1849, 1850, 1851.-WILLIAM F. HAVEMEYER, 1849;


1849. THE California fever reached its height in this "Argonaut year," and the name of "Forty­niners" has become a familiar title of honor applied to the early emigrants to that State. It would be hard to convey to younger readers an adequate notion of the degree of popular excitement over the gold discoveries of the new empire, and of the extent to which it spread throughout the older parts of the country. Every seaport of consequence despatched vessels for San Francisco; ninety nine of them, transporting 5719 passengers, left here via Panama, Nicaragua, Darien, and other routes, and bearing such merchandise as might be thought fit for a market, and many of the best as well as of the worst of its young men, all eager in the search for wealth. Associations of men in all sections of the country organized as "Mining companies," and rushed for San Francisco in every available manner. The Pacific Mail Co. advanced the rate of passage by its steamers, and every machine shop in the city was employed in the manufacture of quartz­crushers to be transported to the mines. Of course New York was in the front of this enterprise, and the scene of the most animated interest. The events of that time seem yet like romance even to one who lived through them. Mercantile adventure with California was then most uncertain, owing to the infrequent and slow communication and consequent lack of sufficient information. With the whole commercial world seeking the new market, and no advices as to stocks on hand in San Francisco or on the way thither, shipments were in many cases pure speculation; sometimes resulting in heavy loss and sometimes in enormous profit. Merely by way of illustration I may relate the amusing tale of one shipper who, from such calculation or guesswork as circumstances allowed, concluded that some commodity- I believe it was flour-would be in demand when his ship should reach San Francisco, and loaded for that port accordingly. When loading, he happened to find obtainable a great quantity of damaged dried beans, which he got for a trifle, or perhaps for nothing but the cost of cartage, and used for dunnage of his cargo. On arrival at San Francisco it was found that other shippers had made similar calculations and the harbor was full of newly arrived flour, for which no price could be obtained. But there were no beans to be had, with a keen demand for them, and our friend threw away his cargo, and out of the dunnage realized a handsome profit on the whole adventure. Such were the chances of California commerce in 1849.

In January Burton's Theatre presented a dramatization by Brougham of Thackeray's "Vanity Fair," which ran only for a week, though Caroline Chapman as Becky Sharp was greatly admired. In April a piece entitled "Socialism," in which Brougham, as Fourier Grisly, made up in close imitation of Horace Greeley, attracted amused houses for three weeks.

At the National Theatre in April, at Mrs. Isherwood's benefit, Chanfrau played Mose for the three hundredth time.

February 1, the Collins Line steamers Atlantic and Pacific were launched.

In March Mrs. Fanny Kemble Butler began her readings from Shakspere, which became popular almost beyond belief at the present day. The place where she read (the Stuyvesant Institution, in Broadway) was thronged on every occasion, hours before the time set for the reading, though Mrs. Butler's appearances were four times a week.

The defeat of the charter submitted in 1846 being generally regretted, and the existing one being held insufficient in some important provisions, it was decided to apply to the legislature for some amendments to it, in preference to risking the submission of a new one, but on April 2 a charter was enacted to take effect on June 1; subject, however, to the approval of the people, who at the ensuing election approved of it. The day of municipal election was changed from April to November, the term of offices to begin on the 1st January ensuing, and the term of office of the mayor extended to two years, and the system of Departments-as the Police, Finance, Almshouse, Law, Croton Aqueduct, Fire, Repairs and Supplies-was established, the heads of which (save the head of the Croton Aqueduct Board) were to be elected by the people.

April 15. From December 14 of the previous year to this date, or a period of four months, one hundred and five steamers and sailing vessels left this port for San Francisco, either via the Isthmus or around Cape Horn.

Advices from abroad, via Liverpool, were borne by the Cunard steamer, via Halifax and St. John, N. B., and from thence by telegraph here.

May 7, Macready, the tragedian, began an engagement at the Astor Place Opera House under Hackett & Niblo, ­ with Macbeth. Edwin Forrest, then playing at the Broadway Theatre, announced the same part for the same evening. This did not tend to diminish the bitterness of Forrest's partisans, who resented any rivalry of their favorite, and whose feelings were inflamed by reports that during a recent visit to England Forrest had been treated in an offensive manner through the envious influence of Macready. They therefore organized a party to attend the Opera House performance, raise a riot, and drive Macready from the stage. This was successfully accomplished; so soon as the actor appeared abusive cries rose from different parts of the house and a shower of unsavory missiles, as rotten eggs and assafoetida, was cast upon the stage. There were groans, hisses, cheers, yells, screams, "Off, off!" "Go on, go on, go on!" and the display of a banner with "You have ever proved a liar," "No apology, it is the truth," the singing of the song of the witches, "Where's Macready?" and in the continuing and increasing uproar the performance was suspended at the end of the third act, and the audience dispersed.

Macready would have resigned his engagement, but was persuaded to continue by the urgency of an "open letter" addressed to him by some of our worthiest and prominent citizens, deploring the riot, and praying him to remain, and give the better class of the community a chance to manifest their approval of him and their detestation of the riotous proceedings. He assented, and Thursday, May IO, was chosen for his reappearance. Forrest posted the same play for the same night; his adherents issued notices, organized meetings, published an exceptionally inflammatory card in the Herald, and deputed persons to buy tickets and take possession of the Opera House on the night of the performance. Counter­preparations were made, however; the sale of tickets was refused to persons of suspicious appearance, the house was guarded inside and out by three hundred police, those offering to enter it were carefully scrutinized, and the doors and windows were closed and barred after the audience had assembled. The house was filled with an audience of an exceptionally high character, in general, but a few of the disaffected had got in, and so soon as Macready had appeared he was hooted by several persons, evidently and purposely located in different parts of the auditorium, in order to give a general character to the manifestation. This was followed by missiles, thrown at him on the stage. Fear and confusion prevailed in the audience until the police arrested the ringleaders and measurably succeeded in restoring confidence, when the performance was permitted to proceed.

When the mob of some thousands, gathered in Astor Place, learned what had occurred in the theatre, it made a general attack upon the police, and overcoming them, endeavoring to storm the building by battering in the doors and windows. At this juncture the Seventh Regiment, which had been held in waiting, marched up at nine o'clock, preceded by cavalry, cleared Eighth Street, and occupied Astor Place. The horse troop, however, was repulsed by an attack from the mob, the horses becoming unmanageable in the wild scene, and Colonel Duryee then ordered his men to load with ball. The Riot Act was proclaimed by Recorder Tallmadge, but without effect. Whereupon Sheriff John J. V. Westervelt, adopting the ineffective, cruel, inexplicable, and unfortunate manner of proceeding so common in such cases, ordered a volley over the heads of the people. This killed and injured inoffensive men and women in adjacent windows, and both angered and encouraged the mob, which replied with a fierce attack on the regiment. A well­aimed volley followed, and the mob retreated. Astor Place was then picketed, but the restoration of order was only temporary, for the mob shortly returned from Third Avenue and attacked with paving­stones. A third volley scattered them finally; killing seventeen and wounding twenty­six.

In this affair one hundred and forty­one of the Seventh and many of the police were wounded, thirty­four of the mob and spectators were killed in all, and a great, though unknown, number injured. Macready escaped by a rear door of the Opera House and was secreted for two days in Judge Emmet's house, whence he proceeded in disguise to Boston on the day before the sailing of the steamer from that port on which he took passage for England. Great praise was given to the Seventh Regiment for its self­control and gallant conduct under orders, although on the next day a meeting of the baser sort was held in the Park, where inflammatory speeches contrary to law and order were made. These, however, issued in no action; or at least in nothing more than the nickname of "Massacre" Place Opera House.

An investigation of the matter revealed the fact that tickets to the theatre were gratuitously distributed to persons who were afterward engaged in the riot, by some of the parties who signed the card calling upon Macready to fill his engagement.

E. Z. C. Judson, who had gained much notoriety as a writer of sensational stories, known as "yellow­covered," over the signature of "Ned Buntline," took a conspicuous part in this riot, was arrested, convicted, sentenced to one year's imprisonment and a fine of two hundred and fifty dollars.

The supporters of Forrest had been drawn to the scene of the riot by the effect of handbills, in which statements were made designed to excite them.

Hamblin appeared at the Bowery Theatre at this time, and in the same character, to an exceptionally crowded house.

May 8, the New York Slave Vigilance Committee met in the church, corner of Prince and Marion streets. The chairman reported that fully two hundred runaway slaves had been provided for. Frederick Douglass was then introduced, and he related his escape from slavery.

May 18, the steamboat Empire, hence to Albany, in being directed across the bow of a schooner beating down the river, was run into and sunk, with the loss of four of her passengers.

The administration of the Department of Charities and Correction was so generally commented upon and censured that the legislature transferred its direction to a board of ten governors.

The steamer United States built by Wm. H. Webb for Chas. H. Marshall & Co's. line to Liverpool, entered upon service in this year.

"The Trustees of the Astor Library" incorporated, being the library founded by the will of John Jacob Astor as a public library, for general use, accessible at all regular hours and free of expense to persons resorting thereto; later Wm. B. Astor doubled the endowment of his father, "On the understanding that it was the settled and unchangeable basis of administering the library that its contents should remain in the library rooms for use by readers, and should not be lent or allowed to be taken from the rooms."

It received a third endowment from John Jacob Astor, grandson of the founder, making the total amount two million dollars. The number of volumes at this period (1894) is about two hundred and sixty thousand.

By the new postage law, the domestic postage on single letters (half­ounce) was, for less than three hundred miles, 5 cents; over that, IO cents. Foreign (half ounce), 24 cents.

New York suffered in this year a severe visitation of cholera, which appeared first in the Five Points on May 14, and spread rapidly. The public­school buildings were turned into hospitals, and in them alone one thousand and twenty­one deaths from cholera occurred; the total mortality from the disease in this year being about five thousand.

August 13 died Albert Gallatin, aged eighty­eight, whose accomplishments and public services are too well known to require record here.

The Bowery Theatre opened early in September, under Hamblin. Lester Wallack made his first appearance here as Don Caesar de Bazan a fortnight later. In November was produced the "The Three Guardsmen," adapted by him from Dumas, which obtained a very great success, holding the stage for thirty­four consecutive nights. J. W. Wallack, Jr., played Athos; John Gilbert, Porthos, and Lester Wallack, D'Artagnan. On Christmas Eve the sequel, called "The Four Musketeers, or Ten Years After," dramatized by the same hand, ran for three weeks, and on January 14 (1850), an adaptation of Eugene Sue's "Wandering Jew" was played for a month.

September 25, the Hudson River Railroad obtained permission to operate a road from Spuyten Duyvil to West and Canal streets, to run a locomotive south as far as Thirtieth Street, and a "dummy engine" between that and Chambers Street; but it was enjoined from running a stated passenger train below Thirty­second Street. This later station was maintained until 1865, when it was transferred to Thirtieth Street.

September 17, the New York Harmonic Society was founded by merging the Sacred Music Society, the Vocal Society, and perhaps one or two other organizations.

October 10, the New York and Erie Railroad was opened to Elmira, N.Y.

This year witnessed the disappearance of the Richmond Hill Theatre. This house, on Varick Street, of which I have heretofore given some history, being bought by John Jacob Astor, was converted into a theatre and opened in November, 1831, with "The Road to Ruin," the prologue written by Halleck. It continued, as here related, with varying fortunes and reputation-at one time the home of opera, as the New York Opera House, until it was taken down in this year.

By this time the steady advance of the dinner hour had progressed so far that on very formal occasions it was as late as the usual family hour of to­day, seven o'clock.

Francis L. Waddell, a brother of William C. H. Waddell, and known as " Frank," was a widely known character; he married a daughter of the late Thomas H. Smith, who had been the leading tea importer of the United States, and in this year visiting Washington, we renewed what had been a school­boy acquaintance. There was a sui generis in his manner, and piquancy in his conversation, added to humor and wit, that rendered him very agreeable company; so much so that, at the United States Hotel at Saratoga, where he usually resorted in the summer season, he was a welcome guest of the proprietor, who held that he gained more by his company than the cost of it. He not only wrote good poetry, but his Salus populi suprema lex, as an introduction to his eulogy on Dr. Home, will never be forgotten by those who heard it.

In this year Mrs. A. J. Bloomer of Homer, N.Y. issued a paper advocating woman suffrage, and also designed a costume for women, the salient features of which were pantaloons of a light texture, the skirt of the dress extending just below the knees, and a sombrero for the head. The ensemble was known as the Bloomer dress; it was adopted for a time and to a moderate extent, chiefly in rural districts, and excited much comment both in this country and Europe. It chances that, as these lines are written (January, 1895), we observe the news of Mrs. Bloomer's recent death. She was a quiet, domestic, religious woman.

December 10, Ellen and Kate Bateman, aged four and six years, made their first appearance in New York at the Broadway Theatre in tragedy and comedy. The acting of these children displayed almost incredible intelligence, and they were so different from the usual "infant wonder" class that the judicious did not grieve to see their impersonations of Shylock, Richard III., Richmond, Portia, Lady Macbeth, etc. They were daughters of H. L. Bateman, then an actor.

1850. Even so late as this date the northern boundary of New York could not be placed above Thirty­fourth Street, with many open spaces below that line. Bloomingdale, Manhattanville, Yorkville, and Harlem were still remote and isolated villages. But the city continued its rapid growth, fully meeting in this regard the most sanguine expectations. The prices of real estate, however, were very modest as compared with those of to­day; thus, in January of this year Mr. Henry C. DeRham bought from the heirs of Henry Brevoort the house and land, corner of Ninth Street and Fifth Avenue, ninety­two feet on the avenue and one hundred and twenty­six feet deep, for fifty­seven thousand dollars.

Nicholas Saltus ("Nick"), before referred to in these Reminiscences, died on January 25, aged seventy years.

January 28. From the ship­yard of Wm. H. Brown, foot of Twelfth Street, East River, there were three steamers launched in succession: first, the New World, of six hundred and fifty tons, designed and constructed for service in California, completely fitted, and upon being disengaged from her launching hawsers her engine was put in motion; second, the Boston, of eight hundred tons, designed to ply between Boston and Bangor; and lastly the Arctic, the third of the steamers of the New York and Liverpool Steamship Co. (Collins Line).

An enormous crowd witnessed the launch of this, the largest vessel that then had been built in this country, the Arctic having a length on deck of two hundred and ninety­five feet, and being of three thousand five hundred tons burthen, with water­wheels thirty­five feet in diameter; for my readers must remember that ocean steamers then were chiefly "side­wheelers," or paddle boats. The name of this vessel is of mournful sound even until this day, for the Arctic suffered a notable disaster by collision with the Vesta in 1854, with great loss of life. Her consort, the Pacific, also, was lost in some manner ever unknown, perhaps by collision with an iceberg while racing the Cunarder Persia; she never was heard of, neither was any trace of her ever discovered. These disasters availed, with other causes, to end the once favorite Collins Line, in 1858.

In this year the Inman Line, or the Liverpool, New York, and Philadephia Steamship Co., now known as the American Line, commenced operation.

February 4, the 200­horse power boiler in A. B. Taylor's machine shop, at 5 and 7 Hague Street, exploded at about eight o'clock in the morning, and the six story building containing it was shaken to the ground. Sixty­three dead bodies were taken from the ruins during a week's search.

In April the National Academy of Design opened its quarters in Broadway opposite Bond Street, where stables had been transformed into a home of art.

Henry Grinnell, a retired merchant, entertained the design of an expedition to the North Sea, in search of Sir John Franklin, and in pursuance of his purpose purchased two vessels which he named Advance and Rescue; and proffered them to the Government, which early in May accepted them, and appointed Lieutenant DeHaven, U. S. N., to command the expedition. It departed from New York on May 22, and although it failed to find Sir John, it proceeded so far north as to add to previous discoveries, in a tract which was named Grinnell Land, and to verify the opinion that existed as to the presence of a Polar Sea. The expedition arrived here on its return September 30, 1851.

April 10, the New York and Virginia Steamship Co. was chartered, and soon commenced service between this city and Norfolk, and subsequently to Richmond. It was succeeded by the Old Dominion Steamship Co. in 7868.

At this period Broadway was undergoing a rapid change into a street of trade. The City Hotel, after its long existence, at last disappeared, giving way to a row of shops. A. T. Stewart extended his own building to the corner of Reade Street. All through Broadway, nearly to Bleecker Street, residences were coming down to be replaced by structures for business purposes.

June. Edwin Forrest, who was then in litigation with his wife, was incensed with N. P. Willis on account of his action and expressions in the case, and meeting him in Washington Square, he first knocked him down and then lashed him very severely with a flexible cane. Willis was reported as having called for help, and as the crowd attracted to the scene was disposed to respond to the appeal, Forrest shouted, "Stand back, all of you; this is a family matter!"

In July the Collins steamer Atlantic performed the quickest passage then recorded between Liverpool and New York, in ten days and fifteen hours. The highly successful result of this second voyage-the first leaving here April 27-on the part of one of our countrymen to compete with the Cunard Line, was hailed with enthusiasm, and Mr. E. K. Collins, the projector and agent of the line, was presented by the merchants of the city with a gold dinner­set. Not only were the vessels of the Cunard Line beaten in speed, but the American line was superior in convenience and elegance of equipment. Soon after the fleet was increased by the addition of the Arctic and Baltic, and later the Adriatic.

July 24, took place the funeral observances, under care of the city authorities, in honor of the President, General Zachary Taylor, who had died a fortnight earlier. A military and civic procession five miles long was witnessed by a crowd of spectators estimated to number a quarter of a million. The whole proceeding was marked by most orderly, becoming, and even solemn behavior.

September 3, the New York and Erie Railroad was opened to the end of the Susquehanna Division at Hornellsville, N. Y.

September 24. The steamer Pacific of the New York and Liverpool Steamship Co. (Collins Line) arrived from Liverpool in the short time of ten days and four hours, from Rock Light to her berth at Canal Street, beating the Cunard steamer. The Pacific was a sister ship to the Atlantic. The Arctic and Baltic, which followed, had greater power and were materially faster; beating the Cunarders from two to four days.

During this summer the opera company from the Tacon Theatre of Havana had been giving performances at Castle Garden at fifty cents' admission, beginning early in July. This was by far the finest company that had visited New York, and created a profound sensation here. Old citizens will thank me for recalling the delight suggested by mention of the mere names of the prime donne, Steffanone and Tedesco; the tenors Salvi and Bettini; and the bassos Coletti and Marini. Maretzek engaged most of these artists, end combining with them the best of his former company (Mme. Bertucca, Signora Truffi, Beneventano, etc.), gave a subsequent season at Castle Garden at the same prices of admission, but this speculation resulted in pecuniary failure, in spite of the delight afforded by the performances. Notwithstanding the charm of a company so excellent, set in a place of such attraction in summer weather, surrounded by moon­lighted water and cooled by sea breezes,-altogether the most delicious place of amusement New York ever knew,-the audiences attracted by this pleasurable combination were often times very scanty.

Meantime a new musical excitement was close at hand. In September, Jenny Lind, the famous Swedish singer, arrived in New York, after a long preliminary course of heralding by her manager, Barnum, much of it absurd, though all of it was effective with the public. When her steamer (the Atlantic) appeared, the wharf was crowded with people eager with welcome. Barnum offered two hundred dollars for the best song to be sung by Mlle. Lind, for which no less than seven hundred competitors appeared, the prize being adjudged to Bayard Taylor by a highly respectable committee, headed by George Ripley. Her concerts were intended to be given in Tripler Hall in Broadway (on the site afterward occupied by the Winter Garden), but since the structure was not completed in time for this use, Castle Garden was chosen, and here, after an excited competition for tickets,-the choice of seats being sold by auction at prices previously unheard of; the highest being bid by a hatter, who was thought to be the maddest of his tribe, but, from the advertising point of view, was not half so mad as he seemed,-the "Swedish Nightingale" made her first appearance in America on the evening of the 11th. The scene on this occasion, and the whole Jenny Lind excitement, will be remembered so long as any are living who witnessed them. Mlle. Lind's original contract with Barnum, of one thousand dollars for each performance, was widely advertised as proof of her transcendent merit, and so was the alteration of it to one­half of the net profits, her share of which for the first performance was twelve thousand six hundred dollars. This sum Mlle. Lind devoted to public charities in New York, beginning with three thousand dollars for the Fire Department Fund. Such conduct of course heightened the public furor, and all through the land, in the newspapers and in households, many tales of her " angelic " nature were current. In New York crowds followed her wherever she went, so that, in order to secure some degree of privacy, she was obliged to abandon her hotel (the Irving House) and find a refuge in more private quarters. In campaign of puffing Barnum fairly exceeded his own fame as master of the ways by which public reputations may be manufactured. In Mile. Lind's case, however, there was no need of showman's tricks, save from the Barnum or box­office point of view. Though her voice was of no remarkable power or beauty, she was artist to the fingertips, and her vocalization approached the utmost degree of perfection in refinement and finish.

So great was the desire to see her that parties who failed to obtain tickets for the Garden hired row­boats and rested in the river outside of the Garden, during the performance.

Tripler Hall, having been completed, was opened in October with a concert in which Jenny Lind appeared. Mlle. Lind sang in "The Messiah" on November 9, when the Harmonic Society repeated its performance of that work. Tripler Hall was also the scene of Mme. Anna Bishop's appearance in concert in October.

Maretzek opened the Astor Place Opera House for a new season in October, and on November 4 the great soprano, Teresa Parodi, made her first appearance in the character of Norma.

Orphan Asylum, incorporated 1807; West Seventy-third Street and Riverside Drive. A Protestant asylum for destitute orphans from eighteen months to ten years of age, and for half­orphans, when surviving parents are either mentally or physically unable to support them.

The editor of a daily paper was cowhided in Broadway by Mr. Graham, an unsuccessful candidate for district attorney in the election then just concluded.

Brougham's Lyceum, in Broadway near Broome Street, which afterward became Wallack's, and still later the Broadway Theatre, was built during this year, and opened on December 23 with an "occasional rigmarole," introducing all the members of the company, and a farce in which John L. Owens, afterward so well known, made his first bow in New York.

The Five Points Mission was now begun, under direction of the Rev. Lewis Morris Pease.

Andrew J. Downing, in letters to the Horticulturist, in the autumn of this year, pointed out the lack of open public spaces and places for common recreation in New York, and urged the necessity of providing for a great Park. This was the actual beginning of the Central Park, the birth of the idea, and Downing should be forever remembered with gratitude by our people, and his statue should be raised by them in the place which they owe primarily to his foresight and trained intelligence.

In addition to the "gingerbread man," already referred to, and the "lime­kiln man,"-who was known to sleep on or about lime­kilns on the East side near Fourteenth Street, and whose body was eventually found there,-the "blue man," at about this date, was to be seen daily in the vicinity of the Herald building on Broadway; he had evidently been so liberally dosed with nitrate of silver, to correct epilepsy, that his face was strictly of a blue color.

John Hughes, who in 1825 was ordained a priest in the Roman Catholic Church, and consecrated bishop in 1838, was made archbishop in this year.

St. Luke's Hospital, incorporated, affords medical and surgical aid and nursing to sick or disabled, suffering from acute, curable, and non­contagious disease, without distinction of race or creed.

The various labor organizations existing at this time were mainly engaged in essaying to attain a reduction in the hours of work by National and State legislation; they entered very generally into local politics, and many candidates were put in nomination by them for offices and representatives. In 1840 the hours of labor in all the Navy Yards had been fixed at ten hours daily by President Van Buren. In 1831 the first Printers' Union was formed. In 1829 the Workingmen's Party, which had been organized in the preceding year, first entered the political field and nominated candidates for office and representation: at the general election they succeeded in electing one member of the legislature. As early as 1825 the subject of greater wages, less hours of work, and legal protection was put forth by labor organizations and political aspirants who sought to avail themselves of the popular excitement.

1851. About the year 1831 "animal magnetism" or "mesmerism" was brought into public notice in consequence of a report on the subject made to the Royal Academy of Medicine in Paris, evolving much literature, public and private discussion, and exhibitions or seances, as they were termed. In 1837 a further report was made to the French Academy, which it adopted, and which was of a nature to discourage adherents to the doctrine, as the Academy offered a prize in money to any "clairvoyant" who should perform certain feats asserted to be of common occurrence; but although several contestants for the prize made efforts during these years, they met only complete failures. Nevertheless, in this year the subject was again revived with some variations in England, under the designation of "hypnotism," under which it has remained in discussion to this time, with results sufficiently familiar to my readers. I may add, however, that the modern speculation about hypnotism has not in any equal degree excited the popular interest in this country in the debates elicited by animal magnetism, which a few years previously was a theme of common talk among the people. The doctrine of clairvoyance, and the like, became advanced by spiritualists and queer and eccentric people generally, which probably tended to the decline of the movement among the masses of our population.

The publisher of the City Directory for this year gave, in addition to the names and residences of individuals, etc., an additional book, in which the avenues and streets were alphabetically given with the numbers, and opposite to these the names of the residents or occupants of the building.

Canal Street was extended to Mulberry, and Walker Street widened twenty­five feet on the north side from Mulberry to Division Street, and extended to East Broadway. Dey Street, between Broadway and Greenwich Street, was widened.

May 5, Mayor Kingsland submitted to the Common Council a message in which he set forth the propriety and necessity of early action in the matter of a new Park, according to the suggestion made by A. J. Downing in the preceding year. The Common Council, approving the design, voted to solicit the legislature for authority to acquire the land. It may be more convenient if I fix here a summary of the further proceedings instead of distributing the incidents under the various years of their occurrence: In 1853, a committee of the Common Council recommended that the park should be located on the property known as "Jones's Wood," on the East side, opposite Blackwell's Island; and in order to give an opportunity to examine the location a steamboat was chartered and members of the legislature and the Chamber of Commerce, and others were invited to proceed to the locality; President Pierce being a guest of the party. As a result of the observation, the opinion was generally entertained that the location not only was not sufficiently central, but that one side of it being bounded by a deep stream and rapid current, the facility with which persons or bodies could be projected into it, might lead to commission of crime. Therefore, in the same year, authority having been granted by the legislature, commissioners of estimate and assessment for the land now occupied by the Central Park were appointed by the Supreme Court in the autumn. And on February 5, 1856, the court confirmed the report of these commissioners, which awarded for damages, $5,169,369.69, and for benefits $1l,657,590.00 and the Common Council immediately appropriated the sum of more than five millions for the expenditure necessary at that time, and on May 19 appointed a commission to take in charge the work of construction. The commission was aided by a consulting committee, which included Washington Irving, Wm. C. Bryant, and George Bancroft. This committee first met on May 29, 1856. Action by the commission being held to be dilatory, the legislature, in 1857, appointed a new board, which invited designs, and in this year, on April 1, from thirty­three plans submitted, that of Fredk. L. Olmsted and Calvert Vaux was approved, and the work was begun. By the original design the northern boundary of the park was fixed at One Hundred and Sixth Street, but in 1859 it was transferred to One Hundred and Tenth Street.

May 14, 1851, the New York and Erie Railroad, having been completed to its western terminus at Dunkirk, N. Y., was formally opened with great ceremony, two trains conveying President Fillmore, Daniel Webster, and a large company of distinguished men, making an excursion over the entire line, from Piermont, N. Y., to Dunkirk. This was the first trunk line from New York.

June 17, Barnum's "Lecture Room" was opened for presentation of "moral domestic drama." It was really a theatre (though a poor one), called Lecture Room to attract the public that avoided theatres. Performances were here given continually, and while the stage was a good place for beginners, children and visitors from the rural districts were delighted in front.

The labors of Dr. John Dennis Russ in behalf of the reformation of juveniles resulted this year in the incorporation of the New York Juvenile Asylum, located at One Hundred and Seventy­sixth Street and Amsterdam Avenue. It is held that the labors of Dr. Russ and the incorporation of the asylum were the result of the Astor Place Riot.

Williams & Guion in this year incorporated the Black Star Line of sailing packets to Liverpool.

The demand of the China and India trade for vessels of greater speed than the type of the time (1843­44) admitted of, led to the construction in 1844 of vessels of different proportions, having greater length to beam, greater rise of floors, and finer ends; and they, in consequence of their greater speed, were termed and known as "clippers." The first of this class was the Rainbow, of 750 tons, and the Sea Witch, of 907 tons, both built by Smith & Dimon for Howland & Aspinwall; then the Helena of 650 tons, by Wm. H. Webb for N. L. & G. Griswold; then the Samuel Russell of 940 tons, by Brown & Bell, for A. A. Low & Brother. In succeeding years there followed the Snow Squall, White Squall, Black Squall, Invincible, Sword Fish, Flying Cloud, Trade Wind, Lightning, Comet, Red Jacket, and others.

When this class of vessels was first brought to the attention of English shippers and builders, the customary dissent and ridicule of "Yankee notions" were both entertained and proclaimed; but when the Surprise, of A. A. Low & Brother, reached San Francisco from this port in ninety days, with a cargo of 1800 tons, and discharging, loading, and leaving for London via Canton, arrived there with the first cargo of tea and freight at six pounds sterling per ton (while English vessels were obtaining but from three to four pounds), netting her owners fifty thousand dollars in excess of her cost and running expenses, our English brothers, with their practical good sense, especially whenever the opportunity is presented to them to reap an advantage, were not slow to avail themselves of the example thus presented, and however distasteful it was to them to be goaded on by "Yankees," yet they discarded sentiment and built "clipper" ships.

In 1846 Captain Wm. Skiddy had built in Boston by Donald McKay the ship New World, of 1400 tons, then the largest merchantman in the world. He soon after sold a large share of her to Grinnell, Minturn & Co. In 1851, the California trade requiring larger clippers, Wm. H. Webb built for N. L. & G. Griswold the Challenge, of 2006 tons, and the Invincible, of 2150.

Of the great speed attained by these vessels I cite the following in addition to that of the Surprise: New York to San Francisco, the Sea Witch, in ninety­seven days; and the Flying Cloud, 1784 tons, in eighty­four, and on one day 433­1/4 miles (knots). The Samuel Russell on a voyage to Canton made 328 miles (knots) in one day, and the Sovereign of the Seas, of 2421 tons, from San Francisco, for twenty­two days averaged 283.9 miles (knots) per day, and ran from New York to Liverpool in thirteen days and nineteen hours. The Dreadnought, belonging to E. D. Morgan, Captain Samuels, and others, beat the Canada steamer from Liverpool, though the Cunarder had a day's start; the clipper reaching Sandy Hook before the steamer arrived at Boston. The Comet sailed from here to San Francisco and back in seven months and nine days, the return passage occupying only seventy­six days (the shortest on record).

Such were some of the triumphs of the golden days of American ship­building, when the flag was seen in every port of the world, flying over the most finished specimens of marine structure ever known. In those days (1840­60) the ship­yards extended along the East River from Pike to Thirteenth Street, employing thousands of skilled workmen whose intelligence and character were of the sturdiest foundations of our civil government. This mighty industry has been destroyed by ignorant legislation. By 1849, however, the success of the Cunard Line of steamers began to affect not only the further building of our foreign packets, but to cause them gradually to lapse from freight and passenger traffic to freight alone.

The yacht America, schooner of 170 tons (Custom House measurement), the winner of the Queen's Cup, which was contended for under the direction of the Royal Yacht Squadron of England off the Isle of WIght, was designed by George Steers of James R. & George Steers, ship­builders of this city, and built by his firm for John C. and Edwin A. Stevens, George 1. Schuyler, J. Beekman Finlay, and Hamilton Wilkes. Leaving here in July, she arrived at Havre, where she was fitted with her racing spars and sails, and in her passage to the Isle of Wight she encountered the schooner Livonia, evidently detailed to test her speed, of which the owner soon became so well cognizant that, upon Commodore Stevens posting an offer in the Club House of a bet upon the result of the approaching contest of from one guinea to five thousand. it was not taken. It is worthy of notice that the Livonia had been waiting the coming of the America for several days, and immediately upon her appearance joined company, the purpose of which was so patent that for a moment the question was with Commodore Stevens, and his companions, "Shall we compete with her, or conceal our capacity?" The consideration was of brief duration; it being chivalrously decided that notwithstanding the action of the Livonia's owner was indelicate, and but a transfer of the "touting" of a race­course to the water, the yacht should continue her course without any notice of the competition.

Soon after a pilot for the America had been engaged Commodore Stevens received several anonymous letters, stating that the pilot would sell him, etc.; but the commodore not only did not heed them, but upon being questioned in relation to them, he replied: "The commodore of the British club, in providing the man, said he would be responsible for his faithfulness, and consequently I am fully satisfied, having the word of a gentleman."

The rules of the race did not give any allowance for tonnage, but Commodore Stevens declared he would not start in less than a six­knot breeze. There were fifteen starters, ranging from 47 to 392 tons, and the America not only won by some 25 minutes, but proved to be much the faster vessel on all points of sailing. So marvellous was the performance of the America held to be that there were many who believed there was some propelling machinery on board of her. In illustration of this opinion: Lord Yarborough visited her, and after looking all through between decks, boldly asked the sailing­master Brown, who was in charge, to lift the hatch in the cockpit, in order that he might be fully advised upon the question of the alleged existence of a propelling machine in her stern.

The cup was open to the yachts of the clubs of all nations.

In the latter part of the race the wind fell, and although the America had been many miles ahead of all her competitors, a very small yacht by running close to the shore, thus avoiding the strength of the adverse tide, was enabled to gain upon the America so as to reduce her lead to twenty­five minutes.

July. The Common Council passed an ordinance to extend the area of the Battery, which was vetoed by the Mayor.

July 15, Edwin Forrest sued N. P. Willis for twenty thousand dollars alleged damages to his character, and he also commenced proceedings to obtain a divorce from his wife Catharine N. Fisher, nee Sinclair.

Mme. D'Arusmont (D'Amsmont in the original), "Fanny" (Frances) Wright, applied for a divorce from the man she had married while engaged in lecturing and writing against marriage.

James Fenimore Cooper died on September 14, and on the 15th a memorial meeting was held at the City Hall under the presidency of Washington Irving; and on February 24, 1852, a more formal meeting was convened at Metropolitan Hall (once Tripler Hall, afterward the Winter Garden, in Broadway, near Bond Street). On this occasion Daniel Webster presided, supported by Irving, and Bryant delivered the address. Reproductions from a sketch by the venerable artist, Mr. D. Huntington, of these three men as they appeared on the occasion, are still treasured in New York families.

Booth's last appearance in New York was on September 19. His last appearance on any stage was on November 19. of the next year (1852) at the St. Charles Theatre, in New Orleans. Four days after that he died on board a steamboat for Cincinnati.

On October 3, the Hudson River Railroad, chartered May 12, 1846, was opened to Albany.

December 5, Louis Kossuth, the Hungarian patriot, arrived in New York on the United States war steamer Mississippi, which had been sent by our Government to convey him hither as the nation's guest. Here he was received with unbounded enthusiasm; crowds followed him in the streets, hung upon his words, and noted his actions and his very attire. Imitation, that "sincerest form of flattery," introduced into common use the "Kossuth hat" in the place of the more formal headgear previously worn. At Washington Kossuth had distinguished honors paid to him. He visited most of the chief cities and addressed great meetings with moving eloquence. His efforts, however, to raise funds for renewing the struggle of Hungary with Austria were not very successful, especially since the news of Louis Napoleon's coup d'etat shortly after Kossuth's arrival, seemed to presage a considerable change in European politics. Kossuth returned to Europe in July of the next year.

September 18, Henry J. Raymond, who in 1841 was engaged as a reporter on the Tribune at ten dollars a week, organized and founded the New York Times, which first was published at 113 Nassau Street, and afterward at the corner of Nassau and Beekman streets, until removed in 1857 to its present site.

The Nicaragua route to San Francisco was opened in this year.

Astor Place Opera House, at the end of the first "five seasons' subscription," was given over to business and the occupancy of the Mercantile Library; being remodelled for the purpose, and taking the old name of Clinton Hall after the library's earlier home. Now even the building has disappeared; its graceful proportions giving way to a new structure, larger and more convenient, no doubt, but in point of architecture showing a mournful decline of taste as compared with its predecessor.

December 3, Niblo's Garden was remarkable for the appearance of Adelina Patti, whose voice and execution, though she was but a child of eight years, excited very great admiration and astonishment. Mme. Patti herself has lately said of this concert:

I sang on the stage from my seventh to my eleventh year, and carried on my doll when I made my first appearance in public at the former age, singing "Ah ! non giunge"-the finale of the third act of " La Sonnambula "-in a concert at Niblo's Garden, December 3, 1851. I remember that occasion as well as though it were yesterday, and can even recall the dress I wore-a white silk with little trimming.

December 29 first appeared Lola Montez, a danseuse of considerable and various fame, who appealed rather to nature than to the artistic sense. She attracted crowded houses for a short time, although scarcely fulfilling public expectation. She had many travels and adventures in this country, in which, I think, she passed the remainder of her career; at any rate she died here about ten years later than this date, closing a turbulent life in poverty and humility.

In this year ironical fate destroyed by fire the fire­alarm bell on the tower at Sixth Avenue and Tenth Street.

Sixth Avenue Railroad opened and its operation commenced.

About this period there daily appeared on Nassau Street a large and lugubrious man with a stentorian voice, who announced "twenty­five self­sealing envelopes, all for four cents"-the four cents being especially dwelt upon. He was a positive nuisance, not only to the neighbors, but to passers­by; but it was found to be impracticable to suppress him, and he continued his vocation for some three years, when he was providentially removed. So notorious was he that when one wished to express his disapproval of a measure he deemed of insufficient character, he termed it a "four­cent affair."

The "razor­strop man" on the corner of Pine and Nassau streets was a like nuisance for many years, till he was in a like manner removed.

In 1808 the city was divided into ten wards; in 1825, the number was increased to twelve; in 1827 to fourteen; in 1832, by dividing the Ninth Ward, to fifteen; in 1836 the Sixteenth Ward was made of a part of the Twelfth; in 1837 the Seventeenth was made out of a part of the Eleventh; in 1846 the Sixteenth was divided by the making of the Eighteenth; in 1850 the Nineteenth was made out of a part of the Twelfth, and in this year the Twentieth was made out of a part of the Sixteenth.