Library 

Plate 171-e [Riverside Drive looking North from 72d Street] 1912 

Owner: N. Y. Public Library 

Plate 171-f [Harlem River and High Bridge, showing Washington Bridge 
in the Distance] 1917 

Owner: N. Y. Public Library 

Plate 171-g [Hell Gate Bridge from New York City] 1916 

Owner : N. Y. Public Library 

Plate 171-h [New York from Governors Island] 1906 

Owner : N. Y. Public Library 

Plate 172 [Panorama of Manhattan Island and the Hudson River 
during the Hudson-Fulton Celebration Parade, on Saturday, 
September 25, 1909] 1909 

Owner: I.N.P.S. 

Plate 173 [The "Half Moon" at the Water Gate] 1909 

Owner: I.N.P.S. 



A. Plate i-a Novi Belgii nov^que Anglic nec non partis Vir- 
ginia TABULA (etc.) Map, prob. shortly before 165 1 
[Early issue of the N. J. Visscher Map] View, 1651-6 
Owner: I.N.P.S. 

A. Plate i-b Novi Belgii novaqve Anglic nec non Partis Vir- 
ginia TABULA (etc.) Map, prob. 165 1 or shortly 

[Early issue of the Hugo AUardt Map] View, 165 1-6 

Owner: J. Clarence Davies, Esq. 

A. Plate 2-a A Map of the English Possessions in North America 
AND New Fowndland (etc.) 1699 

Owner : Library of Congress, Div. of Maps and Charts 

A. Plate 2-b A Map of the Countrey of The Five Nations (etc.) 
Owner: N. Y. Public Library 1724 


A. Plate 3-a Map Of the Ground and Improvements belonging 
TO THE State of New York on the South of the 
Government House (etc.) 1808 

Owners : Francis W. Ford's Sons, Surveyors 

A. Plate 3-b [Manuscript Survey of Trinity Church Property] 1751 
Owners : Francis W. Ford's Sons, Surveyors 

A. Plate 4-a Sketch of the State House at New York 1767-70 
Owner : Ridgway Branch, Library Company of Philadelphia 

A. Plate 4-b [Caricature showing the Park, Gaol, Liberty Pole, etc.] 

Owner: Ridgway Branch, Library Company of Philadelphia 

A. Plate 5-a Plan of the Ground between Coenties Slip and 
White-Hall Slip 1772 

Owner: I.N.P.S. 

A. Plate 5-b A Map of the Lands belonging to the Estate of 
THE Late Sir Peter Warren lying at Greenwich in 
THE Outward of the City of New York 1773 

Owner: I.N.P.S. 

A. Plate 6-a Bunker's Hill on N. York island 1776.? 

Owner : Library of Congress, Div. of Maps and Charts 

A. Plate 6-b A View from Paulushook, of Horsimus on the Jer- 
sey SHORE & part of YoRK IsLAND 1 778 
Owner : Library of Congress, Div. of Maps and Charts 

A. Plate 7-a Careening Place, New York, above Col. Rutgers 
East River c. 1776 

Owner: I.N.P.S. 

A. Plate 7-b Hellgate 1776 \ 

Owner: Edward W. C. Arnold, Esq. 

A. Plate 8 Ruins of Trinity Church c. 1780 

Owner: Edward W. C. Arnold, Esq. 

A. Plate 9-a A Plan of the Commons belonging to New York 

Owners : Francis W. Ford's Sons, Surveyors 

A. Plate 9-b A Map of the Common Lands (etc.) 1796 

Owner : City of New York, Real Estate Bureau of Comp- 
troller's Office 


[North Elevation of the Government House] c. 1790 

Owner: N. Y. Historical Society 

[Plan of the Government House] c. 1790 

Owner: N. Y. Historical Society 

[Plan of the Government House] c. 1790 

Owner: N. Y. Historical Society 

Front Elevation of the North dutch Church c. 1769 
Owner: N. Y. Historical Society 

[Elevation of Murray Street Church] 181 1 

Owner : N. Y. Historical Society 

[Plan and Three Elevations of St. John's Chapel] c. 1803 
Owner : N. Y. Historical Society 

S'^ Pauls Church, New York c. 1809 

Owner: Edward W. C. Arnold, Esq. 

Branch Bank of U. S. 1825 

Owner: I.N.P.S. 

A View of the First Cities of the United States 

c. 1815 
Owner: I.N.P.S. 

(Collect Ground Arsenal & Stone Bridge Garden, 
etc.) 1812 

Owner: Edward W. C. Arnold, Esq. 

[The Tea Water Pump, Water Wagon, etc.] 1807 

Owner: Edward W. C. Arnold, Esq. 

The City of New York as laid out by the Commis- 
sioners WITH the surrounding Country [The Randel 
Plan] I 8 14 

Owner: N. Y. Historical Society 

A. Plate 16 [Wall Street, Trinity Church, and the First Presbyterian 

Meeting] c. 1820 

Owner : Miss Sarah Cooper Hewitt 

A. Plate 17 [Murray Street] 1822 

Owner: Frank H. Kinnicutt, Esq. 

A. Plate i8-a [Junction of the Bowery and Broadway in 1828] 1828 
Owner: J. Clarence Davies, Esq. 

xxvi THE 

A. Plate lo-a 

A. Plate lo-b 

A. Plate io-c 

A. Plate ii-a 

A. Plate ii-b 

A. Plate ii-c 

A. Plate 12-a 

A. Plate 12-b 

A. Plate 13 

A. Plate 14-a 

A. Plate 14-b 
A. Plate 15 


A. Plate i8-b View of the Jet at Harlem River 

Owner: I.N.P.S. 
A. Plate 19-a [Broadway and Trinity Church] 

Owner: I.N.P.S. 
A. Plate 19-b [City Hall and Park Row] 

Owner: I.N.P.S. 
A. Plate 20-a View of the Spot where Gen. 


Owner: I.N.P.S. 
A. Plate 20-b Baptising Scene (etc.) 

Owner : Mr. Robert Fridenberg 
A. Plate 21-a (Governor's Room City Hall) 

Owners : James C. Smillie and Ralph Smillie, Esqrs. 
A. Plate 21-b [Modern Interior of Governor's Room] 

Owner: N. Y. Public Library 
A. Plate 22-a Park Hotel 

Owner : From the Pyne Collection 
A. Plate 22-b Fifth Avenue Hotel, New York 

Owner: Edward W. C. Arnold, Esq. 
A. Plate 23 The British Steamer Sirius (etc.) 

Owner: I.N.P.S. 
A. Plate 24-a (Villa on the Hudson, near Weehawken) 

the North End of Manhattan Island] 

Owner: J. Clarence Davies, Esq. 
A. Plate 24-b Castle Garden, New York 

Owner: Edward W. C. Arnold, Esq. 
A. Plate 25-a Howard Hotel, Broadway, New York 

Owner: Henry Goldsmith, Esq. 
A. Plate 25-a Franklin House, New York 

Owner: Edward W. C. Arnold, Esq. 
A. Plate 26-a Birds-Eye View of Trinity Church, New York 

Owner : Mr. Robert Fridenberg 
A. Plate 26-b Washington Memorial 

Owner : Edward W. C. Arnold, Esq. 
A. Plate 26-c The Grand "Washington Monument" Procession 

(etc.) 1847 

Owner : Edward W. C. Arnold, Esq. 


Hamilton fell at 
c. 1806 





c. 1836 

c. 1850 
c. 1845 
c. 184s 



A. Plate 27-a View of Broadway, New-York from Exchange 
Alley to Morris Street West Side 1855 

Owner: Edward W. C. Arnold, Esq. 

A. Plate 27-b Broadway, N. Y. 1856, West Side from Fulton to 
Courtland Street 1856 

Owner: Edward W. C. Arnold, Esq. 

A. Plate 27A (Brick Church. Beekman St, & Park Row 1856) 

Owner: Wm. Loring Andrews, Esq. 

276-3 [Union Square and Vicinity] 
Owner: I.N.P.S. 

c. i860 

A. Plate 

Owner: I.N.P.S. 

A. Plate 27B-b [First Trip on the Elevated Railroad] 1867 

Owner: Frank Hedley, Esq. 

A. Plate 27 C [The Old New York Hospital in 1867] 1867 

Owner: I.N.P.S. 

A. Plate 28-a [New York from Brooklyn] 1909 

Owner: N. Y. Public Library 

A. Plate 28-b-c [Panorama taken from the Roof of the New Equitable 
Building; looking South, West, and North] 19 17 

Owner: N. Y. Public Library 

[The Curb Market, Broad Street] 1910 

Owner: I.N.P.S. 

[Excavation for the Municipal Building] 1910 

Owner: I.N.P.S. 

A. Plate 
A. Plate 
A. Plate 

A. Plate 
A. Plate 



Fifth Avenue Elevation The New York Public 
Library (etc.) 1897 

Owner: Thomas Hastings, Esq. 

[New York Public Library] 191 7 

Owner : N. Y. Public Library 

[View of New York from the East River, with the 
Battleship "New York"] 1917 

Owner : N. Y. Public Library 



THE WAR OF 1812 




THE WAR OF 1812 



j4 N event of the utmost importance for the topographical develop- 
/ % ment of the city occurred at the beginning of this period. On 
-A. JL. March 22, 181 1, was published the report of Gouverneur 
Morris, Simeon De Witt, and John Rutherford, the commissioners who 
had been appointed by legislative enactment of April 3, 1807, to lay out 
streets, roads, and public squares in that part of the City of New York 
which lay to the northward of "a line commencing at the wharf of 
George Clinton on Hudson River [foot of the present Gansevoort Street], 
thence running through Fitzroy-road, Greenwich-lane, and Art-street 
[Astor Place] to the Bowery-road; thence down the Bowery-road, to 
North-street [Houston Street] ; thence through North-street in its present 
direction, to the East River." The report was accompanied by a map, 
drawn in triplicate by John Randel, Jr., from surveys made by him for 
the commissioners. One copy was filed in the office of the Secretary of 
State, the second in the office of the Clerk of the City and County of 
New York, and the third (the one reproduced in Volume I, as Plate 79) 
was to belong to the Mayor, Aldermen, and Commonalty of the City 


of New York. In November, 1811, William Bridges published an 
engraved plan based on the Randel Survey or Commissioners' Map (see 
Plate 80— b), and with it a small volume containing the legislative acts of 
April 3, 1807, and March 24, 1809, and the remarks of the commis- 
sioners upon their work, together with references explaining the map, 
and a list of subscribers. The report of the commissioners was accepted, 
and the plan proposed by them became a very large factor in determin- 
ing the later development of the city. Indeed, we may well say that 
the work of this commission marks the division between old and modern 
New York. 

In defence of their work, the commissioners explain in their report 
that they chose a rectangular plan because they bore in mind the fact 
that "a city is to be composed principally of the habitations of men, and 
that strait sided and right angled houses are the most cheap to build, and 
the most convenient to live in." To forestall any surprise that might be 
felt at the few vacant spaces left "for the benefit of fresh air and the 
consequent preservation of health," they ingeniously argued that 

if the City of New York were destined to stand on the side of a small stream, 
such as the Seine or the Thames, a great number of ample spaces might be 
needful; but those large arms of the sea which embrace Manhattan Island, 
render its situation, in regard to health and pleasure, as well as to convenience 
of commerce, peculiarly felicitous; when therefore, from the same causes, 
the price of land is so uncommonly great, it seemed proper to admit the prin- 
ciples of economy to greater influence, than might, under circumstances of 
a difi'erent kind, have consisted with the dictates of prudence and the sense 
of duty.[i] 

The commissioners evidently feared that they might be criticised for 
providing in their plan for such a large city, for in their report they 

To some it may be a matter of surprise, that the whole Island has not 
been laid out as a City; to others, it may be a subject of merriment, that the 
Commissioners have provided space for a greater population than is collected 
at any spot on this side of China. They have in this respect been governed 
by the shape of the ground. It is not improbable that considerable numbers 
may be collected at Haerlem, before the high hills to the southward of it shall 
be built upon as a City; and it is improbable, that (for centuries to come) 
the grounds north of Haerlem Flat will be covered with houses. To have 
come short of the extent laid out, might therefore have defeated just expecta- 
tion, and to have gone further, might have furnished material to the perni- 
cious spirit of speculation. 

['] Map oj the City oj New York and Island of Manhattan with Explanatory Remarks and References. 
By William Bridges, New York, 1811. 

THE WAR OF 1812 479 

The commissioners' plan divided the space in question into rectan- 
gular blocks, through which avenues one hundred feet wide extended 
from south to north. Such of these avenues as could be extended as 
far north as the village of Harlem were numbered consecutively from 
one to twelve, beginning with the most easterly, which passed west of 
Bellevue Hospital and east of the Harlem Church. East of First Avenue 
were four short avenues, lettered A, B, C, and D. The cross streets 
were laid out as far north as 155th Street. Ground for the public mar- 
ket was reserved between 7th and loth Streets, First Avenue and the 
East River. The Parade extended north from 23d Street to 3 2d and 
34th Streets, and west from Third Avenue and the Eastern Post Road to 
Seventh Avenue. Its greatest length, from east to west, was little more 
than 1,350 yards, and its breadth, from north to south, not quite a thou- 
sand yards. It contained two hundred and thirty-eight and seven-tenths 
acres. Several squares and other open spaces were planned. Blooming- 
dale Square was placed between 53d and 57th Streets, and Eighth and 
Ninth Avenues, and contained eighteen and one-tenth acres. Manhattan 
Square, with an area of nineteen and one-tenth acres, lay between 77th 
and 8 1st Streets, and Eighth and Ninth Avenues; Observatory Place, 
containing twenty-six and three-tenths acres, lay between 89th and 94th 
Streets, and Fourth and Fifth Avenues; Harlem Marsh lay between io6th 
and 109th Streets, and extended from the Sound to Fifth Avenue. Har- 
lem Square lay between 117th and 121st Streets, and extended from 
Sixth to Seventh Avenue. Hamilton Square extended from 66th to 
68th Street, and from Third to Fifth Avenue. 

A description of the country in the neighbourhood of Canal Street, as 
it appeared in the years 1808, 1809, and 1810, before the changes made 
in accordance with the commissioners' plan had been begun, has come 
down to us. It was written from memory years afterwards by John Ran- 
del, Jr., who acted as secretary and surveyor to the commissioners while 
they were making their plan for the city. It was published in Valen- 
tine's Manual of the Common Council for 1864. Randel tells us that in 
the course of his work he was in the habit of going "almost daily from the 
city to our office, then in the country, at the northeast corner of Chris- 
topher and Herring streets, previous to performing field work in the 
suburbs of the city," and it was on these journeys that he gathered the 
information which appears in his description. After setting out from 
the city, Randel was accustomed to cross a ditch cut through Lispenard's 


salt meadow (now a culvert under Canal Street) on a plank laid across it 
about midway between a stone bridge on Broadway and an excavation 
then being made, and said to be for the foundation of the present St. 
John's Chapel in Varick Street. From the plank crossing over the 
ditch a well-beaten path led to the village of Greenwich, passing "over 
open and partly fenced lots and fields, not at that time under cultivation." 
So far as Randel could remember, there was no dwelling-house near 
this path "except Colonel Aaron Burr's former country seat, on elevated 
ground, called Richmond Hill . . . and . . . then occupied as a place 
of refreshment for gentlemen taking a drive from the city." 

On Broadway north of Lispenard's salt meadow, near the bend at the 
present loth Street, stood a handsome brick building bequeathed by Cap- 
tain Robert Richard Randall to the trustees of "Sailors' Snug Harbor." 
Broadway from loth to 21st Street, at that time called the Blooming- 
dale Road, had perhaps six or eight houses. The Bowery, then the 
principal road leading out of the city to Harlem and Manhattanville, 
was partly settled to a point near North Street. At i6th Street the 
Bowery joined Bloomingdale Road, which continued thence northward 
through Manhattanville to and beyond Kingsbridge. For the most 
part only scattered country residences were to be found along the upper 
stretches of this thoroughfare. 

The Eastern Post Road, or East Road, as it was often called, diverged 
from the Bloomingdale Road at 23d Street and Fifth Avenue, and ran in 
an irregular north-easterly direction south of the United States magazine 
and the "Old Pottersfield," between 24th and 26th Streets. Continu- 
ing, it crossed the Middle Road near 29th Street, and entered Third 
Avenue near the south-east corner of Hamilton Square (66th Street); at 
83d Street it diverged to the west, and followed an irregular line to 90th 
Street, where it joined the Middle Road. At 9 2d Street the Eastern 
Post Road again diverged to the west, and continuing between Fifth and 
Sixth Avenues, where it was called the Kingsbridge Road, passed through 
McGown's Pass at 1 07th Street and the village of Harlem from 1 1 6th 
to 125th Street, and thus continued until it reached Harlem Bridge. 

The Middle Road turned northward from the Eastern Post Road near 
29th Street and Fourth Avenue, and ascended Inklangbergh (Murray) 
Hill. At 42d Street it connected with Manhattan (Fifth) Avenue, con- 
tinued along that thoroughfare to 90th Street, and thence in a straight 
line to Harlem Bridge at i 30th Street and Third Avenue. These were 

THE WAR OF 1812 481 

the principal thoroughfares in the upper part of the island. As the com- 
missioners' plan went into operation, these old roads were absorbed in 
the new streets and avenues, or were discontinued. 

It is not to be inferred that the work of the commissioners met with 
universal approval from the citizens of New York. Even at the begin- 
ning there was wide-spread opposition to the making of the necessary sur- 
veys. John Randel, Jr., speaks feelingly of his experiences while engaged 
on this work. He was arrested by the Sheriff in numerous suits instituted 
against him, as the agent of the commissioners, for trespass and damage 
committed by his workmen in passing over grounds and cutting off the 
branches of trees, all of which was absolutely necessary to the work. In 
consequence of these suits, the commissioners reported that it was impos- 
sible to complete the duties assigned to them unless they were protected 
from such vexatious interruptions. Thereupon, the Corporation obtained 
an act of the Legislature, passed March 24, 1809, which authorised the 
commissioners and all persons under them to enter upon grounds to be 
surveyed, and "to cut down trees, and do other damage," and allowed a 
specified time thereafter within which to compensate the owners for such 

After the commissioners' plan had been adopted and the work of 
opening streets had been begun, the opposition was even stronger and 
more bitter. A landowner of Greenwich published a pamphlet in 1 8 1 8 
setting forth some of his reasons for objecting to the laying out and open- 
ing of streets, as the work was then being done. One cause of criticism 
arose from the fact that the commissioners had taken into consideration 
merely the courses, widths, and lengths of the avenues and streets, and 
had paid no attention to the levels at which they were to be constructed. 
The map of the city showed where the avenues and streets were to be; 
but the elevations and depressions which must be made before an avenue 
or street could be finally regulated were to be determined by the Corpo- 
ration : 

Were the whole plan prepared, that is, were the profiles, as well as the 
courses and widths of the avenues and streets, all determined, and then merely 
the execution of this plan committed to the corporation, much less incon- 
venience would ensue. But at present the aldermen and common-council 
are expected to contrive as well as to execute the most difficult, expensive, 
and obnoxious part attendant upon the making of public ways.['] 

['] A Plain Statement addressed to the Proprietors of Real Estate in the City and County of New York. 
New York, i8i8. 


Criticism was heaped upon the Corporation because its temporary 
character and the lack of technical training on the part of its members 
made it necessary for it to rely entirely upon the Street Commis- 
sioner in this matter; and, it was argued, this conferred upon him an 
authority too great to be entrusted to any one individual. In 1 8 1 8 the 
landowners of Greenwich Village were so opposed to the measures 
adopted for the regulation of the streets in that vicinity that they remon- 
strated with the Corporation, and even petitioned the Legislature. 

The Corporation was further criticised on the ground that its move- 
ments were attended by uncertainty. Even after it had determined the 
level of a given piece of land, the decision might be altered at a subse- 
quent meeting of the board; or, after a new election, the whole plan 
might be changed. A street might be actually pitched and paved in 
accordance with an ordinance of the board, and yet the owner of a build- 
ing subsequently erected would not be secure, for, as a result of the regu- 
lation of different parts of the city at different times, and without any 
comprehensive plan, it was sometimes found necessary to alter the ele- 
vations and depressions of parts already determined, in order that all 
might be made to agree. Much of the levelling was condemned as 
being unnecessary, and as entailing an unbearable expense upon the 
owner of the property. Finally, the "changes wrought in the face of 
this island by the present mode of levelling and filling, and thus reducing 
it to a flat surface" were "lamented by persons of taste as destructive to 
the greatest beauties of which our city is susceptible." But, to judge 
from appearances, the Corporation was 

resolved to spare nothing that bears the semblance of a rising ground. . . . These 
are men, as has been well observed, who would have cut down the seven hills 
of Rome, on which are erected her triumphant monuments of beauty and mag- 
nificence and have thrown them into the Tyber or the Pomptine marshes. 

In spite of these severe criticisms, the work of laying out the avenues 
and streets continued, practically as the commissioners had planned. 

Of the new buildings erected in New York in the opening years of 
the nineteenth century, undoubtedly the most important was the City 
Hall,[«] which was in process of erection from 1803 to 181 i, and 
which still stands in the Park, a monument to the taste and skill of its 
designers. The Common Council first considered the question of build- 
ing a new City Hall on August 24, 1800. The committee then ap- 

['] See Vol. I, pp. 397, 460-7. 

THE WAR OF 1812 483 

pointed offered a premium of three hundred and fifty dollars, by an adver- 
tisement of February 20, 1802, "for such plan to be presented prior to 
the first of April next, as may afterwards be adopted by the Board." 
The advertisement specified that 

The interior arrangement of the building must comprize four court rooms, 
two large and two small; six rooms for jurors, eight for public offices, one for 
the common council, and appropriate rooms for the city watch, and the house- 
keeper, in the vestibule or wings. Occasional purposes may require other 
apartments, which may also be designated. 

On October 4, 1802, the board voted upon the several plans sub- 
mitted to them, and chose by ballot the one signed by Joseph T. Man- 
gin and John McComb, Jr., to whom they assigned the reward. At 
a later meeting, held on March 7, 1803, the committee appointed 
McComb "their particular agent" to obtain samples of marble, to deter- 
mine the expense of working it, and to find out the cost of brownstone. 
Both the Minutes of the Common Council and McComb's Diary show that 
after that date he, under the direction of the committee, had sole charge 
of building operations. ['] The corner-stone was laid by Mayor Living- 
ston on May 26, 1803, and the building was first occupied by the Com- 
mon Council on August 12, 181 i, although not completed until some 
years later. It was handsomely furnished for the times, even the pur- 
chase of "a set of tapestry" for the Council Chamber being considered. 
In 1 8 1 4, two thousand dollars was spent in furnishing the Governor's 
room, and in i 8 1 8 a gilt eagle was placed over the president's chair in 
the Council Chamber. The portraits of generals, naval commanders, and 
statesmen, to whom the city had shown honour by hanging their pictures 
— painted by such artists as Peale and Trumbull — on the walls of the 
old City Hall, were transferred to the new building, where they still 
constitute the most important collection of pictures owned by the city. 

Blunfs Strangers Guide to the City of New-York, published in 1817, 
pronounced the new building "the handsomest structure in the United 
States; perhaps, of its size, in the world." "This chaste and beautiful 
edifice" stood "near the upper end of the Park, and though somewhat 
encumbered by the near vicinity of the Bridewell and Jail," was "seen 
to considerable advantage from almost every quarter." The building 
was two storeys and a basement in height, with an attic over the central 

[I] See Vol. I, Plate 75, for discussion regarding the relative shares of McComb and Mangin in connection 
with the designs. 


portion and a wing at each end. It was 2 1 6 feet long, with a breadth 
of 105 feet, and the height, including the attic storey, was sixty-five feet. 
The south front and both ends above the basement storey were built of 
native white marble, and the rest of the building was constructed of 
brown freestone. The roof was covered with copper brought from 
abroad, and there was a balustrade of marble entirely around the top. 
Rising from the middle of the roof was a cupola, surmounted by a figure 
of Justice, holding in her right hand — which rested upon her forehead 
— a balance, and in her left a sword pointing to the ground. The prin- 
cipal entrance — on the south front of the building — was beneath a por- 
tico supported by sixteen Ionic columns, and was reached by a flight of 
twelve marble steps. Five arched openings led into a vestibule, the 
vaulted roof of which was supported by square piers of marble. To the 
right and to the left, galleries stretched to each end of the building. The 
chief offices of the city government were placed on this floor. The 
floor above was reached by three staircases, and there were found the 
Common Council room, the Governor's room, the Comptroller's office, 
and the rooms in which the Court of Sessions, the District Court, the 
Mayor's Court, the Supreme Court, and the United States District Court 
were held. 

Nothing was more important for the development of New York than 
improvement in the means of transportation. Although successful experi- 
ments in the application of steam power to navigation had already been 
made, until 18 12 the use of steamboats was confined to the Hudson and 
the Delaware Rivers. 

East of New York city, not one existed, but such was the commercial 
importance of that city that eight found employment in administering to 
the wants and conveniences of its citizens. Three of them — the Paragon, 
the North River [Clermont], and the Car of Neptune — belonged to the Fulton- 
Livingston Company, ran between Albany and New York, and were undoubt- 
edly the finest specimens of their kind afloat. For that day they were swift, 
could make five miles an hour against the tide, and rarely spent more than 
thirty-two hours in going from one city to the other. Each was thus enabled 
to accompHsh one round trip a week, and as at least two nights had to be 
passed on the river, enough berths and sofas were provided to aflFord sleeping 
accommodations for one hundred passengers. [■] 

On the northward trip, the "Paragon" was advertised to leave New 
York every Saturday afternoon at five o'clock, the "Car of Neptune" every 
Tuesday, and the "North River" every Thursday at the same hour. On 

['] McMaster, History of the People of the United States, IV: 397-8. 

THE WAR OF 1812 485 

the same days, the southbound boats left Albany at nine in the morning. 
The station in New York was at the foot of Cortlandt Street. The 
boats stopped at all the large towns along the way, from Kinderhook to 
West Point and Newburgh. Way passengers paid five cents a mile; 
through passengers were charged seven dollars; but no fare, however 
short the distance, was less than one dollar. A fourth steamer, called 
the "Firefly," plied between New York and Newburgh, stopping on the 
way at Sing Sing, Verplanck's Point, and West Point. The other four 
steamboats running in the vicinity of New York at this time were ferry- 

In I 81 1 and 18 12 two steamboats were built under Robert Fulton's 
direction to be used as ferry-boats in crossing the Hudson River, and soon 
afterwards another of the same description was built for the East River. 
These were twin-boats or catamarans, each composed of two complete 
hulls united by a deck or bridge, with a wheel in the space between 
them, and a rudder at each end. The machinery for driving the boats 
was placed on the deck, amidships, and there was space for horses and 
wagons on both sides. By means of a floating bridge on each side of the 
river, carriages and horses were driven on to the deck of the ferry-boat 
without the necessity of the occupants alighting, and with perfect com- 
fort and safety. The boat was constructed with both ends alike, and 
never turned in crossing, but went back and forth by simply reversing the 
motion of the wheel. Fulton used great ingenuity in constructing for 
the reception of these boats floating docks so designed that the landing 
was effected without any shock, and without any inconvenience arising 
from changes in the tide. In July, 1 8 1 2, two steam ferry-boats, the 
"Jersey" and the "York," replaced the sail-boats on the ferry from New 
York to Paulus Hook. One was advertised to start each half hour during 
daylight, and, lest travellers miss the boat because of incorrect clocks, the 
management announced that the clock on St. Paul's steeple should mark 
the time. When the weather was calm and the tide favourable, the boats 
crossed the water, which was a mile and a half wide, in fourteen min- 
utes; the average time was twenty minutes. The boats could accom- 
modate eight four-wheeled carriages, twenty-nine horses, and four hun- 
dred persons. The Paulus Hook ferry had always been considered one 
of the most inconvenient and difficult in the United States. With head- 
winds and a strong tide, it often required three hours for a sail-boat to 
make the passage, and, in a calm, it was next to impossible for such a 


boat as could carry a horse and carriage to get over. Such conditions 
were really a serious bar to intercourse between New York and Philadel- 
phia. Another steamboat, the "Raritan," ran between New Brunswick 
and New York. In July, 1 8 1 2, this boat was advertised to make a 
round trip to Amboy on Sundays. Breakfast and dinner were served on 
board, if requested. 

Until the summer of 1813, these boats to Paulus Hook and to New 
Brunswick had a monopoly of all business between New York and Phil- 
adelphia, but, in that year. Governor Ogden of New Jersey built a 
steamer, which he called the "Seahorse," and opened a rival ferry from 
Elizabethtown Point to New York. The "Seahorse" was remarkably 
swift for the time, covering nine miles an hour, easily, and could make 
four trips a day. Fulton and Livingston attacked Governor Ogden for 
infringing their rights to the monopoly of steam navigation within New 
York waters, and he was forced to discontinue the use of his steamboat 
within those limits. The monopoly which Fulton and Livingston held 
drove men to develop other types of power-driven boats. One result 
was the so-called team-boats. The first boat of this kind was built by 
Moses Rogers, who put it on the ferry from New York to Paulus Hook. 
Like the "Jersey" and the "York," it was a twin-boat, with the wheel 
placed between the two hulls, so that it might not be injured by floating 
ice. The power to turn the wheel was furnished by eight horses, walk- 
ing in a circle on the deck. Before the end of the summer of 18 14, a 
second team-boat was built, and put into commission on the ferry from 
Corlears Hook to Williamsburg. In his controversy with the Fulton- 
Livingston Company, Governor Ogden had been worsted, and was pre- 
vented from bringing the "Seahorse" within New York waters. He 
met the difficulty by sending "a safe ferry-boat, impelled when necessary 
by oars," from New York to meet the steamer at a point within the 
jurisdiction of New Jersey. "This vessel left Marketfield Street wharf 
daily at ten in the morning and at three in the afternoon, and ran down 
to the flats near Ellis Island, where the Seahorse met it, and after ex- 
changing passengers each returned to its place of departure." Alter the 
development of the team-boat, however, Ogden secured one — the "Substi- 
tution" — which took the place of the "safe ferry-boat," and met the 
"Seahorse" near Bedloes Island, where the transfer of passengers was ac- 
complished. In October, 18 13, a dry dock, said to have been the 
first in the United States, was completed at the steamboat works in Jersey 

THE WAR OF 1812 487 

City, and was first used by the "Clermont," on the 4th. ['] As early as 
181 2, a bridge was projected to span the East River at an altitude of two 
hundred feet, so that ships of war might sail under it with their masts 
standing, and a "grand Model of T. Pope's Flying, Pendent, Lever, 
Bridge" was advertised as being on exhibition in New York. [2] 

The development of the city had been going on rapidly. The new 
City Hall had reached such a stage of completion that it was possible to 
dispense with the old City Hall in Wall Street, which, accordingly, was 
advertised to be sold at auction on Wednesday, May 13, i 8 1 2, a condition 
of the sale being that the building should be removed before the first of 
the following July. The sale took place as advertised, the building 
being purchased for four hundred and twenty-five dollars. At the same 
time one of the lots of ground on which it stood, at the corner of Wall 
and Nassau Streets, was sold for nine thousand five hundred dollars. 
The three adjoining lots were put up for sale, but they were not dis- 
posed of until January 20, 181 3, when they were sold at auction at the 
Tontine Coffee House. [3] The old Hall was spoken of as being in a 
"tattered" condition, and a nuisance, as it projected about thirty feet 
into Wall Street and almost stopped up the entrance into Nassau Street. 
Its removal was looked upon as tending "to beautify the handsomest 
street in the city." 

In front of the new City Hall was the Park, "a piece of enclosed 
ground . . . consisting of about four acres, planted with elms, planes, 
willows, and catalpas, the surrounding foot-walk encompassed with rows 
of poplars. This beautiful grove in the middle of the city" combined 
"in a high degree ornament with health and pleasure, and, to enhance the 
enjoyments of the place, the English and French reading-room, the 
Shakespeare gallery, and the theater" offered "ready amusement to the 
mind, while the mechanic hall, the London hotel, and the New York 
gardens" presented "instant refreshment to the body. Though the 
trees" were "but young and of few years' growth, the Park" might 
"be pronounced an elegant and improving place." 

Corporation improvements were made in the region of Bayard Hill 
and Canal Street at this time. The Canal Street section had presented 
difficult problems to the engineers. The ground thereabouts was low 

['] Robert Fulton's manuscript account book, 1809-14, in N. Y. Hist. Society. 

['] See original sketches reproduced in report for 1914 of N. Y. Bridge Department. 

[3] New-York Gazette y General Advertiser, April i, 1812. After passing through several hands, the 
four lots were brought together again in ownership by the United States government, which used them for 
the erection of the new Custom House, 1834-42 (see Chronology, May 13, 1812-January, 1813). 


and marshy, and much of the surface was actually under water at certain 
seasons of the year. It was asserted that at high tide the waters of the 
East and Hudson Rivers met here in the centre of the island. By 1808 
the line of houses along the Bowery had crept up as far as Bond Street. 
Already Canal Street had been laid out — on paper — by various boards of 
engineers, and several plans for opening the street had been suggested 
without the city authorities and the landowners being able to agree upon 
any one. The plan that met with most favour provided for a canal one 
foot below low-water mark, which should pass entirely across the island 
between the East and Hudson Rivers. This could be made to drain so 
much of the Collect as had not yet been filled in, and would carry off 
the drainage from the slopes to the north and to the south. A petition 
was at length presented to the Legislature asking that a commission be 
appointed to regulate and open the street. Gouverneur Morris, Simeon 
De Witt, and John Rutherford, who had been appointed April 3, 1807, 
"Commissioners of Streets and Roads in the City of New York," declined 
to serve in this matter, and a special commission was, therefore, appointed 
by the Legislature in 1809. The commission later resigned, and another 
was appointed in its place; but this, too, accomplished little, for many 
obstacles and difficulties hindered its work. At one time it was planned 
to make an open canal through the centre of the street, but the scheme 
was never carried out and great perplexity and confusion reigned. In 
181 1 it was determined to build a sewer, or "paved channel," from the 
Collect to the North River; but it was not until 18 19 that the first 
actual work on the sewer of which record has been found was done. 
The sewer was reported finished in August of that year.['] 

In 1 8 10 Colonel Henry Rutgers gave to the Free School Society [^] 
two lots on Henry Street, on condition that a school building be erected 
on the site before June, 181 1. Citizens of New York subscribed 
thirteen hundred dollars, and the corner-stone was laid in the autumn 
of I 8 10 by Colonel Rutgers, in the presence of a large company. The 
building was opened as School Number 2 on November 13, 181 i. 
There was also an African Free School, in Cliff Street, which, "altho' 
not sufficiently commodious for its object," had, in November, 181 1, 
over one hundred students. In December, 18 10, the vestry of Trinity 

[■] See Plate 83-b. 

I'] The name under which the society was incorporated in 180; was "The Society for establishing a 
free school in the city of New- York, for the education of such poor children as do not belong to or are 
not provided for by any religious society." In 1808 the name was changed to the "Free School Society 
of the City of New York." 

THE WAR OF 1812 489 

Church gave two large lots on the west side of the city to the society, 
and a third lot in January, 1 8 1 1 . When the state established its public 
school system, in 1 8 1 2, the Free School Society of the City of New 
York was granted a share of the funds, and it was given power to raise 
a similar sum from the city by taxation; but it continued to carry on 
its work in its own way, without coming under the control of the 
school authorities of the state. It was not until many years later that 
the public schools of New York City became a part of the public school 
system of the state. 

Several other public or semi-public buildings were in process of erec- 
tion in 181 1. On May 30th of that year, the corner-stone of a Presby- 
terian church was laid in Murray Street, in the rear of the college. The 
building was intended to be one of the largest places of public worship 
in the city. On July 29, 181 1, the corner-stone of the new Almshouse 
at Bellevue was laid. The site for this building had been selected May 
II, 181 1, when the Common Council met at Bellevue and chose for the 
purpose six acres of land adjacent thereto, which had recently been pur- 
chased from Samuel Kip for $22,494.50. A plan for the buildings was 
adopted at that time. The erection of the Almshouse seems to have 
been delayed, perhaps on account of the war of 181 2—15, for it was not 
completed until April, 1 8 1 6, when it and the Penitentiary were ready 
for occupation. 

New York suffered from two fires in this year (181 1). On May 19th, 
Sunday, between nine and ten in the morning, a fire broke out in Law- 
rence's coach factory in Chatham Street, and raged for about three hours, 
destroying nearly one hundred houses in Chatham, Augustus, William, 
and Duane Streets. It was said that the city had never been in such 
danger since the great fire of 1776. The cupola of the Gaol, the roof 
of the Scotch Church, on Cedar Street, and the steeple of the Brick 
Church were on fire. The Gaol was saved by the activities of the 
prisoners, and the Brick Church by a sailor, who climbed the steeple by 
means of the conductor and beat out the flames. The trustees of the 
church rewarded him by a gift of three hundred dollars. Many of the 
buildings destroyed were old and of wood, so that the property loss was 
probably not so great as that caused by the fire of i 804. A second fire 
occurred on December 18, 181 1, and destroyed four or five buildings on 
Broadway at the corner of Warren Street. 

On June 13, 181 1, the Corporation of Trinity Church resolved 


"that from the Circumstances and Situation of the Congregations asso- 
ciated with Trinity Church, it has become expedient that the Connection 
between Trinity Church and St. George's & St. Paul's Chapels be dis- 
solved, and that the said Chapels be endowed and Established as seperate 
churches in like Manner as Grace Church has been Established." On 
November 4th, "the Rector, Church Wardens, and Vestrymen of 
Trinity Church" agreed to the terms of separation, in so far as they 
affected St. George's Chapel, and determined that the church should be 
incorporated under the name of "The Rector, Church Wardens, and 
Vestrymen of St. George's Church in the City of New York." An 
interesting item in the Trinity Minutes of July 6, 18 12, states that the 
committee of repairs was authorised to put up chains across the streets in 
front and on each side of St. Paul's Chapel, which were to be kept 
up during the time of divine service, pursuant to an order of the City 

In 18 1 1, the annual commencement of Columbia College, which 
was held on August 7th in Trinity Church, was marred by disorder and 
riot. The disturbance arose from the fact that John B. Stevenson, whose 
graduation oration had been altered by the professors, refused to accept 
the changes which they had asked him to make, and delivered the oration 
in its original form, even though he had been told that such action on his 
part would result in the withholding of his degree. He mounted the 
platform, demanded the diploma, "in the name of the Trustees," and 
then turned to the audience to explain the cause of the diploma's being 
refused. Here began a wild uproar — hissing, shouting, and clapping — 
which lasted nearly an hour; the exercises were entirely interrupted, 
and the professors left the church without completing the commence- 
ment ceremonies. Stevenson and eight of his friends were indicted for 
riot, and were brought before the Court of General Sessions. ['] 

The Observer, the first Sunday paper published in New York, appeared 
in 1 8 1 1 . Announcements made in February stated that it would be pub- 
lished every Sunday morning and evening, at the sign of the Ledger, No. 
114 Water Street, opposite the Phcenix Coffee House. In October, i 8 1 2, 
a public law library was opened in the north-west corner of the City Hall, 
on the same floor with the Mayor's and Recorder's offices, for the use 

['] This incident seems to have made Maxwell and Verplanck, two fellow-students who had been leaders 
in supporting Stevenson, the inveterate enemies of De Witt Clinton, who, as mayor, preferred the charge 
against Verplanck, Maxwell, and their associates; for in 1814 Verplanck, under the name of Abimaleck 
Coody, a mechanic of the place (see Hammond, I: 397-8), attacked Clinton in the New York papers, and 
Clinton, in replying to him, explained the attack as being the result of this earlier affair. 

THE WAR OF 1812 491 

of the Common Council, the other city officers in the building, and the 
judges and lawyers who attended courts. 

One of the first efforts to introduce the use of illuminating gas in New 
York, if not the very first, was made in February, i 8 1 2, when a petition 
to the Legislature to obtain for a few individuals the exclusive privilege 
of lighting cities and factories for fourteen years was circulated, and 
signatures solicited. The project was opposed as being injurious to the 
manufacturing interests of the state. 

The peace of the city at this time was in the care of the Police 
Magistrates (or Justices), who employed watchmen and special constables, 
as the situation might require. Their administration was not without 
room for improvement, and one critic, writing in January, 1812, 
suggested, among other reforms, that the city watch, instead of sitting in 
"snug boxes," should be provided with warm caps and coats and kept in 
constant motion. On the first of the following July, a riot occurred 
in James Street. The mob was dispersed, before it had done much 
damage, by the arrival of a force under the Police Magistrates. In this 
affair the civil authority called for and promptly received aid from the 
cavalry under Captain Storms and Captain Pierce, Captain Wilson's rifle 
company, and Captain Hartell's company of light infantry, as well as 
from several other officers and privates of the artillery and other corps. 
The Police Justices reported the matter to the Mayor and the Common 
Council, whereupon the latter body presented their thanks to the above- 
named persons for their assistance in preserving the peace of the city. 
The Morning Post, in commenting upon the affair, said that they did so 
principally with a view to assuring their fellow-citizens of the excellent 
system and state of readiness for instant exertion to which the police 
establishment had attained. 

The state election of 18 10 was sharply contested, as the important 
office of governor was to be filled. The candidate of the Federalists 
was Jonas Piatt, of Whitesborough. The Republicans nominated 
Governor Daniel D. Tompkins and Lieutenant-Governor Broome for 
re-election, and won an overwhelming victory, electing not only Tomp- 
kins and Broome, but their candidates to the State Senate, and securing a 
majority in the Assembly of almost two to one. In the City of New 
York, only, did the Federalists make some gains. There, the election 
was very close, six Federalists and five Republicans being chosen to the 
Assembly. The success of the Republicans may be partly attributed to 


the action of Congress on March i, 1809, in substituting the Non-Inter- 
course for the Embargo Act, which seemed to business men to reUeve 
them somewhat from the burden under which they had been labouring. 
Although the Republicans controlled New York City, New York State, 
and the nation, the party was not in complete accord. George Clinton 
of New York, Vice-President in the first administration of Madison, until 
his death in 18 12, found the control of the "Virginia dynasty" some- 
what irksome, and consequently was not in complete harmony with the 
national administration. His nephew, De Witt Clinton, Mayor of New 
York in 1809—10, supported his uncle's policy, and in his own state was 
the leader of the Clintonian Republicans, as opposed to those who recog- 
nised the influence and leadership of the Livingstons. This division in 
the party was to be found also in New York City. There, those Re- 
publicans who opposed Clinton were headed by the so-called Martling 
Men (later Tammany), and they were undoubtedly supported by certain 
members of Madison's administration. In August, 18 10, occurred the 
death of Lieutenant-Governor Broome, and an election to fill the vacancy 
thus caused was set for the following April. The Federalists nominated 
Nicholas Fish. A Republican caucus, held at Albany, nominated De 
Witt Clinton. His nomination roused intense opposition on the part of 
the Martling Men in New York City. A meeting was immediately 
held in Martling's long room, in a public house fronting the Park, called 
Tammany Hall, which was claimed as the headquarters of the Republican 
party in New York. This meeting adopted a statement in which it de- 
clared its belief that Mr. Clinton cherished interests distinct and separate 
from the general interest of the Republican party, that he was determined 
to establish in his person a pernicious family aristocracy, and that they 
could no longer consider him a member of the party. The meeting then 
nominated Marinus Willett for the office of lieutenant-governor. An 
opposition meeting was held about this time by the Clintonian Republi- 
cans in New York City at the Union Hotel, but the Martling Men 
rushed in upon them, and the meeting was broken up in confusion. In 
New York City, the election resulted in 590 votes for Clinton, 678 for 
Willett, and 2,044 for Fish; but Clinton's great popularity in the state 
was little affected by this opposition in his home town, and he was 
elected lieutenant-governor. The schism between Clinton and the 
Martling Men, backed by Madison, continued, and in i 8 i 2 Clinton was 
supported for the Presidency by New York Republicans who were 

THE WAR OF 1812 493 

opposed to war with Great Britain, and by Federalists; but in this 
struggle he was defeated. 

At this time the question of incorporating additional banks was caus- 
ing intense political agitation throughout the state. There was in the 
public mind an unwillingness to create new banking institutions which 
seems quite remarkable to men of the present day, accustomed as they 
are to the existence of many banks. The Bank of New York was the 
first organisation of the kind within the state. Although it began busi- 
ness in 1784, it was not chartered until 1791. In 1792 the Bank of 
Albany was chartered, and, in 1793, the Bank of Columbia, at Hudson. 
No other bank was incorporated within the state until 1 799. At that time 
the Bank of New York was controlled by Federalist interests, and Burr, 
leader of the Republicans within the city, contended that the influence 
of the bank was being used to the political advantage of the Federalists. 
The desire to neutralise this influence led to the plan to incorporate 
another bank, which should be under Republican control; but, as both 
branches of the Legislature were at that time Federalist, it was considered 
impossible to secure the necessary charter if the purpose of the new or- 
ganisation were openly avowed. For this reason the Manhattan Com- 
pany was organised, ostensibly to furnish the city with pure water, but 
the charter which the Legislature granted to the company carried with 
it the privilege of using the company's surplus capital in a banking busi- 
ness. In 1803 the New York State Bank at Albany was chartered, but 
two other companies, the Mercantile Company of Albany, and the Mer- 
chants' Bank of New York, failed to secure the charters that they asked 
for. At its next session the New York Legislature, instead of incorporat- 
ing these joint stock companies, passed a restraining act, by which all 
incorporated companies were prohibited from engaging in the banking 
business and compelled to wind up their aff^airs. 

In 1805 the company composing the Merchants' Bank renewed its 
efforts to secure a charter. It was opposed by De Witt Clinton and 
other influential men of New York and of Albany, who were interested 
in the banks already chartered, not so much on the ground that there 
was no need for another bank, or that it would be injurious to the in- 
terests of their institutions, but because the applicants were "Federalists" 
and "Tories," and that to grant their petition would be injurious to the 
Republican party. When the bill came up in the Assembly, complaint 
was made that the company had resorted to bribery in the effort to in- 


duce the Legislature to act favourably upon its petition. Nevertheless, 

the bill passed the Legislature. 

In 1 8 1 1 the Bank of the United States went out of existence, through 
the failure of Congress to re-charter it. This event stimulated the de- 
mand for other banks, particularly in New York, where the opinion had 
come to be general that it, and not Philadelphia, was destined to become 
the commercial centre of America. In February, i8i i, a petition was 
presented in the New York Assembly from Thomas Stagg, Jr., and others 
of New York City, asking to be incorporated as a banking company. 
The matter is interesting because of the reasons which led the committee 
of the Assembly to which the petition was referred to report favourably 
upon it. New York, it was stated, contained the greatest number of in- 
habitants of any city in the United States; the tonnage of its port was 
more than double that of Philadelphia, and nearly three times that of 
Baltimore; New York surpassed Philadelphia and Baltimore in exports 
and imports even more than in tonnage, and paid from one-fourth to 
one-third of all the import taxes of the United States; yet the actual 
bank capital of Philadelphia and Baltimore exceeded that of New York 
by about two million dollars, a circumstance which placed New York 
at a serious disadvantage with her principal rivals in the transaction of 

But the request for a bank charter which aroused the greatest excite- 
ment of all was that for a charter for the Bank of America, which came 
before the Legislature in i 8 i 2. The bank was to be in New York City, and 
was to have a capital of six million dollars. Advocates of the measure were 
charged with having bribed the members of the Legislature, and Gover- 
nor Tompkins resorted to the extraordinary expedient of using his con- 
stitutional authority to prorogue the Legislature, so as to prevent the 
bill being pushed through by corrupt means. Before the Legislature 
met again, an election had taken place. Consideration of the bank char- 
ter was resumed, and the bill was finally passed. The effect of the agi- 
tation and scandals connected with the chartering of the Bank of America 
was sufficient to deter any others from a similar attempt for a long time 
afterwards. Undoubtedly, the remembrance of this and similar disgrace- 
ful transactions caused the State Constitutional Convention of 1821 to 
insert in the new constitution a clause requiring the consent of two-thirds 
of both houses of the Legislature to incorporate a moneyed institution. 
The intention of the convention was good, but it failed to have the de- 

THE WAR OF i8i3 495 

sired effect, as may be seen in the proceedings attending the incorpora- 
tion of the Chemical Bank and other institutions in 1825. 

In the spring of 181 2, George Clinton, Vice-President of the United 
States, died. The event was made the occasion of a display which showed 
the honour and esteem in which the citizens of New York City held him. 
On May 1 9th the procession, consisting of "the numerous and respect- 
able bodies of corporate orders, professional characters, and public officers, 
and the brigade of artillery belonging to this city, including the horse or 
light artillery, several corps of horse, the officers of infantry not on duty, 
private citizens, etc.," formed at the City Hall and Park, and proceeded 
through the streets to the newly rebuilt Presbyterian church in Wall 
Street, where a discourse in honour of the deceased was delivered by 
Gouverneur Morris. The bells of the churches were tolled, and minute- 
guns were fired at Fort Columbus and at the Battery. Flags on the 
public buildings, the vessels in the harbour, and the forts in the vicinity, 
were at half mast; stores and shops were closed, and business in general 
was suspended. In order that Clinton might have the same honour that 
had been paid to Washington and Hamilton, an organisation called the 
George Clinton Society was formed. 

In the meantime, the United States had become involved in war with 
Great Britain. Reference has already been made to the series of inci- 
dents inflaming the public mind in the United States which precipitated 
the declaration of war on June 18, 181 2. These incidents, for the most 
part, were the outgrowth of the gigantic struggle then going on in 
Europe between Great Britain and the Emperor Napoleon. Each, in 
striving to weaken the other, adopted measures restrictive of neutral com- 
merce. Napoleon, after his victories in 1806 and his alliance with Czar 
Alexander in i 807, controlled the continent of Europe from the Baltic 
to the Adriatic, [i] and the United States became the most important 
neutral nation engaged in commerce. The business was one of large 
profit. Many new ships were built in the United States, and foreign 
ships were changed to American registry that they might reap the 
harvest. To man these ships sailors were drawn from foreign as well as 
native sources. As a result, the British merchants found themselves at a 
disadvantage in competing with their American rivals, for they were 
obliged to pay heavy rates of insurance to provide against loss in case of 
capture by the French, while the Americans were free from this danger 

[I] Except Denmark and Portugal, which, however, soon afterward came under his control. 


and expense. In addition to this, the rush of sailors into the American 
merchant marine made it difficult for England to man the ships of her 
navy. As a result, Great Britain adopted more stringent measures to 
hinder American trade between France and her colonies, and a policy of 
greater activity in impressing men on American ships. Undoubtedly, 
the Republican policy of Jefferson, in weakening our navy and in de- 
pendence upon small gunboats for the defence of our coast, invited these 
measures on the part of Great Britain. Impressment of American seamen 
occurred during the administrations of Washington and Adams, but on a 
much larger scale in that of Jefferson. 

Both British merchants and the navy favoured this more restrictive 
policy; the merchants because it limited the advantages enjoyed by their 
rivals in the struggle for trade, and the navy because it shared in the prizes. 
In 1806, the death of William Pitt, head of the British ministry under 
whom this severe policy had been put into operation, was followed by a 
modification of it under Charles James Fox, the new head of the Foreign 
Office. He announced a blockade of the European coast from Brest to 
the Elbe, although naval officers were ordered to enforce it only from 
the Seine to Ostend. Consequently, neutral ships bound for ports outside 
this narrow limit were allowed to go unmolested, although the old re- 
strictive regulations were still unrepealed. 

Napoleon then took a hand in the matter of regulating trade, and, affect- 
ing to believe the British blockade in force, issued the Berlin Decree, 
November 21, 1806. This declared a complete blockade of all British 
possessions in Europe; all British property, public or private, and any 
merchandise coming from Britain were to be prize of war; no ship 
coming from Great Britain or her colonies was to be admitted to a port 
controlled by France; and the confiscation of all ships attempting to 
evade this rule was ordered. The British ministry replied by two 
Orders in Council. The first forbade neutrals to trade with ports of 
France or her allies; the second forbade neutral trade with the entire 
coast of Europe from Trieste to Copenhagen, unless the neutral vessel 
first entered and cleared from a British port, under regulations made by 
the British government. George Canning, who had become British 
Minister of Foreign Affairs, hoped that these regulations would compel 
Napoleon to give up his policy, or at least to accept, with Great Britain's 
permission, foodstuffs from America, without which he thought France 
could not exist. Napoleon, however, did not yield, but answered with 


THE WAR OF 1812 497 

the Milan Decree of 1807, declaring any neutral ship that submitted to 
British search or complied with British regulations in the matter of 
entering and clearing from a British port to be lawful prize of war. 
The resulting situation of our commerce was one of deep distress. Any- 
American vessel trading to any port outside of Sweden, Russia, or Tur- 
key became liable to capture by one side or the other. The protests of 
American merchants deluged the administration of which Jefferson was 
the head. 

The situation in which our government found itself was one of great 
difficulty. Jefferson abhorred war. Neither he nor a majority of his 
party thought that the United States was equal to a European struggle. 
Moreover, while they did not lack patriotism, they represented the rural 
population of the country, which did not feel the attacks on commerce 
so keenly as the merchants, who were chiefly Federalists. For these 
reasons, Jefferson tried to meet the situation by a policy of peaceful 
defence. In pursuit of this object, a non-importation act was passed in 
1806, providing that certain articles which could be produced in the 
United States or in countries other than Great Britain should not be 
imported from the ports of the latter after November 24th. This act 
was followed by an attempt to settle the differences with Great Britain 
through negotiations. Both failed miserably. Then Jefferson advanced 
the policy of an embargo, which should solve the problem by keeping 
American ships in port. The act became law December 21, 1807. 
The embargo proved to be as much of a failure as non-importation. At 
first merchants refused to abide by it, and it was necessary to pass two 
supplementary acts to make it effective. The result of the embargo was 
immediate and most disastrous to our shipping; and its effects were soon 
felt by the farmers, who saw the prices of their products, hitherto high 
because of the demand resulting from the European war, drop ominously 
as soon as the foreign market was cut off. At this juncture the presi- 
dential election of 1808 occurred. It resulted in a large Federalist gain, 
all New England except Vermont coming again under the control of 
that party; although James Madison, the administration candidate, was 
elected President, and George Clinton, a Republican of New York, 
Vice-President. Jefferson was forced to recognise the failure of the 
embargo, and in 1809 gave his signature to a non-intercourse bill. This 
prescribed non-intercourse with both England and France, but gave the 
President the option of suspending the operation of the law in favour of 


whichever of the two nations first gave up her restrictions upon American 

Jefferson almost immediately retired from office, and James Madison, 
the new President, was left to deal with the situation. For a year, con- 
ditions remained practically unchanged. Attempted negotiations failed; 
and finally, in May, 1810, another act regulating trade was passed. This 
is known as Macon's Bill, Number 2. By it all restrictions on American 
commerce with France and Great Britain were removed, but the Presi- 
dent was authorised to put them again in operation against either nation 
when the other repealed her offensive orders or decrees. 

Towards American commercial legislation, both Great Britain and 
France maintained an attitude of apparent indifference. Both continued 
to seize our ships; but, as England's navy was greater than that of France, 
her captures were more numerous, and popular wrath in the United 
States was stronger against her than against France. Great Britain also 
continued to impress American sailors, and this aroused intense feeling in 
the United States. In addition to this, the British Foreign Office, under 
the direction of George Canning, adopted a course that was the reverse 
of conciliatory. The British government did not want war with the 
United States; on the other hand, it did nothing to soften the harsh policy 
which it had inaugurated as a means of starving its opponent into sub- 

Napoleon's attitude was equally offensive to the United States. In 
April, 1808, after the passage of the Embargo Act, he ordered the con- 
fiscation of all American ships then in French ports, acting on the assump- 
tion that they could not really be American ships, since the embargo 
forbade these to leave their home ports. Two years later, in 1 8 1 o. 
Napoleon issued a second confiscatory decree, under which several hundred 
ships were taken. His next step was designed to embroil us in war with 
Great Britain. He gave Madison to understand that the Berlin and 
Milan Decrees would be repealed November i, 18 10. Madison was 
glad to accept the French promise, and, on November 2d, notified 
Congress that the French decrees had been repealed. Congress there- 
upon restored non-intercourse with Great Britain. In reality. Napoleon 
had not reversed his policy of reprisal upon American commerce at all, 
and our ships found it just as difficult as ever to trade in French ports. 
Great Britain, moreover, protested against our act as discriminating 
against her in favour of her enemy. 

THE WAR OF 1812 499 

By this time public sentiment here had become so inflamed against 
the English that the people cared but little how England might feel or 
act, and several collisions between British and American ships at sea had 
already actually occurred. In 1 8 1 1 the Indians in Indiana, supplied with 
guns and ammunition from Canada, made war upon our frontier, and 
worked considerable damage. The elections of 1 8 1 o had shown the 
efl^ect of this popular resentment against Great Britain, for seventy members 
of Congress, most of whom had been in favour of peace, lost their seats. 
The new members were, for the greater part. Republicans, but they were 
opposed to the Virginia leadership of the administration. Under the 
able guidance of Clay of Kentucky and Calhoun of South Carolina, this 
faction of the Republican party demanded war with Great Britain as a 
means of vindicating the national honour, but with the ulterior motive 
of annexing Canada. President Madison finally yielded to their demands, 
even though the British government had recently adopted a more concil- 
iatory attitude, and had actually repealed the obnoxious Orders in Council 
on June 3d. Reluctantly, he sent a war message to Congress, which was 
followed by a declaration or war, June 18, 181 2. 

The United States was ill prepared for war. Both army and navy 
had been allowed to deteriorate during the Republican regime. The 
officers who had made their reputations during the Revolution were gone, 
and the new men who had been appointed to military positions were 
chosen because of political influence rather than military ability. It was 
hard to raise money by taxes, and the abandonment of the United States 
Bank made it doubly difficult for the government to negotiate the needed 
loans. Moreover, the country was seriously divided on the issue. New 
England Federalists, who were vitally interested in commerce, opposed 
the war as absolutely inimical to their interests. As a result. New 
England not merely failed to respond to the requests of the administra- 
tion for men and money to prosecute the war, but actually, at the Hart- 
ford Convention, contemplated active opposition to the government, and, 
it was even charged, the dissolution of the Union, if that were necessary, 
to rid them of the hated war. For the time being, however, the war 
party had its way, and formulated its plans for carrying on the struggle. 
These included an active campaign for the annexation of Canada, which 
they thought would be easily accomplished, as they expected the active 
co-operation of the Canadians themselves, and a plan for the seizure of 
Florida, if Spain, its owner, joined Great Britain in the war. 


From the first, affairs on land went badly for the Americans. Hull's 
disgraceful surrender of Detroit, Dearborn's failure to take Montreal, the 
repulse of Van Rensselaer's attack on Queenstown — all served to check 
the war party's ardour. After the middle of i8 13, the Americans some- 
what retrieved themselves in the North-west. Detroit was recovered, 
and the control of Lake Erie was secured by Perry in September, 18 13. 
A second attempt on Montreal failed. The year 1 8 1 4 opened with 
dark prospects for the American cause. The Federalists of New England 
appeared to be on the point of withdrawing their section from the Union; 
Napoleon had been checked in Europe, and, as a consequence, England 
would be free to prosecute the American war more vigorously. Yet, in 
some respects, the year proved fortunate for the Americans. Brown won 
a victory on Canadian soil at Chippewa, and, in conjunction with Scott, 
a later victory at Lundy's Lane. On Lake Champlain, McDonough 
defeated the English, and checked their contemplated invasion of New 
York. In August, however, the American cause suffered a great humil- 
iation in the capture and wanton destruction of the city of Washington 
by a British force under Ross and Cockburn. 

At the beginning of the war, the American navy made a better show- 
ing than the land forces, and a series of successful engagements roused 
great hope and enthusiasm. Later, Great Britain, realising that she must 
put forth greater effort, to win the war, sent some of her best ships and 
men to our waters. The result was that American ships were either shut 
up in the harbours, or, if they succeeded in getting to sea, were attacked 
and defeated; and an effective blockade of our coast was established. 
From the beginning of 1 8 1 4, our navy was able to accomplish little. 
American privateers, however, continued until the end of the war to inflict 
enormous damage upon British shipping. The opening of 1 8 1 5 was 
marked by the signal success of Andrew Jackson and his force of militia 
at New Orleans, but peace had already been made between the warring 
nations, at Ghent, on December 24, 1 8 1 4. By it neither nation lost ma- 
terially, and the questions of impressment and the right of search, which 
had been chiefly responsible for the war, were not even mentioned. 

New York's position as one of the leading ports of the United States 
gave her a vital interest in the events that led up to the war, and in the 
outcome of the struggle. Although the State of New York was controlled 
by the Republicans, the party leaders were not thoroughly in sympathy 
with the national administration. In spite of George Clinton's official 

THE WAR OF 1812 501 

connection with Madison, he was not in harmony with the Virginia fac- 
tion's control of the RepubHcan party. After his death, in 18 12, his 
nephew, De Witt Clinton, became the leader of the Clintonian Repub- 
licans of New York, and in i 8 1 2 was supported for the office of Presi- 
dent, not only by his own party, but by the Federalists, who at this time 
were considerably strengthened by disaffection in the Republican ranks, 
due to the general ill-success of the war and particularly to the disgust 
of the New York militia at the fiasco resulting from Van Rensselaer's at- 
tempt to take Queenstown in 1812. Clinton was beaten in the election, 
and his connection with the Federalists, who soon became unpopular 
because of their unpatriotic attitude towards the war, and particularly 
because of their action in 18 14 at the Hartford Convention, was used to 
discredit him and break his political influence. Consequently, that fac- 
tion of the Republican party which supported the national administration 
maintained its control over New York State during the entire war. 

A conspicuous leader of this faction was Daniel D. Tompkins, Gov- 
ernor from 1807 to I 817. He gave capable and enthusiastic support to 
the war, even borrowing large sums of money on his own personal 
credit to use in the public cause. In New York City, the Martling Men 
(Tammany) supported Madison. Martin Van Buren, who was already 
becoming prominent in Republican councils, supported De Witt Clinton 
for Vice-President in 181 2, but later joined Tompkins and worked in 
harmony with him. In this way, New York City, although naturally 
opposed to the war, because of the great losses that must necessarily result 
to her trade, and in spite of the opposition of De Witt Clinton and his 
numerous following, was held loyal to the national leadership in this try- 
ing crisis, [i] But the war was never popular in New York, and at its 
beginning the majority of the people were thoroughly opposed to it, 
even preferring a continuation of the Embargo and Non-Importation 

News of the declaration of war reached New York City on Saturday 
morning, June 20th, through an official notice to General Joseph Bloom- 
field, then in command of the troops and defences in and near the har- 
bour of New York. General Bloomfield issued his general orders with 
the announcement to the troops. On the same day. General Stevens, of 

[I] New York newspapers generally voiced an opinion against the war. De Witt Clinton was mayor 
of New York during this time. The fact that the Governor was commander-in-chief of the military and 
naval forces of the State of New York, and had large power to appoint officers in the militia, enabled him 
to do effective work in support of the war. The Council of Appointment at this time was Federalist, but 
Tompkins was able largely to counteract its influence. 


the militia, communicated General Bloomfield's general orders to the 
Common Council. Two days later, that is, on Monday, June 2 2d, the 
Common Council enlarged its standing Committee of Defence. The 
new members of the committee were the Recorder and Augustus H. 
Lawrence, Elisha W. King, George Wilson, and Alderman George 
Buckmaster. On Wednesday, the 24th, a meeting was held in the Park 
on the call of the Republican General Committee, and resolutions sup- 
porting the action of the government were unanimously adopted. The 
meeting was poorly attended. This may have been due to the fact that 
it had been poorly advertised, and that the followers of Clinton as well 
as the Federalists held aloof from responding to the call of their political 
opponents. Copies of the resolutions were sent to the President and to 
both houses of Congress, and were published in some of the newspapers. 

Some attempt at fortifying the harbour of New York had been made 
before war actually broke out. Under an act of the New York State 
Legislature of March 28, 1800, works were erected under the direction 
of the national government, but at state expense. These included forti- 
fications on Governors Island, Bedloes Island, Ellis Island, and at the 
Battery, a battery off the foot of Hubert Street in the North River, and 
two magazines in the city.[i] Later, the situation of our foreign affairs, 
and the evident approach of war, roused public opinion on the subject 
of New York's defences. The Federal government was slow to act, and 
the state took matters into its own hands. A State Board of Fortifica- 
tions was appointed. [2] The next year, 1808, Colonel Jonathan Wil- 
liams of the United States Corps of Engineers, at the request of the State 
Board, drew up an elaborate plan of defences for New York City and 
its approaches. [3] The construction of the proposed works was under- 
taken by the Federal and state governments, the supervising officer being 
Colonel Williams, who acted under the authority of the Secretary of 
War. The state was authorised to take the land required and to cede it 
to the Federal government. 

Work on these fortifications was well advanced during the year 1808. 
A letter of October 9th, published in the American Register, describes 
Fort Columbus on Governors Island as nearly finished, while the front 

['] The state took this way of liquidating its indebtedness to the national government on account of 
Revolutionary expenses. See Vol. I, pp. 403-4. 

['] It consisted of De Witt Clinton, James Fairlie, Jacob Morton, Peter Curtenius, and Arthur Smith. 

[3] Colonel Williams's report included plans for Fort Columbus, Castle Williams, works on Ellis Island, 
Bedloes Island, and Staten Island, and positions on Manhattan Island. See S. R. Guernsey, New York 
City and Ficinity in the War 0/ l8l2-tj. 

THE WAR OF 1812 503 

wall of a mortar battery on Bedloes Island was almost completed. On 
Manhattan Island, foundations were being prepared off the Battery for 
the erection of a fortification similar to that on Governors Island, and the 
foundation for a battery of twenty guns was already laid in the Hudson 
River off the foot of Hubert Street. This last, with the works at the 
Battery, would make it impossible for an enemy ship to lie in the North 
River. At the same time, the "laboratory, magazine and arsenal" at the 
Potter's Field (Madison Square above 23d Street) were being built under 
the direction of Colonel Williams. 

In 1808, the Corporation offered to the State Legislature its choice 
of one of three lots lying between Elm and Collect Streets for the 
erection of an arsenal. The state accepted the offer and appropriated thir- 
teen thousand dollars for the building. The corner-stone was laid on 
June 1 6th, and Governor Tompkins, in his message to the Senate dated 
November 4, 1808, speaks of the building as being calculated to accom- 
modate all the ordnance, arms, and military stores in the City of New 
York.[i] On December 31, 1808, the foundation stone of a fortifica- 
tion, which, when completed, would mount thirty guns, was laid on the 
shore of Staten Island, near Signal Hill. 

As a result of the combined activity of the state and the War Depart- 
ment, when the war broke out, in the spring of 181 2, there were four 
arsenals in New York City. The state arsenal stood on the corner of 
Elm and Franklin Streets; on Bridge Street, back of the Government 
House and near the South Battery, stood a United States arsenal; at the 
foot of West I 2th Street stood a magazine, arsenal, and laboratory; and 
there was also the United States arsenal on the east side of Broadway, 
at the junction of the old Boston Road and the Middle Road (Madison 
Square). These arsenals were built of stone and brick, and each was 
enclosed by a high and substantial wall. The state also had a powder 
house, standing near Fifth Avenue between 64th and 65th Streets. [2] 
The Southwest Battery, later known as Castle Clinton, and later still 
as Castle Garden, stood in the water off the western extremity of the 
Battery, with which it was connected by a causeway and drawbridge. 
It was built of red sandstone and could mount twenty-eight heavy 
cannon. Off Hubert Street, in the Hudson River, about two hundred 
yards from the shore, stood the North Battery. It, too, was built of red 

['] The building was completed before January 6, 1809. 

[2] Where the arsenal in Central Park, built in 1848-50, now stands. 


sandstone, and was commonly known as the Red Fort. It was placed in 
such a way as to cross fire with the Southwest Battery, so as to make it 
difficult for an enemy successfully to attack the city from the North 

In the immediate vicinity of Manhattan Island were the several 
forts already mentioned, of which the most important were on Governors 
Island, at the western point of which, close to the channel, stood Castle 
Williams, built in 1809—10 of red sandstone, with walls forty feet high 
and from seven to eight feet thick, and mounting one hundred and eleven 
heavy guns. This fort was named in honour of Colonel Williams, who 
had planned the work and supervised its construction. Fort Columbus, 
which stood near the middle of the island, was built on the site of Fort 
Jay in 1808, was capable of mounting ninety-six guns, and completely 
commanded the East River. A battery on the south point of the island 
completed this strong group of fortifications. On Bedloes Island, nearly 
opposite Castle Williams on the west, was Fort Wood, a mortar battery 
that commanded the channel and anchoring ground. Back of Fort 
Wood lay another battery, which protected it as well as Ellis Island. 
On Ellis Island, opposite Fort Columbus, was a circular battery mount- 
ing fourteen guns. On the east side of Staten Island, at Signal Hill, 
were three batteries, called Fort Richmond, Fort Morton, and Fort 
Hudson. Fort Tompkins, which stood a short distance south of Fort 
Richmond, was so placed as to command these, but in the spring of 
1 8 1 2 was not completed above the foundations. All of these works 
and buildings, whether erected by the state or by the Federal govern- 
ment, were under the supervision of the latter. Altogether, they 
mounted two hundred and eighty-four guns,[i] and it was estimated that 
three thousand seven hundred men were necessary to garrison them. 

Other fortifications were built after the war began. The corner- 
stone of Fort Gansevoort was laid on the shore of the Hudson River off 
Gansevoort Street in the summer of 1 8 1 2, and the fort was completed in 
the following November. [2] During the next year, additional works 
were completed at the Narrows, on Staten Island, and on the Jersey 
shore, and temporary breastworks were erected at the Battery. 

In the summer of 1 8 1 4, when Prevost's expedition was advancing 
southward from Montreal, and the English force under Ross was in 

['] This number does not include the guns in the arsenals of the city, 

['] It was built of red sandstone, and was whitewashed, a circumstance which accounts for its being 
commonly called the White Fort. 

THE WAR OF 1812 505 

Chesapeake Bay, an attack on New York seemed not improbable, and 
the citizens were thrown into a fever of apprehension. The blockade 
of New York was more rigidly enforced by the British, and there was 
hardly a day when news did not come from Sandy Hook announcing 
that enemy war-ships could be seen hovering off the coast. Up to this 
time New York City had done little to protect itself, but had left the 
matter of defence to state or Federal action. Now, however, the immi- 
nence of the danger led the Common Council and the Mayor, De Witt 
Clinton, to new exertions. Appeals to the citizens were issued, calling 
upon them to rally for the defence of the city. The forts already 
erected were so placed as to defend the city from an attack by ships from 
the south, but no provision had been made to meet an attack by way of 
Long Island Sound through Hell Gate, or from the north, or to prevent 
the enemy from landing troops at a convenient place on Long Island, and 
then seizing Brooklyn Heights from the land side, a course that had 
been followed successfully during the Revolution, and had led to the 
evacuation of New York City, Fortifications were needed at Brooklyn, 
at Hell Gate, and in the upper part of Manhattan Island. On August 
3d, Mayor De Witt Clinton issued an appeal to the citizens to volunteer 
their services for the work, and seven days later a large number of 
citizens gathered in City Hall Park to consider measures for the defence 
of the city,[>] and more especially for the purpose of devising means for 
inducing citizens to volunteer for work on the fortifications. The re- 
sponse to the call was both wide-spread and hearty, and, for the time, 
party feuds were forgotten, while all worked to meet the crisis. 

General Joseph Swift, of the United States Corps of Engineers, drew 
up plans for the work, which was executed, for the most part, by 
means of volunteer labour, under the supervision of Colonel Swift and his 
associates. [2] Work was actually begun on August 9th, and four days 
later the Committee of Defence reported that three thousand persons 
were at work with pickaxe and shovel. Various organisations took part, 
collectively, in the work. Men volunteered by crafts, as the weavers, the 
butchers, and the printers. The newspapers of the city actually suspended 
publication in order that their employees might work on the fortifications. 
Several new forts and batteries resulted from this activity. To defend 

['] The call for a meeting was widely published and generally approved. Some of the newspapers, 
however, objected to it. It had originally been called for August 8th, but on account of rain was not held 
until August loth. 

[2] The best account of this work is in General Swift's Report, preserved by the New York Historical 


Hell Gate at the mouth of Harlem River, two forts were erected, one on 
the Long Island shore at Hallett's Point, the other on Mill Rock in the 
middle of the East River and commanding the mouth of the Harlem. 
Fort Clinton was erected on the elevation at the eastern side of McGown's 
Pass, a position now included in the north-eastern corner of Central Park. 
To the north-west of Fort Clinton, on the west side of the pass, and con- 
nected with it, stood Fort Fish. North-west from Fort Fish, and on a 
line following a range of rocky heights which extend to Manhattanville, 
several blockhouses were placed. These reached almost to the Bloom- 
ingdale Road. The one nearest the road was called Fort Laight. From 
it a line of intrenchments extended westward to the high bank of the 
Hudson River at the present 123d Street, where it ended in a strong 
stone tower, [i] 

The soldiers engaged in the defence of New York City were for the 
most part militia. In April, 1 8 1 2, the 

uniformed corps of the militia of the city and county of New York . . . con- 
sisted of ten regiments of infantry, . . . one battalion of riflemen, one squad- 
ron of cavalry, three regiments of artillery, one company of flying artillery, 
one company of veteran artillery volunteers, comprising in all about 3,000 men. 

These organisations formed a part of the state militia, and were under 
the command of the Governor — in 1812 of Governor Tompkins. Not 
all of these men came from New York City itself. Some were from towns 
and villages in the near vicinity, and when the city was threatened with 
attack men were sent to its defence even from New Jersey. In September, 
I 8 1 2, the total number engaged in the defence of the City of New York 
and its immediate surroundings did not exceed 3,500. Of these, 2,200 
were New York militia, 500 were New Jersey militia, and there were 
800 regulars from the United States army. Independent companies and 
battalions were organised in the city, each with its own peculiar uniform, 
of red, grey, green, blue, or other colour, as the case might be. [2] Ad- 
ditional companies were brought by Governor Tompkins from the Hud- 
son River counties, and were stationed at the forts in the harbour. When 
news of the capture of Washington on August 24, 18 14, reached New 
York, the city called upon Governor Tompkins for 20,000 additional 

['] These fortifications are laid down on the general map of the north end of the island which forms 
the frontispiece of Swift's Report (see PI. 82-A). 

(-] Among these may be mentioned the "Iron Greys" and the famous "Sea Fencibles." The latter 
organisation was composed of sailors and boatmen, and was commanded by Commander Jacob M. Lewis. 
In addition to these, there were many unauthorised organisations, that practised drilling but had no arms, 
and never held commissions. Such were the "College Greens," composed of students of Columbia College. 


troops, and every able-bodied man in the city contributed either personal 
service or money to the cause of defence. Many times during the war 
hostile ships appeared off the entrance to New York Harbour, but the 
city escaped actual attack. 

New York was active in helping to carry on the war at sea. When 
news of the declaration of war reached the city in June, 181 2, five 
ships of the navy, under Decatur and Rodgers, lay in the harbour, and 
within an hour they were at sea searching for a British convoy known to 
be on the ocean. New York was also very active in fitting out privateers. 
By the middle of October, 1 8 1 2, only four months after the declaration 
of war, twenty-six privateers had left the port. The city was second 
only to Baltimore in commissioning these swift sailing-vessels to prey 
upon British commerce. Federal gunboats, stationed in the harbour 
for its protection, were put in charge of Commander Jacob M. Lewis, 
of the "Sea Fencibles." The gunboats were active, but were unable to 
accomplish anything of importance. However, during the early months 
of the war, several encounters between American and British ships re- 
sulted in victory for the former. ['] 

New York's commerce suffered severely from the war. Particularly 
in the spring of 181 3, when Great Britain tightened her blockade upon 
the eastern coast, British cruisers entered the harbour, and the port was 
virtually closed. Foreign trade was almost entirely cut off, and such 
goods as did find their way to the city were smuggled in through some 
port on the Jersey coast, and were hauled in wagons overland to New 
York. The whole period from 1806 to 18 15, during which such 
stringent restrictions were being laid upon commerce, naturally was one 
of hardship and distress to the city, one of whose most important sources 
of wealth was foreign trade. 

All classes welcomed the advent of peace as the beginning of a new era 
of prosperous development; in this, however, they were for a while doomed 
to disappointment. The first effect of the peace was to open our ports 
again to European trade, which action was immediately followed by the 
arrival of an immense quantity of foreign goods. In New York City 
alone, during April, May, and June, 181 5, three million nine hundred 
and sixty thousand dollars was paid in at the Custom House. During 

['] It was the usual custom of the city to honour a victorious captain by giving him a banquet, by in- 
viting him to sit for his portrait, which was then hung in the City Hall, and by presenting him with the 
freedom of the city in a gold box. Such honours were bestowed upon Captain Hull and Commodore 
Perry; Captain Lawrence was given the freedom of the city and a dinner. 


three days in August, there came into the port from foreign countries 
sixty-five vessels, laden with cargoes worth in several instances fifty thou- 
sand pounds sterling. American merchants bought the goods eagerly, 
for the long period during which foreign trade had been cut off made 
the public urgent in its demand for these articles. When the demand of 
the merchants was satisfied, cargoes of goods were put up at auction and 
sold directly to the consumer, in many cases at an advance in price. 
The result was that many merchants who had purchased more than they 
could pay for found their market cut off, and numerous failures resulted. 
The citizens, too, ran in debt for articles which were really luxuries. The 
effect upon American manufactures was disastrous. Much home industry 
had sprung up during the war while the domestic market was free from 
foreign influence. This business now collapsed completely, for the infant 
industries, often established without sufficient forethought, could not 
withstand the strong foreign competition. By the autumn of 1815, the 
wool and cotton industries were prostrate, and during the next year the 
country suffered from a decided business depression. ['] The effect of 
this experience upon the policy of the national government was a move- 
ment resulting in the passage of the tariff act T>f 1 8 1 6, which was de- 
signed to give some measure of protection to American manufacturers. 

In New York, the winter of 181 5-1 6 saw great distress among the 
poor. To relieve this suffering, citizens organised themselves and 
appointed committees in each ward. On February ist, a soup-kitchen 
was opened, which cared for twelve hundred applicants in twenty-four 
hours, and, by March ist, six thousand six hundred persons were thus 
being daily supplied with food. 

The period of depression soon passed, and by the end of the decade, 
which had opened under conditions so adverse to the growth of popu- 
lation, New York showed an astonishing increase. Whereas from 1 8 1 o 
to 1 816 her gain had been only four thousand two hundred persons, 
from 1816 to 1820 it was more than twenty-three thousand. By 1820 
New York had become the most populous state in the Union, and 
New York City, which had been the largest town in the country for a 
number of years, had far outstripped all competitors in the speed with 
which it advanced in population. This growth was partly due to the 
fact that the city had become the favourite place for landing immigrants 
from England and Ireland, and that many of those who came went no 

[') These conditions were not peculiar to Americ'i. In England, also, the end of the war was followed 
by a period of hard times and great distress. 


farther. Many of these strangers came without funds or the means of 
securing them. In fact, it was felt here that Great Britain and the 
Continent were using our shores as a dumping-ground for their paupers 
and undesirable citizens. ['] 

The problem of caring for destitute persons became so serious that in 
1 8 1 7 public-spirited citizens of New York united to organise the Society 
for the Prevention of Pauperism. Nine standing committees were chosen 
to report on idleness, lack of employment, intemperance, pawnbrokers, 
gambling, ignorance, and other causes of poverty. It was found that 
within the city itself there were more than sixteen hundred groceries 
licensed to sell liquor in small quantities. The managers of the society 
proposed that petty dram-shops be closed, that street begging be stopped, 
that houses of industry be established, and that more churches and 
Sunday-schools be organised in the outlying wards of the city. They 
also proposed that the poor be encouraged to invest their money in 
savings banks, benefit societies, and life insurance. During the next year 
the managers opened a Saving Fuel Fund Society, and in 18 19, in the 
basement of the Almshouse, a savings bank, the first in New York and 
the third in the United States. [^J They also secured from the city new 
regulations concerning pawnbrokers and lotteries, and roused the Com- 
mon Council to call on the Mayor for information regarding grog-shops. 
His investigation showed that there were in the city nineteen hundred 
licensed grog-shops, besides six hundred other places where rum was sold 
in small quantities. These were largely frequented by street beggars 
and vagrants — the very persons who were receiving public aid. 

Increased provision for the care of the criminal, the sick, and the 
poor was seen to be necessary, and in i 8 1 6 the new Almshouse and the 
Penitentiary — the latter intended for minor offenders — and other build- 
ings connected with them, were reported ready for occupancy at 
Bellevue. Ten years later Bellevue Hospital was built near by. Other 
institutions designed to render social service, but of a somewhat different 
kind, were organised during this period. In i 8 1 6 the American Bible 
Society was formed in New York, and the same year saw the establish- 
ment of the Bloomingdale Asylum for the Insane, for which a building 

['] Cadwallader D. Colden, who was appointed mayor in 1818, records that in the twenty months 
preceding November, 1819, no less than 18,930 immigrants had arrived in New York and had been 
reported at his office. 

['] The plan of the savings bank was devised by John Pintard. The deposits in the bank from July 3 
to December 27, 1819, reached the sum of $153,378, representing 1,527 depositors. The bank was the 
result of long-continued efforts on the part of Thomas Eddy and John Pintard. 


was erected east of the Bloomingdale Road at 1 17th Street, on land now 
occupied by Columbia University, and was opened for use in i82i.['] 
In 1817 the New York Institution for the Instruction of the Deaf and 
Dumb was incorporated, and the next year it was allowed to occupy a 
room in the old Almshouse. 

Proposals for lighting the city with gas were made as early as 181 2, 
but nothing of importance was accomplished until 1 8 1 7, when the 
Common Council decided that gas should be used to light portions of 
the Bowery, Division, Chatham, and Pearl Streets, and all of Catherine 
Street. The rate was to be ten dollars a year for each lamp, and the 
Corporation was to bear the expense of conducting the gas to the lamps, 
and of lighting and extinguishing them. Nothing further, however, was 
done at this time; and it was not until 1823 that the New York Gas 
Light Company was incorporated, with a capital of one million dollars, 
and entered into an agreement with the city by which it was granted the 
exclusive privilege of laying pipes under ground, and of conducting gas 
to the public lamps and the houses in that part of the city extending 
from the East River to the Hudson, south of Grand, Sullivan, and Canal 
Streets. The first residence lighted by gas was No. 7 Cherry Street, in 
1825. The Chatham Garden Theatre was lighted in the same year. 
The first street gas-lamps actually installed were on Broadway from the 
Battery to Grand Street, in 1828. Other companies were incorporated 
shortly afterwards, and within a comparatively few years the whole city 
was supplied with gas. 

In I 8 1 7 the city had seven daily newspapers, five semi-weeklies, and 
five weeklies. Of these, the Daily Advertiser, which began publication in 
1785, was the second daily published in the United States, the first having 
appeared in Philadelphia the year before. Another was the Commercial 
Advertiser, which first appeared in 1793 as the Minerva; and a third, the 
Evening Post, which began publication in November, 1801. The last 
two remain today the oldest papers in New York. 

The city was divided in i 8 1 7 into ten wards, the boundaries of which 
were defined by the Legislature. There were eight public markets, — the 
Fly, Washington, Duane, Catherine, Spring Street, Greenwich, Gouver- 
neur, and Grand Street. Many new buildings were erected in the city 
during this period. In August, 18 18, an observer stated in the Comtner- 

['] A separate building connected with the New York Hospital had been erected for the care of the 
Insane and opened July ij, 1808. Bloomingdale Asylum for the Insane was a branch of the New York 
Hospital and was managed by a delegated committee. 


cial Advertiser that 1,969 buildings were then being buih south of Spring 
Street, of which more than a thousand were intended for dwelling-houses. 
There were no lodgings or furnished apartments in New York at this 
time. Unfurnished rooms might sometimes be had, but they were diffi- 
cult to obtain, because of the rapid increase of population. The usual 
time for letting houses was before the first of May. The principal 
hotels in 1 8 1 7 were the City Hotel, Mechanics' Hall, and Washington 
Hall, on Broadway, the Tontine Coffee House and Merchants' Hotel, on 
Wall Street, the Bank Coffee House on Pine Street, Tammany Hall on 
Nassau Street, and the Commerce Hotel on Pearl Street. President 
Monroe, who visited the city in 1 8 1 7, stayed at Gibson's Merchants' 
Hotel, and received his visitors in the "Picture Room" in the City 
Hall, which was illuminated in his honour. The next year (181 8), 
the Rotunda was built, at the north-east corner of the Park, for the 
exhibition of the large panoramic paintings of John Vanderlyn. 

In 1 8 17, according to John Palmer, ['] the things that most struck 
the stranger wandering about the streets of New York were "the wooden 
houses, the smallness, but neatness of the churches, the coloured people, 
the custom of smoking segars in the streets (even followed by some of 
the children) and the number and nuisance of the pigs permitted to be 
at large." As to the rest, it was "much like a large English town." 
Broadway was the finest street and the most frequented promenade. Ex- 
cept for a few shops and private houses. Wall Street was already occupied 
by banking houses and money exchanges. Pearl Street contained all the 
large warehouses and wholesale establishments. 

Europeans thought New York less clean than their own cities of the 
same size. The police regulations were good, but were not enforced, 
and dust and ashes were thrown out into the streets, which were swept 
but once in a fortnight or a month. Wells and pumps were to be met 
with in almost every street, and provided the only available drinking 
water for the inhabitants. Overseers were appointed annually by the 
magistrates to examine the wells and pumps regularly and keep them in 
proper condition, but even this precaution did not secure an adequate or 
pure supply of water. The sanitary condition of the town was still 
far from good; an epidemic of yellow fever appeared in 18 19, and 
returned with increased violence in 1822. It was not until November, 
1823, that the fever disappeared, and that the people who had been obliged 

\y\ Journal of Travels (etc.), London, 1818. 


to leave the city could return to their homes, and business resume its 
usual course, [i] 

During these years facilities for trade between New York and Europe 
were much improved. In 1816 the "Black Ball Line" of packets to 
Liverpool was established. In 18 18 packets began to leave New York 
for Liverpool in accordance with a regular schedule, and in 18 19 the 
"Savannah" crossed the Atlantic, — the first ship to make the passage using 
auxiliary steam power. Five years later, a line of packets from New York 
to Havre was established. In addition to these lines to Europe, there 
were weekly boats to Savannah, Charleston, Mobile, and New Orleans. 

The increase in facilities for the transportation of commerce across 
the ocean was accompanied by a similar development of the means of in- 
land transportation. The possibility of improving the natural waterways 
between the Hudson River and the Great Lakes for the purpose of 
facilitating trade seems to have attracted attention from an early time. In 
1784 Christopher Colles proposed to improve the navigation of the 
Mohawk, and for several years urged the State Legislature to undertake 
the enterprise. In 1791 Governor George Clinton, in an address to the 
Legislature, referred to the need of improving inland navigation, and in 
the same session the Legislature passed an act by which commissioners of 
the Land Office were directed to have the region between the Mohawk 
River and Wood Creek in Herkimer County and the Hudson River and 
Wood Creek in Washington County explored and surveyed. In 1792 
the Legislature incorporated the Western Inland Lock Navigation 
Company and the Northern Inland Lock Navigation Company. The 
former was dissolved without having accomplished anything, but the 
latter succeeded in completing, in 1796-7, a short stretch of canal at 
Little Falls, another at the German Flats, and a third from the Mohawk 
River to Wood Creek. This company carried its operations to such 
a point that a boat could pass from Schenectady into Oneida Lake, but 
the expense of the work made it necessary to charge such high tolls that 
the canals were but little used. 

In 1808 the Legislature made provision for surveying "the most 
eligible and direct route of a Canal, to open a communication between 
the tide waters of the Hudson River and Lake Erie." This survey was 
made, and in 1809 a favourable report was issued. Nothing further 
appears to have been done until the spring of 18 10, when the Legis- 

[■] One result of the epidemic was the rapid development of Greenwich Village. 


lature appointed five commissioners "to explore the whole route for 
Inland Navigation, from the Hudson River to Lake Ontario, and to 
Lake Erie." In April, 181 1, the Legislature passed an act adding 
Robert Fulton and Robert R. Livingston to the board of commissioners, 
and giving them power to consider all matters relating to inland navi- 
gation between the Hudson River and the Lakes. It authorised them to 
apply to other states and to Congress for co-operation and aid; to ascer- 
tain if loans could be procured; and to treat with the Western and 
Northern Inland Lock Navigation Companies for a surrender of their 
rights and interests. Application was made to Congress for aid in build- 
ing the canal, but was refused on the ground that the Constitution would 
not permit the appropriation of any part of the national funds to this 
purpose. A similar application to individual states brought no response 
more tangible than good wishes. 

The war with Great Britain in 1 812— 15 delayed further operations 
for the building of a canal. It was not until after peace had been 
restored, in 1815, that a group of New York's influential citizens peti- 
tioned the Legislature in favour of the projected inland navigation. 
Petitions from other parts of the state also were presented to the Legisla- 
ture. Governor Tompkins recommended the subject to the attention of 
both Senate and Assembly, and the Canal Commissioners made a report 
favouring the immediate commencement of the work. In 1 8 1 6 an act 
of the Legislature was passed providing for the improvement of internal 
navigation within the state. By this act, Messrs. Van Rensselaer, Clinton, 
Young, Ellicott, and Holley were appointed commissioners, with powers 
to devise and adopt measures and appoint engineers. Twenty thousand 
dollars was appropriated to cover the expense of executing the act. 

During 18 16 the commissioners divided the line of the canal into 
four sections and appointed engineers to each section. Reports of esti- 
mated costs were submitted to the Legislature, which, in April, 1 8 1 7, 
passed an act authorising the beginning of work on the canal. Ground 
was broken at Rome, July 4, 1 8 1 7, in the presence of the commissioners 
and a vast assembly of citizens. A new impetus to the construction of 
the canal was given in 1 8 1 7 by the election of De Witt Clinton to the 
office of governor. He had made himself sponsor for the undertaking, 
and his elevation to the chief magistracy of the state showed that in this 
respect at least his policy met with the support of the people. As 
portions of the new waterway were completed, they were put into 


operation, and the tolls collected were so large that the financial success 
of the undertaking was early assured. In 1825 the task was completed. 
Canals had been built connecting Lake Champlain and Lake Erie with 
the Hudson River, at a cost of seven millions of dollars. 

It was fitting that the completion of such a work should be suitably 
observed. At ten o'clock on October 26, 1 825, a canal boat — the "Seneca 
Chief" — with Governor Clinton and his guests on board, entered the canal 
at Buffalo, and proceeded by way of Albany to New York. Upon the 
boat's arrival there on November 4th, it was greeted by a national salute 
of cannon, and by a great concourse of shipping, gathered to celebrate 
the joyful event. The boat proceeded up the East River to the Navy 
Yard, where it was boarded by officers of the United States navy. Re- 
turning to the Battery, followed by an imposing and noisy flotilla, it pro- 
ceeded through the Narrows to the ocean, where Governor Clinton 
emptied a keg of water, brought from Lake Erie for that purpose, into 
the sea. On this journey across the state, the Governor and his party had 
been greeted with enthusiasm by thousands of citizens, who expressed in 
this way their joyful anticipation of what the canal would do for them 
and for their state. In this they were not disappointed. As had been 
expected, the population of the newly opened parts of the state in- 
creased rapidly, and new towns sprang up along the line of the canal. 
Probably no part of the state received greater benefit from the new 
waterway than New York City, to which the canal brought the mo- 
nopoly of a rich trade, which enabled that port to wrest from Philadel- 
phia all hope of ever again becoming the metropolis of the New World. 

In 1 82 1 the state constitution was revised by a constitutional conven- 
tion which met at Albany. Like all the state constitutions of the Revo- 
lutionary period, that adopted by New York in 1777 contained many 
of the undemocratic ideas of an earlier period. The suffrage for mem- 
bers of the Assembly was restricted to owners of freeholds of the value 
of one hundred dollars, while only those citizens could vote for mem- 
bers of the Senate who possessed freeholds of the value of five hundred 
dollars. By these regulations more than fifty thousand leaseholders were 
prevented from voting. Two other features of the constitution had come 
to be looked upon with disfavour. One was the Council of Appoint- 
ment, composed of the Governor and four Senators, which had the power 
of appointing more than fifteen thousand officials in all parts of the state, 
and had become a powerful political machine capable of controlling the 


entire state. The second was the Council of Revision, composed of the 
Governor, the Chancellor, and the Judges of the Supreme Court, which 
was charged with the duty of revising all bills passed by the Assembly and 
Senate. This Council had made itself very unpopular by rejecting so 
many laws that it had virtually arrogated to itself the functions of a legis- 
lative body similar to the Assembly and the Senate. 

By I 82 1 changes had occurred which made the old constitution no 
longer acceptable. The most important of these was that resulting from 
the spread of population into the more newly developed parts of the state, 
where a spirit of democracy had arisen, entirely unlike anything that was 
known in the older sections. The result of the rapid settlement of these 
new sections was the creation of a new class of citizens, among whom 
democratic ideas and customs reached a high degree of development. The 
system in the older parts of the state by which a few families of wealth 
and influence dominated the community was undermined by the rise to 
power of this new class. The result was a wave of democratic feeling 
which swept over the state and challenged the right of the class long since 
established in influence to continue further its monopoly of political con- 
trol. The movement was not confined to New York. It appeared in all the 
older states, with the result that in the first quarter of the century nearly 
all of them revised their constitutions so as to give to the common peo- 
ple greater political influence, through extension of the right of suffrage. 

The convention elected by the people to revise the New York State 
constitution met at Albany in August, 1821. Daniel D. Tompkins, 
formerly Governor of the state, and at that time Vice-President, was 
chosen to preside over the deliberations of the body. Among the mem- 
bers of great influence with the conservatives was Chancellor James Kent, 
an able judge, and the most distinguished commentator on law that New 
York has yet produced. The leader of the liberals, and perhaps their 
most influential member, was Martin Van Buren, even then distinguished 
for his political ability and tact. 

The constitution as it stood in 1821, except for a slight change made 
in 1 80 1, was just as it had been framed in 1777. The convention of 
1 82 1 made sweeping reforms. It abolished, with little opposition, the 
Council of Appointment, and scattered the appointing power. There- 
after, many of the smaller offices were filled by election; the appointment 
of state officers was entrusted to the two houses of the State Legislature, 
and the choice of all other officers, except some of those in the cities, to 


the Governor, with the approval of the Senate. By this arrangement the 
old political machine, which had been controlled by the Council of 
Appointment, was swept away; but Martin Van Buren and his friends, 
all capable politicians, were soon able to construct a new organisation, 
commonly known as the Albany Regency, which long controlled the 
Democratic party and, through it, the patronage of the state. The 
Council of Revision was also abolished, and a qualified veto was entrusted 
to the Governor. 

But the real struggle in the convention was over the suffrage. The 
conservatives, generally, favoured the retention of a property qualification 
for electors, at least for the Senate. The liberals opposed even this 
restriction; and the liberals won, for the revised constitution abolished 
the property qualification for white electors, and gave the right of voting 
for all elected officers to every white citizen of full age who had been a 
resident of the state for one year and had paid a state or county tax on 
real or personal property, or had performed service in the militia, or 
could prove three years' residence in the state, one year in the county, 
and the performance of actual labour on the highways, or a tax equiva- 
lent. Even the free negro was given the ballot if he possessed a freehold 
worth two hundred and fifty dollars. ['] Changes were made in the 
judiciary of the state so as to remove the judges from all political activ- 
ity. The constitution, with these and several other revisions of less im- 
portance, was adopted, and soon went into effect. 

In 1826 the suffrage was still further extended, by giving every white 
male citizen of the state, twenty-one years of age, who had been an 
inhabitant of the state for one year preceding the election, and for six 
months a resident of the county in which he might wish to vote, the 
right to cast his ballot for all elective officers. 

The new constitution went a long way forward in the direction of 
democracy. Unfortunately, the extension of the suffrage gave corrupt 
political leaders an opportunity to gain control by exploiting the popular 
vote. This was particularly true in New York City, where the presence 
of large numbers of recently arrived immigrants, in combination with 
the lax enforcement of election and naturalisation laws, furnished the 
very material needed to build up a corrupt political machine. The 
political corruption and election frauds that have since troubled New 
York may be traced very largely to this source. 

['] Few negroes were enfranchised under this provision. 


New York City grew with great rapidity during these years. The 
period of depression immediately following the war had given way to 
wonderful prosperity. In 1825 the population rose to one hundred and 
sixty-two thousand persons, an increase of nearly forty thousand in five 
years. Never had the commerce of the city been greater. Duties to 
the amount of ten millions of dollars had been collected in one year, 
a sum greater by eighty thousand dollars than had been collected in the 
same time in Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Norfolk, and Savannah 
together. Sixteen packets made regular trips between New York and 
Liverpool; four more were in the trade to Havre, seven to Savannah, 
ten to Charleston, and four to New Orleans. This list takes no account 
of the innumerable sailing-vessels of all descriptions that made regular 
trips to all intermediate points of importance on the coast. Thirteen 
hundred sailing-vessels entered the port annually, and the city's inland 
trade, transported by way of the Hudson River and the Erie Canal, was 
equally great. Merchants from every part of the country came to New 
York to transact their business. The city had become the metropolis 
of the country. 

Five hundred new mercantile houses were said to have been estab- 
lished in the city in the early months of 1825. There were twelve 
banks, with an aggregate capital of thirteen million dollars, and ten 
marine insurance companies, with a capital of ten million dollars. Yet 
these were not able to meet the demands of business, and when the 
Legislature met, applications were made to it for charters for twenty- 
seven more banks, with a combined capital of twenty-two and a half 
million dollars, and for thirty other corporations, with an aggregate 
capital of fifteen millions. 

The physical growth of the city also was very rapid. In 1825 more 
than three thousand buildings were in course of construction, and there 
was said to be no vacant house in the city; indeed, it was quite common 
for families to move into half-finished houses, so great was the demand 
for dwellings. Year after year, on the first of May, the universal moving 
day, homeless people gathered in the Park with their goods and chattels, 
and were lodged in the Gaol until the houses they had rented could be 
got ready for them. In the upper wards of the city, the growth had been 
especially rapid. In April, 1825, a new distribution of the city into wards 
was made. The area below 14th Street, which then was considered the 
utmost limit of the city proper, was divided into eleven wards : that above 


14th Street was all included in the Twelfth Ward; and, being a rural 
district, was not subjected to such laws and regulations as pertained es- 
pecially to municipal affairs. 

A paper of the day,['] in commenting upon the rapid progress of 
the city, says: 

It is a great pleasure to observe the vast improvements which have lately 
taken place in our City. New streets have been made in the place of old 
alleys . . . handsome buildings have been everjrwhere erected . . . gas- 
lights chase away the evening shadows; and we see a church at almost every 
corner . . . our public parades are becoming more fashionable. 

The Commercial Advertiser of January i 8,1 825, in an editorial, remarks: 

Greenwich is now no longer a country village. Such has been the growth 
of our city that the building of one block more will completely connect the 
two places; and in three years' time, at the rate buildings have been erected 
the last season, Greenwich will be known only as a part of the city, and the 
suburbs will be beyond it. . . 

There was considerable activity in educational circles at this time. 
On July 28, 1825, the corner-stone of the General Theological Seminary 
was laid at Chelsea, and later in the year the Free School Society erected 
its seventh school building, on Chrystie Street. The National Academy 
of Design was formed in 1826, an outgrowth of the New York Draw- 
ing Association, and incorporated in 1828. Among its incorporators 
were Samuel F. B. Morse, Asher B. Durand, and Thomas Cole. 

In government. New York had not kept pace with its rapid growth 
in wealth and commercial importance. The administrative machinery was 
still that of the Montgomerie Charter of 1730, and in many important 
particulars was no longer adequate. Population had increased so rapidly 
that the city government was unable to adapt itself quickly enough to 
the changing conditions. Difficulties of administration were further in- 
creased by the fact that many of the new citizens were recently arrived 
immigrants, who were unaccustomed to the system under which they 
had come to live, and proved to be a turbulent element, which the primi- 
tive city government found it hard to control. The administration of the 
city's affairs was in the hands of a Mayor, a Recorder, the Aldermen, and 
a few officials in charge of what have since become departments of city 
government. After the revision of the state constitution in 1821, the 
Mayor was elected by the Aldermen, who, in turn, were elected, one 

['] The New York Mirror and Ladies Literary Gazette, March 5, 1825. 


from each ward, by the voters of the ward; and were required, two at a 
time, to serve as judges in the Court of General Sessions for the city and 

There was a Superintendent of Streets, but he, like the other heads 
of departments, was assisted in performing his duties by the citizens them- 
selves. The ordinances for keeping the streets clean required that every 
occupant of a dwelling-house or other building, and every owner of a 
vacant lot on any paved street, must, twice a week from April to Decem- 
ber, sweep the pavement before his premises as far as the middle of the 
roadway, where he was to gather the rubbish into a heap, and place 
thereon the ashes or other waste brought out from his house. The city 
removed the rubbish, and swept the paved streets in front of unoccupied 
houses at the expense of the owner. From December to April no street 
cleaning was attempted. Visitors to the city at this period speak of the 
ordinances for the cleaning of streets as good, but say that they were 
poorly enforced, and that as a result the streets were dirty and dusty. 
Newspapers of the day complain of the pigs, which still were allowed to 
roam the streets and act as public scavengers. 

There was also a primitive fire department, consisting of the chief 
engineer and his assistants, the fire-wardens, firemen, hose-men, and hook- 
and-ladder men. Each fire-warden was attached to a particular engine, 
which he, with his firemen, hose-men, and hook-and-ladder men, dragged 
to the scene of the fire and operated. Citizens with their leather fire- 
buckets, of which each was required to keep in his front hall a number 
proportionate to the fireplaces in his house, were formed by the fire- 
warden in double line from the engine to the nearest pump, and passed 
the water to the engine. Strong rivalry existed between the crews of the 
different engines, and resulted in frequent brawls. The fire-engine com- 
panies were an important factor in the social life of the time, and mem- 
bership in them often led to political influence and advancement. 

The peace of the city was kept by the constables during the day, and 
at night by the watch. The city was divided into four districts, over 
each of which two captains of the night watch had control. One served 
every other night, and his duty was to command as many watchmen as 
the Common Council might provide, assign them to their positions, and 
see that they kept sober and performed their work. The watchmen 
wore no uniform; each carried a lantern on a pole, and called out the 
hours of the night. They were expected to maintain order and to re- 


port fires, and to them was entrusted the care of the lamps used in light- 
ing the streets. It was their duty to light the lamps at sundown and 
keep them burning until morning. The men employed as night watch- 
men were usually those who had no regular employment, and as a class 
they were of a low grade of efficiency. From sunrise to sunset, the 
peace of the city was maintained by the constables, two in each ward, 
although in times of unusual disturbance the Mayor might appoint special 
additional constables. 

In 1826 the Free School Society was re-named the Public School 
Society of New York, and was required to instruct at a moderate com- 
pensation all children not otherwise provided for. In 1827 the Wash- 
ington Parade Ground (Washington Square) was formed into a public 
place, and the Street Commissioner was directed to enclose the square in 
"a neat pale fence." In 1828 the city purchased from the state the old 
State Prison and grounds at Greenwich, from which the prisoners had 
been removed to the recently opened prison at Sing Sing. The ground 
was divided into building lots and sold. In 1829 the Parade ceased to 
be reserved for public uses, and Fifth Avenue was continued northward 
through it, the streets lying between 23d and 31st Streets being extended 
from Fourth to Sixth Avenue. 

A visitor to New York in i827['], writing of the city, tells us that 
Broadway was "the most spacious and elegant street," and could "boast 
of some superb houses of painted brick," although its beauty was marred 
by the "air of gothic heaviness" which prevailed in the details of the 
buildings. The walls were generally composed of "a very neat, small 
brick, yet the windows, doors, and roofs were not in uniformity with the 
fineness of the material, for they exhibited a clumsy plainness." The 
streets were generally well paved and the sidewalks flagged. During the 
preceding year more than twelve hundred new houses had been built in 
the city, many of them of white marble. St. John's Square was the most 
fashionable residence section of the city. 

Goodrich's Picture of New York and Strangers' Guide to the Commer- 
cial Metropolis of the United States, published in 1828, says that the city 
was well lighted by lamps; Broadway and some other streets were 
lighted with gas. The pleasantest residence streets lay west of Broad- 
way, from the Battery to Washington Square. The section of the city 
east of the Bowery was occupied by a dense population, principally 

['] The New York Mirror, January 6 and 13, 1827. 


inhabiting small, two-storey, wooden or brick buildings. South Street 
was occupied exclusively by those interested in shipping. Pearl Street 
was the headquarters of the wholesale dry-goods merchants. The Cus- 
tom House, principal banks, insurance and brokers' offices, the Mer- 
chants' Exchange, the Post Office, and the offices of several important 
daily papers were in Wall Street. Broadway from the Battery to loth 
Street, a distance of about two miles, contained the principal retail shops. 
It also included the principal hotels, four Episcopal churches, the City 
Hall, the hospital, and Masonic Hall. It was well paved throughout, 
with sidewalks nineteen feet in width, laid with "flagging stone." The 
most striking views in the city were to be obtained on this street as 
one proceeded from the Battery to the City Hall. Perhaps the finest 
view of all was that from St. Paul's Chapel, looking to the north and 
north-east, [i] 

Railroads were coming into use at this time, and the first locomotive 
brought to America, named the "Stourbridge Lion," arrived from 
England in May, 1829, at the wharf of the West Point Foundry, at the 
foot of Beach Street, and was sent to Honesdale, Pennsylvania, where it 
was tested. The first locomotive built in the United States for actual 
service on a railroad was the "Best Friend," which was constructed at 
the West Point Foundry in New York City for the South Carolina 
Railroad. The "De Witt Clinton," the first locomotive used to draw 
a train of passenger cars in New York State, was also built at the "West 
Point Foundry Works." Its first trip was made from Albany to Sche- 
nectady, on August 9, 1 83 1. 

The first railroad on Manhattan Island was built by the New York 
and Harlem Railroad Company, which was incorporated April 25, 1831, 
with power to construct a single or double track railroad from any point 
on the north side of 23d Street between the east side of Third Avenue 
and the west side of Eighth Avenue to any point on the Harlem River, 
and to transport persons and property on the same by steam, animals, or 
any other power. In November, 1832, it began to operate horse-cars 
between Prince and 14th Streets. Trains operated by steam were not 
introduced until 1834. In May, 1834, the route was farther extended 
to Yorkville, and by the summer of 1837 to Harlem. In a letter to the 
Rail-road journal, published January 18, 1832, John Stevens recom- 
mended that the Harlem Railroad be continued through Broadway as far 

['] A. T. Goodrich, Picture of New York and Strangers' Guide, pp. 459-61. 


as Trinity Church. Ten days later he published an elaboration of his 
plan in which he proposed that the tracks be elevated — which seems to 
have been the earliest suggestion for an elevated railroad in New York. 

The charter of New York City was amended by act of the Legis- 
lature in 1804, 1830, and 1834, with the result that the government of 
the city was by each change put more completely into the hands of the 
citizens. By the act of 1804, the privilege of voting, instead of being 
confined to freemen and freeholders, was given to every male citizen 
twenty-one years of age who had resided in the city for six months 
preceding the election, and had rented a tenement worth twenty-five 
dollars a year and paid taxes. The revised state constitution of 1821 
took the appointment of the Mayor out of the hands of the Governor 
and State Council of Appointment, where it had rested since the adoption 
of the state constitution of 1777, and gave it to the Common Council. 
In 1834 the city government was made still more thoroughly representa- 
tive and democratic by giving the choice of Mayor to the city electors 
qualified to vote for charter officers. After this change, Mayor, Alder- 
men, and Assistants were all chosen annually in a three-day election, 
which began on the second Tuesday of April. The first Mayor chosen 
by popular vote was Cornelius Van Wyck Lawrence, the Tammany can- 
didate, who was elected by a small majority over Gulian C. Verplanck, 
the independent candidate. The election was marked by disturbances 
so serious that the city militia had to be called out to restore order. 

That the city contained a disorderly element, and that the authorities 
were troubled to keep it in control, is evident not only from these election 
disturbances but also from the disorder which occurred in October, 1833, 
when the Anti-Slavery Society of New York was organised. ['] In July 
of the following year a riot against Abolitionists took place, in which 
several churches were sacked. Other riots followed, until Mayor Law- 
rence issued a proclamation calling on all good citizens to aid in keeping 
the peace. A large mob collected at the Five Points, where the rioters 
burned buildings and destroyed property. The Mayor issued a second 
proclamation calling upon independent organisations of citizens for help. 
The volunteer military organisations and the fire companies promptly 

[■] A handbill, freely circulated during the later charter election in New York, read: "Irishmen, to 
your posts, or you will lose America. By perseverance you may become its rulers, by negligence you 
become its slaves. . . . This beautiful country you may gain by being firm and united. Your religion 
may have the ascendancy and here predominate. By your perseverance this may become a Catholic 
country. Vote the ticket, Alexander Stewart, alderman, and Edward Flanagan for assessor — both true 


offered their aid, and, assisted by them, the police were able to restore 
order. Another serious riot broke out in the summer of 1835 at the 
Five Points. This was the result of election brawls between two 
branches of the Democratic party, and the intense feeling aroused among 
native Americans by the announcement that an Irish regiment, to be 
known as the O'Connell Guards, was to be formed. 

Other events, of a more promising augury for the future of the city, 
occurred during these years. In 1831 Samuel B. Ruggles established 
Gramercy Park by giving the land which it contains to the owners of 
the lots bordering upon it, on condition that each pay ten dollars a year 
to provide a fund from which the park might be planted and maintained. 
In the fall of 1832 the first sessions of New York University were held, 
at Clinton Hall, on the south-west corner of Nassau and Beekman Streets. 
There were one hundred and fifty-seven students and eighteen professors 
on the rolls during the first year. Efforts to establish the university had 
been made in 1829; in April, 1831, a charter was obtained; and the 
corner-stone of the university's building on Washington Square was laid 
in July, 1833. Work on the building was interrupted by the stone- 
cutters' riots caused by the use of stone dressed by the convicts at Sing 
Sing, and the building was not opened for use until 1835. It was dedi- 
cated May 20, 1837. Another educational enterprise came to fruition 
in 1836 when the Union Theological Seminary was founded. The 
first building, at No. 9 University Place, was dedicated December 1 2, 

In March, 1832, the growth of the city was such as to warrant the 
creation of the Fifteenth Ward, from a part of the Ninth. In July, 
1832, Asiatic cholera appeared in New York City for the first time, and 
between July 7th and October 20th caused the death of about three 
thousand five hundred people. Numerous temporary hospitals were 
established in the city for the care of the sick, the new Hall of Records 
being used for this purpose. Citizens moved out of town to other parts 
of Manhattan Island to escape the plague, which thus contributed to the 
city's expansion. One important result of the epidemic was that the 
streets, which had been allowed to become shamefully dirty, were 
thoroughly cleaned, under the direction of Mayor Walter Bowne, and 
the rubbish carted away. After that the streets were kept in better con- 
dition. In 1834 a second epidemic of the disease occurred. 

In 1835 New York suffered a serious disaster in the great fire which 


broke out on the night of December i6th, and was not brought under 
control until it had destroyed the heart of the business section. Starting 
in a store on Merchant (Hanover) Street at the corner of Pearl Street, 
it burned over seventeen blocks and destroyed more than six hundred 
buildings in the streets east of Broadway and south of Wall Street. A 
strong wind, blowing from the north-west, combined with intensely cold 
weather to prevent the full use of the engines, and made it almost im- 
possible to check the flames until gunpowder was used to blow up build- 
ings lying in the path of the fire. Among the buildings destroyed were 
the Merchants' Exchange on Wall Street and the Dutch church on 
Garden Street. Watson, a visitor from Philadelphia, who was in the 
city immediately after the fire, says that its cause was unknown, but was 
supposed to have been the explosion of a gas-pipe. ['] He regarded New 
York's misfortune as a timely warning to Philadelphians against imitat- 
ing New York in this "foreign invention and embellishment," and also 
against building four and five-storeyed houses, "producing nothing but 
ugly deformity in the perspective, with no adequate counter-balancing 
advantage." The value of the property lost was estimated at seventeen 
million dollars. The fire insurance companies suffered especially, and 
nearly all of them were driven into bankruptcy. 

With this fire passed almost all of the old Dutch city that had 
survived the fires of 1776 and 1778. On the whole, however, the fire can 
scarcely be considered a disaster. The sale of lots soon afterwards showed 
that the burnt district was little impaired in value, and capitalists seemed 
to regard the removal of the old buildings as an improvement to the 
locality and an advantage to the city at large. In spite of the losses 
from the fire and the hard times resulting from the financial depression 
then prevailing generally throughout the country, we find the New-Tork 
Commercial Advertiser oi ¥ehv\x2iry 10, 1836, commenting upon the fact 
that business was extending: "Already the whole of Cedar Street east 
of Broadway is built up. Liberty Street is rapidly following. John 
Street will come next. Several jobbers have commenced in Broadway, 
the south side of which from Wall Street to the Bowling Green will soon 
be changed." 

The depression under which business throughout the country was 
suffering had followed a period of over-inflation and speculation, which 
was closely related to President Jackson's policy towards the United States 

[>] Annals of New York. Philadelphia, 1846. 


Bank. In July, 1832, Jackson vetoed the bill to re-charter the bank, 
and in 1833 he withdrew the government funds and deposited them in 
state banks. This obliged the bank to call in its loans and resulted in 
some financial distress. In the meantime the state banks in which 
government money had been deposited lent it out on easy terms, and 
this, together with the loose methods by which banks of all sorts issued 
paper money, made it easy for individuals to borrow. The result was 
a wave of speculation, which swept over the country, and appeared 
particularly in the purchasing of new lands in the West, and in canal 
and banking ventures. Jackson became alarmed at the financial situation, 
and in 1836 ordered land offices to refuse to accept paper money offered 
in payment for land, and to receive specie only. The West called upon 
eastern bankers for hard money just at the time when English bankers 
and other business men were demanding the payment of debts due from 
leading business houses in the East. Both demands could not be met, 
and the result was the panic of 1837. 

New York City was seriously affected by these conditions. It had 
already felt the flurry of hard times in 1834, when, at a meeting of 
mechanics and artisans of the city, a committee had been appointed to 
wait upon President Jackson and petition him for relief from the business 
depression attending his bank policy. The city shared also in the spirit of 
wild speculation that swept over the country in 1834—6. A lot on Wil- 
liam Street, near Wall Street, was sold for fifty-one thousand dollars, and 
quickly re-sold for one hundred and twenty thousand dollars. Two hun- 
dred and eighty-four lots at Rose Hill and nine hundred and twenty-seven 
at Bloomingdale, all on the outskirts of the city, were sold for six hundred 
and eighty thousand dollars. By 1836 the price of food had risen to an 
unprecedented height. The price of money rose rapidly, and all signs 
pointed to an impending panic. 

The next year conditions were no better. Wheat was even higher in 
price in New York, and with such prices poor labourers could not live. 
In January, 1837, after a meeting held in the Park to protest against 
conditions generally, and particularly against the action of the grain mer- 
chants who were refusing to sell their flour, a large number of men set 
off in a body for the warehouse of Eli Hart & Company, in Washington 
Street between Dey and Cortlandt Streets, broke into the place, and 
began to break open the barrels of flour. The police interfered, but could 
do nothing. The Mayor then came and tried to make a speech, but was 


pelted with flour. A thousand bushels of wheat and five hundred barrels 
of flour were said to have been destroyed at this place, and other ware- 
houses were looted before the rioters could be quieted. A few weeks 
later a second meeting was held in the Park, but this time the artillery- 
paraded and no disorders occurred. 

The crash came in March, 1837, when news was received in New 
York that three great cotton firms had failed in New Orleans for two 
and a half millions. Immediately, three New York firms failed for over 
nine millions. The press urged the people to be calm, but more failures 
occurred, and by April 8, 1837, there had been ninety-eight failures in 
New York alone, with liabilities of over sixty millions. Three days later 
the number of failures was given as one hundred and twenty-eight. 
Most labourers were now out of employment, and people actually began 
to break up housekeeping. By April i 5th, there were one hundred and 
sixty-eight failures in New York. On Monday and Tuesday, May 8 th 
and 9th, a run on all the banks in the city occurred, and on Wednesday, 
May I oth, all but three of the banks suspended specie payments, and all 
silver small change disappeared. The New York Chamber of Com- 
merce petitioned the Common Council to apply to the State Legislature 
for authority to issue small bills. The Common Council refused, and 
hotels, coffee-houses, and store-keepers flooded the city with tickets for 
small amounts, which passed in lieu of change. Gradually the storm 
subsided, and finally passed, but it was not until August of the next year 
that banks generally throughout the country resumed specie payments. 

The hard times accentuated the sufferings of the poor of the city, and 
called attention to the fact that a very large number of those dependent 
upon charity were recently arrived aliens. Of five thousand seven hun- 
dred and fifty immigrants who landed at the port of New York in the 
first half of May, 1837, one hundred immediately applied for relief at 
the Almshouse. More stringent regulations were adopted, requiring 
captains of ships landing passengers in New York to report to the Mayor 
within twenty-four hours the name, place of birth, last legal residence, 
age, and occupation, of each person; and every alien was required himself 
to report to the Mayor within twenty-four hours of his arrival, under 
penalty of one hundred dollars' fine. Masters of ships, however, evaded 
the law by landing their passengers in New Jersey, whence they imme- 
diately made their way to New York. It was found that some persons 
began to beg the very day they reached the city; others, their first night 


ashore, asked shelter at the watch-houses, or apphed to the commissioners 
of the Almshouse, or at the home of the Mayor. The Mayor gave a 
dismal picture of conditions among pauper immigrants in a communi- 
cation to the Common Council, and a committee appointed to consider 
the Mayor's message made an equally dismal report. The result of 
these conditions was a determined demand for the better enforcement of 
the health laws and the Passenger Act. 

Increased poverty and mendicancy were not the only unfavourable re- 
sults of immigration. Riots and mob violence were greatly increased by 
the aliens in the city. Crime naturally followed destitution, and the pris- 
ons were crowded with aliens. In New York, where the number of 
immigrants arriving each year was relatively large, many were allowed 
to vote before naturalisation, and were often won over to Tammany by 
the nomination of a fellow-countryman to office. Election frauds and 
election riots became common in the city, especially after the election 
of the Mayor was put directly into the hands of the people by the revi- 
sion of the charter in 1834. American principles and institutions, it was 
said, were endangered by the influx of this horde of foreigners, who, 
bringing with them ideas and customs of their own, had no intention of 
being assimilated into the body politic of the American Republic. On 
the other hand, these disadvantages were more than offset by the manual 
labour supplied by these men in building railroads and canals and in 
helping to subdue the wilderness. The organisation of the Native 
American Association, which was formed to combat foreign influence, 
was the natural result of the conditions of the time. The antagonism 
between native and naturalised Americans was noticeable throughout the 
country, but it was especially strong in New York, where the proportion 
of foreign-born was so great. 

In 1836 a new ward, called the Sixteenth, was created by dividing the 
Twelfth Ward, and a year later the Eleventh Ward was similarly divided, 
and a new ward, the Seventeenth, was formed from it. A guide-book 
of the city published in 1837 says that about one-sixth of Manhattan Is- 
land was compactly covered with houses, stores, and paved streets. The 
rest was occupied by farms and gardens. Broadway was still the finest 
of the streets, and extended from the Battery northward about .three 
miles to its union with Fifth Avenue at 23d Street. Just north bf this 
street a new public place was laid out and named Madison Square. Most 
of the houses in New York were built of brick and were from fwo to six 


storeys in height. A few of the old wooden buildings still remained, and 
some of the newer and finer structures were of stone. Even at that time 
complaints were made of the great increase in the price of provisions. 
It was estimated that within the preceding two years this increase had 
been not less than thirty-three per cent. There were now about sixty 
hotels in the city, three of which were run on the European plan, and at 
these the cost of a week's lodging varied from two dollars and a half to 
three dollars and a half. At the hotels conducted on the American plan 
the price of a day's board and lodging varied from one dollar and a half 
to two dollars and a half. There were five theatres, of which the Park 
Theatre, in Park Row, was the oldest and largest, and stood first in the 
excellence of its performances. The price of admission to the boxes 
was one dollar, to the pit fifty cents, and to the gallery twenty-five cents. 
Other places of "fashionable resort" were the Battery and Castle Gar- 
den, which latter had been ceded by the United States to the city in 1823, 
and since that time had been used as a place of public entertainment. 
Niblo's Garden, at the corner of Broadway and Prince Street, was one 
of the most fashionable resorts during the summer months. The walks 
were bordered with shrubbery and flowers. Fireworks were occasion- 
ally exhibited, and theatrical and musical entertainments were given in 
the "saloon." Other public gardens were the New York Garden, in 
Broadway, between Leonard and Franklin Streets; Cold Spring Garden, 
at the corner of Leroy Street, between Washington and Greenwich 
Streets; and East River Garden, near Corlears Hook. 

The churches in New York in 1837 numbered about one hundred 

and fifty, of which the Presbyterians had thirty-nine, the Episcopalians 

twenty-nine, and the seventeen other denominations, from one to twenty 

each. New York had two colleges. King's College, situated on the square 

.bounded by Murray, Barclay, Church, and Chapel Streets, and the Uni- 

[.versity of the City of New York, which occupied a site on the east side 
.bf Washington Square between Washington and Waverly Places. The 
General Theological Seminary of the Protestant Episcopal Church stood 
; at the corner of Ninth Avenue and 21st Street. The New York 
-Theoipgical Seminary, controlled by the Presbyterian Church, was in 
Woo&tor Street above Waverly Place. The buildings of the seminary 

■ wereV however, not erected until 1839. The Mechanics' School, estab- 
lished in 1820 by the General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen for 
the purpose of educating the children of deceased or unfortunate members, 



stood in Crosby Street. In 1837 the Public School Society maintained 
fifteen public schools, twenty-six public primary schools, and eight schools 
for coloured children. The number of children taught in the schools 
of the society in 1839 was over thirteen thousand. Of these, more than 
one thousand were coloured. Besides these, there were many private 
schools and seminaries in the city. Fifty newspapers and nine or ten 
magazines were published in New York in 1837. Of the papers, four- 
teen were daily, eight semi-weekly, and the rest weekly. In price they 
varied from a "sixpenny" ['] to a penny a copy. 

New York was still open to criticism for the manner in which the 
streets were cleaned; but she had not entirely relapsed into the bad habits 
which had formerly made her streets notorious for their filthy condition, 
and which the epidemic of cholera in 1832 had forced her to correct. 
In 1837 regular scavengers were first employed, but their number was 
too small to keep the streets thoroughly and habitually clean. The duty 
of protecting the city from fires was in the hands of a chief engineer of 
the Fire Department, chosen by the Common Council, and appointed at 
an annual salary of twelve hundred dollars, and of sixty-four fire com- 
panies, composed of volunteers, whose only remuneration was exemption 
from military and jury duty for life. Of these, forty-nine were engine 
companies, nine were hook-and-ladder companies, and the remaining six 
were hose companies. There were over sixteen hundred men in the Fire 
Department in 1839, but the lack of sufficient water was a serious obstacle 
to its efficiency. It is true, a plentiful supply could be taken from the 
East River or the Hudson, but it was difficult to convey it to fires occur- 
ring at a distance from the rivers, and the supply to be obtained from 
street wells was entirely inadequate. Public cisterns had been built at 
various places in the city, and in 1829 there were forty of these. Rather 
than build more cisterns, the city Corporation built one large reservoir in 
I 3th Street near the Bowery, and supplied it with water pumped from a 
deep well. From this reservoir over nine miles of iron pipes — from six 
to twelve inches in diameter — were laid in the principal streets. 

Building continued to go on rapidly during these years. In 1835 the 
number of buildings erected was twelve hundred and fifty-nine; in 1836 
it was sixteen hundred and twenty-one. The area that had been swept 
by the great fire of 1835 was nearly built up by 1837, in which year 

['] The New York sixpence was worth 6^ cents. The first penny paper in the country was the Sun, 
which was started by Day & Wisner towards the close of 1833. The second successful penny paper was 
the Herald, established by James Gordon Bennett in 1835. 


a new Merchants' Exchange was being erected on the site of the one 
that had been burned, and a new Custom House was in course of construc- 
tion at the corner of Nassau and Wall Streets. The Halls of Justice, or 
"Tombs," occupying the entire block bounded by Leonard, Elm, Frank- 
lin, and Centre Streets, were begun in 1836 and completed during the 
summer of i838.['] 

New York was well supplied with means of communication with the 
outside world. The London packets, with three sailings each month 
from New York and Portsmouth, three lines of Liverpool packets, and 
the New York and Havre packets, supplied regular communication 
with Europe. There were lines of packets from New York to the New 
England and southern ports, and to the West Indies and South America. 
Two thousand two hundred and eighty-five ships entered the port of 
New York in 1836, an increase of two hundred and fifty over the 
number arriving in 1835. Prior to 1838 no ship had crossed the 
Atlantic under steam power alone. In that year this feat was accom- 
plished by the steamer "Sirius," from Cork, which made the voyage in 
eighteen days, reaching New York April 2 2d. The next day, the "Great 
Western" arrived from Bristol, after a passage of fifteen days, thus estab- 
lishing permanently steam communication between the two continents. 

Numerous steamboats on the Hudson gave New York ample means 
of communication with the interior. Some of them carried both pas- 
sengers and freight, some only passengers. Other boats were advertised 
to tow barges or canal boats by which freight could be sent to Troy and 
thence over the Erie Canal to the western part of the state and the Great 
Lakes. During the winter, when the Hudson was closed to traffic by the 
ice, passengers for Albany might pursue their journey by stage, either on 
the east side of the Hudson, or on the west side by way of Newburgh. On 
every day throughout the year, except Sundays, a stage left No. 7 1 Cort- 
landt Street at 3 A. M. for Owego, Ithaca, Geneva, and Buffalo. Other 
lines carried travellers to Philadelphia, Boston, Danbury, and points on 
Long Island. Cars left Jersey City four times a day, over the tracks of 
the Paterson Railroad, for the seventeen-mile journey to Paterson, and 
nine times a day over the New Jersey Railroad for Newark. 

Within the limits of Manhattan Island, passengers were carried from 
place to place by stages, hackney coaches, or cars. The Harlem Rail- 

['] The site of this building had been the Corporation Yard. It was made ground, and had formerly 
been a part of the site of the old Collect. 


road despatched horse-cars every twenty minutes from the Bowery, 
opposite Prince Street, to Harlem, a distance of seven miles. Stages 
ran at short intervals, along regular routes, from Wall Street and the 
lower parts of the city to the Dry Dock, Greenwich, and 14th Street. 
Others ran several times a day from the Bowery and Bayard Street, to 
Yorkville, Bloomingdale, Harlem, and Manhattanville. In 1837 there 
were over one hundred and twenty vehicles in use on all the lines 
that ran to and from Wall Street. Some of the stages were drawn by 
two horses, some by four. The fare generally throughout the city was 
twelve and one-half cents; to Yorkville, it was eighteen and three-fourths 
cents; to Harlem and Manhattanville, twenty-five cents. The average 
number of persons using these omnibuses per day, Sundays excepted, 
on which day the horses were allowed to rest, was believed to be about 
twenty-five thousand. The stages were most crowded between twelve and 
three in the afternoon, when merchants and others were returning from 
business to their homes for dinner. Of hackney coaches, there were in 
New York in 1837 upwards of two hundred. The price for carrying 
passengers was fixed by law. For any distance under one mile the fare 
was thirty-seven and a half cents, and for any distance between one and 
two miles it was fifty cents. 

In 1840 the Post Office was in the Rotunda, on the south side of 
Chambers Street, in the City Hall Park,[j] and there was for a time a 
branch office at the north-west corner of William Street and Exchange 
Place. Upon the completion of the Merchants' Exchange, in 1841, this 
branch was removed to the Exchange. The postage on "single" letters, for 
a distance not exceeding thirty miles, was six cents; for a distance over 
thirty and not exceeding eighty miles it was ten cents. Higher rates were 
charged for "double," "triple," or "quadruple" [weight] letters, or for 
single letters carried a distance greater than eighty miles. There were 
several sub-post-offices in the upper parts of the city where letters might 
be deposited and be transmitted every hour to the main office. For this 
service two cents on every letter was charged. These sub-stations were 
not under the jurisdiction of the Postmaster, but were private establish- 
ments, maintained for the convenience of persons living at a distance from 
the main office. 

In 1840 the population of New York was over three hundred thou- 
sand. The city had grown with astonishing rapidity in both size and 

['] It had been in the Merchants' Exchange until the great fire of December i6, 1835. 



wealth; and yet it was still little more than an overgrown town. In 
many respects the machinery provided for performing the functions of a 
municipality had proved inadequate. A proper water supply and pro- 
tection against fire were lacking; and the city government had repeatedly 
allowed the peace to be marred by serious riots. Sober-minded citizens 
could not be blinded, by the wide-spread evidence of great material pros- 
perity, to the fact that the city faced many serious problems, which must 
be solved if its progress were to continue unchecked. 


c. 1812-C. 1 841 


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1789 AND 1798 



C. l8l2-f. I 841 



1789 AND 1798 



C. l8l2-f. I 841 


Frontispiece I 

Federal [or City] Hall 
[The Lacour-Doolittle Federal Hall] 

Line engraving on copper. I2f^ x i6>^ Date depicted: April 30, 1789. 

Artist: Peter Lacour.[i] Date issued: 1790. 

Engraved and printed by Amos Doolittle at New Haven. 

Owner: I.N.P.S. 

Other copies: A rather crudely coloured and somewhat water-stained impression of 
this view is in the possession of Mrs. Elliot Stuart Benedict (nee Catherine 
Van Rensselaer Bissell), of New York, who inherited it from her grandmother, 
Mrs. Van Rensselaer Haden. The only other known copy is a coloured im- 
pression owned by the Hist. Society of Pennsylvania; in this copy a part of 
the inscription has been torn away, and also a part of Doolittle's name. There 
was at one time a copy in the possession of the N. Y. Hist. Society, it being 
listed in their Collections, II: i^S^ under "Catalogue of Books, Tracts, etc." 
(1814). In 1826 the Society, because of financial embarrassment, disposed of 
some of its possessions, among which was probably included this engraving 
of Federal Hall. [^] 

['] Probably Pierre Lacour, a French painter and designer, who was for many years director of the 
Academy of Bordeaux, and is known to have visited America after the Revolution. Lacour was the author 
of the well-known picture, " Triomphal Arrival of Admiral Comte d'Estaing and of his flag ship ' Languedoc' 
in the port of Brest." This interesting drawing, recently offered for sale by Godefroy Mayer, of Paris, 
in his catalogue No. 30, item No. 36, was twice engraved, first by Lacour himself, and later by an unrecorded 
engraver, probably Guttenberg. The drawing was ordered for a festival given by the Chamber of Com- 
merce of Bordeaux on January 6, 1780, in commemoration of the French victories in America. 

['] Since the above description was written, Mr. Arnold has acquired an impression of this engraving, 
very crudely coloured, and somewhat wrinkled, but complete and with wide margins. 


Only known state. This is the only known contemporary representation of Washing- 
ton's inauguration, and is not only one of the most interesting prints of old New York, 
but one of the most important of American historical prints. For description of a broadside, 
in the author's collection, announcing the official order of exercises for the inauguration, 
and believed to be unique, as well as for contemporary accounts of this event, see Chro- 
nology, 1789, April 29th and 30th. The Bible on which Washington took the oath of office 
as President was then, and is now, the property of St. John's Lodge, No. i, Free and 
Accepted Masons, which, at the time of the inauguration, had its headquarters in the City 
Hotel, on Broadway. 

The City Hall was begun in September, 1699, and finished in the spring of 1704. As 
described in the London Magazine for August, 1761, it was at first a two-storey brick build- 
ing, oblong, with two wings at right angles with the main building; the lower floor, except 
for two gaols and the gaoler's apartments, was "an open walk"; the cellar underneath 
was a dungeon, and the garret a common prison. The assembly room, a lobby, and the 
speaker's chamber were in the east wing of the second storey, while the council room and 
library were in the west wing on the same floor. The Grim drawing (PI. 32) is the only 
known representation of the City Hall during this period. 

In 1763, an additional storey was added. — M. C. C, VI: 331. A view of the building, as 
thus remodelled, was made by Du Simitiere, and will be found reproduced in the Addenda 
to this volume. 

When Congress resolved, in December, 1784, to hold its future meetings in New York, 
beginning on January nth, the Common Council of the city offered to the United States 
government the use of "such Parts of the City Hall or other Public Buildings" belonging 
to the Corporation "as they should deem necessary and best suited for their accommoda- 
tion." — M. C. C. {MS.), VIII: 216. Congress accepted all of the City Hall except the 
court and jury rooms. — Joxirnals of Congress (1801), X: 26. In 1788-9, the building was 
entirely remodelled by L'Enfant, at a cost to the city of $65,0x30, and re-named Federal 
Hall. — See Chronology. 

The New York Magazine for March, 1790, contains a description of the new "Federal 
Edifice," as well as a perspective view. Practically the same view, engraved by S. Hill, 
appeared in the Massachusetts Magazine for June, 1789, [ ' ] and a very similar one in the 
Columbian Magazine for August of the same year. 

In August, 1790, only a little over a year after the building was remodelled, the seat of 
government was transferred to Philadelphia, when the building again became known as 
the City Hall. On August 12th, of the same year, the Senate passed a resolution 
thanking the Corporation of the City of New York "for the elegant and convenient 
accommodations provided for Congress." It also signified its desire that the Corpora- 
tion accept such articles of furniture, etc., then in the City Hall, as had been provided 
by Congress. 

In 1800, the old City Hall having become too small to house the various city depart- 
ments, a committee was appointed to consider the expediency of erecting a new building. 
— M. C. C. (MS.), XIII: 30. The corner-stone of the new City Hall was laid on May 26, 
1803, and the new building occupied in the spring of 1812. 

The old City Hall was by this time in extremely bad repair. A suggestion to remodel 
the building for an exchange met with no encouragement. On the contrary, the N. Y. 

['] The original pen and ink sketch, the finished wash drawing, and a coloured impression of the en- 
graving, all attributed to Henry Goldthwaite Jenks, the protege of Isaiah Thomas, the printer, were sold 
at auction by the American Art Association on November 19, 19 17 (catalogue Nos. .67, 68, 69). 


Gaz. & Gen. Adv., of April i, 1812, refers to the edifice as a "very great nuisance, as it 
projects about thirty feet into Wall-street, and almost stops up the entrance into Nassau 
street," and adds, "The Corporation has done well in ordering its removal." 

On April 15th, the lots upon which the building stood were sold at auction, and on 
May 13th, the City Hall itself was sold for $425, the terms of sale requiring that the building 
be removed by the "first of July next." — N. Y. Gaz. y Gen. Adv., March 26, 181 2 In 
later advertisements, however, this date was extended to July i6th. The Mercantile 
Advertiser of May iSth, in announcing the sale, remarks: "It is to be hoped that the build- 
ing is not to be left many days in its present tattered state." Evidently the work of demo- 
lition was begun at once, for, on May i8th, the Common Council ordered "that a footwalk 
on the south side of Marketfield Street along the Battery be paved with stone lately taken 
from the Old City Hall."— Af. C. C. {MS.), XXV: 120-1. For a discussion of the early 
land title to the City Hall property, see Plate 24, and the Castello Plan, Appendix, III. 

A list of the early engravings of the City Hall, subsequent to the alterations made in 
1788-9, will be found in the Catalogue of the Engravings issued by the Society of Iconophiles, 
pp. 49-50. 

The Lacour-Doolittle engraving is reproduced in Valentine's Manual for 1849, p. 334, 
where it is erroneously ascribed to Holland, being evidently confused with the original 
drawing shown on Plate 67, with which it is interesting to compare this view. A re- 
duced copy made from a photograph of the print owned by Mrs. Benedict was engraved, 
in 1899, by Sidney L. Smith, for The Society of Iconophiles. A process reproduction 
of Federal Hall, of the same size as the original, and made from the impression here repro- 
duced, was issued in 1903 by Charles A. G. Swasey, of New Bedford, Mass., in an edition 
of one hundred copies. 

The Print Room of the N. Y. Public Library contains a pamphlet, An old New Haven 
engraver and his work: Amos Doolittle, published, in an edition limited to thirty-one copies, 
by Rev. William A. Beardsley, M.A., New Haven (1910 ?). This monograph gives a 
biography of Doolittle and a list of his engravings, which, however, "makes no pretense 
to be complete." 

Reference: StaufFer, 533. 

Frontispiece II 

New York 

[The Collect or Fresh Water Pond] 

Water-colour drawing 20^x15^^ Date depicted: March, 

on paper. ^79^- 

Artist: Unknown. 
Owner: Edward W. C. Arnold, Esq. 

This view may well have been drawn by Alexander Robertson, whose "New York 
from Hobuck Ferry House New Jersey" (PI. 73) is very similar in treatment. It was 
evidently taken from a point directly north of one of the small hills so plainly shown on 
the Ratzen Map (PI. 42), perhaps from the one just east of the Fresh Water, in which 
case the road in the foreground would be Bayard Street, and the point of view would cor- 
respond approximately with the intersection of the present Baxter and Bayard Streets, 
or, even more likely, with a point just north of the next small hill near the intersection 
of the present Centre and Canal Streets. 


The buildings in the distance, beginning at the right, are St. Paul's Chapel, the 
perspective of which is apparently somewhat faulty, the Bridewell, Trinity Church, the 
Brick Church, the Middle Dutch Church, the North Dutch Church, and St. George's 

This is the only known contemporary view of the Collect or Fresh Water Pond, one 
of the most picturesque features in the original topography of Manhattan Island. The 
pond is here shown a few years before the work of filling in began. The name "Collect" 
is a corruption of the old Dutch "Kolch," — which had come to be applied in Holland to 
any small body of water. The word has also been erroneously written "Kalch," and 
translated by Valentine and other writers as "Lime-shell," and the hill to the west has 
been called "Kalchhook," or "Lime-Shell Point," a designation supposed to have been 
applied to it because of the heaps of oyster shells left by the Indians about the pond.[i] 

This once beautiful sheet of water, noted for its great depth and purity, long played 
an important part in the social life of the city, being a popular resort for skaters in winter 
and for boating and fishing parties in summer. It was also the scene of Fitch's experi- 
ments with his steamboat in the summer of 1796 or 1797, for an account of which and a 
description of the pond in earlier years, see Plate 58-a. 

At the corner of Chatham and Roosevelt Streets stood the "Tea Water Pump," built 
over a spring near the Collect, and for many years the best source of pure water which 
the city possessed. Later a garden was laid out about the pump, where mild beverages, 
mixed with pure water, were sold. Until the middle of the eighteenth century, the Fresh 
Water Pond was abundantly stocked with fish which were so plentiful that they were 
caught with nets until an ordinance of the Common Council, in 1734, forbade the practice. 
For years the ownership of the pond was vested in the Rutgers family. In 1730 Anthony 
Rutgers, who already owned the land west of the Collect, including the "Kolchhook," 
petitioned for a grant of the swamp and pond, which was given him, in 1733, on condition 
that he drain off the swamp within a year's time. This was accomplished so successfully 
that the tanners about the pond complained that the water was lowered so as to interfere 
with their supply, and Rutgers was ordered to close up the drain for thirty feet from the 
Collect. The swamp lands were, however, drained and turned into meadows. 

Although the Collect had not lost all of its picturesque character, even as late as the 
date of this drawing, it had, according to the Mangin Report of 1796, become a "stag- 
nant and mephitical" pond, surrounded by tan yards, and was considered a menace to 
the city's health. The work of filling in began in 1803, and was completed about 181 1. 
In 1805 several letters were published in the Republican Watch Tower by "A Householder," 
who urged the construction of a system of canals, one of which was to pass through the 
Collect, a project very similar to that proposed in 1796 by the Mangin Brothers. [-] In 
his letter of October 23, 1805, the writer describes the neighbourhood of the Collect — 
a description which, for the most part, probably applied pretty closely to the vicinity 
at the period of our view. The levelling process adopted by the Commissioners of 1807 
soon afterward reduced the natural elevations and raised up the low lands so that no trace 
was left of the old landmarks here described: 

. . . On the north side of the hill first mentioned, the ground descends to the Collect which 
was a pond of many acres about equally distant from the two rivers. Its outlet, which is to the 

['] For a reference to the interesting theory that the Collect was the site where Jean Allefonsce wintered 
in 1540, see The Dutch and Quaker Colonies in America, I: 76—8. 

[2] Original document preserved in metal file No. 17, City Clerk's record-room, entitled "Sketch ot a 
project to construct Docks in the interior of the town. New York," by Mangin Brothers. 


' New York City skated twenty-five 
years ago on the Collect Pond, where 
the Criminal Courts building now 
I stands. The pond took its name from 
a hill composed of oyster shells which 
I stood west of it upon the line of Broad- 
way. The Dutch called this hill "Kaleck 
Hoeck," or Chalk Hill, because it was 
1 white on account of the shells. Collect 
I represents an English attempt to pro- 
nounce the Dutch "Kaleck." 
[ The pond was about six acres in area 
' and was supposed to be bottomless. It 
I was fed by inexhaustible springs which 
are still flowing and which have given 
foundation builders a great deal of trou- 
ble. One of these was Tea Water Spring, 
the water of which was supposed to be 
unrivaled for making tea. 

A member received a list of firms in 
Madras, India and in Bahia, Brazil, in- 
terested in gas mantles, electric light 
supplies, etc. 

A report regarding the market for 
photographic supplies, from the Ameri- 
can Consulate of Copenhagen, was sent 
to an interested firm. 

Ijetters From Consulates 

Another member received copies of 
letters from two American Consulates in 
South Africa concerning his goods. 

The names of various directories were 
suggested to a trading company which 
contemplates establishing business con- 
nections in the West Indies. 

.A letter from the American Commer- 
cial Attache at Petrograd was sent to 
one of our members on whose behalf in- 
quiry had been made. 

Letters of introduction were given to 


west-ward, forms the extensive low grounds in the neighbourhood of Mr. Lispenard's. The 
head of this pond and of the creek that ran through Roosevelt-street, are separated only by a 
low barrier of earth which might easily be cut through, and thus unite the two rivers. The 
ground west of the Bowery, as far north as Bunker's Hill, descends towards the Collect, which 
thus receives the surplus water of several hundred acres of land. This Collect is now filling up 
with earth, and is to be sold and built upon . . 

Cozzens, in A Geological History of Manhattan or New York Island (1843), refers to the 
range of hills north-vyest of the Collect, and to his boyhood recollections of Bunker's Hill 
and the old Collect Pond: 

A high hill was dug down between where Anthony and Canal Streets now cross Broadway. . . 
On this hill, near where Franklin Street now is, on the east side of Broadway, stood a water basin, 
built before the Revolution, for supplying the city with water. A large well was dug near where 
White Street now crosses Elm Street; this well was from 30 to 40 feet span, and was to have had 
a steam engine, to force the water up the hill into the basin. . . Tradition says this project failed 
in consequence of the breaking out of the Revolutionary War, which is very probable. . . 

The next hill to be described was the highest and steepest on the south end of this island, 
and was called "Bunker's Hill;" it stood where now is the junction of Grand, Orange, and Elm 
Streets, and where now stands "Centre Market." . . It was a steep, and somewhat pyramidal 
hill, about 100 feet higher than the present level of Grand Street. On the top stood an old fort, 
in the centre of which was a well, from whence I have seen water drawn as late as i8oo, and which, 
no doubt, had supplied the garrison who quartered there during the Revolutionary War. . . 

They commenced levelling this hill about the year 1802, and in digging down, the earth was 
removed more than 14 feet lower than the bottom of the well; in it were found old iron hoops 
and other relics; among which was an old cannon, (a nine pounder,) which I saw there at the 
time. How often have I, when a boy, stood on the breast-work of this hill, and looked, with 
delight, to the south, over that beautiful sheet of water, the Kolck (Collect,) on the small city, 
with its few spires and domes. Beyond was seen the bay, with the hills of Staten Island still 
further in the south; then turning to the west, the "Noble Hudson," with the Newark Moun- 
tains in the distance, the farm houses and country seats of the island, and that stupendous work 
of nature, the palisades, on the north, and on the east the high ridge of that fertile plain. Long 
Island, "all covered with their native green." 

Reproduced and described here for the first time. 

Plate 8o-a 

A View of the City of New-York from Brooklyn Heights (etc.) 

[The St. Memin Panorama] 

Line engraving. 57 x 4>i Date depicted: Probably 1796. 

Date issued: About 1850. 
Provenance: Long supposed to have been derived from an original drawmg by St. 
Memin once in the possession of J. Carson Brevoort, but more probably an 
enlargement from the engraved view by St. Memin, reproduced as Plate 61. 
Owner: I.N.P.S. 
Other copies: N. Y. Public Library; N. Y. Hist. Society, etc. 

First state. Copies in this state are printed on bond paper, and are usually found 
rolled. This engraving was copied, about 1850, from a vievsr described in the title as an 
original drawing then in the possession of Mr. Brevoort. A careful comparison, however, of 
this panorama with the St. Memin view of the city from Long Island (PI. 61), plainly indi- 


cates that the two are practically identical. Possibly, the drawing from which the panorama 
is said to have been engraved was enlarged for Mr. Brevoort, or by him, from St. Memin's 
original drawing for Plate 6i, but it seems much more likely that the panorama was enlarged 
directly from the engraved view, which we know was long mistaken for a drawing. This 
theory was originally suggested to the author by Mr. R. T. H. Halsey. Curiously, the view 
from Long Island is dated 1796, whereas the date 1798 is given in the title of the panorama. 

A second state of the plate was issued in Valentine's Manual for 1861, opposite p. 12, 
with the inscription: "Prepared by M. Dripps for Valentine's Manual, 1861, from an 
Original Drawing now in possession of J. C. Brevoort Esqf of Brooklyn." The original 
issue is not an aquatint, nor is the copy in the Manual a woodcut, as has often been stated. 
Both issues are printed from the same plate, which was probably of steel. Numerous 
changes and additions have, however, been made in the second state. It will be noticed, 
for instance, in the key beneath the view, that in the first state ten of the references, 
beginning with Government House, are numbered, and that in the second state these 
numbers have been obliterated; also that Constable's Wharf and Cruger's Wharf have 
been added, between Old Slip and "Jone's Wharf," that Grace Church, erroneously so 
named on the original, is now properly designated Old Dutch Church, and that Old 
Ferry, near the Fly Market, has also been added. On both the first and second states, the 
French Church is erroneously named the "Scotch Pres? Church." This latter church 
stood on the south side of Cedar Street, between Nassau Street and Broadway, and had 
no steeple. The steeple of the French Church is, however, still shown at the south instead of 
at the north end of the building, an error which, evidently, occurred in enlarging the pano- 
rama from the original view, where the drawing in this particular is so indistinct that it is 
difficult to determine whether the steeple belongs to the building on the south or to the 
one on the north. 

This panoramic view, on account of its size, and because of the accuracy of the draw- 
ing, gives the best depiction which we have of the East River front of New York at the 
close of the eighteenth century. It is also one of the few early views to give the names of 
the important buildings. The first state of the print is now quite scarce. 

Plate 80-b 

Map of the City of New York and Island of Manhattan as laid out by 

THE Commissioners appointed by the Legislature April 3P 1807 

[The Bridges Map or Randel Survey] 

Line engraving on copper. 91^x24^ Date depicted: 1811. 

Date issued: Copyright 
November 16, 181 1. 
Author: Adapted by Wm. Bridges from the original survey by John Randel, Jr. 
Engraver: P. Maverick. 

Ow^ner: N. Y. Public Library (Eno Collection). 

Other copies: N. Y. Hist. Society (two copies, one bearing the inscription: "Pre- 
sented by Wm. Bridges"); American Geographical Society; Library of Con- 
gress; Crimmins Collection; J. Clarence Davies, Esq.; I. N. P. S. (two copies). 
Mr. Robert Fridenberg also owns a copy. These are the only copies known to 
the author. 


Probably the first state. Although in its essential particulars the map is known only 
in one state, several slight variations exist in the title and external lettering; for ex- 
ample, a fragment of the fifth sheet in the author's collection has under the scale of miles 
a parallelogram resting on four balls, and in Mr. Crimmins's copy, a reference has been 
added. No. 88-New Market (etc.). Except for the addition of the islands in the East 
River and some minor details, principally in the lower part of the city, not coming within 
the scope of the commissioners' report, this map or plan is substantially an exact copy 
of the Commissioners' Plan, the survey for which was completed in the spring of 181 1 by 
John Randel, Jr.; and until the discovery of the correspondence here printed, it was not 
easy to understand how Bridges could have copyrighted and issued this plan without 
so much as a reference to Randel. 

The Picture of New-York, published in 1807 by Isaac Riley, contains a folding plan of 
the city of New York (i2j^x I2>^ in.), surveyed by Bridges and engraved by Maverick. 
This plan, which depicts the city only as far north as about the present 12th Street, shows 
many "intended Improvements" which were never carried out, as well as street names 
never adopted. Apparently, this map was also issued in larger size, as the N. Y. Eve. Post, 
of September 22, 1807, contains the following advertisement: 

Map of the City of New- York. 
This day is published by Isaac Riley, and for sale by Brisban & Brannon, City Hotel, Broad- 
way, a correct and elegantly engraved plan of the City of New- York, with the recent and in- 
tended improvements — drawn from actual survey, by William Bridges, City Surveyor. 

The above may be had either in sheets, mounted on rollers, or in cases for the packet [pocket]. 

This map was copyrighted by Riley on September 22, 1807. — N. Y. Eve. Post, Septem- 
ber 25, 1807. No copy, however, is known to the author. 

The first reference to the publication of the Bridges Map here reproduced is contained 
in an advertisement in The Columbian of May 16, 181 1: 

Proposals for publishing A Map of the City of New York, and Island of Manhattan, with 
the adjacent Islands, on the same scale as that drawn and filed by the Commissioners appointed 
by the Legislature for laying out the said Island into Avenues and Streets and for other pur- 
poses. Passed April 3, 1807. Shewing all the recent alterations of the intended permanent lines 
along the Rivers, and the connection of the present part of the city with the said Avenues and 
Streets, which extend to the 10 mile stone — the reservations for public use, and the greatest 
part of the improvements on the Island, together with the monuments that are fixed in different 
parts thereof; the several elevations above high water mark as the intersections, with the Field 
Notes and remarks, annexed to the said Map. By William Bridges, Architect and City Sur- 

In March, 1814, Randel advertised a map of Manhattan Island, which he stated was 
then in the hands of the engraver. A month later, the manuscript map was exhibited to 
the public at the bookstore of Eastburn, Kirk & Co., on Wall Street. An advertisement 
in the A'^. Y. Eve. Post for April 8, 1814, announced that the engraved map would be ready 
for delivery "about December next." The original manuscript of this map is in the pos- 
session of the N. Y. Hist. Society, and will be found reproduced in the Addenda to this 
volume. It seems evident that this elaborate and beautiful map was after all never en- 
graved, a fact which was not satisfactorily explained until the following notice was found 
in the N. Y. Eve. Post of October 5, 18 14: 

The Public are respectfully informed that the Map of New- York Island and its vicinity, 
prepared by John Randel, Jun was in the hands of the Engraver, and would have been out by 
December next conformably to his engagement, but it has been suggested to him that under 


present circumstances it might be improper to furnish the enemy with an opportunity to pro- 
cure by means of his agents such accurate information of the country — he has therefore taken 
it back and will postpone the publication to a more proper season. 

The impression on satin of Randel's 1821 Plan of the City of New York referred to in 
the description of the Commissioners' Map (PI. 79) is now in the author's collection. It con- 
tains much interesting information not given elsewhere, including Randel's own description 
of the method pursued and the instruments used in making the various official surveys of 
Manhattan Island and its immediate surroundings, from 1807 to 1820. Drawings of the 
principal instruments are also given, and a list of the surveys and documents consulted 
in the preparation of the various Randel surveys. 

The TV. Y. Eve. Post, in March and April, 1814, contained a series of controversial letters, 
written by Randel and Bridges, which give interesting and illuminating information re- 
garding the Bridges Map here reproduced, and are therefore quoted in full. This series 
is preceded, in the issue for March 21st, by the following announcement: 

In the hands of the engraver, and shortly will be published, Randel's Map of Manhattan 
Island, With the opposite shores, the harbor, bay and narrows. Containing the plan of the city 
of New- York, as laid out by the commissioners; also the villages of Brooklyn, Jersey and Ho- 

This map extends north and south upwards of nineteen miles, to wi, [sic] from the house of 
Augustus Van Cortlandt in the town of Yonkers to the baths in the town of New Utrecht, with 
a breadth of more than twelve miles east and west. 

This map will be found on examination to be more correct than any that has hitherto ap- 
peared, and that part of it which contains the plan of the city cannot be made more accurate. 

The size of the Map is 22 by 34 inches, and will be delivered to subscribers at the moderate 
price of $2 50 coloured, non subscribers will pay $4. 

As the author was Secretary and one of the Surveyors of the Commissioners appointed by 
the state for laying out the Island, and in that capacity possessed all their materials, and as he 
has since compleated the measurements and fixed monuments by contract with the honorable the 
Corporation, he alone is possessed of all the materials for this valuable work. 

Copy of a letter from the author of the above Map to Gouverneur Morris, Esq President of 
the Board of Commissioners for laying out Manhattan Island into streets, &c. 

New York, loth March 1813. 
Dear Sir, 

Having compleated the measurements of the avenues and streets on Manhattan Island, 
conformably to the Report of the Commissioners, I have made a map of that Island and the 
surrounding country, which I take the liberty to send for your inspection. Your knowledge, as 
President of that Board, and your long residence in the neighbourhood, enable you better than 
almost any other person to decide on its merits. Will you have the goodness to examine this 
map and give me your candid opinion. 

I contemplate publishing it at the low price of $2 50, coloured, and think I can obtain sub- 
scribers enough to pay the expense of plate and paper. I have compared Mr. Bridges Plan, 
(selling at 8 dollars, in sheets, not coloured) with that which the Commissioners reported, and 
which, as their Secretary, and Surveyor I made. — It is far from correct, indeed (excepting a 
few alterations lately made in the city) the only things in it which are accurate are taken from 
the map made by me, and yet he has ventured to claim the work as author, and as such has 
obtained a copy right for what is in truth the copy of a public record. 
I am with much regard. 

Your obedient servant, 

John Randel, junr. 
Gouv. Morris, Esq. 

President of the Board of Commissioners for laying out Manhattan Island and Morrisania. 


Copy of a letter from Gouv. Morris, Esq. in answer to the above, 

Morrisania, i6th March, 1814. 

I have examined the map sent with your letter of the loth as fully as my other engagements 
would permit. I have seen it with great pleasure and consider it an excellent work. It is, in a 
manner indispensable to those who wish to make themselves intimately acquainted with the 
Topography of that interesting space which it comprizes. It appears to me more accurate than 
anything of the kind which has yet appeared. Indeed until all your actual measurements were 
compleated, it was hardly possible to attain to that accuracy which the totality of the materials 
in your possession has enabled you to exhibit. 

Without entering into questions which already exist or may hereafter arise between you and 
Mr. Bridges I shall have no hesitation in recommending your work. I consider it as highly 
deserving of public patronage and am with sincere esteem 

Your obed't servant, 
Mr. John Randel, jun. Gouv. Morris. 


Copy of a certificate of the Street Commissioner of the city of New-York. 

I have examined a map of the city of New- York drawn by Mr. Randel and find that part to 
the Southward of North-street and Greenwich-lane, agrees with the different documents be- 
longing to the Street Commissioners Office. 

John M'Comb, Jun. 

Street Commissioner. 
March 18. — N. Y. Eve. Post, March 21, 1814. 

In the N. Y. Eve. Post of March 24, 18 14, appeared the following notice by Wm. 

To the Public. 
Observing in Mr. Randell's advertisement of his Map of Manhattan Island, a direct and 
illiberal attack on my Map, for the purpose of extolling his own, and enabling him to meet 
the expenses of "plate and paper" I feel compelled reluctantly to say a few words on what 
I consider unprincipled, and most assuredly unprovoked conduct. 

Had he closed his letter to G. Morris with the first paragraph, and patiently waited the 
candid opinion he so candidly asks, or had he suppressed the latter parts thereof in his publica- 
tion, the cloven foot might have been concealed, and the public probably would have given him 
credit for that candour and honorable conduct of which the subsequent part of his letter proves 
him lamentably deficient. Respect, any decency, for the gentleman he addresses, ought to have 
checked him there. The modest Secretary before he told Gouverneur Morris in round terms he 
had compared my map with the one recorded by the commissioners, and found it incorrect, 
ought to have recollected that that gentleman had, together with his colleagues Simeon De Witt, 
& John Rutherford, the very Commissioners themselves, already given their signatures in attesta- 
tion of the accuracy of the manuscript of that part of my map: & Mr. R. himself was not at 
liberty to depart therefrom in his subsequent operations, but by a special act of the legislature. 
Such considerations alone to an honorable mind would have shewn the indelicacy of coupling 
his seemingly candid appeal with an arrogant and presumptuous display of his own infallibility 
— The propriety of this remark may be discovered in the Presidents answer to his Secretary — 
He declines to certify that my Map is wrong, but being Mr. R's patron he says he will recom- 
mend his work. That very answer conveys a hint which would instruct any person less con- 
ceited than this young Man, that it is as essential to his reputation to be correct in his manners 
as in his Maps. 

His assertions as to the prices of our respective works would have been more consistent with 
honor and truth, had he given the following statements: Mr. R's Map on one Sheet, 34 by 22, 
proposed to be published at $2.50 to Subscribers, ^4.00 to Non subscribers, independent of which, 
he has received upwards of $15,000 for his services as Secretary and putting down the Monu- 


Mr. B's Map in Six Sheets, 95 by 27, published at and has been selling for a considerable 
time past 

12 50 
15 so 

Mounted on muslin 1 With an octavo book 
rollers, varnished [ and remarks, 

do. do. col'd & var'd &c &c 

Mr. B. made considerable part thereof at his own cost, and depends on the public patronage 
for reward, and for which part of the Map he obtained a copy right, and not for that which 
was a public record. 

I shall not enter into any further controversy with Mr. R. but mean to support my right. 
But beg to assure the public that all favors they may bestow in the line of my profession shall 
be done Correct, and what I may lack of that incredible astonishing accuracy to be alone found 
in Mr. Randell's practice, I shall endeavour to supply by integrity and propriety of conduct. 

The Public's obed't serv't 

March 24. Wm. Bridges 

In the N. Y. Eve. Post of April 8, 18 14, appeared the following notice: 

To the Public: 
It is certain that neither Mr. Randel nor Mr. Bridges are of sufficient importance to claim 
the public attention, but it is humbly hoped that a young man who feels the value of reputation, 
will be excused for endeavoring to defend himself from obloquy. He begs leave therefore to 
solicit the perusal of a letter which he wrote on the 29th day of March to Mr. Bridges, and which 
was delivered into that gentleman's hands in the same day by Mr. Telfair. No notice having 
been taken of it, it is now submitted to public examination. 

Copy of a letter from John Randel, junr. Secretary and Surveyor to the late Commissioners 
for laying out Manhattan Island, to Mr. William Bridges, City Surveyor. 

Haerlem, 29th March, 1814 


You must know that your observations, dated March 24th, and addressed "to the public," 
are as unjust as they are severe. 

You know that the Commissioners did not "give their signatures in attestation of the ac- 
curacy of the manuscript of that part of your map," but their signatures and seals are attached 
to the manuscript of my Map now in the Clerk's office, and for reasons which I shall presently 
shew, they never would have given their signatures to your Map. 

You say "the President declines to certify that your map is zvrong," but he says respecting 
my map "it is more accurate than any thing of the kind which has yet appeared." Now your 
map having appeared two years since (and one of them is in his cabinet) is not the inference 
plain that your map is less accurate, or in other words inaccurate? 

If it is so "presuming and conceited" in a young man to accept an appointment when recom- 
mended by the commissioners in whose employment he then was, what is to be thought of an 
older man who petitioned the honorable the corporation for that same appointment, and assured 
a member of the committee of surveys, that he would engage to use the same instruments that 
this young man would use? 

Do you remember how you obtained permission to copy and publish my map? I will re- 
mind you. In the spring of 181 1, while at the request of the committee of surveys, of whom 
Alderman Fish was chairman, and by desire of the commissioners, (that under their mspection 
the work might be made more compleat before publishing it, than want of time would permit 
them before reporting it) I was in Albany preparing the map for the engraver, and had already 
expended upwards of $200 in this work; you deceived the honorable the corporation, (Alderman 
Mesier informed me) by informing them that I would furnish you with the notes and papers of 
the commissioners to enable you to compleat the map, and thereby obtained an order of that 
honorable board, permitting you to copy and publish this map. To obtain that permission you 
offered and agreed to give them sixty maps. I never received any compensation for my work, 
and you afterwards petitioned the honorable the corporation to be released from your own offer. 


Not having purchased one of your maps myself, I learnt the price from a gentleman who 
said he had purchased one, and as soon as I discovered the mistake I corrected it by having 
$S 50 instead of $8, entered in my advertisement as you may have observed. 

You certainly must have known that you misstated the fact when you said I received "for 
■my services as Secretary, and putting down the monuments upwards of ^15000." You would ap- 
proach as near to the truth by saying that the architect of the City Hall received for his services 
$500,000, (the whole cost of that building). My contract with the honorable the corporation 
was made, estimating the number of feet to be measured, and the time required to do it in, with 
the instruments then used by the commissioners, allowing me for my services $125 per month. 
This estimate was made by order of the commissioners and by them communicated to the hon- 
orable the Corporation, with these instruments it would have required four years to perform 
the work. I had other instruments constructed at my own expense, to the amount of upwards 
of $3,500, (exclusive of the time employed in making tables of expansion for my measuring rods, 
and for this purpose making experiments on the expansion of metals,) and with them I not only 
increased the accuracy of my measurements, but saved one year. Had I measured with only 
ordinary accuracy, I might have saved two years more, and expended only $100 for instruments. 

How could you, Mr. Bridges, inform the public that you had surveyed, at "your own cost," 
Randel's and Blackwell's Islands, part of Long Island and the rocks in Hell Gate, which are the 
only additions made to the Commissioners Map, (for the alterations in the city cannot be con- 
sidered as additions,) when you know that you charged Mr. Randel, for surveying his Island, 
$50, and actually received $30, (although it employed you only part of two days, which, together 
with the Map now before me, ought not certainly to have cost more than $15) — This Island 
you have laid down more than 100 feet too far South. You also informed Mr. Randel, of Ran- 
del's Island, that you had received $50 of Mr. Blackwell, for surveying his Island, which never- 
theless is inaccurate, being upwards of 150 feet too short. 

That part of Long Island near Hallet's Cove, is upwards of 600 feet too far North. Mill, 
Flood, Middle Reef, and Hancock Rocks, in Hell Gate, are each 300 feet too far North; their 
size and shape inaccurate. There are two passages of about 15 feet water through the Middle 
Reef, which is marked on your map as one rock, and one passage of about the same depth be- 
tween Hancock and Gridiron Rocks, which are also marked on your map as one rock. The 
Island in the mouth of Little Hell Gate, called Sunken Meadow, is laid down on your map, 300 
feet wide instead of 800 feet, its real breadth. 

You assure the public that you can make correct Surveys, and yet these are yours. 

We will now examine whether you have done better in copying my map in the Clerk's office 
to which the Commissioner's signatures and Seals are affixed. 

In your copy you have omitted fifty eight buildings, among which are the following: — one 
block of eight buildings on the Bowery between ist and 2d streets, two buildings at the corner 
of Lewis and North-streets, one block of four buildings on the Bloomingdale Road near 22d 
street, the old Powder House in the Parade, Cato's Tavern, in 54th street on the Eastern Post 
Road, one out house of alderman Hardenbrook's and a dwelling house and barn near 123d street, 
between 3d and 4th avenues. 

You have inaccurately placed forty five buildings, among which are the following: — A 
building of Mr. Hunter, in ii6th street, and 8th avenue, is placed 170 feet too far north. Mr. 
Mulligans large brick building, on 6th avenue, near loth street, is too far south, and a church 
east of this house in 12th street is not to be found. 

In addition to these one hundred and three errors in building South of i5Sth Street, and 
none of which err less than 15 or 20 feet, there are between this street and King's Bridge, (a 
distance of upwards of 19000 feet) forty-two buildings, every one of which is too far south, 
from 100 to 200 feet. The forts are more than 100 feet too near each other. The Hudson and 
Haerlem Rivers are 200 feet too near each other, and King's Bridge is too far South upwards of 
200 feet. Neither are these last errors occasioned by the contraction of paper, because I meas- 
ured your map by the scale which is on it. 

Neither are the hills placed where they should be, or properly shaded — for example, the 
ground descends the whole way from the house of the late Gen. Gates to the East River, but in 
this space you have placed a hill — that gentle descent from the barn on this property to the 
small creek west of it, you have made a longer and steeper descent, than the high rocks North 
of the Tannery at Kip's Bay. 


Now when you reflect that between North-st. and King's Bridge there are less than eleven 
hundred buildings, including outhouses, and of these you have omitted, or erroneously placed 
one hundred and forty five in copying only — do you think I should have spared you less than I 
have done? 

In addition to all these errors you have "without a special act of the Legislature" closed part 
of the 26th and 27th streets, and also part of the ist avenue. 

You know Mr Bridges that it was your intention to induce the public to think the Map was 
your work, for if the words written on the Map "entered according to Act of Congress, Nov. i6th, 
181 1," mean any thing, they certainly mean that the Map on which they are written is so entered. 
And to this Map so full of errors you have affixed the Commissioners signatures, without one 
solitar}' remark whereby the public might discover the imposition. 

I now appeal to you Mr. Bridges whether being in posession of these facts and about to pub- 
lish a Map so accurate as to be approved of by the President of the Board of Commissioners, I 
ought to have spared you more than I have done, by concealing the multiplicity of your errors. 

It is not my desire to enter into a newspaper controversy — the public can feel very little 
interest in knowing our difl^erences. 

You charge me with youth as if it was necessarily attended with ignorance. I was not hur- 
ried into practice after studying only one year, or part of a year. I served nine years to my pro- 
fession, of which more than six were under the Surveyor General, since which I have practised 
six years, and certainly ought in these fifteen to have learned enough to examine a copy of your 

Not being able to disprove what I asserted (except my mistake in the price of your Map, 
which I have before acknowledged,) you have attempted to divert the public attention from your 
Map by an attack on me. I am not under the necessity of answering you in the same way, and 
have no wish to display the above facts to the public — it can be of little service to me and cer- 
tainly must injure you. Will you therefore have the goodness to spare me this necessity by 
retracting so much of your publication above referred to as is injurious to me. 

I am your obedient servant, 

John Randel, Jun. 

P. S. I will furnish you with a list of the above errors if you should desire it. 

Mr. William Bridges, 
New York. 
April 7. 

The Bridges Map was beautifully engraved by Peter Maverick, and printed on six 
sheets. It was issued both in loose sheets and mounted as a wall map. In this latter form 
it was also published in abbreviated length, ending at 88th Street. A copy in this form is 
owned by the New York Society Library. 

With the map was issued a fifty-four page descriptive pamphlet, substantially em- 
bodying the manuscript report accompanying the Randel Survey (see PI. 79). The map 
bears eighty-seven reference numbers, corresponding to a list of references printed on 
page 39 of the accompanying pamphlet, which list, however, contains a number of ref- 
erences not found on the plan. 

We know, from a list of subscribers published at the end of the pamphlet, that three 
hundred and forty-five copies of the map were issued to subscribers; we know also, from 
the Minutes 0} the Common Council {MS.), 1813, Jan. 4, that forty copies were promised, 
gratis, to the Board; and, as many other copies must have been sold, it is hard to account 
for the present scarcity of the map. A "handsomely coloured and mounted map of the 
City" (undoubtedly the Bridges Map) was presented by the Common Council to Gouver- 
neur Morris and another to John Rutherford on Oct. 26, 1812. — See Chronology, 181 1, 
April I. 

There exists, in the office of the Commissioner of Public Works (Bureau of Topography) 


for Manhattan Borough, a "Map of the City of New York Including Brooklyn, Jersey City, 
Hoboken, etc. From an entire new Survey by E. W. Bridges, City Surveyor New York 
Publd by Richard Patten, 180 Water Street, 1829." This is, apparently, from the same 
plate as the Bridges Map of 181 1, but is a combination of two designs, the title appearing 
on the lower or southern end. This end, which comprises the section of the city below 
14th Street, is here shaded dark, and does not join exactly, east and west, with the map of 
the territory to the north-west. This map, which is trimmed at the top, bottom, and south- 
ern extremity, shows the entire island of Manhattan. The author knows of no other copy. 
A photo-lithographic reproduction of the Bridges Map, 36^4 x lo in., was made by 
Robert A. Welcke, in 1900. This reproduction bears the city arms and the statement that 
it was published by order of James J. Coogan, President of the Borough of Manhattan. 
One thousand of these copies were printed (letter from Robert A. Welcke to the author, 
dated May 7, 1912). 

Reproduction: Valentine's Manual, 1853, opp. p. 260. 

Plate 81 -a 
[The Strickland View of Broadway and St. Paul's Chapel] 
Painted in sepia on canvas. 3S^x25>^ Date depicted: 1809-13. 

Artist: William Strickland. 
Owner: N. Y. Hist. Society. 

The date of this picture, and of its companion showing Trinity and Grace Churches 
(PI. 8i-b), must be after 1809, when Grace Church was completed, and before 1814-15, 
when, according to the directories, John Scoles, the engraver (whose name, although illeg- 
ible in the reproduction, appears in the original over the window of the building at 222 
Broadway), moved to 67 Bowery. 

William Strickland, the author of these interesting though badly faded pictures, was a 
Philadelphia architect who, for a period of about ten years, devoted himself to portrait- 
painting, engraving in aquatint, etc. In 1820, he resumed his architectural work, and 
later made a distinguished name for himself as a civil engineer, especially in connection 
with early railroads. Among the important buildings designed by Strickland were the 
Merchants' Exchange, the U. S. Mint, the Masonic Hall, and the Bank of the United 
States — all in Philadelphia. A beautifully executed portrait of Strickland, by John Neagle, 
dated 1829, and showing the Bank of the United States in the background, was recently 
exhibited at the Ehrich galleries. 

It will be found interesting to compare this view with Plate 68-b, which shows the 
same neighbourhood about ten years earlier. In 1812 (the approximate date of the view 
here depicted), the large building on the south-west corner of Broadway and Fulton Street 
was occupied as a dry-goods store by Hanford & Smith, while the building just south, at No. 
207 Broadway, was the business address of Benjamin and Halstead E. Haight, also dry- 
goods merchants. No. 205 was the "umbrella-store" of William A. Stokes; while No. 201, 
probably the tall building next door, which must have been erected after 1798, as it is not 
shown in the Holland drawing of that date (PI. 68-b), was another dry-goods store, of 
which Stephen Ward was the proprietor. 

The buildings seen at the left of the view occupy that part of the block on Broadway 
south of Ann Street which at the present time is covered by the St. Paul building. From 


1805 to 1814-15, as above stated, No. 222 Broadway, at the extreme left (in early directories 
sometimes given as No. 3 Chatham Row, and sometimes as No. 3 Park Row) was occupied 
by John Scoles, "engraver & bookseller." No. 222 had formerly been the dry-goods store 
of Andrew Hopper, and for a few years, around 1805, seems to have been jointly occupied 
by Hopper and Scoles; but, in 1807-8, the name of Hopper disappears from the directory. 
No. 220, in the year 1812, was the hardware store of John Vreeland, south of which was 
the dry-goods and carpet store of Van Vleck & Co. In 1830, a handsome new building was 
erected on the corner of Ann and Broadway to house the American Museum, then owned 
by the estate of John Scudder, and later by P. T. Barnum. — Commercial Advertiser, Dec. 
24, 1830. The Museum continued to occupy this site until 1865, when it was destroyed 
by fire. — Costello's Our Firemen, 267. Two years later, the Herald building was erected 
on the same corner. 

A new iron fence, erected in 1805, replaces the wooden picket fence in front of St. Paul's 
shown in Plate 68-b, while a brick wall surrounds the churchyard. — See Chronology, July 11, 
1805. It is interesting to note that, on July 6, 1812, in compliance with an order of the city 
corporation, the Vestry of Trinity Church ordered that "the Committee of Repairs be 
authorised to provide and put up chains across the street in front and on each side of St. 
Paul's Chapel to be kept up during the time of Divine Service." — Trinity Minutes {MS.). 

These pictures were presented to the N. Y. Hist. Society in 1897 by Mr. David Par- 
rish, Jr., who procured them through Mr. Joseph F. Sabin from Mrs. Edward S. Wilde, a 
granddaughter of John McComb, Jr., the builder of the City Hall. Shortly before their ac- 
quisition by the Society, permission had been obtained by Mr. John Anderson, Jr., to issue 
a limited number of reproductions of these paintings. These reproductions were made by 
the Bierstadt process, in colours, and measure 8^ x 5^ in. Two sets preserved by the N. Y. 
Hist. Society bear the manuscript inscription: "One of twelve reproductions made from a 
water color copied from the original painting by William Strickland." The name C. B. 
Graf appears in the corner of these reproductions. 

Engraved by Sidney L. Smith, in 1908, for The Society of Iconophiles, with the title: 
"St. Paul's Chapel about 1812." 

Plate 8i-b 
[The Strickland View of Broadway, showing Grace and Trinity Churches] 
Painted in sepia on canvas. 35^ x 25^^ Date depicted: 1809-13. 

Artist: William Strickland. 
Owner: N. Y. Hist. Society. 

This view depicts lower Broadway at a period when it was a fashionable residential 
street. On the left, the large house with a pediment, south of Grace Church, was the 
residence of John R. Livingston. (For the early history of this site, see Pis. 56 and 68-a.) 
Livingston continued to reside here until 1816. From 1817 to 1824, the United States Branch 
Bank occupied the premises, and then, fashion having deserted the neighbourhood and 
moved northward, it became a boarding-house. 

On the opposite side of Broadway, in 1812, were the residences of S. Schermerhorn, 
Herman Le Roy, and Peter Schermerhorn, at Nos. 64, 66, and 68 Broadway. 

The officer in uniform, walking down Broadway, suggests that the drawing was made 
during the War of 1812. 

A comparison of this view with the similar one by Holland, made in 1799 (PI. 68-a), 


and with a view of Trinity and the west side of Broadway pubHshed by Bourne, in 1831 
(PI. loi-a), will be found interesting, as showing the various changes in the neighbourhood 
during these years. 

Engraved by Sidney L. Smith, in 1908, for The Society of Iconophiles, with the title: 
"Grace and Trinity Churches." 

Plate 82 

Map of the Country thirty Miles round the City of New York 

[The Eddy Map] 

Line engraving on copper. Diameter: 21 in. Date depicted: 18 11. 

Date issued: 1812. 
Author: I. (John) H. Eddy. 
Engraver: P. Maverick. 
Publishers: Prior & Dunning. 
Owner: I.N.P.S. 
Other copies: N. Y. Public Library (Eno Collection); N. Y. Hist. Society, etc. 

First state. This is one of the most complete, accurate, and beautiful early engraved 
maps showing New York and its environs. It was issued as a wall map on rollers, and also 
in articulated form, both delicately coloured. The October issue of The American Medical 
and Philosophical Register for i8ii contains a reference to its publication: 

It is with pleasure we are enabled to state, that this ingenious and highly interesting per- 
formance will be laid before the public about the beginning of January next. It will be printed 
on superfine drawing paper, two feet square; the diameter of the circle will be twenty inches; 
the scale, two miles to one inch, extending thirty miles in all directions round the city: the old 
city hall, at the head of Broad-street, will be in the center; and it will shew all the villages, tav- 
erns, most noted country seats, turnpike roads, and the most considerable common roads. In 
order to correct the many errors which abound in other maps, and to render the present one as 
correct as the nature of the publication will admit, at a great expense and trouble, numerous 
surveys have been made, both in New- York and in New-Jersey, including all the turnpikes in 
New-Jersey west and south of Newark. Especial care has also been paid to the general direction 
of the hills in the Jerseys, on Long Island, and West-Chester county, so as to give a complete 
view of the topography of the country . . . 

In 1828 this map was reissued in guide-book form by W. Hooker & E. Blunt, and in 
1839 by Disturnell, Maverick's name being omitted from the latter. The map was re- 
engraved by J. M. Atwood, the radius being increased to 33 miles, and published by J. H. 
Colton, the copyright line bearing date 1846. Still other issues were published by Colton 
in 1849, 1850, 1851, and 1855, all, however, bearing the 1846 copyright. 

Reproduced and described here for the first time. . 

Plate 82 A 

A Military Topographical Map of Haerlem Heights and Plain 

[With vignette view] 

Water-colour drawing on paper. 32^x24 Date depicted: 1814. 

Artist: William James Proctor, from a survey by Captain James Renwick. 

This plan is one of a collection of thirty-three maps, plans, and views, of the fortifi- 
cations constructed on Manhattan Island during the War of 1812. The collection was 


originally bound up with a beautifully engrossed Report on the Defence of the City of 
New York. . . Addressed to the Committee of the Common Council by J. G. Swift, ■ 
Brigadier General, Chief Engineer of the United States, New York, 1814. The title- 
page of this Report is very carefully executed, and is embellished with emblems drawn 
in India ink. According to a statement at the end of the Report, the "Surveys, Maps 
& Small views were furnished by Capt. James Renwick & Lieut. James Gadsden; aided 
by Lieuts. Craig, Turner, De Russy, Kemble & Oothout. Mr. Holland furnished the 
large Views; ..." 

This Report and the accompanying maps, views, and plans, are owned by the City of 
New York, but are deposited for safe-keeping with the N. Y. Hist. Society. They were 
for a number of years in the custody of Benson J. Lossing, who found them in the garret 
of the Hall of Records, thickly covered with dust and cobwebs. He secured permission to 
take them home for study, and for thirty years they were thus lost sight of. Mr. R. S. 
Guernsey, in his New York City y Vicinity during the War of 1812-15, gives a full de- 
scription and transcript of the Swift Report. 

The positions of the various fortifications in the neighbourhood of Harlem are clearly 
indicated on this plan. Almost in the centre (reference No. 4), Forts Fish and Clinton 
and the lines of McGown's Pass are shown. The remains of Fort Clinton still exist, near 
the north-east corner of Central Park. On the thickly wooded summit of a rocky bluff just 
west of Fort Clinton on the Swift map, may be seen Blockhouse No. i, one of the four 
stone towers erected in 1814 to guard the roads from Harlem and the north. This block- 
house which stands nearly opposite the Seventh Avenue and i loth Street entrance to the 
park is still a conspicuous object. 

It is interesting to compare this map with the survey prepared by Sauthier in 1776, and 
reproduced as Plate 46. 

The Swift Collection contains the following maps, plans, and views: 

A Sketch of Mill Rock in Hurl Gate with the Bearings of the surrounding 

POINTS. Step" Ludlam City Surveyor 
View at Fort Clinton M? Gowan's Pass. (Reproduced as PI. 82-B-c) 
A Plan of Fort George in the City of New York (the Bancker Survey of April 

12, 1774, copied in 1 817 by J" T. Ludlam) 
An unnamed plan of Sandy Hook, the sand banks in the bay, and part of New Jersey. 

In 1. 1. is printed (in manuscript) : From the Board of Engineers to the Corporation — 

Su[rveyed] by Capt. Le Conte, U. S. Top! Eng^ 1819 
An unnamed plan of Staten Island, Long Island, and York Island, showing forts, etc. 
Plan of Fortifications for the Defence of the Harbour of New York by John 

Stevens Esq"'. T. Pope del. 1807 
Two water-colour views on one sheet, viz.: 

Mill Rock and Hell Gate from Fort Stevens. (Reproduced as PI. 82-B-a) 
Gate at M? Gowan's Pass. (Reproduced as PI. 82-B-b) 
Two water-colour views on one sheet, viz.: 

Fort Stevens and the Mill Rock from the Tower on Hallets Point 
Fort Stevens looking up the Sound 
Two water-colour views on one sheet, viz.: 
Works at MFGowan's Pass 
Fort Fish from Nutters Battery 


Two water-colour views on one sheet, viz.: 

Forts Fish and Clinton 

View from Fort Fish at M?Gowan's Pass looking towards Haerlem 

Plan of Fortifications at the Narrows for the Defence of the Harbour of 
New York by floating Batterys, Piers, & Chains 

Tower on Hallet's Point 

Three small water-colour views on one sheet, the upper one lettered, in pencil: 

Fort Clinton at M'^Gowan's Pass, the other two without titles) 

A Plan of the Fortification at M9Gowan's Pass. (On the same sheet are two 
small water-colour views, without titles) 

View of the Mill Rock 

The Mill Rock 

A Military Topographical Map of Haerlem Heights and Plain (etc.), with 
vignette view (the plan here reproduced) 

Four drawings on one sheet, viz.: 

To Brig. General J. G. Swift, Chief of the United States Corps of Engineers, 
This Military Sketch of Haerlem Heights and Plain, shewing the works 
erected, under his direction, for the defence of the City of New York, 
. . . Ja^ Renwick 

Plan & Elevations of the Stone Tower erected on Hallets Point Drawn by 
Lieut. James Gadsden of the Engineers 

Plan of Fort Stevens upon Hallets Point 

Sketch of Haerlem River between Jumels house & Bussings Point. J. Ren- 
wick delint. 

Two drawings on one sheet, viz.: 

A Plan of the Fortifications near Manhattanville 

A Plan of the Fortifications at M?Gowan's Pass 

Two drawings on one sheet, viz.: 

Plan of Forts Green, Laurence & Swift And Lines of Intrenchments. Con- 
structed IN the vicinity of Brooklyn For the defence of New York 

Military Topographical Sketch of Haerlem Heights and Plain (etc.) Copied 
from survey made by Lieut. Renwick, by T. E. Craig. Lt. Artillery 

Two drawings on one sheet, viz.: 

Plan of Fort Green & Line of Intrenchments from The Wallabout to Go- 
WANUs' Creek . . by Lieut. James Gadsden of the Engineers 

Map of Harlaem Heights and Plain 

Plate 82 B-a 
Mill Rock and Hell Gate from Fort Stevens 
Water-colour drawing on paper. 24^^ x io>i Date depicted: 18 14. 

Provenance: From the Swift Collection of maps, views, and plans (see PI. 82 A). 
Artist: John Joseph Holland. (The drawing is unsigned, but in the manuscript 
Report accompanying the views, etc., Holland is said to be the author of the 
large water-colour drawings.) 
Owner: City of New York, deposited in the N. Y. Hist. Society. 


This view, taken from Fort Stevens on Hallet's Point, L. I., depicts the east shore of 
Manhattan Island in the neighbourhood of 96th Street and the adjacent salt meadows, 
as well as the blockhouse on Mill Rock, in the middle of the river. 

A special committee, appointed to determine what fortifications were most needed, 
reported, on July 14, 18 14, that Hell Gate was totally unprotected against a possible in- 
vasion by way of Long Island Sound. Measures were at once taken to erect a fortification, 
mounting twelve guns at Hallet's Point, and another on Mill Rock. The corner-stone of 
Fort Stevens was laid July 14th, the same day on which the committee submitted its re- 
port; and a blockhouse, later well provided with cannon, was begun at Mill Rock the 
following day, and was almost completed by September 23d, most of the work being per- 
formed by volunteers. A larger view of the fortification on Mill Rock is also included in 
the Report. See Guernsey's New York City ^ Vicinity during the War of 1812- i§, II: 
150-2, et seq. 

For a description of Hell Gate, and for an account of the operations undertaken to re- 
move Hallet's Point Reef, the chief obstacle to the navigation of the eastern channel of 
Hell Gate, see Chronology, 1848 and 1876. 

This view is reproduced on page 416 of Valentine's Manual for 1856, which also contains 
a number of other views of this neighbourhood. 

Plate 82 B-b 
Gate at M^Gowan's Pass 
Water-colour dravping on paper. 23^ x 10 Date depicted: 1814. 

Provenance: From the Swift Collection of maps, viev^s, and plans (see PI. 82 A). 
Artist: John Joseph Holland. 
Owner: City of New York, deposited in the N. Y. Hist. Society. 

This view shows the fortified gate which was erected, in 1814, at McGown's Pass, to 
guard the approach to the city from the north. It stood at a point where the Kingsbridge 
Road passed through the line of fortifications between Fort Clinton and Fort Fish. Re- 
ferring to this road, in his description of the City of New York north of Canal street 
in 1808 to 1821 (Valentine's Manual, 1864, p. 852), John Randel, Jr., says: 

From 90th street, this Eastern Post road continued along the Middle road to 92d street, and 
there diverged westerly, and passed between jth and 6th avenues (where it was also called "the 
Kingsbridge road"), through the Barrier gate, built across it during the war of 1812, at Mc- 
Gotvan's Pass, at 107th street, about 116 yards east of 6th avenue; thence crossing a small bridge 
over the head of Benson's tide mill pond, near 109th street and 5th avenue, passed through the 
village of Harlem, at ii6th to 125th street, near and west of Third avenue, to Harlem Bridge. 

The pass was first identified with the name of McGown (or McGowan) in the year 
1756, when Daniel McGown purchased from Jacob Dyckman a nine-acre tract of land 
including the Dyckman or Black Horse Tavern. 

This tract was originally a part of lot No. 7 of the first division of the Harlem Com- 
mon Lands, which, in a drawing for these lots, in 1712, was awarded to Samuel Waldron, 
and, after being for a time in the possession of Abraham de la Montagne, passed, in 1729, 
into the hands of George Dyckman. In 1748, George Dyckman sold a twenty acre tract 
to Jacob Dyckman, who probably built the stone tavern, which later passed into the hands 
of the McGowns. That it was a flourishing and well patronised resort a few years after 


the house was erected is evident from the fact that, in the autumn of 1752, the General 
Assembly is recorded as having met, on several occasions, "at the House of Jacob Dyck- 
man, in the Out Ward." — Assemb. Jour. (Gaine ed.), II: 329. 
In 1756, Dyckman advertised his property for sale as follows: 

To be sold. The dwelling house wherein Jacob Dyckman now lives, at the sign of the Black- 
Horse, in Harlem; there is three rooms on a floor, with a fire place in each, a good cellar, and milk 
house, is very pleasantly situated for a gentleman's seat. There is nine acres of land, and a young 
bearing orchard, of 120 grafted apple trees, pears, etc. Whoever inclines to purchase the same, 
may apply to Jacob Dyckman living on the premisses, who will give a good title, and agree for the 
same on reasonable terms. — The New-York Mercury, March 8, 1756. 

Riker, in his manuscript notes (now in the possession of the New York Public Library, pre- 
sented in 1916 by the Title Guarantee & Trust Co.), says that Dyckman sold this property, 
on March 16, 1756, to Daniel McGown, as indicated by a deed in the possession of Isaac 
Adriance — which, however, is not of record. That the property was sold to Daniel McGown, 
and not to his widow, Catharine, as stated in Riker's Hist, of Harlem [i] (pp. 490, 506), seems 
clearly indicated by a mortgage, dated May 3, 1757 (cited in Riker's manuscript notes), 
from Daniel "Magown, of the City and Province of New York, Taylor, to Benjamin Ben- 
son, of the same place. Miller," and covering the following described property: 

All that certain House, Kitchen tract of land, and premises in the township of Harlem, 
bounded as follows: Beginning at a Cherry Tree on the east side of the Highway, at the North 
or Northeasterly corner of the Land of Adolph Benson, then running an easterly course to a 
Sassafras Tree upon the land of the said Adolph Benson, and then running along the fence of 
the said Adolph Benson, as it now standeth, to the Highway, and so along the Highway to the 
place of Beginning, containing about nine acres, more or less. 

Riker states that this mortgage, which was cancelled June 7, 1793, covers, also, lot No. 5 
— twelve acres, more or less. 

McGown is said to have been lost at sea some years before the Revolution; his widow 
and his son, Andrew, conducted the tavern. The pass became generally known as Mc- 
Gown's Pass, and, in spite of numerous changes in the ownership and occupation of the 
site, the name still clings to this locality in Central Park. For an interesting article on 
McGown's Pass and Vicinity, by Edward Hagaman Hall, see the 1905 Report of The Amer- 
ican Scenic and Historic Preservation Society. 

A very similar view, if not a copy from this sketch, was reproduced by Milbert in his 
first series of American prints (fourteen in number), published in 1825. For a descrip- 
tion of these prints, see Plate 87-b. 

Reproduction: Valentine's Manual, 1856, opp. p. 592. 

Plate 82 B-c 
View at Fort Clinton MFGowan's Pass 
Water-colour drawing on paper. 23^^ x lo^^ Date depicted: 1814. 

Provenance: From the Swift Collection of maps, views, and plans (see PI. 82 A). 
Artist: John Joseph Holland. 
Owner: City of New York, deposited in N. Y. Hist. Society. 

This view was taken from a point within Fort Clinton, just south-west of its north- 

['] Riker's manuscript notes sometimes contain information which, as in this instance, is at variance 
with his published work. 


east bastion, which is seen on the left. Harlem Creek appears in the middle of the view, 
and Hell Gate and Hallet's Point in the distance. The bridge seen in the middle dis- 
tance carried the Post Road across Harlem Creek. 

Plate 83 -a 

Launch of the Steam Frigate Fulton the First, at New York, 

29™ Oct? 1 8 14 

Line engraving. 14K xgj4 Date depicted: October 29, 1814. 

Date issued: 1819. 

Artist: "Drawn by J. J. Barralet, from a Sketch by Morgan, taken on the 

B. Tanner, direx* 

Publishers: Cammeyer & Acock, Philadelphia. 
Owner: I.N.P.S. 
Other copies: N. Y. Hist. Society, etc. 

Third state. The first state of this print (copy in Pyne Collection) has the following 

imprint: "Drawn by J. J. Barralet from a Sketch by Morgan, taken on the spot. 

B. Tanner, dirext / Launch Of The Steam Frigate Fulton The First, At New York, 

29th Octf 1814. / 150 feet long and 57 feet wide, will mount 30 long 32 pounders, and 2 
100 pounders. (Columbiards.) / Philadelphia; Published zyth March 1815 by B. Tanner 
N? 74 South 8th S*." In this the dimensions of the boat, as engraved, are "150 feet long 
and 50 feet wide, will mount 28 long 32 pounders and 2 50 pounders." The alterations 
are in faded ink, put in with a pen, the original engraved figures beneath showing plainly. 
The impression in the N. Y. Hist. Society has an added line to the right: "Printed by 
Cammeyer & Acock, No. 10 Library Street Philad?," and the figures altered on the plate 

A very similar, but somewhat smaller, aquatint view of the launching was published 
in Paris by Ostervald, probably at about the same period (author's collection, etc.). 

The "Fulton the First," or as she was at first called, the "Demalogos" — "Voice of the 
People" — was built during the War of 1812. In 1814, citizens of New York, realising the 
defenceless state of the harbour, had organised a Coast and Harbour Defence Associa- 
tion, which had favourably passed upon a model for a war vessel submitted by Fulton, 
the estimated cost of which was $320,000. This association appealed to Congress in the 
matter, olFering to build the frigate provided the United States government would reim- 
burse the cost if the venture proved successful. On March 9, 18 14, Congress passed an 
act authorising "the president of the United States to cause to be built, equipped and 
employed, one or more floating batteries for the defence of the waters of the United States." 
— Jets of Congress, Chap. LXXX. 

The frigate was to be built under the supervision of the Coast and Harbour Defence 
Association, which named as its agents a committee of five gentlemen, consisting of Gen. 
Dearborn, Col. Henry Rutgers, Oliver Wolcot, Samuel L. Mitchell, and Thomas Morris. 
Fulton was appointed engineer. On October 29, 1814, about four months after the keel 
was laid, the "Fulton the First" was launched from the shipyard of Adam and Noah 
Brown, at Corlaers Hook, which is shown in the view. An interesting account of the 
launching was published in the N. Y. Eve. Post of October 29th: 


This morning at a quarter before 9 o'clock, the Steam Frigate "Fulton the First," was 
launched from the Ship Yards of Adam and Noah Brown, at Corlaers-Hook, amidst the roar of 
cannon and the shouts and acclamations of upwards of twenty thousand people, who had as- 
sembled to witness the event. — The ground adjacent was crowded, as was also the wharves and 
house tops, and the river covered with gun boats and water craft of every description. She took 
leave of her bed a quarter of an hour earlier than was intended, owing to the Jarring produced 
by the discharge of a 32 pounder on deck, to give warning to the spectators, and gently and 
beautifully glided into her destined element. She measures 145 feet on deck and 55 feet breadth 
of beam — draws only 8 feet of water, and is to mount thirty 32 pound carronades and 2 Colum- 
biards, the latter to carry each a 100 pound red hot ball. She is to be commanded by Commodore 
Porter, and from appearances she bids fair to become a formidable weapon in harbor warfare. 

On December 24, 1814, before the completion of the frigate, peace was concluded be- 
tween England and the United States. Before its completion, also, occurred the death, on 
February 23, 1815, of its illustrious inventor, Robert Fulton. — N. Y. Eve. Post, February 
23 and 24, 1815. 

A description of the "Fulton the First" may be found in the appendix to Colden's 
Life of Robert Fulton, condensed from a report made to the Secretary of the Navy by three 
of the committee — Rutgers, Mitchell, and Morris — and dated New York, December 28, 
1815. Another description is contained in a letter written by Fulton to Jonathan Wil- 
liams, of Philadelphia, on November 23, 1814, the original of which is in the N. Y. Public 
Library (see Chronology). In this letter, the dimensions of the boat are given as follows: 
Length 167 ft, Beam 56 ft, which figures are also found in the Custom House records of 
the period. 

The boat was a catamaran, the boiler being in one hull and the machinery in the other; 
and there was a large paddle-wheel between the two hulls. The frigate was almost com- 
pleted by June 4, 1815, when a party of officials was taken out into New York Bay. — 
N. Y. Herald, June 3, 1815. On July 4th, a sea voyage of about forty-five miles was made 
i^N.Y. Eve. Post, July 5, 1815), and on September ii, 1815, another trial took place, the 
frigate attaining a speed of five and a half miles an hour. — Ihid., September 12, 1915. In 
the autumn of 1815, the boat was taken to the Brooklyn Navy Yard, and became a re- 
ceiving ship. The fate of the "Fulton the First" was tragic. On June 4, 1829, her powder 
magazine exploded, as she lay in the navy yard, killing nearly all on board, and completely 
destroying the boat. — Ibid., June 5, 1829. 

For a life of Robert Fulton, and more detailed accounts of the frigate, see Colden's 
Life of Robert Fulton, Mrs. Sutcliffe's Robert Fulton and the "Clermont," Dickinson's Robert 
Fulton Engineer and Artist His Life and Works, and Bullock's article on "The Miracle of 
the First Steamboat," in Journal of Am. Hist., I: 33-48. 

Reproduction: Valentine's Manual, 1852, opp. p. 184. 

Reference: StauflFer, 3 131. 

Plate 83-b 
(Stone Bridge, Tavern and Garden, Canal and Broadway, 1812) 
Oil painting on cardboard. 20^ x 16^ Date depicted: 1812.? 

Artist: Unknown. 
Owner: N. Y. Hist. Society. 

This crude little painting, according to a legend on its back, was presented to the 
N. Y. Hist. Society by Ira K. Morris, of Staten Island. The title also is found in manu- 
script on the back of the painting. 


From the direction of the shadows, it seems probable that the view was taken from a 
point on Canal Street east of Broadway, and that the houses shown are on the south-west 
and south-east corners of the intersection of these two streets. In Elliot's Double Direc- 
tory for 1 812, this neighbourhood is shown to have been occupied by mechanics and small 
tradesmen. Valentine, who gives an interesting history of Broadway in the Manual for 1865 
(p. 509, et seq.), referring to the section of the street between Franklin and Canal, says that 
in 1815 "the property north as far as Duggan's at Canal street" was "mostly vacant 
except a blacksmith shop and one or two temporary tenements." 

The arch or stone bridge was probably erected during the Revolution to give access to 
the fortifications at the Collect Pond and Bayard's Farm, as suggested by Valentine {Man- 
ual, 1865, p. 604), although no reference has been found to its actual construction. ['] 
The Montresor Map of 1766 (PI. 40), and the Ratzer Map of 1766-7 (PI. 41) do not show 
this bridge, nor is it found upon the map in Gaine's Universal Register, or, American and 
British Kalendar, for the year 1776. Broadway, or, as it was also called, "Great George 
Street," was not extended and regulated so far north at this early date. By 1782, as is 
shown on the manuscript War Office Map (PI. 50), as well as on the Hills Map in the 
N. Y. Hist. Society, this street had been formally extended across and beyond the ditch, 
apparently indicating the existence of a bridge — which, however, is not shown, although, 
as will be seen later, it in all probability existed at this time. The same formal extension 
of Broadway beyond the ditch is shown on the Tiebout map in The New-York Directory 
and Register for 1789, as well as on the Taylor-Roberts Map of 1797 (PI. 64). The first 
actual indication of the bridge found on any map is on a manuscript Bancker survey dated 
June II, 1793, in the N. Y. Public Library, which bears the endorsement: "MF Dugans 
Ground near the Stone Bridge G. G. Street." 

The stone bridge may have been constructed at the time Broadway, or Great George 
Street, was extended, in conformity with the act of 1764, authorising the Commissioner of 
Highways to "make and build Bridges and Causeways where they shall think it necessary, 
and to dig Ditches from the said Roads thro' any Person's Land where they shall judge it 
necessary, for the carrying off the Water, and keeping the Roads dry. . . . " — Laws of 
N. Y. (Gaine ed.). Chap. MCCLXVIII. 

The first reference to the bridge in the Minutes of the Common Council is under date of 
May 16, 1787: 

Ordered that Aid" Bayard direct the Road Master to put Rails along the Road on the said 
Mc Gowan's pass Hill above Harlem to prevent accidents to Horses & Carriages And also that 
Mr. Aid" direct the sides of the Arch in the middle Road to be raised on a level with the said 
Road.— iW. C. C. {MS.), VIII: 558. 

On May 24th following, a bill was presented to the Common Council, beginning: "The 
Corporation of New York D"' to And'' thompson Juner For Mason Wirk Dun by order of Al- 
derman Byard at the New Bridge on the New Road and at the Dreene [drain] in Mulberry 
Street." A statement of Thompson's charges in detail for work and materials at each 
place is given, the amount spent on the bridge being £ 8-5-7. The account is verified by 
Nicholas Bayard, who writes below: "I hereby Certify that the within Acc*^ of Stone was 
delivered in Consequence of an Order of this Corporation to have the Arch in the New 
Road, raised at each side." — Original bill, box 9, in Record Room, City Clerk's Office. 
This order respecting the raising of the "sides of the Arch" undoubtedly refers to the 

['] The statement made in Vol. I, p. 374, of the Iconography, that this bridge was built in 1787, is 
contradicted by subsequent researches, as set forth in this plate description and in the Chronology. 


stone bridge at Great George Street (Broadway) and the later Canal Street, for, on June 
8th, the Recorder was ordered to issue warrants on the treasury "to pay Van Gelder & 
Dally (out of the Road Fund) the sum of £ 2-17 for Lime, and to Aric Smith the Sum of 
£ 10 for Stone at the Bridge across Great George Street near Aid" Bayards." — M. C. C. 
(MS.), VIII: 562. The fact that the "Arch" was in need of repair in 1787 clearly indi- 
cates that the bridge had been constructed at a much earlier date. 

It seems quite reasonable to suppose that the repairs to the stone bridge, "by order of 
Alderman Bayard," may have been promoted by him to facilitate the sale of his farm of 
150 acres which lay on the west side of Broadway, and which, in 1785-6, according to Watson 
(Annals, 174), he cut up into lots of twenty-five by one hundred feet and offered for sale. 
However, during the period following the Revolution, property had so depreciated in value 
that no more than twenty-five dollars was offered for a lot, and only a few were sold. 

Some time prior to March 16, 181 1, the stone bridge had been enlarged, as is shown 
by the following petition of Thomas Duggan : 

The subscriber has been assessed $25 for widening the Bridge in Broadway he thinks it 
unreasonable that the four Corner lots should pay for said bridge that is as usefull to those ten 
miles of [ofF| besides it is a great Damage to him, as the water is now stopt and no geting at the 
old bridge to take away the dirt, there has been Gentlemen wanted to hire his house but when 
the [they] see the water green the [they] say the [they] would not live there. . . —From original 
petition, in file No. 44, Record Room, City Clerk's Office. 

The statement has been made that the stones of this old bridge still lie buried beneath 
the road-bed at Broadway and Canal Street. 

From numerous statements in the records regarding the opening of Canal Street, we 
know that on the south-west corner of the ditch and Broadway, in 1808, there was a two- 
storey frame house belonging to John Cameron (or McCammon, as it was also written), and 
that the land to the north-west of Broadway and the ditch belonged to a tanner named 
Thomas Duggan. Other property owners west of Broadway along the line of the new 
street were Walter Bowne (or Browne), James Neilson, the heirs of Anthony Lispenard, 
and the corporation of Trinity Church; while to the east of Broadway the land was owned 
by John Jay, Peter Jay Munro, and Dominick Lynch. 

South, on Broadway, between Anthony (Worth) and Leonard Streets, there was a fa- 
mous tavern called the White Conduit House, which during the Revolution was known as 
"Ranelagh Gardens." [i] A quaint advertisement of the place, as thus conducted, is con- 
tained in The Royal Gazette of July 15, 1780: 

Ranelagh Gardens formerly called the White Conduit House is now opened by John M'Ken- 
zie who formerly kept the Mason's Arms in Queen St. No. 35. 

N.B. In the superb garden there is the most elegant boxes prepared for the reception of the 
ladies; and the more perfect enjoyment of the evening air . . 

No other tavern or garden of any importance has been found in this neighbourhood, and 
no contemporary reference has been found to the Stone Bridge Tavern, although Haswell, 
writing of Broadway as it was at about the period of the view, says that a public-house 
then standing on Broadway near Walker Street was known as the Stone Bridge Hotel, and 
a water-colour view by Chappel, reproduced in the Addenda, shows the "Collect Ground 
Arsenal & Stone Bridge Garden" in 1812. 

At the present time, the corner houses on the south side of Canal Street and Broadway 

['] This must not be confused with the better-known Ranelagh Gardens established about 1750, in the 
old Rutgers house on Broadway, near the present Thomas Street. 


are numbered 416 and 417, while those on the north corners are 418 and 419. In Elliot's 
Double Directory for 1812, No. 416, which would be the building in shadow on the extreme 
left of the view, is given as the address of Joseph Waldron, cartman. In the directories for 
iBio, 181 1, and 1813, however, Waldron's address is given as 418 Broadway. Curiously, the 
Insurance Maps of 1853 give No. 418 on both the north-east and south-east corners of 
Broadway and Canal Street, an irregularity which perhaps accounts for the confusion in 
Waldron's earlier address, [i] Daniel Carman, a saddler, according to Elliot's Double 
Directory for 1812, was on the corner of Canal Street and Broadway. In other directories 
of this period his address is given as 417 Broadway. In the Insurance Maps of 1853, 
above referred to, No. 417 is on the north side of Canal Street. If we consider this 
number to be on the north side, the house would not appear in our view, and the low building 
just south of Canal Street would then be No. 415 Broadway, which, in 18 1 2, was the address 
of the widow Mary Nichols and of John Nichols, a "carver." No. 413 was occupied in 
this year by Samuel and John Sproull, carpenters, and No. 41 1 by Philip Brun, shipmaster. 

It is possible that this painting was copied from the lithograph by Hayward in the 
Manual for 1856, p. 542, or from the original from which the Manual reproduction was 
made; in which case no reliance could be placed on the assumed date. While there is no 
good reason to question the date of 1 81 2 found on the back of the painting, the view might 
as well represent a period as early as 1800. At this time, Canal Street had not been laid 
out, but its later course was, in part, marked by an irregular ditch running from the Collect 
Pond to the Hudson River, spanned at Great George Street by the stone bridge, and by 
another stone bridge on the road to Greenwich (Greenwich Street), just north of Lis- 
penard's house. Canal Street, east of Broadway to Collect Street, was laid out on the line 
of this old ditch, but west of Broadway the new street ran in a straight line south of the 
ditch, which curved northward, joining it again at the outlet on the North River. For 
the course of this ditch, see the Ratzer Map (PI. 41). 

West of the Collect, and extending to the Hudson River, was an irregular-shaped swamp, 
of which the portion lying west of Broadway was known as Lispenard's Meadows. As 
early as 1733, Anthony Rutgers, who had in this year received a patent for seventy acres 
of land, including the swamp and fresh water pond, petitioned for the privilege of laying 
a drain "into Hudson's River as far as Low Water Mark." — M. C. C, IV: 177-8. This 
petition was granted, and the ditch above referred to was constructed. 

The necessity for properly draining off these marshes became greater each year as the 
city moved northward. Even as early as 1733, when Rutgers petitioned for the privilege 
of opening the ditch, he described the swamp as "filled constantly with standing water for 
which" there was "no natural vent and being covered with bushfes and small Trees," was 
"by the stagnation and rottenness of it . . . become exceedingly dangerous and of fatal 
consequence to all the inhabitants of the north part of this City bordering near the same, 
they being subject to very many deceases and distempers, which by all Physicians and by 
long experience are imputed to those unwholesome vapours occasioned thereby. . . " — 
N. Y. Col. Docs., V: 914-8; M. C. C, IV: 177-8. 

In 1792, John Jay offered the Corporation, if they should "judge it expedient to make 
a Canal from the fresh Water Pond to the North River," to release as much of his land in 
this neighbourhood as might be required for that purpose and for streets. — M. C. C. (MS.), 
X: 213-4. In 1796, a committee was appointed to negotiate with owners of property 

['1 Irregularities in street numbering are referred to in the directory for 1789, as follows: "There are 
many of the streets that have the same numbers upon several houses, which irregularity, together with 
many other circumstances similar thereto, cannot be laid to the charge of the compiler." 


through which the proposed canal was to pass. — Ibid., XI: 345. From this time on, the 
city records contain many entries regarding the canal, for which see Chronology. 

The final decision was to open a broad street, through the centre of which the canal or 
"tunnel" was to pass. In February, 1803, Charles Loss made a survey of the new street, 
including the canal; and in February, 1805, the Street Commissioners were ordered to 
make a list of the owners of land required for the new street. — M. C. C. (MS.), XIV: 137, 
396; XV: 27, 97, 108, 132. It was to be one hundred feet wide, and the canal was to be 
constructed "of Brick or Stone." The street was accordingly staked out, and assessments 
to defray the cost of the work were levied on those in the immediate vicinity. These as- 
sessments were the occasion of great and acrimonious contest for a number of years. As 
already stated, the land to the east of Broadway, through which Canal Street was to be 
laid out, was owned by John Jay, Peter Jay Munro, and Dominick Lynch. They offered 
to give the necessary land for the street, as well as for Elm and Crosby Streets, but in 
return wished to be relieved from all charges for opening Canal Street west of Broadway. 
Trinity Church, also, ceded the necessary ground for the street west of Broadway. 

So many changes were made in the plans for laying out the street and constructing the 
canal that owners of property finally petitioned the Common Council on December 12, 
1808, as follows: 

A memorial of John Jay Esq. and numerous other proprietors of lots fronting upon Canal 
Street and in the vicinity thereof, was read setting forth that there are upwards of three thou- 
sand lots fronting upon said Street and in the vicinity thereof which cannot now be improved 
or used owing to the present State of said Street. That the cellars round the collect have water 
in them, some of which have been filled with earth, and that some of the cellars of houses in 
Chapel Street are also rendered useless in consequence of being overflown with water. That the 
various plans for regulating Canal Street have proved very prejudicial to the petitioners, and 
that any one plan however imperfect would prove less prejudicial than the frequent fluctuations 
that have hitherto taken place in relation to this and the adjacent Streets. The petitioners 
therefore prayed that the Common Council would apply to the Legislature to appoint Commis- 
sioners to lay out, regulate and open Canal Street and that the plan and regulation of such Com- 
missioners may be declared conclusive and permanent, which memorial together with an appli- 
cation of Thomas Duggan that the remainder of Canal Street may be opened was referred to 
the Canal Committee.! i]—M. C. C, (MS.), XIX: 309. 

This petition resulted in the passage of an act, on March 24, 1809, appointing Simeon 
De Witt, Gouverneur Morris, and John Rutherford commissioners for laying out Canal 
Street. — Laws of N. Y., 1809, Chap. 103. Later, all three commissioners resigned, and 
their places were filled by Samuel Russel, William H. Ireland, and Daniel I. Ebbetts. But 
the work of the new commissioners met with many difficulties and obstacles, the principal 
one being what was considered the unfair method of assessing the owners of property along 
the canal for a work which should have been regarded as a general city improvement. 

The following interesting description of the work on Canal Street is taken from the 
N. Y. Eve. Post of January 2, 181 1: 

The draining and filling up of the marshes usually called the Collect and Lispenard's Mead- 
ows, and the levelling and regulating the adjacent grounds, has always been a subject of much 
speculation and concern. Various plans have at different times been proposed, and much em- 
barrassment and difficulty have continually arisen: Finally however, after having abandoned 
the idea of a navigable canal, after levelling most of the surrounding eminences, lowering one 

[I] According to this record, Canal Street, in 1808, was laid out through John Jay's land (i. e., east 
of Broadway) and not through Duggan's land (west of Broadway). The Randel Map (PI. 79), which 
shows Canal Street laid out to the west of Broadway, and not to the east, is evidently anticipatory in this 
particular. On the Bridges Map (PI. 80), Canal Street is shown extended to Collect Street. 


street and raising another, then again elevating the former and reducing the latter, until per- 
plexity and confusion have gained a complete ascendency, it has been determmed as a desperate 
resort, to make an experiment with a Sewer or paved channel above ground, extending from the 
Collect to the North river. . . . 

A very complete figured plan, presumably of this proposed paved canal or sewer, meas- 
uring 270 X 20 inches, and numbered 161, is preserved in the Topographical Bureau, formerly 
the Bureau of Design and Survey, and bears the endorsement, evidently added at a later date: 
"Canal Street ditch. Built 181 1." That no such sewer was ever constructed seems clear 
from the records. It appears, in fact, that in this year the water-course in Canal Street was 
stopped up with rubbish and mud, so that water overflowed in the vicinity of Collect Street; 
and, in September, a committee was appointed to "consider as to the propriety of opening 
the old water course in Canal Street . . "—M. C. C. (MS.), XXI: 155-6; XXIV: 37. See, 
also, the petition of Duggan, made in this same year, and already referred to. 

By an act of June 19, 1812, Eli Whitney, Robert Fulton, and Thomas H. Poppleton 
were appointed commissioners "to ascertain the best method of conveying off the waters 
from the collect and Lispenards Meadows." These commissioners made a long report, 
on February 15, 1813, in which they reviewed all the different proposals for draining off 
the water along Canal Street, showing that none of the various schemes had been carried 
out. This report concludes with the following recommendation: 

We have bestowed much attention upon the subject referred to our consideration, and sub- 
mit the following as the best plan, which we have been able to devise viz. 

That a tunnel or covered Sewer, of an Eliptical form, be laid along the Center of Canal 
Street, from the North River to Broadway — The horizontal diameter of the tunnel to be sixteen 
feet, and the vertical diameter eight feet. — said tunnel to continue uniformly diminishing from 
Broad Way to the head of Collect Street — That the bottom of the tunnel be placed on a level 
with low water mark, at the North river and three feet above low water mark, at Broadway. . . 
— From original report, in file No. 48, Record Room, City Clerk's Office. [■] 

On February 23, 1813, the Street Commissioner, also, submitted a plan for a water- 
course, which, he stated, would not cost more than a third of that proposed by the com- 
missioners, and which could be kept clean at "less than one fifth of the Expense." — M. 
C. C. (MS.), XXVI: 257-8. The plan of the Street Commissioner received the endorse- 
ment of the Canal Committee (ibid., XXVI: 273-8), but the plan was not carried out. A 
year later, on March 14, 1814, the Canal Committee petitioned the Legislature that the 
plan of the commissioners might not be adopted. — Ibid., XXVIII: 128. During the next 
few years, various proposals were submitted regarding Canal Street. On July 28, 1817, 
the Canal Committee presented another report on a sewer, which was referred back for 
information regarding "the distance, which the Water can be carried on the surface of the 
Streets; the length and size of the Sewer the cost of filling in and paving and making the 
Sewer, and the means of raising the money for completing the same." — Ibid., XXXIII: 209. 

The first actual work on the sewer of which any record has been found is under date 
of May 10, 1819, and shows that the contractors had finished one-third of the work. — 
Ibid., XXXVIII : 68-9. By June 28, 1819, two-thirds of the work had been completed, and 
by August 23d it was finished. — Ibid., XXXVIII: 279-81; 431-3. In this same year, sewers 
were laid through Thompson, Chapel, and Collect Streets. — Ibid., XXXVIII: 313-7, 406. 

Reproduction: Valentine's Manual, 1857, p. 542; 1865, p. 608. 

['] The plan numbered i6i, above referred to, may possibly have been drawn in connection with this 
report. The endorsement on the plan has little bearing on the actual date of the drawing, as it is evidently 
not contemporaneous. 


Plate 84 

Newyorks Hamn och Redd Fran Brooklyn pa Longisland 

(New York's Harbour and Docks From Brooklyn on Long Island) 

[The Klinckowstrom View] 

Aquatint. i8}ix8j4 Date depicted: 1820. 

Date issued: 1824. 
Provenance: Jtlas til Friherre Klinckowstroms Bref om de Forente Staterne (Atlas 

to [accompanying] Baron Klinckowstrom's Letters about the United States). 
Artist: (Axel) Klinckowstrom. 
Engraver: Akrell. 

Owner: I.N.P.S. (complete collection). 

Other copies: N. Y. Public Library (Emmet Collection, 11 926); N. Y. Hist. So- 
ciety (complete collection), etc. 

Only known state. This view is interesting particularly as showing the types of 
steam ferries and sail-boats in use at this period. 

The Atlas contains, besides the views reproduced here and on Plate 85, a view of the old 
Stevens house at Hoboken, a sheer plan of the "Chancellor Livingston," a number of 
views and a plan of Philadelphia, the Capitol at Washington, a view of Hoboken, and 
several maps, — in all nineteen plates including the title-page. It accompanies two vol- 
umes of "Letters on the United States, written by Baron Klinckowstrom while travelling 
through America in the years 1818, 1819, and 1820," and published in Stockholm by 
Eckstein in 1824. Complete copies of the Atlas are very scarce. 

Plate 85 

Broadway-gatan och Radhuset I Newyork 

(Broadway-street and the City Hall in New York) 

Aquatint. I5>^x8 Date depicted: 1819. 

Date issued: 1824. 
Provenance: Atlas til Friherre Klinckowstroms Bref om de Forente Staterne (Atlas 

to [accompanying] Baron Klinckowstrom's Letters about the United States). 
Artist: (Axel) Klinckowstrom. 
Engraver: Akrell. 

Owner: I.N.P.S. (complete collection). 

Other copies: N. Y. Public Library (Emmet Collection, 11 964); N. Y. Hist. So- 
ciety (complete collection) ; etc. 

Only known state of one of the most picturesque and interesting early views of Broad- 
way and the City Hall. 

According to a statement made on p. loi of Baron Klinckowstrom's "Letters," this 
view was made in 1819. His description of the City Hall (translated) is as follows: 

About a third of the length of the street [Broadway] from the Battery you come across a 
large 3-cornered place, which is shaded by beautiful trees. Here is the City Hall. It is built 
in a light and very pretty style. As I have made a correct drawing of this place and of Broad- 
way, and Chatham [Street] you will get a good idea of this part of New York, which really is 


attractive. In the same drawing you will see the costumes in use here, and also all the vehicles 
from the elegant coach down to the modest pushcart, on which the licensed porter is busily 
transferring the traveller's belongings to the harbour. 

Although Klinckowstrom refers to his picture as a "correct drawing," it should be 
noted that there was never a cross on the cupola of the City Hall, which was, in 1819, as it 
is at the present day, surmounted by the figure of Justice. — See Plate 97. The iron railing 
around the Park was but partially constructed in 1818 {M. C. C, MS., XXVI: 8, 108), 
and was completed in 1821. — Ibid., XLIII: 137, 193-5, 3'4- 

The old Rutherfurd house, to which a storey has been added since its appearance on 
Plate 68-b, will be recognised on the north-west corner of Vesey Street. In 1819, Elijah 
Secor, a merchant, resided here, while No. 221, just to the north, was occupied by Ryer- 
son & Thompson, merchants. No. 221 is also given in the directory for 1819-1820 as 
the address of Daniel Fraser, who kept a boarding-house, possibly in the upper part of the 
building. No. 223 was the residence of John Jacob Astor, while No. 225 was occupied by 
David Lydig. For the early history of these houses, see Plates 100 and 108. 

The lamp-posts standing along the sidewalk in front of St. Paul's Chapel show the 
type in use before the introduction of gas, in 1827. 

Notice the pigs rooting along the street, — a nuisance to which New York citizens had 
long since become accustomed, as it had existed from the earliest days, but which never 
failed to impress visitors. Klinckowstrom (pp. 108-9), after criticising the lack of proper 
street cleaning in New York, adds: "Another circumstance no less dangerous to health is 
the fact that pigs are allowed to run loose in the streets. These pigs have on several occa- 
sions been the cause of remarkable scenes, jumping about here and there and bowling over 
richly dressed ladies." John Palmer, who visited New York in 1817, estimated that, "on a 
moderate calculation, several thousand pigs" were "suffered to roam about the streets, to 
the disgrace of the corporation and danger of passengers." — Journal of Travels, 6. 

A general description of the city — its streets, markets, etc. — will be found on pages 
101-204 of Klinckowstrom's Letters. For a resume of this, and further extracts from 
Klinckowstrom's interesting book, see Chronology, 1819. 

Plate 86 
[Randel's MS. Map of Farms] 
Pen and ink and water- The size of the sheets va- Date depicted: 

colour drawing on ties, averaging about 32 1819-20. 

paper (mounted). x 20 in. The map ex- 

tended measures about 
50 X 1 1 ft. 
Author: John Randel, Jr. 

Owner: City of New York, filed in the Bureau of Topography, Office of the Com- 
missioner of Public Works (Manhattan). 

This exceedingly important map shows the entire city above North Street, and indi- 
cates every individual lot and building, thus constituting the most complete and valuable 
topographical record of the period that exists. It is, in fact, the only exact early topograph- 
ical map of the island. The high water lines, the roads and farm lines, the streams, marshes, 
and elevations were so accurately surveyed and drawn that distances scaled upon it will 


be found to compare exactly with later filed maps. There are ninety-two sheets in all, drawn 
to a scale of one hundred feet to the inch, and coloured. These maps are bound in four 
volumes, and are accompanied by a manuscript title-page (not bound in) bearing the sig- 
nature of John Randel, Jr., Secretary and Surveyor to the Commission (of 1807). This 
title-page, which is carefully engrossed, reads as follows: "The City of New York as Laid 
out By the Commissioners Appointed by an Act of the Legislature passed 3rd April 1807 
Consisting of 92 Maps in four volumes Laid down on a Scale of 100 feet to an inch By 
their secretary and surveyor John Randel Junr [sig.] 1820." See Chronology (1818-20) 
for facts relating to Randel's appointment, etc. There is a legend that Mrs. Randel, wife 
of the author, drew the maps in their final form. 

These maps were long supplemented by an old trunkful of sketch surveys and field 
notes, made by Mr. Randel and deposited many years ago (about 1870) in the private 
custody of Mr. J. O. B. Webster, the veteran Engineer of Street Openings, by Mrs. Randel, 
the wife of their author. In 191 3, these valuable records were turned over by Mr. Webster 
to the N. Y. Hist. Society, to be held subject to the disposition of the Randel heirs. Among 
them are maps of Governors Island, the government survey of Fort Ganzevoort (1820), 
the official oath of office of all the assistants engaged in the survey of Manhattan Island in 
181 1 and 1812, and the "Canal Street intersection for regulations." A typewritten list of 
between 200 and 300 items, mostly surveys, accompanies the documents. 

That these important records were once offered for sale is attested by a printed handbill, 
several copies of which are contained in the trunk. The handbill reads as follows: 

For sale. The original Randel Maps and Books of Surveys of New York and adjacent 
islands. Can be seen at Ex-Alderman Radde's Office, 548 Pearl Street, New York. 

An insurance policy, in the name of Letitia M. Randel, also in the trunk, and dated 
March, 1871, places the value of these manuscripts at $2,500. 

The geography of Manhattan Island at this period is still further supplemented by a 
manuscript atlas in the Bureau of Topography, containing eighteen maps of the shore of 
the East River, from the Battery to 26th Street, surveyed by Poppleton and Bridges, in 
1810-1814, [i] and by a manuscript atlas of seventeen maps of the same period showing 
the Hudson River from the Battery to 7Sth Street, also surveyed by Poppleton and Bridges, 
in 1 8 10-12. It is interesting to compare these last-mentioned maps and the Map of Farms 
here reproduced with the so-called War Map of 1782 (PI. 50). 

The Office of the Engineer of Street Openings contained the most important collection 
of early maps of any city department. In this bureau were filed and recorded all maps of 
street openings, alterations, etc.; complete indexes were kept showing the streets by loca- 
tion, and giving the dates of opening, etc. In 191 1 the Office of the Engineer of Street 
Openings, a branch of the Department of Public Works, and the Bureau of Highways 
and Sewers were reorganised and combined under the name of the Bureau of Design and 
Survey, which, in 1915, became the Bureau of Topography. 

Among the other more important maps belonging originally to the Office of the En- 
gineer of Street Openings and now filed in the Bureau of Topography are: 

An original engraved copy of the Bradford Map, undoubtedly the very copy belonging 
to G. B. Smith, Street Commissioner, and reproduced in lithographic facsimile in 1834 
(see PI. 27). 

A very similar manuscript map, bearing the date 1735. 

[I] This map must not be confused with the one surveyed by Poppleton, engraved by P. Maverick 
published in 1817, and reproduced in Valentine's Manual for 1855, opp. p. 298. 


The original Goerck plan of the public lands, 1797 (now in the real estate bureau of 
the Comptroller's Office), reproduced in the Addenda. 

A survey of the Collect, 1801. 

"Sketch of a Survey to find out the best direction for a new Road along the North or 
Hudson River, New York, May 20, 1805, done by Charles Loss, C. Surveyor," a beautifully 
executed manuscript, showing the shore and island as far east as the Bloomingdale Road 
and indicating the original buildings and farms, one or two of which are drawn in perspec- 
tive, notably the little church at Harsenville. 

The manuscript Map of the Farms, dated 1815 (commonly known as the Blue Book). 
No dimensions are given. Evidently this map is the one reproduced by Otto Sackersdorff, 
City Surveyor, in 1868. This reproduction is now rare. Copies exist in the N. Y. 
Public Library, the N. Y. Hist. Society, and in the author's collection. 

Six volumes of manuscript maps by Daniel Ewen, and two volumes by Shaw, con- 
taining a survey of the water-front made in 1827 — of the Hudson River to 42d Street and 
the East River to iSSth Street. These maps or surveys show also on alternate pages, for 
a portion of the water-front, the old lot ownerships, compiled from original deeds, etc. 

Map (mutilated) of the City of New York, including part of Brooklyn, Jersey City, 
Hoboken, etc., from an entire new survey by E. W. Bridges, City Surveyor, published by 
Richard Patten, 180 Water Street, 1829. Apparently from the same plates as the Bridges 
Map of 181 1. The only impression ever seen by the author. 

Five folio volumes containing manuscript "benefit maps" of Central Park, surveyed 
in 1859-60 by John A. Bagley, City Surveyor. 

The Map of Farms is here reproduced in complete form for the first time. 

Plate 87-a 
Hell Gate 

Aquatint, coloured. I3>^x9>^ Date depicted: 1819. 

Date issued: 1820 ? 

Provenance: From Picturesque Views of American Scenery, 18 19, Philadelphia, 
published by Moses Thomas. This book was republished by M. Carey & Son 
in 1820. In the 1819 issue the title-page reads: "Picturesque Views of American 
Scenery, 18 19. Painted by J. Shaw. Engraved by J. Hill. Philadelphia 
Published by Moses Thomas." In the 1820 issue the title-page has been 
changed to " Picturesque Views of American Scenery: Engraved by Hill, From 
Drawings by Joshua Shaw, Landscape Painter. No. i. Philadelphia Pub- 
lished by M. Carey & Son 1820." In this second edition there are nineteen 
plates, that of Hell Gate being the only one of New York interest. An imper- 
fect copy of the 1819 issue in the N. Y. Public Library (the only copy examined) 
contains but seventeen descriptions and four views, which suggests the possi- 
bility that the two views of which the descriptions are lacking, "Lynnhaven 
Bay" and a "View Above the Falls of Schuylkill," were not included in this 
first issue. The book was apparently republished in 1829, and in 1835 Thomas 
T. Ash, of Philadelphia, reissued the work with his imprint replacing that of 
M. Carey & Son. 

Artist: J. Shaw. 


Engraver: J. Hill. 

Owner: I.N.P.S. 

Other copies: N. Y. Hist. Society (complete set of second issue). Mr. Edward 

W. C. Arnold has also a complete set of the second issue (twenty in all including 

the title-page), in three original parts of six plates each, in grey wrappers. 

First state (ist or 2d issue). In the second state, with the imprint of Thomas T. Ash, 
Philadelphia, replacing that of M. Carey & Son, a border composed of two fine lines has 
been added. 

John Hill's Diary, in 1914 in the possession of his nephew, John Henry Hill, of West 
Nyack, N. Y., refers to the engraving of this plate in 1819. The Diary supplies much 
interesting information regarding the various plates engraved by Hill. It gives, for in- 
stance, the number of impressions printed of several of his well-known views. 

The Picturesque Views contains a description of each plate, that of Hell Gate being as 
follows : 

The annexed view was taken from the grounds of Mr. Grade [foot of 88th St.], which com- 
mand one of the finest prospects on the East River. . . . The building on the rock to the 

right hand of the picture, is a fort or block-house [Mill Rock and fort: cf. PI. 82-B-a]. The 

interest of the scene is continually varying, in consequence of the sunken rocks which abound 

in this spot, and give the water a different appearance on the return of the tide from that 

which it exhibits at its setting in. At some periods it boils up and foams, while its tremendous 

roaring can be heard at a great distance; and the frequent whirlpools render navigation danger- 
ous, unless with skilful pilots. . . . 

The nineteen plates composing this series have uniform lettering for the artist's, en- 
graver's, and publishers' lines: "Painted by J. Shaw"; "Engraved by J. Hill," and "Pub- 
lished by M. Carey & Son, Philadelphia." They are as follows: 

Washington's Sepulchre Mount Vernon 

View of The Spot Where Gen. Ross Fell Near Baltimore 

View Near The Falls Of Schuylkill 

Jones' Falls Near Baltimore 

View Above The Falls Of Schuylkill 

Falls Of ST Anthony On The Mississippi 

Lynnhaven Bay 

Spirit Creek; Near Augusta, Georgia 

View By Moonlight Near Fayetteville 

Burning Of Savannah 

Norfolk; From Gosport, Virginia 

View On The Wisahiccon, Pennsylvania 

Bolling's Dam, Petersburgh, Virginia 

View On The North River 

Passaic River, Below The Falls 

Passaic Falls, New Jersey 

Hell Gate 

Oyster Cove 

Monument Near North Point (vignette). The title of this view was originally printed 
as "Monument near West Point," but has been corrected in the N. Y. Hist. Society's 
set by a paster over the word "West," changing it to "North," a correction which 
also occurs in the 1835 issue. 
Reference: StauiFer, 1343. 


Plate 87-b 
Spiten Devil's Creek 

Lithograph. lO^f x 7A Date depicted: 1819 ? 

Date issued: 1825. 

Provenance: From A Series of Picturesque Views in North America, Paris, 1825. 

Artist: Drawn on stone by J. Milbert. 

Lithographer: Me"e Formentin. 

Owner: Harris D. Colt, Esq. (complete set). 

Other copies: N. Y. Public Library; N. Y. Hist. Society; I.N.P.S., etc. The 
Bibliotheque Nationale, Estampes, also possesses the entire set of fourteen 
views, which are mounted in one of two volumes containing a collection of maps, 
plans, and views, of places in the United States. Two similar volumes of the 
same series contain maps, plans, and views, of other parts of America. The 
set in the Bibliotheque Nationale and the one in Mr. Colt's collection are the 
only complete sets known. 
This series of fourteen lithographs was issued in two parts, each containing seven views, 

of which the titles are as follows: 

i^y View Of M? Comb's Mill's / on the River Harlem near king's bridge 

2? View Of The River Harlem 

M? MF Comb's House, On The River Harlem / near King's bridge 

M? Comb's Bridge Avenue 

View Of The Tavern On The Road To King's Bridge / Near Fort Washington 

Front View The Fortifications At Harlem / Near New=York 

View of the City of New-York / taken from Brooklyn Hills 

M^ Van Den Heuvel's / Country Seat 

Spiten Devil's Creek 

View Of Lydick's Mill & House On Bronx River, West Farms 

Bridge On The Croton / 40 miles N. of New-York 

View Of The Fall On Bronx River Lydich's Mill West Farms 

View of Flushing (Long Island), North America. / Oak-trees, under which 

George Fox, Quaker, preached the Truths of the Gospel 
View of Flushing (Long Island) North America / M? Bowne's house It re- 
mains in the possession of his family ever since i66i. time when it was built 

In addition to these fourteen views, Mr. Colt's collection includes a view with the 
title, "Front View Of The Fortifications Of Harlem Near The / City of New- York." This 
view is very similar to the one of the same subject included in the set above described. 
The two Flushing views were, apparently, supplementary, and may possibly not have 
been included in the original set, although they are also found with the other twelve in the 
Bibliotheque Nationale. The inscription printed on the original paper cover enclosing the 
plates in Mr. Colt's set reads: "A Series of Picturesque Views in North America, by J. 
Milbert, Corresponding member to the french Museum of natural history and several 
other scientific establishments. ['7' added in manuscript] Part ['7 Plates,' added in manu- 
script] Paris, 1825." 

In a catalogue issued by E. Dufosse, Paris (about 1885?), under No. 61274, et seq., are 


described 27 original crayon sketches by Milbert, among these are the originals from which 
the lithographs described above were copied. The catalogue enumerates, among other 
views not included in the lithographic series, "Marais de King's bridge," and "Vue prise de 
Harlem." This collection, which was priced at 50 fr., was bought by a New York collector, 
and is now in the possession of Mr. Edward W. C. Arnold. 

This rare series of lithographs must not be confounded with the well-known collection 
of views accompanying Milbert's Itineraire Pittoresque du Fleuve Hudson et des Parties 
Laterales de V Amerique du Nord. The table of contents, engraved on either side of a map 
showing Milbert's itinerary, forms a sort of title-page to this work, and bears the date 
1826. The portfolio accompanying the two volumes of text was issued in thirteen parts, 
and contains fifty-three numbered views, two of which are of New York — Plate No. i, 
"View of New=York taken from Weahawk," and Plate No. 3, "Interior of New=York, 
Provost Street and Chapel," which latter view Milbert says in his description he selected 
as typical of the city — and one unnumbered view, with the title, "Saw Mill near Luzerne 
Source of the Hudson." A table of errata, printed at the end of the second volume of text, 
states that, through an engraver's error, certain of the views were assigned to Milbert, 
although actually drawn by Smith and Wall. 

Milbert sailed from Havre on the ist of September, 1815, and arrived in New York 
on the 20th of the following October. He settled in New York, where his first work was 
the making of several drawings of the mechanism of steamboats. He soon, however, 
turned to portrait-painting and the teaching of drawing. Milbert was later attached to 
the commission in charge of the levelling preparatory to the establishment of the Erie 
Canal. In this connection he made a journey in one of the large steamers plying upon the 
Hudson. It was on this voyage that he collected much of the material for his Itineraire 
Pittoresque. A few years after his arrival in New York he was charged by M. Hyde de 
Neuville, the French Minister, with the preparation of certain collections of natural his- 
tory specimens, destined for the King's Garden in Paris. In his report on this collection, 
which is printed in full in his Itineraire Pittoresque, he styles himself "Voyageur, Naturaliste 
du Gouvernement et Correspondant du Museum d'Histoire Naturelle au Jardin du Roi." 
It was through Milbert's efforts that the first living specimen of the American buffalo 
was introduced into France. On pages 33-6 of the first volume of text is given a very 
interesting description of the architecture and interior arrangement of the private houses 
of New York at this period. The second volume bears the date 1829. Milbert returned 
to France, after his first visit, on October i, 1823. 

Reproduced here for the first time. 

Plate 88 

View of the New York Hospital 

[Broadway Elevation] 

Line engraving. iOT|x6fB- Date depicted: 1811-41. 

Date issued: 1811. 
Provenance: Frontispiece of An Account of the New York Hospital, New York, 
Printed by Collins & Co. No. 189 Pearl Street, 181 1 (second edition). The 
same view is also contained in The American Medical and Philosophical Register 
(etc.) for January, 1812, and in An Account of the New York Hospital, printed 
by Mahlon Day, No. 84 Water Street, 1820. 


Artist: John R. Murray. 
Engraver: (William Satchwell) Leney. 
Owner: I.N.P.S. 

Other copies: N. Y. Public Library (Emmet Collection, 11085); N. Y. Hist. So- 
ciety, etc. 

Only known state. Unfolded copies exist, issued separately from the book. 

The New York Hospital, begun in 1773, was not the first building erected for hospital 
purposes in New York. In 1659-60 a hospital for sick soldiers and negroes was built on 
the corner of Brugh (Bridge) Straet and the Brugh Steegh (long since closed). It was 
probably a temporary building of poor construction, for it had been demolished prior to 
1674, after which the "five houses," on Winckel Straet (also closed), were converted for 
hospital purposes, serving in this capacity until their demolition, about 1680. — See Castello 
Plan (Appendix, III). The next known reference to a hospital is under date of September 
6, 1699, when the Common Council ordered 

that the Mayor Agree with Some person for the Keeping of An Hospital for the Maintainance 
of the poor of this Citty Upon y? most Easy Terms that may be and also that he hire A house 
suitable for that Occasion. — M. C. C, II: 85. 

The site of this hospital, if it was ever established, is not known. For a number of years, 
the hospital for the sick poor was maintained as a part of the Almshouse, while sick soldiers 
were housed in the old barracks south of the Fort, marked "Military Hospital" on Mon- 
tresor's Map (PI. 40). 

In May, 1769, Governor Moore urged the Assembly to take some action in regard to 
the erection of a hospital for which a subscription had "very lately been set on foot," as 
individual contributions would not be suflScient. — Assemb. Jour. (Buel ed.), 66. On June 
13, 1771, a little group of public-spirited men, who were working for the erection of a hos- 
pital "for the reception of the poor, debilitated by age, or oppressed with infirmities," 
became incorporated, under the title of "The Society of the Hospital in the City of New 
York in America." — Documents relating to New York Hospital, among the Jay Papers in 
N. Y. Hist. Society. The Assembly, on February 19, 1772, voted an appropriation of 
eight hundred pounds per annum for twenty years for the use of the Hospital {Assemb. 
Jour., Buel ed., 58-9), and on March 24, 1772, the bill received the signature of Gov- 
ernor Dunmore. Its title was "An Act for the better Support of the Hospital to be erected 
in the City of New- York, for sick and indigent Persons." — Laws of N. Y., Chap. DCXXIX. 

The site chosen for the new hospital was at that time some distance from the city, being 
on the west side of Broadway, between the present Duane and Worth Streets, and extend- 
ing through to Church Street. This property was purchased from Mrs. Barclay and An- 
thony Rutgers. The Bancker Collection of Surveys, in the N. Y. Public Library, contains 
a survey of the hospital grounds, dated May, 1772, and bearing the title "Plan of a parcel 
of Land situate and lying in the West Ward of the City of N. Y purchased from MT Anthony 
Rutgers by the Governors of the Hospital to be erected in said City." 

On September 3, 1773, the corner-stone of the Hospital was laid {The N. Y. Jour, or 
the Gen I Adv., Sept. 2, 1773), but before the building was completed it was destroyed by 
fire, on February 28, 1775, the loss being seven thousand pounds. On March 9th, the 
General Assembly passed a resolution to grant four thousand pounds for rebuilding {Assemb. 
Jour., Buel ed., 67), which was immediately undertaken, but the Revolution prevented 
the opening of the building as a hospital, and it was turned into a barracks for British and 


Hessian soldiers. It served also for a time as an assembly-room for the Legislature, and 
for other purposes. On April 13, 1788, while a few rooms were being used as a lecture-hall 
for anatomical lectures by Dr. Bayley, it was the scene of a riot, known in history as the 
"Doctors' Riot," for details of which see Chronology. Not until February i, 1791, was the 
Hospital finally opened for patients. 

In 1 801 the Hospital grounds were surrounded by a brick wall. In 1803 a third storey and 
a new roof were added. In 1808 the Lunatic Asylum was completed south of the main build- 
ing; the corresponding building on the north, although depicted in the view, was not erected 
until 1841. — Valentine's Manual, 1845-6, pp. 259, 261. A reference to this proposed build- 
ing is contained in the 181 1 edition of the Account, but is not found in the 1820 edition: 

To complete the plan of the Hospital and render it more extensively useful, it is desirable, 
that another building should be erected, on the northerly side of the ground, corresponding with 
the lunatic asylum, which besides accommodating a greater number of patients, would furnish 
apartments for an anatomical museum, a more spacious theatre for surgical operations, and 
apartments for other useful objects, connected with the institution; but the execution of this 
design will depend on the increase of the funds of the hospital, which have been exhausted, by 
the building of the asylum, and in necessary repairs and improvements. 

It is evident from this statement that the view here reproduced was anticipatory, and 
intended to depict the institution when fully developed. The article above referred to 
in Valentine's Manual for 1845-6 is accompanied by a view showing the buildings as they 
actually existed at that time. From this view it will be seen that the North Hospital 
was not constructed in accordance with the original design, but was a smaller building 
standing farther back from Broadway. 

The main body of the Hospital was demolished in 1869 {The N. Y. Times, May 14, 1869), 
but the side buildings were not torn down until later. Two interesting drawings of the Hos- 
pital, as it appeared just before its demolition, were made by Eliza Greatorex, and are re- 
produced in Old New York from the Battery to Bloomingdale. They show the old building set 
well back from the street, surrounded by beautiful trees, and with its walls covered with ivy. 
Another view of the Hospital, shortly before its demolition, is reproduced in the Annual 
Report of the Society of the New York Hospital for 1916, from a photograph taken in 1869. 

The New York Hospital possesses a copperplate of an elevation of the Hospital with 
the following lettering: "J. C.Laurence Del? — Extends 123 F. 10 In. — Rollinson Scul?/ A 
Front view of the New York Hospital." The engraved surface of the plate measures 
i6>^x lO-i'^ in. The elevation shows the building before the addition of the third storey, 
in 1803. James C. Lawrence was an architect, whose work dates mainly from the last 
decade of the eighteenth century, while Rollinson was doubtless William Rollinson, the 
well-known engraver of the same period. The view was probably engraved at the time 
that the Hospital was reopened in 1791. 

For a further history of the New York Hospital, which now occupies a site between 
Fifth and Sixth Avenues, extending from 15th Street through to i6th, see Chronology. 
Reference: StaufFer, 1892. 

Plate 89 
(New York, from Governors Island) 
Water-colour drawing on paper. 21^x14 Date depicted: 1820. 

Artist: William G. Wall. 
Owner: LN.P.S. (from the collection of the late W. H. Havemeyer). 


The original water-colour drawing from which the aquatint Plate No. 20 of the Hudson 
River Portfolio was made. 

Printed on the back cover of a little pamphlet, entitled The Wreath, published by H. I. 
Megarey, 96 Broadway, in 1821, appears an advertisement stating that there is "now pub- 
lishing the Hudson River Portfolio from drawings by Wall made in 1820, to be completed in 
six numbers of four prints each." The notice adds that the plates were to be engraved by 
I. R. Smith. Evidently, the views had not all been published by July 2, 1823, for the Com- 
mercial Advertiser of this date refers to the Hudson River Portfolio, "publishing by Mr. 
Megarey." In the description of the view of New York, reference is made to the probable 
population of the city in 1824, and from a note' in the text it seems probable that the fifth 
and last number of these views was not issued until the autumn of 1825, or early in 1826. 
This note is contained in the description of the view of West Point, one of the plates in the 
fourth number, and refers to the "last examination of the Cadets in June 1825 . . " 

The New York Historical Society possesses the original water-colours by Wall of Plates 
7, 17, 18, and 19, as well as a complete set (20 plates) of the first issue of these views, in 
colours. From the list of the plates contained in this set, which is given below, it will be 
noticed that in the numbering of plates 9 and 12, and in the descriptions accompanying 
them, several contradictions exist. Later, the plates were reissued, with some changes 
in the lettering, and with the numbers corrected. The N. Y. Public Library owns copies 
of the later issue of the views which show plainly the alterations in the numbering. 

No. I 1.1.: Painted by W. G. Wall. l.r.: Engraved by I. Hill. 

Little Falls at Luzerne. / N? i of the Hudson River Port Folio / Pub- 
lished by Henry I. Megarey New York 

(With description opposite) 
No. 2 1.1.: Painted by W. G. Wall. l.r.: Finished by I. Hill. 

The Junction of the Sacandaga and Hudson Rivers. / N? 2 of the 

Hudson River Port Folio / Published by H. I. Megarey & W. B. Gilley 

New York & John Mill Charleston S. C. / Printed by Rollinson 

(With description opposite) 
No. 3 1.1.: Painted by W. G. Wall. l.r.: Engraved by I. R. (John Rubens) Smith. 

View near Jessups Landing. / N? 3 of the Hudson River Port Folio / 

Published by H. I. Megarey & W. B. Gilley New York and John Mill 

Charleston S. C. / Printed by Rollinson 

(With description opposite) 
No. 4 1.1.: Painted by W. G. Wall. l.r.: Engraved by I. Hill. 

Rapids above Hadleys Falls. / N? 4 of the Hudson River Port Folio / 

Published by Henry I. Megarey New York 

(With description opposite) 
No. S 1.1.: Painted by W. G. Wall. Lr.: Engraved by I. R. Smith 

Hadley's Falls. / N? J of the Hudson River Port Folio / Published by 

H. I. Megarey & W. B. Gilley New York and John Mill Charleston S. C. 

(With description opposite) 
No. 6 1.1.: Painted by W. G. Wall. l.r.: Engraved by I. Hill. 

Glenns Falls / N? 6 of the Hudson River Port Folio / Published by 

Henry I. Megarey New York 

(With description opposite) 


No. 7 1.1.: Painted by W. G. Wall. l.r.: Engraved by I. Hill. 

View near Sandy Hill. / N? 7 of the Hudson River Port Folio / Pub- 
lished by Henry I. Megarey New York 
(With description opposite) 
No. 8 1.1.: Painted by W. G. Wall. l.r.: Engraved by I. Hill. 

Baker's Falls. / N? 8 of the Hudson River Port Folio / Published by 
Henry I. Megarey New York 
(With description opposite) 
[No. 9] 1.1.: Painted by W. G. Wall. l.r.: Engraved by J. Hill. 

View near Fort Miller. / N? 10 of the Hudson River Port Folio / Pub- 
lished by Henry I. Megarey New York. 
(With description opposite, numbered IX) 
No. 10 1.1.: Painted by W. G. Wall. l.r.: Engraved by I. Hill. 

Fort Edward. / N? 10 of the Hudson River Port Folio / Published by 
Henry I. Megarey New York. 
(With description opposite) 
No. II 1.1.: Painted by W. G. Wall l.r.: Engraved by I. R. Smith / Finished by J. 
Troy from Mount Ida. / N: ii of the Hudson River Port Folio / Pub- 
lished by H. I. Megarey & W. B. Gilley New York and John Mill Charles- 
ton S. C. / Printed by RoUinson 

(With description opposite, numbered XII "View of Troy") 
[No. 12] 1.1.: Painted by W. G. Wall. l.r.: Engraved by J. Hill. 

View near Hudson. / N? 15 of the Hudson River Port Folio. / Published 
by Henry I. Megarey New York 
(With description opposite, numbered XV) 
No. 13 1.1.: Painted by W. G. Wall. l.r.: Engraved by I. Hill. 

Hudson. / N? 13 of the Hudson River Port Folio / Published by Henry I. 
Megarey New York 
(With description opposite) 
No. 14 1.1.: Painted by W. G. Wall. l.r.: Engraved by I. Hill. 

Newburg. / N? 14 of the Hudson River Port Folio. / Published by Henry 
I. Megarey New York 
(With description opposite) 
No. IS 1.1.: Painted by W. G. Wall. l.r.: Engraved by I. Hill. 

View from Fishkill looking to West Point. / N? 15 of the Hudson 
River Port Folio / Published by Henry I. Megarey New York 
(With description opposite, numbered XV) 
No. 16 1.1.: Painted by W. G. Wall. l.r.: Engraved by I. Hill. 

West Point. / N? 16 of the Hudson River Port Folio. / Published by 
Henry I. Megarey New York 
(With description opposite) 
No. 17 1.1.: Painted by W. G. Wall. l.r.: Engraved by I. Hill. 

View near Fishkill / N? 17 of the Hudson River Port Folio / Published 

by Henry I. Megarey New York 

(With description opposite, numbered XVI) 


No. 1 8 1.1.: Painted by G. W. Wall [sic]. l.r.: Engraved by J. Hill. 

View near Fort Montgomery. / N? i8 of the Hudson River Port Folio / 

Published by Henry I. Megarey New York 

(With description opposite) 
No. 19 1.1.: Painted by W. G. Wall. l.r.: Engraved by I. Hill. 

Palisades. / N? 19 of the Hudson River Port Folio / Published by Henry 

I. Megarey New York 

(With description opposite) 
No. 20 1.1.: Painted by W. G. Wall. l.r.: Engraved by I. Hill. 

New York, from Governors Island. / N? 20 of the Hudson River Port 

Folio. / Published by Henry I. Megarey New York. 

(With description opposite) 

The plates were reissued in 1828, with the words "and transferred to G. & C. & H. 
Carvill, New York," added to the publisher's line. In this edition, the numbers on the 
plates have been corrected. "View near Fort Miller," incorrectly numbered 10 in the 
early issue, has here been changed to No. 9, and No. 15 now appears as No. 12. No. 3 
has the engraver's line changed to "Finished by I. Hill"; on No. 5, after "Engraved by I. 
R. Smith," has been added: "Finished by I. Hill"; on the "View near Fort Miller," the 
words "Printed and" have been added to the engraver's line; and on No. 11 the line 
"Printed by Rollinson" has been erased from the plate. Several of the plates, including 
the one of which the original drawing is here reproduced, were later issued — probably just 
prior to 1828 — in an incomplete trial proof or transitional state, with the words "and trans- 
ferred to," followed by a blank, added to the publisher's Hne. 

In addition to the twenty plates included in the ten sets examined, the N. Y. Public 
Library has a loose copy of a plate numbered 22. This plate, however, is identical with 
No. 18 of the Portfolio — "View near Fort Montgomery." It is probably a duplication, 
similar to Nos. 9 and 10, and 12 and 15, already noted. The N. Y. Hist. Society, besides 
the four originals already mentioned, possesses also a water-colour by Wall of a "View 
of the Highlands looking South from Newburg Bay," the dimensions being uniform with 
the other Wall views. This was probably drawn for use in the Hudson River Portfolio 
series, although never engraved. ['] 

Sabin's Dictionary (33529) refers to twenty-one plates, and adds that the series appears 
never to have been finished. The author has been able to trace only twenty plates belong- 
ing to this series, and believes that the projected sixth number was never issued. An 
advertisement in the N. Y. Daily Advertiser of August 12, 1826, adds confirmation to this 

North River Port Folio, For $1.50 cts. — A subscription list is nearly filled for a copy of 
that valuable collection of engraved prints, representing most of the picturesque scenes of the 
Hudson river, being 20 in number, of the size of 26 by 28 inches, and coloured to nature. The 
selector of the first drawn number in the next drawing of the Literature Lottery, 30th inst. will 
be entitled to this elegant work: for this purpose, a list is prepared with the numbers, from I 
to 60, each chance being $1 jo cents. Apply at No. 138 Broadway. 

On August 14, 1826, the Advertiser contained the following notice: 

Another North River Portfolio going at $\ 50. The list being completed for one copy of 
this superb collection of Views on the Hudson, another copy is to be disposed of in the same 
way . . . But a very few copies of this splendid work remain unsold. 

It is probable that the "View of New York from Weehawk" (PI. 92), and that of "New 

(■]The N. Y. Hist. Society has recently acquired the manuscript "Account Book" or diary of John Hill, 
covering the years 1820-1830, and including some bills of later date. The notes furnish interesting facts regard- 


York from Heights near Brooklyn" (PI. 93), were originally intended to form part of this 
splendid series — the finest collection of New York State views ever published. Evidently, 
however, it was afterwards decided to issue these plates separately, and of a larger size; 
and in this form they were published by Wall himself, not by Megarey. It should also be 
noted that the original intention of having the engravings made by I. R. Smith, as stated 
in The Wreath, was changed, as in the first issue the plates, with four exceptions, were 
engraved by John Hill. One of these four is marked "Finished by I. Hill," and to another, 
with Smith's signature, has been added "Finished by J. Hill." In the later issue of the 
views. Hill's name appears on all the plates. 

Reproduced here for the first time. 

Reference: Stauffer (1340) evidently confuses the Megarey and Catlin series of views. 

Plate 90 

A View of Cooke's Tomb (etc.) 

Aquatint, coloured. I2^xi^)4 Date depicted: 1821. 

Date issued: 1822. 
Artist and engraver: I. (J.) R. Smith. 
Publisher: Wm. Peartree. 
Owner: I.N.P.S. 
Other copies: N. Y. Hist. Society, etc. 

Second known state. In the first state (copies in possession of Mr. Henry Goldsmith 
and Mr. Simeon Ford), the inscription just below the rectangle reads: "Painted Engraved 
and Published by I. R. Smith N. York i5 Septem^ 1821." The title is the same as in the 
second state, but the publisher's line beneath the medallion head is, of course, lacking. A 
variation of the second state, or a third state, with the added line "Printed by Rollinson," 
is noted by Mr. R. H. Lawrence, and also by Mr. Fridenberg. 

A new plate was engraved by G. & C. Hunt, and published in London by J. Moore at 
the time of Kean's death. May 15, 1833. The last issue contains the medallion head of 
George Frederick Cooke, but not the muses, and bears the title: "The Actors Monument. 
The late Edmund Kean, Esq'? Contemplating the Tomb he caused to be erected to the 
Memory of George Frederick Cooke, in Saint Paul's Church Yard, New York, America." 
The title includes a sixteen line poem, by W. T. MoncriefF, beginning: 

Kindred in Genius, not unlike in fate. 
Behold the Great yield homage to the Great, 

Prints from the new plate so closely resemble the originals that they might easily be 
mistaken for later states. However, a careful examination reveals some variations, which 
show an entirely new drawing. This is true especially of the figure of Kean, which in the 
new plate measures fully an eighth of an inch less than in the old one. 

In the background of the picture is seen the Park Theatre (second building). The 
figures are portraits of Edmund Kean (on the left), the donor of the monument, and of 
Dr. John W. Francis. The monument, which is still standing, was designed by W. & J. 
Frazee, and is made of iron. It has been repaired a number of times, as recorded on its 
face: first in 1846 by Charles Kean, son of Edmund Kean, the donor; in 1874 by E. A. 
Sothern; in 1890 by Edwin Booth, and in 1898 by "The Players." 

A somewhat similar, and very fine, view— a lithograph — exists of "The Monument of 
ing the number of copies of Hill's plates, printed and coloured, notably for American Scenery and The Hudson 
River Portfolio, and determine the authorship and date, and the character of the various plate changes, etc. 


Thomas Addis Emmet," showing the east and south elevations of St. Paul's Chapel. It was 
"Drawn from Nature and on Stone by W"" B. Browne, 13th December 1832," and "Pub- 
lished by Risso & Browne, Lith" 18 ClifF S? N.Y." There is a copy of this lithograph in 
the N. Y. Hist. Society. 
Reference: StaufFer, 2919. 

Plate 91 

(Interior of the Park Theatre, New York City, November, 1822) 

Water-colour drawing on paper. 22^2 x 31 Date depicted: November 

(probably 7th), 1822. 
Artist: John Searle. 

Owner: N. Y. Hist. Society, presented September 28, 1875, by the heirs of Har- 
riet Bayard Van Rensselaer. 

Mrs. Lamb, in her History oj the City of New York, II: 685, gives the following inter- 
esting account of this painting: 

The history of the water-color painting, now in possession of the New York Historical So- 
ciety, is scarcely less interesting than the picture itself. The original drawing was made for 
William Bayard by John Searle, a clever amateur artist, and the picture when completed was 
hung upon the wall of Mr. Bayard's country residence. Some years since Thomas W. Channing 
Moore became much interested in it while visiting Mr. Bayard, and with the instinct of a gen- 
uine antiquarian resolved that such a treasure should not be entirely lost to New York. He 
accordingly obtained permission to bring it to the city for the purpose of showing it to Mr. Elias 
Dexter. Six of the gentlemen whose portraits appear in the painting were then living — Francis 
Barretto, Robert G. L. De Peyster, Gouverneur S. Bibby, William Bayard, Jr., William Max- 
well, and James W. Gerard — and were invited to an interview for its examination. Mr. Barretto 
and Mr. Bibby remembered and were able to recognize nearly every person represented upon 
the canvas. All the gentlemen pronounced the portraits striking; and many reminiscences were 
related in connection with those supposed to be present on that memorable evening when Mat- 
thews first appeared in the farce of Monsieur Tonson. A key was made to the painting, and it 
was photographed by Dexter; it was then returned to its owner. Upon the death of Mr. Bayard 
it descended to his daughter, Mrs. Harriet Bayard Van Rensselaer, and was subsequently pre- 
sented by her heirs to the New York Historical Society. 

A letter from Wilmot Johnston to Frederic De Peyster, president of the N. Y. Hist. 
Society at the time of the presentation of the painting, in 1875, reads as follows: 

At the breaking up of the Van Rensselaer Manor House at Albany, I requested the heirs to 
let me present the picture of the Park Theatre painted by Searle to the Historical Society of 
New York, to which they assented, and I ordered the picture and the key to the same to be 
sent to you. The picture was given to Mrs. Van Rensselaer by her brother Mr. William Bayard, 
and I believe originally belonged to his father. Will you be kind enough to present it to the 
Society, who will no doubt value the same, and to whom I think it ought to belong. 

A resolution of thanks to Mr. Johnston, prepared by Mr. De Peyster, and recorded in the 
Minutes of the Historical Society, contains the following extract regarding the painting: 

The picture thus presented to the Society is in water colours, painted by Mr. John Searle 
in 1822, representing the interior of the Park Theatre as filled with an audience of ladies and 
gentlemen conspicuous and well known in New York society at that time. The stage is occu- 
pied by Charles Mathews and Miss Johnston, afterwards Mrs. Hilson, in a scene of Moncrieffe's 
farce, "Monsieur Tonson." The painting is accompanied by a key added to a photograph from 
the original published by Mr. Elias Dexter in 1868. This key was prepared by the late Thomas 
W. C. Moore, a well known and highly esteemed member of this Society, and a liberal contrib- 


utor to its Collection of Paintings. Mr. Moore had himself obtained the loan of the picture, at 
that time in the possession of Mrs. William Bayard, for the purpose of its reproduction, and 
took great pains to identify the persons represented. The likenesses are such that I am able 
myself to select upwards of seventy with whom I was personally acquainted, with the majority 
socially, with the others generally. 

Copies of the key to the painting, referred to in the above extract, as pubHshed in 1863 
by Elias Dexter, are in the N. Y. Public Library (Emmet Collection, No. 11447) and in 
the N. Y. Hist. Society, the latter having been presented, according to a manuscript note 
at the bottom of the key, "With T. W. C. Moores compliments to M" Gen! Van Renselear. 
March 1868." Another manuscript note reads: "Key to Park Theatre — painted by Jn? 
Searle. 1822." The most prominent citizens of New York, to the number of eighty-two, 
are listed on this key, the names being printed on both sides of the view. The portraits 
were evidently painted from life, although it is hardly likely that all of those represented 
were actually present at this or any other single performance. 

The Park Theatre was erected in 1795-8, on Park Row, opposite the present Post 
Office. As early as 1793, Mark Isambard Brunei, a French architect, is said to have made 
a design for the building, but the actual architects and builders were the Messrs. Mangin. 
- — Greenleaf's N. Y. Jour, y Patriotic Register, 1798, February 3. A view of this first 
theatre, drawn by Tisdale and engraved by J. Allen, is contained in Longworth's Directory 
for I797.['] The original building was destroyed by fire on May 25, 1820, but was imme- 
diately rebuilt, and was reopened September ist of the following year. The Bourne col- 
lection of views, issued in 183 1, contains an engraving of the second Park Theatre, after a 
drawing by Burton; and a description and view of the second theatre may be found in 
Goodrich's Picture of New York, etc. (1828). Our view depicts the interior of the second 
edifice shortly after its completion. On December 16, 1848, it was again burned, and was 
never rebuilt. 

The actors on the stage (according to the key) are Charles Mathews and Miss Johnson. 
Mr. Mathews, of the Theatre Royal, Covent Garden, made his first appearance in New 
York at the Park Theatre on November 7, 1822, in a double bill, consisting of a comedy, 
entitled "The Road to Ruin," and a farce, "Monsieur Tonson," written by MoncriefF, in 
which Mathews played the part of Monsieur Morbleau and Miss Johnson that of Madame 
Bellegarde. — N. Y. Daily Adv., Nov. 7, 1822. Mathews played a limited engagement in 
New York, appearing but seven times, between November 7th and 20th; and during 
this period the farce of "Monsieur Tonson," having been received on its presentation 
"with the most unprecedented applause," was twice repeated — on November nth and 
20th. — The N. Y. Eve. Post, November 7-20, 1822. 

Cooke, Junius Brutus Booth, Edmund Kean, Edwin Forrest, James Henry Hackett, 
and a host of other actors appeared in their day at the old Park Theatre. 

Plate 92 

New York from Weehawk 

[The Wall View from Weehawken] 

Aquatint, coloured. 24^^x15^ Date depicted: 1820-3. 

Date issued: 1823. 
Artist and publisher: Will? G. Wall. 
Engraver: I. (J.) Hill. 

['] The authenticity of this view as representing the design of the facade as actually carried out has been 
questioned. See Ireland's Records oj the New York Sta%e (etc.), \:\-j 2-3. 


Owner: I.N.P.S. 

Other copies: N. Y. Public Library; N. Y. Hist. Society, etc. 

First known state. A later issue of the print was published in 1828, with the addi- 
tion to the imprint of the words: "New York. Bourne, 'Depository of Arts' 359 Broadway 
1828." A variation of this later issue, or a third state, exists, with the words "and trans- 
ferred to G. & C. & H. Carvill New York" added to the Bourne imprint. In all of these 
issues the view is identical. Mr. Percy R. Pyne, 2d, owned the very beautiful water-colour 
original from which this aquatint was engraved, which, with its companion, "New York 
from Heights near Brooklyn," he acquired through Mr. Joseph F. Sabin at the dispersal 
of the Havemeyer Collection. These two water-colours are now in the collection of Mr. 
Edward W. C. Arnold. The dimensions of the water-colours are virtually the same as 
those of the engravings. Slight variations exist between the drawing and the print, espe- 
cially in the delineation of the foreground. Mr. William Sloane owns a carefully drawn 
and very attractive painting in oils of the same subject (28 x 21), perhaps by the same 
artist, and probably made a few years later. [■] In this some variations exist, notably the 
substitution of an equestrian group for the hay-wagon in the foreground. 

Under date of June 26, 1823, Wall announced in the Commercial Advertiser that he was 
about to publish two views of New York: 

Proposals for publishing by subscription, two views of the City of New York, in aqua tinta. 
From Drawings, by W. G. Wall. 

Correct views of the City of New- York, have long been a desideratum, and it has been a 
subject of surprise, that no attempt has been made to exhibit to the public, the leading features 
of a city, which possesses so great an interest from its political and commercial importance, as 
well as from the natural beauties of its situation. Mr. Wall has been induced by these considera- 
tions, to offer to the patronage of the public, two aqua tinta engravings of this City, from draw- 
ings taken, one from Weehawk, the other from Brooklyn Heights; in the choice of which points 
of view, he has been determined by their affording the most favorable view of the city, and con- 
veying the most correct impression of the beauties of the Bay, and the surrounding scenery. 

Every exertion will be made to obtain the best possible execution of these engravings, an 
artist of known and approved skill having been engaged for the purpose. 

The views will be ready for delivery about the month of August. 

Price to subscribers, $12, colored. To non-subscribers, $14, do. 

The original drawings may be seen at Mr. Megary's, 96 Broadway, or at Mr. Hill's engraver, 
Hammond-st. Greenwich. 

Subscriptions will be received by 

W. G. Wall 

519 Greenwich-st. 

A writer in the Commercial Advertiser of July 2d, referring to this advertisement, 
says that Wall is the "gentleman to whose magic pencil the public are indebted for those 
elegantly executed landscapes which compose the 'Hudson River Port Folio,' publishing 
by Mr. Megarey," and adds: 

The views taken by Mr. Wall, are the most accurate descriptions that we have ever seen. 
One of them is taken from Brooklyn Heights, near the Distillery of the Messrs. Pierponts, and 
the other from the Mountain at Weehawk. Mr. W. at first made a drawing from the high land 
back of Hoboken; but the view from Weehawk is far preferable, as it not only affords a com- 
manding prospect of the city but also of the whole of our beautiful harbor, with all the islands, 
&. . The pictures may be seen at Megarey's Bookstore, Broadway; and the work is so far 
advanced that one of the plates is compleated. 

I'J There was a replica of this painting in the Pyne sale. 


As already noted, it is quite possible that it was Wall's original intention to include this 
view and its companion (PI. 93) in Part VI of the "Port Folio," but that later he decided 
to issue them separately, of a larger size. 

A very similar view of "New- York from Weehawk" (i4>^ x 95^), exists, drawn and 
coloured by A. J. Davis, and lithographed by M. Williams. This view is ascribed by 
Davis's son to the year 1828. Only three copies are known with the signature of A. J. 
Davis — one owned by Mr. Harris D. Colt, one by Mr. L. Taylor, of Boston, and one sold 
in the collection of Mr. Pyne. Copies of the lithograph with the signature erased are fairly 
common. A copy belonging to Davis's son bears a note, in the artist's handwriting, read- 
ing: "Very coarse and badly colored, but showing the bay correctly." 

In 1859, E. Gambert & Co., of London and Paris, published a fine lithograph in colours, 
now very scarce, entitled: "New York City, From Weehawken," and measuring iz-^x 
18^. It is interesting to note on this view the development of the city and its environs 
since the drawing of the Wall views forty years earlier. There was an impression of this 
view in the Pyne Collection (No. 103), sold in February, 1917, at the American Art 

Plate 93 

New York from Heights near Brooklyn 

[The Wall View from Brooklyn] 

Aquatint, coloured. 24^x15^ Date depicted: 1820-3. 

Date issued: 1823. 
Artist and publisher: Will™ G. Wall. 
Engraver: I. (J.) Hill. 
Owner: I.N.P.S. 
Other copies: N. Y. Public Library; N. Y. Hist. Society, etc. 

First known state. A later state of the print was published in 1828, with the addi- 
tion to the imprint: "New York. Bourne, 'Depository of Arts' 359 Broadway 1828." A 
variation of this later issue, or a third state, exists, with the words: "and transferred to 
G. & C. & H. Carvill New York," added to the Bourne imprint. The original water-colour 
from which this plate was engraved is in the possession of Mr. Edward W. C. Arnold. 

This and the preceding view (PI. 92) form one of the most beautiful pairs of views of 
New York in the nineteenth century. The Impressions in the author's collection came 
directly from Wall's family, and were probably coloured by the artist himself. 

This view, as stated in the description of Plate 92, is taken from a point "near the Dis- 
tillery of the Messrs. Pierponts." The old-fashioned windmill to the right of the view 
stood on the Pierrepont property. Stiles {Hist, of Brooklyn, II: 131) says: 

Pierrepont's Anchor gin distillery was on the site of the old Livingston brewery, at the 
foot of Joralemon's lane. Mr. Pierrepont had rebuilt the old brewery building . . a large 
wharf, a windmill, which was exclusively used for the purposes of the distillery, and several 
large wooden store-houses, in which he kept the gin stored for a full year after it was made, by 
which it acquired the mellowness for which it was peculiarly esteemed. The distillery was dis- 
continued about 1819; was sold to Mr. Samuel Mitchell who used it as a candle factory for a 
time, and, subsequently was occupied, as a distillery, by Messrs. Schenk & Rutherford; and 
having since been raised and enlarged is now (1869), occupied as a sugar house. The old wind- 
mill. . . remained until about 1825, though unused. 


Pierrepont purchased the property in 1803, the deeds bearing dates in June, July, and 
October of that year. The windmill was probably erected shortly after the property came 
into his possession. 

Certain features of the old shore-line seen in the present view are no longer recog- 
nisable. The hill in the foreground is probably intended for the top of Bergen's hill, at the 
corner of the present Court Street and First Place, now levelled, while the pond at the 
bottom, separated from the East River by the clump of trees, was Cornell's mill pond. 
The Cornell mill and houses are to the right of the clump of trees. North of the distillery, 
on the hill, may be seen the Remsen house, described in Stiles Hist, of Brooklyn, I: 72-3. 
See also the Ratzer Map (PI. 42). The artist has apparently taken some liberties with 
the drawing, by fore-shortening the Brooklyn shore-line, and in other details. There is 
in the possession of Kennedy & Co. an interesting water-colour drawing showing the mill 
and the Brooklyn shore to the south-west of it. 

A very similar windmill existed at this time on the New Jersey shore, just north of the 
landing of the New York & Jersey City Ferry. This mill appears in a view drawn by J. 
Burford, engraved by J. Smillie, and published in the A^. Y. Mirror, in April, 1831. A 
painting, presumably the original from which this engraving was made, was recently in 
the possession of Messrs. Kennedy & Co. 

Curiously enough, the view from Brooklyn is much rarer than its companion, "New 
York from Weehawk." 

Plate 94-a 
Landing of Gen. La Fayette (etc.) 
Line engraving on 3x6 in. outer circle Date depicted: August 16, 1824. 

copper. 2^ in. inner circle Date issued: Copyright Octo- 

ber 27, 1824, by Maverick. 
Provenance: The copy here reproduced is cut to the margin, and was probably 

intended to be mounted on the cover of a snufF box. 
Artist and engraver: Samuel Maverick. 
Owner: Henry Goldsmith, Esq. 
Other copies: I.N.P.S. (cut square with wide margins), etc. 

Only known state. An almost identical, but less delicately engraved, view forms the 
title-page of The Tour of Gen. La Fayette, the second part of the Memoirs of La Fayette, by 
F. Butler, 1825. The circle, which is inscribed in a rectangle, measures 2\l in diameter, 
the intervening space being filled in with fine horizontal lines, upon which appear the 
words: "The Tour of Gen. La Fayette." The same text, with the same title, was also 
issued as the second part of A Complete History of the Marquis de Lafayette . . . By an 
officer in the late army New York, 1826, in which publication the view shown in Plate 
94-b occurs. 

General Lafayette arrived in New York on the ship "Cadmus," on August 15, 1824. 
On the following day, a great celebration took place in his honour. He was conducted on 
board the "Chancellor Livingston", [•] and escorted by a number of other vessels to Castle 
Garden, where he was met by a committee of distinguished citizens and by thousands of 

['] See Klinckowstrbm's Atlas for a sheer plan of the "Chancellor Livingston." 


people who had come to greet him and to pay their respects. General Lafayette was then 
in his sixty-seventh year. 

A very similar view, engraved by Rollinson, is owned by Mr. Robert Fridenberg, who 
procured it from a descendant of the engraver's family. In this engraving, no other im- 
pression of which is known, the diameter of the inner circle is one-sixteenth of an inch 
larger than in the Maverick view. The Rollinson view has an oak leaf border, while the 
Maverick view has laurel leaves. It lacks the crowd of people on top of Castle Garden, 
the clouds, etc., has no copyright notice, and differs also in other slight details from the 
Maverick engraving. The author has not been able, positively, to determine which is the 
original of these two views, and which the copy, although the copyright notice on the 
Maverick print would seem to indicate its priority. 

This same view, copied by J. &. R. Clews on an old Staffordshire platter, is reproduced, 
together with an interesting description of Lafayette's voyage and landing, in Pictures of 
Early New York on Dark Blue Staffordshire Pottery, by R. T. H. Halsey, New York, 1899, 
p. 121. For a fuller description of Lafayette's landing and stay in New York, see Chro- 

The New York Historical Society owns a large punch bowl, the gift of Miss Rosalie 
Mercein Heiser and Mr. John Jay Heiser, showing — on opposite sides of the bowl— two 
similar views of the "Landing of Gen- La Fayette at Castle Garden New York i6th August 

Plate 94-b 
Landing of Gen. Lafayette (etc.) 

Line engraving, probably on 4x1 x 2|| Date depicted: August 16, 1824. 

steel. Date issued: 1826. 

Provenance: Opposite page 333 of ^ Complete History of the Marquis de Lafay- 
ette. . . By an officer in the late army . . New York, 1826. 

Artist: (Anthony) Imbert. 

Engraver: Sam' Maverick. 

Owner: Henry Goldsmith, Esq. 

Other copies: N. Y. Public Library; N. Y. Hist. Society; I.N.P.S., etc. 

Only known state. For a description of Lafayette's visit to New York, see Plate 94-a 
and Chronology. 

The view shows Castle Garden, erected in 1 807-11 as a fortification, and called the 
Southwest Battery. After the War of 1812, it was re-named Castle Clinton, and in 1823 
was ceded by Congress to the City of New York. The other buildings shown are on State 
Street (see PI. 56), while at the point of the Battery is seen the old "Churn," removed to this 
position in 1809. 

Engraved in 1899, by Francis S. King, for the Society of Iconophiles, as a panelled 
inset in an elaborate composition forming a frame, beneath the portrait of Lafayette, the 
title being: "Lafayette and a View of his landing in New York, August 16, 1824." 

Reference: StaufFer, 2271. 


Plate 95-a 
Grand Canal Celebration 

View of the Fleet Preparing to Form in Line 
Lithograph. 41^ x 8>^ Date depicted: November 4, 

Date issued: 1826 (the title- 
page bears the date 1825). 
Provenance: Opposite p. 187 of Memoir, Prepared at the Request of a Committee of 
the Common Council . . . at the Celebration of the Completion of the New York 
Canals, by Cadwallader D. Colden, and pubHshed in New York. 
Artist: Arch. Robertson, concerning whose work the Memoir records (p. 358): 

It was by accident, or rather an irresistible impulse, that this piece was originally put on 
paper; the glory of the scene created so delightful a sensation in his mind that he seized his pencil, 
long laid aside, to put down in black and white, in the language artists are wont to express their 
ideas, the images that occupied his minds eye, with a view to preserve the recollections of those 
impressive objects, presented to his visual faculties as well as to his soul, on that memorable 
day of felicitations. He was the more tempted to this by his not being altogether unacquainted 
with the construction of shipping. But nevertheless in the minutiae he was greatly aided by 
the politeness of C. Rhind, Esq. the Admiral of the day. 

Lithographer: (Anthony) Imbert. 

Mr. Imbert, the Lithographer, is professionally a Marine Artist; originally he was a French 
Naval Officer, but long a prisoner in England, where he devoted this time of leisure, to the im- 
provement of his talents, in the study of drawing and painting, under a first rate emigrant artist, 
as a useful as well as agreeable amusement during the tedium of captivity. In the execution 
of the plate Mr. Imbert availed himself of the assistance of Mr. Felix Duponchel, and that of 
the composer (with a view to hasten this large work), on the less essential parts of the subject, 
when he was otherwise necessarily engaged in superintending the press, or preparing the different 
pieces of the artists engaged in this Book; but the essential parts, particularly the shipping, are 
his own individual work. — Memoir, 358-9. 

PubHsher: W. A. Davis, for the City of New York. 

Owner: I.N.P.S. 

Other copies of the Memoir: N. Y. Public Library; N. Y. Hist. Society, etc. 

Only knov7n state. The completion of the Erie Canal, begun in 1817, was celebrated 
from Buffalo to New York in all the cities, towns, and hamlets along the route. The Me- 
moir, prepared at the request of a committee of the Common Council, by Cadwallader D. 
Colden, grandson of the author of the same name, who wrote the History of the Five Indian 
Nations, is a very complete report, and is accompanied by a full narrative of the festivities 
and many interesting views of the procession, etc. The following "Explanation of the 
View" here reproduced is found on page 187 (47): 

The Order of arrangement was, that the Revenue Cutter, the Ship Hamlet, the Pilot-boats, 
and City Fleet of Steam-boats, should assemble between Castle Garden and Governor's Island, 
and after the escorting Fleet from Albany had returned from the Navy Yard, the whole were to 
unite. The View is taken at this moment. On the right, the ship Hamlet is taking her station; 
the Flag-ship followed by the escorting Fleet, with the Canal-boats are forming the Line; — the 
Revenue Cutter, finishing the salute, is about to take her station, towed by the steam-boat 
Nautilus; — the Pilot boats preparing to get under way; — the steam boat Washington bearing 
the City Flag, and having the Corporation on board, is followed by the Fulton with Guests of 



the Corporation; — astern of her is the Commerce with the Safety-barge Lady Clinton, having 
on board the Ladies invited by the Corporation; the Barges belonging to the Whitehall Water- 
men, are taking their place in the Line, and the steam-boat James Kent is bearing down from 
the North River to join the City Fleet, which is lying too in various directions until the Line 
shall be formed. In the foreground are the guns used by the Whitehall Watermen. 

The Fleet was composed of the following Vessels: — 
United States Schooner, Porpoise, 

United States Revenue Cutter, Alert, 

Ship Hamlet, 




Barges, . 


The celebration on land, which vs^as in charge of Major-General Fleming, was "com- 
posed of nearly seven thousand citizens, of different Societies, with massy cars, bearing 
their respective standards and the implements of their arts. It passed through columns 
of people, whose numbers exceeded one hundred thousand." The aquatic display was in 
charge of Charles Rhind and 

transcended all anticipations. Twenty-nine steam-boats, gorgeously dressed, with barges, ships, 
pilot-boats, and the boats of the Whitehall watermen, conveying thousands of ladies and gentle- 
men, presented a scene which cannot be described. Add to this, the reflections which arise from 
the extent and beauty of our Bay — the unusual calmness and mildness of the day — the splendid 
manner in which all the shipping in the harbour were dressed, and the movement of the whole 
flotilla. Regulated by previously arranged signals, the fleet were thrown at pleasure, into squad- 
ron or line, into curves or circles. The whole appeared to move as by magic (p. 122). 

Never before was there such a fleet collected, and so superbly decorated; and it is very pos- 
sible that a display so grand, so beautiful, and we may even add, sublime, will never be wit- 
nessed again (p. 321.) 

A further description of the panoramic view is given on pages 356-7. It describes the 
fleet preparing to form into line on its return from the Brooklyn Navy Yard, at the moment 
when the North River and City Squadrons are uniting into one fleet and preparing to form 
the line of procession to Sandy Hook. The description continued: 

The eye of the spectator is supposed to be on Pier No. I, East River, and is looking towards 
West by North. The scene occupies about two thirds of the horizon, from Fort Columbus on 
Governor's Island, to the Revenue Boat House [the U. S. Revenue OHSce, built in 1812], on 
Whitehall Slip. 

In the centre of the picture is the James Kent, steam-galley, bearing down from the North 
to the East River, to take her position in the Line. Towards the right [left] side of the picture, 
and on her starboard beam, are the four Pilot-boats, preparing to weigh anchor; next to them 
is the Revenue Schooner Alert, Captain Henry Cahoone, which having weighed anchor, is salut- 
ing the passing Fleet, whilst she is just taken in tow by the S. G. Nautilus. Next to her is the 
S. G. Washington, carrying the great standard of the City, with the Corporation on board. In 
her wake is the Fulton steam galley, with the Corporation Guests; succeeded by the Lady Clin- 
ton barge with the ladies invited by the Corporation, with her consort the S. G. Commerce 
abreast. On the larboard quarter is seen Castle Williams; — Governor's Island in the distance; 
and at the extremity of the right [left] of the picture, is a steam-galley, following in the wake of 
the Lady Clinton; over the bow of the steam-galley is Fort Columbus saluting; and in the far 
distance Staten Island is seen. 

Between the Lady Clinton and the Alert, the Whitehall Barges appear taking their position 
in the Line. Again — Towards the left [fight] side of the picture, off the stern of the James Kent, 


is the ship Hamlet between two steam-gallies, the Oliver Ellsworth and Bolivar. Next, under 
the Hamlet's stern, is the S. G. Constellation, and in the wake of the Hamlet is the Flag Ship 
Chancellor Livingston, S. G., with the Seneca Chief in tow; under the stern of the Seneca Chief 
is the S. G. Constitution, having the Canal-boat Young Lion of the West in tow; and lastly the 
S. G. Chief Justice Marshall, towing the Niagara, Canal-boat; the Jersey Shore in the distance. 

Moving the eye towards the left [right] of the picture is seen Castle Garden; then the ar- 
tillery on the Battery saluting the assembling Fleet; the old tower of the flag staff [■] (since de- 
molished) and the Revenue boat-house, standing on wooden piles, is on the extreme left [right], 
between which and the Battery, on the foreground, Pier No. I. protrudes itself into the East 
River, on which are mounted the Watermen's Battery of cannon, on marine carriages — a water- 
man in the attitude and act of firing. 

To those who had the good fortune to witness this scene, a look at this sketch will no doubt 
resuscitate the soul animating enjoyments of the day, with all its attendant circumstances, in 
which a nation's victory, unaccompanied with tears or blood, was displayed in a genuine generous 
triumph, over "rocks and woods, and mountain floods," for one of the most beneficial purposes 
to man. 

To those who had not this felicity, it will perhaps convey but a very faint idea of the occa- 
sion; truly it is beyond the competency of pen or pencil to describe it, for what can communicate 
to the mind of a stranger, the exalted feelings of a noble, generous, free people, exulting over, 
(not their fellow man,) but over those most mighty obstacles appointed by the Author of nature 
to exercise the mental and corporeal faculties of his intelligent creation. 

The records of the Common Council, under date of September 24, 1827, contain an 
interesting minute. The corporation of New York, as a tribute of respect to the king and 
the people of Bavaria, the birthplace of lithography, sent to the king a copy of the Memoir, 
in which, as they noted, the "Lithographic Art, in its infancy with us, and in its crudest 
form, has been employed." The king's acceptance of the Memoir was accompanied by a 
gift to the corporation of New York of "a splendid present of specimens in that art." — 
M. C. C. (MS.), LXII:37-9. 

The right-hand portion of the view was engraved in 1900 by Francis S. King for the 
Society of Iconophiles, as a panelled inset in an elaborate composition forming a frame 
beneath the portrait of De Witt Clinton, and was published in 1901. 

Plate 95-b 

New York City Hall Park (etc.) 

Lithograph (from an original '^■7% x 12 Date depicted: 1825. 

drawing, as noted on plate). Date issued: 1825. 

Owner: N. Y. Hist. Society. 
Other copies: N. Y. Public Library (Eno Collection); LN.P.S., etc. 

Only known state. This view shows the west elevation of the old Almshouse, which had 
been converted, in 1816, for the use of a number of societies, and was known as the New 
York Institution. The American Museum, here shown as occupying the west section of 
the building, was established in 1790, under the patronage of the Tammany Society, and 
was called the Tammany Museum. In 1795 it was turned over to Gardiner Baker, who 
had been its keeper since its foundation, and the name was changed to the American Mu- 
seum. In 1800, after the death of Baker, the museum was sold to W. J. Waldron, and, in 
1810, was acquired by John Scudder, after whose death, in 1821, it was managed by his 
son, Dr. John Scudder, and others, until 1842, when it was purchased by P. T. Barnum. 

('] For a history of the flag-staff, or "churn," on the Battery, see Plate 59. 


For a brief history of the museum, see Chronology. It occupied the old Almshouse until 
July, 1830, when the various institutions occupying the New York Institution were obliged 
to seek other quarters, the Common Council having decided to appropriate the old Alms- 
house for public offices. For over twenty years the building was used for courts and offices, 
and was known as the New City Hall (see PI. 138). It was destroyed by fire in 1854. 

After its removal from the old Almshouse, a new marble building was erected for the 
American Museum on the corner of Ann Street and Broadway, opening for the season on 
December 24, 1830. — Commercial Advertiser, December 24, 1830. 

The buildings at the extreme left of the view are on the north side of Chambers Street; 
the one at the extreme right, with the cupola, is doubtless intended to represent the Old 
Gaol. The two storey building set at an angle between the Gaol and the Almshouse is 
Public School No. i, on Tryon Row. See plan in the Goodrich Guide (1828). The one 
storey building south of the school has sometimes been identified as the Dispensary and 
Soup House, maintained by the Almshouse Commissioners. This building, however, stood 
in the extreme northerly corner of the Park, and would be hidden in this view by the Alms- 
house. The fence around the park was erected in 1818-21, from designs by McComb, 
which are still preserved, with his drawings of City Hall Park, by the N. Y. Hist. Society. 

Reproduction: Valentine's Manual, 1855, opp. p. 472. 

Plate 96 
New York Fire Engine N° 34 
Aquatint, coloured. loH x 6j% Date depicted: About 1830. 

Artist: J.W.Hill. 
Engraver: John Hill. 

Owner: R. T. H. Halsey, Esq., from the collection of proofs left by the late John 
Hill. No other copy known. 

The engine shown in the view is almost identical with those illustrated in Colden's 
Memoir as taking part in the procession of November 4, 1825, during the celebration at- 
tending the opening of the Erie Canal, and was probably constructed in 1823. A similar 
engine is seen in the water-colour drawing of the City Hall and Park, by the same artist, 
reproduced in the Addenda; a still earlier fire-engine is preserved among the collections 
of the Volunteer Firemen's Association, at 220 East 59th Street. 

On August 2, 1822, Fire Engine Company No. 34 petitioned for permission to sell its 
engine for the sum of $225, "in consequence of its being too Small and being very much 
out of repair." — M. C. C. {MS.), XLVI: 194. Their petition was favourably acted upon; 
the engine was sold, and, under date of December 23, 1822, the Committee on Fire De- 
partment recommended the building of a new engine for this Company. — Ibid., XLVI: 411. 

At this period, the company's headquarters were at Hudson and Christopher Streets 
(Costello's Our Firemen, 612), and the view doubtless depicts this neighbourhood. The 
building on the extreme left of the view, with an overhanging corner supported by an iron 
column, greatly resembles a building still standing — but now three storeys in height^-on 
the south-east corner of 4th and Grove Streets, facing Sheridan Square. If this is a correct 
surmise, the row of buildings in the distance, including the one on fire, would be west of 
the park and of Sheridan Square, earlier called W. Washington Place, and the house in the 
foreground would be on the corner of 4th and Christopher Streets. The perspective is 



somewhat confusing, and it is possible that the house with the overhanging corner is on the 
south side of Sheridan Square, at the intersection of Barrow and 4th Streets, indicated on 
William Perris's insurance map of 1854 as being a "second-class building, with slate or metal 
roof, not coped." 

In July, 1829, Fire Engine Company No. 34 applied to Trinity Church for ground 
"within the Hudson Street Cemetery on which to erect an Engine house," but the appli- 
cation was refused. — Trinity Minutes (MS.), 1829, July 13. 

It was not until 1865 that the old volunteer fire department was replaced by a paid 
force. For an account of this interesting old organisation, which played so prominent a 
part in the social life of the second and third quarters of the nineteenth century, see Chro- 

Reproduced here for the first time. 

Reference: StaufFer, 1347. 

Aquatint, coloured. 

Plate 97 

City Hall 

28X X 17 

Date depicted: 1826. 
Date issued: Copyright 
December 20, 1826. 

Artist: W. G. Wall. 

Engraved, printed, and coloured by I. (J.) Hill. 

Publishers: Behr & Kahl. 

Owner: N. Y. Public Library (Eno Collection). 

Other copies: N. Y. Hist. Society; I.N.P.S., etc. 

Only known state, and is almost always found in colours, usually very beautifully ap- 
plied. [■] This is the finest and most important engraved view of the City Hall. It repre- 
sents the building before the dome on the cupola was raised, in 1830, to accommodate the 
clock. The clock was not actually in place on February 12, 183 1, as on this date the makers, 
B. & S. Demilt, advertise in the N. Y. Gaz. y Gen'l Adv. that it is on exhibition in the 
north-west room of the attic storey of the City Hall. It was probably completed within a few 
months, for, on May 2d, a payment of $1,500 was allowed to Messrs. Demilt "on account 
of the Public Clock now nearly completed in the City Hall."— M. C. C. (MS.), LXXV: 322. 
An additional sum of $874.99, to complete the payment, was made May 9th. — Ibid., 
LXXV: 341, 348. In the original design (PI. 75), this clock was to be placed in the mid- 
dle window of the attic storey front, and was ordered, on May 19, 1828 (ibid., LXIV: 197); 
but, upon the recommendation of the Committee on Repairs and Arts and Science, it was, 
on November 16, 1829, resolved, instead, to raise the cupola so as to admit of an octagonal 
section showing four dials. — Ibid., LXX: 63. In 1834 a large fire-bell was also placed on 
the roof of the City Hall. For notes regarding this bell, see Plate 143-a, where it is 
shown and described. 

The figure of Justice, on the cupola of the City Hall, was designed by John Dixey, 
whose original sketches are preserved with the McComb drawings, in the N. Y. Hist. 
Society. According to an entry in McComb's Account Book (in the Department of Finance, 
Hall of Records), Dixey was paid $310 "for cutting the figure of Justice &c." As at first de- 
li] Hill's Diary states that twenty-four copies of this view were printed in black and white, and one 
hundred and twenty-five copies on plate paper, coloured. 


signed, the figure was represented holding in her right hand a steelyard, and in her left 
hand a sword. In Blunt's Stranger's Guide for 1817 (p. 46), the statue is thus described: 

Rising from the middle of the roof, is a Cupola, on which is placed a colossal figure of Justice, 
holding in her right hand, which rests on her forehead, a balance, and in her left, a sword pointing 
to the ground. Justice is not blindfold as she is represented in Europe. 

Another description of the statue, written in 1819, is contained in a stanza of Fitz- 
Greene Halleck's poem Fanny, and is quoted by Mr. William Loring Andrews in The 
Journey of Iconophiles, p. 28: 

And on our City Hall a Justice stands; 

A neater form was never made of board, 
Holding majestically in her hands 

A pair of steelyards and a wooden sword; 
And looking down with complaisant civility — 
Emblem of dignity and durability. 

In 1826, repairs made on the City Hall included some changes in the figure of Justice. 
A writer in the Commercial Advertiser of August 17, 1826, recommends among other altera- 
tions that "the bandage over her eyes should be tied on with a little more taste," and that 
"the ponderous steel-yards which the artist put into her hands by mistake, be exchanged 
for her legitimate instrument — the balance." This suggestion was not immediately acted 
upon, but on April 19, 1830, the Common Council authorised a committee to "see that 
the top of the cupola on the City Hall be altered, and to place a scale in the hand of the 
figure instead of a steelyard." — M. C. C. (MS.), LXXI: 363. 

On August 18, 1858, a fire, resulting from a display of fire-works on the roof of the 
City Hall, during the celebration commemorating the laying of the Atlantic cable, de- 
stroyed the cupola, and damaged almost the entire upper storey of the building. The fol- 
lowing description of the burning of the cupola is from the N. Y. Times of August 18, 1858: 

At one o'clock the statue of Justice stood surrounded and wrapt like a martyr in the flames. 
The balances a minute after whirled around and fell. Then she glowed as if made of iron, and 
at i^ fell with a crash through the tower. The falling of the clock was not noticed in the 

The City Hall was repaired in the following year, the contract for the work being 
awarded to Edward Gridley. — Proceedings of the Bd. of Aldermen, XXVII: 355. By the 
last of October, 1859, the work had been almost completed. — N. Y. Tribune, Oct. 27, 
1859. A new clock was procured by an order of December 30, 1859 {Proceedings of the 
Bd. of Aldermen, XXVII: 576-7), but no reference can be found to any payment for a 
new statue of Justice. 

Edward S. Wilde, in an article in the Century Magazine of May, 1884, says: 

The clock was destroyed in the fire of 1858, and the bell has been removed. In removing 
the bell, the cornice of the rear [of the City Hall] was damaged, and the decorative parts that 
were set aside have never been replaced, but still lie on the roof. The scales have fallen from 
the hand of the statue of Justice, and the birds have built a nest in a break in her side. 

As no record has been found of the construction of a new statue of Justice, after the 
fire of 1858, it seems probable that the old statue was repaired and restored to its former 
position. It is not even known in what material the figure is carved, the records being 
singularly silent on the subject. A recent examination seems to indicate that the figure 
is of wood, which is now covered with zinc or copper. Photographs in the N. Y. Hist. 
Society, dated 1874, 1903 and 1907, show the figure holding the flagpole before her, in 
her left hand, while her right arm grasps the sword. Another photograph, dated 191 1, 


also in the Historical Society, shows the flagpole at the left side of the statue, but the 
left arm is not raised, holding the scales, as is true of the figure today. Some changes 
in these years must certainly have been made, probably in connection with other repairs 
to the building, but no record of these alterations has been found. 

Prior to 1902, repairs and alterations covering many years had greatly changed the 
original architectural plan of the interior of the City Hall. In 1902, the room originally 
used as the Council Chamber (in the south-west corner on the second floor) was re-decorated 
by William Martin Aiken, Consulting Architect of the Board of Estimate. At this time, 
also, repairs were made throughout the building, and the Mayor's suite was re-decorated, 
the location of the Mayor's private office being changed from the south front to the north- 
west corner of the building. The architect's description of the building before these altera- 
tions were begun, and also a careful description of the work done at this time, are contained 
in the files of the Art Commission, under July 31, 1902. These alterations mark the 
beginning of a consistent effort to restore the interior of the City Hall in sympathy with 
the original designs. 

Since the creation of the Art Commission, in 1898, the following important changes 
and restorations in the City Hall have been made under its supervision: 

1902. The restorations, designed by William Martin Aiken, and referred to above. 

1909. The Governor's Room. Restored by Grosvenor Atterbury; John Almy Tomp- 
kins associated. 

1910. The Borough President's office, now used as the committee room of the Board 
of Estimate and Apportionment. Restored by William A. Boring. 

191 2. The Rotunda and dome. Restored by Grosvenor Atterbury; John Almy Tomp- 
kins associated. 

1913. The Council Chamber (Board of Estimate and Apportionment). Restored by 
Grosvenor Atterbury; Stowe Phelps associated. 

1914. The committee room of the Board of Aldermen. Restored by Grosvenor 
Atterbury; Stowe Phelps associated. 

1914. The Art Commission's offices, moved from the second to the third floor, 
and fitted up by the Bureau of Public Buildings and Offices in space previously 
occupied by the janitor, and the new stairway to the Art Commission's offices in- 
stalled. Designed by Grosvenor Atterbury; Stowe Phelps associated. 

1914. The east end of the ground floor rearranged for the use of the president and the 
Board of Aldermen by Grosvenor Atterbury; Stowe Phelps associated. At the same 
time the library and basement record-room were removed to the new Municipal 

191 5. The Mayor's suite, in the north-west corner of the ground floor, was enlarged 
and restored in this year from designs by Grosvenor Atterbury; Stowe Phelps 

The building on the extreme left of the view is the Bridewell. On August 23, 1830, 
the Common Council resolved "that the Bridewell should be turned 'into a Debtors 
Gaol; and that $200. be appropriated for alterations to the building." — M. C. C. {MS.), 
LXXIII: 7. The fact that in the view the south windows are boarded up indicates that 
a portion at least of the building at this time was unused. The Bridewell was torn down 
in 1838. — N. Y. Mirror, August 25, 1838. For the location of the Bridewell in relation to 
the City Hall, see the Manual of the Common Council, i860, p. 480. 

Between the Bridewell and the City Hall is seen the south elevation of the old Alms- 


house, known at the time as the New York Institution, and occupied by the American 
Museum, the New York Historical Society, and other societies. The west elevation of 
this building is shown on Plate 95. 

The building to the right of the view is probably the old Gaol, which is shown shortly 
before it was remodelled in 1830-2 for the housing of the public records. It was again 
altered in 1870, and afterwards used as the Register's office only. In 1902-3 it was de- 
molished. This building also bears a resemblance to old Tammany Hall, which at this time 
stood on the south-east corner of Frankfort and Nassau Streets, but its position in the 
view seems rather to indicate the Gaol. 

For further information concerning the present City Hall, see Plate 75, and Chronology. 

Plate 98 

Broadway from the Bowling Green 

[The Bennett View of Bowling Green] 

Aquatint. 13^^x9^ Date depicted: About 1826. 

Date issued: 1834. 

Artist and engraver: W" I. (J.) Bennett. 

Publisher: Henry I. (J.) Megarey, New York. 

Provenance: This plate and plates 103-a and b were issued in blue paper covers, 
with the title Megarey' s Street Views in the City of New-York. The "Condi- 
tions" printed on the front cover state that "the series will be complete in 
Four Numbers; each Number to contain Three correct Views of the principal 
Streets in the City, of the size of Thirteen and a half by Nine and a half Inches, 
to be printed in black or brown, with Letter-Press Descriptions. Subscribers 
will receive this work at the low price of Five Dollars per Number, payable on 
delivery. The Drawings will be made, and the Pictures engraved in Aquatint, 
in the very best style, by William J. Bennett." So far as is known, only one 
number was issued. It contains four pages of descriptive letter-press and three 
prints, in the following order: Fulton St. & Market, Broadway from the Bowl- 
ing Green, and South St. from Maiden Lane. A copy is owned by James C. 
and Ralph Smillie, grandsons of James Smillie, the engraver, whose autograph 
appears on the pamphlet. Two other similar sets have been seen by the author. 
Bennett's aquatints exist also printed in light blue, in which state they were 
probably intended for colouring. 

Owner: Down Town Association. 

Other copies of the view: N. Y. Public Library (Emmet Collection, 11153); N. Y. 
Hist. Society; Harris D. Colt, Esq. (proof before letters); I.N.P.S. etc. 

This is one of the most charming of all early views of the neighbourhood of the Bowling 
Green, which it depicts while still a popular and fashionable residential quarter. 

No. I Broadway, the building on the extreme left, occupies an interesting historical 
site, for the early history of which see the Castello Plan (Appendix, III) and the Map of 
Dutch Grants (Appendix, IV). The house shown in our view was erected some time after 
1756, when Archibald Kennedy purchased the property from Abraham De Peyster, at which 
time, according^to the deed {Liber Deeds, XXIV: 246-9), the ground was occupied by 


"several small messauges or dwelling-houses," facing Battery Place. Kennedy, at the 
time of the purchase, owned two houses at the present No. 3 Broadway, in one of which 
he lived, while in the other the Custom House was kept. 

During the early days of the Revolution, No. i Broadway was occupied by Washing- 
ton, and after the British occupation by Sir Henry Clinton, Sir Guy Carleton, and Sir 
William Howe. — Kemble's Journal, in N. Y. Hist. Soc. Collections, 1883, pp. 82, 143. In 
1790, Mrs. Graham conducted a boarding-school for young ladies here; from 1792 to 1797, 
it was a fashionable boarding-house kept by Mrs. Loring, and, in 1797, Daniel Boardman, 
nierchant, occupied the premises. Archibald Kennedy reappears here in 1798-9, and later 
the house is given as the address of Robert Kennedy. It remained in the Kennedy family 
until 1 8 10, when it was sold by Robert Kennedy to Nathaniel Prime, who occupied the house, 
according to the directories, until 1 83 1. Later, Edward Prime, son of Nathaniel Prime, is 
given at this address, where he continues until 1848, when he and his wife, Charlotte, for 
ten dollars, conveyed the Kennedy Mansion to their sons-in-law, Chauncey St. John and 
Joseph L. Palmer {Liber Deeds, DXI: 409), who leased the property a few years later to 
Jonas Bartlett, an hotel-keeper. The house was first called "The Washington" in the 
directory for 1851-2, and so continued up to 1881, when it was sold to Cyrus Field. In 
the following year, the old house was demolished to make way for the Washington Build- 
ing, which still occupies this site. The house as here shown is of its original height. A 
third and fourth storey were later added. 

No. 3 Broadway, just north of the Kennedy mansion, was also once in the possession 
of Archibald Kennedy, who sold it, on June 25, 1792, to John Watts, Esq., by whom the 
large residence shown in our view was erected, and who still lived here in 1826. 

No. 5 was the property of Robert R. Livingston, and was at this period occupied by 
Elisha Jones, a boarding-house keeper. The Stevens house, acquired in 1821 by William 
Edgar, is shown at No. 7 Broadway, while at Nos. 9 and 11 is the old Van Cortland man- 
sion, celebrated in later years as the Atlantic Gardens, and torn down about the year 
i860. At the period of our view, the south half of the house was used as a boarding-school 
by Miss Eliza Casey, while the north half was owned and occupied by Mrs. E. White, a 
member of the Van Cortland family. In 1840, "the ancient mansion of the late Mrs. E. 
White. No. II Broadway" was sold at auction for iSi5,ooo. — Hone's Diary, II: 15. The 
large three and four storey buildings above Morris Street occupy a site which Valentine 
describes as being covered prior to 1734 by four small Dutch houses, occupied by me- 
chanics. A sketch of these old buildings, attached to an order for their demolition, in order 
to straighten Broadway, is reproduced in the Manual for 1865, p. 511. As noted in the 
text accompanying the view, the large white building "nearly in a line with Trinity steeple," 
was occupied by Washington while President, afterwards becoming Bunker's Mansion 
House. Grace and Trinity Churches appear at the right of the view. 

The drawing was probably made prior to 1827, as it does not show the gas-lamps which 
were erected in that year on Broadway, from the Battery to Canal Street. — M. C. C. 
(MS.), LIX: 24; LXIII: 242-3. It can hardly have been published in book form before 
1834 (see PI. 104-b), although it may possibly have been issued separately at an earlier 
date. It is interesting to compare this view with that shown in Plate 3 of the Peabody 
Views (1831), and also with Plate 2 of the Bourne Views, drawn by Burton before 1830, 
and showing the new gas-lamp posts. 

Reproduction: Valentine's Manual, 1854, opp. p. xii. A good process reproduction of 
this view, in colours, exists, with the date 1828. 

Reference: StaufFer, 126. 


Plate 99 
A Map of the City of New York 
[The Goodrich Plan] 
Line engraving on copper. 28^ x 38^^ Date depicted: 1836. 

Engraver: H. Anderson. Date issued: Copyright 

Publisher: A. T. Goodrich. April 20, 1827. 

Owner: N. Y. Hist. Society. 

Third state. The N. Y. Hist. Society owns also a copy of the first and one of the sec- 
ond state, all having the same copyright line, with date April 20, 1827, but with numerous 
variations. The Parade, so marked, appears in the earliest issue only; on this state also 
Union Place is shown before the oval was laid out. The open square at Bellevue, in the 
first and second states, extends only to 25th Street; on the map here reproduced the 
southern boundary of the hospital grounds is 24th Street. In the first and second states, 
loth Avenue forms the western shore line, while, in the third, the city has been extended 
a block further into the river, and the Manhattan Gas Works have been added, between 
17th and 1 8th Streets, on the river front. Numerous buildings, markets, squares, etc., 
have been added in the second and third states. From these additions, it may be assumed 
that the second state was issued some time after 1830, and that the third state, here repro- 
duced, was brought out after 1836. It will be noted that the Astor House, erected in 
1834-6, has been added on the third state, and that the United States Branch Bank, on 
Wall Street, added on the second state, has disappeared on the third. The Bank went 
out of existence in 1836, when it failed to receive a renewal of its charter. Furthermore, 
the new Merchants' Exchange, erected in 1835-40, after the destruction by fire, in 1835, 
of the old Exchange, appears first on the third state of the plate. 

The map here reproduced is mounted on linen, and is in good condition. The first 
state is in cloth covers, on which is printed: "Corporation Map of New- York," and con- 
tains, in manuscript, a system of piping the streets from Canal Street north on Broadway to 
13th Street, east on 13th Street to Third Avenue, down Third Avenue to the Bowery, and 
thence along the Bowery to Chatham Square, with a branch on Grand Street. This was 
probably for gas-piping, which was introduced, about 1828, north of Canal Street by the 
American Gas Light Company. Red dots are found in front of several buildings and along 
the streets, perhaps indicating the position of street lamps. 

The second state is in colours, and the Historical Society's copy was issued as a wall 
map, on rollers. 

The early issue of this large map evidently served as copy for the smaller Goodrich 
Map which was issued in The Picture of New-York, and Stranger's Guide, for 1828 (found 
also with date 1827). This latter map measures 15 x 23^^ in., and contains a list of one 
hundred and sixty-seven references, which fact renders it really more interesting than the 
rarer later issues. It was engraved by J. F. Morin. 

Reproduced here for the first time. 

Plate 100 
Park, N. Y. 1827 
Water-colour drawing on paper. aore x I4tV Date depicted: 1827. 

Artist: A. J. Davis. 
Owner: William Loring Andrews, Esq. 


Although this view is dated 1827, there is a seeming contradiction in the fact that 
Colman, whose name appears beneath the building at No. 237 Broadway, on the north- 
west corner of Park Place, is given in the directories up to 1829-30 as at No. 86 Broadway. 
In 1829-30, and until 1832-3, his address is given as No. 237 Broadway. This is, however, 
probably an example of a type of error very common in the early directories, which often 
allow several years to elapse before noting a change in address. 

PafF, whose name is given in connection with No. 221 Broadway, just north of the old 
Rutherford residence on the corner of Vesey Street and Broadway, was proprietor of an art 
gallery. The Lydig house, although not named on our view, was at No. 225 Broadway, 
just north of the residence of Mr. Astor. The American Hotel, opened May 2, 1827, ap- 
pears on the north-west corner of Barclay Street and Broadway, [i] A note written at the 
left of the title is interesting as indicating that, even in our grandfathers' time, the insect 
pests had begun their ravenous career. 

The equestrian statue in the Park, seen in front of Mr. Astor's house on Broadway, 
was designed by Signor Causici, who claimed to have been a pupil of Canova. In this 
connection, it may be of interest to note that Dunlap, in his History of the Arts of Design 
(11:468), says that "Causici called himself a pupil of Canova: but Mr. Weir asked a 
nephew of the sculptor if he remembered him. He replied, T was with my uncle from in- 
fancy to the time of his death. I never heard of the man.'" Of Causici's associate, 
Persico, Dunlap, in the same book, simply says "an Italian." 

The full size model of the statue here shown was begun in Warren Street, and com- 
pleted in a shed erected for the purpose in the Park. It was first exhibited to the Common 
Council in October, 1823 {M. C. C, MS., XLIX: 129-130), but was not finished until 
May, 1824. — Ibid., LI: 28. On June 29, 1826, at the request of Mr. Causici and his asso- 
ciate, Persico, the Common Council gave permission to place the statue, on July 4th, in 
the Park. It remained there for a time, but had evidently been removed by April 25, 
1 83 1, when Causici made a claim on the Corporation for ^5,944, for making a "Colossal 
Statue of Washington." The Corporation refused payment, the Finance Committee, to 
which the claim was referred, reporting that he had no claim in law or equity against the 
city. "It appears," they said, "that in the years 1823 and 1824 Mf Causici was engaged 
in making a Model of a Colossal Equestrian Statue of Washington which was for some 
time erected in the Park, and for the labor Materials and time bestowed upon this work 
Mr Causici now prefers a claim against the corporation amounting in the whole to ^5944." 
They further stated that no reference could be found to any resolution passed by the city 
which could "be construed as an understanding to pay anything to Mf Causici," but on 
the contrary, proof was not wanting that "whatever was done by the Common Council 
respecting Mf Causici's said work was done out of pure kindness to him." — Ibid., LXXV: 

In the reproduction of this view in the Manual of 1855, the statue has disappeared. 

Although the city had entered into no agreement to pay for the statue, Causici un- 
doubtedly received much encouragement in his work from private individuals and the 
public press. A committee had been organised, in 1822, to undertake the erection of a 
statue to Washington. The model of Causici's statue in the Park drew forth many favour- 
able comments. "The boldness of this great composition strikes one with surprise, and 
the beholder must be devoid of taste not to be sensible of all its perfections," says one 

['] A very scarce coloured lithograph of the American Hotel, the architecture by Davis, the figures by 
Canova, and lithographed by Imbert, was offered in the sale of the Pyne Collection, in February, 1917, 
(No. III). 


writer, in the N. Y. Gaz. y Gen I Adv. of July 3, 1826. Mr. Causici was referred to as 
an "ingenious and celebrated sculptor," who had "evinced so much talent at the Cap- 
itol Washington," and it was urged that the opportunity of securing his services should not 
be allowed to pass. — The N. Y. Eve. Post, 1825, April 7; 1830, September 2. It was esti- 
mated that the cost of casting the statue in bronze would be $40,000. However, it proved 
impossible to arouse sufficient interest in the erection of a Washington memorial to secure 
the necessary funds. Another attempt was made in 1844, and in 1847 the corner-stone of 
a monument was laid in Hamilton Square, but this plan, too, never materialised. See 
Addenda for reproductions of these last two proposed memorials, and for further informa- 
tion regarding the long protracted attempt to secure for New York an appropriate memo- 
rial to Washington. 

Reproduction: Valentine's Manual, 1855, frontispiece. 

Plate 100 A 
[The Battery and Harbour] 
Lithograph, coloured. 59^^x24^ Date depicted: 1828? 

Date issued: Copyright 
May II, 1829. 
Artist, lithographer, and pubHsher: Tho? Thompson. 
Owner: Edward W. C. Arnold, Esq. 

Other copies: Simeon Ford, Esq. (three loose sheets untrimmed — copy formerly 
owned by Mr. C. A. Coutan); Harry Peters, Esq. (imperfect and repaired 
copy lacking the imprint, formerly owned by Mr. John Anderson, Jr., who 
purchased it in England). These are the only copies known. 

Only known state. This view, which is a fine example of early American lithography, 
and one of the largest early lithographs known, is printed on three folio sheets of paper, 
pasted together. The inscription in the lower left corner of the view reads: "Drawn on 
stone by Tho? Thompson"; that in the centre beneath the rectangle: "Entered . . . May 
nth 1829 by Tho? Thompson, N. York." 

Thomas Thompson was well known as a painter of portraits as well as marine views. 
He was a member of the National Academy of Design, and a frequent exhibitor, as appears 
by the annual catalogues. In 1838 he offered for sale a "Scene from the Battery with a 
portrait of the Franklin, 74 guns." In 1845 he exhibited "New York from Quarantine"; 
in 1848 "New York from Fulton Ferry, Brooklyn," and in 1850 "North River Scene from 
foot of Chambers St." Thomas S. Cummings, in his Historical Annals of the National 
Academy of Design (p. 235), refers to the death of Mr. Thompson, on November 15, 1862, 
and speaks of him as "an aged, nay, a venerable gentleman of the old school, distinguished 
in his department ..." 

Reproduced and described here for the first time. 


Plate loi-a 
(Grace, & Trinity Churches, Broadway) 

Sepia drawing on paper. 2^4 x ^H Date depicted: 1830. 

Artist: C. Burton. 

Owner: N. Y. Hist. Society. One of twenty original drawings by Burton acquired 
by Stephen Whitney Phoenix at the administrator's sale of the private hbrary 
of William J. Davis. The auction was conducted by Bangs, Merwin & Co. at 
their salesrooms, 694 & 696 Broadway, corner of 4th Street, beginning April 
17, 1865. (Item 1739 of the catalogue — 20 Drawmgs, by Burton, of Views 
of New York.) These beautiful little drawings came into the possession of the 
N. Y. Hist. Society on December 6, 1881, after the death in that year of Mr. 

On the wrapper containing these views, the following note occurs, evidently in the 
handwriting of William J. Davis: 

Twenty original Drawings of various buildings and views in New York Original cost $10 
each, worth so says B [Bourne?] U. S. Bank, Shot Tower, and Bridge at Fairmont were not 

Part were published by Bourne who got them up some years ago. Purchased May 1844. 

This is not an accurate statement, for two of the twenty views are of Philadelphia, and 
the Shot Tower is not among them. The two drawings not reproduced by Bourne 
are of the Bridge at Fairmount, Philadelphia, and the United States Bank, Philadelphia. 
Eighteen of the drawings, counting the two Philadelphia views, have been cut to the 
margin, so that any signatures or titles which may have existed have disappeared. The 
two untrimmed and signed views are of "St. Patrick's Cathedral, Mott Street," and 
Steamboat Wharf, Whitehall Street." 

The drawings were made for George Melksham Bourne, who issued a series of New York 
views in 1831, the engravings being executed by J. Smillie, Archer, Gimber, Fossette, and 
others. In a portfolio belonging originally to James Smillie, and now in the possession of 
his grandsons, Ralph and James C. Smillie, the following note occurs: 

In the course of the year 1830 I received an invitation from Mr. George M. Bourne to re- 
turn to New York and commence a series of small views of said city with the prospect of making 
at least ten dollars a week. To this I agreed, determining to take my final leave of Quebec. I 
left in the spring of that year to commence the work. No. 103 [Grace, & Trinity Churches, 
Broadway] was the first plate of the series. 

Of the view of "Broadway, near Franklin St. New York,"['] Smillie says (referring 
to the page in his portfolio upon which this view is pasted): "No. 102 was a sample of the 
work Mr. B. [Bourne] sent me while in Quebec on which to form my judgment." It is an 
interesting fact that during his stay in Quebec, Smillie engraved a fine set of views of that 
city, now very scarce. 

The Bourne series of New York views, in its complete form, includes nineteen num- 
bered double plates, all but the first six of which were copyrighted in 1 83 1 by Bourne. 
It is the largest and most beautifully executed series of New York views ever made, and 
deserves more attention than it has yet received. The views included in the series are as 
follows : 

['] Not one of the regular plates, but included as a so-called "extra plate" in the set owned by Mr. Colt. 


Plate I ?? City Hotel, Broadway. C. Burton del. — J. Smillie sc. New York, Bourne, 
Grace, & Trinity Churches, Broadway. C. Burton del. — ^J. Smillie sc. 
New York, Bourne, Broadway. Printed by J. Neale 

Plate 2<j Bowling Green, New York. Drawn by C. Burton. — Engraved by J. Smillie. 
New York, Bourne, 359 Broadway 
Landing Place, Foot of Courtlandt ST New York. Drawn by C. Burton. — 
Engraved by J. Smillie. New York, Bourne, 359 Broadway. Printed by J. 

Plate 3 <| Masonic Hall, Broadway, New York. Drawn by C. Burton. — Engraved 
by J. Smillie. New York, Bourne, Broadway 
Landing Place, Foot of Barclay ST New York. Drawn by C. Burton. — 
Engraved by J. Smillie. New York, Bourne, Broadway. Printed by J. Neale 

Plate 4t}i Park Place, New York. Drawn by C, Burton. — Engraved by J, Smillie. 
New York, Bourne, Broadway 
American Hotel, Broadway, New York. Drawn & Engraved — by James 
Smillie. New York, Bourne, Broadway. Printed by J. Neale 

Plate 5th Mansion House, (Bunker's,) Broadway, New York. Burton delt— Archer 
Steam Boat Wharf, Battery Place, New York. Burton del^— Gimber sc' 
New York, Bourne, Broadway 

Plate 6th ST Thomas' Church, Broadway, New York. Drawn by C. Burton. — En- 
graved by J. Smillie. New York, Bourne, Broadway 
Park Theatre, & Part of Park Row; ST Pauls Church in the distance. 
Drawn by C. Burton. — Engraved by J. Smillie. New York, Bourne, Broad- 
way. Printed by J. Neale 

Plate 7th Bowery Theatre, New York. Drawn by C. Burton. — Engraved by H. 
Fossette. New York, Bourne, Broadway. 

"Entered according to the Act of Congress, in the year 1831, by G. Melk- 
sham Bourne, in the Clerk's Office of the District court of the Southern 
District of New York." 
Washington Hotel, Broadway, New York. Drawn by C. Burton. — En- 
graved by H. Fossette. New York, Bourne, Broadway. Printed by J. Neale. 
(Copyright as above) 

Plate Sth Junction of Broadway & The Bowery, New York. Drawn & Engraved 
by James Smillie. New York, Bourne, Broadway. (Copyright as above) 
Bay & Harbour of New York, from the Battery. Drawn & Engraved by 
J. Smillie, from a sketch by C. Burton. New York, Bourne, Broadway. 
Printed by J. Neale. (Copyright as above) 

Plate gth Council Chamber, City Hall, New York. Drawn by C, Burton. — En- 
graved by H, Fossette. New York, Bourne, Broadway. (Copyright as above) 
Public Room, Merchant's Exchange, New York. Drawn by C, Burton.— 
Engraved by H, Fossette. New York, Bourne, Broadway. (Copyright as 
above) Printed by J. Neale 


Plate loth St. Paul's Church, Broadway, New York. Drawn by C, Burton. — En- 
graved by H, Fossette. New York, Bourne, Broadway. (Copyright as above) 
Merchant's Exchange, Wall ST New York. Drawn by C, Burton.— 
Engraved by H, Fossette. New York, Bourne, Broadway. (Copyright as 
above) Printed by J. Neale 

Plate nth Phenix Bank, Wall ST New York. Drawn by C, Burton. — Engraved by 
H, Fossette. New York, Bourne, Broadway. (Copyright as above) 
United States' Branch Bank, Wall Street. Drawn by C Burton. — 
Engraved by H Fossette. New York, Bourne, Broadway. (Copyright as 
above) Printed by J. & G. Neale 

Plate 1 2th Brooklyn Ferry, Fulton ST New York. Drawn by C. Burton. — En- 
graved by Hatch & Smillie. New York, Bourne, 359 Broadway. (Copyright 
as above) 
Steam Boat Wharf, Whitehall Street, New York. Drawn by C. Bur- 
ton. — Engraved by Hatch & Smillie. New York, Bourne, Broadway. (Copy- 
right as above) Printed by J. R. Burton 

Plate 13th Custom House, Wall ST New York. Drawn by C. Burton. — Engraved by 
Hatch & Smillie New York, Bourne, Broadway. (Copyright as above) 
Unitarian Church, Mercer ST New York. Drawn by C. Burton — En- 
graved by Hatch & Smillie. New York Bourne, Broadway. (Copyright 
as above) Printed by J & G. Neale 

Plate 14th ST George's Church, Beekman ST New York. Drawn by C. Burton.— 
Engraved by Hatch & Smillie. New York Bourne. Broadway. (Copy- 
right as above) 
Clinton Hall, Beekman ST New York. Drawn by C. Burton. — Engraved 
by Hatch & Smillie. New York Bourne. Broadway. (Copyright as 
above) Printed by J. R. Burton 

Plate 15th Church of the Ascension, Canal ST New- York. Drawn by C. Burton. — 

Engd by H. Fossette. New York, Bourne, Broadway. (Copyright as above) 

Exchange Place, Looking To Hanover ST New York. Drawn by C. 

Burton.^Engd by H. Fossette. New York, Bourne, Broadway. (Copyright 

as above) Printed by J. & G. Neale 

Plate i6th New York, From Weehawk. Painted by W. G. Wall. — On steel, J. Smillie. 
Printed by J. &G. Neale [i] 

Plate 17th ST Luke's Church, Hudson ST New York. Drawn by C. Burton. — En- 
graved by Hatch & Smillie. New York, Bourne, Broadway. (Copyright as 
The Reservoir, Bowery, New York. Drawn by C. Burton. — Engraved by 
Hatch & Smillie. New York, Bourne, Broadway (Copyright as above) 
Printed by J. R. Burton 

['] Attached to a numbered impression of this plate in Mr. Smillie's portfolio, is the following comment 
by the artist in manuscript: "The first steel plate I ever etched and bit in, and finished. This was the last 
plate of Mr. Bourne's series engraved by me." A double plate showing " S' John's Church, Varick Sf 
New York," and "Christ Church, Anthony S' New York," drawn by C. Burton, and engraved by Hatch 
& Smillie, and also numbered Plate 16"', seems later to have been issued. The only copy of this plate seen 
by the author was sold at Anderson's, in November, 1913. 


Plate 1 8th ST Patrick's Cathedral, Mott ST New York. Drawn by C. Burton. — 
Engraved by Hatch & Smillie New York, Bourne. Broadway. (Copyright 
as above) 
ST Peter's Church, Barclay ST New York. Drawn by C. Burton. — En- 
graved by Hatch & Smillie. New York. Bourne, Broadway. (Copyright as 
above) Printed by J & G. Neale 

Plate ig^hfi] Protestant Dutch Reformed Church, Broome ST New York. Drawn 
by C. Burton. — Engraved by Hatch & Smillie. New York, Bourne, Broad- 
way. (Copyright as above) 
Freestone Meeting, Bleeker ST New York. Drawn by C. Burton. — 
Engraved by Hatch & Smillie. New York, Bourne, Broadway. (Copyright 
as above) Printed by J. & G. Neale 

Mr. Harris D. Colt owns a set of Bourne views, originally collected by Mr. Richard 
H. Lawrence, and containing also the two so-called "extra plates," drawn by Burton, and 
a copy of the sample plate, referred to above: 

Franklin Market, Old Slip. C. Burton Del^ — R Lowe Sc* 
Broadway & Fulton Street, City Hall in the Distance. C. Bur- 
ton DeU — R Lowe Sc' 
Broadway, near Franklin ST New York. Burton del. — Gimber sc^ 

With the exception of the double Plate i6th, which is in facsimile, this set is complete, 
and includes all known extras. The N. Y. Hist. Society's set includes the extra plate 
containing the views of Franklin Market, Old Slip, and Broadway & Fulton Street, but 
lacks the double Plate i6t)i and Plate 19th. No complete set is known to exist. 

The eighteen drawings belonging to the N. Y. Hist. Society are the originals of Plates 
I St to 3d, inclusive, 4th (view of Park Place only), eth, 7th, 8th, 9th, 12th (view of Steam 
Boat Wharf, only), 13th (Custom House, only), and i8th (St.Patrick's Cathedral, only). 

The Bourne plates were purchased by Disturnell and issued a number of years later, 
with the Bourne imprint, copyright, and printer's lines erased from the plates, the num- 
bers of Plates 9th, iQth and 17th altered to loth, 9th and i6th, and with several other 
changes. The N. Y. Hist. Society owns all of the original copperplates except Plates i6th 
(original steel plate), i8th, and 19th. 

Of the twenty original drawings not owned by the Historical Society, fifteen are in the 
Smillie Collection. They are the views reproduced as Plates 8th, nth, 12th (Brooklyn 
Ferry, only), 13th (Unitarian Church, only), 14th, 15th, i6th, i8th (St Peter's Church, 
only), and 19th. 

Besides these fifteen originals, the Smillie Collection contains the following drawings 
signed by Burton, uniform in size with the others: 

1. A drawing without title, showing a road on the left, on the right of which is a 
three-storey brick building with a pediment and one portico on the short side 
and two on the long side. The building is connected with the road by an enclosed 

2. South-east view of St. Mark's Church, Stuyvesant Street, 183 i 

[I] The only known copies of this plate are in the possession of Mr. Arnold, and Mr. H. H. Cammann. 
The latter copy was found in Washington, by Mr. George Goodrich. A small number of facsimiles of this 
impression were made by Mr. R. H. Lawrence for distribution among his friends. 


3. Concert Room, Masonic Hall 

4. City Hall Park 

5. Governor's Room, City Hall (reproduced in Addenda). 

In 1830-1, Burton made a series of drawings of important buildings and landmarks in 
Philadelphia, which were engraved by Fenner, Sears & Co., and published in London, 
most of the engravings being numbered. In this series are found the view of the "United 
State's Bank, Philadelphia," and that of "Upper Ferry Bridge, and Fair Mount Water 
Works, Philadelphia," copied from the originals in the N. Y. Hist. Society's collection. 

The view here reproduced depicts the second edifice erected for Trinity Church. The 
first church is shown in a number of general views (Pis. 25, 31 and 44), and in a tiny bird's-eye 
view made by David Grim from memory, after the destruction of the church during the 
Revolution (PI. 32). Grace Church, seen to the south of Trinity, was erected in 1806-9, on 
the site of the old Lutheran Church, for a history of which see Chronology. See also Plates 
68-a and 8i-b for earlier views of this same neighbourhood. The old Livingston residence, 
at this period a boarding-house, will be recognised just south of Grace Church. It had been 
occupied between the years 1817 and 1824 by the Branch Bank of the United States. 
North of Trinity appears the old Van Cortlandt mansion, the roof of which has been 
modified since its appearance in Plate 68-a. 

Other views of the second Trinity Church are shown in Plates 8i-b, 105, 108, 122, and 

Reproduced here for the first time. 

Plate loi-b 
(Council Chamber, City Hall, New^ York) 
Sepia drawing on paper. 3^§' x 2^ Date depicted: 1830, 

Artist: C. Burton. 
Owner: N. Y. Hist. Society. 

This room, which is on the second floor in the south-west corner of the City Hall, was 
restored as nearly as possible to its original condition in 1909-10 for the use of the Borough 
President, the cost being defrayed by Mrs. Russell Sage. In this restoration, the architect, 
Mr. William A. Boring, followed closely the original ornamental details of this room still 
preserved among the McComb sketches of the City Hall owned by the N. Y. Hist. Society. 
The ornamental railing and furniture shown in the view had long since been removed. 
This drawing, engraved by Fossette, was issued as Plate 9th of the Bourne Views (see PI. 

The Governor's Room was restored in 1908-9, also through the gift of Mrs. Sage. The 
designs were prepared by Grosvenor Atterbury, under the supervision of the Art Com- 
mission. For a view of this room, drawn by Burton, probably about 1830, see Addenda. 
A list of the restorations made in the City Hall under the supervision of the Art Com- 
mission will be found on Plate 97. 

Reproduced here for the first time. 


Plate 102-a 

Shot Tower 

Line engraving on steel. 5^x3/^ - Date depicted: 1831. 

Date issued: 1831. 

Provenance: Plate 8 of Views in New York And its Environs, by Theodore S. Fay, 

New York, 183 1 (The Peabody Views). This collection of views is very similar 

to the Bourne series, but not so well executed. 
Artist: Lundie. 

Engraver: (Alexander L.) Dick. 
Publishers: Peabody & Co., No. 233 Broadway, New York, and O. Rich, No. 12 

Red Lion Square, London. 
Owner: I.N.P.S. (complete set). 
Other copies of the view: N. Y. Public Library; N. Y. Hist. Society, etc. The 

N. Y. Hist. Society has a complete bound set of the views and text, of which 

only three other copies are known. 

Only known state. The Peabody Collection contains, in its complete form, thirty- 
eight views and a map showing the city as far north as 52d Street on sixteen plates, each 
plate, except the map, containing the publisher's line at bottom. In most copies the view 
of the "Oil Cloth Manufactory Greenwich " is missing. The book was issued in parts, 
and the paging is irregular. The first set of four views was noted and described in The 
N. Y. Mirror of June 4, 183 1 : 

A very pretty quarto pamphlet has just appeared, published by Peabody & Co., Broadway. 
It forms the first number of a series of views illustrating New- York and its environs, and, with 
several pages of letter-press, contains four engravings, viz: view of the city from Governor's 
Island, of Broadway from the Park, of the Bowling-green, and of the American-hotel, including 
the store of the publishers. It is got up in a creditable manner, and, although topographical 
illustrations are generally dry matters, and, in this particular instance, not likely to throw any 
extraordinary light on the early affairs of the city, we are told the work meets with a rapid sale. 

The second number, containing four engravings, one of which was the Shot Tower, was 
described in The N. Y. Mirror of July 30, 1 831; and the third number in the Mirror of 
November 12th and 26th of the same year. The fourth number was commented upon on 
March 24, 1832, and at that time it was stated that six more numbers would complete 
the series, making ten in all. The two last sets evidently were not issued. Some of the 
engravings in the latter part of the publication bear the date 1834, so that the date 1 83 1 on 
the title-page is misleading, only three parts, as above shown, being issued in that year. The 
statement, also, that the drawings were made by Dakin is not accurate, as but six plates 
bear his name. 

The N. Y. Mirror of July 30, 183 1, commenting on the issue of the second number 
of Fay's work, and referring to this announcement, says: "There is rather too much puf- 
fery about the cover. But the publishers, we presume, must not be out of fashion." 

An advertisement of the work, on pink paper, by Peabody, stating that it was to be 
printed on the order of "Jones's Views of London," and "Paris and its Environs," is also 
bound up with the Historical Society's copy. The advertisement reads, in part: 

Only 37 1-2 cents per number is charged for four beautiful Engravings, eight pages of letter- 
press descriptions, with an elegant cover, being, at this rate, one of the cheapest works ever of- 
fered to an American public. The whole will be completed in ten numbers. 


The N. Y. Hist. Society's copy of the book has also, bound in the back, one of the 
original yellow paper covers to Part II, which reads as follows: 

Part II. Shillings. 

Dedicated, by Permission, to Philip Hone, Esq. 



The City of New- York and its Environs: 

Comprising the 

Public buildings, Private Residences, 

Churches, Public Promenades, 

Principal Streets, Shipping, 

Institutions, Dock Yards, 

Squares, River Scenery, 

and all that is interesting or worthy of notice; 


Accurate, Characteristic, and Picturesque Drawings, 

Taken from the objects themselves, expressly for this work, 


Celebrated Artists; 

And engraved under the immediate superintendence 


Mr. Dick, 


Historical, Topographical, and Critical Illustrations, 


Theodore S. Fay 

(co-editor of the New- York Mirror,) 

Assisted by several distinguished literary Gentlemen. 

New York: 

Published by Peabody & Co., No. 233, Broadway, 

(near Park Place.) 


O. Rich, No. 12, Red Lion Square, 


Mason, Printer,] [68, Nassau Street. 

[Copyright notice, dated 1831] 

A manuscript letter-book and an account book belonging to Peabody & Co. were offered 
for sale at the American Art Galleries in December, 1916. The letter-book contains the 
correspondence with various agents who handled the "Views of New- York" and other 
books carried by Peabody & Co. One of the early letters to O. Rich, of London, evidently 
written shortly after the arrangement had been concluded with him to act as their London 
agent, reads, in part, as follows: 

We send you the title of a new work which we are now preparing for publication it is to be 
got up precisely in the same style of views in London no one ever had enough to start any thing 
thing [sic] of the kind here before & we intend to push the sale as far as possible. The street views 
for the first number are not quite finished. We did not wish to send any specimens to judge 
upon untill completeed [sic]. 

Next packet will bring you 1000 copies of No. i. We put Jones name in the vignette title 
but as none have have [sic] yet been printed except a few proofs I will have his name eraced 
and yours incerted . . . 

On January 23, 1832, C. H. Peabody bought out the stock of Peabody & Co., and 


apparently, for a time thereafter experienced financial difficulties, principally owing to the 
fact that all business was interrupted by the cholera, which raged in the city in this year. 
Although only five complete sets of the Peabody Views of New York are now known, 
the views, according to this letter-book, were issued in large numbers, and were in such 
demand that Peabody had difficulty in filling orders. 

Theodore S. Fay, author of the text, was an associate editor of The N. Y. Mirror, but 
left it in 1836, having been appointed Secretary of Legation at Berhn m 1835. Remaining 
there until 1853, he was promoted to the post of Minister Resident, in Berne, Switzerland. 
There he remained until 1861, when he retired and returned to Berlin. He died in Berlin, 
November 24, 1898. 

The shot tower shown in the view was erected in 1823 by Mr. George Youle, on the 
East River, between 53d and 54th Streets {The N. Y. Eve. Post, March 14, 1823), and is 
still (1917) standing. It was probably designed by John McComb, whose account book, 
under date of 1822, contains the following entry: "For Plans and directions for building 
a shot Tower," — no amount being mentioned. The first shot tower erected on this site 
by Mr. Youle, in 182 1, fell on October 6th of that year, after it had reached the height of 
about no feet. Heavy blasting in the neighbourhood was believed to have been the cause 
of the accident. — The N. Y\ Eve. Post, October 8, 1821. The Post of March 14, 1823, also 
contains a notice regarding this prominent early landmark: 

It will be recollected by most of our fellow citizens, that the Shot Tower situated about 4 
miles from this city on the banks of the East River, when nearly completed, fell and was mostly 
destroyed. Mr. George Youle, the enterprising proprietor, has erected a new Tower on its foun- 
dation, and although not finished, has commenced the manufacture of shot; he makes about 
three tons per day, and of a quality at least equal to any imported, or made in this country. 

Speaking of the surroundings of the shot tower, Fay, on p. 18 of his book, remarks: 

The shores of the river are here beautifully varied and picturesque. In one place the water 
laves the edge of green meadows, in another it breaks against fragments of rocks. Sometimes 
a verdant hill rises abruptly to the cultivated gardens and splendid buildings which decorate 
the banks, and sometimes a road winds down to the shore and leads to rural abodes fitted up for 
the entertainment of the throngs who escape for a few hours from the town to enjoy the breath 
of the fields, the woods, and the river. In the distance the Navy Yard may be perceived and 
the eastern part of the city. . . . The garden and hotel adjoining the tower are at present kept 
by Mr. Hilton, from whose grounds the view was taken. 

The plate here reproduced was reissued in The Ladies Companion, 1836, but with the 
lettering changed to "Shot Tower East River For the Ladies Companion." Several of the 
Peabody views were reproduced, sometimes with slight variation in title, in other publi- 
cations of the period. 

A unique lithographic view of the procession accompanying the laying of the corner- 
stone of the Washington monument (never completed) in Hamilton Square, on October 
19, 1847, is owned by Mr. Edward W. C. Arnold (reproduced in Addenda). The shot tower 
appears in the background of this view. Valentine's Manual for 1866 (opp. p. 482) also 
contains a view of the tower, showing it standing south of the Brevoort estate. 

The views contained in the Peabody Collection are as follows : 
PI. I. New- York. Drawn by J. H. Dakin. Engraved by Barnard & Dick 
PI. 2. Broadway from the Park. Drawn by J. H. Dakin. Engraved by Barnard 
& Dick 

New-York. Published June 1831. by Peabody & Co,. London. 0. Rich No 12. 
Red-Lion Square. 


PI. 3. Bowling Green. Broadway. Drawn J. H. Dakin. Engraved by Barnard & Dick 

PI. 4. Residence of Philip Hone Esq. And American Hotel, Broadway. Drawn by 

J. H. Dakin. Engraved by Barnard & Dick 

[Publisher's line, dated June 183 1] 

PI. 5. City Hall. Drawn by Dakin. Engraved by Dick 

PI. 6. Navy Yard. Brooklyn. Drawn by Lundie. Engraved by Dick. Printed by 


[Publisher's line, dated July 183 1] 

PI. 7. Leroy Place. Drawn by Davis. Engraved by Dick 

PI. 8. Shot Tower. (East River). Drawn by Lundie. Engraved by Dick. Printed by 

[Publisher's line, dated July 1 831] 
). Elysian Fields, Hoboken. (New York in the distance.) Drawn & Engraved on 

Steel by A. Dick 
D. City Hotel, Trinity & Grace Churches. (Broadway.) Drawn & Engraved 
on Steel by A. Dick. Printed by J. & G. Neale 

[Publisher's line, dated Nov^ 1831] 
[. Lunatic Asylum. (Manhattanville.) Drawn by A. Dick. Engraved by H. 

I. Merchants Room, Exchange. (Wall Street.) Drawn by A. Dick. Engraved 
by J. Archer. Printed by J. & G. Neale 

[Publisher's line, dated Nov!'i83i] 
PI. 13. Washington Institute and City Reservoir 
PI. 14. Hudson River from Hoboken. Drawn & Engraved by A. Dick. Wm. Phelps Pr. 

[Pubhsher's hne, dated March 1832] 
PI. 15. Coffee-House Slip. (Foot of Wall Street.) Drawn & Engraved by H. Fossette 
PI. 16. Park Theatre — Park Row. (Tammany Hall in the distance.) Drawn & En- 
graved by H. Fossette 

[Publisher's line, dated March 1832] 

17 Broad Street. (Custom House in the distance.) Drawn by A. J. Davis. En- 

graved by J. Archer 

18 Holt's New Hotel. (Corner of Fulton & Water Street.) Drawn by A. 

Dick. Engraved by M. Osborne 

[Publisher's line, without date] 
Map of the City of New-York Compiled & Surveyed by William Hooker; (etc.) 

[Published by Peabody & Co., without date] 

Webb's Congress Hall. (142 Broadway) Drawn and Engraved by M Osborne 

Merchants Exchange — ^Wall-Street (and) Masonic Hall Broadway (Both 

signed with initials J. H.) 

[Publisher's line, without date] 

Pearl Street House & Ohio Hotel. (Hanover Square in the distance.) 

Drawn and Engraved by M. Osborne 

Deaf and Dumb Asylum. Drawn and Engraved by M. Osborne 

[Publisher's line, without date] 

[i] Rotunda — Chambers-Street [2] Grace Church — Broadway [3] U. S. 

Branch Bank — Wall Street (F. Kearny, Sc.) [4] St. George's Church — ■ 

Beekman St. [5] St. Patricks Cathedral— Mott St. 

[Publisher's line, without date] 


[i] Presbyterian Church. Carmine Street. New York. [2] ST Thomas' 
Church. Broadway. New York. [3] 2^° Unitarian Church. Mercer cor. 
Prince ST New- York. [4] Washington Hotel. Broadway. New York. 
[5] Bowery Theatre New York. (Ja? Harris Sc.) 

[Publisher's line, dated 1833] 
[i] Episcopal Seminary Greenwich [2] Oil Cloth Manufactory Green- 
wich [3] Fulton Market 
Penitentiary Blackwell's Island 

[Publisher's line, dated Jan'f 1834] 
La Grange Terrace — La Fayette Place. City of New York. Dakin Delt 
Dick Sc. 

[Publisher's line, without date] 

Plate 102-b 

New York Theatre 

Lithograph. 12-^^xioyi Date depicted: 1826-8. 

Date issued: 1826-8. 
Artist: A. J. Davis. 
Publisher: (Anthony) Imbert. 
Owner: I.N.P.S. 
Other copies: N. Y. Public Library (Emmet Collection, 11 284); N. Y. Hist. 

Society, etc. 

Only known state. This is one of a series of probably twelve lithographs of buildings 
in New York, drawn by Davis and published by Imbert. The N. Y. Hist. Society pos- 
sesses one of the original title-pages of this series, with the following lettering: "Views of 
The Public Buildings in the City of New-York." The Society owns also one of the original 
brown wrappers, bearing the following inscription: "Views of Public Buildings, Edifices 
and Monuments, In the Principal Cities of the United States, Correctly drawn on 
Stone, by A. J. Davis. Printed and Published by A. Imbert, Lithographer, 79 Murray- 
Street, New- York. No. — . The Work will be issued in Numbers, each containing 4 
Plates; The first number to each City, will be ornamented with a title page and a vignette; — 
The Price of Subscription is per number, . .$2:00. Each Plate Separately, . . . 0:50. Sub- 
scriptions are received at the Office of the Publisher, 79 Murray-Street, Behr & Kahl's 
Book Store, 359 Broadway; Judah Dobson, 108 Chesnut-street, Philadelphia; Fielding 
Lucas, Baltimore." 

From the existence of this wrapper, it is evident that the work, as originally projected, 
was to cover other cities than New York. The date "1827" and the words "Not issued" 
have been added, in manuscript, on this cover. The series was probably never finished 
and no complete set, even of the New York views, is known. 

The wrapper and the following views belonging to the first part were sold in the Neill 
Collection, in 1910 (Nos. 143-150). 

Views of the Public Buildings in the City of New- York (title-page with vignette 
view of Rotunda) 

New York Theatre (here reproduced) 

Phenix Bank 

Merchants' Exchange 


Masonic Hall 

Second Congregational Church N. Y. 

Branch Bank of U. S. 

Other New York buildings in the series are: 

Design for Improving the Old Alms-house Park, New York (double page) 

N? 39 Chambers ST New York, opposite the Rotunda [Arcade Bath] 

Castle Garden, N. York 

View of the Battery and Castle Garden New York 

Congregation B'nai Jeshurun 

ST Thomas Church Broadway 

Lafayette Theatre 

The New York Theatre — afterwards the Bowery Theatre, and still more recently the 
Thalia — was erected in 1826 on the site of the old Bulls Head Tavern, just south of the 
later Atlantic Garden (for a history of which see Chronology). It burned on May 26, 1828, 
but was immediately rebuilt. The theatre was afterwards destroyed by fire three times, 
but always promptly rebuilt. In 1879, the character of the neighbourhood having become 
almost wholly German, it was opened as a German playhouse, under the name of the 
"Thalia Theatre," and continued to give plays in German, and later in Hebrew, until 19x5. 

The theatre is now used for Italian vaudeville, while the Atlantic Garden is being 
remodelled for moving-pictures, also under Italian management. 

Plate 103-a 

Leroy Place 

Line engraving on steel. 5fl x 31^ Date depicted: About 1830. 

Date issued: 1831. 
Provenance: Plate 7 of Views in New York And its Environs, by Theodore S. Fay, 

183 1-4 (The Peabody Views). 
Artist: (Alexander J.) Davis. 
Engraver: (Alexander L.) Dick. 
Publishers: Peabody & Co., No. 233 Broadway, New York, and O. Rich, No. 12 

Red Lion Square, London. 
Owner: I.N.P.S. (complete set). 
Other copies of the view: N. Y. Public Library; N. Y. Hist. Society, etc. 

Only known state. In the text accompanying the view. Fay states, regarding the 
houses here depicted, that "little more concerning them can be gathered from books, or 
gleaned from the lips of the living, than that they have been erected but a few years." In 
one of his later chapters, commenting on the many "magnificent mansions continually 
arising," he remarks: "Of these few perhaps are more beautiful than those in Le Roy Place." 

As a matter of fact, the houses were erected in 1827, by Isaac Green Pierson, who built 
a row of substantial dwellings on either side of Bleecker Street. The name "Le Roy Place" 
seems to have been bestowed by Pierson upon that portion of Bleecker Street between 
Mercer and Greene where his houses were erected. The street is so named on a map sur- 
veyed by George B. Smith on October 15, 1827, and filed in the Register's Office as No. 
31 (T). The first street-guide mentioning Le Roy Place is dated 1834-5, ^nd, as the name 
disappears from the lists of streets after 1878-9, and is not found on the Goodrich Map 
(1828), the Colton Map (1836), or the Dripps Map (1854), it was probably never an official 


Plate 103-b 

La Grange Terrace — La Fayette Place (etc.) 

Line engraving on steel. 6^ x 3^ Date depicted: About 183 1. 

Date issued: 1834. 
Provenance: From Views in New York And its Environs, by Theodore S. Fay, 

1 83 1-4 (The Peabody Views). 
Artist: (J. H.) Dakin. 
Engraver: (Alexander L.) Dick. 
Publishers: Peabody & Co., No. 233 Broadway, New York, and 0. Rich, No. 12 

Red Lion Square, London. 
Owner: I.N.P.S. 
Other copies of the view: N. Y. Public Library; N. Y. Hist. Society, etc. 

Only known state. La Grange Terrace, consisting originally of nine separate resi- 
dences on Lafayette Place, of which four are still (1917) standing, was erected in 1831, 
and was considered at the time the finest row of private dwellings in the city. In the 
text accompanying the view, Fay says that these "costly houses are universally allowed 
to be unequalled for grandeur and effect," that they are built of white marble [granite], 
that they were designed and built by Mr. [Seth] Geer, and that all the stone work was 
executed by the state prisoners at Sing Sing. Backing up against this property, on lots 
Nos. 714 and 716 Broadway, were built, in 1833, by Elisha Bloomer, two very similar dwell- 
ings, known as the Colonnade Houses, the northerly one of which was occupied in 1836-7 
by Philip Hone, during the construction of his house on the corner of Great Jones Street 
and Broadway. It was used as a residence until 1889, in which year it was demolished. 

La Grange Terrace was so named after Lafayette's country-seat in France. Later, its 
name was changed to "Collonnade Row." Among the residents of this Row at various 
periods were Washington Irving and John Jacob Aster. 

Lafayette Place was opened, in 1825. from Jones to Art Street (now Astor Place). 

Photographs and a measured drawing of the facade of a single unit of the row ap- 
peared in the American Architect for June 21, 191 1. 

Plate 104-a 
South St. from Maiden Lane 
[The Bennett View of Maiden Lane] * 
Aquatint. 13^2 xg}^ Date depicted: 1828. 

Date issued: 1834? 
Provenance: From Megarey's Street Views in the City of New-York, for description 

of which, see Plate 98. 
Artist and engraver: WP I. (J.) Bennett. 
Publisher: Henry I. (J.) Megarey. 
Owner: Down Town Association. 
Other copies: N. Y. Public Library; N. Y. Hist. Society; LN.P.S., etc. 

Second known state. A proof state before letters exists, of which an impression is 
owned by the N. Y. Public Library (Emmet Collection, 1 1430). In this print, the iron 

*This title should read the Bennett View of South Street. 


kettle and stick in the lower left foreground of the picture are lacking, as well as the 
chimneys on all the buildings. 

This view gives a very good idea of the forest of masts, belonging to vessels from all 
parts of the world, which lined the South Street quays at this period. 

The date is, apparently, established by the sign of McKibbin & Gayley, who, according 
to the directories, occupied these premises during the year 1828 only. 
Reproduction: Valentine's Manual, 1854, opp. p. 60. 
Reference: StaufFer, 144. 

Plate 104-b 

Fulton St. & Market 

[The Bennett View of Fulton Street] 

Aquatint. i3Hx9>:4^ Date depicted: About 1834. 

Date issued: 1834.? 
Provenance: From Megarey's Street Vieivs in the City of New-York, for description 

of v^rhich, see Plate 98. 
Artist and engraver: W'?' I. (J.) Bennett. 
Publisher: Henry I. (J.) Megarey. 
Owner: Down Town Association. 

Other copies: N. Y. Public Library (Emmet Collection, 11 853); N. Y. Hist. So- 
ciety; I.N.P.S., etc. 

Only known state, except a proof before all letters, a copy of which is in the N. Y. Public 
Library (Emmet Collection, 11853). In the copy here reproduced, the imprint of Henry 
I. Megarey, New York, is probably covered by the mount. 

The date of the print is determined by the sign of Richard S. Williams & Co., which 
appears on the building to the extreme left. Prior to 1834, the directory gives the firm 
name as Richard S.Williams, without the "Co." It is, of course, possible that in this, 
as in other known cases, the directory was a year or more late in noting a change in the 
firm name. 

Fulton Market, shown at the right of the view, was erected in 1821, rebuilt in 1882, 
and finally abandoned as a city market in 1914. The building is still standing, but in a 
dilapidated condition. The Times of October 22, 1916, describes it as the "most ruinous 
looking building on Manhattan Island," the greater part of the roof having fallen in, and 
scarcely a pane of glass remaining unbroken. 

The tower seen in the distance is that of the North Dutch Church. That appearing 
above the roof of the market probably belongs to St. George's Chapel, on Beekman Street. 
Reproduction: Valentine's Manual, 1854, opp. p. 200. 
Reference: Stauffer, 137. 

Plate 105 

[Wall Street] 

Lithograph, coloured. 291^ x K^yi, Date depicted: About 1829. 

Date issued: Probably about 
Owner: N. Y. Hist. Society. 


Other copies: Harris D. Colt, Esq.; Edward W. C. Arnold, Esq.; Robert Goelet, 
Esq.; collection of Percy R. Pyne, 2d, Esq. (2^ inches on left of print, and 
margins, restored). These and a copy in the R. I. Hist. Society, at Provi- 
dence, are the only copies known. 

Probably the first state. The Holden copy, now in the possession of Mr. Harris D. 
Colt, has the title "Vue de New York" in small black letters on a white border below the 
print. There are no other variations. This may be an earlier state. The execution of the 
drawing is distinctly foreign, and the print may have been intended as the decoration of a 
"summer-piece," of which several somewhat similar examples dating from this period 
are known. 

The date depicted must be after 1827, when, according to the directory, "C. Pool, 
Barometer and Thermometer Maker," whose sign appears near the top of the building 
at Broad and Wall Streets, moved to this address, and before 183 1-2, when his address 
appears as 280 Broadway. The stationer's sign is probably that of Peter Burtsell, who 
acquired the old book-store of Stephen Gould in 1825. See Miss Ward's painting of Wall 
Street, reproduced in Addenda. 

The view is evidently a copy from the charming little Burton view, reproduced as 
Plate 13th (upper) in Bourne's Views of New York, published in 183 1-2, and engraved by 
Hatch & Smillie. A comparison of the two leaves no doubt as to the fact that the Burton 
view was the original. The carriage in the foreground of the lithograph, which does not 
occur in the original, is evidently of a foreign design, and the misspelling of the words 
"Blanss" and "Stationary," which appear on the sign on the building at the south-west 
corner of Wall and Broad Streets, is also significant. 

Trinity Church, which is seen at the end of the street, is the second church building 
which occupied this site, and was built in 1788-90, and demolished in 1839. The Presby- 
terian Church, on the north side of Wall Street, between Broadway and Nassau Street, was 
erected in 1719, and rebuilt in 1810. It was partially destroyed by fire in 1834, and again 
rebuilt in the following year; and in 1844 taken down and re-erected in Jersey City (see 

The Custom House, seen on the north side of Wall Street, and occupying the site of the 
old Federal Hall, was erected in 1813-14 as a store by Eastburn & Kirk, who sold the prop- 
erty to the United States for a custom house on December 2, 1816. 

The building on the extreme left, on the south-east corner of Broad and Wall Streets, 
occupies the site of the old Watch House at No. i Broad Street. 

It is interesting to compare this view with that shown on Plate in. 

The collection of Percy R. Pyne, 2d, Esq., contained a similar lithograph of the Capitol 
at Washington, very likely by the same artist, and the author has seen a general view of 
the city of Boston which presumably belonged to the same series. 

Reproduction: Valentine's Manual, 1853, p. 48; 1866, p. 571, from the Burton drawing. 

Plate io6-a 

View of St. John's Chapel, from the Park 

Line engraving on steel. io>^x6^ Date depicted: 1829. 

Provenance: Frontispiece of No. 40 of The New York Mirror, April 11, 1829, which 

contains also a descriptive article. 


Artist: A. J. Davis. 
Engraver: W. D. Smith. 
Owner: I.N.P.S. 

Other copies: N. Y. Public Library; N. Y. Hist. Society, etc. The steel plate 
from which this engraving was printed is owned by Mr. Joseph F. Sabin. 

The Holden collection contained a coloured lithograph of St. John's Chapel, also by 
A. J. Davis, now owned by Mr. J. Clarence Davies. No other copy of this lithograph is 
known. It was probably drawn shortly before our view, from which it differs slightly. 

St. John's Chapel was built in 1803-7, and is still standing (1917), the recent widening 
of Varick Street in connection with the extension of Seventh Avenue having left it with its 
porch extending fifteen feet into the widened roadway. Its preservation is due to the 
energy of the various societies which form the New York Art Federation, in co-operation 
with a small group of public-spirited laymen who have laboured incessantly to this end 
since 1908, when, on Sunday, November 22d, the congregation was saddened by the un- 
expected announcement from the pulpit that the vestry of Trinity Church had decided 
to close the chapel. The campaign to save the old building met with immediate and wide- 
spread encouragement, hundreds of articles appearing in the papers of the city and the 
country urging the preservation of one of the finest and most important of the few remain- 
ing early American architectural monuments. After injunction proceedings, resulting 
in a decision favourable to Trinity Corporation, the church was allowed to stand tem- 
porarily in deference to public opinion. In 1914, however, plans were approved for the 
widening of Varick Street to the east, involving the removal of the porch and the tower 
of the church. Mr. George McAneny, then Borough President, succeeded in bringing 
about a compromise between the city authorities and the Trinity trustees, whereby the 
former agreed to permit the encroachment of the porch into the roadway and the passage 
of the sidewalk beneath the porch, and to assume the cost of shoring that portion of the 
building under which the subway was to pass, while the latter agreed to let the building 
stand for at least two years, during which period the committee hoped to evolve some 
plan for its permanent preservation. This respite is now passed and, as no satisfactory 
solution of the problem has been found, ['] it is likely that another year will see the demolition 
of this beautiful and dignified old church, which ranks next to the City Hall and St. Paul's 
Chapel, as the third most important ancient building on Manhattan Island. 

Although the park shown in this view was from its inception generally referred to as 
St. John's Park, it was officially named Hudson Square, under which name it appears 
on the Taylor-Roberts Plan of 1797 (PI. 64), the Goerck-Mangin Plan of 1800 (PI. 70), 
and other maps printed before 1840, after which it appears regularly as St. John's Park. 
On February 14, 1805, Trinity agreed to cede the streets bounding "Hudson Square" 
to the City. On June 12th of the following year, the square was granted to the owners 
of the adjoining lots, "in such Manner as may best conduce to its Improvement," and, 
on January 12, 1809, Trinity agreed to pay its share of the expense of fencing the park. 
— Trinity Minutes {MS.). This seems to have been a plain wooden fence, for Haswell, 
in his Reminiscences of an Octogenarian (p. 243), says that the wooden picket fence that 
had enclosed the park was replaced with iron about 1830. As, however, the iron fence 
appears in this view, it must have been erected before 1829. On July 8, 1823, a com- 

('] A recent suggestion that the church be preserved as a permanent memorial to the New Yorkers who 
die in the great war is worthy of careful consideration. 


mittee was appointed to consider and report on the expediency of erecting a house for 
the use of the rector, and on the 31st of the same month it was resolved to build such a 
house "as soon as they could get a good offer for the house and lot on Vesey Street" which 
was then occupied by the rector. — Dix's Hist, of Trinity, III: 59. 

Dr. Dix describes Hudson Square at that time as "one of the finest, if not the finest, 
in the city. It contained specimens of almost every American tree, with others of foreign 
sorts," etc. {ibid., IV: 235); and Dr. Francis, in 1857, said that the variety of trees there 
was greater than on any other ground of equal size in the known world. 
On April I, 1823, it was resolved: 

That the said Square shall remain hereafter as an ornamental Square without any buildings 
being erected therein, and in case all the Lessees of the lots fronting on said Square shall agree 
to maintaine the same at their own expense as a private Square in proportion to the ground 
which they possess fronting on the Square, then it shall remain as a private Square, but other- 
wise or if the proprietors of the lots do not so maintain the said Square, then that it be ceded 
to the City Corporation as a Public Square, — Trinity Minutes {MS.). 

and on June 9, 1823, 

It appearing that a majority of the Lessees of the Lots on Hudson Square had acceded to 
the arrangement recommended by the Standing Committee and confirmed by the Vestry at their 
last meeting, it was ordered that the necessary conveyances on the part of this Corporation be 
executed under the direction of the Standing Committee. — Trinity Minutes {MS.). 

At that time the park was in one of the most fashionable parts of the city. 

The further history of that beautiful spot was a melancholy one. As time passed on and the 
character of the neighborhood changed, the owners of the property fronting on the Park were 
filled with the usual desire to sell for business purposes. This could not be done without the 
consent of the Church, which consent the [Trinity] Corporation refused to give. Dr. Berrian, then 
old and ill, plainly told the applicants that the park should not be sold while he lived . . . The 
present Rector [Dr. Dix] had not been in office forty-eight hours before the people who had 
tormented his predecessor came thronging about him, to ask whether he would follow the ex- 
ample of the old man, and likewise withho. 1 his consent. To him, not yet resident in the Rec- 
tory, it seemed that it would have been unwise and selfish to oppose the general wish and so the 
Corporation consented. Then followed a shocking scene: the felling of the trees, the uprooting 
and upturning of the whole place, and the erection of an unsightly and vast freight depot, cover- 
ing the whole extent of the square. And so before the rolling car of the Business-Juggernaut, the 
grace and beauty passed away forever. — Dix's Hist, of Trinity, IV: 236-7. 

The trees were all felled and their trunks extracted by March, 1S67.—N. Y. Com. Adv., 
March 21, 1867. The present depot was built in 1867 {Annual Report of the Supt. of Build- 
ings, 1867), and the bronze pediment on the west side of the building was unveiled on 
November 10, 1869 {N. Y. World, November 11, 1869). 

Reproduction: Valentine's Manual, 1870, opp. p. 28. 

Reference: StauflPer, 2968. 

Plate io6-b 
Castle Garden, N. York 
Lithograph, coloured. 14^^x9^^ Date depicted: 1825-8. 

Artist: Alex. J. Davis. 
Lithographers: Imbert & Co. 
Owner: N. Y. Hist. Society. 

Only known copy. An early and interesting view of Castle Garden, probably drawn 
shortly after Castle Clinton was converted for use as a pleasure resort. A very similar 


and scarce print, also drawn by Davis and lithographed by Imbert, and entitled "View 
of the Battery and Castle Garden New York," was sold in the collection of Mr. Percy R. 
Pyne, zd, and now belongs to Mr. Edward W. C. Arnold. 

Imbert does not appear in the directory as a lithographer until 1826, but his plates in 
Colden's Memoir, published in 1825, show that he was working as a lithographer in that 
year. An interesting paragraph regarding Imbert, from the Memoir, will be found quoted 
in full in the description of Plate 95-a. The firm name of Imbert & Co. does not appear 
in the directory, and the name of Anthony Imbert disappears with the issue of 1834-5. 

Reproduced here for the first time. 

Plate 107 
Kips Bay bei Newyork 
Water-colour drawing on paper. 23^x14^ Date depicted: August 31, 1830. 
Artist: Fr. Ernst. 
■ Owner: I.N.P.S. 

This view is taken from the pier below the rocky promontory at the foot of 37th Street, 
looking south across Kip's Bay. The cupola of Bellevue Hospital is seen at the right. 
The Henry A. Coster estate, purchased in 1835 by Anson G. Phelps, lay just to the north 
of the hospital grounds, between 29th and 34th Streets. The house itself, which stood near 
the north-west corner of First Avenue and 30th Street (PI. 154-d), is hidden by the pro- 
jecting point, but the pier at the foot of the place is distinctly shown. 

There is some confusion in regard to the designation of Kip's Bay, some maps — for in- 
stance the Bridges Map, of 181 1 — assigning the name to the northerly of the two small bays 
which indent the shore, one between 3 2d and 34th Streets, and the other between 35th and 
37th Streets. The Kip property, as shown on a map of the estate of Eliza Kip made by Smith 
in 1833, included both of these bays, and it is evident that the name was applied to both. 

The Kip farm originally extended irregularly from about 26th Street to 42d Street, 
east of the Road to Harlem, and the old Kip farm-house stood on the south side of 35 th 
Street, one hundred feet east of Second Avenue. A view of the old house is contained in 
the Manual of 1852, p. 472. Samuel Kip laid out eight roads across his farm, which he 
named Kip's Bay, Samuel, Elbert, Maria, Cornelia, Eliza, Susan, and Louise Streets 
— the last five being named after his daughters. With the laying out of the city streets 
under the commissioners, all of these old roads were discontinued. The farm was divided 
up into parcels, and sold, the most northerly parcel being offered for sale, in 1807, as the 
"Quarry Lot," there being a quarry of building stone on it. The advertisement states 
that a "road by the name of Susan street, 60 feet in width, leading along the southerly 
side of the lot from the highway to the river, forms one of the several avenues from the 
premises to the public road." — American Citizen, June 29, 1807. 

Reproduced here for the first time. 

Plate 108 

View of St. Pauls Church and the Broadway Stages, N. Y. 

Lithograph, coloured. 24^^ x i8tV Date depicted: 1831. 

Date issued: 1832. 
Artist: H. Reinagle. 


Lithographer: (John) Pendleton. 

Owner: From the Lander-Daly-Borden Collections, and now belonging to Edward 

W. C. Arnold, Esq. 
Other copies: Collection of Percy R. Pyne, 2d, Esq.; Robert Goelet, Esq., Herbert 

L. Pratt, Esq., and Harris D. Colt, Esq. (formerly in the author's collection). 

These are the only other copies known. 

In Mr. Colt's copy, which is an earlier impression — evidently an artist's proof — there 
are slight variations in the inscription — i. e. "Pendletons Lithog' 9 Wall S'" in place of 
"Pendleton's Lithography, N? g, Wall-Street," and "New York" in place of "N. Y." 
The title is in open letter, without shading. 

Although the date 1828 is found in manuscript on the copy here reproduced, this date 
is contradicted by internal evidence. For instance, "Trappan's Fancy Store," at 221 Broad- 
way, next to the corner of Vesey Street, is found in the directory for 1 83 1-2 only at that 
address. The sign of Michael Paff appears in the wreath over one of the windows in the 
second floor of this house. Note, also, the statuary in front of the building, and the orna- 
mental detail of the door. Paff was the proprietor of an art gallery at this address. In 
181 1 he opened a gallery of paintings at 208 Broadway, whence he moved, in 1812, to 
No. 221 Broadway, the building here shown. The N. Y. Public Library owns an original 
"Prospectus" issued by Paff, on March 30, 1812, announcing the forthcoming opening of 
his gallery, at No. 221 Broadway, on May 15th. In this advertisement Paff states that he 
has been collecting his paintings "during more than twelve years." Apparently (accord- 
ing to the directories) Paff occupied this address only a few years, moving to 124 Cedar 
Street in 1814-15. Between this year and 1820 he moved from Cedar Street to the Bowery, 
and thence to No. 20 Wall Street, returning, in 1820, to No. 221 Broadway, where his sign 
is shown in the view of the Park and west side of Broadway in 1827 (PI. 100). Here he re- 
mained until the demolition of the building, in 1834, for the erection of the Astor House. 
In September, 1838, following his death, his collection was sold at auction.— /"A^ Eve. Post, 
September 15, 1838. 

Further reasons for assigning the later date to the lithograph are found in the fact that 
J. Lowe & Co. became Lowe & Connah in 183 1-2, according to the directory for that year, 
while Scudder's American Museum did not move to the address here shown, on Ann Street 
and Broadway, until December, 1830. The date of issue was probably 1832, in which 
year, according to the directory, Pendleton, lithographer, whose address is given on the 
engraving as No. 9 Wall Street, moved there from No. 94 Broadway. 

This is one of the rarest of early New York street scenes, and is especially interesting 
as depicting the various types of stages in use at the period. A writer in the N. Y. Gaz. 
y Gen'l Adv. of August 5, 1834, describes this phase of the city's life as follows: 

Omnibuses, exceeding a hundred in number, roll incessantly over the paved streets, ad- 
ministering equally to the purposes of business and pleasure adding to noise and bustle, and 
forming an object of such prominent attraction, as to cause New York not inaptly to be termed 
"The City of Omnibuses." 

This lithograph forms a pendant to the view of Wall Street by the same artist (PI. 
III). These two plates are the only ones we have corresponding to the popular English 
street scene prints of the period, such as Pollard's spirited view of "The Elephant and 
Castle, on the Brighton Road," "North-Country Mails at the Peacock, Islington," etc. 

The author's collection includes a rare pamphlet containing the reproduction of a 


panorama depicting the same neighbourhood, painted by Holland and his pupils, Reinagle 
and Evers, and exhibited in 1813. See, also, Plates 68-b, 8i-a, and 85. 
Reproduction: Valentine's Manual, 1 861, p. 116. 

Plate 109-a 


The Residence of W" B. Crosby Esq!' Rutgers Place New-York 
Lithograph.- 9^2x6 Date depicted: 1830-5. 

Date issued: 1830-5. 
Artist: "From Nature, on Stone, by J. G. Clonney." 
Lithographer: (Peter A.) Mesier. 
Owner: I.N.P.S. No other copy known. 

The Rutgers mansion, later the residence of William Bedlow Crosby, stood in the 
block bounded by Rutgers Place on the north, Clinton Street on the east. Cherry Street 
on the south, and Jefferson Street on the west. 

Harmanus Rutgers purchased his well-known farm, originally known as Bouwery 
No. 6 (see Manatus Maps, Appendix, II), in part from the heirs of Hendrick Cornelissen van 
Schaick and in part from Thomas Fairweather. The Van Schaicks were the descendants 
of the original patentee, Cornells Jacobsen Stille. — Liber Deeds, XXXIII: 19-29. The 
farm comprised all of the present Seventh Ward west of Montgomery Street, and part of 
the Fourth Ward. Rutgers died on August 9, 1753, and devised his farm to his son Hen- 
drick, describing it as "Near the fresh water in the out ward which I had bought from 
the Van Schaicks and others, where he, my said son, now lives." — Liber Wills, XVIII: 
347. The N. Y. Gaz.: or. The Weekly Post-Boy, of August 13, 1753, contains the following 
notice of the death of Harmanus Rutgers: 

Thursday last departed this Life, in an advanced Age, Mr. Hermanus Rutgers, a very 

eminent Brewer of this City, and a worthy honest Man; His Remains were decently interred 

the next Evening. 

The following account of the property is derived mainly from family papers and other 
sources examined by Mr. De Witt Clinton Jones, whose wife, Josephine Crosby, was the 
granddaughter of William Bedlow Crosby, the great-nephew of Col. Rutgers. Mr. Jones's 
printed description is pasted on the back of this and the companion view (PI. 109-b), 
which came through him into the author's possession. 

The house, the main part built of bricks said to have been brought from Holland 
(perhaps only a reference to size and bond), was erected in 1754-5 hy Hendrick Rutgers, 
who had a portion of his farm laid out in streets and lots, and, in 1765, agreed with James 
De Lancey on a boundary line between their farms, running along Division and Little 
Division (now Montgomery) Streets. — Liber Deeds, XLVIII:364. Rutgers died in 1779, 
and devised the farm to his only surviving son, Henry, including in his bequest the family 
mansion, which, during the occupation of New York by the British, was used as a hos- 
pital. At the close of the war, Colonel Rutgers, who had been active on the side of the 
colonies, reoccupied the homestead, and kept bachelor's hall there until his death, nearly 
fifty years later. He was a personal friend of Washington and Clinton and other prom- 
inent men of the period, and a benefactor of Rutgers College, at New Brunswick, N. J. 
(formerly Queen's College), which was re-named after him in 1825. He died in 1830, leav- 
ing tlie greater part of the Rutgers farm, "including the mansion house and all the land 


attached thereto," to his great-nephew, William Bedlow Crosby. After Col. Rutgers 
died, Mr. Crosby had Monroe Street carried through the two blocks bounded by Madison, 
Cherry, Jefferson, and Clinton Streets, then surrounding the house grounds, and this por- 
tion of Monroe Street ['] was named Rutgers Place. The house was remodelled at this 
time, two wings being added, and its north side made the entrance front. It stood thus, 
with a block of ground in lawn and garden surrounding it and the carriage house, stable, 
etc., until Mr. Crosby's death, in 1865, when it was sold, and shortly afterwards torn 
down. Its site is now occupied by tenement houses — Nos. 288 to 314 Cherry Street. 

An interesting resume of the history of the Rutgers house, contained in Old New York 
from the Battery to Bloomingdale, New York, 1875, was prepared by M. Despard, who 
drew largely from the Rutgers family records. The Rev. Howard Crosby, in a letter 
quoted by Despard, states that the house was remodelled by William B. Crosby in 1830; 
it was demolished after February i, 1875, as recited in Liber Deeds, MCCCXIX: 80. There 
was a condition in this deed to the effect that when the old mansion should be torn down, 
the contents of the corner-stone would be given to the Crosby family. This explains the 
quaint family tradition, mentioned in Old New York from the Battery to Bloomingdale, that 
young Hendrick Rutgers was forced to put all his small change into the corner-stone. For 
a description of the house shortly before its demolition, see the N. Y. Times of November 
24, 1872 (condensed in Chronology). 

The house is shown in the Howdell-Canot South West View (PI. 37). Its roof appears 
also in the St. Memin View from Mt. Pitt (PI. 62), near the water, to the left of the view. 
For location of Mt. Pitt, also called Jones' Hill, see British Headquarters MS. Map of 
1782 (PI. 50). See, also, the two manuscript views reproduced on Plate 47, the view ac- 
companying the Ratzer Plan (PI. 41), the Taylor-Roberts Plan (PI. 64), and the Colton 
Map (PI. 124), which last shows very distinctly the house and property, including the 
out-buildings, as they were in 1836. 

The original Rutgers farm-house stood on the east side of the Bouwery Lane between 
the Collect and the Swamp, and a short distance north of the Jews' burying-ground. It is 
clearly indicated and named on the 1735 manuscript map (PI. 30). [-] 

Reproduced and described here for the first time. Valentine's Manual for 1858 (opp. 
p. 268), contains a very similar view, but with many minor changes, such as the addition 
of a lamp post, trees twenty years older, etc. 

Plate 109-b 


The Residence of W" B. Crosby Esq!^ Rutgers Place New- York 
Lithograph. ■ 93^x6 Date depicted: 1830-5. 

Date issued: 1835 .' 
Artist: "From Nature on Stone by J. G. Clonney." 
Lithographer: (Peter A.) Mesier. 
Owner: I.N.P.S. No other copy known. 

For description of the Crosby or old Rutgers house, see preceding plate. 
Reproduced here for the first time. 

['] Known successively as Lombard, Lombardy, Lumber, and Rutgers Street. 

1-] Reference to the Grim Map (PI. 32), to the manuscript plan reproduced on Plate 36-b, and to the 
Ratzen Map (PI. 42), will explain the relative positions of these two houses, which stood, respectively, 
near the southern and northern boundaries of the Rutgers farm. 


Plate iio 


[The Garneray View] 

Aquatint, printed in colours. 17^ x I2j^ Date depicted: Probably 1834. 

Date issued: Probably 1834. 
Provenance: From Vues des Cotes de France dans V Ocean et dans la Mediterranee 
Peintes et gravees par Louis Garneray — a magnificent collection of views, prin- 
cipally of French ports. 
Artist and colourist: L. Garneray. 
Engraver: (Sigmund) Himely. 
Publisher: Basset, Paris, rue St. Jacques, No. 64. 
Owner: N. Y. Public Library (Eno Collection). 
Other copies: I.N.P.S., etc. 

Signed artist's proof, in subdued colouring. The collection of the late Mr. Amos F. 
Eno (now owned by the N. Y. Public Library) contains also an original lettered impres- 
sion in black and white, and an original impression brilliantly coloured, similar to those in 
general circulation. This regular issue has the following imprint: "Garneray, pinx^- 
Himely sculp. / Vue de New York. / Prise de Weahawk. / A View of New- York, taken from 
Veahawk. / A Paris chez Basset rue St. Jacques No. 64 Depose." A later impression of the 
print was issued with the publisher's line changed to "A Paris chez Hocquart aine Succr de 
Basset rue S' Jacques N? 64. — Depose / New- York Published by Bailly Ward and C?" 
In this form, the plate was probably issued separately, and before 1843-4, ^s the partnership 
of Bailly and Ward, according to the directories, appears to have been dissolved by the fol- 
lowing year. A copy with this imprint was sold in the collection of Mr. Percy R. Pyne, 2d. 

The date depicted is determined, approximately, by the fact that the dome of the old 
Merchants' Exchange appears. This building was finished in 1827, and destroyed by fire 
in 1835. As the view shows no trace of the steeple of the Presbyterian Church in Wall 
Street, which was destroyed by fire in September, 1834, and rebuilt in 1835, it is probable 
that it was drawn late in 1834. 

There is no date in the first volume of Garneray 's splendid work; the third is dated Paris, 
1832. A fifth volume, in the collections of the Bibliotheque Nationale, bears the manu- 
script title, Voyage Maritime, and contains twenty-eight views, among which are the fol- 
lowing of America: Baltimore, Boston, Havana, New York, New Orleans, Philadelphia, 
and Rio Janeiro. No text accompanies these engravings. Although the view of New York 
is marked "Depose," a search among the copyright records in the Bibliotheque Nationale 
failed to disclose any reference to the plate. The fact that the view is contained in 
the fifth volume of a series, volume three of which is dated 1832, strengthens the proof 
that it was drawn after this date. 

The copy in the Bibliotheque Nationale, as well as that here reproduced, has, in the 
lower left corner, the words "peint grave et retouche par L Garneray" engraved, although 
they have every appearance of being in pencil. An artist's proof of the Philadelphia view, 
owned by Mr. Fridenberg, has this line in pencil. 


Plate hi 

Wall Street and the Heights of Brooklyn (etc.) 

[The Maverick View of Wall Street] 

Lithograph. i8:H' x 14 Date depicted: 1834. 

(exclusive of borders) Date issued: 1834. 

Artist: "H. R.," undoubtedly Hugh Reinagle, whose view of St. Paul's Church 

and the Broadway Stages, N. Y. (PI. 108), was drawn at about this time. 
Lithographer: P. Maverick — evidently Peter Maverick, Jr., as Peter Maverick, 

Sr., died in 1831. 
Owner: Sold at Anderson's, in November, 1916, in the collection of John D. Crim- 
mins, Esq., and bought by George D. Smith for ^3,950, the highest price ever 
paid at auction for a New York City print. 
Other copies: Three other copies are known — one belonging to Edward W. C. 
Arnold, Esq., one belonging originally to Mrs. Byam K. Stevens, who gave it, in 
191 5, to the N. Y. Hist. Society, and one in the collection of Robert Goelet, Esq. 

Only known state of one of the most interesting views of the period. The drawing for 
this lithograph must have been made between 1827 and 1834, as it shows the original 
Merchants' Exchange building, which was completed in 1827 and destroyed by fire in 
1835, and the First Presbyterian Church as it stood before the destruction of its steeple 
by fire in 1834. After the fire the church had a pointed steeple, not a tower with a dome 
(see Pis. 117 and 123-b). This representation of the Presbyterian Church is perhaps the 
best we have (compare its design in this view with that shown in Plate 105, and also with 
Miss Ward's painting, reproduced in Addenda). The date, however, is more definitely 
determined by the fact that "Cummings' Exchange & Lottery" appears as such in the 
directory for 1834-5 only> ^t 86 Broadway, the site here shown. Before that date it was a 
lottery office alone, and not an "Exchange," and after 1835-6, according to the directories, 
it was at 8 Wall Street. 

The marginal sketches, showing Brooklyn Heights and the buildings on each side of 
Wall Street from Broadway to the river, although drawn at a small scale, are very inter- 

A process reproduction exists, smaller in size than the original, and lacking the mar- 
ginal views. 

Plate 112 
Manhattanville, New York 
Lithograph, coloured. I2^x8J4 Date depicted: 1834. 

Date issued: Copyright 1834 
by George Endicott. 
Artist: J. W. Hill. 
Lithographer: (George) Endicott. 
Owner: From the collection of George R. D. SchiefFelin, Esq. (and now owned by 

Mr. Fridenberg). 
Other copies: Collections of W. C. Arnold, Esq.; Percy R. Pyne 2d, Esq., and 
Robert W. Goelet, Esq. (lacks imprint). These are the only other copies 


Only known state. This little lithograph, which is in delicate colouring, is one of the 
few known views of the upper end of Manhattan Island in the first half of the nineteenth 
century. The fence in the foreground coincides approximately with Manhattan Street, and 
the church is old St. Mary's, on Lawrence Street, erected in 1826, and taken down in 1907-8. 
The village of Manhattanville came into existence about 1806. The N. Y. Spectator of 
July 9th of that year states, in an advertisement, that "Manhattan Ville" is 

now forming in the Ninth Ward of this city, on the Bloomingdale road, in front of Haerlem Cove 
on the North river. The Corporation have opened a road, or avenue, thro the same, from the 
North to the East-river . . . The proprietors of the soil are now laying out the streets, which 
are to be wide and open, to the Hudson river, where vessels of 300 tons may lie in safety. A 
handsome academy has just been built on the main street. 

Assessment was made in 1815 for opening 125th Street between Third Avenue and 
"the lane leading to Manhattanville" (see Chronology). 

Views exist of "Glennvlle [ji'c], on the Hudson," and of "Paterson, N. J.," drawn by 
Hill, with the same imprints as the view here reproduced, and of approximately the same 

The catalogue of the 12th exhibition of the National Academy of Design (1837) lists a 
painting of "Manhattanville," by J. G. Chapman, which was purchased by Philip Hone, 
and is now in the possession of Robert G. Hone, Esq. 

Plate 113 
Broadway, New-York (etc.) 
Aquatint, coloured. 27}^ x ijS/i Date depicted: 1834? 

Date issued: Copyright 
January 26, 1836. 
Artist and etcher: T. Hornor. 
Aquatinted by J. Hill. 
Publishers: Joseph Stanley & Co. 
Owner: I.N.P.S. 

Other copies: N. Y. Public Library; N. Y. Hist. Society, etc. A beautifully col- 
oured copy, without the date after copyright line, but in other respects identical 
with the copy here reproduced, is owned by Mr. Harris D. Colt. The original 
drawing is in the possession of the Stock Exchange Lunch Club. 

Second or third state, [i ] In 1840-46, Webb issued a restrike from this plate which shows 
it to be much worn. The only changes are the substitution in the title of Webb's Em- 
porium of Light for the Hygeian Depot and the disappearance of Jos. Stanley's name 
from the three signs on the corner building, the name of Webb appearing in its place. 
Later — probably after 1863, as this is the first year in which the firm name of Jas. A. Webb 
& Son, occurring in the inscription, appears as such in the directory — a photo-lithographic 
copy of this plate was made. 

Although the view bears the date 1836, it was probably drawn in 1834, as in this year 
only is Wm. West, upholsterer, found at 422 Broadway. Wm. Wright, hatter, is at 416 
Broadway from 1834 to 1837. The other signs do not help to fix the date. 

Mr. John Henry Hill, of West Nyack, a grandson of the artist, owns an interesting 

[■] Stauffer (1325) refers to an earlier state, having the date 1836 in the title. The author has never 
seen a copy of this state. 


unfinished proof of the City Hall and Park, drawn and engraved by Hornor and aquatinted 
by Hill. This view shows also the Astor House. 

The view is interesting particularly as giving a good idea of the vehicles in use at the 
time, and also as showing the various street trades. 

StaufFer, 1325. 

Plate 114-a 
View of the Great Fire in New-York, Dec^ 16^." & 17^." 1835 As seen from 

THE Top of the Bank of America, cor. of Wall & W^ St. 
Aquatint, coloured. 23^^x16^ Date depicted: December 

16-17, 1835. 
Date issued: 1836. 
Artist: N. Calyo. 
Engraver: W. I. (J.) Bennett. 
Publisher: L. P. Clover. 
Owner: I.N.P.S. 
Other copies: N. Y. Public Library; N. Y. Hist. Society, etc. 

A black line, drawn in India ink with a drawing pen, has been added to most of the 
original impressions of this print, between the plate and the margin, perhaps because the 
picture and the border met in a rather ragged and unpleasant way. The finest impressions 
seem all to have had this line, and such impressions are accepted as of the first state; while 
early impressions without the line are considered second states. In the reproduction, the 
copyright line, which is turned over, is not seen. It reads: "Entered according to Act of 
Congress in the year 1836 by L. P. Clover in the Office of the Southern District of New 
York." The plate is still in existence, and modern impressions are in circulation. 

The Merchants' Exchange is seen in the left centre (c/. PI. 1x5). Another view of Wall 
Street, after the fire, but looking in the opposite direction — towards Trinity Churches 
contained in the Emmet Collection (No. 11510), in the N. Y. Public Library. This is a 
sepia drawing in guash, with the manuscript title at top: "Wall St. Cor. William after the 
Fire — 1835." 

Reference: StaufFer, 140. 

Plate 114-b 
View of the Ruins after the Great Fire in New-York Dec" 16™ & 17™ 1835 

As seen from Exchange Place 
Aquatint, coloured. 23^4 x i6>^ Date depicted: December 

16-17, 1835. 
Date issued: 1836. 
Artist: N. Calyo. 
Engraver: W. J. Bennett. 
Publisher: L. P. Clover. 
Owner: I.N.P.S. 
Other copies: N. Y. Public Library; N. Y. Hist. Society, etc. 

Earliest known state. A later issue exists, without the India ink line, and modern 
impressions also are in circulation. The view, which is a companion of that reproduced 
on Plate 114-a, is taken on Exchange Place, looking east. The ruin on the left is the old 


Garden Street Church. This is the only contemporary representation that we have of 
this church, as rebuilt in 1807. It was in the belfry of this building that the corner-stone 
of the old Church in the Fort perished in this fire (see Chronology). For representations of 
the first Garden Street Church, see Plates 32, 33, and 146. This last view shows the 
original building after the stone tower was completed, in 1776, to support the cupola. 

The copyright line on the reproduction of this print, as in the preceding one, is turned 
over, and therefore does not appear. 

Several pastel drawings depicting the fire from Brooklyn Heights were made by Calyo. 
One of these, in the Cruikshank Collection, has the following manuscript title: "View of 
the Great Fire in N. York, Dec. i6t.h & 17 1835, as seen from Williamsburg." In the 
lower left of the drawing is the inscription "From Nicolino Calyo, 402 Broadway, N. Y." 
Very similar pastels of the fire, also drawn by Calyo, are found in the collections of the 
Stock Exchange Lunch Club, Mr. Robert Goelet, and Mr. Harris D. Colt. 

Mr. Edward W. C. Arnold owns three pastel drawings, signed by Calyo, of the following 
subjects: "View of the City of N.York & the Marine Hospital taken fromWallabout"; "View 
of the Tunnel of the Harlem Rail Road," and "View of Hoboken, taken from the Ferry." 
Reference: StaufFer, 141. 

Plate 115 

The Great Fire of the City of New-York, 16 December 1835 

Lithograph, coloured. 20^x15^ Date depicted: December 16, 

Date issued: Copyright 1836. 
Drawn on stone by (Alfred) Hoffy. 
Printed and coloured by J. T. Bowen. 

Publisher: H. R. Robinson, No. 48 Courtland Street, N. Y. 
Owner: I.N.P.S. 
Other copies: N. Y. Public Library; N. Y. Hist. Society, etc. 

Only known state of the best, rarest, and most interesting, of the early fire views. The 
Merchants' Exchange, erected in 1825-7,15 shown, as are also the offices of "The Fulton 
Insurance Company" and "The New York American." This newspaper began publica- 
tion in 1819, and continued until 1845, when it was absorbed by the Courier y Inquirer. 

The alley named "Exchange PI.," east of the Merchants' Exchange, is the present 
Hanover Street. 

The Post Office appears in the basement of the Exchange. It had moved to this loca- 
tion in 1827. After the fire it was established temporarily in a building called the Rotunda, 
in City Hall Park. On December 28, 1835, the Board of Aldermen adopted a resolution 
calling for the erection of an additional building adjoining the Rotunda for the accommo- 
dation of the Post Office. A branch office was also established on the north-west corner 
of Exchange Place and William Street, which was moved to the Merchants' Exchange 
upon the completion of that building in 1 841. In 1845 the old Middle Dutch Church 
was converted for use as the main Post Office, and the branch office was moved to Chat- 
ham Square. For further notes regarding the Post Office, see Chronology. 

A process reproduction of this print was issued, about 1910, by Mr. Charles A. G. Swasey. 

A key, printed on blue paper, was issued with this plate, but is very rarely found. 
There is an impression in the collections of the N. Y. Hist. Society. A modern process 
reproduction exists, also on blue paper. The key reads as follows: 


to the 
Print of the Great Fire 
of the City of New York, 
Published by the proprietor, H. R. Robinson, 48 Courtlandt street, embracing Original 
Likenesses, taken from life, of all the parties herein named, and who rendered themselves 
conspicuous through their exertions in quelling the awful conflagration. 
No. I. Chester Huntingdon Police Officer, 

No. 2. John Jacob Schoonmaker, Keeper of the Battery. 

No. 3. Nathaniel Finch, Member of Fire Co. No. 9. 

4. Matthew Bird, do do No. 13. 

5. James S. Leggett, Ass't Foremen, No. 13. 

6. Zophar Mills, Foreman of Engine No 13 

7. Wm. H. Bogardus, Esq. Counsellor at Law. 

8 Col. James Watson Webb, Editor of Courier & Enq 

9 A M C. Smith Police Ofiicer, 

10 James Gulick, Chief Engineer, 

1 1 John Hillyer, Esq. Sheriff of City & Co. of N Y 

12 Oliver M Lownds, Esq Police Justice, 

13 Charles King,* Esq. Editor of the American, 

14 Hon. C. W. Lawrence, Mayor of the city, 

15 James M Lownds, Esq. Under-Sheriff, 

16 James Hopson, Esq. Police Justice, 

17 Edward Windust, Of 'Shakspeare,' Park Row, 

18 Thomas Downing Of Nos. 3,5, & 7 Broad street, 

19 Jacob Hays, Esq. High Constable, 

20 H W Merritt, Police Officer, 

21 Peter McTntyre, of Montgomery House, Barclay street, — 
formerly of Washington hall. 

N.B. — The gentleman running up the Exchange steps, is Mr. Patterson, of the firm of 
Patterson & Gustin, who wished, if possible, to preserve the statue of Alexander Hamilton, 
which was totally destroyed in a few minutes afterwards. 

* This is the gentleman that crossed the East River to the Navy Yard, on that dreadful 
night, in an open boat, to procure gunpowder; in which he was successful. 

G. Vale, Printer, 15 Ann st. 

Plate 116 
New-York. Taken from the Bay near Bedlows Island 
[The Chapman-Bennett View] 
Aquatint, printed in colours. 25^ x i6>'4 Date depicted: 1834-5. 

Artist: J. G. Chapman. 

Engraver: J. W. Bennett (William James Bennett). 

Date issued: Copyright 
1836 by Megarey. 


Publisher: Henry I. (J.) Megarey, New York. 
Owner: From the Lander-Daly-Borden Collection. 

Other copies: N. Y. Public Library (Eno Collection); N. Y. Hist. Society (proof 
before all letters, from the Holden sale) ; Library of Congress, etc. 
Only known state except as above noted. This view was drawn before the fire of 1835, 
as it shows the original dome and drum of the Merchants' Exchange. It does not show the 
Wall Street Presbyterian Church, which was destroyed by fire in 1834. 

A beautiful impression of this view, owned originally by the author and now belong- 
ing to Mr. William Sloane, is printed virtually entirely in colours, and is one of the very 
few early engravings of the city so printed. The series engraved by Bennett, to which this 
view belongs, forms, perhaps, the finest collection of folio views of American cities, etc., 
in existence. It embraces the following views (which, with four exceptions, are found in 
the author's collection), and doubtless a few others: 

Baltimore, Md. 

Ins. : Paind & Engd By — W. J. Bennett. / Baltimore Taken Near Whetstone Point. / 

New York Pub by H I Megarey— Printed By J. Neale. 

(Copyright 1831, by Megarey) 
West Point, from Phillipstown 

Ins.: Painted and Engraved by — W. J. Bennett. / West Point, from Phillipstown. / 

To Colonel S. Thayer Superintendent of the U. S. Military Academy, West Point, 

this Print is respectfully inscribed by his obedient Servant / Published by Parker 

& Clover, 180 Fulton street. New York. — W. J. Bennett. 

(Copyright 1831, by Parker & Clover) 
Boston, Mass. 

Ins.: Painted by W. J. Bennett — Engd by W. J. Bennett / Boston / From the Ship 

House, west end of the Navy Yard / Published by H. I. Megarey New York 

(Copyright 1833) 
Troy, New York 

Ins.: W. J. Bennett. — Engd by W. J. Bennett. / New York, Published by John 

Levison, 341 Broadway. / Troy. / Taken from the West bank of the Hudson, in 

front of the United States Arsenal. 

(Copyright 1833, by H. J. Megarey) 

[Republished, in 1838, by Megarey] 
West Point, from above Washington Valley 

Ins.: Painted by Geo. Cooke — Engraved by W. J. Bennett. / West Point, From 

Above Washington Valley / Looking down the River / New- York, Published by 

Lewis P. Clover, 180 Fulton Street. 

(Copyright 1834, by Parker & Clover) 
Washington, D. C. 

Ins.: Painted by G. Cooke. — Engd by W. J. Bennett. /City Of Washington/ 

From beyond the Navy Yard. / Published by Lewis P. Clover, 180 Fulton St N. Y. 

(Copyright 1834, by Lewis P. Clover) 
Richmond, Va. 

Ins. : Engraved by W. J. Bennett from a Painting by G. Cooke. / Richmond. / 

From the hill above the waterworks 

(Copyright 1834) 


Buffalo, N. Y. 

Ins.: Paind by W. J. Bennett from a / Sketch by J. W. Hill / Pub: by Henry J. 
Megarey New- York. — Engraved by W. J. Bennett / Buffalo, From Lake Erie. / 
To E. Johnson, H. Pratt. S. Wilkinson B. Rathbun & A. Palmer Esqr? and the 
Citizens of Buffalo; with Col! Rob! Steele of New York. / this Print is respectfully 
inscribed by ther [sic] Ob! Serv! W. I. Bennett. 
(Copyright 1836, by H. J. Megarey) 

New York Quarantine Station 

Ins.: Painted & Engraved by — W. J. Bennett. / View of the New York Quarantine 
Station, Staten Island. / Printed by J. Neale. / Published by Parker & Clover 180 
Fulton Street New York. 
(Copyright 1836) 

Detroit, Mich. 

Ins.: Painted by W. J. Bennett from a sketch by Fredk Grain — Henry I. Megarey 
New York — Engd by W. J. Bennett / City Of Detroit, Michigan. / Taken from 
the Canada shore near the Ferry. 
(Copyright 1837, by Henry I. Megarey) 

New York, from Brooklyn Heights 

Ins.: Painted by J. W. Hill — Published by L. P. Clover New York. — Engraved by 
W. J. Bennett / New York / from Brooklyn Heights 
(Copyright 1837, by Lewis P. Clover) 
Thirty-four references in lower margin. 

Charleston, S. C. 

Ins.: Painted by G. Cooke. — Engraved by W. J. Bennett. / Published by L. P. 
Clover New- York. / City of Charleston S Carolina / Looking across Cooper's River 
(Copyright 1838) 


Ins.: Painted & Engraved by — W. J. Bennett / A Brisk Gale, Bay of New York. 
(Copyright 1839, by W. J. Bennett) 
Republished in 1867. 

New Orleans, La. 

Ins.: Painted by W. J. Bennett from a sketch by A. Mondelli Eng by W. J. Ben- 
nett / Henry I. Megarey, New York. / New Orleans, / Taken from the opposite 
side a short distance above the middle or Picayune Ferry 
(Copyright 1841, by H. I. Megarey) 

Mobile, Ala. 

Ins.: Painted by W. J. Bennett from a sketch by Wm. Todd. — -Engraved by W. J. 
Bennett Esq. / Henry I. Megarey — New York. / Mobile. / Taken from the Marsh 
opposite the City near Pinto's residence 
(Copyright 1842) 

Niagara Falls 

Ins.: Painted & Engd By W. J. Bennett. — Printed & Cold by J. Hill. / Niagara 
Fall. / To Thomas Dixon Esq"" this View of the British Fall taken from Goat 
Island. / is respectfully Inscribed by his Obedient Serv! / Henry I. Megarey. 


Niagara Falls 

Ins.: Painted & Engd by W. J. Bennett. / Niagara Falls. /To Thomas Dixon 
EsqF this View of the American Fall, taken from Goat Island, / is respectfully 
Inscribed by his Obedient Serv! / Henry I. Megarey / Printed by John Neale / At 
Illman & Pilbrow's 

Niagara Falls 

Ins.: Painted & Engraved by W. J. Bennett. — (Copyright, 1867, by Geo. E. Perine) 
— / Niagara Falls from the Table Rock. / Published By Geo. E. Perine, 1 11 Nas- 
sau St. New York 
(There probably exists an earlier state, before Perine's line) 

Natural Bridge, Va. 

Ins.: Painted by J. C. Ward. — Engraved by W. J. Bennett. / View of the Natural 
Bridge, Virginia. / Published by Louis P. Clover New York. 

Baltimore, Md. 

Ins.: Paind & Engd By — W. J. Bennett / Baltimore From Federal Hill. /New 
York, by H I Megarey. / Printed By J. & G. Neale. 

Boston, Mass. 

Ins. : Painted by W. J. Bennett — Engd by W. J. Bennett. / Boston, / From City 
near Sea Street. / New York, Published by John Levison, 341 Broadway. 

Plate 117 
New York, from Brooklyn Heights 
[The Hill-Bennett-Clover View] 
Aquatint, coloured. 31^x191! Date depicted: 1837. 

Date issued: Copyright 

Artist: J. W. Hill. 
Colourist: Probably J. W. Hill. 
Engraver: W. J. Bennett. 
Publisher: L. P. Clover. 
Owner: Robert Goelet, Esq. 
Other copies: N. Y. Public Library (Eno Collection); N. Y. Hist. Society, etc. 

Second state. An earlier state exists, before the addition of the words Jersey City, 
Hoboken, and Weehawken, above the rectangle, and the references below the rectangle. 
Of this state copies are owned by Herbert L. Pratt, Esq., Edward W. C. Arnold, Esq., and 
the author. 

In the impression reproduced, the copyright notice has been cut from the margin below 
the title and pasted to the right of the publisher's imprint. Unfortunately, the side margins 
of the print have been clipped close, and the names of Jersey City, Hoboken, and Wee- 
hawken, which should appear in the upper margin, are not legible in the reproduction. 

This is one of the most beautiful New York views of the period, and the few copies 
known, with the exception of a proof before letters, printed in blue, owned by Mrs. Crocker, 
of San Francisco, are all printed in colours. The elevation from which the view was made 
is so high, and the drawing so carefully done, that nearly every building of importance 
from Wall Street to Canal Street can be studied in detail. 


The copperplate, which is owned by Mr. Harris D. Colt, was found about fifteen years 
ago by Mr. Charles A. G. Swasey, in the office of Currier & Ives, where it had long 
served as a floor plate under a stone. On this the sky, which had been badly damaged, 
has been burnished out, but the references above and below the rectangle are still legible. 
Modern impressions from the plate in this condition exist. 

Plate 118 
Merchants' Exchange, New York 
Lithograph, coloured. 22x15^ Date depicted: 1837? 

Date issued: Copyright 1837. 
Artist: C. L. Warner. 
Lithographer and publisher: J. H. Bufford. 
Owner: From the Holden Collection. 
Other copies: N. Y. Public Library; N. Y. Hist. Society, etc. 

Only known state. The view was drawn several years before the completion of the 
building (in 1841), and was probably prepared from the architect's designs. 

The Exchange was designed by Isaiah Rogers. Cyrus L. Warner, who signed the 
original drawing from which the lithograph was made, appears in the directories prior to 
1839 as a builder, and after that time as an architect. The drawing of the ornament and 
the general architectural detail are noticeably good. 

The original Merchants' Exchange, designed by Martin E. Thompson (see Pis. 114 
and 115), was built in 1825-7 on the south side of Wall Street, covering the block between 
Wall, William, and Hanover Streets, and Exchange Place. The building, including the 
statue of Alexander Hamilton by Ball Hughes, which stood just inside the vestibule, was 
destroyed in the great fire of December 16-17, 1835. ^o'' t^^ history of the first Mer- 
chants' Exchange, see Chronology. In 1836, the building shown in the present view was 
begun, and on November 17, 1841, the Commercial Advertiser announced that the new 
Exchange was to be occupied for the first time on that day (see also The Eve. Post, No- 
vember 18, 1841). In 1863 it was remodelled for the use of the Custom House, and in 
1907, when the new Custom House on the Bowling Green was completed, it was converted 
by McKim, Mead & White into offices for the National City Bank, four storeys being added 
at this time. 

Isaiah Rogers was one of the best architects of his period. He came to New York 
about 1835 to superintend the erection of the Astor House, of which he had been chosen 
architect. He was also architect of the Astor Place Opera House (1848), the Bank of 
America, on the north-east corner of Wall and William Streets (1835), the Middle Dutch 
Church on Lafayette Place (1836), etc. Montgomery Schuyler discusses these buildings 
from an architectural point of view in the Avierican Architect, Vol. XCIX, No. 1845 (191 1). 

The building with the circular end seen in the distance on the west side of William 
Street (corner of Beaver Street), is Delmonico's restaurant, which still occupies this site. 

The collection of the late Mr. Amos F. Eno, now belonging to the N. Y. Public Library, 
contains a very similar view of the "New York Merchants' Exchange," lithographed by 
William C. Kramp, and copyrighted in 1837. In this view the sign of "Benedict, Benedict 
& Co. Watches & Jewelry" appears on the William Street corner of the building. A copy 
of this lithograph is also in the possession of Benedict Bros., jewellers. 


Plate 119 

St. Marks Church New York 

Lithograph. i8>^xi2^ Date depicted: Probably 1836. 

Date issued: Probably 1836. 
Artist: A. J. Davis, Architect. On Stone by J. B. Kidd, S. A. 
Lithographer: (J. H.) BufFord. 

Owner: Collection of Percy R. Pyne, 2d, Esq. (from the Neill Collection). 
Other copies: N. Y. Hist. Society, etc. 

First state. A later issue, with the street number of Bufford's changed to 136 Nassau 
Street, is in Mr. Arnold's possession. 

St. Mark's Church was erected in 1795-9, on the site of Governor Stuyvesant's Bouwery 
Chapel. It was at first unfenced and without steeple or portico. In 1829 a steeple was 
built, after designs made in 1826 by Thomson & Town, architects. The clock and vane 
were added in 1836. In 1838, an iron railing was built around the church, and the present 
portico was erected in 1858. — See Chronology. 

Mr. Pyne, describing this view in his catalogue, under No. 124, notes that the fields 
intervening between the church and the East River are unobstructed, and ascribes the date 
1827 to the lithograph; but the fact that the steeple was not erected until 1829, and the 
clock and vane not until 1836, makes an earlier date than 1836 improbable. It is possible, 
too, that the rural aspect of the land between the church and the river has been exag- 
gerated, although a glance at the Colton map of this year (PI. 124) shows that this district 
had not yet been developed. The supposition of the 1836 date is further strengthened by 
the fact that Bufford's lithographic establishment, which is given as at 114 Nassau Street, 
appears at that address in the directory for 1836 only. 

The view does not represent the actual appearance of the church at any period of its 
existence, but is undoubtedly an architectural design for alterations proposed by Davis — 
either on his own initiative or at the suggestion of some interested member of the church. 
This latter theory seems more than likely when the fact is taken into consideration that 
the New York Historical Society's copy of this view is inscribed "Designed for Peter S. 
Stuyvesant. 1836." It is probable that the view was issued to assist in raising funds 
for the more extensive changes then contemplated. These improvements, however, were 
not carried out, and the Memorial of St. Mark's Church makes no mention of the fact 
that they were at any time officially considered by the vestry or building committee. The 
statement is made in the Memorial (p. 55) that "in 1836 the edifice was greatly beautified 
and improved by the erection of the stone portico looking to the south and east." Else- 
where, the Memorial states that in this year "a stone portico was added, as there was no 
longer any doubt about Stuyvesant Street and the approach to the church." These ref- 
erences must be to changes in the main entrances, and not to the elaborate portico drawn 
by Davis, as the changes suggested in his view were never carried out, and the present 
portico was not erected until 1858. 

In 1843-5, Onderdonk published by subscription a series of views o{ Episcopal Churches 
of New York City. This series, which was never completed, contains an engraving of St. 
Mark's Church, by J. N. Gimbreede after a drawing by J. B. Forrest, showing the church 
without a portico. The spire and clock, new gas lamps, and the iron fence erected in 1838, 
are all shown, so that it is only reasonable to assume that the portico, if it existed, would 
also have been indicated. Francis's Guide for 1846 contains a similar view of the church. 


Except for the changes above noted, these later views show the building substantially as 
it appears in a view published in the New-York Mirror for May 15, 1830, which latter 
drawing was also made by A. J. Davis. 

Plate 120 

New York from Brooklyn 

[The Hornor View] 

Etching, printed in colours. 3It%xi2t^ Date depicted: 1833-9. 

Date issued: 1836-9. 
Artist and engraver: T. Hornor. 
Printer: W."?" Neale. 
Owner: J. Clarence Davies, Esq. 
Other copies: N. Y. Hist. Society, etc. 

Earliest known state. A later state exists, subsequent to the erection of the present 
Trinity Church (1841-6), with the faulty perspective of the Merchants' Exchange cor- 
rected, and with a few minor changes. 

Among the miscellaneous manuscripts in Box F-G, in the N. Y. Hist. Society, are two 
copies of a promissory note written and signed by Thomas Hornor, and reading as follows: 

New York, Feb. 1834 

Received of through the hands of Dr. J. W. Francis the Sum of 

being his Share of a Loan of Five Hundred Dollars proposed to be 

advanced by a few gentlemen of New York to enable me to execute a Panoramic Engraving (in 
three parts) of the City and Bay from Drawings I have recently made from the Heights of Brook- 
lyn, which Sum I engage to return with legal Interest within about a Month after publication 
or in about Six Months from the present time. — [Signed] Thomas Hornor. 

The price of the Set Colored in imitation of highly finished Drawings will be $10. A copy 
will be presented to each contributor. 

The view here reproduced is undoubtedly the middle section of the "Panoramic 
Engraving" referred to in this note, and presumably was made in 1833, but with some 
subsequent additions, and, perhaps, some anticipations. This assumption seems to be 
justified by the fact that, in the first state, the plate lacks the plate mark at the sides, and 
generally the side margins. In the later state the plate appears to have been pieced out, 
so as to show the plate mark on all four sides. No trace of the two end sections has come 
to light, and even the central section appears never to have been quite finished. It could 
not, of course, have been engraved prior to the fire of 1835, as it shows the new Merchants' 
Exchange, which was not begun until 1836. The print also shows the Astor House, which 
was built in 1834-6. It cannot be later than 1839, as it shows the steeple of the second 
Trinity Church, taken down in that year. 

From the above facts, it seems probable that the print was made from the corrected 
1833-4 drawing, but not etched until 1836-9. The view is interesting principally because 
of the shipping shown in the foreground. 

Since the above description was written and printed, the New York Public Library 
has acquired — at a sale held by Scott & O'Shaughnessy, in November, 1917, of the papers 
of Dr. John W. Francis — three interesting and rather pathetic documents which throw 
additional light on the production of this view, and also attest the great benevolence of 
Dr. Francis. The first is a letter dated "New York 9t.h May 1828," from which it appears 
that even at this early date Hornor had practically completed "an Engraving of a View 


of N. York." Judging from internal evidence it is doubtful whether this view is the same 
as the "Panoramic Engraving" referred to above in the promissory note, although the 
subject was probably identical. 

New York 9'.'' May 1828. 
Dear Sir 

Since I had last the pleasure of seeing you I have been industriously engaged on many sub- 
jects connected with my pursuits as an Artist and have availed myself of all the time I could 
command to the execution of an Engraving of a View of N. York. A few evenmgs ago I took 
the liberty of leaving at your Office one of the first impressions being anxious to prove to you 
that I have not forgotten an engagement towards you and your Friends who kindly assisted 
me some time ago. When the Engraving is finished I shall have much pleasure in presenting 
Copies to you and to those Gentlemen who kindly stepped forward at a period when I was suffer- 
ing much from disappointed hopes sickness and poverty. 

The Engraving is not yet finished but I have gone as far as I am able (this being only my 
second attempt) in its present state copies might be prepared but the labor required to produce 
the desired effect would be far too great, some days would be required for each copy, but after 
the plate has gone through another operation a few copies might be completed m a single day 
and the general effect greatly improved. 

With the first Copy 1 also left the original Drawing for a purpose of great consequence to 
my successful progress at this moment — the Drawing I wish to dispose of, to enable me to get 
the Engraving finished, it is a pencil Sketch of great minutia of detail and may perhaps be con- 
sidered rather a curiosity of its kind. 

I am willing to make almost any sacrifice for the means of sending forth the Engraving of 
it in a proper state, as I am led to suppose the Sale would be considerable both here and abroad. 

My immediate solicitation to you is that you will kindly make my wishes known to M^ Ward 
who I suppose has the only private Gallery in the City appropriate to the encouragement of the 
pencil. In the course of a Day or two permit me to call upon you and believe me 

Yours respectfully and obliged 
I. W. Francis M. D. Tho! Hornor 

The promissory note referred to above probably intervened between the first and second 
letters in this series, the latter of which was probably written in 1835. 

Evidently, further difficulties had developed, perhaps due in part to the great length 
of the panoramic engraving which, as indicated in the promissory note, was to have been 
issued in three parts. The second letter reads as follows: 

250 Spring S'"' 

20* July 
Dear Sir 

I have now the pleasure of performing a portion of my desire to prove the sence [sic] I enter- 
tain of the kindness and assistance I have received from you, and through your hands from M^^ 
Ward and other Gentlemen. The delay that has occurred in doing my duty in return has been 
a source of much anxiety from the conviction that I was risking the favorable opmion you have 
expressed towards me. In order to offer some slight proof to M^ Ward that you have not intro- 
duced to his notice one who is totally undeserving of that favor I have as far as my limitted [sic] 
means have permitted very cheerfully made the attempt in dressing up a little, your Queen of 
America — M^- W. is entitled to another copy for a friend abroad which 1 will prepare on a 
strainer for framing or in a more convenient form for package as he may direct, and when I can 
more conveniently go to the frame maker I shall have the additional pleasure of discharging 
little portion of my debt to your kind self, and rest assured I shall not forget M"^ Gideon Lee and 
the other Gentlemen who befriended me. 

I have been engaged several months on an important invention connected with my Artistical 
pursuits, of which I shall be happy to give you a sketch if I should find you in possession of a 
leisure half hour when 1 take the liberty of calling upon you. 

Believe me Dear Sir 
Your obliged 
D. J. W. Francis. Tho? Hornor 


The third letter reads as follows : 

New York 30 Aug^ 1836 
Dear Sir 

I feel that I almost risk the loss of your truly friendly consideration for me by thus troubling 
you at the moment you have kindly consented to assist me over my present painful situation — 
but as I feel compelled in justice to myself and my future endeavours to exert myself to the ut- 
most I entreat you to give a few moments consideration to the few hastily written facts I will 
submit to you as briefly as words will permit. 

M^ Clover the Glass and picture frame maker has long expressed a desire to avail himself 
of some of my skeches of N. York and its Vicinity and particularly the part contained in the 
Drawing you saw a few days ago. I understood that I should be well remunerated — I there- 
fore devoted two months most assiduously upon it, and he expressed his entire approbation of 
my performance — after an interview or two he consented in the presence of a M^ Bennett an 
aquatint Engraver to give me $500 for an outline of it on Copper 200 he agreed to pay in advance 
the remainder on completion — at the same time he agreed with the Engraver as to the sum he 
should receive for his assistance on the plate. The Copper which had been provided for the 
work was reduced in size at the suggestion of M^ Clover and some alterations and additions 
made on the Drawing contrary to my judgment but as I then considered him to be the owner 
of it I thought he had a right to command and I was obedient to his instructions. After all was 
done agreeable to his request and satisfaction and the Copper properly prepared for receiving 
the outline I called upon him at a time appointed to receive the amount proposed to be paid 
in advance in addition to the sum of $20 which I had paid for the Copper, but he made a variety 
of excuses to put off my payment until the work was finished, unless I would take a reduced 
sum — -this proposal of course I refused not only on principle but from my conviction that the 
price I had consented to take was much too small for so elaborate a performance. He then pro- 
posed to purchase the Drawing alone and did not object to the sum of ^400 for it but afterwards 
proposed a smaller Sum so of course all negociation [sic] with him in any way is terminated. 

I can only account for such total disregard to truth and the most common justice to the knowl- 
edge he obtained through my Landlard of my crippled Situation from the want of funds — -I know 
that efforts have been made between them to reap the benefit of my great labor. I must there- 
fore now stand on my own foundation alone. 

There is now but one course for me to pursue. I must make any sacrifice to get out the present 
work without delay — The return is unquestionable — I am only in debt that requires immediate 
payment to about the amount of the sum the Drawing has cost in Board, and the whole amount 
of my debts are much less then [sic] the Value of that work alone. My other materials ready 
for my rapid Graver are of fifty times the Value of that production alone. 

You was kind enough to say that you would see me this day but perhaps some time in the 
course of tomorrow may be better when I will take the liberty of calling upon you. 

I am most respectfully Your ever obliged 
Tho? Hornor 

This letter shows the long-sufFering patience and generosity of Dr. Francis, who evi- 
dently, for the third time, had assisted the struggling artist. The allusion in this letter 
to the alterations and additions suggested by Mr. Clover, and to the reduction of the 
size of the plate, probably indicates that the modifications referred to above, and necessary 
to bring the view up to date, were made at this time, and that it was also then decided 
to omit the end sections. 

The last document is evidently a proposed announcement, perhaps prepared for the 
newspapers, and reads as follows: 

M^ Hornor, the Artist who executed the panoramic View of London (for which the Colos- 
seum in that City was erected) has made numerous drawings of the Towns of America, and has 
lately completed an Engraving of New York from the Heights of Brooklyn. The work is en- 
graved for colouring and each Copy will be finished to the effect of a Drawing, but as those must 
be done by the artist's own pencil the number so prepared will not exceed fifty. The price pro- 
posed will not permit of the usual allowance to a publisher. T. H. is therefore encouraged to 


hope that through the recommendation of a few Gentlemen the above number may be engaged 
without much delay- The accomplishment of this object will enable him to complete another 
which will be of universal interest and of great benefit to his future progress. 

T. Hornor 

250 Spring S' 
*The price Ten Dollars — each Copy will be mounted on a Strainer properly prepared. 

Plate 121 

Arrival of the Great Western Steam Ship, off New York 

ON Monday, 23 ^° April 1838 

Line engraving on steel. ^5^4 x 7^ Date depicted: April 23, 1838. 

Owner: I.N.P.S. 

Other copies: The only other copy known is printed on blue paper and is in the 
collection of Robert W. Goelet, Esq. 

This curious view was probably published by W. & H. Cave, of Manchester, England, 
whose advertisement appears on a placard borne by one of the characters in the foreground 
of the picture. It is evidently copied from the large view drawn on stone in 1829 by Thomas 
Thompson (reproduced as PL 100 A), and was probably published shortly after the ar- 
rival in New York of the "Great Western" on her maiden voyage. The group of figures 
shown in the middle foreground, evidently characters from the novels of Dickens, may 
have been introduced simply in compliment to the author, who was at this period at the 
zenith of his literary fame, or the view may have been published four years later, in 1842, 
when Dickens was in New York, in which case it probably was intended to record this 
visit as well as the arrival of the "Great Western," which was still in the trans-Atlantic 
service between Liverpool and New York. 

The drawing resembles very closely the work of the Cruikshanks, especially that of 
Robert. See, for instance, his view of the "President's Levee, or all Creation going to the 
White-house, Washington," in the first volume of Brother Jonathan (London, 1844), and 
also "Scene on Battery Point, New York" (Vol. Ill), evidently fanciful, and probably drawn 
from a sketch of Fort Wadsworth at the Narrows. 

The view shows a part of the Battery and Castle Garden. The "Great Western" 
anchored at Pike Slip, foot of Rutgers Street, on April 23, 1838, just one day after the 
arrival of the "Sirius," these being the first two vessels to cross the Atlantic under the 
power of steam alone. A rare lithograph showing the arrival of the "Sirius" will be found 
reproduced in the Addenda. 

Reproduced here for the first time. 

Plate 122 

Trinity (Old) Church, New York 

Line engraving. 8^x11^ Date depicted: 1839. 

Date issued: 1840. 
Artist, engraver, and publisher: J. A. Rolph, 72 Carmine Street, New York. 
Owner: William Loring Andrews, Esq. 

Other copies: N. Y. Public Library; N. Y. Hist. Society (from Holden Collection), 
etc. Both of these copies have the additional line: "Entered according to Act 


of Congress, in the year 1840, by John A. Rolph, in the Clerk's OfBce, of the 
District Court, of the Southern District of New York," which hne has evi- 
dently been cut from the copy here reproduced. 

Only known state. The building shown in the illustration is the second church erected 
on this site. It was begun in 1788 and was dedicated March 25, 1790, in the presence of 
President Washington and other distinguished persons. Our view was probably taken 
just prior to its demolition in 1839. 

The publication of this view was announced in the New York Mirror of October 17, 
1840, as follows: 

Old Trinity. A beautiful engraving of the old Trinity Church (copied from the one which 
adorned the Mirror some years ago) has been published by J. A. Rolph, No. 72 Carmine-Street. 

The old view referred to is in the Mirror for July 14, 1827. It was engraved by James 
Eddy from a drawing by A. J. Davis, and printed by William D. Smith. The statement 
that Rolph's view is copied from this may be true, but there is enough difference in the 
detail of the church and surroundings to suggest that it is an entirely new drawing. The 
Emmet Collection (No. 10426), in the N. Y. Public Library, contains an almost identical 
view of Trinity Church, drawn by I. Peters, and lithographed by H. R. Robinson. 




1 842-1 860 

-,t. ■■■«>■-■ 







BY 1842 New York had entered upon a course of expansion in 
population, wealth, and commerce, that has scarcely been equalled 
by any other city before or since. Her splendid harbour and 
wonderful system of inland waterways had opened to her merchants a 
doorway through which they were able to gain and retain pre-eminence 
in both foreign and domestic trade. Already New York's financial facil- 
ities had been developed to a higher degree than those of any other 
American city, so that, when railroads were built, and superseded canals 
as carriers of freight, the city had an advantage over all competitors 
which enabled it to retain its leadership as the financial and commercial 
capital of the country. Population and wealth increased rapidly. In 
1840 somewhat over three hundred thousand people were living within 
the city limits; by i860 this number had increased to more than eight 
hundred thousand. 

While this great material prosperity was carrying the city forward, 
municipal government and politics fell into a state of great confusion. 


The government had been formed for a small town; it was entirely in- 
adequate to the needs of a great city. Facilities for supplying the city 
with water were insufficient; proper protection against fire was wanting; 
the police were unable to prevent crime and keep the peace, and the 
system of public education did not satisfy the demands made upon it by 
the rapidly increasing population. In the period between 1821 and 
1842 the government of the state and city had become democratic, 
but the failure to protect elections from fraud by the passage of proper 
laws for the registration of voters, and the lack of any thorough enforce- 
ment of naturalisation regulations, permitted the rise of grave political 
corruption. Professional politicians appeared, and the system of the "boss," 
although it did not reach its culmination until a later time, began its de- 
velopment. Efforts on the part of the city to rid itself of these defects 
were successful in some respects; in others they met with but indifferent 
results. The state then adopted a policy of interference, and deprived the 
city of the control of its affairs in several important particulars, a method 
which brought only dissatisfaction and failure. Leaders of public opin- 
ion saw the need of reform, but were unable to devise any adequate rem- 
edy for existing evils. The city had developed vast resources of wealth 
and had increased greatly in population; it had not yet learned to protect 
itself or to use its own powers, and through its blundering mistakes 
brought many troubles upon itself. 

Without question, the most important improvement made in New 
York during the period was the construction of the Croton Aqueduct 
and the introduction thereby of an abundance of pure water. From 
early times. New York's water supply had been insufficient in quantity 
and poor in quality. The only source immediately available was found 
in the wells and natural springs of the island, and, as population increased, 
these became contaminated and unwholesome. It is true that the Man- 
hattan Company had been chartered in 1799 with the avowed purpose 
of supplying the city with pure water, but, although it built a reser- 
voir and laid pipes, it never furnished more than a part of the city with 
water, and, by 1837, the quality of such as it did provide had become 
inferior to that afforded by the street pumps. As a matter of fact, the 
chief interest of the Manhattan Company had always been its banking 
business. As for the numerous wells, which, with their pumps, were to 
be found at street corners throughout the city, and furnished the poor 
who lived in their neighbourhood with drinking water, the water which 


came from those south of Spring and i 3th Streets was generally con- 
sidered impure and injurious. In the other parts of the city, it was but 
indifferently good, and everywhere its quality was deteriorating each 
year. Those who could afford it usually purchased their drinking-water 
from the proprietors of carts and drays who brought to their doors hogs- 
heads of pure water from wells and springs in the upper wards of the 
city. For washing, rain-water was generally used, most of the houses 
being provided with cisterns. 

Evidences of the need of a better supply of water were apparent in 
the frequent epidemics of disease and in the numerous fires that ravaged 
the city. Yellow fever appeared in 1795, 1798, and 1801. In 1805 
it was said to have caused the death or removal from the city of more 
than twenty-five thousand persons. Fever appeared again in 1819, 
1822, and 1823. In 1832 Asiatic cholera visited the city, and more 
than three thousand persons succumbed between July 7th and October 
2oth;['] again in 1834, cholera was epidemic. 

The second circumstance that showed conclusively the city's need of a 
more abundant water supply was the occurrence of fires, which had be- 
come notoriously frequent. This may have been partly due to the fact 
that the houses were built largely of wood, but undoubtedly the lack 
of water to extinguish the incipient blaze contributed greatly to the 
seriousness of many a conflagration. Terrible fires ravaged the city in 
1776 and in 1778. In 181 1 a fire destroyed one hundred buildings. 
The value of property lost by fire in 1828 was estimated at six hundred 
thousand dollars. In 1835 occurred one of the most disastrous fires 
of all, when seventeen blocks were burned. Three years later, fifty 
buildings were destroyed in one fire. With each successive disaster, 
whether of fire or disease, the demand for better and more abundant 
water became more insistent, until finally the city government was forced 
to take steps to meet the exigencies of the situation. 

Many and various were the plans proposed for bringing water to New 
York. On December 17, 1798, a committee, created to investigate the 
subject, had reported in favour of appointing an engineer to look into the 
feasibility of bringing water from Bronx River. The report was ac- 
cepted, and an engineer was appointed, who in the following March 
announced his approval of this plan. It appears that at this time most 
of the people of the city preferred the Collect to Bronx River as the 

['] Cholera appeared in the city even after the Croton Aqueduct was completed, notably in 1849, when 
it carried off five thousand persons. 


source from which water for the city should be drawn. ['] At this 
juncture the Manhattan Company was organised, largely through the 
influence of Aaron Burr, and to it, a private company, was entrusted the 
work of supplying the city with water. 

Although it soon became apparent that the Manhattan Company's 
facilities were entirely inadequate to the city's needs, no further attempt 
to secure pure water seems to have been made by the city authorities 
until 1804. In that year, while De Witt Clinton was mayor, a com- 
mittee was appointed to investigate the matter, and particularly to confer 
with the Manhattan Company as to the terms on which it would cede 
to the Corporation its works and the privilege of supplying the city with 
water. Nothing seems to have come of this. In 1 8 1 6 the matter was 
taken up again, but again without result. Similar suggestions were made, 
and various plans were proposed, in 18 19 and in 182 1. In 1822 a com- 
pany was formed to bring water in an open canal from the Housatonic 
River. In 1825 another company, the New York Water Works, was 
organised to supply the city with pure and wholesome water. In 1827 
the New York Well Company was incorporated with the purpose of 
furnishing the city with water from wells that were to be sunk in the 
most elevated places on the island. All of these schemes came to 
nothing. The great obstacle to the city's undertaking the construction of 
its own water system seems to have been the difficulty of securing the 
necessary money. 

It was not until 1831 that any real advance towards supplying the city 
with water was made. In December of that year. Alderman Samuel 
Stevens, reporting in behalf of the Committee on Fire and Water of the 
Board of Aldermen, urged that Bronx River be selected as the source of 
supply, and that a board of commissioners be appointed and paid to under- 
take the building of the necessary works. The report concluded with 
the draft of a bill embodying the committee's views, and asking authority 
to borrow two million dollars to carry them out. In January, 1832, 
the Common Council approved the report and the accompanying draft. 
The bill was sent to the Legislature, which, however, failed to approve 
the measure, because it did not wish to authorise the raising of such a 

['] By the Bronx River plan, it was proposed that Big and Little Rye Ponds, the source of Bronx 
River, be converted into reservoirs by building a dam; that the water be brought in an open canal to the 
Harlem River, which was to be crossed by means of a cast-iron conduit, two feet in diameter. The water 
was then to be introduced into a series of reservoirs; in one it was to be filtered; from another it was to 
be distributed to the various parts of the city. 


sum of money until it should be convinced that the object in view could 
be accomplished by the proposed expenditure. 

The city took the next step in November, 1832, w^hen the Joint Com- 
mittee on Fire and Water of the Common Council sent De Witt Clinton 
to examine the practicability of bringing water from Croton River. 
Clinton made his report on December 2 2d. At the same time an inves- 
tigation of the Bronx River plan was made. The Common Council 
thereupon proposed another bill, which was sent to the Legislature. 
This authorised the appointment of commissioners who should be given 
full power to examine plans, make surveys, estimate the probable 
expense, and generally do whatever in their judgment might be necessary 
to reach the right conclusion. On February 26, 1833, the Legislature 
passed this act. The commissioners were to report, within a year, the 
result of their deliberations to both Common Council and Legislature, 
and the city was to defray all reasonable expenses. The Governor, with 
the consent of the Senate, thereupon appointed Stephen Allen, B. M. 
Brown, S. Dusenberry, S. Alley, and W. W. Fox commissioners, and, 
on June 5th, the Common Council appropriated five thousand dollars to 
enable them to carry out their work. 

The commissioners chose Major David B. Douglas, formerly pro- 
fessor of engineering at the Military Academy at West Point, to make 
a survey and examine the various routes proposed. He performed this 
task during the following summer, and made a report to the commis- 
sioners in November, strongly advocating the use of Croton water. The 
plan of construction recommended was a continuous tunnel of masonry. 
This was considered more economical and durable than iron pipes, and 
the idea of an open canal was entirely repudiated. 

In 1834 the Common Council purchased from the Manhattan Com- 
pany its equipment and all rights and privileges relative to supplying the 
city with pure water. On May 2, 1834, the Legislature, at the request 
of the Common Council, passed an act authorising the reappointment 
of commissioners to have charge of the building of the aqueduct, and of 
raising a loan of two and a half million dollars by the sale of stock, which 
was to be known as "The Water Stock of the City of New York," and 
was to bear interest at the rate of five per cent. The Governor and 
Senate thereupon reappointed the same commissioners, who, in Feb- 
ruary, 1835, reported to the Common Council in favour of the proposed 
Croton Aqueduct. This report was approved by the joint committee 


of the Common Council, and it was decided to let the voters of the city 
express their opinion on the subject at the next charter election. The 
result of the poll held on the 14th, 15th, and i6th of the following 
April was 17,330 votes for the project and 5,963 against it. The only 
wards that gave a majority against it were the Ninth, Tenth, and Thir- 
teenth. On the seventh of May following, the Corporation passed an 
ordinance instructing the commissioners to proceed with the work, and 
authorising a loan of two and a half million dollars to defray its cost. 

Major Douglas was appointed Chief Engineer, and he continued in 
charge until October, 1836, when he was succeeded by John B. Jervis. 
In April, 1837, contracts for the construction were let, and work was 
commenced in May. On June 22, 1842, so much of the undertaking 
had been completed that the water from Croton Lake was allowed to 
flow into the aqueduct, and, on August 8th, the commissioners were able 
to report that Croton water had reached New York and was flowing in 
its streets. The receiving reservoir at Yorkville was ready for the water 
on June 27th, and the distributing reservoir at Murray Hill on July 4th. 
The length of the aqueduct, from the Croton dam to the Harlem River, 
was thirty-two and eighty-eight hundredths miles. It was carried over 
the Harlem River on a bridge one hundred and fourteen feet above 
the river bed and a little over a quarter of a mile long. The length of 
the aqueduct from the Croton dam to the distributing reservoir at Fifth 
Avenue and 42d Street was slightly more than forty and a half miles; 
the daily flow of water about thirty-five million gallons, and the total 
cost of the aqueduct, including the reservoirs and distributing pipes on 
Manhattan Island, about twelve and a half million dollars. 

New York was justly proud of the work, and, on October 14, 1842, 
held a celebration in honour of its successful completion, to which were 
invited President Tyler, ex-Presidents John Quincy Adams and Martin 
Van Buren, the Governor, William H. Seward, the mayors of neigh- 
bouring cities, and other dignitaries. The ceremonies of the day opened 
at half past nine o'clock with the presentation of a banner by the Mayor 
to the New York Fire Department. At ten o'clock, a grand procession 
composed of officials and their guests, the Fire Department, and various 
military and civil organisations, started from the Battery and marched 
to the Park and City Hall, in front of which a fountain threw a jet of 
water fifty feet into the air, and where an address was made by Samuel 
Stevens, president of the Board of State Water Commissioners, who, 


thereupon, delivered the custody of the Croton waterworks to the water 
commissioners of the Corporation. This was followed by a reply from 
John L. Lawrence, president of the Croton Aqueduct Board, and the 
singing of an ode, written for the occasion by George P. Morris. The 
ceremonies closed with nine cheers given by the throng. It is hard to 
overestimate the beneficial results derived from the construction of the 
Croton waterworks and aqueduct. Conditions of health and sanitation 
were immeasurably improved, the value of real estate was increased, and 
the danger from fires was greatly reduced. 

Few departments of public activity in a democratic community are 
so important as its system of public education. Since 1805, when the 
Free School Society was organised, New York had given free instruction 
to the children of such persons as did not belong to a religious organisa- 
tion maintaining a school, and to those whose parents could not afford to 
send them to a private school. When the public school system of the state 
was organised in 181 2, the Free School Society of New York City, al- 
though not incorporated in the state system, was granted a share in the 
state funds, but was allowed to manage its affairs in its own way, with- 
out interference from the state. ["] In 1826 the name of the Free School 
Society was changed to the Public School Society, and it was permitted 
to receive not only pupils who paid no tuition, as had been the case in 
the past, but also pupils whose parents paid a small fee for their instruc- 
tion. At the same time the cost of membership in the society was re- 
duced from fifty to ten dollars in an effort to elicit a more general 
participation of citizens in school affairs. Several new schools were 
opened in rapid succession, and extensive additions were made to the 
courses of study. The admission of paying pupils, however, did not prove 
satisfactory. It was found that a feeling of caste distinction developed 
between the paying and non-paying pupils; many parents were unwill- 
ing to pay, or paid irregularly, and the number of pupils in the society's 
schools decreased. 

In 1828, following the example of the recently organised Infant 
School Society, which had opened a successful school for young children 
in Canal Street, the Public School Society established an infant depart- 
ment in one of its schools, and planned to make a similar division in all 
of them. A few years later, sixty or more primary schools were opened. 
The next step was a proposal to abolish the pay system, since it had 

['] In 1815 the Free School Society received $3,708.14 as its share in the first apportionment of the 
state Common School Fund. 


proved unsatisfactory, and to support the schools entirely by means of 
the fund received from the state and by a general tax levied on property 
within the city. This change was finally made; but in the meantime 
an old controversy over the right of sectarian schools to share in the 
school fund had reappeared. 

As early as 181 3, the state Legislature had, by law, allowed religious 
societies maintaining charitable schools to share in the school funds 
received from the state by the City and County of New York. This 
participation led to a prolonged controversy over the question, and a 
re-arrangement, in 1824, by which the Common Council was given 
power to designate, once in three years, the schools that should receive 
public money. The Common Council settled the question for the time 
being by passing an ordinance which directed distribution to be made to 
the Free School Society, the Mechanics' Society, the Orphan Asylum 
Society, and the trustees of the African schools, thus refusing aid to all 
sectarian schools. It was thought that the religious question was now 
permanently settled. This, however, was not the case. Continued 
immigration had brought large numbers of Roman Catholics to the 
city, and in 1831 they re-opened the question by presenting to the 
Common Council a request from the Roman Catholic Benevolent 
Society that their orphan asylum be allowed to share in the school fund. 
The trustees of the Public School Society opposed the application, but 
the Common Council finally granted the request. 

The controversy appeared again early in 1840, when the trustees of 
the Catholic Free Schools applied to the Common Council for a pro- 
portionate share in the school moneys. The Public School Society 
remonstrated, and the application was denied. The Catholics complained 
that they were virtually excluded from all share in common school edu- 
cation, inasmuch as the schools, although nominally non-sectarian, were 
actually Protestant, since the Protestant version of the Bible was read in 
them, and books were used containing statements derogatory to the 
Catholic Church and to Catholics. As a result of this complaint, the 
books used in the schools were carefully examined, and all expressions to 
which objection could justly be made were removed. 

Thereupon, the Catholics, disappointed in their application to the 
Common Council for a share of the school fund, carried their complaints 
to the state Legislature, where the matter was taken up in 1841. Their 
opponents in the city then founded the Democratic American Association, 


nominated Samuel F. B. Morse for mayor, and appealed to the voters. 
Morse was badly beaten at the spring election. Immediately thereafter, 
the American Protestant Union was formed, with Morse as president. 
As the autumn elections approached, the Democrats put on their ticket so 
many friends of the Public School Society that the party was denounced 
by a Catholic mass meeting. The Whigs were also hostile to the 
Catholics, and forced one of their supporters off the ticket. Thereupon, 
Bishop Hughes, of the diocese of New York, brought about the naming 
of a third ticket by a Catholic mass meeting held at Carroll Hall. The 
result of the election was a victory for the Whigs. 

By this time the controversy had become so important a question of 
state policy that Governor William H. Seward, in his annual address to 
the Legislature at its opening session in 1842, took up the matter. He 
proposed that the common school system of the state be extended so as 
to include the City of New York, and that the common schools be 
placed under the control of a board to be composed of commissioners 
elected by the people. This board should apportion the school moneys 
among all the schools — including those already existing — which were to 
be organised and conducted in conformity with its general regulations and 
the laws of the state. This recommendation of the Governor was thor- 
oughly displeasing to a large number of the people of the city, and had 
it not included a proposal to continue the schools of the Public School 
Society, which were deservedly popular, it is doubtful if the proposal 
would have been adopted. As it was, however, the Legislature accepted 
the Governor's suggestion, and passed a law in April, 1842, extending the 
state's public school system to the city, and placing the management of 
the public schools in the hands of inspectors, trustees, and commissioners, 
elected by the people. This act allowed the Public School Society and 
other corporations to continue their schools, and to share in the public 
funds in proportion to the number of their pupils, but prohibited such 
participation to any school teaching or practising any sectarian doctrine. 

Under the law of April, 1842, two commissioners, two inspectors, and 
five trustees of common schools were elected in each of the city wards. 
The commissioners constituted the Board of Education for the City of 
New York. Each ward was considered a separate town, in so far as the 
organisation of the schools was concerned; and commissioners, inspectors, 
and trustees elected in a ward had the same powers and duties as devolved 
upon these officers in the other towns of the state. It was not until 1843 


that the first ward school was opened. In that year the local officers built 
seven schools, and established three in hired premises; in 1844, three 
others were built; in 1845, two; and in 1846, one. Before the begin- 
ning of 1848 twenty-four schools had been organised in the several wards. 

At first the relations between the Board of Education and the Public 
School Society were hostile. Each tried to outdo the other; yet there is 
little doubt that the continued reaction of one upon the other in many 
particulars improved both. The ward schools, however, had a distinct 
advantage over those of the society, by being based upon a direct and 
immediate appeal to the people, since their officers were all elected; and 
gradually they were able to outstrip their rivals. The establishment of 
the Free Academy, in 1847, which was started lor the purpose of extend- 
ing the benefits of higher education gratuitously to those who had been 
pupils in the ward and public schools, and was placed under the control 
of the Board of Education, gave further prestige to the latter, and by 
1851 the number of pupils in the ward schools exceeded those in the 
schools belonging to the society. Two years later the two organisations 
were united. The Public School Society transferred its seventeen schools 
and other property, worth nearly half a million dollars, to the city. 
From its trustees, fifteen commissioners were appointed, to hold office 
through 1854, and in each ward where there had been a school of the 
society it was given proper representation among the trustees. In 1853 
the Public School Society was voluntarily dissolved. After 1856 control 
of the schools was entirely in the hands of the Board of Education. 

Another department of municipal administration that had long been 
inadequate to the needs of the city, and had become the cause of general 
dissatisfaction, was the police system. As early as 1833, Mayor Lee had 
declared that the number of watchmen was insufficient. Some beats 
were so long that it took a man two hours to patrol them. Although 
the population had increased a hundred per cent, the number of watch- 
men, during the same period, had been increased only fifteen or twenty 
per cent. A committee of the Board of Aldermen, appointed to investi- 
gate conditions in the police system, reported in 1844: 

Witness the lawless bands of ruffians that stroll about our city, the gam- 
blers, pickpockets, burglars, incendiaries, assassins, and a numerous host of 
their abettors in crime, that go unwhipt of justice, and we find indeed that 
it is true that something should be done to give more efficiency to our laws 
and protection to our unoffending citizens! 


The Watch Department, of which such complaint was made, con- 
sisted of one hundred marshals appointed by the Mayor, twelve hundred 
night watchmen, twelve captains, twenty-four assistant captains, nine day 
police officers, fifty Sunday officers, one hundred and fifty other function- 
aries, and about three hundred officers appointed specially to attend the 
polls at elections. The marshals were paid by fees, and consequently 
were often more interested in instigating crime than preventing it. The 
night-watchmen, naturally, were employed only at night, one half of 
them being on duty at a time. They were usually men who were 
engaged regularly in other occupations during the day. Consequently, 
when they went on duty they were often tired and sleepy, and could 
hardly be blamed for a certain reluctance to make arrests, since, if they did 
so, they had to leave their business the next day to appear in court as 
complainant or witness. They had no training in the prevention of 
crime, and they had no certainty of continuance in the service. Further- 
more, if a sudden exigency arose in the daytime, there were only a few 
men who could be called upon to serve as extra policemen. 

On May 7, 1844, the state Legislature passed an act by which the 
Common Council of the city was empowered to abolish the old Watch 
Department, with the offices of marshals, street inspectors, health war- 
dens, fire wardens, dock-masters, lamp-lighters, bell-ringers, day police 
officers, Sunday officers, and inspectors, and to organise in its place a day 
and night police, which should include captains, assistant captains, and 
policemen to the number of not more than eight hundred. The act 
provided also for the division of the city into two or more police dis- 
tricts, in each of which there was to be a police court. Each ward was 
to become a patrol district, with one captain, two assistant captains, and 
as many policemen as the Common Council might assign to it. At the 
head of the entire department there was to be a chief of police, appointed 
by the Mayor with the approval of the Common Council. The cap- 
tains, assistant captains, and policemen were to be appointed for each 
ward by the Mayor, upon nomination by the Alderman, Assistant Alder- 
man, and Assessors of the ward. The police were to be under obliga- 
tion to guard and watch the city day and night, to protect the polls at 
elections, light the street lamps, sound alarms, and act as street inspectors, 
health and fire wardens, dock masters, and inspectors of public convey- 
ances. [•] It was provided that the act should become effective on re- 

['] It was, however, found impracticable to have them light lamps and ring fire alarms. 


ceiving the approval of the Mayor and the Common Council. These 
functionaries, however, for some time after its passage, refused to give 
the act their sanction. 

On November 27, 1844, the Board of Aldermen, ignoring this meas- 
ure passed by the Legislature, adopted an ordinance establishing a munici- 
pal police or night and day watch. The measure empowered the Mayor 
to nominate and the Common Council to appoint two hundred men from 
the Watch Department or elsewhere, and a superintendent, who should 
have command of the force. Provision was made for eight police sta- 
tions, and one captain or one assistant captain was to be on duty at each 
station night and day. The Mayor was empowered to choose a dis- 
tinguishing badge or dress for the force, and to prescribe rules and reg- 
ulations. This act did not alter the Old Watch Department, except as 
it made necessary changes in the watch posts and beats to conform to the 
diminution of that force by transfers into the municipal police. 

Mayor James Harper, elected on the Native American party's ticket 
in 1 844, accordingly organised a force of two hundred men, and pre- 
scribed a uniform of dark blue cloth, with the letters M. P. on the stand- 
ing collar of the coat. This first serious attempt to put the police force 
into uniform did not succeed very well, for the men objected, and de- 
clared that as American citizens they were born free and equal, and 
should not wear the livery of servants. The experiment of municipal 
police did not prove successful, and the following year the Common 
Council repealed their ordinance of November 27th, removed all per- 
sons holding office or appointment under it, and, in the spring of 1845, 
adopted the act passed by the state Legislature on May 7, 1844. 

By ordinance passed June 11, 1845, the Common Council divided 
the city into three districts, and established in each a police court and 
office. The court of the first district was held in the Halls of Justice, 
that of the second in Jefferson Market, and that of the third in Essex 
Market. The first chief of police under the new system was George 
W. Matsell, who was appointed June 19, 1845. The work of organ- 
ising the force went on rather slowly, but by the middle of July most 
of the eight hundred men had been appointed. The city watch was 
disbanded on July i 8th, and the city marshals were dismissed on July 3 ist. 
On the first day of August, the new law went into full operation. The 
police were not uniformed, but wore a star-shaped badge on the left breast. 
In 1846 the rank of sergeant was created, and a patrol district was estab- 


lished in each ward, where a police station house suitable for the use of 
the patrol was maintained. 

The new Police Department was an improvement over the old Watch 
Department, but it did not meet with the full approval of the public. In 
I 847 Mayor William V. Brady proposed its discontinuance, on the ground 
that it was expensive and inefficient, and a return to the old Watch De- 
partment. This proposal, however, was not accepted. The next year, 
I 848, Mayor Havemeyer, in his annual message, commented upon the 
superior efficiency of the new system, and declared that since its installa- 
tion the city had been free from serious riots, and that the number of 
crimes committed had decreased. 

When the city charter was again revised, in 1853, further changes 
were made in the Police Department. At that time a board of com- 
missioners was created, composed of the Mayor, the Recorder, and the 
City Judge, to whom the appointment of policemen and their officers 
was entrusted. Men so appointed held their positions during good be- 
haviour, and could be removed only for cause. At the same time a uni- 
form, consisting of a blue cloth coat with brass buttons, grey trousers, and 
blue cap, was adopted, and, after some opposition had been overcome, the 
order that it be worn was actually enforced. The chief benefit derived 
from this change in the manner of appointing policemen was that, as a 
consequence of it, the department was thereafter further removed from 
political and sectional influence, and the men became more zealous and 
faithful. Heretofore, a man's reappointment depended upon his con- 
nection with the dominant political clique in his ward: consequently, he 
was often an interested partisan at elections instead of a disinterested 
watcher at the polls. Gradually, a stricter discipline was enforced among 
the men, and there was a marked improvement in the efficiency of the de- 
partment, but, on the whole, the police force was still inadequate to the 
duties it was expected to perform, and did not give general satisfaction. 

During the period from 1842 to the Civil War, the chief source of 
New York's wealth and power was her commerce. The Erie Canal had 
been an important factor in enabling her to become the chief commercial 
centre of the United States, and, as railroads began to take the place of 
canals. New York was able to attract to herself the great trunk lines that 
connected the Atlantic seaboard with the West. The completion of the 
Boston and Albany Railroad, in 1842, made New York merchants fear 
lest they should lose the western trade, and they began to clamour for the 


completion of the Erie Railroad. Ward meetings were held, subscrip- 
tions to the stock were freely made, and citizens were urged to raise a 
million dollars. Other railroads were being constructed, and by 1843 a 
chain of seven railroads stretched from Albany to Buffalo. From Albany 
to New York traffic came by way of the Hudson River. In 1853 these 
roads were consolidated under the name of the New York Central Rail- 
road. In September, i 849, the Hudson River Railroad was opened to 
public travel from New York to Peekskill; and on the following De- 
cember 3 1 St the entire line from New York to Poughkeepsie was in 
use. The first trunk line to reach the city and to exert a marked 
influence on its commerce and prosperity was the Erie Railroad, which 
was opened from New York to Binghamton in 1 848, and to Dun- 
kirk on Lake Erie in 1851. At first railroads were little used for the 
transportation of freight. They were more expensive than canals, but 
they had the advantage of being free to follow any direction that the 
interests of trade might direct, and, as improvements were made and costs 
reduced, they gradually became the chief freight carriers. The dec- 
ade between 1850 and i860 witnessed the beginning of the com- 
petition of the trunk-line railways with the canals for the through 
traffic between the East and West. The effect on the trade of New 
York was marked. New York merchants began to consign their wares 
directly to merchants in cities of the central states. The trade of the 
North-west now came directly to New York. St. Louis had formerly 
bought of New Orleans; now it bought directly of New York. Illinois 
had bought of St. Louis; now it made its purchases on the Atlantic 

Other improvements in the facilities for carrying on trade were made at 
this time. In 1839, William Francis Harnden established the first express 
service in this country — between New York and Boston — a single carpet- 
bag sufficing for some time to contain the packages entrusted to his care. 
His business prospered, and soon it was extended to Philadelphia, Albany, 
and Baltimore. His success encouraged others to enter the field. In i 840, 
Alvin Adams opened an express line between Boston and New York, and, 
by the close of i 843, it was possible to send express packages from Boston 
as far west as St. Louis, as far south as New Orleans, and, by means of 
connecting steamships, across the ocean to England and the Continent. 

The high cost of letter postage was a popular grievance, and private 
companies were soon formed to carry letters at a more moderate rate. 


In 1845, Congress took steps to improve the situation by passing an act 
under which letters weighing not more than half an ounce might be 
sent for five cents to any place within a distance of three hundred miles. 
Another important and far-reaching contribution to facilities of trans- 
portation and communication was made, in i 844, through Samuel F. B. 
Morse's development of the electric telegraph. ['] Even before the first 
telegraph line was in operation, Morse had invented a submarine telegraph 
system. In 1842 a section of cable was laid between Governors Island 
and the Battery, but a boat anchored over the spot and inadvertently cut 
the cable, so that the attempt ended in failure. The first successful 
Atlantic cable was laid in 1858, but communication lasted only a few 
months. The cable was not permanently established until 1866. 

Facilities for trans-oceanic commerce had been greatly improved since 
the establishment of the first line of packets from New York to Liver- 
pool, in I 8 1 6, and other lines had been put into operation, not only to 
British ports, but to Havre, the West Indies, South America, and the ports 
along the southern coast of the United States. American merchant ton- 
nage increased greatly during this period (1842—60), and at its close, if 
we include that engaged in domestic trade, comprised not far from one- 
third of the total tonnage of the world. New York City controlled a 
large part of the country's trade, both domestic and foreign. In 1842, 
four hundred and seventeen commercial and nine hundred and eighteen 
commission houses, with a capital of nearly forty-six million dollars, 
were engaged in the foreign trade alone. In i860. New York handled 
seventy per cent of the entire import trade of the country, an aggregate 
of two hundred and forty-eight million dollars. 

This was the day of the greatest glory of the American ship. 
American ship-builders carried the art of constructing wooden ships to 
a high point of development, and American officers and American 
crews enjoyed an international reputation for efficiency. With the 
development of the clipper ship, largely through the ability of John W. 
Griffiths, a naval architect of New York, American shipping reached 
its zenith. In 1841 Griffiths exhibited at the American Institute the 
model of a ship embodying his ideas, and in 1843 William H. Aspin- 
wall ordered a ship of seven hundred and fifty tons built after Griffiths' 
designs. This was the "Rainbow," which made her maiden voyage 
to Canton and return in six months and fourteen days and in a later voy- 

['] The first telegraph line in the United States was opened in 1844, between Washington and Balti- 
more. The first line in operation in New York City was established in the following year. 


age broke the record both for the voyage out and for the return. 
The clipper ship was designed to meet the demands of the trade with 
China, but after the discovery of gold in California, in i 848, had in- 
creased the demand for swift ships to make the voyage to San Fran- 
cisco, it was used in that trade also. For many years the "clipper" 
was also the principal mail and passenger carrier in the Atlantic trade. 

But the day of the wooden sailing ship was soon to wane, and with 
its decline passed the glory of New York's merchant marine. Already, 
in 1838, before the first clipper was built, the "Sirius," the first vessel 
known to have crossed the Atlantic under steam power alone, [■] had 
entered New York Harbour, and thus steamship connection between 
New York and Europe was permanently established. The "Great 
Western," which arrived a few hours after the "Sirius," was owned and 
operated by the Great Western Railway interests, while the "Sirius" had 
been chartered for the voyage by the British and American Steam Navi- 
gation Company, which, in 1839, put its own steamship, the "British 
Queen," especially designed for ocean traffic, into service between Ports- 
mouth and New York. In 1 840, the Cunard Line, a company sub- 
sidised in the preceding year by the British government to maintain a 
fortnightly mail service between Liverpool and Boston by way of Hali- 
fax, began operations. Its first vessel, the "Britannia," left Liverpool on 
July 4, I 840. Shortly afterwards, the Royal Mail Steam Packet Com- 
pany was organised to carry the mails to the southern part of the United 
States, the West Indies, and other southern points. 

The success of British steamships naturally aroused Americans to un- 
dertake similar enterprises. Several obstacles stood in the way of their 
success. Capital was very scarce, and the vast extent of inland and coast 
waters offered greater inducements to capitalists. In i 846, however, Ed- 
ward Mills of New York agreed to run a steam-packet line from New 
York to Southampton and Bremen. In consideration for carrying the 
mails, he was to receive from the government an annual subsidy of two 
hundred thousand dollars. When the Cunard Company learned of this 
undertaking, it promptly extended the service which it was already 
maintaining to Boston, by sending packets regularly to New York, 
Mills and his associates were incorporated May 8, 1 846, as the Ocean 

['] In 1833, the "Royal William," a steamboat owned in part by Samuel Cunard, crossed the Atlantic 
from Pictou, Nova Scotia, to the Isle of Wight; but, although the claim has been made that this vessel 
was operated by steam power only, there seems to be considerable doubt as to whether a part of the voy- 
age was not made under sail. 


Steam Navigation Company, and their first ship, the "Washington," 
sailed for Southampton and Bremen on June i, 1847. A second line, 
known as the Collins Line, was subsidised by the American government 
in I 847, and in 1 850 began sending ships to Liverpool. The Americans 
were handicapped by lack of experience in designing ocean-going steam- 
ships, but the ships were operated with a fair degree of success for a 
number of years. In the end, however, they lost their trade to more 
efficient competitors working under more favourable conditions. By 
1845, ^^^^ steamships propelled by screws had been so far developed 
that ships of that type were making the voyage across the Atlantic to 
New York, and with their development the old "side wheelers" were 
gradually discarded, and wooden sailing-ships were forced out of their 
position of leadership, although the side-wheel steamships continued to 
be used in the trans- Atlantic mercantile service until about 1875. As a 
result of this change from wood to iron and from sails to steam the 
American merchant marine gradually declined. ['] 

In addition to being the chief port in the country for the entrance of 
foreign trade, New York was also the centre of a vast amount of coast- 
wise traffic. Every port along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts traded with 
New York, sending thither commodities to be sold to near and distant 
consumers, and securing in return a large variety of imported and 
domestic goods. Great quantities of cotton came from the South to be 
sold to the spinners of New England, New York, and Pennsylvania, or 
to be exported to Europe. A large part of the farm produce which 
poured into New York by way of the Erie Canal was shipped coastwise 
to New England and to the cotton states, and the manufactured wares 
of all the northern states were collected on the wharves of Manhattan 
Island and reshipped to dozens of domestic markets from Maine to 

['] The first merchant ship built of iron and driven by a screw propeller was the "Great Britain," 
which was built in 1843, and entered the trans-Atlantic service in 1844. The success of this ship had a 
marked influence on the development of the world's merchant marine; but the general introduction of the 
screw propeller was rather slow, and it was not until after 1850 that managers of large ocean lines became 
convinced that the screw was preferable to the paddle-wheel. The Inman Line was operating iron screw 
packets between Liverpool and Philadelphia by the end of 1850, and the Allan Line had similar ships in 
service in 1854. The Cunard Line did not build its first iron steamer, the "Persia," until 1855, nor its first 
iron screw steamer, the "China," until 1862, in which year also, it launched its last paddle-wheel steamer, 
the "Scotia," which made her final voyage from New York to Liverpool in 1872, and was the last "side- 
wheeler" in the New York-trans-Atlantic service. Americans were slower than Europeans to adopt either 
the iron ship or the screw propeller, for their natural resources gave them important advantages in building 
wooden ships, while the undeveloped condition of the metal industries in America for many years proved 
a serious handicap in constructing ships of iron. American ship tonnage engaged in foreign trade reached 
its highest point in i860, and dropped rapidly after that date. The Civil War was an important contribut- 
ing factor in the decline of the American merchant marine, which never recovered from the shock which 
it received at that time. 


Louisiana. In the years from 1840 to 1850, over two-thirds of the 
imports of the nation entered the harbour of New York, and from there 
were distributed to other parts of the country. The cotton receipts of 
New York in 1850 were exceeded by those of but two other cities in 
the country, New Orleans and Mobile; and only three cities, New Or- 
leans, Mobile, and Charleston, exported more cotton than did the great 
northern seaport. 

During the decade from 1850 to i860, a large amount of the coast- 
wise traffic was diverted from the sea to the railroads; but in spite ot 
this, the coasting trade had a large growth. In i860 New York was 
importing more than the whole country had imported in 1850, and 
some of this increase went to swell the coastwise trade. In 1852 there 
were seventeen steamers engaged in regular service between New York 
and the South, and by the end of the decade the Atlantic and Pacific 
Steamship Company, and other lines, such as the Southern Steamship 
Company and the Cromwell Line, connected New York with all 
important points to the south as far as New Orleans, and with Havana, 
Aspinwall, and California. During this period, New York was pre- 
eminently a mercantile city. By her matchless shipping facilities, her 
direct water and rail connection with the West, and her superior equip- 
ment for financing both domestic and foreign trade, she had become the 
foremost commercial and financial centre of the Western World, an4 
from her trade was deriving vast wealth and power. 

New York's growth in population was quite as phenomenal as was 
her increase in wealth and commerce. In 1 840 she had about three 
hundred thousand inhabitants; in i860 the number had risen to more 
than eight hundred thousand. This growth was partly due to the 
natural increase of population and to the influx of people from other 
parts of the country, but more especially was it due to the arrival of 
great numbers of foreigners who came to America to make their homes 
and fortunes. In i 840 sixty thousand passengers arrived at the port of 
New York. We do not know what part of these were immigrants, but 
if the proportion of immigrants to other passengers at this time was 
approximately the same as it was in 1856, the first year for which we 
have the figures — and there seems to be no reason why this should 
not be assumed — it is possible to conclude that of the entire number of 
passengers arriving between 1840 and 1856, about seven out of every 
eight were immigrants. In i 847 there were over one hundred and forty- 


five thousand arrivals in the city, in 1849 "^ore than two hundred thou- 
sand, [>] and in 1852 more than three hundred thousand. The entire 
number of arrivals between 1840 and 1856 was over three millions. 
After 1856 there was a falling off: the largest number coming in any 
one year thereafter until i860 was one hundred and eighty-eight thou- 
sand two hundred and forty-three, which number landed at New York 
in 1857. It is impossible to say how many of these people settled per- 
manently in New York, but it is certain that the number formed a large 
proportion of the whole. 

They came almost entirely from northern Europe, and were for the 
most part British, Irish, or German. Most of them were poor. In fact, 
it was often charged, and there seems to be no doubt of the truth of 
the claim, that many British parishes supplied their paupers with funds 
to enable them to reach America. Certain it is that a large proportion 
of the insane, the paupers, and the criminals, in the care of the New 
York Almshouse Department, were foreigners. In 1844, before the 
great wave of immigration set in, a committee of the Board of Aldermen 
appointed to investigate conditions among the two thousand seven hun- 
dred and ninety inmates of the Almshouse, the Lunatic Asylum, and the 
Penitentiary, reported that one thousand eight hundred and eighty-one, 
or more than two-thirds, were foreigners, and that New York was being 
directly taxed to the amount of one hundred and fifty thousand dollars a 
year for the support of alien paupers and vagrants. The social effect of 
the coming of these immigrants was to deluge the city with vice, crime, 
and misery. They greatly increased New York's disorder; and numerous 
riots, due to their differences in religion and nationality, disturbed the 
municipality from 1830 to 1870. 

The city also suffered a serious political disadvantage from this large 
influx of immigrants. The new arrivals were ignorant and slow to 
develop that feeling of responsibility for the efficiency of government so 
necessary to the successful operation of a democratic regime. In the 
case of the Irish, they came with a bitter experience of governmental 
oppression, which naturally made them opponents of law and order. 
They came to a community, too, where the democratic system of govern- 
ment was so recently organised that safeguards to prevent the abuses that 
naturally arise from such a system had not yet been devised. There was 
universal male suffrage, but there was no law requiring the registration 

['] This great number was largely due to the Irish famine and to the political unrest in other European 
states, particularly in the German states, during this period. 


of voters, and the naturalisation laws were not enforced. At the same 
time, the principle that to the political victor belong the spoils of 
office had come to be generally accepted. The result of this combination 
of circumstances was the appearance of the professional politician and the 
formation of such political organisations as Tammany Hall and Mozart 
Hall, through which this undesirable element, which has ever since 
flourished in our midst, has often been able to control the voters of the 
city to its own selfish advantage. 

In other ways, the influx of immigrants was of great advantage to the 
city, in that they furnished labour for the building of the railroads and 
the development of manufactures, and so contributed greatly to its wealth 
and prosperity. But for the time being they completely destroyed the 
homogeneousness of New York's population, and greatly increased the 
difficulty of securing good and efficient government. 

In 1842 Charles Dickens visited New York, and was the honoured 
guest at a "Boz" ball, given at the Park Theatre, and at a dinner in the 
City Harll. Everywhere he went, he received a popular ovation. His 
impressions of this visit to America were soon afterwards published, under 
the title American Notes, and reached New York early in November, 
1842, by the "Great Western." The book was eagerly received, and 
within forty-eight hours fifty thousand copies had been sold in the city. 
The impression produced upon the author's American friends and whilom 
hosts was, naturally, one of chagrin and resentment. 

In I 843 the foundation stone of the new building of Grace Church, 
at the corner of Broadway and loth Street, was laid. The church was 
completed and consecrated March 7, i 846. The third edifice of Trinity 
Church was also in course of erection at this time. The old building 
had been torn down in 1839; the corner-stone of the new church was 
laid in 1841; and the new building was consecrated May 21, 1846. 

In 1843 ^^^ New York Association for Improving the Condition of 
the Poor was organised, although it was not incorporated until 1848. 
The first president was James Brown, the banker. In 1 844 the Post 
Office was moved from the Rotunda at the north-east corner of the Park, 
where it had been since the great fire of 1835, to the Middle Dutch 
Church on Nassau Street, between Liberty and Cedar Streets, which had 
been leased by the government and fitted up for this purpose. The 
office was opened to the public on February 4, i 845, and, at the same 
time, a branch Post Office was opened at Chatham Square. 


In 1 845 the city again suffered seriously from fire. A small fire 
occurred on February 5 th, when the ofiice of the Tribune on Nassau 
Street was destroyed, and again on April 25th, when the Bowery Theatre 
was burned. On May 31st, about one hundred buildings on i8th, 19th, 
and 20th Streets near Sixth Avenue were lost. The most destructive fire 
of the year, however, occurred on July 19th, when over three hundred 
buildings were burned and thirty lives were lost. The heart of the 
section which had been burned in 1835 was again swept by this fire, 
and many of the fine buildings that had been built since the preceding 
disaster were destroyed. The fire occurred at a time when there was a 
plentiful supply of water and little wind, and it would undoubtedly have 
been speedily extinguished had it not been for the explosion of a quantity 
of saltpetre stored in a building in New Street. The force of the ex- 
plosion was so great as to overthrow a number of the neighbouring 
buildings, killing several firemen and temporarily paralysing the Fire 
Department. Over six million dollars' worth of property was destroyed, 
and many merchants and insurance companies were seriously crippled. 
The district was soon rebuilt, however, and three weeks after the fire 
Philip Hone wrote in his Diary that fine stores were already rising amidst 
smouldering ruins, that were still too hot to be removed by the naked 
hands of the workmen. 

In 1845 A. T. Stewart bought Washington Hall, at the corner of 
Broadway and Reade Streets, and built there a "spacious and magnificent 
dry-goods store," which is still standing, although now used for other 
purposes. In 1 846 the first telegraph line between New York and 
Philadelphia was opened for public use. The New York office was at 
No. 10 Wall Street. Another interesting development was made in this 
year when Robert H. Morris, the Postmaster of New York, instituted 
the sale of envelopes with the postage (five cents on every "single" letter 
going a distance of less than three hundred miles) prepaid. This did 
not work well, and he then inaugurated the use of postage stamps. ['] 
This was his own personal enterprise, but his example was followed by 
the postmasters of other towns. In 1847 Congress authorised the Post- 
master-General to have five and ten cent stamps prepared and issued to 
any deputy postmaster who might apply for them, and provided that 
thereafter no stamps were to be used except those received from the 

['] The postage stamp had been first introduced, in Great Britain, in May, 1840. 


In 1845 ^^^ population of the city exceeded three hundred and sev- 
enty thousand, an increase of more than fifty thousand since i 840. The 
city was still divided into seventeen wards, and it was not until February 
19, 1846, that an act passed the Legislature by which the Eighteenth 
Ward was created. The city proper lay below 14th Street. Broadway 
from the Battery to Canal Street was devoted very largely to business; 
above this point there were many solid blocks of private dwellings, which 
also had begun to crowd the adjacent streets and avenues as far up as 
Madison Square. To the east of the City Hall lay the section long 
unfavourably known as the Five Points. The ground was low and had 
once been marshy, and its cheapness had induced the poorer class of 
inhabitants to settle there. In 1846 it was in the very heart of the city, 
and was the common haunt of the poor Irish and negro population. 
Washington Square had become one of the most desirable places of 
residence in town, and was surrounded on three sides by spacious and 
dignified private houses, some of the finest of which still remain, north 
of the park, while on the east side stood the imposing building of New 
York University. 

By 1848 some handsome residences had been built farther uptown, 
especially on Union and Madison Squares, and on Fifth Avenue between 
14th and 23d Streets, and a very few as far north as Murray Hill. 
Madison Avenue stopped at 42d Street, the last houses on this avenue 
being just above 27th Street. By the summer of 1854 they had crept 
up to 37th Street, the block front on the east side of the avenue between 
36th and 37th Streets having been improved in that year by the erection 
of three large brownstone houses, surrounded by gardens, and having 
private stables in their rear. These houses belonged, respectively, to 
Mr. Isaac N. Phelps, Mr. George D. Phelps, and Mr. John J. Phelps. 
The two corner houses are still standing, and are owned and occupied by 
Mrs. J. Pierpont Morgan, Sr., and Mr. J. Pierpont Morgan. On the 
south-east corner of 38th Street was built, in 1853-4, Zion (Episcopal) 
Church, occupied from 1890 to 191 i by the South Church (Dutch Re- 
formed), and being demolished as these lines are written. It was at 
about this time that the high stoop, brownstone, house, so long a feature 
of the city, was coming into general use. 

The port of New York, in 1846, extended around the city for a dis- 
tance of six miles. The foreign shipping, as well as ships of the largest 
class engaged in the coastwise trade, was almost all accommodated at 


the quays on the East River, where the wharves were mostly built of 
wood. Those to the north, in the neighbourhood of Peck Slip, were 
used by the smaller ships, chiefly sloops and schooners engaged in trade 
with New England. Between the wharves and the buildings facing the 
water-front was a broad thoroughfare, which made almost the circuit of 
the town. Next came the private ship-yards, with boats, barges, sloops, 
schooners, and steamers, in all stages of construction. Below these, the 
port of New York exhibited its most imposing aspect, the city side of 
the East River being covered as far as the eye could reach with a forest 
of masts and rigging, as dense and tangled in appearance as a cedar 
swamp, whilst numerous vessels of all sizes and rigs were also to be seen 
moored to the wharves of Brooklyn. The broad, deep, fairway between 
the two lines of vessels was alive with every species of floating craft. 
Following the line of the quays, one soon came to the slip at the foot 
of Clinton Street, where the Atlantic steamships "Great Western" and 
"Great Britain" docked. The town in this neighbourhood had lost 
completely its suburban appearance. Massive piles of warehouses lined 
the river-front; the broad quays were covered with the produce of every 
clime, and barrels, sacks, boxes, hampers, bales, and hogsheads were piled 
in continuous ridges along the streets. As one approached the Battery, 
the activity and animation of the scene increased almost beyond descrip- 
tion, whilst the noise was incessant and deafening. The vessels which 
occupied the slips here were almost all coasters of the larger class or 
engaged in the foreign trade, their bowsprits overhanging South Street 
and threatening to invade the walls of the warehouses. Here were the 
lines of packets which plied between New York and Liverpool, London, 
and Havre. The magnitude and diversity of New York's trade could 
be realised in no other way so well as by a stroll along these crowded 
quays. In addition to the ships plying between New York and the 
various ports on the coast, there were scores which soon would be bound 
for England, dozens for France, many for the Baltic and for the Azores, 
Spain, and the Mediterranean, a few for the coast of Africa, numbers 
for India, China, and South America, and some for the South Seas, 
Valparaiso, and the Sandwich Islands. Pearl Street was at this time the 
centre of the wholesale trade, and in the stores and offices which lined 
this busy thoroughfare were being laid the foundations of many of the 
great fortunes of today. 

The shore front from the Battery northward along the Hudson dif- 


fered greatly from that of the East River. Instead of the forest of masts 
which rose there, the Hudson for some distance was crowded with fun- 
nels. Instead of sailing-vessels, steamers were in the slips, as varied in 
their classes and sizes as they were in their destinations. Ferry-boats 
for Jersey City and Hoboken, larger boats for Newport, and for Allyn's 
Point and Stonington, where they connected with railway lines for Boston, 
were succeeded by steamers plying to and from the Hudson River towns. 
Still farther up the river, lay the tugs, some employed to tow sea-going 
craft to and from the harbour, others to tow sloops, barges, and schoon- 
ers up and down the river. The upper slips were occupied by barges 
and the smaller sailing craft engaged in river trade. The quays here, as 
on the East River shore, were lined with rows of warehouses, and 
towards the upper end of the city factories made their appearance. 

New York's places of amusement, in 1 846, included the Park 
Theatre, which still ranked first for the excellence of its performances 
and the distinction of its audiences. Strangers wishing seats on crowded 
nights were advised to secure them during the day, or to go early in the 
evening, as the despicable custom of selling seats after the house was full 
was practised even at this theatre, in common with the meaner establish- 
ments about town. The Bowery Theatre, in the Bowery near Chat- 
ham Square, burned in 1845, ^^^ ^^ once rebuilt, and still standing, 
although now known as the Thalia, was distinctly inferior in the 
character of its performances to the Park Theatre, and was seldom 
visited by the better class of theatre-goers, although it was celebrated 
for the production of spectacles and patriotic pieces. Mitchell's Olympic 
Theatre, in Broadway just below Grand Street; the Chatham Theatre, in 
Chatham Street near Roosevelt; and the Richmond Hill Theatre, which 
had once been the country residence of Aaron Burr, served also to enter- 
tain the New York public. Niblo's Garden, in Broadway at the corner 
ot Prince Street, was a very popular resort during the summer months. 
Other places of amusement were Vauxhall Garden, in the Bowery, much 
reduced in size by the opening of Lafayette Place; Palmo's Opera House, 
in Chambers Street opposite the Park; the American Museum, in Broad- 
way opposite St. Paul's Chapel; and Castle Garden, which had been 
abandoned as a fortification in 1823, when it was ceded to the city by 
the Federal government, since which time it had been used as a place of 
public amusement. 

New York's largest and finest hotel at this period was the Astor House, 


on Broadway opposite the Park. It was described by a visitor [i] of the 
time as 

an enormous granite pile. . . . The basement story is low, and is occupied 
by a series of superb shops, the whole of the upper portion of the building, 
which is on a gigantic and palatial scale, being appropriated to the purposes 
of an hotel. . . . The number of bedrooms is immense, and so complete is 
this mammoth establishment in all its parts, that it has its own printing press 
to strike off its daily bills of fare. It seems, in fact, to be a great self-sub- 
sisting establishment, doing all but growing and grinding the corn, and feeding 
and slaughtering the meat consumed by it. Nowhere in the world is the hotel 
system carried to such an extent as it is in America. 

In 1846 New York City had one railroad, the New York and 
Harlem, completed in 1845, ^^'^ extending from the City Hall through 
Centre Street, Broome Street, the Bowery, and the villages of Yorkville 
and Harlem, to White Plains, a total distance of twenty-seven miles. 
It was expected that this railroad would soon be extended to Albany, but 
it was never carried beyond Chatham. Its receipts from January i, 1 844, 
to January i, 1845, were more than one hundred and forty thousand 
dollars. From half past seven in the morning until eight in the even- 
ing, cars left the City Hall every six minutes for 27th Street. During 
the night they left every twenty minutes. Cars left for Harlem every 
hour during the day, and for White Plains four times each day. The 
fare to 27th Street was six and a quarter cents; to the Receiving Res- 
ervoir [2] and Harlem it was twelve and a half cents; and to White 
Plains fifty cents. [3] Eleven ferries, with boats running regularly at in- 
tervals varying from five minutes to an hour, connected New York with 
Long Island, Staten Island, and New Jersey. Twelve stage lines were 
in operation between New York and the outlying villages on Man- 
hattan Island, Long Island, and in New Jersey; and twelve lines of 
omnibuses, operating two hundred and fifty-eight stages, carried pas- 
sengers on regular routes through those parts of the city which lay below 
28th Street. Eleven express companies distributed parcels in all direc- 
tions north to points in New England and Canada, as far west as Chicago, 
and as far south as Baltimore and Washington. 

The upper part of Manhattan Island was still composed of scattered 
homesteads and villages, the boundaries of which latter it is impossible 

['] Alexander Mackay, The Western World; or. Travels in the United States in 1846-7. 
[2] Between 79th and 86th Streets and Sixth and Seventh Avenues. 

[3] Horse cars were used first, then locomotives. The use of steam power was forbidden south of 32d 
Street after August i, 1S45. Above that point its use was continued. 


to define exactly, as they were constantly being enlarged. Chelsea lay 
between Eighth Avenue and the Hudson, and extended from about 19th 
to 24th Street. North of Chelsea was the village of Bloomingdale, a 
name often applied to the river-front as far north as Manhattanville, 
which centred around i 29th Street. This area was chiefly occupied by 
scattered country-seats. The section which lay between 59th and 87th 
Streets, extending from Central Park to the Hudson, was long known 
locally as Harsenville. Harlem, which occupied the entire north end 
of the island above a broken line running from 74th Street and the East 
River to i 30th Street and the North River, was described at this time as 
a flourishing village, with a population of fifteen hundred people, four 
churches, a superabundance of hotels, a commodious depot belonging to 
the New York and Harlem Railroad, and several factories. South of 
Harlem, between 69th and 90th Streets, and lying along the East River, 
was Yorkville. 

In 1847 Madison Square was opened. In the same year the city 
acquired a plot of ground at the corner of Lexington Avenue and 23d 
Street, upon which the erection of a new building for the Free Academy 
was begun in November. This building, which is still used for school 
purposes, opened its doors to students in January, i849.[i] An interest- 
ing insight into the advance in the cost of building construction is fur- 
nished by the fact that this building cost forty-eight thousand dollars, 
about one-fourth of what it would cost today. In November, i 847, the 
Astor Place Opera House, the scene of a serious riot in 1849, was opened, 
at the corner of 8th Street and Astor Place. In 1848 the North Battery 
and the pier at the foot of Hubert Street were granted to the Commis- 
sioners of Immigration for use as a landing-place for immigrants. 

In I 848—9 the Associated Press was founded, by the 'Journal of Com- 
merce^ the Courier and Enquirer, the Tribune, Herald, Sun, and Express. 
In 1 85 1 the Times became a member, and in 1859 the World. In 1849 
the Astor Library was incorporated, and its doors were first opened to the 
public in 1854. The creation of this institution was made possible by the 
generosity of John Jacob Astor, who, by will, left four hundred thousand 
dollars for the purpose of founding in New York City a free public 
library. [2] The first board of trustees included Washington Irving, Fitz- 

['] On March 30, 1866, the Legislature changed the name of this school to "The College of the City 
of New York." 

[2] For ten years prior to his death Astor had had plans in mind for the establishment of a great public 
library, but they were not actually put into execution until after his death on March 29, 1848. 


Greene Halleck, William B. Astor, Henry Brevoort, Jr., and Samuel B. 
Ruggles, as well as the Mayor of the city and the Chancellor of the 
state, ex officio. Dr. Joseph G. Cogswell, at that time editor of the New 
York Review, was the lirst superintendent of the library. 

One cannot consider this period of New York's history without being 
impressed by the numerous riots that occurred within the city. Riotous 
outbreaks had taken place in the late thirties, caused by hostility to Ab- 
olitionists and by the economic distress that accompanied the panic of 
1837. There were destined, also, to be riots in later days, such as the 
police riot of 1857 and the draft riots of 1863. Whatever the specific 
reason for a particular riot, there were always underlying causes in the 
national and religious antagonisms of the foreign element in the city, and 
in the inability of the police to deal effectively with a serious crisis. 

One of the riots which caused a great uproar at the time, and was 
long remembered, was the Astor Place riot of 1849, which grew out of 
the professional rivalry of two actors, Forrest, an American, and Macready, 
an Englishman, and their partisans. The old hostility between English- 
men and Americans, which had somewhat subsided since the war of 
1812, was again invoked, with the result that when Macready tried to 
appear in "Macbeth" at the Astor Place Opera House the performance 
was interrupted by the organised efforts of "roughs," and had to be 
abandoned. When a second performance was attempted a few days 
later, although special police protection had been secured, another riot 
occurred. A great mob collected in the street, threatened to destroy 
the building, and was dispersed only after twenty-two persons had been 
killed by the militia and forty wounded. 

Another prolific cause of disorder was to be found in the frequent 
fires, with the attendant activities of the volunteer fire companies. The 
rivalry which had always existed between the crews of the various fire- 
engines had, year by year, grown more intense, and when the fire alarm 
brought them out it was almost certain that there would be a collision, 
ending in blows, and often in a free fight. Loafers hung about the 
engine houses, for the chance of running to the fire with the engines 
and taking part in the scrimmage that was sure to occur. Thieves took 
advantage of the excitement caused by a fire. Dressed as firemen, with 
red shirts, fire hats, and badges, they would enter the burning build- 
ing, bag in hand, and carry off whatever they chose. The Chief En- 
gineer of the New York Fire Department declared that this could not 


be prevented unless the volunteer fire system were entirely abolished. 
When Boston, at about this time, did this, and established a paid fire 
department, a committee of the New York Common Council went to 
that city to inspect the system, but no change was made in New York 
for many years. Members of the old fire companies were so opposed to 
any innovation that, in 1855, when a steam fire-engine was exhibited in 
the city, a guard was deemed necessary to prevent its being destroyed. 

The course of politics, in city, state, and nation, during the years 
from 1842 to i860, was a sorely troubled one. The question of the 
further extension of slavery was becoming more and more important, and 
it soon became the dominant issue. The increase in wealth and popu- 
lation of the North, in which it was rapidly outstripping the South, 
convinced southern leaders that within a few years the old balance in 
the government between the free and the slave states would be over- 
turned, and that the North would dominate the country. The South, 
naturally, feared that if this should occur its institutions would be attacked, 
and began to cast about for means to prevent such an event. It saw in 
the South-west, where Texas had recently secured its independence from 
Mexico and had set up an independent republic, large areas of land 
which might be acquired, and in which slavery could easily be estab- 
lished. In the North-west there was at this time a dispute with Great 
Britain over the possession of Oregon. 

When the presidential campaign of 1 844 opened, at the close of 
Tyler's administration, two questions had become the controlling issues 
in national politics — the annexation of Texas and the acquisition of 
Oregon. Martin Van Buren, of New York, who opposed the annexation 
of Texas, failed to be nominated by the Democrats, who chose James K. 
Polk, of Tennessee, to be their candidate for President. The Whigs 
nominated Henry Clay. A third party, called the Liberty party, which 
had been organised in i 840, nominated James G. Birney. Several thou- 
sand anti-slavery Whigs in New York voted for Birney instead of Clay, 
who thereby lost the election. The Whigs blamed the Abolitionists for 
their defeat, saying that the latter had given their verdict for Polk, Texas, 
free-trade, and slavery. An opposing opinion held that the result of the 
election was due to the recently naturalised foreign vote. It was said that 
within the preceding three or four months ten thousand Irish had been 
put to work on the canals, and that twenty thousand had been naturalised 
in the state. 


Texas was admitted to the Union on December 29, 1845. Mexico 
had already declared that she would consider the admission of Texas 
cause for war, and the conflict opened in the spring of i846.[i] The 
war was ended by the treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo, signed February 2, 
1848, which gave both California and New Mexico to the United States, 
that country agreeing to pay fifteen million dollars for this territory, and 
to assume the debts due from Mexico to American citizens. Already 
the question whether or no slavery should be allowed in the newly 
acquired territory had been brought up in Congress by Wilmot, a 
Pennsylvania Democrat, in his celebrated proviso which was framed to 
exclude it there. The measure passed the House, where the North was 
in control, and was barely defeated in the Senate. It aroused a storm 
of protest in the South, which believed that it was about to lose control 
of the section to gain which it had borne the chief burden of the war. 
From this time on the question of slavery was the dominant issue in 
national politics. 

But the struggle over Texas had caused a split in the Democratic party 
which did not immediately disappear. This division was especially ap- 
parent in New York. On the one hand were the radicals, called "barn- 
burners," led by Martin Van Buren, Silas Wright, and W^illiam Cullen 
Bryant, editor of the New York Evening Post, who had opposed the 
annexation of Texas and the further extension of slavery. On the other 
were the conservatives, or "hunkers," led by William L. Marcy, who 
supported Polk's administration. Consequently, party patronage, during 
the next four years, was given to the "hunkers." Marcy was chosen 
Secretary of War, and other Federal appointments in New York were 
bestowed upon his followers. In 1848 each faction sent a separate set 
of delegates to the nominating convention at Baltimore, which made 
Cass of Michigan the party's nominee. 

The Whigs chose Zachary Taylor, who was popular because of his 
success in the Mexican War, with Millard Fillmore of New York for 
second place. Both Democrats and Whigs had ignored the question of 
slavery, and this displeased many. These organised the Free-soil party, 
which made Van Buren its candidate. Again New York decided the 

[■] Several New Yorkers distinguished themselves in this war. Monterey was seized by Commodore 
John Drake Sloat, acting under orders from George Bancroft, Secretary of the Navy; and General S. W. 
Kearny took Santa Fe. William L. Marcy was Secretary of War, and General William Jenkins Worth, 
also of New York, distinguished himself, and was afterwards honoured with a monument, erected in 1857, 
at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and Broadway, west of Madison Square. General Winfield Scott was 
very prominent in this war. Although not a native of New York, he lived here many years 


election. Taylor received the entire vote of the state in the Electoral 
College, and became President. Had Cass received the vote of the 
"barn-burners," he would probably have carried the state, and would 
have been elected. 

Both parties had tried to ignore the question of slavery, but this issue 
now became more urgent than ever, because of the necessity of establish- 
ing a government for Oregon, which had been secured by treaty with 
Great Britain in i 846, and for California, where, since the discovery of 
gold in 1848, a turbulent population was rapidly gathering. After a 
long debate and a hot contest in Congress, Oregon was organised as a 
territory, without slavery, but no decision could be reached regarding 
California and New Mexico. The struggle was carried on during the 
sessions of Congress in 1848 and in 1849—50, and threats of disunion 
were freely uttered by Southerners. In the free states public meetings 
were held, resolutions were adopted, and hundreds of memorials were 
signed and hurried to Congress. Some protested against the passage of 
the Fugitive Slave Bill; some prayed that the fugitive be given a fair 
trial by jury; others wanted the trade in slaves stopped between the 
states, forbidden in the territories, and abolished in the District of 
Columbia; some even prayed for a dissolution of the Union. Public 
demonstrations occurred. In New York a huge figure of wood and 
papier-mache, twenty feet high and filled with combustibles, was 
made in the likeness of a man, and labelled, "The Phantom of Dis- 
union." Around it were thirty shields bound together by a hoop of 
iron, representing the Union, which the figure was trying to break. 
Beneath the shields was the motto: "Let no man sunder the Union 
that God formed." After dragging this effigy up the Bowery to Union 
Square, and then down Broadway to the City Hall, the crowd burned it. 

Finally, a settlement was reached, known as the Compromise of 1850, 
by which the South yielded to the North in the matter of the admission 
of California and the prohibition of the slave trade in the District of 
Columbia, but was recompensed by securing a stricter fugitive slave law 
and the organisation of New Mexico as a territory in which slavery was 
not prohibited. The passage of these measures was welcomed with joy 
by the country. The people believed that the danger of disunion was 
passed, and that the end of the agitation over slavery had arrived. 

But in this hope they were destined to be disappointed. Almost 
immediately trouble arose over the enforcement of the Compromise of 


1 850, particularly to the provision relating to the capture of fugitive slaves. 
In Syracuse, New York, a fugitive slave was rescued from Federal officers 
by a mob and smuggled into Canada, and the leaders were not punished. 
Nearly all the slaves seized within two and a half years after the passage 
of the law were freed in a similar manner. In the South the struggle 
was, for a time, quite as bitter. Non-intercourse associations were 
formed to shut off trade from the North, and people were asked not to 
patronise northern institutions, or employ anyone who was not known 
to be in sympathy with the South. A New York newspaper prepared 
a call for a Union meeting to support the Compromise of 1850. A few 
firms refused to sign the call, and were denounced as Abolitionists, and 
their names were published in the South, with the request that no one 
trade with them. In the cotton states there was a decided movement 
for secession. It was claimed by extremists of both sides that the Fugi- 
tive Slave Law could not be enforced, and consequently that the Com- 
promise of 1850 could not be maintained. 

President Taylor died in July, 1850, and was succeeded by Vice- 
President Fillmore, of New York, who supported the Compromise and 
exerted himself to enforce it. Fillmore's elevation to the Presidency 
was followed by important political changes in New York. When 
Taylor became President, W^illiam H. Seward had been sent to the 
United States Senate, and consequently his friends, the Free-soil Whigs, 
had been appointed to a large number of Federal offices. Many of 
these men were now removed, and Fillmore filled their places with 
conservative Whigs, or "silver-greys," as they came to be called. 
Fillmore was naturally conservative, and used all the influence of the 
administration to support the Compromise. Conservative men, both 
North and South, desired the Compromise of 1850 to be final. 

In the presidential contest of 1852, both Whigs and Democrats had 
difficulty in selecting a candidate. The Democrats finally rejected better 
known men, and chose Franklin Pierce of New Hampshire. The 
Whigs nominated General Scott. Both parties supported the Com- 
promise, which was the only important issue in the campaign. The 
Free-soil party rejected the Compromise. In the following election 
the Democrats won an overwhelming victory. The verdict of the 
election seemed to show that the country was tired of agitation and 
ready to accept the Compromise as final, and that the prolonged quarrel 
of the sections was definitely ended. 


In this great national struggle, as we have seen, New York played an 
important, and in several respects a decisive, part. Within the state, 
politics were further complicated by several local controversies. One, 
which caused a good deal of agitation for several years, arose from the 
manner in which land that had been granted to individuals in large 
quantities in early days, under feudal tenure, had since been rented or sold 
by the proprietors. Several disturbances occurred in the western part of 
the state, but the most serious were in those counties in which the old 
Van Rensselaer manor estate lay. In 1839 the heirs of the late patroon 
tried to collect long arrears of rent, and to enforce their right to one- 
fourth of the proceeds from sales of products of the land in case of alien- 
ation. Tenants resisted these claims by force, and the state militia was 
called out to preserve order. The agitation was continued until 1845. 
Finally, it was settled by statutes enacted to meet the situation, and the 
state constitution was modified so as to prevent the recurrence of similar 

The constitutional convention which met at Albany in 1846 made 
amendments that reflected the economic issues of the time, and particu- 
larly the anti-rent controversy. It also went still further than the con- 
vention of I 821 in establishing a democratic system of government, by 
giving to the people the election of many officers previously appointed 
at Albany, and by providing for the election of both branches of the 
Legislature by the voters in single-member districts. Sweeping changes 
also were made in the judicial system. The old Court for the Trial 
of Impeachments and the Correction of Errors was abolished, and in its 
place was established an independent Court of Appeals. The Court of 
Chancery and the Circuit Courts were merged in the Supreme Court, 
and the jurisdiction of County Courts was defined. It was arranged 
that all judges should be elected by the people. All leases or grants of 
agricultural lands were limited to twelve years, and all fines or like 
restraints on the alienation of lands were declared void. Limits were 
put on the Legislature's power to create corporations or borrow money. 
The principal change made in New York City was that local officers 
and municipal judges were from this time elected. The form of govern- 
ment adopted in 1 846 has, with few modifications, remained the basis 
of the state's fundamental law to the present day. 

Politics in New York City were closely connected with the political 
issues in state and nation. There, also, the question of the extension of 


slavery divided the Whigs and the Democrats into hostile factions. 
"Barn-burners" and "hunkers" waged a bitter fight for the control of 
Tammany Hall, but the "barn -burners" were virtually driven out, and 
the organisation generally gave its support to the "hunker" faction. 
The Whigs also were similarly divided into "Free-soil Whigs" and 
"silver-greys." Conservative men of both parties opposed extreme 
measures against slavery. New York had an immense trade with the 
South. It handled more southern cotton each year than any other city 
except New Orleans and Mobile. It was a favourite resort for South- 
erners, and New Yorkers both knew and liked them. Consequently, 
there was strong opposition to anything that savoured of abolitionism. 
On several occasions anti-slavery meetings were broken up, and the 
houses of Abolitionists were looted by angry mobs. 

Another political force of considerable importance, which was par- 
ticularly strong in New York City, where many immigrants had settled, 
was the antagonism between native Americans and foreigners which 
appeared during this period. This resulted in the development of the 
Native American party, which had an intermittent existence for a number 
of years. In 1853—4 it appeared as the "Know-nothings," and finally 
disappeared in the general political re-alignment at the formation of the 
Republican party. In i 844, at a time when the Native American party 
had been very much strengthened by opposition to the efforts of Roman 
Catholics in the city to secure a portion of the public school funds for 
the support of their sectarian schools, it was able to bring about the 
election of James Harper, a member of the well-known publishing 
house, as Mayor of the city. 

Mayor Harper's administration was a disappointment, because, al- 
though his party had a majority in the Common Council, it accom- 
plished few of the reforms to which it was pledged, ['] and made itself 
unpopular by passing and enforcing a series of severe "blue laws." For 
the most part, the Democrats, headed by Tammany Hall, controlled the 
city government, and, in conjunction with the Albany Regency, con- 
trolled the state. Harper was succeeded in 1845 ^J William F. Have- 
meyer, the Democratic candidate. In 1 847, the Democrats were 
sharply divided, and this circumstance gave the election to the Whig 
candidate, William V. Brady; but in the following year the Democrats 
were able to re-elect Havemeyer. 

['] It was pledged to reduce the city's expenses and to give it a businesslike administration. Harper 
believed that city politics should not be influenced by national issues. 


New York City politics had come to have a most unsavoury odour. 
Whichever party happened to be in power, there seemed to be but little 
difference in the character of the city government. Both parties were 
corrupt, and their administration of the city's affairs was inefficient; 
but the fact that the Democrats were in control most of the time gave 
them greater opportunities for developing and using their power. The 
truth of the matter is that New York had grown with such astonishing 
rapidity that its government had not been able to keep pace, and was 
entirely unable to provide for the proper protection of the lives and 
property of its citizens, or for clean streets, proper lighting, or the other 
conditions necessary to wholesome living. 

The fact that New York's population was not homogeneous, but that 
many of its citizens were more Irish or German than American in their 
ideas and interests, the lax enforcement of naturalisation laws, the absence 
of any law for the registration of voters, ['] and the democratisation of 
both the state and the city government, produced a situation which made 
it possible for able but unscrupulous party leaders to build up political 
machines by which they completely controlled public affairs. The sys- 
tem was further strengthened by the general acceptance, in city, state, 
and nation, of the theory that political patronage was to be treated as the 
spoils of victory. 

The result was a condition of great political corruption, and conse- 
quent abuse and inefficiency in the government of the city. Prisoners 
were set free from Blackwells Island that they might vote. It was 
charged that "sturdy paupers, abundantly able to maintain themselves by 
honest labour," were supported in the Almshouse for the purpose of 
securing votes for the dominant party. Gangs were brought from neigh- 
bouring cities to vote in New York elections, and were used to intimi- 
date voters, or to loot polling places. There were fraudulent natural- 
isations; repeating at elections was a commonplace, and when ballot 
boxes were opened they were found to contain more ballots than there 
were voters in the district. The police were unable to maintain order. 
Often, they were really in sympathy with the forces of disorder. As 
time went on, men of reputation became unwilling to take any part in 

['] A registration law for voters in New York City had been passed in 1840, during Seward's term 
as governor. Under the influence of leaders of the Whig party, Seward signed the bill, although he really 
opposed it, because he himself depended upon the support of ignorant and foreign voters. In 1841, the 
leading features of this law were extended to all cities in the state. In 1842, the Whigs, who had been 
defeated through the registration clause, joined the Democrats in repealing it, and Seward signed the re- 
peal. A registration law for voters in New York City was secured in 1859, but it had little effect. 


politics, and the control of parties passed from the hands of reputable 
merchants and business men to those of unscrupulous professional poli- 
ticians. In logical succession came the "boss" and the Tammany 
"heeler." The city was robbed and looted. There seemed to be no 
possible remedy. Even reform administrations failed to improve con- 
ditions. In fact, conditions were destined to become worse before a 
solution of the problem could be found, and it was many years before 
the city could throw off the burden of corruption that had fallen upon 
it. Indeed, the memory of flagrant and wide-spread municipal corrup- 
tion is not yet sufficiently dimmed by time to permit of our congratu- 
lating ourselves, as a community, that these conditions are things of the 

In 1849 the city charter was amended in several important particulars. 
The terms of Mayor and Aldermen were lengthened from one to two 
years, and the election of charter officers was changed from April to 
November, the date of the general state election. Officers were sworn 
in and assumed the duties of their positions on January ist. Undoubt- 
edly, the most important change made was the formation of new execu- 
tive departments. ['] The Department of Police was continued with the 
Mayor at its head. A bureau was created in this department under the 
Chief of Police, and eight other executive departments were formed. 
The Department of Finance, with the Comptroller at its head, had three 
bureaus, one under the Receiver of Taxes, the second under the Collector 
of City Revenue, and the third under the Chamberlain. The third 
department was called the Street Department. The chief officer was the 
Street Commissioner, and subordinate officers had charge of collecting 
assessments and of the wharves. The fourth department was called the 
Department of Repairs and Supplies. Its head was the Commissioner 
of Repairs and Supplies, and subordinate officials were the Superintend- 
ents, respectively, of Pavements, Roads, and Repairs to Public Buildings, 
and the Chief Engineer of the Fire Department. The fifth department 
was that of Streets and Lamps, with jurisdiction over streets and mar- 
kets, lamps and gas. The sixth department was the Croton Aqueduct 
Board, which had charge of the water supply and the sewers of the city. 
The seventh department was that of the City Inspector, and had charge 

[I] Although the amendments to the Charter of 1830 (section 21) directed the Common Council to 
organise distinct departments for the performance of executive business, this had never been done. Such 
business was transacted by committees of the Common Council, a method that had long been a cause for 


of all matters relating to public health. The eighth department, known 
as the Almshouse Department, was under the control of a board known 
as the Governors of the Almshouse, and had charge of both the Alms- 
house and the prisons of the city. Last was the Law Department, under 
a chief officer called the Counsel to the Corporation. This department 
had charge of all the legal business of the Corporation and its departments. 

The heads of these departments, except in the case of the Croton 
Aqueduct Board, were elected every three years by the people. Heads 
of departments were given the power to nominate, and, "by and with 
the consent of the Board of Aldermen," to appoint, the heads of bureaus 
in their departments, except the Chamberlain, the Receiver of Taxes, 
and the Chief Engineer of the Fire Department. Of these, the Chief 
Engineer of the Fire Department was elected, while the Mayor had the 
power to nominate, and, with the consent of the Board of Aldermen, to 
appoint, the Chamberlain, the chief officers of the Croton Aqueduct 
Board, and the Receiver of Taxes. Heads of departments reported to 
the Common Council, in which all legislative power was vested. 

Slight amendments to the charter were made in 1851 and 1852. In 
1853 the number of Councilmen was increased to sixty, and instead of 
their being elected one from each of the twenty wards, as had previously 
been done, the city was divided into sixty districts, from each of which 
a Councilman was elected. It was further provided that acts or reso- 
lutions involving money, not rendered imperative under state law, must 
originate in the Board of Councilmen, although the Board of Aldermen 
might amend such measures. An auditing committee was created in the 
Department of Finance, and it was required that the Governors of the 
Almshouse and the Board of Education submit all appropriations to the 
approval of a board of commissioners, composed of the Mayor, Recorder, 
Comptroller, and the presidents of the Board of Aldermen and the Board 
of Councilmen. 

Looking back at this charter from the vantage-point which later 
experience has given us, we can see that it had serious defects. There 
was an almost complete lack of centralisation ot power and responsibility. 
The nine executive departments were virtually sovereign and independent, 
having undefined, doubtful, and conflicting powers. The head of each, 
except in the case of the Croton Aqueduct Board, was elected by the 
people, and each assumed that it was independent of the others, of the 
Mayor, and of any other authority, and beyond the reach of any, except 


that of impeachment by the Common Council, a power which never had 
been, and probably never would be, exercised. The Mayor was looked 
to by the people of the city for good government and the reformation 
of all abuses, yet he had little more power to accomplish these ends than 
one of the clerks in his office. Even in the Police Department, of which 
the Mayor was the nominal head, he could not control the retention or 
removal of his own subordinates. There was a lack of proper organ- 
isation. In 1855 the public business pertaining to streets was divided 
among six of the executive departments, besides several outside commis- 
sioners, inspectors, surveyors, appraisers, and other temporarily selected 
agents. The result was a lack of co-operation, sometimes amounting to 
open conflict, between rival officials, and a consequent loss in efficiency. 
It was impossible to hold officials to a strict accountability for their acts, 
and this produced carelessness in expenditure and neglect in executing 
the ordinances. 

In 1850 Jenny Lind made a memorable visit to New York, and sang 
at Castle Garden. In December of that year Louis Kossuth came to ask 
Americans to help Hungary in her struggle for independence. The 
Mayor, the Common Council, and many distinguished citizens, met him 
at Staten Island, and escorted him to the city, amidst the shrieking of 
whistles and the firing of salutes at Bedloes Island, Governors Island, and 
the Navy Yard. When Kossuth tried to speak in Castle Garden, the 
cheering was so loud and so prolonged that finally he gave up the attempt. 
Probably this welcome represented more sincere emotion on the part of 
New Yorkers than had been felt for any foreign visitor since the coming 
of Lafayette in 1824. 

Several institutions designed to improve social conditions were organ- 
ised during these years. In 1849 a second epidemic of Asiatic cholera 
ravaged the city. It made its first appearance in the Five Points section, 
and this fact very probably directed attention to the deplorable conditions 
existing there, for, shortly afterwards, the women of the Methodist 
Church established a mission in the neighbourhood, which included an 
employment bureau, a day school, and a Sunday school. In 1851 the 
New York Juvenile Asylum was incorporated and the Demilt Dispensary 
was established. The next year saw the organisation of the Young Men's 
Christian Association and of Mount Sinai Hospital. In 1853 the Chil- 
dren's Aid Society was established. 

A most important public improvement undertaken at this time was 


the acquisition of the necessary land and the laying out of Central Park. 
In 1850 public attention had been directed to the project of securing 
more adequate parks for the city. The next year, Mayor Kingsland in 
his message to the Common Council called their attention to the matter. 
Authority to purchase land was secured from the state Legislature, and 
commissioners of estimate and assessment were appointed to secure land 
for a park. In 1855 they completed their work, and their report was 
confirmed February 5, 1856. The Legislature delayed the passage of 
measures necessary to continue the work, so the Common Council, by 
ordinance, created the Mayor and Street Commissioner commissioners 
of Central Park. This board invited several well-known citizens, among 
them Washington Irving and George Bancroft, to act as a consulting 
board, and a competition was held to secure a plan for the general layout 
of the park. From among the designs submitted, that of Frederick Law 
Olmsted and Calvert Vaux was chosen. Work was begun on the park 
in 1857, but it was not until 1876 that it was considered completed. ['] 

The elevator, without which the modern "sky-scraper" could not have 
come into existence, made its appearance in New York in 1850. The 
establishment of Hecker and Brother, millers, at 201—3 Cherry Street, 
introduced in that year a platform freight elevator, which had been con- 
structed by Henry Waterman, whose shop was in Duane Street, near 
Centre. In 1853 ^ steam passenger elevator was in use in the Latting 
Observatory. The earliest elevator permanently installed for passenger 
service in a building in New York City was one driven by steam power, 
which was invented and constructed by Otis Tufts, of Boston, and in- 
stalled in 1859 in the Fifth Avenue Hotel, then in process of construc- 
tion. It was known as the "vertical screw railway." The "plunger" 
type of elevator, which had been in use in Europe for more than a 
decade, was first used in New York, for passengers, in the present general 
Post Office building in the City Hall Park. 

In national politics, the question of slavery was still the dominant issue. 
Those who hoped that the question had been permanently settled by the 
Compromise of 1850 were disappointed. The agitation was reopened 
by the appearance of the Kansas-Nebraska problem, which grew out of 
the demand of the North-west for the opening of its fertile acres, and their 
connection by means of railroads with the markets of Chicago and the East. 
In 1854, through the influence of Stephen A. Douglas of Illinois, the 

['] The success of this undertaking was largely due to Andrew H. Green, member of the Central Park 
Commission, and its executive officer and president from 1857 to 1870. 


Kansas-Nebraska Bill became law. By it the Missouri Compromise was 
specifically repealed. Kansas and Nebraska were separated and organised 
as territories, but the question of slavery within their borders was left to 
the decision of the people living there, on the principle of popular sover- 
eignty. Douglas carried his measure through Congress, but a great wave 
of protest swept over the country, and, after its passage, all thought of 
the Compromise of 1850 being final was abandoned. The old spirit of 
compromise in order to save the Union had passed with the older type of 
leader, such as Clay, Webster, and Calhoun, all of whom had died between 
1850 and 1852. The new leaders were younger men, more radical, and 
more militant. Among these were Seward of New York, Chase of Ohio, 
and Sumner of Massachusetts. Opposed to them were Davis of Missis- 
sippi and Toombs of Georgia, who were not yet Secessionists, but who 
would resort to that measure to save the South from an anti-slavery 
majority in the North. Among northern Democrats, the leaders were 
Douglas and Buchanan. The Kansas-Nebraska Act opened a new quarrel 
between these contestants, which led directly to the Civil War. 

When members of Congress went home after the passage of the 
Kansas-Nebraska Act, a most exciting campaign followed. In Wisconsin 
and Michigan a new party was organised, on the basis of an appeal to 
the fundamental doctrine that all men are equal, and that no great inter- 
ests should rule the country. It received support in all sections where 
the New England influence was potent, — in northern Ohio, Indiana, and 
Illinois. The remnants of the old party organisations opposed to slavery, 
the Whigs and the Free-soilers, gave it enthusiastic support. Sumner in 
Massachusetts joined the new party. Finally, in the autumn of 1855, 
Seward of New York joined also. His decision was most important, for 
he, with his astute friend, Thurlow Weed, editor of the Albany 'Journal, 
controlled the action of his party in the most important state in the 
Union. The action of Sumner and Seward united the East and the 
North-west. As a result of the work of these new Republican leaders, 
the Democrats lost control of the legislatures of nearly all the states 
north of the Ohio and Missouri Rivers, and their overwhelming majority 
in the Federal House of Representatives disappeared. By 1856 it was 
clear that the parties of the future were the Democrats — southern and 
pro-slavery — and the Republicans — northern and anti-slavery — and at 
that time both were well organised. 

In the meantime, a struggle had been going on for the possession of 


Kansas. Anti-slavery aid societies in the East sent men to Kansas to save 
the territory from slavery, and pro-slavery men from Missouri went across 
the border to vote against the free-state men. Rival state governments 
were established, and it seemed as though actual war were imminent. 
The struggle was similarly carried on at Washington, but no agreement 
could be reached as to the form of government that was to be recognised 
in Kansas, since the Senate was pro-slavery and the House was opposed 
to slavery. 

While the excitement resulting from the contest in Kansas was at its 
height, the Democrats held their national convention, at Cincinnati, and 
nominated Buchanan for President and John C. Breckenridge of Ken- 
tucky for Vice-President. The Republicans nominated John C. Fremont, 
and W. L. Dayton. The struggle of the campaign now became intense. 
Southern planters united with New York merchants and New England 
conservatives to support Buchanan. Southern governors held a confer- 
ence at Raleigh, which proposed secession if Buchanan should fail to be 
elected. Eastern radicals urged that the Union be dissolved if the slave 
power were continued in control. At the election Buchanan was success- 
ful, but this was really a victory for the conservatives or reactionaries. 
The fear of radicalism had defeated the Republicans. 

As Buchanan's administration progressed, the fears that had been dis- 
turbing the country did not disappear. The year 1857 was remarkable 
for the unrest and uncertainty that prevailed in city and nation. The 
decision of the Supreme Court in the Dred Scott case, by which it was 
determined that slave property could be taken into free territory, roused 
fears that the slave power was to be increased. Reports of violence in 
Kansas were frequent, and the national government, under Buchanan's 
leadership, seemed to Northerners to be dominated by southern interests. 

In New York City, Fernando Wood,[i] who had served as mayor 
from 1854 to 1856, and had then been re-elected, was at the head of 
the municipality. At first he had seemed determined to give the city an 

[') During the "hard" and "soft" disruption of the city Democracy of 1853, Tammany passed under 
the control of one of the most remarkable men who have ever had anything to do with its fortunes. It 
was then that Fernando Wood became its master spirit and, in 1854, as its nominee, was first elected 
mayor of New York City. Later, when he was thrown over by Tammany Hall, chiefly through the 
intrigues of Sweeny, Tweed, Savage, and other "hards" who had been brought into the Hall by the re- 
union of "hards" and "softs" in 1856, Wood organised Mozart Hall, and with its help and that of the 
mob succeeded in inflicting on Tammany a disastrous defeat and putting himself at the head of the city 
government. Wood was an extremely astute politician, and although he is scarcely to be considered a 
"boss" in the full sense of this opprobrious term as later correctly applied to William Marcy Tweed, never- 
theless he succeeded in reducing political control to a system which made the development of the later 
bosses possible. 


honest administration, and for a time he received the support of some of 
the most reputable Democrats; but he was in reality thoroughly unscru- 
pulous, and under him public affairs soon reached a degree of corruption 
and inefficiency that had not, up to that time, been known. The city 
police were unable to maintain order, and needed reorganisation. The city 
itself seemed to be unable to improve its administration, and the state, 
probably actuated by political interests, made this the opportunity to inter- 
fere in municipal affairs in a manner that it had not before attempted. [■] 
The result was the amending of the city charter in 1857. In April of 
that year, the state Legislature passed three acts relating to the govern- 
ment of New York City. The first revised the charter, [2] the second 
removed the Mayor and Recorder from the Board of Supervisors of the 
County of New York, and created in their stead a board of twelve super- 
visors, elected annually. The third completely reorganised the police force 
of the city. The effect of these changes was to increase still further 
the decentralisation of power and the scattering of responsibility in the 
city administration. The government of the city was separated from that 
of the county, and for the latter a new system of administration was 
created, thereby increasing the number of officers, and consequently the 
expenses of the city, which were already deemed exorbitant. 

The change that encountered the greatest opposition was that made in 
the Police Department. The old municipal Department of Police, under 
three commissioners — the Mayor, Recorder, and City Judge — was com- 
pletely abolished, and in its place a Metropolitan Police District, includ- 
ing the counties of New York, Kings, Westchester, and Richmond, was 
created. [3] Five commissioners, appointed by the Governor with the 
consent of the Senate, were to be the chief officer^ of the police force, 
and with the Mayors of New York and Brooklyn were to form a board 
of police for the district. As a result of this arrangement. New York 
City actually lost control of its own police force. This encroachment 

['] Long before this, New York City administrations had complained that the state was encroaching 
upon the city's prerogatives. From 1857 on, the state exercised a control over New York City affairs that 
it did not attempt in the case of other cities. The city, on the other hand, constantly protested against 
this, and asked for the right to manage its own affairs; that is, for "home rule." 

[^] The election of charter officers was changed from November to the first Tuesday in December, 
possibly for the purpose of checking corrupt bargaining among city, state, and national leaders and candi- 
dates. Instead of nine executive departments as there had been, the charter of 1857 provided for only 
six: Finance, Street, Croton Aqueduct, City Inspector, Almshouse, and Law Departments. The functions 
of the former Departments of Repairs and Supplies, and Streets and Lamps, were given to the Street De- 
partment. The old Police Department was superseded by the new Metropolitan Police. 

[3] It was alleged that the judicial duties of the Recorder and City Judge had prevented their perform- 
ing the duties of Police Commissioners, which, therefore, fell entirely upon the Mayor, who, it was claimed, 
had abused his powers. 


upon the prerogatives of the municipality was much resented by men of 
all parties, not only because they saw themselves thereby deprived of power, 
but also because the city had lost the right to manage its own affairs, that 
right having been transferred to the authorities, at Albany, whose political 
affiliations often differed from those of a majority of New York's citizens. 
Leaders in the affairs of the city believed that the great defect in New 
York's government was a lack of local control and the absence of a cen- 
tralisation of authority, which made it impossible to fix responsibility. 
They advocated, as the all-essential remedy, giving the voters control of 
their government and greater concentration of power in the hands of the 

The attempt to enforce the changes inaugurated by the revised charter 
resulted in serious riots. Mayor Wood opposed the change in the munici- 
pal police, for he rightly judged that it was a criticism of his adminis- 
tration of the department. The matter was taken to the Supreme Court, 
where the act was pronounced constitutional, valid, and binding in all its 
parts. The newly appointed Metropolitan Police Commissioners there- 
upon assumed control. In Brooklyn nearly all the members of the old 
municipal police submitted to the new regime; in New York fifteen 
captains and about eight hundred patrolmen refused, and were dismissed 
for insubordination. Mayor Wood opposed the new system by force. ['] 
He refused to surrender the police property to the new commissioners or 
to disband the old police, and for a time two bodies of policemen claimed 
authority in the city. On June i6, i 857, matters were brought to a crisis 
by Mayor Wood's action in causing Daniel D. Conover, a street commis- 
sioner newly appointed by Governor King, to be forcibly ejected from 
the City Hall. Conover secured a warrant for the arrest of the Mayor, 
and, with fifty of the Metropolitan Police, returned to the City Hall, 
which was defended by members of the old municipal police force. A 
pitched battle ensued, in which a number of the contestants were severely 
wounded. The combat was ended by calling in the Seventh Regiment, 
which happened to be passing down Broadway on its way to take the 
boat for Boston. The Court of Appeals later declared the Metropolitan 
Police Act constitutional, and Mayor Wood was forced to submit. 

Disorderly elements in the city, which were always waiting for just 

['] Wood thought it objectionable that police commissioners should be appointed by men who had 
not been elected by the taxpayers who paid their salaries. He also objected — quite rightly, it would seem 
— to an arrangement by which the actual amount of the salaries paid was fixed at Albany, and not by the 
taxpayers through their representatives. 


such an opportunity, took advantage of the dispute between the rival 
police, and organised gangs, such as the "Dead Rabbits" and the 
"Bowery Boys," for the purpose of causing further disorder, under cover 
of which they might rob and plunder. They brought about a succession 
of riots, but were finally put down by the police, who had now reached a 
state of greater efficiency. ['] 

The disorders of the day were further increased by another wave of 
hard times that swept over the country in 1857, due, it was believed, to 
excessive building of railroads, speculation, and extravagance. Numbers 
of the railroads throughout the country failed, and many banks either 
suspended specie payments or failed outright. From thirty to forty thou- 
sand labourers, in New York City alone, it was estimated, were thrown 
out of employment. Idleness resulted in want and discontent. Hunger 
meetings were held in the public squares, particularly in Tompkins 
Square, and the people marched through the streets calling for bread and 
work. At the request of Mayor Wood, the Corporation voted two hun- 
dred and fifty thousand dollars to give work in Central Park to the 
unemployed. Disorderly persons took advantage of the turmoil to com- 
mit crime, and threats were made against public buildings. The troops 
and militia were called out to guard the Custom House and the Sub- 
Treasury. By degrees the distress lessened, and in December New York 
banks resumed specie payments. 

The population of Manhattan Island in 1850 was more than half a 
million. By 1855 it had increased to six hundred and twenty-nine thou- 
sand, and by i860 to eight hundred and fourteen thousand. The spread 
of population northward had resulted in the successive creation of the 
Nineteenth Ward in 1850, the Twentieth in 1851, and the Twenty-first 
and Twenty-second in i853.[2] 

The lower end of the island — that is, as far north as 14th Street — was 
densely occupied by buildings. From that point to 42d Street the ground 

['] The number of policemen had been gradually increased, although it was always smaller in proportion 
to population than the number of men thought to be necessary to keep order in such cities as London or 
Liverpool, where, moreover, they always had added support in the presence of military forces. The Met- 
ropolitan Police continued to be the police force of the city until 1870, when it was abolished as a result 
of the revision of the city charter made in that year, and the municipal police force was substituted for it. 

[2] The boundaries of these wards were as follows: Nineteenth Ward — north by 86th Street, east by 
East River, south by 40th Street, west by Sixth Avenue. Twentieth Ward — north by 40th Street, east by 
Sixth Avenue, south by 26th Street, west by Hudson River. Twenty-first Ward — north by 40th Street, 
east by East River, south by 26th Street, west by Sixth Avenue. Twenty-second Ward — north by 86th 
Street, east by Sixth Avenue, south by 40th Street, west by Hudson River. The Nineteenth Ward was 
formed from the Twelfth Ward, April 6, 1850; the Twentieth from the Sixteenth Ward, July 9, 1851; the 
Twenty-first from the Eighteenth Ward, May 27, 1853; and the Twenty-second from the Nineteenth Ward, 
June 22, 1853. 


was only partly built upon, the population growing more and more sparse 
the farther north one advanced. By 1853 the streets in nearly all of this 
portion of the city were opened, and most of them were regulated and 
paved. Above 4 2d Street the characteristics of a city gradually disap- 
peared; only a few of the streets were opened, and many of these were 
but partly regulated. This section of the city, however, now began to 
grow rapidly. The Nineteenth and Twenty-second Wards, which occupied 
the area lying between 40th and 86th Streets, contained somewhat over 
twenty-three thousand lots, of which by i 860 approximately one-fourth 
were improved. More than ninety-four thousand persons lived in this 

As the city grew, the problem of rapid transit became more and more 
important. Up to the time when, in 1831, the Common Council gave 
permission for the building of the Harlem Railroad from Chambers 
Street to Harlem, New Yorkers had depended for transportation upon 
stages or omnibuses and boats. The success of this first car line led to 
the building of others. In i860 the Harlem Railroad had thirty-five 
cars in operation between the Astor House and Harlem River; the 
Sixth Avenue Railroad, which dated from 1851, had forty-three cars in 
service on its lines, from Barclay Street to Central Park; the Eighth 
Avenue Railroad, which had been given a franchise by the Common 
Council in the same year, had a total of forty-two cars in operation, from 
the corner of Barclay and Church Streets, by way of Church and Cham- 
bers Streets, West Broadway, Canal and Hudson Streets, and Eighth 
Avenue, to 59th Street; the Second Avenue Railroad, which received its 
grant from the Common Council in 1852, had thirty cars operating on 
its lines, which extended from Peck Slip to Harlem; the Third Avenue 
Railroad was operating fifty cars on its lines, from the corner of Broad- 
way and Park Row to Harlem River. There was also the Ninth 
Avenue Railroad, which had been granted a franchise by the Common 
Council in 1858, and which was operating thirty cars between 51st 
Street and Ninth Avenue and the Astor House. The usual fare on these 
lines, within the city, was five cents. 

A determined effort to build a car line on Broadway, which was by 
far the most important street in the city so far as- traffic was concerned, 
had met with equally determined resistance. One company offered to 
pay a hundred thousand dollars a year for ten years for the privilege of 
laying tracks; another offered one hundred and sixty -six dollars a year 


for each car operated. Still another group found a way to win over the 
Common Council, which, in spite of the protests of citizens, granted 
them the right to lay tracks and operate a horse railroad. The Mayor 
vetoed the bill, but it seemed so certain of being passed over his veto that 
citizens obtained an injunction against the Mayor and Common Council. 
The Aldermen denied the court's right to restrain them, passed the 
resolution over the veto, and were punished for contempt of court. 
The railroad was not built. Applications were then made to the Legis- 
lature for permission to build the road, but the bill failed. Again appli- 
cation was made to the Common Council, which passed a favourable 
resolution, only to have it vetoed by the Mayor. The company was 
confident that the resolution would be passed over the veto, but again an 
injunction was secured, and Broadway was saved for the time being. 

Besides the railroads, sixteen omnibus companies were operating five 
hundred and forty-four licensed stages, which ran over fixed routes to all 
parts of the city below 50th Street, as well as to the neighbouring villages. 
On these the usual fare was six cents. 

The value of real estate had increased rapidly. In 1842 the assessed 
value of all real estate in the city was one hundred and seventy-six mil- 
lions; in i860 it was over three hundred and ninety-eight millions. 
The value of personal property had likewise increased. In 1 842 the 
assessed value of personal property in the city was a little over sixty-one 
millions; in i860 it was more than one hundred and seventy-eight mil- 
lions. A similar increase appeared in the amount raised by tax in the 
city. In 1842 this was a little over two millions of dollars; in i860 it 
was well on towards ten millions. Strenuous objection was made to this 
rapid increase in the budget, on the ground that much of the money was 
wasted or used in a corrupt manner. 

The city had increased in wealth during these years with a rapidity 
that has scarcely been equalled by any other commercial centre, and many 
individual fortunes of princely proportions were accumulated. The 
number of banks reflected the wealth of the city. In 1859 there were 
fifty-seven, with an aggregate capital of sixty-seven millions. Some of the 
finest structures in New York were occupied by banks, and, in 1857, 
eleven of these were established in buildings of their own that cost over 
one hundred thousand dollars apiece. 

Customs and manners of living were becoming more elaborate and lux- 
urious. Travelling abroad and at home was much easier than it had been in 


the past, and many New Yorkers made the annual summer pilgrimage 
to Europe or to the springs at Saratoga. Fifth Avenue was beginning 
to be the fashionable residence street, and handsome houses might be 
found upon it as far north as 37th Street. Other conspicuous new 
houses "up town" were the Robert Goelet and Daniel Parish houses in 
17th Street, fronting Union Square; the Peter Goelet house on the 
north-east corner of 19th Street and Broadway; several handsome houses 
on the north and east sides of Madison Square; and the three large 
houses occupying the block front between 36th and 37th Streets on the 
east side of Madison Avenue. There were more than forty hotels, in 
which lodging and board varied from two to three dollars a day. Al- 
though other and newer hotels had been built, the Astor House was 
looked upon as the leading hostelry until 1858, when the Fifth Avenue 
Hotel was opened. Of the newer houses, the Metropolitan, at the 
corner of Broadway and Prince Street, was the largest, and was con- 
sidered by many the most magnificent establishment of its kind in the 
world. It was of brownstone, six storeys high, and with its site and 
furnishings cost nine hundred and forty thousand dollars. 

There were over two hundred and fifty churches in the city in 1859, 
several of them occupying buildings of real architectural distinction, such 
as Trinity Church, St. Paul's and St. John's Chapels, St. Mark's, and 
Grace Church. Twenty-seven libraries, with three hundred and thirty- 
six thousand books, were at the service of the community. Thirteen daily 
papers were published in the city, and among their editors were such 
men as William Cullen Bryant, of the F/veniiig Post; Horace Greeley, of 
the Tribune; Henry J. Raymond, of the Times; and James Gordon Ben- 
nett, of the Herald. 

In i860 New York had a population of more than eight hundred and 
fourteen thousand people. At the top of the social scale were those who 
had made fortunes in trade or finance; at the bottom were hundreds 
of thousands of poor Irish and German immigrants. The population 
lacked unity of purpose and ideals. The government, in the hands 
of professional politicians, was inefficient and corrupt. In its physical 
aspect the city was unfinished, with many unsightly buildings, both old 
and new, and with poorly paved and ill-kept streets. Its growth in 
every direction had been so rapid that almost before new improvements 
were completed it was found that they were already outgrown. The 
lack of homogeneousness among the people had its counterpart in a lack 


ot unity in the physical features of the city and in a lamentable absence 
of municipal pride. Perhaps individuals were too busy making their 
own fortunes to attend to the public welfare. Whatever the cause, the 
city had already entered upon a course of political corruption that was 
not to end until years of shame and almost hopeless effort had passed. 

In the meantime, affairs in the nation were advancing more and more 
rapidly towards civil war. Buchanan's administration was weak, and 
seemed to the North to favour the pro-slavery faction, particularly in 
Kansas, where a bitter struggle was going on between pro-slavery and 
Free-soil men. The Dred Scott decision in 1857 roused feelings of joy 
in the South and fear for the future in the North. So long as the Demo- 
cratic party remained undivided, the Republicans were in a helpless 
minority. At this moment, Buchanan and Douglas split over the question 
of a constitution for Kansas. This meant the secession of the Democrats 
of the North-west from the dominant southern party. Then followed 
the Douglas-Lincoln debates in the contest for the Illinois senatorship, 
in which Douglas, although he won the senatorship, was weakened 
before the country. In 1859 John Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry still 
further increased the antagonism between the North and the South. 

When the campaign of i860 came on, it was found that the 
Democrats could agree neither upon a platform nor a candidate. The 
southern Democrats, under the leadership of William L. Yancey, bolted 
the party's national convention. The Tammany Hall delegation from 
New York followed. As a result of this division, two Democratic can- 
didates were put into the field — John C. Breckenridge and Stephen A. 
Douglas. The Republicans, in their convention at Chicago, nominated 
Abraham Lincoln. The South gave every indication that if Lincoln 
were elected it would secede. Nevertheless, he was elected, by a "solid" 
North, and the answer of the South was given in the secession of South 
Carolina. Her example was followed by Georgia, Florida, Alabama, 
Mississippi, and Louisiana. Even now there was hope that war might 
be avoided, and a willingness to let the seceding states "go in peace" 
appeared in the North. Both sections, apparently, hesitated to take the 
step that must result in war. But radical Republican leaders such as 
Sumner and Chase were unwilling to lose, by a policy of inaction, the 
advantages which their party had already won, and finally persuaded 
President Lincoln to take the decisive step of sending relief to Fort 
Sumter. This precipitated the attack on the fort which resulted in its 



surrender. News of this event roused the country as by an electric 
shock. In the North it ended the period of indecision, and served to 
form a united force determined to defend the Union against all attack. 
New York City, always friendly to the South, was swept into line on a 
flood of patriotism, and determined to do its part in the war that had 
burst upon the country. 


c. 1842-f. i860 

PLATE 123 

PL 123 

PLATE 124 




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PLATE 149 A 

Map oi.' Lands in 

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c. 1842-f. i860 


c. 1842-f. t86o 

Plate 123-a 
Panoramic View of New York. (Taken from the North River) 
. [The Havell North River View] 
Aquatint, coloured. 32^ x 8>^ Date depicted: About 1839. 

Date issued: Copyright 1844. 
Artist and engraver: Rob* Havell. 
Colourists: Havell & Spearing. 
Publishers: Rob' Havell, Sing Sing, N. Y., Wm. A. Colman, 203 Broadway, and 

Ackermann & Co., 96 Strand, London. 
Owner: I.N.P.S. 
Other copies: N. Y. Public Library (Eno Collection); N. Y. Hist. Society, etc. 

Fifth known state. The earliest impression of this print differs considerably from that 
here reproduced. There is a different steamer, with a single funnel; the East River and 
the Long Island shore are not shown; Castle Williams and Governors Island are differently 
drawn; there is less shipping, and the dome of the Merchants* Exchange on Wall Street 
does not appear. The view was evidently drawn after the fire of December 16-17, 1^35' 
when the first Merchants' Exchange was burned, and before 1840, when the new building 
was practically completed. In this first state, the imprint also is different, being as follows: 

"Clinton Market — Washington Market. — Shad Fishing. — Battery. — British Queen.^ 
Narrows. — Staten Island. / Panoramic view of New York. / (Taken from the North 
River.) / Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1840, by Rob' Havell, in the 
Clerk's office of the District Court, of the Southern District, of New York. / Published by 
Rob^ Havell, 172 Fulton Street, New York. 1. 1.: Drawn & Engraved by Rob^ Havell the 
Vessels Painted by J. Pringle. / Coloured by Havell & Spearing." 

The first state is very rare, only four perfect copies being known to the author, one 
of which belongs to the Library of Congress, and one to Mr. Edward W. C. Arnold. 

The author has seen a copy similar to the first state, but with the East River and Long 
Island added. 

The Stock Exchange Club owns a third state, with the line "the Vessels Painted by 
J. Pringle" erased from the plate, and with "Printed by W. Neale" added at the right. 
In this state "172 Fulton Street" is replaced by "Sing Sing," and "and W? A. Colman 203 
Broadway" is added to the publisher's line. A fourth state exists, exactly like the third 


state except that the date in the copyright line has been changed from 1840 to 1844. The 
fifth state, here reproduced, has the address of "Ackermann & Co 96 Strand London" 
added to the pubhsher's Hne. There are probably other variants not here noted. 

Although copies exist without the words "Coloured by Havell & Spearing," this line, 
when lacking, has probably always been erased. The Havell of "Havell & Spearing" is not 
Robert Havell, but Henry A. Havell, his brother, who, according to the directories, lived in 
New York during the years 1844-5. His occupation is given as "printcolourer," with 
address at 7^ Bowery. In the same directory, among the names received too late to be 
classified, is that of the firm of "Havell & Spearing, print-colourers," at 73^ Bowery. This 
is the only year in which the firm is mentioned, and the separate names of Havell and 
Spearing do not again occur in the directories of New York City. Henry A. Havell may, 
however, have been in New York as early as 1839, for, in a letter to Robert Havell, in 
London, Audubon, writing in that year, asks when and how Henry is to sail for America. 
See George Alfred Williams's article on " Robert Havell, Junior," in the Print Collector's 
Quarterly for October, 1916. 

Robert Havell was one of the best known English engravers of the period. Before 
coming to America he had been engaged for fourteen years on the plates for Audubon's 
Birds of America, which appeared in 1827-30 in four "elephant folios," a name used for 
the first time in connection with these volumes. 

It will be noted that the steeple of Trinity Church, in all the various states of the print, 
remains unchanged, and is evidently that of the old church, torn down m 1839. 

The "British Queen," seen to the right of the view, was the first steamboat built for 
trans-oceanic service. She sailed first from Portsmouth on July 12, 1839, arriving in New 
York on July 28th. 

Plate 123-b 
Panoramic View of New York, from the East River 
[The Havell East River View] 
Aquatint, coloured. 32^^x8^ Date depicted: About 1843. 

Date issued: Copyright 1844. 
Artist and engraver: Rob^ Havell. 
Publishers: Rob* Havell, Sing Sing, N. Y., Wm. A. Colman, 203 Broadway, and 

Ackermann & Co., 96 Strand, London. 
Owner: LN.P.S. 
Other copies: N. Y. Public Library (Eno Collection); N. Y. Hist. Society, etc. 

Probably the third state. The first issue of the plate has the word "and" before the 
name "W"} A. Colman," in the publisher's line, and is before the line "and Ackermann & 
Co 96 Strand London." The second state is similar to the first except that the "and" has 
been erased from the plate. 

The drawing appears to have been made at a somewhat later date than the original 
drawing of the companion picture, Plate 123-a. It was probably first engraved in 1844, 
at which time the North River plate was made to conform with this one, not only in the view 
itself, but also in the copyright and publishers' lines. 

The artistic quality of this view is unfortunately marred by the bad drawing of the 
shipping, which it is difficult to believe was done by the same hand as that in the North 
River View. The colouring in these two prints is of an unusually clear and transparent quality. 



Plate 124 

Topographical Map of the City and County of New-York, and the 

ADJACENT Country (etc.) 

[The Colton Map] 

Line engraving. 675^x29^ Date depicted: 1840. 

Date issued: 1841. 
Engravers and printers: S. Stiles & Co. 
Publishers: J. H. Colton & Co. 
Owner: I.N.P.S. 
Other copies: N. Y. Hist. Society, etc. 

Second state. The author's collection contains also a copy of the first state, which was 
published in 1836, and was accompanied by a descriptive pamphlet — A Summary His- 
torical. Geographical, and Statistical View of the City of New York; together ivith some no- 
tices of Brooklyn, Williamshurgh, i^c in its Environs. New York: 1836. 

The first state is practically identical with the second, here reproduced. Such varia- 
tions as exist are largely in connection with the water-front and the nomenclature. Among 
the tiny views in the border, the building marked "Female Orphan Asylum" appears, in the 
first state, as "Female Lunatic Asylum." Madison Square is not named upon the first 
state, but is on the second. This square was created by an act of the Legislature, passed 
April 10, 1837. In the first state, the names of "Livingston P." and "Rutherford P.," which 
are here marked upon the east and west sides of Stuyvesant Square, are not shown, while 
the distributing reservoir, which was only projected in 1836, is erroneously marked as 
extending through the entire block from Fifth to Sixth Avenue. It is corrected on the 
map here reproduced. The filling in of the Hudson River, from Hammond Street to a 
point beyond Harlem Cove at Manhattanville, is not indicated on the first issue of the map. 
In 1844 this map was reissued by Sherman & Smith, of "122 B Way." Beyond the 
change in the publisher's line, this latter map shows very few alterations from the 1841 
issue. The "Fever Hospital" at Bellevue is now designated "House of Refuge," while 
the "House of Refuge" at Madison Square has disappeared. This institution was almost 
entirely destroyed in two fires which occurred on May 22, 1839 and June 21, of the same 
year. The Commercial Advertiser of May 22, 1839, contains the following reference to 
the House of Refuge: 

In consideration of the removal, and the relinquishment of the buildings now partially de- 
stroyed, the Corporation gave the Board of Managers the building on the East river known as 
"the fever hospital," built in 1824. Another spacious edifice has been erected on the premises, 
which we believe is nearly completed. 

Although the House of Refuge had evidently removed to Bellevue in 1839, the change 
had not been noted on the 1841 map here reproduced. 

Colton's 1836 copyright line appears on all three issues of the map here described. 

This is one of the most beautiful nineteenth century plans or maps of Manhattan Island, 
and is full of interesting information. It is perhaps the last example of really artistic 
map-making, as applied to Manhattan Island. 

The little vignette view of the city, with the title "Nieuw Amsterdam, 1639," is evi- 
dently taken from the view on the Visscher Map (PI. 7-b). Note, also, the vignette show- 
ing the Astor House, erected in 1834-6, and the American Museum, on the opposite cross 
corner. The former is one of the very few views to show S? Peter's Roman Catholic 


Church in Barclay Street. Among the tiny views in the border are the "Custom House, 
Wall Sf," "City Hall, Wall S?, 1699," "Columbia College," "S! Thomas' Church," "Prot. 
Episcopal Seminary," "Female Orphan Asylum, Bloomingdale," "S! Luke's Church," 
"Deaf and Dumb Asylum," "Hall of Justice," "University, Washington Square," and 
"Reservoir, Bowery." 

Plate 125 

City Hotel, Broadway, New York 

Lithograph, coloured. 22}4xi$}4 Date depicted: 1839-41. 

Date issued: Probably 
Artist: W. K. Hewitt. 
Lithographer: N. Currier. 
Owner: Nicholas F. Palmer, Esq. 

No other copy of this print is known, although modern process reproductions exist. 
These measure lyre x iifV- 

The date of this view must be after September, 1839, when the architect's plans for 
rebuilding Trinity Church were approved by the vestry {Trinity Minutes, MS.), and 
before July, 1841, when the partnership of Gardner & Packer (who appear in the title as 
proprietors), which had existed since October, 1838, was dissolved. — The Eve. Post, October 
18, 1838; N. Y. Com. Adv., July 29, 1841; New York City directories. Although the view 
shows Trinity Church in its completed form, the drawing must have been made from the 
architect's plans, as the church was not completed until 1846. It is to be noted, also, that 
the spire as drawn does not correspond with the spire as executed. 

The City Hotel, or the Tontine City Tavern, as it was also called, was built in 1794-5 
on the site of the old City Tavern, which was demolished to make place for the new build- 
ing. The committee in charge of its construction, in November, 1793, advertised that they 
would pay "twenty guineas premium for the best plan of the buildings they contemplate 
having erected." The architect is unknown, but in May, 1795, James Wilson, an architect 
with address at 148 Broadway, inserted a notice in the leading newspapers declaring that 
a regard for his own reputation as an architect induced him to "take the liberty of inform- 
ing the public . . . that the plan on which the Hotel and Public Rooms, in Broadway" 
was being built, was not his. — The Daily Adv., May 19, 1795. 

The hotel was evidently not a success as at first conducted, for on February 6, 1800, an 
announcement in the Commercial Advertiser offered it for sale. The advertisement ran 
until the end of October, and, on February 7th, following, was again inserted, this time 
with an additional paragraph stating that, if not previously disposed of, it would be sold 
at public auction at the Tontine Coffee House on the first Tuesday in March. In June, 
1 801, John Lovett announces to the ladies and gentlemen of Philadelphia that he has 
opened the City Hotel, which is situated "in a healthy and pleasant part of the City, it 
being one of the most commodious buildings in the United States, commanding an ex- 
tensive view, not only of the town, but also of the North and East Rivers, the State of 
New Jersey, York and Long Island. . . " — The Aurora, June 15, 1801. In November, 
the following paragraph appeared in The N. Y. Gaz. i^ Gen I Adv.: 

We are informed that Mr. Weeks, the builder, has purchased the Tontine City Hotel in 

Broad Way. This immense pile, which in its unfinished state, cost upwards of 100,000 dollars, 


was sold for 48,000! It is said Mr. Weeks intends to convert the lower part of this building into 
stores, and finish the upper part for dwellings. 

Evidently, such disposition of the building was not made, for, in the following spring, 
John Lovett again appears as proprietor. — N. Y. Eve. Post, March 30, 1802. 

On April 24, 1807, C. Dusseaussoir announces in the N. Y. Eve. Post that "he has taken 
the . . . Hotel, at present occupied by Mr. Lovett, and will commence business there on 
the first of May ensuing." On May 9th, he announces the opening of his "Ordinary in the 
large Dining Room," and his advertisement is headed by a woodcut of the building, showing 
it four instead of five storeys in height, as in the present view. For this opening dinner, 
Dusseaussoir advertises that 

besides the best fare the markets afford, cooked in both the French and English style, he will 
cover the Table with Fine Green Turtle. 

Those who prefer it may be accommodated at the Bar with bowls of Soup in the usual man- 
ner. Families may be supplied with any quantity, from 12 o'clock to 4. 

Dinner on the table precisely at 3 o'clock, which in future is the established Dinner hour at 
the Hotel. 

A bill-head of Chenelette Dusseaussoir, in the collections of the N. Y. Hist. Society, con- 
tains a somewhat larger woodcut of the hotel, showing the ground floor occupied by stores. 
The bill, which is dated July 29, 1807, is addressed to Messrs. Barker & Collins, and is an 
itemised account of their expenditures for board, wine, and "seegars," the charge for the 
latter being six cents for three! The same cut was used in The N. Y. Eve. Post of June 7, 
1817, when Chester Jenings announced that he had taken over "this spacious hotel," and 
had converted the shops for the use of the house, thus changing the " former gloomy appear- 
ance of the interior" to "a delightful view of Broadway." 

The building was probably demolished in 1849, as it was announced in the Commercial 
Advertiser for April 27, 1849, that the hotel was to be torn down and a block of stores 
erected on the site. 

Plate 126-a 
Croton Water Celebration 1842 
Lithograph. 12^ xy^^ Date depicted: 1842. 

Date issued: Copyright 1842. 
Provenance: From a music sheet. 
Publisher: J. F. Atwill. 
Owner: N. Y. Hist. Society. 
Other copies: N. Y. Public Library (Emmet Collection, 11 526); I.N.P.S., etc. 

Only known state. This crude and amusing little view depicts the parade of October 
14, 1842, held to celebrate the completion of the Croton Aqueduct. 

On July 5th, Alderman Lee presented before the Board of Aldermen a resolution to 
appoint a committee of five for the purpose of making arrangements to celebrate the intro- 
duction of Croton water into the city. On September 19th, this committee made its re- 
port. It recommended that the celebration be deferred until October 14th, when the 
fountain in City Hall Park would be sufficiently completed to be used in the ceremonies. 
This fountain stood where the Post Office was later built. The committee also suggested 
the following resolution: 

Resolved, That the sum of two thousand dollars be, and the same is hereby appropriated 
for the purpose of celebrating the introduction of the Croton water into this city, and that the 


same be applied under the direction of the Committee on the Celebration; and that said Com- 
mittee be requested to report a programme of the ceremonies of the day to the Common Council, 
at least three days before the day fixed for such celebration. 

The resolution was adopted, and, on October loth, the committee reported: 

That, having taken into consideration the great importance of this stupendous monument 
of the enterprise of the citizens of New York — a work which cannot but create in the breast of 
every citizen, a feeling of pride at its completion, and which will vie in magnitude with any in 
the world, and will be handed dovpn to posterity as an evidence of the liberality of the free and 
enlightened citizens of the greatest commercial emporium in the United States, in the nineteenth 
century; for while tyrants and despots may have caused monuments to be erected, in order to 
commemorate their reign, your Committee believe there is not an instance on record in which 
the citizens of any country have, of their own free will and accord, authorised the construction 
of a work of the same magnitude, the beneficial effects of which will be experienced by ages yet 
unborn.^King's A Memoir of the Construction, Cost, and Capacity of the Croton Aqueduct, etc., 

A programme of arrangements for the celebration was printed in The Evening Post, on 
October 13th; and on October 15th, the day following the celebration, a long account 
appeared in the same paper. During the procession, according to this account, 

the streets . . . were thronged long before the pageant passed, with numbers of people, men, 
women and children in neat attire and with cheerful faces. All windows and doors and bal- 
conies were full of people; the steps of the dwellings and churches were beset with gazers; the 
trees and avsming-posts were turned into perches for boys, picturesque groups were seen on the 
housetops, and the footways on each side of the street were faced by an unbroken line of spec- 
tators. The Park, and Union Square, in each of which a magnificent fountain was playing, had 
also their expectant multitudes. It seemed as if every person in the city, of a proper age to 
enjoy the sight, was present, and the whole of our immense population concentrated in Broad- 
way, the Bowery and Chatham street. 

At the left of the view, with a flag at half mast, for no apparent reason, is the Astor 
House. The lantern of the City Hall appears above the fountain, and, at the extreme 
right, are seen the Park Theatre and the steeple of the Brick Church. 

For a history of the Croton and other early water-works, see Chronology 1774, 1799, 
1825, 1829, and 1832-42. A history of the construction of the Croton Aqueduct, written 
by F. B. Tower, of the Engineer Department, and illustrated by very attractive aquatints, 
drawn by Tower and engraved by W. (J.) Bennett, J. W. Hill, and others, was published 
in 1843 by Wiley and Putnam. 

Plate 126-b 
The Times 
Lithograph, coloured. i8^xi2>^ Date depicted: 1837. 

Date issued: Copyright 1837. 
Artist: Edward W. Clay, whose name appears in lower right portion of the view. 
Publisher: H. R. Robinson, 52 Cortlandt Street. 
Owner: J. P. Whiton-Stuart, Esq. 

Other copies: N. Y. Hist. Society; collection of Percy R. Pyne, 2d, Esq.; I.N.P.S. 
These are the only copies known. 

This cartoon was printed in connection with the "locofoco" campaign of 1837. The 
view, which is entirely fictitious, is evidently intended to represent the panic resulting 
from the government's decision, in 1836, that all public lands must be paid for in specie. 


The shortage of money, and its consequent rise in value, led to many business failures 
and a period of general distress among the poorer classes. 

The buildings shown in the caricature resemble in general character those existing in 
New York at the time, but probably not one is an accurate representation of the building 
which, according to the sign upon it, it is supposed to represent. Near the centre of the 
view, for instance, appears the Custom House, which at this period, awaiting the com- 
pletion of the new Custom House on the north-east corner of Wall and Nassau Streets, 
occupied the buildings at Nos. 20 and 22 Pine Street, running through to 64 and 66 Cedar 
Street. To the right of the Custom House is the Mechanics' Bank, situated in 1837 at 
16 Wall Street. Groups of people are standing in front of this building, and the sign over 
the door reads: "No Specie payments made here," while over the Custom House the sign 
reads: "All Bonds must be paid in Specie." 

The names on the various signs are amusing. To the left is "S. Rumbottle Liquor 
Store"; next is "Shylock Graspall Licensed Pawnbroker," while to the right is "Peter 
Pillage Attorney at Law." On the ground is seen a torn notice of a "Loco Foco Meeting 
Park." This may refer to a meeting held in City Hall Park on Monday, February 13, 
1837. A handbill calling this meeting had been freely distributed, and was also inserted in 
The N. Y. Eve. Post of February loth and nth. It reads as follows: 

Their Prices must come down! 
The Voice of the People Shall be Heard, and Will Prevail ! 

The People will meet in the Park, Rain or Shine, at 4 o'clock on Monday Afternoon, To inquire 
into the Cause of the present unexampled Distress, and to devise a suitable Remedy. All 
Friends of Humanity, determined to resist Monopolists and Extortioners, are invited to 
attend. ... 

This meeting ended in a riot, during which the store of Eli Hart, a strong friend of the 
Jackson administration, was attacked by the rioters. Nearly two hundred barrels of flour 
and a thousand bushels of wheat were destroyed. For a detailed account of this riot, see 

The head in the clouds is intended to represent President Jackson. A balloon, desig- 
nated "Safety Fund," is on fire and about to collapse. Shipping is standing idle in the 
river, on the opposite side of which are the Bridewell and Almshouse. 

This is one of the earliest New York views showing a locomotive. 

An amusing and very rare caricature entitled "The Funeral of Old Tammany" was 
issued by H. R. Robinson in 1836. It shows Tammany Hall in the background. 

Reproduced and described here for the first time. 

Reference: Stauffer, I: 50. 

Plate 127 
38TH Regiment Jefferson Guards New York State Artillery 
Lithograph, coloured. 2411x14^ Date depicted: 1843 ? 

Date issued: Copyright 1843. 
Artist: F. J. Fritsch, whose reversed signature appears in the centre foreground 

just above the marginal emblem. 
Owner: I.N.P.S. 
Other copies: N. Y. Public Library, etc. 


Second state. Copies exist with the line "Prin. by Endicott N. Y." in lower left margin 
between the rectangle and the outside line of the frame. The copy in the N. Y. Public 
Library plainly shows that this erasure was made on the plate and not on the print. 

This view shows a part of the City Hall and Park. To the right of the view is 
the Hall of Records, formerly the old Gaol. The dome shown on the left of the Hall of 
Records is that of the Panoramic Rotunda, erected in 1817, to the west of which appears 
the old Almshouse, which at this period had been converted into an annex to the City 

The faces of the soldiers are said to be portraits, and the number of the prints issued is 
supposed to have been limited to those whose portraits are shown. The companion picture 
(PI. 128) shows the First Division, New York State Artillery, in front of Castle Garden. 
It is possible that these two views were drawn on the occasion of the Croton Water Cele- 
bration, on October 14, 1842. 

Plate 128 
First Division New York State Artillery 
Lithograph, coloured. 25^ x 1634 Date depicted: 1844? 

Date issued: Copyright 1844. 
Artist and publisher: F. J. Fritsch. 
Owner: From the Lander-Daly-Borden Collections. 
Other copies: N. Y. Public Library (Eno Collection), etc. 

Probably the third state. An earlier issue of the plate (copy in Pyne Collection) has 
the name "F. J. Fritsch Del." in lower left above the words "Morris Cadets," and is before 
the addition of the line "Drawn from Nature and pub. by F. J. Fritsch," which occurs in 
our reproduction beneath the words "Morris Cadets." This latter state shows an erasure, 
probably on the plate, in the lower right, above the word "Lancers," which must indicate 
the existence of a still earlier issue, probably the first. Some issues of the plate (Simeon 
Ford Collection, etc.) show red trappings on the two grey horses in the centre and right 
centre, but these are evidently added in water-colours. 

As in the previous view, the faces of the officers and men are supposed to be from 
daguerreotypes, and the edition limited to subscribers whose portraits appear. 

The view may possibly represent the celebration of Evacuation Day — November 25th. 
As late as 1882, the "Old Guard" was in the habit of parading annually at the Battery 
in commemoration of this event. 

Plate 129-a 

Suburban Gothic Villa 

[The Waddell Villa] 

Wash-drawing on paper. 7^x5^^ Date depicted: 1844. 

Artist: A. J. Davis. 

Owner: I.N.P.S. (acquired from Mr. Joseph B. Davis, the son of the artist). 

The Suburban Gothic Villa was designed by Alexander J. Davis, in 1844, for William 
Coventry H. Waddell. The subjoined letter, in the author's possession, addressed by Mr. 
Waddell to Henry H. Elliot, Esq., furnishes interesting particulars regarding its inception: 


My dear sir 

Allow me to ask the favour of your seeing Mf Davis On Monday Morning On his return 
from Newburg and say to him — that I am about leaving the City for a week or ten days. That 
I am pleased with the plan and arrangement of the House — which I propose to build of brick 
close jointed and painted — to have some brick specially moulded for the sides of the windows &c 

Provided I find that I can build such a description of House within reasonable limits. Walls 
trimmings &c say like your House in quality — or similar. — 

As this latter information cannot be obtained until something of a Specification is prepared 
& estimate obtained founded thereon I wish to facilitate the attainment of that information 
during my absence — and am thus urgent because as you know I am bound under a penalty to 
build a House of some description to the value of $7000 this fall — to be built in part at any rate. 

Will you therefore see M"' Davis for me — ascertain for me some view of his charges against 
me thus far & if he will at a reasonable rate make a Specification building plans &c exercise 
your discretion for me therein till my return. 

As you are so ready with your pen — wont you favour me with a line to "U. S. Hotel Sara- 
toga Springs" after you've seen M"^ Davis 

Yrs very truly 
N. Y 27 July 1844 W" Coventry Waddell 

On the second page of this letter, Davis has noted, in pencil: 

Answered Mr. Elliott that 

the Designs and Specifications would 

be 100.00 - 

And details about another 100.00 

including such only as 

necessary to carry out the plan 

The Waddell Villa stood on ground which was formerly a part of the common lands, 
about thirty acres of which became known as the Ogden Place Farm. Murray Hoffman 
and Elizabeth Giles, heirs of Ogden, on October 30, 1842, sold, for $5,800, a portion of this 
property, consisting of the ground lying between 37th and 38th Streets and fronting on 
Fifth Avenue, 170 feet deep, to Mary Hallett {Liber Deeds, CDXXXIX: 557), who, on 
April 27, 1844, deeded all but the south-westerly corner, a plot about fifty by one hundred 
feet, on 37th Street (which had already been sold), to Mr. Waddell. — Ibid., CDLIII:8i. 
On June 29, 1844, this small fifty-foot lot also came into the possession of Mr. Waddell for 
$850. — Ibid., CDLIII:8o. The house stood, as the drawing shows, on the north-west 
corner of 37th Street and Fifth Avenue. The south-west corner of the old reservoir can 
be seen at the extreme right of the view. A close examination of the drawing reveals 
the name of the owner combined in the design of the wrought iron fence — a curious conceit. 

At the time of the erection of the house, Fifth Avenue in the neighbourhood of 37th 
Street was little more than a country road, with old farm fences visible on all sides. The 
villa soon became a famous social centre, but only for a brief time. The author's mother, 
who lived in the house built in 1853-4 by her father, Mr. Isaac N. Phelps, on the south- 
east corner of 37th Street and Madison Avenue, and still standing (see PI. 145), well remem- 
bers attending a ball given in the Waddell Villa. In 1849, the grading and lowering of 
Fifth Avenue greatly altered the appearance of the villa and its immediate surroundings, 
the grade at 37th Street being lowered 6 feet 6 inches, and at 38th Street 9 feet 11 inches. — 
Records in Title Guarantee & Trust Co. 

A small contemporary woodcut view of the house is contained in Putnam's Monthly 
for March, 1854, which gives also the following description of the property: 

Mr. Waddell's residence, at the corner of Fifth Avenue and Thirty-eighth-street, may be 
called a suburban villa, and is remarkable for being inclosed in its own garden ground, which is 


as high as the original level of the island, and descends by sloping grass banks to the grade of 
the street. . . . The general composition and effect is picturesque and commendable, notwith- 
standing an occasional want of character and correctness in the details. It is built of brick 
stuccoed, with brown sand-stone dressings, the color of which does not quite harmonize with 
the yellowish gray of the walls: ... A conservatory, and various offices extend to the left: 
there is also a Gothic cottage lodge on the north side of the garden, of which, and of the whole 
ground, a fine view is obtained from the terrace of the Croton Reservoir; while two or three old 
trees still standing in the garden on that side add to the semi-rural character of the edifice. 

Another description of the Waddell Villa is to be found in The Queens of American 
Society, by Mrs. E. F. L. Ellet, who devotes a chapter to Mrs. Waddell and her social 
career. She says: 

"Murray Hill," with its grounds, occupied an entire block. It was a Gothic villa, with 
tower, and large conservatory; the grounds were laid out in walks and divided by hedges, and 
vines were trained along the walls. From the broad marble hall a winding staircase ascended 
to the tower, whence a view of the city, the river, and distant hills could be obtained. The 
picture-gallery, well stored with valuable paintings, always attracted the attention of visitors. 
In the winter of 1845, several lots had been put into a wheat-field by the gardener, so remote 
was the place from the city. For twelve years Mr. and Mrs. Waddell lived in this delightful 
villa, while the city gradually approached nearer to their home. 

The Waddell Villa vsras also referred to by Ann S. Stephens, in Fashion and Famine (pp. 
173, 222), a novel published in 1854. 

In 1855, Mr. Waddell sold the property, a part of which {98 ft-9 in. x 145 ft.), by a 
deed dated October 8, 1856 {Liber Deeds, DCCXVI: 322), came into the possession of the 
trustees of the Presbyterian Church, who proceeded, in 1857-8, to erect the Brick Church, 
which still (1917) occupies this site. 

This water-colour drawing is the original of a tinted lithograph, drawn on stone by 
F. Palmer and printed by E. Jones and E. Palmer. Beneath the perspective draw- 
ing of the house, which measures y^ x 5yV inches, the lithograph also reproduces the 
plans of the first and second floors. There is a copy of this lithograph in the N. Y. Hist. 

Reproduced here for the first time. 

Plate 129-b 

Church of the Holy Communion, New York 

Lithograph. lojixj}^ Date depicted: 1846-7. 

Date issued: 1849. 
Provenance: From Hints on Public Architecture, by Robert Dale Owen, published 

by George P. Putnam, New York and London, 1849. 
Artist: (Richard) Upjohn. 
Lithographer: Ackerman, who appears at 120 Fulton Street (the address given on 

the view) only in the directories for 1848-50. 
Owner: I.N.P.S. 
Other copies: N. Y. Public Library; N. Y. Hist. Society, etc. 

Only known state. The book in which this view appears was issued in 1849 by the 
building committee of the Smithsonian Institute, under a resolution of the board of regents, 
adopted February 5, 1847, authorising the committee to publish, in such form as they 


might deem appropriate, a brief treatise on public architecture. The text (p. 71) contains 
the following information concerning the view here reproduced: 

In the plate representing the Church of the Holy Communion, (Dr. Muhlenberg's,) land- 
scape scenery has been substituted for the streets of the city, as more appropriate to the character 
of the building. 

This comment is interesting as showing the importance, in determining the date of a 
view, of scrutinising more than the information given on its face. 

As the manuscript is spoken of as complete in 1847, it is altogether likely that the 
view represents the church in that year, or in 1846. The book contains also an exterior 
and interior view of Grace Church. The body of the text is given up to a discussion of 
architectural styles in general, and of the architecture of the Smithsonian Institute in 

The Church of the Holy Communion was built by Mrs. Rogers, widow of John Rogers, 
on land belonging to the Rogers estate, as "a free church" in perpetuity. The corner-stone 
was laid on July 24, 1844, and the building was sufficiently completed by May, 1846, for 
services to be held in it. The original water-colour drawing by the architect, Richard 
Upjohn, from which this lithograph was made, is now in the possession of his grandson, 
Mr. Hobart B. Upjohn, of New York. 

Plate 130-a 
Front View of the New York Post Office 
Lithograph. 17^x12^ Date depicted: 1844. 

Date issued: February i, 
Lithographer: Endicott. 
Owner: I.N.P.S. 
Other copies: N. Y. Public Library (Eno Collection); N. Y. Hist. Society, etc. 

Only known state. The Middle Dutch Church on Nassau Street was built in 1727-31. 
For a view of the building as it first appeared, see Plate 28, where a brief history of the 
church is also given. For a more detailed account, see Chronology. 

In 1844, the church was leased to the United States as a Post Office, [i] The last ser- 
mon preached in the building before its conversion was delivered on August 11, 1844. — 
De Witt's Discourse, 1857, p. 83. The Evening Post of January 17, 1845, contains a detailed 
description of the new Post Office, including the changes made in the church building, for 
which see Chronology. On October 18, 1882, the building was sold at auction. A very 
interesting history of the old church is given in the issue of The Evening Post for October 17, 
1882, and is here quoted at length: 

The church was occupied by a prosperous congregation until 1844, when, in view of the 
occupation of the neighborhood for business purposes, it was leased to the United States Gov- 
ernment for use as a Post-office. . . The lease of the Post-office expired in i860, and in that year 

['] It may be of interest to note that in 1856, when the Government was considering a site for a new 
Post Office in New York, Augustine Smith, who had "lately purchased the property known as the Brick 
Church," proposed to sell it to the U. S. Government for this purpose for $600,000. — U. S. Senate Ex. 
Docs., 34th Cong., ist Sess., 1855-6. 


the Government began to seek a new site, as this one was valued at $250,000, and the Post-office 
Department was limited to $200,000 for this purpose. Many merchants, banks, and insurance 
companies were unwilling to have the Post-office removed, and they therefore subscribed $50,000 
to make up the amount required. The Government then bought the property, which continued 
to be used as the Post-office until the completion of the new Post-office, on the ist of September, 
1875. Most of the subscribers to the purchase in i860 were members of the Chamber of Com- 
merce, or represented therein. A few years later all of the subscribers who were living, and were 
accessible, made formal assignments to the Chamber of Commerce of all their interest in the 
property, upon condition that the Chamber should erect on the site a building for its own use. 
After the premises became the property of the Government, a brick addition was built forming 
a sort of shell around the old church, most of which it conceals from view. During the draft 
riots of 1863 an attack on the building was expected, and the Post-office clerks were armed for 
its defence. A cannon was planted in the doorway of the old tower abutting on Liberty Street, 
and probably had a repelling influence on the mob, though in fact it was unloaded. 

For about a year and a half after the removal of the Post-office the old building was un- 
used, except as a storehouse for some odds and ends of Government property. On the ist of 
October, 1877, it was leased for one year, for the sum of $5,000, to James H. Conant, of Boston, 
who made some repairs and then sub-let it for a great variety of retail business purposes. Ever 
since then it has been occupied for shops, restaurants, billiard-rooms, offices, etc. At one time 
the auditory of the old church was occupied as the exchange of the Open Board of Brokers. Mr. 
Conant's lease was renewed on the original terms until the ist of May, 1880, when Secretary 
Sherman renewed it for two years at the rate of $12,000 a year. In consequence of the private 
occupancy of the premises, they were assessed for city taxes, but these have never been paid, 
and the accumulated taxes, assessments, etc., now amount to more than $20,000. 

On March 2, 1871, a Committee of the Chamber of Commerce, consisting of A. A. Low, 
William E. Dodge, and George Opdyke, sent a memorial to Congress, setting forth the Cham- 
ber's claim in equity upon the old Post-office site, when it should no longer be required for Gov- 
ernment purposes, and asking that they might be permitted to buy it for the $200,000 which it 
originally cost the Government, as the site of a building for the Chamber's occupancy. A bill 
authorizing such a sale was introduced in the United States Senate on April 15, 1872, but was 
not acted upon. Similar bills were introduced in the Forty-fourth and Forty-fifth Congresses 
without effect. In subsequent Congresses bills were presented for the sale of the property at 
public auction, at a sum not less than $300,000, with a rebate of $50,000 from the proceeds to the 
Chamber of Commerce. All these attempts to get the premises out of Mr. Conant's possession 
were resisted by him successfully, his influence at Washington being singularly effective. Fi- 
nally, in July last. Congress passed the bill which authorizes the sale that is to take place tomor- 
row. The bill contains no recognition of the equitable claim of the Chamber of Commerce to 
one-fifth of the net proceeds of the sale, and at its last meeting the Chamber adopted a report of 
its Building Committee declaring it inexpedient for them to compete with other buyers. 

The Mutual Life Insurance Company purchased the property for $650,000, the deed 
bearing date of October 30th. — Annual Report, Mutual Life Ins. Co., 1883. The demoli- 
tion of the old church building quickly followed, "watched daily by thousands of relic- 
hunters and citizens." — Mrs. Lamb, in Mag. of Am. Hist. (1889), XXII: 196. In the issues 
of The N. Y. Times of November 19, 1882, et seq., various allusions are made to the demolition 
of the old building, then under way, and to the various coins and other curios unearthed 
by the workmen. The corner-stone of the Mutual Life Insurance Company's building was 
laid on May 16, 1883, and, when completed, the Chamber of Commerce, disappointed in 
its hope of securing a site and erecting a building of its own, leased a hall in the new building. 

A view of the old Post Office in 1856, etched by Eliza Greatorex, after a painting by 
Wotherspoon, appears in Old New York from the Battery to Bloomingdale. There exists, 
also, a well-known lithograph, published by Herm. Wessbecher, showing the church sur- 
rounded by the brick extensions which were erected, as stated above, shortly after i860. 


Plate 130-b 
North Interior View of the New York Post Office 
Lithograph. 17^^x12^ Date depicted: 1844. 

Date issued: February i, 
Lithographer: Endicott. 
Owner: I.N.P.S. 
Other copies: N. Y. PubHc Library (Eno Collection); N. Y. Hist. Society, etc. 

For remarks, see preceding plate description. Besides the view of the front and that of 
the interior looking north, here reproduced, the set includes a south interior view, which 
also is contained in the Eno Collection. 

A printed invitation to view the building, surmounted by a picture of the old church, 
and Uthographed by Endicott, was issued at the time of the opening by John Lorimer 
Graham, Postmaster. A copy was offered in the sale of the Holden Collection, in 1910 
(No. 2230). The invitation reads as follows: 

Post OfBce. 22 Johon (sic) St. 
New York, Jan'' 23, 1845. 
The Post Master has great pleasure in announcing to his fellow Citizens that the new 
Post Office Building on Nassau Street, will be ready for occupation in a few days — He 
respectfully invites — to view the interior arrangements of the establish- 
ment on Tuesday the 28th inst from 12. to 3 o'clock. 

John Lorimer Graham P. M. 

The Post Office was not formally opened for business until February 4, 1845. At the 
same time, according to the announcement in The Evening Post of that date, the branch 
office in Chatham Square was opened, and the old offices in the Park (Rotunda) and 
in the Merchants' Exchange were discontinued. 

Plate 131 

(New- York. Taken from the North west angle of Fort Columbus, 

Governor's Island) 

[The Catherwood-Papprill View] 

Aquatint. 267! x 16x1 Date depicted: 1846. 

Date issued: Copyright 1846. 
Artist: F. Catherwood. 
Engraver: Henry Papprill. 
Owner: I.N.P.S. 

Other copies (with title): N. Y. Public Library (Eno Collection); N. Y. Hist. 
Society, etc. 

Proof before all letters except engraver's name, which is scratched in small letters in 
the centre of the lower margin. The complete imprint, taken from a copy in the possession 
of Mr. Edward W. C. Arnold, is as follows: "From a sketch by F. Catherwood Esq. — Eng. 
by Henry Papprill / Henry I. Megarey New York. / New- York./ Taken from the North 
west angle of Fort Columbus, Governor's Island. / Entered according to Act of Congress 


in the year 1846 by H. I. Megarey in the clerk's office of the District Court in the Southern 
District of New York." 

An earher state exists, before the copyright notice. Impressions with the copyright 
notice are rarer than impressions without this notice. Modern impressions also exist. The 
copperplate, which once belonged to Mr. Holden, is now in the N. Y. Hist. Society. 

Reproduction: Valentine's Manual, i860, frontispiece. 

Reference: StaufFer, I: 199. 

Plate 132 

(New York From the steeple of St. Paul's Church 

LOOKING East, South and West) 

[The Papprill View from St. Paul's Chapel] 

Aquatint, coloured. 36^x2ij<4 Date depicted: 1848. 

Date issued: Copyright 1849. 
Artist: J. W. Hill. 
Engraver: Henry Papprill. 

Publisher: H. I. Megarey Pub. New York (on red stamp). 
Owner: N. Y. Hist. Society. 
Other copies: N. Y. Public Library (Eno collection); I.N.P.S., etc. 

Second known state. The Holden collection contained an early proof of this print 
(later in Mr. Pyne's collection, and now owned by Mr. Arnold), before the artist's line, the 
word "Proof," and the words "Glass, Paints & Oils," at the top of Hopkins & Crow's 
building, near the extreme right of the view. This latter copy also bears a small oval blue 
stamp with "H. I. Megarey, New York," but without "Pub." It is the only known copy 
of the print in this condition. A later issue (third state) was published in 1855 by Jos. 
Laing & Co., with storeys added to some of the buildings, the lettering on several signs 
changed, and the words "With the City of Brooklyn in the Distance" added under the 
title. Modern impressions exist. The plate is now in the possession of the N. Y. Hist. 

This is one of the most comprehensive and interesting views of the lower part of the 
city at this period. The churches shown, beginning at the left, are St. George's, the North 
Dutch Church, the Middle Dutch Church (used at this time as the Post Office), and Trin- 
ity Church. Brady's celebrated Daguerrian Miniature Gallery is seen in the centre fore- 
ground, on the south-west corner of Fulton Street and Broadway, and Barnum's even 
more celebrated museum opposite St. Paul's, on the south-east corner of Broadway and 
Ann Street. 

There exists a very similar woodcut view of "New York, in 1849" from the roof of 
Trinity Church, looking east and north. The view is printed on two sheets, each measuring 
ijpi X 14^8 inches, and is usually found coloured. It was drawn by E. Purcell, engraved 
and copyrighted by S. Weekes in 1848, and published by Robert Sears, 128 Nassau Street. 


Plate 133-a 
View of Broadway in the City of New York with the proposed Elevated 

Rail-way invented by John Randel, Jun^ C. E. 
Lithograph. 241/g x I9>^ Date depicted: 1846. 

Date issued: 1848. 
Artist : Drawn on stone by R. J. Rayner. 
Lithographer: Designed by G. Hayward. 
Owner: J. P. Whiton-Stuart, Esq. 

Other copies: Clarence Davies, Esq. (from the Holden Collection); Edward W. C. 
Arnold, Esq.; Down Town Association (imperfect). 

This print is chiefly interesting as showing, in considerable detail, a proposed plan for 
an elevated railway twenty-one years before the first elevated railway was actually built 
on Greenwich Street. A still earlier suggestion for an elevated railway had been made by 
John Stevens in 1832. — See Chronology. 

The inventor and patentee of this plan was the same John Randel, Jr., who, in 1808, 
was appointed secretary and surveyor to the commissioners named for laying out streets 
and roads above Art Street, and who was the author of the so-called Commissioners' Plan 

(PI. 79)- 

In March, 1846, Randel was given permission to deposit in the Street Commissioners' 
Office "such plans, models and specifications as he might deem necessary to give the 
requisite information to the parties interested. ..." These plans were advertised for 
the objections of property owners on Broadway, and of others, and a committee called 
the "Committee on Streets" was appointed to investigate and report on the subject. This 
committee submitted their recommendation on December 6, 1847. They said: 

The invention of Mr. Randel is one of great ingenuity, and no doubt can be applied to other 
cities with advantage, but should it come into use on Broadway, it would no doubt destroy the 
appearance of the street, as well as drive the citizens entirely from it. 

In view of these statements, your Committee submit that it would not be judicious to grant 
permission for the construction of a railway of any description in Broadway, . . . — Proceed. 
Bd. of Aldermen, XXXIV, Part i, p. 78. 

The report was accepted by the Board of Aldermen, the committee discharged, and 
the papers filed. 

In September, 1848, Randel exhibited his "Working Model [which he said was the result 
of two and a half years' work and an expenditure of between four and five thousand dollars], 
Perspective View, and Sectional Drawings" at the Mechanics' Institute, then occupying 
Room 18 in the City Hall, and on September i8th, issued an invitation to the Mayor and 
Common Council to examine his drawings, etc. The objections which had been raised 
by citizens during the preceding year, again prevented the carrying out of Randel's plan, 
and for a number of years prevented the construction of even a surface line on Broadway. 

The invitation issued by Randel in 1848 is published in a pamphlet entitled Explanatory 
Remarks and Estimates of the Cost and Income of the Elevated Railway (etc.). In this same 
pamphlet will be found the following reference to the view here reproduced : 

The Perspective View was taken from the South side of Fulton-street, northerly, and shows 
the Museum, the City Hall, the Park and its Fountain, Stewart's Building &c., on the east; 
Saint Paul's Church, the Astor House, the American Hotel, the Broadway Hotel, the Irving 


House, &c., on the west, and Grace Church in the distance, with the passenger-cars and tenders 
ascending Broadway on the east, and descending it on the west side; and also showing the Stairs, 
Sofa Elevator['] and Ladies' PaviHon, &c., as they will appear when erected. . . 

The first elevated railway actually constructed in New York was built in 1869-70 on 
Greenwich Street and Ninth Avenue from Battery Place to 30th Street. — See Chronology. 
In a photograph owned by Mr. Frank Hedley, and reproduced in the Addenda to this 
volume, Charles T. Harvey, the originator of the plan, is shown making a trial trip in a 
small car on the half mile experimental line built in 1867 between the Battery and Dey 
Street to demonstrate to the public that the cars would not jump the track. Another 
view, owned by Miss Katherine M. Brown, and reproduced by Henry Collins Brown in 
his Book of Old New York, shows a section of this early elevated railway. It was built 
on a single row of iron supports which stood along the sidewalk, and consisted of a single 
track, the cars being operated back and forth by a cable. For fuller information regarding 
this and later New York elevated railways, see Chronology. 

Reproduced and described here for the first time. 

Plate 133-b 
Proposed Arcade Railway. Under Broadway 


Lithograph, coloured. 24 x 17^^ Date depicted: 1869. 

Date issued: 1870. 

Artist: Probably August Will, whose signature is attached to an unfinished but 
very similar sketch in the possession of the N. Y. Hist. Society and bearing 
the following inscription: "First Sketch for an under ground R. R. to be build 
[sic] under Broadway, New York City. Aug. Will, Del." 

Lithographers: Ferd. Mayer & Sons. 

Owner: N. Y. Public Library (Eno Collection). 

Other copies: N. Y. Hist. Society, etc. 

Second state. The first issue of the lithograph has the following imprint: Proposed 
Arcade Railway. / Under Broadway, / [View Near Wall Street.] Ferd. Mayer & Sons, 
Lith.— / 96 & 98 Fulton Street, N. Y.— /—address 156 Broadway, N. Y. / —Melville C. 
Smith, Projector. 

On the copy here reproduced, the name and address of Melville C. Smith have been 
added in manuscript. Copies exist, however, with this printed in two lines: Melville C. 
Smith, Projector /Address, 156 Broadway, N. Y. 

The date of issue was probably 1870, as in this year the bill authorising the construc- 
tion of the Arcade Railway was passed by the Legislature, and the interest in the con- 
struction of the road was at its height. This date seems also to be indicated by the fact 
that Ferd. Mayer & Sons, lithographers, were at 96 and 98 Fulton Street, the address 
given on the print, only in 1870-71. Melville C. Smith, whose name appears upon the 
lithograph as the projector of the Arcade Railway, with address at 156 Broadway, was 
at this number from 1868 to 1871 only; while Hatch & Co., lithographers, who were in the 

('] It is interesting to note the plunger elevators shown in connection with the station platforms. 


Trinity Building from 1865 until 1869-70, and whose sign appears upon other lithographs 
showing the Arcade plan, are evidently no longer at this address. 

The view shows a part of the monument erected in 1858 to the soldiers and sailors who 
were buried in Trinity Churchyard, and the Equitable Building, completed in 1870, on 
the corner of Broadway and Cedar Street. This building was later heightened and en- 
larged to include the entire block through to Pine Street. 

The Arcade Railway was one of the methods proposed to relieve the congestion of 
lower Broadway, which by 1870 had become a serious city problem. The promoter and 
president of the company was Melville C. Smith; Egbert L. Viele was the chief engineer, 
and S. B. B. Nowlan the engineer of construction. Although the bill authorising the 
construction of the Arcade Railway was passed by the Legislature, on April 26, 1870, it 
was vetoed by Governor Hoffman. In 1881 a similar bill was vetoed by Governor Cornell; 
in 1884 by Governor Cleveland, and in 1885 by Governor Hill. The Arcade Railway 
Company never constructed any part of its proposed road, but the Beach Pneumatic 
Transit Company, which preceded the Arcade Company, and was later absorbed by it, 
built a section of a tunnel beneath Broadway, in 1869-70, from Warren Street nearly to 
Murray Street. An interesting pamphlet entitled Underground Railzoay was published in 
New York in 1870. It describes the entrance as being at the south-west corner of Broad- 
way and Warren Street, through the basement of the Devlin Building. The waiting-room 
was "a large and elegantly furnished apartment commencing at Broadway and extending 
down Warren Street for a distance of 120 feet, built wholly underground." The length 
of the tunnel, which was opened to the public on February 26th, 1870, was 312 feet. — 
N. Y. Times, February 27, 1870. The Sun of February 4, 1912, states that for a time the 
old tunnel was used as a shooting-gallery. In 191 2, while excavating for the new line of 
the Broadway subway, the remains of the old Beach tube were uncovered by workmen. — 
The Eve. Post, June 29, 191 2. 

Although the subject was frequently agitated, the first actual subway was not begun 
until 1900. 

Plate 134 
(New York from the heights above St. George's, Staten Island) 
Two sections, each measuring 
Lithograph. 37>^ x 12X Date depicted: 1849. 

Date issued: Copyright 
Artist: Sketched and drawn on stone by C. W. Burton. 
Lithographers & pubhshers: Sarony & Major. 
Owner: I.N.P.S. 

Other copies: N. Y. Public Library (Eno Collection); N. Y. Hist. Society; Library 
of Congress, etc. 

Only known state (except copies with copyright inscription). The lithograph was 
issued as one plate, with the two parts printed one above the other on the same sheet, but 
evidently intended to be cut apart and mounted as a panorama. 

The Staten Island Quarantine Station, with the Marine and Yellow Fever Hospitals, 
is shown in the foreground. 


Plate 135 
New York 
[Union Square looking South] 
Lithograph, coloured. 28xi8>^ Date depicted: 1849. 

Date issued: Copyright 
Artist and lithographer: C. Bachman. 
Publishers: Williams & Stevens, 353 Broadway, N. Y. 
Owner: I.N.P.S. 
Other copies: N. Y. Public Library (Eno Collection); N. Y. Hist. Society, etc. 

Second state. The first state has the same imprint except that the publisher's line 
reads: "Published by John Bachmann, 5 Rector St. N. York." The print is otherwise 
identical except for a fine line framing the rectangle. Impressions of the Williams & 
Stevens issue exist with the date in the copyright line changed to 1850. 

This is a very comprehensive and clear view of the city below Union Square. Prac- 
tically every important building standing at the time between Union Square and Wall 
Street can be distinguished. A similar view, taken sixty years later from a point a few 
blocks farther north, is shown on Plate 169. 

Union Square was created under the Commissioners' Plan of 1807, on which it appears 
as "Union Place," and extended from loth Street to 17th Street. In 1815, a committee 
appointed to consider proposals to reduce the size of some of the public squares recom- 
mended the discontinuance of Union Place. The junction of Broadway and Fourth Avenue, 
or, as they were then designated, the Bloomingdale Road and the Bowery, was called "the 
Forks," and was partially surrounded during the first quarter of the century by ramshackle 
old dwellings. For a view of this neighbourhood in 1826, see Addenda. In April, 1831, 
an act was passed by the Legislature, in compliance with an appeal of the citizens, again 
creating a park out of the area contained between 14th and 15th Streets, Fourth Avenue, 
and the Bloomingdale Road. The limited area was not found satisfactory, as is stated in 
a resolution adopted by the Board of Assistant Aldermen, on November 7, 1 83 1, reading: 

In its present form, Union Place presents to the eye a shapeless and ill-looking place, devoid 
of symmetry, and is also of too limited dimensions for any purpose for which hereafter it may 
be not only expedient but necessary to devote it. 

An application to the Legislature resulted in the passage of an act, on April 5, 1832, 
enlarging Union Place to its present size. The iron fence and other improvements were 
added in 1835 and 1836, and the fountain was constructed in 1842 at the time of the com- 
pletion of the Croton Aqueduct, and first put in operation on October 14th, the day of the 
Croton Water Celebration. The iron fence was taken down in 1871. 

In 1835 Washington Square and the surrounding streets formed the most fashionable 
residential quarters of the town. By 1849 this centre of fashion had moved still farther 
north, and Union Place had become a beautiful residential section. In New York Past, 
Present and Future (1849), Belden describes Union Place as "surrounded by splendid private 
mansions, some of which are of costly magnificence, and its vicinity is the most fashionable 
portion of the city." 

In the block west of Broadway, on the south side of i6th Street, shown in the lower 
right corner of the view, were the residences of Theodore Putnam, James Suydam, Oswald 
Cammann, S. F. Tracy, and others. On 15th Street, at the corner of Broadway, which 


was then called Union Place, was the Church of the Puritans, designed by James Renwick, 
south of which was a collegiate institution for young ladies, maintained by the Reverend 
Gorham D. Abbott in the old Spingler Institute. For a time, 15th Street between Broad- 
way and Fifth Avenue, was called Spingler Place after this institute. 

The detached Gothic "villa," in the middle of the block on the north side of 15th Street 
is still standing (191 7), and is known as No. 21 East isth Street. In 1849, as No. 20, it 
was in the possession of Oscar Coles, under lease from the Spingler estate. The house 
was probably erected by Dr. Daniel W. Kissam, a well-known physician, shortly before 
his death, in December, 1834. The property is now held, partly on lease and partly on deed, 
by Mr. Richard H. L. Townsend. 

The large double house on the north side of 15th Street, just west of the "villa," was 
owned by George Washington Browne, proprietor of a hotel at 123-5 Water Street, who 
sold it, in 1875, to James Stokes and Morris K. Jesup. Two years later the property was 
transferred to the Y. W. C. A., which occupied the site until June, 1917. The residence on 
the north-east corner of Fifth Avenue and 15th Street was owned by Daniel B. Fearing. 
His heirs sold the house, in 1871, to James H. Banker, who in turn sold it, in 1873, to Cor- 
nelius Vanderbilt. 

South of Washington Square, on Amity Street, near McDougal, is St. Clement's Epis- 
copal Church, while on Fifth Avenue, north of loth Street, may be seen the Church of the 
Ascension and, in the block between nth and 12th Streets, the First Presbyterian Church. 
Between 12th and 13th Streets, on Fifth Avenue, at this period, were the residences of 
Robert B. Minturn, James Lenox, and Mrs. Robert Maitland. Between 13th and 14th 
Streets were the homes of L. M. Hoffman, August Belmont, and Benjamin Aymar. Resi- 
dents in the block between 14th and 15th Streets, on Fifth Avenue, included Myndert 
Van Schaick, Abraham Van Buren, James Brooks, and Henry G. Stebbins. 

At No. 71 West 14th Street (north-west corner of Sixth Avenue) was established, in 
the early '50's, the school of William Forrest (later Forrest and Quackenbos), where so 
many well-known New-Yorkers of the past generation were educated. Henry James, in 
his delightful reminiscences of A Small Boy and Others, p. 222, refers to his brief connection 
with this school as follows: 

At "Forest's," or in other words at the more numerous establishment of Messrs. Forest and 
Quackenboss, where we spent the winter of 1854, reality, in the form of multitudinous mates, was 
to have swarmed about me increasingly: at Forest's the prolonged roll-call in the morning, 
as I sit in the vast bright crowded smelly smoky room, in which rusty black stove-shafts were 
the nearest hint of architecture, bristles with names, Hoes and Havemeyers, Stokeses, Phelpses, 
Colgates and others, of a subsequently great New York salience. It was sociable and gay, it 
was sordidly spectacular, one was then, by an inch or two, a bigger boy — though with crushing 
superiorities in that line all round; . . . 

On the corner of loth Street and University Place is seen the steeple of the Presby- 
terian Church, erected in 1845. 

The block on 14th Street between University Place and Broadway contained the houses 
of Charles H. Marshall, James F. Penniman, Frederick Bronson, Robert Kermit, and 
Cornelius V. S. Roosevelt, who had the house on the corner of Broadway. The tall build- 
ing in the next block east was the Union Place Hotel, leased at this time to John C. Wheeler. 
Sheridan Shook leased it in 1871, and called it the Maison Doree. In 1881 it became 
known as the Morton House. This building, as well as the one on the south-east corner 
of Broadway and 14th Street, was owned by Cortlandt Palmer. The corner house on 
Fourth Avenue was occupied, in 1849, by Francis Mercier, an upholsterer, whose shop was 


at 156 Fourth Avenue. Between the hotel and the corner house stood the Hvery stable 
of Paul D. Burbank. 

On the south-east corner of 15th Street and Fourth Avenue was the school of Madam 
H. D. Chegaray. In the block to the north were the residences of John Griswold, S. B. 
Ruggles, G. W. Coster, William Kent, John Hicks, Richard Tighe, and, on the corner of 
i6th Street, J. Fisher Sheafe. The residence of Richard Tighe, still standing in 1896, is 
shown in a view in Pelletreau's Early New York Houses, where it is described as the "Last 
Dwelling on Union Square." 

This entire block (as well as the double houses in which Madam Chegaray's school was 
maintained) was erected as a speculation by Samuel B. Ruggles, who had a thirty years' 
lease of the property from the Cornelius T. Williams estate. One of the conditions of the 
lease was that a ten-foot set-back should be left for court-yards. These courts show very 
plainly in the view. 

Grace Church, erected in 1846 on Broadway and loth Street, is a conspicuous feature; 
south-east of it appears the steeple of the 9th Street Collegiate Dutch Reformed Church, 
while St. Mark's can be seen to the east, surrounded by trees. 

The reservoir, on the south side of 13th Street, east of Fourth Avenue, and the Wash- 
ington Institute, to the left of it, are plainly seen. For a larger view of these two buildings, 
see Valentine's Manual for 1853, opposite p. 134. 

Plate 136 
View of Union Park, New York, from the Head of Broadway 
Lithograph. i6>^xii^ Date depicted: 1849. 

Date issued: Copyright 1849. 
Artist: Jas. Smillie. 
Lithographers: Sarony & Major. 
Publishers: Williams & Stevens. 
Owner: I.N.P.S. 
Other copies: N. Y. Public Library; N. Y. Hist. Society, etc. 

Only known state. This view depicts the city looking north from Union Park, and 
forms a companion to the preceding plate. 

The Spingler Institute and the Church of the Puritans are seen to the left. The latter 
site was occupied from 1870 to 1905 by Tiffany & Co., whose old building is still standing. 
The house on the north corner of 15th Street and Union Square was owned and occupied 
at this time by Anson G. Phelps, on a twenty-one years' lease from the Spingler Estate, 
which still (1917) owns the property. The three houses north of this were the residences, 
respectively, of Samuel L. Mitchell, David Lee, and Richard L. SchiefFelin. The large 
house on the north-west corner of Broadway and 17th Street was that of Robert Goelet, 
while the one on the opposite corner, with the conservatory, was the residence of Henry 
Parrish. The Union League Club, organised in 1863, occupied the Parrish house from May 12, 
1863, to April I, 1868, when it moved to the Jerome house on Madison Avenue and 26th 
Street. Within a few years after the publication of this view, all of the vacant lots in the 
block on 17th Street north of Union Park had been built upon. A view of the park from 
the south-east, showing Broadway and the houses on 17th Street, was issued in coloured 
lithograph, in 1852, by Geib & Jackson; and a view of the north-west corner of 17th Street 


and Fourth Avenue, in 1856, is reproduced in Valentine's Manual for 1857 (opp. p. 480) 
with a description of the park. This view shows the Everett House, on the north-west 
corner, next to which are the residences of Messrs. MuUer, Henry Young, and "the late 
Daniel Parish." The Goelet House on 17th Street must not be confused with the Peter 
Goelet mansion on the north-east corner of Broadway and 19th Street, which stood, sur- 
rounded by trees and flowers, until 1896. A view of this old house with a description of 
its ownership will be found in Pelletreau's Early New York Houses. 

In the block between i6th and 17th Streets, on Fourth Avenue, at the period of the 
view, were the residences of Elihu Townsend, H. M. SchiefFelin, W. K. Strong, R. S. Brooks, 
Edwin Stanford, and John Caswell. In the distance, on the north-east corner of 21st 
Street and Fourth Avenue, may be seen the spires of Calvary Church. The church is still 
standing, but the spires, which were twin skeleton-spires of wood, painted to match the 
building, have been removed. — See Putnam's Mag. (1853), 11:248. On the south-east 
corner of Lexington Avenue and 23 rd Street appears the Free Academy, completed and 
opened in the spring of 1849. 

Plate 137-a 
Bay of New York Taken from the Battery 
Lithograph, coloured. 36^^x13^ Date depicted: 1851. 

Date issued: Copyright 1851 
by Edward Valois. 
Drawn on stone by E. Valois from a drawing by Hornet. 
Owner: Edward W. C. Arnold, Esq.; from the collection of Percy R. Pyne, 2d, 

Esq., who acquired it at the Neil! sale. 
Other copies: Library of Congress; Robert Goelet, Esq. These are the only 
copies known. 

Only known state. The view shows the Battery during the height of its popularity as a 
public promenade. Castle Garden, connected to the mainland by a bridge, is seen at the ex- 
treme right, while the Revenue Office and the Staten Island Ferry appear on the extreme left. 

Philip Hone, in his Diary, under date of March 6, 1844, writes of a walk on the Battery 
as "a luxury which the distance of my residence [on Great Jones Street, corner Broadway] 
from the spot does not permit me frequently to enjoy; and a more deUghtfuI scene can 
nowhere be found." 

On the Bay are seen the French warship "Mogadore," the "U. S. M. S. Baltic," and 
various ferry and river boats. 

Plate 137-b 
View on the Harlem River, N. Y. (etc.) 
Lithograph. 20^^x14%^ Date depicted: 1852. 

Date issued: Copyright 
1852 by N. Currier. 
Artist: Drawn on stone by F. F. Palmer. 
Lithographers and publishers: Currier & Ives. 
Owner: Down Town Association. 
Other copies: N. Y. Hist. Society; I.N.P.S., etc. 


First state. A later issue exists (copy in N. Y. Hist. Society) with "& Ives, N. Y." 
erased from the line "Lith. By Currier & Ives, N. Y." In this issue, the publisher's line, 
"New York, Pubd by Currier & Ives 152 Nassau SS" is also lacking. 

The view shows McComb's Bridge and the old toll-house on the Morrisania side, with 
High Bridge in the distance. McComb's Bridge was erected after 1813, when an act was 
passed authorising Robert McComb to construct a dam across the Harlem River in order 
to operate a grist-mill which had been erected by his father shortly after 1800. Like his 
father, whose property was sold under foreclosure in i8io, Robert McComb failed in this 
business enterprise, and the mill and property were sold by the sheriflF in 181 8. The old 
grist-mill, which does not appear in our view, existed until 1856, when it was blown down 
during a severe wind storm. 

In 1838, property holders in the neighbourhood of Morrisania, who objected to the 
closing of navigation, partially destroyed the dam and the bridge. Lewis G. Morris, who 
was the ringleader in this affair, was brought into court by the owner, William Renwick, 
but the case against him, after being carried up to the Court of Chancery, was finally 
dismissed, the decision being that any obstruction to the navigation of the river was a public 
nuisance, and therefore unlawful. The dam was never rebuilt, but the bridge was later 
repaired, as shown in the present view. It was demolished by act of the Legislature after 
1858, when the new bridge with a turn-table draw was ordered constructed. — Laws of 
N. Y., 1858, Chap. 291; 1859, Chap. 359. 

In 1838, also, citizens were aroused over the action of the Croton Water Commission, 
in suggesting the construction of a low bridge to carry the pipes across the Harlem River, 
and thus creating another obstruction to navigation. In September, 1838, the following 
notice was inserted in The Eve. Post and other newspapers: 

Harlem River — To Masons, Builders and Contractors — The Water Commissioners for the 
city of New York, having advertised for proposals for building "the Bridge to support Iron 
Pipes across Harlem River," which we are informed is the low bridge, we the subscribers, owners 
of land adjoining the Harlem River and in the vicinity thereof, and interested in keeping the 
navigation of said River unobstructed, to prevent innocent Contractors being injured by an 
agreement to erect said bridge for the Water Commissioners, do give the Public Notice, that we 
will use every means the law will justify, to prevent any and all persons obstructing the water at 
the natural channel of said River, so as to prevent a free and uninterrupted passage through 
said channel by vessels with masts and spars of the usual and proper height, and dimensions of 
vessels of the draft of water said channel will now permit to pass. 

This is signed by Augustus Van Cortlandt, Lewis G. Morris, William H. Morris, and 
many others. The remonstrance, and others of a similar nature, resulted in the passage of 
an act by the Legislature, on May 3, 1839, directing that the bridge should be constructed 
on arches a hundred feet high, and with a span of eighty feet. It was completed in 1848. 

Plate 138 
Map of the City of New-York extending Northward to Fiftieth St. 
[The Dripps Map] 
Lithograph. 45^^x87^ Date depicted: 1850. 

Date issued: Copyright 1851. 
Author: John F. Harrison, C. E. 
Lithographers and printers: Kollner, Camp & Co. 
Publisher: M. Dripps. 


Owner: N. Y. Hist. Society. 

Other copies: Edward A. Cruikshank Collection, I.N.P.S., etc. 

This map, or plan, and that reproduced as Plate 138 A are the first printed maps of New 
York that show, in detail, all the individual lots and buildings. They are the precursors 
of the Insurance Maps, the earliest of which were published by William Perris, in five vol- 
umes, the first of which appeared in 1852. Dripps continued to publish similar maps of the 
city at intervals until about 1880. In 1876 he published a map of the city on nineteen 
folio sheets. 

The map here reproduced gives the names of all important buildings, parks, markets, 
cemeteries, etc. The border contains a series of views of the principal churches, schools, 
etc., as follows: 

University Washington Square U. S. Custom House 

Ch. of the Puritans Merchants Exchange 

S' Pauls Society Library 

Presbyterian Ch. University Place S^ Patrick's Cathedral 

Trinity Church Grace Church 

Baptist Tabernacle Ch. Astor Free Library 

Odd Fellows Hall I'.t Refm^ Pres. Ch. 

City Hall Distributing Reservoir. Capacity 

N. Y. Free Academy 20,000,000 Gallons 

Halls of Justice 

At the top of the map are the City arms and the State arms. 

In 1855, William Perris, "C.E. & Surveyor," published an interesting and very similar 
map of the city below 50th Street. This latter map, which was lithographed by Korff 
Brothers, contains a vignette view of the New York Crystal Palace and a key to the most 
important public buildings, markets, hotels, places of amusement, etc. 

Reproduced here for the first time. 

Plate 138 A 
Map of that Part of the City and County of New-York North of 50'^." St. 
[The Dripps Map] 
Lithograph. 37>i x 78^2 Date depicted: 1850. 

Date issued: Copyright 1851. 
Author: H. A. Jones, C. E. 
Publisher: M. Dripps. 
Owner: N. Y. Hist. Society. 
Other copies: N. Y. Public Library, I.N.P.S., etc. 

For description of the Dripps Map of 1851, showing the city south of 50th Street, see 
Plate 138. This map of the portion of the city lying above 50th Street is of special value 
in that it shows and names many of the private residences in the upper part of the city at 
this period. 

To the right of the map are vignetted views of High Bridge, the New York State Arsenal, 
and the Blind Asylum. 

Reproduced here for the first time. 


Plate 139 
National Guard 7" Reg^ N. Y. S. M. 
Lithograph, coloured. 35|^x24>^ Date depicted: 1851. 

Date issued: Copyright 1852. 
Artist: Major Otto Botticher. 
Lithographer: C. Gildemeister, 289 Broadway. 

Printed by Nagel & Weingartner. From the painting by Major Botticher, ori- 
ginally owned by Lieut. Col. Marshall LefFerts, and now in the possession of 
the 8th Co. of the Seventh Regiment. A replica of this painting is owned by 
Mr. Edward W. C. Arnold. 
Owner: I.N.P.S. 
Other copies : N. Y. Public Library (Eno Collection), etc. 

Only known state. The view was taken from the north-west corner of Washington 
Square, and shows the University of the City of New York, on University Place, between 
Waverly Place and Washington Place. It was erected in 1833-5, ^"d demolished in 1894. 
— N. Y. Tribune, April 15, 1894. The view also shows the Reformed Dutch Church on the 
south-east corner of University Place and Washington Place, erected in 1837-40, and demol- 
ished in 1895. The principal heads are from daguerreotypes taken by Meade Brothers. 

A companion picture in lithograph, of the 7th Regiment at Camp Worth, Kingston, 
N. Y., in July, 1835, also after a painting by Major Botticher, was published, in 1856, 
by Goupil & Co. (now Knoedler & Co.). Another painting by Botticher, of the Washing- 
ton Greys, 8th Regiment, "On Special duty at Camp Washington Quarantine St. I. Sept. 
nth 1858" (after the burning of the hospital buildings), was lithographed and issued by 
Goupil & Co. in 1859. The inscription beneath the title contains the statement "Every 
approved copy will bear the fac-simile & stamp of the author [Otto Botticher 1859]." 
This stamp, reversed, appears on the print here reproduced. The author's copy is in the 
original gilt frame, elaborately embellished with arms and trophies. 

Plate 140 
[Broadway at Grand Street] 
Oil painting on canvas. 20j^ x 16^ Date depicted: 1852. 

Artist: R. Bond. 
Owner: N. Y. Hist. Society, purchased at the Holden sale. 

This painting shows Broadway at Grand Street, looking north. The flags are at half 
mast, and festoons of mourning are seen on the buildings. The view probably represents 
the military parade accompanying the funeral of Henry Clay or that of Daniel Webster, 
both of which were held with much ceremony in 1852, that of Clay occurring on July 3d 
and 4th, and that of Webster on November i6th. A careful examination of the original 
picture reveals, on the flagstone in the lower left-hand corner, the name A. Reichort, 114 
Grand St., directly beneath which appears the signature of R. Bond, 1852. "Juletta 
Richards" is listed in Doggett's Street Directory for 1851 as a milliner, at this address, while 
R. Bond is given as an artist, with residence at No. 263 9th Street. As the sign indicates, 
the building on the north-east corner of Broadway and Grand Street (No. 460 Broadway) 
is the old Broadway House, which was at this time the political headquarters of the Whigs. 


Between the second and third storeys of this building, on the Broadway side, is a draped 
banner with the words: "A Nation Mourns its Loss." 

A view of the same locahty, as it appeared in 1830, is shown in the Manual for 1853, 
p. 90, and the same view appears in the Manual for 1865, p. 615. The dates of 1818 and 
1824, assigned to this view in the Manuals are erroneous, as the original painting, by the 
same artist as the view here shown, bears the date 1830. This painting is now in the 
author's collection, having been acquired from the estate of the late William F. Havemeyer. 
Engraved on copper, in 1905, by Walter M. Aikman, for the Society of Iconophiles, 
with title: "Broadway, looking North at Grand Street." 

Plate 141-a 
The New York Crystal Palace, and Latting Observatory 
Line engraving on steel. 22^ x 15H Date depicted: 1853. 

Date issued: Copyright 1853. 
Drawn and engraved by Capewell & Kimmel. 
Owner: Henry Goldsmith, Esq. 
Other copies: N. Y. Public Library (Eno Collection); I.N.P.S., etc. 

The original state, before the plate was cut down. This view shows the Crystal Palace 
and the Latting Observatory, both erected in 1852-3 for the World's Fair, and both de- 
stroyed by fire, the former on October 5, 1858, and the latter on August 30, 1856. The 
Latting Observatory stood near the north-west corner of Fifth Avenue and 42d Street, and 
the Crystal Palace occupied the site of the present Bryant Park, then known as Reservoir 
Square. The view is taken from Sixth Avenue, and shows both 40th and 42d Streets. 

An account of the erection of the Crystal Palace will be found in a book on the building 
published by George Carstensen and Charles Geldemeister, who were the architects (copy 
in N. Y. Public Library). The text, besides a short historical account, contains seventy- 
six pages of descriptive matter, most of which is technical. In addition to the many plans, 
etc., there is, in this book, a lithographic view, as frontispiece, showing the exterior of 
the building. In the foreground are groups of people in the costumes of many foreign 
countries. Interesting, but not altogether instructive, is the architect's statement that 
the exterior "is kept mostly in the Venetian style." 

Contracts for the erection of the Palace were signed on August 26, 1852, and the first 
column was erected, with appropriate ceremonies, on October 30th. The fire which de- 
stroyed the building broke out shortly before five o'clock on October 5, 1858. Commenting 
editorially upon the fire, The Evening Post remarked on October 6th: "Here was a pre- 
tended fireproof structure boarded with Georgia pine, and constructed internally of ma- 
terials so combustible as to collapse like a tinder-box within fifteen minutes after the flames 
were first discovered." In this same issue of the Post will be found an account of the history, 
organisation, and financing of the Palace. 

The Latting Observatory was the invention of Waring Latting, and was erected at an 
expense of $180,000. It was over 300 feet high,[i] and built of timber, braced with iron. 
The building surrounding the base was occupied by shops. One interesting feature of the 
tower was a steam elevator which provided access to the first and second landings, where 
telescopes were installed for the use of visitors. The tower proved a financial failure, and 

['] Probably the highest edifice erected in America up to this time. 


was sold under foreclosure. Later, the building at the base was used as a marble manu- 
factory, but the tower continued in use as an observatory until its destruction. 

There exists a lithograph of the "Latting Observatory" (zoxiSyf), drawn by Wm. 
Naugle, Arch', and issued by Robertson & Seibert, lithographers. This lithograph, which 
is very rare, shows crowds of people on Fifth Avenue, with stages in the left distance. 

Plate 141-b 

Lithograph, printed in colours. 10^x7^ Date depicted: 1853. 

Date issued: Copyright 1853. 
Provenance: From a music sheet entitled the "Franconi Schottisch." 
Owner: I.N.P.S. 
Other copies: N. Y. Public Library; N. Y. Hist. Society, etc. 

Only known state. There is also a view of the interior of the Hippodrome, of uniform 
size, and also published on a sheet of music. 

The Hippodrome was erected in 1853 on the site of an old road-house known as Thomp- 
son's Madison Cottage, which stood on the north-west corner of Fifth Avenue and 23d 
Street, and was a favourite stopping-place for turfmen. The introduction into Amer- 
ica of the "hippodrome," which included chariot races, gladiatorial contests, pageants, 
elephants, camels, horses, and other features of the Roman circus, was made possible by an 
organisation of showmen including Avery Smith, Richard Sands, and several others. The 
performance opened with a pageant entitled "The Field of the Cloth of Gold," and was 
daily witnessed, according to a description in The N. Y. Herald, of May 3, 1853, by a 
"dense mass of human beings, exceeding in number any assemblage . . . ever seen 
inside of a building in this city, not excepting even the audiences attracted to the Jenny 
Lind concerts at Castle Garden." As a matter of fact, the building, or rather tent, had a 
seating capacity of ten thousand persons. 

The Illustrated News of May 14, 1853, published views of the Hippodrome, and of 
some of the performers, including one of "Henri Franconi and his horse Bayard." The 
building is described as "consisting simply of a wall of brick, about twenty feet high, with 
two towers on the side facing Broadway. A wooden roof extends from this wall imme- 
diately over the seats in the interior, which will defend the spectators from exposure to the 
weather, but the roofing mainly consists of canvas . . " From sketches, and from the 
detailed description, it is evident that the interior of the Hippodrome much resembled 
that of the perambulating circus of today. 

In spite of the interest shown by the public in the enterprise, it was a financial failure, 
and lasted only two seasons. The building was torn down to make way for the Fifth 
Avenue Hotel, which was completed in 1859 and demolished in 1909. The site is now 
occupied by the Fifth Avenue Building. 

Plate 142-a 

[View of the Battery] 
Photograph. Date depicted: 1853. 

Author: Victor Prevost. 
Owner: N. Y. Hist. Society. 


This photograph and that of Columbia College (PI. 142-b) are from negatives made 
on oiled or waxed paper by Victor Prevost, which negatives are among the very earliest 
produced in America. So far as known, they are the only paper negatives of this early 
period in existence in this country. They form part of a collection of forty-two negatives 
which were bought in 1909 by Mr. Samuel Verplanck Hoffman from Mr. W. I. Scandlin 
and presented to the N. Y. Hist. Society. In a paper prepared in 1902, Mr. Scandlin 
says that the plates were lost sight of for thirty years, having been stored away in the attic 
of a country-house, and only brought to light in the spring of 1898. Among the other 
negatives are the following subjects: Church of the Incarnation, Madison Ave. and 
28th Street; Bixby's Hotel, N. W. cor. Broadway and Park Place, and W. & J. Sloane's 
carpet warehouse; Grace Church and Michael J. Flannely's Marble Cutting Establishment, 
Broadway and loth St.; All Souls Unitarian Church, 20th Street and Fourth Ave.; the 
old Dr. Valentine Mott house, at 94th St. and Bloomingdale Road; two views of the neigh- 
bourhood of Madison Square, one showing the South Dutch Church on Fifth Avenue and 
2ist Street; St. Stephen's Roman Catholic Church, 28th Street near 3d Ave., etc. 

The N. Y. Public Library (Stuart, 1627) owns a collection of about thirty views of 
Central Park from negatives by Victor Prevost. They are contained in a portfolio, without 
text, but with the title on the cover: "Central Park in 1862. Published by special permis- 
sion of the Commissioners." 

Prevost was a French artist, a pupil of Paul de la Roche, and also a student under Le Gray, 
who invented a process of making photographic negatives on waxed paper. Prevost came to 
New York in 1848, and in 1853 established himself as a photographer at 43 John Street. He 
appears in the directory for the following year as a photographer, but from 1855 on he is 
mentioned first as a chemist, and later as a teacher. 

From the appearance of the water-front, the photograph was taken before the Battery 
enlargement referred to in the following paragraph from The Evening Post of May 3, 1853: 

The Battery Enlargement. 
The contractors have commenced in earnest the gigantic undertaking of enlarging the Battery. 
Piles have been driven into the river on both sides of Castle Garden, and the pile-driver is at 
work, docking out from the south side of the Battery. From the bridge to Battery place a fence 
has been erected, and on the outside of it part of the railings and sea-wall have been removed, 
and cartmen are constantly depositing the refuse earth mto the river. If the filling up is car- 
ried on from the present place, it will not interfere with this most delightful promenade. 

Francis, in The Stranger's Handbook (1853-4), thus refers to the Battery: 

Some years since, the City Government e.xpended $150,000 in beautifying the ground, em- 
banking and fencing its front, grading its walls, and surrounding it with costly iron railing. . . . 
The Battery approaches the form of a crescent, widened at its extremities, and contains about 
eleven acres. Extensive additions to its area are now being made. 

At the extreme left of the view, on the corner of Battery Place and West Street, is the 
Philadelphia Hotel, next to which, at No. 10 Battery Place, is the office of the Stonington 
Steamboat Line, while at No. 9 are the steamship offices of Cornelius Vanderbilt. The 
building at the north-east corner of Battery Place and Washington Street is a hotel, run 
in 1853 by John J. HoUister, while the balance of the block to Greenwich Street is occu- 
pied by the Battery Hotel. The United States Bonded Warehouses appear over the build- 
ings in the block between West and Washington Streets, while the spire of Trinity may be 
seen above the Battery Hotel. The spire of St. Paul's appears in faint outline above the 
hotel on the corner of Washington Street. 

Reproduced here for the first time. 


Plate 142-b 
[View of Columbia College] 
Photograph. Date depicted: 1853-4. 

Author: Victor Prevost. 
Owner: N. Y. Hist. Society. 

Columbia College is here shown in its original site, on Broadway at the foot of Park 
Place, which it occupied for almost a hundred years. As King's College, the school was 
first opened in 1758. — See Chronology and Plate 53-3. It moved from this location in 
1857 to Madison Avenue, occupying the old buildings of the Institution for the Instruction 
of the Deaf and Dumb, which covered the block between 49th and 50th Streets. Two 
interesting photographs of the college buildings, taken about 1874, are owned by Mr. 
H. D. Babcock, and will be found reproduced in Henry Collins Brown's Book of Old New 
York. With the removal of Columbia College to its present site, in 1897, the name was 
changed to Columbia University. 

The old buildings here depicted were demolished in the spring of 1857, immediately 
following the removal of the college. 

For a view of King's College, drawn about 1763, see Vol. I, Plate 38. 

Reproduced here for the first time. 

Plate 143-a 
The Life of a Fireman 
The Race:— "Jump her boys, jump her!" 
Lithograph, coloured. 26x17 Date depicted: 1854. 

Date issued: Copyright 1854. 
Artist: L. Maurer. 

Lithographer and pubHsher: N. Currier, 152 Nassau Street. 
Owner: I.N.P.S. 
Other copies: N. Y. Hist. Society, etc. 

Only known state. This print and the following one belong to a set of four fire views. 
The other two represent: 

The Fire. — "Now then with a will — Shake her up boys!" 
The Ruins. "Take up." — "Man your rope." 

A copy of this print, in the collection of Mr. Percy R. Pyne, 2d, has the following 
legend printed in manuscript on the mat: 

The Race. 

Down Park Row alongside City Hall Park, Eng. Co. 21 being urged along by 

the Foreman, Matthew T. Brennan, (Hat and Trumpet in hand, wearing beard). Running 

alongside is Hose Co. No. 60, who is just being passed by the Engine. Matthew T. Brennan 

was afterward Sheriff of N. Y. City 

The set to which the views here reproduced belong was bought from the heirs of Mr. 
Currier, the publisher, and was evidently used as "artist's proof," as the margins contam 
pencilled instructions to the printer, colour notes, etc. 

The small cupola and bell are noticeable features on the roof of the City Hall. A fire- 
bell was first placed in this location in 1834; by 1836 it had been so badly injured that a 


resolution was passed to substitute a new one. On January 24, 1838, an appropriation 
of two thousand dollars was made for an alarm bell "to be placed on the City Hall, in lieu 
of the present one, which is so injured as to be unfit for use." — Proceed. Bd. of Aldermen, 
V: 130. The following description from A Picture of New York in 1846 is of interest as 
showing the methods used by the fire department at this time: 

In the upper part of the cupola [of the City Hall] a man is lodged, whose business it is to give 
alarm in case of fire, by ringing the big bell, which occupies a small cupola on the back part of 
the roof. This bell is rung in cases of fire, when it indicates, by the number of its strokes, the 
part of the city where the fire is located. Small apertures are cut in the sides of the cupola, of 
sufficient size to allow the eyes extending over only so much of the city as is included in the fire 
districts to which they severally belong, and thus the location of the fire is instantly ascertained. 
The City-Hall bell weighs 6,916 lbs., and its tongue is over six feet long. It is probably the 
largest bell in America. 

Two years later the bell, having become cracked, was replaced by a new one weighing 
6,330 pounds. In a short time this bell, also, became cracked, and in the spring of 1849 
another bell, weighing 10,000 pounds, was raised "without accident." Believing that the 
frequent fractures in the bell were occasioned by striking continuously in one place, the 
new bell was so arranged that, with every blow of the hammer, it would "partially revolve 
on its axis, presenting a new surface to each successive stroke." — N. Y. Com. Adv., March 
9, 1849. 

On August 17, 1858, following a display of fireworks on the roof of the City Hall in 
celebration of the laying of the Atlantic cable, a disastrous fire destroyed the cupola and 
dome. The bell cupola was damaged, but the heavy frame work remained sufficiently 
strong to support the bell. The keeping of fire and light in the cupola for the bell-ringer 
was pronounced hazardous, and, in a special report on the damages and repairs. Mayor 
Tiemann recommended the removal of the fire-bell to a more suitable location, thus obvi- 
ating "the necessity of the use of fire at any time in the cupola of the building." 

That the bell was removed to some other location is indicated by a petition presented 
by the firemen, in October, 1859, asking that the City Hall bell be replaced until a tower 
could be built for it, inasmuch as it was so situated that the sound could only be heard 
when the wind was favourable. — The N. Y. Herald, October 26, 1859. 

Plate 143-b 

The Life of a Fireman 
The Night Alarm. — "Start her lively boys." 
Lithograph, coloured. 26x17 Date depicted: 1854. 

Date issued: Copyright 1854. 
Artist: L. Maurer. 

Lithographer and publisher: N. Currier, 152 Nassau Street. 
Owner: I.N.P.S. 
Other copies: N. Y. Hist. Society, etc. 

Only known state. The names of several of the firemen are written in the margin in 
pencil, evidently in a contemporary hand. Among them is that of Mr. Currier, the pub- 
lisher of the plate. The fire engine-house here shown is supposed to be that of Excelsior 
Co. No. 2, at 21 Henry Street. This company was organised in 1846. From the fact that 


most of the members of the department were of Quaker origin, the company received the 
name of "Quakes." See Costello's Our Firemen, p. 562. 

The company continued in service here until shortly before the organisation of the 
paid fire department, in 1865, when for a brief period they occupied a new engine-house at 
55 East Broadway. 

Recent restrikes occur of all the lithographs forming this set. 

Plate 144 
(New York) 
Sepia drawing. 48X x 26^ Date depicted: 1852. 

Artist: J. W. Hill. 
Owner: N. Y. Hist. Society. 

Although illegible in our reproduction, the date "1852" is to be found in the lower 
right corner of the drawing. 

This view was engraved, in aquatint, in 1855, by Sigmund Himly, with the following 
imprint: "Painted by J. W. Hill. — Entered According to Act of Congress, in the year 
1855, by F. & G. W. Smith, in the Clerk's Office of the southern District of New- York. — 
Engraved by Himly. / Proof — New [seal] [i] York — Printed by Alfred Chardon J"^, r. 
Racine, 3 — Paris. / To the Citiziens [sic] of New- York this Picture is most respectfully 
Dedicated by the Publishers. / Published by F. & G. W. Smith — New York. — Paris — 
pois Delarue, rue J. J. Rousseau, 18." 

A proof before all letters exists (copy in the collection of Mr. Edward W. C. Arnold). 
Later, the plate was re-engraved, the sky above the clouds, the water, and the ships being 
ruled over with fine horizontal lines. In this state (copy in the N. Y. Public Library) 
the imprint is as follows: "Painted by J. W. Hill. — Entered according to Act of Congress, 
in the year 1855, by F. & G. W. Smith, in the Clerk's Office of the southern District of 
New- York. — Engraved by Himly. / Proof — New [seal] York / Printed by M? Queen, 
London. / To the Citiziens [sic\ of New York this Picture is most respectfully Dedicated 
by the Publishers/ Paul & Dominic Colnaghi & C?. 13, & 14, Pall Mall East Paris F°'^ 
Delarue, rue J. J. Rousseau 18." 

Still later the plate was issued with the name of "C. Mottram" substituted for that 
of Himly, and with other changes in the imprint, which now reads as follows: "Painted 
by J. W. Hill.— (Copyright, 1855, by F. & G. W. Smith.)— Engraved by C. Mottram. / 
Proof — New [seal] York — Printed by M? Queen, London / London, Paul & Dominic Col- 
naghi & C?. 13, & 14, Pall Mall East. — Pubhshed by F. and G. W. Smith, 59, Beekman 
Street, New York. — Paris F°l* Delarue, rue J. J. Rousseau 18." There is a copy of this 
state in the N. Y. Historical Society. 

Staufl^er (1:184) credits Mottram with the engraving of this plate, but, beyond the 
alterations in the imprint, the late issue of the plate, with Mottram's name, shows no 

Himly also engraved (in aquatint) the Garneray View, reproduced on Plate no. 

["] The vignette in the title, containing the coat of arms of New York, was drawn by A. B. Durand. 
The original was sold in the Holden sale (No. 3374). It is reproduced in the tailpiece of the Preface to 
Vol. I. 


Plate 145 
New York, 1855. From the Latting Observatory 
Line engraving. 46^^ x 29>< Date depicted: 1855. 

Date issued: Copyright 1855. 
Artist: B. F. Smith, Jr. 
Engraver: W. Wellstood. 
Owner: Down Town Association. 

Other copies: N. Y. Pubhc Library (Eno Collection); N. Y. Hist. Society; 
Crimmins Collection; I.N.P.S., etc. 

Only known state, except proof. Forty-second Street is shown in the foreground with 
the Croton (distributing) Reservoir and the Crystal Palace, both of which are shown and 
described on Plate 141-a. 

The Croton Reservoir was built in 1839-42, and covered the eastern half of the plot 
bounded by Fifth and Sixth Avenues, and 40th and 42nd Streets, the site now occupied 
by the N. Y. Public Library. Including the blocks north to 45th Street, this site had 
been the pottersfield since June 9, 1823, when the Common Council passed a resolution 
to appropriate the land for this purpose. After the decison to build the reservoir here, 
the pottersfield was removed to the vicinity of 50th Street, between Fourth and Lexing- 
ton Avenues. 

On July 4, 1842, at S A. M., water was first introduced into the reservoir. Invitations 
to witness this event were issued by the Mayor to members of the Common Council and 
other important persons. The Evening Post, on July Sth, announced that, in spite of the 
early hour, an "immense concourse assembled to witness the introduction of the Croton 
water into the reservoir . . . which was successfully admitted at sunrise and continued 
to flow during the day, amid the roar of artillery and the cheers of the multitude." The 
walk around the top of the reservoir was open to the public at certain times, and was for 
many years a fashionable promenade, especially on Sunday. The reservoir was demol- 
ished in 1 899-1900, to make way for the present Library building. (See Scientific Amer- 
ican, September 2, 1899.) 

The view is of unusual interest, as showing the undeveloped state of the city in the 
vicinity of the reservoir. 

Mount Croton Garden is seen between Fifth and Madison Avenues, and 39th and 41st 
Streets, and the Waddell Villa on the north-west corner of Fifth Avenue and 37th Street. 

A separate outline key, with 115 references, was Issued with this print and is here 
reproduced. Only one copy is known, recently in the possession of Mr. J. H. Edwards of 
Boston, and now belonging to Mr. Edward W. C. Arnold. 

The three houses occupying the block front on the east side of Madison Avenue be- 
tween 36th and 37th Streets were erected In 1853. Mr. Isaac N. Phelps built on the corner 
of 37th Street, Mr. John J. Phelps on the corner of 36th Street, and Mr. George D. Phelps 
on the middle plot, which he later sold to Mr. William E. Dodge. This block front is 
now owned and occupied by Mrs. J. Pierpont Morgan, Sr., and Mr. J. P. Morgan. 

The collection of Edward W. C. Arnold, Esq., contains a very scarce coloured litho- 
graph showing the Crystal Palace and the city to the south, issued in 1853 by John 



v ^ J 


mm ^ 


■I % 



Plate 146-a 

(The Old South Church in Garden Street, etc.) 

Engraved on wood. 374 x 6^ Date depicted: Probably 

shortly before 1807. 
Engravers: Whitney-Jocelyn & Co. Date issued: 1857. 

Provenance: Printed opposite p. 27 of y^ Discourse Delivered in the North Reformed 
Dutch Church, .... by Thomas de Witt, D.D., New York, 1857, and issued 
as a memorial of the last service held in the building. 
Owner: Archives of the Reformed Dutch Church, Fulton Street, N. Y. 
There are copies of De Witt's book in the N. Y. Public Library, N. Y. Hist. So- 
ciety, etc. 

This view, which is reproduced from the original wood block prepared for the Discourse, 
and preserved among the church records, shows the church as it was after the building 
of the tower in 1 766-1 776. 

The South Dutch, or Garden Street, Church was dedicated in 1693. In 1 766-1 776 
it was enlarged and repaired. In 1807 it was taken down and a new church (see PI. 
114-b) erected on its site. It is possible that the view was drawn from a contemporary 
sketch or print, although a careful search has failed to disclose the existence of any such 
view. In a note on page 98 of the Discourse, De Witt remarks: "We are indebted to Mr. 
Geo. B. Rapelye, of this city, for the sketch of this church," from which statement it appears 
quite possible that the sketch was made by Dr. Rapelye from the original edifice; although 
it is, of course, equally possible that it was drawn by him from memory, or prepared in 
accordance with a description given by him. At the time of his death, which occurred 
on March 27, 1863, Rapelye was seventy-nine years of age, and would therefore have been 
twenty-three years old when the church was burned, in 1807. 

An interesting account of Mr. Rapelye, from which it appears that he was an enthusias- 
tic collector of old New York memorabilia, may be found in The Old Merchants of New York, 
IV: 61-66, 181. Dr. Francis {Old New York, 368) refers to him as "a friend with a Knick- 
erbocker's heart, who has often invigorated my statements by his minute knowledge." 

The South Dutch Church was destroyed in the great fire of 1835 (see PI. 114-b), and 
the old site was not rebuilt upon, owing to the fact that so many of the church members 
had moved northward. Two churches succeeded the Garden Street Church, one erected 
on Washington Square, and the other on Murray Street. The latter congregation, after 
occupying in succession sites at 21st Street and Fifth Avenue, and 38th Street and Madison 
Avenue, is now without a church building, although still maintaining its organisation. 
The church possesses one of the most interesting relics of the early Garden Street Church 
- — a silver baptismal basin dating from 1694 and having engraved about its border a verse 
in Dutch composed by Domine Selyns. It is now preserved in the Metropolitan Museum 
of Art. 

Contrary to the usual custom, this print and the following one of the North Dutch 
Church are reproduced under the date of their publication instead of that of their 


Plate 146-b 

(North Reformed Dutch Church, etc.) 

Engraved on wood. 4^2 x 6>^ Date depicted: Probably 

about 1856. 
Date issued: 1857. 
Provenance: Frontispiece to A Discourse Delivered in the North Reformed Dutch 

Church, ... by Thomas de Witt, D.D., New York, 1857. 
Owner: Archives of the Reformed Dutch Church. 
Other copies of the book: N. Y. Public Library; N. Y. Hist. Society, etc. 

This reproduction was made directly from the original engraved block in the possession 
of the Church. 

The North Dutch Church was built on ground given for the purpose by John Har- 
pending. The corner-stone was laid on July 2, 1767, and the church completed in May, 
1769. See Chronology. When this building was taken down, in 1875, a metal plate was 
found under one of the columns upon which was engraved a brief history of the church 
as well as a list of the members of the building committee, etc. This list includes also 
the name of Andrew Breested, Jun^, "carpenter and projector." As we know that most 
early American architects-^as, for instance, Joseph Mangin and John McComb, and many 
others — carried on some other business, generally as carpenters, builders, or surveyors, 
there is good reason to believe that Breested was the designer as well as the draughtsman, 
or " projector," of the building. 

An interesting drawing, with the title "Front Elevation of the North dutch Church 
by John McComb," and another, "Plan and Side Elevation of North dutch Church by 
John McComb" — the latter dated 1772, with 1769 added beneath in pencil, probably by 
Mr. Edward S. Wilde (see PI. 75), are preserved with the McComb drawings of the City 
Hall in the New York Historical Society, and will be found reproduced in the Addenda. 
This latter drawing was evidently made by the father of the builder and architect of 
record of the City Hall, and not by John McComb, Junior, as stated by Mr. Wilde. 
While these probably were submitted as designs for the building — and are in many ways 
similar to the church as built — no records have been found which would justify the claim 
that John McComb, Sr., was the designer of the North Dutch Church. 

Plate 147 
[View of Wall Street and Trinity Church] 
Engraved on steel. 15x10^ Date depicted: 1856-7. 

Owner: Edward W. C. Arnold, Esq. 

No other copy known. The date of the print is determined from the fact that the 
Globe Insurance Company was at 37 Wall Street, where its sign appears, only during the 
years 1856 and 1857. 

The building on the extreme right is the Bank of America, on the north-west corner 
of Wall and WilHam Streets, erected in 1835 and demohshed in 1887. No. 42 Wall Street, 
two doors west, is the Merchants' Bank. The large building on the extreme left is the 
Insurance Building. 

The buildings on both sides of Wall Street are shown in the New-York Pictorial Business 


Directory of Wall-St., published in 1850 by C. Lowenstrom, and in Tallis's Netv York Street 
Views, published in i863.[i] 

[I] The earliest, rarest, and most important series of New York street views was issued in coloured 
lithograph, in 1848, by Jones, Newman, & J. S. Ewbank, with the title: The Illuminated Pictorial Direc- 
tory of New York. Although the original intention was to publish views of all the important streets in the 
city, but four numbers were issued, all of Broadway, showing the street from the Battery to a point near 
Anthony Street. 

No. I contains six plates, measuring 8tV x 7A, lithographed in tint, showing Broadway from the Bat- 
tery to a point near Wall Street, with perspectives of the cross streets. The west side of the street is shown 
above, and the east side, inverted, below. 

The name of Ewbank disappears as publisher from the second number. The six views in this number 
show Broadway from Trinity Church to a point near Maiden Lane. 

The third number was also published by Jones & Newman, and consists of six plates, showing Broad- 
way from near Dey Street to near Warren Street. 

The fourth number, issued by the same publishers, shows Broadway from near Warren Street to near 
Anthony Street. 

In 1849 E. Jones published in lithograph a New York Pictorial Business Directory of Maiden Lane, 
showing a panorama of both sides of the street on one long sheet measuring 82^ x yH- The panorama 
begins at No. i, the Howard Hotel, and extends to South Street, the north side of the street being shown 
on the top row, and the south side, inverted, below. In the same year, Jones issued a similar directory of 
Fulton Street, using the same cover, with the words "Maiden Lane" deleted, and "Fulton Street East of 
Broadway" substituted in manuscript. This contains a printed list of the occupants of the buildings in 
Fulton Street, from No. i at the East River to No. 157 at Broadway, the north side of the street being 
shown above, and the south side, inverted, below. It was originally printed on one sheet measuring 90'-^ 
X 7H- 

In l8jo C. Lowenstrom published the New-York Pictorial Business Directory of Wall-St. (copyrighted 
in 1849), showing on a series of ten plates, measuring about 8^kx7% a continuous panorama of Wall 
Street from Broadway to South Street and the East River. The north side of the street is depicted above, 
and the south side, inverted, below. The engravings, according to the announcement on the cover, were 
made by Michelin. A similar panorama of William Street was issued on nine plates, eight of the plates 
being numbered, and the ninth being twice the width of the others, and unnumbered. William Street is 
here shown from No. i, south of Beaver Street, to No. 141, near Fulton Street. A copy in the N. Y. Hist. 
Society lacks the outside cover. 

Alfred Tallis issued views of Broadway, John Street, Maiden Lane, and Fulton Street, between the 
years 1854 and 1872. The first of these, issued in 1854, consist of a series of steel engravings of Broadway 
and Maiden Lane, measuring about 10 x 715, engraved by John Rogers and John Kirk. The original 
cover of the first set of these views, in the N. Y. Hist. Society, has the title: Tallis's New-York Pictorial 
Directory, And Street Views Of All The Principal Cities And Towns In The United States iS Canada, etc. 
Each plate of the New York views consists of a central compartment containing a view of some important 
building, framed at the top, bottom, and sides by elevations of block fronts drawn at a smaller scale, the 
whole surrounded by an intertwining vine leaf border. Among the views in this series are the following: 
Trinity Church; Park View showing St. Paul's Chapel and the Astor House; City Hall; Lower Arsenal; 
City Prison; City Hospital; Custom House, and Merchants' Exchange. Other plates in this series show 
three parallel rows of buildings without the central view. The author has seen similar Tallis views of 
Philadelphia, Quebec, and London, England. 

Perhaps the most valuable and sought after of all the Tallis views are those issued in 1863 with the 
title: Tallis's New York Street Views, Showing A Correct View of All the Principal Stores in the City PVith 
The Name, Business, And Address Of The Most Prominent Merchants In Each Street, etc. They were en- 
graved on steel by A. Tallis, each plate measuring about jyi x 2)4. 

A set of these views, in the N. Y. Hist. Society, contains ten plates, showing the west side of Broadway 
from the monument in Trinity Churchyard to Fulton Street on four plates; the east side from Fulton Street 
to No. 166 Broadway on two plates; and the north side of Wall Street from Broadway to No. 82 on four 
plates. As in so many instances of works of this character, the publication was shortly discontinued, prob- 
ably because of failure to secure sufficient advertising. 

In 1872 was issued Tallis's Illustrated Monthly Business Directory, And New York Street Views, a series 
of double plates engraved on steel. 

The N. Y. Public Library possesses a panoramic water-colour view of the east side of Broadway, from 
Cedar to Bleecker Street, made between 1848 and 1850 by James William Pirsson when a boy of sixteen or 
seventeen. According to a letter written the author by Miss J. Emily V. Pirsson, the daughter of the 
artist, he also began a second view of the west side of Broadway which was never finished and does not 
seem to be in existence. Valentine's Manual ioT 1865 contains a series of woodcuts showing a panoramic 
view of both sides of Broadway in 1865, from a point south of Morris Street to Union Square. Other 


This is the first view reproduced in this book showing telegraph poles, which were 
introduced in New York in 1845, the first telegraph office in Wall Street having been 
opened in that year. 

Reproduced here for the first time. 

Plate 148-3 

Ceremonies of Dedication of the Worth Monument 

Lithograph. i8>^ x I2>^ Date depicted: Nov. 25, 1857. 

Date issued: 1857. 
Lithographer: A. Weingartner. 

Provenance: From Reports on the Erection of a Monument to the Memory of Wil- 
liam Jenkins Worth, late Major-General of the United States Army, by the Special 
Committees appointed by the Common Council of the City of New York, New York, 

Owner: I.N.P.S. 
Other copies of the book: N. Y. Public Library; N. Y. Hist. Society, etc. 

Only known state, although tinted impressions of the print also exist. 
The Worth monument was erected in accordance with the following resolution of the 
Board of Councilmen, passed August 7, 1854 (see p. 10 of the Reports) : 

That the Clerk of this Board be, and he hereby is directed to advertise, inviting drawings 
and plans for a granite Monument to Major-General Worth, adapted to the ground between 
Broadway and Fifth avenue, and Twenty-fourth and Twenty-fifth streets, and request that 
such drawings, &c., be accompanied by estimates of the probable cost to erect such Monument. 

After the resolution was adopted, designs, etc., were advertised for, and on December 5th 
the Council resolved "That the plan and drawings for such a Monument prepared by 
James G. Batterson, be, and the same hereby are adopted." The day selected for the 
removal of the remains of Major-General Worth from Greenwood Cemetery to the site of 
the monument, and for the ceremony of dedication was November 25th, the anniversary 
of the evacuation of New York by the British Army. 

The book contains also a lithographic representation of the funeral procession. The 
oration was pronounced by the mayor, Fernando Wood. A description of the ceremonies 
attending the dedication of the Worth Monument is contained in Frank Leslie's Sunday 
Magazine for January, 1882, and will be found summarised in the Chronology. 

The view shows the row of residences on the north side of 26th Street, opposite Madison 
Square, which had been laid out as a public park in 1837, and the two blocks on Madison 
Avenue, between 24th and 26th Streets. 

Among the residences in the block north of Madison Square, on East 26th Street, 
were those of Charles Gould, No. 5; Charles Morgan, No. 7; Mrs. Elias H. Herrick, No. 9; 
Robert Colgate, No. 11; Henry M. Schieffelin, No. 13; Samuel B. SchieflFelin, No. 15; 
Cornelius McCoon, No. 17; Benjamin H. Field, No. 21, and William L. Cogswell, No. 27, 
on the corner of Madison Avenue. The large house on the north-east corner of 24th Street 
and Madison Avenue was the residence of John David Wolfe, just south of which was the 

panoramic views of Broadway are contained in Gleason's Pictorial. In 1899 "The Mail and E.\press" pub- 
lished A Pictorial Description of Broadway, from the Battery to 58th Street. This panorama is of special 
interest as showing the great changes which have taken place in the upper end of Broadway in the past 
twenty years. 


Presbyterian Church. The houses north of the Wolfe residence were owned by Mary 
G. P. Binney, No. 17; Mrs. A. Spies Bayard, No. 19; Patrick Naylor, No. 21, and 
Charles M. Leupp, No. 23, on the south-east corner of 25th Street. In the block between 
25th and 26th Streets were the residences of John Alstyne, No. 27; Norman S. Walker, 
No. 29; John B. Borst, No. 31; Philip R. Kearney, No. 33; and James Stokes, Nos. 35 
and 37, who purchased the property in 1855 from Alexander McComb, et al., and built in 
that year the house here shown. See Stokes Records, by Anson Phelps Stokes, New 
York, 19 10. 

The south-east corner of 26th Street and Madison Avenue was not yet built upon. In 
1865 Leonard W. Jerome erected here a handsome residence, which is still standing, and is 
now occupied by the Manhattan Club (see PI. 168). 

On the north-east corner of 26th Street and Madison Avenue was the depot of the 
N. Y. and Harlem R. R. Company, north of which was the depot of the N. Y. & New 
Haven R. R. Co., the two occupying the entire block between 26th and 27th Streets, and 
extending through to Fourth Avenue. 

Plate 148-b 

Row OF Dwelling Houses, Fifth Avenue, (Murray Hill,) New-York 

Lithograph. 15^^x11 Date depicted: Probably 1858-9 

Date issued: 1859? 
Lithographer and publisher: Hatch & Co. 
Owner: I.N.P.S. 
Other copies: N. Y. Public Library; N. Y. Hist. Society, etc. 

Only known state. These houses were on the east side of Fifth Avenue, between 41st 
and 42d Streets. On October 4, 1859, the four southerly dwellings in this block were ad- 
vertised to be sold by auction at the Merchants' Exchange by Edward H. Ludlow. A 
copy of the original poster advertising this sale, in the author's collection, states: 

The Houses are of Brick, 5 stories high, built with hollow walls, in the best and most substantial 
manner, by days' work, and contain every modern convenience. Have fine Court Yards of 
29 feet 6 inches in width on the Avenue and 5 feet on 41st Street. 

Maps of the property and Lithographic Views [probably the one here reproduced, although 
smaller copies exist] can be had at the Office of the Auctioneers, No. 14 Pine Street. 

The N. Y. Tribune of November 29, 1859, describing this neighbourhood, says: 

Nearly opposite the reservoir, on Forty-second street, a range of twelve dwellings, with 
brown-stone fronts, have been erected by Robert Coburn. Opposite the reservoir, on Fifth 
Avenue, is the range of residences built by Mr. Higgins — the architectural appearance of which 
so much resembles an arsenal. 

At the extreme right of the print is seen the north-east corner of the reservoir, and to 
the south may be discerned the steeple of the Zion Protestant Episcopal Church, on 38th 
Street and Madison Avenue. 

There is in the N. Y. Public Library, and also in the N. Y. Hist. Society, a reduction 
of this lithograph on an advertisement which reads: "For Sale on Moderate Terms: Block 
of Dwelling Houses on Murray Hill," etc. In the Historical Society's copy the first line 
has been partially erased, and "House of Mansions" printed over it, in manuscript. Accord- 
ing to this advertisement, the block was designed by Alexander J. Davis, architect, and 


erected by George Higgins, Esq. It contained eleven independent dwellings, differing in 
size, accommodation, and price, all combined "as in one palace." 

Inserted in one of two copies of Rural Residences, by A. J. Davis, owned by the N. Y. 
Public Library, is a smaller advertisement with a woodcut view practically identical with 
the one here shown. On this the title has also been changed to "House of Mansions," and 
various changes have been made in the design in ink and water-colour. These seem to have 
been made by Davis himself, and consist of the addition of a high roof and an extra storey 
in the towers, as well as minor changes in the size of windows under the parapet, etc. 

Later, the Rutgers Female Institute occupied the northern part of this row. Most of 
the houses were demolished before the year 1900, although one, standing two or three 
doors below 42d Street, remained until five or six years ago. See Valentine's Manual, 1868, 
and Appleton's New York Illustrated, 1869. 

Plate 149-a 

[Original Design for the Central Park; by Messrs. Olmsted and Vaux] 

Pen and ink drawing on About 3 ft. x 8 ft. Date issued: April 28, 

heavy drawing paper, mounted on a stretcher. 1858. 

Authors: Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvin Vaux. 
Owner: City of New York, Department of Parks. 

This beautifully executed pen and ink drawing — the original winning competitive de- 
sign — was long preserved in the vault of the Park Department in the old Arsenal on Fifth 
Avenue. The map itself bears no inscription or date, but an old tracing on fine linen, 
which is preserved with it, bears the above inscription, and supplies some details which 
are wanting on the map itself, which, when found by the author, in 1912, was in a bad state 
of preservation. It has since been admirably restored by Mr. H. A. Hammond Smith, 
of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and is now one of the most precious possessions of 
the Park Department, which possesses also the original competitive design for the laying 
out of the park submitted by Samuel T. Austin. The latter design calls for no lakes. 
The border is embellished with beautiful little vignettes, depicting proposed buildings 
in the park, existing houses within the park area, etc. There is also in the archives of the 
Park Department a portfolio containing eleven sheets of views submitted by Olmsted 
and Vaux showing conditions existing before the park was begun, proposed effects, etc. 
The portfolio contains also a very charming little sketch in oils mounted on a stretcher 
and inscribed "J. McE 1858 — C. P. view from terrace site looking towards Vista rock, 
and showing proposed site for ornamental water." 

As has been the case in many other instances of co-operation in the production of 
important artistic works, controversy has arisen from time to time regarding the relative 
share of credit due each member of this partnership. Mr. Vaux, for instance, found it 
necessary, as early as 1878 {New York Tribune, February 19th), to deny certain "greedy 
misrepresentations made in his [Mr. Olmsted's] behalf by Mr. E. L. Godkin, in regard to 
the authorship of the design." In this letter Mr. Vaux claims nothing more than to have 
been "the author in every respect, equally with Mr. Olmsted." 

That the justice of his claim was fully acknowledged by Olmsted is established beyond 
question by a letter signed by Owen F. Olmsted, son of the architect, addressed to the 
editor, and printed in the Tribune on February 21, 1878. In this letter the writer says. 



in part, " . . . .no one has, or can have, the smallest authority for claiming for Mr. 
Olmsted either more or less than an equal share with Mr. C. Vaux in the designs of the 
Central and Brooklyn Parks." Mr. Olmsted himself fully acknowledged this equality 
as is shown by an obituary notice in The American Architect (November 30, 1895), follow- 
ing the death of Vaux, where the fact is mentioned that an attempt to remove Vaux from 
his connection as consulting landscape architect to the Department of Parks of New York 
was defeated "by the loyalty of Mr. Olmsted, who, when it was proposed to place him 
in sole charge of certain work of the Park Department, refused to have anything to do with 
it except as Mr. Vaux's coadjutor." 

Besides the Central Park work, Olmsted and Vaux were the joint designers of Prospect 
Park, Brooklyn, parks in Chicago and Buffalo, the State Reservation at Niagara Falls, and 
the Riverside and Morningside Parks in New York. 

For further information regarding the origin, construction, and history of Central Park, 
see Chronology. 

Reproduced and described here for the first time. 

Plate 149-b 
[Photographs of Central Park] 
Photographs, by Victor Date depicted: 1^62, et seq. 

Owner: N. Y. Pubhc Library. 

These five small photographs, made by Prevost in 1862 and the years immediately 
following, show the original condition of the site covered by the park, and important sec- 
tions under development. 

The group shown in the left-hand picture includes Mr. Olmsted, who is standing at the 
extreme right, Mr. Vaux, Mr. Pilat, and Mr. Mould. These photographs are contained 
in an album of thirty-one views preserved in the Stuart Room in the N. Y. Public Library. 

Plate 149 A-a 
Map of the Lands Included in the Central Park (etc.) 
Pen and ink and water- 10 ft. io>^ in. Date depicted: 1855. 

colour drawing on x 3 ft. 3 in. 

Author: Egbert C. Viele, Engineer in Chief. 
Owner: New York City, Department of Parks. 

This survey was made by Mr. Viele, Engineer in Chief under the Commissioners of 
Estimate and Assessment who were appointed by the Supreme Court on November 17, 
1853, to take the land for Central Park. Their work was completed on July 2, 1855, and 
their report confirmed on February 5, 1856. This preliminary survey was made to show 
the actual topography of the land appropriated for Central Park, which at first extended to 
io6th Street only. It served as a plan by which all estimates and awards were made to 
owners of property included in this area. Mr. Viele also made a plan for the layout 
of the new park, which was adopted, but never carried out. Both survey and plan, with 
some minor alterations, are reproduced in the First Annual Report on the Improvement of 


The Central Park, January, 1857. On April 17, 1857, new commissioners were appointed; 
one of their first acts was to lay aside Mr. Viele's plan, and advertise for new ones. In 
the competition which followed, the award of two thousand dollars went to plan number 
33, bearing the inscription "Greensward," of which Olmsted and Vaux were the joint 
authors. For reproduction of this plan see preceding plate. 

The archives of the Park Department contain many important and interesting maps 
and drawings showing the landscape and architectural treatment of the park. Among 
these perhaps the most important are four portfolios containing collectively about eighty 
topographical drawings made between 1853 and 1857 of the area covered by the park, 
and showing buildings, roads, rocks, trees, etc. These surveys, which in some instances 
are signed by the Engineer in Chief, Mr. Viele, were made by four city surveyors — Charles 
K. Graham, James C. S. Sinclair, Norman Ewen, and J. B. Bacon, in charge of the First, 
Second, Third and Fourth Divisions of the work. Their reports are printed in full in the 
First Annual Report. 

Plate 149 A-b 

Central Park 
Lithograph. 691% x I4tI Date depicted: About 1910. 

Lithographer: Robert A. Welcke. 
Owrner: City of New York, Department of Parks. 
Other copies: N. Y. Public Library; N. Y. Hist. Society, etc. 

The original drawing, in the Department of Parks, from which this lithograph was 
made, was started in 1888 and was compiled and plotted from plane-table sheets, already 
in the possession of the Park Department, and from additional surveys made from time 
to time up to 1904. It measures 23 ft. 6^ in. by 4 ft. iijl in., and is mounted on rollers 
fixed at each end of a large table. 

Plate 150-a 
[Broadway and City Hall Park, looking North] 
Stereoscopic photograph, Date depicted: 1859. 

by E. Anthony. Date issued: Copyright 1859. 

Owner: N. Y. Hist. Society. 

The original of this stereoscopic view, which was evidently taken from an elevation, at 
about Ann Street and Broadway, bears the copyright date 1859, and probably was made 
early in that year. 

It is interesting to see how successive fads have helped to enrich the records of the 
city at various stages of its development. Collections of these stereoscopic views, for 
instance, as we know from the publishers' catalogues, contained many photographs of the 
city which it would be very interesting to possess today. Unfortunately, most of them have 
long since disappeared. The N. Y. Historical Society possesses probably the best collection 
of these stereoscopic photographs (which became popular at about this time) of views in 
and around New York. 


In a catalogue dated September, 1858 (copy in the N. Y. Public Library), Wiley and 
Halsted of New York offer, among others, the following views : 

City Hall Croton Reservoir 

Calvary Church Battery 

Crystal Palace South Ferry 

New York from Trinity Church Hall of Records 

New York Bay Astor House 

Custom House Tombs 

Academy of Music Church of All Souls 

In 1869, William B. Holmes advertised ninety-one views of Central Park (copy of 
catalogue in N. Y. Public Library), including scenery, buildings, statues, etc., and also the 
following views of the city: 

City Hall 14th Street and Steinway Hall 

Astor House Academy of Music 

Old Postoffice Tammany Hall 

Tribune Building Wallack's Theatre 

Times Grace Church 

Stock Exchange Fifth Avenue Hotel 

Trinity Church and Wall St. Pike's Opera House 

Merchants' Exchange, Wall St. Trinity Chapel 

Custom House Hoffman House 

Nassau St. from Wall St. Worth Monument 

Bank of New York, Wall St. Academy of Design 

Herald Building New York College, 23 rd Street 

New Park Bank Building Cooper Institute 

Fulton Street Bridge Tompkins' Market 

Castle Garden Bible House 

Elevated Railway, Greenwich St. Astor Library 

South Ferry House Mercantile Library 

Ruins of Barnum's Museum, March 3, 1868 Bellevue Hospital 

Statue of Washington, Union Square Bowling Green 

Plate 150-b 

[Nassau Street and the Post Office, from Wall Street] 

Stereoscopic photograph, Date depicted: 1866-7. 

probably by Wm. B. Holmes. 
Owner: N. Y. Hist. Society. 

This view shows the Middle Dutch Church in Nassau Street, which in 1845 had been 
converted for use as the U. S. Post Office. On the extreme right appears the rear north- 
west corner of the United States Treasury, while on the left may be seen the street signs 
of the Delaware & Hudson Canal Co., Fisk & Hatch, and the Morris Fire & Inland Insur- 
ance Compan3^ 

According to the directories, the Delaware & Hudson Canal Co. occupied the building 
at 7 Nassau Street, where they are shown in the photograph, only from 1866-7 to 1 870-1. 
The Morris Fire & Inland Insurance Company is first given in the directory for 1865-6 


at No. I Nassau Street, corner of Wall, where they appear in the view, and also upon 
Lloyd's map of 1867. The firm name is not given in the directory for 1866-7, but by 
1867-8, according to the directory of that year, they had moved to 38 Pine Street. The 
view, therefore, must depict a period around 1866-7. 

It is altogether likely that this is the view referred to as "Nassau St. from Wall St." 
in the Holmes catalogue of 1869, mentioned under Plate 150-a. 







THE fall of Fort Sumter caused a remarkable change of public 
sentiment in New York. Since the movement which led to 
secession began, New York business men had been anxious to 
avoid any open break with the South. Business connections were such 
that the secession of the southern states would necessarily result in serious 
financial loss. Twice in the last few years the fear of secession had 
thrown the New York stock market into a feverish condition which had 
resulted in panic. The fear of a general repudiation of debts due the 
North by southern merchants was an important factor in the situation. 
Financial distress seemed to be staring the country in the face, and busi- 
ness men were anj:ious to avoid any agitation that might precipitate dis- 
aster. Even radical Republicans were inclined to a conciliatory policy. 
Three days after the election of i860, Horace Greeley wrote in the 
New-York Tribune: "If the Cotton States shall decide that they can do 
better out of the Union than in it, we insist on letting them go in peace. 
The right to secede may be a revolutionary one, but it exists neverthe- 
less. . . ." This view reached its highest degree of popularity in No- 
vember and December of 1 860. 

On December 15, i860, a private gathering of over a hundred men 


of high position and great influence, who in the late presidential election 
had supported Douglas, Bell, or Breckinridge, adopted resolutions at once 
conciliatory and friendly to the South. The letter transmitting the reso- 
lutions contained the following expression: 

We do not despair of securing from those into whose hands the reins of 
government are about to be entrusted, a recognition of your rights in regard 
to the surrender of fugitive slaves and equality in the Territories. We know 
that great changes of opinion have already taken place among their most 
intelligent and influential men . . . ; nay, more, that many, whose opinions 
have undergone no change, are willing, in a praiseworthy spirit of patriotism, 
to make, on questions which are not fundamental to our system of govern- 
ment, but merely accessory to our social condition, the concessions necessary 
to preserve the Union in its integrity. . . . 

At the same time, August Belmont was working for the repeal of the 
"Personal Liberty Laws" passed by certain of the northern states, and 
when the Crittenden Compromise was brought forward as a possible 
solution of the problem, he, as the representative of the commercial 
interests of New York City, gave assurance of the anxiety that prevailed 
concerning the success of what was regarded as so fair a settlement of the 

Indeed, the desire of New -York to avoid a conflict went so far as to 
give the impression that the city was indifferent to the preservation of the 
Union, and that, in case of open conflict, it would use its influence on 
the side of the South. In a speech delivered at Richmond on March 
14th, John Cochrane promised that New York would support Virginia 
in any policy that the latter state might adopt. Mayor Fernando Wood, 
in his message to the Common Council on January 7, 1861, took the 
position that the dissolution of the Federal Union was inevitable, since it 
could not be preserved by force; and he even went so far as to propose 
that in this situation New York become a separate and free city. He 
thought that, with only a nominal duty on imports, her local govern- 
ment could be supported without further taxation of her people, and he 
argued that any attempt to put this plan into operation would have the 
whole and united support of the southern states. [»] The spirit of the 
city was such that a Confederate commissioner, writing from Manhattan 
to Jefferson Davis on April 1 4th, reported that two hundred of the most 

['] Wood's motive was not entirely disloyalty to the Union. He saw in this scheme a means by which 
New York could free herself from the control of the state, which had been making what he considered an 
entirely unwarranted invasion of the city's prerogatives and corporate rights. 

influential and wealthy citizens were then arranging a plan to declare 
New York a free city. 

But with the attack on Fort Sumter, the feeling of the city under- 
went a rapid transformation, and everywhere a spirit of loyalty to the 
Union appeared. The people and the press, with insignificant exceptions, 
sank party difl^erences and earlier opinions in a common devotion to the 
flag. When news of the bombardment reached the Stock Exchange, its 
members joined in hearty cheers for Major Anderson. The New York 
Herald, a paper of wide influence and southern affiliations, changed its 
tone overnight, and thereby evinced the change in opinion of the Demo- 
cratic majority in the city. Individuals, such as Daniel S. Dickinson and 
John Cochrane, who had recently been making speeches in favour of 
the South, now came out boldly for the defence of the Union. Every 
indication went to show that in the impending struggle the influence of 
the commercial and financial centre of the country would be on the side 
of the national government. 

This was a disappointment to the South, since, owing to its business 
connection and social intercourse with New York City, and to the large 
Democratic majority which the latter usually gave, it had reckoned upon 
the friendship of the metropolis, which it regarded as an important factor 
in dividing the North, a result which the South had confidently expected. 
The Richmond Examiner of April 15th said: 

Will the city of New York kiss the rod that smites her, and, at the bidding 
of her black Republican tyrants, war upon her Southern friends and best 
customers? Will she sacrifice her commerce, her wealth, her population, 
her character, in order to strengthen her oppressors? 

News of the fall of Sumter was announced on Sunday evening, April 
14th. The newspapers published it the next morning, and at the same 
time the President's call for seventy-five thousand volunteers for three 
months' service was issued. On April i6th, the New York Legislature 
passed an act authorising the embodying and equipping of a volunteer 
militia, and providing for the public defence. On Thursday, the i8th. 
Governor Morgan issued a proclamation announcing the President's 
requisition on New York for a quota of seventeen regiments, of seven 
hundred and eighty men each, to serve for three months. 

In the meantime, it was felt that Washington, which was without 
troops, was in serious danger. The first regiments to pass through New 
York on their way to the defence of the capital were four from Massa- 


chusetts. An immense crowd, gathered in Broadway from Barclay to 
Fulton Street and at the lower end of Park Row, greeted the Massachu- 
setts troops with an enthusiasm that put beyond doubt the loyalty of the 
city. New York regiments hastened to follow those from Massachusetts. 
The Seventh Regiment was ordered out on April 17th, and the mer- 
chants of the city subscribed six thousand dollars to complete its equip- 
ment. At three o'clock in the afternoon of April 19th, the regiment, 
with nine hundred and ninety-one men in line, marched down Broadway 
to the ferry at the foot of Cortlandt Street. When news of the attack 
on the Massachusetts troops, as they passed through the streets of Balti- 
more on April 19th, reached New York, it caused grave fears for the 
safety of the Seventh Regiment. At the same time the Northern Cen- 
tral Railroad and the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad announced that they 
would transport no more troops over their lines. Consequently, the 
safety of the capital depended upon the activity of the seaboard cities. 
Fortunately, the Seventh Regiment had been taken by boat to Annapolis, 
and from there marched or went by train to Washington. Its arrival 
did much to lessen the anxiety that was felt for the safety of the capital. 
Other regiments from New York soon followed the Seventh. 

The proclamation of the President had appeared in the morning 
papers of Monday, April 15th. On the same morning the Tribune pub- 
lished a call for a patriotic mass meeting, and, at two o'clock that after- 
noon, a number of prominent citizens, who are described as the "solid 
men of Wall Street," met at No. 30 Pine Street, where a committee of 
ten, of which Charles H. Marshall was chairman, was chosen to call a 
meeting of the citizens without delay. A resolution, declaring that it 
was the sense of the meeting that before the Legislature should adjourn 
action ought to be taken to put the militia of the state on a war footing, 
was telegraphed to Governor Morgan. At subsequent meetings the 
committee decided to hold a mass meeting on Friday evening, April 1 9th. 
A sub-committee, of which John A. Dix was chairman, was appointed 
to draft resolutions and choose speakers. 

These proceedings were reported to a committee of two hundred mer- 
chants and others who met at the Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday. 
At this time a committee from the Stock Exchange and a delegation from 
the gentlemen who had been responsible for the call to a mass meeting 
which had been printed in Monday's Tiibune appeared, and were cordially 
received. It was decided to hold the mass meeting, not on Friday, as 


had been determined previously, but at three o'clock on Saturday, April 
20th, around the statue of Washington in Union Square. 

At the appointed time, more than a hundred thousand people gathered 
in the largest mass meeting that had ever been held in New York. John 
A. Dix, assisted by eighty-seven vice-presidents, chosen from among the 
leading men of the city, and representative of all parties, presided over 
the great assemblage. Five stands had been erected at various places in 
the square, and from these resolutions were read and addresses were made. 
Major Anderson and several of his officers, who had reached the city from 
Fort Sumter the day before, attended the meeting, and were everywhere 
received with the greatest enthusiasm. 

Despatches from Governor Morgan, which arrived during the meet- 
ing, announced that orders had been received for four additional organised 
regiments and two of volunteers to proceed to Washington without delay, 
and General Sandford, who was in command of the New York State 
militia, was authorised to charter steamers for the transportation of the 
regiments. Before the meeting adjourned, a committee was appointed 
to receive funds to be used in support of the public authorities. 

On April 20th, the Fifth and Eighth Regiments left for the front, 
followed the next day by the Sixth, Twelfth, and Twenty-first, and on 
the 23d by the Sixty-ninth. ['] Each of the regiments was recruited to 
its full war strength, all were fully armed, but less than half of the men 
were in uniform, the ranks having been hurriedly filled up by fresh 

Governor Morgan, who was anxious for the safety of Washington, 
came to New York on Monday, April 2 2d, to hasten the movement of 
troops. General Chester A. Arthur, of the Governor's staff, who had 
been appointed assistant quartermaster-general, opened four depots, where 

[I] The New York militia regiments were honourably discharged at the end of the three months for 
which they had been called out by the Federal government. Several of them were then mustered into 
the service of the United States, where they served for two years. Many individuals from the militia 
regiments went into the volunteer regiments, either as officers or as privates, and served through the war. 
The militia regiments retained their organisation, although the number of their men was depleted. By 
a state law of April, 1862, the uniformed militia became the National Guard. New York regiments of 
militia were called out on several occasions. In the spring and summer of 1862, they volunteered their 
services for the defence of Washington, at that time endangered by the defeat of the Union forces in the 
Shenandoah Valley, and their retreat into Maryland. During the unsuccessful campaign against Rich- 
mond in 1862, they guarded the line of the upper Potomac and occupied the fortifications of Washington 
and Baltimore. They were honourably discharged in September. In June, 1863, when Lee invaded Mary- 
land and Pennsylvania, twelve regiments of the National Guard from New York City were used at various 
points in Pennsylvania to check the Confederate advance and in the defence of Baltimore. They were 
hastily recalled from this service to help put down the draft riots which had broken out in New York City. 
Again, during the draft of 1864, the National Guard was called out for duty to prevent a recurrence of 
the disturbances of the previous year. 


the necessary arrangements for clothing, quartering, and provisioning the 
men were made. During the day it was announced that New York, in 
addition to being the headquarters of the regular army of the United 
States, had been designated as the headquarters of the Department of the 
East, and that General John E. Wool, second in command to Lieutenant- 
General Winfield Scott, would take command. General Wool soon ar- 
rived, and opened his headquarters in the St. Nicholas Hotel. 

On Monday, the twenty-second, the Committee of Twenty-one, 
formed under the direction of the mass meeting held in Union Square, 
organised, with John A. Dix as president, Simeon Draper as vice-presi- 
dent, and William M. Evarts as secretary. The Mayor, the Comp- 
troller, the President of the Board of Aldermen, and the President of 
the Board of Councilmen were added to the committee, together with 
two members of the select committee of the Chamber of Commerce, 
after which the latter committee turned over the funds that it had raised 
for the equipment of troops and merged itself in the general committee, 
which soon adopted the title "The Committee of Union Defence of the 
City of New York."[i] 

The Common Council of the city met in the evening of this same 
Monday, and appropriated five hundred thousand dollars for the relief 
of the families of volunteers, and one million dollars for the equipment 
and outfitting of the city's military force. The money was to be paid 
by the Comptroller upon vouchers approved by the Committee of Union 
Defence. The action of the city government was significant of the 
unity of opinion then prevailing in favour of supporting the war, for a 
majority of both the Board of Aldermen and the Board of Councilmen 
were Democrats. 

The Committee of Union Defence was organised for the purpose of 
getting troops into the field as quickly as possible to meet the sudden 
emergency caused by the attack on Fort Sumter. For the time being, 
this committee became the executive arm of the national government in 
New York, supplying method, direction, and efficiency to the people's 
energies. It chartered a steamboat, by which provisions and ammuni- 
tion were sent to the garrison at Fortress Monroe, to the army at Annap- 

[■] The committee had four subordinate committees: the executive committee, and the committees 
of finance, correspondence, and subscriptions and collections. The executive committee itself had the 
following sub-committees: i, on the purchase of arms and ammunition; 2, on provisions and supplies; 
3, on aid to regiments; 4, on applications for relief for soldiers' families; 5, on transportation of troops and 
provisions; 6, on funds; 7, on naval affairs. The committee of the Chamber of Commerce mentioned 
above had raised $115,853 for the equipment of troops. 


olis, and to southern ports occupied by Union forces. By June 29, 
I 86 1, thirty-six regiments had been sent to the front from New York 
City. The committee was not designed to care for soldiers called out 
for a long term of service, or for their families. As soon as the national 
government was able to organise itself for the work of recruiting and 
equipping soldiers for the field, the committee suspended its efforts. 
Active work ended in the spring of 1862, but an organisation was main- 
tained until the spring of 1864, when the committee finally disbanded. [•] 

While the government and local committees were making every effort 
to get troops ready for service, the women were asking themselves what 
they could do for the relief and comfort of the soldiers. They came 
together in conferences to determine their course of action. Several 
meetings were held, at various cities, during the month of April. To- 
wards the end of the month, a similar conference was held in New York. 
This meeting resulted in a call, signed by ninety-two women of promi- 
nence, which was addressed "to the women of New York, and especially 
to those already engaged in preparing against the time of wounds and 
sickness in the Army," and invited the numerous societies already at 
work to attend a meeting at Cooper Institute. This large gathering of 
women, aided by ministers, physicians, and others, formed the "Women's 
Central Association of Relief," which, in turn, led to the organisation 
of the Sanitary Commission. Henry W. Bellows was chosen president, 
and Frederick Law Olmsted, at that time architect-in-chief and superin- 
tendent of Central Park, was made general secretary. Under their able 
management, a work for the care of the sick and wounded, and espe- 
cially for the prevention of disease, was accomplished, the value ot which 
can scarcely be overestimated. The commission received and expended, 
during the course of the war, nearly five millions of dollars in money, 
besides distributing supplies to the estimated value of fifteen millions. 

The vast commercial interests of New York made it inevitable that 
the city should suffer much as a result of the war, for her great merchant 
marine was open to the depredations of enemy privateers, such as the 
"Alabama." But, in addition to this, all of her trade with the South 
ceased, and debts owed by southern merchants to business men in New 
York were repudiated to the estimated amount of two hundred million 
dollars. This brought disaster. "The fabric of New York's mercantile 

[■] About $800,000 was expended, with the general concurrence of the Secretary of War, for the equip- 
ment of volunteers. It was held that the city had a right to expect to be reimbursed for these funds as 
well as for the $500,000 appropriated for the relief of soldiers' families. 


prosperity, said the New-Tork Tribune of May 27, 1861, "lies in ruins,, 
beneath which ten thousand fortunes are buried. . . . Last fall the 
merchant was a capitalist; to-day he is a bankrupt." Not only was trade 
with the South cut off, but almost every business interest was paralysed 
by the war. Commerce in other quarters was seriously affected, and 
every branch of industry was weakened. Many mercantile houses were 
obliged to suspend payment; others were compelled to go into liquidation, 
and all felt a check to their usual prosperity. On Saturday night, De- 
cember 28, 1 86 1, the managers of New York banks decided that they 
must suspend specie payments. This condition, however, did not last 
very long. After the first crisis, business gradually readjusted itself to 
the new conditions. The war itself brought to the city a great deal of 
activity connected with manufacturing supplies and sending them forward 
for the use of the armies, and, by the end of 1862, Mayor Opdyke could 
congratulate the Common Council on the fact that business, in all depart- 
ments, had sensibly recovered. 

Banks, insurance companies, and individuals, gave generous financial 
support to the government in the great crisis. In 1863, Mayor Opdyke 
estimated that New York City had already contributed at least four hundred 
million dollars to the national treasury. Large inducements were offered 
to encourage volunteering, the bounty in New York being higher than 
that generally paid throughout the country. ['] Recruiting went on with 
a fair degree of rapidity, and, at the beginning of 1863, the whole number 
of volunteers from the city, so far as could be determined from defective 
records, was about eighty thousand. 

At the election of 1861, the Republicans of New York State united 
with all who supported the war in a fusionist ticket. Daniel S. Dickin- 
son, a Breckinridge Democrat, was their candidate for governor. George 
Opdyke, an old Free-soil Democrat and pioneer Republican, was the 
Republican candidate for mayor of New York City. Dickinson was 
elected by a majority of seventeen thousand votes in the city and one 
hundred and seven thousand in the state. Opdyke defeated Fernando 
Wood, the Democratic candidate, by a small plurality. 

As the war progressed, however, a reaction set in. The defeat of the 
Union army at Bull Run, in July, 1861, and McClellan's failure to take 

['] An advertisement of the New York County Vohinteer Committee read: "30,000 volunteers wanted. 
The followini; are the pecuniary inducements offered: County bounty, cash down, $300; State bounty, $7$; 
United States bounty to new recruits, $302; additional to veteran soldiers, $100," making totals, respect- 
ively, of $677 and $777 for service which would not exceed three years, besides private soldier's pay of 
?i6 per month, with clothing and rations. 


Richmond, in the early summer of 1862, caused discouragement in the 
North ;['] and the feeling that it was impossible to force the South into 
submission grew stronger. In September, 1862, President Lincoln issued 
a proclamation preliminary to the emancipation of the slaves, and this 
caused certain men, who believed in a war to preserve the Union but 
were unwilling to fight against slavery, to fall away from the support of 
the government. [2] Others were offended by the government's arbitrary 
action in ordering the arrest of persons at the North who were guilty of 
disloyal conduct, or who aided in the propaganda to lessen the number 
of enlistments of soldiers for the war. The hope of the North for a 
speedy victory and a successful conclusion of the struggle had failed of 
fulfilment, and, as a result, the people were discouraged and ready to 
condemn the administration, which had been unable to meet their ex- 
pectations. [3] The prevailing spirit did not condemn the war itself, but 
the way in which it was being waged. 

The elections held in the autumn of 1 862 indicated this change of feel- 
ing. Horatio Seymour, the ablest Democrat to enter the political arena 
during the Civil War, was elected governor of New York by a majority 
of more than ten thousand votes, defeating James S. Wadsworth, the 
candidate of the Republican-Unionists. [4] The result of the election 
was undoubtedly influenced by the fact that the soldiers in the field, who 
most probably would have voted to support the administration, were not 
able to vote, while those who had been too indifferent to the struggle to 
enlist were able to cast their ballots. [5 ] The result of the election is to 

['] There was a panic in Wall Street in June, 1862, when news of McClellan's retreat to the James River, 
after the Peninsula campaign, became known in the North. 

[^] The preliminary proclamation was issued September 23d, after Lee's invasion of Maryland had 
been checked at Antietam. It was not popular in New York City. The Board of Aldermen passed resolu- 
tions calling for more determined efforts to carry on the war to a triumphal conclusion, but condemning 
the emancipation proclamation. Mayor Opdyke refused to sign this measure. 

[i] Horace Greeley's " Prayer for Twenty Millions," printed in the Tribune, August 20, 1862, reflected 
this deep discouragement. 

[41 The Democratic platform denounced arbitrary arrests and supported the use of all legitimate means 
to suppress the rebellion, restore the Union, "as it was, and maintain the constitution as it is." It held 
that the war was not being waged in any spirit of oppression or for any purpose of conquest or subjugation, 
or for overthrowing the rights or established institutions of certain states, but for the purpose of defending 
and maintaining the supremacy of the Constitution and of preserving the Union with all the dignity, equality, 
and rights of the several states unimpaired, and that as soon as these objects were accomplished the war 
ought to ceas;. In comparison, the Republican platform was radical. It urged the government to pros- 
ecute the war by every means, and emphatically approved the President's intention to emancipate the 
slaves. In the election Brooklyn and New York City gave Seymour a majority of 54,582. The remainder 
of the state gave Wadsworth a majority of 43,830, so that Seymour was elected by a majority of 10,752. 

[5] The total vote cast in November, 1862, was 70,610 less than had been cast in the election of i860. 
In 1864 the state constitution was so amended as to allow voters absent from the state in the military or 
naval service of the United States at the time of an election to cast their ballots. The termination of the 
war made this provision unnecessary, and it was repealed in i866. 


be looked upon as a protest against the conduct of the war, rather than 

against the war itself. 

The election of Seymour was a misfortune for the Republican admin- 
istration, for, although he was a patriotic man, he disliked Lincoln, and 
wished to have nothing to do with a President who seemed to favour the 
abolition of slavery, and to be ready to use arbitrary measures to accom- 
plish it. It was also clear that he did not believe the war for the Union 
could be brought to a successful termination. As governor of the most 
powerful state in the country, Seymour's influence was of great weight. 
Lincoln appreciated this fact, and wrote to him, in the hope that a 
better understanding might thereby be established, but Seymour refused 
to respond. His inaugural message of January 7, 1863, was severely 
critical; he did not seem to appreciate the difficulties under which the 
government laboured, nor to "understand that the utmost forbearance 
was demanded of one in his high position." On the other hand, Sey- 
mour was the leader of the opposition to the policy of the government, 
and his course of action, viewed in the light of this fact, must be con- 
sidered, in the main, correct. 

New York City was never in any serious danger of attack. When, 
on March 8, 1862, the "Merrimac" destroyed three Federal frigates off 
Newport News, serious apprehension was felt that it might come north- 
ward and destroy the shipping in the harbours of northern cities. The 
battle between the "Merrimac" and the "Monitor," ['] on March 9th, 
removed this danger; yet, even after this, New York felt apprehensive, 
and believed that the development of the iron-clad ship made it neces- 
sary for her to strengthen her fortifications. The Chamber of Com- 
merce, responding to the known desire of the War Department, took up 
the question, and appealed to the liberaUty of the banks, insurance com- 
panies, and capitalists of the city for a subscription of five hundred thou- 
sand dollars, which was to be used in providing additional safeguards for 
the harbour. Work on the fortifications was carried forward in 1862 
and 1863. Their armament was increased by the addition of improved 
guns of heavy calibre, and the garrisons were strengthened. In addition 
to this, the Navy Department ordered Admiral Paulding, commandant 
of the Brooklyn Navy Yard, to keep at this port one or more steamers in 
readiness for action. 

The most serious disturbance of the peace in New York, directly due 

I'l The "Monitor" sailed from New York, and reached Hampton Roads on the evening of March 8th. 


to the war, occurred in July, 1863, and was the result of the Federal 
draft which was then in progress. The need for additional men to 
recruit the Federal armies was imperative, yet there had been a marked 
falling off in the number of voluntary enlistments. It was said that on 
December 31, 1862, New York State lacked 28,517 of the volunteers 
whom it should have furnished since the preceding July, and that of these 
18,523 belonged to the City of New York.[i] The government felt forced 
to devise some new arrangement for securing the needed men, and finally 
decided to follow the example of the Confederacy, which had already 
adopted compulsory military service. [2] The result of this decision was 
the passage of the Enrolment Act, which was approved March 3, i 863. 

For the purposes of the enrolment and draft, a provost-marshal-general 
was appointed for the entire United States, and in each congressional dis- 
trict a board was created, consisting of a provost-marshal, a so-called 
commissioner, and a surgeon. For the purpose of making the enrol- 
ment, each district board was authorised to divide its district into as many 
sub-districts as necessary, and to appoint an enrolling officer for each. [3] 
Three provost-marshals were appointed for New York State. Colonel 
Robert Nugent, of the Sixty-ninth Volunteers, "an honorable man, a gal- 
lant officer, a war Democrat, an Irishman, and a resident of New York 
City," was assigned to the Southern Division of New York, which 
included the cities of New York and Brooklyn. 

If a correct enrolment and just apportionment of compulsory service 
were to be secured, it was necessary that Federal and state officials co- 
operate. In April, Provost-Marshal-General James B. Fry wrote to 
Colonel Nugent asking him to co-operate with Governor Seymour, 
and to Seymour asking for his co-operation with Nugent. Seymour 
seems to have given no attention to the matter at this time. He had 
openly opposed the methods by which the administration was carrying 
on the war, and he objected to this particular measure, as being not 

[I] It was later discovered that this estimate of New York City's deficiency was too large. The num- 
ber of men enlisted in New York City for varying lengths of service during the Civil War was approx- 
imately 110,000. This is the estimate of Colonel Phisterer, who is considered the best authority on the 

[^1 The circumstances of the Union armies at this time were most discouraging. The battle of Stone 
River had left the Army of the Cumberland inactive for months; the advance on Vicksburg, by way of 
Haines Bluff, had been repulsed with serious loss; the disasters of Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville 
had put the Army of the Potomac again on the defensive, and the first attack on Fort Sumter by the navy 
had failed. To counteract the feeling of depression that prevailed. Union League Clubs were formed. 
The Union League Club of New York was founded February 6, 1863, although not incorporated until 
February 16, 1865. The first requisite for membership was loyalty to the Federal government. 

[3j An excellent account of the draft and the riots is found in Appletons' American Annual Cyclo- 
■padiay 1863. 


only unwise, but illegal. Under the circumstances, his failure to support 
the draft was virtually opposition to it. 

At this juncture, Lee's invasion of Maryland and Pennsylvania made 
it imperative that every available regiment of militia be sent to aid in 
repelling his advance, [i] The result was that at the very time when an 
unpopular public measure was about to be put into execution within the 
city the only force available for keeping the peace, outside of the police, 
consisted of a handful of regulars in the harbour garrisons and a few dis- 
abled men of the Invalid Corps. On June 30th, Mayor Opdyke had 
telegraphed to Governor Seymour saying that it was necessary to strengthen 
the military force in the city, and asking that General Sandford be author- 
ised to organise new regiments forthwith. But, even if this proposal had 
been followed, the shortness of the time before the draft was to begin 
would have made it impossible to organise a very efficient force in time 
for use in preventing riots. 

Saturday, July i ith, had been fixed upon as the day for beginning the 
draft in New York. On that morning the drawing began at the enroll- 
ing office at Third Avenue and 46th Street. A large crowd assembled, 
but, as everything was conducted in a fair and orderly manner, no oppor- 
tunity for disturbance occurred. The crowd, indeed, seemed to be in a 
pleasant frame of mind, well-known names were greeted with cheers, 
and everything passed off so successfully that the Superintendent of Police 
remarked, as he left the place at the end of the day, that he believed 
there was no danger to be apprehended ; the Rubicon had been crossed, 
and all would go well. On Sunday morning the names of the conscripts 
appeared in the press, with incidents, jocular and otherwise, connected 
with the proceedings of the previous day. 

On Monday, the thirteenth, the drawing was resumed, and continued 
at the Broadway enrolling office until noon, when it was discontinued as 
a precautionary measure, since a serious disturbance had developed at 
46th Street and Third Avenue. [2] During the early part of the day, some 
of the residents of the Ninth District, which included a great many 
labourers — an excitable element of the city's population — were seen to 
assemble at certain specified points, and between eight and nine o'clock 
to begin moving along the various avenues to their special meeting-place, 

['] Seymour was energetic in sending aid to repel Lee in Pennsylvania. At the call of the Secretary 
of War, he forwarded nineteen regiments, armed and equipped for field service. 

[-] The Broadway enrolling office was near 28th Street. Soon after the office was closed, the mob 
arrived, entered and sacked it, and set fire to the building, destroying the entire block of which it was the 
central building. 

an open lot near Central Park. It was evident from their action that 
some degree of organisation had previously been effected. From Cen- 
tral Park the crowd moved down town until it reached the vicinity of 
46th Street, when it moved eastward to the place of drawing, at Third 
Avenue. At Lexington Avenue, the crowd met and attacked Police 
Superintendent Kennedy, who was severely beaten, but managed to es- 
cape with his life, although he was unable to perform any duty for 
several days.['] 

In the meantime, the drawing at Third Avenue and 46th Street was 
proceeding. A few names had been called and registered when a huge 
paving-stone came crashing through the window. This, apparently, was 
the signal for a general attack. Immediately the crowd rushed in, de- 
stroyed the furniture of the office, and set fire to the building. In two 
hours the entire block, of which this was a corner building, had been 
destroyed. VV^hen Chief Engineer Decker and his men came to put out 
the fire they were prevented from doing their work until it was too late 
to be of service. 

The means at hand for controlling the mob and restoring order to 
the city were entirely inadequate. As has been said, the militia regi- 
ments of the city were away on duty in Maryland and Pennsylvania, the 
force in the several forts in the harbour was small, and the Navy Yard 
at Brooklyn could spare but a few marines. [2] The police force did ex- 
cellent service, but the number of men available was too small to make 
it possible for it to control the rioters. 

While the city authorities were consulting as to the means to be used 
to restore order, "the mob, whose proportions had attained the size of 
an army, had resolved itself into a peregrinating column of incendiaries, 
and was in the successful pursuit of an uninterrupted career of murder, 
pillage, and arson." Before the day was over, gangs of thieves had 
joined the crowd and availed themselves of the general disturbance to 
reap a harvest of plunder. While the up-town mob was destroying a 
brownstone block in Lexington Avenue, a detachment of marines, some 

['] The command of the police then devolved upon Commissioner Acton, who established himself at 
headquarters in Mulberry Street, and from there, by means of the telegraph, directed the activities of 
his men. The entire police force had been called to the various station-houses, and from these points they 
were sent out to stop the riots as they developed in different places. The police force numbered about 
two thousand men, but at no time were more than eight hundred available for use, and, on Monday, when 
the riots broke out, not more than half that number could be employed. Throughout the riots, the police 
were compelled to work in comparatively small bodies. The largest number in one group was three hun- 
dred and fifty. 

[-] Major-General Sandford was in command of the state militia, and Major-General Wool, com- 
mander of the Department of the East, was in charge of the forces of the Federal government. 


fifty in number, with muskets and blank cartridges, was sent to quell the 
riot. The mob, informed of the soldiers' coming, tore up the rails of 
the Third Avenue street-car line, so that the marines were forced to 
leave their car at 43d street, where several thousand men, women, and 
children stood ready to meet them. As the marines advanced, they fired 
their blank cartridges at the mob, which immediately rushed upon them, 
broke up the little band, seized their muskets, trampled the men under 
foot, beat them with sticks, and laughed at their impotence. Several 
of the marines were killed, and all were terribly beaten. From this 
moment, the spirit of the mob changed. Mere resistance was no longer 
thought of; attack became the watchword. 

The mob was particularly infuriated against negroes. Restaurants 
and hotels whose servants were of this race were taken possession of by 
the rioters, who smashed windows, destroyed furniture, maltreated guests, 
and tried to kill the fleeing servants. No coloured person's life was safe. 
In the afternoon of this day (Monday), the mob attacked and burned 
the Colored Half Orphan Asylum, a substantial building which had 
been erected a few years before on Fifth Avenue between 43d and 44th 
Streets. About the same hour, an attack was made on the armory in 
Second Avenue at the corner of 21st Street, the object being to obtain 
the muskets and rifles which the government was known to have stored 
there. The squad of police that had been stationed there to prevent a 
successful attack was overpowered, and forced to retire ; the building was 
fired, and soon fell, a mass of blackened ruins. 

During the remainder of Monday, and for the next three days, the 
riots continued. Disturbances occurred in various parts of the city, from 
Second Avenue westward to the North River, as far north as Harlem, 
and as far south as Mulberry Street. During this time, business was 
almost entirely suspended throughout the city. Railroads and omnibuses 
stopped running, the stores on Broadway and on the avenues throughout 
the greater part of the city were closed, and prowling gangs of ruffians 
made the streets unsafe. The number of rioters killed by the police and 
soldiers is unknown, but it was estimated at between four and five hun- 
dred. The number of persons killed by the mob was eighteen, of whom 
eleven were coloured. [■] The number of buildings burned by the mob, 
from Monday until Wednesday morning, was more than fifty, and in- 

['] Money to the amount of ^62,412. 27 was collected by subscription and distributed among the families 
of the police who had suffered during the riots. 


eluded, besides the Colored Half Orphan Asylum, two police stations, 
three provost-marshal's offices, and an entire block of houses on 
Broadway. A large number of stores and dwellings were sacked, though 
not burned, and their contents destroyed or carried away. The entire 
amount of property stolen or destroyed amounted to upwards of one 
million two hundred thousand dollars. 

In the meantime, the authorities were taking steps to quell the riots. 
On Monday, at half-past one, the Board of Aldermen met, and proposed 
to take action whereby poor men who had been drafted should be fur- 
nished with substitutes. This proposal was based on the belief that such 
a course would at once check the riots, but the board lacked a quorum, 
and adjourned without taking action. About noon on Monday, Major- 
General Wool called on all veterans in the city to volunteer for service 
in suppressing the riots. The next morning, several colonels of returned 
volunteer regiments appealed to their former commands to rally, and, in 
pursuance of orders from General Wool, General Harvey Brown assumed 
command of the Federal troops in the city. General Brown stationed 
himself at the central office, and remained in active co-operation with 
the Police Board during the remainder of the riots. General Sandford 
gathered together seven hundred men of the militia, temporarily absent 
from their regiments, and occupied the state arsenal at Seventh Avenue 
and 35 th Street. The Federal government also assisted by placing gun- 
boats at various points about the city, and at the Navy Yard. 

On Tuesday, Governor Seymour, who had hurried up from Long 
Branch, issued a proclamation, in which he declared that the only oppo- 
sition to conscription that could be allowed was an appeal to the courts, 
that riotous proceedings must and should be put down, and that the laws 
of New York must be enforced, its peace and order maintained, and the 
lives and property of all citizens protected at any and every hazard. The 
Governor also appeared on the steps of the City Hall, made a few con- 
ciliatory remarks to the crowd, in which he addressed them as "friends," 
and announced that he had sent his adjutant- general to Washington, to 
confer with the authorities there and get the draft stopped. Gradually, 
the activities of the rioters lessened. The Secretary of War ordered home 
the militia regiments that had been doing duty in Pennsylvania, and 
the rioters became, to a great extent, demoralised, their leaders having 
been killed or imprisoned. On Thursday, by order of the Police Com- 
missioners, the stages and cars, which had been withdrawn from the 


streets, resumed their regular schedules. On the same day, Mayor Opdyke 
issued a proclamation announcing that the riots were virtually over, but 
inviting citizens to form voluntary associations for the protection of their 
property. By Thursday night, quiet had been restored, and the riots 

The attitude of the city government towards the rioters was, on the 
whole, conciliatory. Mayor Opdyke, who was a Republican, advocated 
an unyielding policy towards all disturbers of the peace and a rigid 
enforcement of the draft, but the Common Council, a majority of whom 
were Democrats, and the Supervisors of New York County, felt dif- 
ferently. The Board of Supervisors passed an ordinance providing money 
to pay for substitutes for the poor who might be drafted, and, in addition 
to this, the Common Council passed an ordinance making further pro- 
vision for the same exigency. The Mayor vetoed the second measure, 
holding that the provision made by the Board of Supervisors was suf- 

The draft, which had been stopped by the riots, was resumed on 
August 19th; but the presence of ten thousand veterans, under the com- 
mand of General Dix, who had recently succeeded General Wool as 
commander of the Department of the East, prevented disorder. Gover- 
nor Seymour protested that there was injustice, if not fraud, in the enrol- 
ment of names in certain districts, and President Lincoln, while announc- 
ing his purpose "to proceed with the draft, at the same time employing 
infallible means to avoid any great wrong," showed his desire to act 
justly, by correcting immediately the glaring disparities which affected 
the quotas of the New York and Brooklyn districts. ['] The Common 
Council of New York still showed itself unfriendly to the draft. In 
September, it passed a resolution directing the Street Commissioner to 
remove the national troops quartered in the squares and parks of the 
city, and later passed a second resolution asking the United States to pay 
the city for the damage resulting from the presence of these forces. 
Mayor Opdyke vetoed both measures, on the ground that the national 
troops were necessary to preserve order, and that the city would find it 
much more burdensome to pay for damages occasioned by another riot 
than for those arising from the presence of the soldiers. 

The results of the draft in New York State, as a whole, were disap- 
pointing. Out of 77,862 conscripts examined, 53,109 were exempted 

[■] The enrolment was verified at this time. Governor Seymour had been asked previously to co- 
operate in this, but had taken no action in the matter. 

for physical disability or other causes; 14,073 paid commutation; 6,619 
furnished substitutes, and only 2,557 were enrolled in the service. 

The cause of the riots was to be found largely in the circumstance 
that the draft was being enforced in a district overwhelmingly hostile to 
the administration advocating the measure. But other elements entered 
into the situation. The large foreign population, and its antipathy to 
the negro, as the principal cause of the war, accounted for the violence 
shown to persons of that race. Foreigners, too, who recognised an old 
grievance in forced military service, were naturally unwilling to sacrifice 
themselves for an issue in which they had no vital interest, and their 
ignorance made them less amenable to reason than a crowd composed of 
Americans would have been. Thieves and other criminals took advan- 
tage of the disturbances to carry on their own particular occupations. 
The absence of virtually all of the city's armed forces also contributed to 
bring about conditions which made rioting possible. Nor must we fail 
to put some of the blame upon Governor Seymour, whose speech and 
conduct indicated clearly that he held the draft to be illegal, and to 
justify the riots. His demand that the draft be stopped was really a con- 
cession to the mob, and endangered the successful enforcement of the 
law of the land. But the statement that the riots were the work of 
traitors, with whom Seymour was in collusion, is not true, although 
radical Republicans of the time, such as Horace Greeley and Mayor 
Opdyke, gave the report credence. 

In April, 1864, the Metropolitan Fair, organised to raise funds for the 
United States Sanitary Commission, was held in the Twenty-second Regi- 
ment Armory on West 14th Street, near Sixth Avenue, and in a building 
on Union Square. The fair was a great success, and netted over a million 
dollars. On May i 8th of the same year, the city was disturbed by the 
publication of a proclamation, purporting to come from President Lin- 
coln, which admitted by implication the failure of Grant's campaign in 
the Wilderness, appointed a solemn day of fasting, humiliation, and 
prayer, and called for four hundred thousand men. It was merely a 
forgery, intended for stock-jobbing purposes. Fortunately, accident pre- 
vented its appearing in most of the New York City papers. It was, 
however, printed in the World and in the New York 'Journal of Com- 
merce, two Democratic papers that had attacked the administration 
bitterly. The editors tried to correct the error, and made satisfactory 
explanations to General Dix. 


Later in the year, New York was threatened by a serious danger, 
when the Confederates, acting through secret agents, organised a scheme 
to burn the city. Eight men were detailed for the work, and the time 
set for the attempt was the night of election day (November 8th); but 
the necessary phosphorus was not ready on that day, and the project was 
postponed until seventeen days later. On November 25th, the Astor 
House, the St. Nicholas, the Metropolitan, the Fifth Avenue, and seven 
other hotels, and Barnum's Museum, were set on fire by the use of phos- 
phorus and turpentine. Fortunately, the blaze, in each case, was quickly 
put out. In several theatres where performances were going on, the 
alarm of fire produced consternation, but no serious panics occurred. ['] 

The spring and summer of 1864 were a period of discouragement for 
the North. Grant's campaign against Richmond had been checked in 
the costly sacrifice of life at Cold Harbor. Sherman had not yet been 
able to take Atlanta. The end of the war still seemed to be far off, and 
the people were anxious for peace — some of them for peace at any price. 
In the meantime, another presidential election was approaching. The 
New York State Democrats held their convention in February, at Albany. 
Seymour was placed at the head of a strong delegation to the national 
convention at Chicago, and was renominated for governor. The only 
circumstance that could be considered adverse to the Governor's success 
was the fact that Tammany had been temporarily offended by the admis- 
sion to the convention of the McKeon delegation, an insignificant group 
of advocates of peace at any price. The Chicago convention adopted a 
platform in which the war was declared a failure, and a demand was 
made for the cessation of bloodshed and the calling of a convention to 
restore peace "on the basis of the Federal union of the states." General 
George B. McClellan was made the party's candidate for President. 

The Republicans were divided in their opinions. Early in the cam- 
paign, the radical Republicans began to show that they were hostile to 
the renomination of Lincoln, and united first in support of Chase, and 
later of Fremont. When the Republican convention met, however, it 
renominated Lincoln. [2] During the summer of 1864, the war con- 

[I] At the Winter Garden, a theatre adjoining the Lafarge House, one of the hotels fired, the presence 
of mind of Edwin Booth, who was playing Brutus in "Julius Caesar," prevented a panic. A man named 
Kennedy, who set fire to Barnum's Museum and three of the hotels, escaped to Canada, but later was 
arrested as he was going to Detroit on his way south. He was sent to New York, tried by a military com- 
mission, found guilty, and hanged. 

[^] The Republican state convention met at Syracuse September 7, 1864, and nominated Reuben 
E. Fenton for governor. 


tinued to go badly. The demand for peace became more insistent, and 
Lincoln's unpopularity became so great that a movement was set on foot 
to call a new convention at Cincinnati for the purpose of nominating 
another candidate. George Opdyke directed the movement in New 
York. Greeley favoured it, and wrote that Lincoln was already beaten; 
and other prominent men, among them Salmon P. Chase and Daniel S. 
Dickinson, supported it. 

A series of Federal victories, however, changed the whole situation. 
In August, Farragut destroyed the forts at the entrance to the harbour 
of Mobile; on September 3d, Sherman entered Atlanta, and Sheridan 
defeated Early in the Shenandoah Valley in September and October. 
These successes of the land and naval forces of the Union showed con- 
clusively that the war was not a failure, and, in the election, Lincoln 
was chosen by two hundred and twelve electoral votes to McClellan's 
twenty-one. New York was the only large state where the contest was 

In the following spring, the war came to an end. Richmond was 
occupied by Federal troops on April 3, 1865, and Lee surrendered to 
Grant at Appomattox Court House on April 9th. The news quickly 
reached the North, which was immediately filled with intense rejoicing. 
This feeling, however, was soon turned to horror and sadness by the 
assassination of President Lincoln, news of which appeared in the New 
York papers of April 15th and 1 6th. The whole city mourned. The 
funeral cortege of the dead President left Washington on Friday morn- 
ing, April 2 1 St, and, after stops at Baltimore, Harrisburg, and Philadel- 
phia, arrived in New York on the morning of the twenty-fourth. The 
funeral party was transported across the North River, by the ferry-boat 
"Jersey City," to the foot of Desbrosses Street, and from that point was 
escorted by the Seventh Regiment to the City Hall, where the coffin 
was placed on a catafalque in front of the principal entrance to the Gov- 
ernor's Room. The body lay there in state during the remainder of the 
day. On the twenty-fifth, funeral obsequies were held in the City Hall, 
and the funeral procession passed from there to the Hudson River Rail- 
road depot, where the funeral party took train for the West. 

New York had not been seriously crippled by the war. The general 
prostration of business, which was so marked a characteristic of condi- 
tions in the city during the first months of the struggle, had gradually 
disappeared, and a general revival followed. This was due to the natural 


readjustment which took place, and to the fact that New York, as the 
chief financial and commercial city of the country, soon became the prin- 
cipal centre for the vast business of equipping troops and forwarding sup- 
plies to the army. The growth of the city from 1861 to 1865 was 
checked, but was not entirely stopped. The number of buildings erected 
during these years was much smaller than had been the case in the years 
immediately preceding and immediately following the war,[i] and popu- 
lation actually decreased from 814,254 in i860 to 726,385 in 1865. 

At the close of the war, the city entered upon a period of wonderful 
growth and expansion, not only in the number of buildings erected and 
in population, but also in wealth and in the magnitude of its business 
enterprises. Heretofore, New York had been pre-eminently a commer- 
cial city ; it now found itself entering upon a period of development in 
which its manufactures became more and more important. This period 
of expansion and development was characterised by the rapid growth of 
great private fortunes, by excessive speculation, by an abundance of 
swindling schemes, and by corrupt relations between business and poli- 
tics. A low standard of ideals and of political morality made it possible 
for men high in the nation's councils and government to form dishon- 
ourable connections with business enterprises. The condition in the 
nation had its counterpart in the state and in the city. In New York 
this was the period of the most serious and far-reaching corruption that 
the city had ever known. 

Political corruption was an evil of long standing in New York. As 
has been shown previously, it was the natural outgrowth of conditions 
that began to develop as early as 1821, and was rendered more easily 
possible by successive changes in the city's government made by the 
Legislature. The chief effort of the Whigs, who controlled the state, 
was to lessen the influence of the Democratic majority usually given by 
New York City. To this end, but excusing themselves on the ground 
that their action was designed to end corruption and secure efficiency, 
they transferred as much of the city's government as they could to com- 
missions whose members were appointed by the Governor. As a result, 
the actual control of the city rested at Albany, and not in New York 
itself. [2] The efi^ect of this transfer was to make two centres of corrup- 
tion instead of one. In 1857 another change was made when the Leg- 

['] The number of new buildings erected in 1871 was 2,036, as compared with 539 in 1862. 
1=1 All the mayors of the time objected to this state of affairs. See the messages of Wood, Opdyke, 
Gunther, and Hoffman to the Common Council. 


islature formed a Board of Supervisors for the County of New York.]'] 
The city and county were coextensive, but by this act a separate govern- 
ment tor each was created. [2] That the Board of Supervisors might be 
non-partisan, it was arranged that it should be composed of an equal 
number of men from each of the two great parties. The board was 
made strictly subordinate to the Legislature at Albany, for it had no 
power to tax. It could only ascertain and levy the taxes decreed by the 
Legislature. This arrangement made it possible for the dominant power 
at Albany and the faction in control at New York to work together for 
a division of the spoils. 

Under Fernando Wood, who had been twice mayor before he was 
elected to a third term in the fall of 1859, corrupt methods were devel- 
oped to an extent hitherto unknown, and virtually all the schemes for 
controlling elections and robbing the city used by Tweed and his con- 
federates a few years later were practised, although on a much more 
moderate scale. [3] Corruption was even more prevalent during Wood's 
third term than it had been in his earlier administrations. It was openly 
charged that he sold the office of city inspector, and more notorious still 
was the fraud connected with letting a five-year contract for cleaning the 
city's streets to Andrew J. Hackley. The criticism of the press, which 
under normal conditions might be trusted to call public attention to such 
flagrant abuses, was silenced by the payment to the newspapers of large 
sums of money for "advertising." The outbreak of the war served to 
aid the designs of those who were robbing the city treasury, in that it 
distracted public attention from them. [4] 

In the campaign for the election of mayor in 1861, Wood was deter- 
mined to stand for re-election, although Tammany, which had opposed 
his election two years before, again refused to support him, and nominated 
C. Godfrey Gunther. A non-partisan movement to oppose the forces 
of corruption appeared in the People's Union, composed of Republicans 

['] In 1787 the Mayor, Recorder, and Aldermen were made Supervisors of the City and County of 
New York, with power to apportion and raise the state tax. 

[2] The revised charter of April 30, 1873, changed this, and empowered the Board of Aldermen to act 
as the Supervisors of the County of New York. 

[.;] Wood had quarrelled with the controlling faction in Tammany Hall, had been expelled, and had 
founded a rival organisation, usually known as "Mozart Hall," from its place of meeting. In 1859 Tam- 
many nominated for mayor, William F. Havemeyer, a man of excellent reputation; the Republicans chose 
George Opdyke. In the election, Wood received 29,940 votes; Havemeyer 26,913, and Opdyke, 21,417. 
For a discussion of Wood and his political methods, see E. L. Godkin, Problems 0/ Modern Democracy, 
pp. 133-4- 

(■»] At a special meeting of the Common Council, August 21, 1861, called ostensibly to help the families 
of poor volunteers, a measure for appointing twenty-two Street Opening Commissioners was hurriedly 
passed. These officials were entirely superfluous. 


and Democrats. It nominated George Opdyke, a Republican, who was 
elected by a small plurality. In 1863, C. Godfrey Gunther, the candi- 
date of the "McKeon Democracy," was supported by some Republicans 
and some Democrats, and was elected mayor. In 1865, Tammany suc- 
ceeded in electing as mayor John T. Hoffman, a man of some popularity 
and considerable ability. During his administration, the frauds and thefts 
continued, but he became more and more popular. The Tammany So- 
ciety made him grand sachem; the Democratic State Committee wished 
him to be its candidate for governor in 1866, and he was re-elected 
mayor in 1867 by a much larger majority than he had received in the 
preceding contest. 

The number of votes cast in this election showed the astonishing 
increase of 22,779 over the number cast in the election for mayor two 
years before. The reasons for this were apparent to all, and included 
repeating, false registration, cheating in the count, and, most important 
of all, illegal naturalisation. ["] In the Supreme Court and the Court 
of Common Pleas citizens were being turned out sometimes at the 
unprecedented rate of a thousand per day. This was the work of three 
corrupt judges — Albert Cardozo, George G. Barnard, and John H. 
M'Cunn — who, in turn, were the puppets of William Marcy Tweed, 
the man who had made himself master of the whole corrupt system in 
New York. Up to this time the city had often been controlled by a 
group or "ring" working through Tammany Hall; it was now controlled 
by a one-man power, the "boss," who was as much of a dictator as the 
most arbitrary despot. 

Tweed was born in New York in 1823, and was of Scotch parentage. 
His father brought him up to the trade of chairmaker, but he was early 
attracted by politics, and entered on that career as a volunteer fireman, 
becoming foreman of the Americus, or "Big Six," Fire Company. At 
the age of twenty-nine he went to Congress as a Democrat, but served 
only one term, as he preferred to devote himself to the field for which 
he was best fitted, that of municipal politics. He filled many positions 
in the city and county. In 1852—3 he was alderman of the Seventh 
Ward; in 1857—8 he was commissioner of public schools; in 1858-70 

['1 A new registry act had become law in 1859. The clerks of registration were appointed by the Roard 
of Supervisors, which, by law, was divided equally as to politics. The Tammany members were able to 
"win over" one of the Republican members. They thereupon redistricted the city to their own advantage, 
and appointed trusted tools as registrars. Of the six hundred and nine appointed, only about seventy-five 
were Republicans. William M. Tweed was a member of the Board of Supervisors at this time. This 
manipulation virtually repealed the registry law. 


he was supervisor of the County of New York; and in 1870 he became 
commissioner of public works. He was, also, nominally deputy street 
commissioner, a position to which he had been appointed in 1863. In 
addition, he was a state senator in 1868—9. Besides holding these public 
positions, he was prominent in Tammany Hall. In 1861 he was elected 
chairman of the Tammany General Committee, and it was while holding 
this position that his despotic actions earned for him the title of "boss." 
Later, he succeeded Hoffman as grand sachem of Tammany. The other 
important members of the "ring" were A. Oakey Hall, who was elected 
mayor in 1868; Peter B. Sweeny, chamberlain of the city and treasurer 
of the county, and Richard B. Connolly, comptroller. In 1869 Tweed 
was virtually in control of the state as well as the city government, for 
he had secured the election of John T. Hoffman to the ofRce of governor 
in the preceding year, and in 1869 the Democrats were a majority in the 
State Legislature. 

In that year New York taxpayers knew that they were being robbed 
by a corrupt government, but they were apparently helpless. The public 
might have risen and driven the "ring" from power had it not been 
supported by the intricate political machinery of Tammany Hall, which 
maintained its power through its popularity with the poor. It provided 
work for the able-bodied, food for the hungry, and care for the sick. 
In return, it demanded and received the votes of its proteges. Tweed, 
as head of Tammany, had a leader and sub-leaders in each ward and a 
captain in each election district, who were his vote-getters. In addition, 
he had a large number of other workers, some of whom were remu- 
nerated by being given superfluous offices, and others he paid out of his 
own pocket, [i] But in spite of his elaborate machine, his power would 
not have been secure had he allowed honest elections. To remove all 
chance of defeat, he resorted to illegal naturalisation, false registration, 
repeating of votes, and cheating in the count. Little difficulty was ex- 
perienced in carrying a city election, as, according to the state census, 
there were, even in 1865, before the greatest activities of the "ring" 
began, 51,500 native and 'JJ,^J^ naturalised voters. 

Tweed next decided to secure a new charter for New York City, so 
that he might carry on his operations more easily. He succeeded in 
forcing his measure through the Legislature, but it was said that the 
operation cost him a million dollars, in bribes to members. Republicans 

['] He spent as much as $60,000 of his own private funds in this way. 


as well as Democrats. ['] This charter gave Tweed complete power over 
New York, for it placed entire control of the city's finances in the hands 
of four men — the Mayor, the Comptroller, the Chairman of the Depart- 
ment of Public Works, and the Chairman of the Department of Parks. 
The Mayor, A. Oakey Hall, appointed the other three members of the 
board, who in 1870 were Connolly, Tweed, and Sweeny. Strange as 
it may seem, the Tweed charter received the support of nearly all classes 
in New York City, "large numbers of the wealthiest citizens," according 
to the American Aiuiual Cyclopadia for 1871, "signing the petition for 
the passage." 

At the same session at which this charter was passed, the Legislature 
authorised the ad interim Board of Audit, which was so designated as to 
be made up of Hall, Tweed, and Connolly. To this board was given 
the "power to examine and allow all claims against the county previous 
to 1870." 

The methods used by Tweed and his confederates to secure money 
were effective. One of the favourite ways was to raise the accounts of 
those presenting claims against the city for work done or supplies fur- 
nished. A man whose claim was for five thousand dollars was told that 
it could not be paid, but that, if he would raise it to fifty-five thousand, 
it would be discharged at once. The extra fifty thousand was then di- 
vided, in accordance with a prearranged scale, among the members of 
the "ring." The percentage taken in 1869 was comparatively small, 
but it rose rapidly. In 1870, according to the New-York Times for July 
21, 1 87 1, sixty-six per cent was taken, and later eighty-five percent. 
The accounts of the sums of money paid for the rent of armories for the 
state militia were raised in a similar manner so as to show that $190,600 
had been paid, although the amount actually expended was only $46,600. 
Including repairs, the armories were said to have cost the city three mil- 
lion two hundred thousand dollars, whereas the amount actually spent 
was two hundred and fifty thousand dollars. The building of the new 

['] An act appointing commissioners to amend the charter had been passed by the Legislature, April 
15, :86i, but the board adjourned without reporting any changes. In 1864 a slight amendment, regarding 
the powers of the President of the Board of Aldermen when acting as mayor, was made. A more impor- 
tant amendment was that of 1868, which abolished the Board of Councilmen, and vested the legislative 
power of the city in a Board of Aldermen and a Board of Assistant Aldermen, who together formed the 
Common Council. The Tweed charter became law on April 5, 1870. Among the provisions of this measure 
was one for a Fire Department, to be headed by five Fire Commissioners, who were to be appointed by 
the Mayor for five years each. This was to take the place of the old Metropolitan Fire Department. There 
was also a Department of Buildings — the first city department to be given this designation. Its powers 
and duties were those already provided for by special laws (except as modified or repealed by this act) in 
relation to buildings. 

County Court House represented booty of eight millions. It was stated 
that three hundred and fifty thousand dollars had been spent for carpets 
alone, although thirteen thousand dollars would have bought all that 
were necessary. It would be useless to attempt to enumerate the many 
flagrant instances of fraud and peculation; these few cases will suffice for 
the purpose of illustrating the methods employed by the "ring."[i] 
Tweed and his colleagues were so firmly entrenched that they felt they 
could defy criticism. In April, 1871, a public meeting was held at 
Cooper Institute to protest against the bills which the "ring" was then 
forcing through the Legislature. The bills passed, however, and Tweed 
asked: "Well, what are you going to do about it?" 

The credit of bringing about the exposure and downfall of this band 
of thieves belongs chiefly to George Jones and Louis J. Jennings, pro- 
prietor and editor of the New-York Times, and to Thomas Nast, whose 
cartoons appeared in Harper s Weekly. S^^ At first these attacks were 
based on suspicion and moral evidence only, but even so they" had an 
appreciable effect upon public opinion. 

In the summer of 1871, the evidence needed to prove the charges 
that were being made against Tweed and his associates was obtained by 
the New-York Times from within the "ring" itself. [3] On July 8, 1871, 
the Times began publishing the accounts of the "ring's" peculations. 
These were explained by editorials and by Nast's caricatures. On Sep- 
tember 4, 1 871, a great mass meeting was held at Cooper Institute, which 
condemned the "ring," called for reform, and appointed a committee of 
seventy to carry out the purpose of the meeting. The "ring" was now 
thoroughly alarmed. Tweed, Hall, and Sweeny joined forces to make 
Connolly the scapegoat. A committee was appointed to examine the 
latter's accounts, but before it could act, the vouchers and cancelled war- 

['] On Christmas day, 1870, Tweed gave $50,000 to the poor of his ward and $1,000 to each of the 
Aldermen of the various wards to buy coal for the needy. 

(^] Irritated by the attacks of Nast, Tweed gave orders to his Board of Education to reject all bids 
for school-books from Harper & Brothers. Some members of the firm feared that their business would 
be ruined if they held out against such a powerful combination, but Fletcher Harper insisted that the fight 
against the scoundrels be continued. 

[3] In the changes made necessary by the death of James Watson, county auditor, in the winter 
of 1871, Matthew J. O'Rourke succeeded to the position of county bookkeeper. O'Rourke gradually 
came upon evidence of enormous robberies. In the meantime, similar evidence had fallen into the hands 
of James O'Brien, one of the leaders of the Young Democracy. Comptroller Connolly was on the point 
of paying out the $5,000,000 called for by the Viaduct Railroad Act, as well as other sums, but, learning 
of O'Brien's discoveries, he decided to defer making the disbursements. In the summer of 1871, O'Brien 
and O'Rourke presented their evidence to L. J. Jennings, editor of the New-York Times. George Jones, 
proprietor of the Times, vizs offered $5,000,000 if he would forego publishing the accounts. An attempt 
was also made to "call off" Nast, who was promised $500,000 if he would stop his caricatures. Naturally, 
these insulting offers were indignantly spurned. 


rants for 1869 and 1870 were stolen. Hall asked Connolly to resign, but 
he refused, and, on the advice of William F. Havemeyer, turned his 
office over to Andrew H. Green, a Democrat of high standing, whom 
he appointed deputy comptroller. This put the comptroller's office suffi- 
ciently into the hands of the reformers to enable them to secure evidence 
on which to base a criminal prosecution. 

The Committee of Seventy next presented Mayor Hall before the 
Grand Jury for indictment, but this attempt failed. Later, Hall was 
tried, but the jury disagreed. The committee then had Charles O'Conor 
appointed assistant to the Attorney-General, and engaged as his assistants 
William M. Evarts, Wheeler H. Peckham, and Judge Emmott, with the 
express intention of driving the members of the "ring" into prison. The 
November election completed the "ring's" downfall. ['] The Repub- 
licans carried the state, securing a good majority in the Legislature, while, 
in the city, the reform candidates were generally successful. Connolly 
resigned as comptroller on November 20th, and Green was appointed in 
his place. On December i6th, Tweed was indicted for felony, but was 
released on bail. However, he resigned as commissioner of public works, 
thus giving up his last hold on the city government, and relinquishing his 
power. Hall remained in office until the expiration of his term. Sweeny 
also resigned his office on the Board of Park Commissioners. 

The later careers of members of the "ring" were in marked contrast 
to their former splendour. Of the chief members, only Tweed was sent 
to prison, [2] although a few lesser officials and contractors shared the same 
fate. Sweeny and Connolly fled to Europe, and, later, Hall went there, 
also. Of the judges implicated, Barnard and M'Cunn were impeached 
and removed from office, while Cardozo resigned to escape a similar fate. 
As to the amount of money distributed among the members of the "ring" 
and its dependents during its period of supremacy, opinions differ. Some 
place the amount as high as two hundred million dollars; others estimate 

[I] Tweed, judging the future from the past, fully expected to win by means of his usual methods 
of bribery and intimidation. The Times charged that sixty-nine members of the Republican General 
Committee of the city were in the pay of Tweed and Sweeny. Tweed himself was the only Tammany 
candidate for senator elected. 

[2] On December i6th, Tweed was indicted for felony, but was freed by Judge Barnard on $5,000 
bail. He was tried January 30, 1873, but the jury disagreed, and a second time on November 19th, when 
he was found guilty and sentenced to twelve years' imprisonment and to pay a fine of $12,000. After 
serving one year he was released by a decision of the Court of Appeals. Again he was arrested and new 
civil suits were instituted against him. He was held for bail in the amount of $3,000,000, which he was 
unable to furnish, and lay in prison until December 4th, when he escaped to Spain, but was brought back. 
In one of the civil suits, judgment of $6,000,000 was given against him, and he was put into jail until he 
should pay this money, which, however, he was unable to do. He died in Ludlow Street jail, April 12, 


it at thirty millions. Of this, only a little over one million was recovered 
by the city. 

One would naturally suppose that after these revelations Tammany 
would never have been able to recover control of New York. This, 
however, was not the case. Under the sagacious leadership of John 
Kelly, it bowed its head to the public will, and proceeded to reform 
itself. Samuel J. Tilden, Charles O' Conor, and other men who had 
been most conspicuous in the movement against Tweed, accepted election 
to the position of sachem. A complete reorganisation of the society was 
made, and soon it took its stand before the public as a thoroughly demo- 
cratic body, ready and anxious to use its energies in the promotion of 
good and honest government. In 1 872, the Tammany branch of the 
Democratic party nominated Abraham R. Lawrence for mayor; one 
wing of the anti-Tammany movement nominated James O'Brien, the 
leader of the "Apollo Hall Democracy"; the other wing, composed of 
the individuals and associations centring about the Committee of Seventy, 
nominated William F. Havemeyer, who was elected. 

A new city charter was adopted in 1873. The Committee of Seventy 
had drafted a charter in 1872, which was passed by the Legislature, but 
vetoed by Mayor Hoffman. The charter adopted in 1873 was a com- 
promise between the Tweed charter of 1870 and the Committee of 
Seventy's plan.[i] It effected many changes, and among them provided 
a modified form of minority representation in the Board of Aldermen, 
which still possessed important powers. This charter, without radical 
change, was incorporated in the Consolidation Act of the laws of 1882, 
and the charter provisions of the Consolidation Act continued in force 
until the first Greater New York charter went into operation, January 
I, 1898. 

Havemeyer's record as mayor was good. The city revenues were 
expended with great care; ordinances for maintaining the public health 
and security were carefully enforced; the streets were kept cleaner than 
ever before; the public-school system was improved, and the standard of 

['] The charter, as revised April 30, 1873, did not re-establish a separate government for New York 
County, but the Board of Aldermen of the city was empowered to act as the Supervisors of the county. The 
charter provided that heads of departments be appointed by the Mayor, with the consent of the Board of 
Aldermen. The departments were eleven in number, and were designated as follows: the Department 
of Finance, of Law, of Police, of Public Works, of Public Charities and Correction, of Fire, of Health, of 
Public Parks, of Docks, of Taxes and Assessments, and of Buildings. The City Record, designed to do away 
with the abuses that had grown out of corporation advertising, was established by this charter. On May 
23, 1873, the villages of Kingsbridge, Morrisania, and West Farms in Westchester County, were annexed 
to the city. 


official character in the city was raised. The city expenditures in 1873 
fell more than four millions below those of 1871, and the real saving was 
greater even than these figures indicate. Mayor Havemeyer, as so many 
of his predecessors had done, complained of the Legislature's interference 
in city affairs, which, he asserted, hindered the cause of reform. Various 
forces, however, contributed to weaken the reform movement. The 
struggle going on between Republicans and Democrats for the control 
of the state and nation overshadowed local issues; the panic of 1873, 
with its consequent distress, naturally brought opprobrium to the party 
in power; and even the retrenchments of Havemeyer's administration 
made him unpopular; for he was forced to limit the city's activity in 
making public improvements, and so failed to provide employment for 
the distressed labourers. The result was that in 1874 William H. 
Wickham, the Tammany candidate, was chosen mayor. The reform 
movement was over for the time being, and New York was again abso- 
lutely in the control of a corrupt, and apparently invincible, political 

Several much needed changes in the organisation and administration 
of city departments were made between 1861 and 1876. In 1865 the 
old Volunteer Fire Department, which had long been the object of 
much thoroughly deserved criticism, was abolished, and in its place 
was created the Metropolitan Fire District, including New York and 
Brooklyn. Control of the new department was given to four commis- 
sioners appointed by the Governor of the state. For some time the old- 
fashioned hand engine had been giving way to the steam fire-engine. 
This movement was now accelerated by the department being empowered 
to substitute modern fire apparatus for the old. The inauguration of the 
new system met with opposition similar to that which had developed at 
the creation of the new police system, but it was soon overcome. ['] In 
spite of the reorganisation of the Fire Department, New York continued 
to suffer from serious fires, and severe criticism of the department was 
often heard. 

The changes made in the charter by the amendments of April 30, 
1873, placed the Fire Department under three commissioners appointed 

['] The first commissioners appointed by Governor Fenton were C. C. Pinckney, M. B. Brown, Samuel 
Sloan, and T. W. Booth. Sloan declined to serve, and his place was taken by P. W. Engs. It is interest- 
ing to note that C. Godfrey Gunther, mayor at the time, favoured the old volunteer system. In 1865 a 
uniform for the entire department was adopted. At first there was some opposition to "livery," but it 
was soon overcome. Up to this time each fire company had had its own distinctive uniform. 


by the Mayor, one for a term of two years, another for four years, and 
the third for six years, from the first of May, 1873. This change took 
the control of the department away from the Governor, and gave it to 
the city administration, an innovation in harmony with the trend of 
pubHc opinion in respect to municipal administration, and one that, in 
the case of the Fire Department of New York, resulted in greater effi- 
ciency than had previously been obtained. 

The Health Department was another branch of New York's adminis- 
tration sorely needing reorganisation. Following an outbreak of Asiatic 
cholera in 1865, the Legislature passed an act, on February 26, 1866, 
creating a Metropolitan Sanitary District, and establishing a Board of 
Health, to consist of four Sanitary Commissioners to be appointed by the 
Governor, [i] The new board soon became active in cleaning up the 
district under its jurisdiction. [2] 

In 1870 a Department of Docks was created, and plans were made 
for the improvement of the water-front. Extensive surveys were made 
under the direction of General George B. McClellan, the engineer-in- 
chief of the department, and bulkhead lines, with walls of masonry, and 
piers were laid out. Great opposition, however, was encountered by the 
city in its attempt to secure control of its own water-front, and this 
retarded the work of improvement very considerably. 

The picture of the New York of this period, as given by contem- 
poraries, is not attractive. The Evening Post of March 20, 1867, in a 
description of the city, stated that it had already nearly a million inhab- 
itants, [3] for the most part miserably accommodated. The Post went 
on to say: 

At the present, New York is the most inconveniently arranged commercial 
city in the world. Its wharfs are badly built, unsafe, and without shelter; 
its streets are badly paved, dirty, and necessarily over-crowded; its ware- 

[■] During the winter of 1865-6 a Senate committee, of which Andrew D. White was a member, investi- 
gated health conditions in New York City. Francis I. A. Boole, city inspector, had the appointment of 
a whole army of so-called health inspectors, health officers, etc. Boole's administration was so wretched 
that a citizens' committee, representing the better elements of both parties, went to Albany to present 
charges against him. The evidence submitted by the committee in support of the charges was over- 
whelming. Whole districts in the most crowded wards were in the worst possible condition. "There 
was probably at that time nothing to approach it in any city in Christendom, save, possibly, Naples. Great 
blocks of tenement houses were owned by men who kept low drinking-bars in them, each of whom, having 
secured from Boole the position of 'health officer,' steadily resisted all sanitary improvement or even in- 
spection. Many of these tenement houses were known as 'fever nests'; through many of them small-pox 
frequently raged, and from them it was constantly communicated to other parts of the city." — Andrew 
D. White, Autobiography, I: 108. 

['] The district included was the same as that comprised in the Metropolitan Police District. The 
first commissioners were Drs. James Crane, Willard Parker, John O. Stone, and Jackson S. Schultz. 

[i\ New York's population in 1870 was 942,292. 


houses are at a distance from the ships, and, for the most part, without proper 
labor-saving machinery for the quick and inexpensive transfer of goods; its 
railroad depots have no proper relation to the shipping or to the ware-houses; 
the cost of transportation, needlessly and enormously increased by this arrange- 
ment, is made more expensive yet by the uneven pavements, which waste 
the strength of horses. Its laborers are badly lodged, and in every way dis- 
accommodated; the means of going from one part of the city to the other 
are so badly contrived that a considerable part of the working population — 
which includes nearly all the youth and men, and thousands of women and 
girls — spend a sixth part of their working days on the street-cars or omnibuses, 
and the upper part of the city is made almost useless to persons engaged in 
any daily business of any kind in the city.[i] 

At this time the city was in the clutches of the Tweed "ring," and it 
was useless to hope for much improvement as long as the "ring" 
remained in power. 

Many proposals for bettering transit facilities were made, and some 
plans were actually executed. Even before this, a bridge across the East 
River had several times been proposed, [2] and, on April 16, 1867, the 
Legislature incorporated the New York Bridge Company, fixed its initial 
capital at five million dollars, and authorised the cities of New York and 
Brooklyn, through their Common Councils, to subscribe for stock. The 
company completed its organisation in May, 1867, and, on May 23d, 
appointed John A. Roebling chief engineer of construction. [3] Work 
on a suspension bridge was shortly afterwards begun. Later, the two 
cities became dissatisfied with the work of this private company, and, 
having secured the necessary authority by an act of the Legislature passed 
on June 5, 1874, assumed corporate control of the bridge, paying back 
to the original incorporators the amount of their subscriptions with 
interest. The management was then put into the hands of a board of 
trustees, ten from each city, including its mayor and comptroller. New 
York provided one-third of the necessary funds, and Brooklyn two-thirds. 
The work was completed in 1883, and the bridge was opened to traffic. 
At that time it was the greatest suspension bridge in existence. The 
opening of the bridge gave a great impetus to the growth of Brooklyn, 
which now became more and more an integral part of New York. 

[I] Andrew D. White could find no city except Constantinople to compare with New York in respect to 
its dilapidated wharves and general condition of dirtiness. 

(-1 John A. Roebling had already studied the problem, and, in 1865, William G. Kingsley had 
plans and estimates made for a bridge across the river. Roebling had done distinguished work in con- 
nection with building suspension bridges at Niagara Falls and at Cincinnati. 

[3] While engaged on the work in 1869, he received an injury from which he died. He was succeeded 
by his son and associate, Washington A, Roebling, under whose supervision the work was completed. 


Already, another important improvement in the city's facihties for 
transportation had been made. Up to 1871, the Hudson River Rail- 
road, the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad, and the New 
York and Harlem Railroad had separate stations. ['] On October 9th 
of that year, the Grand Central Station, which provided a joint terminus 
for all three roads, was opened, at 4 2d Street and Fourth Avenue. 
Shortly afterwards, the tracks from 42d Street to Harlem were improved, 
by carrying them partly through tunnels or over trestles, and in 1875 
a practical gain in rapid transit was made when trains were brought into 
the Grand Central Station over a system of four tracks, two of which 
were intended for local trains. The effect of these improvements was 
soon apparent in the rapid growth of population in the upper parts of 
the city and in Harlem. 

At an earlier day, an attempt had been made to clear the channel 
at Hell Gate of the rocks that were injuring commerce to the estimated 
value of two and a half million dollars a year, but it had been only partly 
successful. In 1868 and 1869, Congress appropriated money for the 
work, which was subsequently executed under the direction of General 
John Newton. Excavations were made during a series of years, and 
large quantities of rock were removed. This work culminated in the 
spectacular blasting out of the rocks at Hallett's Point, on September 24, 
I 876. The cost of the whole enterprise was one million seven hundred 
and seventeen thousand dollars, and in its beneficial effects upon the 
city's commerce it was most important. 

Transportation facilities within the city itself were still entirely inade- 
quate. Surface railways and lines of omnibuses had long been in exist- 
ence, but they were unable to carry the large number of persons desiring 
transportation. Moreover, the streets were already so crowded with 
traffic as to make it undesirable further to increase the number of vehi- 
cles. At this time the engineers who were studying the matter began 
to turn their attention to the problem of constructing railways under 
ground or suspended over the streets. 

The first "elevated railroad" to be built was a section of the New York 
Elevated Railroad, popularly known as the Greenwich Street Elevated, 
which was planned to extend northward from the Battery along Green- 
wich Street and Ninth Avenue to the Hudson River Railroad Station at 
30th Street, and thence by way of Kingsbridge to Yonkers. An experi- 

['] That of the Hudson River Railroad was at 30th Street and Ninth Avenue, while the other two had 
stations at Fourth Avenue and 27th Street. 


mental half mile was built during the summer of 1867. It was planned 
to operate the cars by cables, which were to be driven by stationary 
engines placed at intervals of half a mile. This method was found to be 
impracticable. The road was not successful, and those who had invested 
in it lost confidence. It was first put into the hands of trustees, then sold 
under foreclosure, and later the property was taken over by the New York 
Elevated Company. In the meantime, legislation had been secured per- 
mitting the use of steam as the propelling power. Locomotives were 
then introduced, and the road became genuinely successful. At the 
beginning of 1874, four miles were in operation. 

In 1 87 1, another company, the Gilbert Elevated Railroad Company, 
was chartered. This company proposed to erect a pneumatic tube sup- 
ported by heavy arches above the street, and to drive the cars by means 
of compressed air. It was found that this scheme could not be carried 
out, and it finally resolved itself into a plan for a simple elevated road 
with steam-driven cars.['] 

Plans for subways were also brought forward. In 1868 the New 
York City Central Underground Railway Company was incorporated to 
build a line from the City Hall to the Harlem River. [^J In the same 
year the Beach Pneumatic Transit Company was incorporated, and was 
empowered to "provide for the transmission of letters, packages, and 
merchandise in the cities of New York and Brooklyn ... by means 
of pneumatic tubes to be constructed beneath the surface of the streets 
and public places." The next year the company was authorised to carry 
passengers, and, on February 26, 1870, it completed and opened to the 
public a section of tunnel extending under Broadway from Warren to 
Murray Street. Serious objections were raised, however, and the enter- 
prise was finally abandoned. 

In 1875 the cause of rapid transit in New York City was definitely 

['] Other plans were made for building elevated railroads in the city. This was the time when Tweed 
was all-powerful, and he undoubtedly found means to secure revenue from all companies seeking incor- 
poration. A bill was introduced in the Legislature for the incorporation of the Viaduct Railroad Company. 
This bill was signed by Governor Hoffman early in 1871. The measure virtually allowed the company, 
which had been created by Tweed himself, to place a railroad on or above ground on any street in the city. 
One of its provisions compelled the city to take over ^5, 000,000 of stock; another exempted the company's 
property from taxes or assessments, and other bills allowed the widening and grading of streets, for the 
benefit of the railroad, but at the city's expense. This, undoubtedly, would have proved one of the most 
extravagant and unfortunate operations ever undertaken by the city. The complete consummation of 
this wholesale robbery of the public funds was, however, providentially prevented by the exposure of the 
Tweed "ring" a few months later. 

[2] No road was ever built by this company, although a contract was made March 9, 1870, for the 
construction of an underground railway from City Hall Park to 46th Street. The company claimed that 
the grant of similar privileges to another corporation, the Arcade Railway Company, on April 27, 1870, 
conflicted with its rights. 


advanced by the passage of a law empowering the Mayor to appoint a 
Board of Rapid Transit Commissioners, which was to decide whether or 
not the city actually needed improved transit facilities, to select the route 
or routes, and, if found desirable, to organise a company to build the lines. 
Mayor William H. Wickham appointed as commissioners Joseph Selig- 
man, Lewis B. Brown, Cornelius H. Delamater, Jordan L. Mott, and 
Charles J. Canda. The commission decided that better means of rapid 
transit were needed by the city, that the elevated steam railway was best 
suited to the needs of the situation, and that Second, Third, Sixth, and 
Ninth Avenues should be the routes. Two companies, already authorised 
to build elevated railroads in the city, were in existence at this time, — 
the Gilbert Elevated Railroad Company, ['] which had been given the 
privilege of building along Sixth Avenue, and the New York Elevated 
Railroad Company, which was already operating the elevated railroad in 
Greenwich Street. The commission assigned the work of building the 
roads to these two companies. To the Gilbert Company it gave the 
building of a road in Second Avenue from the Battery to Harlem, and 
to the New York Company that in Third Avenue and the Bowery. 
The work of constructing the roads was soon afterwards begun, but it 
was much hampered by the opposition of property-owners and surface 
railroad companies. This culminated in an injunction which stopped 
the work on all lines. In September, i 877, a decision of the Court of 
Appeals declared that both companies were legal organisations, having 
proper authority to build the structures they had undertaken, and all 
injunctions were dissolved. 

After this, work was rushed on both lines, and on June 5, 1878, the 
Sixth Avenue road was opened from Rector Street to Central Park. In 
the meantime, the name of the company had been changed to the Metro- 
politan Elevated Railway Company. On September 30, 1879, its 
property, together with that of the New York Elevated Railroad Com- 
pany, was leased by the Manhattan Railway Company. In August, 
1878, the Third Avenue line was opened to 42d Street, and two years 
later the Second Avenue line to 67th Street. In 1880 the roads on both 
sides of the city had reached the Harlem, and later the Third Avenue 
line was carried across the river to Bronx Park. [2] 

['] This name was changed to the Metropolitan Elevated Railway Company by a court order of June 
6, 1878. 

[^] On January I, 1903, the Interborough Rapid Transit Company leased the Manhattan Railway 
Company for 999 years, beginning April l, 1903. It now controls both elevated and subway lines. 


The opening of these new Hnes of travel had an immense effect upon 
the growth of upper New York. By 1905 the population north of 14th 
Street had increased three hundred per cent since 1870. Workers in the 
down-town section were now able to escape the congestion of lower New 
York, and to establish their homes under more favourable conditions than 
would have been possible had not the new roads been opened. 

No review, however brief, of New York's development in the years 
1861-76 would be complete without mention of some of the more 
important semi-public enterprises that were then undertaken. The 
Metropolitan Museum of Art was founded on November 23, 1869, at 
the Union League Club, by a group of the most prominent citizens of 
New York, who met under the presidency of William Cullen Bryant. 
It was incorporated April 13, 1870. At first, the paintings acquired by 
the Museum were stored at Cooper Union, but in December, 1871, the 
Dodworth Building at No. 681 Fifth Avenue was leased, and the col- 
lections were opened to the public after a private view, which took place 
on February 17, i872.[i] In 1871, the Legislature had passed an act 
authorising the Department of Public Parks of New York to erect a 
building for the purposes of a museum, and to arrange with the Metro- 
politan Museum of Art to occupy it. Late in the autumn of i 872, work 
on the building in Central Park was begun by the city. This was com- 
pleted in 1879, and was opened to the public, March 30, 1880, under 
the title of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. In December, 1869, the 
Board of Education had established a normal and high school for the 
training of teachers. The name was later changed to Normal College, 
and a building for its use was erected on the site bounded by Park and 
Lexington Avenues, 68th and 69th Streets. This building was dedicated 
on October 29, 1873. The name of this school was later changed to 
Hunter College of the City of New York. On June 2, 1874, the 
corner-stone of the building of the American Museum of Natural His- 
tory was laid by President Grant, in Manhattan Square. The first section 
of the building was formally opened by President Hayes on December 
22, 1877. 

Both of these buildings were placed on land forming part of the park 
system of the city. This was in harmony with other acts extending this 
mistaken policy of decreasing the city's open spaces. Early in 1867, 

[I] From 1873 to 1879 the collections were housed in the Douglas mansion, on 14th Street between 
Sixth and Seventh Avenues. 

St. John's Park had been sold by Trinity Church to the Hudson River 
Railroad, which built a freight station there. Hamilton Square was 
partly closed in 1867, and completely abandoned as a public park in 
I 869, at which time the streets terminating in it were extended through 
it; in 1867, also, a part of City Hall Park was given for a post-office 
building. Fortunately, public opinion has been roused to the danger of 
following this policy, and in later years the tendency has been to pur- 
chase more land for parks rather than to decrease the area already 
devoted to that purpose. 

On October 10, 1872, the Presbyterian Hospital, which had been 
incorporated on February 28, 1868, was opened at 70th Street between 
Madison and Park Avenues. In 1877 the Lenox Library was com- 
pleted, on Fifth Avenue between 70th and 71st Streets. ['] Another 
important building in course of erection at this time was St. Patrick's 
Cathedral, which occupies the block bounded by Fifth and Madison 
Avenues, 50th and 51st Streets. The corner-stone had been laid on 
August 15, 1858, but building was interrupted by the Civil War, and 
the cathedral was not formally opened until May 25, 1879. 

As was to be expected, the corrupt government of the Tweed regime 
expended money upon public improvements with a lavish hand; yet, 
although the city was overcharged for the work, the effect has been in 
many respects beneficial. St. Nicholas Avenue was created. Seventh 
Avenue was broadened, and Broadway from 34th Street to Central Park 
was widened. From the south-west corner of the Park it was continued 
in a northerly direction, and followed, in general, the line of the old 
Bloomingdale Road. This portion of the street was also called Broad- 
way, and the former name ceased to be used. 

Much of this work of improvement was done under the direction of 
the Commissioners of the Central Park, to whom the Legislature had 
committed various duties outside of the Park itself. [2] On November 
25, 1867, they adopted a plan of improvement for the entire west side 
of the city from 55th to 155th Street. In 1867 the Riverside Park 
lands were acquired, and in 1873 Frederick Law Olmsted, the landscape 

['] The library had been incorporated on January 20, 1870. The building was the gift of James Lenox, 
who became the first president of the library. It was demolished in 1913, eighteen years after the con- 
solidation of the Astor, Lenox, and Tilden Foundations, and four years after the completion of the present 
building of the New York Public Library, in Bryant Park. 

[-] They had charge of Eighth Avenue, 8ist Street, Sixth and Seventh Avenues north of Central Park, 
the Circle at Eighth Avenue and 59th Street, St. Nicholas Avenue, Manhattan Street, Mount Morris 
Square, and Fifth Avenue along the Park. 


architect, completed a topographical map of this section, and began work 
in connection with Morningside Park. 

An interesting change in the type of building being erected in New 
York appeared at this time. In 1865 New York was a low city, with 
the majority of its buildings only three or four storeys high. A building 
of six storeys was considered extraordinary. But as population increased 
and land became more valuable, it became cheaper to erect higher build- 
ings, and so lessen the amount of ground that must be purchased. The 
development of the elevator made this new type of building practicable. 
One of the first elevators in actual use was that of the Fifth Avenue 
Hotel, the car of which was not unlike the nut on an immense revolving 
screw, which moved it slowly up or down. Another interesting develop- 
ment was brought about at this time by the introduction from abroad of 
the apartment house. The Stuyvesant, the first successful multiplex 
dwelling of this kind, was built on East i8th Street, in 1869, from 
plans by Richard M. Hunt. These houses, which were called "Parisian 
flats," proved so popular that many similar buildings were erected, and 
this type of residence soon came into general use. Its increasing popu- 
larity seems to prove that it meets a real need of the people. 

New York's buildings were often erected with so much haste that 
their construction was not secure, and little or no provision was made 
for the safety of the inhabitants in case of fire. The first law requiring 
fire-escapes on tenement houses was passed in i860, and two years later 
a law was enacted providing for the regulation and inspection of build- 
ings. ['] An inspection of buildings was made from the Battery north- 
wards, block by block, and in 1870 six thousand five hundred and 
seventy-seven buildings had been inspected, and a complete record made 
of the condition of each. 

In 1876 the centennial of the Nation's birth was fittingly celebrated 
by an exposition held at Philadelphia. New York contributed to the 
success of this undertaking, and, in common with the rest of the coun- 
try, derived great benefit from it. Up to this time Americans had seen 
little of European art. The Exposition brought them in contact with 
new artistic ideals and roused their interest and ambition to improve their 
own work. New York felt keenly this awakening, and as a result many 
of her young artists and architects began going abroad, especially to 

['] For this purpose a new executive department was created, known as the Department for the 
Survey and Inspection of Buildings, the chief officer of which was called the Superintendent of Buildings. 


France, for their training. When they returned, their work served to 
place the art and architecture of New York upon a plane higher than 
they had previously occupied. 

New York's progress during the years 1861—76 had not been a steady 
advance. The Civil War had checked its growth from 1861 to 1865. 
Then came a period of rapid expansion, over-speculation, and corruption, 
which reached its height at the time of the Tweed regime. This was 
followed by the exposure of the "ring's" frauds, and the financial panic 
of 1873. Confidence in the city's integrity and credit was seriously 
impaired, and several years of depression followed, which did not end 
until after the close of this period. The centennial of national inde- 
pendence came while the gloom of hard times still hung over the land. 


c. i86i-f. 1876 

PL. 152. 

IP Jill n 'd'li n (S " m '.& HI gj ie^ s q lu a; 


PLATE 154 





PU\TE 155 


c. 1861-f. 1876 


c. i86i-f. 1876 

Plate 151 
(Central Park) 
Lithograph. 36^x2314^ Date depicted: 1864. 

Artist: H. Geissler. Date issued: Copyright 1864. 

Lithographer: Henry C. Eno. 
Publishers: Caldwell & Co., 82 Cedar Street. 
Owner: N. Y. Public Library (Eno Collection), etc. 

Another state exists, copyrighted in the same year, with the title: "Martel's New York 
Central Park." On this the name of Caldwell & Co. does not appear. The address of the 
publishers, the Central Park Publishing Company, is given as 720 Broadway, New York. 
This state, which is doubtless the earlier of the two, lacks the names of the locations, etc., 
along the lower margin. 

The view is interesting especially for its depiction of the park six years after the work 
of improvement was begun, and also as showing Fifth Avenue in its undeveloped state. 
The Manuals for the years 1859 and 1864 contain several views showing the progress of 
work during the development of the park. See Plate 149 for a reproduction of the winning 
design for the park lay-out, submitted by Olmsted and Vaux in the competition held in 
1857, as well as for a series of photographs of the park taken in 1862 and the years imme- 
diately following. See also Plate 149 A for the Viele survey of the park area in 1855. 

The old reservoir was completed in 1842, and the new one, to the north, also shown in 
the view, in 1858. The corner-stone of the arsenal, on the Fifth Avenue side of the park, 
facing 64th Street, was laid on July 5, 1847, and the building was completed in 1851. Be- 
sides arms and munitions belonging to the state, the arsenal contained, in a cellar under 
one of the wings, a number of relics of the Revolution. It was abandoned as an arsenal in 
1857 and was long used as a natural history museum. For many years prior to the com- 
pletion of the Municipal Building, in 1914, it was the headquarters of the Park Depart- 
ment, and is now used, temporarily, by the Police Department. 

The buildings that appear on the east side of Fifth Avenue and on the side streets were 
the progenitors of the present day palaces. 

A comparison of this view, made in 1864, with a photograph taken in 1909 and repro- 
duced as Plate 164-b, is interesting, as is also a comparison with a similar but very crudely 
coloured lithograph of this section of the city issued by J. Slater about 1879 (copy in N. Y. 
Public Library — Eno Collection). 


Plate 152-a 

[Wall Street] 
Photograph. Date depicted: 1864. 

Owner: N. Y. Hist. Society. 

The date 1864, which appears in manuscript on the photograph, seems to be confirmed 
by information obtained from the directories regarding the various occupants of the build- 
ings whose names appear on the signs. For instance, John Simpkins & Co., whose sign 
may be seen over the Leather Manufacturers' Bank, at 29 Wall Street, were at No. 3 Han- 
over Square in 1863, and up to May I, 1864, whereas in the directory for the year ending 
May I, 1865, their address is given as 29 Wall Street. The date of the photograph, there- 
fore, cannot be earlier than 1864; nor can it be later than May i, 1867, when A. M. Lyon, 
here shown at No. 23 Wall Street, had moved to 65 Wall Street, and Seyton & Wain- 
wright, bankers, whose sign appears in the original at the extreme left, on the Assay Office, 
had moved to 37 Wall Street. 

The building with the colonnade (at the left of the view), on the south-east corner of 
Wilham Street, is the Merchants' Exchange, erected in 1836-41. In 1863 this building 
was converted for the use of the Custom House, and in 1907 was remodelled by Messrs. 
McKim, Meade & White for the National City Bank, and four storeys were added. 

With the exception of the Merchants' Exchange, none of the buildings shown is now 
(1917) in existence. 

This view, which was apparently taken from the steps of the Sub-Treasury, presents 
an excellent illustration of the types of commercial architecture prevalent at the time. 

Plate iS2-b 
Printing-House Square 
Lithograph. 25^x17^ Date depicted: 1864-5? 

Lithographers: Endicott & Co. Date issued: 1864-5? 

Pubhshers: Baker & Godwin. 
Owner: Robert Goelet, Esq. 
Other copies : N. Y. Hist. Society, etc. 

Only known state. The date is determined, approximately, by the following facts: 
The Albion first appears at 39 Park Row (where it is shown in the view) in the directory 
for 1864-5. Prior to this year it was at No. 16 Beekman Street. The Army y Navy 
Journal, too, first appears at the address here shown in the directory for 1864-5, '" which 
same year all the other business houses whose names appear are found at the addresses in- 
dicated in the print, except only The Day Book, which seems already to have left its ad- 
dress at 162 Nassau Street. Munn & Co., Publishers, are found at 37 Park Row in 1864-6, 
but do not appear in the directory as "publishers and patent solicitors" until 1866-7. 

The New York Times Building was erected in 1857-8. Actual work was started on 
May I, 1857, and the Times took possession of the completed building just a year later, 
on May i, 1858. (See The N. Y. Times, Jubilee Supplement, September 18, 1901.) The 
building occupies the site of the old Brick Presbyterian Church, a view of which is given on 
Plate 72-a. It was practically demolished in 1888-9, although the foundations and por- 


tions of the outer walls were incorporated in the new thirteen-storey office edifice (George 
B. Post, architect) which now occupies the site. 

It should be noted that in this view the building, although correctly shown as to its 
general design, is exaggerated in height, contemporary photographs showing it to have 
been much lower in proportion to its length. 

The offices or salesrooms of Currier & Ives, the well-known lithographers and print 
publishers, will be noticed on the corner of Nassau and Spruce Streets. Although, accord- 
ing to the directories, James M. Ives had been in business as a publisher at this address 
since 1853, the partnership was not listed in the directories until 1862-3; •* continued until 
1901. During these years the firm published many views of New York and of other places, 
and many depicting important occurrences. Although generally rather crudely drawn 
and coloured, these were often attractive and interesting. 

The view evidently depicts the period of the Civil War. The troops seen in the fore- 
ground, wheeling into Park Row from the transverse street which passes through the Park 
in front of the City Hall, have not been positively identified, but may very well be a com- 
pany of the 69th Regiment Volunteers, which regiment returned to New York from the war 
in June, 1865, and was mustered out of the service on June 30th. The Armory of the 
regiment at the period of the view was in the Essex Market, on the north side of Grand 
Street, between Ludlow and Essex Streets. 

Plate 153-a 
[Bloomingdale Village and Church] 

Photo-etching. 8iV x 4A Date depicted : 1867. 

Date issued: 1875. 

Provenance: From Old New York from the Battery to Bloomingdale, by Eliza Greato- 
rex. Text by Matilda Despard, New York, 1875. Most of the original etch- 
ings from which the illustrations in this book were reproduced belonged to the 
late Mrs. Henry C. Potter, who acquired them from the artist. An album of 
photographs of fifteen of the earliest of these etchings was issued in a small 
edition without text in 1869, with the title Relics of Manhattan. There is a 
copy of this album in the author's collection. 

Artist: Eliza Greatorex ("produced by H. Thatcher from the Original Pen-Draw- 
ings of the Artist"). 

Owner: I.N.P.S. 

Other copies of the book: N. Y. Public Library; N. Y. Hist. Society, etc. 

This view depicts the old Reformed Church at Bloomingdale, two years before its 
demolition, which was finally made necessary by the alteration and extension of Broadway. 
The church stood on the Bloomingdale Road near the present 68th Street, and, when 
erected, in 1816, was described as a "neat stone building situated near the five mile stone." 
The corner-stone was laid on July 21, 1814, and the church opened to the public on August 
4, 1816. — See Chronology. It then had a handsome lawn sloping down to the road, but is 
here shown surrounded by "shanties." The last service in this church was held in 1869, 
and the building was torn down soon afterward. 


Plate 153-b 

[St. George's Chapel] 

Photo-etching. 4tI x 7H Date depicted: May 25, 1868. 

Date issued: 1875. 
Provenance: From Old New York from the Battery to Bloomingdale . 
Artist: EHza Greatorex ("produced by H. Thatcher from the Original Pen-Draw- 
ings of the Artist"). 
Owner: I.N.P.S. 
Other copies of the book: N. Y. Public Library; N. Y. Hist. Society, etc. 

The original etching, made by Mrs. Greatorex, hangs in the public parlour of the Chel- 
sea Hotel on West 23d Street. 

St. George's Chapel in Beekman Street was erected in 1749-52, as a "chapel of Ease to 
Trinity Church." It was burned on January 5, 1814, but was immediately rebuilt. In 1846 
the original site was abandoned for the present one on the west side of Stuyvesant Square 
and i6th Street, and the old edifice was sold to the Church of the Holy Evangelists, under 
an agreement with Trinity, the deed being dated July 21, 1851. One condition of the sale 
was that the church should be maintained as "St. George's Chapel," or "Old St. George's 
Chapel." In i860 the Church of the Holy Evangelists went out of existence, and for a 
time thereafter the church was known as the Free Church of St. George's Chapel. In 
1868 it was sold to the firm of Phelps, Dodge & Company and demolished (see Chronology). 
The view shows the church in course of demolition. 

Plate 153-c 

[Hamilton Grange] 

Photo-etching. 4^x7 Date depicted: 1869. 

Date issued: 1875. 
Provenance: From Old New York from the Battery to Bloomingdale. 
Artist: Eliza Greatorex ("produced by H. Thatcher from the Original Pen-Draw- 
ings of the Artist"). 
Owner: I.N.P.S. 
Other copies of the book: N. Y. Public Library; N. Y. Hist. Society, etc. 

Hamilton Grange was built in 1 801 -2 by Alexander Hamilton, who named his estate 
after his grandfather's seat in Ayrshire, Scotland. The deed by which Hamilton acquired 
the property from Jacob Schieffelin is dated August 2, 1800. On July 11, 1804, Hamilton 
was shot by Aaron Burr in a duel at Weehawken, the site being later marked by a monu- 
ment. — See Addenda. In 1805 the Grange was sold at public auction at the Tontine 
Coffee House for ^30,000 to Archibald Gracie. — The Merc. Adv., April 9, 1805. 

The mansion-house originally stood on the south side of 143d Street, about sixty feet 
west of Convent Avenue. In 1889 it was moved to the east side of Convent Avenue near 
141st Street, where it now stands. It is at present used as the rectory of St. Luke's Epis- 
copal Church, which owns the building. 

In 1907, the Washington Heights Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolu- 


tion placed a tablet upon the building. — See Twelfth Annual Report Am. Scenic and Hist. 
Pres. Society (1907), pp. 74-5. 

"The Grange" is thus described by Mrs. Lamb {Mag. of Am. Hist., September, 1885): 

It was a square frame dwelling of two stories, with large, roomy basement, ornamental bal- 
ustrades, and immense chimney-stacks. Its apartments were large and numerous, and all its 
workmanship substantial. . . . He [Hamilton] removed with his family to this home in 1802, 
embellished the grounds with flowers and shrubbery, and planted the thirteen gum trees [which 
stood in a cluster near the house] . . . naming them respectively after the thirteen original 
states of the Union. 

These trees have died, one by one, during the past twenty-five years. In 1904 only a 
few were standing, and the last was cut down in 1908. 

Plate 153-d 

[Coster Mansion, the Residence of Anson G. Phelps] 

Photo-etching. 6||^ x 4f|^ Date depicted: i860. 

Date issued: 1875. 
Provenance: From Old New York from the Battery to Bloomingdale. 
Artist: Ehza Greatorex ("produced by H. Thatcher from the Original Pen-Draw- 
ings of the Artist"). 
Ov?ner: I.N.P.S. 
Other copies of the book: N. Y. Public Library; N. Y. Hist. Society, etc. 

The old Coster place at 30th Street and the East River was originally part of the Kip's 
Bay Farm. It was bounded on the west by Cornelia Street, on the north by Louisa Street, 
on the south by a line half way between Louisa and JVIaria Streets, and on the east by the 
East River. The house itself stood near the north-west corner of the present 30th Street 
and First Avenue. It is shown on the Bridges Map of 1807 (PI. 80) and on Randel's MS. 
Map of Farms, of 1819-20 (PI. 86). See also Colton's Map of 1841 (PI. 124), which 
shows the grounds and buildings in detail. 

The property was purchased on April 30, 1805, by Henry A. Coster, who built the house 
shown in the view, and who died here in 1821. In 1835 it was bought by Anson Greene 
Phelps from Mr. Coster's widow, who had become the wife of Dr. David Hosack. The 
view shows the house after First Avenue and 30th Street had been cut through the grounds 
(about the year 1852). The property, including the Thomas Storms place to the west and 
other adjoining properties purchased about 1840 by Mr. Phelps, extended from Third 
Avenue to the East River and from 29th Street to a line halfway between 33d and 34th 

During the occupation of the house by Mr. Coster, and later by Dr. Hosack, the founder 
of the Elgin Botanic Garden, the grounds were stocked with choice plants and trees, and 
came to be regarded as one of the finest private gardens in America. Before First Avenue 
was cut through, the bluff was terraced down to the river and on the lowest terrace were a 
summer-house and a boat-house. From the dock on the place Mr. James Stokes, Mr. 
Phelps's son-in-law, often rowed to the foot of Wall Street, walked to his office in Cliff 
Street, and returned the same way in the evening. 

The place was described by Mrs. James Stokes in a letter quoted in Old New York from 
the Battery to Bloomingdale (p. 114), as follows: 


As I now look back on this lovley (sic) country home, with the pleasant memories of my 
early years, I think of it as a remnant of Paradise. The garden was filled with the choicest fruit, 
and many exquisite flowers, shrubs and trees. There was a cedar of Lebanon, said to have been 
brought by Mr. Coster himself from Mount Lebanon. We had also a large conservatory of rare 
fruits and flowers. The floor of the basement story was paved with white Dutch tiles brought 
expressly from Holland, as well as the bricks with which the house was filled in. 

The secluded nature of the neighbourhood is well illustrated by the following extract 
from Some Memories of James Stokes and Caroline Phelps Stokes, Arranged for their Chil- 
dren and Grandchildren, 1892 (p. 103): 

It would give an idea of the absolute retirement of the roads in the vicinity, to say that one 
of the members of the family and a friend, had a side-saddle put on one of the horses one day, 
and took turns in riding (it was "ride and tie," in fact), and went two miles or more without 
encountering any observation or annoyance. 

For a plan and further information regarding the Coster or Hosack place after its pur- 
chase and alteration by Mr. Phelps, see Stokes Records, by Anson Phelps Stokes, Vol. I. 
The house was still standing in November, 1868, but was demolished soon afterwards, 
as is indicated by an agreement recorded in Liber Mortgages DCCCXCIX: 132, reciting 
the intended demolition of the old buildings and the erection of new ones on the ground. 
The site is now covered by tenements at Nos. 515-519 First Avenue and No. 349 East 
30th Street. Model tenements, erected in 1910 by Miss Olivia E. Phelps Stokes, a grand- 
daughter of Anson Greene Phelps, now occupy a site on the old place, at Nos. 339-349 
East 3 2d Street. 

In Valentine's Manual for i860, opp. p. 276, is a lithograph by Hayward of "The Old 
Henry Coster House, bought by Anson G. Phelps in 1835, cor. 30th St. & ist Avenue, 
N. Y.," and there is in the author's possession a daguerreotype, made about 1855, of "Clif- 
ton Cottage," which stood on the Phelps property just west of the main house, and which 
was occupied at this time by Mr. James Stokes. 

Plate 154 
The City of New York 
Lithograph. 42x72^ Date depicted : 1879. 

Date issued: Copyright 1879. 
Draughtsman: William I. Taylor. 
Lithographers and publishers: Gait & Hoy, in Liberty Street (specialists in 

"Views of Cities and Summer Resorts"). 
Owner: LN.P.S. 
Other copies: N. Y. Hist. Society, etc. 

Earliest known state. The map was reprinted by Peter W. Gillin, about 1900, with 
many alterations, having been brought up to date by the addition of new buildings, etc., 
but still showing many old landmarks which in reality had long since disappeared. The 
N. Y. Public Library owns the only known copy of this state, which lacks the advertisements 
in the blank spaces. In this form the plate seems never to have been put on the market. 

This remarkable map — a monument of patience and skill — shows, in considerable de- 
tail, practically every building on Manhattan Island. It was evidently issued primarily 
as an advertising medium. In addition to the numerous "cards" printed upon it, the map 


contains a list of the leading hotels, schools, courts, theatres, and public buildings, as well 
as the piers, ferries, etc. 

The west side of the island above 59th Street appears in its undeveloped state. On the 
opposite shore of New Jersey may be seen the Elysian Fields, at Hoboken, for many years 
a favourite resort of New Yorkers. 

Reproduced here for the first time. 

Plate 155-a 

[Panoramic View of New York from the Post Office] 

Photograph by W. W. Silver, Date depicted: 1874. 

102 Fulton Street, New York. 
Owner: John N. Golding, Esq. 
Other copy: N. Y. Hist. Society. 

The copy of this photograph in the N. Y. Hist. Society, presented on April 29, 1875, by 
Edmund Blunt, Jr., bears the following title, in manuscript: "Photographic View of New 
York city taken from the Roof of the New Post Office 1874." 

At the extreme left of the photograph is seen the unfinished top of the Post Office, be- 
yond which appears the Western Union Building, on the north-west corner of Broadway 
and Dey Street, in process of construction. This building, which was an example of early 
so-called iron fireproof construction, was begun in 1872 and completed in 1875. To the 
right appear St. Paul's Chapel and the upper storey and roof of the Astor House, on Broad- 
way between Vesey and Barclay Streets. The two streets running west, seen above the Astor 
House, are, of course, Barclay Street and Park Place, while Broadway and the City Hall 
occupy the centre of the photograph. Back of the City Hall appears the County Court 
House, begun in 1861 and first occupied in 1867; and, on the corner of Broadway and Cham- 
bers Street, Stewart's drygoods store. To the right of the City Hall is the Hall of Records, 
formerly the Gaol, back of which is the Staats Zeitung Building, in the triangle bounded by 
Chambers and Centre Streets and Park Row. 

The building on the north-east corner of Frankfort Street and Park Row is French's 
Hotel. The Tribune Building, on the corner of Spruce Street and Park Row, is shown under 
construction, next to which appears the Times Building on the corner of Nassau Street. 

The shot tower at 63-65 Centre Street (built in 1854 and demolished in 1908) is seen 
above the roof of the County Court House, and the shot tower in the rear of 82 Beekman 
Street appears just south of the New York pier of the Brooklyn Bridge. This latter tower 
was erected in 1858-9 and demolished in 1907. 

Reproduced here for the first time. 

Plate iS5-b 
Sanitary & Topographical Map of the City and Island of New York 

[The Viele Map] 
Lithograph. 63 x ijj^ Date depicted: 1864 

Author: Egbert L. Viele. Date issued: 1865. 

Publishers: D. Appleton & Co. 


Provenance: Prepared for the Council of Hygiene and Public Health (originally 
printed "the Council of Health and Pubhc Hygiene," which error has been 
corrected by a paster), and accompanying the Report of the Council of Hygiene 
and Public Health of the Citizens' Association of New York upon the Sanitary 
Condition of the City, D. Appleton & Co., New York, 1865. This report con- 
tains also a number of other plans and much interesting information of a topo- 
graphical character. 

Owner: I.N.P.S. 

Other copies of the book: N. Y. Public Library; N. Y. Hist. Society, etc. 

This map, in so far as it relates to portions of the island already built upon, was compiled 
from old maps filed among the city records. For those portions which were then unde- 
veloped new surveys were made. The map was compiled primarily from a sanitary point 
of view — to indicate the old water-courses and swamp lands that existed before the de- 
velopment of the island, and which still existed beneath the surface. 

The N. Y. Herald of November 3, 1865, devotes several columns to a description of 
General Viele's map and Report, and comments editorially upon the city's lack of proper 
sanitation, with which the Report deals. The article states that: 

General Egbert L. Viele has published a very interesting work, together with a valuable map, 
showing the topography and hydrology of the city of New York, and defining the healthy and 
unhealthy sections of the metropolis. It will prove of great value to persons about purchasing 
residences or building sites upon which to erect the same. . . 

This map shows the water courses, streams, meadows, marshes, ponds, ditches, canals, &c., 
that existed and now exist upon the site upon which New York is built 

In 1874, the same map, prepared from new surveys made by Eugene Quackenbush, 
C. E., with such corrections, changes, and additions as were necessary, was published 
separately by Mr. Viele, with the title: Topographical Atlas of the City of New York, In- 
cluding the Annexed Territory, Showing original water courses and made land. The dimen- 
sions of this latter map are 92K by 26 inches. The scale printed on both maps is given as 
1000 feet to the inch, although the latter map is drawn on a considerably larger scale than 
the former. 

Plate 155-0 

[Panoramic View of New York from Brooklyn] 

Photograph (from five 7 ft. 3 in. x 10 in. Date depicted: 1875-6. 

Author: J. H. Beal. 
Owner: I.N.P.S. 

Other copies: N. Y. Hist. Society; City Club; Department of Bridges; collection 
of J. Pierpont Morgan, Esq. These are the only complete contemporary sets 
of the view known. 

The photograph must have been taken prior to September 16, 1876, as the carrier rope 
to which the first Brooklyn Bridge cable was attached, and which was hauled into position 
on that date, is not shown. 

This remarkable panorama was probably taken from the top of the Brooklyn pier of 


the bridge, although it is difficult to understand just how it could have been made. As the 
register, alignment, and perspective are practically perfect, it scarcely seems possible that 
it could have been taken from a single point, but it is still harder to believe that the accords 
could have been so accurately managed had it been taken from a number of points. The 
New York Historical Society's copy has a manuscript key to many of the important build- 
ings, wharves, bridges, etc. The negatives are still in existence, but the one showing the 
point of the island has been broken. Modern impressions, showing the break, are common. 

The Equitable Building, just north of Trinity Church, is here shown before its enlarge- 
ment in 1887, at which time several storeys were added. At the time of the view it was 
one of the highest buildings in the city. The new Post Office, encroaching upon the City 
Hall Park, the two shot towers, and the Western Union Building, at Broadway and Dey 
Street, are also prominent features of the view. 

A similar view of Boston, also by Beal, is in the author's collection. Two other inter- 
esting panoramic views of New York, made at about the same time by the same photog- 
rapher, are worthy of note. One (in the author's collection) was taken with a telephoto 
lens from a window in a Jersey City hotel, and shows the entire city as far north as Central 
Park. This view, which is on fifteen plates, measures 22 ft. long and 8 inches high. The 
other view, which in 1915 belonged to Mr. J. H. Jordan, was taken from Brooklyn, and 
shows the Navy Yard in the foreground. It is, unfortunately, in a very bad state of 



1 877-1909 




THE depression which had followed the panic of 1873 continued 
through 1877—8, and it was not until 1879 that a revival of 
industry and commerce occurred, which soon spread to every 
section of the country. The decade of 1880—90 was one of general 
prosperity. The long and bitter struggle for the Presidency between 
Rutherford B. Hayes, the Republican candidate, and Samuel J. Tilden, 
the Democratic nominee, was finally settled in favour of Hayes, who 
opened his administration by withdrawing the Federal troops from 
southern districts, thus leaving the South to manage its own affairs. 
This action virtually ended the period of reconstruction. The issues 
which grew out of the struggle of 186 1—5, although still appealed to 
for political purposes, had ceased to be vital, and new questions, largely 
connected with finance and protection, began to occupy public attention. 
In 1879 the election of a governor in New York State was decided in 
favour of Alonzo B. Cornell, the Republican candidate. This was con- 
sidered to be due to the fact that in the Democratic nominating conven- 
tion at Syracuse the Tammany delegates had bolted the renomination of 
Governor Robinson, and nominated John Kelly, leader of the Tammany 


Society. In the presidential campaign of 1880, James A. Garfield, Re- 
publican, defeated General W. S. Hancock, Democrat, in a contest of 
which the real issue was protection, although it did not emerge until late 
in the struggle. In the New York mayoralty election of this year,[i] 
Tammany Hall and Irving Hall, the two local factions of the Demo- 
cratic party, united in supporting William R. Grace, whom they suc- 
ceeded in electing, in a campaign which turned largely upon the public 
school question and the fact that Grace was a Roman Catholic. [^J 

The defeat of the Democratic party in the state, and consequently in 
the nation, in 1880, was attributed by many to the action of the Tam- 
many faction. This led to a mass meeting, held at Cooper Institute 
near the end of December, 1880, when the County Democracy was 
organised. The organisers aimed to take the leadership of the Demo- 
cratic party out of the hands of Irving Hall and Tammany Hall, and to 
make the Democracy represent the will of the mass of the party's voters. 
At the state convention held in October, the delegations from Tammany 
and Irving Halls were excluded, because they had refused to unite with 
the County Democracy. [3] The quarrel between the Halls and the 
County Democracy resulted in a deadlock, which actually prevented the 
State Legislature from organising to do business. This was finally ended, 
presumably by a bargain between Governor Cornell, a Republican, and 
John Kelly, [4] the leader of Tammany, but Tammany continued to hold 
the balance of power in both Senate and Assembly. 

A similar quarrel had developed in the Republican party. On May 
16, 1 88 1, Roscoe Conkling and Thomas C. Piatt, the two United States 
Senators from New York, resigned because President Garfield had ap- 
pointed W. H. Robertson collector of the port of New York without 
getting their consent. Both Conkling and Piatt stood for re-election, 

['] Smith Ely, who had been supported by all factions of Democrats, was mayor in 1876-8, and Edward 
Cooper, an anti-Tammany candidate, held the office in 1878-80. 

p] It was claimed that if Grace were elected, the public school appropriations would be diverted to 
sectarian uses. This local contest was probably not without effect on the state and national elections of 
this year. 

[i] Many of those Democrats who supported Grover Cleveland for governor of New York in 1882 were 
prominent in the County Democracy. 

[+1 Kelly remained leader until his death, in 1886. E. L. Godkin, in Problems of Modem Democracy, 
135, says of him: "Tweed's system remained in the person of John Kelly, who had profited by Tweed's 
example, practised the great Greek maxim 'not too much in anything,' simply made every candidate pay 
handsomely for his nomination, pocketed the money himself, and, whether he rendered any account of it 
or not, died in possession of a handsome fortune. His policy was the very safe one ot making the city 
money go as far as possible among the workers, by compelling every office-holder to divide his salary and 
perquisites with a number of other persons. In this way no one person made the gains known under Tweed, 
but a far greater number were kept in a state of contentment, and the danger of exposures was thus averted 
or greatly lessened." 


but failed. Conkling's faction, the "Stalwarts," strenuously opposed the 
administration "Halfbreeds," but, with the death of Garfield in Septem- 
ber, 1 88 1, the situation was reversed, for Chester A. Arthur, the new 
President, was a "Stalwart." The quarrel divided the Republicans in 
New York State, where Governor Cornell vetoed a bill relieving the 
elevated railroads in New York City from certain taxes. Conkling had 
acted as counsel for the railroads, and subsequently (in September, 1882) 
used his power over the "Stalwarts" and the machine Republicans to pre- 
vent the renomination of Cornell. Considerable dissatisfaction appeared, 
for it was held that the whole power of the party machine in the state, 
aided by the national administration, had been used to crush a faithful 
governor because he had offended ex-Senator Conkling and the corpora- 
tions which he represented. Charles J. Folger was nominated by the 
Republicans, but he was defeated by the Democratic candidate, Grover 
Cleveland, who was elected governor in November, 1882. 

The local election of 1882 in New York City was especially interest- 
ing in that it witnessed a definite attempt to take the city government 
out of party politics. The plan was to secure non-partisan municipal 
officers by means of citizens' nominations. A committee was appointed 
for the purpose, and a public meeting was held at which Allan Campbell, 
comptroller of the city, was nominated for mayor. Colonel Emmons 
Clark for sheriff, and William A. Butler was renominated for county 
clerk. The three Democratic factions united in support of Franklin 
Edson for mayor, Alexander B. Davidson for sheriff, and Patrick Keenan 
for county clerk. The Republican organisation refused to support the 
citizens' ticket in its entirety, and nominated John J. O'Brien for county 
clerk. The Republicans were badly divided, and the Democrats, thor- 
oughly aware of this circumstance, united in an effort to take advantage 
of the situation and gain control of both city and state. In the election 
on November 7th, the Democrats were completely successful. 

Mayor Edson's administration was not entirely satisfactory. His ap- 
pointments in the city government were avowedly determined by the 
necessity of securing for his appointees the approval of the Board of 
Aldermen, whose members were in a peculiar sense the representatives 
of local political factions. ['] His appointments were criticised on the 
ground that they were designed to satisfy the demands of all cliques 
rather than to secure efficiency in the public service. Much dissatis- 

['] Edson had tried to secure from the Legislature the power to appoint and remove heads of depart- 
ments; but, failing in this, he did his best to work in harmony with the Board of Aldermen. 


faction with the municipal government developed during the year, 
because of frauds which were exposed in the Departments of Finance 
and Public Works. Finally, in November, a special grand jury, called 
for the Court of Oyer and Terminer, was charged to make inquiry into 
all fraud and dereliction in the city government. This grand jury sub- 
mitted a comprehensive report criticising the loose methods prevailing in 
the Department of Taxes and Assessments and the Comptroller's office, 
and suggesting measures of reform. 

Criticism ot the government of New York City was nothing new. 
Several times since the reform measures of the years following the ex- 
posure of the Tweed Ring, efforts had been made to improve local poli- 
tics through changes in the charter. In 1877 the so-called Woodin 
Charter had been vetoed by Governor Robinson, on the ground that, al- 
though passed in the interest of economy and reform, it contained many 
objectionable features which would lead to greater evils than before, and 
would increase rather than decrease expenditures. He believed that what 
New York City needed above all things was to be let alone until the Legis- 
lature was ready to enact a wise and complete charter to stand as a per- 
manent form of local government. In 1881 efforts were made to secure 
important amendments to the existing charter, but they came to nothing. 
However, two bills were passed with a view to providing for the sup- 
port of the Emigration Commission. One established an inspection of 
immigrants at the port of New York, and the other provided for a tax 
of one dollar to be collected from the steamship companies for each im- 
migrant landed. The latter act, however, was contested by the steam- 
ship companies, and was declared unconstitutional. In 1882 all laws 
affecting public interests in the City of New York were revised and con- 
solidated in one act, known as the Consolidation Act. This measure 
was based directly on the charter adopted for the city in 1873, and 
served as the law of the city until the charter of Greater New York 
went into effect on January i, i898.['] 

In 1883 the question of amending New York City's charter again came 
up in the Legislature, and much time was consumed to no purpose. On 
January 30th a resolution was adopted in the Assembly asking Mayor 
Edson to inform that house what legislation, if any, he considered neces- 
sary "to economise, simplify, and improve the local government of New 
York." In reply, the Mayor submitted a scheme of charter amend- 

['] At this time the city had twenty-four wards, which were defined in the act. They included the 
annexed portions that had formerly belonged to the County ot Westchester and various outlying islands. 


ment, the fundamental idea of which was to estabUsh single heads for 
the city's administrative departments, and to give to the Mayor the power 
to appoint and to remove these heads. The plan was strongly supported, 
but powerful political influences were hostile to it. Schemes and amend- 
ments were presented in opposition, and finally the whole plan for charter 
reform was defeated. 

Further provision for regulating immigration was made by the Legis- 
lature in 1883. The Board of Immigration was reorganised and placed 
in charge of a single commissioner, who was to be appointed by the 
Governor with the consent of the Senate, and paid an annual salary. 
Governor Cleveland, however, found difficulty in securing the Senate's 
consent to the appointment of a proper commissioner. ['] 

The State Legislature of 1884, which was Republican in both 
branches, made an investigation of municipal affairs. Frederick S. 
Gibbs and Theodore Roosevelt, who were the chairmen respectively of 
the Senate and Assembly committees on municipal affairs, were largely 
instrumental in directing this work. The Senate Committee on Cities 
undertook an inquiry into New York City's Department of Public 
Works, and a special committee of the Assembly, of which Roosevelt 
was the head, investigated, so far as time allowed, all departments of the 
city government. The work of the Senate committee led to no prac- 
tical action. Three separate reports were made at the very end of the 
session, involving considerable disagreement as to the facts found. The 
Assembly committee submitted a report on March 14th stating that 
abuses had been found in the offices of the County Clerk, the Register, 
the Surrogate, and the Sheriff. On May 1 5th, too late for any practical 
action, a report was made on the condition of the Police Department, 
showing evidence of much abuse in the appointment of members to the 
force, and inefficiency, especially in the suppression of gambling. 

The result of this activity was the passage of several laws designed to 
remedy the abuses which had been discovered. On March 17, 1884, 
the power of the Board of Aldermen to confirm the appointments made 

['] Cleveland, in transmitting a special message asking for the confirmation of his appointment, said: 
"The statute [to amend the laws relating to alien immigrants and to secure an improved administration of 
alien immigration] was the result of investigation which demonstrated that the present administration of 
this very important department is a scandal and a reproach to civilization. The money ot the state is ap- 
parently expended with no regard to economy; the most disgraceful dissensions prevail among those having 
the matter in charge. Barefaced jobbery has been permitted, and the poor immigrant, who looks to the 
institutions for protection, finds that his helplessness and forlorn condition afford the readily seized oppor- 
tunity for imposition and swindling." The Senators from New York City were the ones who opposed 
Cleveland's nomination of William H. Murtha of Kings County to this position. 


by the Mayor was abolished. ['] A law was passed making the office of 
comptroller elective, and providing for the election of the President of 
the Board of Aldermen. Before the end of the session, bills reported by 
the special committee of the Assembly for the reform of the offices of 
county clerk, register, surrogate, and sheriff became law. [2] The salaries 
of the policemen were increased, and it was enacted that one fourth of 
the excise money should go to the police pension fund. Another law 
passed at this time provided that after November i, 1885, all wires of 
telephone, telegraph, and electric light companies should be placed under 
ground, and forbade the erection of any more lines on poles in cities of 
five hundred thousand inhabitants or more. The Civil Service Act was 
so amended as to make its application obligatory in all cities, [3] and a 
state amendment was approved limiting the power of cities of one hun- 
dred thousand inhabitants or over to incur indebtedness in excess of ten 
per cent of the assessed value of the city's real estate. [4] 

The election of 1884 was doubly interesting to citizens of New York 
beca.use both a President and a mayor were to be chosen. Grover Cleve- 
land, the Governor of New York, was the Democratic candidate for 
President, while James G. Blaine was nominated by the Republicans. 
In New York City the Democrats were divided. Although Tammany 
had made no secret of its opposition to Cleveland's course as governor, it 
gave a formal pledge of its support to the national ticket, but refused to 
unite with the other Democratic factions in any political demonstration, 
and made its own nominations for local offices, Hugh J. Grant being its 

[I] The power to remove from ofBce, however, was in no way affected. It was not until 1895 'hat the 
Mayor was given power to remove heads of departments. 

['] A salary of fifteen thousand dollars was provided for the County Clerk, and all fees were to be strictly 
accounted for and turned into the city treasury. Estimates of the expenses of the office were to be made to 
the Board of Estimate and Apportionment at the beginning of each year, as was the case with other muni- 
cipal departments. For the Register, a salary of twelve thousand dollars was provided, all fees were to be 
accounted for, and the appointment and payment of clerks and other employees were to be subject to the 
approval of the Board of Estimate and Apportionment. The law which revised the administration of the 
Surrogate's office was designed to prevent the exaction of fees not authorised by law, and the employment 
of persons not properly connected with the office. It took from the Board of Aldermen all control over the 
appointment and payment of subordinates, and the Surrogate was required to submit an estimate ot the 
expenses of his office for the coming year to the Board of Estimate and Apportionment. In the case of 
the Sheriff the right to take fees was not abolished, but the power to make allowances for conveying and 
caring for prisoners, in which extravagant overcharges had been discovered, was taken from the Board of 
Aldermen and lodged in the Board of Estimate and Apportionment. 

[3] It is interesting to observe that, almost without exception, politicians have shown covert or open 
hostility to what is called civil service reform. This is scarcely to be wondered at when we reflect that 
political appointments had been, for nearly half a century, the chief if not the only means of rewarding sub- 
ordinate agents for political work. One effect, and a marked one, of this withdrawal of offices from political 
control has been the introduction of the practice ot levying blackmail upon corporations for the purpose of 
securing funds with which to reward political services. 

[4] This amendment to the state constitution was submitted to the people at the election in November, 
1884; it was adopted and went into operation January i, 1885. 


candidate for mayor. The County Democracy and Irving Hall united 
in supporting William R. Grace, who had been nominated for mayor by 
the citizens' committee. Frederick S. Gibbs was the candidate of the 
regular Republicans. The fact that during the year the Legislature had 
enlarged the powers of the city executive, so that his power of appoint- 
ment was no longer subject to the veto of the Board of Aldermen, made 
the local contest one of unusual importance. The eagerness of each 
faction to elect the Mayor led to a complication of issues. ['] The Dem- 
ocrats were successful in the national contest, Grover Cleveland being 
elected President, and the citizens' committee was successful in electing 
William R. Grace mayor. Cleveland immediately resigned his office of 
governor, to which David B. Hill, the Lieutenant-Governor, succeeded. 

At the next gubernatorial election, that of 1885, Hill was elected 
governor. Tammany Hall worked actively to secure his success, as did 
all those members of the Democratic party who were least in sympathy 
with civil service reform. Hill had become the leader of those Demo- 
crats who opposed President Cleveland and the reform element in the 
party. At the city election of 1886, workingmen, organised in labour 
unions, for the first time presented a candidate for mayor in the person 
of Henry George, the "single-taxer." The Irving Hall Democrats also 
gave their support to George. Tammany and the County Democracy 
united in favour of Abram S. Hewitt. The Republicans chose Theodore 
Roosevelt as their candidate for mayor, but he did not receive the full 
support of his party, for the fear of George's ideas respecting the taxation 
of land drove many Republicans to vote for Hewitt, who was elected. 

In 1884—6 several disturbances arose in connection with the building 
of city railroads. Before the passage of the General Surface Railroad 
Bill in 1884, a commission appointed under the law of 1875, which 
was known as the Rapid Transit Act, had decided in favour of building 
a number of new lines, to be operated by the cable system. They in- 
cluded twenty-nine different routes, mostly cross-town, and seventy miles 
of track. The right to construct the roads was given to the New York 
Cable Railway Company, but, before the proceedings were completed, 
the General Surface Railroad Act became a law, one section of which 
prohibited the construction of surface lines under the authority of the 
Rapid Transit Act. This threw the validity of the action of the com- 

['] A dispute arose as to just when Mayor Edson's term expired, and a contest was started by his ap- 
pointment of officials just as his term ended. He was declared to have acted illegally, and was fined for 
contempt of court. The General Term of the Superior Court later cleared him of the charge of contempt. 


mission and the company into dispute, and a second commission was 
appointed by the Supreme Court to decide whether the lines proposed in 
the Rapid Transit Act should be constructed. 

Another controversy arose under the General Surface Railroad Act in 
consequence of the efforts of rival horse-railroad companies to secure a 
franchise on Broadway below Union Square, which had thus far been 
kept free from tracks. The property-owners refused their consent, and a 
commission was appointed by the Supreme Court to act on the question 
of the expediency of permitting the construction of a car line in that 
thoroughfare. In the meantime, application was made to the Board of 
Aldermen for its consent. After an injunction had been issued to pre- 
vent the board giving this, and had been dissolved on the ground that 
discretion was clearly lodged in the "local authorities," i.e., the Alder- 
men, subject only to the Mayor's veto, the consent of the board was 
granted to one of the applying companies. This was disapproved by the 
Mayor, and again voted; but, as this action took place at a meeting 
notice of which had not been given to all members, it was held invalid 
by the courts. Later — in November, 1884 — a new application, accom- 
panied by terms more favourable to the city, was made by the company, 
and accepted by the Aldermen. Again they encountered the Mayor's 
veto. William R. Grace, the new Mayor, in referring to the matter, 

No franchise for any such purpose should be awarded except upon such 
conditions as will secure to the city the largest possible revenue. The proper 
means to attain this end, I conceive to be the undeviating adherence to the 
plan of putting all such franchises up at public bidding at a sufficient upset 
price, and the insistence, as a condition of awarding the franchise, that there 
shall be a prompt annual payment Into the city treasury of a fair percentage 
upon the gross receipts of the person or corporation enjoying the franchise. [>] 

The commission appointed by the court reported favourably in March, 
1885; the report was confirmed at the General Term of the court in 
May; on May 23d the work of constructing the road was begun, and on 
June 2 1 St cars were being operated over the whole line, more than two 
miles in extent, from Bowling Green to Union Square. All the omni- 
buses that had run on Broadway for many years were withdrawn. [2] 

In the next year — i 886 — the most remarkable exposure of corruption 

['] Annual Cyclopadia, 1884, 59. 

[2] A company was formed to build a railroad in Fifth Avenue, but the project was vigorously opposed, 
and an act, passed to provide for relaying the pavement in Fifth Avenue, forbade laying any tracks there. 


since the Tweed Ring was made in connection with the franchise of this 
very Broadway Surface Railroad Company. A committee of the Senate 
was appointed to investigate the matter. Thereupon, several Aldermen, 
and others who had acted as intermediaries, fled the state. Only two 
of the Aldermen holding office in 1885 were free from the suspicion of 
having been bribed. In the end, most of the Aldermen and several of 
the officers of the railroad were indicted, two Aldermen were convicted 
and sentenced to a term in prison, and the company was dissolved by an 
act of the Legislature. 

In the meantime, the question of the city's finances was attracting 
considerable attention, because its net funded debt very nearly approached 
the limit set by the amendment of the state constitution which went into 
effect at the beginning of i 885. If the sinking fund were to be counted 
a liability, the indebtedness of the city in 1885 would be greater than 
one-tenth of the assessed valuation of the city's real estate. Bonds for 
the new park lands could not be issued, nor bonds for the expenses of 
the Dock Department, or for anything else, however necessary. The 
Mayor and the Commissioners of the Sinking Fund were of the opin- 
ion that the sinking fund could not be deducted from the gross indebted- 
ness to determine the net indebtedness of the city; but, to test the question 
judicially, an order was made on the application of the Dock Depart- 
ment for the issue of two million dollars of new bonds. Suit was im- 
mediately brought by certain holders of city bonds for an injunction 
restraining the issue. This was granted, and continued in force. After 
a thorough consideration of the questions involved. Judge Joseph F. 
Daly, of the Court of Common Pleas, decided that the sinking fund could 
not be excluded in reckoning the city debt, and that no new bonds 
could be issued, except for water supply, so long as the sum of the city's 
indebtedness exceeded the constitutional limit. However, there was some 
consolation in the fact that each year since i 876 had shown a reduction 
in the net amount of the city's debt. 

In 1887 the situation changed. At that time the net increase in the 
public debt was somewhat over a million dollars, and a similar increase 
occurred in seven years out of the next ten. This increase was due to 
large disbursements for public improvements, which included the new 
Croton aqueduct, new parks, schoolhouses and sites for schoolhouses, 
docks and wharves, new armories, a new criminal court-house, and addi- 
tions to the Museums of Art and of Natural History. It was felt, how- 


ever, that the credit of the city stood high, and deservedly so. In 1887 
no bonds were issued at a rate above three per cent, and in almost every 
instance the bonds commanded a premium, which in some cases was as 
high as four and one-half per cent. In 1889 the city's obligations sold 
in the open market at a premium, and it was declared that never before 
in history had the bonds of a political body bearing only two and one- 
half per cent interest done so. 

On April 29th and 30th, and May ist, 1889, New York celebrated 
the centennial of Washington's inauguration. President Harrison, who 
had been invited to be the chief guest of the occasion, arrived at Eliza- 
bethport, N. J., on Monday morning, April 29th. From that point, his 
route to the city was the same as that followed by President-elect Wash- 
ington a century before. The presidential party landed at the foot of 
Wall Street, and proceeded to the Equitable Building, where a reception 
and banquet were held. The other events of the day were a great naval 
parade and a ball at the Metropolitan Opera House. On Tuesday, the 
anniversary of Washington's inauguration, thanksgiving services were held 
in all the churches. President Harrison attended the service at St. Paul's 
Chapel, and then proceeded to the Sub-Treasury, where the commemor- 
ative service was held. There, Chauncey M. Depew, who was the orator 
of the day, well expressed the feeling of the nation and the city when he 
said: "With their inspiring past and splendid present, the people of the 
United States, heirs of a hundred years marvellously rich in all which adds 
to the glory and greatness of a nation, with an abiding trust in the stabil- 
ity and elasticity of their Constitution, and an abounding faith in them- 
selves, hail the coming century with hope and joy." A military parade 
followed the exercises; the city was illuminated in the evening; and a 
civic and industrial parade on the next day concluded the celebration. 

The year 1888 was one of great political excitement. In national 
politics the contest for the Presidency lay between Benjamin Harrison, 
candidate of the Republican party, which favoured a protective tariff, 
and Grover Cleveland, who had been nominated for a second term by 
his party, which favoured a reduction of the tariff. In the New York 
mayoralty election, Tammany Hall nominated Hugh J. Grant. Two 
years before it had supported the candidacy of Hewitt, but his inde- 
pendent conduct in office had been disappointing, and Tammany refused 
to support him for re-election. He was, however, promptly nominated 
by an independent convention, and the County Democracy made him its 


candidate. Harrison was elected President, and Grant won in the city. 
This success greatly strengthened Tammany in its hold on municipal 
affairs. Of the twenty-five members of the Board of Aldermen, sixteen 
were Tammany men, and at the next election, that of 1889, the number 
was increased to nineteen. The local elections of this year confirmed 
the power of Tammany Hall in New York City, and its power was still 
further consolidated by the Mayor's lavish appointment of its members 
to positions on the various boards, which custom had hitherto decreed 
should be fairly apportioned among the representatives of all recognised 
factions. In January, 1891, Grant began a second term as mayor, and 
Tammany controlled twenty members of the Board of Aldermen. In 
the election of 1892, Thomas F. Gilroy, the Tammany candidate for 
mayor, was elected. Not until the end of Gilroy's administration, in 
I 894, did Tammany lose any of that complete domination of the city 
that it had exercised since 1888. 

Tammany Hall's influence throughout New York State, also, was 
very great. David B. Hill, who was governor from 1885 until i89i,[i] 
maintained his position as head of the Democratic state machine through 
its alliance with Tammany. In 1892 Hill and Tammany tried to cap- 
ture the Presidency, but in this they failed. After Cleveland's defeat in 
1888 he retired to New York City to practise law. By 1891 his popu- 
larity was reviving, and this was aided by the opposition of Hill, now 
senator, Tammany Hall, and those elements in the New York Democ- 
racy that were constantly being attacked by the reformers. Early in 
1892, Hill called a convention of the Democrats of New York for the 
purpose of choosing delegates to the national convention, in which he 
secured a delegation pledged to support his own candidacy. The pres- 
ence of this solid New York delegation for Hill greatly aided Cleveland, 
who secured the nomination. The Republicans renominated Harrison. 
Again the tariff was the principal issue, and the Democrats were success- 
ful, Cleveland being elected, with two hundred and seventy-seven elec- 
toral votes to one hundred and forty -five cast for Harrison. 

Scarcely had Cleveland begun his term of office when the panic of 
1893 burst upon the country. This was really inherited from the Har- 
rison administration, during which the treasury had been so reduced that 
any unexpected shock might cause suspension. The fear of free silver 
also hastened the day of panic. There was a constant depreciation of 

[')>Hill became United States senator in 1891, and Roswell P. Flower, a Democrat, became governor. 


the gold reserve, and as the banks, in 1893, curtailed their operations to 
save themselves, stringency became general, and depression turned to panic. 
In April the gold reserve in the treasury, on which the whole volume 
of silver and paper depended, fell below one hundred million dollars, 
which amount business had come to regard as the limit of safety. Before 
July there were general panic and failure throughout the United States. 
Cleveland summoned Congress to meet in August, 1893, ^° repeal the 
Sherman Act, while he maintained the gold reserve for the next two 
years by borrowing on bonds. This policy seriously divided the Demo- 
cratic party. A revision of the tariff was also a part of the Democratic 
programme, and this was accomplished by the Wilson Tariff Act, which, 
however, differed so little from the McKinley tariff that Cleveland refused 
to sign it, and it became law without his signature. By 1895 free silver 
had become the leading political issue, and it dominated the presidential 
election of i 896. 

In 1 894 the constitution of New York State was amended by a 
constitutional convention elected in November, 1893. In it the Re- 
publicans had one hundred and three members out of a total of one 
hundred and sixty-eight, so that they controlled the convention's deliber- 
ations. Joseph H. Choate was chosen president. The most important 
articles adopted by the convention were those reorganising the judiciary, 
those which divided the cities of the state into three classes, according to 
their population, and those which opened the way to liberal expenditures 
on the canals, provided special safeguards for the use of the national 
guard, reapportioned the members of the State Legislature, restored the 
term of governor to two years, and raised the number of senators to fifty 
and the number of assemblymen to one hundred and fifty. Another im- 
portant amendment secured to cities some degree of protection against 
state interference by ordering that local bills be submitted for approval 
to the authorities of the city affected; but provided that, if these should 
not approve, the bills might be passed over their veto by a majority of 
the Legislature. ['] Thirty-three amendments were adopted by the con- 
vention, and later were submitted to the people and accepted. 

For some time public opinion in New York had been arousing itself 
to the knowledge that widespread corruption prevailed in the municipal 
government, and particularly in the Police Department. Interest in good 
government had been stimulated by the organisation of several political 

['] As a matter of fact, this check has had little etFect, for it has become customary for the Legislature 
to disregard the veto of the city authorities. 


clubs whose purpose was to secure honesty and efficiency in the adminis- 
tration of city affairs and to separate national from municipal politics. 
They held that "municipal government is business and not politics." ['] 

But even greater credit for rousing public opinion on the subject 
of municipal corruption and the city government's criminal negligence 
in the prevention of vice and crime should be given to the Rev. Dr. 
Charles H. Parkhurst, president of the Society for the Prevention of 
Crime. [2J At first Dr. Parkhurst's efforts were discredited by the Police 
Department and its chief, but they developed such a positive exposure of 
corruption that the public press finally took the matter up. As a result, 
the State Senate, on January 30, 1894, appointed a committee, commonly 
known as the Lexow Committee, [3] to investigate the Police Depart- 
ment of New York City. 

The committee met in New York in February, and secured the 
services of John W. Goff as counsel. Subsequent meetings were held, 
except during the summer months, until the end of September. The 
special function of the committee was to point out the existence of crime; 
trial and conviction were the functions of the District Attorney's office. 
As a result of the committee's investigations, sixty-seven men connected 
with the Police Department were accused of crime, on evidence suffi- 
cient in most cases to warrant indictments. [4] 

The exposures made by the Lexow Committee were followed by a 
definite attempt to oust Tammany Hall from control of the city govern- 
ment. The election of November, 1 894, was preceded by an exciting 
canvass, in which party lines were largely disregarded. A Committee 
of Seventy, representing all classes of society, was organised, and nomi- 
nated William L. Strong for mayor and John W. Goff for recorder. All 
anti-Tammany organisations, among which were the Republican party, 
the State Democracy, the Independent County Organization, the Anti- 

['] The City Reform Club was organised in 1882, the Reform Club in 1888, the People's Municipal 
League in 1890, and in 1892 the City Club, which formed local good government clubs in various sections 
of the city. The City Club took over the programme of the City Reform Club, which went out of existence 
a few years later. The City Club, however, went further than its predecessor. 

['] In carrying on its work, this society found much that was suggestive of crime, such as gambling 
houses and houses of prostitution, whose existence was in direct violation of the law. Dr. Parkhurst called 
attention to this, but was met by officials with the demand for proof and not inferences. Thereupon, by 
personal investigation, he secured the needed evidence, which he presented to the proper officials. This 
time, also, his efforts brought no results. Agents of his society received personal injuries in the public 
streets, of which subsequent investigation by the police failed to reveal the source, and one agent was 
punished by conviction and imprisonment for a crime of which he was later proved innocent. 

[3] So called from its chairman. Senator Clarence Lexow. 

[•t] Of this number, two were commissioners, two ex-commissioners, three inspectors, one an ex-inspector, 
twenty captains, two ex-captains, seven sergeants, six detective sergeants, twelve ward men and ex-ward- 
men, and twelve patrolmen. 


Tammany Democracy, the German-American Reform Union, and the 
confederated good government clubs, supported the Committee of 
Seventy's ticket, which was generally successful. Strong received a 
plurality of over forty-five thousand votes, and Goff received over fifty- 
four thousand. In the elections to the Board of Aldermen, party lines 
were more strictly adhered to, fourteen Republicans, fourteen Tammany 
Democrats, and two Independent Democrats being chosen. ['] 

Mayor Strong's administration was devoted to fulfilling the promises 
made during the campaign, and in this it was, on the whole, successful. 
Although the city budget for 1896 rose to nearly forty-four million 
dollars and the debt of the city increased, this increase represented real 
improvements in the city, and corruption in the administration was 
virtually unheard of. Mayor Strong's appointments were non-partisan, 
and in many cases were particularly good. Colonel George E. Waring 
was put in charge of the Street Cleaning Department, [2] and worked 
a revolution in that part of the municipal administration. The streets 
were made and kept cleaner than they had been for years, and the rate 
of mortality was greatly reduced. 

A similar revolution was attempted in the Police Department. The 
Tammany police justices, who were held to be largely responsible for the 
corruption that had prevailed, were expelled from office by the General 
Removal Act passed when Mayor Strong came into office, and a bench of 
city magistrates was created. At the head of the Department of Police 
were four commissioners named by the Mayor. Theodore Roosevelt 
was appointed to this board, and soon became its president. Of the four 
commissioners, two were Republicans and two Democrats. This ar- 
rangement had been made years before in the hope that thereby the 
department might be freed from party politics. In the actual working 
of the system, however, it was found that the device of checks and bal- 
ances was so elaborate that while no man had power to do anything really 
bad, neither could he do much good, and the field for petty intrigue and 
conspiracy was limitless. The Chief of Police was appointed by the 
commissioners, but they could not remove him except after a regular 
trial, subject to review by the courts. The patrolmen, also, were ap- 

['] The city voted at this election in favour of the amendments to the state constitution which had 
been adopted by the constitutional convention in 1894, the Chamber of Commerce Rapid Transit Bill 
authorising the municipal construction of a rapid transit road, and the Consolidation Bill creating Greater 
New York. 

['] A Street Cleaning Department, under a single commissioner appointed by the Mayor, subject to 
the approval nf the Board of Health, had been created in 188 1. 


pointed by the commissioners, and could be dismissed only after a review 
by the courts. As a matter of fact, most of the men dismissed during 
this administration were reinstated by the courts. In spite of this fauhy 
organisation, the department was made more efficient, and city ordinances 
were enforced as they had not been for years. 

Many improvements in the physical appearance of the city were made 
during the Strong administration. In conformity with the provisions of 
the Small Parks Act of 1887, work was at last begun on Corlears Hook 
Park, the West Side Park, the Eleventh Ward Park, Fort George Park, 
Little Italy Park, and Mulberry Bend Park. At the same time, the 
Central Bridge over the Harlem at Eighth Avenue was opened, streets 
were repaved and widened, the Harlem Speedway was built, progress 
was made towards securing better rapid transit, the terminals of the 
Brooklyn Bridge were improved, and the erection of a building for the 
New York Public Library on the site of the old reservoir at Fifth Avenue 
and 42d Street was inaugurated; on December 10, 1896, the Aquarium 
was opened in the old Castle Garden, and progress was made in creating 
the Botanical and Zoological Gardens. The mortality in the city was 
encouragingly low, a fact which was accounted for by the careful in- 
spection of milk and the permit system for regulating its sale, the treat- 
ment of consumption as an infectious and curable disease, the medical 
supervision of schools, the inspection of tenement houses and the destruc- 
tion of the worst of the rear tenements, the more thorough cleaning of 
the streets, and a marked general improvement in the sanitary adminis- 
tration of the city. The system of public education in the city also was 
reorganised so as to secure better inspection, and many new school build- 
ings were opened. 

Notwithstanding the generally good administration which Mayor 
Strong provided, he soon lost much of the political support which had 
secured him his office. The very fact that he was acting on a non- 
partisan basis deprived him of the power which a strong party organi- 
sation would have secured for him,[i] and his rigid enforcement of the 

[I] In connection with this may be noted a statement of E. L. Godkin, in Unforeseen Tendencies of De- 
mocracy, 157-8: "The rising against Tammany in 1894, which resulted in the election of Mayor Strong, to 
some extent failed to produce its due effect, owing to his refusal to distribute places so as to satisfy Mr. 
Piatt, the Republican leader; or, in other words, to give Mr. Piatt the influence in distributing the pa- 
tronage to which he held that he was entitled. This led to the frustration, or long delay, of the legislation 
which was necessary to make the overthrow of Tammany of much effect. Some of the necessary bills, the 
Legislature, which was controlled by Piatt, refused to pass, and others it was induced to pass only by great 
effort and after long postponement. No reason was ever assigned for this hostility to Strong's proposals 
except failure in the proper distribution of offices." 


laws made him unpopular with certain classes. This was particularly 
true in the case of the law for closing the saloons on Sunday, where his 
enforcement of the statute cost him the German vote in the election of 
1895, when Tammany was again able to place its candidates in office by 
pluralities of about twenty thousand. Moreover, the wave of public 
opinion demanding reform, which had reached its high-water mark in 
1894, soon began to subside. This natural movement was accelerated by 
the discouragement felt by reformers when they saw that, in spite of the 
numerous indictments which had resulted from the investigations of the 
Lexow Committee, on January i, 1896, not one man who was accused 
before that committee had begun to serve a term of imprisonment. ['] 

In I 896 the only city office to be filled was that of coroner, which 
was carried by the Republicans. At this time interest in the elections 
centred in the struggle for the Presidency between Bryan, who had been 
nominated at Chicago by the Democrats because of his championship of 
free silver, and McKinley, the defender of sound money and protection. 
The canvass turned largely on the money question. A business men's 
parade, held in New York City in behalf of that cause on October 31st, 
was said to have broken not only New York's, but the world's record as 
a civic demonstration. McKinley won in the national contest. An 
early effort of his administration was directed towards the revision of the 
tarifi^, with the result that the Dingley Tariff, which subordinated revenue 
to protection, became law on July 24, 1897. In April of the next year 
the war with Spain began, and the United States suddenly passed from a 
debate on free silver to a consideration of questions of war and con- 
quest. [2] 

On January i, 1898, New York City was transformed into Greater 
New York. This action was not taken suddenly, but had been under 
consideration for a number of years. In 1890 a commission had been 
created to inquire into the expediency of consolidating the City of New 
York with various municipalities and villages composing its suburbs. 
This commission presented a bill to the Legislature in 1893, providing 

[■] A summary of the results of the Lexow investigation, made at the end of 1895, showed one convic- 
tion, subsequently reversed; one conviction after two trials, with an appeal pending; two disagreements of 
jury; forty indictments dismissed, and thirty-five indictments not yet tried. To obtain these results it had 
cost the state $76,534. 

['] The war with Spain arose from unsettled conditions in the Spanish colony of Cuba, where an insur- 
rection had been raging for a number of years, in which American business interests sutFered, and .American 
feelings of humanity were offended by the harsh methods employed by the Spanish general, Weyler. The 
war was fought on land and sea, and was ended by the Treaty of Paris, signed December 10, 1898. By 
this treaty Cuba was set free, while Porto Rico, the Philippine Archipelago, and Guam, in the Ladrones, 
were ceded to the United States. 


that the question of consolidation be submitted to a vote of the people 
affected. At that time the bill failed to reach a vote, but a year later it 
became a law. In 1895 the question of consolidation was submitted to 
the people, with a favourable result in New York, Kings County, Queens 
County, Richmond County, Eastchester, and Pelham; Mount Vernon and 
Westchester voting against it.[i] A bill providing for consolidation was 
thereupon presented by the commission to the Legislature, but failed to 
become a law, although on June ist, new territory covering about twenty 
thousand acres, with a population of about seventeen thousand persons, 
had been added to New York City by Senator Robertson's Annexation 
Bill. This territory included certain sections in Westchester County, [2] 
and carried the city northward to the boundaries of Yonkers, Mount 
Vernon, Pelham, and New Rochelle. 

The Legislature of 1 896 passed the Consolidation Bill. This act 
required that a commission be appointed and report a charter for the 
enlarged city by February i, 1897. On June 6th, Governor Morton 
appointed the commission. [3] In January the charter was completed, 
and public hearings were held upon it for two weeks, beginning on the 
fourth of that month. At this time it was condemned in very strong 
terms by what might be called the organised and individual intelligence 
of the community. 

The Bar Association, through a committee which contained several of the 
leading lawyers of the city, subjected it to expert legal examination and de- 
clared it to be so full of defects and confusing provisions as to be deplorable, 
and [certain] to give rise, if made law, to mischiefs far outweighing any benefits 
which might reasonably be expected to flow from it. The Chamber of Com- 
merce, the Board of Trade, the Clearing House Association, the City Club, the 

['] The land included within Greater New York comprised "all municipal corporations and parts of 
such corporations other than counties within the counties of Kings and Richmond, Long Island City, the 
towns of Newtown, Flushing, and Jamaica, and that part of Hempstead in Queens County west of a line 
drawn from Flushing between Rockaway Beach and Shelter Island to the Ocean." The proposed city in- 
cluded an area of 359 square miles and a population of more than 3,100,000. 

[^] This territory included Throgs Neck, Unionport, Westchester, Williamsbridge, Bronxdale, Olin- 
ville, Baychester, Eastchester, Wakefield, and Bartow. 

[i] The members of the commission were, for New York City, Seth Low, Benjamin F. Tracy, John F. 
Dillon, and Ashbel P. Fitch; for Brooklyn, Stewart L. Woodford, Silas B. Dutcher, and William C. De Witt; 
for Richmond County, George M. Pinney, Jr., and for Queens County, Garret J. Garretson. The mem- 
bers of the commission named by the Consolidation Act were Andrew H. Green, Campbell W. Adams, 
Theodore E. Hancock, William L. Strong, Frederick W. Wurster, and Patrick J. Gleason. Benjamin F. 
Tracy was made president of the commission. A committee to draft the charter was appointed, and its 
report appeared in the newspapers of Christmas morning, 1896. The evening before, Governor Morton 
entertained the commission at dinner at his house in New York. Thomas C. Piatt, Governor-elect Frank 
S. Black, Lieutenant-Governor-elect Timothy L. Woodruff, and several other influential politicians were 
present. On January 2, 1897, the full commission met to receive formally the charter and the report pre- 
pared by the Committee on Draft. 


Union League Club, the Reform Club, the Real Estate Exchange, all the 
reputable ex-mayors and other officials expressed equally strong condemnation, 
especially of certain leading provisions of the instrument; and the legislature 
was formally requested to give more time to the subject by postponing the 
date on which the charter should become operative.[i] 

No attention was paid to these requests. The charter, except for a 
few trifling changes, was passed without amendment by both houses of 
the Legislature by an overwhelming vote. After its passage, the measure 
was sent for public hearings and approval to the Mayors of the three 
cities affected by its provisions. The opposition developed at the hear- 
ings was so strong that Mayor William L. Strong, who, as an ex-oflicio 
member of the Charter Commission, had signed the report which ac- 
companied the bill when it went to the Legislature, was moved by a 
strong sense of public duty to veto it because of serious and fundamental 
defects. In spite of this opposition, however, the charter was repassed 
by the Legislature by virtually the same vote as had formerly been given 
to it. 

In framing the charter for Greater New York, the commission was 
confronted by the difficulty of forming one system of government for 
several widely differing communities. One central idea lay beneath the 
entire scheme — the creation of the borough system, with local improve- 
ment boards, a Board of Public Improvements, a mayor, comptroller, 
corporation counsel, and the departments. Following this plan, the 
territory included within the enlarged city was divided into five boroughs : 
Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Richmond, and the Bronx. At the head 
of the city government a mayor was placed, who was to be elected for a 
term of four years, and to him was given executive power and authority 
to appoint heads of departments, with the exception of the Comptroller, 
whose position was elective. The Mayor might also remove heads of de- 
partments, but only with the Governor's consent. The legislative depart- 
ment of the city government was composed of two branches, a council 
of twenty-nine members, and a Board of Aldermen. Positions in both 
branches were to be filled by election. The Board of Estimate and 
Apportionment was continued in its duty of preparing the annual budget. 
Each of the five boroughs was provided with a president, who was to 
serve as head of the local boards of improvements formed within his 
borough. In addition to the local boards of improvements, a Board of 

['] Godkin, E. L., Unforeseen Tendencies of Democracy, 166-7, which quotes J. B. Bishop. 


Public Improvements was created, to have jurisdiction over the plan of 
the City of New York, and over the Departments of Water Supply, 
Highways, Street Cleaning, Sewers, Public Buildings, Lighting and 
Supplies, and Bridges. 

The new charter was in direct contradiction to a tendency that had 
become very apparent in the development of municipal government. 
The control ot New York City had, for many years, rested in the hands 
of the Legislature at Albany, the subjection of the city to the individual 
or group of individuals who controlled the Legislature having been 
brought about in part by the use of Federal, and even of city offices, 
and in part by the extortion of money from property-holders, for pur- 
poses of corruption. The earliest remedy — the substitution of one party 
in city government for another — had been, to some extent, supplanted 
by a different one, namely, the modification of the charter so as to 
secure the concentration of power in fewer hands. More and more, 
authority had been withdrawn from the bodies elected for purposes of 
legislation, and had been transferred to the bodies elected for purposes of 
administration. Before the creation of Greater New York, the Board of 
Aldermen, by a process of deprivation pursued through long years, had 
been bereft of much of its original power, while nearly every change in 
the charter had armed the Mayor with broader jurisdiction. This ten- 
dency to concentration -was temporarily obscured by the consolidation of 
the suburbs into Greater New York. In order to secure the consent of 
the politicians to this, it was found necessary to revive the old, long 
tried, and much condemned, plan of a city legislature with two branches, 
a number of boards, and a wide diffusion of responsibility. The new 
machinery had the appearance of local representative self-government, 
but it was only an appearance. The real power lay with the Legis- 
lature at Albany, and with the group or individual who controlled it.['] 

The municipal election of 1897 was one of great interest, for to 
whichever side won would go the control of the enlarged city. The 
Citizens' Union, which had for its object a non-partisan administration 
of businesslike efficiency, nominated for mayor Seth Low, a former 
mayor of Brooklyn, and at this time president of Columbia University. 

['] This undoubtedly explained T. C. Piatt's desire to have the charter enacted. Although the Mayor 
had the right to veto bills affecting the city, the Legislature might override his veto by a mere majority, 
and it had become so customary for the Legislature to do this that the Mayor's veto was virtually disre- 
garded. It vpas natural that a Republican Legislature should enact this charter, for it was foreseen that 
consolidation would weaken Tammany's control of the city. This organisation was confined to Man- 
hattan, and the Democratic organisations outside of this borough were hostile to it. 


Tammany Hall, at the dictation of Richard Croker, who since about 
1888 had been "boss" of that organisation, supported the candidacy of 
Robert A. Van Wyck. Unfortunately for the success of the Citizens' 
Union, the anti-Tammany forces were divided. The Republican party 
nominated a candidate of its own, Benjamin F. Tracy, and the Jeffer- 
sonian Democrats did the same, choosing as their candidate for mayor, 
Henry George, and, at his death in the midst of the campaign, his son, 
Henry George, Jr. The result of the contest was a victory for Tam- 
many Hall. Van Wyck received somewhat over 233,000 votes, and 
Low 151,540. Had the 123,000 votes given to Tracy and George 
been given to Low, he would have been elected. ['] The Tammany 
candidate for comptroller, Bird S. Coler, was elected, and Tammany 
secured large majorities in the Council, and in the Board of Aldermen. 
Mayor Van Wyck's administration was thoroughly dominated by 
Tammany Hall. He made the Police Board Democratic by removing 
the Republican members. Under his administration the erection of 
tenement houses in violation of the existing laws was permitted and the 
practice of levying tribute on illegal resorts, and using the proceeds to 
enrich political leaders and maintain the party organisation, was revived. 
He removed the heads of departments appointed by Mayor Strong, and 
substituted William 8. Devery for John McCullagh as chief of police. 
Under Devery the Police Department became more lax in its main- 
tenance of public decency and order. Conditions finally became so bad 
in certain sections of the city that in 1 900 the convention of the Episco- 
pal Church of the diocese of New York requested Bishop Potter to appeal 
to the Mayor in behalf of the youth of the city, whose welfare was being 
endangered by the complicity of the police with the lowest forms of vice 
and crime. As a result of this attack, the Legislature, in 1901, abolished 
the bipartisan board of four Police Commissioners, and put the depart- 
ment under one commissioner appointed by the Mayor, [^j 

['1 One reason for the defeat of reform was that people had become tired of making the effort necessary 
to secure it. The Republican party made a poor showing in 1897, not only in New York City, but in the 
state. This was due to the split that had developed between the "machine Republicans," under Piatt, and 
the "anti-machine" faction. 

[^] Mayor Van Wyck appointed Michael C. Murphy police commissioner, and Murphy appointed the 
former chief, Devery, to be his first deputy. When Bishop Potter's attack on the Police Department was 
made, the executive committee of Tammany Hall appointed a committee to investigate vice conditions. 
It reported on February 25th that there were 340 gambling places, of which 270 had been closed and the 
gamblers driven from the city, and that all disorderly places near schools and churches had been closed. 
A report of the Society for the Prevention of Crime, published in August, showed that the police were 
accustomed to sell protection for gambling and other vices, and that means existed whereby a place that 
was to be raided by the police could be warned within five minutes of the time at which the police captain 
received orders to make the raid. A complaint charging Devery with neglect of duty was lodged with the 


The Fire Department also received much merited criticism, and John 
J. Scannell, the fire commissioner, and William L. Marks, a manufac- 
turer's agent, were indicted after a ten days' investigation into the depart- 
ment's method of purchasing supplies. 

These disclosures of dereliction in the performance of duty and gross 
inefficiency on the part of the administration strengthened the anti- 
Tammany forces in the city, and they entered the mayoralty contest in 
1 90 1 with good hope of success. [•] The Republican party nominated 
Seth Low, who also received the support of the Citizens' Union and the 
Greater New York Democracy. A peculiarly interesting feature of the 
campaign was the candidacy for the position of district attorney of 
William Travers Jerome, who had been judge of a criminal court, where 
his eiforts to secure the conviction of political criminals had been persist- 
ently opposed by the higher Tammany officials. The Democrats nomi- 
nated Edward M. Shepard for mayor, and he was supported by Tam- 
many. [2] 

The election resulted in a severe defeat for Tammany and the Demo- 
crats. The entire Fusion ticket was elected in the Boroughs of Man- 
hattan, Brooklyn, and Richmond, although in Queens and the Bronx the 
Democratic candidates for borough president were successful. The total 
vote cast for mayor was 560,120, of which Low received 294,992, or a 
plurality of 29,864 over his nearest opponent. 

In 1 90 1 the charter, which had been so severely criticised at the time 
of its enactment in 1897, was revised, and revised so completely that it 
became virtually a new instrument. This charter, with various amend- 
ments, [3] is still in force. [4]. Authority in the city government centres 

District Attorney, but up to the end of the year this official had been unable to bring the matter before the 
courts. However, several subordinates in the Police Department were convicted, either of taking bribes 
or of neglect of duty, and were discharged from the force. It is interesting to note that when this attack 
on the vicious conditions in the city was made, Richard Croker, by his own personal action, was able to 
close the disorderly places within twenty-four hours. 

['] This movement was strengthened by an investigation of city affairs made by a committee of the 
Legislature, known as the Mazet Committee. Its influence, however, suffered from the charge that it was 
unduly partisan. It would have been well if it had called before it for interrogation Thomas C. Piatt as 
well as Richard Croker. On April 14th, the committee exposed a conspiracy between the Ice Trust and the 
Dock Department and other divisions of the city government to create and maintain a monopoly of 
New York's ice supply. 

[2] Shepard accepted this nomination because he wished to help defeat the Republican party, whose 
national policy of imperialism he considered extremely pernicious. 

p] There have been many amendments to the Greater New York Charter of 1901 and numerous de- 
cisions of the courts construing its provisions. The most notable changes have been in the direction of 
further concentrating power over municipal affairs in the Board of Estimate and Apportionment. By an 
amendment made in 1906, the entire procedure in reference to the acquisition of title to lands for public 
purposes was remodelled, and a new system established. 

[■t] In 1908 Governor Hughes appointed a commission, of which William M. Ivins was chairman, to 
revise the charter of New York City. This committee made its report to the Legislature in 1909, but the 


in the Mayor and the Board of Estimate and Apportionment. The 
Mayor is elected for a term of four years, and, with the exception of the 
Department of Finance, appoints the heads of the fifteen administrative 
departments, [i] The Comptroller, who is the head of the Finance De- 
partment, is also elected on a general ticket for a term of four years. 
A president of the Board of Aldermen is similarly elected, and a presi- 
dent of each of the five boroughs is elected for a term of four years by 
the voters of each individual borough. The Mayor, the Comptroller, 
the President of the Board of Aldermen, and the five Borough Presi- 
dents form the Board of Estimate and Apportionment, whose duty it is 
to prepare the city budget and to determine legislation affecting the 
city's finances. There is a Board of Aldermen, composed of a president, 
the five Borough Presidents, and seventy-three Aldermen elected by dis- 
tricts for a term of two years, but its power is less than it was formerly. 
The president of each borough has extensive powers, and the city is 
divided into twenty-five local improvement districts, each having a board 
composed of the President of the Borough and the Aldermen representing 
the aldermanic districts within the local improvement district. 

The present charter resumes the movement in municipal government 
that was temporarily checked by the charter of 1897, in that it cen- 
tralises authority in the hands of the Mayor and the Board of Estimate 
and Apportionment, and makes it possible to fix the responsibility for 
administrative acts more definitely and directly than was formerly the 
case. The amendments to the charter since 1 90 1 carry this still further. 
State interference in the control of municipal affairs still exists, but it is 
to be hoped that the principle of home rule will be more completely 
accepted in the future than it has yet been. 

Mayor Low's administration was marked by an earnest effort to secure 
efficiency with economy, and the reform of old abuses. The most im- 
portant problems that pressed for solution at this time were the provid- 

proposed charter was not adopted. The report proposed many radical changes in the charter and means 
for simplifying and shortening it. Many purely administrative features were embodied in an administra- 
tive code, in the hope that the charter proper would require less frequent and extensive amendments than 
theretofore. The code was longer than the charter, but the two together were much shorter than the old 

[■] The departments are Finance; Law; Water Supply, Gas, and Electricity; Fire; Street Cleaning; 
Bridges; Docks and Ferries; Parks; Public Charities; Tenement House; Health; Correction; Police; Edu- 
cation, and Taxes and Assessments. The Mayor may remove all officers whom he appoints, except certain 
judicial and educational officers and the Aqueduct Commissioners. The Mayor's veto of a franchise passed 
by the Board of Aldermen is final; his veto of an ordinance or resolution involving the expenditure of money 
can be overruled only by a three-fourths vote; and to overcome his veto of any other measure a two-thirds 
vote is required. Special city legislation passed by the State Legislature must be referred to the Mayor, 
but may be repassed over his veto. 



ing of more schools, better tenements, more adequate facilities for rapid 
transit within the city and for water-borne commerce, and an increased 
water supply. During Low's administration, progress was made in build- 
ing new bridges across the East River, and in improving the water-front 
by constructing new bulkheads and docks. The Dock Department, since 
its establishment in i 870, had spent over forty-seven million dollars, but 
the revenues received from the rent of docks during the same period ex- 
ceeded this outlay by two million dollars. The building of a subway 
assumed definite form during Low's administration, and plans were so 
shaped that the whole project of underground railways was placed in the 
hands of a single board, and by the end of this administration all legal 
consents necessary for construction had been secured. 

At this time the Pennsylvania Railroad Company took steps pre- 
paratory to the erection of a great terminal station within the city, and 
the building of tunnels under both the Hudson and the East Rivers, so 
as to connect the city directly with the West and South, as well as with 
Long Island. Plans were also under way for equipping the New York 
Central Railroad with electricity, and for improving the tracks in Park 
Avenue and the terminal station at 42d Street. It was thought that the 
new tunnels and bridges, when completed, would end the congestion in 
population in certain sections of Manhattan, help build up other sections, 
and so increase their contribution to the city taxes, and make it possible 
for New York to accommodate more comfortably an even larger popu- 
lation than before. 

In 1902 a much needed reorganisation of the Immigrant Station at 
Ellis Island took place. Those who, during the preceding ten years, had 
enjoyed a monopoly of the exchange, baggage, and catering privileges 
were convicted of serious irregularities, and were ousted from their posi- 
tions. ['] The examination of immigrants was made stricter, and steam- 
ship companies were forced to exercise a more careful supervision over 
their steerage passengers. As a result of this reform, the number of 
deportations was greatly increased. 

At the municipal election in the autumn of 1903, the Democrats suc- 

[I] Ellis Island had been the Immigrant Station since January i, 1892, when the buildings there were 
formally taken possession of by the government. On April i, 1890, the handling of immigrants arriving 
at New York was transferred from the State Commissioners of Immigration to the United States Com- 
missioner of Immigration, with headquarters at the Barge Office. On December 31, 1890, the Comp- 
troller, acting under instructions from the Sinking Fund Commissioners representing New York City, 
received the keys of Castle Garden from the State Board of Immigration. Castle Garden was remodelled 
and was opened as an aquarium on December 10, 1896. The Park Department had charge of this insti- 
tution until 1902, when it was transferred to the New York Zoological Society. 


ceeded in electing George B. McClellan mayor, and he held the position, 
for two terms; that is, until the end of 1909. Although Tammany had 
helped to put McClellan in power, he administered the affairs of his 
office with a praiseworthy degree of independence, particularly in his 
second term. 

Further progress was made on the rapid transit system and upon a 
comprehensive plan for the improvement of the water-front, work on the 
new small parks was continued, and the beginning of an enlarged water 
supply system was made. Great liberality was shown towards the schools 
of the city, and McClellan reported in 1 904 that more money had been 
spent on them in that year than in any previous year of the city's history. 
In spite of this, however, so rapid had been the city's growth that it was 
impossible to eliminate entirely part-time classes. The annual budget 
grew steadily larger. In 1907 it was over one hundred and thirty mil- 
lion dollars; in 1908 it had risen to one hundred and forty-three million 
dollars. This was due, in part, to mandatory state legislation which 
interfered with the local regulation of expenditures, to the constantly 
increasing volume of the city's business, and to the rising cost of neces- 
sary supplies. In 1907, largely through the interest of Mr. R. Fulton 
Cutting, Mr. George McAneny, and Professor E. R. A. Seligman, the 
Bureau of Municipal Research was organised to study the city's govern- 
ment and administration. As a result of its work, a number of improve- 
ments in the administration were adopted, and several city officials were 
forced to resign, or were removed from their positions for inefficiency or 
misconduct. ['] 

In 1905 the confidence of the city and of the public generally in 
those who held the management of high finance was rudely shaken by 
the work of a legislative investigating committee known as the Arm- 
strong Committee, which had been appointed to look into the business 
and the business methods of life insurance companies. [2] This and similar 
revelations made the public suspicious of the agents who controlled busi- 
ness, and a feeling of uncertainty resulted, which reached a climax in 

['] Among the questions studied were street railways and their debts to the city and the municipal 
budget. As a result of the Bureau's recommendations, a uniform system of accounts was adopted in the 
five major departments of the city administration on January i, 1908. Charges which the Bureau made 
against the office of the President of the Borough of Manhattan under John F. Ahearn led to Governor 
Hughes's removal of Ahearn, in December, 1907. Haffen, President of the Borough of the Bronx, was re- 
moved under similar circumstances, and Bermel, President of the Borough of Queens, resigned. 

[^] A quarrel over the management of the Equitable Life Assurance Company led to the investigation. 
Charles E. Hughes was chief counsel for the Armstrong Committee. The excellent work which he did in 
this connection won for him the Republican nomination for the office of governor, a position to which he 
was elected in November, 1906, and re-elected in 1908. 


October, 1907, when a group of banks, which had been considered 
strong, was suddenly brought to the verge of bankruptcy through dis- 
honesty and speculative management. The Knickerbocker Trust Com- 
pany precipitated the crisis by suspending payment, while the Mercantile 
National Bank was saved from the same disaster only by the resignation of 
its president and all of its directors, and the reorganisation of the bank. 
The injury resulting to the public was diminished by the resolute co- 
operation of the Clearing House, the financiers, led by the late J. Pier- 
pont Morgan, and the United States Treasury. Wall Street attributed 
the panic to President Roosevelt's interference with big business. ['] 

On July I, 1909, Mayor McClellan startled the city by removing 
Police Commissioner Bingham from office. This resulted from a differ- 
ence of opinion between the two men over the removal of a boy's picture 
from the "Rogues' Gallery." Mayor McClellan insisted that the picture 
be removed, and Commissioner Bingham refused. [2] 

The election of municipal officers in November, 1 909, was one of the 
most closely contested in the history of the city. Opponents of Tam- 
many Hall took as the basis of their campaign the extravagance and 
inefficiency of the city administration under Tammany rule. A coalition 
was formed between several independent organisations and the Republican 
party; and Otto T. Bannard, a successful banker of the city, was nomi- 
nated for mayor. Tammany nominated William J. Gaynor. He had 
for many years bitterly opposed nearly everything for which Tammany 
Hall had stood, but that organisation was in a position where it was 
obliged to find a candidate who could draw votes from all elements of 
the Democratic party, and this action brought the Democratic organi- 
sations of Manhattan and Brooklyn into alliance. Moreover, Judge 
Gaynor had been on the bench of the Supreme Court for fifteen years, 
and his opposition to Commissioner Bingham had won for him great 
popularity. Unexpectedly to the Democrats, William R. Hearst was 
put forward by the Civic Alliance as a candidate for mayor. In the 
election, however, Gaynor received more votes than either Bannard or 
Hearst, and was elected. With this exception, the entire Republican- 
"Fusion" ticket won. 

['] In 1898, Theodore Roosevelt, fresh from the laurels he had won in Cuba, was elected governor of 
New York. Two years later he became Vice-President, and Benjamin B. Odell became governor. At 
McKinley's death Roosevelt succeeded to the Presidency, and at the end of the term, was elected to the 
same office. He served until March, 1909, when he was succeeded by William H. Taft, who had defeated 
William J. Bryan in the campaign of 1908. 

[2] Justice William J. Gaynor, of Brooklyn, was responsible for the original demand for the removal of 
the picture. The boy had been arrested several times, but had never been indicted for a crime. 


New York in 1 909 was no longer in the condition of gross political 
corruption that had existed during the period of the Tweed Ring. Tam- 
many Hall seemed to be less powerful than formerly, and its methods 
were at least less openly corrupt. The application of the civil service 
system to positions in tjie city government removed the source of that 
revenue which had previously been derived from those who were seeking 
appointment. Instead, the money raised by Tammany Hall now came 
largely from blackmail — from corporations that found it easier to buy 
peace than to fight for their rights, from other corporations that de- 
sired concessions from the city or did not wish to be interfered with in 
their encroachments on public rights, from liquor-dealers, whose licenses 
were more or less at the mercy of the party in power, and from trades- 
men, especially those in the poorer parts of the city, whose business could 
be interfered with by the police. The general improvement which had 
taken place in the management of the city's affairs during the preceding 
twenty years — for, despite the persistent, selfish, and often iniquitous, 
activity of the local "machine," there had been a real and encouraging 
improvement — was secured through the awakening of public opinion 
and the creation of a civic consciousness — perhaps one might better say 
the creation of a more sensitive conscience in respect to public affairs. 
It was due, also, to the improvement that had been made in methods of 
administration through the concentration of power (and consequently of 
responsibility) in the hands of a small number of elected officials, who 
could be held accountable for their acts, and, if unworthy, could be dis- 
missed at the end of their term of office. 

New York in 1909 could hardly be identified with the New York 
of 1876. The city's great accession of territory, its advance from a 
population of scarcely over one million to one of more than four 
millions, and the increase of its annual budget to more than one hun- 
dred and fifty-six millions, serve as indications of its great growth in 
every department of municipal activity. In 1909 New York not only 
was the financial centre of the country, having the most important 
exchanges and the richest and most powerful banks and trust companies 
in the western hemisphere, but it also retained its supremacy in both 
export and import trade. ['] It was from New York that the chief 
ocean lines of the United States still radiated to the older as well as the 

[') Though New York no longer handled 70% of the country's imports, as in i860, at the end of the 
century its import trade comprised 63.2% of the country's total. Of the export trade of the United States 
in 1913, the exports from the port of New York comprised 37%. 


newer markets of the world, bringing to this port the greatest possible 
variety of imported commodities for distribution throughout the country. 
In manufacturing industries New York had made great progress. At 
the beginning of the new century it led all other American cities in 
printing and publishing, in the production of factory-made clothing, and 
in planing-mill products. In 1909 New York City produced approxi- 
mately one-tenth of the total manufactured products of the United States. 
The city's leadership in manufactures and commerce was largely due to 
the plentiful supply of labour which immigration still brought directly 
to its doors, and to its unrivalled commercial position, which gave the 
city a splendid command of both ocean and inland trade. 

As was to be expected, great improvements had taken place in the 
physical appearance of the city, which, since 1876, had made a notable 
advance both in architectural attractiveness and in conveniences. In 
1 890 the new Croton Aqueduct, which had originated in resolutions 
offered in the Senate on January 9, 1883, had so far progressed that 
water was let into the big double reservoir in Central Park on July 15th, 
although the system was not fully completed until June 24, 1891, when 
it was turned over to the Department of Public Works. ['] The new 
aqueduct was of tunnel construction, and its route was nearly a straight 
line from the old Croton dam to the new Jerome Park storage and dis- 
tributing reservoir. In length it was thirty-one miles to its terminus at 
the 135th Street gate-house, from which point lines of 48-inch cast-iron 
pipe were laid to a new distributing reservoir in Central Park, between 
86th and 96th Streets. The rated capacity of the new aqueduct was 
three hundred million gallons daily. The Aqueduct Commission, to 
which the building of the aqueduct had been committed, after making 
further improvements to the Croton watershed, finally went out of exist- 
ence on June i, 1910. The Croton system as completed embraced the 
two aqueducts, ten reservoirs, and six controlled natural lakes, making 
the total storage capacity one hundred and four billion gallons. As thus 
developed, the system yielded, even in periods of drought, a daily supply 
of three hundred and thirty-six million gallons. 

The relief afforded by this elaborate new system was, however, merely 
temporary. By 1905 it had again become necessary to secure an in- 

['] In 1842, when the old Croton Aqueduct was completed, the population of New York was less than 
350,000. In 1890 it was over 1,440,000. This great rise in population, together with the increasing needs 
of the constantly growing manufactures of the city, had so enlarged the demand for water that by 1881, 
in parts of the city where formerly water rose to the highest floors of buildings, it would, even during the 
hours of least demand, run only on the lowest floors. 


creased supply of water; in that year the Legislature provided by law for 
the creation of a new commission, which was ordered "to proceed im- 
mediately, and with all reasonable speed, to ascertain what sources exist 
and are most available, desirable and best for an additional supply of pure 
and wholesome water for the City of New York"; to make necessary 
surveys and investigations; to prepare maps, plans, estimates and contracts; 
to acquire real estate and other rights, and to construct the works deter- 
mined upon with the approval of the Board of Estimate and Apportion- 
ment and the State Water Supply Commission. 

On June 9, 1905, Mayor McClellan appointed three commissioners 
to form the Board of Water Supply, as the new organisation was called, 
and actual field work was begun in the following September upon an 
aqueduct to bring water to the city from the Catskill Mountains. 

During the summer of 1905, John R. Freeman was appointed con- 
sulting engineer to the Board, and J. Waldo Smith, chief engineer. 
Organisation and equipment of the forces were begun August ist. The 
Ashokan reservoir was built about fourteen miles west of the Hudson 
River, at Kingston ;['] thence an aqueduct, one hundred and nineteen 
miles long, with an average daily delivery of five hundred million gallons, 
was constructed to bring the water to New York City. The aqueduct 
is carried under the Hudson River between Storm King Mountain and 
Breakneck Mountain by means of a tunnel, cut through the solid granite 
at a depth of one thousand one hundred and fourteen feet below sea 
level; from there it passes to the Kensico storage reservoir near White 
Plains, thirty miles from City Hall; thence to a filtration plant near 
Scarsdale, and to the Hill View distributing reservoir at Yonkers. From 
this reservoir the water is conveyed in masonry conduits to the five 
boroughs of Greater New York, the supply for the Boroughs of Rich- 
mond and Queens alone being pumped through metal pipes. [2] 

['] The cost of the Ashokan reservoir, together with the expense of relocating certain highways and the 
Ulster and Delaware Railroad, amounted to nearly twenty million dollars. The reservoir is twelve miles 
long and holds one hundred and thirty-two billion gallons, which is enough water to cover all of Manhattan 
Island to a depth of thirty feet. 

[^] From the Hill View reservoir water is delivered to the five boroughs by a circular tunnel, from 
eleven to fifteen feet in diameter, eighteen miles long, and built through the solid rock at a depth of from 
two hundred to seven hundred and fifty feet. It is the longest tunnel in the world for carrying water under 
pressure. The tunnel was constructed from twenty-five shafts, located throughout the city in parks and 
other places where they would interfere little with traffic. Through the shaft at the northerly end of Jerome 
Park and through the shaft in St. Nicholas Park, connection was made with the Jerome Park reservoir 
and the Croton aqueduct, respectively. Through twenty-two of these shafts, water is introduced into the 
street mains. At all of the shafts in that part of the city which lies below 23d Street connection is made 
with the high-pressure fire-service, by means of electrically operated valves at the shafts, controlled from 
the fire-pumping stations. From two terminal shafts in Brooklyn, steel and cast-iron pipe-lines extend into 
Queens and Richmond Boroughs. A 36-inch flexible-jointed cast-iron pipe, buried in a trench in the har- 


In 1908 a high-pressure water supply system was installed for the fire 
protection of a part of the city below 23d Street, induction motors driv- 
ing multi-stage centrifugal pumps furnishing sufficient power to force 
the water to the top storeys of the highest buildings. 

Another improvement of great importance was the deepening of the 
Harlem River and Spuyten Duyvil Creek, and the building of a ship 
canal connecting the Harlem and Hudson Rivers, which, when com- 
pleted, provided a channel at mean low water, for vessels drawing eight 
feet. This new waterway effected a great saving in time, for it con- 
nected the Hudson River with the Sound without the necessity of passing 
around Manhattan Island. The work was many years under construction. 
As early as 1874 Congress had passed an act providing for the deepening 
of the Harlem River. Preliminary surveys were made, but the work was 
soon checked by legal obstacles. In 1888 it was resumed, with Colonel 
George L. Gillespie in charge, and it was completed in 1895. 

The rocks of Hell Gate had always been a most serious menace to 
commerce. In 1851, surface blasting had been undertaken there for the 
purpose of deepening the channel and making navigation more secure. 
The work was renewed in the 'seventies and 'eighties, by submarine 
blasting with nitroglycerine, fired by electricity, and was continued in 
succeeding years, until, in 1895, the depth of the water over these rocks 
had been increased in some places from ten to thirty feet. The chan- 
nels connecting New York Harbour with the ocean — the Ambrose 
Channel and the channels between Sandy Hook and Staten Island — also 
were deepened and widened. 

bour bottom, has been laid across the Narrows to the Staten Island shore, whence a 48-inch cast-iron pipe 
extends to Silver Lake reservoir, the terminus of the system on Staten Island. The total length of this 
delivery system is over thirty-four miles, and the cost of that part of the aqueduct, with its accessory works, 
which lies within the city limits, was twenty-three million dollars. The new aqueduct is a trunk line so 
constructed that it can be connected with all the other water systems in the five boroughs. When the 
aqueduct was begun, it was intended that the work should be completed by 1920. In 191 1, however, an 
unusually small rainfall threatened the city with a serious water famine, and e.\traordinary efforts were 
made to hasten the work, with the result that Catskill water was first delivered in New York City in the 
latter part of 1915, and the aqueduct was completed and formally opened on October 12, 1917. The city 
has acquired the right to take water from four watersheds in the Catskill Mountains — the Esopus, the 
Schoharie, the Rondout, and the Catskill. The Esopus development has been completed, and that of the 
Schoharie watershed has been begun. It is intended to build a dam at Gilboa, which will enable the city to 
take two hundred and fifty million gallons daily from the Schoharie watershed, the amount that is now 
being taken from that of the Esopus. The total cost of the aqueduct will be about one hundred and 
seventy-seven million dollars, which amount includes twenty-two million dollars for the Schoharie works. 
The building of the Catskill aqueduct is the most important municipal enterprise ever undertaken in the 
United States, and in difficulty of execution is to be compared with the construction of the Panama Canal. 
It is a cause for congratulation that no scandal has arisen in connection with the enterprise, and that the 
work has been completed within the original appropriation and the contract time. For a detailed account 
of the Catskill aqueduct and its construction, see a pamphlet entitled "Catskill Water, 1905-1917," pub- 
lished by the Board of Water Supply, New York City, 19 17. 


Important improvements were made along the water-front, where ac- 
commodations for shipping were shabby, inconvenient, and inadequate. 
In 1 89 1 it was recommended that the city take steps to regain such 
parts of the river-front as had passed into private hands, along the North 
River as far up as 58th Street, and along the East River to Grand Street. 
This would be a measure of economy, as it would make it possible to 
form a comprehensive plan for improvements, such as a continuous sea- 
wall with piers at convenient intervals. In 1893 the Dock Board 
adopted plans for building new piers and bulkheads along the North 
River between iith and 23d Streets, at an estimated cost of nearly 
eleven million dollars. The work on these improvements continued 
for several years thereafter. In 1897 ^^^ new piers, seven hundred to 
seven hundred and fifty feet long, with slips two hundred and fifty 
feet wide, were under construction between the foot of Charles Street and 
that of Gansevoort Street, and plans were approved for seven new piers 
between Bloomfield Street and West 23d Street, as well as for two new 
piers flanking the ferry slips at the foot of West i 3th Street. The aggre- 
gate wharfage secured by these improvements was nearly five miles. In 
the period from 1904 to 1909 about thirty-five miles of new wharfage 
were built. But in spite of these improvements, New York's shipping 
facilities still suffered from the fact that there was no railroad connecting 
directly with the piers. 

In the matter of street cars and their management there was, at the 
beginning of this period, great need of improvement, and many important 
changes were made. About 1885 cable traction was introduced on the 
surface lines in 125th Street and Amsterdam Avenue, and within the 
next few years this method of operating street cars came into general 
use. Within a decade, however, it was superseded by electricity. On 
October 23, 1899, electric cars began running on the Third Avenue 
surface line between 65th Street and Harlem Bridge, and soon electricity 
took the place of virtually all other methods of traction, not only on the 
surface lines, but on the elevated as well, although on a few of the cross- 
town lines, and on two or three avenues near the rivers, horse power 
continued to be used for many years. By 1903 the surface and elevated 
roads in New York City were carrying more paying passengers each year 
than all the steam railroads of North and South America combined. 

It soon became apparent that, in spite of the improvements that were 
being made, the elevated and surface lines could not, without undue con- 


gestion, carry the immense number of passengers that were flocking to 
them. Further provision was absolutely necessary. In 1891 the Legis- 
lature passed what is known as the Rapid Transit Act, which was 
amended and supplemented by various acts from 1892 to 1906. Under 
this act the Board of Rapid Transit Railroad Commissioners for the City 
of New York was appointed, whose duties were to determine the neces- 
sity for street railways, to fix routes, and to decide upon the plan of con- 
struction and the mode of operation. This board reported to the 
Common Council on October 20, 1891, in favour of a combined under- 
ground and viaduct railway, whose route should begin "at a point beneath 
the westerly side of Whitehall Street sixty-two and five-tenths feet north 
of South Street," and extend to a point under Broadway between Bowling 
Green and Morris Street, thence under Broadway to 59th Street, under 
the Boulevard to 1 2 1 st Street, and then by viaduct and subway to the 
city limits. A second line was proposed, which was to diverge from the 
Broadway line at 1 4th Street, to run to Fourth Avenue, and thence north- 
ward under Fourth and Park Avenues. The cars were to be driven by 
electricity, or by some other motive power which would not require 
combustion in the tunnel. 

Rapid transit was, however, allowed to lag until 1894, when the act 
popularly known as the Chamber of Commerce Rapid Transit Bill be- 
came a law. This measure was in the nature of an amendment to the 
act of 1 89 1, and provided for municipal ownership and construction of 
a rapid transit line, if the people should so elect. The proposal was sub- 
mitted to the voters at the election of i 894, and was adopted by a large 
majority. A new board of commissioners was appointed, [■] which en- 
trusted the preparation of plans for an underground system to William 
Barclay Parsons, who visited Europe to study the problem of underground 
railroads, and later submitted plans for a road which, it was estimated, 
would cost about sixty million dollars. In 1895 ^^^ commission held 
regular meetings, and decided upon the route. 

There were many delays in the work. Doubt was cast upon the 
status of the commission and its work by a decision of the Appellate 
Division of the Supreme Court denying the motion made on behalf of 
the commissioners for the confirmation of a report previously submitted. 
Action was brought to have the Rapid Transit Act declared unconstitu- 
tional. The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court gave its decision 

['] The members of this board were Alexander E. Orr, president, Seth Low, John Claflin, John H. 
Inman, John H. Starin, and William Steinway. 


on July 28, I 896, declaring the act constitutional. In December, a new 

plan for a rapid transit road, mostly underground, was announced. 

There were still many delays in the work. Property-owners along 
the proposed route refused their consent. In i 899 the commission asked 
the Legislature to pass an act empowering them to contract for the con- 
struction and operation of the railroad by means of private capital. The 
bill passed the Legislature, but was vetoed by the Mayor, and this veto 
ended the plan to appeal to private capital in aid of rapid transit. Shortly 
afterwards. Mayor Van Wyck, in his public speeches, committed his 
administration to the building of a city-owned subway. 

At a meeting held on November 12, 1899, the commissioners took 
the final steps necessary to authorise advertising for bids from contractors, 
and on January 15, 1900, sealed bids were submitted. The contract for 
the construction of the road was awarded on February 25th to John B. 
McDonald, the route to extend from City Hall through the Borough of 
Manhattan and into the Borough of the Bronx. ['] The Board of 
Commissioners, having fixed the cost of the proposed road at thirty-six 
and a half million dollars, made a requisition upon the Board of Estimate 
and Apportionment for that amount, and on March i, 1900, this board 
authorised an issue of corporate stock of the City of New York for the 
required sum. 

The formal breaking of ground for the rapid transit tunnel took place 
on March 24, 1900, in City Hall Park. The work of construction was 
promptly begun in several parts of the city, and progressed steadily. By 
October, 1904, the subways were in operation from City Hall to 145th 
Street, under the control of the Interborough Rapid Transit Company. [2] 
Bids for an extension running from City Hall Park to Battery Park, and 
thence under the river to Brooklyn, were opened by the Rapid Transit 
Commission, July 21, 1902, and the contract for the tunnel was awarded 
to the Belmont-McDonald Syndicate. The first train from the Brooklyn 
Bridge Station to Bowling Green ran on July 10, 1905, and the East River 
tunnel line, from Bowling Green Station to Borough Hall, Brooklyn, was 
opened January 8, 1908. The new subways were a great success from 
the start, but so rapid had been the growth of the city that almost before 

[■] The route finally chosen, in general, followed Lafayette Street and Fourth Avenue to 42d Street. 
There it turned west and followed 42d Street to Times Square, from which point it ran along Broadway. 
At 96th Street a branch line diverged to the east and followed Lenox Avenue to 145th Street, where it 
passed under the Harlem River and entered the Bronx. 

[=1 The city leased the subway to the Interborough Rapid Transit Company for a term of fifty years, 
from April i, 1903, with the privilege of renewal. 


they were opened the congestion of traffic made further facilities for rapid 
transit necessary. ['] 

Additional connections between the Island of Manhattan and neigh- 
bouring shores were secured by building new bridges across the East 
River, the Harlem, and Spuyten Duyvil Creek. In 1893 work was in 
progress on a new bridge over the Harlem River at Third Avenue, which 
was completed at a cost of more than three million dollars, and opened 
to the public in 1898. In 1894 the bridge which carries Broadway 
across the Harlem Ship Canal was finished, but was rebuilt in 1905. 
On May i, 1895, the Central Bridge over the Harlem River at the foot 
of 155th Street was completed; Washington Bridge, built over the Har- 
lem at the foot of i8ist Street, was opened in 1889; Fordham Bridge, 
connecting Manhattan with University Heights at 207th Street, was 
opened in January, 1908. 

The traffic across the East River had now become so great that it was 
necessary to throw new spans across that river. The Williamsburg 
Bridge, which connects New York at Delancey and Norfolk Streets with 
Williamsburg, was begun in 1898 and opened to the public on December 
19, 1903. At that time it was the longest suspension bridge in the 
world. In rapid succession two more bridges were stretched across the 
East River — the Queensboro' Bridge, which crosses at 59th Street by way 
of Blackwells Island, was opened in June, 1909, and the Manhattan 
Bridge, whose western terminus is at Canal Street and the Bowery, was 
opened on December 31, 1909. 

Rapid transit across the Hudson River proved a more difficult under- 
taking. The Hudson is wider than the East River, and rifts in the rock 
that forms the bed of the stream offisr problems to the engineers that 
have proved more difficult of solution than any presented by the East 
River. No bridge has yet been built across the Hudson at New York, 
but two systems of tunnels are now in operation — the Pennsylvania tun- 
nels, and the Hudson and Manhattan Railroad tunnels, usually called the 
McAdoo tunnels, or tubes. The Pennsylvania Railroad tunnels, which 
cross the Hudson to the foot of West 31st and 3 2d Streets, pass entirely 
across Manhattan Island, and then plunge beneath the East River to con- 

['] The original subway owned by the city had 25.63 miles of road-bed and 84 miles of track. Its total 
cost was $56,464,038.88. The road was built to carry 400,000 persons per day, but in 1916 it frequently 
carried 1,200,000 per day. In 1913 the city concluded negotiations for the construction and operation ot 
new rapid transit lines comprising what is known as the "dual system," so-called because two companies, 
the Interborough Rapid Transit Company and the New York Municipal Railway Corporation (Brooklyn 
Rapid Transit), obtained leases for its operation. These are now (1918) nearing completion. 


nect with the Long Island Railroad at Hunter's Point, were completed in 
1906 and 1908.(1] An important link in this great transverse system of 
rapid transit is the Pennsylvania Station at Seventh Avenue between 31st 
and 33d Streets, which was designed by McKim, Mead & White, was be- 
gun May I, 1904, and in 1909 was nearing completion, although trains 
were not operated from it on a regular schedule until September 8, 19 10. 
The most northerly of the McAdoo tubes was opened on February 25, 
1908, when the first train passed from the terminal at 19th Street and 
Sixth Avenue to Hoboken.[2j The more southerly tubes were opened on 
July 19, 1909. 

In 1902 the New York Central and Hudson River Railroad an- 
nounced plans for improving its terminal facilities in Park Avenue, intro- 
ducing electricity as the inotive power on its trains, and building a new 
station to take the place of the old Grand Central Depot. Subsequently, 
the railroad secured from the city permission to use the space under most 
of the streets between Lexington and Madison Avenues and 42d and 47th 
Streets. The railroad then purchased all the land that it did not 
already own from 43d Street northward to 50th Street, and from the 
western limits of the old terminal eastward to Lexington Avenue, and 
also all the remaining property between Park and Madison Avenues from 
47th to 50th Street. The plans for improving this section included the 
construction of a new terminal station; the rearrangement on two 
levels, and the lateral enlargement, of the system of tracks and yards, 
beneath the new train sheds and the property to the north recently 
acquired by the railway; the use of electricity as the motive power for all 
trains entering the terminal; the erection of a great power plant, of a 
large building for industrial exhibits, and of a huge hotel; the leasing of 
large plots for the erection of apartment houses, clubs, etc., for the most 
part facing Park Avenue, and the parking of that thoroughfare, which 
has since become one of the finest residential streets of the city. This 
work was going on in 1909, under the supervision of Warren & Wet- 
more, architects, and Reed & Stem, engineers. [3] 

('] The city granted the franchise for the Pennsylvania tunnels on October 9, 1902. Their construction 
was begun on June 10, 1903. The tunnels under the Hudson River were completed October 9, 1906; and 
the East River tunnels, March 18, 1908. 

[2) There are three McAdoo tubes — one from the foot of Morton Street, one from the foot of Fulton 
Street, and the third from the foot of Cortlandt Street 

[3] By 19 1 s virtually all traffic on railroads entering New York, as well as on elevated, subway, and 
surface lines, was propelled by electricity. Steam locomotives in New York City and its suburbs have 
become a thing of the past. However, steam-engines are still used on the New York Centra! freight tracks, 
lying on the west side of the island. 


Many buildings were erected during this period, some of which are 
still among New York's finest edifices. In 1881 Mr. William H. 
Vanderbilt built the two large brownstone houses still standing on the 
west side of Fifth Avenue between 51st and 5 2d Streets. At the same 
time his son, Mr. William K. Vanderbilt, was erecting, on the north- 
west corner of 5 2d Street, his beautiful house — still the most distinguished 
private residence in town — of which Richard M. Hunt was the archi- 
tect; and another son, Cornelius, was building a palace, from plans by 
George B. Post, on the same corner of 57th Street. ['] In 1883 the 
Metropolitan Opera House, on the west side of Broadway between 39th 
and 40th Streets, was opened, and the next year the Union Theological 
Seminary moved to its second home, on the west side of Park Avenue 
between 69th and 70th Streets. In 1886 it was said that the new build- 
ings then being planned exceeded in number and cost those of any pre- 
vious year in the city's history. 

The building dating from these years which has had the most wide- 
spread influence on later architecture was undoubtedly the Tower Build- 
ing, erected in 1888-9 at No. 50 Broadway from the plans of Bradford 
Lee Gilbert. It was the earliest example of skeleton construction, in 
which the entire weight of walls and floors is borne by a framework or 
cage of steel columns and beams, which transmit the load to the founda- 
tions. On October 10, 1890, the corner-stone of the Pulitzer Building 
was laid, at the corner of Park Row and Frankfort Street. The new 
Madison Square Garden, designed by McKim, Mead & White, and 
occupying the entire block bounded by Madison and Fourth Avenues, 
26th and 27th Streets, was opened in June, 1890. On May 13th of 
that year the corner-stone of Carnegie Hall was laid, at 57th Street and 
Seventh Avenue, and the concert hall was opened May 5, 1891. On 
October 25, 1890, the corner-stone of the new Criminal Courts Building 
was laid, on the site bounded by Franklin, Centre, White, and Lafayette 
Streets. This building was completed in 1893 at a cost of $1,500,000, 
and at the time was considered the most economically constructed public 
building ever erected in the city. 

Other buildings completed in 1893 were the Hotel Waldorf, at the 
corner of Fifth Avenue and 33d Street; the New Netherlands Hotel, at 
Fifth Avenue and 59th Street; and the Herald Building at Broadway 
and 35th Street. Two buildings of importance were erected in a district 

I'l The Cornelius Vanderbilt house was remodelled in 1892, when it was extended through to 58th Street. 
This house is still standing. 


outside of the section in which all of these earlier building activities had 
occurred. On December 27, 1892, the corner-stone of the Cathedral 
of St. John the Divine was laid, on the site bounded by Morningside 
Drive, Amsterdam Avenue, i loth and 1 1 3th Streets, which had formerly 
been occupied by the Leake and Watts Orphan Asylum; and in 1893, 
the corner-stone of the new St. Luke's Hospital was laid, on the block 
lying immediately north of the cathedral. The hospital was opened for 
patients on January 24, i 896. 

Large additions to the Metropolitan Museum of Art were made at 
this time. The north wing was opened November 5, 1894; another 
wing, called the east wing, and so placed on Fifth Avenue as to form 
the principal entrance to the building, was opened December 22, 1902. 
Further additions were completed in 1908. 

In 1892 the Secretary of the United States Treasury, acting under the 
authority given him by an act of 1888, selected the plot of ground 
bounded by Bowling Green, Whitehall, State, and Bridge Streets for 
the new Custom House. The site was acquired in 1 899 at a cost of 
$2,244,977, and the design of Cass Gilbert, architect, was selected after 
competition. Construction was begun in 1900, and the building was 
completed in 1907. In 1897 the city acquired by condemnation pro- 
ceedings the plot bounded by Chambers, Centre, Elm, and Reade 
Streets. Two years later an issue of city bonds was made to provide 
money for the erection of a new Hall of Records upon this site; the 
corner-stone of the new building was laid April 14, 1901; the old Hall 
of Records was closed to business on December 29, 1902, and as soon as 
the new building was completed the old hall was demolished. 

The year 1901 was, perhaps, the most remarkable year that New 
York had ever known for activity in real estate and building. It saw 
the incorporation of syndicates with enormous capital for dealing in real 
estate, and the organisation of building, loan, and trust companies for the 
erection of gigantic structures, such as had never before been contem- 
plated. Transfers in realty increased greatly, and there was a marked 
advance in the price of real estate. South of the City Hall, there was 
remarkable activity. Many old buildings were torn down for the pur- 
pose of erecting new office buildings on their sites. This unprecedented 
development was due, primarily, to the extensive demands of business 
corporations from all parts of the country, which were establishing 
headquarters in New York. 


Perhaps the most remarkable movement, however, was that on Fifth 
Avenue. In 1900 but eighty-one conveyances of real estate were re- 
corded south of the northern boundary of Central Park; in 1901 one 
hundred and sixty-four parcels were transferred in this district. The 
development of Mr. Andrew Carnegie's house and grounds, occupying 
the block front on the east side of Fifth Avenue between 90th and 
91st Streets, and the purchase of other sites in the neighbourhood for 
palatial residences, served to establish the character of this locality as the 
finest residential section of the city. At the same time. Fifth Avenue 
between 23d and 50th Streets, became more and more valuable as a site 
for fashionable retail shops. 

Another section showing great activity was the neighbourhood of 
Greeley Square, at the junction of Broadway, Sixth Avenue, and 34th 
Street, where two of the most important retail dry-goods companies in the 
city began to build large department stores. Preparations for the Penn- 
sylvania Railroad Station were already under way in this vicinity. As 
soon as the route of the Subway was fixed, speculation in real estate 
became active, and prices advanced rapidly, a rise of from thirty to thirty- 
five per cent in the value of land at 4 2d Street and Broadway (then 
Longacre, now Times Square) occurring almost over night. During 
1 90 1 plans were filed for three hotels, one theatre, and fourteen apart- 
ment houses in this neighbourhood. There were also many purchases 
of land in large parcels in the Washington Heights section and the 
Bronx, at constantly advancing prices, the speculators who made these 
purchases often, in turn, disposing of them to builders. The building of 
apartment houses began at this time to engross the attention of investors 
and speculators, and soon these multiplex dwellings were springing up 
like mushrooms in the residential sections. 

This, too, was the time which saw the great development of the New 
York "sky-scraper." In 1902 the Flatiron Building, which has at- 
tracted so much attention, not merely on account of its height, but also 
because of its peculiar form, was erected at the junction of 23d Street, 
Fifth Avenue, and Broadway. The Singer Building, on Broadway at 
Liberty Street, was begun in 1906, from plans by Ernest Flagg, and was 
virtually completed by May i, 1908. The last foundation caisson for 
the tower was placed February 18, 1907, at a level of eighty-seven feet 
seven inches below the curb; the completed tower is forty-one storeys 
high, and is topped by a flag-pole extending sixty-two feet above the 


collar of the lantern, which is six hundred and twelve feet above the 
sidewalk. At the time of its erection it was the highest office building 
in the world. The next year, however, a new height record was 
established by the tower of the Metropolitan Life Building, on Madison 
Avenue and 24th Street, which was designed by Napoleon Le Brun, con- 
tains fifty-two storeys, including the basement, and reaches a total height 
of seven hundred feet. Probably the limit of high buildings in New 
York has not yet been reached, but the growing conviction that "sky- 
scrapers" are not proving so good an investment as was anticipated will 
presumably have a salutary effect upon human ambition in this direc- 
tion. ['] 

In 1907 the Commissioner of Bridges was authorised to provide for 
the erection of a municipal building to house the various departments of 
the city government — many of which occupied hired space inadequately 
arranged and inconveniently placed — upon the land already acquired for 
the extension of the Manhattan terminal of the Brooklyn Bridge. Twelve 
architects were invited to submit designs for the building, and from these 
the plans of McKim, Mead & White were chosen on April 15, 1908. 
These plans provided for a building of twenty-five storeys, surmounted by 
a tower ten storeys in height. Work on the foundations was well under 
way before the close of the year 1909. 

The need for improved housing conditions, especially in the poorer 
parts of the city, was keenly felt by those who had the social welfare of 
the city in mind. The prevalence of unwholesome conditions in the 
tenements was nothing new. As early as 1834 the City Inspector of 
the Board of Health called attention to unsatisfactory conditions in tene- 
ment houses. In 1842, Dr. John H. Griscom, then city inspector, in his 
annual report to the Board of Aldermen, again called attention to existing 
conditions, and even at that early date ascribed New York's housing diffi- 
culties to their real cause, which was not so much the shape of the city, 
nor even the 25 by 100 foot lot, but the sudden increase in population 
through the influx of a horde of ignorant, poverty-stricken immigrants, 
who, in the absence of any restraining legislation, crowded into quarters 
hardly fit for beasts. The establishment of a system for inspecting tene- 
ment houses had made known what the conditions were, but little had 

['1 The Woolworth Building, on the west side of Broadway between Barclay Street and Park Place, 
has been built since 1908. Cass Gilbert was the architect. It is 792 feet i inch in height, and has sixty 
storeys. The foundation consists of sixty-nine piers of reinforced concrete, which are sunk through 115 
feet of quicksand to bed-rock. 


been done to improve them. From 1846 to 1853 the investigations of 
the Association for Improving the Condition of the Poor produced reve- 
lations of a startling nature regarding the sanitary and social condition 
of some of the houses of the poor, of which the notorious "Gotham 
Court" in Cherry Street was, perhaps, the worst. ['] The first so-called 
"model tenement" was built in 1855, by the Workingmen's Home 
Association. It occupied six lots, three on Mott and three on Elizabeth 
Street, with a frontage of fifty-three feet and a total depth of one hun- 
dred and eighty-eight feet. The building cost sixty thousand dollars. 
Built as a charity and occupied by negroes, it failed utterly. 

The first legislative commission of inquiry regarding tenement houses 
was appointed in 1856. Nothing seems to have come of this, but in 
1865 the Council of Hygiene of the Citizens' Association made its com- 
prehensive report upon this subject, and the first tenement house law fol- 
lowed in 1867. The earliest practical illustration of improved methods 
of design and construction was made by Alfred T. White of Brooklyn, 
in 1877, and did much to stimulate tenement house reform in New 
York. The second tenement house law was enacted in 1879. ^" 1884 
a second state commission was appointed, and virtually all of the twenty 
recommendations of the report which it submitted to the Legislature on 
February 15, 1885, were enacted into law in 1887, as amendments to 
the Consolidation Act; but they failed to accomplish much of the relief 
expected. In 1894 another law was passed, authorising the Governor to 
appoint a committee having broad powers to examine the tenements of 
New York, with regard to their construction, healthfulness, safety, rentals, 
and the effect of tenement house life on the health, education, savings, 
and morals of persons living in these habitations. The findings of this 
committee (the chairman of which was the late Richard Watson Gilder, 
and the secretary, Mr. Edward Marshall) were transmitted to the Legis- 
lature on January 17, 1895, in a lengthy report, containing diagrams and 
photographic illustrations. [^j Legislation, nevertheless, seemed unable to 
keep pace with the conditions it sought to remedy. This can, perhaps, 
better be understood when we remember that, in 1864, the tenement 
population of New York was 486,000, and the number of tenement houses 
15,511; while in 1900 the tenement population of the same area (now 
the Borough of Manhattan) was 1,585,000, and the number of tenement 
houses accommodat