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Title: The Story of Manhattan

Author: Charles Hemstreet

Release date: October 24, 2004 [eBook #13842]
Most recently updated: December 18, 2020

Language: English

Credits: E-text prepared by Gregory Smith, David Garcia, and the Project Gutenberg Online Distributed Proofreading Team


E-text prepared by Gregory Smith, David Garcia,
and the Project Gutenberg Online Distributed Proofreading Team

The Story of Manhattan

By Charles Hemstreet

Charles Scribner's Sons



Here the history of New York City is told as a story, in few words. The effort has been to make it accurate and interesting. The illustrations are largely from old prints and wood engravings. Few dates are used. Instead, a Table of Events has been added which can readily be referred to. The Index to Chapters also gives the years in which the story of each chapter occurs.



CHAPTER I. The Adventures of Henry Hudson.
From 1609 to 1612

CHAPTER II. The First Traders on the Island.
From 1612 to 1625

CHAPTER III. Peter Minuit, First of the Dutch Governors.
From 1626 to 1633

CHAPTER IV. Walter Van Twiller, Second of the Dutch Governors.
From 1633 to 1637

CHAPTER V. William Kieft and the War with the Indians.
From 1637 to 1647

CHAPTER VI. Peter Stuyvesant, the Last of the Dutch Governors.
From 1647 to 1664

CHAPTER VII. New York Under the English and the Dutch.
From 1664 to 1674

CHAPTER VIII. Something About the Bolting Act.
From 1674 to 1688

CHAPTER IX. The Stirring Times of Jacob Leisler.
From 1688 to 1691

CHAPTER X. The Sad End of Jacob Leisler.
The Year 1691

CHAPTER XI. Governor Fletcher and the Privateers.
From 1692 to 1696

CHAPTER XII. Containing the True Life of Captain Kidd.
From 1696 to 1702

CHAPTER XIII. Lord Cornbury makes Himself very Unpopular.
From 1702 to 1708

CHAPTER XIV. Lord Lovelace and Robert Hunter.
From 1708 to 1720

CHAPTER XV. Governor Burnet and the French Traders.
From 1720 to 1732

CHAPTER XVI. The Trial of Zenger, the Printer.
From 1732 to 1736

CHAPTER XVII. Concerning the Negro Plot.
From 1736 to 1743

CHAPTER XVIII. The Tragic Death of Sir Danvers Osborne.
From 1743 to 1753

CHAPTER XIX. The Beginning of Discontent.
From 1753 to 1763

CHAPTER XX. The Story of the Stamp Act.
From 1763 to 1765

CHAPTER XXI. The Beginning of Revolution.
From 1765 to 1770

CHAPTER XXII. Fighting the Tax on Tea.
From 1770 to 1774

CHAPTER XXIII. The Sons of Liberty at Turtle Bay.
From 1774 to 1775

CHAPTER XXIV. The War of the Revolution.
In the Year 1775

CHAPTER XXV. A Battle on Long Island.
The Year 1776

CHAPTER XXVI. The British Occupy New York.
The Year 1776 (Continued)

CHAPTER XXVII. The Battle of Harlem Heights.
The Year 1776 (Continued)

CHAPTER XXVIII. The British Fail to Sweep Everything Before Them.
From 1776 to 1777

CHAPTER XXIX. New York a Prison House.
From 1777 to 1783

CHAPTER XXX. After the War.
From 1783 to 1788

CHAPTER XXXI. The First President of the United States.
The Year 1788

CHAPTER XXXII. The Welcome to George Washington.
The Year 1789

CHAPTER XXXIII. Concerning the Tammany Society and Burr's Bank.
From 1789 to 1800

CHAPTER XXXIV. More about Hamilton and Burr.
From 1801 to 1804

CHAPTER XXXV. Robert Fulton Builds a Steam-Boat.
From 1805 to 1807

From 1807 to 1814

CHAPTER XXXVII. The Story of the Erie Canal.
From 1814 to 1825

CHAPTER XXXVIII. The Building of the Croton Aqueduct.
From 1825 to 1845

CHAPTER XXXIX. Professor Morse and the Telegraph.
From 1845 to 1878

CHAPTER XL. The Greater New York.
To the Present Time




New Amsterdam, 1650—New York, East Side, 1746

The Half Moon in the Highlands of the Hudson

Earliest Picture of Manhattan

Indians Trading for Furs

Hall of the States-General of Holland

Seal of New Netherland

The Building of the Palisades

Old House in New York, Built 1668

Van Twillier's Defiance

Landing of Dutch Colony on Staten Island

Governor's Island and the Battery in 1850

Dutch Costumes

The Bowling Green in 1840

Selling Arms to the Indians

Smoking the Pipe of Peace

The Old Stadt Huys of New Amsterdam

Stuyvesant leaving Fort Amsterdam

Petrus Stuyvesant's Tombstone

Departure of Nicolls

The Dutch Ultimatum

Seal of New York

New York in 1700

Sloughter Signing Leisler's Death-warrant

Bradford's Tombstone

The Reading of Fletcher's Commission

Arrest of Captain Kidd

New City Hall in Wall Street

Fort George in 1740

View in Broad Street about 1740

The Slave-Market

Fraunces's Tavern

Dinner at Rip Van Dam's

The Negroes Sentenced

Trinity Church, 1760

Coffee-House opposite Bowling Green, Head-Quarters of the Sons of Liberty

Ferry-House on East River, 1746

East River Shore, 1750

Mrs. Murray's Dinner to British Officers

Howe's Head-Quarters, Beekman House

Map of Manhattan Island in 1776

View from the Bowling Green in the Revolution

Old Sugar-House in Liberty Street, the Prison-House of the Revolution

North Side of Wall Street East of William Street

Celebration of the Adoption of the Constitution

View of Federal Hall and Part of Broad Street, 1796

The John Street Theatre, 1781

Reservoir of Manhattan Water-Works in Chambers Street

The Collect Pond

The Grange, Kingsbridge Road, the Residence of Alexander Hamilton

The Clermont, Fulton's First Steam-Boat

Castle Garden

Landing of Lafayette at Castle Garden

View of Park Row, 1825

High Bridge, Croton Aqueduct

Crystal Palace



HE long and narrow Island of Manhattan was a wild and beautiful spot in the year 1609. In this year a little ship sailed up the bay below the island, took the river to the west, and went on. In these days there were no tall houses with white walls glistening in the sunlight, no church-spires, no noisy hum of running trains, no smoke to blot out the blue sky. None of these things. But in their place were beautiful trees with spreading branches, stretches of sand-hills, and green patches of grass. In the branches of the trees there were birds of varied colors, and wandering through the tangled undergrowth were many wild animals. The people of the island were men and women whose skins were quite red; strong and healthy people who clothed themselves in the furs of animals and made their houses of the trees and vines.

In this year of 1609, these people gathered on the shore of their island and looked with wonder at the boat, so different from any they had ever seen, as it was swept before the wind up the river.

The ship was called the Half Moon, and it had come all the way from Amsterdam, in the Dutch Netherlands. The Netherlands was quite a small country in the northern part of Europe, not nearly as large as the State of New York, and was usually called Holland, as Holland was the most important of its several states. But the Dutch owned other lands than these. They had islands in the Indian Ocean that were rich in spices of every sort, and the other European countries needed these spices. These islands, being quite close to India, were called the East Indies, and the company of Dutch merchants who did most of the business with them was called the East India Company. They had many ships, and the Half Moon was one of them.

It was a long way to the East India Islands from Holland, for in these days there was no Suez Canal to separate Asia and Africa, and the ships had to go around Africa by way of the Cape of Good Hope. Besides being a long distance, it was a dangerous passage; for although from its name one might take the Cape of Good Hope to be a very pleasant place, the winds blew there with great force, and the waves rolled so high that they often dashed the fragile ships to pieces.

So the merchants of Holland, and of other countries for that matter, were always thinking of a shorter course to the East Indies. They knew very little of North or South America, and believed that these countries were simply islands and that it was quite possible that a passage lay through them which would make a much nearer and a much safer way to the East Indies than around the dread Cape of Good Hope. So the East India Company built the ship Half Moon and got an Englishman named Henry Hudson to take charge of it, and started him off to find the short way. Hudson was chosen because he had already made two voyages for an English company, trying to find that same short passage, and was supposed to know ever so much more about it than anyone else.

When the Half Moon sailed up the river, Hudson was sure that he had found the passage to the Indies, and he paid very little attention to the red-skinned Indians on the island shore. But when the ship got as far as where Albany is now, the water had become shallow, and the river-banks were so near together that Hudson gave up in despair, and said that, after all, he had not found the eagerly sought-for passage to India, but only a river!

Then he turned the ship, sailed back past the island, and returned to Holland to tell of his discovery. He told of the fur-bearing animals, and of what a vast fortune could be made if their skins could only be got to Holland, where furs were needed. He told of the Indians; and the river which flowed past the island he spoke of as "The River of the Mountains."

The Half Moon in the Highlands of the Hudson

The directors of the Dutch East India Company were not particularly pleased with Hudson's report. They were angry because the short cut to India had not been found, and they thought very little of the vast storehouse of furs which he had discovered. Neither did the Company care a great deal about Hudson, for they soon fell out with him, and he went back to the English company and made another voyage for them, still in search of the short passage to India. But in this last voyage, he only succeeded in finding a great stretch of water far to the north, that can be seen on any map as Hudson's Bay. His crew after a time grew angry when he wanted to continue his search. There was a mutiny on the ship, and Hudson and his son and seven of the sailors who were his friends were put into a small boat, set adrift in the bay to which he had given his name, and no trace of them was ever seen again. Long, long years after that time, another explorer found the passage that Hudson had lost his life searching for. It is The Northwest Passage, far up toward the North Pole, in the region of perpetual cold and night. So Hudson never knew that the passage he had looked for was of no value, and we may be sure he had never imagined that there would ever be a great city on the island he had discovered.

The Dutch came to think a great deal of Hudson after he was dead. The stream which he had called "The River of the Mountains" they named Hudson's River. They even made believe that Hudson was a Dutchman—although you will remember he was an Englishman—and were in the habit of speaking of him as "Hendrick" Hudson.

The Indians were scattered over America in great numbers. The tribe on the island were called Manhattans, and from that tribe came the name of the Island of Manhattan. All the Indians, no matter which tribe they belonged to, looked very much alike and acted very much the same. Their eyes were dark, and their hair long, straight, and black. When they were fighting, they daubed their skins with colored muds—war paint the white men called it—and started out on the "war-path". They loved to hunt and fish, as well as to fight, and they fought and murdered as cruelly and with as little thought as they hunted the wild animals or hooked the fish. They held talks which were called "councils," and one Indian would speak for hours, while the others listened in silence. And when they determined upon any action, they carried it out, without a thought of how many people were to be killed, or whether they were to be killed themselves.

Earliest Picture of Manhattan
Earliest Picture of Manhattan



For several years after the return of Hudson, Dutch merchants sent their ships to the Island of Manhattan, and each ship returned to Holland laden with costly furs which the Indians had traded for glass beads and strips of gay cloth. The Indians cared a great deal more for glittering glass and highly colored rags than they did for furs.

One trader above all others whose name should be remembered, was Adrian Block. He came in a ship called the Tiger. This ship was anchored in the bay close by what is now called the Battery, and directly in the course that the ferry-boats take when they go to Staten Island.

Indians Trading for Furs
Indians Trading for Furs

On a cold night in November it took fire and was burned to the water's edge. Block and those who were with him would all have been burned to death had they not been strong and hardy men who were able to swim ashore in the ice-cold water. Even when they reached the shore they were not safe, for there were no houses or places of shelter; the winter was coming on, and the woods were filled with wild beasts. But Block and his men very soon built houses for themselves; rude and clumsy buildings to look at, but warm and comfortable within. They were the first houses of white men on the Island of Manhattan. If you wish to see where they stood, take a walk down Broadway, and just before you reach the Bowling Green, on a house which is numbered 41, you will find a tablet of brass which tells that Block's houses stood on that self-same spot.

As soon as the hard winter was over, Block and his men began to build a new ship, and before another winter had come they had one larger than the Tiger. It was the first vessel to be built in the new world, and was called the Restless.

That same year the Dutch merchants decided that they were giving too many glass beads for the furs, and that if all the merchants combined into one company they might not have to give so many. So they did combine, and called themselves the United New Netherland Company. It was in this way that the name New Netherland first appeared.

When the first ships of the new company reached the island, a house was built for the use of the fur-traders, just south of where the Bowling Green Park is. This structure was called Fort Manhattan. It was of wood, and did not take long to build because the traders did not intend to live in it a great while. They felt quite sure that all the furs would be collected in a few years, and that then the island would be abandoned. No one thought at that time that the little wooden stockade was the commencement of a great city.

But after a few years it was found that the new country was a much richer place than had been supposed. Shipload after shipload of otter and beaver skins were sent across the ocean and still there were otters and beavers without number. The fur-traders were growing rich, and after a few years there came a decided change, when a new company was formed in Holland; a great body of men this time, who had a vast amount of money to build ships and fit them out. This organization was the West India Company, and was to battle with Spain by land and by sea (for the Netherlands was at war with Spain) and was to carry on trade with the West Indies, just as the East India Company carried on trade with the East Indies. As the West Indies included every country that could be reached by sailing west from Holland, you will see that all the Dutch land in America, which land was called New Netherland, came under the control of this new company.

The territory called New Netherland was the country along the Atlantic Ocean which now makes up the States of New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut. But its limits at this time were uncertain as it extended inland as far as the Company might care to send their colonists.

Within a few years, the seventy ships sailing under the flag of the West India Company, fought great battles with the Spaniards, and won almost every one of them. There were branches of the Company in seven cities of Holland, and the branch in Amsterdam had charge of New Netherland. So it will be only of the doings of this branch that we shall read. Colonists were to be carried to New Netherland from Holland; farms were to be laid out and cultivated; cities were to be built, and the West India Company was to have absolute control over all, and was to rule all the people. To do these things they had authority from the States-General of Holland, which was the name given to the men who made the laws for that country. The Company was to make regular reports to the States-General, and tell of the growth of the colony and the progress of the people in it. But as the years went on the Company was not as particular as it should have been about what it told the States-General.

Hall of the States-General of Holland
Hall of the States-General of Holland

It was not until the West India Company took charge of New Netherland that it was decided to make the settlement on the Island of Manhattan a city. Up to this time it had been merely a trading station. In order to build up a city, the Company knew that it would be necessary to send people in sufficient numbers so that no matter how many were killed by the Indians the settlement would not be wiped out. Many inducements were offered, and men with their families soon began to flock to New Netherland. With the ship that brought the first families was Cornelius Jacobsen May, who was to live on the Island of Manhattan and look after affairs for the Company. Rude houses were set up about the fort, and the first street came into existence. This is now called Pearl Street.

Cornelius Jacobsen May cared for the colony for less than a year, when his place was taken by William Verhulst. Before the year was out, Verhulst decided that the new country never would suit him, and he sailed away to Holland. Then came in his place, in the year 1626, Peter Minuit, under appointment as the first Dutch Governor of New Netherland.

Seal of New Netherland
Seal of New Netherland



Peter Minuit was a large man, of middle age, whose hair was turning gray, whose eyes were black and dull, and whose manners were quite coarse.

The West India Company gave to this Governor absolute power over all the Dutch lands in America. His power was equal to that of a king; much more than some kings have had. To be sure, in matters of extreme importance he was supposed to refer to the Company in Holland. But Holland was far away, farther away than it is in these days of fast steamers and the telegraph, and the Company had too many other matters to look after to give much thought to New Netherland.

One of the first acts of Governor Minuit was to buy the Island of Manhattan from the Indians, giving them in exchange some beads, some brass ornaments, some bits of glass and some strips of colored cloth; all of which seemed a rich treasure to the Indians, but were in reality worth just twenty-four dollars.

As soon as Minuit had bought the island, he organized a government. In authority next to the Governor was the koopman, who was secretary of the province, and bookkeeper at the Company's warehouse, and who worked very hard. Then came the schout-fiscal, who worked still harder, being half sheriff, half attorney-general, and all customs officer. There was also a council of five men who looked wise but had very little to say and did not dare to disagree with the Governor.

Although in buying their land Governor Minuit had made the Indians his friends, he took care to be prepared in case they should change their minds and become warlike. He had Kryn Frederick, the Company's engineer, build a solid fort on the spot where the fur-traders' stockade had stood. This he called Fort Amsterdam. It was surrounded by cedar palisades, and was large enough to shelter all the people of the little colony in case of danger. Inside this fort there was a house for the Governor, and outside the walls was a warehouse for furs, and a mill which was run by horse-power, with a large room on the second floor to be used as a church.

The Building of the Palisades
The Building of the Palisades

When Minuit had become fairly settled in his new colony, he divided the lower part of the island into farms, which in those days were called "bouweries." A road which led through these farms was named Bouwerie Lane, and the same road is to-day known as The Bowery.

Minuit had been Governor four years, and there were 200 persons on the island, when the Dutch West India Company, deciding that the colony was not increasing fast enough, made a plan for giving large tracts of land to any man who would go from Holland and take with him fifty persons to make their homes in New Netherland. The grants of land, which were really large farms, stretched away in all directions over the territory of New Netherland. But no grant was made on the Island of Manhattan, as the Company reserved that for itself. Each of these farms was called a manor. The man who brought colonists from Holland was called a patroon. He was the Lord of the Manor.

He had supreme authority over his colonists, who cleared the land of the trees, planted seeds, gathered the ripened grain, and raised cattle which they gave to the Lord of the Manor as rent.

The little town of New Amsterdam was to continue as the seat of government, and the Lords of the Manors were to act under the direction of the Governor. The farms established by these patroons were to belong to them and to their families after them.

The one thing that the patroons were not permitted to do was to collect the furs of animals, for these were very valuable and the Company claimed them all.

Before many years had passed there was much trouble with these patroons, who did a great deal to make themselves rich, and very little for New Netherland. They traded in furs, notwithstanding they were forbidden to do so, and did all manner of things they should not have done.

Governor Minuit was himself accused of aiding the patroons to make money at the expense of the West India Company, and of taking his share of the profit; and finally, the Company ordered him to return to Holland. The ship in which he sailed was wrecked on the coast of England, and Minuit was detained and accused of unlawfully trading in the territory of the King of England. This was not the first time that the English had laid claim to the Dutch lands in America. Charles I. was king then, and he said that England owned New Netherland because an English king, more than a hundred years before Hudson's time, had sent John Cabot and his son Sebastian in search of new lands, and they had touched the American shore.

But the Dutch called attention to the fact that it had been held, time out of mind, that to own a country one must not only discover it, but must visit it continually, and even buy it from any persons who should be settled there. Even if the Cabots had discovered the land in America, the Dutch had occupied it ever since Hudson's time and had paid the Indians for it.

Matters were patched up for the time, and Minuit was permitted to return to Holland. But he was no longer Governor of New Netherland, for his place had been given to another man whose name was Walter Van Twiller.

Old House in New York, Built 1668
Old House in New York, Built 1668



Now this Walter Van Twiller was a relative of Kiliaen Van Rensselaer, one of the patroons. You will see why the West India Company's choice of him for a Governor was not by any means a wise choice. For he was soon doing exactly what Minuit had done. The only difference was that Governor Van Twiller favored Van Rensselaer more than he did the other patroons.

Van Twiller was a stout, round-bodied man, with a face much the shape of a full moon. He was a sharp trader, having made two voyages to the Hudson River in the interest of Van Rensselaer, but he knew nothing of governing a colony.

The ship that brought the new Governor to the Island of Manhattan, had also on board a hundred soldiers, and these were the first soldiers ever sent to the island. There was also on the ship Everardus Bogardus, the first minister of the colony, as well as Adam Rolandsen, the first school-master. This school-master had a hard time of it in the new country, for not being able to make a living by his teaching, he was forced to do all kinds of other work. He even took in washing for a time!

By this time negro slaves were being brought to the colony from Africa. They did the household work, while the colonists cultivated the fields These slaves did most of the work on a new wooden church which was set up just outside the fort, for the new minister.

Governor Van Twiller began improving the colony by having three windmills built, to take the place of the horse-mill. But he had them placed in such a position that the building in the fort cut off the wind from their sails, and the mills were almost useless.

The Governor did not neglect his own comfort, for within Fort Amsterdam he built for himself a fine house of brick—finer than any in the little settlement—and on one of the bouweries nearest the fort, he erected a summer-house. On another bouwerie he laid out a tobacco plantation, and had slaves paid by the Company to look after it.

Van Twiller's Defiance
Van Twiller's Defiance

When Van Twiller had been Governor three years, he gave to one of the colonists a farm on the western side of the city along the Hudson River. The colonist died the year after the farm was given him, leaving his widow, Annetje Jans, to care for the property.

Years after, when Queen Anne ruled in England, and the English had come into possession of New Netherland, she gave the Annetje Jans farm to Trinity Church. That was almost two centuries ago. What was once a farm is now a great business section, crossed and recrossed by streets. Trinity Church has held it through all the years, and holds it still.

Close upon the time when the Jans farm was given away by Governor Van Twiller, a sailor of note, who had visited almost every country in the world, founded a colony on Staten Island. This sailor was Captain David Pietersen De Vries. Staten Island attracted him because of its beauty. After the colony was well started, De Vries travelled between New Netherland and Holland, and he will be met with again in this story.

Landing of Dutch Colony on Staten Island
Landing of Dutch Colony on Staten Island

Although Governor Van Twiller did not do much for the colonists, he was very careful to look after his own affairs. He bought from the Indians, for some goods of small value, the little spot now called Governor's Island; which was then known as Nut Island, because of the many nut-trees that grew there. There is little doubt but that Governor's Island was once a part of Long Island. It is separated from it now by a deep arm of water called Buttermilk Channel. The channel was so narrow and so shallow in Van Twiller's time that the cattle could wade across it. It was given its name more than a hundred years ago, from boats which drew very little water, and were the only craft able to get through the channel, and which took buttermilk from Long Island to the markets of New York.

Governor's Island and the Battery in 1850
Governor's Island and the Battery in 1850

Van Twiller bought the islands now known as Randall's and Ward's Islands, and these, with some others, made him the richest landholder in the colony. On his islands he raised cattle, and on his farm tobacco.

Many of the colonists did not take kindly to Governor Van Twiller's methods, and among them was Van Dincklagen, the schout-fiscal. He told the Governor that it was very evident that he was putting forth every effort to enrich himself at the expense of everybody else, just as Minuit had done. The Governor became very angry. He told the schout-fiscal not to expect any more salary, that it would be stopped from that minute. This did not worry the schout-fiscal much, as he had not been paid his salary in three years! But Van Twiller did not stop there. He sent the schout-fiscal as a prisoner to Holland, which was a foolish thing for him to do. For the prisoner pleaded his own cause to such good effect that before the end of the year 1637, Van Twiller was recalled to Holland, after he had governed New Netherland for four years, very much to his own interest, and very much against the interest of the West India Company and everybody else.

Dutch Costumes
Dutch Costumes



A dreary winter came and went, and just as the first signs of spring showed in the fields that closed about the fort, a ship sailed up the bay, bringing a stranger to the province.

This was William Kieft, the new Governor of New Netherland.

He was a blustering man, who became very angry when anyone disagreed with him, and who very soon was known as "William the Testy." He made no effort to make the Indians his friends, and the result was that much of his rule of ten years was a term of bloody warfare.

The affairs of the Company had been sadly neglected by Governor Van Twiller, and Governor Kieft, in a nervous, testy, energetic fashion set about remedying them. The fort was almost in ruins from neglect. The church was in little better condition. The mills were so out of repair that even if the wind could have reached them they could not have been made to do their work properly. There were smugglers who carried away furs without even a thought of the koopman, who was waiting to record the duties which should have been paid on them. There were those who defied all law and order, and sold guns and powder and liquor to the Indians, regardless of the fact that the penalty for doing so was death. For guns and liquor had been found to be dangerous things to put in savage hands.

Governor Kieft rebuilt the houses, put down all smugglers, and set matters in New Amsterdam in good working order generally. The patroon system of peopling the colony had proven a total failure. So, soon after Kieft came, the West India Company decided on another plan. They furnished free passage to anyone who promised to cultivate land in the new country. In this way there would be no patroons to act as masters. Each man would own his land, and could come and go as he saw fit. This brought many colonists.

The Bowling Green in 1840
The Bowling Green in 1840

At this time there were really only two well-defined roads on the Island of Manhattan. One stretched up through the island and led to the outlying farms and afterward became The Bowery; the second led along the water-side, and is to-day Pearl Street. Bowling Green, although it was not called Bowling Green then, was the open space in front of the fort where the people gathered on holidays. In the fourth year of Governor Kieft's rule, he conceived the idea of holding fairs in this open space, where fine cows and fat pigs could be exhibited. These fairs attracted so many visitors from distant parts of the colony, that the Governor had a large stone house built, with a roof running up steep to a peak, in regular, step-like form. This was called a tavern, and could accommodate all the visitors. In after years it became the first City Hall.

If you wish to stand where this building was, you must go to the head of Coenties Slip, in Pearl Street. On the building which is there now you will see a bronze tablet which tells all about the old Stadt Huys.

The church that Walter Van Twiller had built was little better than a barn. The minister wanted a new one. So did his congregation. Governor Kieft decided that there should be one of stone, and that it should be built inside the fort. There was a question as how to secure the money to build it. Kieft gave a small amount, as did other colonists, but there was not enough. Fortunately, just at this time, a daughter of Bogardus, the minister, was married. At the wedding, when the guests were in good humor, a subscription-list was handed out. The guests tried to outdo one another in subscribing money for the new church. Next day some of the subscribers were sorry they had agreed to give so much, but the Governor accepted no excuses and insisted on the money. It was collected, and the church was built. Close upon this time Kieft decided that he needed money for other work, and he told the Indians of the province that he expected something from them. Of course the Indians had no such money as we have in these days. They used instead beads, very handsome and made from clam-shells. These beads were arranged on strings. There were black ones and white ones, and the black were worth twice as much as the white. The Indians did not see why they should give money to the Governor. Kieft explained that it was to pay for the protection given to them by the Dutch. Then the Indians understood less than ever, for the Dutch had never done anything for them except to give them as little as they could for their valuable furs. The Indians hated Kieft, and this act of his made their hatred more bitter. A war-cloud was gathering. The Indians were well prepared for war, for they had been supplied with guns, with bullets, and with powder by those greedy Dutchmen, the smugglers, who thought more of their personal gains than of the safety of the colonists.

Selling Arms to the Indians
Selling Arms to the Indians

Over on Staten Island about this time, an Indian stole several hogs from a colonist. Kieft's soldiers found the tribe to which the Indian belonged, and in revenge killed ten Indian warriors. After this the war-cloud grew darker.

Kieft was anxious that there should be war. But there were many of the colonists who did all in their power to prevent it. The men who wanted peace were headed by that able sailor, Captain David Pietersen De Vries, who had founded a colony on Staten Island. A council of twelve men was formed to decide whether there should be peace or war. This council declared that there should be no war. They then began to look into public affairs, for they thought it all wrong that Kieft should have the only voice in the management. The Governor regretted having called together the twelve men. But he soon got rid of them, and to show that he was still absolute ruler, he decided to make war upon the Indians. Then the war-cloud broke.

Those Indians who lived nearest New Amsterdam were fighting with another tribe called the Mohawks. The nearby Indians thought that since Kieft had been paid to protect them, he should do so now. So they gathered, some on the Island of Manhattan, and some on the nearby shore of New Jersey. But instead of protecting them, Kieft sent his soldiers against these friendly Indians, and in the night killed them as they slept. The soldiers came so suddenly upon the Indians, sleeping peacefully on the Jersey shore, and slew them so quickly in the darkness, that the Indians believed they had been attacked by the unfriendly tribe. One Indian, with his squaw, made his way to the fort. He was met at the gate by De Vries. "Save us," he cried, "the Mohawks have fallen upon us, and have killed all our people." But De Vries answered, sadly, "No Indian has done this. It is the Dutch who have killed your people." And he pointed toward the deep woods close by. "Go there for safety, but do not come here."

This was not war. It was murder. A cruel, treacherous act, which the greater number of colonists condemned and the record of which is a dark stain on the memory of William Kieft.

After this, all the Indians within the border of New Netherland combined. Colonists were shot as they worked in the fields. Cattle were driven away. Houses were robbed and burned. Women and children were dragged into captivity. The war raged fiercely for three years. By this time Indians and colonists were worn out. Then the war ended. But scarcely a hundred men were left on the Island of Manhattan. The country was a waste.

A strong fence had been built across the island, to keep what cattle remained within bounds. This fence marked the extreme limit of the settlement of New Amsterdam. The fence in time gave place to a wall, and when in still later years the wall was demolished and a street laid out where it had been, the thoroughfare was called Wall Street, and remains so to this day.

While the entire province was in a very bad way, and the people suffering on every side, Governor Kieft sent to the West India Company in Holland his version of the war. He showed himself to be all in the right, and proved, to his own satisfaction, that the province was in a fairly good condition; though during all the years he had been Governor he had not once left the settlement on the Island of Manhattan to look after other parts.

Certain of the colonists also sent a report to Holland. Theirs being much nearer the truth, carried such weight with it, that the West India Company decided on the immediate recall of Governor Kieft, who had done so much injury to the colony, and had shown himself to be utterly incapable of governing.

Kieft returned to Holland in a ship that was packed from stem to stern with the finest of furs. The ship was wrecked at sea. Kieft was drowned, and the furs were lost.

In the same ship was Everardus Bogardus (the minister who had married Annetje Jans), who was on his way to Holland on a mission relating to his church. The people of New Amsterdam mourned for their minister, but there was little sorrow felt for the Governor who had plunged the colony in war by his obstinate and cruel temper.

Smoking the Pipe of Peace
Smoking the Pipe of Peace



It was a gay day for the little colony of New Amsterdam, that May morning in the year 1647, when a one-legged man landed at the lower part of the island, and stumped his way up the path that led to the fort. Not only everyone that lived in the town gathered there, but everyone on the island, and many from more distant parts. There were Indians, too, who walked sedately, their quiet serenity in strange contrast to the colonists, who yelled and shouted for joy, and clapped their hands at every salute from the guns. And when the fort was reached (it was only a few steps from the river-bank) the man with the wooden leg turned to those who followed him. The guns were silent, and the people stood still.

"I shall govern you," said he, "as a father does his children."

Then there were more shouts, and more booming of cannon, and the name of Peter Stuyvesant was on every tongue. For the man with a wooden leg was Peter Stuyvesant, the new Governor appointed by the West India Company, and not one of those who shouted that day had an idea that he was to be the last of the Dutch governors.

Stuyvesant had long been in the employ of the West India Company, and his leg had been shot off in a battle while he was in their service.

He was a stern man, with a bad temper, and seemed to have made it a point in life never to yield to anyone in anything. He ruled in the way he thought best, and he let it always be understood that he did not care much for the advice of others. He did what he could for the people to make their life as happy as possible. Of course he had orders from the West India Company that he was bound to obey, and these orders did not always please the people. But his rule was just, and he was the most satisfactory of all the Dutch governors.

Stuyvesant's first work was to put the city in better condition. He did this by having the vacant lots about the fort either built upon or cleared. The hog-pens which had been in front of the houses were taken away. All the fences were put in repair, and where weeds had grown rank, they were replaced by pretty gardens. These, and a great many other things he did, until the town took on quite a new air.

Up to this time the people had been ruled by governors who did all things just as they saw fit. They became tired of this, and complained so much that the Company in Holland decided to make a change. So after Stuyvesant had been Governor for a while, some other officers were appointed to help him. There was one officer called a schout, very much the same as a mayor is in these days. Two others were called burgomasters, and five others were called schepens. The burgomasters and the schepens presided over the trials, in the stone tavern which Governor Kieft had built at Coenties Slip, and which had now become the Stadt Huys or City Hall.

The Old Stadt Huys of New Amsterdam
The Old Stadt Huys of New Amsterdam

With the appointment of these officers, New Amsterdam became a city. But as Governor Stuyvesant named the officers and as he plainly told them that they must not interfere with his orders, and as he still had his own way, regardless of what the officers said and did, the colony was little different as a city from what it had been before.

In the fall of this year, 1652, war was declared between England and Holland. Stuyvesant, fearing that the English in New England, which was on the borders of New Netherland, would attack the city, set about fortifying it. The fence that Governor Kieft had built so that the cattle could not wander away was changed into a wall that extended from river to river. The fort was repaired, and a strong body of citizens mounted guard by day and by night. Everything was prepared for an attack. But the enemy did not come after all.

Matters went along quietly enough for three years, until some Swedes on the Delaware River began to build houses on Dutch lands. Then Stuyvesant, with 160 men, in seven ships, sailed around to the Delaware River, and conquered the Swedes.

It was quite ten years since the Indian war, and Stuyvesant, by his kindness, had made friends of the savages, and had come to be called their "great friend," But soon after he left to make war on the Swedes, one of the colonists killed an Indian. In a few days there was an uprising of Indian tribes. In New Jersey and on Staten Island they murdered colonists, burned houses, and laid farms waste. Stuyvesant hurriedly returned. He made peace with the Indians, treating them kindly, as though there had never been any trouble. He gave them presents, and used such gentle measures that the war which had threatened to be so serious ended abruptly.

In the calmer days that followed, attention was given to improvements in the city. By this time there were a thousand persons on the island. Streets were nicely laid out, and the city of New Amsterdam grew, day by day. It was a tiny place still, however, for it all lay below the present Wall Street. Some distance beyond the city wall was a fenced-in pasture for cattle, which was later to become The Common, and still later City Hall Park. Farther on there was a wide lake, so deep that it was thought to be bottomless. On its banks were a vast heap of oyster-shells, where an Indian village had been. This place was called Kalch-hook, or Shell-point. Afterward it was shortened to The Kalch, and in time was called The Collect. The lake was called Collect Lake. There is no trace of it to-day, for it was filled in, and the Tombs Prison now stands upon the spot.

The entire province was in a flourishing condition, but danger was near. The English had long looked with covetous eye upon the possessions of the Dutch in America. The English, it must be remembered, claimed not only New Netherland, but a great part of the American continent, on the plea that the Cabots had discovered it.

After all this long time, when the Cabots had been forgotten by most persons, in the year 1664, Charles II. decided that the English claim was just, and gave New Netherland to his brother James, Duke of York. The Duke of York at once sent four ships filled with soldiers to take possession of his property.

Stuyvesant Leaving Fort Amsterdam
Stuyvesant Leaving Fort Amsterdam

When the English war-ships sailed up the bay, the town was ill-protected, and the people had no desire to resist, for Stuyvesant and the West India Company had been most strict, and they hoped to be more free under English rule. Stuyvesant, with scarcely a supporter, stood firm and unyielding. He had no thought of submitting to superior force. "I would rather be carried out dead," he exclaimed. But when at length he realized that he was absolutely alone, and that there were no means of defence for the city, he surrendered.

On this same morning of September 8, 1664, Stuyvesant, with his head bowed sadly, marched at the head of his soldiers out of Fort Amsterdam, with flags flying and drums beating. And the English soldiers, who had landed, and were waiting a little way off, entered the fort with their flags flying and their drums beating.

So the city of New Amsterdam became the city of New York, and the province of New Netherland became the province of New York, and Fort Amsterdam became Fort James—all this in honor of James, Duke of York, who now came into possession.

Stuyvesant went to Holland to explain why he had surrendered New Netherland. But he came back again, and years after he died in the little Bouwerie Village which he had built. In St. Mark's Church to this day may be seen a tablet which tells that the body of the last Dutch Governor lies buried there.


NEW YORK under the ENGLISH and the DUTCH

So now the conquered province had come into the possession of the Duke of York, and Colonel Richard Nicolls, who was in command of the English soldiers, took charge. This first English Governor appeared anxious to make all the people his friends. He made Thomas Willett Mayor, and Willett being very popular, all the citizens rejoiced, and said the new Governor was a fine man. During three years Colonel Nicolls humored the people so much that they were well satisfied. At the end of that time he had grown tired of the new country, and asked to be relieved. The people were really sorry when he returned to England and Francis Lovelace took his place.

Governor Lovelace did not get along so well. He was a man of harsh manner, who did not have the patience or the inclination to flatter with fine promises. Lovelace wanted everyone to understand that he was master. Very soon, when the people said they thought they should have the right to control their own affairs, the Governor told them that he did not think it was best for them to have too much to do with the governing of the city. But he did some things that pleased the people. For one thing, he brought about the custom of having merchants meet once a week at a bridge which crossed Broad Street at the present Exchange Place. There is no bridge there now, but in those days it was necessary, for Broad Street was a ditch which extended from the river almost to Wall Street. But though the ditch has been filled up, and the bridge is gone, the locality has ever since been one where merchants have gathered.

Departure of Nicolls
Departure of Nicolls

The Governor also had a messenger make regular trips to Boston with letters, which was the first mail route from the city. Matters were going along nicely when trouble arose between England and Holland again. Then the Dutch decided that it would be a good time to get back their lost province of New Netherland. The English in New York heard of this, and made all sorts of warlike preparations. But the Dutch were so long in coming that the preparations for war were given up. Finally the Dutch ships did arrive unexpectedly, sailing up the bay one morning in the month of July, in the year 1673. Governor Lovelace was in a distant part of the colony, and the city had been left under the care of Captain John Manning.

Manning was in despair. He knew full well that there was no hope of defending the city successfully. He sent a messenger dashing off to the Governor, and he sent another to the Dutch ships to ask what they were doing in the bay, just as though he did not know. The Dutch sent word back that the city must be surrendered to them that same day. And to show they meant what was said, the Dutch admiral despatched one of his captains, Anthony Colve by name, who landed with 600 men. The Dutch captain agreed that if the English left the fort without a show of resistance, they could do so with the honors of war and without interference. Then he and his soldiers tramped down the road that is now Broadway. The English marched out of the fort, and the Dutch marched in; just as nine years before the Dutch had marched out and the English had marched in.

When the King in England heard that New York had been so easily captured, all the blame was placed on Captain Manning, and after a time you will see what became of him.

The Dutch Ultimatum
The Dutch Ultimatum

Captain Colve took charge of the reconquered province. He began industriously to undo all that the English had done. The province was again named New Netherland. The city was called New Orange, in honor of the Prince of Orange—a prince of Holland, who in a few years was to marry a daughter of the Duke of York, and who in a few more years was to be King of England under the title of William III.

Captain Colve put the fort in good condition, repaired the city wall, made a soldier of every man and drilled them every day. He had the city gates locked at night, and put a guard at them to see that no one came in or passed out.

In less than a year, when the city was in shape to be defended, the English and the Dutch made up their quarrel. The province of New Netherland was returned to the English, and became again the province of New York, and the Dutch soldiers left the Island of Manhattan, never again to return to it in warlike array.



Edmund Andros was sent to govern New York for the Duke of York. The people complained a good deal because he acted as though he were a king with absolute power. They asked that they have some voice in the direction of their affairs. They got up a petition and sent it to the Duke in England.

"What do the people want?" said the Duke. "If they are not satisfied, they can always appeal to me." He did not see that they had just appealed to him, and in vain.

Captain Manning, who had been in charge of the province when the Dutch recaptured it, came again to New York with Andros. Many who had lost their property by the coming of the Dutch, complained bitterly to Andros. So the Governor, and his council, and the officers of the city held many conferences, with the result that Captain Manning was arrested. He was found guilty of cowardice, and his sword was broken in front of the Stadt Huys in the presence of the citizens, and he was declared, on the good authority of King Charles II., unfit ever again to hold public office.

Although disgraced, Captain Manning did not seem to care much. He owned a beautiful wooded island in the East River, to which he now retired. He was wealthy, and there he lived and entertained royally during the remainder of his life.

Andros did many things for the general good. When he had been Governor four years, and when the most important product of trade was flour, a law was made by which no one was permitted to make flour outside of the city. This was called the Bolting Act. Flour cannot be made unless it is "bolted"—or has the bran taken from it—and so the act came by its name. The right to grind all the grain into flour may not now seem very important, but it really was, for it brought all the trade to the city. So you see the Bolting Act was a very good thing for the city, and very bad for the people who did not live in the city. The city folks became very prosperous indeed, but the others, because they could not make or sell flour, became poorer day by day.

This went on for sixteen years, and then the law came to an end. But by that time all the business of the entire province had centred in the city so firmly that it could not be drawn away.

So, after this, when you look at a picture of the Seal of New York, and see a windmill and two barrels of flour, you will remember that the windmill sails worked the mill, and the barrels were filled with flour which laid the foundation of the city's fortunes; and were put on the seal so that this fact would always be remembered. The beavers on the seal suggest the early days when the trade in beaver skins made a city possible. At one time there was a crown on the seal—a king's crown—but that gave way to an eagle when the English King no longer had a claim on New York.

Now that the province was prosperous, one would think that the people would have been quite happy. But they were not. They did not like Governor Andros because they thought that he taxed them too heavily, and they sent so many petitions to the Duke of York that, in 1681, Andros was recalled, and Colonel Thomas Dongan was appointed the new Governor. A few years later, when the Duke of York became King James II., he remembered how carefully Andros had carried out his orders, and appointed him Governor of New England; where he conducted matters so much to the satisfaction of his King that he earned the title of "The Tyrant of New England."

When Governor Dongan reached the city and announced that the Duke had instructed him to let the people have something to say as to how they should be governed, he was joyfully received. It really seemed now that everything was going to be satisfactory. But there came a sudden check. Two years after Dongan became Governor, the Duke of York was made King of England. He thereupon ordered Dongan to make all the laws himself, without regard to what the people did or did not want. The power to make the laws was a great power, but Governor Dongan was a fair and just man and did not abuse it. The year after this he granted a charter to the city, known ever since as the Dongan Charter, which was so just that it is still the base on which the rights of citizens rest.

But while Dongan was popular with the King's subjects, he became unpopular with the King. This was because he stood in the way of the plans of his royal master whenever those plans interfered with the good of the people. He must have known what the result would be. Whether he knew it or not, it came in the year 1688. The King joined the colony of New England and the colony of New York, and called this united territory New England. Dongan then ceased to be Governor, having ruled the province well.



Sir Edmund Andros, who, you will remember, had been appointed Governor of New England, had been knighted for obeying the King's commands. He now became Governor of the united provinces. He made his home in Boston, and left the care of New York to his deputy, Francis Nicholson. In this year a son was born to the English King, and the people rejoiced. But these were stormy times in England, for King James II. was a tyrant who ordered a great many of his subjects killed when they refused to believe in what he believed. And the people, grown weary and heartsick, overthrew King James and put William III. on the throne. So the sights and sounds of rejoicing over the birth of a prince were scarcely over, when the news came that James was no longer King, and New York was soon in a state of confusion.

In what had been New England before the provinces were united, the people hated Andros. They arrested him. And as they had never been in favor of uniting New England and New York, they restored their old officers and disunited the two provinces, Andros was sent a prisoner to England to give an account of his doings to King William, and New York was left without a Governor. The men who had served under King James insisted that they remain in charge of the province until King William sent new officers to replace them. But most of them wanted to have all who had had anything to do with King James put out of office at once. So those who wanted this change took charge of the city, and chose as their leader a citizen named Jacob Leisler. More than twenty years before, this Jacob Leisler had come from Holland as a soldier of the West India Company. He had left the service and had become a wealthy merchant. He had a rude manner, and but little education. He looked upon as an enemy, and as an enemy of King William, every man who did not think as he did.

The mass of the people now gathered around Leisler and became known as the Leislerian party. They selected a number of citizens, calling them the Committee of Safety, and the committee gave Leisler power to see that peace was preserved. Those who were opposed to Leisler, but who, just as strongly as he, favored King William, were called the anti-Leislerian party. These last were headed by Francis Nicholson, who had watched over the colony for Governor Andros. Nicholson finding that he had few followers, sailed for England.

Leisler had the fortifications repaired, and a battery of guns set up outside the fort. This is the battery which gave to the present locality its name, though all signs of guns have disappeared.

Leisler had an adviser in Jacob Milborne, his son-in-law, who wrote his letters, and counselled him in every way.

In December came a messenger from King William, with a commission for whoever was in charge of the city, to act until further orders. Leisler obtained possession of the commission. He became bolder after this, and showed such a disposition to do just as he pleased, that he made enemies of a great many of his friends. Advised by Milborne, he made laws, and imprisoned all those who refused to obey them or to recognize his authority. Day by day those who were opposed to Leisler and Milborne grew in numbers. Street riots occurred, and several persons were injured. Leisler's life was threatened, and he went about attended by a guard of soldiers. Finally Nicholas Bayard, who had been Mayor, and who was looked upon as leader of the anti-Leislerian party, was put in prison with some others. Bayard would doubtless have been executed had he not written an humble letter to Leisler saying that he had been in the wrong and Leisler in the right. But he wrote to save his life, not that he really believed himself to be in the wrong. He did save his life, but he was kept in jail.

Leisler's enemies continued active. They had a powerful friend in Francis Nicholson, who had reached England and had been received with favor there. He hated Leisler, and denounced him as a traitor before King William.

Leisler, after he had taken charge of the province, wrote to the King, but his letter was written in imperfect English and was not understood. Matters were in a bad state, and were daily becoming worse, when the King appointed Henry Sloughter Governor of New York.

New York in 1700
New York in 1700



This Henry Sloughter was not a good choice. He was a worthless man, who had travelled a great deal, and had spent other people's money whenever he could get it. Now, when he could find no one in England to supply him with money, he took the post of Governor of New York, and his only thought was how much money he could wring from the people. The enemies of Leisler rejoiced at his coming, for they knew that it meant the downfall of Leisler.

Sloughter sailed for New York with a body of soldiers, but his ship was tossed about by the sea, and carried far out of its course, so that the ship of his assistant, Major Richard Ingoldsby, arrived first. But Leisler refused to give up command until Sloughter came. This was three months later, and during that time Ingoldsby and his soldiers did all they could to harass Leisler, who held possession of the little fort, and refused to give it up until he saw the King's order.

When Sloughter arrived, members of the party opposed to Leisler hurried on board the vessel, and escorted him to the City Hall, where at midnight he took the oath of office.

Within a few days Governor Sloughter and his friends met in the City Hall, where the council of the new Governor was sworn in—a council every member of which was an enemy of Leisler. Then Leisler was arrested, with his son-in-law, Milborne, and both were condemned to death as rebels. But the Governor was afraid of displeasing the King by putting Leisler to death, for, after all, Leisler was the man who had been the first to recognize the authority of King William in New York. He refused to sign the death-warrant. But the enemies of Leisler were not content. Nicholas Bayard, who had become more than ever bitter because he had been kept for thirteen months in prison, was anxious for revenge. The council urged the Governor to carry out the sentence, and he finally signed the death-warrant. Two days later Leisler and Milborne were led to execution. The scaffold had been erected in Leisler's own garden, close by where the post-office is now. The people thronged about it, standing in the cold, drizzling rain. They wept, for many of them had been on the side of Leisler.

Sloughter Signing Leisler's Death-warrant
Sloughter Signing Leisler's Death-warrant

Leisler ascended the scaffold with firm step, and looked at the people he had tried to serve.

"What I have done has been for the good of my country," he said, sadly. "I forgive my enemies, as I hope to be forgiven."

And so he died; believing that he had done his duty.

Milborne was full of hate for those who caused his death. Close by the scaffold stood Robert Livingston, a citizen who had always been strongly opposed to Leisler. To this man Milborne pointed, and fiercely cried:

"You have caused my death. For this I will impeach you before the Bar of God." And so he died.

The bodies of both men were interred close by the scaffold.

Four years later the English Parliament declared that Leisler had acted under the King's command, and had therefore been in the right, after all. So tardy justice was done to Leisler's memory.

After the death of Leisler, there was an end of open revolt, and affairs were reasonably quiet, although it was many a long year before the rancor of the late struggle and the bitter hatred of the friends and enemies of Leisler died out.

Order was restored, and attention was turned to public improvement. New streets were laid out, and markets were built. In front of the City Hall, by the water-side of Coenties Slip, there were set up a whipping-post, a cage, a pillory, and a ducking-block; which were to serve as warnings to evil-doers, and to be used in case the warning was not effective.

But Sloughter did not live to see these improvements completed. A few months after his arrival he died suddenly, so suddenly that there was a suggestion that he had been poisoned by some friend of Leisler. But it was proven that his death was a natural one, and his body was placed in a vault next to that of Peter Stuyvesant, in the Bouwerie Village church-yard.



When Benjamin Fletcher became the next Governor of New York, in the month of August, 1692, the people gave a great public dinner in his honor, and there were expressions of deep joy that so wise and good and pious a man had been sent to rule over them.

But Governor Fletcher soon came to be disliked. He tried by every means to enrich himself at the public expense. More than that, he wished to make the Church of England the only church of the province, and to have the English language the only language spoken. All of which the people did not like, for the majority of them still spoke the Dutch language and attended the Dutch church.

Governor Fletcher had great trouble in getting the Assembly (the body of men who helped him to govern the province) to agree with him, but he finally won them over in the matter of the Church of England. One of the churches built at this time was Trinity Church. It was a quaint, square building, with a tall spire—not the Trinity Church of this day, although it stood on the same spot.

Bradford's Tombstone
Bradford's Tombstone

In the year after Fletcher came, the first printing-press was set up in the city by William Bradford, who came from Philadelphia for that purpose. He became the public printer, and afterward issued the first newspaper. He did a great deal for the general good, and when he died he was buried in Trinity Church-yard. Even now you can see the stone that marks his grave, close by the side-entrance of the present church.

During much of the time that Fletcher governed, the French in Canada were continually threatening to fight with the English in New York. There were fierce and bloody conflicts on the border, but no enemy reached the city. There was also another danger that grew stronger day by day. It came about as the result of privateering.

A privateer was a vessel which under commission from one country, carried on war with the ships of other countries. The captains were called privateers, as were the ships. These privateers were so successful that they grew bold, and instead of attacking only the ships of enemies of their country, they threw away their commissions and attacked ships of all countries for their private gain. Then they were called pirates. They became robbers and murderers, for they murdered as well as robbed. These pirates bore down upon the ships of all nations, carried off their cargoes, then sunk the vessels without knowing or caring how many were on board, that none might escape to tell the tale.

Nowhere were the pirates more daring than near the American coast. The vessels of New York merchants were burned within sight of shore, and the pirates were even bold enough to enter the harbor and seize the ships as they lay at anchor.

The officials of the province made no apparent effort to suppress these pirates. It was thought then, and has since been believed, that they assisted them, and were well paid for such help. Governor Fletcher himself was suspected of sharing in the pirate booty. Merchants who feared to carry on regular trade, as their ships were almost sure to be seized, came, after a time, to lend their aid also to the pirates, by buying their cargoes.

The Reading of Fletcher's Commission
The Reading of Fletcher's Commission

Finally, very few ships dared to cross the ocean. Then the English Government became alarmed. A new Governor was searched for—a man strong enough to resist the bribery of pirate crews, and able to drive them off the seas. And just such a man was found.



In England there lived a man who had been a great friend of King William; who had been his friend even before he had become King. This man was Lord Bellomont. It was he who was chosen Governor in the year 1696. But it was two years after this that he reached New York. During these two years he worked hard in the interests of the province. He knew all about the pirates, and knew that it would take a strong force to subdue them. He called upon the English Government to fit out men for this purpose. But the Government had neither men, nor ships, nor guns to spare.

So Lord Bellomont decided to raise a private armed force. He got together a company, of which the King was a member, and they fitted out a strong and fast-sailing vessel called the Adventure Galley. Lord Bellomont looked about for a good captain. At last he thought he had found just the man in Captain William Kidd. Captain Kidd just at this time happened to be in London, where he was well known, and well liked. His home was in New York, where his wife and daughter lived in a fine house in Crown Street, and where he was a respected citizen. But best of all for the Company, Captain Kidd had been in command of a privateer, and knew a good deal about pirates and their ways.

And so it came about that Captain Kidd sailed away, commander of the Adventure Galley, with its crew of sixty sailors, and its thirty guns, to destroy the pirates.

Then followed a space of time during which news of the bold Captain was eagerly awaited. It came soon enough—news that was startling. Captain Kidd had been tempted by the adventurous life and great gains, and had himself turned pirate! During the next two years he was heard of as the most daring and fierce of pirates, plundering and sinking ships, until his name became a terror on the sea. He collected great treasure, and then decided to give up piracy. He returned to New York, and touched first at Gardiner's Island, a bit of land at the eastern end of Long Island. There he buried a portion of his treasure. The remainder he divided with his crew. Then he went to Boston, took a new name, and intended to live in quiet and luxury during the remainder of his life. But, unfortunately, one day Lord Bellomont was in Boston, met him, and caused his arrest. In a few months he was sent to England in chains. There he was executed.

When it was known that Captain Kidd had made a stop at Gardiner's Island, search was made there and the hidden treasure was dug up. There were rumors from time to time that Kidd and his pirate crew had stopped at points on the East River shore of the Island of Manhattan, and many men hunted that shore and sought in many places for hidden treasure, but none was ever found there.

During the time that Captain Kidd was roaming the sea, Lord Bellomont was governing New York.

Arrest of Captain Kidd
Arrest of Captain Kidd

The new Governor was at first much admired. He was a fine man, with faultless manners, and a commander in every inch of his tall figure. He had hands as soft as a woman's, a kindly eye, and a gentle voice. But he could be stern, and was stern and unyielding, too, when occasion required. He dressed in better taste than anyone who had ever lived in the province, and his horses and carriage were finer than had ever before been seen in the city.

Friends of the dead Jacob Leisler had told Lord Bellomont tales of what a good man Leisler had been, and how he had been unjustly executed. So Lord Bellomont, to the end of his life, favored the friends of Leisler.

He was firmly convinced that many of the city merchants had become rich through dealings with the pirates. This belief made many enemies for him. Then, too, there were laws which would not permit merchants to trade with any country except England; hard laws, that were constantly broken, for the merchants could not see why they should not trade with anyone they saw fit. Bellomont was so strict in enforcing these laws and in collecting duties that he made more enemies, who sought his recall.

Nevertheless many improvements were carried out while Bellomont was Governor. A first effort was made to light the streets, which had, up to this time, only had the light of the moon at night. This was done by a lantern with a candle in it hung on a pole from the window of every seventh house. A night-watch was also established, consisting of four men.

After Bellomont had been Governor for a few years, what remained of the city wall was removed, and Wall Street had its beginning on the line of the old wall. The same year the old Stadt Huys was found to be in a state of decay. Then a new city hall was erected on the new Wall Street, close by where Nassau Street now touches it. There were dungeons in the new building for criminals, cells in the attic for debtors, and a court-room on the main floor.

New City Hall in Wall Street
New City Hall in Wall Street

The first library, under the name of the Corporation Library, was opened in the City Hall. This is the library that afterward became the Society Library. It is still in existence, and now has its home in University Place.

All in all, Lord Bellomont was a good Governor, who did much for the people, and much to make the city an agreeable place to live in; and there was deep regret when he died suddenly in the year 1701. He was buried in the chapel in the fort, and as an especial honor to his memory his coat-of-arms was fixed on the wall of the new City Hall in Wall Street. This was a great honor, even though the fickle people, a few years later, when a new Governor came, did tear down the arms and burn them in the street.

John Nanfan, the Lieutenant-Governor, took command of the province until news reached the city that Lord Cornbury had been appointed Governor. Nicholas Bayard, who had made such a bitter fight against Leisler, and who had been imprisoned so long, hated Governor Nanfan, because Nanfan was a friend of the people who called themselves the Leislerian party. So Bayard sent an address to Lord Cornbury saying that Nanfan was an enemy. But Nanfan arrested Bayard, and had him tried under the self-same act under which Leisler had been tried. This act pronounced traitors anyone who should make an effort to disturb the peace of the province. Bayard was sentenced to death, but a reprieve was granted pending the pleasure of the King. Before word could be got to England, Lord Cornbury arrived. Bayard was promoted to a place of honor, and there was a scattering of the Leislerians, who were now looked upon as enemies of the Government.

Fort George in 1740
Fort George in 1740



It was in the year that Princess Anne became Queen of England (1702) that Edward Hyde, Lord Cornbury, eldest son of the Earl of Clarendon, was sent to govern New York. He was a cousin of the Queen, and left England to escape the demands of those to whom he owed money.

When Lord Cornbury arrived in New York, the Mayor, with much ceremony, presented him with a box of gold, containing the freedom of the city, which gave to him every privilege. It was a great deal of trouble and expense to go to, for the Governor would have taken all the privileges, even if the Mayor had not gone through the form of giving them.

Governor Cornbury very soon let his new subjects see that he was eager to acquire wealth, and that he intended to get it without the slightest regard for their interests or desires.

The Queen had told him that he should do all in his power to make the Church of England the established church of the land; that he should build new churches, punish drunkenness, swearing, and all such vices, and that he should keep the colony supplied with negro slaves.

There was much sickness in the town—so much that it became epidemic. So the Governor and his council went to the little village of Jamaica, on Long Island, and carried on the business of the city in a Presbyterian church building. When the epidemic had passed, he gave the church to the Episcopalians, because he remembered that Queen Anne had told him to make the Church of England the established church. There were riotous times in Jamaica after that, but the Episcopal clergyman occupied the house, and the Episcopalians worshipped in the church regardless of all protests.

Not many improvements were made during Lord Cornbury's administration. He cared little for the good of the city or for anything else except his own pleasures. The constant fear of war gave the people little time to think of improvements. They did, however, pave Broadway from Trinity Church to the Bowling Green. But do not imagine that this pavement was anything like those of to-day. It was of cobble-stones, and the gutters ran through the middle of the street.

The Governor came to be detested more and more by the people, for as the years went by he spent their money recklessly. He had a habit of walking about the fort in the dress of a woman, and another habit of giving dinners to his friends that lasted well on toward morning, when the guests sang and shouted so boisterously that the quiet citizens of the little town could not sleep.

So when the people grew very, very tired of it, they sent word to Queen Anne that her kinsman was a very bad Governor. And she, after much hesitation, when he had been Governor six years, removed him from office. She no sooner did this, than those to whom he owed money, and there were a great many of them, had him put in the debtors' prison, in the upper story of the City Hall in Wall Street. And in jail he remained for several months, until his father, the Earl of Clarendon, died, and money was sent for the release of the debtor prisoner, who was now a peer of Great Britain.

View in Broad Street about 1740
View in Broad Street about 1740



The new Governor arrived in the last months of the year 1708. He was John, Lord Lovelace. As there had been so much trouble caused by the governors appropriating money belonging to the citizens, he decided to take a very different course. He had the public accounts looked into, and said, "I wish it known to all the world that the public debt has not been contracted in my time." And having said this (which made a fine impression) the Governor asked the Assembly to set aside enough money for him to run the affairs of the province for a number of years. This was to be called a permanent revenue. But the Assembly would do no such thing. In the midst of the discussion, Governor Lovelace died, five months after his arrival.

It was quite a year after the death of Lovelace before his successor came. This was Robert Hunter, a most exceptional man. His parents were poor, and when a boy he had run away from home and had joined the British army. By working very hard at his books when the army was not fighting, by studying in the soldiers' quarters and on the battle-field, by making friends with officers of high rank, Hunter had grown to manhood brave, well educated, and of graceful manner. On coming to New York he at once made friends with many influential persons. His most important friendship was with Lewis Morris, whom he afterward appointed chief-justice. This Morris was a son of Richard Morris, an officer in Cromwell's army, who had come to the province, purchased a manor ten miles square near Harlem, and called it Morrisania—by which name it is still known.

The year after Hunter arrived, New York joined with New England in a plan to conquer Canada (which belonged to the French) and join it to the English colonies. Money was raised, troops were gotten together, and ships and soldiers were sent from England. But when the attack was to be made, the English ships struck on the rocks in a fog off the coast of Canada, and eight of them sank with more than 800 men. This great loss put an end to the intended invasion. The soldiers returned home, where there was great sorrow at the dismal failure of a project that had cost so much money and so many lives.

Governor Hunter had only been in the province a short time when he began to urge the Assembly to grant him that permanent revenue that Lovelace had asked for. Queen Anne had said that he was to have it. But the Assembly would only grant him money from year to year.

About this time the first public market for the sale of negro slaves was established at the foot of Wall Street. More and more slaves were brought into the city, and the laws were made more and more strict to keep them in the most abject bondage. It had come to be the law that no more than four slaves could meet together at one time. They were not permitted to pass the city gates, nor to carry weapons of any sort. Should one appear on the street after nightfall without a lighted lantern, he was put in jail and his master was fined. Sometimes a slave murdered his owner. Then he was burned at the stake, after scarcely the pretence of a trial; or was suspended from the branches of a tall tree and left there to die.

The Slave-Market. From an Old Print
The Slave-Market. From an Old Print

But although the slaves were restrained and beaten and killed, their numbers increased so fast that the citizens were always in fear that they might one day rise up and kill all their masters. A riot did occur the year after the slave-market was set up. Several white men were killed and a house was burned. Many negroes were then arrested and nineteen of them were executed under a charge of having engaged in a plot against the whites.

Affairs moved along quietly for a time after the riot. The next most interesting happening was the putting up of the first public clock, on the City Hall in Wall Street. It was the gift of Stephen De Lancey.

De Lancey was a Huguenot nobleman, who had fled from France when the Huguenots were persecuted for their faith, and had found a home in the new world. He lived in a mansion at the corner of what are now Pearl and Broad Streets. The house is there yet, still called Fraunces's Tavern from the owner who turned it into a tavern after De Lancey removed from it.

Governor Hunter was becoming very popular with the people, when unfortunately his health failed. So he surrendered the government into the hands of Peter Schuyler, who was the oldest member in the City Council, and went to Europe, having served for nine years. For thirteen months Schuyler took charge, until William Burnet, the new Governor, replaced him.

Fraunces's Tavern
Fraunces's Tavern



Governor William Burnet was the son of a celebrated bishop of England.

His early days were passed at the Court of William III., where he met people of refinement and culture. Of an observing nature, and studying a great deal, he came to be a man of deep learning, a good talker, with manners that attracted attention wherever he went—so fine were they.

The city was gayly decorated in honor of his coming. Women looked from their windows and waved their handkerchiefs. Men crowded the streets and loudly shouted their welcome.

Soon after, he married the daughter of a leading merchant, and so identified himself at once with the city's interests. He became the fast friend of Chief-Justice Lewis Morris. Another friendship was that he formed with Dr. Cadwallader Colden. We shall hear more of this man later. Besides being a physician of note, he had a world-wide reputation as a writer on many scientific subjects.

Along about this time the French were trying hard to get all the trade with the Indians, not only in the province of New York, but in all the lands as far west as the Mississippi country that was then wild and unexplored. By this they could make a great deal of money, but, better still, would make friends of the powerful Indian tribes. Then the French hoped that the Indians would join with them against the English and that they could conquer all the English lands in America.

The New York merchants were quite content to let the French do the trading with the Indians, for the French traders bought all their goods in New York, and the merchants in selling to them did not run the great risk of being murdered, as they would in trading with the Indians in the forests. But although the merchants were satisfied, Governor Burnet was not. He realized the danger to the English provinces should the Indians become enemies. So he decided to establish a line of English trading stations that would enable the colonists to trade directly with the Indians in safety. He also made it unlawful to sell goods in New York to the French traders.

The merchants bitterly disapproved of these acts of Governor Burnet. They believed that he had dealt a death-blow to their French trade, and they became his bitter enemies. He tried hard to establish the line of trading stations, but the English Government refused to help him with money, and the project had to be abandoned, and the law against the French trade, which had caused the trouble, was repealed. The trade was once more carried on.

By this time George II. had become King of England, which was in the year 1728. Influence was brought to bear, and Governor Burnet was removed, and left the province a poorer man than he had entered it.

Toward the end of this same year Colonel John Montgomery was made Governor.

He had been groom of the bedchamber of George II. when the latter was Prince of Wales. He was a weak and lazy man, although he had been bred a soldier. You may believe that he never did much in the soldiering line, for a soldier's life is a hard one, and not likely to encourage a man to be lazy. Montgomery was given a cordial welcome, however.

The year after he came, the first Jewish cemetery was established, the remains of which may still be seen in the neighborhood of Chatham Square in New Bowery Street. It has not been used as a graveyard in many a year, and much of the ground is now occupied by buildings. But there is still a portion, behind a stone wall, and crumbling tombstones have stood there ever so many years longer than the dingy tenements which hem them in on three sides.

In the days of Montgomery, New York was still a small village, for most of the houses were below the present Fulton Street, and they were not at all thickly built, so there was room enough for pleasant gardens around them.

At this time the vacant space in front of the fort, which had been used as a parade-ground and a market-place, was leased to three citizens whose houses were nearby to be used as a Bowling Green. Its name came from this and it still keeps it.

A fire department was organized and two engines were imported and room made for them in the City Hall. Before this the department had consisted of a few leather buckets and a few fire-hooks.

In 1731 Governor Montgomery died, and for thirteen months after, Rip Van Dam, oldest member of the council, and a wealthy merchant, looked after the province until the coming of William Cosby.



Cosby arrived; a testy, disagreeable man who loved money above everything else. The colonists received him with favor, because they did not know these things about him. The Assembly granted him a revenue for six years, and gave him a present of £750 besides. The Governor thought this a very small sum and said so. He presented an order from the King which said that he was to have half the salary that Rip Van Dam had received for acting as Governor.

Dinner at Rip Van Dam's
Dinner at Rip Van Dam's

But Van Dam would not part with his money, and the people sided with him, for they had long been weary of governors who looked upon the colony simply as a means to repair their fortunes. Cosby was determined to get the money, so he sued Van Dam. This suit was conducted in a court where there were three judges, and two of them were friends of Cosby. One of them was James De Lancey, a son of that Stephen De Lancey who had given the clock to the city. The Chief-Justice was still Lewis Morris, who had been appointed by Governor Hunter. So with two judges, friends of the Governor, he won his suit, and Van Dam was ordered to pay him half his salary.

More than this, Chief-Justice Morris, who had disagreed with the other two judges, was removed from office, and James De Lancey became Chief-Justice.

The mass of the people disapproved of these doings, and there were murmurs of discontent. But the Governor had his money, and had made his friend Chief-Justice, and was running matters pretty much his own way, so he was satisfied.

There was still only one paper, the New York Gazette, published by William Bradford. As Bradford was the Government printer, it was quite natural that he should side with Cosby. But just at this time another paper came into existence, a rival to the Gazette, which took up the people's cause. This was the New York Weekly Journal, published by Peter Zenger, who had been one of Bradford's workmen. Each week it was filled with articles assailing Cosby, and all who were in sympathy with him. Very soon Zenger was arrested, charged with publishing libels against the city officials and the King. He was locked up in one of the cells in the City Hall.

The friends of Zenger secretly secured the services of Andrew Hamilton, a distinguished lawyer of Philadelphia, who pleaded his cause to good effect, and showed that Zenger had only spoken as any man had a right to speak, and had pointed out wrongs where wrongs existed. Justice De Lancey, remembering that his friend the Governor had made him Chief-Justice, told the jury that they must find Zenger guilty. But the jury pronounced him not guilty. Thus the freedom of the press was established, and the jury, by their verdict, had opposed the Governor, his council, the Assembly, and the judge before whom the accused had been tried.

About this time Lord Augustus Fitzroy, youngest son of the Duke of Grafton, came from England to visit Governor Cosby. The Governor thanked him for having honored New York with his presence, and told him that the city was open and invited him to go where he pleased. Lord Augustus did not go far. He fell in love with the Governor's daughter. He did more than fall in love, for one day he induced a minister to climb over the fort wall and marry him to her, without leave or license. The friends of the young nobleman were shocked, for the Governor's daughter was considered beneath him in rank. Governor Cosby was accused of having brought about this unequal match, although Lord Augustus said that it was the lady's winning ways and pretty face.

Cosby, after the Zenger trial, did what he could to check the liberty of the citizens, but was soon stricken with a fatal illness. On his death-bed he called together the members of his council, and suspended his old enemy, Rip Van Dam, who would have been his successor until another Governor was appointed. And having done this he died, on March 10, 1736, leaving a quarrelsome state of affairs behind him.



The citizens were so far from being pleased when they learned that Rip Van Dam was not to act in the Governor's place, that, for a time, it looked very much as though there would be a riot. There was a member of the Assembly named George Clarke, and when his fellow-members chose him for the place that Rip Van Dam should have had, there was more grumbling. But as no Governor came from England for seven years, Clarke looked after the province all that time. He was an easy-going man, who tried by every possible means to make friends. There was one happening in particular by which he is remembered. It was called the Negro Plot.

Slaves had been brought to the city, until now there were 2,000 of them. The 8,000 citizens were in constant dread lest the negroes should some day rise up in revolt. Early in the spring of the year 1741 several fires occurred in different parts of the city, and the citizens felt quite sure that the slaves had started them. As the hours passed, the idea of a plot grew until it seemed a fact. Then a reward was offered to anyone who would tell of a conspiracy or of anyone concerned in one.

Just at this time a woman was arrested for a small theft, and when she heard of the reward, she all at once remembered that there had been meetings of negroes at a small tavern where she had worked. She told of a plan to kill every white person; to set all the negroes free, and to make one of them King of the city. The woman who told this story was Mary Burton. The tavern-keeper, his wife, and several other negroes were hanged in short order. Still the fires kept on. There were dozens within ten days, and among others the Governor's house in the fort was burned to the ground.

The Negroes Sentenced
The Negroes Sentenced

Mary Burton now began a remarkable series of confessions which grew wilder with each passing day. Negro slaves accused by her were arrested in numbers. Liberty was promised all who would speak the truth, and speaking the truth was understood to mean giving information of a conspiracy. Very soon several negroes were burned at the stake in a little valley beyond the Collect Pond. This awful death frightened many, who hastened to cry out that they knew all about the plot. There were some who saved their lives by confessing things that were not true; many more did not.

During the whole long, hot summer the hanging and burning of negro slaves went on. Late in the year, when Mary Burton had seen every person she had accused arrested, she grew more bold. She sought some new story to tell, and found one in remembering for the first time that white people had been connected with the plot. Twenty-four white citizens had been arrested, when Mary Burton began to attack prominent townsmen; even those who had been foremost in the prosecution of the negroes. It was only then realized that the woman's words could not be relied upon. She was paid the hundred pounds that had been promised her, and she disappeared, leaving no trace.

Gradually the fury of feeling against the slaves died away. Whether there had ever been any real plot will always remain unanswered.

Certain it is, however, that the witnesses on whose words arrests were made were all of uncertain and unreliable character; that the evidence was contradictory, and that most of it was extorted under pain of death.

The excitement passed away after a time, and George Clarke went on talking finely and managing his own affairs so well that he was growing very rich indeed when his official life came to a sudden end.



In this year, 1743, Admiral George Clinton was sent by King George II. of England to take the place of George Clarke as Governor. Then Clarke packed up his riches and went to England and enjoyed the rest of his life far from the little colony that he had governed so much to his own profit.

Admiral Clinton was the son of an English earl.

When he had been Governor not yet a year, there came a man whose influence was soon felt. He was Commodore Peter Warren, of the British Navy, who in later years became an admiral. Before he had been in New York long, he married Susannah De Lancey, a sister of the Chief-Justice. They went to live in a new house in the country, in the district which was then and is now known as Greenwich.

England was again at war with France at this time. There were tribes of Indians who sided with the French, and there were other tribes who sided with the English, and the result was a series of bloody border wars. Two years after the coming of Governor Clinton, New York, with the other English colonies, gathered troops to attack the French, and a great force was sent against a city called Louisburg. This city was on Cape Breton Island, which is close by the coast of Nova Scotia and was a fortress of such great strength, that it was called the Gibraltar of America. Commodore Warren led the English fleet, and the combined forces by sea and land captured the fortress.

You will remember James De Lancey, who was still Chief-Justice. He was very rich, and as he showed at all times that he considered the interests of the citizens above all things, they naturally thought a great deal of him. For a time he acted as adviser to Governor Clinton, but the two had a falling out.

For the ten years that Clinton remained Governor he had great trouble with the people, who sided with De Lancey. At the end of that time Governor Clinton, finding that his power grew less and less, and that De Lancey became more and more popular, resigned his office. A few months went by, and then came Sir Danvers Osborne to be Governor. On the third day after reaching the city he walked out of the fort at the head of the other officials, with Clinton by his side, to go to the City Hall, where he was to take the oath of office. The people, all gathered in the streets, shouted when they saw the new Governor. But at the sight of Clinton, whom they hated, they hissed and shook their fists and yelled, until Clinton became alarmed and hurried back to the fort, leaving the new Governor to go on without him. And Sir Danvers Osborne was much surprised and a little frightened.

"I expect," said he to Clinton that same day, "I expect the same treatment before I leave the province,"

For all the shaking fists and for all the angry shouts, the new Governor was well entertained that day. The church-bells rang, cannon boomed, and at night the town was illuminated. But the citizens did not do this so much for the new Governor as they did for De Lancey, who had now been made Lieutenant-Governor.

Two days after Sir Danvers took the oath of office he called his council before him and told them that the King had said he was to have the permanent revenue about which there had been so much trouble with the other governors. And the council members told him, as they had told others, that this command would never be obeyed. On hearing this Sir Danvers became sad and gloomy. He covered his face with his hands.

"Then what am I come here for?" he cried.

The very next morning there was an uproar in the city. The Governor had been found dead, hanging from the garden-wall of his house. Then the people learned that his mind had been unsettled for a long time, and that he had accepted the governorship hoping to be cured by a change of scene. But the knowledge that his rule would be one of constant struggling to gain his ends had doubtless proven too much for his wrecked brain. So he killed himself, and the government of New York was left in the hands of James De Lancey, and you will see how he still further won the hearts of those around him.



Two years James De Lancey acted as Governor, and the citizens were really sorry when Admiral Sir Charles Hardy was sent to take his place.

Sir Charles was not slow to see and to admit that while he was a good sailor, he did not make a good Governor, so after a year he resigned, and the province was once more left to the care of De Lancey.

At this time there was much being said about the need for schools, and for many years plans had been under way for building a college in the city.

Money had been raised by means of lotteries—which were popular and lawful then—and finally the college was established. It was called King's College. It is still in existence, but is now Columbia University. A tablet at West Broadway and Murray Street tells that the college once stood close by.

It was near this time that William Walton, a very rich merchant, built the finest house that the city had yet known. This was in Queen Street, not a great way from the Stadt Huys, and the furniture and fittings were in keeping with the elegance of the exterior. It was so fine that the fame of it spread to England, where it was spoken of as a proof that the colonists were very, very rich indeed. This house stood for 129 years. When it was torn down it had become a tenement that showed scarcely a trace of its early grandeur. Queen Street is now Pearl Street and the building numbered 326 is on the site of the famous old house.

There was another war with the French now, and four expeditions were sent out against them. On one of these a young officer with the troops from Virginia distinguished himself. He was cool and daring in the midst of battle. The soldiers, who were themselves fearless fighters, strove to be as brave as he. This officer was only twenty-three years old, and his name was George Washington. He had a glorious career before him.

There came from England in the year following this a burly, blustering man, who had been appointed commander-in-chief of the British forces in America. This Lord Loudoun very soon proved to everybody's satisfaction except his own that he was not fit to be a commander. The people of New York detested him heartily, and were glad when after three years he was recalled because he was not successful in the war against the French. The new commander-in-chief did better. He was General Jeffrey Amherst, and under him the English were gradually successful. Town after town held by the French fell, until the capture of Montreal, in 1760, secured to the English the conquest of Canada, and so ended a conflict which had for many years drained the energies of the colonists.

Soon after this Lieutenant-Governor James De Lancey was found dead in his library-chair at his country home (now a closely built-up part of the city at Delancey Street, near the Bowery). In a few days his body was taken from there, followed by a great concourse of people, and buried under the centre aisle of Trinity Church. Up to the last day of his life De Lancey remained much beloved.

Trinity Church, 1760
Trinity Church, 1760

The death of De Lancey left the care of the colony to Cadwallader Colden, whom you will remember as the friend of Governor Hunter. He had been so long concerned in public affairs that he knew how to please. Before the year was ended England's King, George II., died. When the news reached New York, the city was draped with mourning. But in another week all signs of sadness had disappeared in honor of the new King, George III.

Then General Robert Monckton, who had been in command of the English forces on Staten Island, was made Governor. He was a young man, somewhat careless, but, as was the case with all the new governors, he was welcomed with glad shouts of approval.

England at this time needed men in her navy, and the captains of war-ships were in the habit of boarding any vessel that sailed from the colonies in America and taking sailors by force to serve on the English ships. This increased a bitter feeling that the colonists were beginning to have against England. The city had now 14,000 inhabitants and was in quite a flourishing condition.

After two years Monckton tired of the cares of government, and sailed away to England, with never a thought of the wild scenes that were to take place in the land he left behind.



The colonists were becoming more and more dissatisfied, not only in New York, but in all of the thirteen English colonies in America. For they strongly objected to the way in which money was being taken from them in the form of taxes. The English had spent much money in the wars which led up to the conquest of Canada, and thought that it should be returned to them. So they taxed the colonists in every possible way. Protest was made against these taxes, but in vain. Matters became worse and worse. After two years, when it had come to be the year 1765, the British Parliament passed what was called the Stamp Act. This compelled the people to buy stamps and put them on every sort of legal paper. No one could be married, no newspaper could be printed, nothing could be bought, nothing could be sold, no business of any sort could be carried on without these stamps. No one could evade the use of them, and in this way all would have to contribute directly to the King.

More than any other form of tax, more than anything the British Government had done, the people opposed this Stamp Act. The colonists had no one to represent them in the British Parliament, no one to present their side, no one to plead for them and tell what a drain this tax was, so they declared that they would not use a single stamp, unless they were allowed to have someone to represent them; and they set up the cry, "No Taxation Without Representation."

Very soon a company of men called the Sons of Liberty began to be heard of throughout all the thirteen colonies. They were foremost in opposing the Stamp Act. In many towns they held meetings, and it was not long before the people were aroused from one end of the country to the other.

Not many months had passed before men were sent from each of the colonies and met in the City Hall at New York. This meeting was called a Colonial Congress. For three weeks these men conferred, and during that time decided that in good truth the Stamp Act was unjust, and that everything in their power should be done to prevent it.

Coffee-House opposite Bowling Green, Head-Quarters of the Sons of Liberty
Coffee-House opposite Bowling Green, Head-Quarters of the Sons of Liberty

In this same year the house which Stephen De Lancey had built close by Trinity Church, and which James De Lancey had lived in until his death, had become a hotel. It was called Burns's Coffee-House. It was a solid structure, with high beams, great fireplaces, and wide halls. If you go now to look for the spot where it stood, you will find a crowded business section; but in those days there were open spaces all about, and a handsome lawn swept away to the river. One October night the merchants of the city gathered in this coffee-house, and here, late at night, they signed a paper which bound them one and all to buy no goods from England so long as the English King should compel them to use the stamps. By this agreement people could, of course, only wear clothing that was made in the colonies, and even the wealthy refused to buy silk and broadcloth that were sent from England. Tea and coffee, being imports, were not drunk, and in their place were used preparations made from fragrant wild herbs of the American soil.

The merchants who had assembled in the coffee-house were called the Non-Importation Association, branches of which spread throughout all the colonies. The paper they signed was the non-importation agreement. Next day, which was the first on which the stamps were to be distributed, the city seemed to sleep. The shops were closed and the citizens remained indoors. The flags were hung at half-mast and the bells tolled dismally.

But at night the silence changed to noise. The citizens gathered in numbers. They broke into the stable of Lieutenant-Governor Cadwallader Golden and dragged out his coach of state. In it they put a figure made of sticks and rags to represent the owner. They marched the streets, shouting as they went, and finally surrounded the fort. The soldiers were drawn up on the ramparts with cannon and gun directed toward the Bowling Green. But no shots were fired. The rioters being denied admission to the fort, into which they were anxious to get because the stamps were stored there, tore down the wooden railing around the Bowling Green, and, kindling a huge fire, burned the coach and the figure in it.

As the flames blazed high, the fury of the mob increased. They rushed away toward Vauxhall on the outskirts of the town (where Greenwich and Warren Streets now cross). Vauxhall at this time was occupied by a major of the British army named James. He had said that the stamps ought to be crammed down the throats of the people with the point of a sword. In revenge for this his house was broken into, his handsome furniture, his pictures and treasures of every sort dragged out, and kindled into a bonfire around which the mob danced and howled.

The people were quite determined to take the law into their own hands and destroy every trace of the hated stamps. You shall know presently what prevented them.



On the morning after the night of rioting—dark and dreary day that was quite in keeping with the gloomy feelings of the people—Cadwallader Colden, the Lieutenant-Governor, decided that he would do away with the stamps that had caused so much trouble. So he had them delivered to the Mayor, who was in accord with the citizens, and the Mayor put them in the City Hall amid many cheers. A few days after this Sir Henry Moore (who had been appointed Governor of the province) arrived from England, and immediately won the hearts of the citizens by saying that he would have nothing to do with the stamps. During the next few months excitement in New York and in the other colonies increased, and efforts to keep the stamps in use caused riots everywhere.

When the King saw that he could not enforce the Stamp Act, and that serious trouble was likely to occur from every attempt to do so, he repealed the act, the year after it had become a law.

The people were overjoyed at this.

The King's birthday coming soon after, there was in his honor a great celebration, and a liberty pole was planted on the Common, which in after years played an important part in the history of New York; and a marble statue of William Pitt, Earl of Chatham, was erected. This William Pitt had done more than any other man in England to secure the repeal of the Stamp Act, and had time and time again spoken strongly against it. His statue was set up in Wall Street, and at the same time a statue of King George III., seated upon a horse, was erected on the Bowling Green. It fared ill with these statues later, as you will see.

There was no longer a stamp act, but there was another act quite as disagreeable. It was called the Mutiny Bill, and it required that food and drink and sleeping-quarters be given to all the British soldiers. Now the Mutiny Bill fell hardest upon New York, for New York was the head-quarters of the British army in America. The people refused to comply with this law, because they feared that it was the first step toward compelling them to support a great army in America.

So the soldiers and citizens were again continually at odds.

Four years after the Stamp Act was repealed, during which time affairs were in a most unsettled state and the bitter feeling between the colonists and England was growing stronger with each passing day, the English Parliament declared that no tax was to be put on anything except tea. Tea was to be taxed, not so much for the money that would thus go to the King, but to show that he had the right to tax the colonists. This did not settle matters in the least. The colonists had sworn to resist all taxes, and to have a tax on one article was as bad, to their minds, as having taxes on all. But the merchants were not prospering, for, not importing goods from England, they had none to sell. So a committee of 100 men was appointed to see what could be done. This committee decided that it would be right for the merchants to import everything they needed except tea. And the merchants welcomed this decision and agreed to it.

But the fiery Sons of Liberty refused to listen to any such compromise. They insisted on keeping the non-importation agreement until the duty on tea, as well as all other duties, should be done away with once and for all. So they determined to maintain it until the end, and they did maintain it well. Day by day the soldiers of King George III. and the citizens became greater enemies. Although the soldiers tried many times to drag down the liberty pole, it was well defended, and it stood until one night in January, 1770, when they tore it down and chopped it into pieces. This act led to the battle of Golden Hill, which was the first real battle of the American Revolution.



A bit of rising ground, not a great way from the Common, was called Golden Hill. Here there was an inn. To this day the elevation of ground can be seen (where John Street crosses William), and the inn still stands. While the thought of the wrecked liberty pole was still fresh in mind, some of the Sons of Liberty came suddenly upon a number of soldiers close by this inn. There was a running fight, the soldiers using their guns and cutlasses and the others beating them back with staves and sticks. More soldiers came and the fight grew in fury. Already one man had received his death-blow and a dozen had been injured, when several officers came galloping up the road and the soldiers were ordered back to their barracks. This was the battle of Golden Hill.

Very often after this the soldiers and the citizens clashed and sometimes came to blows, and progress was at a standstill because of the turbulence of the times. Public improvements were neglected and very little business was carried on.

In the third year after the battle of Golden Hill, the British Government decided to make the colonists buy tea whether they wanted to or not. So the price was put down until tea could be bought in New York cheaper than it could be bought in England. This did no good, for though the tea was cheap the tax was on it and it was the tax and not the price of which the people complained. The Sons of Liberty, when they heard that ships loaded with cheap tea were on the way from England, said they would not even permit it to be landed. The first ship in port was under the command of a captain named Lockyer, who, when he learned of the strong efforts made to prevent the landing of the tea, determined to return to England with his cargo. He anchored his ship in the bay and came in a small boat to the city. The people, joyful over his decision, decided to give him a public leave-taking.

Within a few days another ship sailed into the bay, commanded by Captain Chambers, who insisted that he had no tea on board. When told that his vessel would be searched, he admitted that he had a few chests. That same night the citizens who had all day thronged the wharf, suddenly swarmed aboard the vessel. The hatches were ripped up, and the eighteen chests of tea hauled on deck. There they were torn into pieces and the contents scattered into the river. Having done this the crowds dispersed and all was quiet again.

Next day came the public leave-taking of Captain Lockyer. He had spent the night at the coffee-house in Wall Street, and here, early in the morning, there was a great assembly. The bells of the city chimed merrily; flags floated from the houses, and the ships in the bay were decorated with gay colors.

From the balcony of the coffee-house the Captain bowed while the crowds cheered him. Finally a committee escorted him to the foot of Wall Street, where he embarked in a pilot-boat which took him to his ship. Another committee, with far less ceremony, escorted Captain Chambers to the same boat, and the two captains sailed away.

Ferry-House on East River, 1746, from an Old Print
Ferry-House on East River, 1746, from an Old Print

Even before this had happened in New York, the citizens of Boston had dumped a cargo of tea into their harbor, and the British Parliament had closed the port of Boston; which meant that no ships were permitted to sail in or out of it. By this it was hoped to stop all business in Boston, and really it did put an end to a great part of it. And General Thomas Gage, who now had charge of the British troops in America, undertook to see that the orders of the King were properly enforced.

This closing of the port of Boston aroused the thirteen British colonies in America. After a great deal of letter-writing it was decided to have men from each of these colonies meet and talk matters over. In September of this year (1774) they met in Philadelphia. At this meeting, which was called the First Continental Congress, it was decided that laws were made in England that were unjust to America, that the colonists objected to taxes that were fixed by Parliament and would buy no more goods from England while a tax was upon them; and that they objected to the support of a large British army in the colonies.

And this First Continental Congress sent a petition to King George III., saying that the unjust laws should be done away with.

How the King received this petition is soon told.



Now in New York almost everybody was anxious to carry out the decision of this First Continental Congress.

But the Assembly said that the Congress had not been a lawful gathering and must not be obeyed. The colonists replied that they would do as they thought best, no matter what the King's Assembly ordered.

You must know that some of the people supported the royal cause and were called Royalists or Tories. The others were called Patriots or Whigs. The English called the patriots rebels.

It had now come to be the year 1775, and matters in Boston where the port had been closed were growing worse and worse. In the month of April some British soldiers passing through Lexington shot down a number of patriots. Messengers on horseback sped through the colonies carrying news of this massacre. It was the first serious encounter of the Revolution and the colonists realized that they were now at war with the British. Men rushed to arms. Farmers left their homes. Professional men hurried from the towns. Within a few days an army surrounded Boston and penned in the British troops there.

When the messenger reached New York with the news of the Lexington massacre, a Provisional Assembly was formed which was to look after the city without regard to the Assembly which already existed. And this is the way it came about that there was a king's government and a people's government. Shops were closed and armed citizens paraded the streets. Matters went on in this fashion for a month, when a Second Continental Congress met at Philadelphia.

As it was now seen that there was to be a serious conflict with Great Britain, the army gathered about Boston was adopted as the beginning of the forces to be assembled and was termed the Continental Army, and George Washington was appointed commander-in-chief.

East River Shore, 1750, from an Old Print
East River Shore, 1750, from an Old Print

Knowing that they would soon need guns and powder, the Sons of Liberty seized those held by the royal troops in New York. There was quite a quantity in a storehouse at Turtle Bay, a quiet little cove three miles above the town, that curved into a wild and rocky part of the East River shore. Nowadays the city extends for miles and miles above it. If you go to Forty-ninth Street and the East River you will see all that remains of it. Although the houses are built thick about it, there is still an air of seclusion. Everywhere else along the shore are piers and bath-houses and wharves and ships and shipping.

So at this Turtle Bay, far from the town, the royal troops had a storehouse for their arms. A small band of the Sons of Liberty, one dark night, floated down the river, guided their vessel into the bay, overpowered the guards before they were fairly aroused, and loaded their boat with the enemy's powder and guns. Then they made off, and before the morning dawned had placed the stores safe in the hands of the patriots.

Then the War of the Revolution broke in full fury.



In this month of June, in the year 1775, there were quite a number of British soldiers in the city, and many of the patriots believed that they should be made prisoners. But the Provisional Assembly decreed that the orders of the Second Continental Congress must be obeyed. And these orders were not to molest the soldiers as long as they did not try to build fortifications or remove powder and guns from the city.

But early in this month of June it was learned that the soldiers were about to go to Boston. More than that, it was known that there was a secret order under which they were to take guns and powder with them.

The Sons of Liberty were hastily called to a meeting. One of them, Marinus Willett, was hurrying through Broad Street toward the Coffee-House where the meeting was to be held, when he came upon the soldiers moving silently along with five carts loaded with chests of arms. Alone, and without an instant's hesitation, Willett clutched at the bridle of the first horse. The company stopped. There was an angry parley, the officers claiming the right to leave the city with the arms, and making an effort to do so without raising a general alarm. But friends of Willett came to his assistance. The five carts were driven away by the patriots and the soldiers went on but without the arms. Long years afterward a bronze tablet was placed on a house in Broad Street close by Beaver (and is there now), to mark the spot where the brave Willett stopped the ammunition wagons.

In this same month a battle was fought between the British army in Boston and the Continental army which was encamped outside of Boston. It was fought on a bit of high ground near the city, and was called the Battle of Bunker Hill.

Just at this time word came that General George Washington, the newly appointed commander-in-chief, was on his way from Philadelphia to the Continental army, and would pass through New York City. Washington with his aides and a company of soldiers were hurrying across New Jersey on horseback, and when they reached the city they were met by a committee from the Provisional Assembly, with a number of patriot soldiers.

The next morning Washington set out for Boston. He had not yet left the town when a ship appeared in the bay having on board Governor William Tryon, who had been visiting in England for nearly a year. Governor Tryon did not remain long in the city though, as it was not a comfortable place for a royal Governor just then. He hurriedly left one night and went aboard one of the British ships in the bay.

At the close of this year Washington was still before Boston with the Continental army. Another section of the army was in the North, fighting against the British in Canada. This last branch was encamped about the walls of Quebec in the last month of the year. It was under the command of General Richard Montgomery, of New York, a brilliant soldier who had fought in the French and Indian wars. Quebec was stormed, but was too strong to be taken. Montgomery fell crying, "Men of New York, you will not fear to follow where your general leads." He was buried with military honors in Quebec, for the British honored him as a brave man. Forty-three years later his remains were removed to New York, and placed beneath the portico of St. Paul's Chapel, where his tomb may now be seen.

Fighting by the side of Montgomery when he fell was a youth who was singled out for his bravery. His name was Aaron Burr. You are to hear more of him, for many and many a time in after years the eyes of the entire country were turned upon him.



And now, early in the next spring, George Washington came again to New York, having at last forced the British troops from Boston. The city, which was under the control of the patriots, was in a state of excitement, as it seemed probable that this was to be the next point of attack. Every person who favored the cause of the King, or who was suspected of favoring it, was looked upon with distrust. One-third of the citizens had fled. The soldiers of the Continental army were arriving daily. Women and children were rarely seen upon the streets. Many of the royalists' houses, which had been closed when their owners fled, were broken open to give sleeping quarters to the soldiers.

At the outbreak of the war the people's grievance had been simply taxation without representation, but by this time the desire for complete independence had taken fast hold of them. This feeling swept through the colonies, and when the Continental Congress met in June of this year, it voted that the united colonies should be free and independent States and have no further political connection with Great Britain. A declaration of independence was adopted on July 4th, and the British colonies became the United States of America.

A horseman brought the news to New York, and there was great rejoicing. The soldiers of the new Union then in the city were ordered to the Common, and there, early in the evening, standing in a hollow square—close by where the City Hall is now—and surrounded by a great concourse of people, Washington read the address that proclaimed the birth of a free and independent nation.

Following the reading the great throng applauded and then, filled with enthusiasm, rushed away. At the City Hall in Wall Street they tore down the painting of King George III. and trampled it under foot. On again they went to the Bowling Green, and there they dragged down the statue of the same royal person which had been erected only a few years before. The scattered fragments of the leaden statue were afterward gathered up and moulded into bullets.

This same month General William Howe, commander of the British army, had landed on Staten Island, with his brother, Admiral Howe of the British navy, and with the soldiers and sailors of their commands, made up a fine, well-drilled army of 35,000 men, who had come to fight a force of 20,000 recruits; men not at all well-versed in war, and nearly half of whom were ill and not able to be on duty.

But Washington calmly watched the British on Staten Island, and the British ships, more than 400 of them, in the bay, and was not at all dismayed. Once General Howe wrote to Washington suggesting measures that would lead to peace, but nothing came of it.

Late in the month of August the fighting commenced. General Howe led his forces to Long Island—led 21,000 men, for he thought that the best way to capture New York was to first vanquish the army on Long Island by an overwhelming force. Then the subduing of the city across the river would be easy.

Washington hurried what men he could across to Long Island to assist those already there. But even then the Americans were outnumbered as two to one. The patriots fought long and well, but they were defeated. Two hundred or more were killed, and three times as many, including three generals, were made prisoners. But more than 300 of the British were also killed.

The day after the battle, the American army was in Brooklyn, penned in on the land side by the British troops and on the other by the wide, swift-running river. It was raining in torrents. Washington was there. He planned a retreat that was to save his army. All the boats to be found along the shores of the Island of Manhattan were taken to Brooklyn in the dead of night. Silently the soldiers were put aboard, so silently that, although the British were almost within speaking distance, no sound of the departing army reached them. The point where they embarked was close by where the East River Bridge now touches the Brooklyn shore. It was daylight before the last of the troops got aboard, but a heavy fog shielded them as well as had the darkness.

When the sun swept the fog away, General Howe gazed in wonder at the spot where the American forces had been the night before. But they were gone, with the swiftness and silence of magic! The magician was Washington, who had not slept from the hour of defeat until his men were safe again in New York. But they were not to remain there long, as more exciting work was before them.



Miles and miles above the little city of New York, on a road which led up through the Island of Manhattan, there was a stately house in a stretch of country and forest land overlooking the Hudson River. This was the house of Charles Ward Apthorpe and was known as the Apthorpe mansion. Here General Washington went after the retreat from Long Island, to devise a plan for the battles that were to come.

The city was well fortified, but Washington understood full well that it could not be held long against a British attack. For the British soldiers were already on the islands of the East River, and the British ships held possession of the harbor and of both rivers. So Washington sent the main body of his army to Harlem Heights at the northern end of the Island of Manhattan, and left only a force of 4,000 men, under General Putnam, in New York.

Washington desiring to learn the plans of the enemy, called for someone who would be willing to go into the British lines. This was a dangerous undertaking, for capture meant certain death. But there was a young officer who was anxious to undertake the mission, and the arrangements were made. This was Nathan Hale. In disguise he made his way, learned the number of the enemy, and learned, too, all about the plan of attack. With this information he was hurrying back to General Washington, when he was recognized as belonging to the American army, and was arrested. In a few days, when he was tried, he freely admitted that he had acted as Washington's spy. He died as he had lived—bravely. A moment before he was hanged he was asked if he wished to say any word. "Yes," he answered; and looking firmly into the faces of those who stood about him, "I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country," No wonder that the memory of the Martyr Spy has lived through the passing years!

Sixteen days after Washington and his men retreated from Long Island, the British sailed up the East River and anchored opposite a little inlet called Kip's Bay (at the foot of what is now Thirty-sixth Street). They fired upon those who defended the bay, and under cover of this fire landed; and the American soldiers scurried away up the island toward the north.

General Howe led his men on for half a mile, until they reached a large country house. This was the home, and all about it was the farm, of a family named Murray (who gave their name to Murray Hill). These Murrays were friendly to the patriots, but they were also well acquainted with Governor Tryon, who was with the British army. So the army rested close by the house, and Howe, Tryon, and the other officers were given a fine dinner by Mrs. Murray.

Mrs. Murray's Dinner to British Officers
Mrs. Murray's Dinner to British Officers

Now although the Americans had retreated north up the island from Kip's Bay, and were safely on their way to the main army on Harlem Heights, you must remember there were 4,000 soldiers still in the city. So the British were in the centre of the island with a very large force; the main body of the Americans was to the north; while to the south was this little band of 4,000, far away from their army and in a position to be trapped by the British. Had the British officers at once decided to stretch their men across the island, the 4,000 would have been penned up on the lower part and would have been made prisoners. It therefore seemed to Putnam's men that there was but one way for them to escape capture, and that was by slipping past the British who rested at Murray house and joining the main army on Harlem Heights.

The Murrays understood the condition of affairs, so they were particularly cordial to their British guests and detained them as long as they could at dinner. They were still feasting when General Putnam started his 4,000 men marching toward the north.

Howe's Head-Quarters, Beekman House
Howe's Head-Quarters, Beekman House

He galloped far in advance, for the country was rough and his soldiers could walk but slowly. He galloped north, and Washington, hanging to the rear of the retreating troops from Kip's Bay, the generals met where two roads crossed, close by where Broadway now crosses Forty-third Street. Washington instructed Putnam to hurry his 4,000 on before they were irretrievably cut off from the main army. They did hurry on. They drew near the Murray house; they formed a line two miles long that moved silently over the road that led them to within half a mile of where the British soldiers were feasting. The line passed this point. Scarcely had the last man gone by when the British were on the move, half an hour too late for the capture of 4,000 prisoners.

Now the American forces were all together in a solid mass, moving toward the upper end of the island; plodding through pouring rain, almost dropping from the exhaustion of their long march—but safe.

This same night a division of the British soldiers occupied New York. The others, close on the heels of the American army, waited for the morning.



When the sun rose next morning (it was September 16th), the American army and the British army lay encamped each on a highland close beside one another separated by a valley.

The ground occupied by the British soldiers was then Vandewater Heights. Much of this high ground still remains and is now called Columbia Heights, and Columbia University and Grant's Tomb are upon it. The American forces were scattered over what was then Harlem Heights, as far as Washington's head-quarters in the country mansion overlooking the Harlem River above Harlem Plains. It was the house of Roger Morris, a royalist who had fled at the approach of the American soldiers, and it still stands at 160th Street close by St. Nicholas Avenue. On the heights and in the valley a battle was fought, beginning with a light engagement quite early in the day, with more and more men of both armies gradually joining in until there were 5,000 Americans against 6,000 British, with several thousand of each side held in reserve.

Map of Manhattan Island in 1776, Showing the American Defences
Map of Manhattan Island in 1776, Showing the American Defences

The battle ended in the afternoon with the defeat of the British, who lost 200 of their number.

This was a great victory for the Americans, who fought against superior numbers—great because the men had lost heart after the defeat on Long Island, and the forced retreat from the city. There was sorrow for the dead, for even victories have a sad side. Every one of the 100 American soldiers who were killed that day were brave men, and though all their names are not written in history, the manner of their death urged on their companions in the days that followed.



On the fourth day after the battle of Harlem Heights the soldiers of England were making themselves comfortable in New York when a great fire broke out. It swept over the city and 500 houses crumbled and fell in ashes before it was controlled. Almost the entire western part of the city was consumed, St. Paul's Chapel being the only building of importance that was saved. Almost all who favored the American cause had fled. But a few remained, and there was a hint that these had started the fire. The British soldiers were angered when they saw the city they had just entered burning, and while the flames roared and the houses fell they rushed about and in their rage dashed out the brains of the citizens who sought to beat back the flames from their homes. But it was afterward learned that the fire had started in quite an accidental manner.

A little while after this General Howe moved with the greater part of the British army up the East River, and sailing on past the Island of Manhattan, landed on the mainland beyond in Westchester. In this way the British were in the rear of the Americans, and within a few days the two armies coming together a battle was fought, in which the Americans were defeated. Washington and his men then retreated into New Jersey.

General Howe next attacked Fort Washington, a high and rocky point on the banks of the Hudson River (on a line with the present 178th Street). There were 3,000 men here, all the American soldiers who were now on the island, and they held such a high and well-fortified position that they thought themselves quite safe. They doubtless would have been had not one of their number, William Demont, turned traitor. He told the British just how many men there were, and just how the fortress should be attacked. And the British stormed the fort as the traitor directed, and took it, and every one of the soldiers who had not been killed was made prisoner. This ended the actual fight for liberty in New York.

View from the Bowling Green in the Revolution, from an Old Print
View from the Bowling Green in the Revolution, from an Old Print

But outside of New York the war went bravely on. Washington in New Jersey kept up the fight, but the winter came on and his army suffered exceedingly. It had come to be a very small army by this time, for they were poorly fed and ill clothed and seldom had any sort of shelter. Nevertheless, Washington gained many victories in New Jersey and manoeuvred his little army so well that the whole world, hearing of his achievements, was forced to recognize him as a great general.

New York was the head-quarters of the British army in America, and the residence of its chief officers. The city was as thoroughly British as it had before been American, and it was as much as life was worth even to hint of an interest in the American cause.

Early in the next year, 1777, those who had the making of the laws for the new State of New York, met in secret, and chose George Clinton as their first Governor. The other colonies had formed themselves into States, and the new nation grew stronger day by day.

Commissioners were sent to the European courts to ask aid for the United States. Many young French noblemen, thrilled at the idea of fighting for liberty, came to America as volunteers, and by their knowledge of war gave valuable assistance to the American officers. The name of the Marquis de Lafayette stands out prominently as the chief of these volunteers. He was not yet twenty years old, but fitted out a vessel at his own expense and crossed the ocean to offer his services. He asked to be enlisted as a volunteer and to serve without pay, but he was soon appointed a major-general.

When it had come to be July of this year, there was some fighting in the North, for the British General Burgoyne came down from Canada. He intended to meet the army under Howe which was marching northward, and the two armies were to sweep everything before them. Burgoyne defeated the Americans led by General Philip Schuyler, in several battles. Just at this time General Schuyler's command was given to General Gates. Now Gates followed the plans that had been made by Schuyler, with the result that Burgoyne and his entire force of 6,000 men surrendered at Saratoga. This settled one branch of the British army. The other branch, under General Howe, took possession of Philadelphia, but the defeat of Burgoyne at Saratoga put an end to their hopes of sweeping everything before them.

In the last month of the year, Washington and his army took up winter quarters at Valley Forge so as to keep a close watch upon the British in Philadelphia.



The winter passed, and when the spring came the British army moved from Philadelphia to New York City, but not without great trouble, for Washington's army fought them every step of the way across New Jersey.

The city was now quite different from the flourishing town it had been before the war. Held possession of by the British, it was a military camp. No improvements were made. Many of the citizens who were loyal to the American cause had fled. Those who were too poor to leave pretended to favor the British, but as little business could be done, they could find no work, and their condition became worse daily. Thousands of American prisoners were brought here, making it a British prison-house, and every building of any size was a guard-house, every cellar a dungeon.

Old Sugar-House in Liberty Street, the Prison-House of the Revolution
Old Sugar-House in Liberty Street, the Prison-House of the Revolution

One of the gloomiest of these prisons was an old sugar-house close by the Middle Dutch Church. It was built in the days of Jacob Leisler, with thick stone walls five stories high, pierced with small windows. The ceilings were so low and the windows so small that the air could scarcely find entrance. Underneath was a black and dismal cellar. The pale and shrunken faces of prisoners filled the openings at the windows by day and by night, seeking a breath of air. They were so jammed together that there was by no means room at the windows for all. So these wretched men divided themselves into groups, each group crowding close to the windows for ten minutes, then giving place to another group. They slept on straw that was never changed, and the food given them was scarcely enough to keep them alive. Those who suffered this living death might have been free at any time had they been willing to go over to the British, but few of the patriots, even in this dread hour, deserted their cause. To while away the hours of their captivity, they carved their names upon the walls with rusty nails. Fevers raged constantly and they died by scores, leaving their half-finished initials on the walls as their only relics. Their bodies were thrown out of doors, and every morning gathered up in carts and carried to the outskirts of the city to be buried in a trench without ceremony.

This was only one of a dozen such prison-houses. There was one other that, if anything, was worse. It was the New Jail, and it still stands in City Hall Park and is now the Hall of Records. During the war it was known as The Provost, because it was the head quarters of a provost-marshal named Cunningham. It was his custom at the conclusion of his drunken revels to parade his weak, ill, half-fed prisoners before his guests, as fine specimens of the rebel army. It is said of him, too, that he poisoned those who died too slowly of cold and starvation, and then went right on drawing money to feed them. This gave rise to the saying that he starved the living and fed the dead. He took a great delight in being as cruel and merciless as he could, and very often boasted that he had caused the death of more rebels than had been killed by all of the King's forces.

Many American sailors were also captured (for the Revolution was fought on the sea as well as on land) and all these were placed aboard prison-ships—useless hulks, worn-out freight-boats, and abandoned men-of-war. For a time these hulks were anchored close by the Battery, but afterward they were taken to the Brooklyn shore. There was misery and suffering on all of them, but the worst was called the "Jersey," where captives were crowded into the hold, the sick and the well, poorly fed and scarcely clothed, so many of them as hardly to permit space to lie down, watched over by a guard of merciless soldiers. Disease in a dozen forms was always present, and every morning the living were forced to carry out those who had died over night.

During this year 1778, and for several years after, the war was carried on for the most part in the South, in Georgia and South Carolina, while the British soldiers in the city made trips into the surrounding country and laid it waste. Washington and his army in New Jersey could do little more than watch.

In the year 1780 the American cause came very near receiving a serious check, when an officer high in rank turned traitor. This man was Benedict Arnold, and had been a vigorous fighter. But now he bargained with the British to turn over to them West Point, where he was chief in command. Major John André, a brilliant young officer under the British General Clinton, was sent to make the final arrangements. André was returning to New York when he was captured with the plans of West Point concealed in his boots. He was hanged as a spy, and Arnold, escaping to the British in New York, fought with them, despised by the Americans and mistrusted by the English; for a traitor can never be truly liked or respected even by those who benefit by his treachery.

The War of the Revolution went on until the fall of the year 1781, when General Washington made a sudden move that drew his men away from the vicinity of New York before the British army could foresee it. Then he hurried to the South. There, at Yorktown, in Virginia, the combined American army hemmed in, and after a battle forced to surrender, Lord Cornwallis, the British commander in the South, and all his men.

This victory was so great that it really ended the war. Great Britain gave up the struggle, and a treaty of peace was signed.

And now you will see how the British army left the city of New York.



On a crisp, cold day, late in the fall, a tall, mild-faced man on a spirited horse passed down the Bowery Road, followed by a long train of soldiers whose shabby clothes and worn faces told of days of trial and hardship. This was General George Washington with a portion of the Continental army. They were entering New York on this same day when the British troops were leaving it.

But although the British were leaving under the terms of the treaty of peace, and had gone on board ships that were to take them to England, there were many who were filled with rage at this enforced departure. At the fort by the river-side they had knocked the cleats off the flag-pole, and had greased the pole so that no one could climb it to put up the United States flag and thus flaunt it in the face of the departing troops. But the soldiers of Washington who reached the fort just as the last British company was leaving, set to work with hammer and saw. They made new cleats for the pole. Then a young sailor—his name was John Van Arsdale—filling his pockets with the cleats and nailing them above him as he climbed the pole step by step, was able to put the flag in position. And as it floated to the breeze a salute of thirteen guns sounded while the British troops were still within hearing.

So now the city of New York, which for seven years the British had occupied, was again in possession of the citizens.

General Washington only remained here a few days. He made his head-quarters in Fraunces's Tavern, in Broad Street, and there at noon on December 4th, his officers assembled to hear his words of farewell. It was an affectionate parting of men who had suffered danger and privations together. There were tears in Washington's eyes.

North Side of Wall Street East of William Street, Taken a Few Years after the Revolutionary War
North Side of Wall Street East of William Street, Taken a Few Years after the Revolutionary War

"With a heart full of love and gratitude," said he, "I now take my leave of you, and most devoutly wish that your latter days may be as prosperous and happy as your former ones have been glorious and honorable."

It was not a time for much talking, and Washington was soon gone, leaving real sorrow behind him. Within a few weeks he had resigned his commission as commander-in-chief, and had retired as a private citizen to his home at Mount Vernon.

The city of New York was in quite a deplorable state. The wide tract swept by the fire of 1776 still lay in blackened ruins. No effort had been made to rebuild except where temporary wooden huts had been set up by the soldiers. The churches, all of which had been used for one purpose or another, were dismantled, blackened, and marred. There was scarcely a house in all the little town that had not been ill-used by the soldiers. Fences were down, and the streets were filled with rubbish. It was a city stricken with premature decay. Business life was dead, and would have to be begun all over again. The citizens were divided against themselves. Feuds existed everywhere. Patriots who had fled and had now come back felt a deep bitterness against those who had adopted the royal cause for the purpose of keeping possession of their property. These, however, complained just as bitterly because now their homes were taken from them in the adjustment.

King's College, of which you have been told, had been closed all during the war, and had been used as a hospital. It was opened now, but was called Columbia College, as the King no longer had any claims on the city or its institutions.

During the next few years business slowly revived, and day by day the city was rebuilt, growing into something like its old self.

Some little distance above the Common was the City Hospital. There came rumors at this time that the bodies of the dead were being stolen from the graveyards and used by the students for dissecting purposes. There was no truth in these stories, yet many persons became alarmed. They gathered, broke into the hospital and destroyed everything of value. The doctors fled to the jail on the Common for protection. The mob determined to seize them, and tore down the fences about the jail. Then the Mayor gathered a body of citizens to oppose the mob. As night came on, the rioters, becoming more and more destructive, were fired upon and five were killed. After this they scampered away, the trouble was over, and that was the last of the Doctors' Mob.



Rebuilding a city and forming a new nation is such a great task that you can readily believe it was not accomplished without some difficulty. The colonies were free from the rule of the English King, but it was necessary for them to learn to govern themselves.

Each of the new States now had its own government. It was thought by many that there should be some powerful central government to control all the States. So after a great deal of deliberation a convention was held in Philadelphia over which George Washington presided. After four months of hard work the present Constitution of the United States was given to each State to be approved.

There was strong need for this step to be taken, but there were a great many who did not want it, because they thought it would give the President as much power as a king, and as they had gone to some cost to rid themselves of a king, they did not wish another. Those who wanted a central government were called Federalists. Those who did not want it were called Anti-Federalists.

In New York there was one man who did everything that man could do to convince others that the central government was the best thing for the good of the new nation. His name was Alexander Hamilton. He was a young man who had been, ever since he was a boy, a friend of George Washington; who had lived in Washington's family and had fought as an officer side by side with Washington, and was a man of much power and deep learning.

This Constitution of the United States had been approved by nine of the States, when, in June, 1788, a convention was held to determine whether New York was to approve it or not. At this convention Alexander Hamilton spoke eloquently, in an effort to have the Constitution approved.

The convention was still meeting in July, having come to no decision, when the followers of Hamilton, the Federalists, had a great parade through the streets of New York. It was the first big parade in the city, and the grandest spectacle that had ever been seen in America up to this time.

Celebration of the Adoption of the Constitution
Celebration of the Adoption of the Constitution

The most imposing part of it was a great wooden ship on wheels, made to represent the Ship of State, and called the "Federal Ship Hamilton." The parade was a mile and a half long and there were five thousand men in it. It passed along the streets of the city, past the fort, and on up Broadway over the tree-covered hill above the Common, and on to the Bayard Farm beyond the Collect Pond. There a halt was made and the thousands of people sat down on the grass to a dinner.

Three days after this the convention approved of the Constitution for the State of New York. And so the majority of the States having agreed to it, in the next year George Washington was chosen as the first President of the United States, and the city of New York was selected as the temporary seat of the general government.



Now that New York was the seat of the national government, the old City Hall in Wall Street was made larger and fitted up in grand style and was called Federal Hall.

In April George Washington came to this city from his home at Mount Vernon. Every step of his way, by carriage and on horseback, was a march of triumph. The people in towns and villages and countryside greeted him with shouts and signs of affection. But it was in New York that the greatest welcome was given him.

The city had taken on a most picturesque appearance. Every house was decorated with colors, and when Washington landed from a barge at the foot of Wall Street, he walked up a stairway strewn with flowers. The streets were so thronged that way could scarcely be made. Not only were the streets filled, but every window and every house-top. The people waited for hours, and when Washington arrived a wild hubbub commenced that kept up all the day long.

View of Federal Hall and Part of Broad Street, 1796
View of Federal Hall and Part of Broad Street, 1796

Washington was escorted to the house that had been prepared for him, a little way out of town at the top of a hill.

If in the days that you read this you walk along Pearl Street until you come to the East River bridge at Franklin Square, a part of the city crowded with tenements and factories, you will stand close by where the house was. On the abutment of the bridge you will find a tablet that has been riveted to the stone, so that all who pass may know that Washington once lived there. The house was built by Walter Franklin, a rich merchant, and was therefore called the Franklin House. The square, however, does not take its name from this man, but from the renowned Benjamin Franklin.

Very soon, on a bright, sunshiny day, Washington stood on the balcony of Federal Hall, surrounded by the members of the Senate and the House of Representatives, with the citizens thronging every inch of the nearby streets. And there he took the oath of office, and having taken it the cry was raised, "Long Live George Washington, First President of the United States," a cry that was echoed from street to street, and went on echoing out into the country beyond.

The John Street Theatre, 1781
The John Street Theatre, 1781

The life of the First President was a simple and a busy one. He rose at four o'clock each morning and went to bed at nine in the evening. Many hours a day he worked at matters of state, receiving all who called, so that there was quite a stream of people going to and from the Franklin House at all times. Sometimes during the day he took a long drive with Mrs. Washington, which he called the "Fourteen Miles 'round," going up one side of the island above the city and coming down the other. Sometimes of an evening he attended a performance at the little John Street Theatre. Always on Sunday he and all his family went to St. Paul's Chapel. And the pew in which they sat you can sit in if you go to that old chapel, for it has been preserved all these years.

By this time the fort by the Bowling Green, which had stood since the days of the Dutch, was torn down to make room for a mansion that was to be called the Government House and be occupied by the President.

The mansion was built, but you shall see presently why no President ever occupied it.



There was formed just about this time, in fact the very month after Washington's inauguration, an organization which was called the Tammany Society. And out of this society grew the great political body—Tammany Hall. The Tammany Society took its name from a celebrated Indian chief, and at first had as its central purpose the effort to keep a love of country strong in every heart. The best men in the city belonged to the Tammany Society, which held meetings and transacted business under all sorts of odd and peculiar forms. It divided the seasons of the year into the Season of Blossoms, the Season of Fruits, the Season of Moons, and the Season of Snows, instead of Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter. And the head of the order was called the Grand Sachem or Chief.

New York now became a very active and a very brilliant city indeed, and all manner of improvements were made. The first sidewalks were laid along Broadway, just above St. Paul's Chapel. They were pavements of brick, so narrow that two persons could scarcely walk along side by side. Then the high hill crossed by Broadway just above the Common was cut away so that the street stretched away as broad and as straight as you see it to-day. Numbers were put on the houses and streets were cut through the waste lands about the Collect Pond, and the barracks which were built for the British soldiers were torn away as unsightly structures. These barracks were log huts a story high, enclosed by a high wall. The gate at one end, called Tryon's Gate, gave the name to Tryon's Row as it now exists. Trinity Church, which had been in ruins since the fire, was rebuilt, as well as many, many other houses.

Now the fact that the city was the seat of the national government and was the home of Washington had much to do with its improvement. But New York had only been fixed upon as the capital temporarily, and a dozen States were anxious for that honor. Finally, in the second year that Washington was President, it was decided to build a city which should be the seat of the general government, on land given by the States of Maryland and Virginia for that purpose and called the District of Columbia. While the city (which was given the name of Washington) was being built, the seat of government was to be in Philadelphia, and Washington went there to live. A great many of the gay and brilliant company that had been attracted to the capital followed him there, and for a time New York languished in neglect.

It now began to look as though the United States would be drawn into another war with Great Britain. For the French Revolution was in progress and the French people were at war with the English, and thought that the Americans should help them as they had helped the Americans in Revolutionary times. But President Washington and some of the very wise and good people about him thought it best to have nothing to do with it. So a treaty was made between England and the United States, and the French did not get the help they asked.

Some of the citizens of New York, quite a large number of them, were very angry when they heard of this treaty and burned a copy of it on the Bowling Green, with all sorts of threats. But after a time those who had shouted against it changed their minds. They had something more serious to think of nearer home before many years, for the small-pox broke out in the city and thousands upon thousands hurried away to escape the dread disease. All business was at a standstill, and even the churches were closed. When the scourge had spent its force, it was found that more than 2,000 had died of it.

There was one man who took advantage of the small-pox scare to his own profit. This was Aaron Burr. You will remember him as a boy fighting by the side of Montgomery in Canada. He was now a lawyer known for his great skill the country over; a man of education and deep learning. He was the leader of a political party, a party which contended with, fought with, disagreed with at every turn the party of which Alexander Hamilton was one of the chief leaders.

Now there were two banks in the city, both of which were under the control of the party to which Alexander Hamilton belonged. Aaron Burr determined that his party should have a bank, too. The citizens were prejudiced against banks, and did not want a new one. But Burr determined to establish one, and set about it in a most peculiar way. All at once the report got about that the small-pox had been caused by the well-water. This was about all there was to drink in the city, except that which came from a few springs and was said to be very impure indeed. So Aaron Burr and his friends secured a charter for a company that was to supply clear, pure water. This pleased the citizens very much. But there was a clause in the charter to the effect that as all the money might not be needed for the bringing of water into the city, that which remained could be used for any purpose the company saw fit. Only those in the secret understood that the money was to be used to start a bank. So the company dug deep wells not far from the Collect Pond, and pumped water from them into a reservoir which was built close by the Common on Chambers Street, and then sent it through the city by means of curious wooden pipes. This water was really just as impure as that which had before been taken from the wells, and it was not long before the new water-works were known to be a failure. Then the company gave all their attention to the bank, which had in the meanwhile been started.

Reservoir of Manhattan Water-Works in Chambers Street
Reservoir of Manhattan Water-Works in Chambers Street

This company of Aaron Burr's was called the Manhattan Company, and their Manhattan Bank has been kept going ever since and is still in existence in a fine large building in Wall Street.

So you see Aaron Burr this time got the better of Alexander Hamilton and his friends.

If you turn the page you will read more of Hamilton and Burr.



The dawn of the nineteenth century saw 60,000 people in the city of New York and the town extending a mile up the island. Above the city were farms and orchards and the country homes of the wealthy. Where Broadway ended there was a patch of country called Lispenard's Meadow, and about this time a canal was cut through it from the Collect Pond to the Hudson River. This was the canal which long years afterward was filled in and gave its name to Canal Street.

The Collect Pond
The Collect Pond

From time to time there were projects for setting out a handsome park about the shores of the Collect Pond, but the townspeople thought it was too far away from the city. But in a few years the city grew up to the Collect Pond, which was then filled in, and to-day a gloomy prison (The Tombs) is built upon the spot.

One of the new undertakings was the building of a new City Hall, as the old one in Wall Street was no longer large enough. So the present City Hall was begun on what was then the Common, but it was not finished for a good ten years. The front and sides were of white marble, and the rear of cheaper red sandstone, as it was thought that it would be many years before anyone would live far enough uptown to notice the difference. How odd this seems in these days, when the City Hall is quite at the beginning of the city.

Aaron Burr had by this time been elected Vice-President of the United States. But he soon lost the confidence of the people, and when, in the year 1803, he hoped to be made Governor of the State of New York, he was defeated.

The Grange, Kingsbridge Road, the Residence of Alexander Hamilton
The Grange, Kingsbridge Road, the Residence of Alexander Hamilton

Now at this time Alexander Hamilton was still a leader in the party opposed to Aaron Burr, and did everything possible to defeat him. And Burr, angered because of this, and believing that Hamilton had sought to bring dishonor upon him, challenged Hamilton to a duel—the popular way of settling such serious grievances. So Hamilton accepted the challenge and on a morning in the middle of the summer of 1804, just after sunrise, the duel took place on the heights of the shore of New Jersey, just above Weehawken. Hamilton fell at the first fire mortally wounded. The next day he died.

There was great sorrow throughout the entire country, for he was a brave and good man, and had been a leader since the War of the Revolution. All the citizens followed him to his rest in Trinity Churchyard, and in the churchyard to-day you can see his tomb carefully taken care of and decorated, year by year.

After the death of Hamilton the feeling against Burr in the city was bitter indeed, and he soon went away.

A few years later, when a project was formed for establishing a great empire in the southwest and overthrowing the United States, this same Aaron Burr was thought to be concerned in the plot. When, after a trial, he was acquitted, he went to live in Europe. But he returned after a time, and the last years of his life were passed in New York.



There had come to be a great need for schools. There were private schools and there were school-rooms attached to some of the churches, but it was in this year, 1805, that the first steps were taken to have free schools for all.

A kindly man named De Witt Clinton was Mayor of the city, and he, with some other citizens, organized the Free School Society that was to provide an education for every child. The following year the first free school was opened. The society continued in force for forty-eight years, each year the number of its schools increasing, until finally all its property was turned over to the city.

In the days when De Witt Clinton was Mayor the first steam-boat was built to be used on the Hudson River. For many a year there had been men who felt sure that steam could be applied to boats and made to propel them against the wind and the tide. They had tried very hard to build such a boat but none had succeeded. Sometimes the boilers burst. Sometimes the paddle-wheels refused to revolve. For one reason or another the boats were failures.

A man named John Fitch had built a little steam-boat and had tried it on the Collect Pond, where it had steamed around much to the surprise of the good people of the city who went to look at it. But it was considered more as a toy than anything else. Nothing came of the experiment, and the boat itself was neglected after a time and dragged up on the bank beside the lake, where it lay until it rotted away.

Then Robert Livingston, who was chancellor of the city, felt sure he could build a steam-boat that would be of use. As he was a wealthy man he spent a great deal of money trying to make such a boat; and as he was a very learned man he gave much thought to it.

Chancellor Livingston was in France when he met another American, named Robert Fulton, who was an artist and a civil engineer, and who also hoped to build a boat that could be moved by steam. Livingston and Fulton decided that they would together build such a boat.

The Clermont, Fulton's First Steam-Boat
The Clermont, Fulton's First Steam-Boat

So Fulton came back to New York and with the money given him by Livingston began to build a steam-boat which he called the Clermont—the name of Chancellor Livingston's country home. The citizens laughed a good deal at the idea and called the boat "Fulton's Folly." In August, 1807, the Clermont was finished, and a crowd gathered to see it launched and to laugh at its failure. But the boat moved out into the stream and up the Hudson River, while the people gazed in wonder at the marvellous thing gliding through the water, moved apparently by some more than human force. It went all the way to Albany, and from that day on continued to make trips up and down the river. This was the first successful steam-boat in the world. Soon steam ferry-boats took the place of those which had been driven by horse-power. Quickly, too, after the success of the Clermont, steam navigation went rapidly forward on both sides of the ocean. Fulton made other and much better boats. Other men followed in his footsteps, and the great ocean liners of to-day are one of the results.



It is interesting at this time to read how the streets came to be just where they are. The city was growing more rapidly than ever and the streets and byways met one another at every sort of angle, forming a tangled maze. To remedy this, a commission was formed of several of the prominent citizens to determine just what course the streets should take. Now this commission decided not to interfere with those that existed, but to map out the island above the city and plan for those that were to be. They worked for four years and then submitted, in the year 1811, what they called the City Plan. If you will look at a map, you will see at the lower part of the Island of Manhattan that the streets cross and recross each other in the most bewildering manner. And you will also see that above this jumble the streets and avenues extend through the island in a regular and uniform way. This change was the result of the City Plan.

While the commission was making its plan, there came threatenings of war. Again England was at war with France, and those two countries in fighting one another very often injured the American ships. Besides, the British war-ships had a disagreeable way of searching American ships and taking charge of any Englishmen they found on them, even those who had become American citizens. These same British war-ships often fired upon those American vessels whose captains objected to their being searched.

So it came about that American ships carrying merchandise to other countries and bringing merchandise to American ports were interfered with more and more, and American commerce was thus ruined, for no American ship was safe. The end came early in the year 1812, when the United States declared war against Great Britain.

Castle Garden
Castle Garden

As soon as war was declared, the citizens of New York united for defence, and when news came that the city was to be attacked, a great meeting was held in City Hall Park, and everybody decided, then and there, to support their country with their fortunes, their honor, and their lives. Then they went to work, stopping all other employment, and night and day they built forts and defences. They built forts on the islands in the bay to defend the approach to the city from the ocean, and they built forts in the Hell Gate to defend the approach by way of Long Island Sound, and they built batteries on the Island of Manhattan itself. One fort built at this time was on a little island close by the Battery, and was called Fort Clinton. This afterward became Castle Garden.

But though the British had sent soldiers and ships to fight the forces in America, they made no effort to capture the city of New York.

The war went on for two years; there were battles, many of them, on the land and on the sea. Very often the British had the best of it, and then again the Americans would have the best of it. But in the end, although the British fought hard, the Americans fought harder, and in the first month of the year 1815 the war ended with a great battle in New Orleans, which the Americans won.



Everything was going along smoothly when all at once the yellow fever broke out on the west side, far downtown. It raged with even more violence than had the small-pox. Citizens fled, and the stricken district was fenced off so that no one might enter it. It was like a place of the dead, silent and deserted. Many people went far out of town to Greenwich Village, and many business houses opened offices in this little settlement; with the result that Greenwich Village started on a new life, and it was not long before it grew to be an important part of New York instead of a suburb. For many who had transferred their business also went to live there, not returning to the city even after the fever had passed away.

Landing of Lafayette at Castle Garden
Landing of Lafayette at Castle Garden

In the year after the fever (it was by this time 1824) General Lafayette came again to America and was warmly received. Landing first at Staten Island, he was, on the following day, escorted by a naval procession and conducted to Castle Garden. A multitude came to voice their welcome and follow him to the City Hall, where he was greeted by the Mayor and all of the officials. During his stay he held daily receptions in the City Hall, and afterward visited the public institutions and buildings. On leaving for a tour of the country he was accompanied all the way to Kingsbridge by a detachment of troops. For thirteen months he travelled through the country, and when he returned to New York in the autumn of the next year, the citizens gave a banquet in his honor, at Castle Garden, which surpassed anything of the kind that had ever been seen.

Then General Lafayette sailed away to France again. In the month after he had gone, with all the city cheering him and making such a din that you would have thought that there never could be a greater, in the very next month the city was again all decorated, and more shouts rent the air, for a grand undertaking had just been completed, which you shall now hear of.

Ever since the days of the Revolution there had been talk of digging a canal from the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean; for you must know that in these days there being no railroads, most of the traffic and travel were done by water. This canal had been long talked of, but no step had been taken toward building it.

Now you will remember that De Witt Clinton, while he was Mayor, took a great deal of interest in everything that was for the good of the city. Well, after he had been Mayor for some years, he became Governor of the State, and it was he who came to think that although the building of the canal would be a great undertaking, for it would have to be more than 300 miles long, it might after all be accomplished. For years he worked, with some others, while many said that it was a foolish idea, and too much of a task even to think of. But still Clinton worked at his plans, and finally, the money having been given by the State, the digging of the canal was begun. The work went on for eight years, and in the month of October, 1825, was finished.

The canal was a water-way that stretched across the State of New York from Buffalo to Albany and there joined the Hudson River, which leads straight to the city of New York, and so on to the ocean.

The people in the city and in the State were delighted at the completion of the work, and on the day of the opening of the canal they expressed their joy as loudly as they could. Governor De Witt Clinton was at the Buffalo end, and he, with the State officers, started in a boat decorated with flags and bunting and was towed through the canal. As the boat set out from Buffalo, a cannon was fired, and many more cannon having been placed each within hearing distance of the other by the side of the canal, in turn took up the sound and carried it along, mile after mile, until the last one, stationed in the city of New York, was fired, one hour and twenty-five minutes after the first had been fired at Buffalo. By this the people all across the State knew that the canal had been opened.

For ten days the boats crept along the canal, and at each town bands played, and speeches were made, until on the tenth day the Governor and his party reached New York—the first to make the journey across the State by water. They were taken to Sandy Hook, the Mayor of New York, with many others, attending, and surrounded by all the ships in the bay, with their colors flying and their whistles blowing. And there at Sandy Hook, Governor Clinton poured a keg of water which he had brought from Lake Erie into the waters of the ocean.

Thus were the waters of the Great Lakes and the waters of the Atlantic Ocean united, and the city was illuminated as it had never been before, and great bonfires burned all night, in honor of the wedding.



It really seemed now as though some fairy wand had been turned toward New York. Blocks of houses of brick and stone sprang up, and buildings of every sort crept up the Island of Manhattan and were occupied by more than 200,000 people. The city was the centre of art and literature and science in America. The streets were lighted by gas; there were fine theatres; and the first street railroad in the world was in operation—the first step toward crowding out the lumbering stages. Newspapers were multiplying, and there were now fifty various sorts, daily, weekly, and monthly. The dailies cost six cents, and were delivered to regular subscribers. In the year 1833 the Sun, the first penny paper to be published in the city, was issued. It was a success. Boys sold it on the streets in all parts of the town. This was the beginning of the work of the news-boys, and after this they were to be found all over the country.

But now there came another great fire. On a December night, a night so cold that it was said there had not been such another in fifty years, flames broke out in the lower part of town near the river. The citizens battled with it as best they could, but it burned for three days, destroying almost all of the business end of the city. For years afterward it was called the "Great Fire," and was remembered with dread. To-day there is a marble tablet on a house in Pearl Street near Coenties Slip, which was the centre of the burned district, where you can read of how fearful the fire was and how thankful the people were that the entire city was not destroyed. But the houses were quickly rebuilt, and New York prospered more than ever before.

View of Park Row, 1825
View of Park Row, 1825

Destructive as the fire was, however, it called attention to the fact that there was a woful lack of water in the city. Most of the water was still supplied by the wells and springs which had been sufficient for a small town, but were by no means so for a city of the present size. It was now that the idea of bringing a large supply of water from without the city was conceived. The plan was to build an artificial course, or aqueduct, for water, from the Croton River, forty miles and more above the city. Many thought that this was not possible, but then other seemingly impossible things had been accomplished, so they pushed ahead and commenced the building of this work. A dam was thrown across the Croton River, forming a lake five miles long. The aqueduct extended from this dam to the city. Sometimes it had to be cut through the solid rock; sometimes it was continued underground by tunnel; sometimes over valleys by embankments, until at last it reached the Harlem River where a stone bridge, called the High Bridge, was built to support it. Through this channel of solid masonry the water was brought into the city, and when it reached the Island of Manhattan was distributed in pipes over the entire city. This wonderful work cost $9,000,000, and took seven years to build. When the water was first released from Croton River and flowed into the new channel, rushing along for forty miles to the city, the citizens rejoiced greatly. There was a celebration with parades and illuminations.

High Bridge, Croton Aqueduct
High Bridge, Croton Aqueduct

It now looked as though there would be enough water to last no matter how large the city should become, for there were now 95,000,000 gallons a day available. But before another fifty years had passed there was a cry for more water, But this time the people knew just what to do, and another aqueduct was built from the Croton River. This one was carried under the Harlem River instead of over it, supplying so much water that it will doubtless be many a long year indeed before another will be needed.



There lived in New York at this time a man whose name was Samuel F.B. Morse. He was an artist and was interested in many branches of science. He had founded the National Academy of Design and was Professor of the Literature of the Arts of Design at the University of the City of New York. This man believed that an electric current could be transmitted through a wire and so make it possible to convey a message from one point to another. One night, after having worked on his idea for years, he invited a few friends to the University building, which overlooked Washington Square, and showed them the result of his labors. It was the first telegraph in the world. This was a crude affair, but Professor Morse proved that he could send a message over a wire. In the year 1845 he had advanced so far that a telegraph line was built between New York City and Philadelphia. Then all the world recognized the genius of Morse. The people of New York especially honored him, and even in his lifetime they erected a statue of him which you can see to-day in Central Park.

By this time the city had crept up to both Greenwich Village and Bowery Village, and had engulfed them. On every side were houses, some of them five and six stories high, where before they had been but two stories.

An open space nearby Bowery Village was called Astor Place. This was the scene in 1849 of a famous riot, which came about in this wise: Edwin Forrest, an American actor, and William Charles Macready, an English actor, had quarrelled about some fancied slight. So when Macready came to the city to play at the Astor Place Opera House, some friends of Forrest's gathered and sought to prevent his acting by shouting their disapproval. This was the excuse for an unruly mob to gather outside the theatre and storm the house with stones. Macready escaped by leaving the theatre by a rear door. Then a regiment of soldiers came and after using all peaceful measures to quell the disturbance, fired upon the mob and killed many of them before the space was cleared and quiet restored.

Crystal Palace
Crystal Palace

Castle Garden, which had once been Fort Clinton, had become a place of amusement. Here Jenny Lind, "the Swedish Nightingale," sang, and many another artist of rare ability was seen and heard.

Now, too, a World's Fair was opened on Murray Hill. Held in a fairy-like building of glass, made in the form of a Greek cross, with graceful dome and arches, it was a Crystal Palace in fact as in name, where all the products of the world were shown. But, unfortunately, a few years later it was burned to the ground.

There are always some wise and thoughtful people who think of the comfort of others, and some of these realized that it would not be long before the Island of Manhattan would be so covered with houses that there would be no open places where one might enjoy fresh air and recreation. They said it would be well to have a garden laid out for this purpose, with walks and drives as needed. This was done and an immense tract of woodland and forest, almost as large as the city itself at the time, was set apart. As this was in the centre of the island it was called the Central Park. Millions of people have been thankful for it, although they have not put their gratitude into words.

We have now come to the days of the Great Civil War, when many men left the city to join the army. Now there were those who did not see the necessity for war and had no desire to be soldiers, so when more men were called for there was a riot; a terrible and destructive one. A mob swept over the city, a murderous, plundering mob that left a trail of horror wherever it touched; and before it was put down a thousand persons had been killed or injured, and $2,000,000 damage had been done. This was the Draft Riot. The Civil War ended, the city prospered, growing greater and greater, until in the year 1878 the stages and horse-cars could no longer carry all the people. Then railroads elevated above the streets were built that could carry great numbers swiftly to all parts of the city.

New York, already become one of the great cities of the world, advanced with giant strides.



The time came when the city of New York grew beyond the limits of the Island of Manhattan, though the island had seemed such a boundless tract of land, that it had been thought laughable for the City Plan to provide for streets over its entire length. The city grew larger and larger. It stretched up to the Harlem River, leaped over it and went branching out into the country beyond. Great libraries were built; hospitals for the sick; prisons for the wrong-doer, markets, churches, public institutions of every kind. Buildings grew taller and taller until they came to be twenty and twenty-five stories high. Even then there were so many people that there were not houses enough to hold them all. So they swarmed over into the already large city of Brooklyn, on Long Island. And the ferry-boats being no longer able to carry the vast crowds in comfort, a great suspension bridge was built over the East River from New York to Brooklyn. At last the city of New York and the city of Brooklyn had so much in common, that they, with some of their suburbs, were united into one great city in the year 1898.

Then the Island of Manhattan became simply the Borough of Manhattan, one of the five boroughs of Greater New York.

So the story of the Island of Manhattan is ended.












































































































Adventure Galley, 82, 83
Amherst, General Jeffrey, 123
Amsterdam, 2, 14
Andre, Major John, 177, 178
Andros, Edmund, 61, 62, 64, 66, 68
Anne, Queen, 28, 91-93
Annetje Jans's farm, 27, 28
Anti-Federalists, 187
Anti-Leislerian Party, 68
Apthorpe, Charles Ward, 156
Apthorpe mansion, 156
Aqueduct, Croton, 227-229
Army, Continental, 144, 148, 151, 179
Arnold, Benedict, 177, 178
Astor Place riot, 231, 232
Astor Place, 231

Bank, Manhattan, 203
Banks, 201-203
Battery, 10, 68, 176
Battle of Bunker Hill, 148
Battle of Golden Hill, 136-138
Battle of Harlem Heights, 164, 165, 166
Battle of Long Island, 154, 155
Bayard Farm, 189
Bayard, Nicholas, 69, 72, 89
Bellomont, Lord, 82, 83, 86-88
Block, Adrian, 10-12
Bogardus, Everardus, 26, 37, 42
Bolting Act, 62, 63
Boston, 66, 84, 140, 141, 143
Boston Port closed, 141
Bouweries laid out, 21
Bouwerie Lane, 21
Bouwerie Village, 54, 76, 231
Bowery Road, 179
Bowery, the, 21, 35
Bowling Green, 12, 35, 93, 105, 131, 134, 152, 200
Bradford, William, 79, 108
Bridge, East River, 236
Bridge, High, 227
British occupy New York City, 163
Broad Street, 57, 148
Broadway, 12, 58, 93, 162, 198, 204
Bunker Hill, Battle of, 148
Burgomasters, 46
Burgoyne, General, 171, 172
Burnet, William, 101-103
Burns's Coffee-House, 129, 130
Burr, Aaron, 150, 201, 203-207
Burton, Mary, 112-114
Buttermilk Channel, 30

Cabot, John, 23, 50
Cabot, Sebastian, 23, 50
Canal, Erie, 220-222
Canal Street, 205
Cape of Good Hope, 3
Castle Garden, 215, 232
Cemetery, first Jewish, 104
Central Park, 233
Chambers, Captain, 139, 140
Charles I., 23
Charles II., 62
Church in the Fort, 36, 37
Church, St. Mark's, 54
Church, St. Paul's, 150, 167, 195, 198
Church, Trinity, 28, 79, 129, 198
City Hall (first), 36, 47, 75, 87, 122
City Hall (in Wall Street), 87-89, 94, 99, 128, 133, 152, 190
City Hall (present), 152, 205
City Hall Park, 50, 175, 176, 214
City Hospital, 184
City Plan, 212, 213
City Wall, 48, 87
Clarke, George, 111, 115, 116
Clermont, the, 210, 211
Clinton, Admiral George, 116-118
Clinton, De Witt, 208, 220-222
Clinton, Governor George, 171
Clock, first public, 99
Colden, Cadwallader, 102, 131, 133
Collect Pond, 50, 114, 189, 198, 202, 204, 205, 209
College, Columbia, 184
College, King's, 121, 184
Colonial Congress, the, 129
Columbia College, 184
Columbia Heights, 164
Columbia University, 121, 164
Colve, Captain Anthony, 58, 59
Committee of Safety, 68
Common, the, 50, 137, 152, 184, 198, 205
Congress, Colonial, 129
Congress, First Continental, 141-143
Congress, Second Continental, 144, 147
Constitution of the United States, 186-188
Continental Army, 148-149, 151, 179
Continental Congress, First, 141-143
Continental Congress, Second, 144, 147
Cornbury, Lord, 89-94
Cornwallis, Lord, 178
Corporation Library, 87
Cosby, William, 105-110
Council of Twelve, 39
Croton Aqueduct, 223, 227-229
Crystal Palace, 233
Cunningham, Provost-Marshal, 176

Declaration of Independence, 152
De Lancey, James, 107-109, 117-121, 123-125
De Lancey, Stephen, 99
De Lancey, Susannah, 116
Demont, William, 168
De Vries, Captain David Pietersen, 28, 39, 40
District of Columbia, 199
Doctors' Mob, 185
Dongan Charter, 65
Dongan, Thomas, 64, 65
Draft Riot, 234
Duel between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr, 206, 207
Duke of York, 50-54, 55, 60, 61, 64, 65
Dutch Netherlands, 2

East India Company, 2-5, 13
East Indies, 2-5, 13
East River Bridge, 236
Elevated railways, 234
English claim New Netherland, 23, 53
Erie Canal, 220-222
Exchange Place, 57

Fairs on Bowling Green, 35, 36
Federal Hall, 190-194
Federalists, 187, 188
"Federal Ship Hamilton," 188
Ferry-boats, 211
Fire Department, first, 105
Fire of 1776, 167
Fire, "the Great," 224
First City Hall, 36, 47, 75, 87, 122
First Continental Congress, 141-143
First Fire Department, 105
First houses of white men, 12
First Jewish cemetery, 104
First mail route, 57
First minister, 26, 36, 42, 43
First newspaper, 79
First night-watch, 87
First pavements, 93
First printing press, 79
First public clock, 99
First roads, 35
First schoolmaster, 26
First sidewalks, 198
First soldiers in New Netherland, 26
First steamboat, 208-211
First street lamps, 87
First street numbers, 198
First telegraph, 230, 231
First vessel built, 12
Fitch, John, 209
Fitzroy, Lord Augustus, 109, 110
Fletcher, Benjamin, 77-81
Forrest, Edwin, 231
Fort Amsterdam, 19, 27, 53
Fort Clinton, 215, 232
Fort James, 54
Fort Manhattan, 13
Fort Washington, 168
"Fourteen Miles 'round," 195
Franklin House, 193
Franklin Square, 193
Franklin, Walter, 193
Fraunces's Tavern, 99, 100, 180
Frederick, Kryn, 19
Free School Society, 208
French Revolution, 199
"Fulton's Folly," 211
Fulton, Robert, 210, 211

Gage, General Thomas, 141
Gardiner's Island, 84
Gates, General, 172
Gazette, New York, 108
George II., 104, 116, 125
George III., 125, 134, 136, 142, 152
Golden Hill, Battle of, 136, 137, 138
Golden Hill Inn, 137
Government House, 196
Governor's Island, 30
Grant's Tomb, 164
"Great Fire," the, 224
Greenwich Village, 216, 231

Hale, Nathan, 157, 158
Half Moon, 2, 3, 4
Hall of Records, 176
Hamilton, Alexander, 187, 188, 201-203, 206, 207
Hamilton, Andrew, 109
Hardy, Sir Charles, 121
Harlem Heights, 161
Harlem Heights, Battle of, 164-166
Harlem River, 229
Heights, Columbia, 164
Heights, Harlem, 161
Heights, Vandewater, 164
High Bridge, 227
Holland, 2
Holland, States-General of, 15, 16
Houses, first, of white men, 12
Howe, Admiral, 153
Howe, General William, 153, 155, 158, 168, 171
Hudson's Bay, 7
Hudson, Henry, 3-8, 10
Hudson's River, 8
Hunter, Robert, 96, 97, 99, 100
Hyde, Edward (Lord Cornbury), 91.

India, 4
Indians, 1, 4, 8, 9, 10, 16, 33, 34, 37-41
Indian War, 38-43, 49
Ingoldsby, Richard, 71
Island, Gardiner's, 84
Island, Governor's, 30
Island, Long, 30, 31, 84
Island of Manhattan bought from Indians, 18
Island, Nut, 30
Island, Randall's, 31
Island, Staten, 10, 28, 39
Island, Ward's, 31

Jail, New, 175, 176
Jamaica, Long Island, 92
James, Duke of York, 50-54, 60, 61, 64, 65
James II., 64, 66, 67
Jans, Annetje, 28, 42
Jans's farm, 27, 28
Jersey, the, 176, 177
Jewish cemetery, the first, 104
John Street Theatre, 195
Journal, New York Weekly, 108

Kidd, Captain William, 83-85
Kieft, William, 33-43
King's College, 121, 184
Kip's Bay, 158, 161, 162
Koopman, the, 19, 34

Lafayette, Marquis de, 171, 217-219
Leisler, Jacob, 67-76, 86, 89
Leislerian Party, 68, 89
Lexington massacre, 143
Liberty Pole, 134, 136
Lind, Jenny, 232
Lispenard's Meadow, 204
Livingston, Robert, 209, 210
Lockyer, Captain, 138, 139
Long Island, 30, 31, 84
Long Island, Battle of, 154-155
Lords of the Manors, 21, 22
Loudoun, Lord, 123
Louisburg, 117
Lovelace, Francis, 55-58
Lovelace, Lord John, 95, 96

Macready, William Charles, 231, 232
Mail route, the first, 57
Manhattan Bank, 203
Manhattan Company, 203
Manhattan Island, 8, 10
Manhattans, 8
Manning, Captain John, 58, 59, 61, 62
Manors, 21, 22
May, Cornelius Jacobsen, 16
Milborne, Jacob, 68, 69, 72-74
Minister, first, 26, 36, 42, 43
Minuit, Peter, 17-24
Mohawks, 40
Monckton, Robert, 125, 126
Money used by Indians, 37
Montgomery, General Richard, 150
Montgomery, John, 103-105
Montreal, capture of, 123
Moore, Sir Henry, 133
Morris, Lewis, 96, 101, 107
Morris Mansion, 164
Morris, Richard, 96
Morris, Roger, 164
Morrisania, 96
Morse, Samuel F.B., 230, 231
Murray Family, 158-161
Murray Hill, 158
Mutiny Bill, 134, 135

Nanfan, John, 89
National Academy of Design, 230
Negro Plot, 111-115
Negro slaves, 27, 98, 99, 111-115
Netherlands, 2
Netherlands, Dutch, 2
New England, 48, 64-67
New Jail, 175, 176
New Jersey, 40
New Netherland, 12-14, 16-18, 24, 50, 60
New Orange, 59
Newspaper, first, 79
Newspapers, 223, 224
New York Gazette, 108
New York Weekly Journal, 108
Nicholson, Francis, 66, 68-70
Nicolls, Colonel Richard, 55
Night watch, first, 87
Non-Importation Agreement, 130, 136
Non-Importation Association, 130
North Pole, 7
Northwest Passage, 7
Nut Island, 30

Orange, Prince of, 60
Osborne, Sir Danvers, 116-120

Park, City Hall, 50, 175, 176, 214
Patriots, 143
Patroons, 21, 22, 34
Pavements, first, 93
Pearl Street, 16, 36, 193
Permanent revenue, the, 95, 97, 119
Pirates, 80-84
Pitt, William, 134
Plot, Negro, 111-115
Prince of Orange, 60
Printing press, the first, 79
Prisons, 173-177
Prison ships, 176, 177
Prison, Tombs, 205
Privateers, 80, 83
Provisional Assembly, the, 144, 147, 149
Provost, the, 176
Putnam, General, 157, 161

Quebec, 149, 150
Queen Street, 122

Railroad, elevated, 234
Randall's Island, 31
Rebels, 143
Restless, the, 12
Revolution, French, 199
Revolutionary War, 143, 144, 146, 152, 177, 178
Riot, Astor Place, 231, 232
Riot, Doctors', 185
Riot, Draft, 234
River of the Mountains, 4, 8
Roads, the first, 35
Rolandsen, Adam, 26
Royalists, 143

St. Mark's Church, 54
St. Paul's Chapel, 150, 167, 195, 198
Schepens, the, 46
Schoolmaster, the first, 26
Schools, 208
School Society, Free, 208
Schout, the, 46
Schout-fiscal, the, 19
Schuyler, General Philip, 172
Schuyler, Peter, 99
Seal of New York, 63
Second Continental Congress, 144, 147
Ship Adventure Galley, 82, 83
Ship Clermont, 210, 211
Ship, the first built, 12
Ship Half Moon, 2-4
Ship Restless, 12
Ship Tiger, 10, 12
Ships, prison, 176, 177
Ships, tea, 138, 139, 140
Sidewalks, the first, 198
Slave Market, 98
Slaves, 26, 27, 98, 99, 111-115
Sloughter, Henry, 70-73, 75, 76
Small-pox, 200
Smugglers, 34, 39
Soldiers, first, 25, 26
Sons of Liberty, 128, 136, 137, 145-147
Spain, 13
Stadt Huys, 36, 47, 75, 87, 122
Stamp Act, 127-136
Staten Island, 10, 28, 39
States-General of Holland, 15, 16
Steamboat, first, 208-211
Steam ferry-boats, 211
Street lamps, first, 87
Street numbers, first, 198
Street railways, elevated, 234
Streets, how laid out, 212
Stuyvesant, Peter, 44-49, 53, 54, 76
Sugar-house, 174, 175

Tammany Hall, 197
Tammany Society, 197
Taxed tea, 135, 139-141
Tea ships, 138, 139, 140
Tea taxed, 135, 139-141
Telegraph, first, 230, 231
Theatre, John Street, 195
Third City Hall, 152, 205
Tiger, 10, 12
Tombs Prison, 152, 205
Tories, 143
Trading Stations, 103
Trinity Church, 28, 79, 129, 198
Trinity Churchyard, 207
Tryon's Gate, 198
Tryon's Row, 198
Tryon, William, 149, 158
Turtle Bay, 145, 146
"Tyrant of New England," 64

United New Netherland Company, 12
University of the City of New York, 230

Valley Forge, 172
Van Arsdale, John, 180
Van Dam, Rip, 105-108, 110, 111
Vandewater Heights, 164
Van Dincklagen, the schout-fiscal, 31
Van Rensselaer, Kiliaen, 25
Van Twiller buys Governor's Island, 30
Van Twiller's tobacco plantation, 27
Van Twiller, Walter, 25-32
Vauxhall, 132
Verhulst, William, 17

Wall Street, 41, 87, 190
Wall Street, City Hall in, 87-89, 94, 99, 128, 133, 152, 190
Wall, the city's, 48, 87
Walton House, 122
Walton, William, 122
Ward's Island, 31
War, Indian, 38-43, 49
War of the Revolution, 143, 144, 146, 152, 177, 178
War of 1812, 213-215
Warren, Admiral Peter, 116, 117
Washington, City of, 199
Washington, George, 123, 145, 148, 149, 151-158, 162, 164, 168, 170, 172, 173,178-183, 186, 189, 190, 193-195, 199, 200
Weehawken, 207
Westchester, 168
West India Company, 13-16, 18, 21-23, 25, 32, 42, 46, 53, 67
West Indies, 14
West Point, 177
Whigs, 143
Willett, Marinus, 147, 148
Willett, Thomas, 55
William III., 60, 67, 68, 70, 82
"William the Testy," 33
Windmills, 27, 34
World's Fair, 233

Yellow fever, 216
York, James, Duke of, 50-54. 55, 60, 61, 64, 65

Zenger, Peter, 108-110