1836­1837.-CORNELIUS W. LAWRENCE, 1836-1837,


1836. In this year the "burned district," as the area of the great fire of the year preceding was termed, was improved in some of its street lines. Also Cherry, from Catherine Street to Franklin Square; Grove Street; Stone, from William to Broad; Maiden Lane at the corner of Nassau; John, from Broadway to Pearl Street; and Pine, from Nassau to William Street, were widened.

The area bounded by the Bowery, Art and Eighth streets, and Lafayette Place was made a public place. The statue of Samuel S. Cox is now in its centre.

Monroe Market, on Grand, Monroe, and Corlears streets, was constructed to replace the one in Grand Street, which was held to be too much of an obstruction to travel, and was removed.

The Screw Docks, incorrectly so termed, fronting on South Street between Market and Pike streets, first located in 1828 between Front and South streets, were necessarily removed in this year in order to open South Street.

An ordinance was passed for the opening of Eleventh Street from the Bowery (now known as Fourth Avenue) to Broadway, but Mr. Brevoort, who owned contiguous property, delayed and resisted its operation. In 1849 a second ordinance like to that of 1836 was passed, and it was met by Mr. Brevoort with equal and successful resistance.

In this year the building was begun of the new Custom House (now the Sub­Treasury).

The Union Theological Seminary was established, next to the University, at Washington Parade Ground.

This was a time of rapid growth for the press. For many years a new newspaper appeared almost annually, The New York Daily and Daily Advertiser, edited by James and Erastus Brooks, first appeared in June of this year, from its office in the Tontine Building. The Herald was enlarged, and its price raised to two cents. James Gordon Bennett, editor of the Herald, erroneously published in a list of failures the name of John Haggerty, the leading auctioneer at the time of package goods. Haggerty sued him and obtained a verdict, after which Bennett frequently referred to him as John O'Haggerty, alleging that he was of Irish descent. On January 19, James Watson Webb, of the Courier and Enquirer, retaliated for an attack upon himself published in the Herald, by assaulting Bennett in Wall Street, where he knocked him down and beat him.

In January the "Bowery" Theatre produced Miss Medina's drama founded on Theodore S. Fay's novel of "Norman Leslie," which was elaborately furnished by the management and had a long run. Fay and myself were classmates at Nelson's.

In evidence of the severity of the winter, on the night of the great fire the thermometer indicated 10° minus, and in the latter part of this month a Long Island news paper records that two gentlemen crossed the sound on the ice, from the Island to Rye, and returned-a distance of fifteen miles. On the 4th of February both the North and East rivers were crossed on ice.

February, Maria Monk, a nun in a monastery in Montreal, escaped and published her experience there, making severe charges against practices, which, being denied by Roman Catholics and sustained by others, involved a very severe and protracted dispute, which was continued with so much virulence and referred to by clergymen of all sects, that a mob gathered one evening for the purpose of burning St. Patrick's Church in Mott Street. The purpose having been communicated to the Catholics, they not only filled the church with armed men, but the walls were in some places crenellated. As a result the church was too well protected to allow a storm, and the mob dispersed.

March 16. The rivalry between the two medical colleges, "Barclay" and "Rutgers," led to many disputations among the members of the faculty and students, and on this day a personal rencontre occurred in the American Hotel, corner of Broadway and Barclay Street, in which several of the professors of the two colleges were participants.

March 21, at Cato's, on Boston Road and Fifty­second Street, two well­known gentlemen met, and offense being taken at the act of one of them, a knock­down occurred, followed by a challenge to meet at Montreal; both parties forthwith proceeded there, one of them with a friend, and the other alone, depending upon an acquaintance there, who was absent; and as the officers of the garrison then had agreed not to act as the friends of any person coming there from the States, he was unable to obtain a party to meet that of his antagonist, who, after waiting a day, returned to the city, where the action of both parties was very freely commented and dwelt upon by the friends of both: one party being censured for leaving without communication with the other, the other for leaving here without a friend; and on the 2d of May, the one who was unable to obtain a friend in Montreal, being accompanied by a friend here, met two of the adverse party in Washington Hall, and a fracas occurred, in which one of the former party was slightly wounded with a sword cane.

May 4. Whilst a very extensive fire was raging in Houston and First streets it was communicated to the firemen that their chief engineer, James Gulick, had been removed by the Board of Aldermen then in session, and John Ryker, Jr., appointed in his place. Gulick was very popular with the firemen, and his abrupt removal elicited such a feeling of resentment that a great majority of them turned the front of their caps behind, and arrested operation. Such condition being communicated to the Mayor, he appeared on the ground and succeeded in controlling the indignation of the firemen, so that they returned to their duty, and the further extension of the fire was stopped.

Gulick was elected Register in November of the year by a majority in every ward in the city. The next spring his successor, John Ryker, Jr., was removed, and Cornelius V. Anderson was appointed in his place. It was said that nine­tenths of the firemen had resigned previous to this, and perhaps this was true of full one­quarter of them, but they returned upon Anderson's appointment. The manner of Ryker's appointment was objected to. Anderson was a singularly good chief, and much improved the apparatus of the Department, which the authorities had been slow to do. In his day, buildings were said to be "running up to the height of four and five stories" in New York.

May 23, Webb of the New York Enquirer published an article charging Wood, the actor, with offensive actions toward a favorite actress, whereupon the audience on the evening of the day of the publication hissed Wood, who advanced to the footlights and denied that there was any just foundation for the charge; his denial was accepted so far as to arrest any further demonstration. On the following morning Webb, in his peculiar and persistent manner, republished the charge. Wood challenged him, the audience renewed their hissing in the evening, and Webb the morning after, the 28th addressed an article to the public, calling upon it to assemble at the theatre and drive Wood off the stage. Such a call was sure to be responded to, in attracting great numbers to the theatre, which it did, and as a result Mr. Simpson was compelled to come forward and announce the withdrawal of the Woods anti the annulment of their engagement. 1 was present the first night, but avoided the second and last, having been present at the Anderson riot in 1831.

May 30 The Astor House, on Broadway between Vesey and Barclay streets, was opened in this year by Boyden of the Tremont, Boston, and deeded by John Jacob Astor to his son William B. for one dollar, and was the wonder of the time. The interior of the quadrangle, now containing the bar, lunch­counters, etc., was then a garden, affording a pleasant view from the windows of the inner rooms. Flower beds extended along the sides, next to the building, inclosing an expanse of turf with walks, and a pretty fountain in the centre. The smoking room of the hotel commanded this view from the east. These conditions remained unchanged for many years.

It was in this year that the dicta of trades­unions came into such conflict with the rights of individuals that the criminal law was referred to and exercised in their behalf.

A number of Union journeymen tailors stood out-"struck" is the word of a later day-for an increase of pay, and assaulted some non­union men who preferred to work at the pay they were receiving rather than to try to increase it by refusing to work at all. The assailants were arrested and convicted, when a diabolical and inflammatory hand­bill was posted in which freemen were called upon to go to the Park and witness the sentencing of their fellows to servitude; but, notwithstanding this, Judge Edwards sentenced them.

The Board of Aldermen were summarily convened, and adopted an ordinance authorizing the Mayor to offer a reward for the discoverer of the printer, author, or poster of the bills.

Following this the men employed in the loading and unloading of vessels-stevedores and laborers-decided to demand an increase of pay, which being denied, they proceeded to prevent those from working who were willing to continue for the existing wages. So formidable was the number of "strikers" as they were termed, that some captains of vessels in progress of being discharged or loaded armed their crews to defend their work. Whereupon Jacob Hays, the High Constable, proceeded to where the strikers had assembled and addressed them literally as follows:

" Gentlemen and Blackguards-go home or go along with me. Taint no way this to raise wages. If your employers won't give you your price, don't work; keep home and lay quiet-make no riots here, I don't allow them things. Come, march home with you; your wives and children want you-no way this to raise wages."

The stand taken by the stevedores was followed by that of the laborers at work upon the ruins of the late fire in the removal of bricks, etc., and so formidable was their attack upon those who were willing to work that it became necessary to resort to military power to control them.

During this year the up­town movement made great advances, the dwellings below Chambers Street commanding so high prices for purposes of constantly expanding business that the occupants could scarce afford to retain them for domestic use. Thereupon, up­town property increased greatly in selling value, and rents rose enormously; in fact this was a period of high prices for every thing, with all the marks of a speculative era.

Miss Harriet Martineau visited New York in April and was well received, attracting the attention which, among us in those simpler days, was the sure perquisite of any European author of tolerable reputation.

Up to this time, and for many years afterward, or until the number of social clubs had much increased, the side rooms of our principal hotels were essentially clubrooms for many persons. Numbers of bachelors and young men were in the habit of resorting to each hotel, confident of making there a social, and even a convivial party. The City Hotel and Washington Hall had each a set of evening visitors, as well defined and almost as exclusive as if they were members of a club. Colonel Nicholas (Nick) Saltus, at the City Hotel, assumed and was conceded the prerogatives of the presiding officer of a club. But on June 17 of this year was founded the Union Club, earliest of all in New York, using the word in its modern sense. The meeting for its organization was attended by many of the most eminent citizens. June I of the following year the club­house, then at 343 Broadway, was first opened to members. In the spring of 1842, the growing need of larger accommodations compelled the first of the club's northward journeys, and it removed to 376 Broadway. In the autumn of 1850 it yielded further to the up­town tendency, and settled itself at 691 Broadway, remaining there until the occupancy of its present house at Fifth Avenue and Twenty­first Street, in 1854.

February 18, the Methodist Book Concern, occupying a five­story building on Mulberry Street in which two hundred persons were employed, was burned. The weather was extremely cold and the hydrants were frozen, so that the destruction was complete. Some of the burned books, carried by the wind from this fire, were found in adjacent parts of Long Island, and among them, it was said, a charred leaf of a Bible on which the only words legible were the verse, Isaiah lxiv. II: "Our holy and our beautiful house, where our fathers praised thee, is burned up with fire; and all our pleasant things are laid waste." I think it was in the spring of this year that the beautiful Mrs. Shaw first appeared in America, at the Park Theatre. She had many charms and was greatly popular. In 1839 she joined the "Bowery" company which, though a successful engagement, did not tend to increase her artistic reputation, and as her attractions declined she lost in some degree her hold on public favor. She married Hamblin, the "Bowery" manager, in I 849.

The Richmond Hill Theatre was opened in mid­June by Mrs. Hamblin, well supported for a time. Here appeared Caroline Fox, at seven years, afterward Mrs. G. C. Howard, the famous Topsy.

April 11, Helen Jewett, a boarder in a house in Thomes Street kept by Rosina Townsend, was murdered; the bed­clothes being ignited with a view to conceal the murder by the destruction of the body. A young man, Richard P. Robinson, who was at the time a clerk with Joseph Hoxie, was arrested, charged with the crime, tried, and although the evidence against him was so convincing that scarcely a doubt of his guilt was entertained, yet, in consequence of a man at the close of the trial being found who swore to meeting Robinson at the time that the murder was committed, the accused was acquitted. It was charged and credited that a juror had been bribed so as to secure a disagreement. I knew the man who swore to the alibi, and knew him to be unworthy of credence, not from venality or other influence, but from mental weakness. This was a very celebrated case, and will be remembered by every New Yorker who was at that time capable of observation and memory of events. Ogden Hoffman, who defended Robinson, delivered an address to the jury that for eloquence was equal to any like essay; his delivery of "That poor boy!" by those who witnessed it will never be forgotten.

It was currently charged soon after, and even published later, that a person who had lately embarked in an enterprise requiring money to advance it, became aware of the fact that a well­known citizen of wealth and position was in the house at the time of the murder; and that from time to time he levied blackmail upon him to the amount of thirty thousand dollars.

June 23, the first trip from New York to Albany by a vessel using anthracite coal was made by the Novelty,, in twelve hours. She bore a considerable company of gentlemen interested in the experiment, among them the managers of the Delaware & Hudson Company, the Collector of the Port, and Dr. Eliphalet Nott, whose invention it was that was in course of trial and proved completely successful.

September 14, Aaron Burr died. It was charged and entertained that, prior to his challenge to ­ Alexander Hamilton, he daily practiced with a his residence in the Richmond Hill house.

December 9, Miss Ellen Tree made her first appearance at the Park Theatre as Rosalind in "As You Like It," achieving a prodigious success, well deserved by this charming actress. She was a greater favorite than any woman ever seen on the Park stage, save Fanny Kemble. She remained for two years in this country; in 1842 she married Charles Kean, and in 1845 they were both here.

Fernando Wood left the employ of Mr. Secor, then Fras. Secor & Co., and opened a three­cent liquor store at the corner of Rector and Washington streets. The Secors, Peter Seeley (a stevedore), and some other employers of laborers, were in the habit of paying their men off in Wood's store, and in connection with this it is not amiss to note that the custom of employers on the river fronts paying their men in a grocery store was of general practice. It was charged against Wood, and never responded to, that when a man presented himself to receive his wages, he was surprised at being told that there was such and such an account charged to him for drinks. There was no appeal. It was a standing charge of the enemies of Wood, and he had many, that on one occasion Joseph Bunce, a man who had suffered by this one­sided way of keeping accounts, resolutely refrained from drink at Wood's bar for the entire week. When pay­night came and he presented himself, he was given the amount of his wages less seventy­five cents, deducted for drinks which were charged to him. There were many other and exceptionally severe charges made against Wood, but being ignorant as to their authenticity, I omit reference to them here.

Thomas E. Davis purchased vacant lots in St. Mark's Place and vicinity, essaying to make it a fashionable quarter of the city, and at one time it appeared that he had succeeded. He then originated and with the aid of I. L. and S. Josephs, Geo. Griffin, and others, formed an association for the purchase and improvement of the northeast end of Staten Island, at the junction of the Bay and the Kills, obtained a loan of four hundred and seventy thousand dollars from a bank, and termed the locality New Brighton. A large hotel and houses were built, but the association came to grief, and the property was sold out under a decree of foreclosure, and bought in by Mr. Davis for two hundred thousand dollars.

Two notables of this period merit mention, the "gingerbread man" and the " imekiln man," both famous in New York. The former was an erratic of a very pronounced type, or a mild lunatic; clerically, though shabbily dressed; who promenaded Broadway at a rapid gait, and apparently took his entire nourishment at a street pump, eating gingerbread and washing it down with water from the spout of the pump. He kept his supply of the bread in a coat pocket. The latter was another mental derelict of the human species, evidently a foreigner, who received his sobriquet from the circumstance of his usually sleeping in or upon a lime kiln East Fourteenth Street, and although his raiment and mien indicated extreme poverty, he was not known ever to have solicited alms. One morning his dead body was discovered on a limekiln.

Such was the enterprise of New York that it was observed this year, on the anniversary of the great fire of 1835, that the whole burned district had been rebuilt in handsomer style than before.

Chas. H. Marshall bought of Goodhue & Co. their interest in the Black Ball Line, and added new vessels of increased tonnage. Soon after, the Swallow Tail Line of Thaddeus Phelps & Co., and the Dramatic Line of E. K. Collins & Co., were organized and entered for the Liverpool trade.

In this year the New York Society Library sold its building in Nassau, between Cedar and Liberty streets, and removed temporarily to Chambers Street.

The house, corner of Church and Leonard streets, was leased to Thomas Flynn, an English comedian, who for ten years had been engaged here as actor or manager. He opened the house (thereafter known as the National Theatre) for a fall season, with William Mitchell, who now first appeared in New York, afterward to become famous, especially at his own Olympic Theatre, where the excellence of his burlesques and travesties brought him for a considerable time to the height of prosperity. Later, Mitchell failed somewhat, and he retired in 1850. He died a few years after this date, in poverty, though he had made much money. In October "La Bayadere" was produced under Flynn's management with Mme. Celeste, and had immense success.

Many events of interest in the theatrical world occurred

during this autumn, not least of which was Charlotte Cushman's first appearance in New York at the "Bowery" Theatre, as Lady Macbeth Miss Cushman had proposed to be a public singer. She appeared first in concert, at the age of fifteen. Happening to sing with the Woods, they suggested that she should attempt the lyric stage, but after studying­and essaying, her voice failed, and she abandoned the attempt.

September 26, the "Bowery" Theatre was burned again; the fire arising, as was supposed, from burning wadding discharged among the scenery in progress of the play, "Lafitte, the Pirate of the Gulf," then just beginning a promising run. It was said that Hamblin, the manager, lost sixty thousand dollars by this fire.

Philip Hone recites that in this year he sold his house, 235 Broadway, lot 37 x 120 feet (next to the corner of Park Place), for sixty thousand dollars, having bought it fifteen years before (1821) for twenty­five thousand dollars. This is now given as an index to the variation of prices in real estate on Broadway. The house was a three­story high stoop brick, with slant roof and dormer windows front and rear; a perfect type of a first­class house of the period, internally arranged as follows: Vault under sidewalk for fuel and cool storage; basement floor, front room? closets and kitchen without cellar; first floor, hall store, front and back parlors with closets and sliding doors between, stairway thrown well back and lighted by a rear window, doors of mahogany; second floor, essentially the counterpart of the first, doors of white pine; third floor, front, middle, and rear bedrooms, with one in hall; garret, two or three servants' rooms and a storeroom. A cistern in the yard to receive rain water from the roof, which was drawn out by a bucket and pole. Total absence of water­closets, bathroom, a vestibule door, and furnaces. In 1819 a relation of mine was offered this house for thirty thousand dollars; it was then occupied by Jotham Smith, not Jonathan, as given by Hone.

Some time previous to this a Mr. Benjamin Brandreth advertised very extensively his "Brandreth's Pills," and this was the first exhibition or demonstration of a kind of advertising that has become general. It was so novel to the public that he and his nostrum became notorious. "Brandreth's Pills" became a byword. Later a man was charged with selling these pills under a counterfeit label, and the interest involved was held of such importance that Charles O'Conor and Major­general Sandford were employed to plead for an injunction. In support of the alleged value of the proprietary right of these pills, it was claimed that they were effective in fully fifty diseases.

1837, Orange (now Baxter) Street was extended from Grand to Broome Street. Fourth Avenue was widened forty feet to accommodate the tunnel for the Harlem Railroad, and to give air openings to it in the middle of the avenue.

There was at this period one Chief of Police, Jacob Hays, at a salary of five hundred dollars per annum, with twenty officers. Ogden Hoffman, when District Attorney, related that on occasion of an extensive robbery of money, Mr. Hays, who justly enjoyed the reputation of keen observation and exceptional shrewdness, while engaged in seeking the perpetrators, entered the reading­room of the Northern Hotel; corner of Washington Street and Battery Place, and noticed among the occupants one who was reading a newspaper, but from the moment Hays entered, he did not remove his eyes from one part of it; from which Hays inferred that the man knew him, and was too much embarrassed at his presence to read. Whereupon he arrested him, and he proved to be the person sought for.

January 2. The " Bowery " Theatre, rebuilt upon a lease of the ground from Hamblin, was opened shortly after this. "Sandie" Welsh, of the "Washington Lunch" (before mentioned), appeared here for the first and last time, it was said, on a wager, with an oration in Low Dutch (the vernacular of Northern New Jersey), in the character of the Flying Dutchman.

The year opened with unfavorable business conditions, money being very scarce and tight. High prices for the necessaries of life prevailed; flour was $12 to $15 per barrel, and wheat imported from abroad $2.25 per bushel. What the prices of meats were I do not now recollect; but I well remember that upon inquiring the price of a head of cabbage, I was told two and six pence (31.25 cents). A public meeting was held to devise some remedy for the distressful cost of living, but the effect of natural laws remained unchanged by this device. On February 10, a meeting of workmen and laborers out of work convened in the City Hall Park, and as it was asserted that provision­dealers were holding back supplies for higher prices, and it was publicly known that Eli Hart & Co., 175 Washington Street, had in their possession large quantities of both wheat and flour, the fact was so deprecatingly referred to by the speakers that the passions of the crowd became aroused, and at the close of the meeting it proceeded to the store of the Messrs. Hart, broke open the doors, which had been closed, and threw wheat and rolled flour out of the doors and windows. Later in the day the crowd was dispersed by the police. After this, they proceeded to the store of S. H. Herrick & Co., 5 Coenties Slip, where they in like manner broke in and commenced destruction, with a view to produce abundance, but were driven out by the police. This was known as the Flour Riot.

March 15 Daniel Webster made what might be called a State visit to New York. Throngs greeted his arrival at the Battery and accompanied him to his hotel. A great meeting gathered to hear his oration at Niblo's Saloon in the evening, and Mr. Webster held a reception the next day in the Governor's room in the City Hall.

A famous dinner was given on March 30, at the City Hotel, by booksellers to authors and other persons of fame.

In this year August Belmont arrived here as the agent of the Messrs. Rothschilds and established a banking house here; he filling the vacancy consequent upon the failure of the Messrs. L. and S. Josephs.

Meantime the business outlook was growing more and more dark. Failures were multiplying. On March 28, a meeting merchants invoked the support of the United State Bank of Philadelphia. On April 26, a similar meeting, "to devise suitable measures of relief," was held at Masonic Hall, which appointed a committee to visit Washington and secure action by the Government. The panic and consequent financial distress that prevailed bore upon our savings banks, as evidenced in the circumstance that the Greenwich and Bowery banks were so drawn upon that they were compelled to dispose of some of their invested securities at a loss, and in addition to appeal to the Bank for Savings (later the Bleecker Street) for assistance, which in its own defence it was compelled to give, to protect itself from a run in the event of the others closing their doors. Runs on the savings banks began; failures increased beyond count; on May 8, the Dry Dock Bank, and on the 10th all the New York banks, suspended specie payments. At this time these banks numbered twenty­three, having twenty millions of capital. The suspension, in which all the banks of the country followed, was a relief from the long continued stringency and strain of affairs. Under the new conditions, however, great shrinkage in the value of New York real estate had occurred; sales of "speculative" lots being made in April at scarce more than one fifth of their cost in the preceding September.

This very general and prolonged depression in finance, commerce, manufactures, and trade, originated as far back as 1832 in the closing of the United States Bank in Philadelphia and its branches throughout the Union, and the transfer of the Government deposits to State banks, while the increase and extension of our population required additional banks as well as the filling of the voids caused by the withdrawal of the United States Bank and its branches. In consequence of this, a great number of small banks with smaller capital were chartered, and even in remote places; which, from the insufficiency of their capital and the amount of notes they put in circulation at points distant from their location, were termed end known as "wild cats." Such a system of finance involved the inevitable consequence, and in the interval from 1832 to this year the result of the system was developed, and a general crash in trade, credit, securities, real estate, and manufactures ensued.

June 12, Louis Napoleon Bonaparte, who had spent some time in New York, sailed for Europe in consequence of the (ultimately fatal) illness of his mother.

July 31, Dominick Lynch died abroad, a man much given to the arts and refinements of life, and long a general favorite in New York society.

Late in August the Broadway Theatre on the east side of Broadway, near Walker Street, was opened-the building formerly known as the Euterpean Hall, and the Apollo Saloon. The enterprise was soon abandoned.

September 13, another new theatre was added, which was destined ultimately to success, though at first it was unfortunate. This was the well­remembered Olympic, at 444 Broadway, built originally for W. R. Blake and Henry E. Willard, and first opened under their control. This was a "drawing­room" theatre, in the best taste; presenting light and sparkling plays accordingly, with a company which counted the Blakes, G. Barrett, Mrs. Maeder, etc.; yet, with every apparent element of success, the house was "ahead of the times," and in October the prices were reduced to fifty cents for the boxes and twenty­five cents for the pit. Shortly after this Blake abandoned the enterprise.

September 4, Wallack opened the National Theatre (formerly the Italian Opera House) with "The Rivals," in which a strong stock company appeared, Wallack playing Captain Absolute. Henry Wallack was stage manager. It was noted in the newspapers that, for the first time in New York history, eight theatres were open simultaneously. The consecutive performance of pieces at that time and for many years was rarely attained, the population of the city and the presence of strangers not being equal to the occasion.

James W. Wallack was again at the Park Theatre in the years 1832 and 1834, and in this year he was manager of the National Theatre at Church and Leonard streets, which was burned in 1839. He appeared at the Park Theatre in 1843­44. In 1852 he assumed the management of Brougham's Lyceum in Broadway (the old Wallack's Theatre) and at this house ended his career as actor. He removed to the " new Wallack's " (now the Star Theatre) in the autumn of 1861, and there made his last appearance before the curtain with a speech of thanks at the close of the season of 1862. He died on Christmas Day, 1864.

The election of this year resulted in a Whig triumph in New York, and a great jubilee occurred on November 22. November 29, one of the greatest of political dinners was given at the Astor House to John Bell of Tennessee, at which Daniel Webster made a speech, beginning at two in the morning.

The first steam­launch was designed by and constructed under the direction of the writer in this year, at the New York Navy Yard, and named the Sweetheart. On her trial trip and several succeeding, she was hailed and saluted by the bells of passing steamboats, and by cheers from people who rushed to the ends of the piers to witness the novel sight. She attained a speed at the rate of 8.5 miles per hour. The engine was subsequently transferred to the first U. S. Naval School, then at Philadelphia.

November 27, meeting of delegates from banks of several States, called to discuss the question of bank resumption, began its sessions. It was largely attended, and on November 30 resolved to resume on July 1, 1838, or earlier. December 2, the convention adjourned to April, 1838; then to take further and decisive action.

The nucleus of the now immense railroad and steamboat and steamer expresses appeared in the enterprise of William F. Harnden, who under the suggestion, assistance, and auspices of James W. Hale, this year commenced the personal bearing of parcels and executing commissions between this city and Boston, and from this modest enterprise arose the Harnden Express; to be followed by the American, Adams, United States, etc.

It was in this year that Consul Gliddon came here from Egypt, wearing a moustache, when the practice was first looked upon with any favor, and then only by a few. A gentleman from whom Mr. Gliddon procured some machinery for the Pacha of Egypt remarked to me, "What a fine fellow he is! but what a pity he should wear a moustache! "

E. E. Morgan & Son's Line to Liverpool, which they had established about 1823, was increased to twelve ships, one of which, the Philadelphia, built by Christian Bergh in 1832, was described by the Commercial Advertiser as having a piano on board and a physician.

It was about this period that the German families had so increased in number that their custom of dressing a "Christmas Tree" was observed. So novel was the exhibition that it evoked much comment. I have a vivid remembrance of my going over to Brooklyn of a very stormy and wet night to witness the novelty.

The New York Historical Society was this year removed from Remsen's Building, in Broadway, to the Stuyvesant Institute.

From this time the Park Theatre began to lose its supremacy, and never regained it. The younger public fancied new scenes and methods, and indeed those who now remember that time may be pardoned for thinking that Wallack had then the best stock company ever gathered in this city.

September 11. The elder Vanderhoff appeared for the first time under Wallack's management, and continued playing tragedy against Forrest at the Park. Vanderhoff was counted second only to Macready, in the dignified, grand, heroic style of acting; he retired from the stage in 1859 and died in 1861.

Charlotte Cushman in the fall of this year was leading lady at the Park. Miss Cushman's later history, and the well­won admiration and respect she ever enjoyed, need not be recounted here.

Mme. Caradori Allan appeared at the Park during this season in English opera, or opera in English. Her first appearance was as Rosina and was a great triumph.

In October the Fourth Avenue railway tunnel above Thirty­second Street was opened to travel. Subsequently the line was extended down the Bowery, from Prince Street to its present terminus at City Hall Park.

Bennett, in the Herald, in referring to Coney Island, proclaimed it as an objectionable resort, being sandy, clammy, and fishy, and that Bath was a much preferable resort. He also proclaimed Gilbert Davis as the Governor of the Island, and later was in the habit of referring to Governor Seward as his "small potato highness," and Horace Greeley as "a galvanized squash." With many of his readers the designation of Seward and Greeley were held to be temerity, with others independence.

In October, 1833, James P. Allaire had constructed in Water Street' a short distance east of Jackson Street (site now included in the Corlears Park), by Thompson Price, a builder, a four­story house designed for many tenants. It was the first house constructed proper or exclusively for tenants in this city. It is what is now termed a "single­decker," that is, but one suite of rooms on a floor.

Houses then occupied by two or more families were those of the ordinary construction.

As the vote of this State was held by the Whigs to be essential to the success of Mr. Harrison, every opportunity that offered to attack Mr. Van Buren, and even some that did not, was availed of or published to discredit him and his administration with the people, as evidenced in the following:

A representative in Congress from Pennsylvania, after dining with the President (Van Buren), attacked him and the administration for its extravagance as evidenced in The display of gold spoons (silver gilt) he had seen at the President's table. So widely spread was the charge that it proved a very damaging element in the approaching election, and the member was universally known as "gold spoon Ogle." The result of this was far in excess of what those who first spread the recital and charges anticipated, and when one reflects upon the wonderment of the people of the extreme border States and the comparison they daily drew between their own iron or pewter spoons and gold, coupled with the ceaseless repetition by the political papers of charges of uniform extravagance which they were taxed to meet, one should not be surprised on being informed that the cry of "gold spoons" was a controlling element in the result of the canvass.

The opposition to President Van Buren was manifested in a like manner as it had been to President Jackson in the issue of tokens representing the "Treasury of the United States" being maintained on the back of a tortoise, representing the "Fiscal Agent," and on the obverse, a jackass and the legend, "I follow in the steps of my Illustrious Predecessor " (see page 334).

The manner of lighting dwellings of all kinds, public halls, and theatres, previous to about 1832, was so different and attended with so many difficulties and inconveniences, compared with the facilities we now avail ourselves of, that it is worthy of record. Thus: the instruments of illumination were oil lamps and spermaceti or tallow candles. The lamps required attention to the trimming of their wicks and to guard them from smoking, and the candles required repeated snuffing and would occasionally run or drip, as it was termed, frequently involving damage thereby, as in ballrooms, dancing parties in dwellings, etc.; as such places were illuminated by chandeliers with a great number of candles therein, some one or more of which would drip, and fortunate were the parties who did not receive drops of spermaceti upon their dresses. I have a very vivid recollection of this.

In theatres, when it was required to darken the stage, the footlights were lowered below it, and when, as in the representation of " The Phantom Ship," the greatest practicable obscurity of illumination was required, opaque hemispheres were lowered over the chandeliers pendent from the sides of the upper boxes, and then closed.

The Macomb's dam was authorized by an Act of the Legislature in 1813 for a term of forty years, and completed in 1816 (see pp. 78­79­115) and although it was provided in the act that the dam should be so constructed as to admit of the passage of boats and vessels, yet it was not, and a suit was instituted by a Mr. Renwick to have the obstructions to a free passage removed, and a dam constructed to admit of the passage of vessels with masts. His suit was successful, and the defendant removed one abutment and the dam between three others.