1823 ­ 1824

STEPHEN ALLEN, 1823, and



1823. UNDER the new constitution the Mayor was appointed by the Common Council, and Stephen Allen was thus appointed.

Centre Market was opened in this year. The lower part of Fly Market, at foot of Maiden Lane, was taken down, from Pearl to South Street. In July, the widening of Maiden Lane was ordered. The Merchants' Exchange was incorporated by the Legislature. The area of the Battery was much enlarged by filling out to a rip­rap enceinte, which was surmounted by a coursed stone wall and a balustrade. The Potter's Field (Washington Parade, now Washington Square) was levelled; the use of it as a place of interment being abandoned in favor of a new plot of ground bought for the purpose, bounded by Fortieth and Forty­second Streets, Fifth and Sixth avenues-now occupied by the Reservoir and Bryant Park. This plot, containing 128 building lots, was purchased for $8449. In the matter of public grounds, the necessities of the poor have greatly ministered to the advantage of their more fortunate brethren; Washington Square, Union Square, Madison Square, and Bryant Park, all owing their existence as pleasure­grounds to prior use as pauper burial­places. About this time an ordinance was enacted prohibiting the interment of human bodies below Grand Street, under a penalty of $250.

The New York Gas Light Co. was incorporated, Samuel Leggett, President, this being the first introduction of illuminating gas in the country. The company was given the exclusive privilege for thirty years of laying gas­pipes south of Grand Street. The first introduction of the gas in a house was in that of the President at 7 Cherry Street. I went to witness it.

A line of packets hence to London, sailing on the 1st of every month, was organized by John Griswold and Fish and Grinnell; followed by a line to Liverpool, sailing on the 16th of every month. Passengers between this port and Europe were so scarce that the packet ships were fitted only for a few, and on one occasion, within my knowledge, a lady desiring to meet her husband in England, applying for passage in one of the old or Black Ball line of Liverpool packets, was refused, as, she being the only woman, her presence would be inconvenient to the male passengers. Persons who venture now to encounter the gales and seas of the Northern Atlantic in steamers of ten or fifteen thousand tons' burthen, will probably be surprised to learn that the tonnage of the Liverpool and Havre packets did not reach four hundred. The Edward Quesnel was but 325, and the Queen Mab and Don Quixote were much less; I am of the conviction the tonnage was in both cases under 250.

In this year a stage ran from the Bull's Head, in the Bowery, to Manhattanville.

Samuel Woodworth founded the Weekly Mirror in 1822,, and in this year joined George P. Morris and published the New York Mirror and Ladies' Literary Gazette at 163 William Street, removed in 1825 to No. 9 Nassau Street. Subsequently Woodworth retired, and Nathaniel P. Willis succeeded him.

F. Marquand, at No. 166 Broadway, opened the leading jewelry store in the city. There were reported in this year in the entire city, eighty­three churches, chapels, etc.; at this time (1894) the number given in the City Directory is 522. This is not a favorable proportion of increase, the churches having increased little more than six­fold, for a population fifteen times as great. No doubt, however, the modern churches may be somewhat larger than those of that period. Christ Church (Episcopal), in Anthony Street near Broadway, was completed and consecrated in this year.

March 28 occurred a great gale, from the severity of which fifty­four vessels were stranded on the shores of Staten Island between the Kills and South Amboy. On the 30th, David Dunham, a prominent merchant and resident of this city, in company with Alderman Philip Brasher, was knocked overboard by the jibing of the boom of a sloop in which they were passengers on their way from Albany; the latter was rescued, but the former was drowned.

April 28,, the steamboat James Rent of the North River Steamboat Co., destined for the route to Albany, was launched, and it was confidently announced that she would make the passage hence to Albany between sunrise and sunset.

A company was organized to recover the treasure sunk in the Hussar frigate above Hell Gate, and so confident were its officers that I have seen, at the home of one of the company, a number of the small cotton cloth bags that were made to put the treasure in.

In consequence of the question of deciding upon some method by which the city could be furnished with an ample supply of pure water, the Manhattan Co. was called upon to report its capacity, which was officially notified as amounting to 691,200 gallons of water per day, involving a period of sixteen hours' pumping. The pumping power was given as that of two engines of eighteen horses each. The capacity of the reservoir was 132,690 gallons, connected with twenty­five miles of log pipes.

May 27 the great challenge horse­race, made the year preceding, between Mr. Van Ranst's famous horse "American Eclipse" and one to be named at the post by Colonel Johnson, occurred on the Union Course, Long Island. It was at four­mile heats, for twenty thousand dollars a side. Colonel Johnson named "Sir Henry," and he won the first heat, "hard held," at the termination of which the betting was three to one on "Sir Henry" for the second heat, and the well­known and eccentric John Randolph of Roanoke, Va., who was present and who had backed the Southern horse for a very considerable sum, tauntingly and repeatedly, in his peculiar voice, queried, "Where's Purdy ?" Purdy had ridden "Eclipse" on nearly all, if not all, of his previous races, but did not ride him now. This was the first time "Eclipse" had ever lost a heat, and his backers expressed much dissatisfaction that Purdy had not ridden. The result of Randolph's taunts and the advice of the friends of Mr. Van Ranst and the party associated with him, resulted in Purdy's mounting for the second heat, and, to the delight of the North and the dismay of the South, he won it. Colonel Johnson was confined by illness in a house adjoining the course; he was appealed to, but his directions, and putting up the great trainer, Arthur Taylor, in place of the boy who rode the first two heats, were of no avail, the staying power of "Eclipse" was too much for his three­year­old competitor, and he won also the third heat and race. Time: first heat, 7 m. 37 s.; second heat, 7 m. 49 s.; third heat, 8 m. 24 s.; twelve miles from the score in 23 m. 50 s.

The interest in this race had been extending and accumulating for many months, heightened by the prestige of Colonel Johnson, who was called "the Napoleon of the Turf," and, notwithstanding that travel to the course, in default of railroads, was restricted to vehicles, horseback, and foot, and as the population of that day, compared with that of the present, was but one­fifteenth, the attendance was nearly if not fully equal to that at any of the great racing events of the past year. It was estimated at fifty thousand. The city was filled with visitors from all parts of the Union, so that the hotels were unable to accommodate them.

Horse­racing at this period was conducted very differently, both on the track and outside of it, from that which was introduced upon the advent of the Jerome Park Association. There was but one race a day (a meeting being restricted to four days), at one, two, three, and four mile heats. The horses that were to contend were not run around the course just previous to starting, or "warmed up," as it is termed, and brought up to the post immediately after, but were simply walked or cantered for a short distance, not a quarter of a mile, and when at the post and in line were started by the tap of a drum in the hands of the president or a judge; starting was immediate, false starting seldom occurring. There were no mutuel or auction pools, or professional bookmakers. All bets were made between individuals, the money placed in the hands of a common friend or acquaintance.

I fix here a few particulars of the wondrous "Eclipse," a chestnut with a star, and white near hind foot; bred by General Nathaniel Coles, and foaled at Dosoris, Queens County, L.I., May 25, 1814; sold to Mr. Van Ranst in 1819. In 1820 and 1821 "Eclipse" stood as a common stallion, at $12.50 the season. When put in training in the fall of 1821 there was much question of the policy of running him, from the opinion long entertained by sportsmen that service as a stallion unfits a horse for racing; but the event proved that, at least so far as "Eclipse" was concerned, the opinion was unfounded. The match with "Sir Henry" closed his racing career, as, in spite of further challenge from Colonel Johnson, he was withdrawn from the turf and put to service. "Eclipse" had "Duroc" for sire and for dam a "Messenger" mare. In his veins was the blood of the celebrated English "Eclipse " and the Godolphin Arabian. Some years after this race (1833) Colonel Johnson became half owner of "Eclipse," and employed him for improvement of Southern racing stock.

June 14. A fire broke out in Noah Brown's ship­yard on the East River, afterward Brown & Bell's, by which several frames of ships on their stocks, and fire­engine No. 44, were destroyed. This fire, from its extent, was long remembered as "the ship­yard fire." I was present at it.

In this year, following the example of the boys of the period, I became a warm partisan of a fire­engine, and, following the very natural custom, it was the engine that was located the nearest to my residence. What the Fire Department, with 47 engines and 1200 men was then, and for many years afterward, even down to 1835, it will be difficult for me to convince those who knew it only from that period until it was reorganized in 1865 as the paid department of the present day. In illustration of the estimate in which its personnel was held by our citizens, it was their general custom, when a fire occurred at night, for such as dwelt contiguous thereto to invite the members of the company on duty near to their residence to enter it and partake of hot coffee and other refreshments; and no one instance can I now call to mind in which the confidence of the host was abused. In fact, I have witnessed more decorum shown on such an occasion than frequently is manifested in social entertainments. In illustration of this I give the following notice which appeared in a daily paper, after a fire in Broome Street: "The unexceptional deportment of these worthy recipients [firemen who had been invited to her home to partake of some refreshments] was an ample compensation to her who patiently waited upon them." The department, during the period above noted, was as a body composed of well­known solid citizens, notably a great proportion of Quakers, and but that I decline to introduce the names of private persons, I could give a list of those of old firemen that would do honor to any institution, commercial, financial, or eleemosynary.

In illustration of the wide difference of the customs and means of the men and machines of this day, and that of the present, the engine and ladder­truck houses were locked, and, in some instances, the key was given to the custody of a neighbor; in others, each member had a key. In consequence of the infrequency of fires it was customary, up to about the year 1830, for the companies to assemble once a month for the purpose of exercising the engines, to prevent the valves becoming too dry and rigid from disuse for effective operation. This meeting was termed the "washing," and delinquents in attendance were fined twenty­five cents. Upon arrival at the engine­house on an alarm of fire, if in the night, a light was first to be obtained by the aid of a tinder­box, the signal lantern and torches lighted, and then the engine or truck was drawn by the members and such private citizens as volunteered to aid them; and, as the city was not districted, it was taken to the fire, however distant.

As wood was the general fuel, varied only by use of bituminous coal in some parlor grates, chimney fires were very frequent, the fine for which to a householder was five dollars; and as the amount collected was given to a fund for the relief of the widows and orphans of deceased firemen, the Fire Department had registers placed at several locations in the city where the occasion of a fire could be noted, and there was an official collector of the fines.

August 6. A bull­bait occurred at Paulus Hook (Jersey City), the animal being baited by bull­dogs. It was the first exhibition of the kind, and a very tame affair compared with one where bandilleros and picadores attack, and an espado displays his courage and skill in subduing the animal, and a matador, if he is not dead, gives the coup de grace to the dying animal.

On the 15th of this month the first floating light was towed to its station off Sandy Hook. September 1: Thomas Hilson, a comedian from London, made his first appearance at the theatre to which he became afterward attached, and for many years was a popular member of its corps. About the same date occurred the first appearance on this stage of Henry Placide, who became one of the very first of public favorites and remains, in reputation, among the foremost of native comedians. At this time also first appeared in New York the admirable actress Mrs. Duff, sister of the first wife of Thomas Moore, the poet. She became eminent in her profession and was called "the queen of tragedy." She married a lawyer of New Orleans and retired from the stage. The theatre was not yet so well attended as theatres are now, although the price of admission was much less and ticket speculators were unknown. Hence, it became necessary for the manager to essay an awakening of the public by expedients, and in February of this year it was announced that a curtain of looking­glass was being constructed which was to replace the one of canvas; and soon after, a curtain of veritable looking-glass plates was constructed and fitted in place. Prices of admission, boxes, one dollar; pit (parquet), fifty cents, and gallery twenty­five cents.

In the winter of this year a party of gentlemen was invited one evening to the house of a well­known and public­spirited citizen, to witness the burning of anthracite coal in a parlor grate, and wonderful were the recitals of its success on the following day. It­ was said that not only it burned without making a flame, but created a mass of red­hot coals-so hot that when a sheet­iron cap (blower) was put before the grate there was a great roar, the draft was so strong.

Tomatoes were about this time first essayed as edibles, for they had been grown in gardens only for the beauty of their fruit, termed "Love apples," or tomatoe figs, universally held to be poisonous It was not until 1826 that I overcame the fear of being poisoned should I have the temerity to eat of them; and for a long period after they were only served stewed, and not canned until very many years after.

White handkerchiefs were worn by men only on special occasions, as when in full dress; at other times red silk was the prevailing material. It was not until this year that false collars to shirts were worn, and only by a few.

There were some other articles of men's wear that are worthy of record. Thus: instead of the single neckcloths, stiffeners, termed "puddings," were introduced; and soon after an article termed a "stock," composed of stiff, woven horsehair, fully three inches in width, buckled behind; and leather straps from the legs of pantaloons, buttoned at the sides, were worn under the boots.

James Murray, from Boston, on his way South put up at a sailors' boarding­house of a man named Johnson, who, ascertaining that the former had a bag containing several hundred dollars in specie, murdered him in his bed, and two days after dragged the body to Cuyler's Alley, leading from Water Street to the river between Coenties and Old slips, and left it there. He was soon after arrested, and on December 4 was indicted.

A second line to Havre was established, with Boyd & Hincken agents.

Grinnell, Minturn & Co. commenced a line to London with vessels of four hundred tons, leaving on the 1st of each month.

Classical schools at this time were Joseph Nelson's, Franklin Street, on the east side, near Broadway, one half of the building now (1895) standing; John Borland's in Broadway, corner of Dey Street; in 1822, Borland and Forrest, at 45 Warren Street, and John C. Slack, in Water Street; in 1823 at 223 Duane Street.

The school term, both in the country and city, was four quarters of twelve weeks each, with holidays in the former of two weeks each in spring and autumn, to enable boys to go home and procure changes of clothes suitable to the season. In the city, in lieu of the spring and fall vacations, the entire month of August was given, and in both cases the Fourth of July, Evacuation Day (November 25), and Christmas to New Year's Day were the only additional vacations.

In November was given for the first time, at the Park Theatre, John Howard Payne's "Home, Sweet Home." Payne had appeared on the New York stage in February, 1809, when he was but sixteen years old, and a pupil of the venerable Dr. Nott's academy at Schenectady.

In this, or the following year, "Der Freischutz," in English, was given at the Park Theatre; the first opera, strictly so termed, that we had, as distinguished from English ballad operas. Up to this time our public knew only the English models.

Considerable increase of musical interest began to display itself, and in this year both the New York Choral Society and the New York Sacred Musical Society were formed. The first concerts of these societies were given in the following spring.

On an irregular plot, formed by Chambers, Collect, and Tryon Row, were located fire­engines 8 and 25, and a hook­and­ladder company. On Broadway, opposite Warren Street, there was located an engine and also a hose­cart No. 1

1824. January 8, the anniversary of the battle of New Orleans, there was a great military ball given at the Park Theatre, which was long known and referred to as the "Greek Ball," it being given in aid of the Greek fund. The design was that it should be as exclusive an affair as was practicable. It occurred, however, that a Mr. Oliver, a well­known barber, who plied his avocation at 27 Nassau Street (before referred to), became the happy possessor of a ticket-how it was not known, as the member of the Committee from whom it was procured did not acknowledge the delivery: and when the fact was made public, Oliver was offered various sums in excess of the cost of the ticket, but he resolutely refused to part with it. The papers of the city referred to the matter, public curiosity became interested, and on the evening of the ball, every man who was set down from a carriage in front of the Theatre, and was not recognized by some one or more present, was hailed as "That's him!", "There he goes!", etc. Mr. Oliver in the meanwhile quietly and unobservedly walked in from the rear of the Theatre.

It was proposed by some enterprising citizens to remove the Bridewell and Jail to the North River and to construct two­story houses in the park fronting Chatham Street, as a source of revenue to the city. A petition was circulated asking that the "Jail liberties" should be extended over the whole county; they were then restricted to an area of 160 acres.

The use of anthracite coal was beginning to be generally introduced. Up to this period heavy merchandise had been bought and sold by the ton, hundredweight, quarter, and pound; but in this year the Chamber of Commerce and merchants decided to sell by the pound; the old and lumbering double platform scales were abandoned, and the single platform or lever scales introduced.

The New York Dry Dock Co. was organized about this time, and constructed two marine railways between Tenth and Eleventh streets, Avenue D, and the river. These were the first and only constructions in this city, if not in the United States, by which a vessel could be raised from the water, for up to this time, in order to calk the bottom of a vessel or to copper it, it was necessary to "heave her down"; that is, to secure the top of her lower masts to the pier at low water, then heave them down by a crab and falls, and when the tide rose one side of her bottom would be raised out of the water.

The raising of the supposed treasure in the British frigate Hussar, before referred to, was held to be an enterprise so promising of success that a second company was organized for the purpose; but as neither company would allow the divers of the other to descend without being accompanied by one of their own, their operations were held in abeyance.

New York Chemical Works, with banking privileges, was chartered through the labors of John C. Morrison, a druggist at 183 Greenwich Street, under cover of being a factory for drugs and chemicals It was located on a point of land at foot of Thirty­second Street, and Fitzroy Road, Hudson River; which point for many years after was one of the landmarks of the river, and known as "the Chemical Works," in like manner to "the Glass House Point" near to it, where there was a glass factory.

It was from this that the Chemical Bank was organized, and commenced operations in Broadway near to corner of Ann Street, afterward the site of the Herald Building.

It was in this year that a passenger from Liverpool, landing at Fire Island, and staging to the city, in consequence of a great rise in the price of cotton from fifteen to thirty cents per pound, conveyed the news to certain parties, who bought it here, and despatched pilotboats and expresses to the Southern parts to buy more. Reaction came, however, and the ruin of several firms was the result.

Johnson, who had been indicted for murder on the 4th of December preceding, was found guilty on the 17th of March, and as there were not any members of the legal profession in those days known as Tombs lawyers, vulgo Shysters, the verdict was accepted without appeal and he was hanged on the 2nd of April. The proceedings connected with his execution were so widely different from those of a later, and the present day, that a reference to them may be of interest. The culprit, dressed in white, trimmed with black, and seated on his coffin in an open wagon, was transported from the Bridewell (City Hall Park) through Broadway to an open field at the junction of Second Avenue and about Thirteenth Street, where his execution was witnessed by many thousands of persons; his body was then taken to the Hall of the Physicians and Surgeons in Barclay Street, where it was subjected to a number of experiments with galvanism.

An Egyptian mummy, the first ever brought to this country, was exhibited in one of the basement rooms of the Almshouse; an ordinary building, alike to a row of six three­story dwelling­houses, occupying the site of the present new Court House.

May 16. The steamboat Etna, plying in the Raritan River and hence to New Brunswick, justified her ill omened name by bursting both of her boilers, involving a great loss of life. As her engines were of the type known as high pressure, and this was the first instance of this type in Northern or Eastern waters, loud expressions were to be heard of the danger to be apprehended from this class of boats.

In June the Chancellor decided the long­mooted vexed question as to the exclusive right of some parties to the navigation of certain rivers; and thus the Hudson River, for example, was decided to be open to general navigation by steamboats. The steamboat Olive Branch, on the route to Albany, which had been compelled (in order to evade the act giving to certain parties the exclusive right to navigate hence to Albany by steam) to start from Paulus Hook, touching here en route, was, in common with all others, permitted henceforth to run directly from here to Albany.

August 15 General Marquis de Lafayette, the friend of Washington, who had given to this country his generous aid in the dark days of the Revolution, arrived here in the packet­ship Cadmus. On the 16th he landed at Castle Garden, the guest of the nation, being received by the entire military force of the city and an enormous concourse of citizens. He was greeted by many of his former companions in arms, notably, Generals Van Cortlandt and Clarkson, and Colonels Marinus Willett, Varick, Platt, and Trumbull; General Morgan Lewis and Colonel Nicholas Fish were necessarily absent. In order to add to the assemblage of citizens upon the reception of General Lafayette, the committee of arrangements provided that upon his arrival mounted buglers should ride through the city, and at certain intervals, at the corners of streets, proclaim his arrival by blasts from their instruments. The incidents of this most interesting visit have been related in sufficient detail by other chroniclers. I shall here merely refer to the reception at the mansion (before mentioned) of Colonel Rutgers, on Monroe, Cherry, Clinton, and Jefferson streets, then at its height of elegant comfort; and to the great fete of September 14 at Castle Garden, enclosed for the occasion in canvas; an entertainment which, for brilliancy and success at every point, was far in advance of any that ever before had been essayed in the city, and was equalled only by the reception at a later day of the Prince of Wales. Castle Garden (Castle Clinton), originally a small fortified island off the Battery, known as Fort George, had been leased by the city to a Mr. Marsh, who converted it into a day and evening resort. The entire portion facing the bay and river at the top of the parapet wall was floored for a very convenient width, with seats at the sides, and being protected by awnings in the day, it was, in connection with the character of the citizens that patronized it both day and evening, without parallel, and the most enjoyable spot, of a warm day, that the city had ever possessed.

It was from a party of young men who were in the habit of meeting at Castle Garden that the "Toe Club" was formed, one of the first social clubs that was organized in New York, the members of which were designated "Toes," and their place of meeting was termed their "Shoe." Subsequently they met at Stoneall's, corner Fulton and Nassau streets.

Le Roy, Bayard & Co. were asked by the Greek deputies in London representing the Greek Government, to furnish an estimate of the cost of a fifty­gun frigate, to be built in this city. They gave a detailed estimate summing up a little less than two hundred and fifty thousand dollars. As a result of such an unlooked­for low estimate, orders were received by Le Roy, Bayard & Co. to proceed, and they contracted with Henry Eckford for one vessel, and G.G. & S.S. Howland with Smith & Dimon for another. The reported cruelties practiced upon the Greeks by the Turks, with whom they were at war, aroused such a feeling of indignation here that a fund was raised to aid in the construction of these frigates.

The vessels were not only not completed within the period specified in the contract, but not for twice that period. Their cost, enhanced by charges for commission, premiums of exchange, brokerage, etc., exceeded the amount of the estimate furnished even for the cost of one.

When the vessels were completed, named Hope and Liberator, at a cost of a little less than nine hundred thousand dollars, there was a balance due on them, and they were not allowed to depart. But so pressing was the need of the Greeks that it was proposed by them to leave one in security for the balance, provided the other was allowed to depart, which was refused. A committee of three merchants was appointed as arbitrators of the case; and the United States Government bought the Hope for two hundred and twenty­six thousand dollars, named her Hudson, and removed her to the Navy Yard, where she remained as a receiving ship; but, having been built hurriedly of green timber, she soon rotted and was never put in active service, and in 1825 was offered by the Government at a public auction, and retained by it at a bid of five thousand dollars.

Soon after charges of corruption, over­charges, etc., were so publicly and persistently made that cards requesting suspension of public opinion were published in the papers, followed by pamphlets in explanation and defense. The whole affair, from beginning to end. was a reflection upon the character of many of the parties concerned to such an extent that the recital of it in Walter Barrett's book is painful to read, and especially so when it is borne in mind that the citizens of the United States at large were zealously appealed to, to contribute to the fund in aid of the struggling Greeks, and that funds were contributed not only by individual contribution, but by societies, colleges, firemen, schools, etc.

It so occurred that I was personally advised of some of the proceedings in the construction of these vessels. The bookkeeper and only clerk with the constructors of the Liberator (Smith & Dimon), after the exposure of the great cost of these vessels, was taken into partnership; and it was a common remark in the neighborhood of their yard that they built several vessels after the Liberator, and were not known to buy much material.

The Advocate, a leading paper, in its columns of the 21st of September, published the fact, accompanied with expressions of its disapprobation, that a young man had been seen smoking in the streets so early as nine o'clock in the morning.

In boring for water in Jacob Street during this year a moderately effervescing spring was struck, which, upon being submitted to chemical analysis by Dr. Chilton, was reported to possess medicinal elements. The owner of the property forthwith furnished the first floor of the building with the instruments of a spa, and a stock company was organized. The water was sold at sixpence a glass, and for some weeks the receipts were very remunerative; but upon some one suggesting that, as the locality was surrounded by tan­pits, which had retained tan­bark, lime, and animal skins for half­a­century or more, the ground might have received and imparted to the spring water such a variety of elements as to give it effervescing or sparkling qualities, the business ceased, the siphons were removed, and the building was occupied for the purpose of other trade.

Piracy in the West Indies, which I have before mentioned, was continued to such an extent that a public meeting of the citizens was called to urge upon the Government more effective action in its suppression. A meeting of citizens was called to consider the matter of the erection of a statue to General Washington.

November 24 the sloop Neptune, hence to Albany, was capsized off West Point, and twenty­three of her passengers were drowned.

December 9 Captain Harris of H.B.M. frigate Hussar, challenged the Whitehall boatmen of this city to a race with a crew from his ship, in a race­boat of his that had won a prize at Halifax, the Dart, for a thousand dollars a side. The interest in the race was very great; it was estimated that there were full twenty thousand spectators. It occurred off the Battery, over a triangular course; the weather and the water were rough, and the Whitehall boat, the American Star, was victorious by a lead of about three hundred yards.

The daily publication of newspapers at this time was but 14,266. The Advocate, a leading paper, both political and social, had three thousand subscribers.

In this year James P. Allaire, the proprietor of the largest steam­engine manufactory in the United States, located on Cherry and Monroe between Walnut (Jackson) and Corlears streets, designed and constructed the engines of the steamboat Henry Eckford, which were of the compound type, being the first of the kind built in this country or applied to marine purposes in any country; subsequently, 1825 to 1828, he constructed those of the Sun, Post Boy, Commerce, Swiftsure, and Pilot Boy. It was not until more than thirty years after (1860) that the English engineers revived this type of engine; introducing it in all their steamers and land engines with the improvement of a receiver intermediate between the cylinders, and operating with a much higher pressure of steam.

A considerable movement in the theatrical world took place in the year 1824. The Lafayette Theatre in Laurens Street near Canal, owned by Major­general Charles W. Sandford, was built by him.

May 10. the Chatham Street Garden, built in 1822, and designed for a resort in summer, as it was covered only by an awning, was reconstructed as a theatre, at which Joseph Jefferson, Jr., afterward appeared, and also William R. Blake for the first time in New York.

The American Museum (Scudder's), originally at 20Chatham Street, and now in New York Institution (see page 83), was the only one in the city. In evenings of favorable weather a band of musicians from over the portico enlivened the grounds in front, which became a very popular resort. Subsequently it removed to the building on the corner of Broadway and Ann Street, the site of the late Herald building and here were transferred the curiosities of the Museum, afterward owned by Phineas T. Barnum, the world­renowned showman. It was here that Barnum opened a theatre under the style of "Lecture Room," of which that close observer, the late "Artemus Ward," remarked that you could see Barnum's actors before seven o'clock in the morning going to work with their tin dinner­pails. Here Barnum produced his Mermaid, manufactured by a Swede in Washington; his "Woolly" horse, Wild Woman of Borneo, Joice Heth, the "What­is­it?" etc., and generally rejoiced in humbug. The premises were destroyed by fire, July 4,1865.

September 23, in some of the principal streets, the laying of gas­pipes for public service was begun, and on the 30th Samuel Leggett, the President of the Gas Company (New York), gave a reception at his house, in commemoration of the event.

I remark a circumstance that even now appears in memory as a matter of importance in the social life of old New York. Edward Windust, who had occupied 149 Water Street, opened his famous restaurant in the cellar of No. 11 Chatham (Park Row), where for very many years he remained unrivalled as a caterer. Moreover, his premises were a centre of animated life, the home of the theatrical profession, and the resort of the brightest minds in society. For theatre parties the place was without rival. Between the acts at the Park Theatre the rooms were filled with men of fashion and wit, and at all times with the gourmets. The walls were richly adorned with illustrations of the stage. It had an entrance also in Ann Street, which was not generally known (it was not a "side door"), and young men would frequently employ a hack and direct it to Windust's, leaving it standing in front, and they would then pass out through the Ann Street door, leaving the hack to await them until the driver, becoming alarmed for his fare, would enquire and discover his loss. It was in this place that William Sykes, in 1833, who either was employed by or, in partnership with Windust, was accidentally shot one evening by a young man exhibiting his pistol. Later (1837) Windust withdrew and leased a building, 347 Broadway, opening it as the Atheneum Hotel, where he failed of the success he anticipated.

Windust's motto, Numquam Non Paratus, was no vain boast. Some distorted memory of it must have brought about an amusing incident just related to me by an eminent citizen of New York. He was walking on Sixth Avenue when he remarked, within an oyster­shop, an imposing sign bearing the legend, Nunquam Paratus. Entering the place, he said to the proprietor that he wanted some oysters, but saw that he could get none there. "What d'ye mean?" said the man gruffly. "Why, you have a sign hung out to say you are not prepared with them." "No sich thing. Where is any sich sign?" "Why, here; this Nunquam Paratus." " Humph!" said the oyster man, " I guess you don't know-that's Latin, that sign is. It means 'always prepared.'" "My friend," was the visitor's reply, "I guess somebody has been humbugging you; if you want to have 'always prepared,' in Latin, you must say, Nunquam Non Paratus; the sign you now have up means 'never prepared.'" My informant added that he did not know if other scholars had been consulted or not, but on passing the shop a few days afterward, he observed that the Nunquam Paratus had disappeared.

In Marion, near Houston Street, there was a theatre in which the performers were colored.

James Fenimore Cooper conceived and originated the formation of a club which was designated the Bread and Cheese Club, which met semi­monthly at the Washington Hall in Broadway, now the northern part of the site of the Stewart Building. Amongst its members were eminent scholars and professional men of the period. In balloting for membership, "bread" was an affirmative vote, and "cheese" a negative.

Accompanying an enthusiastic disciple of Isaac Walton to Patchogue, L.I., we reached Roe's tavern in the regular course of stage and wagon in twenty­six hours; the same distance is now (1895) accomplished in less than three hours.

The offices of a leading broker in Wall Street, between Broad and William, rented for five hundred dollars per annum.

At this period the public promenades in the city were restricted to the Battery and to the bridge leading to the Red Fort, foot of Hubert Street, simple breathing-places, without even seats or refectories of any description. The general public went to Hoboken, where there was a large public­house on an elevation of the ground, sloping down to the river immediately at the ferry landing, which was known as the "Green," and from thence there was a wide shaded walk up to the boundary of the Stevens Mansion. In this walk of a week­day, young people from the city would flock, and spruce beer, mead, gingerbread, and fruits could be had. On Sundays the visitors were of a different type, young men, clerks, shopmen, and young merchants, would fill the benches on the "Green," smoke, and drink lemonade and portwine sangarees. American whiskey was then wholly unknown north of Baltimore, and as for lager beer, it did not appear until many years after. So generally was the "Green" patronized on a Sunday, that it was publicly reported that Arthur Tappan offered one million dollars for the ground in order to close it up on that day.

On the opening of the "Elysian Fields" (1831) the walk was extended on the river shore to them, and then the green in front of the house of entertainment there was occupied in the manner that the "Green" had been.

The Rev. Prince Hohenlohe, near Olmutz (Moravia, was reported to have performed miracles, and a lady of Washington, who had been many years afflicted, communicated with him, and, at a preconcerted time, prayed with him, whereupon it was proclaimed she was immediately cured. I recollect the report of the case and the extended discussion it involved at the time.

About this period night­latches for the outer doors of residences were introduced, and in order that the great convenience they effected may be fully appreciated, one must understand that prior to this these doors were secured only by a large iron lock, the iron key of which varied from six to eight inches in length, and was of a proportionate weight thereto; hence, if a member of a family purposed to remain out late at night, he had either to agree with some member of it to remain up for him, to lock the door and take the key with him, or awake the family by the knocker on the door. Door­bells were then very rarely, if at all, in use. The old story of a man, in default of a knocker at his door, having used that of a neighbor to awake his family is not a fiction; a case did occur in Warren Street, in this city.

The New York Bible Society organized. Occupied a room corner of Cedar and Nassau streets, then one in Cliff Street, then one in Hanover Street, then erected a building on Nassau between Beekman and Ann streets; 1830 enlarged; 1852, at its present site, occupying the square bounded by Third and Fourth avenues, Astor Place, and Ninth Street; cost, $304,000. Supplies Bibles to families and emigrants as they arrive, to vessels, public institutions, Sunday­schools, hotels, and city missionary societies.