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Title: Old Taverns of New York
Author: Bayles, William Harrison
Language: English
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OLD TAVERNS OF NEW YORK

by

W. HARRISON BAYLES



Frank Allaben Genealogical Company
Forty-Second Street Building, New York

Copyright, 1915, by Frank Allaben Genealogical Company



Old Taverns of New York



Contents


                                                                      Page

  PREFACE                                                               xv

  I DUTCH TAVERNS                                                        1

    Indian Trade--First Settlement--Purchase of Manhattan
    Island--Popular Taverns in New Amsterdam--Sunday Closing
    Under Stuyvesant--Dutch Festivities

  II NEW YORK AND THE PIRATES                                           37

    The English Conquest--Horse Races--Regulations for
    Innkeepers--First Merchants' Exchange--Famous Taverns of
    the Period--Early Buccaneers and Their Relations with
    Government Officials--Efforts of the Earl of Bellomont to
    Restrain Piracy

  III THE COFFEE HOUSE                                                  65

    An Exciting Election in 1701--Popularity of the Coffee
    House--Aftermath of the Leisler Troubles--Political
    Agitation under Lord Cornbury--Trials of Nicholas Bayard
    and Roger Baker--Conferences at the Coffee House--Festivals
    under the English Rule--Official Meetings in Taverns and
    Coffee Houses

  IV THE BLACK HORSE                                                    91

    The Black Horse Tavern, Scene of Many Political Conferences
    in the Early Eighteenth Century--Rip Van Dam and Governor
    Cosby--Lewis Morris' Campaign--Zenger's Victory for Liberty
    of the Press--Old New York Inns--Privateering--The Negro
    Plot

  V THE MERCHANTS' COFFEE HOUSE                                        127

    The Slave Market, Later the Meal Market--The Merchants'
    Coffee House, Famous for More than Half a Century--Clubs of
    Colonial New York--The Merchants' Exchange--Charter of
    King's College, Now Columbia University--French and Indian
    War--The Assembly Balls--The Press Gang--Some Old
    Inns--Surrender of Fort Washington

  VI TAVERN SIGNS                                                      167

    Doctor Johnson on the Comforts of an Inn--Landlords of the
    Olden Time--Some Curious Tavern Signs--Intemperance in the
    Eighteenth Century--Sports and Amusements

  VII THE KING'S ARMS                                                  191

    The Crown and Thistle, Meeting Place of St. Andrew's
    Society and Later Called the King's Head--The King's Arms,
    Formerly the Exchange Coffee House and the Gentlemen's
    Coffee House--Broadway of the Eighteenth Century--The Stamp
    Act and the Non-Importation Agreement--The Liberty
    Pole--Recreation Gardens

  VIII HAMPDEN HALL                                                    227

    The Queen's Head Tavern, Where Was Organized the New York
    Chamber of Commerce--Pre-Revolutionary Excitement--Battle
    of Golden Hill--Hampden Hall, Meeting Place of the Sons of
    Liberty and Attacked by the British--List of Members of the
    Social Club, 1775--Other Clubs and Societies of the
    Period--The Moot, a Lawyers' Club and Its Charter
    Members--The Tax on Tea, Committee of Correspondence and
    Outbreak of the Revolution

  IX THE PROVINCE ARMS                                                 271

    The Continental Congress--Marinus Willett's Seizure of
    Arms--Flight of the Tories--Happenings at the Coffee
    House--The Province Arms, Resort of British Officers--Other
    Taverns--The Theatre Royal--Sports--The Refugee
    Club--Social Affairs Under the British Occupation

  X FRAUNCES' TAVERN                                                   307

    The Treaty of Peace--Celebration Dinners at Sam Fraunces'
    House and Other Taverns--Evacuation of New
    York--Washington's Farewell to His Officers, at Fraunces'
    Tavern, 1783--First New York Bank--Re-organization of
    Chamber of Commerce--Social, Philanthropic, and Learned
    Societies of the Day--The Cincinnati--The New
    Constitution--Washington's Inauguration--Sam Fraunces,
    Steward of the President

  XI THE TONTINE COFFEE HOUSE                                          351

    The Tammany Society--Tontine Coffee House Founded by
    Prominent New York Merchants--New York Stock Exchange in
    the Tontine--Marriner's Tavern, Later Called the Roger
    Morris House and the Jumel Mansion--The Tammany
    Wigwam--Brillât-Savarin in New York

  XII THE CITY HOTEL                                                   385

    Club Life After the Revolution--The City Hotel and the
    Assembly Balls--Musical Societies--Second Hudson
    Centennial, 1809--St. Andrew's Society Dinners and Other
    Feasts--Tea Gardens--The Embargo of 1807--Society of
    Mechanics and Tradesmen--New England Society--Political
    Associations--Tammany Hall--The Battery--The Ugly Club

  XIII THE SHAKESPEARE TAVERN                                          417

    The War of 1812--Dinner to Naval Victors at the City
    Hotel--Dinners to Captain Lawrence, General Harrison,
    Commodores Bainbridge and Perry--News of Peace--The
    Shakespeare Tavern, a Musical and Literary Centre--Cradle
    of the Seventh Regiment--A New York Inn Comparable to
    London's "Mermaid Tavern" and "Turk's Head"--Visits of
    Monroe and Jackson--The Erie Canal--First New York Savings
    Bank--The Price-Wilson Duel

  XIV ROAD HOUSES                                                      445

    Prejudice Against Dancing--Balls--Debates and Lectures--The
    City Hotel--Niblo's Garden--Road Houses--Trotting
    Matches--Upper Third Avenue--Suburban Drives and
    Taverns--Lafayette's Visit--Clubs--End of City Hotel--Era
    of Hotels

  INDEX                                                                481



Illustrations


                                                                      Page

  "Beer Was the Dutchman's Drink"                                        5

  The City Tavern from the Justin Dancker's View, 1650                  15

  The White Horse Tavern                                                18

  The Damen House                                                       19

  Water Gate, Foot of Wall Street                                       24

  "They Had Discovered the Toothsome Terrapin"                          31

  "The Man of the Knight of St. George"                                 38

  The Earl of Bellomont                                                 56

  "As Genuine Pirates as Ever Sailed the Sea"                           57

  Captain Tew                                                           59

  The Bayard Punch Bowl                                                 74

  Viscount Cornbury                                                     78

  Old Tankard                                                           80

  The Black Horse Tavern                                                90

  Rip Van Dam                                                           93

  Governor Cosby                                                        94

  Lewis Morris                                                          95

  Fac-Simile News Item from the New York Weekly Journal, November
  5, 1733                                                               99

  Andrew Hamilton                                                      102

  The Ball at the Black Horse                                          107

  "Which Were All Drank in Bumpers"                                    109

  "The Violin and Flute, by 'Private Hands'"                           111

  House at 122 William Street                                          117

  The Royal Exchange                                                   136

  Sir Danvers Osborne, Governor of New York                            139

  "The Drumbeat Was Constantly Heard in the Streets"                   145

  Sir Charles Hardy, Governor of New York                              147

  Colonel Peter Schuyler                                               150

  The Press Gang                                                       153

  The Bull's Head Tavern                                               157

  The Roger Morris House                                               160

  The Blue Bell Tavern                                                 161

  The Old Time Landlord                                                169

  "Hard Drinking Prevailed"                                            171

  Good Old Madeira                                                     173

  A Racing Trophy                                                      180

  Bull Baiting, From an Old Advertisement                              184

  The Bowling Green, From Lyne's Map                                   186

  William Alexander, Earl of Stirling                                  192

  House Built by Cornelis Steenwyck                                    197

  The De Lancey House                                                  201

  Liberty Boys                                                         214

  At Ranelagh                                                          220

  Corner of Broadway and Murray Street, 1816                           235

  Captain A. McDougall                                                 241

  Merchants' Coffee House and Coffee House Slip                        254

  Marinus Willett Stopping the Transfer of Arms                        274

  Baroness De Riedesel                                                 298

  In the Coffee House                                                  318

  "Gambling With Cards Was Pretty General"                             339

  Simmons' Tavern                                                      342

  Fac-Simile Receipt of Sam Fraunces, as Washington's Steward          343

  The Bowery Theatre                                                   348

  Tontine Coffee House                                                 356

  Old Sleigh                                                           365

  The City Hotel                                                       373

  Martling's Tavern                                                    376

  Belvedere Club House                                                 382

  Fac-Simile Bill of the City Hotel, 1807                              384

  Anthelme Brillât-Savarin                                             387

  White Conduit House                                                  398

  Robert R. Livingston                                                 404

  Washington Hall                                                      409

  Tammany Hall                                                         411

  Fraunces' Tavern About 1830                                          412

  The Great Naval Dinner at the City Hotel, December 29, 1812          416

  Commodore Stephen Decatur                                            418

  Commodore Isaac Hull                                                 420

  Captain James Lawrence                                               421

  The Shakespeare Tavern                                               429

  "As Choice Spirits as Ever Supped at the Turk's Head"                431

  De Witt Clinton                                                      438

  Contoit's Garden                                                     454

  Niblo's Garden                                                       457

  Reynolds' Beer House                                                 459

  Cato's House                                                         461

  The Old Hazzard House                                                462

  Burnham's Mansion House                                              464

  Fitz-Greene Halleck                                                  470

  J. Fenimore Cooper                                                   472

  Bunker's Mansion House                                               477



PREFACE


Much has been written about the old taverns of New York in a disconnected
way, but heretofore there has been no connected story linking them with
the current events of the early history of the city. This story I have
attempted to tell from the Dutch settlement down to the early part of the
last century, when the growth of the city and extensive travel entirely
changed their character. In doing this I have found myself at issue with
many writers on the subject. In every such case the conclusions set down
in this book rest I believe upon unquestionable documentary evidence, in
part referred to in the text.

Before any newspapers appeared the tavern was a very important institution
in the community. It was the medium of all news both political and social,
the one place where people of all kinds met to exchange views on every
subject of interest to the general public. In this way it exercised an
influence second only to the church.

The connection of the taverns with the history of the city was very close.
There was hardly an event of importance but had its inception in the
taverns, where all questions of interest to the public were discussed as
in no other place. They were frequented by all classes and the influence
of each one of them on the community depended entirely on the character of
those who patronized it. The merchants, the politicians and the men of
letters each had their places of rendezvous.

Following the history of the city chronologically I have endeavored to
link with it the influence of the taverns on current events, and at the
same time show up the interesting features of tavern life by details of
happenings at these places. I have made no attempt to increase interest by
any means except the plain, unvarnished truth, which I have considered
sufficiently attractive. Tales of the old taverns are enhanced in interest
by a glamour of antiquity surrounding the subject by which few can fail to
be charmed.

Nothing exists at the present day in any way resembling an old tavern of
the first class in colonial times. It was the place for political
discussion, for social clubs and for meetings of all kinds. Every one went
to the tavern and from no other source could a person gain so much
knowledge of public affairs.

W. Harrison Bayles



OLD TAVERNS OF NEW YORK



I

DUTCH TAVERNS


[Sidenote: Trading with the Indians]

On the return of Hendrick Hudson from his voyage of discovery in 1609, his
reports were so favorable, especially, as to the abundance of valuable
furs which were to be had at very little cost, that several merchants of
Amsterdam, without delay, fitted out trading vessels and sent them to
trade with the Indians in the territory he had visited. The returns were
satisfactory, and they formed themselves into a company under the name of
the United Netherland Company and established a trading post on the
southern part of Manhattan Island. The exclusive privilege of trade, which
had been granted them by Holland, expired in the year 1618, and they
endeavored to have the grant renewed or extended, but succeeded only in
obtaining a special license, expiring yearly, which they held for two or
three years longer.

In the meantime a more extensive association had been formed by some
merchants and capitalists of Holland, who in the year 1621 received a
charter under the title of the West India Company, which gave to them the
exclusive privilege of trade on the whole Atlantic coast, so far as the
jurisdiction of Holland extended. Powers of government were conferred upon
the company and the right to make treaties with the Indians.

In 1623, they sent out a vessel which carried thirty families to begin the
colony. The vessel landed her passengers and freight near the present site
of Albany and a settlement was there established. The return cargo of
skins and other freight was valued at about twelve thousand dollars.

[Sidenote: First Settlement]

It having been determined to fix the headquarters of the company in New
Netherland on Manhattan Island, two ships cleared from Holland in 1625
with a large number of settlers for this place. With these was sent out
Peter Minuit, as Director-General, to superintend the interests of the
company. On board the vessels were carried more than a hundred head of
cattle, besides other domestic animals, such as would be needed by the
people in a permanent settlement. This was the first real settlement on
Manhattan Island. The few huts and storehouses, surrounded by a stockade
for protection against the Indians, although it appears they were very
friendly, which had been located here for many years, was not a
settlement; it was only a trading post; no attempt had been made to
cultivate the land.

Unlike the New England settlers and the Swedes upon the Delaware the Dutch
did not make use of the log house, so well adapted by economy, ease of
construction and comfort, as a temporary home. It is said that Dutch
traders built huts very much like those of the Indian tribes of the
neighborhood.

The Indian house or hut was made by placing in the ground two parallel
rows of upright saplings adjoining each other and bringing their tops
together, lapping them over each other in a curve. On this were fastened
boughs and reeds, as a protection against wind and rain, the inside being
lined with bark nicely joined together. If such skill were used in joining
the bark on the inside as is displayed by some of the North American
Indians in building their canoes, it must have presented a very neat and
smooth appearance. There was no floor, the fire, in winter, being built
upon the ground, the smoke escaping through an opening in the roof. The
width of the house was invariably twenty feet, the length being regulated
by the number of families occupying it.

If the Dutch traders used such huts they undoubtedly modified them
somewhat as to fireplace and chimney and probably made many other
improvements to suit their needs.

[Sidenote: Manhattan Island Purchased]

Peter Minuit, the Director-General, to obtain title to the island,
purchased it from the Indian proprietors, and the settlers commenced their
town by staking out a fort, under the direction of Kryn Frederick, an
engineer sent out for that purpose, and set about the erection of their
temporary homes, which were little better than those of their
predecessors, the traders. The next year, 1626, the machinery for a saw
mill arrived from Holland and a mill worked by wind power was erected on
what is now Governor's Island, which was then covered with a fine growth
of forest trees, which after being cut up, could be easily floated to the
little town. The settlers were thus supplied with lumber which enabled
them to erect buildings more conformable to their needs. They built, as a
rule, houses of only one story in height, with two rooms on the ground
floor and a garret above. The roof was reed or straw thatch, and this
material continued to be so used for about thirty years after the first
settlement of New Amsterdam. The fireplace was built of stone to the
height of about six feet, having an oven of the same material by the side
of it, extending beyond the rear of the house. The chimney above the stone
work was made of boards plastered inside with mortar. The average value of
these houses was about one hundred and fifty dollars.

The Dutchman did not come to America for the sake of religious or
political freedom or to escape persecution. He was lured by the profits
of trade and the prospect of finding a better and more extensive home for
himself and for his children. In the little village or town that had been
formed by the first settlers on the southern point of Manhattan Island no
Puritanical laws or regulations prevented him from dealing in beer or
strong drink, or in drinking as much as he had a mind to. Beer was the
Dutchman's drink, and the West India Company very early erected the
Company's Brewery on the north side of Bridge Street, between the present
Whitehall and Broad Streets, to supply the little town with its usual
beverage.

[Illustration: "BEER WAS THE DUTCHMAN'S DRINK"]

The Dutch trader bartered with the Indians for furs, and as the little
cluster of houses near the fort grew in population some of the traders
also sold, when they could, a little beer and other strong drink which
their furs enabled them to obtain from the ships coming into port. For
many years, except with the Indians, there does not appear to have been
any restraint on this trade in liquor, but, although there were many
houses where it was kept on tap for sale, no provision seems to have been
made for the lodging of strangers.

[Sidenote: The City Tavern]

The Dutch from up the river or from the nearby settlements, which were
very scanty until the time of Stuyvesant, were, no doubt, always able to
find relatives or friends with whom they could lodge; but the English
skippers who stopped over on their trips between Virginia and the New
England colonies were not only strangers but spoke a strange language,
unknown to most of the inhabitants, and it is not difficult to understand
the reluctance of having them as guests in the small houses where the
accommodations were very limited. Governor Kieft says that he was put to
great inconvenience in taking care of them, and so, in 1641 built a large
stone house to accommodate and care for them and other strangers, which
was known as the Stadt Herbergh or City Tavern. There must have been
urgent need for such a house, for it was the most costly building that had
been erected up to this time. The expenditure was much greater than for
the building of a new and substantial church in the fort, a short time
after. It was, no doubt, intended to impress and increase the respect of
strangers and was an object of the admiration and pride of the citizens of
New Amsterdam. It was located in a very conspicuous place, with one of its
sides facing the East River, apart from the other houses of the town. It
was two stories high with a basement underneath and spacious lofts above.
In the rear was an extension or addition, a long, narrow structure which
was apparently used for kitchen purposes and probably for other uses.

Early in the year 1643 the Stadt Herbergh, or City Tavern, was leased to
Philip Gerritsen, its first landlord, at a rental of three hundred
guilders, or about one hundred and twenty dollars, per annum and opened
for the entertainment of the public; afterwards to Adriaen Gerritsen, down
to the beginning of the year 1652, when the tavern was being conducted by
Abraham Delanoy. According to agreement, Gerritsen was to sell the
Company's wine, brandy and beer, and no other, the Company agreeing not to
allow any wine to be sold out of their cellar to the injury of the lessee.
The Director-General also promised that a well should be dug near the
house and that a brew-house should be erected in the rear or that
Gerritsen should be permitted the use of the Company's brew-house.

Shortly after the opening of the tavern it was put to good use in
sheltering the fugitives who came to it for protection. Among these were
the settlers from Achter Col, across the Kills from Staten Island, on the
mainland, who, driven from their homes, which were destroyed by the
Indians, were lodged for a time at the City Tavern, at the expense of the
West India Company.

The tavern seems to have been in frequent use as a place of detention of
persons obnoxious to the Director and his Council and of persons suspected
of offenses against the orders of the Director-General, and it is probable
that some part of the building was set apart for that purpose. Sometimes
the prisoners were quite numerous, as when, in 1651, the crew of the ship
"Nieuw Nederlandsche Fortuyn" were quartered here, and also when in 1656,
after it had become the City Hall, were brought here the twenty-three
Englishmen who had attempted to make a settlement in the present
Westchester, hostile to the Dutch claim. Notwithstanding this, the tavern
came to be patronized by many of the best people of the place and by the
officers of the West India Company. It became a place where a great deal
of business was transacted, both public and private, and was one of the
places where all public notices were posted, the others being the fort and
the barn of the West India Company. It was, too, before it became the City
Hall, the place where the court frequently sat for the trial of minor
cases. Here was held in the fall and winter of 1653 the Landtdag, or Diet,
consisting of representatives from each of the Dutch towns, for the
purpose of providing means of defence against the Indians. This was the
most important popular convention that had ever been held in New
Amsterdam.

[Sidenote: The City Tavern Becomes the City Hall]

In 1652 New Amsterdam was incorporated as a city under the government of a
schout, two burgomasters and five schepens, and was allowed a separate
magistracy, although not independent of Governor and Council. This made it
necessary to have a city hall or town house, and soon after the City
Tavern was ceded to the city and henceforth was known as the "stadt huys"
or city hall.

[Sidenote: Captain Underhill Makes Trouble]

In the first settlement of New England the laws and regulations as to the
sale of strong drink and as to restraint in indulgence were very rigid,
but afterwards much relaxed. In New Amsterdam there was little restraint;
so that when the notorious Puritan Captain John Underhill came down to New
Amsterdam, however exemplary may have been his behavior while at home
among his New England friends (although there had been some complaint), he
let himself loose and became, as some would say, "gloriously drunk." On
the night of the 15th of March, 1644, in the parlor of Philip Gerritsen
of the City Tavern, Doctor Hans Kiersted, Dominie Bogardus, Gysbert Opdyck
and several others, with their wives, were having a supper and spending an
agreeable evening. Some time after the supper, while they were enjoying
themselves, Captain Underhill, with Lieutenant Baxter and a drummer, who
had evidently made the rounds of the town and were in an advanced state of
intoxication, appeared at the door. Gerritsen could not forbid entrance to
the worthy captain, but told him that he was entertaining a party of
friends with their wives and requested him to take a separate room where
he would serve them. They were finally induced to do this after much talk.
They invited some of the company to drink with them and they complied.
Baxter invited Opdyck to join them but he refused. Thereupon Underhill and
his companions drew their swords and cut in pieces the cans on the shelves
in the tavern, hacked the door-posts and endeavored by force to get into
the room where the supper party was. This was for some time resisted by
the landlady with a leaden bolt and by the landlord trying to keep the
door closed; but, in spite of all opposition, they succeeded in forcing
their way in. Underhill was in such a state that it was quite uncertain at
what moment he might take a notion to flesh his sword in any Dutchman who
stood in his way. With his sword half drawn he cried: "Clear out of here,
for I shall strike at random." The fiscal and a guard from the fort were
sent for, but they did not succeed in quieting the drunken Englishmen. In
reply to some remarks of the Dominie, who suggested that the
Director-General himself be sent for, Underhill said, as deposed by
witnesses: "If the Director come here, 'tis well. I had rather speak to a
wise man than a fool." To prevent further and more serious mischief,
fearing that at any moment Underhill might pink the Dominie, the supper
party withdrew, leaving Underhill in possession of the field. Thus the
gallant Captain scored another victory.

When Wouter Van Twiller came out, in 1633, as Director-General, the
pressing claims of England to the control of the whole territory on the
Atlantic Coast, induced the West India Company to send out with him a
military force of one hundred and four soldiers to garrison the fort.
These were the first that had been sent over.

[Sidenote: Sergeant Peter Cock's Tavern]

Among the soldiers, some years later, was a man by the name of Peter Cock,
who held the rank of sergeant. He built, or had constructed for him, a
little house, such as were being put up at that time, northwest from the
fort, on ground now occupied by No. 1 Broadway. It was very likely the
first house built on that side of the fort and was used as a tavern. It
was no doubt more patronized by the soldiers than any other.

Sergeant Cock was in command of several regular soldiers under La Montagne
in the expedition against the Indians on Staten Island in 1643. On their
return to New Amsterdam, they were all immediately sent out to Greenwich
and Stamford, where they scoured the country in search of the Indians. In
November of the same year Governor Kieft dispatched one hundred and twenty
men, under the command of Dr. La Montagne, Cock and Underhill, to
exterminate the Canarsee Indians. They brought back from this expedition
some prisoners, who were afterwards barbarously treated, inhumanly
tortured and finally killed in the public streets of New Amsterdam.

At Sergeant Cock's tavern the details of these expeditions and the part
taken in them by each individual were, doubtless, thoroughly discussed by
the soldiers as they drank their beer or other beverages served out to
them. They talked over the quarrels of the Dominie and the
Director-General and the last sermon in which the Dominie fulminated his
biting diatribes against the Director; how the drummer beat up the drum
and the gunner touched off one of the big guns when the Dominie was in the
midst of one of his harangues, which distracted the congregation and
almost threw them into a panic.

Next to the lot on which Sergeant Cock had built his house Martin Crigier
obtained the grant of a lot in 1643, on which a house appears to have
already been built, probably by himself. Crigier is said to have come out
in the service of the West India Company when a young man, after his
separation or release from which he had engaged in the business of trader
and sloop captain on the North River and became an active and conspicuous
citizen. He was certainly a doughty Dutchman, his name occupying a
prominent place in the military annals of New Amsterdam.

The military expeditions in which he was engaged were numerous. In 1657 he
went out in command of forty men to settle difficulties on the Delaware.
In 1659 he commanded a force of sixty men, sent out to the same region to
repel a threatened invasion of the English. In 1663 he was in command of
the force sent to Esopus to punish the savages for their massacre of the
Dutch, and in this expedition he seems to have had the complete confidence
of Governor Stuyvesant, himself a valiant soldier. With Cornelis Van
Tienhoven he was sent to New Haven to treat with the English and he was
Burgomaster of New Amsterdam in 1653, 1654, 1659, 1660 and 1663.

[Sidenote: Burgomaster Martin Crigier, Tavern-Keeper]

He was an innkeeper and we can easily imagine that his house must have
been the resort of all the Dutch politicians of his day, where were
discussed not only plans of attack and defence, but also the policies of
the little town in all its various aspects, both internally and in
relation to the Indians and the English. The English, no doubt, were
thoroughly discussed, for there was constant trouble with them at this
time.

The house was near the fort, on ground now occupied by No. 3 Broadway, and
looked out on the open ground of the present Bowling Green, which was then
the parade of the soldiers, being in front of the gate of the fort, the
eastern side of it being used as a market field on appointed days, where
were displayed all kinds of country produce brought in from the
surrounding country. Here, also, in this open space, in 1656 and
subsequent years, was held, in the latter part of October and all through
November, the cattle market for store and fat cattle, sheep, goats, hogs,
bucks, and such like. It was promised that stalls and other conveniences
would be erected for those who brought such animals to market. This
cattle-market, notice of which, by letter, had been sent out to the Dutch
and English of Connecticut and Long Island, no doubt brought to New
Amsterdam a great many from the surrounding country, even as far away as
New Haven. The taverns were full and the life and activity of the city was
much increased. The young men drank in the conversations of the city
burghers at the taverns, discussed with them the price of beaver skins and
other articles of trade with the Indians, and in turn told of the arts of
the trapper and hunter, as well as adventures with the Indians and with
the wild animals of the forest. These visitors, for a time, made the
taverns gay and lively, and sometimes there were, no doubt, heated talks
and even quarrels and personal encounters.

[Illustration: THE CITY TAVERN FROM THE JUSTIN DANCKER'S VIEW, 1650]

In front of the taverns of Captain Crigier and Sergeant Cock groups of men
could be seen at such times bargaining and discussing prices and the news
of the day. Beer was to be had and there was plenty of talk, for the
outlying settlers brought in the news of their own sections and were very
anxious to learn all the news of the city and still more anxious to get
news from the fatherland.

Those who visited the city to bring in cattle and attend this market made
of it a pleasure trip long to be remembered. Although New Amsterdam could
not furnish any amusement that would intoxicate a modern New Yorker yet,
to those who were passing their days in isolated homes, the gaiety of the
little city was a source of great enjoyment; and in returning to their
quiet homes they carried back with them all the little luxuries which they
could afford and which the city could supply. They had also a great deal
to tell their relatives and friends.

There is no doubt that when Peter Cock and Martin Crigier built their
taverns to catch the patronage of the soldiers at the fort, the ground in
the neighborhood to the west of the fort and along the river was in a
perfect state of nature, untouched by the hand of man. The authorities
kept the space in front of the fort clear of building; which, without any
preconceived plan or intention on their part, resulted in leaving a
triangular open space, which became the parade for the soldiers, the
market place for cattle, and, afterwards, in the time of the English, the
Bowling Green.

In September, 1659, transfer was made of a lot on the west side of the
Heere Straat (Broadway), which was described as bounded on the south by
the _newly-built house and lot of Burgomaster Martin Crigier_. It was
about this time that improvements and a great advance were being made in
the style of building, and as Crigier was at this time and had been some
years previous a burgomaster, and was besides a conspicuous man in the
community, it is natural to suppose that he would put up a good and
substantial house.

On the other side of the fort, close under the shelter of its eastern
wall, at the corner of the present Whitehall and Stone Streets, where the
Produce Exchange now stands, was a little tavern which had been built in
the most economical manner in 1641, and was kept by a Frenchman, Philip
Gerard, called by the Dutch Geraerdy, who had left the gay city of Paris
for life among the Dutch of New Amsterdam. Geraerdy probably had good
reasons for the change; perhaps it was to escape conscription in the wars
then raging in Europe. Riding the wooden horse in the fort was a common
punishment of the soldiers, and Philip Geraerdy, we presume from a sense
of humor, or for some other good reason, called his house the Wooden
Horse, or at least it is so called in the Dutch records. The soldiers no
doubt much preferred the wooden horse (or bench) in Philip's tavern to
that in the fort. Philip was himself at one time a soldier, and had ridden
the wooden horse, for May 27, 1642, "Philip Geraerdy, a soldier, for
having been absent from the guard without leave," was sentenced to ride
the wooden horse during parade, with a pitcher in one hand and a drawn
sword in the other.

[Sidenote: The White Horse Tavern]

After a few years the name of Philip's house underwent a change. This may
have been the result of a sort of evolutionary process, induced by Philip,
who erected in front of his house a sign on which was painted a white
horse on a dark background, very conspicuous. The house became known as
the Sign of the White Horse or the White Horse Tavern.

[Illustration: THE WHITE HORSE TAVERN]

Some lively scenes were connected with the little tavern. One dark night
in the spring of 1643, farmer Jan Damen, whose house was just beyond the
present Wall Street near Broadway, drank deep in Philip's house, and was
in such a condition that Geraerdy thought it prudent to guide him home,
which act of benevolence cost him dearly. Damen must have been in a mood
that threatened trouble, for Geraerdy had taken the precaution to draw his
sword from its scabbard and carry it himself. At the house Damen's serving
man, armed with a long knife, resisted his master's entrance. Damen used
the scabbard as a weapon and also secured a knife, and in the fight which
ensued Geraerdy was, as the surgeon declared, dangerously wounded, Damen
having struck him in the dark under the shoulder blade.

[Illustration: THE DAMEN HOUSE]

It was a dramatic and semi-tragic scene when "Black John," who hailed from
the seaport town of Monnikendam, near Amsterdam, one morning, as they were
at the house of Philip Geraerdy, addressed Ensign Hendrick Van Dyck,
saying: "Brother, my service to you," to which the ensign answered:
"Brother, I thank you." "Black John" did not hand over the can, but
instead struck the ensign with it on his forehead so that blood flowed,
saying that that was his Monnikendam fashion, and threw him over on his
back. This, it is related, was done without having words or dispute of any
kind.

Geraerdy became a sergeant in the burgher troops, and while keeping a
tavern was also a trader and a man of business. Besides his own language
he could speak both Dutch and English, acting occasionally as an
interpreter. He succeeded so well that in a few years he built for himself
a substantial house on that part of his lot fifty or sixty feet down from
the corner on Stone Street.

[Sidenote: Taverns Regulated]

When Governor Peter Stuyvesant arrived, in May, 1647, he found New
Amsterdam, to use an expression of the present day, "a wide open town."
Before the close of the month he issued an order requiring that all places
where liquor was sold should remain closed on Sunday before two o'clock
in the afternoon, and, in case of preaching in the fort, until four
o'clock,--this, under penalty of the owners being deprived of their
occupation, and besides being fined six Carolus guilders for each person
who should be found drinking wine or beer within the stated time,
excepting only travellers and those who were daily customers, fetching the
drinks to their own homes; and that all such places should be closed every
night at the ringing of the bell about nine o'clock. In issuing this order
he says: "Whereas we have experienced the violence of our inhabitants,
when drunk, their quarrelling, fighting and hitting each other, even on
the Lord's day of rest, of which we have ourselves witnessed the painful
example last Sunday, in contravention of law, to the contempt and disgrace
of our person and office, to the annoyance of our neighbors, and to the
disregard and contempt of God's holy laws and ordinances," etc.

In March, 1648, he found that further action was necessary. He declared
that one-fourth of the houses had been turned into taverns for the sale of
brandy, tobacco and beer, and that they were detrimental to the welfare of
the community; he therefore issued a set of rules for their regulation. No
new tap-houses should be opened without the unanimous vote of the Director
and Council. Those who had been tapsters could continue as such for four
years at least, but in the meantime, should seek some other means of
livelihood, so as not to be dependent on it. Orders as to closing at nine
o'clock every night and on Sundays were repeated. Tapsters were to report
all fights or disorderly conduct in their places, and physicians were to
report all cases where they were called on to dress wounds received in
such disturbances. This does not necessarily indicate that New Amsterdam
was at this time a disorderly place, for like New York of the present day,
it was a cosmopolitan city. The population at that time was not over five
hundred souls, and it has been declared that eighteen different languages
were spoken by the inhabitants.

[Sidenote: Litschoe's Tavern]

Some time previous to the year 1648 Daniel Litschoe established an inn on
what is now Pearl Street in the outskirts of the town, which became the
resort of the country people coming in from Long Island. Litschoe came out
to New Amsterdam with the earliest settlers as ensign in the military
service of the Dutch. He was with Stuyvesant at Beverwyck and on his order
hauled down the lord's colors. He also went out with Stuyvesant in the
expedition against the Swedes on the Delaware as lieutenant.

The tavern seems to have been a good-sized building, for it is spoken of
as "the great house," but this is to be taken as in comparison with its
neighbors. It had at least a quarter of an acre of ground attached to it,
and stood back some little distance from the street. A part of the lot is
now covered by No. 125 Pearl Street. In the spring of 1651, Litschoe
leased this house to Andries Jochemsen, who kept it as a tavern or ale
house for many years and had lots of trouble with the authorities. He
would tap on Sundays and after nine o'clock, and his house was the resort
of disorderly persons. After keeping tavern for some years in a house
which he had built just outside the city wall, Litschoe purchased a lot
inside the wall between it and the house he had resided in some years
before, and here he, and after his death in 1662, his wife, Annetje, kept
a tavern for many years.

When Sir Henry Moody came from Virginia in 1660 to exchange ratifications
of the treaty to regulate commerce between that colony and New Netherland
he was received with all the usual diplomatic honors. Two members of the
council, under escort of halberdiers, were sent "to compliment him in his
lodgings," and Moody, appearing in the fort, presented his credentials. He
resided a considerable time at the house of Daniel Litschoe and when he
left the city he failed to settle his score, for which his library left at
the house was sold. More people came into the city over the river road
from the Long Island ferry than from any other direction, and Litschoe's
tavern near the city gate was an inviting resting place. It was one of the
stations where fire-buckets were kept for use in cases of emergency.

[Illustration: WATER GATE, FOOT OF WALL STREET]

The city wall, above mentioned, was a line of palisades straight across
the island along the northerly side of the present Wall Street, passing
through the present Trinity Churchyard. On the inside of the palisades was
an embankment and a ditch. It was built in the year 1653, when England and
Holland were at war and New Amsterdam was threatened by the New England
colonists. Through this line of defence there were two gates, the
land-gate at the present junction of Broadway and Wall Street and the
water-gate at the river road or present Pearl Street.

[Sidenote: Peter Cock's Troubles to Obtain a Wife]

Peter Cock added much to the piquancy of the gossip of the taverns and the
town when, in 1653, probably no longer a soldier, he brought suit against
Annetje Cornelissen Van Vorst, claiming the fulfillment of a promise of
marriage. The case occupied the time and attention of the Court of
Burgomasters and Schepens at a great many sessions, statements and
counter-statements being presented to the Court, who, considering the case
too large for them, sent it, with the papers, to the Director and Council
for their decision. It was sent back to the Court of Burgomasters and
Schepens, with a recommendation to appoint a committee to examine the
papers and report. The final decision, pronounced May 18, 1654, was that
the promise was a binding contract. From this decision Annetje appealed,
but it was confirmed. In some way Annetje obtained a release, at any rate,
she married November 11, 1656, Claes Jansen Van Purmerendt, a tobacco
planter of Paulus Hook. Peter consoled himself with another Annetje, for
on June 13, 1657, he married Annetje Dirks, of Amsterdam.

In 1661 Annetje Cock was a widow and in control of the tavern which Peter
Cock had left. She asked permission to build a new house on the southeast
corner of the lot, which request was refused, as it would be too near the
fort. Her husband had contracted for the building of a house on the lot,
which she claimed was voided by his death, and wished to make a new
contract with others, but the court decided that the old contract was
binding. A new house was built which was kept by her as a tavern for many
years.

[Sidenote: A Dutch Tavern]

The taverns of New Amsterdam were probably modeled somewhat after those of
Holland, for the Dutch were a people who stuck to the customs of the
fatherland. The description of a Dutch tavern, from the journal of one of
our citizens who visited a part of the Netherlands where customs have not
changed for centuries is here given.

"It was the business of the good vrow or her maid to show up the
traveller, and open the doors in the smooth partition of the box which was
to receive his weary limbs for the night, and which otherwise he might not
be able to discover, and after he crept into it, to come back again and
blow out the candle, and in the morning to draw the curtains of the
windows at the hour he fixed to rise. There was generally one room in
which all the guests were received, and where there was a pleasant reunion
in the evening, and all the visitors ate, drank and smoked. It had, in one
corner, a closet, which, when opened (and, honestly, it was not
unfrequently opened), disclosed sundry decanters, glasses and black
bottles; and, on one side of the room, a rack in which were suspended by
their bowls a score or two of very long pipes, each one inscribed with
the name of a neighbor or owner. This was the room of Mynheer the
landlord. He had no care beyond this; mevrow was the head of the house;
she attended to all the wants of the guests, and gave them the information
which they might desire. She was always on the spot as when, with a 'wet
te rusten,' like a good mother, she bade you good night, and when, with a
'hoo-y-reis,' like an old friend, she bade you good-by."

In the contract for building the ferry house on the Long Island side of
the East River for Egbert Van Borsum in 1655, provision was made for
bedsteads to be built in the walls as described above. Thus an apartment
could be made to accommodate several travellers at night and yet, in day
time, present a neat appearance and be used as a public room. Provision
was also made for the closet or pantry, for it was a source of profit.

A few years later the Ferry Tavern of Van Borsum had acquired such a
reputation, to which the culinary art of Annetje, his wife, greatly
contributed, that it became the resort of the best citizens when they
wished for something extra good, and of the officials of government, as we
find that a bill rendered by Van Borsum in February, 1658, for wine and
liquor furnished the Director and other officers was ordered to be paid.

[Sidenote: A Grand Dinner]

When, in 1658, Captain Beaulieu wished to give a fine dinner to his
friends, he did not go to the tavern of the Worshipful Burgomaster Martin
Crigier nor to that of Lieutenant Litschoe, who entertained the English
Ambassador a few years later, nor yet to the popular tavern of Metje
Wessels; but was influenced, for some good reason, to go to the house of
Egbert Van Borsum, the Ferry Tavern on the Long Island side of the river.
Here the Captain and his thirteen friends sat down to a dinner for which
Van Borsum, if the record is correct, charged him three hundred and ten
florins, or at the rate of nine dollars per plate; and it appears that it
was worth the price, for although Beaulieu was sued by Van Borsum for the
bill, his defence was that he was to pay only one-half of the expense, the
other half to be paid by a few of the other guests. No complaint was made
that the amount charged was excessive. Annetje Van Borsum testified before
the Court that she made the arrangement and bargain with Beaulieu alone
and looked to him for payment. The Court took this view and gave a verdict
against Beaulieu for the full amount. Annetje Van Borsum must certainly
have been a fine cook, and the dinner must have been served with some
expensive accessories, of the nature of which we can hardly surmise. It
serves to show that New Amsterdam, even at this early period, was not
entirely devoid of expensive luxuries (for such must have been the case).
After the death of Egbert Van Borsum, his widow, Annetje, continued the
business for several years, she herself managing the tavern, and her son,
Hermanus, attending to the ferry. In her declining years she retired to
the city of New Amsterdam where she died at a green old age.

In 1655 Solomon Peterson La Chair, a gentleman of the legal profession,
made his appearance in New Amsterdam, and, as there was not a promising
prospect in that line of business, he rented the house of Teunis Kray, on
the Graft, and petitioned the Burgomasters and Schepens for permission to
keep it as a tavern, which could be managed by his wife in his absence on
legal business, and would be of great assistance to him in gaining a
livelihood. Permission was granted. He afterwards bought the house of
Kray, agreeing to pay for it in instalments; but as Kray had formerly sued
him for the rent he had now to sue him for the very first instalment; and
he never succeeded in paying for it, the money, even when he had it ready,
as he says, slipping through his fingers. He did not pay anyone he owed
until forced to. He used every means which his learning in the law and his
own ingenuity could devise to avoid paying his just debts. He was
impecunious and improvident and constantly in trouble; yet he was a man of
considerable learning and ability, as evinced by his register of business
as a notary, a volume of some three hundred pages, which was discovered in
the county clerk's office some years ago. He obtained a license to
practice as a notary in 1661. La Chair, defaulting in payment, Kray came
again in possession of the house he had sold, and La Chair moved to a
house in Hough Street, where he continued to keep a tavern until his
death, a few years later. There was much discussion in the little town on
political matters, and La Chair, as a man versed in the law, could
probably attract many to his house, where, no doubt, such subjects were
thoroughly discussed.

November 26, 1656, a petition was presented to the Burgomasters and
Schepens from Metje Wessels, requesting permission "to follow the trade of
an eating house and to bring in and tap out wine and beer," which was
granted.

[Sidenote: Metje Wessels' Tavern]

Metje Wessels' house was situated on The Water, which was what is now the
north side of Pearl Street, between Whitehall and Broad Streets, in the
busiest part of the little city, and not far from the City Hall. It became
a noted place for Burgomasters' dinners, and was a popular place for
festivities of all kinds, characteristic of the taverns of this period.
The Burgomasters and Schepens of New Amsterdam had discovered the
toothsome terrapin, for which their successors, the aldermen of New York
City, were, years ago, known to be particularly partial, and their
dinners at the widow's tavern were no doubt supplied with this delicious
viand. Van der Donck, writing in 1656, says: "Some persons prepare
delicious dishes from the water terrapin which is luscious food." Here men
went on the arrival of a ship, to meet the skipper and hear the news from
the fatherland or from other foreign ports. Here were discussed the
tidings from up the river, where many young men were making adventurous
excursions among the Indians, in the far-off northern wilderness, in the
profitable business of gathering furs. The trade in furs, the Indian
troubles, the military expeditions, the Dominie's sermons and the
Director-General's proclamations,--these, and a great many more, both
public and personal matters--were talked over. It was a sort of business
and social exchange where were gathered and distributed news and gossip of
all kinds.

[Illustration: "THEY HAD DISCOVERED THE TOOTHSOME TERRAPIN"]

[Sidenote: Dutch Festivities]

The Dutch of New Amsterdam had a large capacity for enjoyment and in their
holiday season of Christmas and New Year, gave themselves up to every kind
of festivity and sport that the place could afford. We find from records
that some of these were firing of guns, beating of drums, dancing, playing
of tick-tack, bowling, playing of ninepins, sleighing parties or wagon
rides, etc. The taverns and taprooms were full of life and there were
likewise many family festivities and amusements, where the tables were
loaded with all the good things to eat and drink that were obtainable. Not
only was it the season of the delight and enjoyment of the young and gay,
but the older and graver citizens joined in the sports with enthusiasm and
encouragement. Even the Burgomasters and Schepens, with the other
officials, when the season of festivity approached, closed the public
offices temporarily. "Whereas," it is recorded, "the winter festivals are
at hand, it is found good, that between this date and three weeks after
Christmas the ordinary meetings of the Court shall be dispensed with."

Gathered together to celebrate one of the anniversaries of the festive
season, the flickering lights from oil lamps and tallow candles, reflected
from the whitewashed walls of Madame Wessels' assembly room, shone on as
happy and gay hearted a gathering as is found in the magnificent and
brilliantly lighted halls of our present grand city. They shone on "fair
women and brave men." Notwithstanding the humorous caricatures of
Washington Irving, the women were comely and the men were a sturdy and
adventurous lot. Here was the government official, with his sword at his
side. Here was the prosperous trader or merchant in his silk or velvet
breeches and coat flowered with silver lace, with gold or silver buttons,
lace neck cloth and silk stockings. He also wore a sword. The common
burgher in his homespun breeches and Kersey coat also took a part.
Handsome dresses, displayed on female forms were not numerous but there
were some that indicated the success and prosperity of the heads of the
families represented by the wearers. Gowns of thick embroidered silk and
petticoats of cloth and quilted silk graced the festive dance.

May-day was also celebrated with great spirit and on this occasion the
people were accorded by the city magistrates the greatest license. It was
announced that "any damage which may come from the general rejoicing
within the city on May-day shall be made known to the Burgomasters at the
City Hall immediately thereafter when means shall be taken to furnish
reparation."

But Governor Stuyvesant had no sympathy for such "unprofitable customs,"
and such "unnecessary waste of powder." He forbade on New Year and
May-days, the firing of guns, the beating of drums or the planting of
May-poles, and ordered that at these times there shall not be "any wines,
brandy-wines or beer dealt out." It is supposed that this ordinance was
not strictly enforced and that its restrictions were little observed.

Stuyvesant also, in February, 1658, forbade the farmers and their servants
to "ride the goose" at the feast of Bacchus and Shrovetide, which brought
a protest from the Burgomasters and Schepens, who felt aggrieved that the
Director General and Council should have done so without their knowledge
and consent. "Riding the goose," or "pulling the goose," was a cruel
sport, but it was not the fate of the goose that moved the tender heart of
Stuyvesant. He says in response to the protest that "in their time it has
never been practiced here, and yet, notwithstanding the same may in some
place of the fatherland _be tolerated and looked at through the fingers_,
it is altogether unprofitable, unnecessary and criminal for subjects and
neighbors to celebrate such pagan and Popish feasts, and to practice such
evil customs." He then gives the Burgomasters and Schepens a sound
scolding for their presumption, and informs them "that the _institution of
a little bench of Justice under the title of Schout, Burgomasters and
Commissioners_ does in no wise interfere with or diminish aught of the
power and authority of the Director General and Councellors in the
enacting of any ordinance or making any particular interdict, especially
such as tend to the glory of God and the best interests of the
Inhabitants."



II

NEW YORK AND THE PIRATES


[Sidenote: The English in New York]

When the English captured New Amsterdam, the heart of the British soldier
was no doubt cheered and gladdened by the sight of the Sign of Saint
George and the Dragon, which was boldly hung out in front of the house
looking out on the river on the west side of the present Pearl Street just
above Maiden Lane, kept by James Webb, from London. It was a stone house
which had been built more than fifteen years before by Sander Leendertsen
(Alexander Lindsay), upon the site of the present 211 Pearl Street. When
in March, 1665, the citizens were called upon to state how many soldiers
they could lodge, the entry is made in the records that "The Man of the
Knight of St. George will take one," which undoubtedly refers to the
landlord of this house. Webb, in 1665, married Margaret Radel, a widow,
and probably kept the house for some years. It was on the road leading to
the Long Island ferry, a favorite location for taverns.

Although Colonel Nicolls, the first deputy Governor for his Royal
Highness, James, Duke of York, is said to have filled his purse from the
proceeds of land grants and by compelling the holders of old grants to pay
him for confirmation, and to have been active in adding to his profits in
many other ways, and, although he was given despotic power, yet his rule
was characterized by so much leniency and moderation, compared with the
paternal, though arbitrary, rule of Peter Stuyvesant, that he became as
popular with the inhabitants as, under the circumstances, could be
expected. When, at the end of four years, he solicited and obtained his
recall, a grand dinner was given him at the house of Cornelis Steenwyck,
one of the most prominent Dutch merchants of the city, and two militia
companies, the Dutch officers of which had received their commissions from
him, escorted him to the ship which was to bear him to England.

[Illustration: "THE MAN OF THE KNIGHT OF ST. GEORGE"]

The English officials were naturally desirous of introducing English ways
and customs. Moved by this spirit, Governor Nicolls, to encourage the
English sport of horse-racing, established a race-course at Hempstead,
Long Island, which was continued and kept up by his successors, who issued
proclamations, directed to the justices, that races should be held in the
month of May.

New York, when it came into the hands of the English, was thoroughly
Dutch, and the Englishman was not pleased by the ways and customs of the
Dutch in tavern life, so different from the English. In a tavern conducted
in the Dutch way, where the landlord and all the attendants spoke the
Dutch language, the government officials and the English officers did not
feel that ease and comfort that they would in a truly English inn.

The prominent Dutch taverns continued to flourish, but in the course of
time, there was a gradual change, produced by the English influence. The
Dutch tavern keeper differed much from the inn-keeper of England, and the
newcomers, assuming the airs of conquerors, accustomed to the warm welcome
of an English inn, chafed under the restrains which they found or fancied,
and many broils occurred between the landlords and their Dutch countrymen
on one side and the English soldiers and sailors on the other.

[Sidenote: The Governor Builds a Tavern]

Although previous to this time and some years subsequent, the records of
public business transacted at taverns are numerous, for a long time after
the English came into control, there is no indication that the taverns
were thus much used by the English officials. The want of a tavern truly
English, that would satisfy the officers of the government, may have been
the cause which led Governor Lovelace to build, in 1672, on his own
account, an inn or ordinary right next to the City Hall, and to ask the
magistrates for permission to connect the upper story of the house with
the City Hall by a door opening into the Court's Chambers. The
proposition was agreed to by the magistrates, leaving it to the governor
to pay what he thought fit for "the vacant strooke of ground" lying
between the buildings and "not to cut off the entrance into the prison
doore or common gaol."

This door connecting the City Hall and the tavern was meant to serve, in
its way, a very useful purpose, but lacking reliable data in reference to
the part it played in facilitating communication between the tavern
taproom and the halls of justice, we leave each reader to supply the
deficiency by his own opinions on the subject.

[Sidenote: Tavern Regulations]

It was a uniform custom in the English colonies to make provision for the
care of strangers and to regulate by law the taverns and the sale of
strong drink. By the duke's laws, which were enacted, or rather accepted,
by representatives of the people at the Hempstead convention, in 1665,
inn-keepers were not allowed to charge "above eight pence a meal with
small beer," and were required to always have on hand a supply of "strong
and wholesome" malted liquor.

In January, 1676, it was ordered that "all persons who keep publick houses
shall sell beere as well as wyn and other liquors and keep lodgings for
strangers." It was proposed to the governor by the mayor and aldermen that
six houses be appointed to sell "all sorts of wine, brandy and rum and
lodgings," and eight to "sell beere, syder, mum and rum and to provide for
strangers as the law directs," that two of "the wine houses be ordinaryes,
and four of the beere-houses." Prices were fixed at which the tapsters
should sell. French wines and Madeira were from one and three pence to two
shillings per quart; brandy at six pence and rum at three pence per gill;
beer and cider were three and four pence per quart. In the ordinary at the
wine house the meal was one shilling and in that at the beer house it was
eight pence; lodging at the wine house was four pence per night, and at
the beer house it was three pence. Thus a sharp distinction was drawn
between the two classes of houses and there was in all probability as
great a difference in their keepers.

[Sidenote: First Merchants' Exchange]

Broad Street had become a desirable place of residence and many citizens
of the better class made it their home. The canal or ditch through the
middle of it, from the present Exchange Place to the river, would never
have been there if New York had not been originally a Dutch town. Across
the canal, near the river, between the present Stone and Bridge Streets,
was a bridge. This was a favorite lounging place for idlers, where,
leaning over the railing of the bridge, they could watch the ebb and flow
of the tide and the various small boats which went a little way up the
canal to discharge their cargoes of oysters, fish and country produce
brought over from Long Island or other nearby points. It was the center
of probably more stir and activity than any other place in the little
city. Here the merchants had become accustomed to meet for trade and the
transaction of business of various kinds. This induced Governor Lovelace,
March 24, 1669-70, to issue an order establishing a sort of business
exchange. This order specified that the meeting of the merchants should be
between the hours of eleven and twelve on Friday mornings, at present near
the bridge, and the mayor was directed to take care that they should not
be disturbed. The time of meeting and dispersing was to be announced by
the ringing of a bell. It was the beginning of the merchants' exchange.
This continued to be the meeting place of the merchants, and near this
spot a building called the Exchange was subsequently built.

Not far away, on the present northwesterly corner of Broad and Pearl
Streets, stood the tavern of James Matthews, who, besides keeping a
tavern, was a merchant and a man of considerable means. The meeting place
for merchants being almost in front of his door his house was a very
convenient place for them to retire to, to consummate their bargains over
a social glass. In 1678 and in 1685 he was one of the farmers of the
excise. He died in the latter part of the year 1685, or early in 1686, and
his widow continued to keep the house for about two years, when she also
died. The executors of her estate petitioned, in March, 1688, for an
abatement of £20 excise money.

In September, 1676, Abraham Corbett, "driven with his family from his home
eastward of New England," petitioned for a license to distill strong
liquors, which was granted him. He became a lieutenant in the militia in
1684; and was one of the farmers of the excise in 1688, which indicates
that he was a man of respectability and deserving of public confidence. He
was also a tavern keeper. When Samuel Leete, clerk of the Court of Mayor
and Aldermen, and an Alderman of the city, died in 1679, he left to
Abraham Corbett, "all my household goods in part payment of what I owe him
for meat and drink." By Governor Dongan's Charter of 1686, Abraham Corbett
was appointed an Assistant Alderman. In 1680 he purchased for sixty pounds
sterling a house and lot on the east side of Broadway, two or three doors
south of the present Exchange Place, and some years later on this lot he
erected a fine tavern, which he called the "Royal Oak," where he spent his
declining years in its management. Considering the position which Corbett
held in the esteem of the people there is no doubt that his house received
the patronage of the best class of the community.

In these early days there were no parks, but the open country was near at
hand with all the charms of nature. Just south of the present Trinity
Churchyard was the Governor's Garden. A large gateway led to it and to a
charming spot--a piece of elevated ground covered with natural
forest--called the "Locust Trees," which was a resort for those who
enjoyed the open air, where they could look out on the broad expanse of
the Hudson. It was not then covered with that panorama of moving craft
which it now presents. It was the same majestic river as now, but its
surface was unbroken except by a lonely canoe or a small sail or two
lazily drifting up or down the stream, with the green shores of Staten
Island and Pavonia in the distance.

The road along the East River, beyond the "water gate," had a number of
dwellings on its upper side. On the way to the ferry a road joined it
called the "Maadge poadge," or Maiden Lane, and a little way further
another, the present John Street, led up to Vandercliff's Orchard, which
is said to have been a place of public resort, owned and kept by Dirck
Vandercliff, who was also a merchant, and in 1687 was an assistant
alderman.

A singular incident occurred at this place in 1682. James Graham, who was
an alderman of the city in 1681, recorder in 1683, and afterwards
attorney-general, had, according to evidence, expressed a desire to make
the acquaintance of Captain Baxter, an English officer recently arrived in
the Province, and accordingly a party of several friends, including Graham
and Baxter, met at the tavern of Dirck Vandercliff in "The Orchard," to
spend a social afternoon and evening. About nine o'clock, as the company
was about to break up, Graham, after paying the reckoning, was called
aside by Baxter, but not out of the sight of the company. Those present
saw Baxter act as if to kiss Graham, when the latter called out that he
had been stabbed. He had been struck with a knife under the collar bone,
the wound being about four inches deep. Baxter was arrested and bound over
to await his trial in case of Graham's death, but the wound did not prove
to be mortal.

[Sidenote: Wolfert Webber's Tavern]

On the hillside at the present Chatham Square, near the Collect or fresh
water pond and the sparkling stream that fed it with the purest water on
Manhattan Island, in a charming retreat, then considered far beyond the
city wall, stood the tavern of Wolfert Webber, built in the time of the
Dutch, and for a long time the farthest outlying dwelling on the eastern
side. We find in the record that in 1655, a daughter of Wolfert Webber,
tavernkeeper, had been returned to him from her captivity among the
Indians. Notwithstanding the danger from attacks of the Indians, Webber
continued to keep this house, and it was probably patronized by people who
wished to enjoy the pleasures of the quiet and beautiful spot where it was
located. In the marshes or swamps to the northwest, called the Kripple
Bush, the sportsman could, in season, find woodcock in abundance, or he
could enjoy the more gentle sport of angling in the Collect. Although the
eastern side of the Collect was very attractive, the western side, at one
time, was the residence of the very poorest class of people, and, on
account of the stagnant water of the nearby swamps, considered very
unhealthy.

When the Dutch were in possession of the city for the second time and
called it New Orange, Wolfert Webber was made a magistrate for the Outside
People, or those beyond the Fresh Water, and under the English he was
appointed by the Dongan Charter of 1686 an assistant alderman. He
represented the Out Ward as assistant Alderman in 1688, 1689, 1706 and
1707, and was still keeping the tavern at this same place. In April, 1715,
"enjoying yet good health, but being ancient," he made his will, and died
a year or two after.

In 1660, on account of the repeated attacks of the Indians on the outside
settlements, an order was issued requiring the abandonment of isolated
habitations, and the gathering of the people in hamlets or villages for
mutual protection. In response to this order there came a petition from
those living beyond the fresh water stream asking that their houses might
be permitted to remain, and that encouragement be held out to others to
build near them so as to form a village. This request was granted and a
village was established near the bowery of Governor Stuyvesant. A tavern,
a blacksmith shop and a few other buildings formed the settlement to which
was added shortly after a small church, erected by the governor on a part
of his farm. To this farm or bowery Stuyvesant retired when the English
had relieved him of the cares of office. The road leading to this village
became known as the Bowery Road or Lane.

For a time this was the end of the road, but when the English came into
possession of the city, they soon sought to open communication with the
New England colonies by land and with the recently made settlement of New
Harlem. A road was laid out which, in time, was extended through the whole
length of the island to King's Bridge, and became the highway of travel
for all going to the north or east.

[Sidenote: The Two-Mile Tavern]

The tavern which had been set up at the village, as travel increased
became known as the two-mile stopping place, and is said to have been a
famous place of resort. Its situation was admirable, for the purpose, and
it was, no doubt, visited by those making excursions of pleasure from the
city, especially sleighing parties. At this time and for a great many
years this was the only road of any great length on which such a sport
could be enjoyed. For a long time the tavern was occupied by Adriaen
Cornelissen, who was farmer and tavern-keeper. He was living here in 1674,
when the Dutch for the second time were in possession of New Amsterdam,
which they then called New Orange, and was appointed one of the schepens
or magistrates for the outside people or those beyond the wall. Under the
English rule he was Assistant Alderman in 1684 and in 1687. In 1689 he was
made a captain of militia, his commission bearing date, December 16th of
that year.

When, in 1690, commissioners came down from the New England colonies to
confer with those of New York and deliberate on proper steps to be taken
against the French and Indians, they declined to enter the city on account
of the prevalence of small-pox, and Governor Leisler fixed upon this house
as the place of meeting, describing it as a good, neat house, about two
miles from the city, and kept by Captain Arian Cornelis. Here the
commissioners met on the 1st of May, 1690.

[Sidenote: John Clapp Tavern-Keeper]

A few years later the landlord of this tavern was John Clapp, the maker
and publisher of the first almanac by a resident of New York City, which
he says was "the product of my many spare Minnits." It was not the first
printed in New York, for Bradford had, for several years, printed Leed's
Almanac. Clapp claims to have been the first person in New York to set up
a hackney coach, and announces in his almanac that "about two miles
without the City of New York, at the place called the Bowery, any
Gentlemen Travellers that are strangers to the City, may have very good
Entertainment, for themselves and Horses, where there is also a Hackney
Coach and good Saddle Horses to be hired." He was a promoter of social
festivities, which well became him as a genial landlord. In the Almanac,
under June, is found the following:

"The 24th of this month is celebrated the Feast of St. John Baptist, in
commemoration of which (and to keep up a happy union and lasting
friendship by the sweet harmony of good society), a feast is held by the
_Johns_ of this city, at John Clapp's in the Bowery, where any Gentleman
whose Christian name is John may find a hearty wellcome to joyn in consort
with his namesakes." He notes that John Clapp's in the Bowery, two miles
from the postoffice, is generally the baiting place where gentlemen take
leave of their Friends going on a long journey, "where a parting glass or
two of generous Wine,

  If well apply'd, makes the dull Horses feel,
  One Spur i' th' Head is worth two in the heel."

Seven miles from Clapp's was the half way house, nine miles further was
King's Bridge, and from King's Bridge to Old Shute's, at East Chester, was
six miles.

Excepting that of the governor, it is doubtful if there was a single
equipage for pleasure in the City of New York at this time, and the ease
with which a sled or sleigh could be constructed, which would smoothly
and silently glide over the snow, made sleigh-riding a great sport during
the period when it could be enjoyed. That John Clapp's house, at the two
mile station, was a great place of resort at such times, is no mere
supposition. We have the testimony of Madam Sarah Knight, who was in New
York in 1704, that this was so. She had come from Boston to New York on
horseback, and the quaint and humorous way in which she has told the story
of her travels has made her little book a gem for the antiquarian. She
says of the New Yorkers: "Their diversion in the winter is riding sleys
about three miles out of town, where they have houses of entertainment at
a place called the Bowery." On an excursion with Mr. Burroughs, she says
that she believes that she met that day as many as fifty or sixty "sleys,"
which, she says, "fly with great swiftness, and some are so furious that
they'll turn out of the path for none but a Loden cart," which surely
indicates the enthusiasm with which the sport was enjoyed, and John Clapp,
at such times, was, no doubt, a very busy man.

John Clapp seems to have received an education which made him a prominent
man among the settlers. In the time of Governor Leisler he was a resident
of Flushing, when, "at a town meeting upon Long Island where divers of the
freeholders of the Towns of Hamsted, Jamaica, Flushing and Newtown wer
mett and assembled, to consult on the lamentable state and condition that
Theire Maj'ties liege subjects lay under; by the severe oppressions and
Tyranical usurpations of Jacob Leisler and his accomplices, it was desired
by the freeholders aforesaid that Capt. John Clapp should write an humble
letter to Their Maj'ties Secr'ty of Stat in all there behalves and signify
to there Maj'ties in what a sad condition we are all in.--Nov. 7th, 1690."
This is followed by a long letter.

He was clerk of the New York Assembly, in session in New York during the
year 1692. He was also a tavern keeper at that time, and must have been a
man to win the esteem and good will of those who became his guests. Lucas
Santen, who was at one time collector of the port of New York, and a
member of Governor Dongan's Council, when he died, in 1692, left "to my
landlord, Captain John Clapp, £40 to buy him a mourning ring, in
consideration of the trouble I have given him." The next year Clapp
succeeded Cornelissen as landlord of the tavern in the Bowery village.
Here all the travel to the north and east passed his door and we can
hardly believe that any traveler would, without stopping, pass the door of
such a genial and jovial landlord as we are convinced was John Clapp, and
we have reason to believe that his house was a favorite resort for the
people in the city. He was undoubtedly residing here in 1703, and at some
time between this date and 1710 removed to Rye, in Westchester county, for
in the latter year John Clapp made returns of the names of men from 16 to
60 in the County of Westchester, and he was interested there in large
grants of land.

Towards the close of the seventeenth century there were two features in
the local history of New York City which attract attention. For many years
before the close of the century it was regarded by the maritime countries
of Europe as a protecting port for pirates, and the political disturbances
which resulted in the execution of Jacob Leisler and Jacob Minhorne
continued to divide the community into two contending factions composed of
many bitter partisans.

[Sidenote: Trade With Pirates]

Respected merchants from New York sent out ships to the coast of Africa
for slaves, loaded with liquors, arms, ammunition and other articles, just
such as would be desired by pirates, which they exchanged at tremendous
advance in prices for the plunder of these robbers of the seas, and
returned to New York with slaves and the valuable goods they had thus
obtained. One successful voyage was often sufficient to make the owners of
the vessel wealthy, and they claimed that they were doing nothing wrong;
that they had a perfect right to buy goods of any kind wherever they could
purchase them to the best advantage. With some this trade in the plunder
of pirates was, no doubt, incidental, but it was profitable, although
they ran the risk of being the victims of pirates themselves.

Pirates came into port and were received not only in a friendly manner,
but were even honored by unusual attentions from the governor, who was
apparently interested in their ventures.

William Mason went out of the harbor of New York in 1689 with a commission
as a privateer. He turned pirate, made war on East India commerce, and
reaped a rich harvest of gold and East India goods, with which he filled
his ship. When the ship returned under the command of Edward Coats, she
put in on the east end of Long Island, where Coats and his crew found a
friendly reception, and learning that they might be favorably received in
New York, came into this port. Coats and his crew, by making valuable
presents to the Governor and his family, and also to members of the
Council, were unmolested. The ship was presented to the Governor, who sold
it for £800. Coats said that his exemption from prosecution cost him
£1,800.

Captain Thomas Tew, who was known as a pirate, and had been the subject of
complaint from the East India Company, came to New York in November, 1694,
and was received by Governor Fletcher on terms of intimate companionship;
was invited to his table, and rode by his side in his coach and six. He
gave elegant presents to the Governor and his family, and left with a
commission as privateer against the French, agreeing to discharge his
cargo in this port. He went directly to his former field of activity and
made his name still more notorious by his depredations upon the East India
commerce.

[Sidenote: Bellomont's Difficulties]

About this time, John Hoare came to New York and received the usual
commission from Governor Fletcher to act against the French. He openly
avowed that his destination was for the African coast and recruited for
that purpose. From the sequel we can not avoid the conclusion that there
was some kind of an understanding with some of the merchants of New York,
for after he had been absent about a year they sent out the ship Fortune
to Madagascar, loaded with goods suitable for pirates, where she was met
by Hoare's ship, filled with valuable plunder. The goods were transferred
to the Fortune, and with a part of Hoare's crew she returned to New York.
At this time Governor Fletcher, whose dealings with pirates had been
brought to the attention of the British government, had been superseded by
the Earl of Bellomont, whose instructions were to put a stop to this
illegal trade. The cargo of the Fortune, when she arrived in New York, was
secretly gotten ashore in the night, and stored. By order of Bellomont the
goods were seized and officers were about to remove them, when a large
number of merchants interfered to prevent them from doing it, using
violence and locking the officers in the house, who, after three hours,
were only released by the appearance of the lieutenant-governor and three
files of men. The ship Fortune was forfeited.

[Illustration: Bellomont]

Frederick Phillipse, one of the Governor's Council, and reported the
richest man in New York, expected a ship from Madagascar and to prevent
her arrival in the port of New York with goods that might subject her to
forfeiture, sent out his son Adolphus, on a vessel ostensibly bound for
Virginia, which laid off the port until the expected vessel arrived, when
the East India goods on board were transferred to her and carried to the
Delaware, leaving the Madagascar ship to enter with only slaves as her
cargo. The East India goods were sent to Hamburg, where they were seized.

[Illustration: "AS GENUINE PIRATES AS EVER SAILED THE SEA"]

In taverns of medium and even in some of the better class, could have been
met at this period men who had taken part in captures on the African
coast, and who, over their mugs of ale, entertained their companions with
stories of their adventures, modified somewhat as suggested by prudence.
They were not men of swarthy complexion and ferocious features, with knife
and pistol in belt, as pictured by the imagination of writers of tales of
the sea, yet they were, nevertheless, as genuine pirates as ever sailed
the sea.

For some time, in the latter part of the year 1694, Thomas Tew, the
notorious pirate, was a well known and picturesque figure on the streets
and in the taverns of New York, where he spent money lavishly, ordering
brandy, ale and other beverages for whoever would drink with him. He was a
man about forty years of age, of slight figure and dark complexion; richly
and strikingly dressed. He wore a blue cap with a band of cloth of silver,
and a blue jacket bordered with gold lace and ornamented with large pearl
buttons. Loose trunks of white linen extended to his knees, where they
were joined by curiously worked stockings. From his neck hung a rich chain
of gold, and in his belt, curiously knit, he carried a dagger, its hilt
set with the rarest gems.

The exciting events of the Leisler period had left in the body politic a
festering sore that would not heal. The Leislerians believed that the
execution of Jacob Leisler and his son-in-law, Jacob Minhorne, had been
nothing less than murder, and their relatives and friends were active in
England in endeavors to revive the honor of their names and to reverse the
attainder of their estates. In this situation of affairs it can readily be
seen that there was much uneasiness and excitement in the community, and
the taverns were the centers of all this boiling and agitated disturbance
in the mercantile and political life of New York.

[Illustration: CAPTAIN TEW]

The bitter opposition which Bellomont received from the merchants and the
wealthiest of the people of New York compelled him to look to the
Leislerians for support and to appoint to office members of that party. He
seems besides to have been moved to take this step from a conviction that
great injustice had been done. A few extracts from his letters will tend
to show the situation as he viewed it.

From a letter of the Earl of Bellomont to the Board of Trade, dated
September 21, 1698:

"The Jacobite party in this towne have a clubb commonly every Saturday
(which was Colonel Fletcher's clubb day). Last Saturday was seaven night,
there mett twenty seaven of them, their ringleaders are Colonel Bayard,
Colonel Minviele, both of the Councill, Mr. Nicolls, late of the Councill,
and Wilson, late Sheriff of this towne; there is so great a rancor and
inveterancy in these people that I think it by no means proper for me to
leave this province till I have your Lordship's orders upon the
representations I made to your Lordships by the Richmond Frigatt, and
since by Mr. Weaver; for I do verily believe if I should goe from hence,
the people would fall together by the ears, besides, should I goe away, it
would give the faction great advantage, and would tend very much to the
revenue ceasing, and the measures I have proposed to myself for the
obtaining the continuance of this present revenue would be thereby
frustrated. This the Faction know very well, and therefore are very free
in their wishes that I were gone to my other governments."

To Mr. Popple, Secretary of the Board of Trade, he writes:

"This day another instance happen'd of the brutishness of some of the
people here. The Master of the ship that carries this packet, was with me
last Tuesday and promised to call on me on Thursday for the King's
packetts, but it seems intended to disappoint me and leave my letters
behind and begon his voyage. I refer you for an account of this man's
behavior to the inclosed certificate and warrant, only this I must tell
you, I sent yesterday the Commissioner of the Customes Mr. Hungerford to
pray him to come to me and receive the King's packetts, and he swore he
would not for all the Governours in Christendom, and he would not be Post
Boy to carry letters for any body; which refusal of his made me send a
warrant to bring him by force. The angry merchants of this town had
without doubt encouraged this man to be thus insolent, or he durst not
have refused to carry the letters, after promising me faithfully, he
would call for and carry them. This is another specimen of the rage and
malice of these people, who I am satisfied nothing but fear keeps from
rebelling against the Government; unlawful trade and Arabian gold brought
in by Pirat ships from the Red Sea are the things they thirst after."

On October 18, 1700, he wrote to Secretary Vernon, as follows:

"The Lords of the Councill of Trade direct me to make an experiment in
working some navall Stores here, with the soldiers. I cannot go about it
with such Officers who I believe would rather traverse me in such a design
than further it; and would I fear stir up a mutiny among the sould'rs, if
I should propose to 'em the working of Navall Stores for the King. I am
not for breaking those Lieut's, but exchanging them for honest, good
Lieut's in some of the Regiments in England. My first Lieut's name is
Peter Matthews, bred up from a child with Coll. Fletcher & 'tis at his
house that the angry people of this Town have a Club and hold their
cabals; my second Lieut's is John Buckley; there is also another Lieut, in
Maj'r Ingoldesby's Company whose name is Matthew Shank, a most sad drunken
sott, and under no good character for manhood. I desire also he may be
exchanged for a better man from England."

Colonel Fletcher, on his return to England, asked for an examination,
which was accorded him by the Lords of Trade. Plausible explanations were
made of his conduct, but they were not convincing, and the Lords of Trade
recommended that the charges be referred to the Attorney-General for
further action. The King, however, seems to have interposed, as there is
no evidence of further proceedings against him. Of his subsequent career
nothing is known.



III

THE COFFEE HOUSE


[Sidenote: An Exciting Election]

In September, 1701, a very exciting election took place in the city.
Thomas Noell, the mayor, was commissioned and sworn into office on the
14th day of October, 1701. The returns of the election for aldermen and
assistant aldermen, which gave the Leislerians a majority in the board,
were contested in some of the wards and a scrutiny was ordered by the
mayor, who appointed committees, composed of members of both parties, to
examine the votes in the contested wards. Some of the Leislerians, who
were appointed on these committees, refused to serve, claiming that it was
irregular; nevertheless, the scrutiny was completed, and those declared
elected, after much excitement and disturbance, finally took their seats
at the board. Among those who were declared elected was John Hutchins,
landlord of the Coffee House or King's Arms, situated on the west side of
Broadway, next above Trinity Churchyard, where the Trinity Building now
stands. He had represented the West Ward as alderman in 1697. In 1698 he
was returned as elected, but his election was contested, and his
opponent, Robert Walters, was declared elected. He was now again alderman
of the West Ward. He had come out with Governor Sloughter as a lieutenant
in the regular service and had since then, for the most part of the time,
made his residence in New York City. He was one of the signers of a
petition stating grievances at New York in 1692 and 1693, during
Fletcher's rule. In this paper it is stated that Lieut. John Hutchins was
imprisoned at Albany and sent to New York, and coming before Governor
Fletcher, was suspended and kept out of his pay, because he had favored
the cause of Leisler, and had endeavored to persuade Governor Sloughter
not to order the execution of Leisler and Minhorne, it being contrary to
his letter to the King for their reprieve and contrary to his commission
from his majesty.

After being thus deprived by Fletcher of his pay as an officer, he had to
seek some means of livelihood and he turned to the occupation of keeping a
tavern. Previous to 1696 he was keeping a house on the southwest corner of
Broad and Wall Streets. In this year he purchased a lot on the west side
of Broadway, the deed bearing date, October 1, 1696, which is described as
"lying and being next and adjoining to the North side of ye Buriall
without the North Gate of the City." It had a frontage of sixty feet on
Broadway. At the western end of this lot, one hundred and thirty-five feet
from Broadway was a street running from the churchyard to Crown Street
(now Cedar Street), called Temple Street, a portion of which has since
been vacated. Farther down, about ninety feet, was Lombard Street, where
is now Trinity Place. The lot of land inclosed by Temple Street, Crown
Street, Lombard Street and the churchyard, about ninety by one hundred and
sixty feet, was also conveyed to Hutchins in the deed.

[Sidenote: The King's Arms Tavern]

On the Broadway lot Hutchins erected a house, which he opened as the
King's Arms, more generally known as the Coffee House. It was not large,
but for a time it was the most fashionable public house in the city, and
was considered the headquarters of the anti-Leislerians party. Upon the
roof was a balcony, arranged with seats, commanding a beautiful view of
the bay, the river and the city. North of the tavern there were only a few
scattered buildings on Broadway, the principal of which was the store of
Alderman Jacob Boelen, north of Liberty Street. The extent of Broadway was
only to the present postoffice, the road thence continuing on the present
line of Park Row, then the post road. The Commons or the Fields,
originally the pasture ground for the cows of the Dutch settlers, was at
first nearly square, and this road cut off a triangular piece of land on
the east side, a part of which, before the charter gave to the city all
"waste, vacant and unpatented lands" on the island, was selected and
appropriated by Governor Dongan to his own use, on which he built a
house, with an extensive garden attached to it. This place, embracing
about two acres of land, became known as the "Governor's Garden." After
the Governor left the province it is said to have been converted into a
place of public resort, and became known as the "Vineyard." We can find no
record of details of any particular interest connected with it.

During the latter part of the seventeenth century the use of coffee as a
beverage had been introduced into England and on the continent of Europe.
The first coffee-house in Paris was opened in 1672. Previous to this time
coffee-houses had been opened in London, and in 1663 they were placed on
the footing of taverns and a statute of Charles II of that year required
that they should be licensed. In the English coffee-house the guest paid a
penny for a cup of coffee. This gave him the privilege of sitting by the
fire and reading the journals of the day, which the coffee-houses made a
point of keeping on hand as one of their attractions, and he had also the
opportunity of hearing discussions on political topics or to take part in
them, if so disposed, or if he could find listeners. The sober, religious
Puritan resorted to them in preference to the tavern. In the time of
Charles II, they were places of political agitation-to such an extent that
in 1675, the King, by proclamation, ordered that they should all be closed
as "seminaries of sedition," but the order was a few days later
rescinded.

[Sidenote: The Coffee House]

When John Hutchins came to New York coffee-houses had become very popular
and numerous in London and he was, no doubt, familiar with the way in
which they were conducted, so that when he built his new house on
Broadway, in addition to its designation as the King's Arms, he called it
the Coffee House. As it was the first and, in its day, the only
coffee-house in New York, it had no distinguishing title, but was simply
called the Coffee House. In the bar-room was a range of small boxes,
screened with green curtains, where guests could sip their coffee or enjoy
their chops and ale or Madeira in comparative seclusion. The upper rooms
were used for special meetings.

Although Hutchins had been favorable to the Leislerians in Fletcher's
time, he seems to have gone over to the anti-Leislerians, and had been
elected alderman by the votes of that party. He had borrowed money from
both Gabriel Minvielle and Nicholas Bayard, having mortgaged his house and
lot in Broad Street to Minvielle and his house and lot on Broadway to
Bayard. These two men are named by Bellomont as ringleaders in the party
opposed to him. The mortgage to Bayard covered also the lot of ground
between Temple and Lombard Streets, and the whole property subsequently
came into the possession of Bayard, although, no doubt, Hutchins
continued in charge of the house until his death or removal from the city.

[Sidenote: Two Rival Taverns]

In the election for aldermen there was great excitement in the East Ward,
the returns of which were contested. In this ward Roger Baker was well
known as the landlord of the King's Head, and Gabriel Thompson was equally
well known as the landlord of the White Lion. As revealed by the scrutiny
of the votes, Baker and Thompson were on opposite sides. Baker voted for
William Morris, the anti-Leislerian candidate for alderman, and Thompson
voted for Johannes DePeyster, who was the Leislerian candidate. Baker had
been commissioned by Bellomont a lieutenant of militia and Thompson had
also been an officer in the militia. In 1664, Gabriel Thompson, as master
of the sloop, Hopewell, cleared from New York for places up the river
seven times during the year. He was an ensign at Albany in 1685, and a
captain in the expedition against the French and Indians in Leisler's
time, and since then had probably been a resident of New York City, where
he had kept a tavern. He petitioned, in 1693, that the sub-collector repay
to him £36 excise money, which indicated that he was a tavern-keeper, but
where his house was then located we do not know. He was one of the signers
of the petition showing to the home government the grievances existing in
New York in 1692 and 1693.

These were exciting times and the citizens who gathered at these two
taverns in all probability had not a few hot discussions over the
political situation. On August 29, 1701, a committee of the council was
appointed to meet in conference a committee of the assembly at three
o'clock in the afternoon at Roger Baker's, at the sign of the King's Head.
The conference accordingly met, and from thence adjourned to Gabriel
Thompson's at the White Lion.

During the months of September and October, 1701, many conference
committees of the council and the assembly met at the White Lion, the
house of Gabriel Thompson. There was a conference meeting here on
September 4th and on September 11th we find record of another. On
September 28, 1701, we find the following record in the Journal of the
House:

"A message was sent to this House from the Council, that a Conference is
desired by the Council, with a committee of this House at 3 of the Clock
in the Afternoon, at Gabriel Thompson's, at the White Lion,

Which was agreed to and,

Ordered, That Capt. Provoost, Col. Rutsen, Mr. Hanjen, Mr. Sebring and Mr.
Veghte, be a Committee of this House, to confer with a Committee of
Council this Afternoon."

A deed bearing date November 23, 1701, shows that Gabriel Thompson,
tavern-keeper, purchased from Nicholas Bayard and Abraham De Peyster the
lot on the northwest corner of the present Wall and William Streets, but
whether or not he ever kept a tavern here we have not been able to
determine. Maps of this locality, of subsequent date, show no building
between the City Hall and Bayard's sugar house. Thompson's house was
undoubtedly in this neighborhood and probably not far from the City Hall,
where the assembly held their sessions.

It has been stated by some writers that the King's Head, the house of
Roger Baker, was at the corner of Pearl Street and Maiden Lane. Henry
Coleman, butcher, mortgaged this property in February, 1701, to Roger
Baker, vintner, for a loan of £348 10s. Baker may have eventually come
into possession of it, and he may have kept a tavern here, but we can find
no evidence of it. In the mortgage deed it is described as _lying without
the fortifications_ on the north side of a street called Queen Street and
bounded on the east side by a street which leads to Green Lane.

After the death of Bellomont, during the brief rule of Lieutenant-Governor
Nanfan, who was a relative of the Earl, the political agitation was active
and aggressive. As soon as it became known in New York that Lord Cornbury
had been appointed to succeed the Earl of Bellomont as governor of the
province, measures were taken to secure the favor of that corrupt
individual by the anti-Leislerian party. In this procedure Nicholas Bayard
took the lead, and procured addresses to be signed to the King, to
parliament and to Cornbury. To Cornbury, a man very susceptible to
flattery, they were profuse in their congratulations and in assertions
calculated to prejudice him against those who had supported Bellomont and
to gain his favor for themselves, that they might again become the
dominant party. Not only were reflections freely cast on the Earl of
Bellomont, but Nanfan, the lieutenant-governor, was accused of bribing
members of the house of assembly.

[Sidenote: The Addresses Signed at the Coffee House]

The addresses were signed at the Coffee House, kept by John Hutchins, and
as soon as it was known, Hutchins was summoned to appear before the
lieutenant-governor and the council and ordered to produce the addresses.
This he could not or would not do, and on the 19th of January, 1702, was
arrested and committed to jail. Two days after, Bayard was also arrested
and committed to prison on a warrant as a traitor. Nanfan was aware that
Bayard had dug a pit for others that might be used for his own
destruction. He had procured the passage of a law in 1691, when he was
striving and hoping for the ruin of Leisler and his friends, by which,
"whatsoever person or persons shall, by any manner of ways, or upon any
pretence whatsoever, endeavor, by force of arms or otherwise, to disturb
the peace, good and quiet of their majesties' government, as it is now
established, shall be deemed and esteemed as rebels and traitors unto
their majesties, and incur the pains, penalties and forfeitures as the
laws of England have for such offences, made and provided." The trial of
Bayard was hastened that it might be concluded before the arrival of
Cornbury. The prisoners petitioned that they might not be tried until the
usual sitting of the Supreme Court. This, of course, was refused. All
objections were overruled and Bayard was ordered for trial on Monday, the
2d of March. He was convicted and sentenced to death, and Hutchins was
tried and condemned in like manner. Bayard was granted a reprieve until
her majesty's pleasure might be known. Hutchins was released on bail.
Bayard was held in confinement until the arrival of Cornbury, when all was
reversed. Not very long after, by order of the government, Bayard and
Hutchins were reinstated in all honor and estate, "as if no such trial had
been."

[Illustration: THE BAYARD PUNCH BOWL]

In the trial of Bayard, testimony was given that the addresses were
signed in an upper room in the Coffee House, and that Nicholas Bayard was
present, "smoaking a pipe of tobacco." One of the signers was Peter
Matthews, who was a lieutenant in the service, and the landlord of the
tavern where Bellomont declared the club met which was composed of men
opposed to his administration. Lieutenant Matthews had come out with
Governor Fletcher in 1692. He had previously been one of the household of
the Governor, and by him had been made a lieutenant in the garrison at the
fort. He subsequently rose to the rank of colonel and was one of the
commissioners of Indian affairs in 1715. In 1703 his house was in the
south ward. Soon after, he removed to Orange County, where he held a large
grant of land.

[Sidenote: Trial of Roger Baker]

Another tavern-keeper who became entangled in the meshes of the law and
suffered from his boldness in expressing his opinions was Roger Baker, the
landlord of the King's Head. We give an account of his trial taken from a
letter from New York, May 4, 1702, which is probably not altogether
impartial.

"The Grand Jury brought in presentments.--* * * One against Roger Baker
saying the 5 November last the King was made a nose of wax and no longer
King than the English please. * * * Roger Baker came upon tryal with a
packt petty Jury according to custome, whereof four happening to be
absent, a tales was ordered, and although there were then spectators in
Court above 30 Englishmen and he told so, yet the Sheriffe went out and
brought in three Dutch men of their party, and finding no more he was
forced to take one John Ellis an Englishman then in court. Three witnesses
were sworn the first said, he Baker spoke the words; but that they were
all very drunk it being Holy-day. The other two said they were always
present with them, but heard no such words nor nothing like it, that they
were all drunk but the other witness to that degree he could not stand.
Judge Atwood gave charge to the Jury to bring Baker in Guilty; the Jury
went out and stayed all night then came into Court and deliver'd their
verdict Not Guilty; at which Judge Atwood was very angry refusing to the
Verdict, sent them out again, when after 6 hours they returned again with
Not Guilty. At which the Judge grew very passionate, and threatening them
several times. They were sent out three several times more and persisted
in Not Guilty. Upon which the Judge threatened to imprison and fine them.
That so scared the 11 Dutch, that in Open Court being sent for (it being
about an hour before the Court was to determine), were demanded why they
were not agreed and who it was that would not agree to find Guilty. Answer
was made John Ellis upon which the Judge fell upon him with such menacing
language in open Court and a considerable time hectoring and threatening
him, he so managed him too that at last he gave his consent in open Court
where Baker was recorded Guilty and fined 400 pieces of Eight and to
remain in Custody of the Sheriffe till his fine was paid and after that
until he made such acknowledgments as the Governor should think fit."

[Sidenote: Conferences at The Coffee House]

Conferences of committees of the council and of the assembly were
appointed at taverns during the years 1701-2-3, or at the great room in
the fort, but after the passage of an act in 1703, declaring the
proceedings against Colonel Bayard and Alderman Hutchins, for pretended
high treason illegal, and the judgments null and void, the Coffee House or
the King's Arms, kept by John Hutchins, became the place appointed for
these conferences and they continued to be held here for several years.
The Coffee House was the public house patronized by the wealthier class of
citizens and by those in official life as well as by the military
officers.

Lord Cornbury, at this time governor of New York, is described by Macauley
as "a young man of slender abilities, loose principles and violent temper.
He had been early taught to consider his relationship to the Princess Anne
as the ground work of his fortunes, and had been exhorted to pay her
assiduous court." He was cousin to the Queen, and believing that he
resembled her in features, was led by his vanity, it is thought, to dress
in women's clothes and appear publicly on the ramparts of the fort and
even in the street in that neighborhood. Lord Stanhope says that when Lord
Cornbury was appointed governor of New York, and told that he should
represent the Queen he fancied that it was necessary to dress himself as a
woman. Still another reason is assigned for this silly behavior. It is
said that in consequence of a vow he obliged himself for a month in every
year to wear every day women's clothes. He otherwise prided himself on his
erratic doings, and the town was, at times, amused and entertained, or
shocked by the pranks of this kinsman of the Queen. It is said that he
once rode on horseback through the spacious front door of the Coffee
House, and was thus served with a drink at the bar. It is easy to credit
this of such a man.

[Illustration: VISCOUNT CORNBURY]

In the early part of the year 1709 there were several conferences held at
the Coffee House by committees from the council and assembly. On September
22d of that year a conference was appointed at the _New Coffee House_.
What was meant by the New Coffee House, or where it was situated we are
unable to state. The Coffee House as a place of conference does not appear
in the journal of the assembly again for many years.

The conferences of the committees of the council and assembly were, no
doubt, held at the best taverns in the city, at those frequented by the
members, where at other times they talked of the affairs of state over
their wine and spent a pleasant evening in social converse, changes being
made as the quality of the taverns changed. At this period there were no
clubs, such as exist today, no theatre, no newspaper. There was hardly a
man in the community who did not habitually visit some tavern, where he
met his friends and neighbors to talk over the news of the town. It was
the place where he obtained all the knowledge he possessed of what was
taking place in the world around him. The political unrest of the period
made the taverns more particularly places of life and excitement.

[Illustration: OLD TANKARD]

The history of a people consists not only in their wars and treaties with
foreign nations, and in the political disturbances and struggles within;
the manner in which they lived, and what were their interests and
pleasures, are likely to interest us quite as much. If we can succeed in
picturing them in our imagination, put ourselves in contact with them in
their everyday walks, it is a matter of great satisfaction. The life and
activities of the early colonial days, before there were any newspapers,
were reflected in the tavern as in no other place in the community. Here
all classes met, and the good listener, could, by the conversations and
talks of travelers and other visitors, gain more knowledge of the
political and social condition of the neighboring country than in any
other way.

[Sidenote: Dinner to Lord Lovelace]

In September, 1708, Henry Swift was a tavern-keeper in New York and
rendered a bill to the authorities for boarding the French captain and
company who came down from Albany. He was one of a number of men who came
out with Lord Cornbury and by order of the common council were made
freeman of the city gratis. His house was on Broadway, near the Fort. When
Lord Lovelace arrived as governor of the province a grand dinner was
served in the Fort, which was provided by Henry Swift at a charge of £40,
7s, 6d. Almost four years afterwards he was still petitioning for the
payment of this bill. On the 13th of November, 1707, the corporation gave
a dinner "as a treat to his Excellency the Governor on his arrival here
from his other government of New Jersey." It was provided by Henry Swift
and the wine and dinner cost the corporation £8, 5s.

In 1710, Henry Swift was made collector of customs for Perth Amboy,
although Governor Hunter was much opposed to the appointment. Conference
committees of the council and of the assembly met at his house on
September 23, 1710; and again, on November 17 and 18, 1710, conference
committees of the two houses were appointed to meet here. Mrs. Swift kept
the house after her husband's death. It was owned by Arent Schuyler, of
New Barbadoes, New Jersey, and when he died, by will dated December 17,
1724, he left the house and two lots of ground to his daughters, Eva and
Cornelia. Mrs. Swift was then living in the house, as stated in the will.

[Sidenote: Festivals]

From the time of the English occupation, feast days and anniversaries had
been observed with more or less spirit and display, which increased as the
population of the city increased. The birthdays of the King and members of
the royal family and the anniversaries of the coronation and the gunpowder
plot were generally observed, and a new governor was always received with
more or less enthusiasm, and his entry into the city was attended with
imposing formalities. When Governor Andros came to New York, in 1688, he
was accompanied by a large and brilliant retinue, and was received with
great ceremony and escorted to the fort by the city guard--a regiment of
foot and a troop of horse, in showy uniforms--where his commission was
published, and later at the City Hall.

In August, 1692, the common council resolved that "a treat be made to
welcome his Excellency, Benjamin Fletcher, now arrived in this city to the
value of £20 or thereabouts," and in December, 1697, they ordered that
four barrels of powder be provided for saluting the Earl of Bellomont on
his arrival; and after his arrival in the city, it was resolved by the
common council that a dinner be given at the charge of the corporation
for the entertainment of his Excellency, Earl of Bellomont,
captain-general, etc., etc.; that a committee be appointed to make a bill
of fare (two aldermen and two assistants), "and that for the effectual
doing thereof, they call to their assistance such cooks as they shall
think necessary to advise."

On the 15th of February, 1703, the treasurer of the city was ordered to
repay to the mayor £9 10s 3d, which he had expended for a bonfire, beer
and wine, on her majesty's birthday, the 6th of February, and on the 24th
of this same month the common council ordered that a public bonfire be
made at the usual place, and that ten gallons of wine and a barrel of beer
be provided, at the expense of the city, to celebrate the success of her
majesty's arms at Vigo and in Flanders, and the housekeepers were ordered
to illuminate.

Much more deference was paid to the dignity of office two hundred years
ago than at the present time. Not only were governors received with great
honor at their appearance to assume the office, but often, when they left
the city to visit Albany or New Jersey, they were, on their return,
entertained by the corporation. In November, 1704, Lord Cornbury, on his
return from his other government of New Jersey, was entertained at a
dinner given by the corporation at the house of Richard Harris, which
cost the city £10 18s 6d. This is the bill rendered, and which was
ordered paid:

  1704. The Mayor, Aldermen, &c., Dr.

                                               £  s d
  Dec. 19. To a piece of beef and cabbage         7 6
           To a dish of tripe and cow-heel        6 0
           To a leg of pork and turnips           8 3
           To 2 puddings                         14 6
           To a surloin of beef                  13 6
           To a turkey and onions                 9 0
           To a leg of mutton and pickles         6 0
           To a dish of chickens                 10 6
           To minced pyes                      1  4 0
           To fruit, cheese, bread, &c.           7 6
           To butter for sauce                    7 9
           To hire 2 negroes to assist            6 0
           To dressing dinner, &c.             1  4 0
           To 31 bottles wine                  3  2 0
           To beer and syder                     12 0
                                              -------
                                              10 18 6

Richard Harris married the widow of Roger Baker, who had been the landlord
of the well known King's Head, not long after the latter's death, which
occurred in 1702, and he may have continued this tavern, which is very
likely, as it was probably being conducted by the widow when he married
her. The year after his marriage, he was elected assistant alderman, and
his house for many years was patronized by the officials of the province
and the city. He was assistant alderman for several years. In 1707 he was
one of a committee for leasing the Long Island ferry. On the 10th of
October, of that year, the committee met at his house for that purpose,
and for their expenses he was paid by the city £1 12s. Five years after
this, when he was no longer a member of the common council, the lease
being about to expire, the committee for leasing the ferry met at his
house on the 17th of December, 1712, and this time he charged the
corporation £7 10s 9d. Conference committees from the council and assembly
met at his house several times in November, 1710, and in 1712. On the 6th
of October, 1714, the governor gave notice of the death of Queen Anne, and
on the 11th, King George was proclaimed in the city. The common council
ordered seven or eight cords of wood for a bonfire and twenty gallons of
wine for the people. The expenses of the common council on this occasion
at the house of Richard Harris amounted to £8 4s, which was ordered to be
paid.

On November 7, 1717, the council requested a conference at the house of
John Parmyter on the subject matter of the bill for letting to farm the
excise, and on October 20th of the same year a bonfire was ordered and a
dinner was given by the corporation at his house in celebration of the
anniversary of his majesty's coronation. The aldermen seem to have been
ever ready to celebrate any of the usual anniversaries by eating a good
dinner and drinking good wine. The bill for this dinner was as follows:

         Corporation of New York, Dr.
  1717         To John Parmyter

                                  £  s d
  Oct. 20 To 32 bottles of wine   3 14 0
       To beer and cyder             5 3
       To eating                  1 12 0
       To dressing supper            6
                                  ------
                                  5 17 3

As on most occasions a large portion consisted of liquor exhilarants.

John Parmyter had been a resident of New York since the time of Bellomont
and probably had been a tavern-keeper for some years previous to the date
of this dinner. His house was on or near the corner of Beaver and New
Streets. In 1712 an act was passed by the legislature of the province
prohibiting all but John Parmyter to make lamp-black, for five years,
"this to encourage the first to set up that manufacture." He no doubt
continued to keep tavern and had the monopoly of the manufacture of
lamp-black until his death, and it also appears that his widow continued
to carry on both lines of business. An act to prohibit all persons but
Susannah Parmyter, widow, and her assigns, to make lamp-black during the
space of ten years, was passed by the legislature in 1724. She continued
to keep the tavern and rendered a bill to the authorities in August, 1727,
for the "board of the Governor of Canada (sic) and fourteen men and wine."

The custom of meeting in conference at the taverns continued and the names
of the keepers of these houses are given in the journal of the assembly.
In 1713 conference committees met several times at the house of Bernard
Hardenbrook and in 1718, at the house of Elizabeth Jourdain, who was the
widow of Henry Jourdain, captain of the sloop Dolphin, who died at sea in
the latter part of the year 1702. The Dolphin was probably a slaver, for
Henry Jourdain, in his will, evidently made at sea, directs that sixty-one
elephants' teeth marked _H. J._, and some gold in bulk should be delivered
to his wife in New York, which indicates that he had visited the African
coast. His entire estate amounted to £426, which enabled his widow to set
up a public house, where she entertained the committees from the council
and assembly and "lodged his majesty's soldiers."

[Sidenote: The Tavern of the Widow Post]

The house of the widow Post appears to have been a favorite place for
members of assembly, where according to Mr. Isaac Robin, secretary of
council, they discussed matters of state over their wine, and committees
met on business of various kinds. The popularity of her house seems to
have continued for several years. In November, 1721, we have record of the
examination of Vincent Pelow before the council at the house of the widow
Post, in relation to the small pox raging in Boston, and on November 9,
1726, the assembly, "taking in Consideration the Conveniency and
Accommodation, which the Members of this House have every Sessions, as
well at the Meeting of Committees as otherwise, at the House of the Widow
Post, and that the Trouble and Expense, which is occasioned to her on such
Occasions far exceeds her Gains. It is the Opinion of this House that she
ought to be exempted from paying any Excise, from this Time until the
first Day of November next," and it was ordered that the commissioners for
letting to farm the excise take notice thereof accordingly.

Obadiah Hunt was a tavern-keeper whose house seems to have been used both
by the provincial and city officers as a place for conference on
consultation. He was a member of the common council for several years,
which may have been one cause of his house being used by that body. It was
situated on Dock Street between Whitehall and Broad Street, next door to
the custom house. He owned the house and appears to have been a man of
some property, but of little education. He was a popular landlord. In
January, 1718, the corporation paid Obadiah Hunt £4 6s 9d, for expenses at
his house by the corporation on the anniversary of the coronation,
October 26th last, and on the anniversary of Gunpowder Treason Day,
November 5th. The dinner, wine, beer, cider and other expenses at the
house of Obadiah Hunt on the occasion of the entertainment given to
Governor Burnet, on September 20, 1720, shortly after his arrival in the
province, cost the corporation £21 8s 6d. Meetings were held at his house
for the transaction of business of various kinds connected with the city,
such as auditing accounts, leasing the ferry, leasing the docks and slips,
etc., and on the arrival of a new governor, in April, 1728, his house was
again the scene of an entertainment in his honor, which cost the city £15
6s 6d.



IV

THE BLACK HORSE


[Sidenote: The Black Horse Tavern]

In the early part of the eighteenth century, there stood on the southern
corner of Smith and Garden Streets, the present William Street and
Exchange Place, the Black Horse Tavern, kept by John DeHoneur, who seems
to have been its landlord for many years. John or Johannes DeHoneur was
recommended for the office of captain of militia in June, 1709. Whether he
was a tavern-keeper at this time, or how soon after he became one, we do
not know, but on October 18, 1727, the assembly directed that the
Committee on Grievances meet every Tuesday and Friday, during the
sessions, at five o'clock in the afternoon, at the house of John DeHoneur,
and that the first meeting be on Friday next. The next year the Committee
on Grievances requested permission to meet at other place and time than at
the place and time appointed for their meeting, and they were allowed by
the assembly to meet at such other times and places as they should judge
necessary, but they, nevertheless, must meet every Thursday evening at the
house of John DeHoneur. It continued to be the meeting place of
committees, and ten years after, in 1737, it was the meeting place, by
appointment of the assembly, of the Committee of Privileges and Elections.
In the record it is sometimes named as the house of John DeHoneur, and at
other times as the Black Horse Tavern. In the contest between Cornelius
Van Horne and Adolph Phillipse, they were ordered to exchange lists at the
house of John DeHoneur.

[Illustration: THE BLACK HORSE TAVERN]

The assembly, like the common council, were inclined to meet at taverns
for the transaction of public business, where they were evidently
surrounded by a more cheerful atmosphere than in the cold halls of
legislation and justice. Where the room was warmed by a large and lively
fire in the spacious fireplace, and the inner man warmed and exhilarated
by good old wine, business was transacted with more cheerfulness and
alacrity. The Black Horse Tavern was the scene of many such meetings, and,
no doubt, of some very exciting ones. In the contest over the votes for
Van Horne and Phillipse there were, very likely, some lively discussions.
The Black Horse was for many years one of the most prominent taverns in
the city.

Governor Montgomerie, after being governor of New York about two years,
died on the 1st of July, 1731, and Rip Van Dam, as senior member of the
council, and president of that body, became, _ex officio_, acting
governor of the province.

[Illustration: Rip van Dam]

Governor Cosby was appointed to succeed Montgomerie, but did not arrive
until the 1st of August, 1732, so that Van Dam was acting governor for a
period of thirteen months. He had been invested with all the powers,
duties, and rights of the office, and had been allowed to draw the full
amount of the salary from the public funds. Governor Cosby, like almost
all the governors sent out to the provinces, had a sharp eye to his own
profit, and had obtained, before he left England, an order on Van Dam for
one-half of the salary, emoluments and perquisites of the office during
the time that the latter had exercised the chief authority; and,
accordingly, made demand shortly after his arrival. Van Dam was willing to
surrender one-half of the salary which he had received if Cosby would pay
to him one-half of the receipts, other than salary, and not otherwise, Van
Dam resisting, Cosby instituted suit by way of information in the equity
side of the court of exchequer, where he was confident of a decision in
his favor. The counsel for Van Dam excepted to the jurisdiction of the
court as being illegal. Great excitement ensued in consequence of a
division in the court itself. Chief Justice Morris supported the
exception, the two associate judges, DeLancey and Phillipse, voting
against the plea. The decision of Chief Justice Morris annoyed the
governor, who demanded a copy of it. Morris, to prevent misrepresentation,
had it printed and sent it to the governor with a letter. Both the
decision and the letter were published in the Gazette. This exasperated
the governor beyond all bounds, and almost immediately Morris was removed
from the bench. Shortly after James DeLancey, who afterwards became
prominent, was appointed chief justice in his place.

[Illustration: W. Cosby]

[Illustration: Lewis Morris]

The contest between Cosby and Van Dam, at first personal, soon involved
the people, and divided them into two parties. Those in office, and their
following, supported the governor, while the party of the people,
especially after the removal of the chief justice, were violently opposed
to the arbitrary act of the governor in removing a judge because his
decision was not as he wished, and to the favoritism which could, by an
_ex post facto_ order, divest any of the colonial officers of salary
earned and appropriated to individual use, and direct the amount to be
paid to a stranger who had performed no service for it. If this were
conceded, there would be little stability in the rights of British
subjects.

In the fall of 1733, Lewis Morris, being removed from the office of chief
justice, offered himself as a candidate for representative for the county
of Westchester in the assembly. Opposed to him was William Forster,
supported by the chief justice, James DeLancey, and the second judge,
Frederick Phillipse, who both appeared in person on the ground, and
exerted their influence to the utmost to defeat the election of Morris.
The account of this election, as told in the first number of the New York
Weekly Journal, reads like a page from the history of feudal times, when
the lords appeared upon the scene, followed by their retainers, ready for
contests in the lists or on the field of battle.

The high sheriff of the county, having, by papers affixed to the church of
East Chester and other public places, given notice of the day and place,
without stating any time of day when the election was to take place, the
electors for Morris were very suspicious of some intended fraud. To
prevent this, about fifty of them kept watch upon and about the Green at
East Chester, the place of election, from twelve o'clock the night before
until the morning of the appointed day.

The electors of the eastern part of the county began to move on Sunday
afternoon and evening, so as to be at New Rochelle by midnight. On their
way through Harrison's Purchase, the inhabitants provided for their
entertainment, there being a table at each house plentifully provided for
that purpose. About midnight they all met at the home of William LeCount,
at New Rochelle, whose house not being large enough to entertain so many,
a large fire was made in the street, at which they sat till daylight, when
they again began to move. On the hill, at the east end of town, they were
joined by about seventy horsemen, electors of the lower part of the
county, and then proceeded to the place of election in the following
order: First, rode two trumpeters and three violinists; next, four of the
principal freeholders, one of whom carried a banner, on one side of which
was affixed in golden capitals, KING GEORGE, and on the other side, in
like golden capitals, LIBERTY & LAW; next followed the candidate, Lewis
Morris, formerly chief justice of the province; then two colors. Thus, at
sunrise, they entered the Green of East Chester, the place of election,
followed by about three hundred horsemen, the principal freeholders of the
county (a greater number than had appeared for one man since the
settlement of the county). After riding three times around the Green, they
went to the houses of Joseph Fowler and Mr. Child, who were well prepared
for their reception.

About eleven o'clock appeared William Forster, the candidate of the other
side; after him came two _ensigns_, borne by two of the freeholders; then
came the Honorable James DeLancey, chief justice of the province of New
York, and the Honorable Frederick Phillipse, second judge of the province
and Baron of the Exchequer, attended by about one hundred and seventy
horsemen, freeholders, and friends of Forster. They entered the Green on
the east side and rode round it twice. As they passed, the second judge
very civilly saluted the former chief justice by taking off his hat, a
salutation which the former judge returned in the same manner. After this,
they retired to the house of Mr. Baker, who was prepared to receive and
entertain them.

About an hour after this the high sheriff came to town, finely mounted,
with housings and holster caps of scarlet, richly laced with silver. Upon
his appearance the electors on both sides went into the Green. After
reading his majesty's writ the sheriff directed the electors to proceed to
their choice, which they then did, a great majority appearing for Morris.
A poll was demanded and the sheriff insisted that a poll must be taken. A
poll was taken, and did not close until about eleven o'clock at night.
Morris, although the votes cast for him by thirty-eight Quakers were
rejected, because they would not take the oath, was elected by a large
majority.

The indentures being sealed, the whole body of electors waited on the new
representative, at his lodgings, with trumpets sounding and violins
playing and then took leave of him.

The foregoing follows the account which appeared in the New York Weekly
Journal, which was friendly to Morris. In the same number of this paper
the only item of local news is the following, which we reproduce in
fac-simile.

[Illustration: _NEW-YORK, Nov. 5._ On _Wednesday_ the 31st of _October_,
the late Chief Justice, but new Representative for the County of
_Westchester_, landed in this City, about 5 o'Clock in the Evening, at the
Ferry-stairs: On His landing He was saluted by a general Fire of the Guns
from the Merchants Vessels lying in the Road; and was receiv'd by great
Numbers of the most considerable Merchants and Inhabitants of this City,
and by them with loud Aclamations of the People as he walk'd the Streets,
conducted to the _Black Horse_ Tavern, where a handsome Entertainment was
prepar'd for Him, at the Charge of the Gentlemen who received Him; and in
the Middle of one Side of the Room, was fix'd a Tabulet with golden
Capitals, KING GEORGE, LIBERTY and LAW.

On Thursday last the House of Representatives were adjourned to the third
Teusday in _April_ next.]

Thus the Black Horse Tavern had become the rallying place and rendezvous
for the party of the people, and was, from this time, we have every reason
to believe, the place where they continued to meet to concert on measures
against prerogative and favoritism and against the arrogance and arbitrary
acts of the governor and his supporters. These sentiments were not new to
the people, but had been lying dormant, like smoldering embers, which
needed only a slight agitation to fan them into a flame. Not since the
time of Bellomont had there been so much bitterness displayed in party
strife.

Since 1725, a newspaper had been printed in New York, but William
Bradford, its printer, was in the pay of the government, and no item in
opposition to the governor or his friends was to be found in its pages. In
November, 1733, appeared the first number of the New York Weekly Journal,
printed by John Peter Zenger, and devoted to the support of the party of
the people, at the head of which were Lewis Morris and Rip Van Dam. It
soon began to make itself felt. It was eagerly read, its sarcastic,
reflections on the government, and its biting criticisms, furnishing a
weekly entertainment to the public, which drove the governor and his
friends almost to madness. Its effect was so keenly felt that it was
resolved, in council, that Zenger's papers, Nos. 7, 47, 48 and 49, and
also two certain printed ballads, as containing many things tending to
sedition and faction, to bring his majesty's government into contempt, and
to disturb the peace thereof, should be burned by the common hangman or
whipper, and that the mayor and magistrates should attend the ceremony.
This they refused to do and forbade the whipper, who was in the employ of
the city, to obey the order. His place was supplied by a negro slave of
the sheriff. Attempts were made to have Zenger indicted, but the grand
jury refused to bring in a bill.

In November, 1734, Zenger was arrested and imprisoned, by order of the
council, for printing seditious libels, and, for a time, was denied the
use of pen, ink and paper. In January, 1735, the grand jury not having
indicted him, the attorney-general filed an information against him. In
the meantime he was editing his paper through a hole in the door of his
cell. At the April term of court his counsel, James Alexander and
William Smith, the two ablest lawyers of New York, filed exceptions to the
legality of the commissions of the two judges. For this they were
silenced, and John Chambers was appointed by the court counsel for Zenger.

[Illustration: A. Hamilton]

[Sidenote: Trial of John Peter Zenger]

[Sidenote: Dinner at The Black Horse]

When the trial came on, in July, 1735, Andrew Hamilton, of Philadelphia, a
lawyer of great reputation, who had been secretly engaged, unexpectedly
appeared by the side of the prisoner. He was capable, eloquent and
audacious, and, in conjunction with Chambers, managed the case with so
much ability and skill that the jury, after being out only ten minutes,
returned with a verdict of _Not Guilty_, which was received with shouts
and cheers. The judges threatened the leaders of the tumult with
imprisonment, when a son of Admiral Norris, who was also a son-in-law of
Lewis Morris, declared himself the leader and invited a repetition of the
cheers, which were instantly repeated. Andrew Hamilton was hailed as the
champion of liberty. The corporation of New York shortly presented him
with the freedom of the city in a gold box, "for his learned and generous
defence of the rights of mankind and the liberty of the press." Zenger was
released from prison, after having been confined for more than eight
months. After the trial was concluded, the enthusiasm and demonstrations
of satisfaction centered at the Black Horse Tavern, where a splendid
dinner was given to Andrew Hamilton in celebration of his great victory.
At his departure, next day, "he was saluted with the great Guns of several
Ships in the Harbour as a public Testimony of the glorious Defence he made
in the Cause of Liberty in this Province." Governeur Morris stated to Dr.
John W. Francis his belief that "the trial of Zenger, in 1735, was the
germ of American freedom--the morning star of that liberty which
subsequently revolutionized America." The Black Horse Tavern, therefore,
if it was not the cradle of liberty, was certainly the nursery of those
sentiments which ripened into the Declaration of Independence. No spot in
New York is so closely identified with this victory for the rights of free
speech and for the liberty of the press, as the site of the Black Horse
Tavern, which is now occupied by an office building called Lord's Court.

Lewis Morris at this time was in London, where he had gone to lay his
grievances before the home government. His case came before the Committee
of the Council in November, 1735, "when the Lords gave it as their opinion
that the Governor's Reasons for Removing him were not sufficient." He was
not, however, restored to the office of chief justice, but was appointed
governor of New Jersey, where he had large interests, and where the people
had long desired to have a government separate and distinct from New
York.

Many writers have erroneously asserted that the Black Horse Tavern was the
resort of the friends of the governor, where balls were given by the
aristocratic members of society, and that Robert Todd was its landlord;
but all that is necessary to clear up this mistake is to pay careful
attention to the files of the two rival newspapers of that day, Bradford's
Gazette and Zenger's Journal.

On Broad Street, near the corner of Dock Street (the present Pearl
Street), Robert Todd, vintner, kept his house, which became, indeed, the
favorite place for the balls and entertainments of the governor's party,
as was the Black Horse Tavern for the party of the people. On October 9,
1735, the governor was invited "to a very splendid entertainment provided
for him at Mr. Todd's in order to Congratulate his Excellency upon his
safe Return from Albany, where he had been to renew the Treaty of Peace
and Friendship with the Six Nations of Indians." After dinner they drank
the healths of the different members of the royal family and the health of
his excellency and prosperity to his administration--"the music playing
all the while." "His Excellency was also pleased to Drink Prosperity to
Trade, and at the same time, in a very obliging manner, assured the
Gentlemen there, That if they could think of any Methods to Promote and
Encourage the Trade and Welfare of this Province, he would heartily
contribute every Thing in his Power thereto." In the evening the house was
illuminated.

[Sidenote: Anniversary of the Coronation]

Two days after this, on the 11th of October, the anniversary of the
coronation was celebrated at the Fort, when the healths of the King and
Queen and the other members of the royal family were drank under the
discharge of cannon, "the two Independent Companies posted there, being
under arms all the time." In the evening the governor and his friends were
entertained at the house of Mr. Freeman, which was handsomely illuminated.
"The whole was concluded with Dancing and all the Demonstrations of Joy
suitable to the Day." Mr. Thomas Freeman was the son-in-law of Governor
Cosby.

At the same time, at the Black Horse Tavern, the house of John DeHoneur,
was made "a very handsome Entertainment in Honour of the Day for Rip Van
Dam Esq. President of His Majesty's Council. Matthias Norris Esq.
Commander of His Majesty's Ship, _Tartar_, and Capt. Compton, Commander of
His Majesty's Ship _Seaforth_." Thus we see that the commanders of the two
men-of-war lying in the harbor, honored with their presence and were
honored by the party of the people at the Black Horse Tavern; and this
accounts for the salutes given by the guns of the ships in the harbor to
honor Andrew Hamilton on his departure from the city the previous August.
"At Noon the Company met, and while the great Guns of his Majesty's Ship
Tartar were Firing they Drank the following Healths, the King, the Queen,
the Prince, Duke and Royal Family, the Prince and Princess of Orange, the
Glorious and immortal Memory of King William the third, Success to Coll.
Morris, in his Undertaking, to the speedy Election of a new Assembly,
Prosperity to the Corporation, my Lord Wiloughton, Duke of Dorset, Sir
John Norris and General Compton, and then the Company Din'd, in the
Evening the City was Illuminated, the Afternoon and Evening were spent
with all the Joy and Dancing suitable to the Occasion."

[Illustration: THE BALL AT THE BLACK HORSE]

The account of the celebration of the anniversary of the coronation at the
Fort is found in the New York Gazette, which makes no mention of the
celebration at the Black Horse Tavern. The New York Weekly Journal gives
an account of the celebration at the Black Horse Tavern, but makes no
mention of any celebration at the Fort. In the same way, the account of
the celebration of the birthday of the Prince of Wales, by the party of
the people, is given by the New York Weekly Journal of January 26, 1736,
as follows:

"The 19th instant being his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales's Birthday.
It was celebrated at the Black Horse in a most elegant and genteel manner.
There was a most magnificent Appearance of Gentlemen and Ladies. The Ball
began with French Dances. And then the Company proceeded to Country
Dances, upon which Mrs. Norris led up two new Country Dances upon the
Occasion; the first of which was called _The Prince of Wales_, and the
second, The Princess of Saxe-Gotha, in Honour of the Day. There was a most
sumptuous Entertainment afterward. At the conclusion of which the
Honourable Rip Van Dam Esq., President of His Majesty's Council, began the
Royal Healths, which were all drank in Bumpers. The whole was conducted
with the utmost Decency, Mirth and Cheerfulness."

[Illustration: "WHICH WERE ALL DRANK IN BUMPERS"]

No mention is made of any celebration at the Fort. The New York Gazette
has the following account of the celebration of the governor's party:

"On the 20th Instant, being the Anniversary of His Royal Highness the
Prince of Wales's Birthday, the Royal Healths were drank at the Fort, by
the Gentlemen of the Council, and the Principal Merchants and Gentlemen of
the Place. The Continuance of the Governour's Indisposition hinder'd the
Celebration of the day with the usual solemnity at the Fort; However there
was a Ball in the Evening at Mr. Todd's, at which there was a very great
appearance of Gentlemen and Ladies, and an Elegant Entertainment made by
the Gentlemen, in honour of the Day."

[Illustration: "THE VIOLIN AND THE GERMAN FLUTE BY 'PRIVATE HANDS'"]

At the Black Horse, committees of the assembly met for the transaction of
public business, but the conferences of committees of the two houses were
held at the house of Robert Todd. Here, on the 4th of November, 1736, a
conference was held of committees from the council and assembly, to
prepare an address to his majesty on the nuptials of his Royal Highness
the Prince of Wales. It seems also to have been a place for public
entertainments. A concert of vocal and instrumental music was given here,
January 21, 1736, for the benefit of Mr. Pachelbell, the harpsicord part
performed by himself, the songs, violin and German flutes by "private
hands." Again on the 9th of March, 1736, this was repeated, when it was
announced that tickets could be had at the Coffee House, at the Black
Horse and at Mr. Todd's; at 4 shillings each. Mr. Pachelbell was probably
the music teacher, and was assisted in the concert by his pupils or
friends. On the evening of January 6, 1745, a concert was given at the
house of Robert Todd, for the benefit of Mr. Rice, which the newspaper
affirms was "thought by all competent judges to exceed anything of the
kind ever done here before."

When Samuel Bayard died, in 1745, he left the house on Broad Street next
adjoining the DeLancey house, which afterwards became the noted Fraunces
Tavern, to his son, Nicholas, which he states in his will, was in the
tenure of Robert Todd. It had been occupied by him for at least eight
years; earlier, his house is described as next to the Exchange Coffee
House.

Among the last acts of Governor Cosby was that declaring Rip Van Dam
suspended from the council. This was to prevent Van Dam, as senior member
of the council, from succeeding him and again becoming acting governor.
After the death of Cosby, Van Dam and his friends declared this
suspension illegal, and Van Dam made an effort to obtain control, but
George Clarke, next in order, was supported by the council and also by the
assembly, when it convened, and in the course of a few months received his
commission from England as lieutenant-governor, which put an end to the
claims of Van Dam. Clarke received from Cosby a legacy of trouble, but he
was an astute politician and a much abler man than Cosby. He is credited
with the policy of making it appear that the governorship of New York was
not a desirable post, and by this means held his office for many years,
and then retired to England with a competency. The community continued to
be divided by party strife. The government party were, in derision, called
"courtiers," and they in turn characterized the opposition as a Dutch mob.
A visitor to New York in 1739 describes the different parties as
courtiers, Zengerites, the prudents and the no-party-men; and states that
there was much bitterness displayed, and that the women were as zealous
politicians as the men.

[Sidenote: Exchange Coffee House]

From the time of the establishment of a coffee house on Broadway, in 1696,
until about 1738, there had been but one coffee house in New York, so far
as we can ascertain. The first coffee house, called also the King's Arms
Tavern, disappears from our view in 1709, and we hear no more of any
coffee house until 1729, when we find that there was then a coffee house
also called the King's Arms supposed to be situated in Broad Street near
the exchange, and called the Exchange Coffee House. It had probably had a
continued existence during this interval. During the time of political
excitement preceding and following the trial of Zenger, it appears to have
been, with the house of Robert Todd, the resort of the "courtiers," as the
supporters of the governor and his party were called. In March, 1731,
there was a sale of several lots of land by auction at this house, and
after the death of Governor Montgomerie, his library, a collection of
valuable books, was announced to be sold on the 1st of June, 1732, and
notice was given that a catalogue of the books and conditions of sale
might be seen at the Coffee House. In October, 1732, the late governor's
barge, which he had used in making visits to his government of New Jersey,
with awning, damask curtains, two sets of oars, sails and everything
necessary for her, were sold by auction at the Coffee House. It seems at
this time to have become a place for public sales of all kinds and for the
transaction of all kinds of business.

In 1747 it was on the corner of Broad and Dock (now Pearl) Streets and its
landlord was David Cox, who gave it up in 1749, when Andrew Ramsay, who
was then the landlord of a tavern in Dock Street, announced that he had
opened the Exchange Coffee House next door to where Mr. Cox lately kept
it. This was the house known some years before as the Fighting Cocks. When
Ramsay purchased the unexpired part of the lease of the Long Island ferry,
in 1750, and moved to the ferry house on the Long Island side of the
river, he was succeeded by Richard Clarke Cooke, who describes his house
as the Gentlemen's and Exchange Coffee House and Tavern at the Sign of the
King's Arms. His occupancy was of short duration. Anne Stockton made an
attempt to establish an ordinary in it, but at the end of about a month
she gave notice that she "has declined, and is advised to teach young
Ladies to sew and embroider and Millinery."

George Burns then became the landlord of the King's Arms, which appears no
longer to be known as a coffee house, and which was brought back to its
former location on the corner. Benjamin Pain appropriated the name of
"Gentlemen's Coffee House"--and carried it to Broadway, where he opened a
house in April, 1751.

In January, 1753, a committee of the common council met at the house of
George Burns, the King's Arms, for the purpose of letting to farm the
ferry between New York City and Long Island, when they were furnished with
the usual entertainment provided for such occasions.

On Monday, the 25th of June, 1753, in celebration of the anniversary of
the festival of St. John the Baptist, "the Ancient and Right Worship
Society of FREE and Accepted MASONS of this City assembled at the Spring
Garden, and being properly cloathed made a regular Procession in due Form
to the King's Arms Tavern in Broad Street, near the Long Bridge, where an
elegant Entertainment was provided." Here, they drank his majesty's health
and many other loyal healths and concluded the day in the most social and
satisfactory manner. The King's Arms Tavern continued on or near the
corner of Broad and Dock Streets for many years and was a well known
tavern under various landlords.

In 1696, what was called the Shoemakers' Pasture was divided into building
lots, and soon after on lot number 58, of the map of this property, on the
southeast side of the present William Street, about midway between John
and Fulton Streets, was built a house which became a prominent and much
frequented tavern, from its sign, known as the Horse and Cart. The part of
William Street near this tavern became known as Horse and Cart Street. It
has been said that this house was a tavern in the time of Captain Kidd,
and that he was a frequent visitor to it before he went on his fateful
voyage. This may be a mere tradition, but if true, the house, which is
still standing, at No. 122 William Street, must be over two hundred years
old. It is, at any rate, we think, the oldest house now standing on
Manhattan Island. In October, 1733, it was advertised as the meeting place
of the proprietors of a tract of 50,000 acres of land, "for concerting
matters necessary for their mutual defence in law," and again, in 1737, a
meeting of these proprietors or their proxies was called at the same
house.

[Illustration: HOUSE AT 122 WILLIAM STREET]

George Burns, who in 1750 was keeping a tavern opposite the Merchants
Coffee House, moved to the noted sign of the Horse and Cart, where he
announced that "to gratify his Customers he takes in the Boston,
Philadelphia and New York papers." He soon gave place to Captain George
Edmonds. It seems to have been a tavern that was patronized by travelers,
especially those coming in from the north and east and was a favorite of
the New England people, as is shown by the announcement made by Captain
Edmonds when its landlord in 1751, that it had "lately been very much
balked, to the great Disappointment of Numbers of Persons from New England
that used to frequent that House." Notice was given in March, 1752, that
"the once noted Horse and Cart Inn, in the City of New York, is now
revived by Edward Willett." Thus there are indications that the house had
lost the popularity which it once enjoyed. Throughout all its many
vicissitudes it retained its name for a great many years. Landlords came
and landlords went, but the sign of the Horse and Cart remained, and was
well known as a landmark by which the locations of other houses and places
were designated. The house was still known as the Horse and Cart as late
as 1765. The old sign was probably taken down about this time, or a little
later, and during the decade preceding the Revolution the house was known
as the Golden Hill Inn.

In 1733 there was a tavern on Broadway that hung out the sign of the Coach
and Horses, kept by Thomas Welch, from London, where, it was announced,
could be had "very good Entertainment for Man and Horse," and where were
"also Horses to be let or stand at Livery."

In 1738 Captain Norris, commander of the ship Tartar, then lying in the
harbor of New York, was in need of men and made application to the mayor
for permission to impress thirty seamen to man his ship. The governor and
council ordered the mayor to comply with this request, but the mayor
pre-emptorily refused to obey the order, and the governor and council
prudently refrained from taking further action. Thus it seems that it was
difficult at that time to obtain a crew for a man-of-war in New York
harbor, but a year or two later there was no difficulty in obtaining
volunteers for privateering.

[Sidenote: Privateering]

As soon as England had declared war with Spain the adventurous merchants
of New York commenced fitting out privateers to prey upon the commerce of
the enemy, and the taverns along the East River shore were all bustle and
excitement. Many of them became headquarters for recruiting seamen for
these adventurous expeditions. The vessels were commanded and manned in
part by young men of the best families of New York, who left off
cock-fighting and horse-racing to go a-privateering. The appeals for
volunteers to join these expeditions were made to "Gentlemen Sailors" and
to "Gentlemen Adventurers." Samuel Bayard went out in the sloop Ranger as
its commander and soon returned with two prizes, taken at St. Jago, in
the West Indies. These were offered to be sold, in June, 1740, and notice
was given that the inventory could be seen at the Coffee House. He seems
to have been a successful commander and brought in other prizes.

The sign of the Pine Apple on the New Dock, kept by Benjamin Kierstede,
was a place for recruiting seamen and also for enlisting men in the
military companies then organizing to go out against the Spanish colonies
in the West Indies. Another place of the same kind was the tavern at the
sign of the Jamaica Arms, on Cruger's Wharf, kept by Benjamin Pain. At
both of these places there was great activity in making up crews for
privateers about to sail. Here the "articles" could be seen, and men were
engaged. Here also prizes and cargoes were sold.

In August, 1740, five companies of soldiers had been enlisted, commanded
by Captains Clarke, Cosby, Provost, Cuyler and Stevens, and were encamped
on the Common. In September the companies raised in Rhode Island were
expected to join them. The New York Weekly Journal of August 4, 1740,
contains the following:

"An express arrived a few days since from the Earl of Waldegrave which
Occasioned the holding of a Council which sat till 2 the next Morning. The
Dispatch brought by the Courier occasions great Matter of Speculation
among the Coffee House Politicians and some since talk of Peace while
others say the French will no longer remain Neuter."

When, in 1744, war was declared with France an additional impulse was
given to the privateering business. For the five years preceding 1748 no
less than thirty-one vessels, each carrying from ten to twenty-four guns,
are named in the newspapers, and there is continually mention made of
prizes being brought in, of cases before the court of admiralty, of sales
of the captured ships and their cargoes and of the adjustments of disputes
over the division of the spoils. In 1745, we find that arbitrators were to
meet at the house of Robert Todd every Friday evening "for settling the
Differences between the four Privateers formerly arrived here with six
French Prizes." This continued from January to May. In September, 1744, a
New York newspaper stated that, "'tis computed there will be before winter
113 Sail of Privateers at Sea, from the British American Colonies, mostly
stout Vessels and well manned. A Naval Force equal (some say) to that of
Great Britain in the Time of Queen Elizabeth." In 1745 it was stated that
at that time there were thirteen privateers at sea from the port of New
York. The men for these vessels were not all supplied by New York City.
The alluring promises of gain drew volunteers from all the neighboring
country. Governor Hamilton, of New Jersey, complained that the
privateers-men were sweeping into their ranks the flower of the youth of
his province.

In 1745 Captain Bevan, of the privateer sloop Clinton, brought into the
port of New York a French prize, which he had taken after a short
engagement, without the loss of a man. Her cargo, consisting of sugar,
indigo and cotton, was valued at £40,000, and each man of the crew
received £160 prize money. As a reward for complying with his request not
to plunder the passengers, officers and sailors of the captured ship,
Captain Bevan gave his crew a handsome treat of a hogshead of punch and an
ox roasted whole in the fields at Dominie's Hook, which was quite handsome
in Captain Bevan. The cargo of the prize ship Le Pomone (La Pomme),
brought in by Captain Bevan, was sold at the house of widow Thomas. The
prize ship Joseph of Egypt and cargo were sold in April, 1746, at the
house of the widow Susannah Lawrence, on the Dock, near the Meal Market,
at the lower end of Wall Street.

When news came of the capture of Louisburg the common council, to
celebrate the victory, ordered that Mr. DeJancourt, whose house was near
the Meal Market, be directed to prepare a handsome dinner for the board
and that the governor, the members of the council, the assembly members of
the city, with the field officers, be invited to dine with them and that a
bonfire be made "without the Spring Garden" in the evening. They also
ordered that twenty gallons of good wine be sent to the bonfire for the
people.

[Sidenote: The Negro Plot]

In 1741, during the Spanish war, New York City was thrown into a panic of
excitement by the so-called negro plot. Each week the newspapers gave
accounts of the numerous executions and of the trials resulting from the
confessions of the victims, each one of whom was induced to accuse another
in order to save himself. It seems to have seized on the inhabitants of
New York in the same way that witchcraft overwhelmed the people of Salem,
Massachusetts. In the intense excitement persons of better and better
standing in the community were being accused until a halt was found
necessary. Thomas Croker, at this time, was landlord of the Fighting Cocks
in Dock Street, and it was at his house that John Ury, who was tried for
complicity in the plot, lodged. Although Ury, the most prominent victim,
was, no doubt, innocent of any criminal act, he was, nevertheless,
convicted on the evidence of those who had been urged to accuse somebody
to save themselves or to gain a reward. He was a stranger and fell a
victim to the panic which pervaded the community.

The sign of the Fighting Cocks had hung in Dock Street, next door to the
corner of Broad Street, for many years. In 1736, the tavern was kept by
Edward Eastham, who met with the loss of a silver quart tankard, marked
on the handle with an E, taken from his house, for the recovery of which
he offered a reward of three pounds. The next year a silver watch was
taken from this house, "of a size rather larger than midling, Regmaiden at
Dublin the Maker," for the return of which a reward of ten shillings was
offered, "and no questions asked." Although though the Fighting Cocks
Tavern, as its name implies, may have been the scene of many cock-fights,
we do not think that at that time this would detract from its standing and
respectability.

[Sidenote: The King's Birthday]

In March, 1748, in celebration of the King's birthday, it is stated that a
Jack was displayed all day from the flagstaff on the southwest bastion of
Fort George. The city regiment of militia and troops were under arms and
were reviewed by the governor from the piazza of the City Hall, as they
passed from Broadway, where they had been drawn up, and, it is said, made
a very handsome appearance. The governor and some of the gentlemen of the
council who attended him were entertained by the mayor, corporation, and
officers of the militia with some extraordinary wine ("such as is rare to
be met with in any private house") from Hugh Crawford's, ford's, near at
hand, and there they drank the health of his majesty and other royal
healths under the discharge of twenty-one guns at the Fort.

In honor of the day there were two halls, one at the Fort and another at
Ramsay's tavern in Dock Street. We give an account of these two balls as
it appeared in a newspaper of that period.

"In the evening there was a private entertainment and ball at his
Excellency's, consisting of a snug select company of the _choicest fruits_
of the town, that were particularly invited for that purpose, the only
entertainment of the kind that His Excellency's leisure has admitted of
upon such public occasions during his administration; the company was very
sociable, and the night concluded there as usual.

"The gentlemen that had not the honour to be invited to His Excellency's
ball resolved not to be behindhand in their demonstrations of loyalty on
this occasion, and therefore ordered a public entertainment to be provided
against the evening at Mr. Ramsay's tavern, where there was a very
splendid and beautiful appearance of ladies, such as would have graced an
Assembly in England. There were several gentlemen of Council and
Corporation, and most of the principal merchants and other gentlemen in
the city, that made up a gay and numerous assembly.

"The ball was opened about six o'clock, the city being illuminated from
one end to the other, the supper was served up about ten and
notwithstanding the short warning given, there was the greatest variety
this town or country could produce, and the tables were decorated in so
neat and elegant a manner as raised a general admiration and 'twas
declared by good judges that never was a more magnificent entertainment in
this country. The whole tables were taken up with ladies the length of two
rooms laid into one, that the gentlemen's time was generally employed in
waiting on them, and when they were done the gentlemen supplied their
places. After supper, His Majesty's, the Prince and Princess of Wales, and
the other Royal Healths were drank, and then prosperity to the province, a
speedy exportation of its enemies, etc.

"The whole affair was conducted with the utmost decency and decorum; there
was the greatest gaiety, cheerfulness and complacency in every
countenance. The ball was concluded about 5 A. M. and the night was passed
in the general satisfaction, without the least incivility offered or
offence taken by any one, which is scarce to be said on the like
occasions. We are told this was distinguished by the title of the Country
Ball."



V

THE MERCHANTS' COFFEE HOUSE


[Sidenote: The Meal Market]

Trade had extended its territory along the East River shore until about
the beginning of the eighteenth century it had reached and taken in Wall
Street. In 1709 the first slave market was erected at the foot of this
street, on the site of the Half Moon Battery and block house of the Dutch
era, and for many years continued to be the established place where slaves
were offered for sale and "stood for hire." A market house had been built,
and in January, 1726-7, it was ordained by the common council of the city
of New York that the market house at the lower end of Wall Street be
appointed a public market for the sale of all sorts of corn, grain and
meal, and a penalty was fixed for selling such in any public market
elsewhere. From this time it was known as the Meal Market.

In the course of time several taverns had been opened in the neighborhood
of the market, and it had become the center of considerable business. In
1726 the only newspaper in New York gave notice of servants to be sold by
John Dunks at the sign of the Jamaica Pilot Boat, on the Dock. In 1750
the following appeared in the New York Gazette or Weekly Post Boy: "Just
imported, a parcel of likely negros, to be sold at public vendue to-morrow
at Ten o'clock at the Merchants' Coffee House."

The tavern at the sign of the Jamaica Pilot Boat stood on the northwest
corner of the present Wall and Water Streets, then Wall and Burnet
Streets. Francis Child, a wigmaker, owned it and advertised it for sale in
1736 and 1737, when he described it as the corner house near the Meal
Market, "a well frequented tavern for several years past" and in good
repair.

Daniel Bloom, mariner, who as captain of the Turtle Dove had met with a
very unfortunate experience in the West Indies, his brig and all on board
being stript of everything even to the clothing they wore, and who had
lately arrived rived in New York, purchased the house and lot, in June,
1738, the consideration mentioned in the deed being five hundred pounds
(£500). Bloom was landlord of the house for more than a dozen years. While
living here he, in December, 1747, took the lease of the ferry between the
city and Nassau (Long) Island for the term of five years, for which he
agreed to pay the sum of four hundred and fifty-five pounds (£455) per
annum, to be paid in quarterly installments, and the common council
ordered that the neighborhood of the Meal Market have leave, at their own
expense, to make and erect a dock and stairs, for the convenience of the
ferry boat which was to land there, in such manner as shall be directed
by the committee appointed for that purpose. Bloom ran the ferry for about
three years, when, in September, 1750, by permission of the common
council, he transferred the lease to Andrew Ramsay, who at this time was
the landlord of the Exchange Coffee House, from which he moved to the
ferry house on the Long Island side of the river. Soon after this Bloom
died. At the time of his death he was still indebted to the city for a
portion of the rent of the ferry, and the corporation, in June, 1751,
offered to take from the executors of his estate fifty pounds (£50) in
settlement of all arrears due.

[Sidenote: The Merchants' Coffee House]

Long before Daniel Bloom purchased the house that hung out the sign of the
Jamaica Pilot Boat, it had been kept by John Dunks. Bloom did not retain
the sign, for we find that a few years later, it was used by the widow of
John Dunks, who kept a house a little further up near the Fly Market.
Bloom had seen considerable of the world, and appears to have been a man
of some property, owning real estate in the city and in Westchester
County. He probably had an acquaintance among the merchants, as sea
captains generally had, and was able to make his house a resort for them.
He called it the Merchants' Coffee House, and he was no doubt the first
landlord of the house by that name, which, for more than half a century,
was one of the most prominent houses of the city. As its name implies, it
gradually became the place where the merchants of the city met and
transacted business, and it became also the place where auctions, or
vendues, as they were called, were held, especially such as were connected
with the shipping business. The year after Bloom's death, its landlord was
Captain James Ackland.

The price paid for the lease of the ferry indicates that there must have
been considerable travel over it and that the house at the landing place
should have been a profitable one. On the next corner below, on Burnet's
Key and Wall Street Slip, was the tavern of Widow Susannah Lawrence, which
at one time was called the Red Lion, and on the opposite side of Wall
Street stood, in 1735, St. George and the Dragon, which in 1750 was
occupied by Thomas Leppers, from London, who hung out the sign of the Duke
of Cumberland. He had succeeded George Burns, who became prominent as a
tavern-keeper and was in turn the landlord of many well known houses. In
May, 1750, announcement was made that "Thomas Leppers, living at the sign
of the Duke of Cumberland, opposite the Merchants' Coffee House, proposes
to open an Ordinary To-morrow, Dinner will be ready at half an Hour after
One," and a few days later he gave notice that "Whereas, I have often
heard Gentlemen Strangers and single Gentlemen of this City wish for a
Regular Ordinary and since my removal to the Duke of Cumberland, opposite
the Merchants' Coffee House, I have been frequently advised by Gentlemen
my friends to keep one. These are to give Notice That I began to do so on
Tuesday last, which shall be continued every Day. Dinner shall be ready at
One o'clock. Per Thomas Leppers from London."

[Sidenote: An Affair at Leppers' Tavern]

In August, 1750, this house was the scene of a disturbance which must have
caused much talk in the town, as an account of the affair occupies a whole
page in one of the issues of the New York Gazette Revived in the Weekly
Post Boy, a very unusual attention given any local news. It was claimed
that the article had been written by spectators of the affair to set to
right reports that were current in the town. On Tuesday evening, the 28th
of August, several persons met as a club at Leppers' tavern, and one or
two of the company, signifying a desire to have Mr. James Porterfield join
them, one of the members went out and in a short time returned and
introduced him to the company, who, it seems, were mostly physicians or
interested in that profession. After supper he begged the attention of the
club, and stated that he had received many civilities from the gentlemen
of the club, for which he returned them thanks; but a friend had told him
that having lately asked a member if Mr. Porterfield were admitted to it,
the answer was, that he was not, and that his loquacity was the cause of
it. He said that he submitted to the judgment of the club whether he had
ever behaved in such a manner at the club as to deserve that reflection.
The members of the club declined to pass judgment upon the question,
stating that as he was not a member, it would be to no purpose to give any
judgment about it, since if they thought him too talkative it was not in
their power to prevent it as his conduct could not be regulated by any of
their rules. Notwithstanding this definite answer, he still persisted in
claiming a judgment whether he was faulty in being too talkative or not.
The members of the club maintained their first position and begged him not
to insist any further, as he was defeating the original intention of the
meeting. He became violent, but was prevailed at length to be quiet while
a paper was being read by one of the members. He seems to have worked
himself up to a high state of resentment for he sneered and interrupted
the reading, and after it was finished became so uncontrollable and
insulting that he was threatened with expulsion. He then threw his glove
upon the table as a challenge, and although no other person was armed,
drew his sword. At this point the member, who had threatened to turn him
out, took up the glove and threw it in his face, and being seated at the
opposite side of a long table went round to him, and, with the assistance
of some of the other members, disarmed him and broke his sword. They
forced him to the door, but he used his cane, which was also broken by the
company, who now went to another room, leaving him alone. He went down
stairs and on his way out told Mr. Loppers that he would get another sword
and return and run some of the members upstairs through the body, but Mr.
Loppers told him that he could not again enter his house that night. He
thereupon seated himself at the door with the stump of his sword in his
hand waiting for revenge, but was induced by the member of the club who
had introduced him to retire to his lodgings.

This was not the end, for the next evening Mr. Porterfield came down to
the Merchants' Coffee House, and at sight of Doctor Ayscough, drew his
sword and shook it at the Doctor, who stood in the door, calling him
villain and scoundrel and challenging him to fight. After some abuse of
this kind Doctor Ayscough seized a cane from a bystander and struck
Porterfield on the head, who immediately rushed towards him and made a
pass at him. Doctor Ayscough, in retreating, fell down and Porterfield,
thinking that he had pricked him, very quickly and prudently disappeared,
as the resentment of the spectators was apparent. Doctor Ayscough was not
injured.

[Sidenote: Clubs]

It seems to have been quite usual at this period for men of like tastes
and inclinations to form themselves into clubs. A writer, describing New
York and its people in 1756, states that, "New York is one of the most
social places on the continent. The men collect themselves into weekly
evening clubs. The ladies, in winter, are frequently entertained either at
concerts of music or assemblies, and make a very good appearance." The
clubs, as well as the assemblies for dancing, were held at the taverns.
The first club in the colony of New York, of which we have any knowledge,
was formed at the instance of Governor Lovelace, in the winter of 1668-69,
composed of ten French and Dutch and six English families, to meet at each
other's houses twice a week in winter and once a week in summer, from six
to nine in the evening. It is said that the Governor was generally present
and made himself agreeable. This, no doubt, was a select circle, and the
enjoyment derived consisted of the social pleasures and the good things to
eat and drink, the beverages being Madeira wine and rum and brandy punch
served up in silver tankards. Governor Bellomont speaks of the men who
were opposed to him meeting as a club and of Governor Fletcher's club
night, which was Saturday. The club opposed to Bellomont met at the tavern
of Lieutenant Matthews, which was in the South Ward. In 1734 there was a
club in New York called the Hum Drum Club, which appears to have been
honored by the presence of the Governor on two succeeding Saturdays. As
we approach the period of the Revolution, we find the number of clubs
increasing; they were organized with different objects in view. There was
the purely social club, the political club, the club for the lawyer and
the club for the physician, etc.

[Sidenote: Merchants' Exchange]

The growing commercial importance of New York induced the building of a
new Exchange for merchants in the middle of Broad Street, near the East
River, which was commenced in 1752, on or near the site of one which had
stood there since 1690. In June, permission for erecting it was given by
the city and one hundred pounds appropriated towards its erection. The
original intention was probably to build it like the old one, which was
simply an open structure with nothing but roof above; but, in August, the
corporation resolved that they would at their own expense, build or cause
to be built a room twelve feet high over the Exchange, for which an
appropriation was made of twelve hundred pounds (£1,200). A cupola was
erected on it, but it had no bell until 1769, when one was provided. The
large room in the upper story was for many years used by societies for
their annual meetings and elections, for concerts and for dinners and
entertainments to persons of distinction, and by the Common Council for
their regular meetings while the City Hall was being repaired. It was
leased to Oliver De Lancey for one year, from February 1, 1754. The next
year it was let to Keen and Lightfoot, who opened in one end of it a
coffee-room called the Exchange Coffee Room, which was continued for many
years. In March, 1756, a show was given here called the microcosm, or the
world in miniature. In 1756 the partnership of Keen and Lightfoot was
broken up. Lightfoot continued the coffee room and Keen opened a tavern
nearby which he called the Fountain Inn. Upon the death of Lightfoot, in
1757, his widow, Sarah, obtained a renewal of the lease and continued the
business, but the following year, the rent being raised, it passed into
the hands of Roper Dawson, and was opened as a mercantile store.

[Illustration: THE ROYAL EXCHANGE]

Business at the Merchants' Coffee House continually increased. It became
the recognized place for public vendues or auctions of real estate,
merchandise, negroes, horses, or any other article of sale. Several sales
of vessels, dining the year 1753, were made here, where the inventories
were posted. In May the sloop, Sea Flower, late commanded by Evert
Evertson, and one-fourth part of the ship John, Richard Coffee, master,
were offered for sale; in August the sloop, Catherine; and in September
one-third part of the ship, Fame, Captain Seymour. When the sloop
Catharine was offered for sale, notice was given that she could be seen in
Rotten Row, almost opposite the Merchants' Coffee House. Rotten Row was a
place on the East River shore which the extension of the dock to the north
of Wall Street, and that at Cruger's Wharf, made into a sort of cove where
the shipping received some protection. Between these two points the river
came up to the southeast side of the present Water Street, and the dock
was known as Hunter's Keys. The New York _Gazette_ of January 6, 1752,
stated that the river was then full of ice and that many vessels had been
detained from sailing, and, "with the rest of our shipping, squeezed into
Rotten Row for Shelter. It was a happy Turn the Corporation acted with
that Prudence in not consenting to the Views of a few self-interested
People, to get the only Place for Shelter of our shipping fill'd up."

In 1753 Governor Clinton, who had had a long fight with the assembly
during his administration, retired from the office of Governor to a
sinecure provided for him in England. He had accomplished the object of
his mission as to his personal interests, and at his recommendation Sir
Danvers Osborne became his successor.

On Saturday, the 6th of October, 1753, the ship Arundal, Captain Lloyd,
arrived at Sandy Hook, with Sir Danvers Osborne on board. He came up to
the city the next day in the ship's barge, and landed at the Whitehall
Slip, where he was received by the members of the Council, the Mayor and
Aldermen, the officers of the militia and most of the principal gentlemen
of the city. Governor Clinton being at his country seat at Flushing, Long
Island, Osborne was escorted to the Governor's house in Fort George, where
an elegant entertainment was prepared for his reception, when the healths
of his majesty and of all the members of the royal family were drank, as
was usual on such occasions. On Monday Governor Clinton came in from his
country seat and Sir Danvers Osborne was elegantly entertained at a public
dinner given by the gentlemen of the Council, and on Tuesday the
corporation voted him the freedom of the city, presented to him in a
golden box. On Wednesday the commission of Sir Danvers Osborne was first
published in Council, and while the usual oaths were being taken, the
corporation, the city representatives, the militia officers, the clergy
and all the principal inhabitants assembled in the parade and, together
with the Council, wailed on his excellency, attended by a company of foot
and a vast concourse of people, to the City Hall, where his commission was
a second time published. He then, amidst the shouts and acclamations of
the people, attended in like manner, returned to the fort, where the usual
royal healths were drank, the guns in the common and harbor firing, and
the bells of all the churches of the city ringing. The corporation then
waited on Sir Danvers with an address, to which he gave a short and
agreeable reply.

[Illustration: Danvers Osborn]

[Sidenote: Dinner to the New Governor]

At the tavern of George Burns, opposite the Long Bridge, a grand dinner
was ordered by the corporation. A committee had been appointed with
instructions to invite his majesty's Council, such members of the Assembly
as should be in town, the captain of the man-of-war, with such gentlemen
as came over with the Governor, the treasurer of the colony, the King's
attorney, Mr. Rutledge, Mr. Gordon, Mr. Penn and Mr. Oliver De Lancey to
dine with his Excellency, Sir Danvers Osborn, Bart. The committee were,
besides, instructed to provide for a bonfire on the common near the
workhouse, and to procure three dozen of wine to be sent to the fire, that
the City Hall, the Alms-House and the Ferry-House should be illuminated
and that a half-barrel of cannon-powder be provided to discharge the
cannon on the Common near the bonfire. The newspapers state that the
dinner was "an elegant and splendid entertainment. In the evening two and
forty cannon were discharged in the Common. Two large bonfires were
erected. Some thousands of the populace crowded the Common and the whole
town was for several hours most bountifully illuminated." Notwithstanding
all this rejoicing, and the enthusiasm with which he was received, the new
Governor became despondent and, on the morning of Friday, the 12th of
October, his body was found hanging to the garden fence of Mr. Murray, at
whose house he was staying. He had committed suicide.

From the very fact that the house of George Burns was selected as the
place for the dinner given to the new Governor, we may very confidently
conclude that it was considered the best tavern in New York at that time.
George Burns was the landlord of the King's Arms, which, until about this
time, had also been called the Exchange Coffee House. The coffee house of
this period was generally considered to be more a meeting place for the
transaction of business than the tavern and until the Merchants' Coffee
House was established the Exchange Coffee House had been the resort of
merchants and the place where business transactions were made and where
auctions were held for the sale of merchandise of all kinds.

[Sidenote: The Province Arms]

Before the year 1754 there had been no one tavern that had stood at the
head and maintained a leading position for any length of time; but in this
year Edward Willett, well known in New York as the landlord, at different
times, of many prominent houses, opened a tavern in the house of James De
Lancey on Broadway which from this time became the most prominent tavern
in the city and so continued until after the Revolution, when on the same
site was built in 1794 the City Hotel, which also for a long time held the
lead as a public house. Willett moved into it from the Horse and Cart and
described it as "the house of the honorable James De Lancey, Esq.,
Lieutenant Governor, at the sign of the Province Arms in Broadway, near
Oswego Market."

While Willett was keeping the Horse and Cart, on Thursday, October 25,
1753, the last day of the sitting of the Supreme Court, the justices of
the court, the attorney-general, and the counsellors and attorneys
attending the court, marched in a procession from the City Hall to the
house of the Lieutenant Governor and presented him with an address, after
which, accompanied by the Lieutenant Governor, they all marched to the
house of Edward Willett, where a grand dinner was served to them.

The house that Willett opened on Broadway at the Province Arms, or the New
York Arms, as it was sometimes called, was one of the largest and finest
in the city, and from the time it was opened as a tavern was patronized by
the public societies and was the recognized place for giving all public
entertainments of importance. It had been built by Stephen De Lancey about
the year 1730 and, subsequently, came into the possession of his son,
James De Lancey, the Lieutenant Governor. It was two stories high, with
windows opening to the floor. It stood on the west side of Broadway,
between the present Thames and Cedar Streets, commanding from its windows
a beautiful view of the bay, the river and the opposite shores. Somewhat
retired from the busy parts of the city, it was a beautiful and agreeable
spot for a first-class public house. Broadway was becoming the favorite
promenade. The church walk, in front of Trinity, near by, was the resort
of the fashion of the town for the afternoon.

On Tuesday, April 29, 1755, soon after Lieutenant Governor De Lancey had
returned from a trip to the more southern colonies, where he had been
received with all the honors due to his official station, and where he had
met the other governors in consultation as to the situation on the French
and Indian frontier, Governor William Shirley, of Massachusetts, and
Governor Robert Hunter Morris, of Pennsylvania, arrived in New York from
the westward and were welcomed to the city with great formality. On
landing at Whitehall Slip they were saluted by a discharge of cannon from
Fort George, and welcomed ashore by Lieutenant Governor De Lancey, members
of his majesty's council and many of the principal gentlemen of the city.
The city militia had been ordered to muster and were drawn up so as to
line the street as the gentlemen passed on to the fort, where they drank
his majesty's and all the loyal healths with success to the
English-American enterprises. They then proceeded through the lines still
formed by the militia to the New York Arms, on Broadway. Here a handsome
entertainment was provided where the healths of his majesty and the royal
family were repeated with "cheerfulness and alacrity." The newspaper
account states that the doors, windows, balconies and the tops of the
houses were decorated, red cloaks being largely used to brighten the scene
and give it life and color.

[Sidenote: Charter of King's College]

On Wednesday, the 7th of May, 1755, the gentlemen who had been appointed
governors of the College of the Province of New York (afterwards called
King's College) met at the house of Edward Willett, at the sign of the New
York Arms, "when the Deputy Secretary attended with his Majesty's Royal
Charter of Incorporation." Lieutenant Governor De Lancey was pleased to
order the charter read, and "after addressing himself to the governors in
a very affectionate, genteel and suitable manner," delivered to them the
Charter, and they were qualified to exercise the important trust reposed
in them by taking the oaths (to the government and that of office), and
subscribing the declaration as prescribed by the charter. This was the
birth of King's College, now Columbia University. The next Tuesday, the
13th of May, being the day appointed by the charter for the annual meeting
of the governors, they accordingly met at the New York Arms to proceed
upon business, and the meetings of the governors of the college continued
to be held here for many years.

[Sidenote: French and Indian War]

The year 1755 was a sad one in the English colonies. The defeat of
Braddock filled the land with gloom and depression which was only
partially dispelled by the repulse of the French at Lake George and the
capture of their commander, Dieskau. New York City was roused to exertion
and the spirit of the colony rose to occasion. Troops of soldiers were
passing through to the seat of war, the drumbeat was constantly heard in
the streets, recruiting offices were opened at the taverns, and the
prominent citizens met at their usual resorts to discuss the news of war.
No formal declaration of war had been made by either England or France,
yet war, in its most distressing forms, was raging on all the frontiers of
the English colonies.

[Illustration: "THE DRUMBEAT WAS CONSTANTLY HEARD IN THE STREETS"]

[Sidenote: Dinner at the New York Arms]

In the midst of this excitement his majesty's ship, The Sphinx, arrived
with the new governor, Sir Charles Hardy. About ten o'clock on the morning
of September 3, 1755, the people of New York heard the booming of cannon
from The Sphinx, which had arrived the night before and was lying in the
harbor. Sir Charles was on his way to the city in the ship's barge and the
discharge of cannon was in his honor on his leaving the ship. This was
soon answered from Fort George, when Lieutenant Governor De Lancey, the
members of the council and the assembly, the mayor and aldermen, the
clergy and the principal gentlemen of the city, at the Whitehall Stairs,
welcomed him to the province, and through lines of militia, mustered for
the occasion, escorted him to the Fort. After going through the usual
ceremonies he was conducted to the City Hall, where his commission was
published. He then returned to the Fort to receive the congratulations of
the officials and the public. The new governor was then conducted to the
New York Arms, where, by invitation of Lieutenant Governor De Lancey, he
dined with the council and the assembly, and many other gentlemen, "and
where repeated Healths of Loyalty, Success to His Majesty's Arms, both in
Europe and America, Prosperity to the English-American Colonies, a speedy
Defeat of the French from off the borders, and a total Extinction of their
very name in America went round with great Unanimity and Dispatch." The
newspapers state that "at night the Windows in the city were ornamented
with lights and two large bonfires were erected on the Common where
several hampers of good old Madeira (which proved brisker than bottled
Ale) were given to the Populace and where Sir Charles' Presence, about
eight o'clock in the Evening closed the joyful and merry Proceeding." The
Sphinx not only brought to the province a new governor but she brought
also something that was very acceptable and very much needed, good hard
money to the amount of twenty thousand pounds for the use of the forces in
America.

[Illustration: Chas. Hardy]

[Sidenote: The Assembly Balls]

While Willett was landlord of the New York Arms, the dancing assemblies,
which for a great many years were a feature of the life of the city, were
commenced at this house. These were not new, for meetings for dancing had
been customary for many years, but no tavern before had been able to
afford a room so well suited for the purpose. These assemblies were held
fortnightly on Thursday, during the winter season, and the subscription to
each meeting was eight shillings. The ball was opened at eight o'clock and
closed at midnight. In 1759 the managers were Messrs. Duane, Walton,
McEvers and Banyer, names which convey to us the conviction that the
company was quite select. Notice was given that "Strangers will not be
admitted unless they apply for tickets before 5 o'clock of every assembly
night at the Directors Houses."

[Sidenote: Reception of Colonel Peter Schuyler]

Colonel Peter Schuyler, of New Jersey, who was taken prisoner at Oswego,
had distinguished himself by his generosity to his fellow prisoners in
Canada and by his kindness and assistance to all of his countrymen in
distress, making no distinction between Jerseymen and those from other
provinces, spending money freely, which his captors were willing to supply
on his personal drafts, knowing him to be wealthy. He had been released at
Montreal on his parole to return in six months, unless an exchange had in
the meantime been settled for him. Making his way through the forests to
Fort Edward and thence to Albany, he arrived in New York on Saturday
afternoon, November 19, 1757. He had many relatives and friends in the
city and the people were so sensible of the services which he had rendered
to the province of New York that, to honor him, the public buildings and
most of the houses in town were illuminated, a bonfire was made on the
Common and at the King's Arms Tavern an elegant entertainment was given in
celebration of his return from captivity and there was great rejoicing
at his safe arrival.

[Illustration: Peter Schuyler]

[Sidenote: Privateers]

The profitable business of privateering, broken up by the peace of
Aix-la-Chapelle in 1748, was resumed with renewed vigor by the adventurous
merchants and ship-owners of New York at the commencement of the war. The
whole coast, from Maine to Georgia, was soon alive with daring,
adventurous, some among them, no doubt, unscrupulous privateers, who,
failing of success against the enemy did not hesitate, when a good
opportunity offered, to plunder the vessels of friendly nations. In 1756
there were over twenty ships from the port of New York carrying nearly two
hundred and fifty guns and manned by nearly two thousand men scouring the
seas, and before January, 1758, they had brought into New York fifty-nine
prizes, besides those taken into other ports for adjudication. So popular
was this business that Lieutenant Governor De Lancey, in 1758, complained
"that men would no longer enlist in the army," and "that the country was
drained of many able-bodied men by almost a kind of madness to go
a-privateering." The old captains of the previous war again hoisted their
flags and were joined by many younger men. Alexander McDougal and Isaac
Sears, whose names became prominent in the history of the city, commanded
the Tiger and Decoy and Thomas Doran, who kept a tavern at the Fly Market,
in the fast-sailing pilot-boat, Flying Harlequin, with fourteen guns, and
armed to the teeth, made rapid and successful trips.

[Sidenote: The Press Gang]

Much more dreaded than the enemy by the privateersmen were the press gangs
sent out by the men-of-war. The captain of a British man-of-war did not
hesitate, when in need of men, to board colonial vessels and take any
number required or even to kidnap them from the city for service in the
British navy. The privateersman was pressed with peculiar satisfaction.
Attempts at impressment resulted in several bloody encounters. In 1760,
the crew of the Sampson of Bristol, who had fired on the barge of H. M. S.
Winchester, on attempting to board her, killing a number of men, were
protected and concealed by the people from the reach of the sheriff and
the militia ordered to his assistance. On July 10, 1764, four fishermen
were taken from their vessel in the harbor and carried on board the tender
of a man-of-war. The next day, when the captain of the tender came on
shore, his boat was seized by a number of men, and with great shouting
dragged through the streets to the middle of the green in the Fields,
where they burned and destroyed her and then quickly dispersed. Meanwhile
the captain publicly declared that he was not responsible for the seizure
of the men, and, going into the Coffee House, wrote an order for their
release. The order was carried on board the tender and the fishermen
brought ashore. The magistrates, as soon as they had notice of the affair,
sent out men to disperse the mob and secure the boat, but the mischief had
been done. The court met in the afternoon, but were unable to discover any
person concerned in the business, and the probability is that there was no
great effort or desire to do so.

[Illustration: THE PRESS GANG]

[Sidenote: Sales of Prizes]

We find continuously in the newspapers issued during the war notices of
sales of prize ships and cargoes at the taverns, at the Coffee House and
on the wharves near by. The Merchants' Coffee House, where the inventories
were posted, had become the recognized place with the merchants for the
transaction of all kinds of business, and many sales of ships and prizes
taken by the privateers were made here. It had become a sort of maritime
exchange. In 1758 Luke Roome was its landlord, and was also the owner of
the house, which he offered for sale. It was purchased by Doctor Charles
Arding, who retained possession of it until 1792, when it was acquired by
the Tontine Association, who built on it and other contiguous lots the
Tontine Coffee House. Luke Roome was afterwards assistant alderman and for
several years leased the docks and slips of the city. How long he was
landlord of the Merchants' Coffee House we do not know.

It was customary in colonial times and even a good deal later to build
market houses in the middle of streets. For a great many years in the
middle of Wall Street, between Queen Street or Hanover Square and the
river, had stood the Meal Market. In the course of time, as the building
grew old, the merchants and those living in the neighborhood came to
consider it as a nuisance, and in 1762 petitioned the authorities for its
removal. They say in their petition: "It greatly obstructs the agreeable
prospect of the East River, which those that live in Wall Street would
otherwise enjoy; and, furthermore, occasions a dirty street, offensive to
the inhabitants on each side and disagreeable to those who pass to and
from the coffe-house, a place of great resort." Garrat Noel, the most
prominent bookseller in New York, moved his store in 1757 and, in his
announcements in the newspapers, gives its location as next door to the
Merchants' Coffee House, opposite the Meal Market; but, in July, 1762, he
announces his store as "next door to the Merchants' Coffee House, near
where the Meal Market stood." This is pretty good evidence that it had
been taken down very soon after the petition was presented for its
removal.

[Sidenote: The Crown and Thistle]

Down near the water at Whitehall Slip stood the Crown and Thistle, a
tavern kept by John Thompson, who preferred the cognomen of Scotch Johnny,
by which he was familiarly known. Here good dinners were served to
merchants, travellers and army officers, and here travellers could make
arrangements for transportation in Captain O'Brien's stage-boat to Perth
Amboy on their way to Philadelphia or by boat to Staten Island or
Elizabethtown Point, which was the route taken by a large majority of
travellers going south. Those landed on Staten Island passed along on the
north shore to a point opposite Elizabethtown Point, where they crossed
the Kills to that place by ferry. Scotch Johnny was not only the landlord
of the Crown and Thistle and lodged and entertained travellers who landed
near his house or waited there for boats to carry them across the bay, but
was himself, in 1755, interested in transportation of travellers to Staten
Island, and the next year to Perth Amboy, on their way to the south. On
November 30, 1753, the anniversary of St. Andrew was celebrated at the
Crown and Thistle by the gentlemen of the Scots' Society, where an elegant
dinner was provided, the colors being displayed on the ships in the
harbor, particularly the ship Prince William.

[Sidenote: The Black Horse]

All the travel to the north and east went out of the city over Bowery Lane
to Harlem or King's Bridge. This was the Boston post road. In 1750, at the
upper end of Queen Street, near Alderman Benson's, stood the Black Horse
Tavern, kept by Jonathan Ogden, "where the Boston post puts up." This
tavern in the suburbs was a convenient and suitable place for taking a
parting glass with friends about to set out on a journey and wishing them
godspeed, as was then the custom. Ogden and his successor, besides
furnishing entertainment for travellers and stabling for horses, made it
their business to supply travellers with horses, chairs, harness, saddles,
etc., either for short drives on the island or for more extensive trips.
In 1753, after the death of Ogden, John Halstead became the landlord of
the Black Horse. At the public vendue of the household goods belonging to
the estate of Ogden, there was offered for sale an article called a
"Messacipia Table." We leave it to the reader to conjecture what it was
for. In 1756 there was a Black Horse Tavern in Fair (Fulton) Street.

[Illustration: THE BULL'S HEAD TAVERN]

[Sidenote: The Bull's Head]

Just after entering the Bowery Lane the traveller would come to the Bull's
Head Tavern, which in 1755 was kept by George Brewitson. This was the
great resort and stopping place for the farmers and drovers who brought in
cattle for the city market and where they were met by the butchers who
purchased their stock. Thus it was not only a tavern but a sort of market
for live stock or for the meat supply of the city and continued such for
a great many years. The Bull's Head market survives to the present day,
only a little further uptown. Three or four miles out was the Union Flag,
and not far from this was a house which was described as a noted tavern
where lived John Creiger, four miles from New York and ten miles from
King's Bridge.

At the northwest corner of the present 66th Street and Third Avenue stood
the Dove Tavern. From this point the road continued northward for some
distance, and then to avoid the swamps and inlets, turned to the westward,
entering the present bounds of Central Park, and ascended the hill at the
top of which was a large stone tavern. This had been built by Jacob
Dyckman, Jr., near the year 1750, who, about ten years after, sold it to
the Widow McGown, who, with the assistance of her son Andrew, kept the
house, which became known as McGown's Pass Tavern. That the old stone
tavern was a house of generous capacity is evident from its being selected
as the place for the meeting of the colonial assembly, while the City Hall
was being repaired, in October and November, 1752. Just a little south, on
the opposite side of the road, was a tavern, which, shortly before the
Revolution, was known as the Black Horse. It is thought to have been the
headquarters of General Cornwallis during the battle of Harlem Heights.
Dyckman's or McGown's Pass Tavern was about half way between New York and
King's Bridge and there was doubtless a natural demand by travellers on
this part of the road for entertainment, which induced Dyckman to build a
capacious house. Once a week it received a visit from the post rider going
out and once a week on his return. It must necessarily have received
considerable trade from passing travellers, farmers and drovers, for it
was on the one road which led out of the city, and its capacity to
entertain attracted many a dinner party of those who followed the hounds,
for fox-hunting was a sport indulged in by many New Yorkers at that time.

McGown's Pass was the scene of some activity in the first year of the
Revolution, and was fortified and occupied by the British troops during
the whole seven years of the war. Early on the morning of September 15,
1776, the English ships lying in the East River opened fire for the
purpose of silencing the American battery at Horn's Hook and to cover the
British landing at Kip's Bay. Washington had a few days previous removed
his headquarters to the Roger Morris house, from which could be had an
extensive view to the south, including the East River shores. Warned by
the bombardment that something important was about to take place,
Washington, in haste, mounted his horse and dashed down at utmost speed
over the road past McGown's to the scene of action. This ride was
something like that celebrated ride of General Phil Sheridan about ninety
years later, but not with similar results. Before he arrived at Murray
Hill, the British troops had landed, and the Americans were in full
retreat. Two months later a sad spectacle was witnessed at McGown's Pass
as the twenty-eight hundred prisoners taken at the surrender of Fort
Washington filed down over the hills to New York. Many had been plundered
by the Hessians, and all of them showed the effects of the desperately
fought battle through which they had passed. They were on their way to
years of suffering, many on their way to death in English prisons, which,
happily for them, they did not then understand.

[Illustration: THE ROGER MORRIS HOUSE]

[Sidenote: The Blue Bell]

On the road about a mile further north after leaving McGown's there was a
tavern standing near where the present St. Nicholas Avenue crosses 126th
Street, which, about the time of the Revolution and for many years after,
was known as Day's Tavern; and about three miles further was the Blue
Bell, which, although a small house, seems to have been well known at a
very early period and to have continued its existence down to quite recent
times. From the Blue Bell to King's Bridge was about two and a half miles.

[Illustration: THE BLUE BELL TAVERN]

[Sidenote: King's Bridge]

At the most northern point of the island was the only place in its whole
circumference from which, in early days, the mainland could be reached by
a ford. It was called the Wading Place. Near this a ferry was established,
but as early as 1680 the governor's council ordered "Spiting Devil" to be
viewed for a bridge. Action was delayed. Governor Fletcher in 1692
recommended its construction by the city, but the city declined on account
of the expense. In January, 1693, Frederick Flypsen offered to build a
bridge at his own expense, if he were allowed certain "easy and reasonable
toles," and he was accordingly granted the franchise for ninety-nine
years. A bridge was constructed by him the same year. It was to be
twenty-four feet wide, with a draw for the passage of such vessels as
navigated the stream; to be free for the King's forces and to be named the
King's Bridge. This bridge was in possession of some member of the
Philipse family, descendant of Frederick Flypsen, until the Revolutionary
War, and was, no doubt, before the free bridge was built, a profitable
investment. A tavern was opened on the northern side for the entertainment
of travellers. Madam Sarah Knight, in returning to Boston in December,
1704, set out with her companions "about one afternoon, and about three
came to half-way house about ten miles out of town, where we Baited and
went forward, and about 5 come to Spiting Devil, Else King's Bridge, where
they pay three pence for passing over with a horse, which the man that
keeps the Gate set up at the end of the Bridge receives." The half-way
house, spoken of by Madam Knight, stood at the foot of the hill on the
Kingsbridge Road on a line with the present 109th Street. We find that in
1746 there was a public vendue of lots of land at the Half-Way House,
near Harlem, which was very likely the same place.

On account of the barrier gate and the tolls demanded, the King's Bridge,
as travel increased, became unpopular and, in 1756, a project was set on
foot for building a free bridge by voluntary subscriptions. When
sufficient had been secured, Benjamin Palmer, who was active in the
undertaking, began the work of building the bridge a little below the
first bridge, from the land of Jacob Dyckman, on the island, to that of
Thomas Vermilve on the Westchester side. Colonel Phillipse, the owner of
King's Bridge, tried in every way to prevent its construction. Twice in
one year he caused Palmer to be impressed "as a soldier to go to Canada,"
which compelled him to procure and pay for substitutes. Nevertheless, in
spite of all opposition, the bridge was finished, and the celebration of
its completion was announced as follows:

"These are to acquaint the public, That to-morrow the Free Bridge, erected
and built across the Harlem River, will be finished and completed. And on
the same day there will be a stately Ox roasted whole on the Green, for
and as a small Entertainment to the Loyal People who come."

[Sidenote: The Best Taverns]

The following memoranda from the manuscript diary of Paymaster General
Mortier, of the royal navy, indicates the taverns of New York that were
probably most patronized by the fashionable gentlemen of the day, for the
few years preceding 1761:

  1758 Jan.  1 At the Assembly                        2. 6
       Feb. 18 Dinner at the Glass House               3. 5
       Mar.  1   "    "  Black Sam's                   1.10
            28   "    "  Scotch Johnny's               5. 6
            30 Willett's Assembly                      8.
       June 10 To the Band of Music of the 46th        8.
            18 Dinner at the Coffee House              5. 6
  1759 May     Supper at Farrell's                     9.
               Farrell Wine                         1. 1. 6
  1760 Jan.    Towards a ball at King's Arms        1. 0.
               Subscription to the Concert          1.12.
               Subscription to a ball at Byrnes       12.
               To one week at the Coffee House         2.
       Feb.  2 To one week at the Coffee House         2.
            19 To one week at the Coffee House         2.
       Mar. 28 Dinner at the Fountain                  8.
       Apr.  4 Supper at Byrnes'                       8.
             5   "    "  the Fountain                  6.
            18   "    "  the Fountain                  8.

The piece of land, now the block inclosed by Broadway, Fulton, Nassau and
Ann Streets, or nearly so, was, in the early part of the eighteenth
century, a public resort, and known as Spring Garden. There was a tavern
or public house on the premises known as Spring Garden House, standing on
the site of the present St. Paul's Building, corner of Broadway and Ann
Street, which in 1739 was occupied by Thomas Scurlock, who may have been
in possession of it for some time. In an administration bond given by him
in 1718 he is styled _vintner_. Spring Garden House appears to have been a
well-known landmark, used as such in records and in the newspapers.

After the death of Thomas Scurlock in 1747 the tavern was kept for some
years by his widow, Eve. When the house was advertised for sale in 1759 it
was described as "in Broadway at the corner of Spring Garden, now in use
as a tavern, Sign of the King of Prussia, and next door to Dr. Johnson's"
(President of King's College). In 1763 the landlord of the house was John
Elkin. After about 1770 we hear no more of it as a tavern.



VI

TAVERN SIGNS


[Sidenote: The Comforts of a Good Inn]

Samuel Johnson, born in 1709, was in his prime about the middle of the
eighteen the century. His description of the advantages afforded by a good
inn has not yet been surpassed. Here it is:

"There is no private house in which people can enjoy themselves so well as
at a capital tavern. Let there be ever so great plenty of good things,
ever so much grandeur, ever so much elegance, ever so much desire that
everybody should be easy, in the nature of things it cannot be; there must
always be some degree of care and anxiety. The master of the house is
anxious to entertain his guests; the guests are anxious to be agreeable to
him; and no man, but a very impudent dog indeed, can freely command what
is in another man's house as if it were his own. Whereas, at a tavern
there is general freedom from anxiety. You are sure you are welcome, and
the more noise you make, the more trouble you give, the more good things
you call for, the welcomer you are. No servant will attend you with the
alacrity which waiters do, who are incited by the prospect of an immediate
reward in proportion as they please. No sir, there is nothing which has
yet been contrived by man by which so much happiness is produced as by a
good inn."

Another writer, whose name is unrecorded or lost in the sweep of time, has
said that the tavern "is the busy man's recreation, the idle man's
business, the melancholy man's sanctuary, the stranger's welcome."

Samuel Johnson, if in New York, would not have found at any tavern such
congenial companions as at the Turk's Head, in Soho. New York did not have
an Oliver Goldsmith, nor a Sir Joshua Reynolds, nor an Edmund Burke,
nor--but Boswell would have been with him. Barring the companionship of
such men he could have been made as comfortable at the Queen's Head in
Dock Street as at his familiar tavern in London. He could have taken his
cup of tea, his favorite drink, in one of the boxes of the Merchants'
Coffee House and then strolled into Garrat Noel's bookstore next door
where he could have found food for his mind after his corporeal needs had
been supplied. Here was literature of the solid sort, as Noel's
announcements in the newspapers inform us, and Dr. Johnson might have
easily imagined himself in the bookstore of Tom Davies--one of his
familiar haunts.

[Sidenote: The Landlord]

The accomplished tavern-keeper of New York, as well as of London, knew how
to welcome his guest and from long experience instinctively knew how to
reach his heart. After receiving him with the most unbounded cordiality,
occasionally dropping him a piece of news which he knew would interest
him, or one of his newest jokes, he soon made him feel glad to be in his
house. When the dinner was ready he was on hand to place the first dish on
the table and to give him his company if he saw that it was desirable.

[Illustration: THE OLD TIME LANDLORD]

In colonial times signs were extensively used. The hardware dealer placed
above his door a sign of Crossed Daggers, or a Golden Handsaw, or a Golden
Key; some used the sign of the Crossed Guns. A carriage-maker used the
sign of the Gilded Wheel, a tailor that of the Hand and Shears. Thus the
business streets were filled with signs, and a well-known or prominent
sign was invariably used as a landmark to designate locations of other
houses. Tavern signs were much used in this way. Houses were not numbered,
and in the low state of education, numbers as well as worded signs would
have been of little use. Taverns obtained their names from the signs hung
out; and the tavern sign had a wider range of diversity than that of any
other business. It was almost unlimited; but there were certain favorites.
Sometimes tavern-keepers clung tenaciously to signs which they carried
with them from place to place--and the tavern-keeper of colonial times
appears to have been a roving character.

[Illustration: "HARD DRINKING PREVAILED"]

[Sidenote: Hard Drinking Prevailed]

Some features of tavern life and some of the taverns of New York were not
to be commended. The eighteenth century was a period when hard drinking
pervaded not only the American colonies but England as well. Even
preachers of the Gospel drank to excess. They were known to indulge at
church meetings so as to lose control of both speech and gait. Unable to
withstand the alluring temptations, they drank to excess without
forfeiting the respect of their people. The Reverend Jacob G. Green, of
Morris County, New Jersey, although so pious that he would not allow any
member of his family to converse on any but religious subjects on a
Sunday, did not hesitate to engage in the business of manufacturing
distilled liquor. At funerals, as well as at weddings, wine and rum were
consumed in excessive quantities, and it is a fact that persons were known
to stagger in the funeral procession and at the brink of the grave. At the
funeral of a colonial governor it is said that the minister's nose glowed
like a coal of fire, and the aged bearers staggered as they bore the
coffin. The Reverend Samuel Melyen, pastor of the First Church of
Elizabethtown, was obliged to give up his church on account of
intemperance; but this did not seem to the people to be a warning example,
for when his successor, Jonathan Dickinson, a young man of twenty-one, was
installed, we are told that "great quantities of toddy was consumed." When
Philip Livingston died in 1749, funerals were held both at his Hudson
River mansion and at his residence in Broad Street, New York. At each of
these places a pipe of spiced rum was consumed, and to the eight bearers
were given gloves, mourning rings, scarfs, handkerchiefs and monkey
spoons. When intemperance was looked upon with such indulgence it is
hardly to be expected that the young and gay men of the period would
exercise much restraint; and many a convivial party at the tavern ended in
a drinking bout, and sometimes in a riot of drunkenness and debauchery. A
man in the condition which we of the present day would think quite drunk,
and a proper subject for the care of his friends or relatives, was at
that time considered to have taken only a proper modicum of drink. No man
was looked upon as drunk until he was entirely down and out. The
prevailing formula was:

  "Not drunk is he who from the floor
  Can rise again and still drink more,
  But drunk is he who prostrate lies,
  Without the power to drink or rise."

[Illustration: GOOD OLD MADEIRA]

In New England rum was so extensively made that the price became as low
as twenty-five cents per gallon. It was popularly called "Kill-devil." In
New Jersey large quantities of apple-jack were turned out, which, when
new, was quite fiery, and this was called "Jersey lightning." Servants
were not expected to be entirely free from the drinking habit, which,
within certain bounds, was looked upon by their employers as pardonable.
Announcement was made in the New York _Gazette_ and _Weekly Mercury_ of
December 4, 1769, that

    "An Hostler

    That gets drunk no more than 12 times in a year and will bring with
    him a good Recommendation, is wanted. Such person will meet with
    encouragement by applying to H. Gaine."

[Sidenote: Sports and Amusements]

In the middle of the eighteenth century we find that New Yorkers were fond
of all kinds of sports and all kinds of amusements that were available.
The city was making rapid strides in increase of wealth and population.
Many of her wealthy merchants had built large and handsome houses and
there was more gaiety and desire for entertainment among her people. For
balls, banquets, social clubs and exhibition of all sorts, each tavern of
importance had, if possible, its "long room." There was no other provision
or place for public assemblage. Some had delightful gardens attached to
them, which, in summer evenings, were illuminated and sometimes the
guests were entertained with music. Boating and fishing were largely
indulged in and people of means who lived on the waterside had pleasure
boats. In 1752 John Watson was keeping the Ferry House on Staten Island.
In December of that year "a Whale 45 feet in length ran ashore at Van
Buskirk's Point at the entrance of the Kills from our Bay, where, being
discovered by People from Staten Island, a number of them went off and
Killed him." Mr. Watson states in an advertisement in the New York
_Gazette_ of December 11, 1752, that this whale may be seen at his house,
and doubtless this announcement may have induced many to make the trip
across the bay to see the whale and add to the profits of John Watson's
tavern.

The Reverend Mr. Burnaby, who visited the city about 1748, says: "The
amusements are balls and sleighing expeditions in the winter, and in the
summer going in parties upon the water and fishing, or making excursions
into the country. There are several houses, pleasantly situated up the
East River, near New York, where it is common to have turtle feasts. These
happen once or twice a week. Thirty or forty gentlemen and ladies, meet
and dine together, drink tea in the afternoon, fish and amuse themselves
till evening, and then return home in Italian chaises (the fashionable
carriage in this and most parts of America), a gentleman and lady in each
chaise." These trips up the East River were made to Turtle Bay. One of
the houses there about this time, or a little later, was well known as the
Union Flag, situated on the post road. A lot of about 22 acres of land was
attached to the tavern, extending to the river, on which was a good wharf
and landing. Deep drinking and gambling were prevalent among the men,
although tavern-keepers were forbidden by law from permitting gambling in
their houses. Cock-fighting was a popular sport. At the sign of the
Fighting Cocks--an appropriate sign--in Dock Street, "very good cocks"
could be had, or at the Dog's Head in the Porridge Pot. Steel and silver
spurs could be purchased in the stores. The loser of a broad cloth coat
advertises in the newspaper that it was lost on a cockfighting night
(supposed taken by mistake).

The Common was a place where outdoor games were played in the daytime and
bonfires built at night on festive occasions. On Monday, April 29, 1751, a
great match at cricket was played here for a considerable wager by eleven
Londoners against eleven New Yorkers. The newspaper account states that
"The Game was play'd according to the London Method; and those who got
most Notches in two Hands, to be the Winners:--The New Yorkers went in
first and got 81; Then the Londoners went in and got but 43; Then the New
Yorkers went in again and got 86; and the Londoners finished the Game with
getting only 37 more."

The game of bowls seems to have been quite popular in the early part of
the eighteenth century. It was played upon a smooth, level piece of turf
from forty to sixty feet square, surrounded by a ditch about six inches
deep. At the further end of the ground was placed a white ball called the
jack and the bowlers endeavored, with balls from six to eight inches in
diameter that were not exactly round but weighted on one side so as to
roll in a curve, to make their balls lie as near to the jack as possible.

Back-gammon was an evening game at the taverns and at the coffee-house. In
1734 a partisan of the governor's party, under the nom de plume of Peter
Scheme wrote in reply to an article in Zenger's Journal: "I also frequent
the Coffee House, to take a hitt at Back-Gammon, when I have an
opportunity of hearing the curious sentiments of the Courtiers (since he
is pleased to call the Gentlemen who frequent that place so) concerning
his Journal." It is apparent that the popularity of the game continued for
many years, for Alexander Mackraby, in a letter dated June 13, 1768, says:
"They have a vile practice here, which is peculiar to the city: I mean
that of playing at back-gammon (a noise I detest), which is going forward
at the public coffee-houses from morning till night, frequently a dozen
tables at a time."

[Sidenote: Horse-Racing]

From the very beginning of English rule in New York, horse-racing seems to
have been a fashionable sport among people of means. It has been stated
how Governor Nicolls established a race-course on Hempstead Plains, and
since that time interest in the sport had been kept up, increasing as the
population and wealth of the city increased. Races were held yearly on the
Hempstead course and it is more than likely that a course was soon
established on Manhattan Island. In 1733 we find an announcement in a New
York newspaper that a race would be run on the 8th of October on the
course at New York for a purse of upwards of four pounds by any horse,
mare or gelding carrying twelve stone and paying five shillings entrance,
the entrance money to go to the second horse if not distanced. There is no
mention made of the location of the course, but a notice that horses that
have won plate here are excepted indicates that it was probably a yearly
event. Three years later we find that a subscription plate of twenty
pounds' value was to be run for on the course at New York on the 13th of
October "by any horse, mare or gelding carrying ten stone (saddle and
bridle included), the best of three heats, two miles each heat. Horses
intended to Run for this Plate are to be entered the Day before the Race
with Francis Child on Fresh Water Hill, paying a half Pistole each, or at
the Post on the Day of Running, paying a Pistole." This course on Fresh
Water Hill had probably been established for some time and its location
was very likely near the present Chatham Square. In 1742 there was a
race-course on the Church Farm in charge of Adam Vandenberg, the lessee of
the farm, who was landlord of the Drovers' Tavern, which stood on or near
the site of the present Astor House.

In seeking information from the newspapers of the day in regard to
horse-racing, we find very little, if any, in the news columns; but more
is to be found among the advertisements. Thus, in January, 1743-4, it is
announced that a race would be run on the first day of March "between a
Mare called Ragged Kate, belonging to Mr. Peter De Lancey, and a Horse
called Monk, belonging to the Hon. William Montagu, Esq., for £200." It is
not stated where this race was to take place, but, in all probability, it
was run either on the Fresh Water Hill course or on the Church Farm. It
was for an unusually large wager, and, no doubt, attracted a great deal of
attention. From about this date we hear no more of the race-course on
Fresh Water Hill. It may have been disturbed by the line of palisades
which was built across the island during the war with France, crossing the
hill between the present Duane and Pearl Streets, at which point was a
large gateway.

In September, 1747, it was announced in the newspapers that a purse of not
less than ten pistoles would be run for on the Church Farm on the 11th of
October, two mile heats, horses that had won plate on the island and a
horse called Parrot excepted, the entrance money to be run for by any of
the horses entered, except the winner and those distanced. We have every
reason to suppose that the races were at this period a yearly event on the
Church Farm, taking place in October. In 1750 it was announced in the New
York _Gazette_ in August and September that "on the Eleventh of October
next, the New York Subscription Plate of Twenty Pounds' Value, will be Run
for by any Horse, Mare or Gelding that never won a Plate before on this
Island, carrying Ten Stone Weight, Saddle and Bridle included, the best in
three Heats, two miles in each Heat," etc. A few days after the race the
New York _Gazette_ announced that on "Thursday last the New York
Subscription Plate was run for at the Church Farm by five Horses and won
by a horse belonging to Mr. Lewis Morris, Jun."

[Illustration: A RACING TROPHY]

The next year similar announcements were made of the race, the difference
being that the horses eligible must have been bred in America and that
they should carry eight stone weight. The date is the same as that of the
previous year, October 11. We find no record of this race in the
newspapers, but the illustration which is given of the trophy won is
sufficient to indicate the result. Lewis Morris, Jr., appears to have
carried off the prize a second time. The plate was a silver bowl ten
inches in diameter and four and one-half inches high, and the winner was a
horse called Old Tenor. The bowl, represented in the cut, is in the
possession of Dr. Lewis Morris, U. S. N., a lineal descendant of Lewis
Morris, the signer of the Declaration of Independence and the owner of Old
Tenor. The name of the horse was doubtless suggested by certain bills of
credit then in circulation in New York. In an advertisement of two
dwelling houses on the Church Farm for sale in April, 1755, notice is
given that "Old Tenor will be taken in payment."

The great course was on Hempstead Plains. On Friday, June 1, 1750, there
was a great race here for a considerable wager, which attracted such
attention that on Thursday, the day before the race, upward of seventy
chairs and chaises were carried over the Long Island Ferry, besides a far
greater number of horses, on their way out, and it is stated that the
number of horses on the plains at the race far exceeded a thousand.

In 1753 we find that the subscription plate, which had become a regular
event, was run for at Greenwich, on the estate of Sir Peter Warren. Land
about this time was being taken up on the Church Farm for building
purposes, and this may have been the reason for the change. In 1754 there
was a course on the Church Farm in the neighborhood of the present Warren
Street. An account of a trial of speed and endurance was given on April
29, 1754. "Tuesday morning last, a considerable sum was depending between
a number of gentlemen in this city on a horse starting from one of the
gates of the city to go to Kingsbridge and back again, being fourteen
miles (each way) in two hours' time; which he performed with one rider in
1 hr. and 46 min." The owner of this horse was Oliver De Lancey, one of
the most enthusiastic sportsmen of that period. Members of the families of
DeLancey and Morris were the most prominent owners of race horses. Other
owners and breeders were General Monckton, Anthony Rutgers, Michael
Kearney, Lord Sterling, Timothy Cornell and Roper Dawson. General
Monckton, who lived for a time at the country seat called "Richmond,"
owned a fine horse called Smoaker, with which John Leary, one of the best
known horsemen of the day, won a silver bowl, which he refused to
surrender to John Watts, the general's friend, even under threat of legal
process. Several years later he was still holding it.

In January, 1763, A. W. Waters, of Long Island, issued a challenge to all
America. He says: "Since English Horses have been imported into New York,
it is the Opinion of some People that they can outrun The True Britton,"
and he offered to race the latter against any horse that could be produced
in America for three hundred pounds or more. This challenge does not seem
to have been taken up until 1765, when the most celebrated race of the
period was run on the Philadelphia course for stakes of one thousand
pounds. Samuel Galloway, of Maryland, with his horse, Selim, carried off
the honors and the purse.

Besides the course on Hempstead Plains, well known through all the
colonies as well as in England, there was another on Long Island, around
Beaver Pond, near Jamaica. A subscription plate was run for on this course
in 1757, which was won by American Childers, belonging to Lewis Morris,
Jr. There were also courses at Paulus Hook, Perth Amboy, Elizabethtown and
Morristown, New Jersey, which were all thronged by the sporting gentry of
New York City. James De Lancey, with his imported horse, Lath, in October,
1769, won the one hundred pound race on the Centre course at Philadelphia.
The Stamp Act Congress of 1765 brought together in New York men interested
in horse-racing who had never met before, and in the few years
intervening before the Revolution there sprang up a great rivalry between
the northern and southern colonies.

[Sidenote: Bull Baiting]

The men of New York enjoyed rugged and cruel sports such as would not be
tolerated at the present time. Among these were bear-baiting and
bull-baiting. Bear-baiting became rare as the animals disappeared from the
neighborhood and became scarce. Bulls were baited on Bayard's Hill and on
the Bowery. A bull was baited in 1763 at the tavern in the Bowery Lane
known as the sign of the De Lancey Arms. John Cornell, near St. George's
Ferry, Long Island, gave notice in 1774 that there would be a bull baited
on Tower Hill at three o'clock every Thursday afternoon during the season.

[Illustration: BULL BAITING, FROM AN OLD ADVERTISEMENT]

[Sidenote: Bowling]

The taverns in the suburbs could, in many cases, have large grounds
attached to the houses and they took advantage of this to make them
attractive. From the very earliest period of the city there were places
near by which were resorted to for pleasure and recreation. One of the
earliest of these was the Cherry Garden. It was situated on the highest
part of the road which led to the north--a continuation of the road which
led to the ferry in the time of the Dutch--at the present junction of
Pearl and Cherry Streets, and was originally the property of Egbert Van
Borsum, the ferryman of New Amsterdam, who gave the sea captains such a
magnificent dinner. In 1672 the seven acres of this property were
purchased by Captain Delaval for the sum of one hundred and sixty-one
guilders in beavers, and, after passing through several hands, became the
property of Richard Sacket, who had settled in the neighborhood, and
established himself as a maltster. On the land had been planted an orchard
of cherry trees, which, after attaining moderate dimensions, attracted
great attention. To turn this to account, a house of entertainment was
erected and the place was turned into a pleasure resort known as the
Cherry Garden. There were tables and seats under the trees, and a bowling
green and other means of diversion attached to the premises. It had seen
its best days before the end of the seventeenth century.

[Illustration: THE BOWLING GREEN, FROM LYNE'S MAP]

On the borders of the Common, now the City Hall Park, was the Vineyard,
which is said to have been a popular place of recreation and near the
junction of what are now Greenwich and Warren Streets was the Bowling
Green Garden, established there soon after the opening of the eighteenth
century. It was on a part of the Church Farm, quite out of town, for there
were no streets then laid out above Crown, now Liberty Street, on the west
side of the town and none above Frankfort on the east. In 1735 the house
of the Bowling Green Garden was occupied by John Miller, who was offering
garden seeds of several sorts for sale. On March 29, 1738, it took fire
and in a few minutes was completely consumed, Miller, who was then living
in it, saving himself with difficulty. A new house was erected and the
place continued to attract visitors. There does not appear to have been
any public road leading to it, but it was not a long walk or ride from the
town and was finely situated on a hill near the river. In November, 1759,
when it was occupied by John Marshall, the militia company of grenadiers
met here to celebrate the king's birthday, when they roasted an ox and ate
and drank loyally. Marshall solicited the patronage of ladies and
gentlemen and proposed to open his house for breakfasting every morning
during the season. He describes it as "handsomely situated on the North
River at the place known by the name of the Old Bowling Green but now
called Mount Pleasant." Some years later it became known as Vauxhall.

Bowling must have had some attraction for the people of New York, for in
March, 1732-3, the corporation resolved to "lease a piece of land lying at
the lower end of Broadway fronting the Fort to some of the inhabitants of
the said Broadway in Order to be Inclosed to make a Bowling Green thereof,
with Walks therein, for the Beauty & Ornament of the Said Street, as well
as for the Recreation and Delight of the Inhabitants of this City." In
October, 1734, it was accordingly leased to Frederick Phillipse, John
Chambers and John Roosevelt for ten years, for a bowling-green only, at
the yearly rental of one pepper-corn. In 1742 the lease was renewed for
eleven years; to commence from the expiration of the first lease, at a
rental of twenty shillings per annum. In January, 1745, proposals were
requested for laying it with turf and rendering it fit for bowling, which
shows that it was then being used for that purpose. It was known as the
New or Royal Bowlling Green and the one on the Church Farm as the Old
Bowling Green.

[Sidenote: The Glass House]

Some time about 1754, an attempt was made in New York to make glass
bottles and other glass ware. Thomas Leppers, who had been a
tavern-keeper, was storekeeper for the Glass House Company, and advertised
all sorts of bottles and a variety of glassware "too tedious to mention,
at reasonable rates." He stated that gentlemen who wished bottles of any
size with their names on them, "could be supplied with all expedition." A
few years later, 1758, notice was given by Matthias Ernest that the
newly-erected Glass House at New Foundland, within four miles of the city,
was at work and ready to supply bottles, flasks and any sort of glassware.
Newfoundland was the name of a farm of about thirty-three acres, four
miles from the city on the North River, extending from the present
Thirty-fifth Street northward, on which this glass house had been erected.
It is not unlikely that the Glass House was visited by many persons,
either on business or from curiosity, and that they were there entertained
by the owner or manager of the property; at any rate, it seems to have
acquired a reputation for good dinners. Paymaster General Mortier notes in
his diary a dinner at the Glass House on February 18, 1758, which cost him
3s. 6d. The manufacture of glass was not successful, but the place became
a well-known suburban resort, where good dinners were served to visitors
from the city. In 1764 the Glass House was kept by Edward Agar, who, in
addition to serving dinners, could furnish apartments to ladies or
gentlemen who wished to reside in the country for the benefit of their
health. In 1768 it was kept by John Taylor, and it was evidently then a
popular resort, for a stage wagon was advertised to run out to it every
day, leaving Mr. Vandenberg's, where the Astor House now stands, at three
o'clock in the afternoon.



VII

THE KING'S ARMS


George Burns, as has been stated, was in 1753 keeping one of the best
taverns in New York. Soon after this he left the city and took charge of
the tavern at Trenton Ferry, which was on the great post road between New
York and Philadelphia, over which flowed almost all travel between the two
cities and to the south. The prospects must have been very enticing.
Whether they were realized or not, Burns soon became anxious to make a
change and, returning to New York, became the landlord of a tavern in Wall
Street near Broadway, opposite the Presbyterian church, which was known as
the Sign of Admiral Warren. Here he remained until June, 1758, when Scotch
Johnny, retiring from the tavern near the Whitehall Slip, known as the
Crown and Thistle, he moved into his house. The house of Scotch Johnny had
been the meeting place for the St. Andrew's Society while it was kept by
him and it so continued to be after Burns became landlord.

[Sidenote: King's Head]

Burns retained for a time the old sign of the Crown and Thistle, but some
time about the middle of the year 1760, took it down and hung out in its
stead the sign of King George's Head, and the tavern became known as the
King's Head. It continued to be the meeting place of the Scots' Society.
They held their anniversary meeting here on St. Andrew's Day, Monday,
November 30, 1761, and elected the Earl of Stirling, William Alexander,
president of the society. The members of the society dined together as
usual and in the evening a splendid ball and entertainment was given,
which was attended by the principal ladies and gentlemen in the town. It
was a grand and notable ball. The newspapers state that "The Company was
very numerous, everything was conducted with the greatest regularity and
decorum and the whole made a most brilliant and elegant appearance."

[Illustration: Stirling]

In the latter part of the year 1761 the army was coming down from the
north, there was a large camp of soldiers on Staten Island and New York
City was full of officers. Burns' house, the King's Head, became the
headquarters of the Scotch officers of the army when they were in the city
and their favorite place of rendezvous. The effects of several of the
Royal Highland officers, who had died, were sold at public vendue at
Burns' Long Room in November, 1762. There must have been many articles to
be disposed of, for the sale was to be continued from day to day until all
were sold. The effects of Lieutenant Neal, late of the 22d Regiment,
consisting of wearing apparel, etc., etc., etc., etc., were sold at public
vendue at the same place in December.

[Sidenote: The King's Arms]

We have been unable to find any record to establish the fact or even a
hint to justify a deduction that there ever was at any time in the
colonial period any house known as Burns' Coffee House. We believe this to
be entirely a modern creation. The house described and illustrated in
Valentine's Corporation Manual of 1865 as Burns' Coffee House, or the
King's Arms Tavern, although the statements concerning it have been
accepted by many writers, was never occupied by Burns; and the story of
this house, as related in the Corporation Manual of 1854, is simply a
strong draft on the imagination of the writer. The tavern which hung out
the sign of the King's Arms, on the corner of Broad and Dock Streets, had
been also known as the Exchange Coffee House and the Gentlemen's Coffee
House, but when Burns moved into it in 1751, he dropped the name Coffee
House and called it simply the King's Arms. Mrs. Sarah Steel, in 1763,
carried the sign to Broadway, as appears by the following announcement:

    "Mrs. Steel Takes this Method to acquaint her Friends and Customers,
    That the King's Arms Tavern, which she formerly kept opposite the
    Exchange she hath now removed into Broadway (the lower end, opposite
    the Fort), a more commodious house, where she will not only have it in
    her power to accommodate Gentlemen with Conveniences requisite to a
    Tavern, but also with genteel lodging Apartments, which she doubts not
    will give Satisfaction to every One who will be pleased to give her
    that Honour."

Mrs. Steel, in February, 1767, advertised that the Broadway house was for
sale and that the furniture, liquors, etc., would be sold whether the
house were sold or not. A few months previous to this announcement, Edward
Bardin, probably anticipating the retirement of Mrs. Steel from business,
had acquired the sign, which we presume was a favorite one, and had hung
it out at his house on upper Broadway, opposite the Common. The writer of
the article in the Corporation Manual gives the following advertisement,
which appears in Parker's Post Boy of May 27, 1762, as evidence that Burns
occupied the house before Mrs. Steel moved into it.

    "This is to give Notice to all Gentlemen and Ladies, Lovers and
    Encouragers of Musick, That this day will be opened by Messrs. Leonard
    & Dienval, Musick Masters of this city, at Mr. Burnes Room, near the
    Battery, a public and weekly Concert of Musick. Tickets four
    Shillings. N. B. The Concert is to begin exactly at 8 o'clock, and end
    at ten, on account of the coolness of the evening. No Body will be
    admitted without tickets, nor no mony will be taken at the door."

This concert did not take place in the house on Broadway, but in the house
of George Burns, the King's Head near the Battery. Burns had succeeded
Scotch Johnny, and had in his house a long room where societies met and
where concerts and dinners were given on special occasions. "Burns' Long
Room" was well known at that time. The following appeared in the New York
_Journal_ of April 7, 1768:

    "To be let, from the 1st of May next, with or without Furniture, as
    may suit the tenant, the large corner house wherein Mrs. Steel lately
    kept the King's Arms Tavern, near the Fort now in the possession of
    Col. Gabbet."

The next year Col. Gabbet, having moved out, was living next door to the
house of John Watts, who lived in Pearl Street near Moore. In 1770 Edward
Bardin announced that he had taken "the large, commodious house known by
the name of the King's Arms, near Whitehall, long kept by Mrs. Steel,
which he will again open as a tavern." George Burns succeeded Bardin and
kept the house for a short time in 1771.

Before the Revolutionary War there was no Whitehall Street. What is now
Whitehall Street was known as Broadway. There is no doubt about this. In a
list of retailers of spirituous liquors in the city of New York in April,
1776, we find one on Broadway near Pearl Street, one on Broadway near the
Lower Barracks, another on Broadway opposite the Fort and two others on
Broadway near the Breastworks. These were all on the present Whitehall
Street. In Mrs. Steel's announcement she states that the King's Arms
Tavern was on Broadway (the lower end opposite the Fort), that is, on the
present Whitehall Street. As the house was on a corner, its location was
probably the corner of the present Bridge and Whitehall Streets. If there
were left any doubt about this, it should be thoroughly dissipated by the
advertisement, December 30, 1765, of Hetty Hayes, who made and sold
pickles in her home, which she states was on Wynkoop (now Bridge) Street,
near the King's Arms Tavern. Notwithstanding the many statements to the
contrary, no house known as the King's Arms Tavern or Burns' Coffee House
ever stood on the west side of Broadway opposite the Bowling Green.

[Illustration: HOUSE BUILT BY CORNELIS STEENWYCK]

Some time after the middle of the seventeenth century Cornelis Steenwyck
built a fine house on the southeast corner of the present Whitehall and
Bridge Streets, and it was here no doubt, the grand dinner was given to
Governor Nicolls on his departure from the province. In an inventory of
Steenwyck's estate in 1686 the house was valued at seven hundred pounds.
This indicates that it was a large, and for that time, a very valuable
dwelling. In the illustration copied from Valentine's Corporation Manual
of 1864, there is a sign attached to the house. We do not know the source
from which this illustration was obtained, but the sign we presume to be a
tavern sign, and we are inclined to think, for various reasons, that this
house was for many years used as a tavern and that for a time subsequent
to 1763, it was the King's Arms. It was probably destroyed in the great
fire of 1776.

About this time a man made his appearance as a tavern-keeper whose name,
although he was not a hero or a great man, has come down to us, and will
go down to many future generations in connection with the revolutionary
history of the city. Samuel Francis was a tavern-keeper without a peer,
and when the time came to decide, struck for liberty and independence,
abandoned his property and stuck to his colors like a true patriot. He
came to New York from the West Indies. Although from the darkness of his
complexion commonly called Black Sam, he was of French descent.

Previous to 1750 Broadway did not extend to the north beyond the present
Vesey Street. There was a road, however, following the line of the present
Broadway, known as the road to Rutger's Farm, the residence of Anthony
Rutger standing near the corner of the present Broadway and Thomas Street.
Just subsequent to the year 1750 Trinity Church laid out streets through a
portion of the Church Farm and leased lots on this road, on which houses
were built. The first of these, as far as we can ascertain, were built by
Bell and Brookman, in 1752, on lots just south of the present Murray
Street, fronting on the Common, which was then an open field without fence
of any kind. In 1760, Mr. Marschalk, one of the city surveyors, presented
to the board of aldermen the draft or plan of a road which he had lately
laid out, "beginning at the Spring Garden House and extending from thence
north until it comes to the ground of the late widow Rutgers," which was
approved by the board and ordered to be recorded. Other houses were built
on the Church Farm, and a few years later we find one of these, situated
on the north side of Murray Street, fronting the Common, was being used as
a tavern or mead house, and occupied by San Francis. In 1761 he advertised
sweatmeats, pickles, portable soups, etc., at the Mason's Arms, near the
Green in the upper part of the Broadway near the Alms House. He was in New
York in 1758, and his house at that time was patronized by those who
frequented only the best taverns in the city.

[Sidenote: The DeLancey House]

The house with which his name is indissoluably connected, the DeLancey
House, on the corner of the present Broad and Pearl Streets was purchased
by him in 1762. It was quite a large house and very well suited for a
tavern, where it was intended that public entertainments should be given,
as it had a long room that could hardly be surpassed. The lot on which the
house stood was given by Stephen Van Cortlandt to his son-in-law, Stephen
DeLancey, in 1700, and it is said that in 1719 Stephen DeLancey built the
house on it which is still standing.

It was a handsome and conspicuous house for the period, but in the course
of time DeLancey wished a change of location for his home. When he ceased
to occupy it as a residence we do not know, probably on the completion of
his new house on Broadway, which is said to have been built in 1730. Not
long after this we find that it was being used for public purposes. In
1737, Henry Holt, the dancing master, announced that a ball would be given
at the house of Mr. DeLancey, next door to Mr. Todd's, and in February,
1739, there was given in Holt's Long Room "the new Pantomine
Entertainment, in Grotesque Characters, called _The Adventures of
Harlequin and Scaramouch_, or the Spaniard Trick'd. To which will be added
_An Optick_, wherein will be Represented, in Perspective, several of the
most noted Cities and Remarkable Places in Europe and America, with a New
Prologue and Epilogue address'd to the Town." The tickets were sold at
five shillings each. This clearly shows that the long room, probably just
as we can see it today, was then used for public entertainments.

[Illustration: THE DELANCEY HOUSE]

[Sidenote: The Queen's Head]

The house was again used as a residence. Colonel Joseph Robinson was
living in it in January, 1759, when it was offered for sale, at public
vendue, at the Merchants' Coffee House. We find no record of transfer,
but we are inclined to believe that it was purchased by the firm of
DeLancey, Robinson and Company, dealers in East India goods and army
supplies, composed of Oliver DeLancey. Beverly Robinson and James Parker,
for they moved into it shortly after and were the owners of it in 1762,
when it was purchased by Samuel Francis, the deed bearing date January
15th of that year and the consideration named being two thousand pounds.
The co-partnership of DeLancey, Robinson and Company did not expire until
December, 1762; in all probability they remained in the house until that
time; at any rate, Francis was in it in April, 1763, when he had hung out
the sign of Queen Charlotte and opened an ordinary, announcing that dinner
would be served every day at half past one o'clock. The house thereafter,
for many years, was known as the Queen's Head.

John Crawley succeeded Willett as landlord of the New York Arms. In 1762
the Assembly were having their meetings here, in what they designated as
"Crawley's New Rooms." In April, 1763, Crawley sold out the furnishings of
the house at public vendue and George Burns moved in from the King's Head
Tavern, in the Whitehall, who announced that he had "two excellent Grooms
to attend to his Stables and takes in Travellers and their Horses by the
Month, Quarter or Year on reasonable Terms." Burns occupied the house
during the turbulent period of the Stamp Act, and it was the scene of much
of the excitement incident to those times. In 1764, while Burns was
keeping the Province Arms, the Paulus Hook Ferry was established and the
road opened from Bergen to the Hudson River. This enabled the stage wagons
from Philadelphia to bring their passengers to Paulus Hook, where they
were taken over the ferry to New York. The opening of the Paulus Hook
Ferry placed the Province Arms in direct line with travel passing through
the city between New England and the South, and it became largely a
traveler's tavern, and in later times the starting point in New York of
the Boston, Albany and Philadelphia stages.

[Sidenote: The Stamp Act]

The French and Indian War, which had commenced in 1755, resulted in the
conquest of Canada; and when the British army came down to New York for
embarkation they met with an enthusiastic reception and the officers were
entertained by the wealthy merchants in the most hospitable manner. The
province had suffered from the constant conflict on its borders and the
prospect of relief from the incursions of the French and the horrible
terrors of savage warfare which had been instigated by them, was the cause
for great satisfaction and rejoicing. No longer threatened by the French
the people were filled with hopes of great prosperity. Trade and commerce
soon revived and a period of remarkable activity had just opened when all
the bright hopes of the merchants and of the people of New York were
turned to gall and wormwood by the unwarrantable acts of Great Britain,
who, instead of gratitude for the material assistance in the late war, was
now calculating how much revenue might be counted upon from provinces that
had shown such energy and such resources. The first important step in this
direction was the passage of the Stamp Act, which received the King's
signature on the 22d of March, 1765. It was not unexpected, for the
colonists had for some time been in a nervous state, with the dread of
some serious encroachment on their rights and liberties. The news of the
passage of the act was received in New York in April with great
indignation. It was distributed through the city with the title of "The
folly of England, and the ruin of America." By law the act was to take
effect on the first of November following. In the meantime it was proposed
that the sense of the colonies should be taken and that they should all
unite in a common petition to the King and parliament. Accordingly a
congress of deputies met in New York in the early part of October, 1765,
in which nine of the colonies were represented. Before this meeting the
assembly of Massachusetts had denied the right of parliament to tax the
colonies and Virginia had done the same. The sentiments of the congress
were embodied in a very dignified and respectfully worded address to the
King, drawn up by a committee of three, one of whom was Robert R.
Livingston, of New York. Committees were also appointed to prepare
petitions to parliament which were reported and agreed to on the 22d of
October.

[Sidenote: The Non-Importation Agreement]

On the last day of the same month a meeting was held by the merchants of
New York to consider what should be done with respect to the Stamp Act and
the melancholy state of the North American commerce, so greatly restricted
by the Acts of Trade. They resolved not to order any goods shipped from
Great Britain nor to sell any goods on commission until the Stamp Act
should be repealed. Two hundred merchants of the city subscribed these
resolutions and the retailers of the city also agreed not to buy after the
first of January, 1766, any goods imported from Great Britain, unless the
Stamp Act should be repealed. This meeting was held at the Province Arms,
the house of George Burns, and here was signed this celebrated
non-importation agreement. This was the most important political event of
this eventful period, and one which, combined with like resolutions made
by the merchants of Boston and Philadelphia, had more influence in causing
the repeal than all the addresses, petitions and other influences put
together.

On October 23d, while the Stamp Act Congress was in session, the ship
Edward arrived with the obnoxious stamps on board, and was convoyed to
the Fort by a man-of-war, all the vessels in the harbor lowering their
colors in sign of mourning, and an excited crowd watching the proceedings
from the river front. In a few days the stamps were deposited in the Fort.
During the night after the arrival of the Edward, written notices were
posted about the city warning any one who should distribute or make use of
stamped paper, to take care of his house, person or effects. The
excitement among the people grew more and more intense as the time
approached for the law to take effect. The morning of November 1st was
ushered in by the ringing of muffled bells and display of flags at
half-mast. The magistrates notified Lieutenant-Governor Golden that they
were apprehensive of a mob that night. The people gathered in the Fields,
and after parading the streets with effigies of the lieutenant-governor,
appeared before the Fort and demanded the stamps. They broke open the
lieutenant-governor's coach-house, took out his coach, sleighs, harness
and stable fittings and with the effigies burned them on the Bowling Green
in front of the Fort. The mob then went to Vauxhall, the house of Major
James, who had made himself very obnoxious by his braggart threats of what
he would do to enforce the stamp act and stripping the house of all its
furniture, books, liquors, etc., even to the doors and windows, made a
bonfire of them.

As the mob passed the Merchants' Coffee House, they were encouraged by
the approbation of those who frequented that place. During the day there
had been on view here an open letter addressed to Golden, assuring him of
his fate if he should persist in trying to put the stamp act in force. It
also stated--"We have heard of your design or menace to fire upon the town
in case of disturbance, but assure yourself that if you dare to perpetrate
any such murderous act you'll bring your gray hairs with sorrow to the
grave." * * * and "any man who assists you will surely be put to death."
This letter was delivered at the fort gate in the evening by an unknown
hand. The next day threatening letters and messages were sent in to
Governor Colden at the fort and he made a promise not to distribute the
stamps, but to deliver them to Sir Henry Moore, the newly appointed
governor, when he arrived. This did not satisfy the people, who demanded
that they should be delivered out of the Fort and threatened to take them
by force. It was then agreed that the stamps should be delivered to the
mayor and deposited in the City Hall. This was done, the mayor giving his
receipt for them, and tranquillity was restored.

Sir Henry Moore, the new governor, arrived on the 13th of November, and
was received with all the formalities usual on such an occasion. He
evidently made a favorable impression. The situation of affairs, however,
presented for him a difficult problem. His first question to the council
was, Could the stamps be issued? which was answered unanimously in the
negative. Business had come to a standstill, and the people were fretting
under the restraints which the situation imposed. There were two classes;
the men of property, who could afford to await the issue of conservative
methods, and the middle and lower classes, who insisted that business
should go on regardless of the stamps. Livingston says that a meeting of
the conservatives was held at the Coffee House at ten o'clock in the
morning and that although "all came prepared to form a Union, few cared
openly to declare the necessity of it, so intimidated were they at the
secret unknown party which had threatened such bold things." This secret
society was known by various names, but in November we find that they had
adopted the name, "Sons of Liberty," and this name was soon after used in
the other colonies. The Sons of Liberty presented Sir Henry Moore a
congratulatory address and on Friday, the 15th of November, met in the
Fields, erected pyramids and inscriptions in his honor, and one of the
grandest bonfires ever seen in the city.

On November 25th notices were posted in all parts of the city with the
heading, "Liberty, Property and no Stamps," inviting a general meeting of
the inhabitants on the 26th at Burns' City Arms Tavern in order to agree
upon instructions to their representatives in the general assembly.
Although opposition to the Stamp Act was unanimous the people were not in
accord on the means of redress. The notices were twice torn down by those
who did not know or who were not in sympathy with the objects of the
meeting, and were as often replaced by the promoters of the meeting. About
twelve hundred persons assembled.[1] The committee appointed to present
the instructions was composed of Henry Cruger, John Vanderspiegel, David
Van Home, James Jauncey, Walter Rutherford, John Alsop, William
Livingston, William Smith, Jr., Whitehead Hicks, John Morin Scott, James
DeLancey and John Thurman, Jr., who fairly represented the different
shades of opinion.

[Sidenote: The Sons of Liberty]

Early in January, 1766, the Sons of Liberty threw off the mask of secrecy.
On the evening of January 7th, a great number of members of the Society
met at the house of William Howard, the tavern previously occupied by Sam
Francis and John Jones, in the Fields, which for a time became their
headquarters. They agreed to a series of resolutions advocating action of
the most vigorous nature towards all those who "may either carry on their
business on stamped paper or refuse to carry it on independently of the
odious act." They adjourned to meet at the same place a fortnight later,
and continued to meet at regular intervals thereafter. At a regular
meeting on Tuesday, February 4th, a committee was appointed to correspond
with the Sons of Liberty in the neighboring colonies, composed of Lamb,
Sears, Robinson, Wiley and Mott. The next meeting was appointed to be held
on Tuesday evening the 18th instant.

[Sidenote: Repeal of the Stamp Act]

On March 18, 1766, the King gave his assent to the repeal of the Stamp Act
"in sorrow and despite." Thereupon there was great rejoicing in the
English capital. The happy event was celebrated by dinner, bonfires and a
general display of flags. On the 24th there was a meeting of the principal
merchants concerned in the American trade, at the King's Head Tavern, in
Cornhill, to consider an address to the King. They went from this place,
about eleven o'clock in the morning, in coaches, to the House of Peers to
pay their duty to his majesty and to express their satisfaction at his
signing the bill repealing the American Stamp Act. There were upwards of
fifty coaches in the procession.[2]

On Tuesday, May 20th, the glorious news of the repeal was received in New
York from different quarters, which was instantly spread throughout the
city, creating the greatest excitement. All the bells of the different
churches were rung and joy and satisfaction were on every face. The next
day the Sons of Liberty caused to be printed and distributed the following
Hand Bill:

    "THIS DAY

    "On the glorious Occasion of a total Repeal of the Stamp Act there
    will be a general Meeting and Rejoicing at the House of Mr. Howard,
    The Lovers of Their Country loyal Subjects of his Majesty, George
    the Third, King of Great Britain, real Sons of Liberty of all
    Denominations are hereby cordially invited to partake of the essential
    and long look'd for Celebration.

    "The city will be illuminated and every decent measure will be
    observed in demonstrating a sensible Acknowledgement of Gratitude to
    our illustrious Sovereign, and never to be forgotten Friends at Home
    and Abroad, particularly the Guardian of America."

Preparations were accordingly made and measures taken for carrying out
these designs. The Sons of Liberty repaired to the "Field of Liberty," as
they called the Common, where they had often met, where a royal salute of
twenty-one guns was fired. Attended by a band of music they then marched
to their usual resort, which was the house of William Howard, where an
elegant entertainment had been prepared for them. After they had dined in
the most social manner they drank cheerfully to twenty-eight toasts, the
number of the years of the King's age. At the first toast--The King--the
royal salute was repeated, and each of the following was saluted with
seven guns. In the evening there were bonfires and a grand illumination.
Announcement was made in the newspapers that "The Sons of Liberty of New
York take this early opportunity of most cordially saluting and
congratulating all their American Brethren on this glorious and happy
event."

Shortly after this occurred the anniversary of the King's birthday and the
people were so rejoiced and elated by the repeal that they resolved to
make of it an opportunity to show their gratitude and thanks, and so great
preparations were made for the event, which was to be on the 4th of June.
More extensive preparations were made than for any previous celebration of
this kind. The day opened with the ringing of the bells of all the
churches in the city. By seven o'clock preparations began for roasting
whole, two large, fat oxen, on the Common, where the people soon began to
gather to gaze at the "mighty roast beef." At 12 o'clock a gun was fired
from the Fort as a signal for the council, the general, the militia
officers, the corporation and gentlemen to wait on the governor to drink
the King's health and never on such an occasion before was the company so
numerous or splendid. Now the Battery breaks forth in a royal salute and
the air is filled "with joyful Acclamations of Long Live the King, the
Darling of the People." Soon after, this salute was answered by the
men-of-war and the merchant vessels in the harbor, "decked in all the
Pageantry of Colors." The people were gathered on the Common, where a
large stage had been erected, on which were twenty-five barrels of strong
beer, a hogshead of rum, sugar and water to make punch, bread and other
provisions for the people, and on each side a roasted ox. At one end of
the Common was a pile of twenty cords of wood, in the midst of which was a
stout mast with a platform on top of it, on which had been hoisted twelve
tar and pitch barrels. This was for the magnificent bonfire. At the other
end of the Common were stationed twenty-five pieces of cannon for the
salutes, and at the top of the mast which had been erected, was a
flagstaff with colors displayed. The grand dinner on this unusual occasion
was served at the New York Arms, the house of George Burns, on Broadway.
It was prepared by order of the principal citizens and was honored by the
presence of the governor, the general, the military officers, the clergy,
the gentlemen of the city, and strangers. "It consisted of many Covers and
produced near a hundred Dishes."[3] One newspaper states that there were
about 340 in the company. At the King's health a royal salute was fired by
the guns on the Common, and at each toast afterward a salute was given up
to twenty-eight, the number of years of the King's age. The Common was in
sight so that signals for these could easily be given. The toasts numbered
forty-one, and are said to have been "respectfully preferred and eagerly
swallowed." We feel justified in the belief that this was the largest
dinner and one of the most important that had ever been served in New
York. In the evening the whole town was illuminated in the grandest manner
ever seen before, especially the houses of the governor and the general.

[Illustration: LIBERTY BOYS]

The assembly met on June 16th, and on the 23d a large meeting was held at
the Merchants' Coffee Mouse, where a petition was prepared, addressed to
the assembly, for the election of a brass statue of Pitt, who was
considered the great friend of America. On the very day of this meeting
the house, it appears, made provision for an equestrian statue of the King
and a brass statue of William Pitt. Tranquillity seems to have been
restored, but it was not long before new causes of dissatisfaction arose.

[Sidenote: Liberty Pole]

The victory of the colonists in causing the repeal of the Stamp Act could
not fail to produce some feeling of bitterness in the officers of the
crown, and there were some who took no pains to conceal their
dissatisfaction. The soldiers, aware of the feeling of their officers,
were ready on all occasions to show their hostility. The mast or flagpole
which had been erected on the north side of the Common, opposite a point
between Warren and Chambers Streets, on the anniversary of the King's
birthday, and dedicated to King George, Pitt and Liberty, later called
Liberty Pole, held by the citizens of New York as the emblem of their
principles, was, in the night of Sunday, August 10, 1766, cut down by some
of the soldiers of the 28th regiment, quartered in the barracks, nearby.
The people considered the destruction of the pole an insult. When a large
assemblage of two or three thousand people gathered on the Common the
next day, headed by Isaac Sears, to take measures to replace their
standard and demand an explanation, the soldiers interfered and a
disturbance ensued in which the people used stones and brickbats to defend
themselves and the soldiers used their bayonets. As the unarmed people
retreated several were wounded with the weapons of the assailants. On the
12th a new pole was erected on the site of the first. After this
disturbance, the magistrates of the city and the officers of the regiment
met in the presence of the governor, and an amicable conclusion was
reached which it was supposed would prevent further trouble; but
notwithstanding this the second pole was cut down on Tuesday, September
23d. On the next day another was erected in its place, without any serious
disturbance.

The contest over the Liberty Pole continued until the opening of the War
of the Revolution. It made the place where the pole stood a center of
disturbance and the taverns on Broadway, near by, places, at times, of
considerable excitement. On the first anniversary of the repeal
preparations were made to celebrate the event. The people gathered at the
Liberty Pole on the 18th of March and at the appointed time met at
Bardin's King's Arms Tavern to dine and drink toasts appropriate to the
occasion. This could not justly have given any offense, but such rejoicing
by the people was unpleasant to the officers of the army, and the soldiers
looked upon it as a celebration of the defeat of the King and parliament
whom they served. That night the third pole was cut down by the soldiers,
who had become excited by what they had seen during the day.

The next day a larger and more substantial pole was erected in place of
the one cut down, secured with iron to a considerable height above the
ground. Attempts were made the same night both to cut it down and to
undermine it, but without effect. On Saturday night, the 21st, there was
an attempt made to destroy it by boring a hole into it and charging it
with powder, but this also failed. On Sunday night a strong watch was set
by the citizens at an adjacent house, probably Bardin's. During the night
a small company of soldiers appeared with their coats turned, armed with
bayonets and clubs, but finding that they were watched, after some words,
retired. On Monday, about six o'clock in the evening, a party of soldiers
marched past the pole and as they went by the King's Arms fired their
muskets at the house. One ball passed through the house and another lodged
in one of the timbers. On Tuesday, about one o'clock in the afternoon, the
same company of soldiers, as is supposed, took a ladder from a new
building and were proceeding towards the pole, when they were stopped and
turned back. The governor, the general and the magistrates then took
measures to prevent further trouble, and the newspaper states that "we
hope this matter, in itself trivial and only considered of importance by
the citizens as it showed an intention to offend and insult them will
occasion no further difference."

[Sidenote: Vauxhall Garden]

Readers of the literature of the eighteenth century are familiar with the
names of Ranelagh and Vauxhall, resorts of the idle and gay of London
society. The success and reputation of these places brought forward
imitators in all parts of the British dominions; and New York had both a
Vauxhall and a Ranelagh. Sam Francis obtained possession of the place on
the Church Farm, which had, early in the century, been known as the
Bowling Green, later as Mount Pleasant, and opened it as a pleasure
resort, which he called Vauxhall. A ball, which seems to have been of some
importance, was given here about the first of June, 1765. Shortly after it
became the residence of Major James, and was wrecked by the infuriated
populace on November 1st. In June, 1768, Francis announced that while he
had been absent from the city the house and garden had been occupied by
Major James, that they were then in good order, and that he had provided
everything necessary to accommodate his old friends and customers. The
next month, still calling the place Vauxhall Garden, he gave notice that
from eight in the morning till ten at night, at four shillings each
person, could be seen at the garden a group of magnificent wax figures,
"Ten in number, rich and elegantly dressed, according to the ancient
Roman and present Mode; which figures bear the most striking resemblance
to real life and represent the great Roman general, Publius Scipio, who
conquered the city of Carthage, standing by his tent pitched in a grove of
trees." Francis continued in the place, putting forward various
attractions, until 1774. He appears to have been a man of much business.
His absence from the city, which he alludes to, may have been caused by
his interests in Philadelphia, where at that time he had a tavern in Water
Street, in front of which he hung out the sign of Queen Charlotte, the
same as at his New York house.

[Sidenote: Ranelagh Garden]

The Ranelagh Garden was opened by John Jones, in June, 1765, for breakfast
and evening entertainment. It was said that the grounds had been laid out
at great expense and that it was by far the most rural retreat near the
city. Music by a complete band was promised for every Monday and Thursday
evening during the summer season. In the garden was a commodious hall for
dancing, with drawing rooms neatly fitted up. The very best "alamode
beef," tarts, cakes, etc., were served, and on notice, dinners or other
large entertainments would be provided. Mr. Leonard was announced to sing
a solo and Mr. Jackson was to give three songs. The place had been the old
homestead of Colonel Anthony Rutgers, where he had lived many years,
near the present corner of Broadway and Thomas Street. It afterwards
became the site of the New York Hospital, which stood there for almost a
century. These summer entertainments were kept up for several years. In
1768 the garden was opened in the latter part of June, and notice was
given that there would be performed a concert of vocal and instrumental
music, the vocal parts by Mr. Woods and Miss Wainright, and by particular
request, "Thro' the Woods, Laddie," would be sung by Miss Wainright; after
which would be exhibited some curious fireworks by the two Italian
brothers, whose performances had given so much satisfaction to the public.
Tickets to be had at the gate for two shillings.

[Illustration: AT RANELAGH]

When Edward Bardin opened the King's Arms Tavern, on Broadway, in 1766,
following the example of Jones in his Ranelagh Garden, he opened a concert
of music for the entertainment of ladies and gentlemen, to be continued on
every Monday, Wednesday and Friday during the summer season at the King's
Arms Garden. He gave notice that a convenient room had been filled up in
the garden for the retreat of the company in unfavorable weather, and he
stated that the countenance which had been given him warranted him, he
thought, in expecting a continuance of the public favor. Having in mind
the prejudice of the community against the theater he stated that he had
provided an entertainment that would not offend "the most delecate of
Mankind, as every possible precaution had been taken to prevent disorder
and irregularity."

During the exciting times following the passage of the Stamp Act there was
a strong sentiment against the theatre among the people, "who thought it
highly improper that such entertainments should be exhibited at this time
of public distress." The managers of the theatre in Chapel Street
announced in their advertisement that "As the packet is arrived, and has
been the messenger of good news relative to the Repeal, it is hoped the
public has no objection to the above performance." Although forewarned,
the play was attempted and the house was wrecked by a mob. Under such
circumstances it is not surprising that the people should turn to some
more sober kind of entertainments. We give below the complete announcement
of a concert of vocal and instrumental music, given at the New York Arms
Tavern, in October, 1766, which is interesting in many ways.

"By Particular Desire of a good number of Ladies and Gentlemen of Credit
and Character in the City.

There will be a Concert of Vocal and Instrumental Music at Mr. Burns' New
Room, to-morrow being the 28 Instant; to begin at 6 o'clock in the
Evening. This Concert will consist of nothing but Church Musick, in which
will be introduced a new Te Deum, Jublate Deo, Cantata Domino and Deus
Misereatur, with an Anthem (in which there is an Obligato Part for a Harp,
as there is also in the Cantata Domino), with several other pieces of
Church Musick intermixed with other Instrumental Performances in order to
ease the Voices. The whole to conclude with a Martial Psalm, viz. the
49th. Tate and Brady's Version, accompanied with all the instruments and a
pair of Drums.

N. B. There will be more than Forty Voices and Instruments in the Chorus.

Tickets to be had of Mr. Tuckey in Pearl Street near the Battery at Four
Shillings each, who would take it as a great favor of any Gentlemen who
sing or play on any Instrument to lend him their kind assistance in the
performance and give him timely notice that there may be a sufficient
Number of Parts wrote out."

In November, 1766, a call was issued to the merchants announcing that a
petition to the House of Commons was being prepared, setting forth the
grievances attending the trade of the colony, requesting redress therein,
which would be produced at five o'clock on Friday evening, the 28th, at
Burns' Long Room and publicly read. The merchants and traders of the city
were requested to attend and subscribed their names, as it was a matter of
great importance and would probably be productive of good results.[4] We
can find no further notice of the meeting or the results. The critical
situation of affairs may have prevented a consummation of the project.

It was about this time that the menacing instructions to the governor in
regard to compliance with the act for quartering troops arrived. England
had determined to send troops to America, and required that the expense of
quartering these troops should be borne by the colonies. The assembly of
New York, in June, positively refused to comply with the act of parliament
in this respect, agreeing only to supply barracks, furniture, etc., for
two batallions of five hundred men each, declaring that they would do no
more. The governor made his report and new instructions were sent out
stating that it was the "indispensable duty of his majesty's subjects in
America to obey the acts of the legislature of Great Britain," and
requiring cheerful obedience to the act of parliament for quartering the
King's troops "in the full extent and meaning of the act." The assembly
did not recede from the stand they had taken at the previous session.

The aspect of affairs grew unpromising and portentious. It seriously
affected trade. News from England indicated that parliament would take
measures to enforce the billeting act. When the assembly of New York met
in the latter part of May, 1767, the house voted a supply for the
quartering of the King's troops, which came up to the sum which had been
prescribed by parliament. In the meantime it had been moved and enacted in
parliament that until New York complied with the billeting act her
governor should assent to no legislation, and by act of parliament a duty
was placed on glass, paper, lead, colors and especially on tea. The
disfranchisement of New York was of no practical effect, but it created
great uneasiness and alarm in all the colonies.

The position which the Merchants' Coffee House held in the community is
shown by the fact that when Governor Moore received the news of the result
of the unprecedented appeal made by Lieutenant-Governor Colden from the
verdict of a jury in the case of Forsay and Cunningham he transmitted it
to the people by obligingly sending intelligence to the Coffee House that
the decision was that there could be no appeal from the verdict of a jury;
which was very gratifying to the people, who were much stirred up over
such action on the part of Colden.

The Whitehall Coffee House, opened by Rogers and Humphreys, in 1762, whose
announcement indicates that they aspired to a prominent place for their
house, also shows what was the custom of a house of this kind to do for
its patrons. They gave notice that "a correspondence is settled in London
and Bristol to remit by every opportunity all the public prints and
pamphlets as soon as published; and there will be a weekly supply of New
York, Boston and other American papers." The undertaking was of short
duration.



VIII

HAMPDEN HALL


[Sidenote: The Queen's Head]

In May, 1767, Bolton and Sigell moved into the house of Samuel Francis,
near the Exchange, lately kept by John Jones, known as the Queen's Head
Tavern, and, as strangers, solicited the favor of the public. This tavern
shortly after, and for some time, was the scene of much of the excitement
connected with the period.

In January, 1768, the committee appointed at a meeting of the inhabitants
of the city on the 29th of December just past to consider the expediency
of entering into measures to promote frugality and industry and employ the
poor, gave notice that they would be ready to make their report on the
matter on Monday evening, the 25th, at five o'clock at Bolton and
Sigell's, and the people were requested to attend in order to receive the
report and consider the matter. The proposed meeting was adjourned for a
week, when, on February 2d, the report was delivered, approved, and
directions given for carrying it into execution.

[Sidenote: Second Non-Importation Agreement]

On March 31, 1768, a meeting was called at Bolton and Sigell's to answer
letters from the merchants of Boston. This meeting not being well
attended, a second was called for April 7. This resulted in the second
non-importation agreement by the merchants of the city who came to "an
agreement not to import any goods from Great Britain that shall be shipped
there after the first of October next, until a certain Act of Parliament
is repealed, provided the Merchants of Philadelphia and Boston come into
the same Measures."

[Sidenote: Chamber of Commerce New York]

It is more than likely that the merchants of New York had for some time
been aware of the necessity or advantage of some sort of organization
among themselves for the benefit of trade. In March, 1764, we find that a
call was issued, earnestly requesting the merchants of the city to meet at
the Queen's Head Tavern, near the Exchange, on business of great
importance to trade; and on May 5, 1766, the merchants of the city were
requested to meet at the house of George Burns, the New York Arms, at four
o'clock in the afternoon on business for the good of this province and
continent in general. Following the Stamp Act and the non-importation
agreement there was great political excitement; money was scarce; business
was depressed; and foreign trade was unsettled and uncertain. In this
situation the merchants of New York, having seen the success of union in
the non-importation agreement, met in the Long Room of the Queen's Head
Tavern, kept by Bolton and Sigell on April 8, 1768, and there formed
themselves into a society which they styled the New York Chamber of
Commerce, which has been in existence since that date, the oldest
mercantile organization in America. The twenty-four members who then
constituted the society elected John Cruger president, Hugh Wallace vice
president and Elias Desbrosses treasurer.

A meeting of the New York merchants was called at Bolton and Sigell's on
August 25, 1768, to further consider the non-importation agreement, which
had been signed very generally in the city, and in November, in
consequence of reports in circulation, the principal merchants and traders
of the city were waited on, and report was made that it appeared that they
had in general inviolably adhered to the true spirit of their agreement in
making out their orders. The subscribers to the agreement met at Bolton
and Sigell's on Monday, March 13, 1769, when a "committee was appointed to
inquire into and inspect all European importations, in order to a strict
compliance with the said agreement and also to correspond with the other
colonies." The assembly in April passed a vote of thanks to the merchants
for their patriotic conduct, and instructed the speaker to signify the
same to them at their next monthly meeting. John Cruger, the speaker of
the house, was also president of the Chamber of Commerce, and this vote of
thanks was delivered to the merchants at the first meeting of the Chamber
of Commerce in their new quarters, the large room over the Royal Exchange,
their previous meetings having been held in the Long Room of the Queen's
Head Tavern.

[Sidenote: Anniversary of the Repeal]

The second anniversary of the repeal of the Stamp Act was celebrated on
Friday, the 18th of March, by a numerous company of the principal
merchants and other respectable inhabitants of the city, "Friends to
Constitutional Liberty and Trade," at Bardin's tavern opposite the Common
on Broadway and at Jones's tavern which was said to be nearly adjoining.
The meeting at Jones's was called by the "Friends of Liberty and Trade,"
who requested those inclined to celebrate the day to give in their names
by Wednesday at farthest to John Jones inn-holder in the Fields or to the
printer, and receive tickets for the occasion. There were many who,
although zealous in every measure for the repeal of the Stamp Act, now
leaned to the side of moderation. They styled themselves Friends of
Liberty and Trade, as distinct from the more orthodox or more radical Sons
of Liberty. The two factions on this occasion seem to have met in perfect
harmony, although later there appeared considerable feeling between them.
Union flags were displayed and an elegant dinner was served at each
place. A band of music was provided for the occasion and in the evening
some curious fireworks were played off for the entertainment of the
company. Among the toasts drunk were: "The Spirited Assembly of Virginia
in 1765," "The Spirited Assembly of Boston" and "Unanimity to the Sons of
Liberty in America."

[Sidenote: Effigies Burned]

On Monday, November 14, 1768, a report was current in the city that the
effigies of Bernard, the obnoxious governor of Massachusetts, and
Greenleaf, the sheriff of Boston, were to be exhibited in the streets that
evening. At four o'clock in the afternoon the troops in the city appeared
under arms at the lower barracks, where they remained until about ten
o'clock at night, during which time parties of them continually patrolled
the streets, in order, it is supposed, to intimidate the inhabitants and
prevent the exposing of the effigies. Notwithstanding this vigilance on
the part of the soldiers, the Sons of Liberty appeared in the streets with
the effigies hanging on a gallows, between eight and nine o'clock,
attended by a vast number of spectators, and were saluted with loud huzzas
at the corner of every street they passed. After exposing the effigies at
the Coffee House, they were publicly burned amidst the clamor of the
people, who testified their approbation and then quietly dispersed to
their homes. The city magistrates had received notice of what was
intended, and constables were sent out to prevent it, but either deceived
or by intention they did not reach the scene of action until all was over.
This seems strange, as the Coffee House was not far from the City Hall,
and the lime tree in front of it, the scene of the burning, was in full
view.

[Sidenote: The Boston Letter]

The letter which the assembly of the Massachusetts colony had sent to her
sister colonies in the early part of the year 1768, inviting united
measures to obtain redress of grievances, was denounced by the Earl of
Hillsborough, then lately appointed secretary of state for America, "as of
a most dangerous and factious tendency." The colonies were forbidden to
receive or reply to it, and an effort was made to prevent all
correspondence between them. This was ineffectual. Committees were
appointed to petition the King and to correspond with Massachusetts and
Virginia. Some of the assemblies, for refusing to comply with the demands
of Hillsborough, were prorogued by the governors. A great public meeting
was called in New York for Thursday, November 24, at which instructions to
the city members of the assembly were adopted and signed by many of the
principal citizens. The instructions called for the reading in the
assembly of the Boston letter, which had fallen under the censure of
Hillsborough, and to which he had forbidden the colonies to make reply.
That these instructions were delivered is more than probable. Whether
influenced by them or not, the assembly, in committee of the whole on
December 31, declared for "an exact equality of rights among all his
Majesty's subjects in the several parts of the empire; the right of
petition, that of internal legislature, and the undoubted right to
correspond and consult with any of the neighboring colonies or with any
other of his Majesty's subjects, outside of this colony, whenever they
conceived the rights, liberties, interests or privileges of this house or
its constituents to be affected," and appointed a committee of
correspondence. These resolutions could not be tolerated by Governor
Moore. He dissolved the assembly. This caused a new election which was
attended with considerable excitement. It was called for Monday, January
23, 1769. The Church of England party put up as candidates, James
DeLancey, Jacob Walton, John Cruger and James Jauncey. These were the
former members, with the exception of John Cruger, who took the place of
Philip Livingston, who declined the office. A meeting in the interest of
the above candidates was called at the house of George Burns, the New York
Arms, for Saturday, the 21st, at five o'clock in the evening. They were
elected and on Friday the 27th, after the closing of the polls, they were
escorted from the City Hall with music playing and colors flying down
Broadway and through the main street (now Pearl Street) to the Coffee
House. The windows along the route were filled with ladies and numbers of
the principal inhabitants graced the procession. It was "one of the
finest and most agreeable sights ever seen in the city." The four
gentlemen elected generously gave two hundred pounds for the benefit of
the poor.

Saturday, March 18, 1769, being the anniversary of the repeal of the Stamp
Act, the Liberty Colors, inscribed with "G. R. III, Liberty and Trade,"
were hoisted on the ancient Liberty Pole, and at the house of Edward
Smith, on the corner of Broadway and Murray street, the Genuine Sons of
Liberty dined and drank toasts appropriate to the occasion, one of which
was to "The ninety-two members of the Massachusetts assembly who voted the
famous Boston letter." There was another meeting to celebrate the day at
the house of Vandewater ("otherwise called Catemut's"), which was
conducted in much the same manner and where similar toasts were drunk.

By common consent the taverns on Broadway, fronting on the Common or
Fields, near the Liberty Pole, were the places selected for celebrating
the anniversaries of the important events connected with the stamp act
period. It was on Wednesday, November 1, 1769, that a number of the Sons
of Liberty met at the house of Abraham De La Montagnie to celebrate "the
day on which the inhabitants of this colony nobly determined not to
surrender their rights to arbitrary power, however august." De La
Montagnie had succeeded Bardin, and was now the landlord of the house
which Edward Bardin had occupied for some years, fronting on the Common.
Here the entertainment was given and after dinner appropriate toasts were
drank "in festive glasses." Among the first of these was "May the North
American Colonies fully enjoy the British Constitution."

[Illustration: CORNER OF BROADWAY AND MURRAY STREET, 1816]

[Sidenote: Liberty Pole Destroyed]

[Sidenote: Battle of Golden Hill]

On the night of January 13, 1770, an attempt was made by the soldiers to
destroy the Liberty Pole by sawing off the spurs or braces around it and
by exploding gunpowder in a hole bored in the wood in order to split it.
They were discovered and the attempt was unsuccessful. Exasperated at
this, they attacked some citizens near, followed them into the house of De
La Montagnie with drawn swords and bayonets, insulted the company, beat
the waiter, assaulted the landlord in one of the passages of the house and
then proceeded to break everything they could conveniently reach, among
other things eighty-four panes of glass in the windows. Officers
appearing, they quickly withdrew to their barracks. Three days after this,
in the night of January 16, the soldiers succeeded in destroying the pole
completely, which they sawed into pieces and piled before De La
Montagnie's door. The next day there was a great meeting in the Fields,
where the pole had stood, when it was resolved by the people that soldiers
found out of barracks at night after roll-call should be treated as
enemies of the peace of the city. In reply to these resolves a scurrilous
placard was printed, signed "The Sixteenth Regiment of Foot," and posted
through the city. Attempts to prevent this was the cause of several
serious affrays, the principal one of which took place a little north of
the present John street, a locality then called Golden Hill, in which one
citizen was killed and several severely wounded. Many of the soldiers
were badly beaten. This affair has been called the Battle of Golden Hill,
and it has been claimed that here was shed the first blood in the cause of
American Independence.

At the meeting in the Fields on the 17th, a committee had been appointed
who, as instructed, petitioned the corporation for permission to erect a
new pole on the spot where the one destroyed had stood or if preferred,
opposite Mr. Vandenbergh's, near St. Paul's Church, a small distance from
where the two roads meet. It was stated in the petition that if the
corporation should not think proper to grant permission for erecting the
pole, the people were resolved to procure a place for it on private
ground. The petition was rejected and purchase was made of a piece of
ground, eleven feet wide and one hundred feet long, very near to the place
where the former pole had stood. Here a hole was dug twelve feet deep to
receive the pole which was being prepared at the shipyards. The lower part
of the mast was covered to a considerable height with iron bars placed
lengthwise, over which were fastened strong iron hoops. When finished the
pole was drawn through the streets by six horses, decorated with ribbons
and flags. Music was supplied by a band of French horns. The pole was
strongly secured in the earth by timbers and great stones, so as to defy
all further attempts to prostrate it. On the top was raised a mast
twenty-two feet in height with a gilt vane and the word Liberty in large
letters.

[Sidenote: Hampden Hall]

Abraham De La Montagnie had suffered his house to become the resort of
many who belonged to the moderate party or the Friends of Liberty and
Trade, who, early in the year 1770, engaged his house for the celebration
of the anniversary of the repeal. The Sons of Liberty in the early part of
February invited those who wished to celebrate the anniversary to join
them at De La Montagnie's tavern, whereupon De La Montagnie issued a card,
stating that his house had been engaged by a number of gentlemen for that
purpose, and that he could entertain no others. The indications are that
this was then the only tavern near the Liberty Pole that was available,
Jones and Smith having left the neighborhood, but the more radical Sons of
Liberty, not to be thus frustrated, purchased the house which had been
formerly occupied by Edward Smith, and gave notice, inviting all those in
sympathy with them to join them there in the celebration. They called the
house they had purchased Hampden Hall, and it remained their headquarters
for some time. It was managed by Henry Bicker as its landlord.

[Sidenote: Anniversary Dinners]

The 18th of March being Sunday, the anniversary of the repeal of the Stamp
Act was celebrated on Monday the 19th. At the tavern of De La Montagnie,
while the Liberty Colors (ascribed to G. R. III, Liberty and Trade) were
hoisted on the Liberty Pole, two hundred and thirty citizens, Friends to
Liberty and Trade, sat down to an elegant dinner prepared for them.
Appropriate toasts were drunk, one of which was "Liberty, Unanimity and
Perseverance to the true Sons of Liberty in America." On the same day "in
union and friendship" with these a number of gentlemen celebrated the day
by a dinner at the house of Samuel Waldron, at the ferry on Long Island,
where, it is said, the toasts drunk were the same as at De La Montagnie's.
The radical party of the Sons of Liberty celebrated "the repeal of the
detestable stamp act" at Hampden Hall, on which colors were displayed, as
well as on the Liberty Pole opposite to it. The company, it is said,
numbered about three hundred gentlemen, freeholders and freemen of the
city, who met to celebrate "that memorable deliverance from the chains
which had been forged for the Americans by a designing and despotic
Ministry." An elegant dinner had been provided, but before they sat down
the company "nominated ten of their number to dine with Captain McDougal
at his chambers in the New-Gaol," where a suitable dinner had also been
provided. Captain McDougal was being held in jail for libel as the author
of a paper signed "A Son of Liberty," addressed "to the betrayed
inhabitants of New York," which reflected the severest criticisms of the
assembly for voting supplies to the King's troops. This paper was held by
the assembly to be an infamous and scandalous libel. He was also accused
of being the author of another paper signed "Legion," describing the
action of the assembly as "base, inglorious conduct," which the assembly
resolved was infamous and seditious. After dinner, a committee was
appointed to send two barrels of beer and what was left of the dinner to
the poor prisoners in the jail, which were received with great thanks.
Many appropriate toasts were drunk as usual, and a little before sunset
the company from Hampden Hall, joined by a number of people in the Fields,
with music playing and colors flying, marched to the new jail, where they
saluted Captain McDougal with cheers. He appeared at the grated window of
the middle story, and in a short address thanked them for this mark of
their respect. The company then returned to the Liberty Pole and as the
sun was setting hauled down the flag. They then marched down Chapel Street
to the Coffee House and back up Broadway to the Liberty Pole and quietly
dispersed.

[Illustration: A. McDougall]

The celebration of the anniversary of the repeal apparently caused some
bitterness of feeling between the factions which dined at De La
Montagnie's and that which dined at Hampden Hall, if it did not previously
exist. An article appeared in the newspaper declaring that the statement
that about three hundred persons dined at Hampden Hall was not true, that
only about one hundred and twenty-six dined there and paid for their
dinners, including boys, and that the first toast which these _loyal_ Sons
of Liberty actually drank was not "The King," as reported in the
newspapers, but "May the American Colonies fully enjoy the British
Constitution." The writer also took exception to many other statements in
the account which was given in the papers. A reply was made to this in
which affidavit was made by Henry Bicker that on the occasion there dined
at his house, according to the best of his judgment, about three hundred
persons, and that the assertion that there were no more than about one
hundred and twenty-six was absolutely false. In the matter of the toasts,
as showing in a measure how such affairs were conducted, we think it best
to give the explanation in full as follows: "The truth of the Matter is
just this. Several Gentlemen drew up a set of Toasts proper for the day,
and to save the trouble of copying them, got a few printed to serve the
different tables. When the committee who were appointed to conduct the
business of the day came to peruse the toasts, they altered the one and
transposed the one before dinner, and I do assert that they were drank in
the manner and order they were published in this, Parker's and Gaine's
papers; for the truth of this I appeal to every gentleman who dined at
Hampden Hall that day."

The house which Bicker occupied had always been used as a tavern. When the
lease of the property, having eleven years to run, was offered for sale in
1761, it was described as "two lots of ground on Trinity Church Farm, on
which are two tenements fronting Broadway and a small tenement fronting
Murray Street; the two tenements fronting Broadway may be occupied in one
for a public house." It was purchased by John Jones, and when he offered
it for sale in 1765, he stated that there was a very commodious dancing
room adjoining, forty-five feet long, which was probably in the building
fronting on Murray Street. Jones moved out of the house in 1766 to the
Queen's Head, but returned when the Queen's Head was taken by Bolton and
Sigell, and occupied for a time either a part of the house or the whole.
It was purchased in 1768 by Roger Morris. When the Sons of Liberty
purchased the lease, it had only a short time to run, not more than one or
two years.

[Sidenote: Hampden Hall Attacked by the Soldiers]

About eleven o'clock on Saturday night, the 24th of March, fourteen or
fifteen soldiers were seen about the Liberty Pole, which one of them had
ascended in order to take off and carry away the topmast and vane. Finding
they were discovered they attacked some young men who came up and drove
them from the green and then retired. Soon after, about forty or fifty of
them came out armed with cutlasses and attacked a number of people who had
come up to the pole on the alarm given. A few of these retreated to the
house of Mr. Bicker, which was soon besieged by the soldiers, who
endeavored to force an entrance. Bicker, thinking himself and family in
danger, stood with his bayonet fixed, determined to defend his family and
his house to the last extremity, declaring that he would shoot the first
man who should attempt to enter. He succeeded in getting the doors of the
house closed and barred, when the soldiers tried to break open the front
windows, one of which they forced open, broke all the glass and hacked
the sash to pieces. They threatened to burn the house and destroy every
one in it. Some citizens who had been on the ground, gave the alarm by
ringing the Chapel bell, upon hearing which, the soldiers retreated
precipitately. The men of the 16th regiment swore that they would carry
away with them a part of the pole as a trophy, but a watch was kept by the
people and they sailed away in a few days for Pensacola, without
accomplishing their design. This was the last effort of the soldiers to
destroy the Liberty Pole, which remained standing until prostrated by
order of the notorious Cunningham, Provost Marshal of the British army in
New York in 1776.

To encourage the home manufacture of woolen cloth the Sons of Liberty met
on Tuesday, April 6, 1769, at the Province Arms, and unanimously
subscribed an agreement not to purchase nor eat any lamb in their families
before the first of August next.

The Freemasons met at Burns' tavern on May 27, 1769, at five o'clock in
the afternoon, and from thence marched in procession to the John Street
Theater, to witness the special performance of The Tender Husband, given
here for the first time.

In March, 1770, the partnership of Bolton and Sigell was dissolved, Bolton
alone continuing in the Queen's Head, but only for a short time, for in
May the place of George Burns, as landlord of the Province Arms, was
taken by Richard Bolton, who moved in from the Queen's Head. Bolton, in
his announcement, states that the house has been repaired and greatly
improved and that the stables with stalls for fifty horses are let to
James Wilkinson, "whose constant attention will be employed to oblige
gentlemen in that department." These large stables had probably been built
by the De Lancey family when they occupied the house. Lieutenant Governor
James De Lancey, who once owned it, supported a coach and four, with
outriders in handsome livery, and several members of this family became
widely known as patrons of the turf.

[Sidenote: Arrival of the Earl of Dunmore]

On Thursday, October 18, 1770, the Earl of Dunmore, who had been appointed
by the Crown to succeed Sir Henry Moore, who had died very much lamented
by the people of New York, arrived in his Majesty's ship, The Tweed, and
was received on landing and escorted to the Fort with the usual salutes,
and with all the honors due his station. From the Fort, accompanied by Sir
William Draper, Lord Drummond, the commander of the Tweed, and Captain
Foy, his lordship's secretary, his excellency proceeded to the New York
Arms; and there they were entertained at a dinner given by Lieutenant
Governor Colden, where the usual numerous toasts were drunk. The next day,
Friday, after the new governor's commission had been read in council, and
published at the City Hall, as was the custom, his excellency the
Governor, General Gage, Sir William Draper, Lord Drummond, the members of
his majesty's council, the city representatives, the gentlemen of the army
and navy, the judges of the supreme court, the mayor, recorder, attorney
general and other public officers, and many of the most respectable
gentlemen of the city were entertained at another elegant dinner given by
the lieutenant governor at the New York Arms. In the evening his lordship
was pleased to favor the gentlemen of the army and navy "with his Company
at a Ball, which consisted of a splendid and brilliant appearance of
Gentlemen and Ladies."

While Bolton was in possession of the Province Arms the political
excitement somewhat abated. The long room in the old tavern continued to
be the favorite dancing hall of the city, and in many of the notices of
concerts given here for charity or for the benefit of musicians, etc., are
announcements that they will be followed by balls. The young people of New
York at that time must have been extremely fond of dancing.

On Tuesday, April 23, 1771, the anniversary of St. George was celebrated
with unusual ceremony. "A number of English gentlemen, and descendants of
English parents, amounting in the whole to upwards of one hundred and
twenty, had an elegant Entertainment at Bolton's in honor of the Day."
John Tabor Kempe, Esq., his majesty's attorney general, presided, and the
guests of honor were the Earl of Dunmore, General Gage, the gentlemen of
his majesty's council, etc. The company parted early and in high good
humor.

[Sidenote: The New York Society]

When Richard Bolton left the Queen's Head for the New York Arms, Sam
Francis came back into his own house. In announcing his return, he states
that when he formerly kept it, the best clubs met there, and the greatest
entertainments in the city were given there, and that he flatters himself
that the public are so well satisfied of his ability to serve them that it
is useless to go into details. Francis was not only successful as a
tavern-keeper in satisfying the needs of the public, but he was also
successful financially, for he was the owner of both the Queen's Head and
Vauxhall. While he was the landlord of the Queen's Head in 1765, the New
York Society held their meetings there. It was announced that at a stated
meeting to be held at the house of Mr. Francis on Monday, the first of
April, at six o'clock in the evening, after some business before the
society should be dispatched and the letters and proposals received since
last meeting examined, the consideration of the questions last proposed on
the paper currency and the bank statements would be resumed. This
indicates that this was a society or club for the discussion of financial
and economic subjects.

[Sidenote: The Social Club]

Francis speaks of his house being the resort of several clubs, but we have
detailed information of only one; this was the Social Club, the membership
of which indicates that it must have been one of the best, if not the
best, in the city. In possession of the New York Historical Society is a
list of the members of the Social Club which was found among the papers of
John Moore, a member of the club, and presented to the society by his son,
Thos. W. C. Moore. It contains remarks about the members which are very
curious and interesting. We give it in full.

"List of Members of the Social Club, which passed Saturday evenings at Sam
Francis's, corner of Broad and Dock streets, in winter, and in summer at
Kip's Bay, where they built a neat, large room, for the Club-house. The
British landed at this spot the day they took the city, 15th September,
1776.

Members of this club dispersed in December, 1775, and never afterwards
assembled.

    John Jay (Disaffected)--Became Member of Congress, a Resident Minister
    to Spain, Com'r to make peace, Chief Justice, Minister to England, and
    on his return, Gov'r of N. York--a good and amiable man.

    Gouverneur Morris (Disaffected)--Member of Congress, Minister to
    France, etc.

    Robt. R. Livingston (Disaffected)--Min'r to France, Chancellor of N.
    York, etc.

    Egbert Benson (Disaffected)--Dis. Judge, N. York, and in the
    Legislature--Good man.

    Morgan Lewis (Disaffected)--Gov'r of N. York, and a Gen. in the war of
    1812.

    Gulian Verplanck (Disaffected, but in Europe, till 1783)--Pres't of
    New York Bank.

    John Livingston and his brother Henry (Disaffected, but of no
    political importance).

    James Seagrove (Disaffected)--Went to the southward as a merchant.

    Francis Lewis (Disaffected, but of no political importance).

    John Watts (Doubtful)--During the war Recorder of New York.

    Leonard Lispenard and his brother Anthony (Doubtful, but remained
    quiet at New York).

    Rich'd Harrison (Loyal, but has since been Recorder of N. York).

    John Hay, Loyal, an officer in British Army--killed in West Indies.

    Peter Van Shaack (Loyal)--A Lawyer, remained quiet at Kinderhook.

    Daniel Ludlow, Loyal during the war--since Pres't of Manhattan Bank.

    Dr. S. Bard, Loyal, tho' in 1775 doubtful, remained in N. York--a good
    man.

    George Ludlow (Loyal)--Remained on Long Island in quiet--A good man.

    William, his brother, Loyal, or supposed so; remained on L.
    Island--inoffensive man.

    William Imlay, Loyal at first, but doubtful after 1777.

    Edward Gould (Loyal)--At N. York all the war--a Merchant.

    John Reade (Pro and Con)--W'd have proved loyal, no doubt, had not his
    wife's family been otherwise.

    J. Stevens (Disaffected).

    Henry Kelly (Loyal)--Went to England, and did not return.

    Stephen Rapelye turned out bad--died in N. York Hospital.

    John Moore (Loyal)--In public life all the war, and from year 1765."

[Sidenote: The Moot]

In the fall of the year 1770, a club was formed by the principal lawyers
of the city of New York, for the discussion of legal questions, which they
called _The Moot_. The first meeting was held on Friday, the 23d of
November. According to their journal, the members, "desirous of forming a
club for social conservation, and the mutual improvement of each other,
determined to meet on the evening of the first Friday of every month, at
Bardin's, or such other place as a majority of the members shall from time
to time appoint," and for the better regulating the said club agreed to
certain articles of association, one of which was that "No member shall
presume upon any pretence to introduce any discourse about the party
politics of the province, and to persist in such discourse after being
desired by the president to drop it, on pain of expulsion." William
Livingston was chosen president and William Smith vice-president. This
first meeting was, no doubt, held at the King's Arms Tavern on the lower
part of Broadway, now Whitehall Street, which was in 1770 kept by Edward
Bardin. From the character of the members their discussions were held in
great respect. It was said that they even influenced the judgment of the
Supreme Court, and that a question, connected with the taxation of costs,
was sent to The Moot by the chief justice expressly for their opinion.
Some of the members of this club were afterwards among the most prominent
men of the country.

The articles of association were signed by

  Benjamin Kissam,
  David Mathews,
  William Wickham,
  Thomas Smith,
  Whitehead Hicks,
  Rudolphus Ritzema,
  William Livingston,
  Richard Morris,
  Samuel Jones,
  John Jay,
  William Smith,
  John Morine Scott,
  James Duane,
  John T. Kempe,
  Robert R. Livingston, Jr.,
  Egbert Benson,
  Peten Van Schaack,
  Stephen De Lancey.

On March 4, 1774, John Watts, Jr., and Gouverneur Morris were admitted to
the Society. In the exciting times preceding the Revolution the meetings
became irregular, and the members of the Moot came together for the last
time on January 6, 1775.

A number of gentlemen were accustomed to meet as a club at the house of
Walter Brock, afterwards kept by his widow, familiarly called "Mother
Brock," on Wall Street near the City Hall. It was probably a social and
not very formal club. One of the most prominent of its members was William
Livingston.

In May, 1773, Francis offered Vauxhall for sale, when it was described as
having an extremely pleasant and healthy situation, commanding an
extensive prospect up and down the North River. The house, "a capital
mansion in good repair," had four large rooms on each floor, twelve
fireplaces and most excellent cellars. Adjoining the house was built a
room fifty-six feet long and twenty-six feet wide, under which was a
large, commodious kitchen. There were stables, a coach house and several
out houses, also two large gardens planted with fruit trees, flowers and
flowering shrubs in great profusion, one of which was plentifully stocked
with vegetables of all kinds. The premises, containing twenty-seven and a
half lots of ground, was a leasehold of Trinity Church, with sixty-one
years to run. The ground rent was forty pounds per annum. It was purchased
by Erasmus Williams, who, the next year, having changed the name back,
"with great propriety," to Mount Pleasant, solicited the patronage of the
public, particularly gentlemen with their families from the West Indies,
Carolina, etc., and such as are travelling from distant parts, either on
business or pleasure.

Francis also offered the Queen's Head for sale in 1775. It was then
described as three stories high, with a tile and lead roof, having
fourteen fireplaces and a most excellent large kitchen; a corner house
very open and airy, and in the most complete repair. Although Francis
desired to sell his house, he stated that "so far from declining his
present business he is determined to use every the utmost endeavor to
carry on the same to the pleasure and satisfaction of his friends and the
public in general." He did not succeed in selling the house and continued
as landlord of the Queen's Head until he abandoned it when the British
army entered the city.

[Illustration: MERCHANTS' COFFEE HOUSE AND COFFEE HOUSE SLIP]

[Sidenote: The Merchants' Coffee House Moves]

On May 1, 1772, Mrs. Ferrari, who had been keeping the Merchants' Coffee
House on the northwest corner of the present Wall and Water Streets, which
had been located there and been continuously in use as a coffee house
since it was opened as such about the year 1738 by Daniel Bloom, removed
to a new house which had recently been built by William Brownjohn on the
opposite cross corner, that is, diagonally across to the southeast corner.
Mrs. Ferrari did not move out of the Merchants' Coffee House, but she took
it with her with all its patronage and trade. On opening the new house
she prepared a treat for her old customers. The merchants and gentlemen
of the city assembled in a numerous company and were regaled with arrack,
punch, wine, cold ham, tongue, etc. The gentlemen of the two insurance
companies, who likewise moved from the old to the new coffee house, each
of them, with equal liberality regaled the company. A few days later the
newspaper stated that the agreeable situation and the elegance of the new
house had occasioned a great resort of company to it ever since it was
opened. The old coffee house which had been occupied by Mrs. Ferrari
before she moved into the new one was still owned by Dr. Charles Arding,
who purchased it of Luke Roome in 1758. He offered it for sale in July,
1771, before Mrs. Ferrari moved out of it and again in May, 1772, after
she had left, when it was occupied by Mrs. Elizabeth Wragg, but did not
succeed in making a sale. If it was any longer used as a coffee house, its
use as such was of short duration. It was soon taken by Nesbitt Deane,
hatter, who occupied it for many years, offering hats to exceed any "in
fineness, cut, color or cock." John Austin Stevens, who has written very
pleasantly and entertainingly of the old coffee houses of New York,
speaking of the early history of the Merchants' Coffee House, says: "Its
location, however, is beyond question. It stood on the southeast corner of
Wall and Queen (now Water) Streets, on a site familiar to New Yorkers as
that for many years occupied by the Journal of Commerce." Although so
positive on this point, Stevens was, no doubt, mistaken, as can be easily
proven by records. However, this was the site occupied by the Merchants'
Coffee House subsequent to May 1, 1772. Stevens says that Mrs. Ferrari
moved out of this house into a new house on the opposite cross corner,
whereas she moved into it from the old coffee house on the opposite cross
corner, and carried the business of the old house with her.

In the early part of 1772, Robert Hull succeeded Richard Bolton and
continued in possession of the Province Arms some time after the British
army entered the city. In the fall of 1772, the two companies of the
Governor's Guards, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel John Harris
Cruger and Major William Walton, dressed in their very handsome uniforms,
paraded in the Fields, where they were reviewed. They were very much
admired for their handsome appearance, and received much applause from the
spectators for the regularity and exactness with which they went through
the exercises and evolutions. After the parade they spent the evening at
Hull's Tavern, where a suitable entertainment had been provided.

[Sidenote: Ball on the Governors Departure]

On the King's birthday, Friday, June 4, 1773, the governor gave an elegant
entertainment in the Fort, as was usual on such occasions, and, in the
evening, the city was illuminated. General Gage, who was about to sail for
England, celebrated the day by giving a grand dinner to a great number of
the merchants and military gentlemen of the city at Hull's Tavern. He had
been in command for ten years in America, and this dinner was made the
occasion of a flattering address presented to him by the Corporation of
the Chamber of Commerce of the City of New York. In February, 1774, a
grand dinner was given at Hull's Tavern by the members of his majesty's
council to the members of the assembly of the province, and the next month
the governor gave a dinner to both the gentlemen of the king's council and
the gentlemen of the general assembly at the same place. Shortly after
this, on Monday evening, April 4, there was a grand ball given in Hull's
assembly room at which there was "a most brilliant appearance of Ladies
and Gentlemen," the occasion being on account of the departure of the
governor and Mrs. Tryon for England. The different national societies held
their anniversary celebrations at Hull's Tavern. The Welsh celebrated St.
David's day, the Scotch St. Andrew's day, the Irish St. Patrick's day and
the English St. George's day.

By 1770, the obnoxious duties had been abolished on all articles except
tea, and soon after the non-importation agreements of the merchants of
Boston, New York and Philadelphia were discontinued, except as to tea, the
duty on which had been retained. The New York merchants seem to have been
the first to propose the discontinuance of the agreement. The Sons of
Liberty met at Hampden Hall to protest against it; the inhabitants of
Philadelphia presented their compliments to the inhabitants of New York,
in a card, and sarcastically begged they would send them their Old Liberty
Pole, as they imagined, by their late conduct, they could have no further
use for it; and the Connecticut tavern-keepers, it is said, posted the
names of the New York importers and determined that they would not
entertain them nor afford them the least aid or assistance in passing
through that government. Although Boston and Philadelphia were at first
very strongly opposed to any relaxation in the agreements, they soon
joined in terminating them; but the merchants and people alike determined
that no tea should be imported liable to duty. The captains of ships
sailing from London refused to carry tea as freight to American ports.

[Sidenote: The Tax on Tea]

On Friday morning, October 15, 1773, a printed handbill was distributed
through the town calling a meeting of the inhabitants at twelve o'clock
that day at the Coffee House to consult and agree on some manner of
expressing the thanks of the people to the captains of the London ships
trading with the port of New York and the merchants to whom they were
consigned, for their refusal to take from the East India Company, as
freight, tea on which a duty had been laid by parliament payable in
America. At this meeting an address was accordingly drawn up which was
unanimously approved by those present. In this address it was declared
that "Stamp Officers and Tea Commissioners will ever be held in equal
estimation."

For two or three years the political situation had been uneventful, but
early in the year 1773 it became apparent that an effort was about to be
made to bring the question of taxation to an issue. The East India
Company, acting as the instrument of the British parliament, arranged to
send cargoes of tea to the ports of Boston, Newport, New York,
Philadelphia and Charleston, at which places they appointed commissioners
for its sale.

[Sidenote: The Sons of Liberty Again Organize]

The times were portentous. The people realized that Great Britain was
about to test her power to tax the colonies by forcing the importation of
tea through the East India Company in order to establish a precedent, and
preparations were made to resist. The Sons of Liberty again organized in
November, 1773, and prepared for action. They drew up a number of
resolutions which expressed their sentiments and which they engaged to
faithfully observe. The first of these was, "that whoever should aid or
abet or in any manner assist in the introduction of Tea from any place
whatsoever into this Colony, while it is subject by a British act of
parliament to the payment of a duty for the purpose of raising a revenue
in America, he shall be deemed an enemy to the Liberties of America." On
the back of a printed copy of these resolutions was written a letter of
appeal, signed by the committee of the association, addressed to the
Friends of Liberty and Trade, inviting an union of all classes in a
determined resistance, and urging harmony.

At a meeting held at the City Hall on the 17th of December by the Sons of
Liberty to which all friends of liberty and trade of America were
invited, it was firmly resolved that the tea which was expected should not
be landed.

In Boston the consignee of the tea refusing to return it to England, the
vessels were boarded by a number of men disguised as Indians, the chests
of tea broken open and the contents cast overboard in the water. This
occurred on the 16th of December, 1773.

At a meeting held at the tavern of Captain Doran a committee was appointed
to wait on the merchants who had been appointed commissioners for the sale
of the East India Company's tea and ask their intentions. They replied to
the committee that, finding that the tea will come liable to American
duty, they have declined to receive it. Thomas Doran had been captain of a
small but fast sailing privateer, and did good service in the late French
war. He had since been keeping a tavern on the new dock near the Fly
Market. His house had been the usual place of meeting of the Marine
Society for many years. In May, 1774, notice was given that a committee of
the Chamber of Commerce would meet at the house of Thomas Doran to receive
claims for bounty on fish brought into the city markets. The assembly, in
1773, had granted the sum of five hundred pounds per annum for five years,
"for the encouragement of fishery on this coast for the better supplying
of the markets of this city with fish," to be paid to the treasurer of the
Chamber of Commerce, and the awarding of the premiums was entrusted to
that association. This was the first distribution of premiums.

[Sidenote: The Tea-Ship Arrives]

The tea-ship for New York, long overdue, was anxiously expected. In March,
1774, the Sons of Liberty were notified to meet every Thursday night at
seven o'clock at the house of Jasper Drake till the arrival and departure
of the tea-ship. The ships for the other ports had arrived at their
destinations and been disposed of. No tea had been allowed to be sold. The
ship Nancy, Captain Lockyer, with the tea for New York on board, driven
off the coast by contrary winds, did not reach the port until April 18th,
and the pilot, advised of the situation, refused to bring her up to the
city. The people had resolved that the tea should not be landed. The
captain was allowed to come up on condition that he would not enter his
vessel at the custom house. He was received by a committee of the Sons of
Liberty and conducted to the consignee, who, declining to receive his
cargo, he at once made preparation to return. On Friday, April 22,
handbills were distributed, stating that although the sense of the people
had been signified to Captain Lockyer, nevertheless it was the desire of
many of the citizens that, at his departure, he should see with his own
eyes their detestation of the measures pursued by the ministry and the
East India Company to enslave this country. Accordingly, on Saturday
morning, about eight o'clock, all the bells in the city rang as a notice
to the people that the tea which had been brought over in the Nancy was
about to be sent back without allowing it to be landed. About nine o'clock
the people assembled at the Coffee House in greater numbers than ever
before known, Captain Lockyer came out of the Coffee House with the
committee and was received with cheers, while a band provided for the
occasion played "God Save the King." He was then conducted to Murray's
Wharf, at the foot of Wall Street, where, amid the shouts of the people
and the firing of guns, he was put on board the pilot boat and wished a
safe passage. He joined his ship, the Nancy, at the Narrows, and the next
morning put to sea.

[Sidenote: Tea Thrown Overboard]

On Friday, amidst all the excitement, Captain Chambers, who from
information received from different sources was suspected of having tea on
board his ship, the London, arrived at the Hook. The pilot asked him if he
had any tea on board and he declared that he had none. Two of the
committee of observation went on board, to whom he declared that he had no
tea. When the ship came to the wharf about four o'clock in the afternoon
she was boarded by a number of citizens and Captain Chambers was told that
it was in vain for him to deny having tea on board his ship for there was
good proof to the contrary, whereupon he confessed that he had on board
eighteen chests. The owners of the vessel and the committee immediately
met at Francis' Tavern to deliberate over the matter where Captain
Chambers was ordered to attend. Here he stated that he was the sole owner
of the tea. The Mohawks were prepared to do their duty but the people
became impatient and about eight o'clock a number entered the ship, took
out the tea, broke open the chests and threw their contents into the
river. The resentment of the people was so great against Captain Chambers,
whom they had considered a friend of their rights and deserving of their
confidence, that it was thought that if he could have been found, his life
would have been in danger. He was, however, concealed and succeeded the
next day in getting on board the Nancy with Captain Lockyer and sailed
away to England.

The news of what had been done by the little tea-party in Boston Harbor,
December 16, 1773, reached England on the 22d of January, 1774, and
created intense excitement in London. On March 7 the King sent a special
message to parliament on the American disturbances and soon after a bill
was prepared providing for the closing of the port of Boston to all
commerce on June 1, at the King's pleasure, and ordering indemnification
to be made to the East India Company for the tea destroyed. This bill
passed both houses of parliament without a dissenting vote. The news of
its passage came to New York by the ship Samson, Captain Coupar, which
arrived May 12, twenty-seven days from London. By the same packet came
news that General Gage, commissioned governor of Massachusetts, had
engaged with four regiments to reduce Boston to submission and was to sail
for his government on April 15.

[Sidenote: Committee of Correspondence]

In consequence of the alarming news from England, a notice was posted at
the Merchants' Coffee House inviting the merchants to meet at the tavern
of Samuel Francis on Monday evening, the 16th, to consult on measures
proper to be taken. Accordingly, a large number of merchants and other
inhabitants appeared at the appointed place. The object was to appoint a
committee of correspondence. There appeared some differences of opinion as
to the number and composition of this committee, but the result was that
fifty names were nominated, fifteen of the number to be sufficient to do
business. To confirm the choice of this committee or to choose others, it
was resolved before adjournment that the inhabitants of the city should be
requested to meet at the Merchants' Coffee House on Thursday, the 19th, at
one o'clock.

[Sidenote: Paul Revere, the Post Rider]

In the interim Paul Revere, the famous post-rider and express, arrived on
the 17th with a message from the people of Boston, urging a cessation of
all trade with Great Britain and the West Indies until the port bill
should be repealed. In the evening of the same day there was a large
meeting of the mechanics at Bardin's Tavern. Bardin had come to the
neighborhood where he formerly lived and was keeping the house at one time
kept by John Jones in the Fields, and known after that as Hampden Hall.
The mechanics sided with the radical party.

At the meeting called at the Merchants' Coffee House the merchants
prevailed, as they had done at the previous meeting. The name of Francis
Lewis was added to the committee and it was known as the committee of
fifty-one. Gouverneur Morris, writing to Penn, said: "I stood on the
balcony and on my right hand were ranged all the people of property with
some few poor dependents, and on the other all the tradesmen, etc., who
thought it worth their while to leave daily labor for the good of the
country." There was some opposition to the committee named, but after the
meeting those who had opposed it, for the sake of union, sent in their
agreement to the choice. The mechanics also sent a letter to the committee
concurring in the selection.

[Sidenote: Answer to the Boston Letter]

The committee of fifty-one met at the Merchants' Coffee House on Monday
morning, the 23d, at ten o'clock for business, and after appointing a
chairman, secretary and doorkeeper, and agreeing upon sundry rules for the
conduct of business, the letters from Boston and Philadelphia were read.
A committee composed of Messrs. MacDougal, Low, Duane and Jay was
appointed to draw up an answer to the first and report at eight o'clock in
the evening, to which time the meeting adjourned. At the appointed time
the committee appointed to draw up an answer to the Boston letter made
report of a draft of such letter, which was unanimously agreed to and
ordered to be engrossed and forwarded with the utmost dispatch. On Tuesday
it was delivered to Paul Revere, the express from Boston, who had been as
far as Philadelphia and was now on his way back to Boston. He immediately
set out on his return. A copy was ordered to be transmitted to the
Committee of Correspondence of Philadelphia. "The letter proposed to the
people of Boston that a Congress of the colonies should be convoked
without delay to determine and direct the measures to be pursued for
relief of the town of Boston and the redress of all the American
grievances," a recommendation which was accepted and resulted in the
Congress which met at Philadelphia in September.

Monday evening, June 6, the Committee of Correspondence met and read and
answered the dispatches brought from Boston by the express rider,
Cornelius Bradford, and on Monday, the 13th, the New York Mercury stated
that they were to meet again that night, when, it was hoped, their
proceedings would be made public, saying "the times are critical and big
with interesting events." On Wednesday, June 15, the day on which the
harbor of Boston was closed by act of parliament, a great number of the
friends of American liberty in the city procured effigies of Governor
Hutchinson, Lord North and Mr. Wedderburn, persons who were considered
most unfriendly to the rights of America, and after carrying them through
the principal streets of the city took them to the Coffee House, "where
they were attended in the evening of that day, it is thought, by the
greatest concourse of spectators ever seen on a similar occasion, and
there destroyed by sulphurous Flames."

The Committee of Correspondence held their meetings at the Merchants'
Coffee House during the summer. It was the center of most of the political
agitation and unrest which pervaded the community. On the evening of
Wednesday, July 13, the committee met and drew up a set of resolutions on
the alarming situation of affairs, which were printed in handbills and
distributed about the town the next morning, for the approbation of the
people who were to assemble at the Coffee House at twelve o'clock on the
19th to approve or disapprove of them. It had been settled that there
should be a Congress of the colonies, to meet at Philadelphia in
September, and the people were at the same time to testify their
approbation of the five gentlemen nominated by the committee to attend as
delegates. These were James Duane, Philip Livingston, John Alsop, Isaac
Low and John Jay. There was so much controversy that the men nominated
declined to accept the trust until confirmed by the people. Accordingly,
on the 24th an election was ordered in the ordinary manner by a poll in
the several wards which was held on the 28th, resulting in the unanimous
choice of the five gentlemen above named as delegates.

[Sidenote: Delegates to Congress]

About the first of September there was much excitement on account of the
departure of the delegates for Philadelphia and the arrival of delegates
from the New England colonies, passing through the city. On Monday, the
29th of August, John Jay quietly set out for Philadelphia to attend the
congress, and on Thursday, September 1st, the four other delegates left
the city for the same laudable purpose. Isaac Low, accompanied by his
wife, who wished to go by way of Paulus Hook, was escorted to the ferry
stairs at the foot of Cortlandt Street by a large number of citizens, with
colors flying, and with music. A few accompanied him over the river with
musicians playing "God Save the King." The people then returned to the
Coffee House in order to testify the same respect for the other three
delegates, James Duane, John Alsop and Philip Livingston. The procession
began about half past nine o'clock. When they arrived at the Royal
Exchange, near which they embarked, James Duane, in a short speech,
thanked the people for the honor they had conferred upon them and declared
for himself and for his fellow delegates "that nothing in their Power
should be wanting to relieve this once happy but now aggrieved Country."
As they left the wharf, "they were saluted by several Pieces of Cannon,
mounted for the occasion, which was answered by a greater Number from St.
George's Ferry. These Testimonials and three Huzzas bid them go and
proclaim to all Nations that they, and the virtuous People they represent,
dare _defend their Rights as Protestant Englishmen_."

The Massachusetts delegates, Thomas Cushing, Samuel Adams, Robert Treat
Paine and John Adams, set out on their journey from Boston in one coach on
the 10th of August and arrived in New York on the 20th. John Adams, in his
diary, says: "We breakfasted at Day's and arrived in the city of New York
at ten o'clock, at Hull's, a tavern, the sign of the Bunch of Grapes." The
arms of the province on the old sign must have been pretty well
weatherbeaten to have been taken for a bunch of grapes. The best tavern in
Boston and the best tavern in Hartford each hung out this sign and Adams
was thus easily led into an error.

[Sidenote: The Congress at Philadelphia]

The congress at Philadelphia passed a non-exportation act to take effect
on September 15, and a non-importation act to be put in force on December
1. A committee of observation or inspection was appointed in New York city
to secure the strict observance of these acts. In the spring of 1775
deputies were elected in New York to a provincial congress which met on
April 20, and the next day appointed delegates to represent the province
in the Continental Congress which was to assemble at Philadelphia in the
following May. News of the battle of Lexington, forwarded by express
riders from Watertown, Massachusetts, reached the chambers of the New York
committee of correspondence at four o'clock in the afternoon of Sunday,
April 23. It was war. The news reached Williamsburg, Virginia, on April
28, and on the next day Alexander Purdie published it in an extra of his
Gazette. In commenting on the situation his closing words were: "The sword
is now drawn and God knows when it will be sheathed."



IX

THE PROVINCE ARMS


[Sidenote: Great Excitement in the City]

In the early part of the year 1775 a state of uneasiness and expectancy
pervaded the community. Trade was prostrate. The merchants met at the
Exchange or at the Coffee House and nervously talked over the situation,
for which there seemed to be no remedy; while they looked out on the quiet
docks, now almost deserted. They were calmly waiting for something to
happen, and it came in the news of the battle of Lexington. This was the
crisis which produced a decided change in conditions. The dissatisfied
people now showed that they had lost all respect for English rule.
Companies of armed citizens paraded the streets aimlessly, and there was
great excitement everywhere. The regular soldiers in garrison prudently
confined themselves to their barracks. The machinery of government was out
of joint and it was very soon apparent that something should be done to
maintain order and form some regular plan of government.

A meeting was called at the Merchants' Coffee House when it was agreed
that the government of the city should be placed in the hands of a
committee. Isaac Low, chairman of the committee of observation, issued a
notice stating that the committee were unanimously of opinion that a new
committee should be elected by the freeholders and freemen for the present
unhappy exigency of affairs, to consist of one hundred persons,
thirty-three to be a quorum. It was also recommended that they should at
the same time choose deputies to represent them in a provincial congress
which it was considered highly advisable should be summoned. A committee
such as was recommended was chosen May 1, and, at the same time,
twenty-one deputies for the city and county of New York, to meet the
deputies of the other counties in provincial congress May 22.

The excitement had in no wise abated when the eastern delegates to
congress entered the city, Saturday, May 6, on their way to Philadelphia
and were received with the greatest enthusiasm. They were met a few miles
out of town by a great number of the principal gentlemen of the place and
escorted into the city by near a thousand men under arms. John Adams, in
his diary, says that from Kingsbridge the number of people continually
increased, until he thought the whole city had come out to meet them. The
roads, it is said, were lined with greater numbers of people than were
known on any occasion before. All the bells of the city rang out a
welcome. They were conducted to the tavern of Sam Francis, where they
lodged, and a newspaper states that double sentries were placed at the
doors of their lodgings, for what special purpose we are not informed,
probably simply to keep the crowd in check and maintain order.

The British soldiers garrisoned in the city were powerless to maintain the
authority of the crown and were ordered to join the troops at Boston.
There were some who advised that they should be made prisoners. The
committee, however, agreed to let them depart with their arms and
accoutrements without molestation. They accordingly marched out from the
barracks to embark about ten o'clock on the morning of June 6, 1775. At
the time there were at the tavern of Jasper Drake, in Water Street near
Beekman Slip, a place well known as a rendezvous of the Liberty Boys and
those opposed to the British measures, about half a dozen men, when word
came to them that the British soldiers were leaving the barracks to embark
and were taking with them several carts loaded with chests filled with
arms.

[Sidenote: Transfer of Arms Stopped]

They immediately decided that these arms should not be taken from the
city. One of the men was Marinus Willett, and what he did that day has
become a landmark in the history of the city. They started out on
different routes to notify their friends and obtain assistance. Willett
went down Water Street to the Coffee House where he notified those who
were there of what was to be done and then proceeded down to the Exchange
at the foot of Broad Street. When he saw the troops and the carts laden
with arms approaching he went up to meet them, and not hesitating a
moment, seized the horse drawing the leading cart by the bridle, which
caused a halt and brought the officer in command to the front. The crowd
that immediately collected, including the mayor, gave Willett little
support, but soon John Morin Scott came to his assistance, asserting that
the committee had given no permission for the removal of the arms. The
result was that the soldiers made no resistance to the seizure of the arms
and quietly embarked without them. These arms were used by the first
troops raised in New York under the orders of Congress.

[Illustration: MARINUS WILLETT STOPPING THE TRANSFER OF ARMS]

[Sidenote: The Coffee House]

Nesbitt Deane, the hatter, whose shop was in the old Coffee House
building, advertised in 1775, to let the two or three upper stories of the
house, "being noted for a Notary Public's office these two years past,"
which he further describes "as being so pleasantly situated that a person
can see at once the river, shipping, Long Island and all the gentlemen
resorting to the House on business from the most distant climes." Although
the Coffee House was generally the resort of strangers as well as
citizens, yet, in 1775, on account of the stagnation of business caused by
the cessation of all trade with Great Britain, it was almost deserted.
This is made plain by an article which appeared in the New York Journal of
October 19; and as this has some interesting statements about coffee
houses in general and about the Merchants' Coffee House in particular, we
have thought it well to reproduce it entirely.

    "TO THE INHABITANTS OF NEW YORK:

    "It gives me concern, in this time of public difficulty and danger, to
    find we have in this city no place of daily general meeting, where we
    might hear and communicate intelligence from every quarter and freely
    confer with one another on every matter that concerns us. Such a place
    of general meeting is of very great advantage in many respects,
    especially at such a time as this, besides the satisfaction it affords
    and the sociable disposition it has a tendency to keep up among us,
    which was never more wanted than at this time. To answer all these and
    many other good and useful purposes, Coffee Houses have been
    universally deemed the most convenient places of resort, because at a
    small expense of time or money, persons wanted may be found and spoke
    with, appointments may be made, current news heard, and whatever it
    most concerns us to know. In all cities, therefore, and large towns
    that I have seen in the British dominions, sufficient encouragement
    has been given to support one or more Coffee Houses in a genteel
    manner. How comes it then that New York, the most central, and one of
    the largest and most prosperous cities in British America, cannot
    support one Coffee House? It is a scandal to the city and its
    inhabitants to be destitute of such a convenience, for want of due
    encouragement. A coffee house, indeed, here is! a very good and
    comfortable one, extremely well tended and accommodated, but it is
    frequented but by an inconsiderable number of people; and I have
    observed with surprise, that but a small part of those who do frequent
    it, contribute anything at all to the expense, of it, but come in and
    go out without calling for or paying anything to the house. In all the
    Coffee Houses in London, it is customary for every one that comes in,
    to call for at least a dish of Coffee, or leave the value of one,
    which is but reasonable, because when the keepers of these houses have
    been at the expense of setting them up and providing all necessaries
    for the accommodation of company, every one that comes to receive the
    benefit of these conveniences ought to contribute something towards
    the expense of them.

    "To each individual the expense is a trifle quite inconsiderable, but
    to the keeper of one of these houses it is an article of great
    importance, and essential to the support and continuance of it. I
    have, therefore, since I frequented the Coffee House in this city and
    observed the numbers that come in without spending anything, often
    wondered how the expense of the house was supported, or what
    inducement the person who kept it could have to continue it. At the
    same time I could not help being equally surprised at the disposition
    of people who acted in this manner; or their thoughtlessness in
    neglecting to contribute to the support of a house which their
    business or pleasure induced them to frequent; especially as I have
    met with no Coffee House in my travels better accommodated with
    attendance or any liquors that could be expected in a Coffee House.

    "I have of late observed that the house is almost deserted, and don't
    wonder that fire and candles are not lighted as usual; it is rather
    surprising they were continued so long. I am convinced the interest of
    the person who keeps it, must, without a speedy alteration, soon
    induce her to drop the business and shut up her house; and I cannot
    help feeling concern that a very useful and worthy person, who has
    always behaved well in her station, should not be treated with more
    generosity and kindness by her fellow citizens. I am concerned, too,
    for my own conveniency and for the honor of the city, to find that it
    will not support one Coffee House.

    "A FRIEND TO THE CITY."

When the American army came into the city to prepare for its defense Mrs.
Ferrari was still the landlady of the Merchants' Coffee House, but on May
1, 1776, it passed into the hands of Cornelius Bradford, who seems to have
been a man of energy and enterprise. In his announcement in April he
promised that he would endeavor to give satisfaction, that he would obtain
all the newspapers for the use of his patrons and render the house as
useful and convenient as possible. He says: "Interesting intelligence will
be carefully collected and the greatest attention will be given to the
arrival of vessels, when trade and navigation shall resume their former
channels." He evidently was hopeful of better times, although preparations
for war were being made around him on all sides. Bradford was an ardent
supporter of the American cause and had been an express rider, carrying
important confidential messages between New York and Boston and between
New York and Philadelphia. His tenure of the Merchants' Coffee House at
this time was of short duration. He abandoned his house and went out of
the city with the American troops, but returned and took possession of it
again as its landlord at the close of the war.

[Sidenote: Flight from the City]

The year 1776 was a sad one for New York. Before the first of July great
numbers of the inhabitants, dreading the impending conflict, had left the
city to place their families in security. Many loyalists had left to avoid
military service. A letter written in the city July 30, 1776, says: "You
would be surprised to see what numbers of empty houses there are in this
place. Very few of the inhabitants remain in town that are not engaged in
the service." Another by a physician, under date of August 9, says: "The
air of the whole city seems infected. In almost every street there is a
horrid smell--But, duty to my country, and another consideration, require
that I should not quit my post at this juncture." A British document,
relating to the commissary department during the war, makes the statement
that nineteen-twentieths of the inhabitants with their families and
effects had left the city before the entry of the British troops. Added to
the calamity of war was a devastating fire which destroyed a large part
of the city shortly after the British took possession.

After the occupation of the city by the British troops, the Merchants'
Coffee House evidently soon became a favorite resort of the officers of
the army. When Captain Alexander Graydon, made prisoner at the battle of
Fort Washington, was allowed the freedom of the city within certain
limits, on his parole, he one day saw in the newspaper printed by Hugh
Gaine something which stirred him with a great desire to write a squib
addressed "to the officers of the British army," which he and Lieutenant
Edwards, his fellow prisoner, agreed to endeavor to have placed in some
conspicuous part of the Coffee House. For the small reward of a quarter of
a dollar, a black boy succeeded in placing it in one of the boxes. Captain
Davenport, whom Graydon characterizes as certainly a voluntary captive, if
not a deserter, called upon them on the following evening and said to
them: "You are a couple of pretty fellows. You have made a devil of an
uproar at the Coffee House." Graydon and Edwards admitted nothing, for
they knew if detected they would get lodgings in the provost prison.
Captain Davenport was an Irishman who had joined the same regiment as
Graydon as a lieutenant, afterwards becoming captain. After the retreat
from Long Island he remained, Graydon says, in New York, sick or
pretending to be sick, and stayed there until the British look possession
of it. He called himself a prisoner but there was little doubt that he had
renounced our cause and made his peace with the enemy. He states that as
they had no absolute certainty of his baseness they did not think it
necessary to discard him, for, as he frequented the Coffee House, mixed
with the British officers and tories, they often received intelligence
through him that they could get in no other way. Another officer of the
American army who seemed to have made his peace with the enemy, although
he called himself a prisoner, was Colonel Houssacker. He claimed that all
was over, and in his conversation with the officers held as prisoners his
inference was that they should immediately make their peace. He said to
some of them: "Why don't you go to the Coffee House and mix with the
British army as I do? They will use you well;" but he made no proselytes
to his opinions or principles. Graydon describes him as "a man of no
country or any country, a citizen of the world, a soldier of fortune and a
true mercenary."

When Graydon came into possession of his trunk which had been among the
baggage captured at Fort Washington, stipulated for in its surrender, he
dressed himself in a good suit of regimentals and hat, and against the
advice of older officers, sallied forth alone and walked past the Coffee
House down to the Battery. Finding the gate open, he strolled through it
from one end to the other, every sentinel, to his great surprise,
"handling his arms" to him as he passed. Making a considerable circuit in
another part of the town, he regained his lodgings without the slightest
molestation. He afterwards learned from Mr. Theophylact Bache that he saw
him pass the Coffee House, and that he and some other gentlemen had to
exert themselves to prevent his being insulted.

[Sidenote: The Duel at Hull's]

Hull did not abandon his house as some of the tavern-keepers did who were
more patriotic, but held his post as keeper of the Province Arms, and his
tavern soon became the resort of the British officers. It escaped the
great fire which destroyed a large part of the city, including Trinity
Church, near by. In September, 1777, a desperate duel took place in one of
the rooms of Hull's Tavern. This was the encounter between Captain
Tollemache, of his majesty's ship Zebra, and Captain Pennington, of the
Guards, who came passenger in the Zebra. They fought with swords. The next
day the body of Tollemache was placed under the cold sod of Trinity
Churchyard, and Pennington was struggling for life, having received seven
wounds. He survived.

The next spring, 1778, Hull gave up the Province Arms and it was rented by
the attorney of Captain John Peter De Lancey, the owner, to a Mr. Hicks,
during whose management of the house it was the scene of much activity.

[Sidenote: The King's Head Popular]

In March, 1777, the well known tavern on the Dock near the Fly Market,
which had for many years been kept by Captain Thomas Doran, the usual
meeting place of the Marine Society, was taken by Loosley and Elms, who
called it The King's Head. Charles Loosley and Thomas Elms, when the war
broke out, were paper makers in New York City. Called on to serve in the
militia, they petitioned the Provincial Congress of New York for relief,
pleading that they were engaged in a very useful occupation or business,
which would be ruined if they were called away from its supervision. They
stated that they had been subjected to several fines, which they had paid,
and were still, according to the rules and orders, liable to the penalty
of being advertised and held up as enemies of the country, though they had
ever been hearty friends to it and were constantly laboring to the utmost
of their abilities to promote its interests by carrying on and perfecting
a most useful manufactory to supply the country with an important and
absolutely necessary article. Another petition was sent in August to the
convention of representatives of the State of New York, in session at
Harlem, by Charles Loosley, Thomas Elms and John Holt, the printer,
praying that an immediate order be issued to prevent the paper-makers from
being compelled or permitted to go upon military service, as the paper
they were making was the only supply to every department of business in
the state, which, without it, would be laid under the most distressing
difficulties. Loosley and Elms remained in the city, and becoming
landlords of the King's Head, showed themselves the most pronounced
loyalists and tried in every way to please the British officers. Their
house became a favorite and they were very successful in their business.
The officers of the army and navy and those connected with the service
were the best customers of the taverns, and the tavern-keepers did
everything they could to gain their favor. No tavern-keeper could do
business if not loyal to the crown of England, in appearance, at least.

James Rivington, whose press and type had been destroyed by some of the
most radical of the Americans in November, 1775, on account of articles
published in his paper, and the type, it is said, ultimately run into
bullets, fled to England. Procuring a new outfit, he returned to New York,
where the loyalists had the pleasure of welcoming him in September, 1777.
On this occasion the King's Head Tavern of Loosley and Elms "was elegantly
illuminated, to testify the joy of the true 'Sons of Freedom'." Rivington
repaid Loosley and Elms for their kindness by a laudatory puff,
contributed to his paper, which he soon re-established under the name of
the Royal Gazette. It appeared in the issue of January 24, 1778. It was "a
description of the grand and elegant illumination of the King's Head
Tavern in honor of her Majesty's birthday," stating that "it is the desire
of the public, as Messrs. Loosley and Elms have ever shown their
attachment to the British Government, and a detestation of the present
rebellion, that, through the channel of your much-esteemed paper, their
conduct may be known and approved of in Europe, as well as by the
loyalists of New York. The tavern was illuminated with upwards of two
hundred wax-lights." A lengthy description was given of the
transparencies; the royal arms being in the center, one of these was a
view of the reduction of Fort Mud; another, the Congress, with the devil
at the president's elbow telling him to persevere. "The Statue of Mr. Pitt
without its head was placed near the Congress, as being one of their
kidney, and gave a hint of what ought, long ago, to have been done. The
verses over the tavern door were very proper on the occasion, and well
illuminated. Much is due to Messrs. Loosley and Elms for their patriotic
spirit, which meets the approbation of every man who is a friend to his
king and country."

Loosley and Elms gave notice in October, 1779, that the anniversary of
Saint George's day would be celebrated at their house, the King's Head
Tavern, on Friday, the 23d of that month, by a dinner, which would be
served at precisely three o'clock in the afternoon. They promised that a
good band of music would be provided for the occasion. One of the
attractions of the house in 1779 was a billiard table.

[Sidenote: The Theatre Royal]

While the British army occupied New York the town, at times, was very gay.
The John Street Theatre, which had been closed as injuriously affecting
the morals of the country, was reopened in January, 1777, as the Theatre
Royal by the Garrison Dramatic Club, composed of some of the brightest men
in the British army, who managed the theatre and took parts in the
performances, the proceeds from which were devoted to the care of the
widows and orphans of soldiers. The orchestra was very good, being
composed of volunteers from the regimental bands. It is said that the
gross receipts of the club in one year amounted to nine thousand, five
hundred pounds.

During the winter of 1777-1778 the British made the staid city of
Philadelphia also very gay. The grand fete called Meschianza was the
climax of their efforts and was a great success. When, in the summer of
1778, they left Philadelphia and came to New York, they added much to the
gaiety of this city. The unfortunate Major André had taken a prominent
part in the Meschianza and also became very active in New York in
promoting every kind of social and dramatic entertainment.

Smith's Tavern, in Water Street between the Coffee House and the Fly
Market, opposite Commissioner Loring's house, was a public house that
enjoyed much popularity. Ephraim Smith had kept tavern in Philadelphia and
states that he had been assistant to the managers of the Meschianza, and
that he had opened his tavern at the desire of many gentlemen of the royal
army and navy. He had followed the British troops from Philadelphia to New
York.

[Sidenote: The Ferry House Tavern]

For some years previous to the Battle of Brooklyn, Adolph Waldron had been
the landlord of the ferry house on the Long Island side of the East River,
which had been noted as a tavern for many years. The city of New York had
renewed the lease to him of the ferry-house, the barns and cattle pen on
May 1, 1776, for two years. The tavern was a large stone building about
sixty feet square and two stories high and was known as the Corporation
House from its being owned by the corporation of the city of New York. It
was the successor of the ferry-house erected in 1746, and which was burned
down in 1748, supposed by the people of Brooklyn, who were engaged in
bitter litigation with the corporation of New York concerning ferry
rights.

Waldron was a staunch Whig, and had in September, 1775, called a meeting
of citizens at his house for the purpose of forming a military company for
defense. He was chosen captain of the troop of horse which the assembled
citizens voted should be organized. He proved to be a good and efficient
officer and, with his troop of light horse, was employed in guarding the
eastern coast of Long Island until relieved by Colonel Hand's regiment of
riflemen. He, of course, was compelled to abandon his tavern, which, in
1779, appears to have been in the hands of Captain Benson.

[Sidenote: Horse Racing and Fox Hunting]

In May, 1779, Loosley and Elms saw an opportunity for a larger field of
operation, so, giving up the tavern on Brownjohn's Wharf, near the Fly
Market, they took down their sign of the King's Head and carried it over
the river to Brooklyn, where they established themselves in the old ferry
house, succeeding Captain Benson. Large numbers of British troops were
encamped in Brooklyn and vicinity and Loosley and Elms endeavored to get
the patronage of the army officers. They furnished the house in a superior
manner and kept it in a way that attracted great attention. They succeeded
so well in pleasing their military friends and patrons that their house
became a resort for the officers of the army and also for the fashionable
people of the city as a place of amusement. They got up bull baitings,
horse races, fox hunts and other amusements. They generally prefaced their
announcements of these affairs with the motto "Pro Bono Publico," and
sometimes closed with the warnings that rebels should not approach nearer
than a specified spot. Cricket matches were gotten up, and the game of
golf was indulged in. Rivington, the printer, could furnish "clubs for
playing golf and the veritable Caledonian Balls."

[Sidenote: Bull-Baiting]

Loosley and Elms having brought over their old sign from New York, hung it
out and the tavern was renamed the King's Head. It was also sometimes
called Brooklyn Hall. They gave notice that they had purchased chaises,
chairs, sulkies and able horses and were prepared to furnish carriages and
horses to go to any part of Long Island. A cricket match was played here
on Monday, September 27, 1779, between the Brooklyn and Greenwich clubs
for fifty guineas. On Monday, July 3, 1780, Loosley and Elms gave notice
that on Thursday next there would be a bull-baiting at Brooklyn ferry.
They say: "The bull is remarkably strong and active; the best dogs in the
country expected, and they that afford the best diversion will be rewarded
with silver collars." The next year Elms having retired from the business,
Charles Loosley gave notice that, "This day, being Wednesday, the 20th of
June, will be exhibited at Brooklyn Ferry a Bull-Baiting after the true
English manner. Taurus will be brought to the ring at half-past three
o'clock; some good dogs are already provided, but every assistance of that
sort will be esteemed a favor. A dinner exactly British will be upon
Loosley's table at eleven o'clock, after which there is no doubt but that
the song, 'Oh! the Roast Beef of Old England!' will be sung with harmony
and glee." On September 20, 1780, notice was given that the "anniversary
of the Coronation of our ever good and gracious King will be celebrated at
Loosley's 22 inst. It is expected that no rebels will approach nearer than
Flatbush wood."

While the British occupied Brooklyn horse-races were more or less
regularly held on the old course around Beaver Pond near Jamaica, at New
Lots and at Flatlands, not far from the ferry. They were largely attended
by the army officers and the people of New York, who crossed the ferry
and, no doubt, added greatly to the profits of the King's Head.
Bull-baiting was a cruel sport, but there were others that would hardly be
tolerated at the present day, the principal object being, no doubt, to
amuse and entertain the army officers. The Royal Gazette of November 4,
1780, announced three days' sport at Ascot Heath, formerly Flatlands
Plains. On the second day the first event was a ladies' subscription purse
of £50; the second a race by women--quarter-mile heats--best two in three;
the first to get a Holland smock and chintz gown, full-trimmed, of four
guineas value, the second a guinea and the third a half-guinea. "If
stormy, posponed--when notice will be given by Mr. Loosley's Union Flag
being displayed by 7 o'clock in the morning. Gentlemen fond of fox-hunting
will meet at Loosley's King's Head Tavern at day-break during the races.

"God Save the King played every hour."

The Royal Gazette of August 8, 1781, contains the following advertisement:
"Pro Bono Publico,--Gentlemen that are fond of fox-hunting are requested
to meet at Loosley's Tavern, on Ascot Heath, on Friday morning next,
between the hours of five and six, as a pack of hounds will be there
purposely for a trial of their abilities. Breakfasting and Relishes until
the Races commence. At eleven o'clock will be run for, an elegant saddle,
etc., value at least twenty pounds, for which upwards of twelve gentlemen
will ride their own horses. At twelve a match will be rode by two
gentlemen. Horse for Horse. At one, a match for thirty guineas, by two
gentlemen, who will also ride their own horses. Dinner will be ready at
two o'clock, after which and suitable regalements, racing and other
diversions will be calculated to conclude the day with pleasure and
harmony. Brooklyn Hall 6th August, 1781."

Again in November: "Brooklyn Hunt.--The hounds will throw off at Denyse
Ferry at 9, Thursday morning. A guinea or more will be given for a good
strong bag fox by Charles Loosley." In April, 1782, "A sweepstakes of 300
guineas was won by Jacob Jackson's mare, Slow and Easy, over Mercury and
Goldfinder, on Ascot Heath."

Loosley was evidently making it very lively and entertaining for his
patrons, who seem to have been interested in such sports as were popular
in England. Lieutenant Anbury, writing to a friend in England under date
of October 30, 1781, refers thus to Loosley's King's Head Tavern: "On
crossing the East River from New York, you land at Brooklyn, which is a
scattered village, consisting of a few houses. At this place is an
excellent tavern, where parties are made to go and eat fish; the landlord
of which has saved an immense fortune during this war." Although Loosley
was supposed to be doing a profitable business, it seems that such was not
the case, for, in the latter part of the year 1782, notice was given that
the furniture, etc., of Brooklyn Hall would be offered at public auction
for the _benefit of the creditors_ of Charles Loosley. Among the articles
mentioned, which indicate that the house was pretty nicely furnished, are
mahogany bedsteads; chintz and other curtains; mahogany drawers; dining,
tea and card tables; an elegant clock in mahogany case; _a curious
collection of well chosen paintings and pictures_; large pier and other
looking-glasses, in gilt and plain frames; table and tea sets of china,
plate, etc.; _a capital well-toned organ_, made by one of the best hands
in London; _a billiard table_ in thorough repair; wagons, horses, cows,
etc.; "and several hundred transparent and tin lamps, _fit for
illuminations_." Loosley had been a great illuminator, but his days for
illuminations were now over. He went out with other loyalists to Nova
Scotia, where a few years later he was keeping a tavern.

[Sidenote: Activity at the Merchants' Coffee House]

In 1779 sales of prizes and merchandise were quite numerous at the
Merchants' Coffee House, indicating that it was a place of great activity.
Its importance is further indicated by a notice in the newspaper by a
person who wishes to hire a small dwelling, _not too far from the Coffee
House_. In a proclamation issued March 6, 1779, Governor Tryon states that
since September 18th last, the value of prizes brought into the port of
New York amounted to above six hundred thousand (600,000) pounds. The New
York Mercury states that in about this period one hundred and sixty-five
(165) prizes were brought in, and a great deal of this was sold at the
Coffee House. This same year, encouraged by the governor and the military
commandant, the members of the Chamber of Commerce, who were in the city,
met in the upper long room of the Merchants' Coffee House, and resumed
their sessions, which had been suspended since 1775. They hired the room
from Mrs. Smith, the landlady, at the rate of fifty pounds per annum and
continued to meet here until the close of the war.

In the spring of 1781 William Brownjohn, the owner of the Merchants'
Coffee House, offered it to let, asking for written proposals. It was
taken by John Strachan, who had succeeded Loosley and Elms in the old
tavern on Brownjohn's Wharf, which he had kept for two years as the
Queen's Head. He had opened in it an ordinary and gave turtle dinners and
in a measure maintained its popularity. The Marine Society met here while
he was its landlord, as it had done before the war. When Strachan went
into the Coffee House he promised "to pay attention not only as a Coffee
House but as a Tavern in the truest sense; and to distinguish the same as
the City Tavern and Coffee House, with constant and best attendance.
Breakfast from seven to eleven. Soups and relishes from eleven to
half-past one. Tea, coffee, etc., in the afternoon as in England." He hung
up letter-bags for letters to go out to England by the men-of-war,
charging sixpence for each letter. This raised such a storm of protest
that he was compelled to apologize in the public prints and to refund what
he had received, which is said to have amounted to nineteen pounds (£19).
He continued in the Coffee House until the return of peace. It seems to
have been the meeting place of fraternal societies, but the cessasion of
hostilities during the year 1783, the preparations for evacuating the city
and the uncertainties of the future made times dull and Strachan issued an
earnest appeal to those in his debt to come forward and settle their
accounts.

[Sidenote: Refugee Club]

Besides the army, the population of New York had increased in numbers by
returning loyalists and by refugees from all parts, who had come in
through the lines. There was a Refugee Club, the members of which had a
dinner at Hicks' Tavern, the Province Arms, on June 1, 1779, at which
William Franklin, son of Benjamin Franklin, and the last royal governor of
New Jersey, presided. The refugees of the province of New York met, in
August, 1779, at the tavern of John Amory, in the Fields, formerly the
house of Abraham De La Montagnie and kept just before the war by his
widow. This place seemed to be their headquarters. There was an
organization known as the Board of Refugees, which issued a notice under
date of November 27, 1779, signed by Anthony G. Stewart, President, and J.
Hepburn, Secretary, stating that "the Representatives of the Loyal
Refugees from the several Provinces now in rebellion are earnestly
requested to give their attendance at the Coffee House on Tuesday evening
at 5 o'clock." The New York refugees had doubtless appointed men to
represent them in this board, for, on October 18, 1779, notice was given
that "those gentlemen that were appointed to represent the Loyal Refugees
of the Province of New York are requested to meet on Wednesday Morning
next at 10 o'clock at the House commonly called La Montague's, now Mr.
Amory's." The refugees from the province of Massachusetts Bay were
requested to meet at Strachan's Tavern, the Queen's Head, on Friday,
December 24, 1779, at six o'clock, when, it was promised, their committee
would lay before them sundry matters of importance for their
consideration. Many of the refugees were destitute and lotteries were
gotten up for their benefit.

[Sidenote: Gaiety at the Province Arms]

The center of the gaiety of the city and the great resort of the army
officers was the Province Arms Tavern. In 1779 the walk by the ruins of
Trinity Church and the churchyard was railed in and the railing painted
green. Lamps were affixed to the trees, and benches were placed in
convenient places, so that ladies and gentlemen could walk and sit there
in the evening. When the commander was present, a band played, and a
sentry was placed there, so that the common people might not intrude. On
the opposite side of Broadway was a house for the accommodation of ladies
and wives of officers, "while," it was said, "many honest people, both of
the inhabitants and refugees, cannot get a house or lodging to live in, or
get their living."

[Sidenote: A Grand Ball]

On Tuesday, January 18, 1780, the anniversary of the Queen's birthday was
celebrated "with uncommon splendor and magnificance." Governor Tryon gave
a public dinner to General Knyphausen, Major General Phillips, Baron
Riedesel, commander of the troops of his Serene Highness the Duke of
Brunswick, Major General Pattison, commandant of the city and the other
general officers of the garrison. At noon a royal salute was fired from
Fort George and repeated by his Majesty's ships of war at one o'clock. In
the evening the Generals were present at the most elegant ball and
entertainment ever known on this side of the Atlantic, given at the
Province Arms by the general, field and staff officers of the army, to the
garrison and principal ladies and gentlemen of the city. The Royal Gazette
stated that "the Public Rooms were on this occasion entirely newpainted
and decorated in a Stile which reflects Honor on the Taste of the
Managers. A Doric pediment was erected near the principal Entrance
enclosing a transparent Painting of their Majesties at full length, in
their Royal Robes, over which was an emblematical Piece, encircled with
the motto of

Britons, Strike Home.

The whole illuminated with a beautiful variety of different colored Lamps.
The Ball was opened at Eight o'clock by the Baroness De Riedesel and Major
General Pattison, Commandant of the City and Garrison. Country dances
commenced at half past Nine, and at Twelve the Company adjourned to
Supper, prepared in the two Long Rooms. The Tables exhibited a most
delightful appearance, being ornamented with Parterres and Arbours,
displaying an elegant Assemblage of natural and artificial Flowers, China
Images, etc. The Company retired about three in the Morning, highly
satisfied with the Evening's Entertainment." The ball is said to have cost
over two thousand (2,000) guineas, and the supper "consisted of three
hundred and eighty dishes besides the ornamental appendages." Some of the
wealthiest families of New York had remained loyal to the crown, and there
was, no doubt, a sufficient number of ladies of these families in the city
to make a ballroom very gay. The officers of the army, arrayed in all the
splendor of gold lace and brilliant uniform, added their share to the
magnificent scene.

[Illustration: de Riedesel née de Masjeur]

In the spring of 1780 General Pattison, the commandant of the city, in the
most arbitrary and cruel manner and without consulting the owner, at the
request of Mr. Commissioner Loring, turned Hicks out of the Province Arms,
and substituted in his place one Roubalet, a dependent and servant of the
commissioner. According to Jones, Loring obtained his influence through
his wife, who was playing the part of Cleopatra to Sir Henry Clinton's
Antony. Hicks applied to General Clinton and to Governor Robertson for
redress and received fair words, but nothing more. When Pattison sailed
for England he followed him, with the intention of bringing suit in an
English court, but died on the passage.

[Sidenote: The King's Birthday]

The King's birthday, the 4th of June, was celebrated on Monday, June 5,
1780. At night there were fireworks on Long Island, and in the city there
were great festivities. Previous to this the walk by the church yard had
been widened so that the posts had to be sunk into the graves. The
orchestra from the play house were seated against the walls of the church,
and opposite this was erected another place for musicians, probably for
the military band.

The Dancing Assembly held their meetings at the Province Arms; those
during the winter of 1779-80 were held on Wednesdays. There was also a
Card Assembly which met at the Province Arms where they had their Card
Rooms. It was the temporary home of many of the British officers. Here
Benedict Arnold lived for a time, and it was from this place that Sergeant
Champe planned to abduct him.

[Sidenote: Attempt to Capture Arnold]

After the treason of Benedict Arnold and the capture of Major André,
General Washington was anxious to gain positive information as to whether
there was any other officers involved, as was by some suspected, and also
if possible, to get possession of the person of Arnold. To carry out this
delicate and dangerous enterprise he needed the services of a man who
would be willing to enter the British lines as a deserter and do the work
desired. Major Lee, who was to have charge of the undertaking, picked out
among the men of his command, Sergeant Major Champe, of Loudoun County,
Virginia, full of courage and perseverance, who was, at first, very
reluctant to undertake the task, but this reluctance being overcome,
entered into the project with the greatest enthusiasm. Major Lee and his
men were in the neighborhood of Tappan and it was not easy to get beyond
the American lines, for patrols were numerous, and the whole neighborhood
to the south was covered by scouts.

[Illustration: ESCAPE OF SERGEANT CHAMPE]

To make this desertion appear genuine, Champe could receive no noticeable
assistance, Major Lee only promising, in case his departure should be soon
discovered, to delay pursuit as long as possible. This he did, but pursuit
was made after Champe had been on his way about an hour, a few minutes
after twelve o'clock. A little after break of day, the pursuing party
caught sight of Champe in the distance. Once or twice they lost track of
him. Champe, finding himself hard pressed, resolved to flee to the
British galleys lying in Newark Bay, and as he dashed along prepared
himself for the final act. He lashed his valise to his shoulders, divested
himself of all unnecessary burdens, and when he got abreast of the
galleys, quickly dismounted and plunged into the water, swimming for the
boats and calling for help, which was readily given. His pursuers were
only about two hundred yards behind him. All were convinced that he was a
genuine deserter. Champe enlisted under Arnold. He soon discovered that
the suspicion of any other officers being connected with the treason of
Arnold was groundless; but the plans for the abduction of the arch-traitor
miscarried. Champe, after suffering many hardships, finally escaped while
serving under Cornwallis at Petersburg, Virginia. We give his own account
of the affair, as related after the war to the British officer in whose
company he served.

"If I were to attempt to make you feel any portion of the excitement under
which I labored during the period of my sojourn in New York, I should
utterly waste my labor. My communications with spies were necessarily
frequent; yet they were carried on with a degree of secrecy and caution
which not only prevented your people from obtaining any suspicion of them,
but kept each man from coming to the knowledge that the other was in my
confidence. Of the political information which I forwarded to Gen.
Washington, it is needless to say much. It was so complete, that there
scarcely occurred a conversation over Clinton's dining table there never
was formed a plan, nor a plan abandoned, of which I did not contrive to
obtain an accurate report, and to transmit it to headquarters. But it was
the project for seizing Arnold which most deeply engaged my attention.
Several schemes were brought forward and rejected for that purpose; till
at last the following, which but for an accident, must have succeeded, was
matured.

"The house in which Arnold dwelt, was situated, as you doubtless
recollect, in one of the principal streets of the city, while its garden
extended on one side along an obscure lane, from which it was separated by
a close wooden rail fence. I found that every night, before going to bed,
Arnold was in the habit of visiting that garden, and I immediately
resolved what to do. Working after dark, I undid a portion of the fence,
and placing it up again so nicely, that no cursory examination would have
sufficed to detect the spot where the breach had been made, I warned my
associate that he should provide a boat in the Hudson, manned by rowers in
whom he could trust. I then furnished myself with a gag, and appointed a
night when my confederate should be admitted within the garden, so that we
might together seize and secure our prey. Everything was done as I wished.
Maj. Lee was informed of the state of our preparations, and directed to
come down with spare horses, and an escort, to a spot on the river which
I named. How often have I regretted since, that I should set thus
deliberately about the business! By Heavens! there occurred twenty
opportunities, of which, had I been less anxious to accomplish my purpose,
I might have availed myself. But I permitted them to pass, or rather, I
felt myself unable to take advantage of them, because I had judged it
imprudent to keep less trusty agents too often on the alert. So, however,
it was to be.

"Time passed, and now a few hours only intervened between the final
adjustment of the details of our project and its accomplishment. Lee was
on the stir--was willing to hazard all--the boat's crew was provided, and
their station pointed out.

"It was our purpose to seize Arnold unaware, to thrust the gag in his
mouth, and placing each of us an arm within that of our prisoner, to hurry
him through the least frequented of the streets towards the quary. We were
to represent him as a drunken soldier, whom we were conveying to his
quarters, should any person meet or question us,--and by G--, the deed was
done, but the traitor's star prevailed. That very morning, an order was
issued for the immediate embarkation of the legion, and I was hurried on
board the ship without having had time so much as to warn Maj. Lee that
the whole arrangement was blown up."

The present Thames Street was undoubtedly the "obscure lane," down which
Champe intended that he and his assistant should carry Arnold to the boat;
there is no other that would so well fit into the story told by Champe.

Roubalet retained possession of the Province Arms until near the time of
the departure of the British troops, and it was at his house that many
meetings were held by the refugees and loyalists in reference to
provisions being made for them by grants of land in Nova Scotia.



X

FRAUNCES' TAVERN


[Sidenote: Return of The Exiles]

News of the signing of the provisional treaty reached this country in
March, 1783, and the return of peace was celebrated throughout the land in
April, but the British army remained in possession of New York City until
the latter part of the following November. During this time they were very
busy caring for those who had remained loyal to the crown, and now sought
and claimed its protection. Thousands came into the city, and it is said
that more than twenty-nine thousand loyalists and refugees (including
three thousand negroes), left the State of New York for Canada, Nova
Scotia and other British possessions, during the year. After the news of
peace, there was little restraint on going in or out of New York, and many
who had abandoned their homes when the British entered the place, or
before, now prepared to return, but found when they came into the city
that they could not obtain possession of their own property. While those
who had thus abandoned their property in the cause of independence were
anxious to return, many of those who had remained loyal to the crown were
preparing to leave the city for new homes to be made on land provided by
the government; and between these two classes there was no friendly
feeling. Few, therefore, ventured to bring in their families, or even
remain themselves, until they could obtain the protection of the American
army.

General Washington and Sir Guy Carleton met near Tappan in May to arrange
matters relative to the withdrawals of British troops in the vicinity of
New York. On this occasion Sam Francis came up from the city to provide
for the American officers and their British guests, whose bill, says a
Philadelphia newspaper, amounted to the modest sum of five hundred pounds.
Francis, after serving in the army, had gone back to New York on the news
of peace to reclaim his abandoned property. When a dinner was to be served
to do honor to the cause of liberty, there was no one among all the
Americans who could so well do it as Sam Francis. He was well known to
Washington, but whether his aid was sought on this occasion or whether he
proffered his services we have no means of knowing. At any rate, we are
confident that the thing was well and properly done. It is said that it
was through the instrumentality of Francis's daughter, who was housekeeper
at Richmond Hill, the headquarters of General Washington, that the attempt
on his life and that of General Putnam, called the Hickey plot, was
discovered and frustrated. The house of Francis was one of those which
suffered when H. B. M. S. Asia fired on the city in August, 1775.

Freneau thus speaks of it:

  "Scarce a broadside was ended 'till another began again--
  By Jove! It was nothing but fire away Flannagan!
  Some thought him saluting his Sallys and Nancys
  'Till he drove a round-shot thro' the roof of Sam Francis."

On Tuesday, June 18, 1776, an elegant entertainment was given by the
provincial congress to General Washington and his suite, the general and
staff officers and the commanding officers of the different regiments in
and near the city. The newspapers do not state where this dinner was
served, but all the circumstances indicate that it was at the house of
Samuel Francis. At this dinner many toasts were drunk, but instead of
commencing with a toast to the King, as had formerly been customary, the
first was Congress, the second, The American Army, the third, The American
Navy, etc. Independence had not yet been declared. Francis had gone out
with the defeated army of Washington, and was now returned and making
preparations to receive the Americans when they should enter the city. He
was the harbinger of Washington and the returning patriots.

[Sidenote: Dinner at Orangetown]

On Saturday, the 3d of May, 1783, General Washington and Governor
Clinton, accompanied by General John Morin Scott, and Lieutenant Colonels
Trumbull, Cobb, Humphreys and Varick, went down the river from
headquarters in a large barge, dined with General Knox, in command at West
Point, lodged at Peekskill and arrived at Tappan Sloat on Sunday morning,
about ten o'clock. After partaking of a small repast provided by Francis
they went up to Orangetown, where a dinner was provided for them. Sir Guy
Carleton came up the river in the Perseverence Frigate, accompanied by
Lieutenant Governor Andrew Elliot, Chief Justice William Smith, and
others, but did not arrive till Monday evening. On Tuesday, General
Washington, attended by two aides-de-camp only (Humphreys and Cobb), went
down to Onderdonck's in Tappan Bay, met Sir Guy at landing and received
him in his four horse carriage, which carried them up to Orangetown,
followed by the other members of the party. Here, after a conference and
much general conversation on the subject of the treaty and matters
incident thereto, about four o'clock in the afternoon, a most sumptuous
dinner was served by Sam Francis to about thirty, who ate and drank "in
the Peace and good fellowship without drinking any Toasts." On Wednesday
the Commander in Chief, the Governor, General Scott, Lieutenant Colonels
Humphreys, Cobb, Trumbull, Smith and Varick, Major Fish, and Messrs. Duer
and Parker went to dine on the Perseverence. They were received with a
salute of seventeen guns. "An Elegant Dinner (tho' not equal to the
American) was prepared," to which they "sat down in perfect Harmony and
conviviality." Then, after a short conference between the two generals,
the Americans left the ship, when they were again saluted with seventeen
guns. "Thus," it is said, "ended that great formal Business." The British
troops were drawn in from Westchester County on the 14th.

It was about this time that Sam Francis seems to have assumed the name of
Fraunces. Before the war we do not find other than Francis, and in the
deed of the De Lancey house to him in 1765, the name is Francis. This
celebrated old house is known to-day as Fraunces' Tavern.

The celebration of the return of peace was held at Trenton, New Jersey, on
April 15, 1783. After the governor's proclamation declaring a cessation of
hostilities had been publicly read in the court house, a dinner was given
at the house of John Cape, who was then landlord of the French Arms, a
tavern at this place, and had been a lieutenant in the Continental line.
Before the evacuation of New York by the British troops, Cape entered the
city and secured control of the old Province Arms, and was here to welcome
the army of Washington when they marched in. He took down the old sign
which had swung in front of the house since 1754, and in its place hung
out the sign of the Arms of the State of New York. From this time the
house was known as the State Arms, or more generally as the City Tavern.

A large number of the inhabitants of New York, _lately returned from a
seven years' exile_, met at Cape's Tavern, Broadway, on Tuesday evening,
November 18th. At this meeting it was requested that every person present,
who had remained in the city during the late contest, should leave the
room forthwith; and it was resolved that no one who had remained or
returned within the British lines during the war, be admitted to any
future meetings. They pledged themselves to prevent, to the utmost of
their power, all disorder and confusion that might follow the evacuation
of the city by the British troops, and a committee of thirteen was
appointed to meet at Simmons' Tavern in Wall Street to settle on a badge
of distinction to be worn on evacuation day, select the place of meeting,
and agree as to the manner in which they should receive his Excellency,
the Governor, on that day. This committee was directed to report at the
next meeting at Cape's on Thursday. At the meeting on Thursday evening,
Colonel Frederick Weissenfels in the chair, it was agreed that the badge
of distinction to be worn at the reception of the Governor in the city
should be "a Union Cockade of black and white ribband on the left breast
and a Laurel in the Hat." The manner in which Governor Clinton, and
General Washington, should he accompany him, should be received was
arranged and a committee of thirteen was appointed to conduct the
procession, who were directed to meet the next morning at the Coffee
House. It was resolved that Daniel Green be requested to carry the Colors
of the United States on this occasion. No loyalist or neutral was to be
allowed any part or share in the reception.

[Sidenote: The Evacuation]

Tuesday, November 25, 1783, the time appointed for the evacuation of the
city by the British troops, was a great day for New York. General
Washington and Governor Clinton were at Day's Tavern on the Kingsbridge
road, where they had been for three or four days. General Knox, in command
of the American troops, marched down from McGown's Pass in the morning to
the upper end of the Bowery, where he held a friendly parley with the
British officer whose men were resting a little below. It was then about
one o'clock in the afternoon. The programme of procedure which had been
arranged was carried out nearly as agreed upon. As the British passed down
the Bowery and Pearl Street to the river for embarkation, they were
followed by the American troops, who passed through Chatham Street and
Broadway to Cape's Tavern, where they formed in line. General Knox, with
the Main Guard, passed on down to the Fort to take formal possession of
the city; after which, joined by the citizens who had assembled at the
Bowling Green, on horseback, each man wearing the Cockade and Laurel, he
returned to the Bull's Head Tavern in the Bowery, where Washington and
Clinton were waiting to make their formal entry. Here a civic procession
was formed which marched down Pearl Street to Wall Street and then up to
Broadway to Cape's Tavern. General Knox with his men had left the line of
march, and going through Chatham Street and Broadway was here to receive
them.

At Cape's they dismounted and an address was presented to General
Washington from "the Citizens of New York, who have returned from exile,
in behalf of themselves and their suffering brethren." In it they said:
"In this place, and at this moment of exultation and triumph, while the
Ensigns of Slavery still linger in our sight, we look up to you, our
deliverer, with unusual transports of Gratitude and Joy. Permit us to
Welcome you to this city, long torn from us by the hand of oppression, but
now, by your wisdom and energy, under the guidance of Providence, once
more the seat of Peace and freedom; we forbear to speak our gratitude or
your Praise--we should but echo the voice of applauding millions." A reply
was made to this address by Washington. An address was also presented to
Governor Clinton, which was replied to by him.

After the formalities attending the reception Governor Clinton gave a
public dinner at Fraunces' Tavern, at which the Commander-in-Chief and
other general officers were present. After the dinner thirteen toasts were
drunk; the twelfth was: "May a close Union of the States guard the Temple
they have erected to Liberty."

[Sidenote: Dinner to the French Ambassador]

At Cape's Tavern on Friday, November 28th, an elegant entertainment was
given by the citizens lately returned from exile to the Governor and
Council for governing the city, to which Washington and the officers of
the army were invited. On the following Tuesday, December 2d, at the same
place, another such entertainment was given by Governor Clinton to the
French Ambassador, Luzerne, to which invitations were also extended to
Washington and his officers. For this Cape rendered a bill to the State,
in which he made charge for 120 dinners, 135 bottles of Madeira, 36
bottles of Port, 60 bottles of English Beer and 30 Bowls of Punch. In
putting away this liberal supply of drink, they must have had a jolly
time, and that some of them became very unsteady is indicated by a
significant charge made by Cape for 60 broken wine glasses and 8 cut glass
decanters. In the evening there was a grand display of fire works in
celebration of the Definite Treaty of Peace between Great Britain and the
United States of North America, at the Bowling Green, in Broadway. These,
it is said, infinitely exceeded every former exhibition of the kind in
the United States. On the next day, December 3d, Washington wrote to Major
General Knox, expressing his satisfaction and requesting him to present to
Captain Price, under whose direction they were prepared, and to the
officers who assisted him, his thanks for the great skill and attention
shown on this occasion.

Washington had issued, under date of November 2d, from Rocky Hill, near
Princeton, New Jersey, his farewell address to the army of the United
States, and he was now about to bid farewell to his officers. The place
appointed for this formality was the Long Room of Fraunces' Tavern. It has
given a celebrity to this house which can never be effaced. The Long Room
of Fraunces' Tavern had recently been used for the dinner given by
Governor Clinton on the day the American army entered the city. It was
thirty-eight feet long and nineteen feet wide, its length extending along
Broad Street, probably just as it exists to-day in the restored house. On
the morning of December 4, 1783, Washington and his officers met here for
the last time as soldiers of the Revolutionary Army. No exact record
exists as to who were present on this memorable occasion, but it has been
stated, that there were forty-four. Among these were Generals Greene,
Knox, Wayne, Steuben, Carroll, Lincoln, Kosciusko, Moultrie, Gates, Lee,
Putnam, Stark, Hamilton, Governor Clinton, and Colonels Tallmadge,
Humphreys and Fish.

[Sidenote: Washington's Farewell to his Officers]

They had been assembled but a few minutes, when Washington entered the
room. His emotion was too strong to be concealed, and was evidently
reciprocated by all present. Alter partaking of a slight refreshment, and
after a few moments of silence, the General filled his glass with wine,
and turning to his officers said: "With a heart full of love and
gratitude, I now take leave of you. I most devoutly wish that your latter
days may be as prosperous and happy as your former ones have been glorious
and honorable." After the officers had responded in a glass of wine, he
requested that each one of them should come and take him by the hand.
General Knox, who was nearest him, turned and grasped his hand and they
embraced each other in silence. In the same affectionate manner every
officer parted from the Commander-in-Chief, who then left the room without
a word, and passing through lines of infantry drawn up to receive him,
walked silently to Whitehall, where a barge was waiting to carry him to
Paulus Hook. He was on his way to Annapolis, to surrender his commission
to the Continental Congress, and then to his beloved Mount Vernon.

These were the closing scenes of the war. The first act in the drama of A
Nation's Growth was ended. After a seven years' struggle of blood and
suffering a new nation had been born. The curtain drops. _Vivat
Republica._

[Illustration: IN THE COFFEE HOUSE]

Cornelius Bradford, who had abandoned the Merchants' Coffee House, when
the British entered the city, and had since been living at Rhinebeck, came
back in October, and again took possession of it. In his announcement he
calls it the New York Coffee House, but the name of the Merchants' Coffee
House clung to it, and it is so spoken of in the public prints. He
prepared a book in which he proposed to enter the names of vessels on
their arrival, the ports from which they came and any particular
occurrences of their voyages, so that merchants and travelers might obtain
the earliest intelligence. Bradford's Marine List appears in the
newspapers of that period. He also opened a register of merchants and
others on which they were requested to enter their names and residences,
the nearest approach to a city directory that had yet been made. Bradford,
by his energy and intelligence, revived the good name of the house, and it
became again the rendezvous of merchants and traders, and the daily scene
of sales of merchandise of all kinds. The neighborhood again became a
place of great importance and trade. Near the Coffee House, both sides of
Wall Street were occupied by auction stores, and received the name of the
Merchants' Promenade or the Auctioneers' Row.

[Sidenote: A Bank Organized]

New York had hardly been relieved of British control, when a project was
set on foot to organize a bank. On the 24th of February, 1784, and again
on the 26th the principal merchants and citizens of New York met at the
Merchants' Coffee House, in response to a call, for the purpose of
establishing a bank on liberal principles, the stock to consist of specie
only. Proposals were made for the establishment of a bank with a capital
of five hundred thousand dollars in gold or silver, which were
unanimously agreed to, and a committee was appointed to receive
subscriptions. When one-half of the stock had been taken, a meeting of the
stockholders was held at the Coffee House at ten o'clock on the morning of
Monday, March 15, 1784, when General Alexander McDougal was elected
president, twelve directors, and William Seton cashier of the bank. Thus
was organized the Bank of New York, the first bank of deposit in the
State.

[Sidenote: Chamber of Commerce Reorganized]

The Chamber of Commerce and the Marine Society met regularly at the Coffee
House. After the war it was held that the Chamber of Commerce had
forfeited its charter and the State legislature then sitting in New York,
in response to a petition, granted a new charter, April 13, 1784. The
signers of the petition met at the Merchants' Coffee House April 20th and
reorganized under the name of Chamber of Commerce of the State of New
York. By resolution of Congress, New York became the seat of government in
December, 1784, and shortly after, on January 19, 1785, the Marine
Society, to animate its members and promote the object of the society,
provided an elegant dinner at the Merchants' Coffee House, and were
honored with the company of the President and members of Congress, the
mayor of the city, Major General McDougal, and a number of other
gentlemen. In the early part of February the Chamber of Commerce had the
honor of entertaining the same distinguished guests at a dinner, also
given at the Merchants' Coffee House.

The society for the promotion of manumission of slaves held its meetings
at the Coffee House, also the society for promoting useful knowledge. Here
the Masons had their Grand Lodge Room and here they gathered on the
anniversary day of St. John the Baptist, in 1784, and marched in
procession to St. Paul's Church, where a sermon was preached to them by
the Rev. Samuel Provost. These formalities seem to have been of yearly
occurrence.

In 1785 the Governor of the State, the Chancellor, the Hon. John Jay and
other distinguished citizens dined with the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick
at the Coffee House on the anniversary day of their saint, and on November
30th the St. Andrew's Society of the State held its anniversary meeting
here. At sunrise the Scottish flag was raised on the Coffee House and at
twelve o'clock an election of officers was held, when the Hon. Robert R.
Livingston, Chancellor of the State, was chosen president and Robert
Lenox, secretary. The society, honored with the company of the Governor of
the State and the Mayor and Recorder of the city, then sat down to dinner.
The toasts were truly Scotch; among them a few that need be interpreted to
us by some antiquarian Scot.

On the 9th of November, 1786, Cornelius Bradford died, much regretted by
his many friends, at the age of fifty-seven, and his funeral was held at
four o'clock on the afternoon of the 17th at the Coffee House. He seems to
have been a man much respected in the community. The New York Packet, in
an obituary notice, says of him that not only "was he distinguished as a
steady patriot during the arduous contest for American liberty, but that
he always discovered a charitable disposition toward those who differed
from him in sentiment," and adds that "the Coffee House under his
management, was kept with great dignity, both before and since the war,
and he revived its credit from the contempt into which it had fallen
during the war." His widow kept the house after his death until 1792, and
continued to enjoy the patronage of Bradford's old friends.

Although Sam Fraunces came back to the city after the war and took up his
old business in the house which had been known as the Queen's Head, he did
not remain there long, but retired to a country life in New Jersey. He
sold the house in 1785. The deed is dated April 23d of this year and
states that "Samuel Fraunces, late of the City of New York, innkeeper, but
at present of the County of Monmouth, New Jersey, farmer, and Elizabeth,
his wife," sell to "George Powers, butcher, of Brooklyn," all his dwelling
house and lot, bounded, etc. The price was £1,950.

[Sidenote: The Assembly Balls Revived]

The dancing assemblies which had been regularly held before the war at
the Province Arms for many years, were renewed, the first one after the
close of the Revolution being held at Cape's, or the City Tavern, on the
evening of Thursday, December 19, 1783. James Rivington, the loyalist, in
announcing the ball in his paper, added that he had "for sale a supply of
white dancing gloves for gentlemen, with stockings, dress swords, and
elegant London cocked hats," which were, no doubt, a part of the stock he
was carrying during the war to supply the British officers. Mr. Pickens
and Mr. Griffiths, dancing masters, both gave balls in the assembly room
of Cape's Tavern. Mr. Griffiths was using the room for his dancing school
in 1786, and announced that he would give a ball once a fortnight during
the season. Tickets were six shillings each. A grand ball at the assembly
rooms in Broadway was announced by Mr. Griffiths, to be held on February
20, 1786. To insure an attendance of desirable persons it was stated that
no person would be admitted whose appearance might give umbrage to the
company. Such balls as those given by the dancing masters were continued
for many years.

[Sidenote: The Cincinnati]

A meeting of the New York State Society of the Cincinnati was called to
meet at Cape's Tavern on the 2d of February, 1784, in order to frame
By-Laws for the society and for other important purposes. Benjamin
Walker, secretary of the society, gave notice "that such persons as are
entitled to become members of the society and have not yet signed the
institution, may have an opportunity of doing it by applying to him at
Cape's Tavern." Major General Alexander McDougal had been elected
president of the New York society in July, at Fishkill. John Cape, the
landlord of the City Tavern, was a member of the Cincinnati, and he also
appears to have been a Mason, for, although the rooms of the Grand Lodge
were at the Coffee House, notice was given that the members of the Grand
Lodge were desired to meet "at Brother Cape's Tavern" on Broadway on
Wednesday evening, March 3, at six o'clock to install the Right Worshipful
the Hon. Robert Livingston, Grand Master.

In February, 1786, Cape suddenly disappeared, leaving his creditors in the
lurch. The furniture and all the stock in the tavern were sold out under
execution by the sheriff, and the house was taken in March by Joseph
Corré, who opened it as a traveler's house. Having been a professed cook
he gave notice that "any person wishing to have their servants taught the
art of cookery may apply to him for terms." Travelers, coming into the
city from the north and east, put up at the City Tavern, and, on their way
to the south, crossed the Paulus Hook Ferry from the foot of Cortlandt
Street, and took the stage coach or wagon on the Jersey side for their
destination. A line of stages had been established between New York and
Albany and another between New York and Boston, and announcement was made
in 1780 that the stage would leave the old City Tavern, kept by Joseph
Corré, during the six winter months on Monday and Thursday of each week,
at precisely five o'clock in the morning, for Albany and Boston, and in
summer on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Extensive preparations were made to celebrate the anniversary of the
Independence of the United States on July 4, 1786. The opening of the day
was announced at sunrise by a salute of thirteen guns and the ringing of
all the bells in the city. At twelve o'clock a procession started from the
City Hall, going through Broad Street and down Queen Street to the
residence of the governor, who, joined by the lieutenant governor, the
chancellor, the judges of the Supreme Court, and the other state officers,
with the mayor and aldermen, the Marine Society, and the Chamber of
Commerce, proceeded to the residence of the President of the United States
Congress, where they presented to his excellency, the compliments of the
day. They then proceeded to the City Tavern, attended by numerous
citizens, and partook of a collation which had been provided by the
corporation. As the procession moved from the City Hall, all the bells in
the city commenced to ring, and continued to ring for two hours. As they
arrived at the City Tavern thirteen guns were discharged, and at sunset
another discharge of thirteen guns closed the day. Fireworks having been
prohibited in the city by the common council, some brilliant pieces were
exhibited on Governor's Island, which entertained a large concourse of
citizens assembled on the Battery. The anniversary meeting of the Society
of the Cincinnati, of the State of New York, in commemoration of the day,
was held at the City Tavern, when the Hon. Baron de Steuben was elected
president of the Society.

[Sidenote: The Cincinnati]

This year and for many years subsequent the annual meetings of the
Cincinnati were attended with considerable ceremony. At a meeting of the
Society held at the Merchants' Coffee House on January 21, 1786, a
committee, composed of Baron Steuben, Colonel Samuel B. Webb, and David
Brooks, Assistant Clothier, was appointed to draw up a plan of proper
ceremonials to be observed in the delivery of diplomas to members of the
Society, especially to the elected members. The report of this committee,
made on June 21st, was that the ceremony should be performed in the
Assembly Room of the City Tavern, and that the outside of the house should
be decorated with laurel crowns and festoons. Explicit directions were
given as to how the room for the ceremony should be arranged. The floor
should be covered with carpet. The Chair of State for the President
should be placed opposite the door of entrance. Places for the other
officers and members were designated. The gallery above the door of
entrance should be decorated and therein stationed kettle-drums and
trumpets. That there should be,

First. A Chair of State covered with light blue satin with white fringe,
the carvings on the arms and feet painted white; on the top of the back a
staff supported by two hands united holding up a Cap of Liberty, grasped
by a bald eagle (as the order of the Society); below a white fillet with
the motto

"We Will Defend It."

This chair to be elevated on two semi-circular steps covered on the top
with light blue cloth and painted with white paint in front.

Second. The Standard of the Society of silk (described).

Third. A small square table covered with blue satin fringed with blue silk
fringe and tassels.

Fourth. Two Cushions of white satin fringed with blue silk fringe and
tassels, on one of which the eagles and on the other the diplomas of the
elected members will be displayed.

The following form of ceremonies was presented and adopted and was first
used at the annual meeting of the New York Society July 4, 1786. The
foreign members and members belonging to other State societies, the
spectators, kettle-drums and trumpets having occupied their places;
Captain Isaac Guion, the Standard Bearer, escorted by four members, all in
full uniform, wearing the Order of the Society, carried the Standard into
the Hall and planted it in front, to the right of the steps of the Chair
of State. The escort returning, the Society marched in procession into the
Hall in the following order:

    The Masters of Ceremony (Col. Webb and Maj. Giles).

    The members, by twos.

    The Secretary, carrying the original Institution of the Society, bound
    in light blue satin, fringed with white (Capt. Robert Pemberton).

    The Treasurer and Deputy Treasurer, bearing the cushions containing
    the eagles and diplomas (Col. Pierre Van Cortlandt and Maj. Richard
    Platt).

    The Vice-President (Gen. Philip Schuyler).

    The President (Baron Steuben).

On entering the Hall the members filed off to the right and left, and were
placed by the Masters of Ceremony, and remained standing before their
seats. The Secretary took his place behind the small table, placed to the
left in front of the steps of the Chair of State. The Treasurer with the
gold eagles, took position on the steps, on the right of the President,
and the Deputy Treasurer, with the diplomas, on the steps to the left of
the President. The Masters of Ceremony took their places, one on the
right of the Standard and the other on the left of the Secretary. At the
entrance of the President the Standard saluted, and the kettle-drums and
trumpets gave a flourish, until he had taken his seat, then the Standard
was raised and the members took their seats.

The President then announced he was ready to receive candidates for
membership and ordered the Masters of Ceremony to introduce the newly
elected members, who were placed on seats opposite the Chair of State. The
ceremony of Initiation was opened by an oration delivered by Colonel
Alexander Hamilton. The Secretary read the Institution. The President,
seated, addressed the newly elected members.

The President, rising from his seat, put on his hat, when all the members
of the Society arose at the same time. A Master of Ceremony conducted a
candidate to the first step before the President, who asked him first
whether he desired to be received into the Society and if so, to promise a
strict observance of the Rules and Statutes just read. Upon answering in
the affirmative, with one hand taking the Standard, he signed the
Institution with the other.

The President then taking one of the gold eagles from the cushion held by
the Treasurer, pinned it on the left breast of the candidate, saying:
"Receive this mark as a recompense for your merit and in remembrance of
our glorious Independence." The drums and trumpets then gave a flourish.

The President then taking a diploma, with the recipient's name inscribed,
presented it to him, saying: "This will show your title as a member of our
Society. Imitate the illustrious hero, Lucius Quintus Cincinnatus, whom we
have chosen for our patron. Like him, be the defender of your country and
a good citizen." Another flourish of drums and trumpets.

The President then grasped the hand of the candidate and congratulated
him. He was then presented by a Master of Ceremony to the officers of the
Society and the members who rose and saluted him. He was then assigned to
a seat provided for him at the upper end of the Hall, taking rank above
the members of the Society for the day only.

After the Initiation the President removed his hat, and the Society
proceeded to the Banquet Hall, observing the following order of
precedence.

    The Masters of Ceremony.

    The members of the Society, two by two.

    The newly elected members.

    The members of other State societies.

    The foreign members.

    The honorary members.

    The Standard Bearer with Standard.

    The Secretary.

    The Treasurer and Deputy Treasurer.

    The Vice-President.

    The President.

The President and other officers passed to their places at the banquet
table between the open lines of members. The President presided at the
head of the table, surrounded by the foreign and newly elected members.
After the cloth was removed thirteen toasts were drunk accompanied by a
salute of thirteen cannon.

On the first day of December the St. Andrew's Society gave a dinner at
Corré's Tavern, at which his excellency the governor was present. They sat
down to dinner at four o'clock and after dinner drank thirteen toasts
which had become the customary number.

The presence in the city of men who had remained loyal to England during
the war was distasteful to many who had been ardent in the cause of
Independence. A Whig Society was organized, whose avowed object was to
obtain the removal of certain influential and offensive Tories from the
state. Members of the society were men of prominence. Lewis Morris was
president and John Pintard secretary. Public meetings were held and
petitions sent to the legislature, but the status of the Tories was not
materially disturbed. In such circumstances it is not to be wondered at
that a company of Englishmen, spending the evening in one of the upper
rooms of the Coffee House in the latter part of the month of June, 1786,
and "in the height of their mirth and loyalty," breaking out with "Rule
Britania," should give offense. A newspaper remarks that "if there are
Englishmen, whose attachment to the laws of Bachus obliges them to make
frequent meetings over old London porter and Madeira, they should always
carry with them the reflection that in a republican government there are
songs which may please their palates and be grating to the ears of
freemen," and that "Rule Britania" was "a song very rediculous in a
country like this, where their armies were conquered and their nation
defeated."

[Sidenote: The New Constitution]

After the formation of the Federal Constitution at Philadelphia in
September, 1787, there was much discussion in New York over its
ratification. Although there were in the city some bitter opponents to its
adoption, the prevailing sentiment was in its favor. When the state of
Massachusetts ratified the new constitution on the 8th of February, 1788,
the event was celebrated with much enthusiasm in New York on Saturday,
February 16th. The flag of the United States was "joined on the Coffee
House" at sunrise, on which was inscribed "The Constitution, September 17,
1787," and at noon the old pine tree flag of Massachusetts was hung out,
with the date of her adhesion. There was a numerous gathering of citizens.
Several members of Congress and the mayor of the city honored them "by
partaking of their repast, which (in true republican style), consisted of
only two dishes--beef and salt fish." After dinner toasts were drunk under
the fire of six guns to each toast, in honor of those states which had
adopted the Constitution--Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut,
Georgia, Massachusetts. The eleventh toast was, "New York, may it soon
become an additional pillar to the new roof." It was confidently felt that
the discussion and adoption of the new Constitution by their eastern
neighbors would exert a strong influence in its favor, and that the
conduct of Massachusetts would insure its ratification, not only in this
state but in every other state of the Union.

[Sidenote: The Grand Procession]

As an expression of the intense interest felt in the fate of the new
constitution, there were processions in different places, notably
Philadelphia, Boston, Charleston and New York. The New York procession was
the last and grandest, surpassing anything of its kind ever seen before in
the country. It was held on July 23d, in honor of the adoption of the
constitution by ten states, New York not having yet given in her adhesion.
There were over six thousand in the line. What added greatly to the beauty
and novelty of the parade was the ship Hamilton, a full-rigged man-of-war,
carrying thirty guns with a crew of thirty men, complete in all its
appointments, drawn by twelve horses and under the command of Commodore
Nicholson. It was in the center of the procession and attracted great
attention sailing down Broadway, the canvas waves dashing against its
sides, the wheels of the car being concealed. At ten o'clock in the
morning, a salute of thirteen guns was fired from the ship, and the
procession passed down Broadway from the Fields, and then through the
principal streets into the Bowery to Bayard's grounds, where two oxen
roasted whole and other viands had been prepared. Tables were set for five
thousand persons. The entire day was given up to festivities.

[Sidenote: The Eleventh Pillar]

While New York was in intense excitement, produced by these extensive
demonstrations, news reached the city on Saturday evening about nine
o'clock that the constitution had been adopted at Poughkeepsie on Friday,
July 25th. New York was called the "Eleventh Pillar." "The bells in the
city were immediately set to ringing, and from the Fort and the Federal
Ship Hamilton were fired several salutes." The merchants at the Coffee
House testified their joy and satisfaction by repeated cheers. The
newspapers state that "a general joy ran through the whole city, and
several of those who were of different sentiments drank freely of the
Federal Bowl, and declared that they were now perfectly reconciled to the
new constitution."

[Sidenote: Anniversaries of Two Great Victories]

The surrender of Earl Cornwallis and the army under his command at
Yorktown, Virginia, on October 19, 1781, which marked the close of active
hostilities, was a notable event in the history of the country, as was
also the surrender of Burgoyne at Saratoga on October 17, 1777. The
anniversaries of these two great victories for the American cause were not
far apart, and there were many in the city who had taken part in one or
both of them and were quite willing and anxious for a reunion of their
companions-in-arms. Accordingly on Monday, October 20, 1788, "a number of
officers of the late American army and several gentlemen of distinction"
dined together at the Coffee House in commemoration of these two great
events. The following are the toasts drunk at this dinner, as reported in
the newspapers:

    1. The memorable 5th of September, 1774. Meeting of the First
    Congress.

    2. The memorable 17th of June, 1775. Battle of Bunker Hill.

    3. The memorable 4th of July, 1776. Declaration of Independence.

    4. The memorable 26th of December, 1776. Battle of Trenton.

    5. The memorable 17th of October, 1777. Capture of Burgoyne.

    6. The memorable 6th of February, 1778. Alliance with France.

    7. The memorable 16th of July, 1779. Stony Point taken by General
    Wayne.

    8. The memorable 17th of January, 1781. General Morgan defeats
    Tarleton at Cowpens.

    9. The memorable 19th of October, 1781. Capture of Lord Cornwallis.

    10. The memorable 3d of September, 1783. Definite treaty of peace.

    11. The memorable 25th of November, 1783. Final evacuation of the
    United States by the British.

    12. The memorable 17th of September, 1787. New Constitution.

    13. General Washington.

[Sidenote: Reception of Washington]

The constitution had been adopted by eleven states. George Washington had
been elected the first president of the United States and great
preparations had been made to receive him in New York, then the capital of
the Nation. On April 23, 1789, a Federal salute announced that he had
arrived and was coming up the East River in the splendid barge which had
been built especially for the occasion, accompanied by a large escort of
boats, to Murray's Wharf, where an ornamented and carpeted stairway had
been constructed to make his landing easy, safe and comfortable. At the
City Coffee House, as it is termed in the newspapers, with a salute of
thirteen guns, he was received by the governor and the officers of the
state and corporation. The procession then formed and proceeded, with a
military escort, from the Coffee House into Queen Street and then to the
house which had been prepared for him. The Daily Advertiser, the next day,
stated that: "On this great occasion the hand of industry was suspended
and the various pleasures of the capital were concentrated to a single
enjoyment." The illumination of the city in the evening was brilliant and
remarkable. On Saturday, the 25th, the Chamber of Commerce met at the
Coffee House, and headed by John Broome, Theophylact Bache and John Murray
proceeded in form to the house of the president-elect to present their
congratulations.

[Sidenote: Washington at the Ball]

The next regular assembly after the inauguration of the President was held
at the City Tavern, then under the management of Edward Bardin, on
Thursday, May 7th, which Washington was requested to honor with his
presence. He accepted the invitation and was present as was also the
Vice-President, the Secretary of State, the Secretary of War, most of the
members of both Houses of Congress, the Governor of New York, the
Chancellor, the Chief Justice of the State, the Honorable John Jay, the
Mayor of the city, the French and Spanish Ministers, Baron Steuben, the
Count de Moustier, Colonel Duer and many other distinguished guests. A
newspaper account states that "a numerous and brilliant collection of
ladies graced the room with their appearance." Mrs. Washington had not yet
arrived in the city. Among those present were Mrs. Jay, Mrs. Hamilton,
Lady Stirling, Mrs. Watts, Mrs. Duer, Mrs. Peter Van Brugh Livingston,
Mrs. Clinton, Mrs. Duane, Mrs. James Beekman, Lady Temple, Lady Christina
Griffin, Mrs. Livingston, wife of the Chancellor, Mrs. Richard Montgomery,
Mrs. John Langdon, Mrs. Elbridge Gerry, Mrs. Livingston of Clermont, the
Misses Livingston, Mrs. William S. Smith, daughter of the Vice-President,
Mrs. Maxwell, Mrs. Edgar, Mrs. McComb, Mrs. Dalton, the Misses Bayard,
Madame de Brehan, Madame de la Forest and Mrs. Bishop Provost. It was a
notable gathering of the men and women of the period, then in New York.
The company numbered about three hundred. Washington was the guest of
honor. The festivities closed about two o'clock in the morning.

On the 4th of July, 1789, General Malcolm's brigade, under command of
Colonel Chrystie, paraded on the race-ground early in the morning and on
their way back to the city passed the house of the President. Washington,
though ill, appeared at the door in full regimentals. At noon a salute was
fired from the Fort and at four o'clock the officers dined at the tavern
of Sam Fraunces in Cortlandt Street. After dinner, at the third toast, to
the President of the United States, the company rose and gave three cheers
and the band played General Washington's March. The Society of the
Cincinnati met at the City Tavern. After the election of officers, a
committee was appointed to present its congratulations to the President,
Vice-President and Speaker of the House of Representatives. The Society
then went in procession, escorted by Bauman's Artillery to St. Paul's
Chapel, where an eulogium upon General Nathaniel Greene was pronounced by
Alexander Hamilton. A dinner at the City Tavern and the drinking of
thirteen toasts closed the Society's celebration of the day.

[Illustration: "GAMBLING WITH CARDS WAS PRETTY GENERAL"]

During the year preceding March 1, 1789, three hundred and thirty tavern
licenses were granted in the city and gambling with cards and dice was
pretty general. A game of cards called Pharoah seems to have been one of
the most popular for that purpose. Other games with cards were whist, loo
and quadrille. It seems to have been thought necessary to place some
restraint on gambling, for a law passed in 1788 prescribed the forfeiture
of five times the amount won for the winner of more than £10 at a sitting.
Tavern-keepers were subject to fine and imprisonment if they should allow
cock-fighting, gaming, card-playing, dice, billiard-tables or shuffle
boards in their houses; but the law was not completely effective.
Drunkenness was unlawful, but a popular failing.

[Sidenote: Simmons' Tavern]

In Wall Street, on the corner of Nassau Street, was the tavern of John
Simmons. In this tavern were witnessed the formalities which gave birth to
the new American city of New York. Here, on the 9th of February, 1784,
James Duane, at a special meeting of the City Council, having been
appointed by the governor and board of appointment, was formally installed
mayor of New York City and took the oath of office in the presence of that
body and of the governor and lieutenant-governor of the State,
representing the State Provisional Council, whose duties now ceased, the
city corporation being now restored in all its forms and offices. The
Regents of the University of the State met at Simmons' Tavern, at seven
o'clock in the evening on Monday, August 2, 1790. It is said that Simmons
was a man of such bulk that at the time of his funeral, the doorway of the
house had to be enlarged to admit the passage of his coffin. His widow
continued the business, and was still keeping the house in 1796.

[Illustration: SIMMONS' TAVERN]

[Sidenote: Sam Fraunces the Steward of Washington]

When the new constitution had been adopted by eleven states and the
prospect was that New York would, at least for a time, be the seat of
government with Washington at its head, Sam Fraunces could no longer
remain in retirement on his Jersey farm. He came to the city and became
steward in the house of the President. He also opened a tavern in
Cortlandt Street, which was managed by his wife. This tavern at No. 49
Cortlandt Street had been kept, some years before, by Talmadge Hall, one
of the proprietors of the Albany Stages, who was succeeded in 1787 by
Christopher Beekman from Princeton, New Jersey. Beekman stated that the
house had been commonly known as the Boston, Albany and Philadelphia Stage
Office, and that he had agreed with the proprietors of the Albany and
Boston stages to make his house the public stage house. The Society of
Mechanics and Tradesmen held its anniversary meeting on the 6th of
January, 1789, at the tavern of Sam Fraunces in Cortlandt Street, and
indulged in a dinner at which one of the patriotic toasts was: "A cobweb
pair of breeches, a porcupine saddle, a trotting horse and a long journey
to all the enemies of freedom." The election of governor of New York in
1789 was energetically contested, but George Clinton, who was at the head
of the party yet strongly opposed to the new constitution, was elected,
although the vote in New York City was overwhelmingly against him. On the
5th of June he and his friends held a grand jubilee at Fraunces' Tavern to
celebrate their success. Sam Fraunces kept the Cortlandt Street house
until November, 1790, when, as he says, "through the advice of some of his
particular friends," he removed to a house in Broad Street near the
Exchange, formerly occupied by the Widow Blaaw, and solicited the
patronage of his brethren of the Tammany Society, and of the respective
Lodges of the city. This, as far as we know, was the last place kept by
Sam Fraunces in New York. He soon bid us a final farewell and left the
city.

[Illustration]

[Sidenote: Dinner to the Judges]

John Francis, who, we have supposed, was a son of Sam Francis, in August,
1785, opened the True American at No. 3 Great Dock, now Pearl Street. In
May, 1789, he removed to the historic building now known as Fraunces'
Tavern, on the corner of Broad and Pearl Streets. On February 2, 1790, the
Supreme Court of the United States was opened in the city by James Duane,
Judge of the district of New York, "in the presence of national and city
dignitaries, of many gentlemen of the bar, members of Congress and a
number of leading citizens. In the evening the Grand Jury of the United
States for the district gave a very elegant entertainment in honor of the
Court at Fraunces' Tavern on Broad Street." Among those present were John
Jay, of New York, Chief Justice of the United States, William Cushing, of
Massachusetts, John Rutledge, of South Carolina, James Wilson, of
Pennsylvania, Robert Harrison, of Maryland, and John Blair, of Virginia,
Associate Justices, also Edmond Randolph, of Virginia, Attorney-General of
the United States. It was the first Grand Jury assembled in this state
under the authority of the United States. In the list of jurors are the
names of many prominent men.

The promoters of the New York Manufacturing Society, for the encouragement
of American manufacturers, met at Rawson's Tavern, 82 Water Street, on the
7th of January, 1789, and chose the officers of the society. Melancthon
Smith was chosen president. Subscriptions were received for the
establishment of a woolen factory which was considered a very patriotic
undertaking. At a meeting held at the Coffee House on the 24th of
February, Alexander Robertson in the chair, a committee was appointed to
prepare the draft of a constitution and to report on a plan of operation.
The society was incorporated on the 16th of March, 1790, and appears to
have been the owner of a factory and bleaching ground at Second River, New
Jersey, but the business was not successful. The investment proved a total
loss.

On the corner of Nassau and George (now Spruce) Streets, was a tavern kept
by Captain Aaron Aorson, who had seen service during the war and was
present at the death of General Montgomery at Quebec. He was a member of
the Society of the Cincinnati. In his house was a long room suitable for
public gatherings. Notice was given that a lecture would be delivered here
for charitable purposes October 6, 1789, by a man more than thirty years
an atheist. Some years later this Long Room became the Wigwam and the
house the headquarters of the Tammany Society.

There was a tavern on Broadway just above Murray Street which, before the
Revolution, had played a conspicuous part in the conflicts with the
British soldiers over the liberty pole. During the latter part of the war
John Amory had been its landlord. In June, 1785, Henry Kennedy announced
that he had taken the well known house lately "occupied by Mrs. Montanye,
the sign of the Two Friendly Brothers," but in 1786 or soon after it again
passed into the hands of a member of the De La Montagnie family, after
which we find it at times kept by Mrs. De La Montagnie, Mrs. Amory or
Jacob De La Montagnie. In the Directory of 1795, Mary Amory and Jacob De
La Montagnie are both set down as tavern-keepers at 253 Broadway.

In December, 1791, the members of the Mechanics' and Traders' Society were
notified that the anniversary of the society would be held on the first
Tuesday of January next at the house of Mrs. De La Montagnie, and that
members who wished to dine should apply for tickets, and were further
requested to attend at 9 o'clock in the morning for election. In 1792, the
house appears to have been kept by Mrs. Amory and known as Mechanics'
Hall. The Mechanics celebrated Independence Day here that year, and it was
probably their headquarters. In June, 1793, Mrs. Amory, heading her
announcement--"Vauxhall, Rural Felicity"--gave notice that on the 25th,
beginning at five o'clock in the afternoon, would be given a concert of
instrumental music, consisting of the most favorite overtures and pieces
from the compositions of Fisher and Handell. The notice states that, "At
eight o'clock in the evening the garden will be beautifully illuminated,
in the Chinese style, with upwards of 500 glass lamps," and that "the
orchestra will be placed in the middle of a large tree elegantly
illuminated." There was to be tight rope dancing by Mr. Miller, and
fireworks on the tight rope, to be concluded with an exhibition of
equilibriums on the slack rope. Tickets for admission were four shillings
each. The triangular piece of open ground in front of the tavern, called
the Fields or Common, had been, since the war, enclosed by a post and rail
fence and had assumed the dignity of a park. The neighborhood was rapidly
improving.

[Sidenote: The Bull's Head Tavern]

On the post road, in Bowery Lane, stood the Bull's Head Tavern, where the
Boston and Albany stages picked up passengers as they left the city. This
had been a well known tavern from a period long before the Revolution,
much frequented by drovers and butchers as well as travelers. It was a
market for live stock and stood not far from the slaughter house. Previous
to 1763, it was kept by Caleb Hyatt, who was succeeded in that year by
Thomas Bayeaux. From 1770 until the war of the Revolution, Richard Varian
was its landlord, and also superintendent of the public slaughter house.
In a petition to the common council after the evacuation, he states that
he had been engaged in privateering until captured near the end of the
war, after which, he returned to the city and found his wife in prosperous
possession of the old tavern. He was the landlord of the house the year of
Washington's inauguration and we find that in 1796 he was still the tenant
of the property, then belonging to Henry Ashdor, a well-to-do butcher of
the Fly Market, who resided a little north of the tavern. As appears by
petitions to the common council, Henry Ashdor, or Astor, as the name
sometimes appears, was accustomed to ride out on the post road to meet the
incoming drovers and purchase their stock, thus securing the best, and
obliging the other butchers to buy of him at a profit, which was
characterized by the butchers in their petitions as "pernicious
practices." The Bull's Head Tavern remained the meeting place of the
butchers and drovers until 1826, when Henry Astor, associating himself
with others, pulled it down and erected on its site the New York Theatre,
since called the Bowery Theatre, the mayor of the city laying the corner
stone.

[Illustration: THE BOWERY THEATRE]



XI

THE TONTINE COFFEE HOUSE


[Sidenote: The Tammany Society]

Long before the Revolution, there had been various societies in New York
under such names as St. Andrew, St. George, St. David and St. John, all of
which professed the most fervent loyalty to the King of Great Britain.
This induced the projectors of a new society, composed of many who had
belonged to the Sons of Liberty, of Stamp Act and Revolutionary times, to
select for their patron saint a genuine American guardian, and thus was
originated the Tammany Society, or Columbian Order, in May, 1789. At
first, it was strictly a national and patriotic society, "to connect in
indisoluable bonds of friendship American brethren of known attachment to
the political rights of human nature and the liberties of the country,"
and it remained so for many years.

Tammany, the celebrated chief of the Delawares, who has been described as
a chief of great virtue, benevolence and love of country, to whose actual
history has been added a great deal of legendary and mythical lore, was
cannonized as a saint and adopted as their guardian spirit. The members
of the society styled themselves the Sons of St. Tammany, and adopted
aboriginal forms and customs as well as dress. This was not the first
society that had claimed the patronage and adopted the name of that famous
Indian saint, but the new organization proposed a wider scope and added to
its title also that of "Columbian Order." It was organized also as a
contrast or offset to the aristocratic and anti-republican principles
attributed to the Society of the Cincinnati, the membership of which was
hereditary.

The birth of the new organization is set down as on May 12, 1789, which
was spent in tents erected on the banks of the Hudson River, about two
miles from the city, where a large number of members partook of an elegant
entertainment, "served precisely at three o'clock; after which there was
singing and smoking and universal expressions of brotherly love." During
the year 1789 its meetings were held at the tavern of Sam Fraunces.

In the year 1790, the 4th of July falling on Sunday, the anniversary of
Independence was celebrated on the 5th. The Society of St. Tammany
assembled early in the day, and, after a short address from the Grand
Sachem, the Declaration of Independence was read. There was a grand
military review. Colonel Bauman's regiment of Artillery appeared in their
usual style as veterans of the war. At one o'clock they fired a federal
salute and a feu-de-joie on the Battery, after which they escorted the
Society of the Cincinnati to St. Paul's Church, where an elegant oration
was delivered by Brockholst Livingston to a large audience, including the
President and Vice-President of the United States, members of both Houses
of Congress, and a brilliant assembly of ladies and gentlemen. The Society
of the Cincinnati dined at Bardin's, the City Tavern, and the Grand Sachem
and Fathers of the Council of the Society of St. Tammany were honored with
an invitation to dine with them. After dinner the usual thirteen toasts
were drunk with all the hilarity and good humor customary on such
occasions.

[Sidenote: Reception of the Indians by the Tammany Society]

Shortly after this, a most interesting event occurred, which created
considerable excitement among the people of New York and gave to the
Tammany Society an opportunity to make an impression on the public mind
not often presented, and which could not be neglected. Efforts had been
made by the government of the United States to pacify the Creek Indians of
the South and to make with them a treaty of peace and friendship. In
March, 1790, Colonel Marinus Willett was sent out on this mission, and
early in July news came that he was on his way to New York, accompanied by
Colonel Alexander McGillivray, their half-breed chief, and about thirty
warriors of the tribe, traveling northward at public expense and greeted
at every stage of their journey by vast crowds of people. They arrived on
the 21st of July. A boat was sent to Elizabethtown Point, under the
direction of Major Stagg, to convey them to New York and the Tammany
Society met in their Wigwam to make their preparations. This Wigwam, which
they used as their headquarters for many years, was the old Exchange
building at the foot of Broad Street. As the boat passed the Battery about
two o'clock a Federal salute was fired and when the Indians landed at the
Coffee House it was repeated. Here they were met by the Tammany Society,
dressed in full Indian costume, which very much pleased McGillivray and
his Indian warriors, and by General Malcolm with a military escort. They
were conducted in procession to the house of General Knox, the Secretary
of War, after which they had an audience with the President, who received
them in a very handsome manner. They were also introduced to the Governor
of the State, who gave them a friendly reception. They were then taken to
the City Tavern where they dined in company with General Knox, the
Senators and Representatives of Georgia, General Malcolm, the militia
officers on duty, and the officers of the Saint Tammany Society. The
Indians seemed greatly pleased with their friendly reception and a
newspaper states that "the pleasure was considerably heightened by the
conviviality and good humor which prevailed at the festive board." The
usual number of toasts were drunk after the dinner.

[Sidenote: Grand Banquet at the Wigwam]

On the 2d of August the Indians were entertained by the Tammany Society
with a grand banquet at their Great Wigwam in Broad Street, at which were
present, the Governor of the State, the Chief Justice of the United
States, the Secretary of State, the Secretary of War, the Mayor of the
City and Colonel Willett. The richly ornamented Calumet of Peace was
passed around and wine flowed freely. Colonel Willett had delivered his
big talk and partaken of their _black drink_ on his visit to them, and the
Indians were now receiving a return of hospitality. Patriotic songs were
sung by members of the society and the Indians danced. The Indian chief
conferred on the grand sachem of Tammany the title of "Toliva Mico"--Chief
of the White Town. The President of the United States was toasted as "The
Beloved Chieftain of the Thirteen Fires." The President's last visit to
Federal Hall was to sign a treaty with these Indians, which was attended
with great ceremony. Tammany had taken the lead in all this Indian
business and Tammany had made its mark.

[Illustration: TONTINE COFFEE HOUSE]

[Sidenote: The Tontine Coffee House]

In the year 1791 an association of merchants was organized for the purpose
of constructing a more commodious Coffee House than the Merchants' Coffee
House, and to provide a business centre for the mercantile community. The
company was formed on the Tontine principle of benefit to survivors, and
the building they erected was called the Tontine Coffee House. Among the
merchants who were interested in this enterprise were John Broome, John
Watts, Gulian Verplanck, John Delafield and William Laight. On the 31st of
January, 1792, these five merchants, as the first board of directors of
the Tontine Association, purchased from Doctor Charles Arding and
Abigail, his wife, the house and lot on the northwest corner of Wall and
Water Streets, for £1,970. This was the house which had been known as the
Merchants' Coffee House from about 1740, when it was first opened by
Daniel Bloom until 1772, when its business was carried by Mrs. Ferrari
diagonally across the street, where it had since remained. It was sold in
1759, as related in a previous chapter, by Luke Roome, owner and landlord
of the house, to Doctor Charles Arding, who had ever since been its owner.
They had already purchased, December 1, 1791, for £2,510, the adjoining
lot on Wall Street, and shortly after, for £1,000, they purchased the
adjoining lot on Water Street. On the ground of these three lots the
Tontine Coffee House was built. Thus the business originated on this spot
was coming back to its old home.

In January, 1792, "the committee to superintend the business of the
Tontine Coffee House Institution," gave notice that they would pay a
premium of ten guineas to the person who should hand in before the 20th of
February next, the best plan for the proposed building, and a premium of
five guineas for the second best plan. The objects to be considered in the
plans were, "Solidity, Neatness and Useful Accommodation"; the building to
be four stories high and to occupy a space of fifty feet by seventy. The
plans in competition were to be sent to Mr. David Grim. A petition for the
privilege of adding to the Tontine Coffee House a piazza to extend over
the sidewalk, presented by John Watts and others in March, 1792, was
refused, but, on May 11 permission was given for a piazza to extend six
feet over the Wall Street sidewalk. The corner-stone of the building was
laid with considerable ceremony on the 5th of June. The first landlord of
the house, when completed, was John Hyde.

Just a year later, on Wednesday, June 5, 1793, one hundred and twenty
gentlemen sat down to a dinner provided by Mr. Hyde at the Tontine Coffee
House to celebrate the anniversary of the laying of the corner-stone of
that building. After dinner when fifteen toasts had been drunk, the
chairman offered an additional toast, which was: "Success to the Tontine
Coffee House and may it long continue to reflect credit on the
subscribers."

[Sidenote: The Cap of Liberty]

During the French revolution the sympathies of the people of the United
States were greatly excited, but many of those who wished success to
France were filled with disgust and indignation at the behavior of the
French Minister Genet, and of Bompard, the commander of the French ship,
L'Ambuscade, who, after landing Genet at Charleston, South Carolina, made
his way north to Philadelphia, boarding American ships on his way and
seizing British merchantmen near the coast and even in the very bays of
the United States. Bompard and his officers were received at Philadelphia
with great enthusiasm. On the 12th of June, 1793, they arrived in New
York. Instantly there was great excitement. Those friendly to them carried
things to extremes. Opposed to them were the supporters of government and
good order, joined to the strong English faction that had long prevailed.
Two days after their arrival, the Cap of Liberty was set up in the Tontine
Coffee House, according to one account, by "the friends of Liberty,
Equality, and the Rights of Man, amid the acclamations of their fellow
citizens, in defiance of all despotic tyrants. It was a beautiful crimson
adorned with a white torsel and supported by a staff." The cap, "Sacred to
Liberty," was declared to be under the protection of the old Whigs, and
the aristocrats, as the opposite party was tauntingly called, were defied
to take it down. This defiance brought forth a threat that it would be
done, and, in expectation that its removal would be attempted, for several
days, hundreds of people gathered in front of the house. No attempt, at
that time, seems to have been made to remove the cap, and the excitement
gradually subsided.

The Cap of Liberty remained undisturbed in its place for almost two years.
A newspaper of May 19, 1795, states that "the Liberty Cap having been
removed from the Barr of the Tontine Coffee House by some unknown person,
the ceremony of its re-establishment in the Coffee House took place
yesterday afternoon. A well designed, carved Liberty Cap, suspended on
the point of an American Tomahawk, and the flags of the Republics of
America and France, attached on each side, formed a handsome figure." A
large gathering of people attended "the consecration of the emblem of
Liberty," and the meeting was highly entertained by numerous patriotic
songs. Voluntary detachments from several of the Uniform Companies joined
in the celebration.

On the 22d of May, only four days after being placed in the Coffee House,
the French flag was removed. An attempt was made to recover it and arrest
the person who took it down. A boat was dispatched in pursuit of the
person who was supposed to have taken it, but it returned without success.
Colonel Walter Bicker, in behalf of a number of citizens of New York,
offered a reward of one hundred and fifty dollars for the capture of the
thief who stole the French flag from the Coffee House, with what result is
unknown.

[Sidenote: New York Stock Exchange]

An English traveler, who visited New York in 1794, writes that: "The
Tontine Tavern and Coffee House is a handsome, large brick building; you
ascend six or eight steps under a portico, into a large public room, which
is the Stock Exchange of New York, where all bargains are made. Here are
two books kept, as at Lloyd's, of every ship's arrival and clearing out.
This house was built for the accommodation of the merchants, by Tontine
shares of two hundred pounds each. It is kept by Mr. Hyde, formerly a
woolen draper in London. You can lodge and board there at a common table,
and you pay ten shillings currency a day, whether you dine out or not."

As stated above, the Tontine Coffee House had become the Stock Exchange of
New York. In the first directory of the city, published in 1786, there is
only one stock-broker, Archibald Blair. On January 9, 1786, Archibald
Blair announced that he "has a Broker's Office and Commission Store at 16
Little Queen Street, where he buys and sells all kinds of public and state
securities, also old continental money. He has for sale Jamaica rum, loaf
sugar, bar iron, lumber and dry goods." A few years later several
announcements of such brokers are found in the newspapers, among others
the following which appeared in the Daily Advertiser of December 9, 1790.

    "Sworn Stock Broker's Office.

    No. 57 King Street.

    The Subscriber, having opened an office for negociating the funds of
    the United States of America, has been duly qualified before the Mayor
    of the City, that he will truly and faithfully execute the duties of a

    Stock Broker,

    and that he will not directly or indirectly interest himself in any
    purchase or sale of the funds of the United States of America, on his
    own private account, for the term of six months from the date hereof.

    The opinion of many respectable characters has confirmed his own ideas
    of the utility of establishing an office in this city upon the
    principles of a sworn Broker of Europe. The advantages of negociating
    through the medium of an agent no ways interested in purchases or
    sales on his own account, is too evident to every person of
    discernment to need any comment.

    Every business committed to his care shall be executed by the
    subscriber with diligence, faithfulness and secrecy, and he trusts
    that his conduct will confirm the confidence, and secure the patronage
    of his friends and fellow citizens.

    John Pintard."

The first evidence of an approach to anything like organization was an
announcement made in the early part of March, 1792, that "The Stock
Exchange Office" would be open at No. 22 Wall Street for the accommodation
of dealers in stocks, in which public sales would be daily held at noon,
as usual, in rotation. Soon after this, on Wednesday, March 21st, a
meeting of merchants and dealers in stocks was held at Corre's Hotel, when
they came to a resolution that after the 21st of April next, they would
not attend any sales of stocks at public auction. They appointed a
committee "to provide a proper room for them to assemble in, and to
report such regulations relative to the mode of transacting business as in
their opinion may be proper." This resulted in the first agreement of the
dealers in securities, the oldest record in the archives of the New York
Stock Exchange, dated May 17, 1792, fixing the rate of brokerage. It was
signed by twenty-four brokers for the sale of public stocks. For some time
the brokers do not appear to have had a settled place of meeting. Their
favorite place was in the open air in the shadow of a large buttonwood
tree, which stood on the north side of Wall Street, opposite the division
line of Nos. 68 and 70. Here they met and transacted business something
like our curb brokers of to-day, but in a much more leisurely way. When
the Tontine Coffee House was completed in 1793, it became the Stock
Exchange of New York and remained so for a great many years.

[Sidenote: The Roger Morris House]

A stage coach line was opened to Boston in 1784 and to Albany the next
year, when the Roger Morris House on the Kingsbridge road was opened by
Talmadge Hall as a tavern for the accommodation of the stage coach
passengers, and was probably the first stopping place going out. It
continued to be kept as a tavern for many years after this and is said to
have been a favorite place of resort for pleasure parties from the city.
It became known as Calumet Hall. Its landlord in 1789 was Captain William
Marriner. In October, 1789, President Washington visited, by appointment,
the fruit gardens of Mr. Prince at Flushing, Long Island. He was taken
over in his barge, accompanied by the Vice-President, the Governor of the
State, Mr. Izard, Colonel Smith and Major Jackson. On their way back they
visited the seat of Gouverneur Morris at Morrisania, and then went to
Harlem, where they met Mrs. Washington, Mrs. Adams and Mrs. Smith,
daughter of the Vice-President, dined at Marriner's and came home in the
evening. In July following a large party was formed to visit Fort
Washington. Washington, in his diary, does not state that Mrs. Washington
was of the party, but it is to be presumed that she was; the others,
beside himself, were "the Vice-President, his Lady, Son and Mrs. Smith;
the Secretaries of State, Treasury and War and the ladies of the two
latter; with all the Gentlemen of my family, Mrs. Lear, and the two
children." This was a notable party. They dined at Marriner's, who, no
doubt, felt the importance of the occasion and exerted himself
accordingly.

[Illustration: OLD SLEIGH]

Marriner's Tavern, the Roger Morris house, was situated at such a distance
from the city, on the only road of any length on the island, as to make it
a good objective point for pleasure parties. An English traveler who
visited New York in 1796, writes: "The amusement of which they seem most
passionately fond is that of riding on the snow in what _you_ would call a
sledge, drawn by two horses. It is astonishing to see how anxiously
persons of all ages and both sexes look out for a good fall of snow, that
they may enjoy their favorite amusement; and when the happy time comes, to
see how eager they are to engage every sleigh that is to be had. Parties
of twenty or thirty will sometimes go out of town in these vehicles
towards evening, about six or eight miles, when, having sent for a
fiddler, and danced till they are tired, they will return home again by
moonlight or perhaps more often by daylight. Whilst the snow is on the
ground no other carriages are made use of, either for pleasure or
service." Marriner's house was well suited for just such parties of
pleasure and we can easily imagine that the large octagonal room was about
this time, of crisp winter nights, the scene of many a merry dance. The
English traveler is supported in what he says by the announcement of
Christopher Colles in a New York newspaper in January, 1789, that so long
as the sleighing lasted he would continue his electrical experiments and
exhibition of curiosities, at Halsey's celebrated tavern in Harlem. It
would seem from this that his lectures needed the incentive of a sleigh
ride to make them more popular.

Captain Marriner was still keeping the house in the summer of 1794 when it
was visited by an Englishman who thus writes about his visit to the place:
"Whoever has a vacant day and fine weather, while at New York, let him go
to Haarlem, eleven miles distant. There is _a pleasant tavern_ on an
eminence near the church; a branch of the sea, or Eastern River, runs
close beneath you, where you may have excellent fishing. On the opposite
side are two pleasant houses, belonging to Colonel Morris, and a Captain
Lambert, an English gentleman, who retired hither after the war. Mr.
Marriner, the landlord, is a very intelligent, well educated man; I fished
with him for an hour and received a great deal of pleasure from his
conversation." * * * "He pressed me very much to stay at his house for a
week, and I should pay what I pleased. On our return Mr. L---- and myself
drank tea and coffee at Brannon's Tea Garden. Here was a good greenhouse,
with orange and lemon trees, a great quantity of geraniums, aloes and
other curious shrubs and plants. Iced creams and iced liquors are much
drank here during the hot weather by parties from New York." Brannon's Tea
Garden was on the road leading to the village of Greenwich at the present
junction of Hudson and Spring Streets, and had been there since previous
to the Revolution.

Captain Marriner is said to have been eccentric, but whether this be so or
not, he was undoubtedly a brave man and was engaged during the war in
several daring adventures. He presented a picturesque character in the
history of that period.

[Sidenote: Capt. Marriner's Raid]

When Captain Marriner was held as a prisoner in the early part of the war,
on his parole, quartered with Rem Van Pelt, of New Utrecht, Long Island,
one day at Dr. Van Buren's Tavern in Flatbush, his sarcastic wit brought
on him abusive language from Major Sherbrook of the British army. When
Marriner was exchanged, he determined to capture the Major and some
others. For this purpose he repaired to New Jersey and procured a
whale-boat, which he manned with a crew of twenty-two well armed
volunteers, with whom he proceeded to New Utrecht, landing on the beach
about half-past nine o'clock in the evening. Leaving two men in charge of
the boat, with the rest he marched unmolested to Flatbush Church, where he
divided his men into four squads, assigning a house to each party, who,
provided with a heavy post, were to break in the door when they should
hear Marriner strike. General Jeremiah Johnson, in his account of the
affair states that Marriner captured the Major, whom he found hidden
behind a large chimney in the garret, but the New York newspapers state
that he carried back with him to New Jersey Major Montcrieffe and Mr.
Theophylact Bache. On another visit to Long Island, Captain Marriner
carried off Simon Cortelyou, of New Utrecht, in return for his uncivil
conduct to the American prisoners. On a large rock in the North River, not
far from the shore, stood a bath house surmounted by a flagstaff. Noting
this, Marriner determined to give the English fresh cause for chagrin. He
accordingly procured the new American flag which had just been adopted,
and taking with him a few men, boldly rowed into the river one night and
nailed it to the pole, where it was discovered early next morning.
Sailors, sent to remove it, were obliged to cut away the pole, amid the
jeers and protests of the boys gathered on the beach.

Marriner was keeping a tavern in New York City before the war. An
important meeting was held at Marriner's Tavern at the time of the
election of delegates to the first Continental Congress, in 1774. After
the war he returned to the same business, and in 1786 was the landlord of
a house on the corner of John and Nassau Streets, where he offered to
serve his customers "in the neatest and most elegant manner," with
oysters, cooked in a variety of ways, beef steaks, etc., with the very
best of liquors. He, at one time kept the Ferry House at Harlem, and ran
the ferry to Morrisania. In the early part of the nineteenth century
Captain Benson built a large tavern at the junction of the Kingsbridge
road with the road from Harlem, which was for some years conducted by
Captain Marriner, who gained great celebrity for the excellent table he
set, and for the stories of whale-boat exploits during the war, which he
was never tired of relating.

When the St. Andrew's Society celebrated their anniversary on November 30,
1790, at the City Tavern, they had as guests at their dinner, Governor
Clinton, the Mayor of the City, General Horatio Gates and the principal
officers of the other humane national societies of the city. In an account
given of the dinner, it is stated that, "A few hours passed happily away,
divided between the animating tale, the cheerful glass and the heart
enlivening song."

The annual election of officers of the Society of the Cincinnati was held
on the 4th of July each year, after which there was a dinner, followed by
toasts. For several year its meeting place was at Corré's Hotel in
Broadway. Joseph Corré, at one time landlord of the City Tavern, opened,
in 1790, a house at No. 24 Broadway, which was for some years one of the
best and most popular taverns or hotels in the city. Meetings of
societies, concerts, balls and political meetings were held here.

[Sidenote: Dinners on Evacuation Day]

On Monday, November 25, 1793, the tenth anniversary of the evacuation of
New York by the British troops, was celebrated in the city with great
enthusiasm. At sunrise a salute was fired from the Battery followed
immediately by the ringing of all the bells in the city. This was repeated
at noon, when the corporation, the officers of the militia, the French
officers in town and many citizens waited on the Governor to congratulate
him on the occasion. The militia officers then waited on the mayor of the
city, the chief justice of the United States and the minister of the
French Republic. The Ambuscade Frigate was elegantly decorated and at one
o'clock fired a salute of twenty-one guns. The militia officers, honored
with the company of the Governor, General Gates and a number of French
officers, sat down to an elegant dinner prepared for them at the City
Tavern, "where they spent the remainder of the day in great spirits and
good fellowship." Toasts were drunk under the discharge of artillery. The
gentlemen of the corporation celebrated the day at the Tontine Coffee
House, where an elegant dinner was served up by Mr. Hyde and patriotic
toasts were drunk. The Society of Tammany also celebrated the day. At the
tavern of Robert Hunter, in Wall Street, a dinner was served up to a
number of citizens in celebration of the day, and the same was done in
several other of the principal taverns of the city. The dinner on
Evacuation Day at Bardin's was one of the last notable dinners given in
the old City Tavern. Preparations were being made to take it down and
build on its site a fine hotel.

In 1793 the City Tavern was still owned by John Peter De Lancey, son of
Lieutenant-Governor James De Lancey, who sold it to the Tontine
Association, who, taking down the old house, built upon its site the City
Hotel. In the deed of transfer, dated March 3, 1793, John Peter De Lancey
and Elizabeth, his wife, for the consideration of six thousand pounds
(£6,000), lawful money of the State of New York, convey the property to
Philip Livingston, John Watts, Thomas Buchanan, Gulian Verplanck, James
Watson, Moses Rogers, James Farquhar, Richard Harrison and Daniel Ludlow,
all of the city and state of New York, in trust for all the subscribers to
the New York Tontine Hotel and Assembly Room and their heirs, upon such
terms, conditions and restrictions, and with such right of survivorship as
may be hereafter agreed upon and settled by the majority of the said
subscribers or their representatives.

In November, 1793, Nicholas Cruger, chairman of the committee having the
business in charge, gave notice that they would pay a premium of twenty
guineas for the best plan of the building about to be erected, to be
handed in before the first day of January next, requesting that the plans
may not be signed, but designated by a private mark, accompanied by a
letter to the chairman, with the same mark on the outside.

[Sidenote: The City Hotel]

The new house which was erected in the early part of the year 1794 was
called the Tontine Hotel, but it soon came to be more generally spoken of
as the City Hotel. Robert Hunter, who had been keeping a tavern in Wall
Street, became its first landlord. He was in possession of it and meetings
were being held there in the early part of June, 1794. It was considered
the largest and finest hotel then in the United States. It became the
meeting place of societies and associations and of the City Assembly which
continued to flourish as it had done for many years. On Friday, October 7,
1796, there was great rejoicing in the city over the French victories,
news of which had just been received. The church bells were rung from
twelve to one o'clock, "and in the evening, as it were by patriotic
sympathy, a hall full of old Whigs and friends to the liberty of Man,
assembled at Hunter's Hotel, where a number of patriotic songs were sung,
a cold collation was served up and sixteen toasts were given apropos of
the news of the day." The nineteenth anniversary of the signing of the
treaty of alliance between France and the United States was celebrated on
Monday, February 6, 1797, at Hunter's Hotel by a numerous assembly of
patriotic citizens. Hunter remained landlord of the City Hotel until 1799,
when he was succeeded by John Lovett, under whose management the house
became quite popular.

[Illustration: THE CITY HOTEL]

Saturday, the 4th of July, 1795, the anniversary of our independence was
celebrated in the city with more than usual attention, induced probably by
the political excitement which then prevailed. The ringing of all the
bells of the city with a Federal Salute from the Battery ushered in the
day, which was repeated at noon and in the evening. There was a large
procession, which about eleven o'clock moved from the Battery to the new
Presbyterian Church where the Declaration of Independence was read by
Edward Livingston and an elegant and patriotic discourse was delivered by
the Rev. Mr. Miller. On returning to the Battery, where a feu-de-joie was
fired the different societies that had taken part separated and at three
o'clock sat down to entertainments prepared for them at different places
in the city. After dinner, the Corporation, the Society of the Cincinnati,
the Militia Officers, the Society of Tammany, the Mechanic and Democratic
Societies and the Merchants at the Tontine Coffee House sent deputations
to each other with congratulations upon the return of the day. The
festivities closed with a beautiful display of fireworks under the
direction of Colonel Bauman. The merchants, who celebrated the day by a
dinner at the Tontine Coffee House were honored by the company of Governor
Jay, Major-General Morris, Judge Iredell, Mr. Reed, Senator in Congress
from South Carolina, Judge Hobart, Judge Lawrence, Colonel Hamilton, Mr.
King, the Mayor of the City, Doctor Johnson, the Secretary of the State,
the Attorney-General of the District, the Treasurer of the State, Captain
Dennis, Captain Talbot, Captain Thomson. After the dinner toasts were
drunk as usual.

[Sidenote: The Tammany Wigwam]

For some years the Tammany Society had their anniversary dinners and their
Fourth of July dinners at Bardin's, the City Tavern. The Great Wigwam of
the society was in the old Exchange in Broad Street, where it continued to
be until the building was taken down in 1799. After this the Long Room of
Abraham B. Martling's Tavern on the corner of Nassau and George (now
Spruce) Streets, where the American Tract Society Building now stands,
became the wigwam of the society. During the period of political
excitement, from 1793 to 1795 and later, the Tammany Society is said to
have been opposed to radical measures, which might have involved us in
European difficulties. A toast drunk at one of their festivals was, "The
hawks of war--may they be harmless." In 1795, during the excitement about
the Jay treaty, the minority of the United States Senate who voted against
it were toasted, thus showing that there was then in the society a strong
anti-federal sentiment. On July 4, 1798, the Tammany Society met in their
Great Wigwam in the evening, where a newspaper states "they partook of a
collation and drank toasts which were in unison with their political
opinions." This was about the beginning of Tammany's political career. The
principles of Jefferson were in the ascendant; it had become a republican
society. Martling's Tavern was a low, wooden building, with a very rough
exterior devoid of paint, having an entrance on Nassau Street. The Long
Room was in the rear of the house, and its somewhat dilapidated appearance
caused it to be called the "Pig Pen," by those not friendly to Tammany.
All the leading republicans of the day attended the meetings held here,
and although the party was threatened by divisions of the Burrites, the
Lewisites and the Clintonians, it was held together.

[Illustration: MARTLING'S TAVERN]

During the French Revolution there were many Frenchmen who had been driven
from France and had taken refuge in New York City. One of these was the
famous gastronome, Anthelme Brillât-Savarin, author of La Physiologie du
Gout, who tells us something of the way they enjoyed themselves while
here. He says: "I sometimes passed the evening in a sort of café-taverne,
kept by a Mr. Little, where he served in the morning turtle soup, and in
the evening all the refreshments customary in the United States. I
generally took with me Vicomte de la Massue and Jean Rodolphe Fehr,
formerly a mercantile broker at Marseilles, both _emigrés_ like myself. I
treated them to welch-rabbit, which was washed down with ale or cider, and
here we passed the evening talking over our misfortunes, our pleasures,
and our hopes."

[Sidenote: A Drinking Bout]

Michael Little's Tavern, or Porter House, as it was called, was at 56 Pine
Street, a little below William Street, and it speaks well for the house
that it should have been selected by Brillât-Savarin and his friends as a
place for their suppers. Brillât-Savarin spent two years in New York,
1794-96, supporting himself by giving lessons in the French language and
playing in the orchestra of the theater. He gives a very amusing account
of a dinner party at Little's place, of which he and his two friends
formed a part. He had met there Mr. Wilkinson, an Englishman from Jamaica
and his friend, whose name he never knew, whom he described as a very
taciturn man, with a square face, keen eyes, and features as
expressionless as those of a blind man, who appeared to notice everything
but never spoke; only, when he heard a witty remark or merry joke, his
face would expand, his eyes close, and opening a mouth as large as the
bell of a trumpet, he would send forth a sound between a laugh and a howl
called by the English, horse laugh; after which he would relapse into his
habitual taciturnity. Mr. Wilkinson appeared to be about fifty years of
age, with the manners and all the bearing of a gentleman (_un homme comme
il faut_).

These two Englishmen, pleased with the society of Brillât-Savarin and his
friends, had many times partaken of the frugal collation which was offered
them, when, one evening, Wilkinson took Brillât-Savarin to one side and
declared his intention of engaging all three of them to dine with him. The
invitation was accepted and fixed for three o'clock in the afternoon of
the third day after. As they were about to leave the waiter quietly told
Brillât-Savarin that the Jamaicans had ordered a good dinner and had given
directions that the wine and liquor be carefully prepared, because they
regarded the invitation as a challenge or test of drinking powers, and
that the man with the big mouth had said that he hoped to put the
Frenchmen under the table.

For such a drinking bout Brillât-Savarin had no relish, but the Frenchmen
could not now very well avoid it without being accused of being
frightened by the Englishmen. Although aware of the danger, following the
maxim of Marshal de Saxe, "As the wine was drawn they prepared to drink
it." ("_Le vin etait tiré, nous nous preparâmes à le boire._")

Brillât-Savarin had no fear for himself, but he did not wish to see his
two friends go down with the others; he wished to make it a national
victory, and not an individual one. He, therefore, sent for his friends
and gave them a lecture. He instructed them to restrain their appetites at
the beginning so as to eat moderately with the wine throughout the whole
dinner, to drink small draughts and even contrive to get rid of the wine
sometimes without drinking it. They divided among them a quantity of
bitter almonds, recommended for such an occasion.

At the appointed time they all met at Little's Tavern, and soon after the
dinner was served. It consisted of an enormous piece of roast beef, a
turkey (_dindon cuit dans son jus_), vegetables, a salad and a tart
(_tarte aux comfitures_). They drank after the French fashion, that is to
say, the wine was served from the commencement. It was very good claret.
Mr. Wilkinson did the honors of the table admirably. His friend appeared
absorbed in his plate and said nothing.

Brillât-Savarin was charmed with his two friends. La Massue, although
endowed with a sufficiently good appetite, was mincing his food like a
delicate young lady, and Fehr was adroitly succeeding in passing glasses
of wine into a beer pot at the end of the table. He himself was holding up
well against the two Englishmen, and the more the dinner advanced the more
confident he felt.

After the claret came Port, after Port, Madeira, at which they stuck for a
long time. On the arrival of the dessert, composed of butter, cheese and
nuts, was the time for toasts. They drank to the power of kings, the
liberty of the people and the beauty of women; particularly to the health
of Mr. Wilkinson's daughter, Mariah, who, he assured his guests, was the
most beautiful person in all the island of Jamaica.

After the wine came spirits--rum, brandy and whiskey--and with the
spirits, songs. Brillât-Savarin avoided the spirits and called for punch.
Little himself brought in a bowl of it, without doubt prepared in advance,
sufficient for forty persons. No such vessel for drink was ever seen in
France.

Brillât-Savarin says that he ate five or six slices of buttered toast
(_roties d'un beurre extremement frais_) and felt his forces revived. He
then took a survey of the situation, for he was becoming much concerned as
to how it would all end. His two friends appeared quite fresh and drank as
they picked the nuts. Wilkinson's face was scarlet, his eyes were troubled
and he appeared to be giving way. His friend said nothing, but his head
smoked like a boiling caldron. The catastrophe was approaching.

Suddenly Mr. Wilkinson started to his feet and began to sing Rule
Britannia, but he could get no farther than these words; his strength
failed him; he felt himself drop into his chair and from there rolled
under the table (_coula sous le table_). His friend seeing him in this
state, emitted one of his noisiest laughs, and stooping to assist him fell
by his side.

Brillât-Savarin, viewing the scene with considerable satisfaction and
relief, rang the bell, and when Little came up, after addressing him the
conventional phrase, "See to it that these gentlemen are properly cared
for," with his friends drank with him their health in a parting glass of
punch. The waiter, with his assistants, soon came in and bore away the
vanquished, whom they carried out, according to the rule, _feet foremost_,
which expression is used in English to designate those _dead or drunk_,
Mr. Wilkinson still trying to sing Rule Britannia, his friend remaining
absolutely motionless.

Next day seeing in the newspapers an account of what had happened, with
the remark that the Englishmen were ill, Brillât-Savarin went to see them.
He found the friend suffering from a severe attack of indigestion. Mr.
Wilkinson was confined to his chair by the gout, brought on probably by
his late dissipation. He seemed sensible to the attention and said to
Brillât-Savarin, among other things: "Oh! dear sir, you are very good
company, indeed, but too hard a drinker for us."

[Illustration: ANTHELME BRILLAT-SAVARIN]

Brillât-Savarin was a convivial soul, a lover of good cheer and openhanded
hospitality. The time passed so pleasantly and he was so comfortable while
in New York City, that on taking his departure for France, in 1796, he
declared that all he asked of Heaven was, never to know greater sorrow in
the Old World that he had known in the New. He settled in Paris, and after
holding several offices under the Directory, became a judge in the Cour de
Cassation, the French court of last resort, where he remained until his
death, in 1826. While without special reputation as a jurist, as a judge
and expounder of gastronomic excellence, his name has become immortalized.

On the 16th of December, 1796, "the young men of the city who were willing
to contribute to the preservation of the Public Safety, at that critical
juncture," were invited to attend a meeting "at Mr. Little's Porter House
in Pine Street that evening at seven o'clock in order to form an
association for that laudable purpose." Soon after this Little moved to
No. 42 Broad Street, the old Fraunces' Tavern. At this place, on
Wednesday, July 28, 1802, the two friends of De Witt Clinton and Colonel
John Swartwout met to make arrangements for the duel which took place at
Hoboken on Saturday, July 31st. A meeting of the gentlemen of the bar of
the City of New York was held here February 11, 1802.

[Illustration]



XII

THE CITY HOTEL


[Sidenote: The Black Friars]

The social ties that had existed before the Revolution were all broken up,
and new connections had to be formed. Societies, like the St. Andrew and
St. George, were revived, and patriotic societies, such as the Cincinnati
and the Tammany were formed. The first purely social club after the war,
of which we have any knowledge, was the Black Friars, founded November 10,
1784, the officers of which were a Father, Chancellor, Cardinals and
Priors. On May 9, 1789, the society held a festival at the Friary, dinner
being served at half-past four, and on November 10th of the same year
celebrated its anniversary, an oration being delivered by Dr. Tillery.
After dinner, eleven toasts were drunk, only eleven states having then
come into the union. One of these toasts was: "The Fair Daughters of
Columbia, may they ever find a friend in a Friar." The society was
charitable as well as social, and met twice a month at the Friary, No. 56
Pine Street. Among its members at this time were Josiah Ogden Hoffman,
Benjamin Graves, John Stagg, Dr. James Tillery, Bernard Hart, Dr. Benjamin
Kissam, Richard Harwood, John Fisher and Oliver Glean. In 1802 the Friary
was at the hotel of John Adams, Jr., 68 William Street. Its meetings were
also held at the Merchants' Coffee House; by order of the Father.

[Sidenote: The Drone Club]

The Friendly Club, under the presidency of General Laight, existed for
some years about this period, and included among its members many
prominent men of the city. It met at the houses of its members in rotation
every Tuesday evening. It was the duty of the host to direct the
conversation and at the close of the discussion light refreshments were
served. The Drone Club, a select and literary circle, was instituted about
the year 1792. Its aim was intellectual advancement and the cultivation of
letters rather than social or festive enjoyment. Its members were
recognized by proofs of authorship, and in its ranks was the best talent
of the city. It seems to be a fact that social clubs that met at taverns
had more vitality than those that held their meeting at the houses of
members.

[Sidenote: The Belvedere Club]

The Belvedere House was built in the year 1792 by thirty-three gentlemen
composing the Belvedere Club. It was situated near the East River, about a
quarter of a mile beyond the paved streets of the east side of the city,
its site being now about the center of the block bounded by Montgomery,
Cherry, Clinton and Monroe Streets. The original intention was to build
merely a couple of rooms for the use of the club, but the beauty of the
situation induced them to extend their plan and they erected a building to
answer the purposes of a public hotel or tavern as well as for their own
accommodation. The ball-room, which included the whole of the second story
of the east front of the house was octagon, forty-five feet long,
twenty-four feet wide and seventeen feet high, with a music gallery. This
room, finished and decorated in admirable style, was retained by the Club
for their Saturday evening meetings, during the summer season, the only
exclusive privilege which the proprietors held. Its windows opened to the
floor, communicating with a balcony twelve feet wide which surrounded the
eastern part of the house and afforded a most agreeable promenade. The
room under this on the ground floor, of the same shape and size in length
and breadth as the ball-room, was used as a dinner and supper room for
large companies and public entertainments. On the west side of the house
were two dining parlors, a bar-room, two card-rooms and a number of bed
chambers. To the west of the house was a small courtyard with stables,
coach house and other offices; to the east, although the grounds were
small, was a bowling green, and there were graveled walks and some
shrubbery. From the balcony of the house could be seen a great part of the
city, the bay of New York, Long Island, the East River as far as Hell
Gate, and the bold and magnificent Pallisades bordering the North River on
the Jersey side.

[Illustration: BELVEDERE CLUB HOUSE]

The house when completed, was taken by John Avery, who in December, 1793,
was prepared to supply ladies and gentlemen with dinners and suppers, and
made it known that the use of the ball-room could be obtained on
seasonable notice, for public or private parties, balls or concerts. In
1798, the Society of the Cincinnati, after transacting at Federal Hall,
the usual business of their anniversary meeting, on July 4th, adjourned to
the Belvedere for the dinner which was served up to them in the usual
style. The Belvedere was an hilarious association, the main object of
which was social enjoyment. Its members were doubtless much interested in
the pleasures of riding and driving and probably supported to some extent
the races which are said to have been regularly held on the Bowery Lane,
about the opening of the nineteenth century.

[Sidenote: Improvement in the City Hotel]

John Lovett was landlord of the City Hotel until 1807, when he was
succeeded by Chenelette Dusseaussoir, who had been a confectioner, with a
store at No. 102, on the opposite side of Broadway, below the hotel. He
continued as landlord for two years, when in 1809, Solomon D. Gibson took
charge of the house, and two years later, after making some alterations,
informs the public that, "The Ordinary of the Hotel is always supplied
with every variety and delicacy which the season will permit, while the
Bar can boast an ample stock of superior wines calculated to tempt the
taste of the epicure. A new and elegant Bar-Room and Coffee-Room, fronting
on Broadway, have lately been added; which, unrivalled in point of pure
air and salubrity, and commanding a delightful view of a street
embellished with all the facinations of beauty and by all the graces of
fashion, present irresistable attractions to gentlemen of taste."

The City Hotel afforded better accommodations for balls and concerts than
any other place in the city, and the most important affairs of such a
nature were held here. What was called the Old Assembly Room in William
Street was also used for such purposes. In February, 1802, announcement
was made that the second Juvenile Assembly would be held on the 18th at
this place. This was probably a rival of the City Assembly. In the
announcement their rules are given out, which appear to have been very
strict.

[Sidenote: City Assembly]

An English traveler who visited New York in 1807 states that the City
Hotel nearly resembles in size and architecture the London Tavern in
Bishopgate Street. He also says: "Dancing is an amusement that the New
York ladies are passionately fond of, and they are said to excel those of
every other city in the Union. I visited the City Assembly, which is held
at the City Hotel in the Broadway, and considered as the best in New York.
It was the first night of the season, and there was not more than one
hundred and fifty persons present. I did not perceive anything different
from an English assembly, except the cotillions, which were danced in an
admirable manner, alternately with the country dances. Several French
gentlemen were present, and figured away in the cotillions with
considerable taste and agility. The subscription is two dollars and a half
for each night, and includes tea, coffee, and cold collation. None but the
first class of society can become subscribers to this assembly. Another
has, however, been recently established, in which the genteel part of the
second class are admitted, who were shut out from the City Assembly. A
spirit of jealousy and pride has caused the subscribers of the new
assembly to make their subscriptions three dollars, and to have their
balls also at the City Hotel. It was so well conducted, that many of the
subscribers of the City Assembly seceded, and joined the opposition one,
or subscribed to both."

[Sidenote: Musical Societies]

About the opening of the nineteenth century there were several musical
societies in New York. Some of these were short-lived, but others arose to
take their places. The Euterpean was of this period. It lasted until the
middle of the century and exercised a considerable influence on the
musical taste of the time. There was also a Philharmonic Society. On the
16th of February, 1802, the Columbian Anacreontic Society gave their
annual Ladies' Concert at the Tontine Assembly Rooms, in the City Hotel,
Broadway. It must have been considered a very fine affair, for the account
of it in the Evening Post next day fills more than a column of the paper.
The article states that the concert was "given in a style of superior
elegance. The whole suite of apartments occupied by the City Assemblies
were thrown open on this occasion. No pains or expense had been spared to
provide suitable entertainment. * * * The company assembled at an early
hour and were numerous beyond any former occasion." Between the acts
refreshments were served from the tea-room, which part of the
entertainment was received by the company with marks of appreciation. The
newspaper article concludes: "We beg permission to express our hope that
an institution so honorable to the taste and manners of our city, may
continue to receive the electric applause of Beauty and Fashion."

[Sidenote: Second Hudson Centennial]

New York celebrated the second centennial anniversary of the discovery of
the Hudson River on Monday, the 4th of September, 1809, under the auspices
of the New York Historical Society. It was not so grand and elaborate an
affair as that of the third centennial celebration, gotten up by the city
two years ago, yet, nevertheless, it was an appropriate celebration. At
the request of the society the Rev. Dr. Samuel Miller delivered a learned
and interesting address concerning this event, before a large and
respectable audience of ladies and gentlemen at the City Hall, among whom
were the governor, the mayor and the corporation of the city. At four
o'clock the members of the society with the invited guests sat down to an
elegant dinner prepared for them by Messrs. Fay and Gibson at the City
Hotel. Shell fish and other fish, with which our waters abound, were
served, with wild pigeon and corn and beans or succotash, the old Dutch
or Indian dish, the favorite dish of the season, and the different meats
introduced into the country by the early settlers. Such dishes were served
as were common in the early history of the city. One of the toasts, which
was offered by Simeon DeWitt, was: "May our successors a century hence
celebrate the same event which we this day commemorate." The spirit of
Simeon DeWitt may have been the guardian angel of our recent celebration.

[Sidenote: St. Andrew's Society Dinners]

The dinners of the St. Andrew's Society seem to have surpassed all others.
The St. Andrew's Society of the State of New York celebrated its
anniversary on Monday, November 30, 1801, at the Tontine Coffee House.
Here, after disposing of the usual business of the society, they sat down
to a dinner prepared by James Rathwell, the landlord of the house, which,
it is said "was never exceeded in this city for elegance and variety, and
spent the evening to a pretty late hour with much conviviality and
friendship." They were honored with the company of the mayor, his
predecessor in that office, and that of the British consul. One account of
the dinner states: "We have never heard so many original and appropriate
songs as were sung on this occasion, and never witnessed more genuine
satisfaction beam in every eye." In 1802, and in 1803, the society
celebrated their anniversary at the same place and the dinner each year
was prepared by Mr. Rathwell in the same superior style as in 1801.

In 1804 the society celebrated their anniversary at the Tontine Coffee
House, and at four o'clock sat down to a dinner prepared in the best style
by Mr. Hyde, who was again the landlord of the house, "and spent their
convivial hour with the dignified festivity of men attached to each other
by personal respect, by love to their native and adopted country, and by a
generous concurrance in extending a generous proportion of their own
comforts to their suffering brethren." The mayor of the city, the British
consul general, Captain Beresford, of the navy, and other gentlemen of
distinction honored the society with their company. On the wall of the
room hung a full length portrait of General Hamilton, the property of the
Chamber of Commerce. Pointing to this, a member of the society gave the
toast: "Our Silent Monitor--May we ever emulate his virtues."

When the society celebrated their anniversary, November 30, 1805, the
landlord of the Tontine Coffee House was Thomas Vaughan, who prepared for
them a dinner "unusually sumptuous and elegant." The guests were the mayor
of the city, the British consul general, the Hon. Robert R. Livingston and
Captain Porteous. At this meeting the society passed a resolution, offered
by Dr. Tillery "to erect a plain, neat Monument in memory of that great
and good man, Major General Hamilton, on the spot where he received the
wound which terminated in his death and which deprived America of her
greatest pride and ornament." The next year Mr. Vaughan again prepared the
anniversary dinner for the society at the Tontine Coffee House, when "they
allowed themselves to indulge in that degree of innocent mirth and decent
conviviality, which comports with the character of those whose flow of
soul must not extend beyond the feast of reason." After dinner toasts were
drunk interspersed with Scottish songs and "tales of other times."

In 1810, honored by the company of several distinguished guests, the St.
Andrew's Society celebrated their anniversary at the City Hotel, then kept
by Solomon D. Gibson. A newspaper states: "It would be a want of justice
in us towards Mr. Gibson not to state that the style in which the dinner
was gotten up and the quality of his wines were such as gave entire
satisfaction to the company and did himself much credit." "After the cloth
was removed a number of appropriate toasts were given and the social
glass, the cheerful song and 'Weel timed Daffin,' kept a considerable
party together till 'Some wee short hour ayont the T'wai' hinted to each
to 'Tak the way that pleased himsel,' highly gratified with the agreeable
manner in which the day had been spent."

[Sidenote: A Supper at Dyde's Hotel]

For more than ten years the Long Room of Martling's Tavern was the wigwam
of the Tammany Society. Immediately after the election of Jefferson, when
the Tammany Society had become thoroughly Republican, a division arose
between the friends of De Witt Clinton, Chancellor Livingston and Colonel
Burr. Each accused the other of faithlessness, dishonesty and duplicity.
Clinton became involved with Colonel John Swartwout, a friend of Burr,
which led to a duel between them at Hoboken, in which Swartwout was
wounded. Bitterness between these factions was intense until 1806, when a
coalition was entered into between the Clintonians and Burrites, which was
kept secret until the 20th of February, 1806, when they assembled at
Dyde's Hotel to celebrate the union by a supper. The coalition was a
surprise to all and was denounced in the strongest terms as an unnatural
union, a public outrage, etc. One paper states that "verily a supper was
very appropriate; for such deeds of dark and terrible infamy ought to be
enacted in the night only," and calls it a political rascality. The
factions had accused each other of all sorts of political crimes and now
they had joined forces.

  "Come let us chant our joys,
    We now are foes no more;
  Now we are _honest_ boys,
    However so before."

Dyde's house was next door to the Park Theatre, facing the Park. He called
it the London Hotel and proposed to keep it "in the true Old English
Style, the principles of which are cleanliness, civility, comfort and good
cheer." In March, 1806, the Park Theatre announced the play of Macbeth, to
be followed by the comedy of the Farm House, the curtain to rise at
half-past six o'clock. The announcement was followed by a card stating
that there could be obtained "an excellent supper at Dyde's Hotel between
the play and farce at 50 cents each; the same every other night at
half-past 9 o'clock." Verily our ancestors took their pleasures in large
and heavy doses. For a time Dyde's Hotel was quite popular. On Sunday,
January 11, 1807, Mr. Foster preached a sermon here, and a meeting of the
Philharmonic Society was held at Dyde's Hotel, next to the Theater, on
Thursday, January 29, 1807. The Philharmonic Society met here again in
December of the same year for the election of officers of the society when
it was called the Washington Hotel. When a public ball was given here in
February, 1808, by Mr. Armour, a teacher of dancing, it was still known as
the Washington Hotel. In the early part of the year 1809, it appears to
have been called the Mercantile Coffee House, and also the Commercial
Coffee House, but neither of these names clung to it very long.

[Illustration: WHITE CONDUIT HOUSE]

[Sidenote: Tea Gardens]

The so-called gardens, where ice cream, tea and other beverages were
served to the sound of music, were, about the beginning of the century,
and had been for some time, popular with the people of New York. During
the war, while the city was occupied by the British, near the present
corner of Broadway and Leonard Street, there was a public house called the
White Conduit House, so called from a popular tavern of that name in
London. On the 24th of June, 1779, the Freemasons, in remembrance of St.
John, their patron saint, went in procession to St. Paul's Church, where
an excellent sermon was preached by Dr. Seabury; "from thence they
proceeded, accompanied by the clergy and band of music to the White
Conduit House, where there was an elegant dinner prepared, and the day was
celebrated with great harmony and brotherly love." At the close of the war
the place became a public garden and pleasure resort. In 1796 it was under
the control of William Byram. Soon after, when the street was cut through,
it came into the possession of Joseph Corré, who some years before, had
been the landlord of the City Tavern, and was at the time keeper of an ice
cream and tea garden on State Street, called the Columbian Garden. Under
his management it was known as the Mt. Vernon Garden. The cutting through
of the street left the house high above the level, and it was reached by a
flight of steps. Flying horses and other like amusements were the
attractions of the place. Corré opened here a Summer Theater, in which
members of the Park Theater company played during the time their own
theater was closed.

[Sidenote: Second Vauxhall]

Bayard's Mount, or Bunker Hill, as it was sometimes called, at the present
junction of Grand and Mulberry Streets, the highest point on the island
near the city, was a well known landmark in its time, overlooking the city
and a wide extent of country including the North and East Rivers. There is
no sign to-day that such an elevation ever existed at that place. Nearby
was the Bayard homestead which had been the residence of the Bayard family
for fifty years. In 1798, this, with the surrounding premises, was
converted by Joseph Delacroix, a Frenchman, into a popular resort, known
as Vauxhall Garden. It was the second of the name, the first, at the
corner of Warren and Greenwich Streets, which, before the war, flourished
under the management of Sam Francis, having been converted, some years
previous, into a pottery.

On Independence Day, 1802, particular exertions were made by the summer
gardens to attract visitors. It was announced that the open air theatre at
the Mount Vernon Garden, under the management of John Hodgkinson, of the
Park Theatre, would open the season on Monday, July 5th, in celebration of
Independence Day, with the play of "All the World's a Stage," after which
would be recitations and songs, followed by "The Sailor's Landlady or Jack
in Distress"; concluding with a grand display of fireworks. Tickets to
Box, six shillings, Pit and Gallery, four shillings. Refreshments as
usual. Joseph Delacroix informed his friends and the public in general
that on Monday, July 5th, the anniversary of American Independence would
be celebrated at Vauxhall with great splendor, surpassing everything ever
yet exhibited in America. A beautiful drawing of the Triumphal Car which
was to take part in the spectacular scene could be seen at the Tontine
Coffee House. Doors open at four o'clock. Tickets, four shillings. Grand
illuminations and transparencies were promised at the Columbian Garden, in
State Street, opposite the Battery. Open from six o'clock in the morning
until ten o'clock at night. Tickets, two shillings.

[Sidenote: Third Vauxhall]

Another place of great notoriety for many years was situated south of the
present Astor Place, between the Bowery and Broadway, the narrower end of
the property on Broadway, the entrance being on the Bowery. Jacob Sperry,
a native of Switzerland, although he had studied physic, purchased the
property and for many years devoted himself to the raising of fruits and
flowers. In 1803 he sold the garden to John Jacob Astor for nine thousand
pounds (£9,000), then considered a good sale. Astor leased it to Joseph
Delacroix, who was then conducting the Vauxhall Garden on the Bayard
estate, at Grand and Mulberry Streets, and who, when he moved to it,
carried with him the name. Under his management it became a noted resort.
Vauxhall Garden was an inclosure said to contain three acres of ground,
handsomely laid out with gravel walks and grass plots, and adorned with
shrubs, trees, flowers, busts, statues, and arbors. In the center was a
large equestrian statue of General Washington. There were summer houses,
and tables and seats under the trees on the grounds, and boxes or rather
stalls around the inside, close up to the high board fence which inclosed
the garden, where visitors were served with light refreshments. In the
front of the grounds was a building where a theatrical company performed
during the summer season. The price of admission was fifty cents to Box,
Pit or Gallery, for they were all one and the same thing, the spectators
sitting in the open air. The orchestra was among the trees. A resident of
Philadelphia relates how on a visit to New York, in 1806, he was carried
out to the garden in a hackney coach with three other passengers for
twenty-five cents each, and there, for fifty cents, saw performed "The
Agreeable Surprise," in which Twaits played the principal part. Delacroix
succeeded in making the garden a very popular resort. All the town flocked
to it. It was to the New York of that day something like what Coney Island
is to the New York of to-day. With its numerous lamps among the trees and
shrubbery and arbors, its artistic adornments, its fireworks and balloons,
its music and its theatrical performances and singing, the people of New
York considered it about as gay a place of recreation as could be found
anywhere. Lafayette Place was cut through the property in 1826, but the
garden continued to flourish for more than twenty years after. During the
later years of its existence it became a favorite place for public
meetings.

[Sidenote: The Old Coffee House]

About the time that the Tontine Coffee House was built, in 1793, Mrs.
Bradford, who had kept the Merchants' Coffee House since the death of her
husband, in 1786, retired. She lived in Cortlandt until her death, in May,
1822. She was succeeded in the old house by John Byrne, who opened it as
the New York Hotel, but it was generally called "The Old Coffee House."
Byrne remained there until 1798, when he crossed over to the Tontine and
was succeeded by Edward Bardin, who had been a well known tavern-keeper in
New York since 1764. Many of the old societies continued to patronize the
house. The Free Masons clung to it. The Sons of St. Patrick celebrated
here their anniversaries, and the Black Friars--a social club--met here by
order of the "Fathers." The Marine Society continued here their regular
meetings. Bardin was in possession of it when it was burned down in the
fire of 1804. The building, which was of brick, was valued at $7,500. When
the house was rebuilt, Bardin returned to it and opened it as the Phoenix
Coffee House, and continued in it until he, too, like his predecessor,
went over to the Tontine, in 1812.

[Sidenote: Dinner to Robert R. Livingston]

A grand dinner was given to the Honorable Robert R. Livingston at the
Tontine Coffee House, December 7, 1805. Although circumstances prevented
many from attending, yet the room was crowded, and it is said that on no
similar occasion was there ever witnessed a more elegant entertainment or
a more respectable company. John Watts presided. Among those who attended
were: The Reverend Doctor Rodgers, the Lieutenant Governor, the Mayor, the
Foreign Consuls, Mr. Morris, Mr. King and Mr. Van Rensselear. After
dinner, Mr. Livingston being called on by the president, gave the toast,
"New York--Its ports fortified--its commerce prosperous--its mechanics
encouraged and its citizens united and happy." Mr. Livingston having
retired amidst the applause of the company the president gave: "Robert B.
Livingston--the successful negociator--the friend of agriculture and the
patron of fine arts," which was received with cheers.

[Illustration: Robert R. Livingston]

[Sidenote: The Embargo]

The embargo of 1807 prostrated the business of the city. In the spring of
1808, the streets, wharfs and quays along the East River appeared almost
deserted; the bustle and activity of former days no longer prevailed.
There were many ships at the wharfs, but they were dismantled and laid up;
their decks were cleared, their hatches were fastened down and hardly a
sailor was to be seen. Not a box, barrel, bale or package was on the
wharfs and many of the counting houses were closed. A few merchants,
clerks, porters and laborers could be seen aimlessly strolling about with
their hands in their pockets. Where there used to be sixty to a hundred
carts standing in the street for hire there were scarcely a dozen, and
they were unemployed. A few coasting sloops and schooners, clearing out
for the ports of the United States, were all that remained of that immense
business which was carried on only a few months before. The Tontine Coffee
House was almost empty, the few to be seen, appearing to be there merely
to pass away the time, which hung heavy on their hands. There appeared to
be little or no business doing there except perhaps a few transactions in
securities or stocks. Grass had begun to grow upon the wharfs, and the
people seemed to have taken leave of all their former gaiety and
cheerfulness. The embargo did not accomplish the results desired. It was
lifted in the early part of the year 1809, and the activities of business
were again resumed.

[Sidenote: Mechanics' Hall]

The General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen, founded November 17, 1785,
incorporated March 14, 1792, erected a hall of their own on the corner of
Broadway and Robinson Street (now Park Place), in 1802. They held their
annual celebration in it for the first time on the 6th of January, 1803.
After the election of officers and other business before the society, the
two hundred and fifteen members in attendance sat down to a dinner
prepared for them by Mr. Borowsen, who was then in charge of the house.
The day was spent with the utmost hilarity and good humor, enlivened by
appropriate toasts and songs. The mayor of the city was a guest of the
society. Mechanics' Hall is described as a building eighty by twenty-seven
and a half feet. In the basement was a spacious kitchen, etc.; on the
first floor a large coffee room, bar, dining room and landlady's room; on
the second floor, ceiling sixteen feel high, a large hall fifty-two by
twenty-five feet, with a handsome orchestra and a drawing room twenty feet
square. On the third floor were five spacious rooms for the use of clubs
and meetings of any kind and on the fourth twelve bedrooms. In the spring
of 1803, the house was taken by Michael Little, and soon became a popular
place for balls and concerts. It was for some years one of the prominent
hotels of the city. The twelfth anniversary of the society was celebrated
here in 1804, when Mr. Little was the landlord of the house.

[Sidenote: New England Society]

New York, as headquarters of the British forces in the Revolutionary war,
had attracted much attention to her advantageous situation, and when peace
returned men of energy flocked to it, as offering a good field for
enterprise. Among these were many from New England, and it is claimed that
the city owes much to this element, endowed with intelligence, vitality
and perseverance. Soon after the opening of the nineteenth century the New
England Society was formed. Their first dinner was given December 21,
1805. For some years their meetings were held at the Tontine Coffee House
and at other prominent public houses, but about 1812 the society settled
on Niblo's Bank Coffee House as the regular place for their annual
dinners. On December 22, 1807, the society held a grand celebration of
their anniversary at the City Hotel, where at three o'clock in the
afternoon, four hundred gentlemen sat down to an elegant dinner prepared
by Mr. Dusseaussoir. The Reverend Doctor Rodgers and several of the
venerable clergy from New England sat at the head of the table on the
right of the president. It seems to have been a very merry dinner. An
account of it, with the songs and toasts, fills over a column of the
Evening Post. To honor the day, the proprietors and masters of all vessels
in the port of New York, belonging to New England, were requested to hoist
their colors on the 22d.

[Sidenote: Washington Hall]

The Washington Benevolent Society was organized on the 12th of July, 1808.
On Washington's birthday, February 22, 1809, after electing officers of
the society, they repaired to Zion Church, where an oration was delivered.
In the evening, about one thousand members of the society sat down to
suppers provided for them at five different houses. On the next Fourth of
July the society celebrated the day with more than usual enthusiasm,
taking a leading part. They had a grand parade and laid the corner stone
of Washington Hall on the corner of Broadway and Reade Streets. The
president of the society, Isaac Sebring, after going through the
formalities of the occasion, turned to the society and thus impressively
addressed them: "While I congratulate the society on this occasion, I
cannot but express the hope that the Hall, to be erected on this spot, may
be sacredly devoted to the cultivation of Friendship, of Charity, of
correct principles and of ardent Patriotism. Built by the friends of
Washington, may it never be polluted by the enemies of that illustrious
and revered statesman. * * * Designed as the seat of rational republican
sentiments, may it be forever preserved from the infuriated footsteps of
Monarchy, Aristocracy, Anarchy and Jacobinism. And may our descendants in
the latest generation, meet at this spot to commemorate the virtues of
their revolutionary ancestors."

[Illustration: WASHINGTON HALL]

Although the Washington Benevolent Society was not organized as a
political association there is no doubt that its members were mostly of
the Federal party. The Hamilton Society, whose headquarters were at the
Hamilton Hotel in Cherry Street, was very friendly. This, too, no doubt,
was strongly Federal, and Washington Hall, where the two societies joined
in celebrating Washington's birthday, became, soon after its completion,
the headquarters of the Federal party, in opposition to Tammany Hall,
completed about the same time, as that of the Republicans or Democrats.
Washington Hall, at the time of its erection, was considered one of the
handsomest structures in the city. Although intended to be used as a
public hall for meetings, assemblies, etc., it was also kept as a hotel.
Its first landlord was Daniel W. Crocker.

[Sidenote: Tammany Hall]

The corner-stone of Tammany Hall, corner of the present Park Place and
Frankfort Street, was laid on Monday, May 13, 1811, the twenty-second
anniversary of Tammany Society. Abraham M. Valentine was the grand marshal
of the day. The members of the society appeared in aboriginal costume,
wore the buck-tail as usual and marched in Indian file. Clarkson Crolius,
grand sachem, laid the corner-stone and made a short and spirited address.
Alpheus Sherman delivered the oration. Joseph Delacroix, proprietor of
Vauxhall Garden and a good Tammanyite, celebrated the twenty-second
anniversary of the Tammany Society and the laying of the corner-stone of
the Great Wigwam by an unusual exhibition and a grand feu-de-joie at the
garden at half-past eight o'clock in the evening. When the hall was
completed, besides being used as the Great Wigwam of the Tammany Society,
it was taken by Abraham B. Martling, and with his nephew, William B.
Cozzens, conducted as a hotel.

[Illustration: TAMMANY HALL]

The Fraunces Tavern in Broad Street during the first decade of the
nineteenth century continued to be one of the prominent taverns or hotels
of the city. The Society of the Cincinnati had their annual dinner here
on the Fourth of July, 1804, after a meeting at Federal Hall. It was then
kept by David Ross, who had succeeded Michael Little as its landlord when
he went to Mechanics' Hall. Shortly after this, and for some years, it was
known as Washington Hotel. In 1813, on the celebration of the thirtieth
anniversary of the Evacuation, the Independent Veteran Corps of Artillery,
after performing the duties of the day, partook of a dinner at this old
historic tavern, which seems to have been their headquarters. It was then
kept by Rudolphus Kent. This was repeated the next year on Evacuation Day.

[Illustration: FRAUNCES' TAVERN ABOUT 1830]

[Sidenote: The Battery]

Between State Street and the hay was the Battery, a beautifully situated
open space of ground, where military parades were frequently held. On the
Fourth of July and other anniversary days, there were brilliant
exhibitions here of the artillery and other uniform troops. It was a
public ground, where the citizens could enjoy the fresh breezes from the
bay and the cool shade of the trees on hot summer days. The prospect
afforded of the Jersey Shore, Staten Island, Long Island and the other
small islands, of the ships at anchor and of others passing and repassing,
made a scene at once variegated and delightful. For those who desired it,
music, ice cream and other delicacies could be had at Corré's public
garden on State Street, not far away.

[Sidenote: The Second Ranelagh]

We have described Vauxhall Garden, but there was also a Ranelagh, a
suburban resort, situated about at the junction of Grand and Division
Streets, near Corlear's Hook. It had been formerly known by the name of
Mount Pitt. The adjoining grounds were shady and agreeable and from in
front of the house was an extensive view of the city and of the eastern
and southern parts of the harbor. At a short distance were the ruins of a
battery erected during the Revolutionary War, behind Belvedere, and on
these mouldering ramparts was a pleasant walk and prospect. Behind
Ranelagh were considerable remains of the line of entrenchments, made by
the British in 1781, across the island from Corlear's Hook to Lispenard's
Brewery, to defend the city against the American army.

[Sidenote: The Ugly Club]

On the 4th of July, 1807, the Society of the Cincinnati partook of their
annual dinner at the house of Joseph Baker, No. 4 Wall Street, corner of
New, which for many years after this was a well known and popular house.
About 1815, a select little circle, composed of the handsomest and most
companionable young men of that day to be found in New York City, made
this little tavern their rendezvous, where they held frequent convivial
meetings. This was the Ugly Club and Baker's Tavern, or porter house, was
styled Ugly Hall. Fitz-Greene Halleck was a member of this club and was
honored by the appointment of "Poet Laureate to the Ugly Club."

Baker's Tavern was for a time the starting place, or terminus of the
route, of the stages which ran to Greenwich village. On the road to
Greenwich a little beyond Canal Street was Tyler's, a popular suburban
resort, some years before known as Brannon's Tea Garden. Many of the old
graduates of Columbia College, who were living not so many years ago,
cherished pleasant memories of Commencement suppers indulged in at this
place.

The sportsman could find not far from the city, on Manhattan Island,
abundance of game; and it was no unusual thing in the gaming season to see
well known men with guns on their shoulders and followed by their dogs,
making their way up Broadway or Greenwich Street to the open country. In
the Bowery Lane, at the second mile stone, was the Dog and Duck Tavern,
which was frequented by those who chose to visit the salt meadows which
were covered in the autumn with water-fowl. Further up the island, near
the five mile stone, was the Dove Tavern, where those had their quarters
who sought the woodcock and quail in the fields and glades, or the wild
pigeon in the woods which covered a large part of the land.



XIII

THE SHAKESPEARE TAVERN


[Sidenote: War]

On June 19, 1812, President Madison issued his formal proclamation of war
with Great Britain. The news reached New York at nine o'clock on the
morning of Saturday, June 20th. On the same day orders came to Commodore
Rodgers to sail on a cruise against the enemy. He was in entire readiness
and put to sea within an hour after receiving his instructions. He passed
Sandy Hook on the afternoon of June 21st, with his squadron consisting of
the President, 44; the United States, 44; the Congress, 38; the Hornet,
18; and the Argus, 16--in all, five vessels, carrying 160 guns. The
British force cruising off the coast consisted of eight men-of-war,
carrying 312 guns, with a number of corvettes and sloops. In a few months
the victories of the American ships thrilled the country with satisfaction
and delight and fairly stunned the English who had regarded the American
navy as beneath contempt.

[Illustration: THE GREAT NAVAL DINNER AT THE CITY HOTEL]

[Sidenote: Dinner to Naval Heroes]

On Tuesday, December 29, 1812, a magnificent banquet was given by the
corporation and citizens of New York at the City Hotel, then kept by
Gibson, in honor of Captain Decatur, Captain Hull and Captain Jones, to
celebrate their recent victories. The dinner was served at five o'clock in
the afternoon and five hundred gentlemen sat down to table. It was a naval
dinner and marine decorations prevailed. The large dining-room "was
colonaded round with the masts of ships entwined with laurels and bearing
the flags of all the world." Each table had on it a ship in miniature
flying the American flag. At the head of the room, at a long table raised
about three feet above the others, sat the mayor of the city, DeWitt
Clinton, the president of the feast, with Decatur upon his right and Hull
upon his left. In front of this, in a space covered with green grass was
a lake of real water, on which floated a miniature frigate. Across the end
of the room, back of all, hung on the wall the large main sail of a ship.
At the toast, "To our Navy," the main-sail was furled, exposing to view
two large transparent paintings, one representing the battles between the
Constitution and the Guerriere, the United States and the Macedonian and
the Wasp and the Frolic, and the other representing the American Eagle
holding in his beak three civic crowns, on which were the following
inscriptions: "Hull and the Guerriere"--"Jones and the Frolic"--"Decatur
and the Macedonian," which produced great enthusiasm among the guests. The
dinner was a great success. At the very time it was being served,
Commodore Bainbridge, in the Constitution, was engaged with the British
frigate, Java, in a hot action, lasting nearly two hours, in which he
silenced all her guns and made of her a riddled and dismantled hulk, not
worth bringing to port. In this same banquet room, the decorations having
been retained, the crew of the United States were entertained on Thursday,
January 7, 1813, by the corporation. Alderman Vanderbilt delivered the
address of welcome to the sailors, of whom there were about four hundred
present. After dinner, by invitation, they attended the Park Theatre,
where the drop-curtain had on it a painting representing the fight of the
United States and the Macedonian.

[Illustration: Stephen Decatur]

[Sidenote: Dinner to Captain Lawrence]

On the 13th of May, 1813, by a vote of the common council, a dinner was
given to Captain Lawrence, of the Hornet, and his gallant crew at
Washington Hall. The seamen landed at Whitehall Slip about half-past two
o'clock in the afternoon, attended by the band of the Eleventh Regiment
and marched through Pearl Street, Wall Street and Broadway to Washington
Hall. At half-past three o'clock the petty officers, seamen and marines
sat down to a bountiful repast. Paintings representing the victories of
Hull, Decatur, Jones and Bainbridge decorated the walls of the room, and
over the chair of the boatswain of the Hornet, who was the presiding
officer, was an elegant view by Holland of the action of the Hornet with
the Peacock. The table was decorated with a great variety of flags and
with emblems appropriate to the occasion. After the meats were removed a
visit to the room was made by the common council, accompanied by Captain
Lawrence. At the sight of their commander the sailors rose from their
seats and heartily cheered him with three times three. Perfect order and
decorum were preserved and the bottle, the toast and the song went round
with hilarity and glee.

[Illustration: Isaac Hull]

[Illustration: J. Lawrence]

In another room a dinner was served to the corporation and its guests,
among whom were Captain Lawrence and all his officers, the commanders of
all the ships of war on the New York Station, many of the judges of the
courts and Colonel Joseph G. Swift, the commander of the corps of
engineers. This room was decorated by many emblematic paintings by Mr.
Holland, descriptive of our naval victories; some of them had been used at
the great naval dinner given to Decatur, Hull and Jones at the City Hotel
in the previous December.

The crew were invited to attend the performance at the theater that
evening, the front of the theater being illuminated and the pit set apart
for their accommodation. They marched in a body from the dinner table to
the theater at six o'clock.

[Sidenote: Dinner to General Harrison]

A dinner was given to General Harrison in the afternoon of December 1,
1813, at Tammany Hall under the direction of the State Republican
(Democratic) general committee of New York. Besides the distinguished
guest, there were Governor Tompkins, Major-Generals Dearborn and Hampton,
Judge Brockholst Livingston, of the United States Supreme Court, and a
great number of officers of the army and navy and of the volunteer corps
of the city. The dining hall was handsomely decorated under the direction
of Mr. Holland. There were five tables, containing sixty covers each,
ornamented by representations of castles, pyramids, etc., provided by
Martling and Cozzens, the proprietors, in their usual elegant and liberal
manner.

[Sidenote: Dinner to Commodore Bainbridge]

The Federalists, in their turn, on the 8th of the same month, in the
afternoon, gave a splendid dinner to Commodore Bainbridge at Washington
Hall, at which John B. Coles presided. Notwithstanding the unpleasant
weather there were nearly three hundred persons present. Among the number
were Governor Tompkins, Mayor Clinton, Major-Generals Dearborn and
Stevens, Judges Brockholst Livingston, Van Ness and Benson and the
officers of the navy on the New York Station. The room was handsomely
decorated and the dinner was provided by Captain Crocker and served up in
a very correct and elegant style.

[Sidenote: Dinner to Commodore Perry]

The next public dinner during the winter season was given to Commodore
Perry on the afternoon of the 11th of January, 1814, at Tammany Hall, at
which about three hundred and fifty persons were present. Major James
Fairlie presided. There were seven tables; one of these, on an elevated
platform, at which the honored guests were seated, crossed the eastern end
of the room, the others led from it to the lower end, and all were
beautifully embellished with numerous ornaments. The pillars of the hall
were surrounded with clusters of American flags, and the decorations of
the hall were arranged under the gratuitous direction of Mr. Holland. Five
transparent paintings from his pencil adorned the walls. One of these,
covering about one hundred and fifty square feet, represented a large
eagle bearing in his beak and talons a scroll inscribed in large capitals:
"We have Met the Enemy and they are Ours." In the evening Commodore Perry
attended a ball at Washington Hall which followed a concert given at that
place.

[Sidenote: Patriotic Demonstrations by the Two Parties]

As before the war, the people were divided into two great parties, one for
war, the other for peace, but both claiming to be acting for the good of
the general government and the welfare of the people, while the fear of
disunion of the states hung heavily over the country. At the anniversary
dinner at Washington Hall on the 4th of July, 1813, one of the volunteer
toasts was: "Our Country--Disgraced by the folly of democracy, may its
character soon be retrieved by the virtue and talents of federalism." The
war made the celebration of the Fourth of July particularly important, and
the two parties vied with each other in patriotic demonstrations. The
celebration of Independence Day, 1814, was made by two grand processions;
one was led by the Tammany Society, which was joined and followed by
several other societies; the other was led by the Washington Benevolent
Society, joined by the Hamilton Society. The military parade, headed by
the governor, was made entirely independent of any procession. After the
procession the members of the Tammany Society sat down to a repast
prepared by Martling and Cozzens, proprietors of Tammany Hall Hotel, and
the members of the Washington Benevolent Society and of the Hamilton
Society dined in the afternoon at Washington Hall, but in separate rooms.
The State Society of the Cincinnati held their annual meeting at the City
Hall, after which they retired to the Tontine Coffee House where a dinner
was served to them at four o'clock. Commodore Decatur, lately elected an
honorary member, dined with the Society. After dinner, eighteen toasts
were drunk, each followed by an appropriate piece of music by Moffit's
military band. At Vauxhall the celebration in the evening surpassed in
display and grandeur any previous exhibitions of the kind.

[Sidenote: News of Peace]

At the close of the war of 1812 the news of peace was received in New York
with the greatest joy. Mr. Carroll, the bearer of the treaty, on his
arrival in the British sloop-of-war Favorite, about eight o'clock in the
evening of Saturday, February 15, 1815, went directly to the City Hotel,
which he made his quarters; and in less than twenty minutes after he
entered the house most of the windows in the lower part of Broadway and
the adjoining streets were illuminated, and the streets were densely
filled with people who came forth to see and to hear and to rejoice.
Samuel G. Goodrich, who was at a concert in the City Hotel, writes: "While
listening to the music the door of the concert-room was thrown open and in
rushed a man breathless with excitement. He mounted on a table and,
swinging a white handkerchief aloft, cried out: "Peace! Peace! Peace!" The
music ceased, the hall was speedily vacated, I rushed into the street, and
oh, what a scene! In a few minutes thousands and tens of thousands of
people were marching about with candles, lamps, torches, making the
jubilant street appear like a gay and gorgeous procession. The whole night
Broadway sang its song of peace." Swift expresses were sent out to
Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, Boston, Providence and Albany, and
when the news was received from Washington of the ratification, which, by
a combination of four newspapers was brought to New York in twenty-three
hours, extensive preparations were made for a grand celebration and
illumination on February 22, which on account of unfavorable weather was
deferred and took place on the 27th. Fire works were gotten up and
exhibited on a stage in front of the Government House under the
superintendence of Joseph Delacroix, of Vauxhall Garden, which is said to
have exceeded any former exhibition. The descriptions of the illuminations
filled column after column of the newspapers. Among many others, lengthy
descriptions were given of the illuminations of Tammany Hall, Washington
Hall and the City Hotel.

[Sidenote: The Grand Ball]

Great preparations were soon made for a "superb ball" in honor of the
joyful peace, which was given on March 16 at Washington Hall. The company
consisted of upwards of six hundred ladies and gentlemen. The dancing
room, eighty feet by sixty, was arranged to present the appearance of a
beautiful elliptical pavilion, formed by eighteen pillars, on each of
which was inscribed the name of a state, connected with the center of the
lofty ceiling by garlands or festoons of laurel, and between the garlands,
suspended from the ceiling, chandeliers composed of verdant and flowery
wreaths. The garlands extending from the pillars were attached to a light
central canopy, beneath which was a golden sun made to revolve rapidly, by
means of machinery above the ceiling, so as to diffuse from its dazzling
surface the reflected radiance of eight hundred lights. This was styled
the Temple of Concord. On one side of the room, on a raised platform under
a canopy of flags and surrounded with orange and lemon trees loaded with
fruit, was the Bower of Peace, furnished with seats from which a good view
of the cotillion parties could be had. The seats in each end of the room
were also shaded with a profusion of orange trees and various rarer plants
brought from the gardens and greenhouses of the vicinity. "The supper
tables at which all the ladies were accommodated with seats at one time,
though in two different apartments, were arranged and decorated in the
most brilliant style; being lighted from above by illuminated arches
entwined with flowers and supported by grouped columns from the center of
the tables, and forming a line of arches from one extremity to the other.
In short, the whole scene was one of the most splendid ever exhibited in
this city; reflecting the highest credit on the managers and displaying a
picture of female beauty, fashion and elegance not to be surpassed in any
city of the union."[5] The landlord of Washington Hall at this time was
Peter McIntyre, who had in February succeeded Daniel W. Crocker. He had
formerly kept a porter house at 33 Nassau Street.

[Sidenote: The Shakespeare Tavern]

In the description of the grand illumination on the evening of February
27, the decorations of the Shakespeare Tavern are particularly mentioned
by the newspapers. This tavern had been for some years and continued to be
for many years after, the resort of actors, poets and critics, as well as
the rendezvous of the wits and literary men of the period. It stood on the
southwest corner of Fulton and Nassau Streets, a low, old-fashioned, solid
structure of small, yellow brick, two stories high, with dormer windows
in the roof. Thomas Hodgkinson, brother of John Hodgkinson of the Park
Theatre, became its landlord in 1808, and continued in it for sixteen
years. He had formerly been the proprietor of a porter house at 17 Fair
(Fulton) Street. In its early days the entrance to the house was by a
green baize-covered door on Nassau Street, opening into a small hall with
rooms on either side, the tap-room being the south front room on Nassau
Street, in which was a circular bar of the old English pattern. It had
been built many years before the Revolution, and in 1822 a modern
extension was added on Fulton Street, three stories high. On the second
floor was a large room for public meetings and military drills, and on the
third floor another large room with arched ceiling for concerts and balls
and for the accommodation of the political, literary and musical patrons
of the house. The Euterpian Society met here once a month and once a year
gave a public concert at the City Hotel, followed by a ball; while the
older members of the society had a supper below. This was one of the
events of the season, and the Assembly Room was crowded.

[Illustration: THE SHAKESPEARE TAVERN]

For many years the Shakespeare Tavern was closely connected with the
military history of the city. The Veteran Corps of Artillery usually had
their dinners here. A dinner was served here to Captain Swain's Company of
the Third Regiment of Artillery on Evacuation Day, 1813. A few years ago a
bronze tablet might have been seen on the corner of Fulton and Nassau
Streets on which was the following inscription:

  On this site in the
  Old Shakespeare Tavern
    Was organized
  The Seventh Regiment
  National Guards S. N. Y.
  August 25, 1824.

[Illustration: "AS CHOICE SPIRITS AS EVER SUPPED AT THE TURK'S HEAD"]

The Old Shakespeare Tavern has been compared to the "Mermaid" of London in
the days of Johnson and Shakespeare and to the "Turk's Head" in the time
of Reynolds, Garrick and Goldsmith. To what degree this comparison may
extend is left to individual opinion, but there is no doubt that the best
talent of the city in many departments were at times to be found within
its walls. Fitz-Greene Halleck and Robert C. Sands, James G. Percival,
James K. Paulding and Willis Gaylord Clark were frequent visitors and
passed here in each other's company many a merry evening. Here Sands first
recited to his friends, William L. Stone, Gulian C. Verplanck and John
Inman, his last and most remarkable poem, "The Dead of 1832." Here DeWitt
Clinton discussed with his friends his pet project, the Erie Canal, and
demonstrated the feasibility of that great undertaking. Here some of the
liveliest of the "Croakers" were conceived and brought forth. William L.
Stone, a frequent visitor, says: "The Old Shakespeare has entertained
coteries composed of as choice spirits as ever supped at the Turk's Head."

[Sidenote: The Krout Club]

Under the management of Hodgkinson the Shakespeare became noted for the
excellence of its wines and for the quaint style and quiet comfort of its
suppers. About 1825 he was succeeded by James C. Stoneall, his son-in-law,
who was an exceedingly courteous man and an attentive and obliging
landlord. Before and after Stoneall became proprietor of the house it was
the meeting place of the Krout Club, a social institution of the period,
most of the members of which were supposed to be descendants of the early
Dutch settlers. When the Grand Krout, as the presiding officer of the
society was called, each year nodded his assent to a meeting and dinner,
the announcement was made by piercing a cabbage and displaying it on the
end of a long pole projected from an upper window of the place of meeting.
It was customary, immediately after his election to his exalted position,
to crown the newly-elected King of the Krouts with a cabbage head nicely
hollowed out to fit his head and, at the same time, to throw over his
shoulders a mantle of cabbage leaves. While thus arrayed as master of the
feast, Dr. Samuel L. Mitchill delivered a very amusing address on the
cabbage, the closing words of which were: "Thy name has been abused as if
'to cabbage' were to pilfer or steal. I repel with indignation the attempt
to sully thy fame."

The annual meeting of the Krouts was opened at nine o'clock in the morning
and the fun and frolic was kept up until late at night. Just before the
dinner the secretary read his annual report, which consisted of a humorous
relation of some things that had occurred, but more especially of many
things that had not occurred. At dinner were served smoked geese, ringlets
(sausages), sauerkraut and cabbage in a great variety of dishes.

Pleasant memories of the old vine-clad tavern were cherished by many who
only a few years ago passed over to the Great Beyond.

[Sidenote: Dinner to the Peace Commissioners]

Two of the five American Commissioners who had negociated the Treaty of
Peace at Ghent and the Commercial Treaty at London, Messrs. Albert
Gallatin and Henry Clay, arrived in New York on September 1, 1815, and on
the afternoon of the 5th a complimentary dinner was given them at Tammany
Hall. Judge Brockholst Livingston presided. William Bayard, James
Fairlie, John Hone, Thomas Farmer and Gilbert Aspinwall were
vice-presidents and among the distinguished guests were the Hon. Rufus
King, the Hon. A. J. Dallas, the Mayor, General Macomb, General Swift,
etc. The Evening Post, a Federal paper, expressed surprise and regret that
the dinner, instead of appearing to be given as it ought to have been, by
the respectable citizens of New York without distinction of party, should
have been "made to wear an invidious complexion by being brought forward
in the public papers as having been gotten up by 17 gentlemen, all of
whom, with a single exception are considered to be of the Democratic
party."

[Sidenote: President Monroe's Visit]

From the time of Washington no President of the United States, while in
office, had visited New York city until President James Monroe, in June,
1817, made his tour of inspection. On the morning of June 11th he came up
from Staten Island, where he had been the guest of Vice President
Tompkins, in the steamboat Richmond, escorted by the sloop of war Saranac,
Captain Elton, and the Revenue Cutter, Captain Cahoone. He landed on the
Battery about twelve o'clock from Commodore Evans' elegant barge,
accompanied by the Vice President, General Swift and secretary, Captains
Evans and Biddle of the United States navy, Major-General Morton and
suite, Major-General Mapes and suite and the Committee of the
Corporation, who had gone to Staten Island for that purpose, and was
welcomed by a salute from a division of General Morton's artillery, under
the command of Brigadier-General Scott, of the United States army.

The President, after reviewing the line of troops, was escorted up
Broadway to the City Hall, where, in the audience chamber, the Mayor, in
the presence of the Governor and other prominent officials, presented him
with an address. The State Society of the Cincinnati, headed by their
Vice-President, General Stevens, also presented him a short address. After
these ceremonies were concluded the President was escorted by a squadron
of cavalry to the quarters provided for him at Gibson's elegant
establishment, the Merchants' Hotel in Wall Street. After visiting the
United States Arsenal, the President returned to the hotel at five o'clock
and sat down to a sumptuous dinner prepared for the occasion. Among the
guests were the Vice President of the United States, Governor Clinton,
Hon. Rufus King, General Swift, General Scott, Mr. Mason, secretary to the
President, General Stevens, General Morton, Col. Willett, Col. Platt,
Major Fairlie, the President of the United States Bank and the Committee
of the Corporation. The Merchants' Hotel at 41 and 43 Wall Street had been
established there some years, and when Solomon D. Gibson, a landlord of
experience and reputation, had taken charge of it and it had been selected
as a proper place to lodge and entertain the President of the United
States, there is hardly a doubt that it was considered second to none in
the city. In the evening the City Hall and other public buildings were
illuminated.

[Sidenote: General Jackson at the Ball]

There was a grand military ball at the City Hotel in celebration of
Washington's birthday, on the 22d of February, 1819, and at the same time
the opportunity was embraced to honor General Jackson, who was a visitor
to the city at that time. "Everything was in great style. Seven hundred
persons were present. When the General entered, he was saluted by a
discharge of artillery from a miniature fort raised on the orchestra." The
supper room was thrown open at twelve o'clock. Over the table was a
transparency with the motto: "In the midst of festivity, forget not the
services and sacrifices of those who have enabled you to enjoy it." After
supper there was a flagging in the dancing from exhaustion, when suddenly,
to the surprise of all, was displayed a flag with the revivifying motto:
"Don't give up the ship." "The effect was electric--the band struck up
'Washington's March,' and the ball seemed but beginning! The diffusion of
light upon an assemblage, the most brilliant we ever beheld, the taste
with which the room was decorated with nearly two hundred flags, including
those of almost all the nations of the world, combined with the military
glitter of about two hundred gentlemen in uniform, interspersed in the
dance with the female beauty and elegance of the city, produced an effect
of the most pleasing nature."

[Sidenote: General Jackson's Toast]

Jackson's visit was the occasion of much merriment by the wits of the town
on account of the toast offered by the General, not at the City Hotel, as
has been related by some, but at a dinner given in his honor at Tammany
Hall, by the Tammany Society or Columbian Order, on the 23d. At this
dinner, General Jackson being called on for his toast, his honor the
Mayor, who presided, rose, and to the consternation and dismay of Sachem
William Mooney and other prominent members, announced the toast: "DeWitt
Clinton, the governor of the great and patriotic state of New York," after
which the General left the room, according to one account, "amidst
reiterated applause," but according to another, "there was a dead silence
for the space of three minutes at least." A certain alderman, recovering
his astonished senses a little, said, loud enough to be heard by all, that
what he had just witnessed put him in mind of what Sir Peter Teazle says:
"This is a damn'd wicked world we live in, Sir Oliver, and the fewer we
praise the better." The Republicans, or Democrats as they were afterwards
called, were at this time divided into two factions. Jackson was an
admirer of Clinton, but the "Bucktails" of Tammany Hall considered him as
their bitterest foe. The dinner was a grand affair, the tickets to it
being sold at five dollars each.

[Illustration: DeWitt Clinton]

[Sidenote: The Erie Canal]

There was a memorable meeting held at the City Hotel in the fall of 1815.
Its purpose was to advance the project for building a canal to connect
Lake Erie and the Hudson River, which had been before the public for some
years and which was considered by some as abandoned. Judge Jonas Platt,
Thomas Eddy and DeWitt Clinton, all earnestly interested in the
enterprise, discussed the matter and agreed to make an effort to revive
interest in it. It was proposed to send out invitations to the most
prominent and influential citizens of New York to meet at the City Hotel.
This was done. William Bayard was made chairman of the meeting and John
Pintard secretary. Jonas Platt and DeWitt Clinton delivered addresses, and
although there was some opposition, a resolution was nevertheless passed
by a large majority in favor of the object, and a committee consisting of
DeWitt Clinton, Thomas Eddy, Cadwallader D. Colden and John Swartwout was
chosen to prepare and circulate a memorial to the legislature. This
celebrated paper was written by DeWitt Clinton and attracted great
attention. It gave new life to the enterprise, which was ultimately
successful.

[Sidenote: The First Savings Bank]

In the autumn of 1816, at a meeting in the City Hotel, the first savings
bank in New York was organized. The necessary capital was not raised until
1819, when it went into operation with William Bayard as its first
president.

[Sidenote: What Englishmen Said About the City Hotel]

H. B. Fearon, an English traveller, writes in 1817: "There are in New York
many hotels, some of which are on an extensive scale. The City Hotel is as
large as the London Tavern. The dining room and some of the apartments
seem to have been fitted up regardless of expense." Quite different is the
description given by Lieutenant Fred. Fitzgerald De Roos of the Royal
Navy, who visited New York in May, 1826. He says: "We lodged at the City
Hotel, which is the principal inn at New York. The house is immense and
was full of company; but what a wretched place! The floors were without
carpets, the beds without curtains; there was neither glass, mug nor cup,
and a miserable little rag was dignified with the name of towel. The
entrance to the house is constantly obstructed by crowds of people passing
to and from the bar-room, where a person presides at a buffet formed upon
the plan of a cage. This individual is engaged, 'from morn to dewy eve,'
in preparing and issuing forth punch and spirits to strange-looking men,
who come to the house to read the newspapers and talk politics. In this
place may be seen in turn most of the respectable inhabitants of the town.
There is a public breakfast at half-past seven o'clock, and a dinner at
two o'clock, but to get anything in one's own room is impossible." Let us
digress and note the happy return of this man to _English soil_. On his
way back to Halifax to join his command, he crossed from Maine to Nova
Scotia, stopping in the little town of Windsor. He writes: "Never in my
whole life did I more fully appreciate the benefits of our good English
customs, or feel in better humor with my country in general, than when I
sat down in a clean parlor by myself, to the snug dinner prepared for me
by the widow Wilcocks, landlady of a comfortable inn in the good town of
Windsor. How different from an American _table d'hote_! where you are
deafened by the clamor, and disgusted by the selfish gluttony of your
companions; where you must either bolt your victuals, or starve, from the
ravenous rapidity with which everything is dispatched; and where the
inattention of the servants is only equalled by their insolence and
familiarity."

Englishmen never forgot that the United States was a brilliant gem plucked
from the British crown, and the vein of sarcasm and resentment running
through books of travel written by them about this time is apparent; so
that their descriptions and opinions should be taken with some allowance
for this feeling. Nevertheless, there was a foundation of truth in many of
the disagreeable things they said, which made them, on that account, the
more irritating to the people of the United States.

[Sidenote: The Price-Wilson Duel]

About the year 1818 or 1820, there was living for a time at the Washington
Hotel, or as it was more generally called Washington Hall, Captain Wilson,
of the British army, who, in conversation one day at dinner, remarked that
he had been mainly instrumental in bringing about the duel between Major
Green and Benjamin Price, and detailed the circumstances leading to it. A
few years before this, Benjamin Price, a brother of Stephen Price, lessee
and manager of the Park Theater, was at the theatre one evening in the
company of a very handsome woman. In the adjoining box was Major Green, a
British officer, who took the liberty of turning and staring the lady full
in the face, which annoyed her and of which she complained to Price, who,
on a repetition of the offense, reached over, caught the officer by the
nose and gave it a vigorous twist. The officer soon after knocked at the
door of Price's box, and when he opened it asked him with charming
simplicity what he meant by such behavior, at the same time declaring that
he had intended no offense, that he had not meant to insult the lady by
what he had done. "Oh, very well," replied Price, "neither did I mean to
insult you by what I did." Upon this they shook hands and it was supposed
that the matter was settled and ended. When Major Green returned to his
command in Canada the story of this affair followed him or had preceded
him and was soon the subject of discussion among his comrades. It was
brought to the attention of his brother officers, one of whom, Captain
Wilson, insisted that Green should be sent to Coventry unless he returned
to New York and challenged Price. This he did after practising with a
pistol for five hours a day until he considered himself sufficiently
expert. They fought at Weehawken on Sunday, May 12, 1816. Price was killed
at the first fire. Spectators viewed the transaction from the neighboring
rocks, and a more horrible sight could not have been imagined. The
seconds ran off, and Green look a small boat, crossed the river and
boarded a vessel about to sail for England.

When the news that Captain Wilson was at the Washington Hotel and a
statement of what he had said were carried to Stephen Price, who was lying
ill of the gout at his home, his friends say that he obeyed implicitly the
instructions of his physician and thereby obtained a short cessation of
the gout so that he was able to hobble out of doors, his lower extremities
swaddled in flannel. As soon as possible he made his way to the Washington
Hotel, where he inquired for Captain Wilson. Ascertaining that he was in,
he requested to be shown to his room. With a stout hickory cane in his
hand he hobbled upstairs, cursing with equal vehemence the captain and the
gout. Arriving at the room, as the captain rose to receive him he said:
"Are you Captain Wilson?" "That is my name," replied the captain. "Sir,"
said he, "my name is Stephen Price. You see, sir, that I can scarcely put
one foot before the other. I am afflicted with the gout, but sir, I have
come here with the deliberate intention of insulting you. Shall I have to
knock you down or will you consider what I have said a sufficient insult
for the purpose?" "Sir," replied the captain, smiling, "I shall consider
what you have said quite sufficient and shall act accordingly. You shall
hear from me." In due time there came a message from Captain Wilson to
Stephen Price; time, place and weapons were appointed. Early one morning,
a few days later, a barge left the city in which were seated Stephen
Price, Captain Wilson and two friends. They all landed on Bedlow's Island.
Captain Wilson never returned. He fell dead at the first fire. His body
was buried on the island and many of his friends thought that he had been
lost or died suddenly at sea.



XIV

ROAD HOUSES


[Sidenote: Prejudice Against Dancing]

We have the evidence of persons who lived in the early part of the
nineteenth century that among the old Dutch and Puritan families there was
a strong prejudice against dancing, especially by young ladies in public
places, and there is hardly a doubt that this was much increased by the
introduction of the waltz, quite different from the dancing of old
colonial days. Notwithstanding this, we find that in the accounts of the
balls given on important occasions there does not seem to have been any
disinclination to indulge in this pleasing diversion. There were dancing
masters, and shortly after the erection of Washington Hall and Tammany
Hall they were both being used by the instructors of dancing, and they
held in them their "publics," which appear to have been well attended.
Concerts, as formerly, were generally followed by balls.

[Sidenote: Bachelors' Ball]

Like the old Province Arms of colonial days, the City Hotel was used for a
great many years for the assembly balls. These continued to be held here
until after the close of the war of 1812, but a few years later seem to
have ceased. It was about this time that, as related by Abram C. Dayton,
the old ladies defeated the young men in a contest over dancing. The young
men gave a series of sociables at the City Hotel, at which none but
subscribers were admitted. Although very select, the old ladies, backed by
the minister, denounced them. "The battle for supremacy was bravely waged
on both sides, but the old ladies beat Young America and the City Hotel
sociables were discontinued." But it was only a lull. Some years later the
social feature was the annual ball given by the young men known as the
Bachelors' Ball. It was the social event of each winter and exceeded
anything of the kind ever previously attempted, being very select and
gotten up with great care. All the managers wore knee breeches, silk
stockings and pumps. The most noted of these was the Bachelors' Grand
Fancy Ball given at the City Hotel on the 18th of March, 1831, which had
long been the theme of conversation and the subject of preparation. Philip
Hone, in his diary, says that "no expectations had been formed which were
not realized by the results. My daughter Mary went as Sweet Anne Page and
looked lovely in the part of Leslie's inimitable picture." Later the
Bachelors' Balls were given on the evening of St. Valentine's Day. The
tickets, printed on cardboard from elaborately engraved plates, were sold
at ten dollars each.

[Sidenote: The Forum]

For the entertainment of those opposed to dancing there were meetings of
the Forum, which were in 1817 at Mechanics' Hall, corner of Broadway and
Park Place, and later at the City Hotel on Friday evenings. The exercises
consisted of debates and addresses and the tickets of admission were sold
at two shillings each, the debate commencing promptly at seven o'clock.
Prominent members of the Forum were J. P. C. Sampson, Orville L. Holley,
Thomas G. Fessenden, Hiram Ketchum, Rev. Richard Varick Dey, William
Paxton Hallet and Charles G. Haines. At a meeting in the first part of
January, 1817, the question discussed was: "Ought Legislative or other aid
to be afforded in order to render the United States a Manufacturing
nation?" About these meetings Fitz-Greene Halleck has given us a few
descriptive lines:

  "Resort of fashion, beauty, taste--
  The Forum Hall was nightly grac'd
  With all who blush'd their hours to waste
    At balls--and such ungodly places;
  And Quaker girls were there allow'd
  To show, among the motley crowd
    Their sweet blue eyes and pretty faces."

[Sidenote: A British Veteran]

John Batten, the garrulous friend of "Felix Oldboy," who considered him a
valuable repository of reminiscences, was a veteran soldier who had come
out with the British troops in the early part of the Revolutionary War.
Better educated than the most of his companions in arms, he is said to
have taught school in the old Dutch Church while the British occupied New
York. He used sometimes to say in a pleasant, joking way: "I fought hard
for this country," and after enjoying the effect produced on his young
auditors, who were ready to admire his patriotic devotion, would slowly
add, after looking around and winking at some elderly person who knew his
history, "but we didn't get it."

On one occasion Batten was present at a grand Fourth of July dinner and
was taken to be a Revolutionary soldier, as of course, he verily was. The
company drank his health in patriotic toasts and at last called upon him
to respond. This he did and spoke so touchingly of the events of the war
that his audience was very much affected, especially the feminine part of
it. Then he said: "Yes, I did fight all through the old Revolution. I
fought as bravely as the others. I liked this country and decided to stay
here; so, when my regiment was preparing to embark, I slipped over to Long
Island and stayed there until they had sailed for England." The astonished
company realized that they had been cheering a British soldier and that
Johnny Batten was not the sort of veteran they were accustomed to admire.
Batten thought it a good joke.

[Sidenote: The Blue Bell]

After the war Batten opened a tavern at Jamaica, Long Island, and a few
years after he came to New York City, where, in 1786, we find him the
landlord of the Blue Bell in Slote Lane. After several changes he settled
down at No. 37 Nassau Street, which he kept as a first-class tavern for
several years. After this he became a merchant and opened a hosiery store
on the west side of Broadway, between Dey and Cortlandt Streets. He was
here in 1817. Batten lived to be a very old man. He was one of those they
called "Battery Walkers" or "Peep o' Day Boys," who used to go down to the
Battery at daybreak and walk about until breakfast time.

[Sidenote: The City Hotel]

When, in 1816, Gibson became landlord of the Merchants' Hotel in Wall
Street, he was succeeded in the City Hotel by Chester Jennings, who was
the landlord of the house for more than twenty years. Under his management
it acquired a high reputation, and in 1836 he retired with a competency.
The very next year his fortune, which had been invested in United States
Bank and other stocks, was swept away by the great revulsion of 1837.
Samuel G. Mather was landlord of the City Hotel in 1838, but John Jacob
Astor, the owner of the house, induced Jennings to again undertake its
management with Willard, his former assistant, and together they assumed
control of it and succeeded so well that in the course of a few years
Jennings had placed himself in a position to retire again in comfort.

During nearly the whole of the first half of the nineteenth century the
City Hotel was not only the most celebrated house of entertainment in the
city, but travellers declared that it had no equal in the United States.
On its register were found the names of the most distinguished men of the
nation as well as prominent citizens from every section of the land. It
was a plain structure of four stories with no architectural pretensions,
and the interior fittings and the furniture were also plain, but good and
durable. The dining room was spacious, light, well ventilated, neat and
scrupulously clean. The service was good and the table furnished with an
abundant supply, selected with the greatest care. Chester Jennings was the
unseen partner who provided supplies and superintended the details of the
running of the house in all departments except the office. Willard's
duties were in the office, where he was clerk, book-keeper, cashier,
bar-keeper and anything necessary. He attended closely to business and was
a well known man, though never seen outside of the hotel. Other hotels
were built with greater pretensions but the old City Hotel maintained its
prestige through all. It had become a general rendezvous for merchants and
friends on their return from business to their homes, and there was about
it a social atmosphere which could not be transferred. The National Hotel,
on the corner of Broadway and Cedar Street, nearly opposite the City
Hotel, erected by Joseph Delacroix of Vauxhall Garden, was opened for
business in March, 1826, and the Adelphi Hotel, a building six stories
high, on the corner of Broadway and Beaver Street, was erected in 1827.

[Sidenote: Club at the City Hotel]

In the palmy days of the City Hotel there were a number of men who made it
their home, or dining place, and, brought together by similarity of tastes
or for social enjoyment, had formed a coterie or sort of club. They were
all men of some leisure who could afford to sit long after dinner and sip
their wine and crack their jokes and discuss the gossip of the town. "This
band of jolly good fellows, who lingered day after day for long years over
their wine and nuts, were well known characters in the city and were
especially familiar to such as visited the City Hotel, where they lived
and died."[6] Colonel Nick Saltus, a retired merchant of wealth and a
confirmed old bachelor, was the acknowledged chairman and spokesman of
this peculiar group.

In those days the captains of the packet-ships which sailed twice each
month for European ports, were men of much importance. Many of them made
the City Hotel their headquarters when in port and became boon-companions
of the select coterie of the house, who often, when an arrival was
announced at Sandy Hook, would proceed to the Battery to meet their friend
who had been commissioned to procure some new gastronomical luxury for
the company.

When Billy Niblo had resolved to abandon his Pine Street Coffee House and
open a suburban place for refreshment and entertainment on what was then
upper Broadway, he invited many of his old customers and friends to the
opening of his new garden, among whom were some who were residents of the
City Hotel. They accepted the invitation of Niblo and determined that
Willard should be one of the company. When the time arrived and he was
duly notified he was noticed to be desperately in search of something that
he could not find. At last he confessed that he had not been the owner of
a hat for many years, and that he had been in search of one which had been
long lying around without an owner, but had now disappeared. A hat was
procured from a hatter directly opposite and everyone in the neighborhood
was quite interested in the fact that Willard was going out.

The cellar of the old hotel is said to have been stocked with wines of the
finest brands, selected with the greatest care, which were pronounced by
connoisseurs as unsurpassed in purity and flavor, and it was the delight
of Chester Jennings to carefully uncork in person some choice variety for
a favorite or important guest.

With New Yorkers of an earlier date the dinner hour was at noon, but those
returning from abroad and those who wished to imitate the customs of
European cities were urgent for a change, and to fall into the line of
modern ways the dinner hour of the hotel was gradually moved to three
o'clock, although a mid-day meal was served to those who would not conform
to the innovation.

[Sidenote: Contoit's Garden]

A well known public place of resort in the early part of the nineteenth
century was John H. Contoit's Garden, in 1801 at 39 Greenwich Street, in
1802 at 253 Broadway and in 1806 and for many years after at 355 Broadway,
on the west side between Leonard and Franklin Streets, when it was known
as the New York Garden. This was a long, narrow plot of ground densely
shaded with trees; on either side were ranged boxes or compartments,
brightened with whitewash and green paint, in each of which was a plain,
bare table with seats to accommodate four persons. It appears to have been
an eminently proper place for ladies of a summer afternoon and in the
evening, lighted by many globes filled with oil and suspended from the
lower branches of the trees, in each of which floated a lighted wick or
paper, was well patronized by the ladies and gentlemen of the period.
Colored waiters with white jackets and aprons supplied customers with
vanilla and lemon ice cream, pound cake and lemonade, which made up the
bill of fare. The inexpensive fittings of the place enabled Contoit to
serve for a shilling an allowance of ice cream sufficient to satisfy any
ordinary appetite and his place became very popular. Although the garden
was supposed to be conducted on the temperance plan, it is said that wine
or even cognac could be obtained without difficulty by those who knew how.

[Illustration: CONTOIT'S GARDEN]

[Sidenote: The Bank Coffee House]

In 1814 William Niblo, an enterprising young man, who afterwards became
well known as a landlord, opened the Bank Coffee House in the house
formerly occupied by Frederick Phillips, a retired British officer, on the
corner of Pine and William Streets, in the rear of the Bank of New York.
He was the son-in-law of David King, a well known tavern-keeper, who for
many years kept a tavern in the little frame house at No. 9 Wall Street
and some years later at No. 6 Slote Lane. Niblo's house soon became very
popular. A group of prominent merchants met here regularly, forming
themselves into a sort of club, with a president and other officers. It
was a famous place for dinners and dinner parties. On the news of peace at
the close of the war of 1812, Niblo issued a card under date of February
20, 1815, from the Bank Coffee House, stating that "William Niblo, in
unison with the universal joy at the return of Peace, invites his friends
to regale themselves at his Collation on Tuesday at 11 o'clock, in
celebration of this happy event." In the great cholera epidemic of 1822 he
removed his coffee house to the village of Greenwich and it was there the
office of the Union Line to Philadelphia, the Boston Mail Coach and the
New Haven Steamboat Line, where passengers were notified to apply for
seats.

[Sidenote: The Great Horse Race]

When the great horse-race of May, 1823, between the northern horse Eclipse
and the southern horse Henry took place on the Union Course, Long Island,
Niblo rented the building on the grounds belonging to the "Association for
the Promotion of the Breed of Horses," where he offered to serve
refreshments of all kinds, especially Green Turtle, at all hours during
the races. He also announced that at the termination of the match race he
would dispatch a rider on a fleet horse with the result, which would be
made known by displaying a white flag from the top of the Bank Coffee
House if Eclipse should be victorious. If his opponent should win the race
a red flag would be raised. By this arrangement the result, he stated,
would be known in the city in about forty minutes after the race. Should
the race not take place the United States flag would be displayed. This
great horse-race attracted to New York City people from all parts of the
country; the hotels and boarding houses were full to overflowing and the
demand for vehicles of all or any kind was away beyond what could be
supplied. It was estimated that there were as many as fifty thousand
people at the race-course. The wager was twenty thousand dollars a side
and excitement was very great.

[Sidenote: Niblo's Garden]

William Niblo opened a restaurant and pleasure garden or rural resort in
1828 at the corner of Prince Street and Broadway which he called Sans
Souci. In the middle of the block, north of Prince Street on Broadway,
were two brick houses, one of which had been occupied for some time by
James Fenimore Cooper, the novelist. In the rear of these was a large
building which had been used by a circus called The Stadium. Niblo
occupied all these premises. The interior of the garden was spacious and
adorned with shrubs and flowers; cages with singing birds were here and
there suspended from the branches of trees, beneath which were placed
seats with small tables where were served ice cream, wine negus and
cooling lemonade; it was lighted in the evening by numerous clusters of
many-colored glass lamps.

[Illustration: NIBLO'S GARDEN]

Shortly after Niblo had established himself in this place the new Bowery
Theatre burned down and Charles Gilfert, the manager, opened a summer
theater in the old circus building, then still standing in the middle of
Niblo's Garden, where he gave theatrical performances, while his own
theatre was being rebuilt, which was done in ninety days. Niblo continued
to give here theatrical performances of a gay and attractive character
which became so popular that he was induced to erect a new building with a
blank wall on Broadway, the entrance being made from the garden. The
garden was entered from Broadway. Some years later, this was destroyed by
fire, but it was succeeded by another theatre, one of the finest in the
city, with entrance from Broadway, and known for a great many years as
Niblo's Garden, although there was no garden attached to it.

About the year 1820 there stood on the corner of Thames and Temple Streets
an ale house kept by William Reynolds, which became a favorite place for
Englishmen in the city and the resort of many prominent merchants and
politicians on account of the quality of the steaks and chops served up in
this small and unpretentious looking place. Fitz-Greene Halleck frequented
the place and formed a friendship for the gruff Englishman and his family
which lasted for life. When Reynolds gave up the business and retired to
Fort Lee, New Jersey, Halleck was there a frequent and welcome visitor.
The old chop-house maintained a reputation for many years under the
management of Reynolds' successors.

[Illustration: REYNOLDS' BEER HOUSE]

[Sidenote: Road Houses]

On or near the old Boston Post Road, of which Bowery Lane and the
Kingsbridge Road formed a part, there were taverns that gradually became
rendezvous for those who drove out on the road for pleasure or diversion.
While the old-fashioned chaise and gig were in use, the driver's seat in a
box directly over the axle, there was little desire or demand for a fast
road horse. The great popularity of the trotter began with the
introduction of the light wagon or buggy with elliptic steel springs.
Before this period practically the only fast trotting was done under the
saddle.

As early as 1818, the first trotting match against time of which we have
any knowledge, took place on the Jamaica turnpike and was won by Boston
Blue, or, as some say, by the Boston Pony, on a wager of one thousand
dollars that no horse could be produced that could trot a mile in three
minutes. The first race between trotters of which we have definite record
took place in 1823 between Topgallant, owned by M. D. Green, and Dragon,
owned by T. Carter. The course was from Brooklyn to Jamaica, a distance of
twelve miles, and the race was won by Topgallant in thirty-nine minutes.
The next year Topgallant, fourteen years old, won a three-mile race for
stakes of two thousand dollars on the turnpike against Washington Costar's
Betsy Baker, doing the distance in eight minutes and forty-two seconds.

The advent of the light wagon created a great desire in those who drove
out on the road to own a fast trotting horse. There was great rivalry and
excitement and many of the wayside inns, formerly very quiet places,
blossomed into profitable notoriety. The meeting of congenial spirits at
these places, the gossiping of groups where the talk was all of the horse,
the stories of the speed and stamina of the rival trotters produced much
entertainment; matches were made at these places and decided on the road
nearby.

[Illustration: CATO'S HOUSE]

For nearly half a century Cato Alexander kept a house of entertainment on
the old Boston Post Road about four miles from the city. Cato had a great
reputation for his "incomparable" dinners and suppers which brought to his
house everybody who owned a rig or could occasionally hire one to drive
out to his place. After Third Avenue was laid out and macadamized a bend
in the old Post Road extending from Forty-fifth Street to Sixty-fifth
Street was for some time kept open and in use. On this bend of the old
road Cato's house was situated and it became known as Cato's Lane. It was
about a mile long and was a great spurting place for drivers of fast
horses. Among the reminiscences of those who used to go to Cato's in these
days is the fact that Cato sold cigars--real cigars and good ones, too--at
the rate of five for a shilling (12-1/2 cents) and pure brandy, such as
can not now be obtained on the road at any price, at six pence (6-1/4
cents) per glass. When the trotting horse became popular Cato's became one
of the noted halting places. Cato was black, but his modest, unpretending
dignity of manner "secured for his humble house such a widespread
reputation that for years it was one of the prominent resorts of our
citizens and attracted many of the prominent sightseers who made
pilgrimages to the island of Manhattan."[7]

[Illustration: THE OLD HAZZARD HOUSE]

On Yorkville Hill at Eighty-second Street was the Hazzard House, famous in
its day as being the resort of those who delighted in speed and loved to
indulge in the talk of the horse to be heard at such places. Its stables
were generally filled with horses awaiting purchasers, whose merits and
good points were told of in a manner so truthful, so confidential, so
convincing that purchases were numerous. In 1835, and until a much later
period, Third Avenue was a magnificent drive, being macadamized from
Twenty-eighth Street to the Harlem River, and was much used by our
sporting citizens of that period. Races were of almost daily occurrence
and the Hazzard House was the center of much activity in that line.

About a mile further up, at One Hundred and Fifth Street, a lane on the
east side of the avenue led down to the celebrated Red House, located on a
plot of many acres. The main building was the old McGown house of colonial
days, roomy and well adapted to a road house. On the place was a well kept
half-mile trotting course, which offered extraordinary inducements to
horse owners and consequently made it a popular resort. One of its
earliest proprietors was Lewis Rogers, who is described by Abram C. Dayton
as a dapper little man, always dressed in the tip of fashion and as neat
and trim in the appointments of his house as in his personal attire.

One mile beyond the Red House was Bradshaw's, on the corner of Third
Avenue and One Hundred and Twenty-fifth Street, not far from Harlem
Bridge, and for most the turning point of their drive. A long rest was
taken here by many who made it the only stopping place on the road,
consequently, on a favorable day for driving it was crowded. Widow
Bradshaw was noted for her chicken fricassee, universally acknowledged to
be a marvel of excellence.

On the Bloomingdale Road, a more quiet drive and more used by those who
took with them their families or ladies, was Burnham's Mansion House, at
first, as early as 1825, at Seventieth Street, and at a later period the
fine Vanderheuval mansion and grounds at Seventy-eighth Street. This was
fitly styled the family house on the drive and on fine summer afternoons
the spacious grounds were filled with ladies and children who sauntered
about at their leisure and convenience, having no fear of annoyance.

[Illustration: BURNHAM'S MANSION HOUSE]

Across the river on Long Island the Jamaica Turnpike was the great drive
for horsemen. On this road were many notable public houses, frequented by
horsemen. At Jamaica, nearly opposite the Union Course, was John R.
Snedeker's tavern, a large three-story white frame house with a piaza
along its whole front. For more than a quarter of a century this was the
accepted rendezvous of the trotting-horse fraternity. The first authentic
record made by a trotting horse on a track in the presence of judges was
made in May, 1826, on the new track of the New York Trotting Club at
Jamaica and a New York newspaper of May 16 states that "the owner and
friends of the winning horse gave a splendid dinner and champagne at
Snedecor's tavern." Snedeker's dinners became celebrated far and wide and
horsemen from every section came to feast on his game, fish and asparagus
which no one else could surpass or equal.

[Sidenote: Visit of Lafayette]

The year 1824 is notable for the visit to this country of General
Lafayette, who, accompanied by his son, George Washington Lafayette,
arrived at New York in the ship Cadmus on the 16th of August. Besides the
committee of the corporation, members of the Society of the Cincinnati,
Revolutionary officers and soldiers, a deputation from West Point and
distinguished guests and official personages, more than six thousand
persons went down the bay to meet him, and his welcome to our shores was
such as no man had ever received before. The day was delightful, and the
surface of the bay was dotted with every conceivable kind of craft. The
ships and vessels were liberally decorated with all kinds of flags and
signals. As the grand flotilla with the _guest of the nation_ approached
the city, continual salutes rolled out their signs of welcome above the
shouts of the people, while on shore hundreds of bells were ringing. The
military, three thousand in number, formed in line, and on landing,
Lafayette was received with a salute of twenty-one guns. After a review of
the troops commanded by General James Benedict, he was conducted to the
City Hall in a barouche drawn by four horses, escorted by a troop of horse
and followed by a long line of citizen soldiery. Here a public reception
was held till five o'clock, when the General was escorted to his quarters
at the City Hotel, where a dinner was given in his honor by the civil and
military authorities. In the evening the town was illuminated and
fireworks and transparencies were displayed in honor of the occasion.

At the City Hotel Lafayette was waited on by the clergy of the city, by
the officers of the militia, by social societies, by the French Society,
by delegations from Baltimore, from Philadelphia, from New England and
from up the Hudson; and when on Friday morning the General prepared to
leave the city, the military paraded at seven o'clock and repaired to the
City Hotel, whence at eight o'clock Lafayette, the committee appointed to
accompany him to Boston and the military escort, commanded by General
Prosper M. Wetmore, moved up Broadway to Bond Street and thence up Third
Avenue.

[Sidenote: Grand Banquet at Washington Hall]

On Lafayette's return from New England he arrived by steamboat about noon
on the 4th of September amid salutes from the men-of-war, and on his
landing was given the same hearty welcome he had received on his first
arrival, and was escorted to his old lodgings at the City Hotel. He was
informed that the Society of the Cincinnati intended to celebrate the
anniversary of his birth on the 6th of September and was invited to dine
with them at Washington Hall. "About 4 o'clock in the afternoon of that
day a long line of venerable gentlemen, members of the Society of the
Cincinnati, arrived at the hotel, preceded by a military band. The general
was received into their ranks and an insignia of the Society, which had
been worn by Washington, was attached to his coat. The old soldiers then
marched to the hall where they were to dine. Crowds filled the streets
through which they passed slowly and many feebly." The banquet hall was
decorated with trophies of arms and banners bearing the names of
Revolutionary heroes. At the top of the room, directly over the seat of
Lafayette at the upper end of the table, was erected a rich triumphal arch
of laurel, roses, etc., reaching to the ceiling. Directly in front, at the
center of the arch, was a large spread eagle with a scroll in its beak on
which was inscribed "Sept. 6, 1757" (the birthday of the "Nation's
Guest"), and grasping in its talons a ribbon or scroll, one end passing to
the right on which was "Brandywine, Sept. 11, 1777," the other to the left
bearing the words "Yorktown, Oct. 19, 1781." Behind the General's chair
was planted the grand standard of the Society entwined with the thirteen
stripes of the flag of the nation. On the right was a shield bearing a
rising sun and on the left a shield with the New York State arms. In the
center of the room was a splendid star surrounded by others of less
magnitude. From this star two broad pennants from the Franklin 74, were
crossed and carried to the four corners of the room. At the lower end of
the room was the transparency by Childs. A number of trophies of the navy
were loaned by Captain Rogers and Lieutenant Goldsborough. Towards the
close of the festival a grand transparency showing Washington and
Lafayette holding each others' hands standing before the altar of Liberty,
receiving a civic wreath from the hands of America, caused great applause,
which was followed by the reading of the order of the day at Yorktown by
General Swartwout. Then, amidst cheering, the gallant veteran, General
Lamb, sang a ballad composed in 1792, while Lafayette was in the Austrian
dungeon. The night was far spent when the old gentlemen reached their
several homes. In the evening of September 11, Lafayette attended a dinner
given by the French residents of New York at Washington Hall in
celebration of the forty-seventh anniversary of the battle of Brandywine.
A novel and remarkable decoration of the table on this occasion was a
miniature of the new canal which traversed the state. It was sixty feet
long and several inches deep, filled with water and the banks sodded. The
bridges, locks and towns were properly indicated.

[Sidenote: Ball at Castle Garden]

The honor and respect shown to Lafayette culminated in the great ball
given at Castle Garden on Wednesday, September 14, which, it is said, for
splendor and magnificence surpassed anything of the kind ever seen in
America. Six thousand persons attended, which included all the beauty and
fashion of New York and vicinity. The castle, which was a circle, was
enclosed with an awning to the height of seventy-five feet, the dome being
supported in the center by a column, dressed with the colors of the
Cincinnati. It was a magnificent affair, long remembered in the city.
Lafayette and a large party went from the ball on board the steamboat,
James Kent, chartered by the committee to take the nation's guest up the
Hudson.

[Illustration: Fitz-Greene Halleck]

[Sidenote: Clubs]

There were several social clubs in the city holding their meetings at
hotels, and Fitz-Greene Halleck, the poet, a man whose society was sought
and desired, appears to have been a member of every club in the city,
great or small. He was one of a small circle who met occasionally at the
City Hotel. Tuckerman says: "There was a select club many years ago in New
York, the members of which dined together at stated intervals at the old
City Hotel on Broadway; the utmost freedom of intercourse and good faith
marked their prandial converse, and one day when a sudden silence followed
the entrance of the host, it was proposed to elect him to the fraternity,
that they might talk freely in his presence, which was frequent and
indispensable. He kept a hotel after the old _régime_, was a gentleman in
his feelings, an honest and intelligent fellow, who prided himself upon
his method of serving up roast pig--in which viand his superiority was
such that the gentle Elia, had he ever dined with the club, would have
mentioned him with honor in the essay on that crispy and succulent dish.
The proposition was opposed by only one individual, a clever man, who had
made his fortune by buying up all the bristles at Odessa, thus securing a
monopoly which enabled him to vend the article to the brushmakers at an
enormous profit. His objection to Boniface was that he was famous for
nothing but roasting a pig, and no fit associate for gentlemen. 'Your
aristocratic standard is untenable,' said Halleck, 'for what essential
difference is there between spurs won from roasting a porker or by selling
his bristles?' and amid the laugh of his confreres, mine host was
elected."

The Bread and Cheese Club was organized in 1824 by James Fenimore Cooper.
It included among its members conspicuous professional men in science,
law, letters and philosophy, of whom were Fitz-Greene Halleck, William A.
and John Duer, Professor Renwick, Philip Hone, James De Kay, the great
naturalist, Charles Augustus Davis, Dr. John W. Francis, Charles King,
Verplanck, Bryant and Sands. The selections for nomination rested
entirely with Cooper; bread and cheese were used in balloting and one of
cheese barred the way to membership. The club met at Washington Hall
fortnightly and for fifteen years, either here or at the houses of its
members were entertained nearly every distinguished person who visited New
York during that period. Meetings of the club, often a large assembly,
were attended by members of Congress and distinguished strangers, among
whom were often found Daniel Webster, Henry R. Storrs, William Beach
Lawrence and the French minister, Hyde De Neuville.

[Illustration: J. Fenimore Cooper]

A little later was the Book Club. Although said to have been founded by
the Rev. Dr. Wainwright, and in spite of its name, it was rather convivial
than literary. Philip Hone describes it as a club which met every other
Thursday at Washington Hall, "where they sup, drink champagne and whisky
punch, talk as well as they know how and run each other good humoredly."
He did not understand why it should be called a Book Club, for the book of
subscriptions to expenses was the only one it possessed. He declares that
they were a very pleasant set of fellows, and sat late. The first time he
met with them after being made a member of the club was in March, 1835,
and when he came away at one o'clock he left them at the supper table. The
party that evening consisted of about twenty, viz.: Davis, President Duer,
Charles King, Wilkins, William Kent, Harvey, Arthur Barclay, Isaac Hone,
Halleck, Ogden Hoffman, Patterson, Blunt, Dr. Francis, Baron Behr, Mr.
Trelauney, author of "The Younger Son," Beverly Robinson, etc.

[Sidenote: Semi-Centennial of Washington's Inauguration]

The semi-centennial anniversary of the inauguration of Washington as the
first President of the United States was celebrated in the city of New
York by the Historical Society on the 30th of April, 1839. At twelve
o'clock an oration was delivered in the Middle Dutch Church by John Quincy
Adams, the venerable ex-President of the United States, to a numerous and
appreciative audience. At four o'clock the members of the society and
their invited guests dined at the City Hotel. The president of the
society, Peter G. Stuyvesant, sat at the head of the table, with two
venerable contemporaries of the American Revolution, General Morgan Lewis,
once governor of New York, and Colonel John Trumbull, the one at his right
hand and the other at his left. Among the guests were William Pennington,
governor of New Jersey, General Winfield Scott, Commodore Claxton, Samuel
Southard and other distinguished individuals, together with delegates from
other historical societies. Mr. Adams was toasted, and replied in a speech
in which he claimed for the era of the American Revolution the title of
the heroic age of America, and that it deserved this title with more
justice than the title of heroic age bestowed upon the early history of
Greece. In the course of the evening speeches were made by General Scott,
Commodore Claxton of the American Navy, Mr. Southard and others, and an
original ode was sung.

In 1842, John Jacob Astor was the owner of the City Hotel, and by deed
dated March 9th of that year conveyed to his granddaughter Sarah, wife of
Robert Boreel, and daughter of Dorothea Langdon, a life interest in the
property after his death, which after her death is to be divided among
her children. The deed states: "Whereas I am desirous of providing by deed
for my granddaughter Sarah, wife of Robert Boreel, and of disposing in the
manner in these presents expressed, of the property which in my will I had
designated for her," etc., "and whereas her husband is an alien, and
although one of her sons is born in the state of New York, other children
may be born to her without the United States, who will be aliens," etc.
"Now these presents," etc. The property is described as "all the lands and
buildings in the city of New York now known as the City Hotel." The deed
allows her, in case the buildings are destroyed by fire to mortgage the
land for the purpose of rebuilding and under certain conditions she may
sell the property and place the proceeds in trust. The deed seems to be
confirmatory or supplementary to the will.

[Sidenote: The City Hotel Ends Its Career]

Chester Jennings was still the landlord of the City Hotel in 1847, and it
was in the following year or soon after that it terminated its career as a
house of entertainment, which, including the City Tavern on the same site,
had lasted for very close to one hundred years, an eventful period in the
city's history. The building was taken down and on its site was erected an
office building seven stories high which was called the Boreel Building.
It was the largest and for a long time was considered the finest building
devoted to office purposes in the city. It was a conspicuous structure
and well known to the citizens of New York. Sarah Boreel died in 1897. Her
heirs sold the property in 1901.

Plans had been made to acquire this and contiguous properties in order to
erect an immense building. This, in the course of three or four years, was
accomplished, and under the same control, the United States Realty
Building and the Trinity Building, the two sometimes called the Twin
Trinity Buildings, were erected.

On April 6, 1906, the Board of Estimates and Apportionment passed a
resolution by which an exchange of land was made by the city and the
owners of this property. Temple Street, between Thames and Cedar Streets,
and Thames Street, between Broadway and Trinity Place, were vacated, and
in return Cedar Street was widened on the south side between Broadway and
Trinity Place or Church Street, and a new Thames Street was laid out
between Broadway and Trinity Place, with lines somewhat different from
those of the former street, but covering nearly the same ground. This
exchange of land allowed the United States Realty Building to be
constructed so as to cover what had been formerly two blocks, extending
from Broadway to Trinity Place.

The large double brick house No. 39 Broadway, built in 1786 by General
Alexander Macomb, and occupied by Washington when President of the United
States, with the houses adjoining it on either side, was opened in the
year 1821 by William I. Bunker and was known as Bunker's Mansion House. It
became quite famous, being considered, in its most prosperous days, as a
very large and commodious house. Kept with the utmost neatness and
attention and usually filled with the best of people, being largely
patronized by southern families, it possessed much of the comfort and
quiet refinement of a private residence. Bunker, who was a very courteous
and affable man, succeeded so well that in the course of a few years he
sold out and retired from business.

[Illustration: BUNKER'S MANSION HOUSE]

In the year 1833 Stephen Holt erected on Fulton Street, from Pearl to
Water, an hotel, which was the largest and most magnificent building for
hotel purposes, up to that time, in the country. It was at first called
Holt's Hotel, afterwards the United States Hotel, and its rate of one
dollar and a half a day was thought to be exorbitant. Here steam was used
probably for the first time in an hotel to save labor. Passenger elevators
had not yet been thought of, but baggage was carried to the upper floors
by steam power, and it was also used in turning spits, grinding and
cleaning knives, etc., but the main purpose of the engine was the digging
of an artesian well, which was sunk to the depth of over five hundred
feet, and subsequently put down much further. Holt's experiment proved to
him disastrous. The expenses exceeded the receipts. He failed and the
hotel passed into other hands. The next large hotel to be erected in the
city was the Astor House, three years later.

The advent of the railroad and the great increase of travel created a
decided change in the taverns or, as they had come to be called, hotels.
It was no longer the custom of the landlord to meet the traveller at the
door and welcome him as a friend or attend in person to his comfort. It
was the beginning of a new era, in which the old tavern and the old-style
landlord is unknown. With the opening of this era the story which I have
undertaken to tell about the _Old Taverns of New York_ comes to an end.



INDEX


  Ackland, James, 130.

  Adams, John, 269, 272.

  Adams, John Quincy, 474.

  Adams, Samuel, 269.

  Adelphi Hotel, 451.

  Admiral Warner, Sign of, 191.

  Agar, Edward, 189.

  Alexander, Cato, 461.

  Alexander, James, 101, 103.

  Alexander, William, 192.

  Alsop, John, 209, 267, 268.

  Amory, John, 295, 346.

  Anbury, Lieutenant, 292.

  André, Major, 286, 300.

  Anne, Queen, 76, 77, 84.

  Andros, Governor, 81.

  Aorson, Aaron, 395.

  Arding, Charles, 154, 255, 357.

  Arnold, Benedict, 300, 302, 303, 304.

  Aspinwall, Gilbert, 434.

  Assembly Balls, 148.

  Astor Henry, 348, 349.

  Astor House, 478.

  Astor, John Jacob, 449, 474.

  Atwood, Judge, 75.

  Avery, John, 388.

  Ayscough, Doctor, 133.


  Bache, Theohylact, 282, 337, 368.

  Bainbridge, Commodore, 419, 421, 423.

  Baker, Joseph, 414.

  Baker, Roger, 69, 71, 74, 76, 83.

  Baker's Tavern, 414.

  Bank Coffee House, 455, 456.

  Barclay, Arthur, 473.

  Bard, S., 249.

  Bardin, Edwin, 195, 196, 216, 217, 221, 230, 234, 250, 251, 337, 403.

  Bardin's Tavern, 265.

  Batten, John, 447, 448, 449.

  Bauman, Colonel, 352, 374.

  Baxter, Captain, 10, 44, 45.

  Bayard, Nicholas, 60, 69, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75.

  Bayard, Samuel, 112, 119.

  Bayard, William, 433, 439.

  Bayeaux, Thomas, 342, 347.

  Beaulieu, Captain, 28.

  Beekman, Christopher, 341.

  Bell & Brookman, 199.

  Bellomont, Earl of, 55, 60, 70, 72, 73, 82, 134.

  Belvedere, 413.

  Belvedere Club, 386.

  Belvedere House, 386, 387, 388, 389.

  Benedict, James, 466.

  Benson, Captain, 288, 369.

  Benson, Egbert, 249, 251.

  Benson, Judge, 423.

  Beresford, Captain, 394.

  Bevan, Captain, 122.

  Bicker, Henry, 238, 241, 242, 243.

  Bicker, Walter, 360.

  Blaaw, Widow, 343.

  Black, Friars, 385, 403.

  Black Horse Tavern, 91, 99, 100, 104, 105, 106, 108, 110, 112, 156, 157,
      158.

  "Black John," 20.

  Black Sam's, 164.

  Blair, Archibald, 259.

  Blair, John, 344.

  Bloom, Daniel, 128, 129, 130, 253, 357.

  Blue Bell, 161, 449.

  Boelin, Jacob, 67.

  Bogardus, Dominie, 10.

  Bolton, Richard, 245, 246, 247, 255.

  Bolton & Sigell, 227, 229, 243, 244.

  Bompard, Captain, 358.

  Book Club, 473.

  Boreel, Robert, 474, 475.

  Boreel, Sarah, 474, 475, 476.

  Boston Letter, The, 232, 234.

  Bowery Lane, 48.

  Bowling, 185, 187.

  Bowling Green, 14, 16, 187, 218.

  Bowling Green, New, 188.

  Bowling Green, Old, 187, 188.

  Bowling Green Garden, 186.

  Bradford, Cornelius, 266, 278, 318, 319, 321, 322.

  Bradford, Widow, 322, 397, 402, 403.

  Bradford, William, 97.

  Bradshaw's, 463.

  Bradshaw, Widow, 457, 463.

  Brannon's Tea Garden, 366, 367, 414.

  Bread and Cheese Club, 471.

  Brewitson, George, 157.

  Brillât-Savarin, Anthelme, 377, 378, 379, 380, 381, 382.

  Brock, Walter, 252.

  Brooklyn Hall, 289, 292.

  Brooks, David, 326.

  Broome, John, 333, 356.

  Brownjohn, William, 253, 293.

  Buchanan, Thomas, 371.

  Buckley, John, 62.

  Bull Baiting, 184, 289, 290.

  Bull's Head Tavern, 157, 314, 347, 349.

  Bunch of Grapes, 269.

  Bunker's Mansion House, 277.

  Bunker, William I., 477.

  Burke, Edmund, 168.

  Burns', 164.

  Burns' Coffee House, 193, 197.

  Burns, George, 115, 117, 130, 140, 141, 191, 193, 195, 196, 202, 203,
      205, 208, 213, 222, 223, 228, 233.

  Burns' Long Room, 195.

  Burnham's Mansion House, 160.

  Burr, Aaron, 396.

  Byram, William, 399.

  Byrne, John, 403.


  Cape, John, 311, 315, 324.

  Cape's Tavern, 312, 315, 323, 324.

  Carleton, Sir Guy, 308, 310.

  Carroll, Mr., 419, 425.

  Carroll, General, 316.

  Cato's House, 461.

  Carter, T., 460.

  Charles II, 68.

  Chamber of Commerce, 228, 229, 230, 256, 260, 293, 320, 337.

  Chambers, Captain, 262, 263.

  Chambers, John, 103, 187.

  Champe, Sergeant, 300, 301, 302, 305.

  Cherry Garden, 185.

  Child, Francis, 128, 178.

  Chrystie, Colonel, 338.

  Cincinnati, Society of the, 323, 324, 326, 327, 328.

  City Arms Tavern, 208.

  City Coffee House, 336.

  City Hotel, 141, 372, 373, 389, 392, 395, 407, 417, 425, 427, 429, 430,
      436, 437, 438, 439, 440, 445, 446, 447, 449, 450, 451, 452, 466,
      467, 470, 474, 475.

  City Tavern, 312, 323, 324, 325, 326, 337, 339, 353, 354, 369, 370, 371,
      375, 475.

  City, Tavern, Dutch, 6, 7, 8.

  Clapp, John, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53.

  Clark, Willis Gaylord, 431.

  Clarke, George, 113.

  Claxton, Commodore, 474.

  Clay, Henry, 433.

  Clinton, DeWitt, 383, 396, 418, 423, 432, 435, 437, 438, 439.

  Clinton, George, 137, 138, 310, 313, 314, 315, 316, 343, 369.

  Clinton, Sir Henry, 299, 303.

  Clubs, 60, 62, 131, 134, 135, 247, 248, 282, 469, 473.

  Coach and Horse, 118.

  Coats, Edward, 54.

  Cobb, Colonel, 310.

  Cock, Annetje, 25.

  Cock, Peter, 11, 12, 13, 15, 16, 24, 25.

  Coffee House, 65, 67, 73, 75, 77, 112, 114, 120, 121, 152, 154, 155,
      162, 177, 208, 231, 233, 240, 254, 262, 267, 268, 271, 273, 275,
      276, 277, 278, 281, 291, 313, 318, 324, 331, 332, 334, 335, 337,
      345, 354.

  Colden, Lieutenant-Governor, 206, 207, 225, 245.

  Colden, Cadwallader D., 439.

  Coles, John B., 423.

  Colles, Christopher, 366.

  Columbian Garden, 399, 401.

  Comforts of an Inn, 167.

  Commercial Coffee House, 397.

  Compton, Captain, 106.

  Compton, General, 108.

  Contoit's Garden, 453, 454.

  Contoit, John H., 453.

  Cooke, Richard Clarke, 115.

  Cooper, James Fenimore, 456, 471, 472.

  Corbett, Abraham, 44.

  Cornbury, Lord, 72, 74, 77, 78, 81.

  Cornell, John, 184.

  Cornell, Timothy, 182.

  Cornelissen, Adrien, 48, 49.

  Cornwallis, General, 158.

  Corporation House, 287.

  Corre, Joseph, 324, 325, 331, 369, 370, 399, 413.

  Cortelyou, Simon, 368.

  Cosby, Governor, 93, 94, 96, 105, 106, 112, 113.

  Coupar, Captain, 263.

  Cox, David, 114.

  Cozzens, William B., 411.

  Crawford, Hugh, 124.

  Crawley, John, 202.

  Creiger, John, 158.

  Crigier, Martin, 13, 15, 16, 17, 28.

  Crocker, Daniel W., 410, 423, 428.

  Croker, Thomas, 123.

  Crolius, Clarkson, 410.

  Crown and Thistle, 155, 191.

  Cruger, Henry, 209.

  Cruger, John, 229, 230, 233.

  Cruger, John Harris, 256.

  Cruger, Nicholas, 366, 372.

  Cushing, Thomas, 269.

  Cushing, William, 344.


  Dallas, A. J., 434.

  Damen, Jan, 19, 20.

  Davenport, Captain, 280.

  Davis, Charles Augustus, 411.

  Dawson, Roper, 156, 182.

  Day's Tavern, 161, 269, 313.

  Dayton, Abram C., 446, 463.

  Deane, Nesbitt, 255, 275.

  Dearborn, General, 422, 423.

  Decatur, Stephen, 417, 418, 419, 421, 425.

  De Honeur, John, 90, 92, 106.

  De Kay, James, 471.

  Delacroix, Joseph, 400, 401, 410, 426, 450.

  Delafield, John, 356.

  De La Montagnie, Abraham, 234, 236, 238, 239, 240, 295.

  De La Montagnie, Jacob, 346.

  De Lancy Arms, 184.

  De Lancy, James, 95, 96, 98, 141, 142, 144, 146, 147, 151, 183, 209,
      233, 245, 371.

  De Lancy, John Peter, 282, 371.

  De Lancy, Oliver, 136, 140, 182, 202.

  De Lancy, Peter, 179.

  De Lancy, Robinson & Co., 202.

  De Lancy, Stephen, 142, 200, 251.

  Delanoy, Abraham, 7.

  Delaval, Captain, 185.

  De Neuville, Hyde, 472.

  Dennis, Captain, 375.

  De Peyster, Abraham, 71.

  De Peyster, Johannes, 70.

  De Reidesel, Baroness, 297, 298.

  De Ross, Fred. Fitzgerald, 440.

  Desbrosses, Elias, 225, 229.

  De Witt, Simeon, 393.

  Dey, Richard Varick, 447.

  Dickinson, Jonathan, 172.

  Dirks, Annetje, 25.

  Dog and Duck Tavern, 415.

  Dog's Head in the Porridge Pot, 176.

  Dongan, Governor, 68.

  Doran, Thomas, 151, 260, 283.

  Dove Tavern, 168, 415.

  Drake, Jasper, 261, 273.

  Draper, Sir William, 245, 246.

  Drone Club, 386.

  Drover's Tavern, 179.

  Drummond, Lord, 245, 246, 247.

  Duane, James, 251, 267, 268, 340, 344.

  Duer, Colonel, 338.

  Duer, John, 471.

  Duer, William A., 471.

  Duke of Cumberland, 130, 131.

  Dunks, John, 127, 129.

  Dunmore, Earl of, 245.

  Dusseaussoir, Chenelette, 389, 407.

  Dutch Festivities, 82.

  Dutch Houses, 4.

  Dutch Tavern, 26.

  Dyckman, Jacob, 158, 159, 163.

  Dyde's Hotel, 396, 397.


  Eastham, Edward, 123.

  Eddy, Thomas, 438, 439.

  Edmonds, George, 118.

  Edwards, Lieutenant, 280.

  Elkin, John, 165.

  Elliott, Andrew, 310.

  Ellis, John, 76.

  Elms, Thomas, 283, 289.

  Ernest, Matthias, 188.

  Exchange Coffee House, 112, 114, 115, 129, 136, 141, 194.


  Fairlie, James, 423, 434, 435.

  Farmer, Thomas, 434.

  Farquhar, James, 371.

  Farrell's, 164.

  Fearon, H. B., 439.

  Fehr, Jean Rodolphe, 377, 379.

  "Felix Oldboy," 447.

  Ferrari, Mrs., 253, 254, 255, 278.

  Ferry House Tavern, 175, 287, 369.

  Ferry Tavern, 27, 28.

  Fessenden, Thomas G., 447.

  Fighting Cocks, 115, 123, 124, 176.

  Fish, Colonel, 311, 317.

  Fisher, John, 385.

  Fletcher, Benjamin, 54, 55, 62, 66, 75, 82, 134, 162.

  Flypsen, Frederick, 162.

  Forster, William, 95, 96, 98.

  Forum, The, 447.

  Fowler, Joseph, 98.

  Fountain Inn, 136, 164.

  Fox Hunting, 288, 290, 291.

  Foy, Captain, 245.

  Francis, John, 344.

  Francis, John W., 104, 471.

  Francis, Samuel, 198, 202, 209, 218, 219, 227, 247, 248, 252, 253, 308,
      309, 310, 311, 344, 400.

  Francis' Tavern, 263, 264.

  Franklin, William, 295.

  Fraunces, Samuel, 311, 322, 338, 341, 343, 352.

  Fraunces' Tavern, 310, 311, 315, 316, 344, 411.

  Frederick, Kryn, 4.

  Freeman, Thomas, 106.

  French Arms, 311.

  Friendly Club, 386.


  Gabbet, Colonel, 196.

  Gage, General, 246, 247, 256, 264.

  Gallatin, Albert, 433.

  Galloway, Samuel, 183.

  Gates, Horatio, 316, 369, 370.

  Genet, Minister, 358.

  Gentlemen's Coffee House, 115, 194.

  Gerard, Philip, 17, 18, 19, 20.

  Gerritsen, Adriaen, 7.

  Gerritsen, Philip, 7, 10.

  Gibson, Solomon D., 389, 395, 417, 435, 449.

  Giles, Major, 328.

  Gilfert, Charles, 458.

  Glass House, 164, 182, 183.

  Glean, Oliver, 385.

  Golden Hill, Battle of, 236, 237.

  Golden Hill Inn, 118.

  Goldsborough, Lieutenant, 468.

  Goldsmith, Oliver, 168.

  Gould, Edward, 250.

  "Governor's Garden," 68.

  Graham, James, 45, 46.

  Graves, Benjamin, 385.

  Graydon, Alexander, 280, 282.

  Green, Daniel, 313.

  Green, Jacob G., 171.

  Green, M. D., 460.

  Green, Major, 441, 442.

  Greene, Nathaniel, 316, 317.

  Grim, David, 357.

  Guion, Isaac, 328.


  Haines, Charles G., 418.

  Half Way House, 163.

  Hall, Talmadge, 341, 363.

  Halleck, Fitz-Greene, 414, 431, 447, 458, 459, 469, 470, 471.

  Hallet, William Paxton, 447.

  Halsey's Tavern, 366.

  Halstead, John, 156.

  Hamilton, Alexander, 316, 329, 339, 375, 394.

  Hamilton, Andrew, 100, 102, 105.

  Hamilton, Governor, 121.

  Hamilton Hotel, 409.

  Hampden Hall, 239, 240, 241, 242, 243, 257, 265.

  Hampton, General, 422.

  Hand, Colonel, 288.

  Hard Drinking, 170, 176.

  Hardenbrook, Bernard, 87.

  Hardy, Charles, 146, 147, 148.

  Harris, Richard, 83, 84, 85.

  Harrison, Richard, 249, 371.

  Harrison, Robert, 344.

  Harrison, William Henry, 422.

  Hart, Bernard, 384.

  Harwood, Richard, 384.

  Hay, John, 249.

  Hayes, Hetty, 197.

  Hazzard House, 462, 463.

  Hepburn, J., 295.

  Hicks, Whitehead, 209, 251.

  Hicks, Mr., 282, 299.

  Hick's Tavern, 295.

  Hillsborough, Earl of, 232.

  Hobart, Judge, 375.

  Hodgkinson, John, 400, 429.

  Hodgkinson, Thomas, 429, 426.

  Hoffman, Josiah Ogden, 385, 473.

  Holley, Orville L., 447.

  Holt, Henry, 200.

  Holt's Hotel, 478.

  Holt, John, 283.

  Holt's Long Room, 200.

  Holt, Stephen, 478.

  Hone, Isaac, 473.

  Hone, Philip, 446, 471, 473.

  Hone, John, 434.

  Home, John, 54.

  Horse and Cart, 116, 117, 118, 142.

  Horse-Racing, 177, 183, 288, 290.

  Houssacker, Colonel, 281.

  Howard, William, 209, 211.

  Hudson, Hendrick, 1.

  Hull, Isaac, 417, 418, 419, 421.

  Hull, Robert, 255.

  Hull's Tavern, 256, 257, 269, 282.

  Hum Drum Club, 134.

  Humphreys, Colonel, 310, 317.

  Hunt, Obadiah, 88, 89.

  Hunter, Governor, 81.

  Hunter, Robert, 371, 372.

  Hunter's Hotel, 372, 373.

  Hutchins, John, 65, 66, 67, 73, 74, 75, 77.

  Hutchinson, Governor, 267.

  Hyatt, Caleb, 347.

  Hyde, John, 357, 361, 371, 394.


  Imlay, William, 250.

  Inman, John, 432.

  Iredell, Judge, 374.

  Irving, Washington, 33.

  Izard, Ralph, 364.


  Jamaica Arms, 120.

  Jamaica Pilot Boat, 127, 129.

  James, Major, 206, 218.

  Jackson, Andrew, 436, 437.

  Jackson, Jacob, 291.

  Jackson, Major, 364.

  Jauncey, James, 209, 233.

  Jay, John, 248, 251, 259, 267, 268, 321, 337, 344, 374.

  Jennings, Chester, 449, 450, 452, 475.

  Jochemsen, Andries, 23.

  Johnson, Doctor, 374.

  Johnson, Jeremiah, 368.

  Johnson, Samuel, 165, 166, 167.

  Jones, Captain, 417, 419, 421.

  Jones, John, 209, 219, 221, 227, 230, 242, 243, 265.

  Jones, Samuel, 251.

  Jourdain, Elizabeth, 87.

  Jourdain, Henry, 87.


  Kearney, Michael, 182.

  Keen & Lightfoot, 136.

  Kelly, Henry, 250.

  Kempe, John Tabor, 246, 247.

  Kennedy, Henry, 346.

  Kent, Rudolphus, 412.

  Kent, William, 473.

  Ketchum, Hiram, 447.

  Kidd, Captain, 116.

  Kieft, Governor, 6, 12.

  Kiersted, Hans, 10.

  Kierstede, Benjamin, 120.

  King, Charles, 471, 473.

  King, David, 455.

  King George, 85.

  King, Rufus, 434, 435.

  King William, 108.

  King of Prussia (Sign of the), 165.

  King's Arms, 65, 67, 69, 77, 114, 115, 116, 141, 149, 164, 191, 193,
      194, 196, 197, 198, 216, 217, 221, 251.

  King's Birthday, 124.

  King's College, 144.

  King's Head, 69, 70, 71, 75, 84, 192, 193, 195, 202, 284, 285, 289, 290,
      292.

  King's Head, London, 210.

  Kissam, Benjamin, 251, 385.

  Knight, Sarah, 51, 162.

  Knox, General, 310, 313, 314, 316, 317, 354.

  Knyphausen, General, 398.

  Kosciusko, General, 316.

  Kray, Teunis, 29, 30.

  Krout Club, 432, 433.


  La Chair, Solomon Petersen, 29, 30.

  Laight, General, 386.

  Laight, William, 356.

  Lafayette, George Washington, 465.

  Lafayette, General, 465, 466, 467, 468, 469.

  Lamb, General, 468.

  Lambert, Captain, 366.

  La Montagne, Doctor, 12.

  Landlord, The, 169.

  Langdon, Dorothea, 474.

  Lawrence, Captain, 420, 421, 422.

  Lawrence, Judge, 375.

  Lawrence, Susannah, 122, 130.

  Lawrence, William Beach, 472.

  Leary, John, 182.

  Le Count, William, 97.

  Lee, General, 316.

  Lee, Major, 300, 301, 303, 304.

  Leendersen, Sander, 37.

  Leete, Samuel, 44.

  Leisler, Jacob, 49, 51, 53, 58, 66.

  Lenox, Robert, 321.

  Leppers, Thomas, 130, 131, 133, 188.

  Lewis, Francis, 249, 265.

  Lewis, Morgan, 249, 272.

  Liberty Cap, 359, 360.

  Liberty Pole, 215, 216, 217, 234, 236, 237, 238, 239, 240, 243, 244,
      257, 346.

  Lincoln, General, 316.

  Lispenard, Leonard, 249.

  Little, Michael, 377, 379, 380, 381, 383, 407, 412.

  Little's Tavern, 377, 383.

  Litschoe, Annetje, 23.

  Litschoe, Daniel, 22, 23, 28.

  Livingston, Brockholst, 353, 422, 423, 433.

  Livingston, Chancellor, 396.

  Livingston, Edward, 374.

  Livingston, Henry, 249.

  Livingston, John, 249.

  Livingston, Philip, 172, 233, 267, 268, 371.

  Livingston, Robert, 324.

  Livingston, Robert R., 205, 248, 321, 394, 403, 407.

  Livingston, Robert R., Jr., 247.

  Livingston, William, 209, 251, 252.

  Lockyer, Captain, 261, 263.

  "Locust Trees," 45.

  London Hotel, 397.

  London Tavern, 390, 439.

  Loosley, Charles, 283, 289, 292.

  Loosley & Elms, 283, 285, 288, 289, 293.

  Loring, Commissioner, 299.

  Lorelace, Governor, 40, 43, 81, 134.

  Lovett, John, 373, 374, 389.

  Low, Isaac, 267, 268, 271.

  Ludlow, Daniel, 249, 371.

  Ludlow, George, 249.

  Ludlow, William, 249.


  Macomb, Alexander, 476.

  Mackraby, Alexander, 176.

  Madison, James, 417.

  Malcolm, General, 354.

  Mapes, General, 434.

  Marriner's Tavern, 364, 365, 368.

  Marriner, William, 364, 366, 369.

  Marshall, John, 187.

  Martling, Abraham B., 375, 411.

  Martling & Cozzens, 423, 425.

  Martling's Tavern, 375, 376, 395.

  Mason's Arms, 199.

  Mason William, 54.

  Massue, Viscombe de la, 377, 379.

  Mather, Samuel G., 449.

  Matthews, David, 251.

  Matthews, James, 43.

  Matthews, Peter, 62, 75, 134.

  McComb, General, 434.

  McDougal, Alexander, 151, 239, 241, 320, 324.

  McGillivray, Alexander, 353, 354.

  McGown, Andrew, 158.

  McGown's Pass Tavern, 158.

  McGown, widow, 158.

  McIntyre, Peter, 428.

  Meal Market, 127, 128.

  Mechanics' Hall, 406, 447.

  Melyen, Samuel, 172.

  Mercantile Coffee House, 397.

  Merchants' Coffee House, 117, 128, 131, 133, 136, 137, 141, 154, 155,
      168, 201, 206, 207, 215, 225, 253, 255, 264, 265, 267, 271, 275,
      278, 279, 280, 293, 294, 318, 321, 326, 356, 357, 386, 403.

  Merchants' Exchange, 43, 135.

  Merchants' Hotel, 435, 454.

  Meschianza, The, 286, 287.

  Miller, John, 186.

  Minhorne, Jacob, 53, 58, 66.

  Minuit, Peter, 2, 3.

  Minvielle, Gabriel, 60, 69.

  Mitchill, Samuel L., 433.

  Monckton, General, 182.

  Monroe, James, 434, 435.

  Montagu, William, 179.

  Montcrieffe, Major, 368.

  Montgomerie, Governor, 91, 114.

  Moody, Sir Henry, 23.

  Mooney, William, 437.

  Moore, Sir Henry, 207, 208, 225, 233, 245.

  Moore, John, 248, 250.

  Moore, Thomas W. C., 248.

  Moot, The, 250, 251, 252.

  Morris, General, 314.

  Morris, Gouveneur, 101, 248, 251, 265, 364, 366.

  Morris, Lewis, 95, 99, 101, 104, 108, 181, 331.

  Morris, Lewis, Jr., 180, 181, 183.

  Morris, Richard, 251.

  Morris, Robert Hunter, 143.

  Morris, Roger, 243.

  Morris, William, 70.

  Mortier, Paymaster General, 163, 189.

  Morton, General, 434, 435.

  Moultrie, General, 316.

  Mount Pleasant, 187, 218, 252.

  Mount Vernon Garden, 399, 400.

  Murray, John, 337.


  Nanfan, Lieutenant Governor, 72, 73.

  National Hotel, 450.

  New England Society, The, 407.

  Negro Plot, 123, 318.

  New York Coffee House, 318.

  New York Arms, 142, 143, 144, 148, 202, 213, 222, 228, 233, 245, 246,
      247.

  New York Garden, 453, 454.

  New York Hotel, 403.

  New York Society, The, 247.

  New York Stock Exchange, 360, 363.

  Niblo's Coffee House, 407.

  Niblo's Garden, 458.

  Niblo, William, 452, 458, 459, 460, 462.

  Nicolls, Governor, 37, 39, 178, 198, 199.

  Noel, Garrat, 155.

  Noel, Thomas, 65.

  Non-Importation Agreement, 205.

  Non-Importation Agreement, Second, 228.

  Norris, Sir John, 108.

  Norris, Matthias, 103, 106, 118.

  Norris, Mrs., 108.

  North, Lord, 267.


  O'Brien, 155.

  Ogden, Jonathan, 156.

  Old Coffee House, 403.

  Opdyck, Gysbert, 10.

  Osborne, Sir Danvers, 139, 140.


  Pain, Benjamin, 115, 120.

  Paine, Robert Treat, 269.

  Palmer, Benjamin, 163.

  Parker, James, 202.

  Parmyter, John, 85, 86.

  Parmyter, Susannah, 86.

  Pattison, General, 296, 297, 299.

  Paulding, James K., 431.

  Pelow, Vincent, 88.

  Pemberton, Robert, 328.

  Pennington, Captain, 282.

  Pennington, William, 474.

  Percival, James G., 431.

  Perry, Commodore, 423, 424.

  Phillips, Frederick, 455.

  Phillips, General, 296.

  Phillipse, Adolph, 92.

  Phillipse, Frederick, 56, 95, 96, 98, 163, 187.

  Phoenix Coffee House, 403.

  Pine Apple, The, 120.

  Pintard, John, 331, 362, 439.

  Pirates, 57, 59.

  Pitt, William, 215.

  Platt, Jonas, 438, 439.

  Platt, Richard, 328, 435.

  Porteous, Captain, 394.

  Porterfield, James, 131, 132, 133.

  Post, Widow, 87, 88.

  Powers, George, 322.

  Price, Benjamin, 441, 442.

  Price, Captain, 316.

  Price, Stephen, 441, 443, 444.

  Privateers, 119, 120, 121.

  Province Arms, 142, 147, 203, 205, 244, 246, 255, 282, 295, 297, 299,
      300, 305, 311, 323, 445.

  Purdie, Alexander, 270.

  Putnam, General, 207, 316.


  Queen's Head, 168, 202, 227, 230, 243, 245, 247, 253, 294, 295, 317.


  Radel, Margaret, 37.

  Ramsay, Andrew, 114, 125, 129.

  Randolph, Edmund, 344.

  Ranelagh, 218, 221, 413.

  Rapelye, Stephen, 250.

  Rathwell, James, 393, 394.

  Rawson's Tavern, 345.

  Reade, John, 250.

  Red House, 463.

  Red Lion, 130.

  Refugee Club, 295.

  Regulation of Taverns, 20, 21.

  Renwick, Professor, 471.

  Revere, Paul, 260, 266.

  Reynolds' Beer House, 459.

  Reynolds, Sir Joshua, 168.

  Reynolds, William, 458.

  Riedesel, Baron, 296.

  Ritzema, Rudolphus, 251.

  Rivington, James, 284, 288, 323.

  Road Houses, 459.

  Robertson, Alexander, 299, 345.

  Robin, Isaac, 86.

  Robinson, Beverly, 202, 473.

  Robinson, Joseph, 201.

  Rodgers, Commodore, 417.

  Rodgers, Doctor, 401.

  Rogers, Captain, 468.

  Rogers & Humphrey, 225.

  Rogers, Lewis, 463.

  Roger Morris House, 159, 363, 364.

  Rogers, Moses, 371.

  Roome, Luke, 154, 255, 357.

  Roosevelt, John, 187.

  Ross, David, 412.

  Roubalet, 299, 305.

  Royal Bowling Green, 188.

  Royal Oak, 44.

  Rutgers, Anthony, 182, 199, 219.

  Rutherford, Walter, 209.

  Rutledge, John, 344.


  Sacket, Richard, 185.

  Saint George and the Dragon, 37, 130.

  Saltus, Nick, 451.

  Sampson, J. P. C., 447.

  Sands, Robert C., 431.

  Sans, Souci, 455.

  Santen, Lucas, 52.

  Schuyler, Arent, 81.

  Schuyler, Peter, 148, 149.

  Schuyler, Philip, 328.

  Scotch Johnny, 191, 195.

  Scotch Johnny's, 164.

  Scott, John Morin, 209, 251, 275, 310.

  Scott, Winfield, 435, 474.

  Scurlock, Thomas, 165.

  Seabury, Doctor, 399.

  Seagrave, James, 249.

  Sears, Isaac, 151, 215.

  Sebring, Isaac, 408.

  Seton, William, 320.

  Shakespeare Tavern, 428, 429, 430, 431, 432.

  Shank, Matthew, 62.

  Sherbrook, Major, 367.

  Sherman, Alpheus, 410.

  Shirley, William, 143.

  Shoemakers' Pasture, 116.

  Simmons, John, 340, 341.

  Simmons' Tavern, 340, 341, 342.

  Slave Market, 127.

  Sloughter, Governor, 66.

  Smith, Colonel, 310, 364.

  Smith, Edward, 234, 238.

  Smith, Ephraim, 287.

  Smith, Melancthon, 345.

  Smith, Mrs., 293.

  Smith's Tavern, 286.

  Smith, Thomas, 251.

  Smith, William, 103, 251, 310.

  Smith, William, Jr., 209.

  Snedeker, John R., 465.

  Social Club, The, 248.

  Sons of Liberty, 208, 212, 214, 230, 231, 234, 236, 238, 239, 243, 244,
      257, 259, 261, 273, 351.

  Southard, Samuel, 474.

  Sperry, Jacob, 401.

  Sports and Amusements, 174.

  Spring Garden, 116, 122, 165.

  Spring Garden House, 165, 199.

  Stagg, John, 354, 385.

  Stamp Act, 204, 205, 202.

  Stark, General, 316.

  State Arms, 307.

  Steel, Sarah, 194, 195, 196.

  Steenwyck, Cornelis, 39, 198.

  Steuben, General, 316, 326, 328, 337.

  Stevens, Ebenezer, 423, 435.

  Stevens, J., 250.

  Stevens, John Austin, 255.

  Stewart, Anthony G., 295.

  Stirling, Lord, 182.

  Stockton, Anne, 115.

  Stone, William L., 431, 432.

  Stoneall, James C., 432.

  Storrs, Henry R., 472.

  Strachan, John, 293, 294.

  Strachan's Tavern, 295.

  Stuyvesant, Peter, 13, 20, 22, 34, 35, 47.

  Stuyvesant, Peter G., 474.

  Swain, Captain, 430.

  Swartwout, John, 383, 396, 439, 468.

  Swift, General, 434, 435.

  Swift, Henry, 81.

  Swift, Joseph G., 422.


  Talbot, Captain, 375.

  Talmadge, Colonel, 317.

  Tammany Hall, 410, 422, 423, 427, 433, 437, 445.

  Tammany Hall Hotel, 425.

  Tammany Society, 351, 375, 395.

  Tavern Life, 78, 79.

  Tavern Regulations, 41.

  Tavern Signs, 167.

  Taylor, John, 189.

  Tew, Thomas, 54, 58, 59.

  Thomas, Widow, 122.

  Thompson, Gabriel, 69, 70.

  Thompson, John, 155, 156.

  Thomson, Captain, 375.

  Thurman, John, Jr., 209.

  Tillery, James, 385, 394.

  Todd, Robert, 105, 110, 112, 114, 121, 200.

  Tollemache, Captain, 282.

  Tompkins, Daniel D., 422, 423, 434, 435.

  Tontine Coffee House, 154, 356, 361, 371, 374, 393, 395, 400, 403, 404,
      407, 425.

  Tontine Hotel, 371, 372.

  Trumbull, John, 310, 474.

  Tryon, Governor, 293, 296.

  Turk's Head, The, 168, 431.

  Two-Mile Tavern, 48.

  Tyler's, 414.


  Ugly Club, 414.

  Ugly Hall, 414.

  Underhill, John, 11, 12.

  Union Flag, The, 158, 176.

  United States Hotel, 478.

  Ury, John, 123.


  Valentine, Abraham M., 410.

  Van Borsum, Annetje, 28, 29.

  Van Borsum, Egbert, 27, 28, 29, 185.

  Van Borsum, Hermanus, 29.

  Van Buren's Tavern, Dr., 367.

  Van Cortlandt, Pierre, 328.

  Van Cortlandt, Stephen, 200.

  Van Dam, Rip, 92, 93, 94, 95, 101, 104, 110, 112, 113.

  Vandenberg, Adam, 179.

  Vandenberg's, 189.

  Vanderbilt, John, 419.

  Vandercliff, Dirck, 45, 46.

  Vandercliff's Orchard, 45.

  Vanderspiegel, John, 209.

  Van Dyck, Hendrick, 20.

  Van Horne, Cornelius, 92.

  Van Horne, David, 205.

  Van Ness, Judge, 423.

  Van Pelt, Rem, 367.

  Van Purmerendt, Claes Jansen, 25.

  Van Shaack, Peter, 249, 251.

  Van Tienhoven, Cornelis, 13.

  Van Twiller, Wouter, 11.

  Van Vorst, Annetje Cornelissen, 25.

  Varian, Richard, 347.

  Varick, Colonel, 310.

  Vaughan, Thomas, 394, 395.

  Vauxhall, 187, 206, 218, 247, 252, 425.

  Vauxhall Garden, 218, 400, 401, 402.

  Vermilye, Thomas, 163.

  Verplanck, Gulian, 219, 356, 371.

  Verplanck, Gulian C., 432.

  Vineyard, The, 68, 185.


  Wainwright, Doctor, 473.

  Waldron, Adolph, 287.

  Waldron, Samuel, 239.

  Wales, Prince of, 108.

  Walker, Benjamin, 324.

  Wallace, Hugh, 229.

  Walters, Robert, 66.

  Walton, Jacob, 233.

  Walton, William, 256.

  Warren, Sir Peter, 182.

  Washington, George, 159, 300, 302, 308, 309, 310, 313, 317, 336, 339,
      341, 364, 367, 368, 473, 476.

  Washington Hall, 408, 409, 410, 420, 423, 424, 425, 427, 441, 443, 445,
      467, 469, 472.

  Washington Hotel, 397, 412, 435.

  Waters, A. W., 183.

  Watson, James, 371.

  Watson, John, 175.

  Watts, John, 182, 249, 356, 358, 371, 404.

  Watts, John, Jr., 247.

  Wayne, General, 316.

  Webb, James, 37.

  Webb, Samuel B., 326, 328.

  Webber, Wolfert, 46, 47.

  Webster, Daniel, 472.

  Weissenfels, Frederick, 312.

  Welch, Thomas, 118.

  Wessels, Metje, 28, 30, 32, 33.

  Wetmore, Prosper W., 467.

  White Conduit House, 398, 399.

  Whitehall Coffee House, 225.

  White Horse Tavern, 18.

  White Lion, 70, 71.

  Wickham, William, 251.

  Wilcocks, Widow, 440.

  Wilkinson, James, 245.

  Willard, Mr., 449, 450, 452.

  Willett, Edward, 118, 141, 143, 144, 148, 202.

  Willett, Marinus, 273, 274, 275, 353, 435.

  Williams, Erasmus, 252.

  Wilson, Captain, 441, 444.

  Wilson, James, 344.

  Wragg, Elizabeth, 255.


  Zenger, John Peter, 101, 102, 104.



FOOTNOTES:

[1] New York Gazette or Weekly Post-Boy.

[2] New York Gazette or Weekly Post-Boy.

[3] New York Mercury.

[4] New York Gazette.

[5] New York Evening Post.

[6] Dayton.

[7] Dayton.





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