1828. JANUARY 2 Mrs. Austin of London appeared at the Park Theatre in "Love in a Village." She was a charming vocalist as well as actress, and became very popular, and remained in this country until 1835.

At this time the nomination of General Andrew Jackson for the Presidency at the coming convention was so well assured that unusual interest was manifested in the customary annual dinner at Tammany Hall, on the 8th of January, in commemoration of the battle of New Orleans. It was attended by the magnates of the Republican (Democratic) party, presided over by Benjamin Bailey.

In the month of February there were thirty­four packet­ships trading between this port and London, Liverpool, and Havre.

A faction of the Democratic party who were in the habit of meeting at the "Pewter Mug" in Frankfort Street, combined with the Administration or Adams men and some anti­Masons, defeated some of the Tammany candidates for office. Hence the term "Pewter Muggers. "

March 31,West Street extended to the Great Kill Road (Greenwich Street).

A.M. Bailey in Hudson Street advertised a grate, designed for the combustion of anthracite coal, which was the first construction of one suited for this new fuel, then gradually being introduced into domestic use. In December of this year the first product of the Delaware and Hudson mines was received in New York. January 16 a meeting of the Common Council convened in consequence of the death of Governor Clinton, a resolution was passed inviting Bishop Hobart of the Episcopal Church to deliver an eulogium on the deceased, which he declined to do, as he held that such and like deliveries were "a prostitution of religion to the purpose of secular policy." It is very questionable if a bishop or clergyman at the present day would decline such an opportunity to signalize himself. Dr. Hosack delivered the enlogium.

Game of all kinds was more plentiful at this time than since the multiplying of railroads and steamboats has afforded facility for visiting neighboring districts. Thus, a party of two, in one of the ponds on the south side of Long Island, in two days fishing, killed 111 trout, weighing 60 pounds, one of which weighed l0 pounds 6 ounces.

Roasted chestnuts were first sold in the streets by a Frenchman who made his appearance in or about this year, and established himself on the sidewalk, corner of Duane Street and Broadway, selling at first only the large chestnuts of the Spanish or French variety. He became so well identified as the originator of this street industry that, upon his death, which occurred not many years since, it was noticed in several of the daily papers.

Asa Hall extended his enterprise of one stage, from Exchange Coffee House, site of the Duncan building, corner Pine and Nassau streets, to Greenwich, corner of Hudson and Amos streets, to a line of stages, of the omnibus type, 12­1/2 cents.

The tax levy in this year was approved at $450,000.

The City Hotel and lots, now occupied by the Boreel Building, were sold at public auction for $123,000,

March 28 first appeared in New York, in the character of Little Pickle, Miss Louisa Lane, now known and admired as Mrs. John Drew.

Arundel, north of Division Street, was changed to Chrystie. Reason, from Bedford to Fifth Street, toward Sixth Avenue, was changed to Barrow. Collect, from Pearl to Hester and from Rynder to Orange, was charged to Centre Street, April 7. In 1817 it had not been opened beyond Pearl; but was subsequently extended to Chambers Street.

The name and address of Delmonico and Brothers first appeared in this year, when they opened a coffee, cake, and confectionery room at 23 William Street in a single room, in which they and the female members of their families dispensed bon­bons, coffee, liquors, pate's, and confections. In 1831 they opened a fully appointed restaurant, whence they removed after the fire of 1835 to 76 Broad Street until their erection of the building, in 1837, at intersection of Beaver, William, and South William streets, removed in 1890 and reconstructed. Their subsequent course and the status of their representatives are too well known for a recital here.

May 15 occupants of the State Prison in Greenwich Street were removed to the newly constructed building at Sing Sing, the construction of which had been commenced in 1825

May 20 the "Bowery" Theatre burned, taking fire from a neighboring livery stable, whence the winds drove the flames to the theatre, beginning with the roof. This occurred about 6 o'clock P.M. The postponed benefit of Mrs. Gilfert was set for that evening. The house was rebuilt better than before within the space of ninety days, being opened late in August, on which occasion Forrest delivered the address, written by William Leggett, the editor and critic.

July 4 William Niblo removed from the Bank Coffee House, corner William and Pine streets, and opened a hotel, garden, and theatre at the northeast corner of Broadway and Prince Street, site of the Metropolitan Hotel, and termed it the Sans Souci. The theatre was opened by Charles Gilfert, the "Bowery" manager, for a brief season, while his house was rebuilding. Many famous performances have taken place at this spot; notably here the Ravels long delighted town and country alike. At this time "Niblo's Garden" was an actual garden, with walks, flowers, trees, summer­houses, etc., and was considered somewhat remote from town. The theatre or entertainment saloon was in the centre. This subsequently gave place to a complete, permanent theatre, and the garden vanished.

August 30 M. and Mme. Vestris appeared at the "Bowery"; they were excellent dancers. Forrest and Booth, and many other attractions, were offered after the re­opening of this house, but the season was disastrous until its close in midsummer of 1829; soon after which the manager, Gilfert, died from worry and care.

Late in the season a full and effective French opera company opened at the Park, and continued at intervals until the close of 1829.

The city stages (omnibuses) had so increased at this time (twenty in number) that there were five routes in operation, viz.: Greenwich, Broadway, Manhattanville, Grand, and Dry Dock (via Water and Cherry streets, etc. ).

September 18 a traveller from Cincinnati reached here in the unprecedented time of seven days; so remarkable was this considered that it was noticed and commented upon in the papers.

The canvass for the Presidency at this time was very warmly contested. The Republicans (democrats), having nominated General Andrew Jackson, designated the headquarters of their election districts by planting hickory­trees as emblematic of his decided victory over the Seminole Indians in Florida at the Hickory Swamp, and gave him the title of "Old Hickory." In 1844, when James K. Polk was a candidate of the same party, he was known as "Young Hickory," and small hickory­trees were in like manner planted.

The male prisoners in the State Prison were transferred to the new prison at Sing Sing, and in the year following the females were transferred. It was proposed in 1827 by an association of citizens, after some preliminary motions a year earlier, to cause a canal sixty feet in width to be cut from the foot of East One Hundred and Eighth Street through the island, to terminate at the west side of Macomb's Dam in the Harlem River. It was to be known as the Harlem Canal. The stock of the company was filled by this time, and on September 17 of this year ground was broken. The excavation proceeded about as far as Fourth Avenue, after which the enterprise was abandoned, having become a source of annoyance as well as of loss to all concerned. Until within a few years (1895) some remains of the entrance lock were still to be seen.

The New York Screw Dock Company, at 415 Water Street, was organized in this year, and the first dock (as it was erroneously termed, it being strictly an elevator) was located in South Street, since extended out, when South Street was opened at that point between Market and Pike slips. Zebedee Ring and associates constructed and operated it.

Miss Emma Wheatly, at the age of six, was engaged at the Park Theatre this season as a danseuse, and was in the habit of executing with her sister a pas de deux between the acts. Fanny Kemble in 1832 admired her and aided her with instruction, and at the age of thirteen she made her regular debut at the Park as Prince Arthur in "King John." This appearance was successful, and she subsequently appeared as Desdemona, Julia, Mrs. Haller, etc., and gave promise of a very decided talent. She remained at the Park until the autumn of 1837, when she became leading lady of Wallack's company at the new National Theatre, while not yet sixteen. In 1837 she married James Mason, son of the president of the Chemical Bank, and retired from the stage in the spring of 1838. Her adieu at the National Theatre (corner of Leonard and Church streets) was in the character of Desdemora, supported by Edwin Forrest, Booth, James W. Wallack, William Wheatly, and Mrs. Sefton; and Mr. Dayton, in his happy reminiscences, declares the house to have been "electrified by the effects of this galaxy of talent." Compelled by pecuniary need, Mrs. Mason returned to the Park Theatre in 1847. She died in 1854, much lamented, for she had been beloved and admired on the stage and in society.

Blackwell's Island was purchased by the city in this year for thirty­two thousand dollars.

Joseph Bonfanti, before mentioned as the proprietor of a store for varieties of things both "of use and sport," was in the annual habit of detailing in verse the character and extent of the articles he offered, much to the amusement of all. As an example I furnish a specimen verse for this year, being a parody on the recitals of the stories of Major Longbow by Mr. Hackett, which then were popular:

In December a market (Tompkins) was ordered to be constructed in Third Avenue and the Bowery, and Liberty Street to be widened in the following May. If this street at its present width is the result of widening, what could it have been in its original width? would be a natural question of the day.

There was a social feature of the day, the annual ball given by the bachelors, known as the Bachelors' Ball, that has lapsed for many years, and it was one that should have been maintained. It was a distinguished affair and in the van of all essays of that character, being far more select in the character of its patrons than would be practicable at this time. All the managers wore kneebreeches, silk stockings, and pumps.

In this year appeared the Merchants' Telegraph, published and edited by John I. Mumford. The daily issue of all the papers published in the city was given as fifteen thousand.

August 2 the Mount Pitt circus was burned.

Kipp & Brown, at 431­433 Hudson Street, commenced running a line of stages from Charles to Pine Street.

Peter M. Bayard occupied 11 and 13 State Street as a hotel and restaurant. In consequence of the location, giving an unrestricted view of the Bay, open to the south and west breezes in the summer, and the sun in winter, it became a favorite resort, and especially of a clique of idlers who assembled there in the forenoon, and repaired to their evening resorts at the close of the day. Here turtle soup was dispensed which was worthy of the animal of which it was made; not the puree of this time, which is served at some of our leading restaurants and clubs; not a thin consomme of that which might be calves' head or veal, but bona fee turtle, with callipash, callipee, and forced­meat balls.

William Leggett (heretofore mentioned), formerly a midshipman in the Navy, who had resigned in 1826, began editing and publishing a paper termed the Critic; but as his forcible arguments and caustic articles could not sustain it, it soon expired. After this he was associated with William C. Bryant in the Evening Post, at l0 Pine Street. An article of his, published some years later (I think in about 1832), in condemnation of the Governor's appointing a day of Thanksgiving, which he held to be the loss of a day's wages to the workingman, was written with a degree of vigor and emphasis for which he was without a superior.

The first known mention of a Protestant Episcopal cathedral was in this year. Phillip Hone in his "Diary" records that in November Bishop Hobart called upon him and opened the project of building a cathedral on Washington Square. Mr. Hone approved this, as a "glorious project," and adventurously considered the site proposed to be "the best in the city" for the purpose. How he would have marvelled at the present site, chosen by conservative judgment as being the best, though five and a half miles above Washington Square !

About this year "The Finish," at the southwest corner of Broadway and Anthony (Worth) Street, was opened, as what would much later have been termed a "saloon," but at that time it was familiarly known as a "gin mill," and one of a high order in its fittings and equipments. It was well termed, for it was the finish of many of its habitues, and were it not that it is not my purpose or province to exhume painful reminiscences, I could recite many mournful cases, alike to those of some of the inmates of the poorhouse on Blackwell's Island, where youth, health, social position, and wealth were thrown away, under the baneful attractions of this and similar places, in pursuit of pleasure.

In the canvass for the Presidency in this year (John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson), party lines were very stringently drawn. The party in power, the whilom Federalists, recognized the popularity of General Jackson, and in view to weaken it, every act of his, public or private, that could be brought to his disadvantage, was published and disseminated; notably his duel with Dickinson*,

his hanging of Arbuthnot and Ambrister, two subjects of Great Britain, who furnished the Indians with whom we were at war with arms and supplies, and even the sanctity of his domestic relations was invaded; hut the crowning charge against him was his shooting six militiamen for offences, and in order to give this the better effect, handbills were printed representing a coffin, skull, and cross­bones, with a recital to the effect that General Jackson in his campaign had unlawfully caused six militiamen to be shot, which charge was made more effective by setting it forth in the following verse:

All six militiamen were shot,
And, oh! it seems to me
A bloody act, a bloody deed,
Of merciless cruelty.

These were published and widely scattered by a well-known politician in Philadelphia, and known as his "Coffin Handbills." Jackson's hanging of Arbuthnot and Ambrister was also set forth as a heinous offence, although the British Government did not make any protest regarding the matter. A Democratic paper in this city on the occasion of Adams, who was then President, passing through here to his home in Massachusetts, semiseriously published that, in paying his passage on board the Sound steamer, he offered some of these bills in part payment.

A well­known figure in society was William E. McLeod an ex­officer in a British regiment of Highlanders, whose father fell at Waterloo. He was the second of Barton in his duel with Graham.

James K. Paulding, a popular author, published "The New Pilgrim's Progress," a burlesque on the guide­books and writings of English travellers, and a satire on fashionable life in this city. In 1826 appeared his "Merry Tales of Three Wise Men of Gotham who went to sea in a bowl," a satire upon the writings of Robert Dale Owen, an Englishman, who was notorious for the publication of his peculiar proposals for a change in our social relations, and in this year for his publication of "The Free Enquirer." In 1807 Paulding was associated with Washington Irving in the publication of their inimitable "Salmagundi," or the "Whim­whams and Opinions of Launcelot Langstaff, Esq., and others."

In evidence of the decadence of ship­building in this city in late years, there were at this time, of my personal knowledge, ten ship­yards where vessels of all descriptions were built ; viz.: David Brown's, Jacob Bell's, Christian Bergh's, Fickett & Thomes's, Lawrence & Sneden's, Smith & Dimon's, Jabez Williams's, Jacob A. Westervelt's (since Mayor of this city), Webb & Allen's, and S. & F. Fickett's; added to which there were several ship­carpenters without yards, that repaired vessels; as Henry Steers, Cornelius Poillon, etc., etc.

The American Institute was chartered.

1829. January 26 Pump Street, running from Division to Collect Street, was changed to Walker Street; this was before Canal Street, in name, was continued to East Broadway. Reason, from Macdougal Street to where it crossed Asylum, was changed to Barrow Street. In April Beaver Lane was changed to Morris Street, and Herring, from Carmine to Bank Street, became Bleecker Street. In May Barrow was changed to Grove Street. Clinton Market, on Washington, Spring, Canal, and West streets, was opened in April. Arden, from Bleecker to Bedford, was changed to Morton; David, from Broadway to Herring, changed to Bleecker Street.

In February canvas­back ducks were sold for fifty cents a brace, and venison brought the price of beef.

Early in this year a steam locomotive, built in England by the celebrated George Stephenson, was exhibited in the iron­yard of E. Dunscomb in Water near Frankfort Street.

There was an elite private fancy ball given in January of this year by two residents of Bowling Green, an opening between their houses having been made for the occasion, and the affair was one of great interest in society. Two mask and fancy balls given at the Park Theatre were so fully and fashionably attended that proprietors of other theatres and halls essayed similar enterprises; and as the patronage under less stringent requirements and observances, and in different locations, became less and less select, these affairs grew offensive to propriety, and the Press, in behalf of the citizens, asked of the Legislature an Act designed to suppress the growing evil. It was enacted that all like assemblies should be subject to a fine of one thousand dollars, one­half to be paid to the informer of the violation of law.

The Sabbatarians of the period, having obtained a great number of petitions to (Congress asking for the arrest of the running and delivery of the mails on Sundays, a public meeting was called by the merchants, and others, to protest against such action by the National Legislature.

In evidence of the value of real estate at this time, the two­story house and lot, No. 17 Broadway, adjoining the present Stevens House, 44 feet 9-1/2 inches front, and 118 feet in depth, sold at public sale in April for nineteen thousand dollars.

Andrew J. Davis and Ithiel Town & Thompson, architects, had offices in the Merchants' Exchange, and they were the only parties known exclusively as architects in the city.

1829, James Thompson opened his first confectionery at 8 Arcade and also at 32 Liberty Street. In 1832 he removed to 176 Broadway, in 1835 to 172 and 235 Broadway, and in 1851 to 359 Broadway, near Franklin Street, where, in the character of his patrons and of his entertainment, he was a worthy follower of Guerin, before referred to.

There were two lines, the Despatch and Union, of steamboats and stages combined, running between this city and Philadelphia. In the summer season the stages ran only to Bordentown or Bristol, and thence steamboats were taken to Philadelphia. The opposition between them was very warm; so much so that the arrival of each line in this city was noticed in the papers of the next day; the time usually half or three­quarters past three P.M.

In April, at the Park Theatre, first appeared Charles R. Thorne, afterward well known to our public as actor and manager.

April 11 the Lafayette Theatre was entirely destroyed by fire; it was not rebuilt.

In May Ogden Hoffman, a brilliant and popular orator, was appointed District Attorney. On the 25th of the month the Morning Courier and New York Enquirer, edited by James Watson Webb and M. M. Noah, appeared.

The first operating locomotive introduced into this country was one which had been procured in England by Horatio Allen, and it was put in operation at the West Point Foundry Shop in Beach Street, in this month. Its power was estimated at nine horses, pressure of steam sixty pounds per square inch, and its capacity five miles per hour with a train of from sixty to eighty tons.

James H. Hackett, who had become lessee of the Chatham Garden Theatre, renamed it with the ambitious title of American Opera House and opened it late in May. September 1, he abandoned the enterprise.

In June James G. Bennett, an associate editor of the late New York Enquirer, issued a proposal for a paper to be called the New York State Enquirer.

June 4 the magazine of the steam frigate Fulton (the Flogobombos of Dr. Samuel L. Mitchell), in service at the Navy Yard, Brooklyn, as receiving­ship, exploded and killed one lieutenant and twenty­three marines, wounding seventy­two of the crew, with six missing. I was at the time on board of the steamboat Citizen,, then in process of construction at the head of Water Street, witnessed the explosion, and visited the wreck immediately afterward. The Citizen was the second steamboat Captain Vanderbilt owned (the Bellona, built in 1816, a gift from William Gibbons, being the first), and the first that he built. The first he commanded was the Stoughtenger (in derision she was called "The Mouse out of the Mountain"), seventy­five feet in length, propelled by what were termed paddles, but they were strictly palmipedes, in order to evade the Fulton claim for side­wheels. This attempt was a signal failure. The Bellona was fitted with like propulsion, but it being condemned as useless, she was fitted with side­wheels, and from this arose the litigation between William Gibbons and Gouverneur Ogden, in which Daniel Webster was engaged, as to the exclusive right of Fulton and his associate Livingston to steam navigation on the waters of the Hudson, a claim which the United States Supreme Court declared to be invalid.

August 1 the fare of foot passengers over the Hoboken ferries was reduced from 12­1/2 to 6­1/4 cents.

Henry Placide of the Park Theatre was without an equal as a general actor of this period; always correct and often brilliant; a universal favorite, whether as Sir Peter Teazle, Baron Pompolino, or the schoolboy with an apron eating gingerbread, on the stage, or as a genial gentleman off it.

September 5 James G. Bennett announced his editorial connection with the Morning Courier and New York Enquirer, and that he would support strict Republican (Democratic) usages and principles.

This autumn the Park Theatre occupied the field virtually alone. The Lafayette had been burned, and the Chatham was given over to negro burlettas and the like, before vulgar audiences. At Forrest's benefit in December John A. Stone's "Metamora" was produced, for the first time on any stage. Early in the next year was given, with success, a new farce by Charles P. Clinch, entitled "The First of May in New York."

The firing of buildings at this time and for some weeks previous was of so frequent occurrence that citizens were called upon to organize a night patrol.

This was the year of the "burking" excitement, beginning with reports that several persons had disappeared unaccountably. The public mind was already full of the atrocious murders committed in Edinburgh by Burke and Hare and their accomplices, who decoyed poor people and stragglers into secluded places and there murdered them, merely to get bodies to sell to the anatomists; thus making, as Sir Walter Scott said, "an end of the Cantabit vacuus*
* "Cantabit vacuus coram latrone viator." ­­ JUVENAL

the last prerogative of beggary, which entitled him to laugh at the risk of robbery." With Burke's deeds fresh in memory, it was easy to connect horrid imaginings with the stories, either true or false, of unexplained disappearances in New York, and thus a great excitement and wide­spread terror were engendered. Women and children never ventured forth alone after nightfall, and citizens generally were armed during their evening walks, though only with heavy sticks. The delusion was specially prevalent among the negroes, who almost universally kept close within doors during the dark hours. It was a considerable time before public feeling on this subject abated and there was any cessation of the wild tales that had agitated the community, though having very little if any serious foundation.

Charles Henry Hall, who had been bookkeeper for Thomas H. Smith & Son, the great India merchants in South, near Roosevelt Street, occupied from 1823 the house and grounds on Broadway and Prince Street employed by William Niblo as a garden and theatre in 1829, where the Metropolitan Hotel and Theatre lately stood. Hall in this year (1829) removed to Harlem, occupying extensive grounds near Sixth Avenue and One hundred and Twenty­fifth Street, having purchased them of John Adriance June 27, 1825.