The Crooked Lake Review

Fall 2004

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New York City / State Timeline

from Eagles Byte by David Minor

Year-by-year tracing the growth of the early days of the Republic


Beginning in 1820, New York's Common Council chose the city's mayors, always for one-year terms. Now, in 1827, it was former state adjutant general William Paulding. He'd been mayor before, in 1825. This time he'd serve two terms, presiding over a changing city. Presided, that is, in a limited fashion, having no veto over the council. Former mayor, and now New York's governor, DeWitt Clinton, addressing the alumni of Columbia College in May, predicted, "Unless some extraordinary visitation of calamity distracts and deranges the natural current of events, and blights the purest prospects of greatness, this city will, ere the lapse of a century, extend itself over the whole island." It would actually take far less time. 20,000 Irish would enter the U. S. in 1827. Just a drop in the bucket compared to those who would arrive over the next twenty years or so, but most of these would arrive in lower Manhattan and many disperse only as far as the area where the Collect Pond had stood until recently. Now known as the Five Points neighborhood, for the spot where a number of streets butted up against each other, in our time it's the setting for the film Gangs of New York. The same month Clinton spoke, the area was designated the 14th Ward (A 13th was established to the west). Other new arrivals would not be far behind. The first guidebooks published for German emigrants began appearing; over the next 30 years more than a hundred would be published. Clinton would die a year after making his prediction and would not see the changes.

While the city's boundaries did not expand this year, changes were taking place. In June outdoor gaslight was introduced, illuminating lower Broadway all the way north from Whitehall Street to City Hall. The city now has three police districts manned by 468 men, under 6 captains and 12 assistants. A number of streets are widened. New ones are also created that will soon become Third, Seventh, Tenth, and Twenty-first Streets. Uptown began acquiring cachet when a former execution site and Potter's Field, (or paupers: cemetery), cleared and promoted last year by Mayor Hone, opened for residential development under the name Washington Square. Perhaps spurred by such changes, not to mention water quality complaints about the "…poisonous nature of the pernicious Manhattan water…" The Manhattan Company, which had a monopoly on the water supply, began a five-year project late in the year to replace its wooden water pipes with cast iron ones.

Commercial development continues, as did advances in transportation. Evan Jones and Abraham Brower began compe-ting for the local stagecoach trade, both operating a line of stages along Broadway between Wall Street and Houston Street. Communication was only by mail or messenger, taking from a few hours to several days. Crude long-distance communication was augmented with the establishment of additional marine telegraph relay stations to pass messages between the Battery and Staten Island, a route passing by way of Sandy Hook, where the Erie Canal celebrations were held two years previously. Not by way of wire, of course, but by signal flags and telescopes. Instant messaging was a long, long way off in 1827.

It was this year that a Brooklyn storekeeper named Oliver Taylor, originally from Danbury, Connecticut, sent for a young relative to clerk in his store, introducing New York and Phineas Taylor Barnum to each other.

Architectural fans with an interest in New York City or just 19th-century buildings in general will find a wealth of visual materials at the site "Randall's…LOST NEW YORK CITY: A PHOTOGRAPHIC ESSAY OF 19TH-CENTURY BUILDINGS DESTROYED IN THE 1970's." The essay can be viewed at http://www. Randall has assembled a number of photographs he or she (no first name given) made of New York buildings during the 1970s. You'll find 96 expandable thumbnail photos and plates. The text only appears after you've clicked the thumbnail, so it's a bit hit-and-miss if you're seeking a particular building, but there's enough material to keep you happily browsing for a long time. Randall's also included 61 photographs of gargoyles and chimeras salvaged from demolished buildings, a message board and some miscellaneous prints. there's also an 1894 Scribner's article on cable cars, including mention of New York's Cable Building at 611 Broadway. So pay a visit, enjoy some great time-tripping.

Place of Business

For several centuries after Peter Stuyvesant's day, financial transactions in New York were conducted in taverns and coffee houses. By the mid-1820s, commerce had become more complex; space was required that could be dedicated to strictly business uses. The business man of the day needed to be near his fellow businessmen to simplify communications and speed transactions. For lower Manhattan the office building was an idea waiting to happen. And it was an Astor, American Fur Company president William Backhouse Astor, son of John Jacob Astor, in partnership with Stephen Whitney, who made it happen. Money attracts Money and the two millionaires had comparatively little trouble raising $100,000 and building a luxurious Merchants' Exchange Building at the intersection of Wall and William Streets. To gain credibility Money also has to look like Money, and the building that opened on May 1, 1827, looked every square foot the part. Offices flanked a rotunda containing a fifteen-foot high statue of Alexander Hamilton. The building also held real estate (and stock) auction rooms and offices for the Chamber of Commerce. All of this inside a neoclassical exterior of marble quarried from upstate Westchester County. By the end of 1827 a post office was installed in part of the basement (letter box rent, four dollars a year). An upper room soon became the new home of the New York Stock and Exchange Board, which moved there from quarters a few doors down Wall Street. To help cover the higher rents, seats on the exchange were quadrupled from the previous $25 fee.

Lower Manhattan also gave birth to several new businesses. A carriage maker from Brewster, New York. Opened a sales office here. The Brewster Carriage Works would prosper, counting among their clients Mary Todd Lincoln, who spent $1400 on one of their deluxe models. They would go on to manufacture automobiles and eventually give birth to the Brewster Aeronautical Corporation, manufacturer of the Brewster XF2A-1, or the Buffalo, used by the Allies in World War II, although not with outstanding success. It was also in 1827 that English-born drygoods merchant Aaron Arnold would move his Pine Street store to new quarters at Canal and Mercer Streets and eventually, after several further moves, to Broadway, a few blocks northwest of Union Square, along with a partner taken on in 1842, James M. Constable.

Several newspaper publishers entered the media scene this year. Telegraph inventor Samuel F. B. Morse began a broadsheet, or oversized, business and stock market paper, delivered directly to offices, that he called the Journal of Commerce. It would turn to a magazine format in 1999, and can be consulted on its Internet web site today. It should be no surprise to anyone that the term 'politically correct' as we know it would have been meaningless in the 19th and, to a slightly lesser extent, 20th century. Publisher Mordecai M. Noah, founder of the never-to-be Niagara frontier Jewish state of Ararat, who we met back in 1825, founded the New York Enquirer the following year. His paper had a definite anti-black bias, stating, "They swell our list of paupers, they are indolent and uncivil." The statement would raise few eyebrows at the time, but two black men who did not fit that stereotype decided it needed refuting. John Brown Russwurm, one of the first blacks to earn a bachelors degree at a U. S. college, and Presbyterian minister, the Rev. Samuel Cornish, founded Freedom's Journal, the first black newspaper. Blacks now had a voice of their own; rather fitting in 1827. On July 4th of this year, an 1817 law went into effect in New York State abolishing slavery.

Whether the bulls were goring the bears or the bears were gnawing on bull bones, Wall Street history has been a battle between the two stock market mascots. You can sample much of the background, on a this-day-in-history basis, at the History Channel site, March 24th, for example, has the stories: 1900: Andrew Carnegie's Steel Trust, and 1890: Power, Profit and the Supreme Court. You can pick any of the 365 days (plus February 29th) and see what was going on. You can also find similar features in Automotive, Civil War, Cold War, Crime, entertainment, Literary, Old West, Technology, Vietnam War, and WWII dates. For more in-depth coverage explore the history archives at BUYANDHOLD site,

Put it on

Lower Manhattan commercial men of 1827, who we discussed last time, would be able to enjoy a new novelty—a hot lunch. Two Italian immigrant brothers, Pietro and Giovanni Del-Monico opened a café, the first of a series of restaurants, at Beaver and William Streets, a few blocks south of the new Merchant's Exchange Building. History does not record who was the first to 'do lunch.' Up on 20th Street between Ninth and Tenth Avenues the feeding of souls was begun as the new General Theological Seminary of the Episcopal Church opened for classes. It's still there in our own time.

Visitors to the city had a number of options for entertainment. A horse-drawn cab would take you to most of them for a quarter; 50¢ if it was more than mile away. Among the attractions were the American Academy of Fine Arts, the three-year-old New York Athenaeum, John Henri Isaac Browere's Gallery of Busts of Famous Americans, and two museums, Charles Willson Peale's and John Scudder's. Brooklyn store clerk P. T. Barnum would one day purchase the latter.

One estimate places annual revenue from New York's circuses, entertainment gardens and theaters in 1827 at $500,000, a considerable sum for the period. It was the theaters that were best remembered in years to come, many of them home to variety acts such as acrobats, dancing girls and horse racing. One of the newest was the Lafayette, near Canal Street. Rebuilt during the summer, the refurbished playhouse opened in late September with a new granite front. It also boasted a new stage; measuring 100 by 120 feet, it was considered the largest in both North America and England. The building near Grand Street housing the Broadway Circus had been converted to a theater back in May. But the two theatrical houses that drew the most attention were the Park and the Bowery. The Park, under the same management as London's Drury Lane Theatre, was among the city's oldest, dating back to 1798. 16-year-old English actress Clara Fisher, specializing in light opera and comedy, often in male roles, played the Park on September 11th. Several months later popular favorite Charles F. Horn starred in a new version of Carl Maria von Weber's opera Der Freischutz. The diarist Octogenarian notes that, "Horn was long admired here, while his voice lasted."

Busiest of all seems to have been the Bowery Theatre, after its location, the "Broadway" of its day. The gas-lit, 3000-seat theater, just below Canal Street, had opened last year. English diva Maria Malibran, who earned $600 a performance, appeared here in mid-January, then returned in September to make her farewell U. S. performance. On February 1st a benefit ball was given, with proceeds going to the Greek freedom fighters, still struggling against their Turkish masters. Late June brought 12-year-old French dancer-actress Mlle. Celeste. She then went back to Europe where she eventually added the role of theatre manager to her repertoire and would make two more American tours. On July 4th the Bowery Theatre had the distinction of hosting the first matinee performance in the U. S. Perhaps the greatest splash this year was made by French danseuse Francisquy Hutin who opened at the Bowery in February in a ballet called The Roaming Shepherds, attired in the equivalent of today's tutu. No big deal—in Paris. On the anything—goes Bowery, when Madame Hutin appeared, every woman in the theater's boxes, "blushingly retired." In all subsequent New York performances Mme. Hutin wore harem pants. Relax, guys, they were opaque.

In early 1998 the New York Public Library dug into its print collection and assembled an exhibit called "Moving Uptown: Nineteenth-centuiry Views of Manhattan." The Internet version, including expandable thumbnails for many of the images, can be found at
. From Greenwich Street in 1810 to Wall Street in 1899, you'll find maps, period prints with detailed explanatory captions, and mini-essays scattered throughout the ten sections. You'll even find a depiction of the Merchants Exchange.

Brotherhood Under Fire

The story in New York State's Albion Advocate must have startled a few people. Under the date, February 21, 1827, the paper reported, "Morgan found—Alive—We have just been informed by Mr. Curtis, inn keeper in Gaines, that two gentlemen stopped at his house on Monday last, on their way with despatches direct from Sir P. Maitland, Governor of Upper Canada, to Governor Clinton, announcing that Wm. Morgan was then in the possession of the former, and subject to the direction of the latter, alive and well. They stated that they saw and conversed with Morgan, and offered to produce their papers as vouchers of the correctness of their statement. Mr. Curtis says that they appeared to be gentlemen of intelligence, candor and veracity. We give this information as we receive it, and hope that it may be true."

Certainly his wife Lucinda and his friends must have hoped it was so. It's much less certain that many members of the Masonic brotherhood would feel the same way. When he'd been spirited away from Canandaigua last year, vanishing after threatening to reveal Masonic secrets, many must have been relieved. Any smugness would not last and the organization would find itself at the center of a political storm over the next few years. When the Batavia People's Press passed along the story on February 27th, they added, "…from the silence relative to it in other quarters, we fear is not true." They were correct and the mystery remains unsolved.

Lieutenant Governor Peregrine Maitland denied knowing the whereabouts of Morgan and offered a fifty-pound reward for further information. He got to keep his money. Back south of the border the controversy had already begun to spread. On the day before New Year's Eve in 1826 a group of citizens met in the schoolhouse of the Tompkins County town of Jacksonville, as reported in the Batavia Republican Advocate on January 5th of this year. Among the resolutions passed were the following two: " … That we will withdraw our patronage from any Newspaper, the conductor of which neglects or refuses to give publicity in his columns to the outrages on Capt. Morgan, or to the passing events which may occur in the course of the investigation of the case. …That we will withhold our support from any member of the masonic fraternity, for any office of State, County, or Town, who has, or shall in any form or shape, directly or indirectly, countenance or approbate the Batavia outrages."

The Jacksonville meeting was just one of the opening shots. Meetings were called to protest the perceived miscarriage of justice and towns across the state voted to bar members of the Masons from public office. Law officials belonging to the Order were accused of hindering the investigation. One, Niagara County sheriff, Eli Bruce, would be removed from office by Governor Clinton, acquiring the nickname the "Masonic Martyr." Anti-Masonic newspapers like the Canandaigua Phoenix sprang up across the state. Rochester editor and would-be kingmaker Thurlow Weed began a second newspaper, endorsing anti-Masonic candidates for State offices in the upcoming election. Fifteen of his candidates were elected to the state Assembly.

The widow Morgan will not fade from the story. She will marry twice more. Husband number two-and-a-half would come to a violent end.

Twice a Widow

Lucinda Morgan, wife/widow of the abducted William Morgan, aided by Rochester, New York, editor Thurlow Weed, began appearing at Anti-Masonic functions in 1827, where she promoted copies of William's book Freemasonry Exposed. According to Patrick Weissand, writing in the January/February 2003 newsletter of Batavia's Holland Land Office Museum, Lucinda remained active in the cause until 1830, then with two children to support, married silversmith George W. Harris. The couple moved to Caldwell County, Missouri, where they converted to Mormonism. Around this time York-stater Joseph Smith, founder of the Mormon religion, arrived in Caldwell. Before long the widow and the former farmboy became an "item"; she soon became one of his plural wives. Her marriage to Harris began disintegrating (for obvious reasons). They would be divorced in 1856. Back in June of 1844 anti-Mormon vigilantes rushed a jail in Carthage, Illinois, where Smith had been locked up for his beliefs. He and his brother were seized by the mob, shots were fired and Lucinda Morgan Harris Smith found herself a widow once more. She died around 1876 in Tennessee, leaving no known heirs.

Back in 1827, 22-year-old Vermont-born Joseph Smith was living on his family's farm near Manchester, New York. Seven years before, he first received, he claimed, a religious revelation, calling on him to become a prophet. Then in 1823 an angel told him the true gospel was buried nearby on golden plates, along with two-stone translation aids, and now, in 1827, he is given the sacred materials and sets to work on an English translation. He also elopes with Chemung County schoolteacher Emma Hale, wife number one. Martyrdom is still 17 years off.

Elsewhere in the state, men are concerned with more earthly concerns. Out on Long Island, where a soon-to-boom whaling industry is beginning to form in the Sag Harbor area, an advertisement appears in the Republican Watchman. In the January 6th edition, businessman Nathan Tinker announces he will, "…supply families in this vicinity with milk…" Home delivery at four cents a quart, has arrived. Ah, modern conveniences! It's also to be hoped that Mr. Tinker's luck is better than that of William Robert Prince of the Queens County village of Flushing. Prince will nearly become bankrupt importing mulberry trees for raising silkworms, with no success. Undaunted, he will then turn to growing wine grapes, only to have his plants wasted by a deadly fungus.

Up in Albany, people both come and go this year—industrialist, and future state senator and mayor Erastus Corning and his wife Harriet Weld Corning gave birth to Erastus Corning, Jr.; at the other end of life's journey, and probably of social position, the city's last public hanging takes place on Gallows Hill. Albany is becoming a transportation center. An observer down by the docks this year counts six steamboats arriving in a one-hour period, discharging close to 1600 passengers. Most have been brought up the Hudson from New York City; most are transient, but some stay and the city grows. A new form of transportation comes under development with the incorporation of the Mohawk and Hudson Rail Road on April 17th. In a few years its rails will carry passengers between this city and Schenectady. The canal will continue to be the prevalent freight carrier for decades afterwards; enlargements of the waterway will follow. Across the river in Troy, Mayor Richard Hart has a Federal-style mansion built. It will later become the Hart-Cluett Mansion, future home of the Rensselaer County Historical Society.

Speech Coaches and Other Pioneers

Spurred on by the Erie Canal, the villages, towns and cities to the west of Albany continue growing in 1827. The village of Little Falls is chartered and on May 29th three fire wardens are elected. On June 16th the hillside Mohawk River village celebrates the formation of its volunteer fire company. (Other villages formed this year are—from east to west—Palmyra, Pittsford, Jamestown and Dunkirk, the first two on the canal). In Onondaga County, where politician and pioneer saltmaker Comfort Tyler dies on August 5th, Syracuse, the new county seat, has been selected by the Episcopal Diocese of New York as the site for St. Paul's parish. A church building is erected on Montgomery Street, a block away from the canal. A larger building will be erected in 1842, the modern one in 1885. In 1971 the church will be declared a cathedral.

Further west, Rochester's population is nearing the 10,000 mark. A telling indication of the settlement's rapid growth is the fact that the oldest person actually born in the village is 16 years old (the numbers necessitating the opening of the first high school here in March); all adults were born elsewhere. The first directory is published, listing all of the adult males. The business section lists eight commercial boat basins on the canal. A platform is erected out over the Genesee River to accommodate area farmers bringing produce into town, much of it brought from farms farther up the valley. A growing black population is responsible for the formation of an African Methodist Episcopal, or AME Church. And young Henry Wells, a Jessup and Palmer Tannery apprentice, marries Sally Daggett of Palmyra and moves to Port Jervis, a new settlement incubated by the prospect of a Delaware and Hudson Canal. A stutterer, he will devise a method of overcoming the handicap and return to western New York to open a Stammering School (to cure it, not teach it) in Palmyra. Later he will team up with Pompey, New York, native, William George Fargo to make western transportation and banking history. He will also found a college on the eastern shore of Cayuga Lake.

Because Lockport mill operator Lyman Spalding is using surplus canal water falling from the upper part of town to the lower as its motive power, and owns the land on both sides of the canal at that spot, he had hoped that he had exclusive use of the water, but the canal commission has ruled against him. Now he is claiming that even if others have the right to use the water, they do not have the right to go on his land to get at it. Capitalists from Albany have their collective eye on the water power, having purchased 100,000 acres of wilderness land in the area, they have other ideas. Eventually the eastern Goliath will win this one.

Real estate may be about location, location, location, but for many decades water power created the best location, responsible for the rapid growth of many cities across the state. Niagara power was a long way off. Late this fall the Buffalo Hydraulic Company completes a canal connecting Buffalo Creek and Little Buffalo Creek, for running a number of mills and factories, and celebrating at Howard and Shaw's inn with, the Batavia Spirit of the Times reports, an "…OX, roasted whole, with proper trimming, and an abundance of whiskey and cider."

Although the settlement's harbor is nearing completion, harbors are not a good source of drinking water. The Jubilee Water Works Company last year had laid a mile-an-a-half-long wooden pipe line to Black Rock from a nearby spring. This year it incorporates and makes plans for conduits, to be completed in 1829, down Main Street to the Buffalo Canal Basin.

Buffalo is a pioneering city and this year is no exception. The area between the new pier and the basin becomes a nude beach (boys and men only). One resident named Welch describes it as, "…alive with hundreds of nude humanity, where you could see others as they saw you." He doesn't mention curious females.

Where were you when the lights went out? Not the one back in 1991; we're talking major outage, specifically 1965. You know, the one that first began in 1759 when Daniel Joncairs dug a ditch on the American side of the Niagara River and siphoned off enough to power a small sawmill. The entire story of Thunder Alley (Niagara Falls and its power history), can be found at . Along with photos and diagrams you can read about Thomas Evershed's Hydraulic Tunnels, In Search of Long Distance Transmission, The Schoellkopf Power Plant Disaster, Sir Adam Beck's Niagara Generating Stations, and The Great East Coast Blackout. There are also Quick Facts for the trivia buffs. If you're still curious after your visit check out Pierre Berton's Niagara at your library or bookstore.

Endangered Cat, Bats and Canal Banks

There is no SPCA or PETA in 1827, so no one complains in September 8th, when an old schooner named the Michigan is sent over Niagara Falls with a number of wild and farm animals aboard. Not only no complaints, but thousands of people lining the shores to watch the spectacle. A bear abandons the vessel and swims to shore. A goose and a cat (who must be using up twelve-and-a-half lives) are the only survivors.

Elsewhere New York's waters are being put to better use. Steam comes to two of the state's lakes. On June 30th Alvah Plumb conducts sea trials (lake trials, to be precise) for his steamboat Chautauqua, on the lake of the same name in the state's southwest. It's put into service on Independence Day with John T. Wills as captain. In the western Finger Lakes, Sally Morris, granddaughter of financier and speculator Robert Morris, smashed a bottle against the prow of the Lady of the Lake, launching the first steamboat on Canandaigua Lake, with Isaac Parish as captain. According to the Buffalo Journal, English inventor James Radcliff experiments with a steamboat on the Erie Canal, showing that such a vessel can tow two boats behind it at four miles an hour, consuming two cords of wood for every hundred miles. But the damage to the canal's banks in unacceptable.

Outside of Syracuse, Stephen and Harvey Baldwin, who in 1819 were bequeathed the privately-owned canal and dam on the Seneca River that belonged to their father Dr. Jonas Baldwin, are granted the same rights by the state legislature this year that their father enjoyed. At present they are not made responsible for maintaining lockage around the dam since Clinton's Ditch (the Erie Canal) does not currently have enough traffic to warrant improvements, but that is rescinded in 1831.

At opposite corners of eastern New York, lighthouses are constructed—The Plum Island light, a 30-foot stone tower on Gardiner's Bay at Long Island's eastern end, and the similar Tibbetts Point light on Lake Ontario's Cape Vincent, by the mouth of the St. Lawrence.

In his annual message governor De Witt Clinton advocates levying taxes to be used for establishing collections of books and maps in each community. It will be another eight years before that actually happens, but education is not being slighted in the state. Besides the high school that opens in Rochester another, called an Academy, opens down in Tioga County at Owego. The importance attached to education is demonstrated in the Rochester neighboring village of Riga, which opens its schoolhouse on October 1st and a month later has paid off the contract for its construction—$157.50.

Colleges were active. In Schenectady, Union College's class of 1827, the 30th graduating class, published a students' album or yearbook. The class of 1826 had founded the Kappa Alpha Society; this year two others were founded, Sigma Phi in March, Delta Phi in November. Over at Rensselaer, Asa Fitch, student on last year's canal flotilla organized by Amos Eaton, graduates and goes on to a distinguished career as the first state entomologist. Eaton himself receives a visit from naturalist Constantine Rafinesque (who we last encountered some time back, chasing a bat with John James Audubon's Cremona violin while au naturel) stopped in at Rensselaer to pay a call on his friend the professor. Arts are represented by a young painter and inventor who visits relatives in Cazenovia, painting a few portraits and the nearby lake. Even as he dabs away is Sam Morse thinking about a way to send messages through a wire?

Another Day Older and Deeper in Debt

Our own age has come to realize that history is more than just lives of notorious or great women and men. For every De Witt Clinton, Lucinda Morgan, Thurlow Weed or William Astor in 1827 New York there were thousands of the unnamed, little-known and marginalized, caught up in the concerns of the day.

Farthest out on the geographical margins were the residents of the western part of the state, settlers on the Holland Purchase. In February, 1400 delegates from six counties gathered in Buffalo to consider the plight of the residents. A committee of 24 met in an all-day session, reporting the following day, "Such is the uniformity of the condition among the inhabitants of every part of the purchase, that a description of the affairs of a single settler will present a fair picture, with some slight shades of difference, of the pecuniary situation of two thirds, of our population." They went on to describe a man who had come into the western country with his family fifteen or twenty years previously, seeking inexpensive land. Confident in his ability to make a new life for himself, he bought 200 acres of wild, heavily-wooded land at four dollars an acre, payable in half a dozen yearly installments, at an annual interest rate of 7%. He'd cleared the land and planted crops. Now he finds himself worn out by his efforts, supporting a larger family, far behind in his payments to his landlord the Holland Company, unable due to poor transportation, especially if he's not close to the new canal, to get his produce to market and, because of grasping, short-sighted policies of the Company, in possession of land that new settlers are bypassing for less expensive land further west. In other words, our brave pioneer finds himself in economic servitude. The convention resolves to seek concessions from the company such as reducing the prices of unsold lands; relinquishing part of the debt due from each settler along with the percentage of interest charged, and extending the payback period, all designed to encourage current settlers to remain on the land and to attract new settlers as well as capital. Under the name of The Agrarian Convention of the Holland Purchase the committee agrees to meet annually in Buffalo until the situation has been remedied.

As bad as the plight of the Holland Purchase tenants is, there are those even lower on the social and financial scale. On March 23rd, Genesee County's Republican Advocate carries the following: "NOTICE, Jane a black slave, who sometimes calls herself Jane Adams, and sometimes Jane Butler, left the service and employment of the subscriber some time since. I hereby forbid all persons harboring, sheltering, giving assistance or employment to the said slave, under the penalty of the law. William Keyes." Some help is on the way. On July 4, the continuance of slavery in the state comes to an end. But the practice is far from ended. The children of slaves born on or after July 4, 1799, are legally free. But. They are required to serve their mother's owner as indentured servants. Among the many slaves who are eligible for freedom is Isabella Van Wagener. In 1843 she will take the name Sojourner Truth.

Then there are those who have become wards of the state, through no fault of their own. Jumping ahead to the latter part of the century, one brief fading item in Genesee County's Progressive Batavian, dated January 29th of 1886, will tell you Phebe White's story. In part … . "FIFTY-EIGHT YEARS IN THE POOR HOUSE. Miss Phebe White was found dead in her room in the County House on Sunday morning last. She was 67 years of age. For 58 years she had been an inmate, never having spent a single night away from that institution. The County House was completed in 1827 and Miss White entered it at 9 years of age in 1828, thus becoming one of the first recipients of its care and protection."

"To provide a clearinghouse for information about 19th-century American Poorhouses for history buffs, genealogists, teachers/students, and others with a similar interests," Linda M. Crannell, calling herself "The Poorhouse Lady," has created a guide to those 19th-century places where a great many of our almost-forgotten finally vanished from society's preoccupied eyes: . The focus is on New York State, but the experience has it's echoes in other Victorian societies. The site has links to records from other states and Canada, newsletters, articles (including ones on other countries), cemetery lists, news alerts, state records, a recommended reading list, a radio documentary, and classroom projects.

© 2004, David Minor
1703, . . . 1784, 1785, 1786, 1787, 1788, 1789, 1790, 1791, 1792, 1793, 1794, 1795, 1796, 1797, 1798, 1799, 1800, 1801, 1802, 1803, 1804, 1805, 1806, 1807, 1808, 1809, 1810, 1811, 1812, 1813, 1814, 1815, 1816, 1817, 1818, 1819, 1820, 1821, 1822, 1823, 1824, 1825, 1826 , 1827, 1828, Pt. 1
The Eagles Byte New York City / State Timeline is from David Minor's radio scripts for Simon Pontin's Salmagundy radio program on WXXI-FM (91.5). David can be heard every Saturday morning at 10:15 talking about various aspects of world history.
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