The Project Gutenberg eBook of A History of the City of Brooklyn and Kings County, Volume II.

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Title: A History of the City of Brooklyn and Kings County, Volume II.

Author: Stephen M. Ostrander

Editor: Alexander Black

Release date: May 14, 2013 [eBook #42712]

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Charlene Taylor, Charlie Howard, and the Online
Distributed Proofreading Team at (This
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Transcriber's Notes

Volume I of this eBook is available at Project Gutenberg:, eText # 41979.

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Published by Subscription


Copyright, 1894,

All rights reserved.

This Edition is limited to Five Hundred Copies, of which this is No. 21.



Effect of the British Occupation on Life and Business in the County. Brooklyn particularly disturbed. Town Meetings resumed. The Prison Ships and their Terrible Legacy. Tragedies of the Wallabout. Movement to honor the Dead. Burial of the Remains. The Tammany Enterprise and the Removal of the Bones. Further Removal to Fort Greene. Organization of the Brooklyn Fire Department. The Ferry. The Mail Stage. New Roads. Planning "Olympia." Early Advertisements. Circulating Library and Schools. The Rain-water Doctor. Kings County Medical Society. Flatlands. Gravesend. Flatbush, the County Seat. Mills. Erasmus Hall. New Utrecht. Bushwick, its Church, Tavern, Graveyard, and Mills. The Boundary Dispute. The Beginnings of Williamsburgh. Rival Ferries. "The Father of Williamsburgh" 1
Brooklyn during the "Critical Period" in American History. The Embargo and the War of 1812. Military Preparations. Fortifications. Fort Greene and Cobble Hill. Peace. Robert Fulton. The "Nassau's" First Trip. Progress of Fulton Ferry. The Village incorporated. First Trustees. The Sunday-School Union. Long Island Bank. Board of Health. The [iv] Sale of Liquor. Care of the Poor. Real Estate. Village Expenses. Guy's Picture of Brooklyn in 1820. The Village of that Period. Characters of the Period. Old Families and Estates. The County Courts removed to Brooklyn. Apprentices' Library. Prisoners at the Almshouse. Growth of the Village. The Brooklyn "Evening Star." Movement for Incorporation as a City. Opposition of New York. Passage of the Incorporation Act 47
Government of the City. George Hall, first Mayor. Plans for a City Hall. Contention among the Aldermen. Albert G. Stevens and the Clerkship. The Jamaica Railroad. Real Estate. The "Brooklyn Eagle." Walt Whitman. Henry C. Murphy. Brooklyn City Railroad. The City Court established. County Institutions. The Penitentiary. Packer Institute and the Polytechnic. Williamsburgh becomes a City. Progress of Williamsburgh. Mayor Wall and the Aldermen. Discussion of Annexation with Brooklyn. The "Brooklyn Times." Consolidation of the Two Cities. Mayor Hall's Address. Nassau Water Company and the Introduction of Ridgewood Water. Plans for New Court House. Proposal to use Washington Park. County Cares and Expenditures. Metropolitan Police 80
Election of Mayor Kalbfleisch. The Call for Troops. The Militia. Filling the Regiments. Money for Equipment. Rebuking Disloyalty. War Meeting at Fort Greene. Work of Women. The County sends 10,000 Men in 1861. Launching of the Monitor at Greenpoint. The Draft Riots. Colonel Wood elected Mayor. Return of the "Brooklyn[v] Phalanx." The Sanitary Fair. Its Features and Successes. The Calico Ball. Significance of the Fair. The Christian Commission. Action of the Supervisors of the County. The Oceanus Excursion. Storrs and Beecher at Sumter. News of Lincoln's Death. Service of the National Guard. The "Fighting Fourteenth." The Newspapers. Court House finished 117
Administration of Samuel Booth. Metropolitan Sanitary District created. Cholera. Erie Basin Docks. The County Institutions and their Work. The Gowanus Canal and the Wallabout Improvement. The Department of Survey and Inspection of Buildings. Establishing Fire Limits. Building Regulations. Prospect Park. The Ocean Parkway. The Fire Department. The Public Schools. The East River Bridge. Early Discussion of the Great Enterprise. The Construction begun. Death of Roebling. The Ferries. Messages of Mayor Kalbfleisch. Erection of a Brooklyn Department of Police. Samuel S. Powell again Mayor. A New City Charter. Movement toward Consolidation with New York. Henry Ward Beecher. Frederick A. Schroeder elected Mayor 132
Rapid Transit. James Howell, Jr., elected Mayor. Work on the Bridge. Passage of "Single Head" Bill. John Fiske on the "Brooklyn System." Seth Low elected Mayor. His Interpretation of the "Brooklyn System." Reëlection of Low. Opening of the Bridge. Bridge Statistics. Ferries and Water Front. Erie Basin. The Sugar Industry. Navy Yard. Wallabout Market. Development of the City. Prospect Park. Theatres and Public Buildings. National Guard. Public Schools. Brooklyn[vi] Institute. Private Educational Institutions. Libraries. Churches, Religious Societies, Hospitals, and Benevolent Associations. Clubs. Literature, Art, and Music. The Academy of Music. "The City of Homes" 167
Appendix 235
Index 271




Village of Brooklyn in 1816. (From the Village Map of Jeremiah Lott, 1816, and the Map by Poppleton and Lott in 1819, showing Pierrepont and adjacent Estates) Frontispiece
Early Ferry Advertisement. (From Historical Sketch of Fulton Ferry and its Associated Ferries, 1879) Facing page 28
Ferry Passage Certificate, 1816  40
Fulton Ferry Boat Wm. Cutting, built in 1827. (From Historical Sketch of Fulton Ferry)  62
Guy's Snow Scene in Brooklyn, 1820. (From the Painting owned by the Brooklyn Institute)  70
Fac-Simile (same size) of Letter by Walt Whitman in Possession of Charles M. Skinner, Esq., Brooklyn  90
Cruiser Brooklyn, built in 1858  122
Statue of Henry Ward Beecher in front of City Hall. (From a Drawing by H. D. Eggleston)  140
Statue of J. S. T. Stranahan at the Entrance to Prospect Park. (From a Drawing by H. D. Eggleston)  180
Statue of Alexander Hamilton in front of Hamilton Club House  200
Chart showing East River Soundings and Pier Lines  262




Effect of the British Occupation on Life and Business in the County. Brooklyn particularly disturbed. Town Meetings resumed. The Prison Ships and their Terrible Legacy. Tragedies of the Wallabout. Movement to honor the Dead. Burial of the Remains. The Tammany Enterprise and the Removal of the Bones. Further Removal to Fort Greene. Organization of the Brooklyn Fire Department. The Ferry. The Mail Stage. New Roads. Planning "Olympia." Early Advertisements. Circulating Library and Schools. The Rain-water Doctor. Kings County Medical Society. Flatlands. Gravesend. Flatbush, the County Seat. Mills. Erasmus Hall. New Utrecht. Bushwick, its Church, Tavern, Graveyard, and Mills. The Boundary Dispute. The Beginnings of Williamsburgh. Rival Ferries. "The Father of Williamsburgh."

During the whole period of the Revolution Brooklyn had been peculiarly disturbed. More than any other of the county towns, it had been distracted and prostrated. Farms had been pillaged and the property of exiled Whigs[2] given over to Tory friends of the Governor. Military occupation naturally resulted in great damage to property. "Farmers were despoiled of their cattle, horses, swine, poultry, vegetables, and of almost every necessary article of subsistence, except their grain, which fortunately had been housed before the invasion. Their houses were also plundered of every article which the cupidity of a lawless soldiery deemed worthy of possession, and much furniture was wantonly destroyed. At the close of this year's campaign, De Heister, the Hessian general, returned to Europe with a shipload of plundered property."1 While the other towns were receiving pay for the board of prisoners, and thus being justified in maintaining their crops, Brooklyn remained a garrison town until the end.

After the evacuation, Brooklyn's farmers and tradesmen at once turned their attention to the restoration of the orderly conditions existing before the war. It also became necessary to reorganize the local government. In April, 1784, was held the first town meeting since April, 1776. Jacob Sharpe was chosen town clerk, and Leffert Lefferts, the previous clerk, was called upon to produce the town[3] records. The result of this demand has already been described in the reference to the missing records.

Before proceeding further with the narrative of Brooklyn's growth after the Revolution, it will be necessary to return for a moment to certain sad circumstances that followed the battle of Brooklyn and other successes of the British. The battle of Long Island was fought August 27, 1776, and Fort Washington was captured in November. These victories gave the British between 4000 and 5000 prisoners. At that time there were only two small jails in New York city. One was called the Bridewell, and was situated in Broadway near Chambers Street, and the other was known as the New Jail. These prisons could not accommodate the daily increasing number of prisoners. It was a dark hour in American history; success seemed to perch upon the banners of the enemy. Large accessions of prisoners were made, and quarters had to be provided for them. The churches were taken without ceremony and converted into receptacles for the captives. The sugar-houses were used for the same purpose. One of these was situated in Liberty Street, adjoining the old Middle Dutch Church. That church was also used. Within its walls[4] thousands of prisoners were placed, regardless of comfort or sanitary rules. If its walls could speak they would tell a tale which would make a sad record.

The old North Dutch Church on the corner of Fair Street and Horse and Cart Lane (now Fulton and William streets) was also used as a prison pen, and within its walls a thousand persons were held. Within a few years this venerable landmark has succumbed to the march of progress.

The infamous Cunningham was at this time provost marshal of the city. He possessed the instincts of a brute, and often seemed to own the spirit of a demon. The sick and dying received no sympathy or care from him. Healthy men were placed in the same room with those having the smallpox and other maladies. Prisoners were not allowed sufficient food or bedding, and their clothes were scanty. The food was not fit to give to the beasts. The men must have reached the verge of starvation to induce them to partake of the unwholesome mess of wormy and mouldy food dealt out to them. The allowance made to the men was a loaf of bread, one quart of peas, half a pint of rice, and one and a half pounds of pork for six days. Large numbers[5] died from want, privation, and exhaustion. So crowded were these prisons that there was no room to lie down and rest. The impure atmosphere engendered disease. Every morning the cry was heard, "Rebels, bring out your dead." All who had died during the night were carelessly thrown into the dead-cart and carried to the trenches in the neighborhood of Canal Street, and buried without a vestige of ceremony.

But the horrors of the city prisons were more than repeated in the tragedies of the prison ships in the bend of the Wallabout. The first vessels used were the freight transports which had been employed in conveying troops to Staten Island in 1776. These transports were for a short time anchored in Gravesend Bay, and received the prisoners taken on Long Island. When New York was conquered they were removed to the city. The Good Hope and Scorpion for a while were anchored off the Battery, and subsequently were taken to Wallabout Bay, and with other vessels were used as prisons. Two vessels at a time were kept in this service. Among the vessels thus used were the Whitley, Falmouth, Prince of Wales, Scorpion, Bristol, and Old Jersey.

[6] In 1780 one of the vessels was burned by the unhappy captives, who hoped thereby to regain their liberty. The effort was unsuccessful, and the prisoners were removed to the Old Jersey, which continued in service until the end of the war.

Wallabout Bay had the shape of a horse-shoe. The Jersey was anchored at a point which is now represented by the west end of the Cob Dock. If Cumberland Street were continued in a straight line to a point between the Navy Yard proper and the Cob Dock, it would pass over the spot where this vessel was anchored.

Historians agree in saying that the treatment on all these vessels was alike, and that the Jersey was not exceptional. The Jersey was the largest of all, and having remained in service for so long a time had the most prisoners. On that account she has attracted the most attention.

The crew on board each ship consisted of a captain, mates, steward, a few sailors and marines, and about thirty soldiers. Each prisoner on his arrival was carefully searched for arms and valuables. His name and rank were duly registered. He was allowed to retain his clothing and bedding, and to use these,[7] but during confinement was supplied with nothing additional. The examination having been completed, he was conducted to the hold of the vessel, to become the companion of a thousand other patriots, many of whom were covered with rags and filth, and pale and emaciated from the constant inhalation of the pestiferous and noxious atmosphere which impregnated the vessel. Strong men could not long resist inroads of sickness and disease. Many were taken down with typhus fever, dysentery, and smallpox. The vessel was filled continually with the vilest malaria. The guns were removed, portholes securely fastened, and in their place were two tiers of lights to admit air. Each of these air holes was about twenty inches square, and fastened by cross-bars to prevent escape. The steward supplied each mess with a daily allowance of biscuit, pork or beef, and rancid butter. The food was of the poorest which could be obtained, and of itself was sufficient to breed disease. The biscuits were mouldy and worm-eaten, the flour was sour, and the meat badly tainted. It was cooked in a common kettle, which was never cleaned, with impure water, and became a slow but sure poison. The prisoners were kept in the holds between the two decks, and the[8] lower dungeon was used for the foreigners who had enlisted in freedom's cause. Here again the morning salutation was, "Rebels, bring out your dead." The command was obeyed, and all who had found relief in death were brought upon deck. Prisoners were allowed to sew a blanket over the remains of their dead companions before burial. The dead were taken in boats to the shore, put in holes dug in the sand, and carelessly covered. Frequently they were washed from their resting place by the incoming tide. Often while walking along the old Wallabout road, between Cumberland Street and the Navy Yard, I have seen the remains of the gallant patriots who lost their lives on the Jersey. In the "'fifties" of the present century it was no uncommon thing for pieces of bone and human skulls to be dug up on the borders of the old road.

The only relief the prisoners had was permission to remain on deck until sunset. When the golden orb of day sunk beneath the horizon, the ears of all were saluted with the obnoxious cry, "Down, rebels, down." When all had retired to the hold, the hatchway was closed, leaving only a small trap open to admit air. At this trapdoor a sentinel was placed, with instructions to allow but one man[9] to ascend at a time during the night. The sentinels possessed the same cruel spirit as their masters. A prisoner who had been confined on the Jersey for fourteen months said that, on occasions when the prisoners gathered at the hatchway to obtain fresh air, the sentinel repeatedly thrust his bayonet among them and killed several. These acts created a desire for revenge. Many of the men were enabled to endure their trials by the thought that the night of darkness would soon pass away, and the day dawn when they could take vengeance on the scoundrels who had treated them with so much brutality.

An instance of this determination to be revenged is narrated in the life of Silas Talbot. It appears that two brothers belonging to the same rifle corps were made prisoners and sent on board the Jersey. The elder was attacked with fever and became delirious. One night, as his end was fast approaching, reason resumed its sway, and, while lamenting his sad fate and breathing a prayer for his mother, he begged for a little water. His brother entreated the guard to give him some, but the request was brutally refused. The sick boy drew near to death, and his last struggle came. The brother offered the guard a guinea for an[10] inch of candle to enable him to behold the last gasping smile of love and affection. This request was refused. "Now," said he, "if it please God that I ever regain my liberty, I'll be a most bitter enemy." He soon after became a free man, and, to show how well he kept his word, it is only necessary to say that when the war closed "he had 8 large and 127 small notches in his rifle stock." These notches probably represented 8 officers and 127 privates.

On one occasion 130 men were brought to the Jersey by the villain Sprout, who was commissary of prisoners. As he approached the black unsightly hulk, he pointed to her sardonically, and told his captives, "There, rebels, there is the cage for you."

The same bitter round was the daily portion of the men,—during the day a little air and sunlight, and being compelled to listen to the curses and imprecations of their captors, while at night they had to breathe the stifling air between decks, and listen to the groans of the sick and dying, without the power to give them any relief.

Some of the men were assigned to wash and scrub the decks. This of itself was a great blessing, as it gave them occupation and[11] additional rations. During the night watches it was as dark as Egypt between decks, for no sort of light was allowed. Delirious men would wander about and stumble over their fellows. Sometimes the warning shout would be heard, that a madman was creeping in the darkness with a knife in his hand. At times a soldier would wake up to find that the brother at his side had become a corpse. The soldiers in charge of the prisoners were mostly Hessians, and were universally hated as mercenaries.

Yet no amount of cruelty could drive patriotism from the hearts of the captives. On the 4th of July, 1782, they determined to celebrate the anniversary in a fitting manner. On the morning of that day, they came on deck with thirteen national flags, fastened on brooms. The flags were seized, torn, and trampled under foot by the guards, who looked upon the act as an insult. Nothing daunted, the men determined to have their pleasure, and began to sing national melodies. The guards became enraged, considered themselves insulted, and drove the prisoners below at an early hour, at the point of the bayonet, and closed the hatches. The prisoners again commenced to sing. At nine o'clock in the evening an[12] order was given requiring them to cease. This order not being instantly complied with, the animosity of the guards was aroused, and they descended with lanterns and lances. Terror and consternation at once reigned supreme. The retreating prisoners were sorely pressed by the guards, who unmercifully cut and slashed away, wounding every one within their reach, and inflicting in many instances deadly blows. They then returned to the deck, leaving the wounded to suffer, without the means to have their wounds properly dressed. In consequence of this explosion of patriotism, a new torture was devised. The men, as a punishment, were kept below on the following day until noon, and thus were prevented from the enjoyment of the sun and air for six long weary hours. During this time they were also deprived of rations and water. As a result of the night's diabolism ten dead bodies were brought on deck in the morning.

To show the heartlessness of the guards, an incident is narrated of a man who was supposed to be dead, and had been sewed up in his hammock and carried on deck preparatory to burial. He was observed to move, and the attention of the officer in charge was called to the fact that he was still living. "In with[13] him," said the officer; "if he is not dead, he soon will be." The sailor took a knife, cut open the hammock, and discovered that the man was still alive. Doubtless many men who had swooned away were buried alive.

At the time of these occurrences, the government did not possess the ability to make exchanges. The captives on the prison ships were mostly privateersmen, and, not being in the regular Continental service, Congress was unwilling to restore healthy soldiers to the ranks of the enemy, thereby adding to their strength without a full and exact equivalent.

The Americans had entered into an agreement to exchange officer for officer and soldier for soldier. They had but few naval prisoners, and thus could make no exchange for the unfortunate ones on these ships. Our authorities were compelled to let their captives on the water go at large, for want of suitable places to keep them. Washington took a lively interest in the matter, and entered into a correspondence with Henry Clinton and Admiral Digby on the subject, threatening retaliation. He, however, threatened and expostulated in vain.

The American rebels were urged by the British officers to enter their service. Some did enlist, with the hope uppermost in their minds that they would be able to desert.

[14] The prisoners were released at the close of the war. The old Jersey was destroyed, and its decaying timbers became buried in the mud.

The bones of the prison-ship martyrs lay for many years bleaching on the banks of Wallabout Bay, where they had been rudely buried by the British. The action of the tide upon the sandy banks gradually washed away the little earth which had been thrown over them, thereby causing the sacred relics to become exposed to view. The attention of Congress was frequently called to the necessity of providing a suitable resting place for these honored remains. The sight of these bones strewn upon the banks of the bay was enough to awaken the interest of the nation. At last the citizens of Brooklyn became aroused, and at a town meeting held in 1792, a resolution was passed requesting John Jackson, who had collected a large number of the bones on his farm, which then included the land now used by the Navy Yard, to allow the relics in his possession and under his control to be removed to the Reformed Dutch Church graveyard for burial, and a monument erected over them. General Jeremiah Johnson was the chairman of the committee. The application was refused, Jackson having other intentions as to[15] their interment. Jackson was a blunt man, and a firm believer in the principles of Democracy as enunciated by Jefferson. He was one of the sachems of the Tammany Society or Columbian Order.

He had several hogsheads full of bones which he had collected upon the beach. To consummate his plan he offered to the Tammany Society a plot in his farm for land whereon a suitable monument might be erected.

Tammany accepted the trust, and in February, 1803, entered actively upon the work. The society at once proposed and caused to be presented to Congress a stirring and forcible memorial on the subject. Congress, however, came to no determination in the matter, and the matter remained quiescent until 1808. Between the time of the acceptance of the offer by Tammany and the action by Congress in 1808, Benjamin Aycrigg, a prominent and influential citizen, became greatly interested in the measure. In the summer of 1805, noticing the exposed condition of these remains on the beach of the bay, his patriotic heart was horrified by the sight; his soul was filled with indignation that steps had not been taken to have them decently interred. He, in the same year, made a contract with an Irishman living at[16] the Wallabout to collect all the exposed bones. The remains thus collected formed a part of those subsequently placed in the vault erected on the Jackson lot by the Tammany Society.

In 1808 Tammany again renewed its labors. At a meeting of the society a committee was appointed, called the Wallabout Committee, consisting of Jacob Vandervoort, John Jackson, Burdett Stryker, Issachar Cozzens, Robert Townsend, Jr., Benjamin Watson, and Samuel Coudrey. This committee was deeply interested in the work, and used every available means to enlist public sympathy and assistance. Memorials were prepared and circulated, and appeals made through the press and otherwise, urging the citizens to come forward and aid the sacred cause. In their efforts they did not confine themselves to New York, but sought to create a national interest in the undertaking. The patriotism of the people was appealed to, and the effort was crowned with success. When the subject was thus forcibly presented, the citizens of the young republic realized their obligation to provide a proper burial place for the dust and bones of her brave sons, through whose death the nation rose into existence. The measure was presented in a way which could not be resisted.[17] The inhabitants of all sections became greatly interested, and nobly responded to the call, and the committee, finding so many ready to aid, assist, and approve, were enabled to commence the erection of the structure much sooner than they had at first anticipated.

The spot given was situated in Jackson Street (now Hudson Avenue), near York Street, abutting the Navy Yard wall. The street was named after the owner of the land. The name was afterward changed to Hudson Avenue.

The land was formally deeded by Jackson to the Tammany Society in 1803. When all things were ready the society caused the remains collected by Jackson, with all the bones found upon the beach, to be committed to the tomb with appropriate ceremonies.

The arrangements for laying the corner-stone were completed, and the 13th of April, 1808, fixed for that interesting ceremony. The order of exercises was as follows: At eleven o'clock the procession formed at the ferry, foot of Main Street, marched through that street to Sands Street, thence to Bridge Street, along Bridge to York Street, through York Street to Jackson, and thence to the ground.

As Major Aycrigg had ever manifested unabated interest in this labor of love, he was properly selected as grand marshal of the day.

[18] The first division of the procession consisted of a company of United States marines, under command of Lieutenant-Commandant Johnson. The second division was composed of citizens of New York and Brooklyn. The third division embraced the committees of the various civic societies. The fourth division contained the Grand Sachem of the Tammany Society, Father of the Council, and orator of the day. The fifth division carried the corner-stone with the following inscription:—

In the Name of
the Spirits of the Departed Free.

Sacred to the memory of that portion of
American Freemen, Soldiers and Citizens,
who perished on board the
Prison Ships of the British
at the Wallabout during the
This corner-stone of the vault erected by the
Tammany Society
or Columbian Order

Nassau Island, Season of Blossoms, year of the discovery the 316th, of the institution the 19th, and of the American Independence the 22d.

Jacob Vandervoort, } Wallabout
John Jackson, }
Burdett Stryker, }
Issachar Cozzens, }
Robert Townsend, Jr., }
Benjamin Watson, }
Samuel Coudrey, }

Daniel and William Campbell, builders, April 6, 1808.

[19] The sixth division was composed of a detachment of artillery under command of Lieutenant Townsend.

The procession having reached the ground, the artillery were stationed upon a neighboring hill, and the various divisions took the positions assigned them.

The oration, which was a brilliant effort, was delivered by Joseph D. Foy. The stone was then lowered to its place and duly laid by Benjamin Romaine, Grand Sachem of the Tammany Society, assisted by the committee, after which a grand salute was fired, and the band discoursed sweet and solemn notes.

The vault was completed in May, 1808. Arrangements were made for an imposing display, and no pains were spared in preparation. The various societies and public bodies were ready and anxious to do all in their power to render the occasion impressive and memorable. The citizens turned out en masse on the 26th of May, 1808, to bear testimony to the worth of these brave men whose obsequies were to be celebrated. They assembled at ten o'clock in the park in front of the City Hall, New York, under command of Brigadier Generals Morton and Steddiford, Garret Sickels, Grand Marshal, assisted by twelve aides.

[20] The inscription on the pedestal was as follows:—

Americans remember the British.
[Right side.]
Youth of my Country
Martyrdom Preferred to Slavery.

[Left side.]
Sires of Columbia
transmit to posterity the cruelties practiced on board the
"British Prison Ships."
"Tyrants dread the gathering storm
While Freemen, Freemen's Obsequies perform."

The orator of the day was Dr. Benjamin DeWitt, who delivered an able and patriotic address to the assembled multitude. He feelingly depicted the sufferings endured in British dungeons, and drew tears to many eyes by his eloquent and touching remarks, referring to the tyranny of the oppressors and the patience of the patriots. The oration concluded, in painful silence the coffins were committed to their resting place. Rev. Mr. Williston then pronounced the benediction, "To the King, Immortal, Invisible, the All-wise God, be glory everlasting, amen." The occasion was one long remembered in both cities.

During many years these relics remained forgotten in their sepulchre. The grade of[21] Jackson Street was altered so as to take a part of the sacred ground. Jackson, when he gave the land, was not far-sighted enough to have secured the passage of an act to preserve its precincts intact, free from invasion by streets, and exempt from taxation. The land at one time was sold for taxes. It seemed as if the past had been forgotten. Then it was that Benjamin Romaine came forward and purchased the lot. In order to preserve it from desecration, he adopted it as his family burial plot. He resolved to be buried there himself, and placed within the vault a coffin designed for his mortal remains. He constructed the ante-chamber over the tomb. Upon the property he placed the following inscription:—

First—The portal to the tomb of 11,500 patriot prisoners of war who died in dungeons and pestilential prison ships in and about the City of New York during the war of our Revolution. The top is capped with two large urns in black, and a white globe in the centre.

Second—The interior of the tomb contains thirteen coffins assigned in the order as observed in the Declaration of Independence, and inserted thus—New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia.

[22] Third—Thirteen beautifully turned posts, painted white, and capped with a small urn in black, and between the posts the above-named States are fully lettered.

Fourth—In 1778, the Colonial Congress promulgated the Federal League compact, though it was not finally ratified until 1781, only two years before the peace of 1783.

Fifth—In 1789, our General National Convention, to form a more perfect unison, did ordain the present Constitution of the United States of America, to be one entire Sovereignty, and in strict adhesion to the equally necessary State rights. Such a republic must endure forever.

In 1842, a large number of citizens applied to the Legislature for permission to remove the remains to a more private place. Romaine vigorously and eloquently objected to the proposed change, and the matter was permitted to rest quietly until after his death in 1844. During the following year attention was again called to the forlorn and neglected condition of the sepulchre. Henry C. Murphy was then in Congress, representing Kings and Richmond counties. The abject condition of the vault was brought to the notice of Congress, and action taken. The military committee recommended an appropriation of $20,000 to[23] secure a permanent tomb and monument. The report was drawn by Henry C. Murphy, whose exertions in this behalf were untiring. The effort, however, was not successful.

Samuel Boughton, John T. Hildreth, John H. Baker, and other public-spirited men, holding diverse political views, started subscription papers, and published articles in the papers urging the importance of immediate action to accomplish the praiseworthy object.

In 1855, a meeting was held and a Martyrs' Monument Association formed. This association intended to have representatives from each State and Territory. The committee started with commendable energy. They early took the ground that Fort Greene was the proper site. Plans were proposed and subscriptions solicited. For a long time nothing more was done. The Common Council agreed to permit the use of Fort Greene. It was not until June, 1873, that the remains of the prison-ship martyrs were carried to the vault on the face of Fort Greene.2

The narrative here concluded has passed far[24] beyond the limits of the period to which this chapter is devoted. Turning to the post-Revolutionary period, we find the county towns resuming a normal course of life. The Dutchmen who gathered at the Brooklyn church ceased to talk of war. The Episcopalians, who worshiped in John Middagh's barn, at the corner of Henry and Poplar streets, turned from politics to denominational questions, and the "Independents" built a meeting-house on the Fulton Street ground afterwards taken by St. Anne's Buildings.

We learn from the "Corporation Manual" (1869) that the first step toward a fire department within the limits of the present city was taken in April, 1785, by the organization of a fire-company. At a meeting of the freeholders of the town, held at the house of Widow Moser, in Fulton Street, near the ferry, it was agreed that the company should be composed of seven members, who should be commissioned as firemen for one year. They selected the following persons as the members of the company: Henry Stanton, captain; Abraham Stoothoof, John Doughty, Jr., Thomas Havens, J. Van Cott, and Martin Woodward. They also voted to raise by tax the sum of £150 for the purchase of a fire-engine. Among the[25] regulations agreed upon for the government of the new company was a requirement that the members should meet on the first Saturday of each month, to play, clean, and work their engine, and that in case of their non-attendance, upon notification from their captain, a fine of eight shillings should be imposed upon them, and that upon the captain, in the event of his neglecting properly to notify the members, a fine of sixteen shillings should be imposed. The engine was in due time procured. It was constructed by Jacob Boome, of New York city, who had just then commenced business as the first engine-builder ever located in that city. Previous to his time, the fire-engines had generally been imported from England. The company adopted the name of "Washington Engine Company No. 1," and was, up to the time of dissolution of the Volunteer Department, still in active existence. Their engine-house was situated in a lane, now called Front Street, near its junction with Fulton Street.

The firemen continued to be chosen annually in town meeting, and the appointment was much sought after as conferring respectability of position in the community. On the 30th of April, 1787, the number of firemen[26] was increased to eleven, and it was resolved that each fireman should take out a license, for which he should pay a fee of four shillings, the sums thus accruing being appropriated to the ordinary expenses of the company.

On the 15th of March, 1788, came the first state legislation relative to the firemen of Brooklyn. In 1794 there were about fifty families residing within the limits of the fire district; the entire population, including some 100 slaves, numbering 350 souls. There were about seventy-five buildings in the district, mainly located between what is now called Henry Street and the ferry. Those devoted to business purposes were generally near the ferry, where a supply of water from the river could readily and easily be obtained. Although fires were of exceedingly rare occurrence, and trivial in their character, yet nine years of use, or rather disuse and decay and rust, had rendered the engine unserviceable. In view of this fact, on the first Tuesday of April, 1794, it was resolved in town meeting that a subscription should be authorized to raise the funds necessary for the purchase of a new engine. The sum of £188 19s. was speedily collected, and a new and more powerful engine was procured. In 1795 the Legislature[27] extended the limits of the fire district, and increased the volunteer force to thirty men. In town meeting it was resolved that each house should be provided with two fire-buckets, under a penalty of two shillings for every neglect so to provide after due notification. In 1796 a fire-bell was purchased by popular subscription, and set up in the storehouse of Jacob Remsen, at Fulton and Front streets, in sight of the ferry.

In the awarding of the ferry lease in 1789, it was ordered "that the boats, together with their masts and sails, be of such form and dimensions as the wardens of the port of New York should approve; that each boat be constantly worked and managed by two sober, discreet, and able-bodied experienced watermen; that each boat be always furnished with four good oars and two boat-hooks."3 A new ferry at Catherine Street was established in 1795.

Although the ferry was in active operation, traveling by land was by exceedingly primitive stages. As late as 1793, according to Furman, there was no post-office on any part of Long Island, and no mail carried on it. It was not until about the opening of the present[28] century that the first post-route was started. As late as 1835 "the regular mail stage left Brooklyn once a week, on Thursday, having arrived from Easthampton and Sag Harbor the afternoon of the previous day; and this was the only conveyance travelers could then have through this Island, unless they took a private carriage." The practice was to leave Brooklyn about nine in the morning, to dine at Hempstead, and then "jog on to Babylon, where they put up for the night."4

By the enterprise of the Flushing Bridge and Road Company, incorporated in 1802, the distance between Flushing and Brooklyn was shortened about four miles. Three years later the Wallabout and Brooklyn Toll Bridge Company laid out a road extending from the Cripplebush road to the easterly side of the Wallabout mill pond, over which a bridge connected with Sands Street.

New-York and Brooklyn Ferry. 12 months, $10.00; 8 months, $6.67

Within the limits of the town5 the spirit of real estate enterprise appeared in various quarters, but perhaps the most ambitious undertaking was that of the holders of the Sands and Jackson tract, surveyed in 1787, and lying on the East River between the Wallabout and[29] the Brooklyn ferry. To the prospective village planned for this region was given the name of Olympia, after the habit of bestowing classical names which began to appear in post-Revolutionary days. In 1801 John Jackson sold forty acres of Wallabout lands to the United States for $40,000.

The columns of the "Long Island Weekly Intelligencer," published by Roberson & Little, booksellers and stationers, at the corner of Old Ferry and Front streets, give interesting glimpses of this period. In 1806 Henry Hewlet dealt in "general merchandise" near the Old Ferry; John Cole was coach-maker; Dr. Lowe's office was "at the Rev. Mr. Lowe's, corner of Red Hook Road." There was demand for five apprentices at Amos Cheney's shipyard. Benjamin Hilton sold china, glass, and earthenware, "at New York prices," in Old Ferry Street. Postmaster Bunce had fifty-three letters that had not been called for.

In a later issue of the "Intelligencer" the editor remarks that he has been "requested to suggest the propriety of each family placing lights in front of their houses, not having the advantage of lamps, as great inconvenience and loss of time arises from the neglect, particularly on dark nights."

[30] In 1808 the town appropriated $1500 for the erection of a new "poor house." The county court house of this period was at Flatbush, then the county seat. The old court house had been burned in 1758. The money required to build the new court house was raised by an assessment upon the inhabitants of the county. This building continued in use thirty-four years, when, by reason of its dilapidated condition, a new court house and jail were built in 1792. The court house cost $2944.71. The contractor was Thomas Fardon, and the plans for the building were furnished by Messrs. Stanton, Newton, and James Robertson. In referring to the court house, Furman says that "in 1800 the court house was let to James Simson for one year at £3 in money." In this agreement "the justices reserved for themselves the chamber in the said house called the court chamber, at the time of their publique sessions, courts of common pleas, and private meetings; as also the room called the prison, for the use of the sheriff if he had occasion for it." The building stood for forty years, when it was destroyed by fire.

Meanwhile the hamlet of Brooklyn took on many of the characteristics of a maturing[31] village. Joseph B. Pierson removed from New York to Brooklyn in 1809, and opened a circulating library on Main Street, two doors from Sands Street. In the "Long Island Star" of June, 1809, George Hamilton advertised a select school where "students were taught to make their own pens." Hamilton was succeeded by John Gibbons, who in September announced the opening of an academy for both sexes, where the various educational branches are "taught on unerring principles." Mrs. Gibbons was to "instruct little girls in Spelling, Reading, Sewing, and Marking." To the notice of an evening school for young men is appended: "N. B. Good pronunciation."

Two years later there was a private school opposite the post office; John Mabon taught the Brooklyn Select Academy; and at the inn of Benjamin Smith, on Christmas-eve, an exhibition was given by the pupils of Platt Kennedy. At this time the town had a floor-cloth factory, eight or ten looms were at work in Crichton's cotton goods manufactory, and over one hundred people worked in rope-walks. Abraham Remsen kept the one dry goods store at Fulton and Front streets.

Over the Black Horse tavern lived for a[32] time the "Rain-water Doctor," who was consulted by people coming great distances. This strange man dealt mostly in herbs and simples, but his specialty was rain water, which he praised as containing power to cure all manner of ills. He often signed himself, "Sylvan, Enemy of Human Diseases." Sylvan was evidently the first of a long list of "rain-water" quacks, against whom the regular practitioners of this and later periods had occasion to contend.6

[33] At the time when the census of Long Island (in 1811) estimated the population of Brooklyn at 4402, rapid progress had also been made by other towns in the county. Flatlands, which does not seem to have been particularly disturbed by the British occupation,—the church and schools continuing their regular sessions throughout the period,—built a new church in 1794, which was painted red and sanded, and had Lombardy poplars in front and rear. Church-going was a cold experience in those days, the new church, like its predecessors, being without means of heating, save the foot-stoves carried by women. It was not until 1825 that a large wood-stove was introduced. The schoolhouse stood within the original lines of the graveyard.

Gravesend, which had passed through an active early period, had in 1810 a population of 520. The hamlet was conservative in its habits of life and slow in numerical growth. To reach Coney Island from Gravesend at[34] this time, it was necessary to ford the creek at low tide. The Coney Island Bridge and Road Company was organized in 1823. To get their letters the Gravesend people were obliged to go to Flatbush.7 The old schoolhouse, after being in service for sixty years, was in 1788 succeeded by a larger building, which was in service for half a century. The Reformed Church records were still kept in the Dutch language. The church was a long low building with a gallery, under which, on the west side, were the negro quarters.

Flatbush had had a taste of the Revolutionary fighting, and suffered considerably during the British occupation.8

The mill finished in 1804, on John C. Vanderveer's farm, is described as the first mill on the island. The mills became a prominent feature of Flatbush scenery. Clustered near them were some of the quaintest examples of Dutch and colonial architecture that were to be found in this country. The examples surviving to-day give a distinctive charm to this village. In due time the stocks which had stood in front of the court house, the near-by[35] whipping-post,9 and the public brew-house all disappeared.

On the 2d of July, 1791, public notice was given of the plan for building a county court house and jail at Flatbush. The notice stated that the conditions would be made known by application to Charles Doughty, Brooklyn Ferry, and that propositions in writing would be received until July 15 by him and Johannes E. Lott, of Flatbush, and Rutgert Van Brunt of Gravesend.

Cruger, while mayor of New York city, had his residence within the village. Generals Howe, Clinton, and other leading Tories had their headquarters within its limits subsequent to the battle of Brooklyn.

Erasmus Hall, at Flatbush, was erected in 1786, its charter bearing the same date as that of the Easthampton Academy. The first public exhibition of Erasmus Hall was held September 27, 1787, "and the scene," says Stiles, "was graced by the presence of the Governor of the State, several members of the Assembly, and a large concourse of prominent gentlemen of the vicinity." The subject of public instruction continued to be agitated in the public prints and the pulpit, and the[36] attention of the Legislature was repeatedly called by the Governor's messages to the paramount need of having a regular school system throughout the State. Finally, in 1795, that body passed "an act for the encouragement of schools," and made an appropriation of $50,000 per annum for five years "for the purpose of encouraging and maintaining schools in the several cities and towns in this State in which children of the inhabitants residing in the State shall be instructed in the English language or be taught English grammar, arithmetic, mathematics, and such other branches of knowledge as are most useful and necessary to complete a good English education."

The Rev. Dr. John H. Livingston, who, with Senator John Vanderbilt, brought about, the establishment of the academy, was succeeded as principal by Dr. Wilson, who also held a professorship at Columbia College. The records of the academy reveal an interesting list of names, and the institution has held an important relation to the educational interests of Flatbush.

New Utrecht, where the first resistance to the British forces had been offered, and whose church had been used as a hospital and also as a riding-school by the British officers, was[37] quick to assume its wonted ways after the departure of the troops when peace with England had been declared. During the period between 1787 and 1818 the Rev. Petrus Lowe was the pastor.10

The progress of Bushwick after the Revolution was noteworthy. The old Dutch church had been built early in the last century. The dominies from Brooklyn and Flatbush had previously ministered to the people when occasion called. The old octagonal church received a new roof in 1790, a front gallery five years later, and so it remained until 1840. Stiles11 mentions Messrs. Freeman and Antonides as the earliest pastors, and Peter Lowe as serving here until 1808. A regiment of Hessians had their winter quarters here in 1776, barracks being put up on the land of Abraham Luqueer, and free use being made of wood from the Wallabout swamp. The case of Hendrick Suydam[38] was typical. Suydam had to give quarters in his house,12 and the filthy habits of these unsavory mercenaries were shockingly characteristic of this unhappy period. Stiles mentions, among the "patriots of Bushwick," John Provost, John A. Meserole, John I. Meserole, Jacob Van Cott, David Miller, William Conselyea, Nicholas Wyckoff, and Alexander Whaley, but no such list gives due honor to the service of all the Bushwick patriots.

After the Revolution Bushwick had "three distinct settlements or centres of population." These were "Het Dorp," the original town plot at the junction of North Second Street and Bushwick Avenue; "Het Kivis Padt," on the cross-roads at the junction of Bushwick Avenue and the Flushing Road; and "Het Strand," along the East River shore. The first mentioned was the centre of village activity, with the old church for chief landmark.

Of the town house with its tall liberty pole, Field13 writes: "Long after the Revolution the old town house continued to be the high seat of justice, and to resound with the republican roar of vociferous electors on town meeting days. The first Tuesday in April and the[39] fourth of July, in each succeeding year, found Het Dorp suddenly metamorphosed from a sleepy Dutch hamlet into a brawling, swaggering country town, with very debauched habits. Our Dutch youth had a most enthusiastic tendency, and ready facility in adopting the convivial customs and uproarious festivity of the loud-voiced and arrogant Anglo-American youngers.14 One day the close-fisted electors of Bushwick devised a plan for easing the public burdens by making the town house pay part of the annual taxes, and accordingly it was rented to a Dutch publican, who afforded shelter to the justices and constables, and by his potent liquors contributed to furnish them with employment.

"In this mild partnership, so quietly aiding to fill each others' pockets, our old friend Chas. Zimmerman had a share, until he was ousted, because he was a better customer than landlord. The services of the church were conducted in the Dutch language until about the year 1830. The clergyman had the care of five churches, each of which received his spiritual services in turn. The homely but pious[40] men who performed these duties were sometimes learned and dignified gentlemen, always a little aristocratic in their ways, for the dominie of a Dutch colony was an important functionary, whom the Governor-General himself could not snub with impunity. One of their self-indulgent customs would strike a modern community with horror. On arriving at the church, just before the time for Sunday service, the good dominie was wont to refresh himself from the fatigue of his long ride with a glass of some of the potent liquors of the time at the bar of the town house.

"At last the electors of Bushwick got tired of keeping a hotel, and unanimously quit-claimed their title to the church. Some time after the venerable structure [the town house] was sold to an infidel Yankee, at whose bar the good dominie could no longer feel free to take an inspiriting cup before entering the pulpit, and the glory of the town house of Bushwick departed."


The graveyard of the original Dutch settlement lay in sight of the church, and the last remains within its borders were not disturbed until 1879, when the bones were removed in boxes and placed under the Bushwick Church. Not far distant were the De Voe, De Bevoise,[41] and Wyckoff houses, the last named built by Theodorus Polhemus, of Flatbush.15

On the river front was the famous tavern of "Charlum" Titus. Toward Bushwick Creek was the Wartman homestead. On Division Avenue was the Boerum house; the Remsen house was on Clymer Street. Peter Miller, Frederic De Voe, and William Van Cott were prominent residents.

On Newtown Creek stood Luqueer's mill, built in 1664, by Abraham Jansen, and the second to be erected within the limits of the present city of Brooklyn. Freekes' mill at Gowanus was the oldest, a pond being formed by damming the head of Gowanus Kill. Remsen's mill was at the Wallabout. It was built in 1710, and it was from the vantage ground of his residence here that Rem Remsen witnessed so many of the prison-ship horrors. Remsen performed many humane acts toward the unfortunates of the floating dungeons.

The boundary dispute between Newtown and Bushwick—a wrangle beginning in Stuyvesant's day and lasting until 1769—forms one of the most picturesque features of political life[42] in the history of the two towns. "Arbitration Rock," as a famous landmark in the survey was called, having been destroyed, a new rock was placed in position by Nicholas Wyckoff, with the permission of the Commissioners appointed to resurvey the line in 1880, and still remains.

We have seen that one section of the town of Bushwick, or rather an outlying group of farms and houses, lay on the river front. Traffic to and from New York naturally passed through this river section of the settlement. At the beginning of the century Richard M. Woodhull, a New York merchant, established a horse-ferry from Corlaer's Hook, close to the foot of the present Grand Street, New York, to the foot of the Long Island road, now bearing the name of North Second Street.

The New York landing-place of the ferry was then considerably above the settled part of the town. In New York at this period the tendency of development still was along the eastern side of the island. "The seat of the foreign trade," says Mr. Janvier, "was the East River front; of the wholesale domestic trade, in Pearl and Broad streets, and about Hanover Square; of the retail trade, in William, between[43] Fulton and Wall. Nassau Street and upper Pearl Street were places of fashionable residence; as were also lower Broadway and the Battery. Upper Broadway, paved as far as Warren Street, no longer was looked upon as remote and inaccessible; and people with exceptionally long heads were beginning, even, to talk of it as a street with a future; being thereto moved, no doubt, by consideration of its magnificent appearance as the great central thoroughfare of the city upon Mangin's prophetic map."

Notwithstanding the development of New York on the East River side, there were two miles of travel between Woodhull's ferry and the business part of the city. Woodhull bought and "boomed" property in the vicinity of the ferry road on the Long Island side, then known as Bushwick Street, and to the settlement in this region he gave the name of Williamsburgh, "in compliment to his friend, Colonel Williams, U. S. engineer, by whom it was surveyed." A ferry-house, a tavern, a hay-press, appeared on the scene.

"An auction was held," writes John M. Stearns,16 "at which a few building lots were[44] disposed of. But the amount realized came far short of restoring to Woodhull the money he had thus prematurely invested. His project was fully a quarter of a century too soon. It required half a million of people in the city of New York, before settlers could be induced to move across the East River away from the attractions of a commercial city. Woodhull found that notes matured long before he could realize from the property; and barely six years had passed before he was a bankrupt, and the site of his new city became subject to sale by the sheriff. By divers shifts the calamity was deferred until September 11, 1811, when the right, title, and interest of Richard M. Woodhull in the original purchase, and in five acres of the Francis J. Titus estate, purchased by him in 1805, near Fifth Street, was sold by the sheriff in favor of one Roosevelt. James H. Maxwell, the son-in-law of Woodhull, became the purchaser of Williamsburgh; but not having the means to continue his title thereto, it again passed under the sheriff's hammer, although a sufficient number of lots had by this time been sold to prevent its re-appropriation to farm and garden purposes."

Then came Thomas Morrell, of Newtown, who bought the Titus homestead farm of[45] twenty-eight acres, prepared a map, and set down Grand Street as a dividing line. In 1812, Morrell obtained from New York city a grant for a ferry from Grand Street, Bushwick, to Grand Street, New York.

This new town site, extending between North Second Street as far over as the present South First Street, received the name of Yorkton. The rivalry between the Morrell and the Woodhull ferry became very heated. "While Morrell succeeded as to the ferry," writes Mr. Stearns, "Woodhull managed to preserve the name Williamsburgh; which applied at first to the thirteen acres originally purchased, and had extended itself to adjoining lands so as to embrace about thirty acres, as seen in Poppleton's map in 1814, and another in 1815, of property of J. Homer Maxwell. But the first ferry had landed at Williamsburgh, and the turnpike went through Williamsburgh out into the island. Hence, both the country people and the people coming from the city, when coming to the ferry, spoke of coming to Williamsburgh. Thus Yorkton was soon unknown save on Loss's map, and in the transactions of certain land-jobbers. Similarly the designations of old farm locations, being obsolete to the idea of a city or a village, grew into[46] disuse; and the whole territory between Wallabout Bay and Bushwick Creek became known as Williamsburgh."

At this time the owners of shore property refused to have a road opened through their property or along the shore. The two ferries were not connected by shore road, nor with the Wallabout region, and neither ferry prospered during the lifetime of either Woodhull or Morrell. General Johnson, in going from his Wallabout farm to Williamsburgh, "had to open and shut no less than seventeen barred gates within a distance of a mile and a half along the shore." The owners opposed Johnson's movement for a road, but with the aid of the Legislature the road was opened, business at the ferries immediately improved, and Williamsburgh began to grow. A Methodist congregation built a church in 1808; a hotel appeared at about the same time, and in 1814 there were 759 persons in the town. Noah Waterbury, by the building of a distillery at the foot of North Second Street and other enterprises, earned the title of "The Father of Williamsburgh."



Brooklyn during the "Critical Period" in American History. The Embargo and the War of 1812. Military Preparations. Fortifications. Fort Greene and Cobble Hill. Peace. Robert Fulton. The "Nassau's" First Trip. Progress of Fulton Ferry. The Village Incorporated. First Trustees. The Sunday-School Union. Long Island Bank. Board of Health. The Sale of Liquor. Care of the Poor. Real Estate. Village Expenses. Guy's Picture of Brooklyn in 1820. The Village of that Period. Characters of the Period. Old Families and Estates. The County Courts removed to Brooklyn. Apprentices' Library. Prisoners at the Almshouse. Growth of the Village. The Brooklyn "Evening Star." Movement for Incorporation as a City. Opposition of New York. Passage of the Incorporation Act.

As the hamlet of Brooklyn waxed in size and took on the characteristics of an organized community, with a formulated political plan, a fire department, a commercial nucleus that justified a petition17 to the Legislature for the establishment of a local bank, and a population of nearly 5000 people, it began to feel[48] more directly and inevitably than it ever had theretofore the effect of political and commercial movements in the State, and in the nation as a whole.

The early years of the present century, during which Napoleon was terrorizing Europe, were years of formative uncertainties to the young United States. John Fiske has called this time "the critical period" of American history. Speaking of the extraordinary commercial manifestations of the post-Revolutionary period, Mr. Fiske says: "Meanwhile, the different States, with their different tariff and tonnage acts, began to make commercial war upon one another. No sooner had the other three New England States virtually closed their ports to British shipping than Connecticut threw hers wide open, an act which she followed up by laying duties upon imports from Massachusetts. Pennsylvania discriminated against Delaware, and New Jersey, pillaged at once by both her greater neighbors, was compared to a cask tapped at both ends.

"The conduct of New York became especially selfish and blameworthy. That rapid growth, which was so soon to carry the city and the State to a position of primacy in the Union, had already begun. After the departure of[49] the British the revival of business went on with leaps and bounds. The feeling of local patriotism waxed strong, and in no one was it more completely manifested than in George Clinton, the Revolutionary general, whom the people elected Governor for nine successive terms. From a humble origin, by dint of shrewdness and untiring push, Clinton had come to be for the moment the most powerful man in the State of New York. He had come to look upon the State almost as if it were his own private manor, and his life was devoted to furthering its interests as he understood them. It was his first article of faith that New York must be the greatest State in the Union. But his conceptions of statesmanship were extremely narrow. In his mind, the welfare of New York meant the pulling down and thrusting aside of all her neighbors and rivals. He was the vigorous and steadfast advocate of every illiberal and exclusive measure, and the most uncompromising enemy to a closer union of the States. His great popular strength and the commercial importance of the community in which he held sway made him at this time the most dangerous man in America."

The relations of the States became more[50] amicable in the early years of the century, the rival commonwealths being drawn together by a general obligation of self-defense as against England. In 1808 had come Jefferson's Embargo Act, of whose influence in New York John Lambert writes: "Everything wore a dismal aspect at New York. The embargo had now continued upwards of three months, and the salutary check which Congress imagined it would have upon the conduct of the belligerent powers was extremely doubtful, while the ruination of the commerce of the United States appeared certain if such destructive measures were persisted in. Already had 120 failures taken place among the merchants and traders, to the amount of more than 5,000,000 dollars; and there were above 500 vessels in the harbor which were lying up useless, and rotting for want of employment. Thousands of sailors were either destitute of bread, wandering about the country, or had entered the British service. The merchants had shut up their counting-houses and discharged their clerks; and the farmers refrained from cultivating their land; for if they brought their produce to market they could not sell it at all, or were obliged to dispose of it for only a fourth of its value."

[51] Elsewhere in his journal, Lambert writes: "The amount of tonnage belonging to the port of New York in 1806 was 183,671 tons, and the number of vessels in the harbor on the 25th of December, 1807, when the embargo took place, was 537. The moneys collected in New York for the national treasury, on the imports and tonnage, have for several years amounted to one fourth of the public revenue. In 1806 the sum collected was 6,500,000 dollars, which, after deducting the drawbacks, left a net revenue of 4,500,000 dollars, which was paid into the treasury of the United States as the proceeds of one year. In the year 1808 the whole of this immense sum had vanished!"

In June, 1812, came the declaration of war with Great Britain. The news occasioned considerable excitement in Brooklyn, whose middle-aged men retained a lively recollection of the British occupation. In the "Star" of July 8 appeared this announcement: "A new company of Horse or Flying Artillery is lately raised in this vicinity, under the command of Captain John Wilson. This company promises, under the able management of Captain Wilson, to equal, if not excel, any company in the State. The Artillerists of Captain Barbarin[52] are fast progressing in a system of discipline and improvement, which can alone in the hour of trial render courage effectual. We understand this company have volunteered their services to Government, and are accepted. The Riflemen of Captain Stryker and the Fusileers of Captain Herbert are respectable in number and discipline. The county of Kings is in no respect behind her neighbors in military patriotism."

The Fusileers wore green "coatees" and Roman leather caps. The green frocks of the Rifles were trimmed with yellow fringe, a feature of the costume which is reputed to have originated the appellation "Katydids." In August the Artillery practiced at a target, and John S. King won a medal.

Two years elapsed before Brooklyn was actually threatened with war. In 1814 the fear that the British fleet might, as in the Revolutionary descent, land at Gravesend, was naturally entertained. The committee of defense decided to build two fortified camps on Brooklyn Heights and on the heights of Harlem. Volunteers for labor on local and suburban defenses were called for, and there was a patriotic response. A company of students from Columbia Academy, Bergen, N. J.,[53] performed work on the Brooklyn Heights fortifications.18 The Long Island defenses extended from the Wallabout to Fort Greene, to Bergen's Heights (on Jacob Bergen's property), and to Fort Lawrence.

On the 9th of August, 1814, General Mapes, of New York, with a body of volunteers, broke ground for the intrenchments at Fort Greene. The work was carried on day by day by a different corps of volunteers. One day the labor would be performed by the tanners and curriers and the veteran corps of artillery; on another day, in happy unison, would be seen working, side by side, a brigade of infantry, a military association of young men, the Hamilton Society, and students of medicine; on another, a delegation from Flatbush would be seen engaged earnestly on the work; on another, the people of Flatlands would be armed with pick and shovel; then Gravesend dug in the trenches. Irishmen were not to be outdone; they proved their patriotism and love of liberty by volunteering, 1200 strong, to labor in the cause. Then the burghers from New Utrecht gave a helping hand. The free colored people gladly gave their aid. Jamaica came, headed by Dominie Schoonmaker, and[54] with them came the principal of the academy, with his pupils. Workmen came from New York, Newark, Paulus Hook, and Morris County, N. J. A company came from Hanover Township, headed by their pastor, Rev. Dr. Phelps, and labored for a day upon these fortifications. So, too, the members of the Baptist Church in New York came, with their pastor, Rev. Dr. Archibald Macloy, and did a day's work. Rev. Dr. Macloy was the father of Congressman Macloy, who ably represented the seventh ward of New York and a part of Kings County before the late civil war.

The erection of the defenses of Brooklyn was thus not a local affair. It was one in which the neighboring cities, towns, and States took part. The people were enthusiastic. The Grand Lodge of Masons enlisted in the service, and the watchword of the day was: "The Master expects every Mason to do his duty." Old Fortitude Lodge, which still exists, rendered a day's service. A company of ladies came from New York, forming a procession, with music, marched to Fort Greene, and used the shovel and the spade for several hours. The people had one mind and were actuated by one purpose. The work advanced rapidly, for, as in the days of Nehemiah,[55] the "people had a mind to work," and their efforts were crowned with success. These were the times when the people willingly gave their money for the good of the country, without expecting to receive it again with compound interest.

Early in September the works were completed. The Twenty-second Brigade of Infantry, composed of 1750 men, was stationed within the lines. Heavy artillery was mounted. Brigadier General Jeremiah Johnson was in command. He was a natural soldier, and possessed every element of character necessary to lead a brigade. Stern and unflinching in the performance of duty, he yet had a warm and generous heart, which led him to take an active interest in the welfare of the men in his command. The soldiers loved him, and rendered willing obedience to his orders. Being a resident of Brooklyn, he knew or was known by most of his men personally.

At the fort on Cobble Hill worked military companies under command of Captains Stryker, Cowenhoven, and Herbert, the "exempts" of Bedford and the Wallabout, Fire Company No. 2 of Brooklyn, and a company of Bushwick people headed by Pastor Bassett. "Next to the duties which we owe to Heaven,"[56] said the Bushwick people at their meeting, "those which belong to our country demand our chief attention."

The volunteers worked with the utmost zeal, laboring by moonlight when sunset still left work to do. The Sixty-fourth Regiment, of Kings County, was commanded by Francis Titus, with Albert C. Van Brunt as second major, and Daniel Barre as adjutant. New Utrecht's company was headed by Captain William Dewyre; Brooklyn's company was headed by Captain Joseph Dean; the Wallabout and Bushwick company, by Captain Francis Stillman; the Gowanus company, by Captain Peter Cowenhoven, and later by Captain John T. Bergen; the Gravesend and Flatbush companies, by Captain Jeremiah Lott.

Brooklyn was, indeed, ready, but fortunately the crisis for which it prepared did not appear. On the evening of February 11, 1815, came the news of peace with Great Britain. On the evening of the 21st Brooklyn was illuminated in a spirit of rejoicing, and the band of the Forty-first Regiment, then stationed in the village, voiced the delight of the people.

Meanwhile, various important advances had been made by Brooklyn and her neighbors. In 1812, Robert Fulton having made a successful[57] experiment with his first steamboat, the Clermont, a steam ferry was opened between New York City and Paulus Hook, Jersey City. In that year Fulton and his "backer," Robert R. Livingston, offered to the corporation of the city of New York a proposition to establish a steam ferry from Fly Market Slip to Brooklyn.19 The proposition was accepted, and it was decided to run the boats from Burling Slip. "As, however, the slip was not then filled in, and the cost of filling was estimated at $30,000, it was finally concluded to establish the ferry at Beekman Slip (present Fulton Street, New York), which was accordingly purchased for that purpose by the corporation from Mr. Peter Schermerhorn. Beekman Slip at that time extended only to Pearl Street. Fair Street, which then ran from Broadway to Cliff Street, was extended through the block between Cliff and Pearl streets to join Beekman Slip. To this newly extended Fair Street, from the East River to Broadway, and to Partition Street, which then extended from Broadway to the Hudson River, was given the name of Fulton Street, in honor of the distinguished inventor, in consequence of the[58] establishing of whose steam ferry this street was about to become a great highroad of travel and traffic. The ferry from Fly Market Slip was discontinued.

"The lease of the ferry was granted to Robert Fulton and William Cutting (his brother-in-law), for twenty-five years,—from the 1st of May, 1814, to May, 1839,—at an annual rental of $4000 for the first eighteen years, and $4500 for the last seven years. The lessees were to put on the ferry one steamboat similar to the Paulus Hook ferry-boat; to run once an hour from each side of the ferry, from half an hour before sunrise to half an hour after sunset; to furnish in addition such barges, etc., as were required by previous acts of the Legislature; and on or before the 1st of May, 1819, they were to provide another steamboat in all respects equal to the first, and when that was done a boat should start from each side of the river every half hour. As a compensation to the lessees for the increase of expense which would be incurred in conducting the ferry upon such an enlarged scale, the corporation covenanted to apply to the Legislature for a modification and increase in the rates of ferriage; and in case the bill passed before May 1, 1819, Messrs. Fulton[59] and Cutting agreed to put on their second boat at the earliest possible date thereafter. In case of its failing to pass, they were to be permitted to receive four cents for each and every passenger who might choose to cross the river in the steamboat, but the fare in barges was to remain as it had been, viz., two cents."20

The proposed bill successfully passed the Legislature, and Fulton and Cutting formed a stock company, called the New York and Brooklyn Steamboat Ferry Association, with a capital of $68,000. The first steam ferry-boat, called the Nassau, began running on Sunday, May 10, 1814. "This noble boat," said the Long Island "Star," "surpassed the expectations of the public in the rapidity of her movements. Her trips varied from five to twelve minutes, according to tide and weather.... Carriages and wagons, however crowded, pass on and off the boat with the same facility as in passing a bridge. There is a spacious room below the deck where the passengers may be secure from the weather, etc." On one of the first day's trips an engineer was fatally hurt.

The Nassau made forty trips on the following[60] Sunday, and became a useful and popular institution. She was used after business hours for pleasure excursions on the river. The plan of construction was that of a double boat, with the wheel in the centre, the engine-house on deck and the passenger cabin in one of the hulls. Peter Coffee, the first pilot, died in 1876, aged ninety-nine years. One end of the deckhouse of the Nassau was occupied by a pensioner of Fulton's, who sold candies and cakes.

While the Nassau was in operation the horse ferry-boats were also used on the Fulton Ferry. These horse ferry-boats were peculiar craft. The first horse-boats were single-enders, and were compelled to turn around in crossing the river. Subsequently double-enders were used. All these boats had two hulls, about twenty feet apart and covered over by a single deck. Between these hulls were placed the paddle-wheels, working upon the shafting propelled by horses.

"By an invention of Mr. John G. Murphy, father of ex-Senator Henry C. Murphy, the managers of these boats were enabled to reverse their machinery without changing the position of the horses. The steamboat was very popular with the public. Owing to its[61] success there was soon a very marked desire in both cities for the addition of the second steamboat, in accordance with the terms of the contract made by the lessees with the city of New York. Objection was made by the lessees on the ground of additional expense, and boats run by horse power were substituted. In 1815 Robert Fulton died. Mr. Cutting, who had lived in New York, removed to Brooklyn, and died at his residence on the Heights in 1821. The winter of 1821–22 was one of the most severe in the history of the country. The ferries were obstructed by enormous quantities of floating ice. Great cakes became jammed between the double hulls, and travel was practically suspended. Brooklyn had grown rapidly, and an uproar arose in which the ferry management was roundly assailed. Who can tell but it was here that the original idea of the East River Bridge was first born? In 1827 a steamboat similar to the Nassau, and called the William Cutting, was put on the ferry, but even this did not satisfy the public, who were eagerly seeking more extended accommodations. In 1833 Messrs. David Leavitt and Silas Butler secured a controlling interest in the stock of the company, and sought to meet the anticipations[62] of the people by adding two new steamboats, the Relief and the Olive Branch. Unlike their predecessors, these boats had single hulls and side wheels. Subsequently agitation in the southern part of Brooklyn led to the establishment of the South Ferry."

In 1817, the Loisian Academy, which had been started four years before, received a salaried teacher, and was removed to the small frame house on Concord and Adams streets, where Public School No. 1 was afterward built.

Brooklyn began soon after the Revolution to think seriously of the matter of incorporation as a village. On January 8, 1816, a public meeting was held at the public house of Lawrence Brown, "to take into consideration the proposed application for an incorporation of Brooklyn. A committee, consisting of Thomas Everit, Alden Spooner, Joshua Sands, the Reverend John Ireland, and John Doughty, met the following day at the house of H. B. Pierrepont. On April 12th the act incorporating the village passed the Legislature."


Built in 1827

The section of the town of Brooklyn, commonly known by the name of the Fire District, and contained within the following bounds, namely: "Beginning at the public landing,[63] south of Pierrepont's distillery, formerly the property of Philip Livingston, deceased, on the East River, thence running along the public road leading from said landing to its intersection with Red Hook Lane, thence along said Red Hook Lane to where it intersects the Jamaica Turnpike Road, thence a northeast course to the head of the Walleboght mill pond, thence through the centre of said mill pond to the East River, and thence down the East River to the place of beginning,"—was incorporated as a village, by the name of the Village of Brooklyn; and by the act the village was constituted a road district, and declared exempt from the superintendence of the commissioners of highways of the town of Brooklyn, and the Trustees of the village were invested with all the powers over the road district, and subjected to all the duties in relation thereto which by law were given to or enjoined upon the said commissioners, etc.21

The Trustees were required to make a survey and map of the village, to be kept by the clerk, subject to the inspection of the people, "in order that no resident might plead ignorance of the permanent plan to be adopted for[64] opening, laying out, leveling, and regulating the streets of said village." In pursuance of the requirements of this law, the Trustees caused to be made a survey and map of the village, which was adopted by them on the 8th of April, 1819. By a law passed in 1824, the Trustees were authorized to "widen and alter all public roads, streets, and highways, already laid out ... to such convenient breadth, not exceeding sixty feet, as they should judge fit;" also to lay out new roads and streets. In 1827 the village was divided into five districts.

The first Trustees of the village were Andrew Mercein, John Garrison, John Doughty, John Seaman, and John Dean.

The first named of these Trustees appears as one of the principal founders of a Sunday School which was "in operation in the village of Brooklyn" in 1816. This school seems to have been designed and operated on broad grounds. While combining "moral and religious instruction with ordinary school learning," parents or guardians were privileged to say "what catechism" they wished the children to study. As a result of this school movement the Brooklyn Sunday School Union Society was afterward organized. The school[65] met for a time in Thomas Kirk's printing-office on Adams Street, but found the schoolhouse quarters on the same street to be more desirable.

Previous to 1814 there were two markets in Brooklyn: one at the foot of the old Ferry Street (which began to acquire the name Fulton Street, after the steamboats began running and Fulton Street had been named on the New York side); the other at the foot of Main Street. Both were taken down in 1814.

The Long Island Bank was incorporated in 1824, with a capital of $300,000, divided into 6000 shares. In the same year the Brooklyn Fire Insurance Company came into existence.

On the village map adopted April 8, 1819, sixty-seven streets appear, besides a number of alleys. Several of the streets were sixty feet wide. Doughty Street was the narrowest, being only twenty feet wide.

In 1820 the population of the town had increased to 7175. The village population was 5210.

In 1822 there were four distilleries in the town, which at that time contained but little over 7000 inhabitants. This was a distillery to every 1750 inhabitants. All the grocers appear to have sold liquors.

[66] In 1826 the population of the village was about 9000. The sum of the excise fees paid over to the overseers of the poor in that year was $3627, the significance of which large amount need not be pointed out.

In 1824 a bill was introduced into the Senate, by John Lefferts, to organize a board of health in the village of Brooklyn. The act constituted the Trustees a board of health. By its provisions the president and clerk of the village became the officers of the board. The president's salary was fixed at $150 per annum, and the physician appointed by the board received $200 yearly.

The introduction of swill milk into the city appears to belong to a later period. It became the practice for milk-dealers to send to the various distilleries and purchase swill, which they fed to their cows. The stables were generally long, low buildings divided into narrow stalls, and afforded accommodation for forty or fifty cows. The swill cost one shilling a hogshead, and was fed hot to the cows. The principal distilleries were Cunningham's on Front and Washington streets; Manley's, corner of Tillary and Gold streets; Birdsall's, John A. Cross's, and Wilson's. The two latter were at the Wallabout.

[67] In 1824 the real estate of Brooklyn was assessed at $2,111,390, and the personal property at $438,690; making a total of $2,550,080.

On the 14th of January, 1830, the Supervisors of the county purchased the poor-house farm at Flatbush. On the 9th of July, 1831, the corner-stone of the building was laid, on which occasion an address was delivered by General Jeremiah Johnson, who afterwards became Mayor. He served as Supervisor continuously from 1800 to 1822, and distinguished himself in the War of 1812, a part of the time being in command of the fortifications on Fort Greene.

The expense of supporting the poor of the town of Brooklyn during the year 1830 was $7233.13. The taxes for all expenses amounted to only sixty cents on every hundred dollars of valuation of real and personal property.

The items of village expense as estimated August 18, 1830, were as follows:—

Village watch $3,000
Fire department 1,400
Public cisterns 300
Interest on village stocks 600
Repairs of wells and pumps 900
Salaries of officers 1,200
Contingent expenses 2,600

[68] On the 2d of September, 1830, the Kings County Temperance Society was formed at Flatbush. The Hon. Leffert Lefferts was elected president.

The population of the town as ascertained by the census of 1830 was 15,292. The village contained about two thirds of the town population.

Furman, the indefatigable collector of statistics, says that in 1832 Brooklyn (the village) was divided into five districts, which together contained 12,302 inhabitants. In the village there were 110 licensed and 68 unlicensed taverns. This was at the rate of one tavern to every 69 persons. The second district appears to have enjoyed the privilege of having the most taverns. It contained 79 in a population of 2801, or one to every 36 inhabitants. In view of the fact that the proportion of saloons to population to-day is one to every 225 persons, those rash debaters who persist in finding a movement toward ruin in modern life may find the figures significant.

An interesting glimpse of Brooklyn as it appeared in 1820 is furnished by Guy's well-known picture, painted from a Front Street window, and showing a cluster of houses in the heart of the village. The scene is of[69] winter, and the figures in the foreground snow are in most instances likenesses of people of the day. The Brooklyn Institute is in possession of the picture. At the time of the fire which, in 1890, destroyed the Institute building, then on Washington Street, and since completely obliterated to make way for the Bridge approach, it was slightly damaged; but it remains one of the most interesting memorials of an interesting period. According to the key published in Stiles, the picture represents stores and dwellings of Thomas W. Birdsall, Abiel Titus, Edward Coope, Geo. Fricke, Diana Rapalje, Mrs. Middagh, Benjamin Meeker, Mrs. Chester, Robert Cunningham, Jacob Hicks, Joshua Sands, Augustus Graham, Burdett Stryker, Selah Smith, and Dr. Ball, as well as the figures of Mrs. Harmer, Mrs. Guy, Jacob Patchen, and Judge John Garrison.

Diana Rapalje, a daughter of Garrett Rapalje, was one of the prominent figures in the village, formerly a "favorite in Presidential circles at Washington, and latterly an eccentric of haughty bearing." Her house was bought by Colonel Alden Spooner, who printed the "Star" under its roof. Near the ferry stairs was the house of William Furman, overseer[70] of the poor, who was one of the founders of the Catherine Street Ferry, and served as the first judge of the county between 1808 and 1823. He served in the state Legislature, and filled other important commercial and political offices. His son, Gabriel Furman, was the author of the "Notes" on the antiquities of Long Island, which have been so useful to later writers. At Birdsall tavern, on the Fulton Road, people bought the New York papers, and Quakers made it a stopping-place. Near at hand was the house of Henry Dawson, who ran the "sixpenny boats." In a low stone house lived "the gentlemen Hicks," and in the same region to the south were "Milk" Hicks and "Spetler" Hicks, other prominent members of a family whose name is closely associated with the early history of the Heights. Here also were the Middagh and Pierrepont properties, which were greatly improved by a street plan originated by Hezekiah Pierrepont. On the Middagh estate was a house built by Thomas Kirk for a home and printing-office, and afterward occupied by George L. Bird, the editor of the "Patriot." To this house, too, came James Harper, the grandfather of the distinguished publishers, Harper and Brothers.


[71] John Doughty occupied the house formerly owned by Diana Rapalje. Doughty was intimately connected with Brooklyn's village life, as fireman, assessor, town clerk, overseer of highways, president of the fire department, school-committee-man, and collector of the village. A picturesque figure was Jacob Patchen, a pungent, unmanageable man, conspicuous in the village life by his obstinacy and determination.

Over the wheelwright shop of George Smith, opposite the lower corner of Hicks Street, was the court-room of Judge Garrison. Garrison was born at Gravesend in 1764. He served as fireman, trustee, school commissioner, and justice. Joralemon's Lane was a rough country road, at the foot of which had been Pierrepont's Anchor gin distillery, which was converted about 1819 into a candle-factory, and again became a distillery. The road had been laid out by Peter Remsen and Philip Livingston. The site of the present City Hall was then an open field, while the site of the county court house was occupied by a famous resort known as the Military Garden.

The Pierrepont mansion stood at the foot of Montague Street. It was built by John Cornell, and became Pierrepont property in[72] 1802. Hezekiah Pierrepont was a dignified and influential member of a community in which his exertions were always for broad and public-spirited plans. Teunis Joralemon, who had been a harness-maker in Flatbush, bought part of the Livingston estate, on which he practiced market gardening. He filled the offices of justice of the peace and Trustee, and other offices, but was of a temperament antipodal to that of Pierrepont, hotly opposing new streets, especially through his own property, and scorning the distinction of having Joralemon Street named after him. Another prominent estate was that of the Fleets. The name of Bergen is prominently associated with the progress of the village. At Bedford Corners were the Meseroles, Ryersons, Lefferts, Vandervoorts, Suydams, Tiebouts, Cowenhovens, and other old families.

In December, 1821, the subject of removing the court house from Flatbush to Brooklyn was agitated in the papers, and on the 21st of January, 1825, a meeting was held at Duflons, whereat a committee was appointed to obtain the removal of the court house and jail from Flatbush to Brooklyn. In 1826 the subject was brought to the attention of the Legislature, and that body passed an act that the[73] court of common pleas and general sessions should alternate between Flatbush and the Apprentices' Library Building in Cranberry Street, then just finished. The court of common pleas in those days corresponded to the county court of our time. The county clerk's office was removed to Brooklyn in March, 1819. The county court began to hold sessions in Brooklyn in January, 1827.

The Trustees of the village of Brooklyn deemed a debtors' prison a very important addition to the city. On the 19th of February, 1829, Joseph Sprague, president of the Board of Trustees, made a report on the subject of fitting up under the market a prison-room for debtors. In accordance therewith a lockup was provided and cells built under the market. These cells were oftentimes crowded, and but little provision was made for the comfort of the occupants. The Bridge approach now passes over the old lockup.

During those early days prisoners were also confined in cells in the almshouse, then situated on the south side of Nassau Street, between Bridge and Jay streets. The building is still standing, and has been converted into dwellings.

The agitation relative to the removal of the[74] court house still continued. The Supervisors took the matter in hand. They were empowered in 1829 to raise by tax a sum of money for the purchase of lots, and the erection of a suitable building in Brooklyn to accommodate the courts and jail when completed. It may well be supposed that Flatbush did not relish the idea of the removal, and, being anxious to retain her precedence among the towns, her representatives strenuously opposed the change, and their votes for a short time delayed the inevitable. The elements, however, aided those who urged the removal, by the burning of the jail and court house, as heretofore stated, and the way was opened for a new building. The next year an act was passed by the Legislature providing for the building of a jail and court house in Brooklyn.

Under the provisions of this law three commissioners were chosen to purchase a suitable site for the buildings. The act also provided that when the court house was finished and ready for occupancy, a certificate to that effect should be obtained from the first judge of the county, and that thereafter all terms of the court of common pleas and general sessions of the peace should be held in the new building, and that all processes and writs should be[75] made returnable thereat. It might be stated that subsequent to the fire at Flatbush, and prior to the occupation of the new building, the courts were temporarily held at the Apprentices' Library, and were removed to Hall's Exchange Building. Baily, writing in 1840, says: "The Kings County courts are held in the large building called the Exchange, situated on the corner of Cranberry and Fulton streets. It is a plain brick building without any extraordinary architectural beauty." The court-room was on the second floor. On the first floor of the building was Bokee & Clem's hardware store. David A. Bokee was an influential politician of the Whig school. His store for a time was the headquarters of the Whigs, who would assemble almost daily for consultation. Bokee ran for Mayor in 1843 against Joseph Sprague, the latter being elected by 311 majority. The Whigs elected him an Alderman, and he served during the years 1840–43, 1845–48. He was state senator in 1848 and 1849, congressman from 1849 to 1851, and naval officer from 1851 to 1853. Mr. Bokee was one of the leading members of the First Baptist Church.

The Apprentices' Library Building, where the courts were held, was a notable structure.[76] One of the principal sources of its fame arose from the fact that its corner-stone was laid on the 4th of July, 1825, by that earnest and zealous friend of American institutions, Lafayette. It was taken down in 1858 to make room for the Armory, which was afterward sold. Previous to the erection of the City Hall it served as the municipal building. The Common Council and Board of Education met there. The municipal court also held its sessions in the building, and it afforded room for the post office and county clerk's office. On the 1st of May, 1828, an act was passed by the Legislature providing for the erection of a fire-proof county clerk's office in Brooklyn. The Legislature, on the 25th of April, 1833, passed an act for the erection of a court house and jail in Kings County. By this act Losee Van Nostrand, Joseph Moser, and Peter Canaver were appointed commissioners to purchase a suitable site or sites in the village of Brooklyn for the same. To defray the expenses to be incurred in erecting the buildings, the supervisors were authorized to create a public stock to the amount of $25,000. A building committee of five persons was directed to be appointed by the Supervisors of the county, and the president and Trustees of the[77] village, within sixty days after the passage of the act. The act also provided that when the court house and jail, or either of them, should be so far completed as to permit either of them being used for the purpose intended, that the first judge of the county should sign a declaration to that effect, and file the same in the office of the clerk of said county. The clerk thereupon was to publish the notice in the papers printed in the county, and from and after this publication the terms of the court of common pleas and general sessions should be held in the court-room, and from and after such declaration relating to the jail it should become the common jail of the county. This act was amended February 17, 1834, so as to declare that the second section of the act of 1833 authorized the Supervisors to create stock, not only for the purchase of a site, but also for erecting buildings.

Meanwhile the village had been flourishing in other directions. Its general growth was marked not only by the increase in population, but by the increase in the number of commercial institutions, churches, and schools. A second bank was chartered. A "night boat" began running on the ferry. There was an effort to establish a theatre; and a building for[78] this purpose, subsequently abandoned, was erected, in 1828, on Fulton Street, between Nassau and Concord. The Brooklyn "Evening Star" began daily publication, and continued to be a daily paper for six months, when insufficient patronage made it necessary to suspend daily issue. Stone walks were laid. The movement resulting in the formation of the Brooklyn Gaslight Company was begun. A second bank was chartered. A temperance society, a dispensary, a tract society, and a literary association (the Hamilton) were organized. There began to be talk of water-works and of railroads. Fulton Street was widened, boats appeared on the South Ferry, and the boom in real estate indicated the growing popularity of the village.

The movement for the incorporation of Brooklyn as a city met the determined opposition of a large proportion of New York's inhabitants, who maintained that the propriety of natural growth demanded that Brooklyn and New York should become one city. From the earliest days of their common existence New York had grudged Brooklyn an independent life. The "water-rights" quarrels occupy much space in the early records. Under the early charter New York claimed ownership in[79] the East River, and of Brooklyn land to low-water mark, and afterward to high-water mark. This brought many disputes in the matter of ferry rights,22 and the spirit of this early dispute survived in the later attitude of New York. In the year 1824 the town on Manhattan Island received an income of over eight thousand dollars from the East River ferries. The legislative provision for Brooklyn's harbor-master had been declared to be an encroachment on the rights of New York.23

Despite strong opposition, Brooklyn triumphed at Albany, and in April, 1834, became a full-fledged city.



Government of the City. George Hall, first Mayor. Plans for a City Hall. Contention among the Aldermen. Albert G. Stevens and the Clerkship. The Jamaica Railroad. Real Estate. The "Brooklyn Eagle." Walt Whitman. Henry C. Murphy. Brooklyn City Railroad. The City Court established. County Institutions. The Penitentiary. Packer Institute and the Polytechnic. Williamsburgh becomes a City. Progress of Williamsburgh. Mayor Wall and the Aldermen. Discussion of Annexation with Brooklyn. The "Brooklyn Times." Consolidation of the Two Cities. Mayor Hall's Address. Nassau Water Company and the Introduction of Ridgewood Water. Plans for New Court House. Proposal to use Washington Park. County Cares and Expenditures. Metropolitan Police.

The act of incorporation erected the city of Brooklyn from the village and town of Brooklyn, dividing the city into nine wards. By Section 50 of this act, provision is made against closing or altering streets "within the first seven wards, or fire and watch district, set apart as such by the owners thereof, etc.,[81] and graded, leveled, paved, or macadamized, and against closing or altering streets in said city laid out and opened and used as such for ten years from the passage of this act, without the consent of the Common Council." The act was otherwise conservative in adjusting the new plans to existing conditions.

The government of the city was vested in a mayor and a board of aldermen, the latter, to the number of two from each ward, to be elected annually. The selection of a mayor was conferred upon the Aldermen, whose first choice was George Hall.

Hall was born in New York, in 1795, in the year preceding his father's purchase of the Valley Grove Farm at Flatbush. He was educated at Erasmus Hall, and chose to follow his father's trade of painter and glazier. He made friends, and established a good business position. In 1826 he became a Trustee in the third district of the city. He became president of the village, and in 1833 was reëlected after a hot contest, the bitterness of which resulted from Hall's support of the movement to exclude hogs from the public streets, and to prevent the unlicensed selling of liquor in groceries and elsewhere. The defeat of what[82] was called the "Whig-Hog-Rum" party was announced amid much excitement.

In the July following the choice of Hall as Mayor of the new city, it was resolved to raise $50,000 for the purchase of ground for a city hall. General agreement fixed upon the junction of Fulton and Joralemon streets as sufficiently central. In January of the following year (1835) a committee of the corporation reported favorably on low lands of the Wallabout for a city park, and before the close of the year ground was selling for $1000 an acre.

In May the Aldermen chose Jonathan Trotter for Mayor. Trotter was an Englishman who had been in this country since 1818, and who in 1828 had opened a leather-dressing factory in Brooklyn. He became an Alderman, representing the fourth ward, in 1834.

In 1834 the total valuation was $15,642,290; in 1835 it was $26,390,151; in 1836 it was $32,428,942; and in 1837, $26,895,074. Previous to 1838, the assessments were made by wards, and it is impossible to give the aggregates. The valuation and total taxation for subsequent years, up to 1860, are as follows:—


1838 5,198,956 $112,817.94
1839 26,440,634 145,331.39
1840 25,447,146 134,139.66
1841 25,596,862 151,038.24
1842 24,715,380 159,205.84
1843 21,812,941 159,189.64
1844 23,260,385 176,271.21
1845 24,788,886 163,726.24
1846 26,918,613 227,433.94
1847 29,927,029 250,244.13
1848 31,246,305 306,138.16
1849 32,446,330 404,332.90
1850 36,665,399 411,044.78
1851 45,005,518 572,776.63
1852 58,058,485 617,855.64
1853 68,328,546 772,915.81
1854 72,849,503 959,209.18
1855 94,791,215 1,532,692.68
1856 95,859,735 1,381,114.39
1857 99,016,598 1,783,834.19
1858 104,475,275 1,567,948.39
1859 101,052,666 1,256,820.94
1860 103,680,566 1,969,794.00

In 1835 there were thirteen churches in Brooklyn, as follows: St. Ann's, St. John's, and Christ Church, Episcopalian; Sands Street, York Street, and Washington Street, Methodist, and the African Methodist; First, Second, and Third Presbyterian; St. James', Roman Catholic; Nassau Street, Baptist; and Joralemon Street, Dutch Reformed. St. Luke's (then Trinity) Church, in Clinton Avenue, was organized in this year. The population[84] was 24,310, making a church for each 1807 persons. In 1847 there were fifty-two churches in the city, or one to each 1442 inhabitants.

On the 10th of September, the plan of the City Hall was submitted to the Common Council and approved. The corner-stone, as originally planned, was laid April 28, 1836, by the Mayor. The building, if it had been completed in accordance with first intentions, would have rendered unnecessary the building of the new Court House and municipal buildings. It was started during the inflation times of 1836. The era of wild speculation came to an end. The bubble burst, and work upon the city building was suspended on August 7, 1837. The walls, which had risen above the basement, stood for many years, when the work was resumed and carried to completion on a much smaller scale. The City Hall, as originally planned, was intended to cover the entire square in front of the present edifice.

On the 4th of August, 1836, the Apprentices' Library, having been purchased by the corporation of the city for $11,000, was officially named the City Buildings.

During the time the Common Council met in the City Buildings, Whigs and Democrats[85] were very belligerent. The cause of the trouble grew out of the election for Alderman of the seventh ward. That ward then embraced the area of the present seventh, eleventh, nineteenth, and twentieth wards. The charter election was held in the public schoolhouse on Classen Avenue, between Flushing and Park avenues, on the 11th of March, 1843, and resulted in a tie between John A. Cross and Zebulon Chadbourne, the former being a Whig and the latter a Democrat. A protracted lawsuit followed. Albert H. Osborn, whose seat was to be filled, held over, and ever after the people declared that his initials, A. H. O., stood for Alderman Hold Over.

The contention ran high, and bitterness and rancor marked the deliberations of the Aldermen. At a regular meeting of the Board, held at the City Buildings May 8, a separation took place between the Whig and Democratic members, occasioned by the fight between Cross and Chadbourne for the seat from the seventh ward. The Whig members retired to Hull's Exchange Buildings, whilst the Democrats remained in possession of the City Buildings, and made their appointments. The Whigs did the same.

On the 15th of May a writ of mandamus[86] was served on Alfred G. Stevens, who had been appointed clerk of the Common Council by the Democrats May 8. His election was secured by the vote of A. H. Osborne, without whose holding over the Board would have been a tie.

On the 23d of May the mandamus which had been obtained by Worthington Hodgkinson, the clerk appointed by the Whigs, was argued before the Supreme Court. On the 9th of July, 1843, the motion to displace Stevens and substitute Hodgkinson was decided and denied by the Supreme Court, Chief Justice Nelson and Greene C. Bronson presiding. The decision did not suit the Whigs, and was carried to the Supreme Court at Albany, and argued October 21, 1843. Abraham Crist appeared for the relator, and John Greenwood for the defendant. Shortly afterwards the court decided in favor of the defendant.

The matter was again argued November 24 before Judge Kent in New York, on a motion to obtain the books and papers of the Common Council in the hands of Mr. Stevens. On the 27th Judge Kent again decided in favor of Mr. Stevens.

On the 1st of December the Whig Aldermen were arrested for misdemeanor in neglecting[87] to perform their duty. The complaint was abandoned. On the 5th of December the grand jury found bills of indictment against the several Whig Aldermen for neglecting to serve as members of the Common Council. At this time Seth Low (grandfather of the president of Columbia College) represented the fourth ward in the Common Council. The indictment against the Whig Aldermen grew out of an effort on their part to indict Mayor Sprague. It was a case of the biter being bitten. The grand jury refused to indict the Mayor, and indicted his accusers. The indictment was, however, not pressed to trial.

Meanwhile the Jamaica Railroad had obtained permission to occupy Atlantic Street, and other projects matured. The population of the city had, in 1835, reached 24,310, showing a gain of 9013 in fifteen years.

Trotter was reëlected Mayor, and was succeeded by Jeremiah Johnson, a man whose contemporaries revered him, and whose name occupies, and must always occupy, a high place in the annals of the city. General Johnson was reëlected, and was succeeded by Cyrus P. Smith, who was elected by vote of the people, and who also was reëlected.

[88] The fluster in the real-estate market was paralleled by the financial excitement, which resulted in the suspension of specie payments by the three banks of the city. The year of General Johnson's reëlection was one of general business depression, but the community rallied quickly from the blow inflicted by disordered markets.

In 1841 the Democrats of the county received representation in a new newspaper, the "Brooklyn Eagle and Kings County Democrat." The movement for the establishment of the "Eagle" was led by Henry C. Murphy, with whom Richard Adams Locke was associated in the editorship. The first number appeared in October, and the Democrats were not loth to give the lusty young journal full credit for the success of the campaign, in which its voice gave no uncertain sound.

Directing the helm of the "Eagle" enterprise was the clear-sighted, practical genius of Isaac Van Anden, who soon came into complete control of the paper, and remained sole proprietor until the year 1872. The "Eagle" had its days of adversity; but it had a field, and it had vitality, and its growth was sure and steady. Following Murphy in its early[89] editorship were William B. Marsh, Walt Whitman,24 S. G. Arnold (under whose editorial leadership the name of the paper was abbreviated to "Brooklyn Daily Eagle"), and Henry McCloskey. In 1861 McCloskey was[90] succeeded by Thomas Kinsella, who gave force and distinction to the editorial page of the flourishing paper. Kinsella died in 1884, after having made himself a power in the community. He was succeeded by his first lieutenant on the "Eagle" staff, that graceful writer and orator, Andrew McLean, who afterward took the editorship of the Brooklyn "Citizen." That the "Eagle" was destined to be lucky with its editors, received further indication in the appearance of St. Clair McKelway at the post of command. Mr. McKelway's brilliant gifts as a speaker and as a writer have given to him peculiar prominence in the social, artistic, and political life of the city and the State.

The policy of the "Eagle" has been independently Democratic from the outset, a policy which has fostered, as it has been favored by, a singularly representative constituency. The paper is now controlled by the Eagle Association, of which Colonel William Hester is the president, William Van Anden Hester is secretary, and Harry S. Kingsley is treasurer. Its business management, like its editorial management,—if these may consistently be separated,—has been aggressive and liberal, and goes far toward explaining the present national reputation of the paper.

(Transcriber's note: Text of letter is in Footnote 24.)

[91] Henry C. Murphy, who had, as we have seen, taken so important a part in the starting of the "Eagle," was a young Democrat of prominence in the county. Born in the village of Brooklyn, Murphy had been educated at Columbia College, where he distinguished himself as a writer as well as in general scholarship, and was admitted to the bar in 1833. During his student years, he had taken part in debates in the Young Men's Literary Association, which afterward became the Hamilton Literary Association, with Murphy as president. To this association belongs the honor of popularizing the lyceum lecture system, which afterward became so potent a factor in American civilization, and which in this city represented the beginning of the Brooklyn Lyceum and the Brooklyn Institute. In 1834 he was appointed assistant corporation counsel of the city, and in the following year he formed a legal partnership with the leading lawyer of the city, John A. Lott. This firm, which Judge Vanderbilt afterward joined, won great influence in the city, with whose early politics it was so closely connected.

In 1842 Murphy was chosen Mayor of Brooklyn. He was then but thirty years of age. His administration was forcible throughout,[92] and consistently resulted in his election to Congress, of which he was one of the youngest members. He was a candidate for reëlection, but was defeated by Henry L. Seaman. In the State Constitutional Convention of 1846, he was a delegate from Kings County, with Tunis G. Bergen and Conrad Schwackhammer, and in the autumn of the same year he was again elected to Congress by a large vote.

Upon the election of Buchanan, Murphy was appointed Minister to the Hague. On his return to this country he was elected to the state Senate as an avowed champion of the Union cause. In the later political life of Brooklyn, Murphy took an active interest; and local enterprises, such as the bridge and various railroads, claimed his attention and support. He made important historical collections, wrote valuable contributions to local history, edited the "Journal" of Dankers and Sluyter, and was a leader in the establishment of the Long Island Historical Society.

Murphy was succeeded as Mayor of Brooklyn by Joseph Sprague. The city had now 30,000 population, and thirty-five miles of paved and lighted streets. The Atlantic Dock Company had been incorporated. Thirty-five[93] churches opened their doors on Sunday. A line of stages ran from the ferry to East Brooklyn, and soon afterward a line was established between Fulton and South ferries. In the year of Sprague's election 570 new buildings were finished or in course of erection. During Sprague's second term the Brooklyn City Hospital was incorporated.

Sprague was succeeded by Thomas G. Talmadge, who was followed by Francis Burdett Stryker. In March, 1848, gaslight came into use.

It was in the same year that Augustus Graham indelibly wrote his name in the annals of Brooklyn, by his munificent gifts to the Brooklyn City Hospital, and to the establishment of the Brooklyn Institute in the building on Washington Street built for the Brooklyn Lyceum.

A fire which took place in September destroyed three churches, the post-office, two newspaper offices, and other property to the value of a million and a half of dollars, and might have been more disastrous had not the flames been checked by the destruction of buildings in their path.

Edward Copeland was elected Mayor in 1849. Cypress Hills Cemetery had been established[94] in 1848. In the following year the Cemetery of the Evergreens was incorporated. The ground for Greenwood Cemetery had already been secured.

The idea of a bridge to connect New York and Brooklyn, which had occasionally been discussed at earlier times, was now seriously taken up. The water front assumed a constantly increasing activity.

Copeland was followed in the mayoralty by Samuel Smith, Conklin Brush, and Edward C. Lambert. The latter was able to congratulate the city on a population of 120,000, and the position of seventh city in the Union.

The Brooklyn City Railroad, incorporated in 1853, began in July of the following year the running of street cars on Myrtle Avenue, Fulton Street, and Fulton Avenue. In August cars were running to Greenwood.

The act of May 9, 1846 (Session Laws 1846, chapter 166), authorized the Mayor, Aldermen, and Commonalty of the city of Brooklyn to create a temporary loan, in addition to the loans already authorized, not exceeding the sum of $100,000, for the purpose of erecting a city hall, and provision was made for the issuance of bonds for the purpose.

The Legislature at their session on the 12th[95] of April, 1848, amended the 4th section of the act of April 21, 1846, authorizing the Supervisors to create a loan, and provide further accommodations for the confinement of prisoners, so as to read as follows:—

Sec. 4. The Board of Supervisors of said county, if land should be purchased, are authorized to remove as many prisoners sentenced to hard labor in the County Jail, as they may deem necessary, to the lands so purchased; to place them under such keeper or keepers as they may appoint for that purpose, and to employ them in erecting said penitentiary and workhouse, or such other labor as may be deemed expedient; and they may also authorize and direct the superintendents of the poor of said county to take charge of the establishment (subject to the directions of said Board), and provide the necessary food and clothing for said prisoners, and for those committed as herein next provided. And it shall be lawful for the several magistrates and justices of the peace in said county to commit all offenders convicted before them of petty causes, offenses or misdemeanors, who are in their judgment proper subjects for the penitentiary and workhouse in their discretion.

The city court of Brooklyn was established by an act of the Legislature, March 24, 1849.[96] It had but one judge until 1870, when it was reorganized with three.

On the 10th of March, 1849, an act was passed authorizing the Mayor and Common Council to create a loan, in addition to the loans which had already been authorized by law, not exceeding $50,000, to complete and finish the City Hall.

By virtue of the laws of 1850, chapter 23, the Mayor, Aldermen, and Commonalty were authorized to create an additional loan of $15,000, for the purpose of completing the City Hall of Brooklyn, paying for the fences, ornamenting the grounds belonging thereto, and all other necessary expenses for the full completion and protection of the same.

The subject of building a new court house was again agitated in 1852. On the 17th of September in that year a special committee was appointed by the Board of Supervisors to consider the matter. On the 18th of January, 1853, they reported in favor of applying to the Legislature to carry out the work.

On the 29th of June, 1846, Charles G. Taylor offered a resolution in the Board of Supervisors declaring that it was expedient to purchase lands for the purpose of erecting a workhouse and penitentiary thereon, in accordance[97] with the act of the Legislature passed April 21, 1846. Charles G. Taylor, Barnet Johnson, and James Debevoise, the committee having the matter in charge, reported that 18 acres could be purchased at $200 per acre, and 29 acres for $180 per acre. On the 4th of August, 1846, a resolution was adopted that the same should be purchased, if the titles proved good. On the 4th of December, 1846, Seth Low, John Skillman, and Tunis G. Bergen were appointed a committee to present plans and details.

In April, 1846, the county treasurer issued $2000 of bonds for the erection of the Penitentiary. In 1849 $10,000 more were issued. The total amount of bonds issued up to March 2, 1854, was $155,000. On the 5th of June, 1855, the committee reported that the cost thus far of the easterly and main wing was $111,433.49.

The new Penitentiary was occupied as early as January, 1854, although it was not completed until August, 1856. The total amount of bonds issued for the Penitentiary was $205,000.

It was not until May 3, 1855, that steps were taken to build the female wing of the new Penitentiary.

[98] On the 5th of April, 1853, an act was passed by the Legislature requiring that whenever the Penitentiary should be ready for the reception of prisoners, the Board of Supervisors should file a certificate thereof in the office of the clerk of the county, and publish a notice thereof for three weeks in one or more newspapers, and that thereafter all persons who, on conviction, are liable to imprisonment for not less than thirty days, should be sent there by the magistrates. The Penitentiary is situated on a spot familiarly called Crow Hill, and is bounded by Nostrand, Rogers, President, and Carroll streets. It faces on Carroll Street. Prisoners have been sent here from all parts of the State, and, through the efficient management of its wardens, it has been rendered nearly, if not wholly, self-supporting.

The increase of business and the unsuitableness of location rendered it necessary to change the place for holding the courts. The Legislature was again appealed to, and in 1853 an act was passed authorizing the county to borrow a sum not to exceed $100,000, to purchase a site, and erect buildings for such county offices as the Board of Supervisors might designate. Many sites were offered, and various and diverse propositions and suggestions[99] were made. Some were anxious to have the Court House built on Fort Greene, holding that it would, from its elevation, give character to the building. The matter slumbered until October 10, 1855, when it was again brought up and postponed indefinitely. The difficulty of securing a suitable site now presented itself. Seventeen lots on Vanderbilt Avenue near Baltic Street were proposed, and the Board resolved to purchase them. Soon after the purchase the people, realizing that it was not a proper place, instituted opposition.

When the City Hall was opened the courts were transferred to that building. The room long occupied by Justice Courtney was used by the Supreme and county courts. A small room opposite, now occupied by the Bureau of Elections, was appropriated for the purpose of holding special terms. The county clerk's office occupied a part of the apartments of the present comptroller. The surrogate's court occupied the Court Street portion of the comptroller's present rooms, whilst the register's office was opposite, in the rooms of the present auditor. The city court was held in the room now used by the city clerk. Hall's Exchange Building, in which the courts had been held,[100] was destroyed in the great fire of 1848, and the courts were, thereupon, transferred to the City Hall.

In those days the sheriff lived with his family in the jail on Raymond Street.

If the city was forced to look to the building of its penal institutions and courts of justice, institutions of another kind were springing into being. In 1854 the Brooklyn Female Academy became the Packer Collegiate Institute for Girls; and in the same year a boy's academy was established, with the title of the Brooklyn Collegiate and Polytechnic Institute. The development of these important educational institutions has been one of the most gratifying incidents in the life of the city.

As early as 1848 there had been serious talk of the civic union of Williamsburgh and Brooklyn.

The village of Williamsburgh was incorporated in 1827. Its boundaries then were: "Beginning at the bay, or river, opposite to the town of Brooklyn, and running thence easterly along the division line between the towns of Bushwick and Brooklyn, to the lands of Abraham A. Remsen; thence northerly by the same to a road or highway, at a place called Sweed's Fly; thence by the said highway[101] to the dwelling-house, late of John Vandervoort, deceased; thence in a straight line northerly, to a small ditch or creek, against the meadow of John Skillman; thence by said creek to Norman's Hill; thence by the middle or centre of Norman's Hill to the East River; thence by the same to the place of beginning."

The first officers of the Board of Trustees were Noah Waterbury, president; Abraham Meserole, secretary; and Lewis Sanford, treasurer. In 1829 Williamsburgh had a population of 1007. In 1835 Williamsburgh and Bushwick together had a population of 3314. It was in this year that the "Williamsburgh Gazette" was started. Within a few years came the Williamsburgh Lyceum, the Houston Street Ferry, the "Williamsburgh Democrat," and a Bible Society.

By chapter 144 of Laws of 1850 (p. 242), passed April 4, 1850, so much of the territory of the city of Brooklyn as lay east of the centre of Division Avenue, between the intersection of South Sixth Street, in the village of Williamsburgh, and Flushing Avenue, in the city of Brooklyn, was annexed to the village of Williamsburgh; the city of Brooklyn was divided into eleven wards (therein[102] described), and the Common Council of the city was authorized, under certain restrictions and limitations, to cause streets and avenues to be opened and widened, and to be regulated, graded, and paved, public squares and parks to be opened, regulated, and ornamented, etc., and to close up and discontinue roads, streets, lanes, and avenues, etc.25

By chapter 102 of Laws of 1835 (p. 88), passed April 18, 1835, a portion of the town of Bushwick—"beginning at the southeast corner of the present village of Williamsburgh, running thence southeasterly along the line that divides the town of Bushwick and the city of Brooklyn, to a turnpike road leading from Brooklyn to Newtown and Flushing, at a point near, and southwesterly of, the house of Charles DeBevoise, thence running along said road northeasterly to the crossroads, thence northerly along the road leading to Bushwick Church to the Williamsburgh and Jamaica turnpike, thence northerly along the road, passing the church, and leading to Newtown Bridge, about twelve hundred feet, to an abrupt angle in said road turning to the east, thence westerly about eighteen hundred feet until it intersects the head of navigation[103] of a branch of Bushwick Creek, thence westerly along said branch creek, according to its meanderings, to the main creek, which is the present boundary of the said village of Williamsburgh, thence southerly along the eastern boundary line of the said village of Williamsburgh to the place of beginning"—was annexed to Williamsburgh, and Nicholas Wyckoff, David Johnson, Peter Stagg, Robert Ainslie, and John Leonard were appointed commissioners to lay out streets.

In 1840 the town of Williamsburgh was created, and eleven years later the city of Williamsburgh was incorporated, comprising the village of Williamsburgh. The city was divided into three wards, and the Common Council was authorized, under certain restrictions and limitations, to cause streets and avenues to be opened and widened, and public squares and parks to be opened.

The city charter was drawn by S. M. Meeker, counselor of the village, a lawyer, whose name was prominent in the annals of this section of Brooklyn for many years. Mr. Meeker was counsel of the Williamsburgh Savings Bank when chosen its president in 1881. He was a prime mover in the establishment of the First National Bank.

[104] Abraham J. Berry was the first Mayor of the city of Williamsburgh, William H. Butler being city clerk, George Thompson, attorney and counsel, and Jas. F. Kenny, comptroller. In the first year of the new city's life the Farmers' and Citizens' Bank, the Williamsburgh City Bank, the Williamsburgh City Fire Insurance Company, and the Williamsburgh Medical Society were incorporated. The population was estimated at over 40,000. Over 9000 children attended school, and there were fifteen private schools. A year later the Mechanics' (now the Manufacturers') National Bank was established, and a number of new churches appeared. There were twenty-five Sunday-schools of different denominations. The Young Men's Christian Association of Williamsburgh began its career under favorable auspices.26

William Wall, elected Mayor on the Whig ticket in 1854, was soon at swords' points with the Aldermen, whose resolutions he vetoed with remarkable frequency. His antagonism toward the Aldermen led him to take an active part with those who were urging the consolidation of the cities of Brooklyn and Williamsburgh.

[105] The movement toward annexation was accompanied by all of the conflict of opinion that inevitably characterizes such movements. The Brooklyn "Star," in March, remarked editorially: "We know there are some amongst us who prate of greater taxation and inequalities in favor of Williamsburgh. There are those in Williamsburgh who argue that Brooklyn has greatly the advantage. We are rather disposed to argue that it is like a well-assorted union between man and wife, where, with kindred feelings and objects, both have the advantage. No matter how the property relations may seem to be, we are convinced that time will vindicate the advantage of the union.

"We hope our members of the Legislature will not be persuaded by individual efforts and desires to thwart the will of three committees clearly expressed, with Brooklyn at their head, lifting up the loudest voice. We have taken some pains to ascertain the public sentiment, and it is at this day more clearly in favor of the union than when the vote was taken."

The Williamsburgh "Times" warmly supported the consolidation movement. When the bill prepared by the Consolidation Commission was before the Legislature for action, the[106] "Times" said (March 24): "With the exception of the amendment relative to the office-holders, the bill is nearly in all respects as it passed from the hands of the commissions. Thus the hopes of the friends of consolidation seem in a fair way of being realized, and after a world of pain and trouble the parturition of the new city is at hand. Let us trust that the friends of this measure will not meet with an entire disappointment. There are two grounds for hope in this connection. Brooklyn has been at least a little better governed than ourselves, and a large city can be more cheaply managed than a small one."

The publication of the Williamsburgh "Times" was begun in 1848 by Aaron Smith and George C. Bennett. Bennett, who previously had been associated with Levi Darbee and Isaac A. Smith in printing the Williamsburgh "Morning Post,"27 acquired control of the "Times," and made it a pronounced Whig organ. In 1859 an interest in the paper was secured by Bernard Peters, and under this favoring partnership the paper rapidly advanced in circulation and influence. Bernard[107] Peters, who subsequently became sole proprietor of the paper, had made an important journalistic record at Hartford, Conn., and was already well known in Brooklyn as a Universalist clergyman, whose ringing Union sermons and addresses had aroused public interest during the war period. The later history of the "Times," under Peters' energetic editorship, has been one of consistent progress in public confidence. In politics the "Times" has been Republican, while its policy, to avoid any partisanship that might impair its value as a newspaper, has been strongly worked out with the notable business management of William C. Bryant.

By the act of the Legislature passed in April, 1854, all that part of the county of Kings known as the cities of Brooklyn and Williamsburgh and the town of Bushwick, and bounded easterly by the town of Newtown, Queens County, south by the towns of New Lots, Flatbush, and New Utrecht, west by the town of New Utrecht and the Bay of New York, and north by the East River, was consolidated into one municipal corporation called the city of Brooklyn, and divided into eighteen wards, therein described, and into the eastern and western districts.

[108] A year later all local distinctions in relation to the eastern and western districts were abolished, except as to the Fire Department.

George Hall, who had been first Mayor of Brooklyn upon its incorporation as a city, became the first Mayor of the consolidated cities of Brooklyn and Williamsburgh. In his inaugural address the Mayor said:—

"It is now twenty-one years since I was called by the Common Council to preside over the affairs of the late city of Brooklyn, then first ushered into existence. The population of the city at that time consisted of about 20,000 persons, residing for the most part within the distance of about three quarters of a mile from Fulton Ferry. Beyond this limit no streets of any consequence were laid out, and the ground was chiefly occupied for agricultural purposes. The shores, throughout nearly their whole extent, were in their natural condition, washed by the East River and the bay. There were two ferries, by which communication was had with the city of New York, ceasing at twelve o'clock at night. There were within the city two banks, two insurance companies, one savings bank, fifteen churches, three public schools, and two weekly newspapers. Of commerce and manufactures it can scarcely be said to have had any, its business consisting chiefly of that which was required for supplying the wants of its inhabitants. Sixteen[109] of its streets were lighted with public lamps, of which thirteen had been supplied within the previous year. The assessed value of the taxable property was $7,829,684, of which $6,457,084 consisted of real estate and $1,372,600 of personal property.

"Williamsburgh was incorporated as a village in 1827. Its growth was comparatively slow until after the year 1840. At the taking of the census in that year it was found to contain 5094 inhabitants, and since that time it has advanced with almost unparalleled rapidity, having attained a population of 30,780 in 1850. It was chartered as a city in 1851.

"Within the comparatively short period of twenty-one years what vast changes have taken place! Bushwick, from a thinly settled township, has advanced with rapid strides, and yesterday contained within its limits two large villages, together numbering a population of about 7000 persons. Williamsburgh, from a hamlet, became a city with about 50,000 inhabitants. Brooklyn, judging from its past increase, yesterday contained a population of about 145,000, and on this day—the three places consolidated into one municipal corporation—takes its stand as the third city in the Empire State, with an aggregate population of about 200,000 inhabitants."28

[110] Under the new charter the Board of Aldermen consisted of one alderman elected from each ward. A new board of education came into existence and held its first meeting in February. Other incorporations were those of the Fire Department, the Nassau Water Company, and the Brooklyn Sunday School Union.

The Williamsburgh Ferry Company had been authorized in 1853 to build and maintain docks, wharves, bulkheads, and piers on the land under water in the East River, in front of their lands in the city of Williamsburgh between the foot of South Sixth Street and the foot of South Eighth Street, and extending into the river to a line not more than sixty-five feet from the front of the largest pier on the property.

The Common Council voted a subscription of $1,000,000 to the stock of the Nassau Water Company, on condition that the company show $2,000,000 paid capital stock, and[111] the Aldermen afterward added $300,000 to the subscription. In July of the following year (1856), work on the Nassau Water Works was begun at Reservoir Hill, Flatbush Avenue. The occasion of breaking ground was signalized by imposing ceremonies.

In his January address Mayor Hall announced the opening of fourteen miles of new streets, and the erection of 1034 new buildings.

The business of the city was rapidly increasing, and with the annexation of Williamsburgh the municipality needed all the accommodations afforded in the City Hall for the transaction of its business. The judges were complaining of the cramped condition of their rooms, and the need of further accommodations. The question of a new court house was publicly discussed. It was not, however, until July 6, 1859, that anything definite was done. The Board of Supervisors awoke to the necessity of the hour, and decided to renew their efforts to accomplish the desired result. On the 18th of July, 1860, they resolved to make a new application to the Legislature for authority to purchase land and erect the necessary buildings thereon.

On the 17th of April an act was passed[112] authorizing the Board of Supervisors of Kings County to build a court house for the county. The county treasurer was authorized by the act, under the direction of the Board of Supervisors, to borrow on the credit of the county a sum not exceeding $100,000, and to give his official bonds, in such form as the Board might prescribe, for the payment of the same, with interest payable annually or semi-annually as the Board might direct. The money so collected was to be expended, under the direction of the Supervisors, in the purchase of lands and the erection of a building for the proper accommodation of the courts and county officials. The act also provided for a levy of tax to pay the principal and interest. The Board of Supervisors was authorized to select and determine the location; and when completed, and ready for occupancy, and notice thereof filed, by the Board with the clerk of said county, the same should become for all purposes the court house of the county.

On the 23d of May, 1860, a special committee was appointed to select a proper site for the building, and to report to the Board. Every owner of lots was anxious to dispose of them to the county. Washington Park had its advocates. So favorably did the Supervisors[113] look upon that location, that a committee was appointed to confer with the Board of Aldermen on the subject. When it began to look as if a portion of that famous old hill would be chosen, the abutting owners sent in a remonstrance, claiming that as the park had been paid for in part by assessment on the surrounding property, the city had no right to grant any such privilege. The city fathers, adopting this view of the case, gave the Board no satisfaction, and the scheme was abandoned.

A circular was prepared, and invitations extended to architects to submit plans. The plans were to be deposited with Albert H. Osborn, clerk of the Board of Supervisors, on or before June 3, 1861. A large number were submitted, some coming from St. Louis. The plan of King and Tackritz of Brooklyn was finally accepted.

In March, 1861, the special committee appointed by the Supervisors purchased the land on which the present building stands for $70,000. The land having cost $70,000, only $30,000 was left of the sum directed to be raised to purchase the land and erect the building. As that was insufficient for the purpose, the aid of the Legislature was again invoked, and the passage of an additional act obtained,[114] authorizing the Supervisors to borrow, on the credit of the county, an additional sum of $100,000 to be expended under their direction for the erection of a building or buildings, for the use of the courts and county offices.

In 1858 the expense of supporting the almshouse, and the several institutions connected therewith, was $158,604.66. Including expenditures for out-door relief, the aggregate cost of supporting the poor of the county was $192,079.77. The average number of inmates during the year ending August 1, 1858, was 1495. The cost for the support of each of them was $106.09, or $2.04 per week. This was a decrease on each as compared with the previous year.

The expenses of the several departments were as follows: Almshouse, $36,530.15; hospital, $51,755.19; lunatic asylum, $33,068.26; nursery, $20,571.31; store, $605; miscellaneous, not including temporary relief, $16,074.07.

The total number remaining July 31, 1857, was 1274; number admitted during year, 8570; number of infants boarded out during year, 123; number temporarily relieved, in Brooklyn, Western District, 20,793; Eastern District, 11,661; Flatlands, Flatbush, and New Lots, 378; New Utrecht, 108; making a total[115] of 32,940; and the total number relieved and supported wholly or in part during the year ending July 31, 1858, was 41,623. The population of the county was at this time about 254,000. The number relieved was 16-1/3 per cent. of the population.

It may be interesting to state the number of persons remaining in these institutions at the termination of previous fiscal years. The official statement is as follows: 1849, 494; 1850, 592; 1851, 662; 1852, 873; 1853, 969; 1854, 1156; 1855, 1533; 1856, 1347; 1857, 1274; 1858, 1239.

The number admitted to the hospital during the year 1858 was 2299, of whom 148 were born in the hospital.

During the seven years from August 1, 1850, to August 1, 1857, there were 235 cases of small-pox, of which only 35 died. Of those admitted into the hospital during 1857 and 1858, 565 were born in the United States, 1261 in Ireland, and 369 in Germany. On the 31st of July, 1858, there were 268 patients in the lunatic asylum. In 1850 the number in the asylum was only 91. The nursery had, in 1858, 111 boys and 103 girls; total, 214.

On the 31st of July, 1862, there were in the almshouse, 373; in the nursery, 260; in the[116] lunatic asylum, 366. In 1863 there were 404 in the almshouse; in the nursery, 217; and in the lunatic asylum, 396.

The total number relieved and supported, in whole or in part, for the year ending July 31, 1863, was 22,879. The population of the city at the time was 295,000. The net cost was $141,640.52.

Mayor Hall was succeeded by Samuel S. Powell, who served for three terms. During his occupancy of the Mayor's chair many significant advances were made in the growth of the city. In April, 1857, the Metropolitan Police law went into effect. By this enactment the counties of New York, Kings, Westchester, and Richmond, and the towns of Newtown, Flushing, and Jamaica were placed under a single system of police. The first commissioners from Brooklyn were J. S. T. Stranahan, James W. Nye, and James Bowen.

Ridgewood water was supplied to the city through mains which were opened on December 4, 1858. In April of the following year the event was marked by a public demonstration. The Brooklyn Academy of Music was incorporated in 1859, and the collegiate department of the Long Island College Hospital was opened.



Election of Mayor Kalbfleisch. The Call for Troops. The Militia. Filling the Regiments. Money for Equipment. Rebuking Disloyalty. War Meeting at Fort Greene. Work of Women. The County sends 10,000 Men in 1861. Launching of the Monitor at Greenpoint. The Draft Riots. Colonel Wood elected Mayor. Return of the "Brooklyn Phalanx." The Sanitary Fair. Its Features and Successes. The Calico Ball. Significance of the Fair. The Christian Commission. Action of the Supervisors of the County. The Oceanus Excursion. Storrs and Beecher at Sumter. News of Lincoln's Death. Service of the National Guard. The "Fighting Fourteenth." The Newspapers. Court House finished.

The sense of impending and imminent danger, which made itself felt throughout the country in the winter of 1860–61, was strongly apparent in Brooklyn, and when the crash came the city was not unprepared in any sense.

It was only a few days after the election of Martin Kalbfleisch as Mayor29 that Brooklyn[118] was startled by the news that Fort Sumter had surrendered.

The announcement occasioned intense excitement throughout the city. In a remarkably short space of time the strength of the city's loyalty to the Union cause made itself felt. Those who sympathized with the South, or who were wavering in their allegiance, were made to feel the necessity for modifying their views, or for avoiding any sign of disloyalty. The national flag appeared in every quarter of the city. Its absence was noted wherever that absence could be construed into a sign of unpatriotic feeling. Crowds threatened violence to Southern sympathizers. The Mayor urged moderation, and the early excesses of patriotism soon passed.

Meanwhile, volunteers flocked to the flag. The four militia regiments in the Fifth Brigade were the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, Twenty-eighth, and Seventieth. At the time of the alarm the regiments were not numerically strong. Less than 300 men were in the Thirteenth; less than 200 in the Fourteenth; the Twenty-eighth and Seventieth were somewhat stronger.

At the call of the President the regiments rapidly filled. Captain W. H. Hogan organized[119] an artillery company. In the Eastern District, the Forty-seventh Regiment was organized, with Colonel J. V. Meserole in command. Amid enthusiastic demonstrations the Fourteenth left for the front in May, 1861.

The scenes during the first hours of the war period were those characteristic of every community in which the Union sentiment was strong and unquestionable. Every class in the community made response. Plymouth Church, from whose pulpit had come the loyal and stirring oratory of Henry Ward Beecher, subscribed $1000 toward the equipment of the local regiments. A sum equally generous came from the Pierrepont Street Baptist Church. The Union Ferry Company offered to continue the salaries of any of its employees who might volunteer, thus assuring the safety of their families. Local business men and corporations gave similar demonstrations of patriotism. The appropriations of the Common Council began with a provision for the disbursement of $75,000 for the relief of the families of those who should volunteer. The Kings County Medical Society resolved that its members should attend gratuitously the families of volunteers.

There were signs of lukewarmness in certain[120] quarters, and definite manifestations of sympathy with the South; but these met with decisive rebuke whenever they appeared. The Navy Yard was threatened, or was supposed to be threatened, by incendiary rebel sympathizers, but prompt action prevented the possibility of any form of attack.

A war meeting at Fort Greene drew out 50,000 people, and elicited demonstrations of hearty patriotism. A corps of Brooklyn women volunteered as nurses, and lint societies were organized by energetic women who undertook to supply equipment for the nurses. Women in the Clinton Avenue Congregational Church supplied over fifteen hundred yards of bandaging to the Twenty-eighth Regiment, which, amid great enthusiasm, followed the Thirteenth to the front. Brooklyn was largely represented in the organizing of the Twenty-first New York Volunteers. The organization of the Forty-eighth New York, under Colonel Perry, the First Long Island Regiment, the Nineteenth New York Volunteers (East New York), and the Fifth Independent Battery followed.

In 1861 the city and county sent out 10,000 men. The draft of 1862 rather staggered the city at its first coming, but the rally was enthusiastic, and the patriotic work proceeded.[121] The armories of the city became centres of loyal activity.

The new fighting engine, the Monitor, was launched at Greenpoint in January, 1862. In March the novel iron craft had her struggle with the rebel Merrimac in Hampton Roads.

Greenpoint sent over a company to the Thirty-first New York Volunteers.

In 1863 the local militia, or National Guard, included the Thirteenth Regiment, under Colonel Woodward; the Twenty-third, Colonel Everdell; the Twenty-eighth, Colonel Bennett; the Forty-seventh, Colonel Meserole; the Fifty-second, Colonel Cole; the Fifty-sixth, Colonel Adams. In the Southern trips, such as those made by the Twenty-third and the Forty-seventh regiments, the National Guard performed excellent service aside from the heavier duty in action.

The New York draft riots of 1863 naturally affected Brooklyn very closely, not only in such instances of mob violence as the firing of the grain elevators in the Atlantic Basin, but in the menacing and really dangerous movements incident to the reign of terror. Brooklyn volunteers lent important aid in the defense of the State Arsenal in New York.

To facilitate recruiting in the county, the[122] Supervisors, in November, 1863, resolved upon acquiring a loan of $250,000, and $300 bounty was afterward paid to each recruit.

Mayor Kalbfleisch was succeeded as Mayor in 1864 by Colonel Wood, who had organized the Fourteenth Regiment, was wounded and captured at the first Bull Run, and was released by exchange in 1862.

The return of the "Brooklyn Phalanx," the First Long Island Regiment, under Colonel Cross, in January, 1864, was the occasion for an immense demonstration. The regiment had taken part in fourteen battles, and came home with 234 men out of 1000.

An event of the war period that is to be regarded as of the highest significance, not only for the relation it bore to the necessities of the war, but to the progress of the city, was what is known as the great Sanitary fair.


This Brooklyn and Long Island fair was instituted by the War Fund Committee of Brooklyn and Kings County, and the Woman's Relief Association of Brooklyn, which was known as the Brooklyn Auxiliary of the United States Sanitary Commission. The fair committee was organized with A. A. Low as president. Arrangements for coöperation between all the churches and private and[123] public societies in the city were efficiently perfected, and a public meeting was held at the Academy of Music in January, 1864. Meetings to promote the same object were held at Flatbush, Greenpoint, and elsewhere. Buildings were erected adjacent to the Academy to give shelter to the Museum of Arts, a restaurant, a department of relics and curiosities, and quarters for the "Drum Beat," a journal published during the fair, under the editorship of the Rev. Dr. Storrs and Francis Williams.

The fair opened on Washington's Birthday with a great military parade. The Academy presented a brilliant spectacle. The art display in the Assembly rooms was a triumph in the art annals of the city; the New England Kitchen ingeniously duplicated the features of a colonial New England domestic scene.

On March 11 the fair closed with a memorable calico ball. In the hall of manufactures was a huge broom, sent from Cincinnati, and bearing this inscription: "Sent by the managers of the Cincinnati Fair, Greeting: We have swept up $240,000; Brooklyn, beat this if you can." Brooklyn's reply, in the words of an individual respondent, was: "Brooklyn sees the $240,000, and goes[124] $150,000 better." Such, indeed, were the superb figures of profit from this remarkable enterprise.

The fair has been much extolled for its influence on the city itself. "The first great act of self-assertion ever made by the city of Brooklyn," is a typical comment on the event. However the fair may be regarded in this light, it was a brilliantly successful effort. The service of the Women's Relief Association, of which Mrs. J. S. T. Stranahan was the distinguished leader, was in the highest degree admirable.

The Christian Commission for Brooklyn and Long Island, to act in concert with the United States Christian Commission, was organized in March. Before the close of the war this commission had sent out 1210 Bibles and parts of the Scriptures; 4033 psalm books and hymn books; 50,544 magazines and pamphlets; 177,520 newspapers and periodicals, and other printing, making up a total of 1,078,304.

The Supervisors of the county repeatedly took measures to stimulate volunteers. In July (1864) the Board directed its bounty committee "to pay to any person furnishing an accepted volunteer or recruit for three[125] years' United States service, the sum not exceeding $300, the same as paid to any drafted man furnishing a substitute, and to be paid upon the like certificate of the United States officer, and without regard to the person furnishing such recruit being liable to be drafted into the United States service."

In July, shortly after the laying of the corner-stone of an armory in the Eastern District, the committee began paying "hand-money" prizes of $175 and upward to persons bringing recruits. In September the news that Kings County was "out of the draft" was hailed with great satisfaction.

Early in 1865 the evidences that the war was drawing to a close clearly appeared. A party of excursionists which left Brooklyn, in April, on the steamer Oceanus, learned at Charleston of Lee's surrender, and witnessed the restoration of the flag on Sumter. The Rev. Dr. Storrs and Henry Ward Beecher were present and spoke. The party heard of Lincoln's assassination before reaching home.

The tragedy of Ford's Theatre, by which the strong hand of Lincoln was taken from the government of the nation, threw the city into profound gloom. The War Fund Committee opened subscriptions, which were limited[126] to one dollar from each person, and the result of this prompt, patriotic, and well-managed movement was the statue of Lincoln by Henry K. Brown, which occupies a commanding place in Prospect Park Plaza.30

The record of Brooklyn's National Guard organizations is an honorable one. The Thirteenth Regiment (National Guard), the first company of which, known as the Brooklyn Light Guard, was organized as long ago as 1827, had for its first colonel Abel Smith. The call of President Lincoln in 1861 elicited a unanimous offer of service from the Thirteenth, which went farther south than any other New York regiment, save the Eleventh. It formed a part of the left wing of McClellan's army. When the regiment was called into active service for the third time, John B. Woodward was in command.31

The Fourteenth Regiment has the distinction of being the only one of the National Guard regiments that served throughout the war. It left for the front under command of[127] Colonel Alfred M. Wood. At Bull Run, at Gettysburg, in the Wilderness, and elsewhere, it performed heavy and prolonged service. In twenty-one battles its mettle was tested, and the record made by the "red-legged devils" is a brilliant and honorable one.

The Twenty-third Regiment was the outgrowth of one of the Home Guard companies of the war period. It was summoned to Harrisburgh, Penn., in 1863, being then in command of Colonel Everdell. The subsequent history of the regiment has been one of steady rise in efficiency and distinction.

The Forty-seventh Regiment, organized, as already stated, under the leadership of J. V. Meserole,32 was called to Washington, and was recalled after thirty days' service in consequence of the draft riots, in which, with the Forty-third, it performed valuable service.

The Third Battery was organized in 1864, by Major E. O. Hotchkiss.

Brooklyn is estimated to have contributed 30,000 men to the guards and armies of the Union during the war; but this estimate would not represent the highly creditable extent of the city's support to the great cause which saw its triumph in 1865.

[128] During the years of the war the voice of the Brooklyn press gave no uncertain sound. The "Eagle" had become a lusty leader of public opinion. The "Times" on the other side of the city was making for itself a creditable name. The "Daily Union," established in 1863, voiced the ardor of the Union cause with energetic patriotism. German readers found in the "Long Island Anzeiger,"33 started in 1864, cordial support to every good Northern principle in a strain worthy of the young journal's editor, Colonel Henry E. Roehr, who had been one of the earliest volunteers, and won many honors at the front. In 1872 Colonel Roehr began the publication of a German daily paper, the "Freie Presse."

On the 7th of April, 1863, the Legislature passed another act authorizing the Supervisors to raise a sum not exceeding $125,000, to be used in the erection and furnishing of the Court House building.

The ground on which the Court House stands is 140 feet on Fulton and Joralemon streets, by 351 feet deep. No better location[129] could have been selected. The building was constructed under the direction of the Board of Supervisors, of which body the late General Crook was chairman. The building committee were Samuel Booth, Charles C. Talbot, William H. Hazzard, Charles A. Carnaville, Gilliam Schenck, and George G. Herman. The architects were Gamaliel King and Henry Teckritz.

The ground was broken October, 1861, and the corner-stone was laid May 20, 1862, by the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of New York, Daniel T. Walden of Brooklyn officiating as Grand Master. Addresses were made on the occasion by Mayor Kalbfleisch, representing the city; General Crook, president of the Board of Supervisors, representing the county; Judge John A. Lott, for the judiciary; and Dr. Storrs delivered an eloquent address.

Owing to the unsettled condition of the country, during the Rebellion, the work did not advance rapidly. The price of materials increased, and labor commanded war prices. Many of the contractors declined to proceed, and new and less advantageous contracts had to be made. The price of the carpenters' work alone was increased $5000, and the[130] feverish state of the times added more than $100,000 to the expense. The total cost of the building, land, and furniture was $551,757.28.

The building is erected on the site of the old Military Garden. When the land was purchased and the building erected, there were some old buildings between it and Boerum Place. The Court House was placed on a line with the street, in order that it might not be hidden by the adjoining structures. It is a great pity that the Supervisors did not see that in the process of time the adjoining land would be owned by the county. Had they thought of this, they could have placed the edifice twenty feet further back from the street, and thereby greatly improved its appearance.

It is to be noted that the Court House was constructed within the sum appropriated. Its manner of construction is in striking contrast to the methods pursued in New York. It stands to-day a monument to the integrity and capacity of the Board of Supervisors, and all in any wise concerned in its construction.

The building was finished in February, 1865, and thrown open to public inspection on the evenings of February 28 and March 1, 1865.34



Administration of Samuel Booth. Metropolitan Sanitary District created. Cholera. Erie Basin Docks. The County Institutions and their Work. The Gowanus Canal and the Wallabout Improvement. The Department of Survey and Inspection of Buildings. Establishing Fire Limits. Building Regulations. Prospect Park. The Ocean Parkway. The Fire Department. The Public Schools. The East River Bridge. Early Discussion of the Great Enterprise. The Construction begun. Death of Roebling. The Ferries. Messages of Mayor Kalbfleisch. Erection of a Brooklyn Department of Police. Samuel S. Powell again Mayor. A New City Charter. Movement toward Consolidation with New York. Henry Ward Beecher. Frederick A. Schroeder elected Mayor.

When Samuel Booth entered the office of Mayor in 1866, the city of Brooklyn, in common with other communities throughout the country, was suffering from the results of the strain imposed by the war and its resulting incidents; and the fact that his own party was in the minority in the Board of Aldermen did not lighten the burden of the Mayor. Notwithstanding[133] these political conditions no veto by Booth was overridden by the Board.

In February of this year the Legislature created a metropolitan sanitary district corresponding to the metropolitan police district, and a board of health composed of the police commissioners, four sanitary commissioners, and the health officer of the port of New York. Brooklyn was represented in this board by Dr. James Crane, as sanitary commissioner, and T. G. Bergen as police commissioner. Dr. John T. Conkling was made assistant sanitary superintendent, and Dr. R. Cresson Stiles was made deputy registrar of vital statistics for Brooklyn. To this force six sanitary inspectors were added.

This movement represented the practical beginnings of that interesting modern system of sanitary inspection and regulation by which the cities of New York and Brooklyn have in recent years attained such improved conditions. The movement had been urged by the prevalence of cholera in Europe, and the new board found occasion to make great exertions to prevent the entrance of the disease here. The disease appeared in New York in April, and Brooklyn's first case was reported on July 8. In spite of the precautions the disease[134] gained considerable headway in sections of the city where the sanitary conditions were worst, and the total number of cases in Brooklyn reached 816. More than a quarter of the total number of cases occurred in the twelfth ward. The number of deaths in the city reached 573. The cholera hospital, opened at Hamilton Avenue and Van Brunt Street in July, was closed on October 1.

In October the completion of the large Erie Basin dry docks was the occasion of a celebration. These great docks, built by a Boston syndicate, have since been used by most of the large iron ships that are docked at the port of New York. The chamber of Dock No. 1 is 510 feet long, and 112 feet wide at the top. Dock No. 2 is 610 feet long and 124 feet wide at the top.

In this month occurred also the interesting occasion marked by the presentation of the medals ordered by the Common Council for each honorably discharged, or still serving, Brooklyn soldier who had done his share toward the saving of the Union.

Among the legacies of the war was a great deal of poverty that public provision had not obliterated. An exceptional degree of distress appeared during the decade following the war.

[135] There were admitted into the almshouse during the year ending July 31, 1868, 5500 persons, and at the close of the year there remained 1995. The total number relieved by the commissioners during the year was 44,734. The amount expended was $464,800.61, being an average of $10.40 to each person relieved. Of the number relieved, 7273 were in the institutions. The population of the county at this time was 375,000. It will be seen that 11.9 per cent, of the population received aid from the public institutions. In addition to this, many others received assistance from the churches and benevolent societies.

Formerly the county was divided into districts, to which the poor would come to receive assistance. During the year ending July 31, 1870, 38,270 persons applied for and received aid. This was about ten per cent, of the population. The amount expended was $128,602.83.

This system has been discontinued, and the work is done by other agencies, notably by the Society for Improving the Condition of the Poor. This society, officered by public-spirited and efficient men, has made a highly creditable record. Connected with the society is an effective advisory committee, selected from each ward. Every case is carefully investigated,[136] and imposition is rendered almost impossible. In 1880 the number of cases investigated was 2755; of these 214, or about eight per cent., were rejected. The number relieved who were found worthy was about one fourteenth of the number receiving aid in 1870, while the disbursements were only $23,009.68, or 18.5 per cent. of the former expense.

During the year ending July 31, 1869, there were remaining in the lunatic asylum of the county, 557. The whole number under treatment during the year was 818. Of those remaining, 225 were males and 322 females. There were admitted, during the year, 286. The whole number admitted into the almshouse in 1869 was 2090.

The number treated in the hospital in 1863 was 2023; in 1864, 2601; in 1866, 3505; in 1867, 2828; in 1868, 2613. In the hospital there were treated, in 1876, 4270 persons.

By an act of the Legislature in May, 1867, the Inebriates' Home for Kings County was incorporated. A movement led by A. E. Mudie resulted in the establishment of a Brooklyn branch of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

The Legislature provided at this session for the dredging and docking of Gowanus Canal,[137] and for the "Wallabout Improvement," under the direction of a commissioner. Another provision of the Legislature was for a department for the survey and inspection of buildings in the Western District of the city. A section of this law provided that the chief officer of this department should be called the "Superintendent of Buildings." He was to be appointed by the board of trustees of the fire department, and confirmed by the Board of Aldermen. He was to have been an "exempt fireman" for five years, a fire underwriter for ten years, and was to be, ex officio, a member of the board of trustees of the fire department.

Concerning the duties of inspectors the law said:—

"It shall be the duty of the inspectors to examine all buildings whereon violations are reported, and all buildings reported dangerous or damaged by fire, and make a written report of such examinations to the superintendent, with their opinion relative thereto; to reëxamine all buildings under applications to raise, enlarge, alter, or build upon, and report to the superintendent the condition of the same, with their opinion relative thereto; and in the absence of the superintendent they shall be empowered to act with all the powers enjoyed[138] and possessed by said superintendent. And the said inspectors shall perform such other duties as the superintendent of buildings may from time to time require of them.

"The inspectors of buildings shall be under the direction of the superintendent, and shall attend all fires occurring in their respective districts, and report to the chief engineer or assistant engineer present, all information they may have relative to the construction and condition of the buildings or premises on fire, and the adjoining buildings, whether the same be dangerous or otherwise, and report in writing to said department, all such buildings damaged by fire or otherwise, with a statement of the nature and amount of such damages, as near as they can ascertain, together with the street and number of such building, the name of the owners, lessees, and occupants, and for what purpose occupied; and said inspectors shall examine all buildings in course of erection, alteration, and repair throughout their respective districts, at least once every day (Sundays and holidays excepted), and shall report in writing, forthwith, to the superintendent, all violations of any of the several divisions of this act, together with the street and number of the building or premises upon which violations are found, and the names of the owners, agents, lessees, occupants, builders, masons, carpenters, roofers, furnace builders,[139] and architects, and all other matters relative thereto, and shall report in the same manner all new buildings in their respective districts, and the clerk shall perform such duties as may be assigned him by the superintendent. All the officers appointed under this act shall, so far as may be necessary for the performance of their respective duties, have the right to enter any building or premises in said city."

The fire limits of the city were then fixed to "comprise all that portion of said city beginning at the East River at the northwest corner of the United States Navy Yard, and running thence southwesterly and southeasterly along said Navy Yard to the centre of Navy Street; thence southerly along the centre of Navy Street to the northerly side of Flushing Avenue; thence easterly along the northerly side of Flushing Avenue to the centre of Washington Avenue; thence southerly along the centre of Washington Avenue to the southerly side of Warren Street; thence westerly along the southerly side of Warren Street to the easterly side of Vanderbilt Avenue; thence southerly along the easterly side of Vanderbilt Avenue, and across Flatbush Avenue in a straight line, to the southeasterly corner of Union Street and Ninth Avenue; thence southerly along[140] the easterly side of Ninth Avenue to the northerly side of Fifteenth Street; thence easterly along the northerly side of Fifteenth Street to the centre of Tenth Avenue; thence southerly along the centre of Tenth Avenue to the centre of Twenty-first Street; thence westerly along the centre of Twenty-first Street to a point distant one hundred feet west of the westerly side of Third Avenue; thence northerly and parallel with Third Avenue, and one hundred feet westerly therefrom, to a point distant one hundred feet southerly from the southerly side of Hamilton Avenue; thence northwesterly and parallel with Hamilton Avenue, and one hundred feet southerly therefrom, to a point distant one hundred feet easterly from the easterly side of Columbia Street; thence southerly and parallel with Columbia Street, and one hundred feet easterly therefrom, to a point distant one hundred feet southerly from the southerly side of Nelson Street; thence westerly and parallel with Nelson Street, and one hundred feet southerly therefrom, in a straight line, to a point distant one hundred feet easterly from the easterly side of Richard Street; thence southerly and parallel with Richard Street, and one hundred feet easterly therefrom, to a point distant one hundred[141] feet southerly from the southerly side of King Street; thence westerly and parallel with King Street, and one hundred feet southerly therefrom, to the East River, and thence along the easterly shore of the East River to the point or place of beginning at the said northwest corner of the United States Navy Yard; and also extending from the centre of Washington Avenue along both sides of Fulton Avenue, one hundred feet on each side, to the easterly side of Bedford Avenue, and such further portion of the Western District of said city as the Common Council of the city of Brooklyn by ordinance may from time to time, as hereinafter provided, include therein."


The act provided in detail rules for building within the fire limits, and regulations appertaining to building in general. Thus it was provided that "no timber shall be used in the front or rear walls of any dwelling, store, or storehouse, or other building hereafter built or erected within the Western District of said city, where stone, brick, or iron is commonly used; each lintel on the inside of the front or rear wall or side walls shall have a secure brick arch over it, and no wall strips in any wall thereof shall exceed in thickness one half of one inch, and in width two[142] and one half inches; and no bond timber in any wall thereof shall in width and thickness exceed the width and thickness of a course of brick; and no bond timber shall be more than six feet in length; and such bond timbers shall be laid at least eighteen inches apart from each other, longitudinally, on either side of any wall, and the continuous line thereof shall be broken every six feet by inserting a brick of eight inches; and no front, rear, or other wall of any such dwelling, store, storehouse, or other building now erected, or hereafter to be erected, as aforesaid, within the fire limits, or as they may hereafter be extended as aforesaid, or any brick or stone building or buildings in the Western District of the city of Brooklyn, shall be cut off or altered below, to be supported in any manner, in whole or in part, by wood, but shall be wholly supported by brick, stone, or iron; and no wood or timber shall be used between such wall and such supporters; but it shall be lawful to insert a lintel of wood over the doors and windows of the first story of stores, of oak or Georgia pine, of such length and size as shall be first approved and determined by the superintendent of buildings."

An important movement, begun before the[143] war, culminating in 1860, and bearing fruit soon after the close of the war, resulted in the establishment of one of Brooklyn's chief objects of pride,—Prospect Park. The actual construction of the park began in 1866, and was steadily continued until 1874.

The laying out and adornment of the park was placed in the hands of a commission, of which J. S. T. Stranahan, always a leading figure in the park movement, was the president. This commission, originally constituted under an act of the Legislature for the laying out, adornment, and management of the park, had its powers and duties increased by succeeding laws, until it had under its control Washington Park, City Park, Carroll Park, the Parade Ground, and all the public grounds appertaining to the city.

In their report for 1868 the commissioners said: "The propriety, if not the absolute necessity, of an extension of Prospect Park at its western angle, so as to allow the principal drive in that direction to be carried out according to the original design, has been repeatedly urged in former reports of the board, and the Legislature was on more than one occasion applied to for permission to make the desired acquisition; but without success. The commissioners[144] have now, however, the pleasure of stating that an act was passed at the last session, authorizing this extension, and directing the board to apply to the Supreme Court for the appointment of commissioners to estimate the value of the land so taken."

The ground under treatment during the year covered by this report represented over two hundred acres. "The finished drives," says this report, "now amount to nearly three miles and a quarter, being a little more than two miles in excess of that which we were able to report last year. Of bridle paths, we have nearly a mile and a half finished or well progressed; and of walks three miles and three quarters are completed, and nearly five additional miles in progress. The very large and continually increasing number of delighted visitors show how thoroughly these walks and drives are appreciated by them. A fine specimen of rustic work has been erected near the main entrance to the park for a summer house; and a vine-covered trellis-work, with seats overlooking the children's play-ground, commands a beautiful sea and island view, and, when covered with the foliage and flowers of climbing plants, will afford grateful shelter to all such as may be disposed to linger in its shade."

[145] The arrangement of the park steadily advanced until it has become one of the most beautiful in the world. Covering 525 acres, its meadows, woodland, lakes, and drives combine to create a picture of remarkable beauty. The lakes cover 50 acres; the woodland, 110 acres; the meadows, 70 acres; the gardens and shrubbery, 200 acres; and there are over 60 acres of water-way. Five and a half miles of main drives were laid out, and minor drives and walks covering a distance of thirteen miles.

The later creation of the Ocean Parkway was a desirable movement, resulting as it did in a driveway running southward from the park to the sea,—a distance of five and a half miles. This magnificent drive is 210 feet wide for its entire length, being subdivided into a main and two minor roadways, with lines of shade-trees to mark the receding lines.

The Parade Ground, adjoining the park on the east, was a popular device. The broad field has contributed an important factor in the summer life of the city, its acres being in constant demand during the out-door season for all manner of sports.

These improvements and others associated with the minor parks of the city have placed heavy obligations on the park commissioners.

[146] A permanent board of water and sewerage commissioners was created by an act of April 2, 1869. The board received exclusive power to cause streets to be repaved, regraded, and repaired; to cause cross-walks to be relaid and sidewalks to be reflagged; and generally to have such other improvements, in and about such streets so to be repaved, regraded, or repaired, to be made, as in their judgment the public wants and convenience shall require. The board held other authority, afterward vested in the board of city works.

The charter of the Nassau Water Company was obtained in 1855. In 1857 the city had acquired all the contracts, property, and rights of the Nassau Company. The thirty-six inch main laid from Ridgewood in 1858 was followed by an additional forty-eight inch main laid in 1867. Three mains have since been added, giving the city water from a drainage area of seventy-four square miles.

The act of 1869, by which the fire department of the city was reorganized, called upon the Mayor, the street commissioners, the president of the Board of Aldermen, the city treasurer, and the comptroller, to appoint four citizens as fire commissioners: "Said commissioners, on being qualified, shall meet and[147] reorganize the fire department of the city of Brooklyn, by electing one of said commissioners to be president, and appointing a person to be secretary; whereupon they shall possess and have all the power and authority conferred upon or possessed by any and all officers of the present fire departments of the city of Brooklyn, and of each division thereof, except such power and authority as is now vested by law in the trustees of the fire departments of the Eastern and Western districts of the city of Brooklyn, which said divisions shall continue distinct from each other, so far as relates to the Widows' and Orphans' Fund of each district, but for no other purpose; and the persons elected and now acting as the trustees of the Widows' and Orphans' Fund of the Eastern District, and those elected and acting as trustees of the Widows' and Orphans' Fund of the Western District, shall remain and continue to have and exercise, each division respectively, all such powers and duties as are now vested by law in said boards, with regard to the Widows' and Orphans' Fund of each district" (sec. 2).

By the report of School Superintendent Buckley, issued in July (1869), it appeared that the whole number of pupils attending the[148] public day schools numbered 70,000. In the evening schools 10,000 more were taught, while the private schools received 22,142 scholars. At this time the value of the schoolhouse sites in the city was placed at $276,386; that of the buildings at $709,727.

Building throughout the city became very active. The widening of Broadway in the Eastern District materially affected the prosperity of that section of the city, to which Broadway became the leading business artery. Grand Street developed into a busy thoroughfare, and Fourth Street, now northern Bedford Avenue, became the third important street of this section. For a site for a new building on Broadway at Fifth (now Driggs Street), the Williamsburgh Savings Bank paid the then enormous sum of $210,000. The superb structure afterward erected on this ground is one of the most imposing in the city, its classic dome rearing itself among those objects in the city which command first attention from Bridge spectators.

In 1869 it was estimated that Brooklyn had 500 miles of streets, and 150 miles of sewer. Mayor Kalbfleisch's message reported a total of 3307 buildings erected in 1868. The assessed value of real and personal property in the county was $199,840,551.

[149] But most momentous of the movements of this period was that looking to the building of the first East River bridge. The possibility of a bridge over the East River had been discussed early in the history of the two cities. General Johnson35 had discussed the feasibility of the suggestion, and had argued that the plan was quite within the possibilities of engineering science. Thomas Pope, in a volume published in 1811, by Alexander Niven, 120 Duane Street, New York, describes his idea of a "flying pendent lever bridge," which was intensely original as well as impossible.

In 1836 General Swift proposed the erection of a dike over the river. The dike was to have a central drawbridge, and was to give foundation to a broad boulevard, running between the two cities. At a later day Colonel Julius A. Adams of Brooklyn, while engaged upon the bridge of the Lexington and Danville Railroad, over the Kentucky River, conceived the idea of an East River bridge, to extend from Fulton Ferry on the Brooklyn side to a point near Chatham Square, on the New York side. The intention was to have the main body of the bridge built of two elliptic tubes, placed side by side, and supported by[150] ribbons of steel. There were to be three platforms for travelers, and it is claimed by its projector that the capacity would have been greater than that of the present structure. Colonel Adams communicated his plan to Mr. William C. Kingsley, who was largely engaged in the contracting business in this city. Mr. Kingsley entered heartily into the spirit of the enterprise, and carefully examined the diagrams submitted by the engineer. He spent several months in a thorough and exhaustive examination of the entire question, studied the needs of the two cities, and finally became thoroughly impressed with the practicability and feasibility of the scheme. In connection with the project he consulted with some of the eminent and public-spirited citizens of Brooklyn, among them James S. T. Stranahan, Henry C. Murphy, Judge Alexander McCue, Isaac Van Anden, Seymour L. Husted, and Thomas Kinsella.36 The more these gentlemen talked and thought about the matter, the deeper interest they felt in it. Mr. Kingsley in particular continued undisturbed in the belief that the time for bridging the river had come, and he persisted in this view until the enterprise was carried beyond the region[151] of remote speculation into the clear atmosphere of intelligently directed and practical effort. The Hon. Henry C. Murphy at the time represented Kings County in the state Senate, where he wielded a vast influence, and was regarded as one of the leaders of his party in the State. Upon the basis of Colonel Adams's plans a bill was prepared providing for the construction of a bridge across the East River. Copies of the original drawings were taken to Albany and exhibited in the Senate and Assembly Chamber. The project received Senator Murphy's unflagging support, and through his endeavors and the energetic and untiring aid of its projectors, it became a law.

The act incorporating the New York Bridge Company was passed by the Legislature on April 16, 1867. It named as incorporators the following citizens of New York and Brooklyn:—

John T. Hoffman
Edward Ruggles
Samuel Booth
Alexander McCue
Martin Kalbfleisch
Charles A. Townsend
Charles E. Bill
T. Bailey Myers
William A. Fowler
Simeon B. Chittenden
Smith Ely, Jr.
Grenville T. Jenks
Henry E. Pierrepont
John Roach
Henry G. Stebbins
C. L. Mitchell
Seymour L. Husted
[152]William W. W. Wood
Andrew H. Green
William C. Rushmore
Alfred W. Craven
T. B. Cornell
Isaac Van Anden
Alfred M. Wood
William Marshall
John W. Coombs
John H. Prentice
John P. Atkinson
Edmund W. Corlies
Ethelbert S. Mills
Arthur W. Benson
John W. Hayward
P. P. Dickinson
J. Carson Brevoort
Samuel McLean
William Hunter, Jr.
Edmund Driggs
John Morton

By this act power was given these incorporators and their associates to acquire real estate for the site of the bridge and approaches; to borrow money up to the limit of the capital, and to establish laws and ordinances for the government of the structure upon its completion. The capital stock was fixed at $5,000,000, in shares of $100 each, and the directors were given power to increase the capital with the consent of the stockholders. It was further provided that the incorporators already named should constitute the first board of directors, holding their places until June 1, 1868, and that after that the board should have not less than thirteen nor more than twenty-one members. The officers were to consist of a president, secretary, and treasurer. The cities of New York and Brooklyn, or either of them, were empowered at any time to take the bridge by payment to the corporation[153] of the cost and 33.33 per cent. additional, provided the bridge be made free. An additional provision was made that the structure should have an elevation of at least 130 feet above high tide in the middle of the river, and that it should in no respect prove an obstruction to navigation. In conclusion, the law authorized the cities of New York and Brooklyn, or either of them, to subscribe to the capital stock of said company such amounts as two thirds of their Common Councils respectively should determine, to issue bonds in payment of these subscriptions, and to provide for the payment of interest. It was subsequently determined that the city of New York might subscribe $1,500,000 of the total capital; the city of Brooklyn, $3,000,000, and $500,000 to be paid by the private stockholders.

An enterprise of such magnitude was not carried forward without extraordinary struggles. To keep the work, so far as possible, out of politics required much ingenuity and persistence on the part of those who were actuated by the most public-spirited motives. It was not possible to wholly eliminate politics and self-seeking. An act of the Legislature in 1859 provided that New York city should be represented by its Mayor, comptroller, and[154] president of the Board of Aldermen, and Brooklyn by the commissioners of the sinking fund. The company was authorized to occupy land under water on each shore to the distance of 250 feet.

Meanwhile, operations were begun in the direction of an effort to raise the required $5,000,000 by private subscription, but they were not successful, and it was determined to apply to the cities for aid. Application was made to Brooklyn, through the Common Council, for $3,000,000. After many months the incorporators were successful, and later, in 1868, the city of New York subscribed the $1,500,000 required, and the stockholders made up the additional $500,000.

The shares, as has been shown, were fixed at $100 each. The list of the original subscribers, as revealed by the original minute-book still in the possession of the trustees, is very interesting. It is as follows:—

Mayor, Aldermen, and Commonalty of
the City of New York
The City of Brooklyn 30,000
Henry C. Murphy 100
Isaac Van Anden 200
William Marshall 50
Seymour L. Husted 200
Samuel McLean 50[155]
Arthur W. Benson 20
Martin Kalbfleisch 200
Alexander McCue 100
William M. Tweed 560
Peter B. Sweeny 560
Hugh Smith 560
Henry W. Slocum 500
J. S. T. Stranahan 100
Grenville T. Jenks 50
Kingsley & Keeney 1,600
John H. Prentice 50
William Hunter, Jr. 50
John W. Lewis 50
Total 50,000

After the subscriptions were all made, several of the subscribers withdrew or failed to make good their promises, whereupon Mr. Kingsley took up their stock and advanced the amount necessary to cover their deficiencies. In fact, he and the firm he represented took in all over $300,000 of the entire $500,000 subscribed by the New York Bridge Company.

John A. Roebling, who had made a brilliant record as a bridge engineer, was chosen for the responsible post of chief engineer. His son, Colonel Washington A. Roebling, was made first assistant engineer. The plans of Roebling having been duly approved by the War Department engineers, the United[156] States government commission,37 the Secretary of War, and lastly of Congress itself, the company was formally organized in the summer of 1869, with the following directors: Henry C. Murphy, J. S. T. Stranahan, Henry W. Slocum, John W. Lewis, Seymour L. Husted, Demas Barnes, Hugh Smith, William Hunter, Jr., Isaac Van Anden, J. H. Prentice, Alexander McCue, William M. Tweed, Peter B. Sweeny, R. B. Connolly, Grenville T. Jenks.

At this juncture a distressing accident darkened the opening days of the great work. "One morning in June, 1869, Mr. Roebling, in company with Colonel Paine and his other engineering associates, was engaged in running a line across the East River, making the first survey of the site for the Brooklyn foundation. Colonel Paine crossed to the New York side and made the necessary signals, while the chief engineer stood on the Brooklyn side. Just as the operations were approaching completion Mr. Roebling was standing on the rack of one of the ferry slips taking a final observation. At the moment a[157] ferryboat entered the slip and bumped heavily against the timbers, pressing them back to the point where the chief engineer was standing. His foot was caught between the piling and the rack. Colonel Paine, who was on the boat, noticed that his chief started suddenly, and, while he made no outcry, an expression of agony overspread his countenance. The first person to reach the side of the injured man was his son, Colonel Washington A. Roebling, and Colonel Paine quickly followed him. The chief engineer was assisted to a carriage, remarking, as he went, 'Oh, what a folly.' He was quickly driven to his residence on the Heights, and a surgeon was summoned. The surgeon found that the toes of the right foot were terribly crushed. It was at once decided that amputation was necessary. Mr. Roebling rejected the suggestion of an anæsthetic, and personally directed the operations of the surgeon. Nearly all of his toes were taken off at the joints, but he maintained his composure throughout, and endeavored to soothe the apprehensions of his family and friends. During his subsequent illness he preserved intact the use of his mental faculties, exhibiting indomitable will power. Eight days elapsed before fears were entertained[158] of a fatal result. Then the patient complained of a chill, and it was soon discovered that lockjaw had set in. He lived eight days longer, and toward the close suffered the most excruciating agonies, but without complaint, and steadily insisted upon directing the method of his treatment. Even after the muscular contraction precluded the possibility of utterance he wrote with a pencil directions for his attendants. He died of lockjaw just sixteen days after receiving his injuries."

For a time work on the bridge was paralyzed. As soon as possible the directors chose Colonel Roebling to succeed his father, and the great undertaking proceeded.

The mechanical difficulties of the work were enormous. The history of the labors, by which one difficulty after another was overcome, is one of the most absorbing in the annals of engineering enterprise. Huge wooden caissons were sunken on the diving-bell principle to a depth sufficient to assure firm foundations for the piers, which were built over them. The Brooklyn caisson was launched on March 19, 1870; the New York caisson, in September, 1871. The greater difficulties existed on the New York side, where an area of quicksand made it problematical whether[159] bed-rock could ever be reached. The foundation on the New York side was required to be begun at a depth of seventy-eight feet. On the Brooklyn side brick was used under the caisson. On the New York side the space remaining after the lowest point had been reached was filled with concrete.

The most perplexing problem having been solved by the sinking of the foundations, the work advanced steadily. Difficulties with anchorages, materials, contracts, expenditures, and appropriations made the work necessarily slow, and there was a proportionate degree of public impatience. The distant possibility of a completed bridge was the permanent theme of newspaper jest and popular song. But the Brooklyn tower, containing 38,214 yards of masonry, and rising 278 feet above high water, was completed in the spring of 1875, and by the summer of 1876 the New York tower had also been finished.

During this period the pressure on the various city ferries was demonstrating the necessity for some relief to the strain of travel between the two cities. During the year 1869 the Union Ferry Company carried 42,720,000 passengers; the Roosevelt, Grand, and James Slip ferries, 7,028,000 passengers; the Greenpoint,[160] 1,622,250; and the Thirty-fourth Street, 2,250,550. The terms of the new lease of the Union Ferry Company included a provision that the fare between five and half-past seven o'clock, morning and evening, be one cent. It was a few months later that the Brooklyn City Railroad Company reduced its rate of fare to five cents.

Mayor Kalbfleisch was reëlected Mayor. In his message of January 3, 1871, he places the population of the city in 1870 at 400,000; the taxes levied during the year at $8,000,000; the city debt at $36,000,000. The period was active in building operations. The foundations of the still unfinished Roman Catholic Cathedral were laid in 1868. The Twenty-eighth Regiment armory was completed in 1870. The Brooklyn Theatre was begun early in the following year, shortly before the finishing of the new wing of the Long Island College Hospital, and the laying of the corner-stone of the Church Charity foundation at Albany Avenue and Herkimer Street.

Brooklyn acquired a police department distinct from that of New York in 1870. The management and control of this new department was vested in a board of commissioners, known as the Board of Police of the City of[161] Brooklyn, composed of the Mayor and two other persons nominated by him, and appointed by the Aldermen. The first two commissioners thus chosen were Daniel D. Driggs and Isaac Van Anden. Patrick Campbell was appointed chief clerk. Henry W. Van Wagner was placed at the head of the detective squad. The following provisions were embraced in the law establishing the department. "The commissioners shall divide said city into precincts, not exceeding one precinct to each thirty-six of the patrolmen authorized to be appointed. They may also establish sub-precincts and assign two sergeants, two doormen, and as many patrolmen as they may deem sufficient to each sub-precinct, and shall appoint a telegraph operator who shall be assigned to duty by the chief of police. They shall appoint as many captains of police as there may be precincts, and assign one captain and as many sergeants and patrolmen as they shall deem sufficient to each precinct. The police force shall consist of a chief of police, captains, sergeants, and patrolmen, who shall be appointed by the commissioners. The number of sergeants shall not exceed four for each precinct, and one for each special squad; and the number of patrolmen shall not exceed[162] the present number now doing duty in said city, unless the Common Council of the city of Brooklyn shall, by resolution, authorize a greater number, in which case they shall not exceed the number fixed in such resolutions; and such resolutions may be passed by the Common Council from time to time as that body may deem expedient. The commissioners shall fill all vacancies in the police force as often as they occur."

By the message of Mayor Powell38 in January, 1872, it appears that there were 450 men on the police force, supported at an annual expense of $500,000. The total liabilities of the city were then over $30,000,000, and the total county debt nearly $4,000,000. During 1871 twenty miles of streets were graded and paved, and 2,596 buildings erected. In his second message, a year later, the Mayor reported that the water department was self-sustaining.

The pressure of opinion in favor of a new charter for the city resulted in the appointment of a committee of one hundred, whose report appeared in 1872, shortly before the death of ex-Mayor Kalbfleisch. In May the[163] charter was passed by the State Assembly. By this charter the offices of Mayor, auditor, and comptroller were made elective; the excise and police departments were consolidated; the appointment of heads of departments was placed in the hands of the Mayor and Aldermen, the departments being as follows: Police and excise, finance, audit, treasury, collections, arrears, law, assessment, health, fire and buildings, city works, parks, public instruction.

In November, 1873, John W. Hunter, who had represented the third district in Congress, was chosen Mayor. The Mayor's message in the following January shows that the city debt rose from $30,669,768.50 in 1872, and $32,012,884 in 1873, to $37,431,944.

It was in February of this year that a largely attended meeting of the Municipal Union Society urged the consolidation of Brooklyn and New York. Meanwhile the town of New Lots, known as East New York, had voted for annexation to Brooklyn. The city's growth continued at a remarkable rate. In the decade between 1864 and 1874, 19,660 buildings had been erected. Of this number 1786 had been built during the year ending 1874.

Perhaps the most sensational incident of the year 1874 was the announcement of Theodore[164] Tilton's action against the Rev. Henry Ward Beecher, Brooklyn's foremost preacher and orator. The news that the pastor of Plymouth Church was to be sued by his former friend upon charges assailing the integrity of Mr. Beecher's relations with Mrs. Tilton, created intense excitement in the city, and throughout the country.

The action was opened in the City Court before Judge Neilson, and the trial began on January 5, 1875. The public interest aroused by this extraordinary trial has no parallel in the history of the county. During the months of the progress it remained the chief topic of public and private talk in the city. The court room on trial days presented an historic spectacle, and excitement reached a great height when, at the end of June, the case was at last closed, and the fate of the great preacher was placed in the jury's hands. It was on July 2 that the jury reported its inability to agree. The case was never retried, and the painful drama thus came to an end.

That such an incident should cast a cloud over Henry Ward Beecher's life was inevitable. But the cloud passed away. Mr. Beecher remained at his post, his fame and influence growing; and the celebration of his seventy-[165]fifth birthday drew to the Academy of Music one of the most remarkable gatherings ever witnessed in that place. Mr. Beecher's sister, Harriet Beecher Stowe, the author of "Uncle Tom's Cabin," occupied a seat in one of the boxes.39

In 1875 the population of the city was estimated at 483,252; that of the county at 494,570. In November of this year Frederick A. Schroeder was elected Mayor. Schroeder represented the staunch German element, which had begun long before this period to form an important proportion of the city's population. He was the founder of the Germania Savings Bank. In 1871 he was elected comptroller.[166] His opponent in a heated mayoralty contest was Edward Rowe.

The most extraordinary incident of the year 1876 was the burning of the Brooklyn Theatre in December, and the loss of 295 lives. This tragedy caused intense excitement throughout the city. The temporary morgue on Adams Street presented the most ghastly spectacle the city had ever witnessed. After all possible identification had taken place, 100 unclaimed bodies were publicly buried at Greenwood.



Rapid Transit. James Howell, Jr., elected Mayor. Work on the Bridge. Passage of "Single Head" Bill. John Fiske on the "Brooklyn System." Seth Low elected Mayor. His Interpretation of the "Brooklyn System." Reëlection of Low. Opening of the Bridge. Bridge Statistics. Ferries and Water Front. Erie Basin. The Sugar Industry. Navy Yard. Wallabout Market. Development of the City. Prospect Park. Theatres and Public Buildings. National Guard. Public Schools. Brooklyn Institute. Private Educational Institutions. Libraries. Churches, Religious Societies, Hospitals, and Benevolent Associations. Clubs. Literature, Art, and Music. The Academy of Music. "The City of Homes."

Brooklyn had now fairly entered upon what may be called its modern period. The first wires had been stretched for the great Bridge, and soon afterward the six years' labor at Hell Gate culminated in the long-anticipated blast. Ground had been broken for the new Municipal Building, the Ocean Parkway had been opened for travel, work had begun on the Brooklyn elevated road, rapid transit trains had begun running on Atlantic Avenue,[168] the Manhattan Beach and Sea Beach railroads were opened to Coney Island, which had started upon its career as a great popular watering-place and pleasure resort, and a line of Annex ferryboats was opened between Jewell's Wharf and Jersey City.

In the mayoralty contest of 1877 James Howell, Jr., was elected on the Democratic ticket. The bill which had passed the Legislature at the previous session reduced the Mayor's salary from $10,000 to $6000. Mayor Howell took a strong interest in the progress of the Bridge, and succeeded Henry C. Murphy as a trustee.

Work on the Bridge advanced steadily during the years 1877 and 1878. The breaking of a strand of the cable at the New York anchorage in June, 1878, resulted in the death of several workmen. In April, 1880, farewell services were held in St. Ann's Church, at Washington and Prospect streets, preparatory to the removal of the building, to make way for the Bridge approach. The prospective area of the approach necessitated the removal of much property, and the slow work of demolition and advance still continues, after fifteen years, to present unsightly pictures at the threshold of the city.

[169] Mayor Howell's message in January, 1880, revealed the fact that the taxable value of property in the city had reached $232,925,699, which was an increase of nearly $3,000,000 over the figures for the previous year.

An important event for the city was the passage in May, by the Legislature, of the "Single Head" bill, by the provisions of which the system of triple heads of departments was abolished, and complete appointive power and responsibility vested in the Mayor. This radical step toward municipal reform and good government was one which could not fail to attract the attention of the country, since Brooklyn was the first great city to take it, and the experiment was watched with the liveliest interest by all students of municipal government.

John Fiske, in his admirable work on "Civil Government," thus succinctly describes the new system of city government: "Besides the council of [nineteen] Aldermen, the people elect only three city officers,—the Mayor, comptroller, and auditor. The comptroller is the principal finance officer and book-keeper of the city; and the auditor must approve bills against the city, whether great or small, before they can be paid. The Mayor appoints,[170] without confirmation by the council, all executive heads of departments; and these executive heads are individuals, not boards. Thus there is a single police commissioner, a single fire commissioner, a single health commissioner, and so on; and each of these heads appoints his own subordinates; 'so that the principle of defined responsibility permeates the city government from top to bottom.'40 In a few cases where the work to be done is rather discretionary than executive in character, it is intrusted to a board; thus, there is a board of assessors, a board of education, and a board of elections. These are all appointed by the Mayor, but for terms not coincident with his own; 'so that, in most cases, no Mayor would appoint the whole of any such board unless he were to be twice elected by the people.' But the executive officers are appointed by the Mayor for terms coincident with his own, that is, for two years. 'The Mayor is elected at the general election in November; he takes office on the first of January following, and for one month the great departments of the city are carried on for him by the appointees of his predecessor. On the first of January it becomes[171] his duty to appoint his own heads of departments,' and thus 'each incoming Mayor has the opportunity to make an administration in all its parts in sympathy with himself.'

"With all these immense executive powers intrusted to the Mayor, however, he does not hold the purse-strings. He is a member of a board of estimates, of which the other four members are the comptroller and auditor, with the county treasurer and supervisor. This board recommends the amount to be raised by taxation for the ensuing year. These estimates are then laid before the council of Aldermen, who may cut down single items as they see fit, but have not the power to increase any item. The Mayor must see to it that the administrative work of the year does not use up more money than is thus allowed to him."41

The first Mayor to act under this charter amendment was Seth Low, who was elected,[172] in 1881, over Howell by a vote of 45,434 to 40,937.42 Low, who was born in Brooklyn, where his family had occupied a distinguished position, and had graduated from Columbia College in 1870, afterward entering the business house of his father, was in his thirty-second year when elected to office, a circumstance which, added to the novelty of the conditions under which his administration must work, did not fail to attract special attention throughout the country.

In his first message (January, 1882) Low touched upon the important question of the appointing power:—

"The manifest purpose of the act is to make the Mayor the responsible head of the city government, and to secure a homogeneous government by laying upon each Mayor the necessity of making his appointments at the beginning of his term. To accomplish this purpose the act does some things by direct provision and some things by implication. It provides, in section I, that the terms of office of certain specified officers shall expire on the first of February, 1882. It then provides, in section 6, that 'after the first day of January,[173] 1882, the Mayor of the city of Brooklyn shall have sole and exclusive power to appoint the successor of any commissioner or other head of department (except the department of finance and the department of audit), or of any assessor or member of the board of education of said city, when the terms of such officers shall respectively expire, or as by law may then or thereafter be required to be appointed.'

"There are certain officers in the city whose terms of office expired some time in the year 1881, to wit: The corporation counsel, the city treasurer, the collector of taxes, and the registrar of arrears, and to these officers the charter amendment makes no distinct reference. The reason that the present incumbents hold over is that, by section 5 of that amendment, all power to appoint during 1881 was taken away from the Mayor and Common Council, where it formerly resided, without being lodged anywhere else, except that the sole power of filling vacancies during 1881 was lodged with the Mayor. The evident purpose of this provision was to place the appointment of the successors to the present incumbents of these offices in the hands of the Mayor to be elected by the people in 1881. So much is clear; but it leaves two points uncertain: First, when are the successors to the present incumbents to be appointed? Second,[174] when appointed, is it for the balance of an unexpired term, or for two years?

"I shall be governed by what I believe to be the clear and intelligent purpose of the law. I shall appoint the four officers alluded to so that their terms shall begin practically on the first of February, or at the same time with the officers distinctly mentioned in the act, and I shall appoint them for two years."

Speaking further of appointments and removals, Low said:—

"It is a matter of grave public concern for the people to know in what spirit an officer intrusted for the first time in the history of our city with such powers purposes to use them. The whole theory of the law is that the Mayor shall be responsible for the administration of the city's affairs, and for the policy which animates the different departments. It makes the relation of the different commissioners and heads of departments to the Mayor practically that of the cabinet officer to his chief. I feel it to be a matter of no less importance to my successors than to myself to emphasize this thought. It is no reproach to Mr. Evarts that President Garfield placed Mr. Blaine at the head of the State Department. It is no reproach to Mr. Blaine that President Arthur has called Senator Frelinghuysen to succeed him; and what is true of the State[175] Department is equally true of a purely administrative department like the post-office. It will, therefore, be a great injustice to any official who may be retired through my action to interpret it into reproach upon him, just as it would be equal injustice to me to assume that I meant it as such; or to my successor, to hamper him with any obligations toward my appointees. The Mayor being responsible to the people must be left free from such personal embarrassments. I claim this right, as I believe, in the interest of good government, for my successors and for myself.

"The law does not give the Mayor the absolute power of removal. I presume it was not thought to be necessary. But the whole purpose of the law will be defeated unless the Mayor knows at all times and under all circumstances that he is responsible because his appointees represent him. If any of them get out of harmony with him he must ask for their resignations, and he is entitled to receive them on demand. I hazard nothing in saying that the people of Brooklyn elected me Mayor with the full purpose of placing precisely this responsibility upon me. As there is no precedent to govern in this case, I wish to state distinctly that the acceptance of an appointment at my hands will be evidence to the community that the gentleman accepting it has personally given me his assurance that[176] he will without delay give me his resignation whenever I ask for it."

The remainder of the message was in the same spirit, and left the people of Brooklyn in no doubt that the new Mayor meant to interpret the movement represented by the charter amendments in its most radical and reformatory light.

Low was renominated in 1883. The Democrats nominated Joseph C. Hendrix,43 who led a brilliant campaign. In a hotly contested election that drew out an extraordinary vote, Low was elected by a vote of 49,554 against Hendrix's 48,006.

The two administrations of Low demonstrated beyond question the availability of the "Brooklyn system." In his message for 1884 the Mayor offered a strong plea in behalf of the public schools, in which free books had just been introduced.

The president of the board of education made the following urgent presentation of the case:—


"Notwithstanding the number of new buildings erected and occupied during the year, I am unable to report any relief from the general crowded condition that existed at the time of my last report. The children come faster than we can make room for them, and in some localities for nearly every seat provided there are two applicants. As evidence of the demand made upon our new schools, at their opening, by primary pupils, I cite the following: The new primary building to relieve No. 24 was opened on the 4th inst., this being the last of the new buildings. The crowd of children with their parents seeking admission was so great and the excitement so intense that for two days two policemen were required to preserve order at the doors. In a building seating 676 pupils 899 were registered, the average age being 8 years. Only the fifth and sixth primary grades are admitted to this building. It is not pleasant for me to state that many of these children, 9 and 10 years old, have never before had a day's schooling, because there was no public school into which they could gain admittance. From the first day the class-rooms have been devoted to half-day classes.

"The registry of attendance in October of this year numbered 67,314 pupils. Our regular seating capacity is but 64,200, or 3,114 less than the actual attendance. We have 76 classes, numbering over 90 pupils each, and of[178] this number 16 classes have over 140 each, the largest class having 218 pupils. A large proportion of these crowded classes are from necessity divided into half-day sessions.

"This is our condition after redistricting the city and reorganizing several schools, thereby decreasing the number of grammar classes, and increasing the number of primary classes by eighteen, and after building eight new school buildings,—we have been compelled to crowd and pack our school rooms without due regard to the convenience, comfort, and health of the pupils and to the proper facilities and conditions for imparting instruction....

"We have exhausted every means at our disposal to utilize space save one. It is now the purpose of the Committee on Studies to so revise the course of study that all grammar class-rooms will be full. When this has been done we shall have no resource left by which to gain space but to build new buildings."

Possibly the most important achievement in Low's administration was the framing and passage of the Arrears Bill, which had an immediate and salutary effect in the management of the city's finances.

An historic event during the period of Low's mayoralty was the opening of the Bridge on Thursday, May 24, 1883. The two cities were[179] greatly aroused by the event, and much enthusiasm prevailed.

The ceremonies were held at the Brooklyn Approach, and the formal programme of ceremonies was as follows:—

23d Regiment Band.
Rt. Rev. Bishop Littlejohn.
Presentation Address:
On behalf of Trustees,
William C. Kingsley, Vice-President.
Acceptance Address:
On behalf of the City of Brooklyn,
Hon. Seth Low, Mayor.
Acceptance Address:
On behalf of the City of New York,
Hon. Franklin Edson, Mayor.
Hon. Abram S. Hewitt.
Rev. Richard S. Storrs, D. D.
7th Regiment Band.

The ceremonies over which James S. T. Stranahan, who had won the distinction of being called "Brooklyn's first citizen," presided, drew a large and memorable company. The military marshal of the day was Maj.-Gen. James Jourdan, commanding the Second Division of the National Guard, and the arrangements were as follows:—


"The President of the United States and Cabinet, the Governor of the State of New York and Staff, with other distinguished Guests, will be escorted from the Fifth Avenue Hotel to the New York Anchorage by the 7th Regiment of the 1st Division, N. G., S. N. Y., Emmons Clark, Colonel Commanding, and there received by the Trustees and escorted to the Brooklyn Anchorage, from which point the 23d Regiment, 2d Division, N. G., S. N. Y., Rodney C. Ward, Colonel Commanding, will act as escort to the Brooklyn Approach.

"To avoid confusion, it is requested that holders of BLUE TICKETS will enter Gates marked A at the Roadways on either side of the Bridge. Holders of WHITE TICKETS will enter at either Gates A or B.

"Officers of the Army and Navy and the National Guard are requested to appear in Uniform. Officials of New York and Brooklyn are requested to display their badges of office."


In the course of his address Mayor Low said:—

"As the water of the lakes found the salt sea when the Erie Canal was opened, so surely will quick communication seek and find this noble bridge; and as the ships have carried hither and thither the products of the mighty West, so shall diverging railroads transport the people swiftly to their homes in the hospitable city of Brooklyn. The Erie Canal is a waterway through the land connecting the great West with the older East. This bridge is a landway over the water, connecting two cities bearing to each other relations in some respects similar. It is the function of such[181] works to bless 'both him that gives and him that takes.' The development of the West has not belittled, but has enlarged New York, and Brooklyn will grow by reason of this bridge, not at New York's expense, but to her permanent advantage. The Brooklyn of 1900 can hardly be guessed at from the city of to-day. The hand of Time is a mighty hand. To those who are privileged to live in sight of this noble structure every line of it should be eloquent with inspiration. Courage, enterprise, skill, faith, endurance,—these are the qualities which have made the great bridge, and these are the qualities which will make our city great and our people great. God grant they never may be lacking in our midst. Gentlemen of the Trustees, in accepting the bridge at your hands, I thank you warmly in Brooklyn's name for your manifold and arduous labors."

Speaking of a glance forward for twenty-five years, Mayor Edson said:—

"No one dares accept the possibilities that are forced upon the mind in the course of its contemplation. Will these two cities, ere then, have been consolidated into one great municipality, numbering within its limits more than five millions of people? Will the right of self-government have been accorded to the great city, thus united, and will her people[182] have learned how best to exercise that right? Will the progress of improvement and the preparation for commerce, manufactures, and trade, and for the comforts of home for poor and rich, have kept pace with the demand in the great and growing city? Will the establishment of life-giving parks, embellished with appropriate fountains and statues and with the numberless graces of art, which at once gladden the eye, and raise the standard of civilization, have kept abreast with its growth in wealth and numbers? These are but few of the pertinent questions which must be answered by the zealous and honest acts of the generation of men already in active life. Here are the possibilities; all the elements and conditions are here; but the results must depend upon the wisdom and patriotism and energy of those who shall lead in public affairs. May they be clothed in a spirit of wisdom and knowledge akin to that which inspired those who conceived and executed the great work which we receive at your hands and dedicate to-day."

The address of Abram S. Hewitt contained these significant words:—

"I am here by your favor to speak for the city of New York, and I should be the last person to throw any discredit on its fair fame; but I think I only give voice to the general[183] feeling, when I say that the citizens of New York are satisfied neither with the structure of its government, nor with its actual administration, even when it is in the hands of intelligent and honest officials. Dissatisfied as we are, no man has been able to devise a system which commends itself to the general approval, and it may be asserted that the remedy is not to be found in devices for any special machinery of government. Experiments without number have been tried, and suggestions in infinite variety have been offered, but to-day no man can say that we have approached any nearer to the idea of good government which is demanded by the intelligence and the wants of the community.

"If, therefore, New York has not yet learned to govern itself, how can it be expected to be better governed by adding half a million to its population, and a great territory to its area, unless it be with the idea that a 'little leaven leaveneth the whole lump'? Is Brooklyn that leaven? And if not, and if possibly 'the salt has lost its savor, wherewith shall it be salted?' Brooklyn is now struggling with this problem, it remains to be seen with what success; but meanwhile it is idle to consider the idea of getting rid of our common evils by adding them together. Beside, it is a fundamental axiom in politics, approved by the experience of older countries as well as our own, that the[184] sources of power should never be far removed from those who are to feel its exercise. It is the violation of this principle which produces chronic revolution in France, and makes the British rule so obnoxious to the Irish people. This evil is happily avoided when a natural boundary circumscribes administration within narrow limits. While, therefore, we rejoice together at the new bond between New York and Brooklyn, we ought to rejoice the more that it destroys none of the conditions which permit each city to govern itself, but rather urges them to a generous rivalry in perfecting each its own government, recognizing the truth that there is no true liberty without law, and that eternal vigilance, which is the only safeguard of liberty, can best be exercised within limited areas. It would be a most fortunate conclusion if the completion of this bridge should arouse public attention to the absolute necessity of good municipal government, and recall the only principle upon which it can ever be successfully founded. There is reason to hope that this result will follow, because the erection of this structure shows how a problem, analogous to that which confronts us in regard to the city government, has been met and solved in the domain of physical science."

The brilliant oration of Dr. Storrs closed with the following glowing passage:—[185]

"Local and particular as is the work, therefore, it represents that fellowship of the nations which is more and more prominently a fact of our times, and which gives to these cities incessant augmentation. When by and by on yonder island the majestic French statue of 'Liberty' shall stand, holding in its hand the radiant crown of electric flames, and answering by them to those as brilliant along this causeway, our beautiful bay will have taken what specially illuminates and adorns it from Central and from Western Europe. The distant lands from which oceans divide us, though we touch them each moment with the fingers of the telegraph, will have set their conspicuous double crown on the head of our harbor. The alliances of nations, the peace of the world, will seem to find illustrious prediction in such superb and novel regalia. Friends and fellow-citizens, let us not forget that in the growth of these cities, henceforth united and destined ere long to be formally one, lies either a threat or one of the most conspicuous promises of the time. Cities have always been powers in history. Athens educated Greece as well as adorned it, while Corinth filled the throbbing and thirsty Hellenic veins with poisoned blood. The weight of Constantinople broke the Roman Empire asunder. The capture of the same magnificent city gave to the Turks their establishment in Europe for the following[186] centuries. Even where they have not had such a commanding preëminence of location, the social, political, moral force proceeding from cities has been vigorous, in impression, immense in extent. The passion in Paris, for a hundred years, has created or directed the sentiment of France. Berlin is more than the legislative or administrative centre of the German Empire, and even a government as autocratic as that of the Czar, in a country as undeveloped as Russia, has to consult the popular feeling of St. Petersburg or of Moscow. In our nation, political power is widely distributed, and the largest or wealthiest commercial centre can have but its share. Great as is the weight of the aggregate vote in these henceforth compacted cities, the vote of the State will always overbear it. Amid the suffrages of the nation at large it can only be reckoned as one of many consenting or conflicting factors. But the influence which constantly proceeds from these cities—on their journalism not only, or on the issues of their book presses, or on the multitudes going forth from them—but on the example presented in them, of educational, social, religious life—this, for shadow and check, or for fine inspiration, is already of unlimited extent, of incalculable force. It must increase as they expand, and are lifted before the country to a new elevation. A larger and a smaller sun are[187] sometimes associated, astronomers tell us, to form a binary centre in the heavens, for what is doubtless an unseen system receiving from them impulse and light. On a scale not utterly insignificant a parallel may be hereafter suggested in the relation of these combined cities to a part, at least, of our national system. Their attitude and action during the war—successfully closed under the gallant military leadership of men whom we gladly welcome and honor—were of vast advantage to the national cause. The moral, political, intellectual temper which dominates in them as years go on, will touch with beauty or scar with scorching and baleful heats extended regions. Their religious life, as it glows in intensity, or with a faint and failing lustre, will be repeated in answering image from the widening frontier. The beneficence which gives them grace and consecration, and which, as lately, they follow to the grave with universal benediction; or, on the other hand, the selfish ambitions which crowd and crush along their streets, intent only on accumulated wealth and its sumptuous display, or the glittering vices which they accept and set on high—these will make impressions on those who never cross the continent to our homes, to whom our journals are but names. Surely we should not go from this hour, which marks a new era in the history of these cities, and[188] which points to their future indefinite expansion, without the purpose in each of us that so far forth as in us lies, with their increase in numbers, wealth, equipment, shall also proceed, with equal step, their progress in whatever is noblest and best in private and in public life; that all which sets humanity forward shall come in them to ampler endowment, more renowned exhibition; so that, linked together, as hereafter they must be, and seeing 'the purple deepening in their robes of power,' they may be always increasingly conscious of fulfilled obligation to the nation and to God; may make the land, at whose magnificent gateway they stand, their constant debtor, and may contribute their mighty part toward that ultimate perfect human society for which the seer could find no image so meet or majestic as that of a city, coming down from above, its stones laid with fair colors, its foundations with sapphires, its windows of agate, its gates of carbuncles, and all its borders of pleasant stones, with the sovereign promise resplendent above it—

'And great shall be the peace of thy children.'"

The newspapers tendered homage to the leaders of the Bridge movement, and to the guiding minds of the vast mechanical triumph—to John A. Roebling, Washington A. Roebling, Henry C. Murphy, William C.[189] Kingsley, J. S. T. Stranahan, and others who had been prominent in the labors of organization and of execution.

The original cost of construction amounted to $15,000,000. The total number of passengers on promenade, roadway, and railroad during 1883 was 5,332,500. The total number in 1892, the year after the promenade toll was removed, was 41,772,808. The statistics for 1893 show that the traffic was highest in December and lowest in August. The earnings of the Bridge are thus shown:—

From May 23, 1883, to Dec. 1, 1884 $682,755.42
" Dec. 1, 1884, " Dec. 1, 1885 622,680.31
" " 1885, " " 1886 870,207.43
" " 1886, " " 1887 938,281.21
" " 1887, " " 1888 1,012,254.82
" " 1888, " " 1889 1,120,024.16
" " 1889, " " 1890 1,239,493.90
" " 1890, " " 1891 1,176,447.95
" " 1891, " " 1892 1,801,661.48
" " 1892, " " 1893 1,590,140.03
Total           $11,053,946.71

The receipts from all sources for the year ending December 1, 1893, were as follows: City of Brooklyn construction account, $150,000; city of New York construction account, $75,000; receipts from tolls, $1,252,908.04; material sold, labor, etc., $559.91; interest,[190] $2,426.03; rent, real estate, and telegraph wires, $109,246.05. Total, $1,590,140.03.

The management of the Bridge was formed under control of a board of twenty trustees, eight being appointed by the Mayor, comptroller, and auditor of Brooklyn, and eight by the Mayor, comptroller, and president of the Board of Aldermen of New York city. Under an act of the Legislature, passed April 4, 1893, on April 12 following, this board was replaced by the present board of trustees, consisting of two persons appointed by the Mayor of the city of Brooklyn, two persons appointed by the Mayor of the city of New York, at a salary of $3000 each, and the mayors and comptrollers of the two cities, members ex officio, the appointed trustees to hold office for five years.

Supplementing the work of the Bridge are the elevated railroads and the electric or "trolley" system. Six steam railroads run into the city, four running to Coney Island, one to Rockaway Beach, and one, the Long Island Railroad, connecting with the railroad system of Long Island. Sixteen ferries connect the bay and river front with New York. The New York and Brooklyn Ferry Company carried about 16,000,000 passengers in 1893.

[191] The boundaries of the city, measuring about thirty-two miles, include an extended water front that is one of the most picturesque in the country. The Erie basin and Atlantic docks on the southern extremity of the line represent an immense industry in grain shipments. Grain-elevators, coaling-stations, store-houses, the chief naval station in the United States, and the big establishments of the greatest sugar-refining district in the world, combine to give the river front an unusual interest.

The great docks on the southwestern water front represent important industries in which Brooklyn occupies a foremost place. The Atlantic basin covers forty acres, and is surrounded by brick and granite warehouses on three sides. These are 100 feet in depth, and three to five stories high. The basin contains four piers, three of which are covered, and are 700, 800, and 900 feet in length, by 80 feet in width. South central pier, 900 feet long, is the largest in the port. In the basin are seven elevators, six of which are controlled by the New York Grain Warehousing Company, the seventh being owned by Pinto Brothers. Atlantic basin is the largest grain-depot in the world. Its frontage line of basin and piers[192] measures three miles. South central pier is leased by the Union Hamburg and the Nicaragua and Central American lines of steamships. Barber & Co. and T. Hogan & Sons control the east central pier; Funch & Edye's steamships dock at the south central pier, as do the lines to Bordeaux and Oporto. At the west central pier many goods from the Indies are unloaded, especially plumbago and cocoa-nut oil. The entrance to the basin is 200 feet in width. The north pier is much used by Italian barks. The basin has a uniformed police force of its own.

In this region also are finely appointed shipyards and dry docks, the Anglo-American docks, opened in 1866, being the largest in the United States. The chamber of Dock No. 1 is 510 feet in length, and that of Dock No. 2,610 feet. Most of the large iron ships that are docked at the port of New York are hauled up here. On the old Williamsburgh water front are the vast sugar-refineries, the greatest group of the kind in the world, and representing Brooklyn's greatest manufacturing interest. The output of most of these great hives of industry is now controlled by the American Sugar Refining Company. The largest of the refineries melts 2000 tons of raw[193] sugar per day, producing over 12,000 barrels of refined sugar. Vessels from the West Indies and other points as remote as Java line the piers at this part of the water front, loading with barreled sugar.

Large cooperages and extensive oil refineries occupy the water front to the north, the great Standard Oil Company having its plant in this region.

The United States reservation, known as the Navy Yard, occupies about 112 acres in the bend of the river to which the Dutch gave the name that still clings, the Wallabout. This is the chief naval station of the United States. It contains trophies of the three great wars, and the 6000 feet of water front is always made interesting by the presence of one or more ships of war.

In 1884 Brooklyn obtained from the United States Government a lease of the 422,525 square feet of land on the east of the Navy Yard, and adjoining the Wallabout canal. On this plot a large market has grown up and supplied the city with a marketing centre of which it long stood in need. In July, 1890, an act of Congress authorized the sale of the fee-simple of the land to Brooklyn; the city authorities completing the purchase in November,[194] 1891, at the valuation of $700,000. Later, an additional purchase of adjoining land from the federal government extended the market property to the Wallabout canal, and enabled the increase of the number of lots for stands to 120. The present area of the market lands is bounded as follows: On the north by the Wallabout canal; on the east by the lands of the United States Naval Hospital; on the south by Flushing Avenue, and on the west by Washington Avenue.

In December, 1892, the national government authorized the sale to Brooklyn of additional lands of the Navy Yard reservation, abutting upon the west side of Washington Avenue, and embraced between that avenue and a line on a continuation of Clinton Avenue, Flushing Avenue, and the East River,—a tract which would more than double in extent the area of the market possessions.

Brooklyn's boundaries on the east and south touch a number of large cemeteries, most noted of which is Greenwood, which holds many distinguished dead, and many notable monuments. In 1893 there were 5519 interments at the cemetery of the Evergeens, and during the same year 3000 at Cypress Hills, and 18,000 at Calvary Cemetery. There are[195] not less than thirty cemeteries within the county, a fact that presents a serious problem in the extension of the city's lines.

The development of Prospect Park has been a matter of great pride and gratification to the city. In recent years the park has been adorned by a number of statues. J. S. T. Stranahan has received the unique honor of a public statue in his lifetime. In the plaza is the statue of Lincoln already mentioned. Within the park are busts of Thomas Moore, Washington Irving, and of John Howard Payne, one of Long Island's sons.

The Soldiers' and Sailors' Memorial Arch in the Park Plaza was proposed by Seth Low in a speech at Greenwood, on Decoration Day. The Legislature voted $250,000, subscriptions were raised, the competition for a suitable design was won by John H. Duncan, the corner-stone was laid in 1889, and the monument was finished in 1892.

The Municipal Building was finished in 1878, at a cost of $200,000, and the Hall of Records adjoining the county Court House in 1886, at a cost of $275,000. The most imposing public building in the city is the Federal Building, bounded by Washington, Johnson, and Adams streets. This massive[196] structure of Maine granite contains the central post-office quarters, and the federal courts and offices. The site cost $413,594.12, and the building $1,258,057.06.

Some of the most important building operations in recent years have expressed the enterprises of the great bazaars, gathered most thickly on Fulton Street, but appearing also on other leading thoroughfares.

A glance at the buildings of the city quickly suggests the remarkable increase in the number of theatres.

According to Gabriel Harrison's "History of the Drama in Brooklyn" the first dramatic performance in the city took place in a stone building on the north side of "the old road" (Fulton Street), near the corner of Front Street. This building had been known for thirty years or more as Corporation House, belonging to the corporation of the city of New York. It contained a tavern and a ferry room on its ground floor and a hall on the second. When the British gained possession of Brooklyn the house changed hands, and was known while they remained as the King's Head. It was fitted as a resort for officers and men, and all sorts of amusements were offered, from bull-baiting to games of chance.[197] George III.'s birthday was celebrated by illuminations and fish dinners, to which the Tories of New York came over in rowboats. At the first dramatic performances here an original farce was acted, of which General John Burgoyne was the alleged author. It was called "The Battle of Brooklyn." The title-page reads: "The Battle of Brooklyn; a farce in two acts, as it was performed in Long Island on Tuesday, 27th day of August, 1776, by the representatives of the Tyrants of America, assembled in Philadelphia."

There were also dramatic performances in Greene's Military Garden in 1810, and later. An amphitheatre was built on Fulton Street in 1828. The assembly rooms of Military Garden were converted into a theatre in 1848. Chanfrau and Burke opened the Brooklyn Museum in 1850. The Odeon was built on the site of the present Novelty or Proctor's Theatre on Driggs Street, in 1852. It was afterward known as Apollo Hall. Washington Hall, afterward called the Comique, was built at the corner of Broadway and Fourth Street (now Bedford Avenue); Hooley's Opera House, at Court and Remsen streets, in 1862, and the Park Theatre was built a year later. The Brooklyn Theatre was opened in[198] 1871, and rebuilt after the fire.44 Hyde & Behman's Theatre was built in 1877, the Grand Opera House in 1881, the Criterion in 1885, the Amphion in 1888. The completion of the fine Columbia Theatre on Washington Street was due to the enterprise of Edwin Knowles, who had been a successful manager of the Grand Opera House, and subsequently of the Amphion.

The newer city armories are further important additions to the city architecture.

On the first day of January, 1894, the military organizations of Brooklyn, comprising, with the Seventeenth Separate Company of Flushing, the entire Second Brigade of the New York National Guard, numbered about 3000 men. The strength of the brigade in 1892, as shown at inspection, was 3084. In this number were included the 403 officers and men of the Thirty-second Regiment, shortly afterward disbanded. Very few members of that organization are now in the service. In 1893, inspections of the several commands were held, as follows: Seventeenth Separate Company, April 3; Signal Corps, October 10; Third Battery, October 11; Forty-seventh Regiment, October 18; Fourteenth Regiment, October[199] 19; Thirteenth Regiment, October 21; Twenty-third Regiment, October 26. The Thirteenth and Fourteenth regiments, which did not go to the state camp last year, were inspected in the afternoon at Prospect Park. Below is shown the attendance of each organization:—


Organization. Present. Absent. Total. Percentage
Brigade Commander
and Staff
11 11
Thirteenth Regt 529 118 647 81.61
Fourteenth Regt 532 149 681 78.11
Twenty-third Regt 770 35 805 95.65
Forty-seventh Regt 521 48 569 91.56
Third Battery. 68 8 76 89.47
Seventeenth Sep. Co. 51 9 60 85.00
Signal Corps 40 1 41 97.56
Total 2,522 368 2,890  

The difficulties arising from inadequate school accommodations, to meet which Mayor Low and other mayors had urged broad and sufficient action, continued to hamper the action of the department of public instruction. The development of the department under the superintendency of William H. Maxwell has been along thoroughly modern lines. Recent[200] reforms have had a tendency to improve the quality of teachers by placing obstacles in the path of the incompetent. To a considerable extent these reforms have diminished the chances of political interference in the working of the school system.

The successful establishment, in 1878, of a Central Grammar School, admitting graduates from the public schools, was followed by the organization of separate high schools for boys and girls, and afterward by a manual training school, and a movement for the establishment of kindergarten classes and definite means of physical culture. On October 31, 1893, there were on register in the public schools of the city 102,468 pupils,—more than 2000 in excess of the sittings. For many years preceding this date a large number of classes had provided a half day's schooling only for the registered pupils, forcing the teachers of these classes to assume responsibility for two large classes of children on each school day.


In his report for the year ending December 31, 1892, Superintendent Maxwell said:—

"The child that begins the school course at six ought to complete it easily, and be ready to enter the high school, at the age of fourteen. In every grade, however, the average age is[201] about one year higher than it ought to be. There is now a well ascertained consensus of opinion among educational authorities that this delay in reaching the high school—in getting at such disciplinary studies as languages, geometry, and natural science—is detrimental not only to the individual child but to the public welfare. In some cases this delay is doubtless caused by protracted illness or general physical weakness; in some, by the mania—I can call it by no other name—which some principals and teachers have for holding back pupils from promotion; in some, by positive dullness or slowness of wit; but in the majority of cases it arises from the crowded condition of the lower primary classes. Instead of accommodating more children by swelling the registers of these classes, we are accommodating fewer. The teachers in these classes, work as hard as they may, are able to prepare but a small proportion of their classes for promotion; while by reason of lack of proper teaching in the introductory classes—a lack which is not chargeable to the teachers—the pupils are less able than they otherwise would be to do the work of the higher grades as they advance. The consequence is that pupils are put through our schools more slowly and in smaller numbers than they ought to be. If in a piece of machinery or in a living organism a greater strain is put on any one[202] part than it is able to bear, the strength and efficiency of the whole are proportionately diminished. Just so it is with our school system. The strain put upon the seventh primary teachers by choking up their classes impairs the efficiency of the entire system. The only rational conclusion is that the number of pupils to a class must be limited."

The movement toward centralizing responsibility in the school principals began at this time to gather force. It was warmly supported by the superintendent.

In the Girls' High School, in 1893, the number of registered pupils was 1626; in the Boys' High School, 692. The annual appropriation for schools in 1893 was $2,449,735.33; from the city, $1,996,500.00; from the State, $394,414.82; other sources, $58,820.51.

A training school for teachers was established in 1885. From this admirable institution the graduates increased in number from 48 in 1886 to 70 in 1892.

With the educational interests of Brooklyn the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences is closely associated. In the summer of 1823 several gentlemen, among whom was Augustus Graham, met at Stevenson's Tavern for the purpose of establishing for the apprentices[203] of Brooklyn a free library.45 They adopted a constitution, and issued to the citizens of Brooklyn a circular, in which they solicited donations of books and money with which to effect their purpose. On November 20, 1824, they were incorporated by the Legislature of the State under the name of "The Brooklyn Apprentices' Library Association," and on July 4, 1825, the corner-stone of the first building owned by the association was laid by General Lafayette, at the junction of Henry and Cranberry streets. As early as 1835 the association had outgrown its original quarters, and the property having been sold to the city the institution was removed to a new building in Washington Street, then the centre of the wealth and culture of our young city. The first lecture delivered in the newly completed structure was by Prof. James D. Dana.

In order to broaden the scope of the association, an amended charter was granted by the Legislature in 1843, and the name therein changed to "The Brooklyn Institute." For many years thereafter the Institute was a most important factor in the social, literary, scientific, and educational life of Brooklyn. Its[204] library had a large circulation; in its public hall took place many social and historic gatherings, and from its platform were heard such eminent scientific men as Agassiz, Dana, Gray, Henry, Morse, Mitchell, Torrey, Guyot, and Cooke; such learned divines as Drs. McCosh, Hitchcock, Storrs, and Buddington, and such defenders of the liberties of the people as Phillips, Sumner, Garrison, Emerson, Everett, Curtis, King, Bellows, Chapin, and Beecher.

During this brilliant period of its history (1843–1867), the Institute received from Mr. Graham two very important donations. On July 4, 1848, the building, which had been heavily mortgaged, he presented to the trustees free from all incumbrance, and through his will, made known to the board of directors on November 28, 1851, shortly after his decease, he bequeathed to the Institute the sum of $27,000, as a permanent endowment fund. The will directs that the interest of $10,000 of this sum shall be used in the support of lectures on scientific subjects and in the purchase of apparatus and collections illustrating the sciences; that the interest of $12,000 shall be used in the support of Sunday evening lectures on "The Power, Wisdom, and Goodness of God as manifested in His Works," and that[205] the balance of $5,000 shall be used in the support of a school of design and in forming a gallery of fine arts.

For several years, however, prior to 1867, owing to the erection of the Academy of Music and other public buildings, the Institute building was regarded as behind the times. The income from rental of portions of the building was dwindling to a low figure, and the financial support of the free library was becoming inadequate. Under these circumstances the directors remodeled the building in 1867, at an expense of about $3,000, a part of which was raised by life-membership subscriptions of $50 and $100, and the balance by a mortgage on the building. For twenty years (1867–87) this indebtedness necessitated the application of a portion of the income from the rent of the building and from the Graham endowment fund to the payment of the interest and the principal of the debt. Final payment on the mortgage was made early in 1887.

The causes of the partial inactivity of the Institute during the twenty years (1867–87) are therefore apparent. The most that it was able to do was to circulate its library, keep up its classes in drawing, and provide for the annual addresses on the 22d of February.[206] Freed from debt in 1887, the Institute was enabled once more to use the whole income from its funds and building for educational purposes, and again to become an important agent in the work of education in the city.

The property of the Institute in 1887 consisted of the Institute building and land, valued at $90,000, a library of 12,000 volumes, a collection of paintings valued at $10,000, and endowment funds of $46,000. These last comprise the $27,000 bequeathed by Mr. Graham, the William H. Cary fund of $10,000 for the support of the library, and an increment of $9,000 realized through premiums on the sale of bonds.

During the year 1887–88 a new era in the history of the Institute was inaugurated. The board of trustees determined to make the property of the Institute the nucleus of a broad and comprehensive institution for the advancement of science and art, and its membership a large and active association, laboring not only for the advancement of knowledge, but also for the education of the people, through lectures and collections, in art and science. It was observed that while Boston had the Lowell Institute, a society of natural history, and an art museum; while Philadelphia had the[207] Franklin Institute, an academy of sciences, and a gallery of fine arts; and while New York had the Metropolitan Museum and the American Museum, yet that Brooklyn had nothing corresponding to these institutions. It was felt that Brooklyn should have an institute of arts and sciences worthy of her wealth, her position, her culture, and her people; that it was her duty to do more than she was then doing for the education and enjoyment of her people, and that some step should be taken looking towards the future growth and needs of the city in matters of art and science.

Accordingly, a form of organization was adopted which contemplated the formation of a large association of members, and a continual increase of the endowment funds and the collections of the Institute. Provision was made for a subdivision of the membership into departments, representing various branches of art and science, each department forming a society by itself and yet enjoying all the privileges of the general association. A general invitation was extended to citizens specially interested in science and art to become members of the Institute. Courses of lectures on science and art were provided. The directors'[208] room of the Institute was enlarged to accommodate the meetings of some of the departments contemplated, and a large lecture-room on the third floor of the Institute building was fitted up at an expense of $2600 for the occupancy of those departments that would make use of apparatus and collections at their meetings.

During the first fifteen months after the reorganization of the Institute a membership of three hundred and fifty persons was recorded. The Brooklyn Microscopical Society joined the Institute in a body, with sixty-four members, and became the Department of Microscopy. The American Astronomical Society, whose members resided mostly in New York and Brooklyn, became the Department of Astronomy, with thirty-two members. The Brooklyn Entomological Society united with the Institute, and became the Entomological Department, with forty-one members. The Linden Camera Club of Brooklyn became the Department of Photography, with twenty-six members. Departments of physics, chemistry, botany, mineralogy, geology, zoölogy, and archæology were successively formed. Each of the above twelve departments began to hold monthly meetings. The permanent[209] funds and property of the Institute were increased $3000. Additions were made to the library, and its circulation increased from 12,000 to 36,000 volumes per year. The lecture courses were fully attended. The classes in drawing were enlarged, and a general citizens' movement to secure a museum of arts and sciences for Brooklyn was inaugurated.

The subsequent growth of the Institute has been remarkable. The old building on Washington Street was burned in 1890, and the work was continued in temporary quarters, chiefly in the building of the Young Men's Christian Association on Fulton Street. During the fourth year of active work after the reorganization 632 new members were recorded. The real estate belonging to the old Brooklyn Institute on Washington Street was sold to the trustees of the New York and Brooklyn Bridge, and the old Institute was formally consolidated with the new Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences. By an act of the Legislature the city was authorized to expend $300,000 in the erection of a Museum of Arts and Sciences on Prospect Hill, on a favorable site bounded by the Eastern Parkway, Washington Avenue, old President Street, and the Prospect Hill reservoir. In the year[210] 1892, 940 new members were added, bringing the total up to 2622; the number of lectures and class exercises open to members and others, by the payment of a moderate fee, was 1397, as against 1134 the previous year; the number of concerts was increased from eight to fifteen; the average daily attendance on all the exercises of the Institute for the eight months of active work was 936, and the total attendance for the year, 190,900; the annual income was increased from $18,934.20 in the previous year to $31,641.58; special courses of lectures were delivered on American history from the time of Columbus to the beginning of this century, and a special course of addresses was given by college presidents on educational problems; Institute extension courses of lectures were given in the eastern section of the city; the school of political science was established, with four classes and ninety-six pupils; the Brooklyn art school was transferred to new and larger quarters in the Ovington Studio Building, and the number of pupils was increased from ninety-four to one hundred and twenty-eight; the department of architecture, acting through its advisory board, devised a scheme of competition for the best plan and design for the proposed Museum of[211] Arts and Sciences, which was accepted by the board of trustees, and adopted by the Mayor and park commissioner, and the competition so arranged resulted in the award to the distinguished New York architects, McKim, Mead & White.

Foremost among those who have brought the Institute to its present influential position in the city have been Gen. John B. Woodward and Prof. Franklin W. Hooper. Professor Hooper, who had been elected curator of the Institute in 1889, became director of the new Institute of Arts and Sciences in 1891.

Mention has already been made of the establishment of Packer Institute and the Polytechnic Institute. The handsome gift of Mrs. Wm. S. Packer resulted in the opening of an academy for the education of young women. Since the time of the opening in 1854, under the presidency of Dr. Alonzo Crittenden, the Packer Collegiate Institute has enjoyed a peculiar prominence in the educational work of the city, and has won a high, if not a foremost, place among academies of the kind in the United States. Dr. Crittenden was succeeded in 1883 by Dr. Truman G. Backus, who had filled the professorship of English language and literature at[212] Vassar, and whose brilliant attainments as a scholar and director have given new distinction to the institute.

A commanding position likewise has been gained by the Polytechnic Institute, whose establishment as an academy for young men resulted from the successful movement, aided by the gift of Mrs. Packer, for the establishment of a young women's school. A building on Livingston Street was completed and opened in 1855, Dr. John H. Raymond then being president of the faculty. Dr. Raymond was succeeded by Dr. David Henry Cochran, who had for ten years been principal of the State Normal School at Albany. Under a new charter, secured in 1890, the Brooklyn Collegiate and Polytechnic Institute received "all the rights, powers, and dignities given by the law and the ordinances of the regents46 to a college, including membership in the University of the State of New York." Dr. Henry Sanger Snow, an alumnus and a trustee of the institute, took a leading part in the negotiations which resulted in the significant change. The new building adjoining the old was first occupied in September, 1891.

[213] The Adelphi Academy began its life in 1869 as a private school for both sexes. In 1886 Charles Pratt, then president of the board of trustees, made gifts to the Institute, by means of which it secured a new building that was opened in 1888. The since extended buildings now occupy a large part of the block bounded by Lafayette Avenue, St. James Place, Clifton Place, and Grand Avenue. The preparatory, academic, and collegiate departments are supplemented by a kindergarten and a physical-training school. Art education has always occupied an important place in the Adelphi Academy. Many well-known artists have graduated from the art school superintended by Prof. J. B. Whittaker. The principals of the Adelphi since its establishment have been John Lockwood, Homer B. Sprague, Stephen G. Taylor, Albert C. Perkins, John S. Crombie, and Charles H. Levermore.

It is to Charles Pratt, who took so important a part in bringing Adelphi Academy to its present position, that Brooklyn is indebted for the school which, more than any other educational institution within its borders, is distinctively original and of a national fame. Pratt Institute is frequently compared with Cooper Institute in New York. The comparison[214] between the wise beneficence of Cooper and that of Pratt is, indeed, interestingly close; but the likeness between the two great schools is less perfect. Pratt Institute's remarkable characteristics are the result of a wise idea logically worked out. The buildings on Ryerson Street and Grand Avenue contain a unique combination of departments under a form of management that has proved to be eminently practical and progressive. Its educational plan illustrates manual and industrial training, as well as education in high-school and artistic branches. The methods of teaching domestic art, as well as political, economic, and natural science, have excited the admiration of students of education throughout the country. The large free library is one of many features of the institution.

The kindergarten idea in Brooklyn has had its leading exponent in Froebel Academy on Tompkins Square. Among other private educational institutions are St. John's College, the most prominent of the Roman Catholic schools, situated on Lewis Avenue, between Willoughby Avenue and Hart Street; St. Francis College, Bedford Academy, St. Joseph's Institute, Brooklyn Heights Seminary, Long Island Business College, Brooklyn Latin[215] School, Bryant & Stratton's Business College, Miss Rounds's School for Girls, Kissick's Business College, and Browne's Business College.

In special education the Long Island College Hospital and the Brooklyn College of Pharmacy occupy an important place. The Long Island College Hospital and Training School for Nurses was chartered in 1858. Its history as a hospital and as a college has been notable. The graduates in 1893 numbered 60, bringing the total list of graduates nearly to 1500.

It frequently has been lamented that Brooklyn has no great free library, and the deficiency is one for which the city deserves a mark of discredit. But it is due to Brooklyn to observe that she is by no means without excellent opportunities for those who wish to read.

The Brooklyn Library, which succeeded the old Mercantile Library, is not free to the public, but the subscription rate is so low in comparison with the privileges that the institution is in many respects to be regarded as a great public library. The building on Montague Street was finished in 1868 at a cost of $227,000, and its beautiful Gothic front forms one of the genuine ornaments of the city.

The library contains nearly 200,000 volumes,[216] admirably selected. The catalogue compiled by Stephen B. Noyes was of a character to bring honor alike to library and librarian. Upon the death of Mr. Noyes the management of the library came into the competent hands of W. A. Bardwell, who became librarian in 1888. The reading-rooms are furnished with 300 periodicals and newspapers. In the reference departments there were 75,000 readers in 1893, and in the reading-rooms 100,000 readers. The Brooklyn Library has, indeed, performed an immensely important service in the development of the city.

The Brooklyn Institute Free Library, formerly in the old Institute Building on Washington Street, and now at 502 Fulton Street, contains 16,000 well-selected volumes, and is efficiently managed. Pratt Institute Free Library is a notable instance of a great public service through a private agency. The library of 42,000 volumes includes 2000 German and 2000 French books. There are an Astral Branch at Franklin Avenue and Java Street, and delivery stations at Froebel Academy and 754 Driggs Avenue. Reading-room and library are free to the use of all residents of Brooklyn. The Long Island Free Library, at 571 Atlantic Avenue, is the result of a well-directed movement.[217] There are but 15,000 volumes, but method of selection and distribution have assured the usefulness of the work. To this must be added the free public school libraries, and the substantial free library of the Union for Christian Work on Schermerhorn Street.

The free library of the Long Island Historical Society naturally occupies an important place. The reference department of 48,000 volumes includes the noteworthy publications of the society itself. The Law Library in the Court House contains 15,000 volumes, and there are 7000 volumes in the library of the Kings County Medical Society.

In addition to the libraries of the Young Men's and the Young Women's Christian associations,47 there are over twenty-five special free reading-rooms throughout the city, most of them connected with churches.

[218] The large number of churches, and the emphasis laid upon church interests, once gave to Brooklyn the title of the City of Churches. The proportion between the number of churches and the population no longer is so exceptional as to justify such a title, but church life in Brooklyn is, in many respects, of unique prominence. The greatest preacher the United States has produced, Henry Ward Beecher,48 occupied the pulpit of Plymouth Church during a great formative period in the city's history. The Rev. Richard S. Storrs, D. D., pastor of the Congregational Church of the Pilgrims since 1846, the descendant of a distinguished family of preachers and orators, who has been called the "Chrysostom of Brooklyn," occupies a place among the most scholarly of American orators. The popularity of the Rev. T. De Witt Talmage, pastor of the Brooklyn Tabernacle since 1869, has been unexampled in the church history of the country. The thirty years' pastorate of the Rev. Theodore L. Cuyler, at the Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church, constituted a notable force in the advancement of the community. The enlightened leadership of the Catholic Church by the Right Reverend John[219] Loughlin, first bishop of Brooklyn, who was succeeded in 1892 by the Right Reverend Charles E. McDonnell, has been a matter for congratulation in the Catholic Church; and the Episcopal Church has been under no less obligation to the first bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Diocese of Long Island, the Right Reverend A. N. Littlejohn, D. D. When Dr. Littlejohn was elected bishop in 1869, he was succeeded as rector of Holy Trinity Church by the Rev. Charles Henry Hall, D. D., who has been one of Brooklyn's strongest preachers.

St. James' Church, at Jay and Chapel streets, has been the cathedral church of the Catholic diocese for nearly half a century. The corner-stone of a great cathedral, to occupy the block bounded by Lafayette, Clermont, Greene, and Vanderbilt avenues, was laid in 1868, but only a part of the structure has been completed.

In 1893 the following were the numbers of churches of different denominations in Brooklyn: Baptist, 40; Congregational, 26; German Evangelical Association, 5; Jewish, 10; Lutheran, 27; Methodist Episcopal, 53; Primitive Methodist, 4; Methodist Free, 1; Methodist Protestant, 1; Presbyterian, 33; Roman Catholic, 63; Reformed Presbyterian,[220] 1; United Presbyterian, 3; Protestant Episcopal, 45; Reformed Episcopal, 2; Dutch Reformed, 19; Unitarian, 4; Universalist, 5; miscellaneous, 23.

In the county towns the churches are numbered as follows: Baptist, 1; Hebrew, 1; Lutheran, 5; Methodist Episcopal, 9; Protestant Episcopal, 8; Methodist Protestant, 1; Reformed, 8; Roman Catholic, 12. In 1893 there were ten so-called Chinese Sunday-schools in Brooklyn, most of them connected with Protestant churches, and said to enroll 200 members.49

Religious societies in Brooklyn include a large list of prosperous and efficient bodies. Among these may be mentioned the Catholic Historical Society, the Union Missionary Training Institute, the Baptist Church Extension Society, Baptist Social Union, City Bible Society, Church Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church, City Mission and Tract Society, Brooklyn Sunday School Union, Eastern District Sabbath School Association, Brooklyn Theosophical Society, Brotherhood of Christian Unity, Church Charity Foundation,[221] Congregational Church Extension Society, Congregational Club, Foreign Sunday School Association, German Young Men's Christian Association, Greenpoint Sunday School Association, Greenpoint Young Men's Christian Association, Kings County Sunday School Association, Long Island Baptist Association, Order of Deaconesses of the Methodist Episcopal Church, Women's Auxiliary, Unitarian Club, Universalist Club, and the Young People's Baptist Union.

Brooklyn's churches occupy a particularly intimate relation with the intellectual and social life of the city. The circumstances under which the Rev. John W. Chadwick, D. D., became a leader in that highly significant intellectual movement, the Brooklyn Ethical Association, which has held meetings during a number of seasons at the Second Unitarian Church, and under which the Rev. John Coleman Adams, D. D., instituted the free historical lectures to public school children at All Souls Universalist Church, have been typical of a wholesome and progressive tendency in the community.

The work of the churches is supplemented by many and admirable organizations devoted to the relief of the weak, destitute, and incompetent.[222] An important position is occupied by the Association for Improving the Condition of the Poor. The Brooklyn Bureau of Charities, with central offices on Schermerhorn Street, has "the general purpose of promoting the welfare of the poor, the suffering, and the friendless in the city of Brooklyn. The specific objects and methods include: The promotion of cordial coöperation between benevolent societies, churches, and individuals; the maintenance of a body of friendly visitors to the poor; the encouragement of thrift, self-dependence, and industry; the provision of temporary employment and industrial instruction."

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul undertakes the general relief of the poor, without regard to color or creed, the work being done by a conference in each church (Catholic). The society is governed by a council composed of the president and vice-president of each conference.

A number of industrial agencies have been devised for the purpose of supplying temporary work for men and women. A bureau of relief for needy veterans of the Rebellion was established in Grand Army quarters at the City Hall. In recent years the number of free dispensaries throughout the city has greatly increased.

[223] The Brooklyn Hospital, incorporated in 1845, received valuable aid from Augustus Graham, the founder of the Brooklyn Institute. The present hospital at Raymond Street and De Kalb Avenue has been in operation since 1852. St. Catherine's Hospital was established in 1869. The Memorial Hospital for women and children was founded in 1881; the Methodist Episcopal Hospital in the same year; St. Mary's Hospital in 1878; St. John's Hospital in 1871; the German Hospital in 1889; the Lutheran Hospital in 1881; the Brooklyn Hospital for Contagious Diseases in 1891; St. Peter's Hospital in 1864; the Brooklyn Home for Consumptives in 1864; the Eastern District Dispensary and Hospital in 1851; the Long Island Throat and Lung Hospital in 1889; the Brooklyn Throat Hospital in 1889; the Brooklyn Homœopathic Hospital in 1852; the Brooklyn Eye and Ear Hospital in 1868; the Kings County Hospital (a county institution) in 1837; the Brooklyn Maternity in 1870; the Faith Home for Incurables in 1878; the Inebriates' Home for Kings County in 1867.

For the protection and relief of children, the city has the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, the Children's Aid Society,[224] the Industrial School Association, with six branches, the Nursery and Infants' Hospital, the Howard Colored Orphan Asylum, the Hebrew Orphan Asylum, the Orphan Asylum Society, the Roman Catholic Orphan Asylum Society, with three branches; the Eastern District Industrial School, the Sheltering Arms Nursery, St. Giles's Home, St. Vincent's Home for Boys, St. Christopher's Day Nursery, and St. Malachi's Home.

Brooklyn's right to the title of the City of Homes, rather than to that of the City of Churches, is excellently supported by a study of its social life; and in no phase is this peculiarity more apparent than in the club life of the city, which is distinctly in harmony with the general social life of the city. Several of the city clubs have "ladies' nights," or special receptions to which ladies are invited, and to some of the clubs ladies are admitted at certain hours of the day. "The Union League, with its Romanesque front of cinnamon brick and brownstone on a semi-square, is near the south end of Bedford Avenue. Its location is fine, and during the political campaigns it is an important centre. Medallions of Grant and Lincoln adorn the front, an eagle with outstretched wings holds up a 'bay,' and a carved[225] bear stands on the roof, a symbol of the 'grip' that clubdom has on the modern man. The great hall in this house is one of the finest in the country. Across the city, a square below the Park plaza, stands the Montauk, a fine structure, ornate, in light tones of brick, and with a Greek frieze above the third story, which is unique in architectural decoration and is a replica of old bas-reliefs. Near by is the mammoth building of the Riding and Driving Club, the largest and best arranged structure of the kind in this country. The Hamilton, one of the older clubs, has a tall building on the corner of Clinton and Remsen streets, showing an expanse of red brick and brownstone. It has no distinctive architectural style. Architecturally, a most elaborate club-house is the Germania on Schermerhorn Street. Its style is a rich but modified Florentine. The material is pale brown brick. A feature of it is the great arched doorway. The Bush wick Democratic club-house on Bushwick Avenue is, architecturally, on the same lines, a reduced version in stone and terra cotta. The club has but recently taken possession of this new house. Out in Flatbush, on the avenue, is the Midwood, an old colonial manse, unaltered, with wide-spreading grounds,[226] its façade marked by great white columns, such as are almost unknown elsewhere in the county of Kings to-day. The Hanover, on Bedford Avenue, is a fine modern double house, with extensions and remodelings. The Brooklyn and the Oxford clubs have recently enlarged their rather unpretentious buildings without special reference to architectural beauty. The Excelsior is a plain city house. The Lincoln has the appearance of several buildings joined together, but is ornate and striking. Out of town the Crescent and the Field and Marine clubs have charming country homes, turreted and porticoed, and surrounded with trees and lawns."50

In literary, artistic, musical, dramatic, and social clubs, the city has become populous. The Academy of Music had its origin in the success of the Brooklyn Philharmonic Society, the leading organization for the patronage of music, which was incorporated in 1857. It had been remarked that the audiences which patronized the concerts of the New York Philharmonic Society were, in a great part, made up of Brooklyn people. In 1856 or 1857 it occurred to the heads of several families, who were the best and most appreciative patrons[227] of the New York society, that Brooklyn might and ought to have a Philharmonic Society of its own. The project was inaugurated, and was attended with success. The subscription list doubled the second season. There were, the second year, over seven hundred subscribers, and numerous patrons besides. The Athenæum was entirely inadequate for the purposes of the society. In 1858, the leading members of the Philharmonic Society, by circulars, called the attention of several leading citizens to the relative change that was going on between the two cities, and pointed to the success of their society as the best evidence that the time had come when a large lyric hall was demanded by the necessities of our city. About fifty gentlemen responded to this call, and a preliminary meeting was held at the Polytechnic Institute, in October, 1858.51 A public meeting followed, a popular stock company was formed, and the Academy was incorporated in 1859. Land in Montague Street was bought for $41,000. The total expenditure reached $200,000. The Academy became and has remained the city's leading opera house, and largest place of public meeting.[228] Most of the greatest musical artists, actors, and orators in the country have been heard under its roof.

Among the leading musical associations of the city are the Apollo Club, the Seidl Society, the Brooklyn Choral Society, the Arion Society, the Brooklyn Maennerchor, the Zoellner Maennerchor, the Amphion Musical Society, the Cæcilia Ladies' Vocal Society, the Concordia Maennerchor, the Euterpe Chorus and Orchestra, the Deutscher Liederkranz, the Saengerbund, and the Prospect Heights Choral Society. In recent years there has appeared a disposition to regard Brooklyn as a musical city. The increase in the number of musical societies and the patronage of opera and concert have unquestionably been great. Among the musical composers, resident in the city, who have made national reputations, Dudley Buck has been of first prominence.

The Brooklyn Art Association, a development of the Sketch Club, formed by Brooklyn artists in 1857, erected a handsome building adjoining the Academy of Music in 1872. The exhibitions held in the association galleries have been the chief displays of pictures seen within the city. In recent years the Brooklyn Art Club, a society composed of[229] artists solely, has attained a large membership, and has exhibited annually in the Art Association galleries. The Art Association maintains a free art school. The leading society of art connoisseurs is the Rembrandt Club.

The Society of Old Brooklynites, the Franklin Literary Society, and the Bryant Literary Society have won prominence, and a position of influence has been assumed by the Brooklyn Woman's Club.

In private libraries and art collections Brooklyn has grown rich within the past twenty-five years. The development of certain valuable picture collections has induced the wish that the city had a great museum similar to the Metropolitan in New York, which might receive contributions by bequest. The advancement of the Brooklyn Institute promises to supply this need.

The newspapers of Brooklyn have acquired an increasingly influential position in the life of the city. We have seen how the "Eagle," the "Times," and the "Freie Presse" attained their established positions. The "Standard-Union" represents some interesting newspaper history. The "Union" was started in the midst of the war period, its first editor being Edward Cary. The paper was purchased in[230] 1870 by Henry C. Bowen, and Gen. Stewart L. Woodford became editor-in-chief, and H. E. Bowen (son of Henry C.), the publisher. When General Woodford retired a few months later, he was succeeded by Theodore Tilton, whose skillful pen was in the service of the paper until January, 1872, when Henry C. Bowen assumed the editorship. In the following year the control of the paper passed to Benjamin F. Tracy, F. A. Schroeder, John F. Henry, and others associated with them, and Robert Burch, who afterward became managing editor of the "Eagle," took the post of editor-in-chief. Later the property came into the hands of Lorin Palmer, and in 1877 the purchase of the name and good-will of the Brooklyn "Argus," which had been established as a weekly in 1866 and as a daily in 1873, resulted in the change of title to "Union-Argus." When the Union Publishing Company was formed, the name "Argus" was dropped, and the paper was again known as the "Union" during the aggressive editorship of John Foord, formerly of the New York "Times," and afterward editor of "Harper's Weekly." In 1887 the "Standard," which had been established in 1884, was consolidated with the "Union," and John A. Hatton assumed[231] the editorship of the "Standard-Union." Soon afterward William Berri became principal owner of the paper, and in 1890 Murat Halstead, long the master spirit of Ohio journalism, was called to the chair of editor-in-chief. The qualities which gave Halstead a national reputation while editor of the Cincinnati "Commercial Gazette" have not failed to make his pen a power in Brooklyn and throughout the State.

The "Citizen," established in 1886 by leading Democrats of the city, since has been a forceful and consistent organ of the local Democracy. The editorship of Andrew McLean has been one of eloquence and energy, uniting a consummate knowledge of Brooklyn with a rare sagacity in estimating men and affairs.

The establishment of "Brooklyn Life" by Frederick Mitchell Munroe and John Angus McKay was a felicitous stroke in Brooklyn journalism. "Life" has enjoyed a unique popularity as a weekly review of Brooklyn social, artistic, and literary affairs.

Brooklyn journalism has been quick to reflect the life and sentiment of the city. It has been energetic, original, and clean. The fact that only two of the newspapers, the "Eagle"[232] and the "Citizen," publish Sunday editions, is one which of itself indicates the presence of a conservative element in the city. The establishment of Travelers' Bureaus by the "Eagle," under the direction of the assistant business manager, Herbert F. Gunnison, was a piece of characteristic enterprise.

The political complexion of Brooklyn and Kings County during the past two or three decades has become increasingly Democratic, with periodical Republican relapses. In the incumbency of the sheriff's office, for example, there has been an interesting alternation in parties since 1875. During the same period the two parties have been represented with approximate evenness in the Mayor's office. In leadership of the Democratic party Henry C. Murphy was succeeded by his energetic lieutenant, Hugh McLaughlin, who has retained the position at the head of the party since before the Rebellion. The period and completeness of this local leadership probably finds no parallel in American political history. No analogous situation has ever existed in the Republican party, which has never had a generally recognized leader, and whose successes at the polls have been those of a party or a public feeling in opposition to the dominant[233] organized party. Both independent Democratic and independent Republican movements and leaderships have played an important part in the later activities of political life.

Of the commercial development of Brooklyn since 1876, it is to be said that it has advanced more remarkably on the water front than elsewhere. The traffic in grain, sugar, and oil, with the extensive cooperage and ship-building and repairing operations, constitutes an important element in any estimate of the city's prominence in manufactures.

In the value of products52 the sugar industry stands first, the foundry and machine-shop interests coming second, and slaughtering and meat-packing third. Fourth and fifth positions are to be given respectively to chemical industries and the grinding of coffee and spices. Cordage and twine making has for a long time occupied a prominent place in Brooklyn. Other prominent industries are in boots and shoes, furnishing goods, and paper hangings. The National Meter Company plant in South Brooklyn is the largest in the world.

One of the most striking illustrations of Brooklyn's advancement in commercial affairs has been the increase in the number and importance[234] of its financial institutions. The city's first banks were the Long Island Bank,53 incorporated in 1824; the Brooklyn Savings Bank, incorporated in 1827; the Atlantic Bank, incorporated in 1836; the Bank of Williamsburgh, incorporated in 1839; the South Brooklyn Savings Bank, incorporated in 1850; and the Williamsburgh Savings Bank, incorporated in 1851. The first fire insurance company (the Brooklyn) was contemporaneous with the first bank. The Long Island Insurance Company was organized in 1833. In 1893 four insurance companies had their home offices in Brooklyn; there were twenty-three banks of deposit, fourteen savings banks, four safe deposit companies, seven trust companies, four title guarantee companies, and four savings institutions. In the same year there were about one hundred and ten strictly local securities.




One of the names ever to be remembered in the history of Brooklyn, and of the State and country, is that of Francis Lewis, who was an ardent patriot, and sacrificed his all to secure the independence of the colonies. As he resided for more than twenty years on Long Island, he can justly be claimed as one of her sons, and as such richly deserves a place in her history. Few men displayed so much zeal in the cause of liberty, or evinced such readiness to endure the hardships which the struggle necessarily entailed.

His career covered a period of fourscore years and ten. He spent sixty-eight of these years in the New Netherlands,—forty-one of them under the rule of England; seven years in the cause of the Revolution; and twenty years as a citizen of the Republic of the United States, upon whose banner he ever looked with pleasure and delight.

Born amidst the wilds of rocky Wales, in the town of Llandaff, in 1713, he possessed the sturdy endurance and perseverance for which the ancient Britons, from whom he was descended, were proverbial. In such a clime, and under such circumstances, he early learned to bear patiently the privations of life, and thus was fitted and prepared for the great work which characterized his eventful career.

[236] His father, the Rev. William Lewis, was a worthy minister of the Established Church of England, and his mother was the daughter of the Rev. Dr. Pettingill, a clergyman of the same faith, whose parish was in the north of Wales. Young Lewis did not long enjoy a parent's care, being left an orphan at the early age of four or five. His education and training were now committed to a maternal aunt, who ever manifested a deep interest in his welfare. This relative and adopted mother took particular pains to have him thoroughly instructed in his native language, and instilled into him those deep religious principles, which formed a marked and striking phase of his character. Not satisfied with the means of education to be obtained in his mountain home, she sent her ward to Scotland to visit some relatives in the Highlands, amongst whom he soon acquired a perfect familiarity with the Gaelic tongue. Remaining in Scotland a short time, he was transferred to the care of an uncle, who held the position of Dean of St. Paul's in London. The Dean at once gave him the advantages of the celebrated school at Westminster. The opportunities thus afforded were embraced and appreciated. By his assiduity and proficiency he soon won a distinguished place as a scholar. His progress was rapid, and when he left the school he had obtained a complete classical education.

On leaving school the natural bent of his mind appeared to be for commercial pursuits. In order to prepare him for the path he had chosen, he was apprenticed to a merchant in London.

When Lewis reached manhood he came into possession of the little fortune left by his father, and thereupon resolved to engage in ventures on his own account. Perceiving that the old world did not present a suitable field of operation for a young man with a small capital, he anticipated the advice of the Sage of Chappaqua, and determined to seek his fortune in the new and promising western world. Collecting his effects together, he converted[237] them into money, which he invested in such articles of merchandise as he thought marketable, and, with his stock in trade, sailed for New York, where he arrived in the spring of 1735. He was disappointed in finding that his stock of goods could not be sold in New York, by reason of the limited demand. A man of his energy was ready to overcome all difficulties. In the emergency he entered into a partnership with Edward Annesly, with whom he left a portion of his goods for sale, shipping the remainder to Philadelphia, whither he himself went to superintend their disposal. In the latter city he remained two years, and then returned to New York. Once more in New Amsterdam, he entered into business, becoming extensively engaged in foreign trade. While thus employed, and on June 15, 1745, realizing the truth of Scripture "that it is not good for man to be alone," he entered the holy and sacred relation of marriage with Miss Elizabeth Annesly, his partner's sister. The issue of this marriage was seven children, three only of whom survived infancy. One of his sons, Morgan Lewis, greatly distinguished himself, subsequently becoming governor of the State of New York.

During the remarkably severe winter of 1741 Lewis drove his horse and sleigh from New York to Barnstable, the entire length of Long Island Sound, on the ice. This must have been an interesting episode in his life. Referring to the intensity of the cold season, the "Boston Post" of January 12, 1741, says: "For these three weeks we have had a continued series of extreme cold weather, so that our harbors and rivers are continually frozen up. On Charles River a tent is erected for the entertainment of travellers. From Point Alderton, along the South Shore, the ice is continued for the space of above 20 miles."

The Boston "News Letter" of March 5, 1741, contains the statement that "people ride every day from Stratford, Conn., to Long Island, which is three leagues across, which was never known before."

[238] It appears that the temperature did not moderate with the appearance of spring, as the same paper, on April 2, again alludes to the subject, saying, "that people from Thompson Island, Squantum, and the adjacent neighborhood have come fifteen Sabbaths successively upon the ice to our meeting."

Francis Lewis being an active and industrious man, his business often required his presence abroad, and led him to travel extensively in Europe. At various times he visited Russia, the Orkney and Shetland Islands, and on two occasions endured the terror and discomfort of shipwreck on the coast of Ireland.

On his return from the old world he found the affairs of the colony in a very unsettled condition. The French war was engaging the attention of the people. During a short period he was employed as agent to supply the wants of the British troops. The romance of his life was now about to commence. In the performance of his duties, he was present in August, 1756, when Fort Oswego was reduced, and compelled to surrender to the French General de Montcalm. The fort at this time was commanded by Colonel Mersey, one of his warm personal friends. In the emergency attending the bombardment, Lewis, to serve his friend, acted as his aid. Montcalm on the 10th of August approached the fort at the head of a mixed array of 5000 men, consisting of Europeans, Canadians, and Indians. The garrison having used up all their ammunition, Mersey spiked the cannon, and crossed the river to Little Oswego, without the loss of a single man. Montcalm at once took possession of the deserted fort, and immediately began a heavy fire, which was kept up without intermission. The next day Mersey was killed by a shot while standing by the side of Lewis. The commander having fallen, the garrison at once capitulated, surrendering themselves prisoners of war. It consisted of 1400 men, composing three regiments, one of which was the Jersey Blues, under Col. Peter Schuyler. By the terms of the surrender they were to be exempted[239] from plunder, taken to Montreal, and treated with humanity. The French, however, did not regard the promise which they had made. When the surrender was effected, Montcalm soon forgot his pledge, and shamefully allowed one of the Indian warriors to select thirty of the prisoners to treat as he pleased. Lewis was one of the number chosen, and naturally expected a speedy and cruel death. He was, however, saved in a most unexpected manner. The family tradition on the subject, handed down by his son, and communicated to the writer by a gentleman of this city, who received it from Governor Morgan Lewis himself, is that Francis Lewis soon ascertained that he understood their dialect, and could freely converse with them, so that they comprehended what he said. His ability to communicate with the Indians in their own tongue pleased the chieftain, who extended to him the utmost kindness, and on his arrival at Montreal sought by every means within his power to induce the French commander to allow him to return to his family, without being compelled to pay any ransom. The request so urgently made was refused. Lewis was sent as a prisoner of war to France, and upon being exchanged was permitted to return to America.

The British government, in consideration of the services he had rendered, gave him a grant of 5000 acres of land, but as the fees amounted to more than the land was worth he never took out the necessary patent, the warrant for which was left in the Secretary of State's office.

Many have looked upon this tradition concerning Francis Lewis as mythical. Had it been false, a man of his sterling qualities would have contradicted the statements published during his lifetime. Some have supposed that he gathered more or less knowledge of the Indian dialect through business intercourse. It presents a very interesting feature in American history, opening up as it does a wide field for research. As it deserves more than a passing notice, it will not be out of place to[240] turn aside for a moment, and consider how it was that Francis Lewis understood the Indian warrior.

It frequently has been claimed that Madoc, a Welshman, made voyages to America, long before Columbus was born. It has been conceded by many authorities that Prince Madoc, a Welsh navigator, upon the death of his father resolved to seek a new home, and thereby avoid contention with his brothers and relatives as to the succession. This was about the year 1170. He prepared his ships and munitions of war, and sailing westward came to a country theretofore unknown. Upon his return to his native land he gave a glowing account of the richness and beauty of the land he had visited. Restless in spirit, he could not long remain satisfied with the crags of Cambria, and prepared a fleet of ten sails, once more bent his course westward, and was never heard of again. There are many curious evidences that in early times Welsh tribes of Indians, or Indians speaking the Welsh language, were to be found on the continent of America.

Dr. John Williams published in London, in 1791, a very interesting inquiry into the truth concerning the discovery of America by Prince Madoc. In his treatise much valuable information is to be found, and many strong arguments in favor of the claim that the Welsh settled America more than 300 years anterior to the discovery by Columbus. Dr. Williams refers to the Lewis incident, and published his book twelve years before the death of Francis Lewis.

To return from our digression, Francis Lewis could not be idle. On his return from his enforced trip to France, we find him once again engaged in business. He was a man in advance of his time, and well knew the value of newspaper advertisements. The following is a copy of one of his announcements, published in the "New York Gazette and Weekly Post Boy," the leading journal of the day:—


"Just imported and to be sold by Francis Lewis in the Fly, Alamodes, Lutestrings, Ducapes, Damasks, Mantua Silks, Grazettes, Padajoy's Velvets, India Taffities, Groganes, Sewing Silks, etc."

The commercial trips taken by Lewis gave him an enlarged view of men and things. In Europe he had witnessed the aggressions of the rich landed proprietors upon the poorer classes, and the untold wrongs perpetrated upon the white slaves of the mines and manufacturing towns. His natural, inherent sense of right led him to endorse and freely proclaim the doctrine, "that all men are born free and equal." Wherever he went he beheld the outrages which the assumed leaders imposed upon the common people. He saw how utterly powerless they were to remove the burdens and restrictions which stood in the way of their advancement. Everywhere he found power trampling upon human rights. In him the downtrodden and oppressed ever found a faithful friend and helper. As he always kept his eyes and ears open, he was prepared with force and vigor to oppose the encroachments of the British Crown upon the rights of the people. Looking upon America as the home of the oppressed, with whom he always sympathized, he at once became greatly attached to his adopted country.

Watching with close scrutiny every act of the mother country, he early foresaw that the demands of Great Britain would eventually result in a rupture.

George II. died October 25, 1760, and was succeeded by his grandson, George III., a young man of twenty-two years of age. Shortly after his accession, and on the 18th of November, 1761, Lieutenant-Governor Cadwallader Colden assumed control of affairs in the colony of New York, during the temporary absence of Governor Monckton. Governor Monckton returned after capturing the island of Martinique in June, 1762, and remained in office until June, 1763, when he returned to his native land, again leaving the management of affairs in the hands of Lieutenant-Governor Colden.

[242] During Monckton's career, it may be said that the principles of liberty were first invaded by an assault upon the independence of the judiciary by the board of trade. Justice Pratt was appointed chief justice in the place of De Lancey. The board of trade declared that he should hold office during the pleasure of the King, and not during good behavior, as had always been the rule. Such a declaration and assumption gave the King power to remove for political reasons any judge in the land, thus making the judge but a tool of the King, and depriving him of that independence which could alone render his decisions entitled to respect. The people naturally looked upon this action as an invasion of their civil rights, and calculated to destroy the confidence of the community in the expounders of the law. To their credit be it said that both Monckton and Colden boldly opposed the measure.

The Provincial Assembly looked upon the conditions imposed relative to the appointment of the chief justice with detestation. They opposed it bitterly, manifesting their opposition by absolutely refusing to make any provision for the payment of his salary until he received a commission, which would place him above and beyond legislative political control. The board of trade refused to surrender, or in any wise alter the conditions they had adopted. As the Assembly would make no provision for his salary, it was suggested that the royal quit-rents should be applied to the object. The plan was adopted, and thus the judiciary passed under the control of the sovereign, and the death knell of its independence was sounded.

Colden was destined to wield the reins of government during an important and trying time. The storm cloud could be seen gradually rising. At first appearing no larger than a man's hand, it slowly increased until at last the black and heavy clouds seemed ready to break forth at any moment with devastating fury. Everything looked dark and gloomy, and betokened the approaching storm.[243] The mutterings of the people grew louder and more threatening. The government did not heed them, but made their demands more arrogant, seeming to take the Egyptian taskmasters as their guide. Parliament acted as if they considered the colonies fit subjects for plunder.

In 1763 the subject of taxing the colonies was brought up in Parliament, and a measure introduced for its imposition. This was antagonized by the Provincial Assembly of New York, and denounced as arrogant and illegal.

Lord Grenville was the chancellor of the English exchequer. To him belongs the credit of suggesting the proposition of raising a revenue by a direct tax upon the colonies. He, then, was the initiator of the abuses which led to the independence of the people.

Lord Grenville understood human nature, and therefore resolved to accomplish his purpose by degrees. He sought to gradually obtain entire control over the finances and resources of the colonies, take from the people their liberties, and render them merely subservient vassals of the Crown. He proposed as an entering wedge that a tax should be imposed upon foreign productions, and that stamp duties should be created. As such measures were always unpopular, he saw at once that men and means would have to be provided for the collection of the duties. He well knew that the people would not tamely submit to the enforcement of such burdens. In order to carry the law into effect, he proposed the creation of an army of 10,000 men, believing that such a force would act upon the fears of the subjects, and compel them to submit quietly to the great wrong.

The thunderings of discontent grew louder and louder; and the murmurs resounded on every side. Grenville became prime minister in 1764, and by reason of his elevation exerted a great and controlling influence over Parliament. He was now in a position to successfully carry out the schemes he had proposed the year before. Upon assuming his new position, next to the Crown itself, he forcibly urged upon Parliament his peculiar[244] methods to raise revenue. He contended that the home government had the right to impose such duties and taxes as they thought proper, without consulting the wishes of the colonists. An act was passed in accordance with his views, providing a tax upon various articles, which formerly had been admitted free of duty.

The Provincial Assembly of the colony of New York protested against these tyrannical acts, and forwarded a strong and forcible memorial to the ministry. The manliness manifested by the Assembly in thus declaring its rights brought down upon them the animosity of the Crown; led to the suspension of their legislative prerogatives, thereby depriving the people of representation in the affairs of the colony. New York was not the only province that sent protests. While the Assembly of New York spoke boldly and fearlessly, the sister colonies were more suppliant. If the other colonies had displayed the same determination to oppose the inroads upon their rights as New York evinced, it would have resulted at the outset in a repeal of the odious measures.

The Stamp Act was passed on the 22d of March, 1765, to take effect on the 1st of November ensuing. The colonial Governor Colden declared that he would enforce the law. This enunciation did not terrify the people, as a fixed resolve permeated the masses to oppose its enforcement at all hazards. Citizens obtained copies of the act, and in broad daylight hawked them about the street with a death's head bearing the inscription, "The Folly of England and the Ruin of America." Meetings, public and private, were held throughout the city, and in the outlying sections of the colony. The subject was earnestly discussed on the streets and in all places of public resort. Lewis was amongst the first to refuse submission to or acquiescence in the royal demands. Love of liberty and justice induced him to enlist in the cause of the patriots against the enactments of Parliament. This was the grand principle which induced him to unite with the devoted band which sprang into existence,[245] and was known as the "Sons of Liberty." The avowed object of this noble company was to concert and adopt measures whereby the exercise of an undue power by the mother country might be defeated.

When the Provincial Assembly of New York, apprehending danger, and realizing the necessity of united action on the part of all the colonies, deemed it wise and prudent to recommend a congress of delegates to assemble in New York on the 7th of October, 1765, to consider what action should be taken to oppose the repulsive Stamp Act, Mr. Lewis was elected to represent New York as a delegate, and when they met took his seat in the convention. His head, heart, and soul were enlisted in the cause, and he earnestly advocated the adoption of the Bill of Rights.

He was one of the men selected to circulate the principles of the Sons of Liberty, and seek the formation of similar societies throughout the colonies. In this grand work he was associated with Isaac Sears, Marrinus Willett, Gershom Mott, Hugh Hughes, William Wiley, Thomas Robinson, Flores Bancker, and Edward Laight, all of whom were tried patriots, whose deeds of daring and earnest labors will live in the memory of a grateful people while time shall last. Truly have they "left behind them footprints on the sands of time," and "their actions smell sweet and blossom in their dust."

At this time Francis Lewis resided at Whitestone, L. I., having removed with his family to his country home early in 1765. His residence in Queens County did not prevent his acting with the Sons of Liberty. In those days many of the prominent officials lived in Brooklyn and on the Island.

The appointment of this committee resulted in the selection of a correspondent in London, who kept the patriots informed as to the projected movements of the British authorities, by which means they were enabled to adopt measures to thwart the purposes of the Crown. The information received from time to time led to a[246] desire for a closer union of the colonies. The old Dutch maxim, which has been preserved and adopted as part of the seal of our good city of Brooklyn, "In union is strength," was uppermost in their minds, and induced them to invite the respective colonies to send delegates to a congress to assemble in New York on the 7th of October, 1765.

Some New England writers have given the credit of the formation of this congress to Massachusetts. This is an unhistorical assumption. Whilst New England men did yeoman service in the cause, they did not enlist in it until they had been spurred on by the "Sons of Liberty" of New York. This congress of delegates owed its existence to the persistency of New Yorkers, and was by them first called together.

The congress was organized by the election of Timothy Ruggles, of Massachusetts, as president. The session lasted for three weeks. The measures introduced and the work accomplished were mainly initiated by the delegates from New York. A declaration of rights, prepared and submitted by John Cruger, Mayor of New York, was adopted; and a memorial and statement of grievances for presentation to Parliament was prepared and introduced by Robert R. Livingston, also of New York. Livingston subsequently was a member of the Continental Congress, and associated with Jefferson on the committee appointed to draft the Declaration of Independence. Livingston's address to Parliament was signed by nearly all the members. The declaration of rights was a vigorous and forcible document. It announced the grand principle that "taxation without representation is tyranny," and declared that as the colonies were so remote as to preclude representation in Parliament, the right of taxation only vested in the legislative authorities. It boldly denounced the Stamp Act as tyrannical, and demanded its repeal.

Prior to the assembling of this congress a committee waited upon Governor Colden to solicit his aid and encouragement.[247] As Colden had in former times advocated the rights of the people, it was but natural to expect encouragement and support from him in this trying hour. The committee was disappointed. To their infinite surprise and disgust he declared the congress to be "unconstitutional, unprecedented, and unlawful," and announced that he should give it no countenance.

It is within the bounds of reason to say that Jefferson, in the production of his inimitable paper, caught his inspiration from these noble documents emanating from the Dutchmen of New York, and so readily endorsed by their associates in this congress. The doctrine brought over in the Mayflower led for a time to proscription, whilst the lesson taught by the Dutch settlers was freedom and toleration. The forefathers of New England who sought the New World to enjoy religious liberty refused to grant the same privilege to others. The Dutch, on the other hand, extended a welcome to the Pilgrims, gave them a home at Delft Haven for eleven years, afforded an asylum to the persecuted Quakers who fled from New England, and always exercised the precept enunciated at a later day by the martyr Lincoln, "with malice toward none, with charity for all."

The acts and enunciations of the congress were approved by the people, and adopted by the Colonial Assembly which met in November. Shortly after the ratification of the petitions by the Colonial Assembly, Governor Colden wrote to the home government that "whatever happens in this place has the greatest influence on the other colonies. They have their eyes perpetually on it, and they govern themselves accordingly."

The Stamp Act was to take effect on the 1st of November, 1765. The merchants on the eve of the 1st were greatly excited. With one accord, they congregated at Burns's Coffee House, near the Battery, and with united voice passed the following resolution: "To import no goods from England until the Stamp Act be repealed; to countermand all orders already sent for spring goods;[248] to sell no goods from England on commission; to abide by these resolutions until they should be rescinded by a general meeting called for that purpose."

The Sons of Liberty, in order to carry on their work so well commenced, appointed from their number a committee of five, which was termed the non-importation committee, whose duty it was to enter into correspondence with the other colonies, and, by enlisting their sympathy, induce them to coöperate in the work, and adopt a similar policy.

The stamps reached New York October 29, 1765. In order to protect them from the rage of the people, they were placed on board of a British man-of-war, in the harbor. Governor Colden declared that he could not be intimidated; that the stamps should be delivered in due time. The Governor was in a dilemma, as neither threats nor persuasion could induce the people to aid or assist in the removal.

The 1st of November came. Business was entirely suspended. Every heart was burdened with anxiety. The flags on the shipping were placed at half-mast, and the church bells tolled mournfully. Many private residences displayed the insignia of mourning. On every side it appeared as if a great and dire calamity had visited the colony. Handbills denouncing the administration appeared in public places as if by magic, and the people were warned not to give in their adhesion to the Crown by purchasing the condemned stamps. Activity marked the rank and file of the Sons of Liberty. During the day they bent their energies in making preparations for an evening display. Shortly after dark they assembled and proceeded to the Commons, in the neighborhood of the present City Hall, where a gallows was quickly erected, and an effigy of Governor Colden suspended therefrom. A piece of stamped paper was placed in his hand, a drum at his back, and a placard on his breast with the inscription, "To the Rebel Drummer of 1745." Another company carried a life-sized figure of Colden,[249] seated in a chair, through the streets to the Fort. When they reached Colden's residence they broke open his stable, took therefrom his coach of state, placed the image in the coach, and with it returned and joined their companions in the park. With them they formed into line, and once again proceeded to the Fort and demanded admission. At this time the Fort was under the command of General Gage, who wisely withheld his fire, well knowing that the first shot would madden and infuriate the populace. As admission to the Fort was refused, the citizens repaired to the Bowling Green, kindled a fire, and placed thereon the Governor's coach, image, and the effigy which had been suspended on the gallows. The Sons of Liberty could not hold the people in check. The residence of James, one of the Crown officers, was visited, and because he had advocated the Stamp Act his house was reduced to ashes.

The excitement did not abate. Colden well knew that his successor was expected daily, and he was anxious to lift the responsibility from his own shoulders, and place it on those of his successor. This proffer on the part of Colden did not satisfy the people; they wanted the entire control of the stamps themselves. Again the Sons of Liberty assembled, fully equipped, resolved to obtain the stamps at all hazards, and, if needs be, storm the Fort itself. The Governor became alarmed, and agreed to deliver them to the Mayor and Corporation. The stamps were thereupon transferred to John Cruger, the Mayor, who gave a receipt on behalf of the city, "to take charge, and care of, and be accountable in case they shall be destroyed or carried out of the province." The Sons of Liberty, satisfied with the results of their labors, quietly dispersed. This was the 5th of November. Peace and quietude once again reigned.

Sir Henry Moore, the new Governor, arrived November 13, 1765, and wisely declared at the outset that he would have nothing to do with the detested stamps, and directed that those he had brought with him should be deposited with the others in the City Hall.

[250] The spirit of hatred to the Stamp Act, manifested in the province of New York, proved contagious. The colony of Maryland caught the infection, and drove from her midst a stamp agent, who sought a refuge on Long Island. Hither the Sons of Liberty followed him, and compelled him to resign his office, under the solemnity of an oath. This act on the part of the Sons of Liberty was greatly appreciated by the inhabitants of Maryland.

The spirit displayed by the inhabitants of New York continued to spread, until at last the different colonies became one in spirit. Parliament saw it would be useless to attempt the enforcement of the Stamp Act, and repealed it February 20, 1766. The news reached New York March 20, 1766, filling the community with untold joy. A dinner was given, and a liberty pole erected, bearing the inscription, "The King, Pitt, and Liberty." This pole was destined to become the rallying-spot of the Sons of Liberty.

Peace did not last long. In 1767, the chancellor of the exchequer introduced and secured the passage of a bill, imposing duties on all tea, glass, paper, painters' colors, and lead, imported into the colony. This measure was looked upon as a fresh invasion of their rights by the inhabitants, and a new burst of feeling appeared.

In 1768 a new Assembly was convened. Kings County was represented by Simon Boerum, John Rapalje, and Abraham Schenck. At the opening of the session in October, a correspondence was entered into with the colony of Massachusetts, responsive to a circular sent by that colony, asking their aid, sympathy, and coöperation in securing a removal of common grievances. In unmistakable terms the Assembly denounced the outrages. The public prints were equally emphatic. The boldness of the Assembly led to its dissolution, and a new one in the interest of the Crown was convened in 1769. The new body catered to the Royalists, passing resolutions in the interest of the Crown, thereby exciting the Sons of Liberty to renewed efforts. In December, 1769, the[251] patriots again circulated handbills, denouncing the Assembly as base betrayers of the sacred trust reposed in them. The Assembly received no consideration at the hands of the malcontents.

In January, 1770, the Royalist soldiers, to show contempt for the citizens of the city, attempted to destroy the liberty pole. They even, in their fury at the failure of the effort, broke into the building occupied by the Sons of Liberty, and destroyed its windows and furniture. During several nights in succession the soldiers renewed their endeavors to destroy the emblem of liberty. At last they succeeded, manifesting their spite by cutting it in small pieces, which they placed in front of the headquarters of the patriots. The insult was understood, and fresh conflicts arose, the soldiers and the people finally coming into violent collision in the so-called battle of Golden Hill.

Early in 1770 Parliament repealed all the duties except that on tea.

In 1771 Francis Lewis removed his family to New York, and entered into business with his son. This connection did not last long. The political atmosphere was surcharged with dissatisfaction. The storm cloud of dissension still hung threateningly, and the future looked black and dismal. In such a state of affairs his course was not doubtful.

The English authorities resolved to enforce the duty on tea. The vessels containing it sailed from England October 26, 1773. The events that followed are familiar in American history.

The New York "tea party" was a greater success than the one in Boston, as the New Yorkers not only threw the tea overboard, but also confiscated one of the vessels, and sent the captains of both back in the other craft, disheartened and crestfallen.

On the 22d of April, 1775, Lewis, having relinquished business, was elected by a convention of delegates from Kings, Queens, New York, and the other counties, to[252] represent the province in the Continental Congress to assemble in Philadelphia. At this time Lewis lived on Long Island. The colony had two governors. Tryon represented the Crown and the Royalists, and General Nathaniel Woodhull, of Suffolk County, was president pro tem. of the Provincial Council, possessing the functions of a governor. Antagonism existed between the two. The Provincial Council directed the guns to be removed from the Battery. This was opposed by Tryon. On the 23d of August, 1775, the committee proceeded to discharge the duty assigned them. The British ship Asia was in the harbor, having just arrived from Boston, and by direction of Tryon at once opened her broadside. Morgan Lewis, son of Francis Lewis, during his lifetime stated that at this time the first ball shot from an English ship, during the war, struck his father's house on the Long Island shore, shattering the beam under his mother's foot. The family were greatly terrified, and hastily sought a refuge in the neighboring hills.

The Provincial Congress met in New York in December, 1775. Francis Lewis was continued a delegate to the Continental Congress for 1776. His appears as one of the immortal fifty-six names appended to the Declaration of Independence. On that occasion, in the impetuosity of his enthusiasm, he exclaimed: "Now we must hang together or we shall hang separately."

The convention of representatives of the State of New York, which met at White Plains, July 9, 1776, unanimously ratified the acts of their delegates. Two of the signers of the Declaration from New York, to wit, Francis Lewis and William Floyd, were residents of Long Island. It will thus be seen that our island sent one half of the State delegation.

Lewis was now kept busy in political matters. During several subsequent years he was appointed to represent the State in national affairs. Whilst in Congress his advice was often sought, and his prudence and business tact made him a valuable member. Always maintaining[253] a spotless reputation, he secured and retained the confidence of his associates. Matters which required caution and discretion were referred to him. Valuable service was rendered by him in purchasing clothing for the army, and in importing arms and ammunition. Besides all this he was frequently employed on committees and in the secret service of the government.

At the time the Tories occupied New York, and terror and consternation filled the hearts of all, he, with Messrs. Sherman and Gerry, was appointed a committee by Congress to repair to New York, ascertain the condition of the army, and devise means to supply its wants.

In 1775 Lewis removed his family to his country residence at Whitestone, L. I. It did not prove wise on his part, as it was stepping into the hornet's nest. Shortly after the occupation of the island by General Howe, and on August 23, 1776, a party of British light horse, under Colonel Burch, plundered his home, destroyed his library and valuable papers, and removed such articles as they could conveniently carry away, leaving him barely sufficient means with which to pay his debts. At this time he was sixty-three years old, and by this wanton act was placed in a truly pitiable condition. They were not satisfied with the destruction of his property, but thirsted for vengeance on the man who dared to proclaim himself a friend of liberty by signing the Declaration of Independence, which was an indictment by the grand jury of the people against the tyranny of Great Britain. The vandal invaders took Mrs. Lewis a prisoner, and retained her in close confinement several months, without allowing her either a bed to rest upon or a change of clothing.

The attention of Congress was directed to her situation in November, 1776. A resolution was passed to exchange Mrs. Grace Kempe, wife of John Tabor Kempe, the Tory attorney-general of New York, whom the Americans held as a prisoner, for Mrs. Lewis. In the effort they were unsuccessful. Washington became[254] greatly interested in her behalf, and through his instrumentality she was at last released. She had endured intense suffering, which impaired her constitution, and resulted in her death within two years thereafter. She was buried in the graveyard of Christ Church, Philadelphia.

About this time Lewis's son Francis was married to a Miss Ludlow. The Ludlow family strenuously opposed the match, saying that his father was a notorious rebel and would certainly be hanged, and they did not want to be allied to a family whose head was destined to meet such a fate.

By the terms of the resolution passed by Congress, October 14, 1777, each State was entitled to a representation of seven members, and unless two members were in attendance, the State would have no vote. The cabal took advantage of the fact that New York had but two members in town, and, as one of them was sick and unable to attend, the State would thereby have no vote in the deliberations of Congress. They determined to raise the issue in Congress by appointing a committee to arrest Washington at Valley Forge. Francis Lewis was the only member from New York capable of taking his seat. The other member, Col. Wm. Duer, was very sick; but, loving his country more than his life, immediately upon learning the necessity of his presence sent for his physician, and demanded to know whether he could be removed and taken to the halls of Congress. The doctor replied, "Yes; but at the expense of your life!" "Do you mean that I would expire before reaching the place?" "No; but I would not answer for your life twenty-four hours afterwards." "Very well, sir," the noble Roman replied; "you have done your duty, prepare a litter for me; if you refuse, some one else shall do it; but I prefer your care in this case." The litter was prepared, and the patient made ready to sacrifice his life, to defeat the machinations of the misguided men who sought to degrade Washington. Fortunately the sacrifice was prevented[255] by the opportune arrival of Gouverneur Morris, another delegate, who, on reaching the headquarters of the New York delegation, found Colonel Duer on the litter, covered with blankets, attended by his physician and carriers, ready to go to the Court House, where Congress was to meet. Lewis and Morris being present gave New York a vote, and forced the evil-minded members to see that their scheme could not be safely advocated, and the effort was abandoned.

When Lewis retired from Congress, that body, in consideration of his services, and remembering his many sacrifices, appointed him commissioner of the board of admiralty, which position he accepted. In April, 1784, Lewis was an earnest worker in the reorganization of the Chamber of Commerce, which he had been instrumental in founding, and assisted in procuring its charter, which passed the Legislature April 13, 1784.

Lewis lived to see the accomplishment of his heart's desire, and was permitted to live in the infant republic for which he had spent his time and fortune for a period of twenty-seven years.

His children followed in his footsteps. One of them, Francis Lewis, Jr., represented Queens County in the Assembly of 1788. The other son, Morgan, was born October 16, 1754, graduated at Princeton College in 1773, studied law with John Jay, and joined the army under Washington in 1775. At first he was captain of a rifle company, but rose rapidly, becoming, in 1776, colonel and chief-of-staff under General Gates. He was at the battle of Saratoga, and distinguished himself under General Clinton in the Mohawk Valley. After the war, he continued his legal studies, and was admitted to the bar. Soon after he was appointed judge of the court of common pleas. In 1791 he was elected attorney-general, as the successor of Aaron Burr, holding the position until December 24, 1792, when he became a justice of the Supreme Court. On the 28th of October, 1801, he took his seat as chief justice of the Supreme Court of the[256] State of New York. Other honors awaited him. He was Governor of the State from 1804 to 1807, succeeding Governor Clinton as the third Governor of the Commonwealth. At the election, party spirit and feeling were manifested to a great degree. Aaron Burr was his opponent, and displayed great anxiety to secure the election. Although Lewis was a Jeffersonian, he received the warm support of Alexander Hamilton. It was mainly through the efforts of Hamilton that his success in the contest was secured. Hamilton's labors in behalf of Lewis embittered Burr, and formed one of the main causes which a few months later led to his untimely end at the hands of the miscreant intriguer Burr. Burr was a student with Lewis at Princeton, and graduated in 1772, one year in advance of the Governor.

On several subsequent occasions, Morgan Lewis was elected state senator, and also chancellor of the University. In 1812 he was appointed quartermaster, and became a major-general in 1813. During that year he was engaged in operations on the Niagara River, and commanded the defenses in New York city in 1814. In 1828, when seventy-four years of age, he was elected a presidential elector for the fifth district of New York.

Lewis Avenue, Brooklyn, was named in his honor.

Morgan Lewis was a man of great scholastic attainments. The New York Historical Society elected him their president in 1835. In 1839 he was chosen president of the Society of the Cincinnati, holding the office until his death, April 7, 1844. He was the last but one of the Revolutionary soldiers who filled that position. He was grand master of the Free Masons at the time of his death, and was buried by the craft with their impressive ceremonies. He was married at Clermont on the Hudson in May, 1779, to Gertrude, the sister of Chancellor Livingston.

On the 6th of August, 1784, Morgan Lewis purchased eighty acres of land in Brooklyn, bounded by the Gowanus Road, and the road leading from Brooklyn to Flatbush.[257] It was a portion of the estate belonging to John Rapelje, which became forfeited by his allegiance to the Tories, and was sold by the commissioners appointed to sell the property of all who adhered to the Crown.

Francis Lewis, the hero and patriot, spent his last days in comparative poverty; but his heart was cheered by the fact that he had given his fortune to his country, and spent his life in her service.

On the 30th of December, 1803, at the ripe age of ninety years, having witnessed the inauguration of three Presidents, all of whom were his warm and personal friends, his life-work closed.



In a letter written from Holland to the Brooklyn "Eagle," Henry C. Murphy gave an interesting explanation of the chief characteristics of Dutch nomenclature. In the course of this letter Mr. Murphy said:—

"In order to show what difficulties the peculiar system adopted in this country (Holland), and continued by the settlers in our own home, throw in the way of tracing genealogies, it is to be observed that the first of these, in point of time, was the patronymic, as it is called, by which a child took, besides his own baptismal name, that of his father, with the addition of zoon, or sen, meaning son. To illustrate this: if a child were baptized Hendrick, and the baptismal name of his father were Jan, the child would be called Hendrick Jansen. His son, if baptized Tunis, would be called Tunis Hendricksen; and the son of the latter might be Willem, and would have the name Willem Tunisen. And so we might have the succeeding generations called successively Garret Willemsen, Marten Garretsen, Adrien Martensen, and so on, through the whole of the calendar of Christian names; or, as more frequently happened, there would be repetition, in the second, third, or fourth generation, of the name of the first; and thus, as these names were common to the whole people, there were in every community different lineages of identically the same name. This custom, which had prevailed in Holland for centuries, was in full vogue at the time of the settlement of New Netherland. In writing the termination sen, it was frequently contracted into se, or z, or s. Thus the name of William Barretsen, who commanded in the first three Arctic voyages of exploration,[259] in 1594, 1595, and 1596, is given in the old accounts of those voyages, Barretsen, Barentse, Barentz, Barents; sometimes in one way, sometimes in another, indifferently. Or, to give an example nearer home, both of the patronymic custom and of the contraction of the name, the father of Garret Martense, the founder of a family of that name in Flatbush, was Martin Adriense, and his father was Adriæ Ryerse, who came from Amsterdam. The inconveniences of this practice, the confusion to which it gave rise, and the difficulty of tracing families, led ultimately to its abandonment, both in Holland and in our own country. In doing so, the patronymic, which the person originating the name bore, was adopted as the surname. Most of the family names thus formed and originating amongst us may be said to be of American origin, as they were first fixed in America, though the same names were adopted by others in Holland. Hence we have the names of such families of Dutch descent amongst us as Jansen (anglice, Johnson), Garretsen, Cornelisen, Williamsen or Williamson, Hendricksen or Hendrickson, Clasen, Simonsen or Simonson, Tysen (son of Mathias), Arendsen (son of Arend), Hansen, Lambertsen or Lambertson, Paulisen, Remsen,55 Ryersen, Martense, Adrience, Rutgers, Everts, Phillips, Lefferts, and others. To trace connection between these families and persons in this country, it is evident, would be impossible, for the reason stated, without a regular record.

"Another mode of nomenclature, intended to obviate the difficulty of an identity of names for the time being, but which rendered the confusion worse confounded for the future genealogist, was to add to the patronymic name the occupation or some other personal characteristic of the individual. Thus, Laurens Jansen, the inventor of the art of printing, as the Dutch claim, had affixed to his name that of Coster—that is to say, sexton—an office of which he was in the possession of the emoluments.[260] But the same addition was not transmitted to his son; and thus the son of Hendrick Jansen Coster might be called Tunis Hendrickson Brouwer (brewer), and his grandson might be William Tunissen Bleecker (bleacher)....

"A third practice, evidently designed, like that referred to, to obviate the confusions of the first, was to append the name of the place where the person resided, not often of a large city, but of a particular, limited locality, and frequently of a particular form or natural object. This custom is denoted in all the family names which have the prefix of Van, Vander, Ver (which is a contraction of Vander), and Ten, meaning, respectively, of, of the and at the.... The prefixes Vander or Ver and Ten were adopted where the name was derived from a particular spot, thus: Vanderveer (of the ferry); Vanderburg, of the hill; Vanderbilt (of the bildt, that is, certain elevations of ground in Guederhoff and New Utrecht); Vanderbeck (of the brook); Vanderhoff (of the court); Verplanck (of the plank); Verhultz (of the holly); Verkerk (of the church); Ten Eyck (at the oak); Tenbroeck (at the marsh)."



New York City's exclusive claims to the ferry rights are almost as old as Brooklyn itself. Brooklyn was settled in 1636, and in less than twenty years, and while there was but a handful of people on this side of the river, the ferry from Peck Slip to Nassau Island, at a point corresponding to the present foot of Fulton Street, had become a public question. In the natural course of things, New York had first started the ferry. When the English conquered New Netherland, and Peter Stuyvesant stepped down (with his wooden leg) from the governorship of New Amsterdam, the conquered province was patented by Charles II. of England to the Duke of York, who afterwards became James II., and in whose honor New Amsterdam was re-named New York. The Dutch Governor was succeeded by an English Governor, the Duke's representative, Nicolls; and Dutch traditions and codes were succeeded by the famous "Duke's Laws." The new Governor granted to the little hamlet of Brooklyn a patent confirmatory of that received from the Dutch Governor, a measure that was in conformity with the general policy of the conquerors.

This patent, after naming the patentees, and describing the bounds of the town, and bounding by the river, and not by high or low water mark, proceeded to say: "Together with all havens, harbors, creeks, marshes, waters, rivers, lakes, and fisheries." The charter adds: "Moreover, I do hereby give, ratify, and confirm unto the said patentees and their associates, and their heirs, successors, and assigns, all the rights and privileges belonging to a town within their government." Under this[262] patent the town of Brooklyn first claimed the ownership of land between high and low water mark on the Brooklyn side, and an equal right with New York to erect and maintain ferries.

We find no adverse claim on the part of New York until nineteen years afterward, in 1686, when the Corporation of New York obtained from Governor Dongan a charter by which the ferries were granted to New York. But this charter says nothing about water rights, and expressly reserves the rights of all other persons and bodies corporate or politic. Moreover, Brooklyn in the same year secured from Dongan a patent fully confirming that of Nicolls. A similar confirmation was secured in 1691. But New York was still running the ferry, and to fortify its claims bought land on the Brooklyn side in 1694.


In the reign of Queen Anne the Corporation of New York induced that infamous trickster and reprobate, Governor Cornbury, to give New York a charter, by which it was to be entitled to all "vacant and unappropriated land" below high water mark from the Wallabout to Red Hook. The charter was really void, for there was no unappropriated land in the region named, previous patents and charters having given them to Brooklyn as a town. In 1721 the colonial legislature confirmed Brooklyn's rights, but New York's politicians bought for a specific sum ($5000) a new charter from Governor Montgomerie confirming the pretended right of New York to ownership in land to high-water mark on the Brooklyn shore. New York secured a charter ownership in 400 feet of land under water around the whole lower part of the city, and step by step, with money and unfaltering political trickery, the city set itself against the development and independence of Brooklyn. By Section 37 of the Montgomerie charter, the ferry franchise was confirmed "forever," with a provision that no other person or persons whomsoever should have the right to establish a ferry or ferries in the premises. Legislative[263] acts and legal decisions have been piled up around a pretense, the fallacy and injustice of which appear upon examination of the early records.

New York was not satisfied with the crafty legislation by which it sought to overawe the village across the river. It began to question the right of Brooklyn people to cross to New York in their own boats. The result was that a Brooklyn man, Hendrick Remsen, sued the New York Corporation. He won his case; the Corporation appealed to the King, and the matter remained undecided in consequence of the Revolution. Although the Constitution of the State confirms all grants of land within the State made by authority of the King of Great Britain or his predecessors, prior to August 14, 1775, New York afterward adhered to its false claims to the river rights. However, by State rulings within the present century, Brooklyn was permitted to exercise jurisdiction to low-water mark. A Supreme Court decision in 1821 declares that the City and County of New York includes the whole of the rivers and harbor adjoining to actual low-water mark on the opposite shores. It was only in 1824 that Brooklyn was able to secure from the Legislature concurrent jurisdiction with New York in the service of process, in actions civil and criminal, on board of vessels attached to its own wharves.

When Brooklyn sought to erect itself into a city, New York met the proposition with the same spirit of unwillingness to recognize in the sister town any right to individual existence. Every step that Brooklyn took toward securing municipal rights was hampered by the opposition of New York politicians. Brooklyn became a city in 1834, in spite of New York's opposition. New York retired from the fight with its fraudulent ownership of the river and the "ferry rights," by which it was and still is able to levy a continuous tax upon Brooklyn.


Federal Census of 1890

The tabulated statements presented herewith include only establishments which reported a product of $500 or more in value during the census year, and, so far as practicable, only those establishments operating works located within the corporate limits of the city.



Industries Industries Reported Establishments Reporting Capital57 Hands Employed Wages Paid Cost of Materials Used
All Industries { 1880 180 5,201 $61,646,749 47,587 22,487,457 $129,085,091
1890 229 10,561 125,849,052 103,683 61,975,702 137,325,749
Industries Miscellaneous
Value of Product Population City Assessed
Municipal Debt59
All Industries { 1880   $177,223,142 566,663 232,925,699 $38,040,000
1890 $14,824,466 248,750,184 806,343 445,038,201 34,639,542



CLASSIFICATION OF INQUIRIES60 Boots and shoes—factory products Chemicals Coffee and spice—roasting and grinding Confectionery Cordage and twine Foundry and machine shop products Furnishing goods Paper hangings Slaughtering and meat packing Sugar and molasses refining
Establishments:—  (65) (36) (13) (197) (3) (169) (67) (5) (63) (8)
CAPITAL EMPLOYED— Aggregate $1,327,119 $8,483,835 2,963,392 2,923,509 2,256,400 $13,725,518 $1,507,853 $1,790,121 2,120,822 $3,999,510
HIRED PROPERTY—Total 366,230 275,000 306,300 1,047,500   1,473,750 377,650 303,482 380,560 255,622
PLANT—Total 385,934 4,888,250 546,696 1,028,053 1,854,300 6,046,228 427,420 401,946 918,400 1,821,000
Land 56,700 1,196,800 198,400 251,085 303,000 1,617,500 110,100 31,500 317,550 399,000
Buildings 113,400 1,532,821 194,350 311,225 701,000 1,362,670 142,550 121,584 346,752 527,500
Machinery, tools, and implements 215,834 2,158,629 153,946 465,743 850,300 3,066,058 174,770 248,862 254,098 894,500
LIVE ASSETS—Total 574,955 3,320,585 2,110,396 847,956 402,100 6,205,540 702,783 1,084,693 821,862 1,922,888
Raw materials 137,612 1,365,535 721,678 207,660 175,600 1,182,099 312,438 61,890 114,907 186,214
Stock in process and finished product 154,802 878,468 930,671 269,041 60,500 1,525,807 142,902 186,974 197,490 335,016
Cash, bills, and accounts receivable, and all sundries not elsewhere reported 282,541 1,076,582 458,047 371,255 166,000 3,497,634 247,443 835,829 509,465 1,401,658
WAGES PAID—Aggregate $1,032,547 $1,140,475 $479,036 $1,096,252 $650,256 $5,641,132 $1,203,461 $445,510 $532,120 $330,558
Average number of hands employed 2,050 1,848 794 2,237 1,612 7,753 2,218 852 623 596
Males above 16 years 840 1,295 477 1,387 1,012 6,868 868 660 607 583
Females above 15 years 326 289 10 552 600 42 485 146 3 2
Children 24 31   22   2 10 20    
Pieceworkers 860 233 307 276   841 855 26 13 11
MATERIALS USED—Aggregate cost $1,432,934 $7,329,134 $11,047,538 $1,833,791 $4,352,63 $5,125,183 $1,443,218 $1,067,697 $11,769,741 $14,816,112
Principal materials 1,381,752 7,050,313 10,711,647 1,738,998 4,206,13 4,626,489 1,389,325 1,042,362 11,637,737 14,412,045
Fuel 3,888 195,545 14,752 25,621 105,00 210,767 27,893 18,045 32,256 100,342
Mill supplies   9,206 20,656 3,835 6,00 47,386 10,308 290   15,986
All other materials 47,294 74,070 300,483 65,337 35,50 240,541 15,692 7,000 99,748 287,739
EXPENSES, MISCEL­LANEOUS—Ag'gate $73,249 $612,809 $84,334 $194,993 $63,18 $799,912 $84,811 $300,754 $130,096 227,760
Paid for contract work 1,450         12,000        
Rent 25,636 22,110 21,445 73,320   117,888 26,441 22,000 34,252 20,450
Power and heat 3,720 900 3,800 120   14,664 600     900
Taxes 4,494 48,950 11,439 9,981 10,14 60,267 4,429 15,863 13,902 21,877
Insurance 4,420 29,190 11,382 5,050 7,54 36,223 10,573 7,343 9,490 21,397
Repairs, ordinary, of b'ld'gs and mach'y 5,842 149,644 6,635 5,730 25,00 74,565 9,502 1,700 8,387 29,171
Interest on cash used in the business 1,549 43,651   13,462   22,009 1,895 61,833 3,691 65,449
All sundries not elsewhere reported 26,138 318,364 29,633 87,330 20,50 462,296 31,371 192,015 60,374 68,516
GOODS MANUFAC­TURED—Aggregate 2,813,209 $10,467,109 $12,247,162 $3,731,202 $5,625,79 $15,350,776 $3,315,691 2,143,023 $13,317,789 $16,629,982
Principal product 2,770,689 10,425,949 12,044,967 3,721,071 5,622,91 14,222,090 3,268,994 2,143,023 13,118,381 16,623,134
All other products, including custom work and repairing 42,520 41,160 202,195 10,131 2,88 1,128,686 46,697   199,408 6,848



Title of Loan Amount
Dec. 31, 1892
Dec. 31, 1893
Increase Decrease
Prospect Park $8,697,000.00 $8,697,000.00    
New York Bridge 10,013,000.00 10,013,000.00    
Soldiers' Aid Fund 112,000.00 60,000.00   $52,000
Arrearage Fund 2,350,000.00 2,350,000.00    
Local Improvement 200,000.00     200,000
Certificates of Indebtedness 505,160.93 434,160.93   71,000
City Bonds (Arrearage of County Taxes) 549,000.00 549,000.00    
Main Sewer Relief and Extension Fund 1,250,000.00 1,250,000.00    
Local Improvement (Laws of 1888) 1,300,000.00 1,300,000.00    
Local Improvement (Laws of 1889) 900,000.00 900,000.00    
Local Improvement (Laws of 1892) 300,000.00 445,000.00 $155,000.00  
School Improvement (Laws of 1888) 400,000.00 400,000.00    
School Improvement (Laws of 1889) 800,000.00 800,000.00    
Public Site, Purchase and Construction 500,000.00 500,000.00    
Municipal Site 265,000.00 265,000.00    
Fourth Precinct Station House 50,000.00 50,000.00    
Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument 220,000.00 205,000.00   15,000
Park Purchase 650,000.00 650,000.00    
New York and Brooklyn Bridge, § 4, Laws of 1891 1,000,000.00 1,000,000.00    
New York and Brooklyn Bridge, § 5, Laws of 1891 1,400,000.00 1,450,000.00 50,000.00  
Public Market 750,000.00 750,000.00    
School Building Fund 304,000.00 606,000.00 302,000.00  
Certificate of Indebtedness, ch. 48, Laws of 1892 162,844.92 54,830.18   108,014
Certificate of Indebtedness, ch. 50, Laws of 1892 125,000.00 148,852.55 3,852.55  
Certificate of Indebtedness, ch. 45, Laws of 1891 15,000.00     15,000
Asphalt Repavement Fund   37,000.00 37,000.00  
Museums of Art and Science 8,000.00 8,000.00    
Total $32,818,005.85 $32,932,843.66 $575,852.55 $461,014
WATER DEBT $14,566,000.00 $15,316,000.00 $750,000.00  
Fourth Avenue Improvement 51,000.00 34,000.00 $17,000  
Eighth Ward Improvement 650,000.00 650,000.00    
Twenty-sixth and adjacent Ward Sewers 315,000.00 499,000.00 184,000.00  
Sewerage Fund(1892) 50,000.00 119,000.00 69,000.00  
North Second Street Improvement   15,000.00 15,000.00  
Tax Certificate (Contagious Disease Hospital)   7,000.00 7,000.00  
Total $1,066,000.00 $1,324,000.00 75,000.00 $17,000
TAX CERTIFICATES 2,700,000.00 $3,400,000.00 $700,000.00  
Permanent Debt $32,818,005.85 $32,932,843.66 $114,837.81  
Water Debt 14,566,000.00 15,316,000.00 750,000.00  
Temporary Debt 1,066,000.00 1,324,000.00 258,000.00  
Tax Certificates 2,700,000.00 3,400,000.00 700,000.00  
Gross Debt 51,150,005.85 52,972,843.66 1,822,837.81  
Sinking Fund 4,636,893.90 4,935,344.55 298,450.65  
$46,513,111.95 $48,037,499.11 $1,524,387.16  
Less 3 and 8 months' Tax Certificates   700,000.00    
Net City Debt $46,513,111.95 $47,337,499.11 $1,524,387.16  


1 Stiles, i. p. 326.

2 In 1888 the State Legislature, at the request of the Society of Old Brooklynites, passed a resolution urging Congress to provide for the erection of a monument. A petition containing 25,000 names was sent to Washington, and the matter was favorably reported from committee, but no act was passed.

3 Historical Sketch of Fulton Ferry, 1879.

4 Furman, p. 243.

5 The state recognition of Brooklyn as a town took place in 1788.

6 In 1806, the Legislature of New York enacted a law allowing the incorporation of a State and of County Medical Societies. Under this act the State Medical Society was organized at once. The medical men of this county did not act in the matter, however, for several years, and it was not till March, 1822, that the Kings County Medical Society was organized. From the organization of the society to the present time the following gentlemen have been its presidents: Cornelius Low, 1822–1825; J. G. T. Hunt, 1825, till his death in 1830; Thomas W. Henry, 1831–1833; Charles Ball, 1833–1835; Isaac I. Rapelye, 1835; Matthew Wendell, 1836; Adrian Vanderveer, 1837–1839; John B. Zabriskie, 1839; Purcell Cooke, 1840–1842; Theodore L. Mason, 1842–1844; Bradley Parker, 1844; Purcell Cooke, 1845; J. Sullivan Thorne, 1846; Lucius Hyde, 1847; Chauncey L. Mitchell, 1848; Henry J. Cullen, 1849; James H. Henry, 1850; Samuel J. Osborne, 1851; George Marvin, 1852; Andrew Otterson, 1853–1855; George I. Bennet, 1855; T. Anderson Wade, 1856; Samuel Boyd, 1857; Chauncey L. Mitchell, 1858–1860; Daniel Brooks, 1860; C. R. McClellan, 1861; Samuel Hart, 1862; DeWitt C. Enos, 1863; Joseph C. Hutchinson, 1864; John T. Conkling, 1865; Andrew Otterson, 1866; William W. Reese, 1867; R. Cresson Stiles, 1868–1870; J. H. Hobart Burge, 1870–1872; William Henry Thayer, 1872–1874; A. J. C. Skene, 1874–1876; A. Hutchins, 1876–1879; J. S. Prout, 1879; Charles Jewett, 1880–1883; G. G. Hopkins, 1883. In 1829 there were thirty-six active members belonging to the society. In 1836 the Code of Ethics of the state society was adopted, and in 1848 the Code of Ethics of the American Medical Association. From its foundation in 1822, till the repeal of that power by the Legislature in 1881, the Kings County Society conferred sixteen licenses to practice medicine.—S. M. O.

7 The first post-office at Gravesend was established in 1843.

8 J. C. Vanderbilt's Social History of Flatbush gives some exceedingly interesting glimpses of life in this region during and after the Revolutionary period.

9 The "public whipper" received a salary of $15 a year.

10 Tunis G. Bergen was born at New Utrecht in 1806. The Cropsey family, prominent at New Utrecht, is descended from Geerte Jans Kasparse, who came from Holland, with her two sons, Joost and Johannis, in 1652. Joost, third son of this Joost, had one son, Casper, who held office in New Utrecht, and died in 1806, leaving six sons and several daughters. Other descendants were Jerome Ryersen Cropsey, Andrew G. Cropsey, and William Cropsey. The last named was for several terms supervisor of New Utrecht.

11 History of Kings County, p. 279.

12 This fine specimen of old Dutch architecture is still standing on Evergreen Avenue.

13 Historic and Antiquarian Scenes in Brooklyn and its Vicinity, p. 47.

14 The assumption that the Dutch youth required to be taught "convivial customs" by the "arrogant Anglo-American youngers" is scarcely supported by definite testimony.

15 The ancestral farm and home of the Wyckoffs is on the boundary line between Brooklyn and Newtown, beyond Metropolitan Avenue.

16 "History of Williamsburgh," in Stiles's History of Kings County.

17 Printed in the Long Island Star, February 14, 1811.

18 Furman's MS.

19 Fulton and Livingston had obtained from the Legislature the monopoly of steam navigation on all the waters of New York for thirty years from 1808.

20 Historical Sketch of Fulton Ferry.

21 Corporation Manual, 1870.

22 The Corporation of New York at one time even questioned the right of Brooklyn's inhabitants to cross the river, ferriage free, in their own boats.

23 See Appendix III.

24 Walt Whitman was born at West Hills, Long Island, in 1819. During the time of his residence in Brooklyn he did editorial writing for both the Times and the Eagle. In the following letter to Mr. Charles M. Skinner, of Brooklyn, he describes his newspaper work in this city:—

328 Mickle Street, Camden, New Jersey,

January 19, '85.

Dear Sir,—In hasty answer to your request asking me to specify over my own signature what year I worked as an editorial writer in the Brooklyn Times office, I would say that if I remember right it was along in 1856, or just before. I recollect (doubtless I am now going to be egotistical about it) the question of the new Water Works (magnificently outlined by McAlpine, and duly carried out and improved by Kirkwood, first-class engineers both) was still pending, and the works, though well under way, continued to be strongly opposed by many. With the consent of the proprietor, I bent the whole weight of the paper steadily in favor of the McAlpine plan, as against a flimsy, cheap, and temporary series of works that would have long since broken down, and disgraced the city.

This, with my course on another matter,—the securing to public use of Washington Park (old Fort Greene), stoutly championed by me some thirty-five years ago, against heavy odds, during an editorship of the Brooklyn Eagle,—are "feathers in my wings" that I would wish to preserve.

I heard lately with genuine sorrow of the death of George C. Bennett. I remember him well as a good, generous, honorable man.

I send best greetings to your staff, and, indeed, to all the Brooklyn journalists.

Walt Whitman.

Whitman's poem "Crossing the Williamsburgh Ferry" is familiar to readers of his Leaves of Grass.

25 Brooklyn Compendium.

26 The Young Men's Christian Association of Brooklyn was organized during the same year.

27 Up to the time of present writing morning journalism has never been successful in Brooklyn, the metropolitan newspapers of New York having from the outset filled the field, and prevented a financial success for any but the evening papers.

28 "Yet, although Brooklyn had thus, at a single bound, jumped from the seventh to the third position among the cities of the American Union, it could by no means claim the same relative position in point of wealth, business, or commercial importance, being outranked in these respects by several cities of less population. Nor had it risen to its eminence by virtue of its own inherent vigor and enterprise. Candor certainly compels the acknowledgment that it was chiefly attributable to the overflowing prosperity and greatness of its giant neighbor, New York."—Stiles's History of Kings County, vol. i. p. 485.

29 Martin Kalbfleisch was elected Mayor on the Democratic ticket, receiving a majority of 5136, in a total vote of 28,280, over his opponent, Frederick Scholes.

30 The statue was unveiled in October, 1869. A. A. Low presided, and the presentation address was made by James P. Wallace, on behalf of the War Fund Committee. The oration was by Dr. Storrs.

31 Mr. Beecher was appointed chaplain of the Thirteenth Regiment in 1878. Dr. Storrs had already occupied this post.

32 Colonel Meserole was made brigadier-general in 1868.

33 The same name had been chosen by Colonel Roehr's father, Edward Franz Roehr, for a newspaper first issued in 1854, and running for one year. Edward Roehr's Williamsburgh printing office and bookstore also sent forth a Masonic journal called Der Triangel, which flourished for twenty-five years.

34 In connection with the cupola of the City Hall, a very interesting incident occurred in 1852. It was noticed that this feature of the building swayed, and needed to be strengthened. The necessary steps were taken to render it firm and secure. At the time the men were engaged in the work the court of oyer and terminer was holding a session in the room known and distinguished as the Governor's room, Judge N. B. Morse presiding. One day while the court was engaged in a criminal trial, a beam which was being raised slipped from the rope, and fell upon the roof above the court-room, causing the plaster and ceiling to give way. At once the court officers, jurors, and spectators became alarmed; some ran for the door, some for the windows, and others sought refuge under the tables. Judge Morse took a position by one of the windows, and, shaking his fist at the audience, exclaimed, "The wicked flee when no man pursueth." A few of the frightened ones got on their knees and fervently prayed. The prisoner at the bar was the only one unmoved.—S. M. O.

35 Manuscript history.

36 Brooklyn Eagle, May 24, 1884.

37 The single exception to Roebling's plan offered by the commission was that they demanded a central height of 135 feet, instead of 130 feet, in the central span.

38 Samuel T. Powell had occupied the Mayor's chair for two terms, closing in 1861. He again entered the office in 1872.

39 Mr. Beecher came to Brooklyn in 1847, and died at his post forty years later, on March 8, 1887. His relations to the city of Brooklyn were exceptional, and in many respects marvelous. No other single personality in this city ever won a prominence so significant, so salutary, so momentous. One of Brooklyn's most brilliant thinkers, writers, and speakers, the Rev. John W. Chadwick, D.D., has spoken of Mr. Beecher as 'the most unique and splendid personality of our civic history; one of the most unique and splendid in the history of the United States and their colonial beginnings.' The homage to Beecher's genius as a teacher and leader of men has come from thinking men wherever the English language is spoken. The homage which belongs to him as a citizen, as a pastor, as a humanitarian, as a patriot, has been enthusiastically offered by his fellow-countrymen, and particularly by his neighbors in the city of Brooklyn. The bronze monument to Mr. Beecher, designed by John Q. A. Ward, was placed in front of the City Hall in 1891.

40 Seth Low on "Municipal Government," in Bryce's American Commonwealth, vol. i. p. 626.

41 Commenting on the Brooklyn system, Fiske says: "It insures unity of administration, it encourages promptness and economy, it locates and defines responsibility, and it is so simple that everybody can understand it. The people, having but few officers to elect, are more likely to know something about them. Especially since everybody understands that the success of the government depends upon the character of the Mayor, extraordinary pains are taken to secure good mayors; and the increased interest in city politics is shown by the fact that in Brooklyn more people vote for Mayor than for Governor or for President."

42 The increase in the bulk of the city vote since 1877 is shown by the fact that the vote for Howell had been 36,343, as against 33,538 for John F. Henry.

43 Joseph C. Hendrix was appointed postmaster of Brooklyn in 1886, and made a record in that office unequaled by any postmaster the city ever had. Indeed, his reforms and innovations made for him a conspicuous reputation at Washington. In 1892, Hendrix was elected to Congress. He has rendered highly important service to the city in the board of education.

44 See p. 166.

45 The history of the Institute is taken from the fifth Year Book, 1893.

46 The Regents of the University of the State of New York, who had granted a provisional charter in 1889.

47 The present building of the Young Men's Christian Association, at Fulton and Bond streets, has been occupied since 1885. It has a circulating library of over 13,000 volumes, a finely equipped gymnasium, running-track, bowling-alleys, and swimming-tank, two large lecture-halls, and evening classes registering 700 men. The fine building of the Young Women's Christian Association, at the junction of Schermerhorn Street and Flatbush Avenue, has been occupied since 1888. It has eighteen class-rooms for educational work, a library with about 6000 volumes, a lecture-hall seating 650, assembly-rooms seating 400, an excellent gymnasium and running-track, and medical department.

48 See p. 165 of this volume.

49 The practice of establishing classes for Chinamen in connection with Sunday-schools has occasioned many and prolonged discussions in Brooklyn, and has been strongly assailed, particularly in those instances where the teaching of mature Chinamen was intrusted to young unmarried women.

50 Eagle Almanac, 1894.

51 Corporation Manual, for 1863, compiled by Henry McCloskey, City Clerk.

52 See Appendix.

53 Leffert Lefferts was the first president of the Long Island Bank.

54 Read by Mr. Ostrander before the Long Island Historical Society, February 1, 1881.

55 Understood to have originated in the shortening of Rembrandt into Rem.

56 From compilation in Eagle Almanac, 1892.

57 The value of hired property is not included for 1890, because it was not reported in 1880.

58 No inquiry in 1880 relating to "Miscellaneous expenses."

59 The amount stated represents the "net debt," or the total amount of municipal debt less sinking fund.

60 To avoid disclosure of operations of individual establishments, only such industries as have 3 or more establishments engaged therein are included.



Simple page numbers refer to Vol. I.; page numbers preceded by "ii." refer to Vol. II.

Transcriber's note: Links to Vol. I. are double-underlined. Support for links to Vol. I. depends on the device and software used to display this eBook.

Academy of Music, ii. 116, 226.

Adams, John, 229.

—— Julius A., ii. 149.

—— Rev. John Coleman, ii. 221.

Adelphi Academy, ii. 212.

Aertsen, Huyck, 59, 63.

—— Ryniere, 126.

Ainslie, Robert, ii. 103.

American Astronomical Society, ii. 208.

Amersfoort (Flatlands), 55.

Amphion Musical Society, ii. 228.

Amphion Theatre, ii. 198.

Andros, Maj. Ed., 116, 133.

Apollo Club, ii. 228.

Apprentices' Library, ii. 73, 75.

"Arbitration Rock," ii. 42.

Arion Society, ii. 228.

Arnold, S. G., ii. 89.

Assembly, State, meets in Brooklyn, 188;
patriotic resolutions, 200;
and Colonial Congress, 208.

Association for Improving the Condition of the Poor, ii. 221.

Atkinson, John P., ii. 152.

Atlantic Bank, ii. 234.

Atlantic Basin, ii. 191.

Atlantic Dock Company, ii. 92.

Aycrigg, Benjamin, ii. 15, 17.

Backhouse, E. T., 237.

Backus, Dr. Truman G., ii. 211.

Baker, John H., ii. 23.

Ball, Charles, ii. 32.

Bank of Williamsburgh, ii. 234.

Barbarin, Captain, ii. 51.

Bardwell, W. A., ii. 216.

Barnes, Demas, ii. 156.

Barnet, Wm., 179.

Barnum, Ed. B., 190.

Barre, Daniel, ii. 56.

Battle of Brooklyn, 247–274.

Bayard, Nich., 136, 167.

Bayles, Rich. M., 7.

Bedford, settled, 101;
schoolhouse, 102, 161.

Bedford Academy, ii. 214.

Bedford Corners, ii. 72.

Bedford Road, 237.

Beecher, Henry Ward, ii. 119, 125, 126, 164, 218.

Bellomont, Governor, 147, 152, 153.

Bennett, George C, ii. 89, 106.

—— George I., ii. 32.

—— Wm. Adriaense, 29.

Benson, A. W., ii. 152, 154.

Bentyn, Jacques, 29.

Bergen, Hans Hansen, 39, 67.

—— Jacob, ii. 53.

—— Jan Hans, 101.

—— Johannes, 285.

—— John T., 214; ii. 56.

—— Michael Hans, 101.

—— Tunis G., 102; ii. 92, 97.

Bergen Hill, 239.

Berri, Wm., ii. 231.

Berrian, Cornelius, 126.

Berry, Abraham J., ii. 104.

Bibaut, John, 155.

Bill, Charles E., ii. 151.

Billing, Th., 235.

Bird, George L., ii. 70.

—— Major, 249.

Birdsall, T. W., ii. 69.

Blanco, Jn., 235.

Bloom, Jacob, 235.

Board of Health, first, ii. 66.

Boerum, Isaac, 235.

—— Simon, 201, 204, 207.

—— William, 220, 300.

Boerum house, ii. 41.

Bogert (Bogaert), Nich., 208.

—— Teunis Gysbert, 101.

Bokee & Clem, ii. 75.

Boome, Jacob, ii. 25.

Booth, Samuel, ii. 129, 132, 151.

Boughton, Samuel, ii. 23.

[272]Bout, Jan Evertsen, 59, 63, 108.

Bowen, Henry C., ii. 230.

—— H. E., ii. 230.

—— James, ii. 116.

Boyd, Samuel, ii. 32.

Boys' High School, ii. 202.

Bradford, Wm., 145.

Breuckelen, of Holland, 59.

Brevoort, J. Carson, ii. 152.

Broadhead, Henry, 190.

Brodhead (quot.), 24.

Bronson, Greene C., ii. 86.

Brooklyn, name, 59;
first sale ofland in region of, 29–30;
early days, 53–68;
beginning of official existence, 66;
first houses, 73;
first preacher, 93;
first schoolmaster, 97;
leads Long Island towns, 167;
State Assembly meets in, 188;
battle of Brooklyn, 247–274;
first school, 99;
during Revolution, 211–304;
after the Revolution, ii. 1–46;
recognized as a town, 28;
during war of 1812, 51–56;
incorporated as a village, 62;
markets, 65;
incorporated as a city, 79–81;
property valuations before 1860, 83;
receives Bushwick and Williamsburgh, 107;
during Civil War, 117–131;
bridge, 149–159;
"Brooklyn System," ii. 169–171.

Brooklyn Academy of Music, ii. 116, 226.

Brooklyn and Long Island Fair, ii. 122–124.

Brooklyn Art Association, ii. 228.

Brooklyn Art Club, ii. 228.

Brooklyn Auxiliary of the U. S. Sanitary Commission, ii. 122.

Brooklyn Bridge, ii. 94, 149–159, 168, 178–190.

Brooklyn Choral Society, ii. 228.

Brooklyn City Hospital, ii. 93.

Brooklyn City Railroad, ii. 94.

Brooklyn Club, ii. 226.

Brooklyn College of Pharmacy, ii. 215.

Brooklyn Collegiate and Polytechnic Inst., ii. 100, 212.

"Brooklyn Daily Argus," ii. 230.

"Brooklyn Daily Citizen," ii. 231.

"Brooklyn Daily Eagle," ii. 88–91, 128, 229.

"Brooklyn Daily Standard," ii. 230.

"Brooklyn Daily Times," ii. 89, 128, 229.

"Brooklyn Daily Union," ii. 128, 229.

Brooklyn Entomological Society, ii. 208.

Brooklyn Eye and Ear Hospital, ii. 223.

Brooklyn Female Academy, ii. 100.

Brooklyn Fire Insurance Co., ii. 234.

"Brooklyn Freie Presse," ii. 128, 229.

Brooklyn Gaslight Company, ii. 78.

Brooklyn Heights Seminary, ii. 214.

Brooklyn Home for Consumptives, ii. 223.

Brooklyn Homœopathic Hospital, ii. 223.

Brooklyn Hospital, ii. 223.

Brooklyn Hospital for Contagious Diseases, ii. 223.

Brooklyn Institute, ii. 69, 91, 93, 202–211, 216, 229.

Brooklyn Latin School, ii. 214.

Brooklyn Library, ii. 215.

"Brooklyn Life," ii. 231.

Brooklyn Lyceum, ii. 91, 93.

Brooklyn Maennerchor, ii. 228.

Brooklyn Maternity, ii. 223.

Brooklyn Microscopical Society, ii. 208.

Brooklyn Museum, ii. 197.

"Brooklyn Phalanx," ii. 122.

Brooklyn Philharmonic Society, ii. 226.

Brooklyn Saengerbund, ii. 228.

Brooklyn Select Academy, ii. 31.

Brooklyn Sunday School Union Society, ii. 64, 110.

"Brooklyn System," ii. 169–176.

Brooklyn Theatre, ii. 166, 197.

Brooklyn Throat Hospital, ii. 223.

Brooks, Daniel, ii. 32.

—— Elbridge S., 142.

Brower, Abraham, 183.

—— Nich., 183.

—— Wm., 214.

Brown, Henry K., ii. 126.

—— Laurence, ii. 62.

Brown's Business College, ii. 214.

Brush, Conklin, ii. 94.

[273]Bryant, William C., ii. 107.

Bryant Literary Society, ii. 229.

Bryant & Stratton's Business College, ii. 214.

Buck, Dudley, ii. 228.

Building Department, ii. 137.

Bunce, Postmaster, ii. 29.

Burch, Robert, ii. 230.

Burge, J. H. Hobart, ii. 32.

Burnet, Wm., 179.

Bushwick, land purchase, 99;
town plot, 100;
first school, 100;
first schoolmaster, 101;
old church, ii. 37–40;
patriots, 38;
after Revolution, 38;
during war of 1812, 55;
and Williamsburgh, 101, 102;
consolidate with Brooklyn, 107.

Bushwick Creek, 100.

Bushwick Democratic Club, ii. 225.

Butler, Wm. H., ii. 104.

Cæcilia Ladies Vocal Society, ii. 228.

Calvary Cemetery, ii. 194.

Campbell, Douglass, 42, 95.

—— Patrick, ii. 161.

Canaver, Peter, ii. 76.

Carlyle, Thomas, 17.

Carnaville, Chas. A., ii. 129.

Carpenter, Geo., 214.

Carroll Park, ii. 143.

Cary Fund, ii. 206.

Casper, Andrew, 235.

Catholic Cathedral, ii. 160.

Catholic Historical Society, ii. 220.

Cemetery of the Evergreens, ii. 93, 194.

Central Grammar School, ii. 200.

Chadbourne, Zebulon, ii. 85.

Chadwick, Rev. J. W., ii. 165, 221.

Chardavogne, Wm., 221.

Charles II., 104, 110.

Charter of 1872, ii. 162.

Chester, Mrs., ii. 69.

Chinese Sunday-schools, ii. 220.

Chittenden, S. B., ii. 151.

Christian Commission, ii. 124.

Church Charity Foundation, ii. 160, 220.

Churches, first in Kings County, 88;
Reformed Dutch, 145;
First Baptist, ii. 75;
in 1835, 83;
in 1893, 219.

City Bible Society, ii. 220.

City Hall, ii. 71, 84, 96, 99.

City Park, ii. 143.

Clarke, Governor, 188, 190.

Clausen, Hendrick, 162.

Clinton, Governor, 188.

—— Jas., 213.

—— Sir Henry, 217, 231.

Clinton Ave. Congregational Church, ii. 120.

Clove Road, 278.

Clubs, ii. 224.

Cob dock, ii. 2.

Cobble Hill, 239; ii. 55.

Cochran, Dr. David Henry, ii. 212.

Coffee, Peter, ii. 60.

Colden, Governor, 210.

Cole, John, ii. 29.

Collard, Geo. W., 189.

College of Nineteen, 61.

Collier, Jurian, 183.

Colman's Point, 22.

Columbia College, 198.

Columbia Theatre, ii. 198.

Colve, Governor, 113.

Committee of Sixty, 206.

Common lands, 158.

Concordia Maennerchor, ii. 228.

Coney Island, 55, 122; ii. 33.

Congregational Church Extension Society, ii. 220.

Congregational Club, ii. 220.

Congress of Representatives, 290, 291.

Conkling, John T., ii. 32, 132.

Conselyea, Wm., ii. 38.

Consolidation of Brooklyn and N. Y., ii. 163.

Continental Congress, 223, 230, 261, 280.

Cook, Purcell, ii. 32.

Coombs, John W., ii. 152.

Coope, Ed., ii. 69.

Copeland, Edward, ii. 93.

—— Ed., 189.

"Corkscrew Fort," 239.

Corlaer's Hook Ferry, ii. 42.

Corlies, E. W., ii. 152.

Cornbury, Lord, 167–175; ii. 262.

Cornell, John, ii. 71.

—— T. B., ii. 152.

Cornell House, 257.

Cornwallis, Earl, 243.

Cortelyou, Isaac, 185.

[274]—— Jacques, 129.

Cortelyou, Peter, 161.

Coudrey, Samuel, ii. 16.

Council of Twelve, 61.

Courts, 127–131; ii. 30, 72, 73, 75, 95, 98, 99, 111.

Cowenhoven, 59.

—— Captain Peter, ii. 56.

—— John, 161.

—— Nicholas, 180, 214, 224, 284, 290.

Cozzens, Issachar, ii. 16.

Crane, Dr. Jas., ii. 133.

Craven, A. W., ii. 152.

Crescent Club, ii. 226.

Cripplebush, i. 101.

Crisper, Casper, 285.

Crist, Abraham, ii. 86.

Criterion, ii. 198.

Crittenden, Dr. Alonzo, ii. 211.

Crombie, John S., ii. 213.

Crook, Abel, 190.

Cropsey, Andrew, ii. 38.

—— Andrew G., ii. 38.

—— Casper, ii. 38.

—— Geerte Jans (Kasparse), ii. 38.

—— Jerome Ryerson, ii. 38.

—— Johannis (Kasparse), ii. 38.

—— Joost (Kasparse), ii. 38.

—— William, ii. 38.

Cross, Colonel, ii. 122.

—— John A., ii. 85.

Cullen, Edgar M., 189.

—— Henry J., ii. 32.

Cunningham, 268; ii. 4.

—— Robert, ii. 69.

Cutting, Wm., ii. 61.

Cuyler, Rev. Theo. L., ii. 218.

Cypress Hills Cemetery, ii. 93, 194.

Dana, Prof. James D., ii. 203.

Dankers, Jasper, 119.

Darbee, Levi, ii. 106.

De Bevoice, Charles, 235.

—— Johannes, 285.

De Hart, Simon Aertsen, 121.

De Heister, General, 243.

De Lancey, Lieut.-Governor, 189.

De Launcey, 262.

De Mille, Richard M., 189.

De Sille, Nicasius, 100, 118.

De Witt, Benjamin, ii. 20.

Dean, Capt. Wm., 56.

—— John, 64.

Debevoise, James, ii. 97.

—— Jost, 213.

Debtors' Prison, ii. 73.

Declaration of Independence, 230, 232.

Denice, Denys, 207.

Denton, Daniel, 10.

Deutscher Liederkranz, ii. 228.

Dewyre, Capt. Wm., ii. 56.

Dickinson, P. P., ii. 152.

Dircksen, Cornelis, 53.

—— Joris, 59.

Dongan, Governor, 108, 117, 132, 133, 163; ii. 262.

Dorlant, John Garretse, 162, 163.

Doughty, John, ii. 24.

—— John, ii. 62, 64, 71.

—— Rev. Jno., 41.

Draft Riots, ii. 121.

Draper, 96.

Dress among the Dutch, 76.

Driggs, Daniel D., ii. 161.

—— Edmund, ii. 152.

"Drum Beat," ii. 123.

Duke of York, 104.

"Duke's Laws," 108, 131.

Duness, Count, 243.

Dunmore, Governor, 205, 206.

Duryea, Maria, 14.

Dutch, and American Exploration, 17;
and Puritans, 42;
manners and customs, 69–105;
and education, 94–99;
and English, 103;
nomenclature, ii. 258.

Dwight, Rev. Dr., 189.

"Eagle and Brooklyn," vi.

East New York, 274.

Eastern Dist. Industrial School, ii. 224.

Edson, Franklin, ii. 179, 181.

Education under the Dutch, 94, 124.

Elections in early Brooklyn, 159 (note).

Ely, Smith, Jr., ii. 151.

Embargo Act, ii. 50.

English, and Dutch, 103;
take New York, 105.

Enos, De Witt C., ii. 32.

Episcopalians, at Jamaica, 174;
in Brooklyn after the Revolution, ii. 24.

Erie Basin Docks, ii. 134.

[275]Erskine, Sir Wm., 243.

Etherington, Sam., 220.

Euterpe Chorus and Orchestra, ii. 228.

"Evening Star," ii. 78.

Everdell, Colonel, ii. 127.

Everett, Thomas, 220.

—— William, 221.

Everit, Th., ii. 62.

Excelsior Club, ii. 226.

Faith Home for Incurables, ii. 223.

Farmers' and Citizens' Bank, ii. 104.

Federal Building, ii. 195.

Ferry, the, 53, 120, 153; ii. 27, 77;
ferry and river rights, 132; ii. 261.

Ffilkin, Henry, 155, 158, 162.

Field, Thos. W., ii. 38.

Field and Marine Club, ii. 226.

Fire Department, early organization, ii. 24;
first legislation relating to, 26;
fire limits, 139;
reorganized, 146.

Fish, Colonel, 257.

Fiske, John, ii. 48, 169, 171.

Flatbush, county court, 35;
Erasmus Hall, 35;
settled, 55;
establishes a church, 88;
population in 1738, 188;
first mill, ii. 34.

Flatbush Ave. and Amersfoort Road, 55.

Flatlands, called New Amersfoort, 29;
settled, 54;
new church, ii. 33.

Fleet estate, ii. 72.

Fletcher, Benj., 144.

Floyd, Wm., 230.

Flushing Bridge and Road Company, ii. 28.

Fly Market, 221.

Foord, John, ii. 230.

Fort Amsterdam, 31, 52.

Fort Greene, 237; ii. 23, 120.

Fort Hamilton, 122, 243.

Fort James, 116.

Fort Orange, 23.

"Four Chimneys," 257.

Fowler, Wm. A., ii. 151.

Foy, Joseph D., ii. 19.

Franklin, Benjamin, 229.

Franklin Literary Society, ii. 229.

Freeck's Mill, 239; ii. 41.

Fricke, Geo., ii. 69.

Froebel Academy, ii. 214.

Fulton, Robert, ii. 56–58.

Fulton Ferry, ii. 27, 57, 159.

Fulton Street, 161.

Furman, Gabriel, 172, 173; ii. 68, 69.

—— William, ii. 69.

Galbraithe, Robert, 221.

Gardiner, Lyon, 39.

Garrison, John, ii. 64, 69, 71.

Garritsen, Wolfert, 28, 54.

Garritson, Samuel, 163, 188, 203.

"Gazette," 146, 186.

George III., 199.

Gerbritse, Jan, 162.

German Hospital, ii. 223.

German Young Men's Christian Ass'n, ii. 221.

Germania Club, ii. 225.

Germania Savings Bank, ii. 166.

Gibbons, John, ii. 31.

Girls' High School, ii. 202.

Golden Hill, battle of, 205.

Good Hope, prison ship, ii. 5.

Gowanus Mill, 29, 183.

Graham, Augustus, ii. 69, 93, 202.

Grand Opera House, ii. 198.

Grant, General, 243.

Gravesend, settled, 55;
population in 1810, ii. 33.

Graydon, Colonel, 295.

Green, Andrew H., ii. 152.

Greene, General, 229, 233, 237, 240.

Greenwood, John, ii. 86.

Greenwood Cemetery, ii. 94.

Gunnison, Herbert F., ii. 232.

Guy's picture of Brooklyn in 1820, ii. 68.

Hagerman, Joseph, 155.

Hale, Nathan, 267.

Half Moon, 20.

Hall, George, ii. 81, 108, 111.

—— Rev. Chas. H., ii. 219.

Hall of Records, ii. 195.

Hamilton, Alexander, 216.

—— Andrew, 188.

—— George, ii. 31.

Hamilton Club, ii. 225.

Hamilton Literary Association, ii. 91.

Hammond, Annie A., xiii.

Hanover Club, ii. 226.

Hanssen, Jacob, 163. [276]

Hanssen, Joris, 162, 163.

—— Michael, 159.

Harper, James, ii. 70.

Harrison, Gabriel, ii. 196.

Hart, Samuel, ii. 32.

Hatton, John A., ii. 230.

Havens, Thomas, ii. 24.

Hayward, John W., ii. 152.

Hazard, Thomas, 221.

Hazzard, Wm. H., ii. 129.

Hebrew Orphan Asylum, ii. 224.

Hegeman, Adriaen, 99, 164, 284.

—— Joseph, 161.

Heights, 54, 233.

Hell Gate, ii. 167.

Hendrix, Joseph C., ii. 176.

Henry, James H., ii. 32.

—— John F., ii. 172, 230.

—— Thomas W., ii. 32.

Herman, George G., ii. 129.

Hessians, 255.

Hester, Col. Wm., ii. 90.

—— Wm. Van Auden, ii. 90.

Hewell, A. S., ii. 179, 182.

Hicks, Jacob, ii. 69.

—— John, 221–223.

—— "Milk," ii. 70.

—— "Spetler," ii. 70.

Hildreth, John T., ii. 23.

Hobart, John Silas, 292.

Hodgkinson, Worthington, ii. 86.

Hoffman, John T., 151.

Hogan, Capt. W. H., ii. 118.

Holland, and Spain, 17;
education in, 94–96.

Holland Society, xii.

Hooley's Opera House, ii. 197.

Hopkins, G. G., ii. 32.

Hotchkiss, Maj. E. O., ii. 127.

Houston Street Ferry, ii. 101.

Howard, Henry W. B., vi.

—— William, 276–279.

Howard Colored Orphan Asylum, ii. 224.

Howell, James, Jr., ii. 168.

Hubbard, 284.

Hudde, Andries, 28, 39, 54.

Hudson, Henry, 17, 19, 22.

Hudson River, 17.

Hunt, J. G. T., ii. 32.

Hunter, John W., ii. 162.

—— Robert, 175–178.

—— William, Jr., ii. 152, 155.

Husted, Seymour L., ii. 150, 154.

Hutchins, A., ii. 32.

—— John, 167.

Hutchinson, Anne, 41.

—— Joseph C., ii. 32.

Huybertsen, Lambert, 39.

Hyde, Lucius, ii. 32.

Hyde & Behman's Theatre, ii. 198.

Indians, Long Island, 11–15;
and the Dutch, 15, 42–52;
and Hudson, 20;
and early settlers, 42–52;
and Puritans, 42.

Industrial School Association, ii. 224.

Inebriates' Home for Kings County, ii. 136.

Ingersoll, Wm. H., 190.

"Iphetanga," 54.

Ireland, Rev. John, ii. 62.

Jackson, John, ii. 14, 29.

Jamaica, Pres. Church, 174.

Janssen, Abraham, 92; ii. 41.

Janvier, Thomas A., 31; ii. 42.

Jefferson, Thomas, 229.

Jenks, G. T., ii. 151, 155.

Jervis, Arthur N., vi.

Jewett, Charles, ii. 32.

Johnson, Barent, 213, 234.

—— Barnet, ii. 97.

—— David, ii. 103.

—— Gen. Jeremiah, ii. 14, 46, 55, 67, 87, 149.

—— Hornbeck, 235, 287.

—— Samuel E., 187.

—— Rev. Dr. S. R., 190.

—— William, 284.

Johnson estate, 214.

Jong, Lodewyck, 92.

Joralemon, Teunis, ii. 72.

Joralemon's Lane, ii. 71.

Jourdan, Maj.-Gen. Jas., ii. 179.

"Journal," 186.

Kalbfleisch, Martin, ii. 117, 122, 129, 148, 151, 154, 160.

Kemper, Jacob, 221.

Kennedy, Platt, ii. 31.

Kenney, James F., 104.

Kershaw, Martin, 235.

Kidd, Captain, 148–151.

Kieft, William, 27.

"Kiekout," 99.

King, Gamaliel, ii. 129.

—— John S., ii. 52.

Kings County, settled, 26;
first church, 88;
[277]organized, 118;
during Revolution, 211–304;
during War of 1812, ii. 51–56;
during the Civil War, ii. 117–131;
churches in, 219.

Kings County Court House, ii. 128–130.

—— See Courts.

Kings County Hospital, ii. 223.

Kings County Medical Society, ii. 32, 119, 217.

Kings County Sunday-school Ass'n, ii. 221.

King's Highway, 161, 179–183.

Kingsley, Harry S., ii. 90.

—— William C., ii. 150, 179, 189.

Kingsley & Keeney, ii. 155.

Kinsella, Thomas, ii. 90, 150.

Kirk, Thomas, ii. 70.

Kissam, Daniel, 204.

Kissick's Business College, ii. 214.

Knowles, Edwin, ii. 198.

Knyphausen, General, 243.

Labadists, 119.

Lafayette, 257.

Lambertson, Thomas, 129.

Lamb, Capt. John, 216.

Lambert, Edward C., ii. 94.

—— John, ii. 50, 51.

Laughlin, Rt. Rev. John, ii. 217.

Law Library, ii. 217.

Lawrence, John, 139.

Lee, General, 217, 227.

Lefferts, Barent, 213.

—— John, 189, 224, 289; ii. 66.

—— Leffert, 210, 285; ii. 2, 68, 234.

Leisler, Jacob, 135–143.

Leislerian party, 164.

Leonard, John, ii. 103.

Levermore, Chas. H., ii. 213.

Lewis, Francis, 207, 230; ii. 235–257.

—— Francis, Jr., ii. 255.

—— John W., ii. 155.

—— Morgan, ii. 255.

Lincoln Club, ii. 226.

Lincoln statue, ii. 126, 195.

Linden Camera Club, ii. 208.

Littlejohn, Bishop, ii. 179, 219.

Livingston, Col. H. B., 294.

—— Philip, 205, 207, 230; ii. 71
Rev. Dr. John H., ii. 36.

—— Robert, 165, 229, 230.

Livingston, Robert R., ii. 57.

Locke, Richard Adams, ii. 88.

Lockwood, John, 189.

—— John, ii. 213.

Loisian Academy, ii. 62.

Long Island, geology, 1–10;
trees, 10;
Indians, 11;
discovery, 16–20;
land, 37;
first houses, 73;
under English rule, 107;
named Nassau, 146;
slavery on, 172;
during Revolution, 211–304;
travel on, ii. 27;
first post route, 28.

"Long Island Anzeiger," ii. 128.

Long Island Bank, ii. 65, 234.

Long Island Baptist Ass'n, ii. 221.

Long Island Business College, ii. 214.

Long Island College Hospital, ii. 116, 215.

Long Island Free Library, ii. 216.

Long Island Historical Society, xii. 119, 217.

Long Island Insurance Co., ii. 234.

Long Island Railroad, ii. 190.

"Long Island Star," ii. 31, 47, 51, 59, 105.

Long Island Throat and Lung Hospital, ii. 223.

"Long Island Weekly Intelligencer," ii. 29.

Lott, Abraham, 188, 201, 203.

—— Engelbert, 284.

—— Jeremiah, ii. 56.

—— Johannis, 188, 284.

—— John A., ii. 91, 129.

—— Petrus, 285.

Lovelace, Governor, 109.

Low, A. A., ii. 122.

—— Cornelius, ii. 32.

—— Seth, ii. 87, 97.

—— Seth, 190; ii. 170, 171–178, 180, 195, 199.

Lowe, Doctor, ii. 29.

—— John, 129.

Lubbertsen, Frederick, 37, 108.

Luqueer's mill, ii. 41.

Lutheran Hospital, ii. 223.

Macloy, Rev. Dr. Archibald, ii. 54.

Mahon, John, ii. 31.

Manhattan Beach R. R., ii. 168.

Manhattan Island, 23.

Manning, Captain, 110. [278]

Manufacturers' National Bank, ii. 104.

Mapes, General, ii. 53.

Marriage among the Dutch, 79.

Marsh, William B., ii. 89.

Marshall, Wm., ii. 152, 155.

Martense, Roetiff, 155.

Martin, Geo. H., 189.

Martyn, Jan, 92.

Mason, Theodore L., ii. 32.

Maspeth, 100.

Mauje, Jan, 39.

Maxwell, James H., ii. 44.

—— William H., ii. 199, 200.

McClellan, C. R., ii. 32.

McCloskey, Henry, ii. 89.

McCue, Alexander, 189; ii. 150, 151, 154.

McDonnell, Rt. Rev. Charles E., ii. 219.

McLaughlin, Hugh, ii. 232.

McLean, Andrew, ii. 90, 231.

—— Samuel, ii. 152, 154.

McDougall, Alexander, 213.

McKelway, St. Clair, ii. 90.

Meeker, Benjamin, ii. 69.

—— Rev. Stephen H., 189.

—— S. M., ii. 103.

Megapolensis, Johannes, 88.

Memorial Hospital for Women and Children, ii. 223.

Mercerin, Andrew, ii. 64.

Meserole, Abraham, 101.

—— Jean, 99.

—— Jeremiah V., 99; ii. 119, 127.

—— John A., ii. 38.

—— John I., ii. 38.

Methodist Episcopal Hospital, ii. 223.

Metropolitan police, ii. 116.

Metropolitan Sanitary District, ii. 133.

Meyers, T. Bailey, ii. 151.

Michaelius, Jonas, 87.

Middagh, Mrs., ii. 69.

Midwood Club, ii. 225.

Midwout, 55.

Milburne, 138, 143.

Military, in Civil War, ii. 118–127.

Military Garden, ii. 71, 197.

Mill, first on L. I., ii. 34.

Miller, David, ii. 38.

—— Eleazar, 204.

—— Peter, 235.

Mills, E. S., ii. 152.

Minuit, Peter, 23.

Miss Rounds's School for Girls, ii. 214.

Mitchell, Chauncey L., ii. 32, 151.

Monitor, ii. 121.

Montauk Club, ii. 225.

Montgomerie, Governor, 185.

Moody, Lady Deborah, 56, 57.

Moore, Thomas, ii. 195.

Morrell, Th., ii. 44.

Morris, Lewis, 230.

Morse, Judge N. B., ii. 131.

Morton, Brig.-General, ii. 19.

—— John, ii. 152.

Moser, Joseph, ii. 76.

Mudie, A. E., ii. 136.

Municipal Building, ii. 195.

Municipal Union Society, ii. 163.

Murphy, George I., 189.

—— Henry C., 59, 119, 189; ii. 22, 60, 91, 92, 150, 151, 154, 156, 188, 232, 258.

—— Henry C., Jr., 189.

—— John G., ii. 60.

Nagel, Philip, 284.

Nanfan, Governor, 164–168.

Nassau ferry-boat, ii. 59.

Nassau Island, 146, 289.

Nassau Water Company, ii. 110, 146.

National Guard, in Civil War, 118–127;
in 1893, 198.

Naval Hospital, ii. 194.

Neilson, Judge, ii. 194.

Nelson, Chief Justice, ii. 86.

New Amersfoort, 29.

New Amsterdam, 71.

New Netherland, 24, 36.

New Orange, 112.

New Utrecht, 122; ii. 36, 37.

New York, taken by English, 105;
new charter, 106;
retaken by Dutch, 112;
named New Orange, 112;
restored to English, 116;
during Revolution, 211–304.

New York and Brooklyn Ferry Co., ii. 190.

Newspapers, 191.

Newtown Creek, 100.

Nicholas the Frenchman, 92.

Nicholson, Francis, 133.

Nicoll, William, 204. [279]

Nicolls, Governor, 106.

North Dutch Church, ii. 4.

Northrup, Daniel W., 190.

Nostrand, John, 235.

Noyes, Stephen B., ii. 215.

Nyack (Najack), 122.

Nye, James W., ii. 116.

Ocean Parkway, ii. 145, 167.

Odeon, ii. 197.

Old Brooklynites, Society of, xii.; ii. 23, 229.

Old Jersey, prison ship, ii. 5, 6.

Olympia, ii. 29.

Onderdonk, Right Rev. Henry Ustick, 189.

Osborn, Albert H., ii. 86, 113.

—— Sir Danvers, 189.

—— William J., 189.

Osborne, Samuel J., ii. 32.

Ostrander, Abraham Duryea, ix.

—— Geertje, vii.

—— George A., ix.

—— Hendrick, viii.

—— Peter Wilson, ix.

—— Pieter, vii.

—— Pieter Pieterszen, vii.

—— Stephen, viii.

—— Stephen M., vii.-xiii.

—— Tryutje, vii.

Otterson, Andrew, ii. 32.

Oxford Club, ii. 226.

Packer, Mrs. W. S., ii. 211, 212.

Packer Collegiate Institute, ii. 100, 211.

Paine, Colonel, ii. 157.

Palmer, Lorin, ii. 230.

Parade Ground, ii. 143, 145.

Park Theatre, ii. 197.

Patchen, Jacob, ii. 69.

Payne, Elijah Freeman, 212.

—— John Howard, ii. 195.

—— Thomas, 226.

Penitentiary, ii. 97, 98.

Percy, Earl, 243.

Perkins, Albert C., ii. 213.

Perry, Colonel, ii. 120.

Peters, Bernard, ii. 106.

—— Leffert, 183.

Pierrepont, H. B., ii. 62, 70, 72.

—— H. E., ii. 151.

Pierrepont Mansion, 257, 304; ii. 71.

Pierson, Joseph B., ii. 31.

Pirates, 146.

Plymouth Church, ii. 119.

Polhemus, Rev. Johannes Theodoras, 88–93.

—— Theodorus, 207, 224, 232, 285.

Police Department, ii. 160.

Polytechnic Institute, ii. 212.

Pope, Thomas, ii. 149.

Powell, Samuel S., ii. 116.

—— Samuel T., ii. 162.

Powers, George, 221, 222.

Pratt, Chas., ii. 212, 213.

Pratt Institute, 213, 214, 216.

Prentice, John H., ii. 152, 155.

Presbyterians at Jamaica, 174.

Prime, Nathaniel S., 1, 10, 12.

Prince, L. Bradford, 190.

Prison ships of the Wallabout, ii. 3–23.

Prospect Park, ii. 143.

Prout, J. S., ii. 32.

Provincial Congress, 215, 219, 227, 229, 289.

Provost, John, ii. 38.

Public School No. 1, ii. 62.

Public Schools, ii. 147, 199–202.

Puritans, 40, 42.

Putnam, Fort, 237, 254.

Putnam, General, 229, 237, 266.

Queens County, organized, 118.

"Rain-water Doctor," ii. 32.

Rapalje, Daniel, 235.

—— Diana, ii. 69.

—— John, 180, 204, 301.

—— Joramus, 164.

—— Joris Jansen, 30–35, 101.

—— Mrs., 259–261.

—— Sarah, 33–35.

Rapelye, Isaac I., 32.

Raymond, Dr. John H., ii. 212.

Reade, John, 221.

Reese, W. W., ii. 32.

Religion, under the Dutch, 85–87;
under English, 133, 144.

Religious societies, ii. 220.

Remsen, Abraham, ii. 31.

—— Col. Jeromus, 290.

—— Derick, 284.

—— Hendrick, ii. 263.

—— Jacob, ii. 27.

—— Jan, 126.

—— Jeremiah, 224, 285.

—— Peter, ii. 71.

—— Rem, 164, 221; ii. 41. [280]

Remsen house, ii. 41.

Remsen's mill, ii. 41.

Revolution, 211–304.

Riding and Driving Club, ii. 225.

Rising Sun Tavern, 274.

Roach, John, ii. 151.

Robertson & Little, ii. 29.

Roebling, John A., ii. 155, 156, 188.

—— Washington A., ii. 155, 157, 188.

Roehr, Col. Henry E., ii. 128.

—— Edward Franz, ii. 128.

Romaine, Benjamin, ii. 19.

Roman Catholic Orphan Asylum Society, ii. 224.

Ruggles, Edward, ii. 151.

Rushmore, Merwin, 190.

—— W. C., ii. 152.

Rycken, Abraham, 38.

Ryerse, Adriaen, 126.

Ryersen, John, 255.

Sands, Comfort, 208, 300, 301, 303.

—— Joshua, 301; ii. 62, 69.

Sanford, Lewis, ii. 101.

Schenck, Abraham, 201, 204.

—— Gilliam, ii. 129.

—— Martin, 213.

Schenck property, 214.

Schepens, 63.

Schoonmaker, Dominie, ii. 53.

Schouts, 65.

Schroeder, Frederick A., ii. 165, 230.

Schuyler, General, 272.

—— Peter, 165, 178.

Scorpion, ii. 5.

Sea Beach R. R., ii. 168.

Seaman, Benjamin, 235.

—— Henry L., ii. 92.

—— John, ii. 64.

—— Zebulon, 204.

Sebring, Isaac, 220.

—— Jacob, 220.

Selyns, Rev. Henricus, 93.

Seymour, Rt. Rev. George F., 190.

Sharpe, Jacob, ii. 2.

Sheltering Arms Nursery, ii. 224.

Sherman, Roger, 229.

Sickels, Garret, ii. 19.

"Single head" bill, ii. 169.

Skene, A. J. C., ii. 32.

Skillman, John, ii. 97.

Skinner, Chas. M., 3; ii. 89.

Slavery, 84, 170, 171, 177.

Slocum, Hy. W., ii. 155, 156.

Sloughter, Henry, 136.

Sluyter, Peter, 119.

Smallpox, 188.

Smith, Abel, ii. 126.

—— Capt. John, 20.

—— Col. William, 164.

—— Cyrus P., ii. 87.

—— George, ii. 71.

—— Hugh, ii. 155.

—— Isaac A., ii. 106.

—— Joseph, 221.

—— Samuel, ii. 94.

—— Selah, ii. 69.

Snedeker, Isaac, 235.

Snedicor, John, 88.

Snow, Dr. Henry Sanger, ii. 212.

Society for Improving the Condition of the Poor, ii. 135.

Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, ii. 136.

Society of St. Vincent de Paul, ii. 222.

Soldiers' and Sailors' Memorial Arch, ii. 195.

Sons of Liberty, 280.

South Brooklyn, 5.

South Ferry, ii. 78.

Southampton, 40.

Southold, 40.

Spooner, Alden, ii. 62, 69.

Sprague, Homer B., ii. 213.

—— Joseph, ii. 73, 75, 87, 92.

St. Francis College, ii. 214.

St. Catherine's Hospital, ii. 223.

St. Mary's Hospital, ii. 223.

St. Peter's Hospital, ii. 223.

St. John's College, ii. 214.

St. John's Hospital, ii. 223.

St. Joseph's Institute, ii. 214.

Staats, John, 163.

Stagg, Peter, ii. 103.

Stamp Act, 200, 202.

Standard Oil Company, ii. 193.

Stanton, Henry, ii. 24.

Stearns, John M., ii. 43, 45.

Stebbins, H. G., ii. 151.

Steddiford, Brig.-General, ii. 19.

Stellenwerth, Jacob, 214.

Stevens, Alfred C., ii. 86.

Stiles, Henry R., v., 25.

—— R. Cresson, ii. 32, 133.

Stillman, Capt. Francis, ii. 56.

Stillwell, Nicholaus, 155. [281]

Stillwell, Rich., 129, 207, 284.

Stirling, Lord, 219.

Stoffelsen, Jacob, 59.

Stoothoof, Abraham, ii. 24.

—— Wihls, 285.

Storrs, Rev. R. S., ii. 123, 125, 126, 129, 179, 184, 218.

Stowe, Harriet Beecher, ii. 165.

Stranahan, J. S. T., ii. 116, 143, 150, 154, 156, 179, 189, 195.

—— Mrs. J. S. T., ii. 124.

Stryker, Burdett, ii. 16, 69.

—— John, 88.

Stuyvesant, Peter, 68, 70.

Sugar Refineries, ii. 192.

Sullivan, General, 233.

Suydam, Bernardus, 234, 235.

—— Evert, 284.

—— Ferdinand, 214.

—— Hendrick, 235; ii. 37.

—— Jacob, 235, 295.

—— Lambert, 234, 235.

—— Roger, 235.

Sweeny, Peter B., ii. 155.

Swift, General, ii. 149.

Talbot, Charles A., ii. 129.

Talmage, Rev. T. DeWitt, ii. 218.

Tammany Society, ii. 15–17.

Taylor, Chas. G., ii. 96, 97.

—— Stephen G., ii. 213.

"Tea Party," 206.

Teckritz, Henry, ii. 129.

Terhune, Roelof, 235.

Terry, D. D., 190.

Thayer, William H., ii. 32.

Theatres, ii. 196–198.

Thomasen, William, 53.

Thompson, George, ii. 104.

Thoms, Major Richard, 290.

Thorne, J. Sullivan, ii. 32.

Tienpont, Adrien Jorissen, 22.

Tilton, Theodore, ii. 230.

Titus, Abiel, ii. 69.

—— "Charlum," ii. 41.

—— Daniel, 221.

—— Francis J., ii. 44, 56.

—— Johannes, 214.

—— John, 234.

Tonneman, Sheriff, 92.

Townsend, Charles A., ii. 151.

—— Robert, ii. 16.

Tracy, Benj. F., ii. 230.

Traphagen, Wm. Janssen, viii.

Trial for Treason, 154–156.

Trinity Church, 279.

Trotter, Jonathan, ii. 82.

Trumbull, Colonel, 252.

—— Governor, 242.

Tryon, Governor, 206, 286.

Tweed, Wm. M., 155.

Twenty-eighth Regiment Armory, ii. 160.

Union for Christian Work, ii. 216.

Union Ferry Co., ii. 119.

Union League Club, ii. 224.

Union Missionary Training Institute, ii. 220.

Unitarian Club, ii. 221.

Universalist Club, ii. 221.

University of Leyden, 95.

Usselinx, Wm., 19.

Utrecht, treaty of, 178.

Van Auden, Isaac, ii. 88, 150, 152, 154, 161.

Van Bommel, Elizabeth, viii.

Van Brunt, Adrian, 234.

—— Albert C., ii. 56.

—— Rutgert, 214, 224, 235.

—— William, 285.

Van Cott, J., ii. 24, 38.

Van Corlaer, Jacob, 26.

Van Eckkellen, Johannes, 126.

Van Dam, Nicholas, 221.

—— Rip, 185.

Van Naerden, Claes Jansen, 39.

Van Northwyck, Joostje Willems, viii.

Van Nostrand, Losee, ii. 76.

Van Pelt, Petrus, 285.

Van Ruyven, 100.

Van Schaick, Alex., 213.

Van Vaas, Jansen, 37.

Van Wagner, Henry W., ii. 161.

Vande Water, Benjamin, 161.

—— Jacob, 160, 162.

Vanderbilt, Jeremiah, 203, 207, 224, 284.

—— John, 214, 224, 234, 285.

—— J. C., ii. 34.

Vanderveer, Adrian, ii. 32.

—— D., 204.

—— John, 234, 235.

—— John C., ii. 34.

Vandervoort, Jacob, ii. 16.

—— Peter, 235.

Vanderwick, Cornelis Baren, 126. [282]

Vandewenter, Jacobus, 285.

Vanduyk, Cornelius, 163.

Vanzuren, Casparus, 126.

Vecht, Hendrick, 113, 183.

Voorhies, Abram, 285.

—— Adrian, 285.

—— Stephen, 284.

Wade, T. Anderson, ii. 32.

Waertman, Janse, 19.

Walden, D. T., ii. 129.

Waldron, Adolf, 220, 223.

Wall, Wm., ii. 104.

Wallabout, 25, 26; ii. 137.

Wallabout and Brooklyn Toll Bridge Company, ii. 28.

Wallabout Road, 238.

Wallace, James P., ii. 126.

Walloons, 24–26.

War Fund Committee, ii. 122.

War of 1812, ii. 51–56.

Ward, Colonel, 219.

—— John Q. A., ii. 165.

—— F. A., 190.

Wartman, homestead, ii. 41.

Washington, George, 217, 225, 226, 229, 231, 241, 244, 253–260, 264, 272, 273, 280; ii. 13.

Washington Engine Co. No. 1, ii. 25.

Washington Park, 237; ii. 143.

Water and Sewerage Commissioners, ii. 146.

Water Rights, ii. 78.

Water Supply, ii. 146.

Waterbury, Noah, ii. 46, 101.

Watson, Benjamin, ii. 16.

Wendell, Matthew, ii. 32.

West India Company, 19, 22, 36.

West Riding, 109.

Whaley, Alexander, ii. 38.

"Whig-Hog-Rum Party," ii. 82.

Whiting, W. Leggett, 190.

Whitman, Walt, ii. 89.

Whittaker, Prof. J. B., ii. 213.

Williams, Colonel, ii. 43.

—— Francis, ii. 123.

—— Henry, 300.

Williamsburgh, ii. 43–46, 100–107.

Williamsburgh City Bank, ii. 104.

Williamsburgh City Fire Insurance Co., ii. 104.

"Williamsburgh Democrat," ii. 101.

"Williamsburgh Gazette," ii. 101.

Williamsburgh Lyceum, ii. 101.

Williamsburgh Medical Society, ii. 104.

"Williamsburgh Morning Post," ii. 106.

Williamsburgh Savings Bank, ii. 103, 148, 234.

"Williamsburgh Times," ii. 105–107.

Williamson, Rem, 234.

Wilson, Capt. John, ii. 51.

—— Margaret T., ix.

—— Peter, ix.

—— P. L., 190.

Wit, Peter Janse, 59.

Wolckertsen, Dirck, 100.

Wolfertsen, Gerrit, 59.

Woman's Relief Association, ii. 122.

Wood, Colonel A. M., ii. 122, 127, 152.

—— Silas, 46.

—— Wm. W. W., ii. 151.

Woodford, Stewart L., 189, 230.

Woodhull, Nathaniel, 119, 215, 227, 233, 262, 263.

—— Richard M., ii. 42.

Woodward, John B., ii. 126.

—— Martin, ii. 24.

Wyckoff, Cornelius, 285.

—— Garret, 284.

—— Hendrick, 235.

—— Nicholas, ii. 38.

—— Nicholas, ii. 42, 103.

—— Peter, 235.

—— Van Brunt, 189.

Wyckoff farm, ii. 41.

Yellow fever, 173.

Yorkton, ii. 45.

Young Men's Christian Ass'n of Brooklyn, ii. 104, 217.

Young Men's Christian Ass'n of Williamsburgh, ii. 104.

Young Women's Christian Ass'n, ii. 217.

Zabriskie, John B., ii. 32.

Zenger, Jn. Peter, 186–188.

Zoellner Maennerchor, ii. 228.

Transcriber's Notes

Volume I of this eBook is available at Project Gutenberg:, eText # 41979.

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Simple typographical errors were corrected, including some Index references to Volume I.

No attempt was made to ensure the accuracy of the Index, beyond verifying references to pages in this Volume.

Punctuation and spelling were made consistent when a predominant preference was found in this book; otherwise they were not changed.

The Table of Contents listed the Appendix as beginning on page 264; it begins on page 235 and is shown that way in this eBook.

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