CHRONOLOGY OF NEW YORK CITY'S FACTUAL "FIRST" 1524-1999
Researched and Compiled by Miriam Medina

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*Please note this is a work in progress. New researched information will be added periodically.

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1) America's first cricket tournament was held in New York City. *(a.com)

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1) Trinity Church opened its first chapel, St. George's on Beekman Street, to accommodate its growing and prosperous congregation.

2) November 30 -- William Livingston, William Smith, Jr. and John Morin Scott issue first number of the Independent Reflector, New York City's first periodical, consciously modelled after English Whig periodicals. *(beatl)

C) In 1752 the " The NewYork Mercury" was founded by Hugh Gaine, on Hanover Square at the sign of the "Bible and Crown," and became the best newspaper of the colonies. * (NYS History)


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1) Lewis Hallam, Anglo-American actor and manager of the first professional theatrical company in the United States. In 1753 he built the first theater in New York City, on Nassau St., where he presented Elizabethan and Restoration dramas, farces, and operettas. * (Bartleby)

2) The Presbyterians established a new journal in 1753, called the Independent Reflector, in which their side of the college controversy was fully argued. * (hocny)

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1) The Society Library had been started in 1754, and incorporated in 1772, the books being stored in the old City Hall in Wall Street. During the Revolution, the library was looted by the British soldiers, and the books hawked about the streets, and sold for drink, so that few of them remained when the Americans came into their own again. The Society started once more in 1793 in Nassau Street, removing later to Chambers Street, where it remained until 1840, when it removed to the above site on Broadway. * (mccny)

2) Columbia University established by Royal Charter on October 31, 1754, as the College of the Providence of New York, was known from the beginning as King's College. The first president was Rev. Samuel Johnson, D.D. * (Concise)

3) Hallam's company of players, the first on record played at New York in 1754. * (A&C)

4) November 2 -- Lieutenant Governor James DeLancey signed charter on behalf of King George II; Designated "The College of the Province of New York, in the City of New York... known by the name of King's College;"


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1) May 7 -- First meeting of Governors of King's College -- 26 members present.

2) The "Province Arms," in the Broadway, near Oswego Market." The first event to start it on its long and brilliant career was a public dinner given in 1755 to the new governor, Sir Charles Hardy. *(Bwy)

3) The first "packet" running between New York and Staten Island began its voyages semiweekly in 1755, and the ferrymen summoned the passengers by the blast of a horn.

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1) August 23 -- Cornerstone of King's College building laid, corner of Murray (N) and Church (E) Streets, near what is now West Broadway; *(Bwy)

2) The Saint Andrew's Society at New York in the Province of New York" was founded on November 19, 1756. *Heritage

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1) June 21st -- First commencement exercise of King's College, held at St. George's Chapel, five AB graduates. * (beatl)

2) The history of the New York Quarantine is briefly this: In 1758 the first hospital and offices were placed by the Colonial Legislature upon Bedloe's Island

3) The city was honored by Benjamin West, the first american born painter to attain world celebrity. * (NYS History) Vol: V

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1) In 1759, the first insurance office was the Tontine Coffee house. It was where the gathering of shippers whose fortunes were tossing on the sea in quaint sailing vessels, came to ask some citizen to underwrite them personally. *(NYS History)

2) About 1759 public opinion became so strongly aroused against the payment of tolls that a  bridge, called the Free Bridge was built by public subscription at or near the site of the present farmer's or Fordham Bridge. *(borobx)

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1) The development of Broadway, the first section , from Vesey Street to Duane; was surveyed in 1760 by Mr. Marschalk, a city surveyor. *(Bwy)

2) The Provincial Assembly enacted the first New York Statute regulating the practice of medicine in 1760. * (NYS History) Vol: V

3) The house at No. 1 Broadway, was built in 1760 by Colonel Kennedy, afterward Earl of Cassilis, and occupied in turn by the American leaders, including Washington, and by the English, including Cornwallis, Howe and Sir Henry Clinton, was the scene of Major Andre's last interview with the British commander before his fatal journey to West Point. * (Historic Towns)

4) In 1760, the New York General Assembly provided a system of examination and Licensing for those who intended to practise medicine or surgery with the province.* (eafd)

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1) City Island was first settled in 1761 .


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1) First street lamps installed with City funds.An act of the assembly gave authority to provide means of lighting the city,
and in that year the first lamps and posts were purchased.

2) King's College opens a Grammar School to prepare students for admission to King's College. *(beatl)

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1) The old Moravian church at New Dorp, Staten Island was built in 1763. (NYS History) Vol. I

2) Fraunces Tavern at 54 Pearl Street (at Broad) in New York City. The first announcement advertising the establishment appeared in the New York weekly "Independent Gazette" of April 4, 1763. Fraunces Tavern takes its name from Samuel Fraunces, a west Indian of French antecedents who was the Tavern's proprietor and a steward to George Washington. * (Museums)

3) The first international sports hero, boxer Bill Richmond of Staten Island, was born August 5, 1763. * (50S)

4) New York Packet and American Advertiser: This was established in 1763 and published by Samuel Loudon.

5) The Rhinelander's Sugar-house on Rose and Duane streets in New York City was erected in 1763, demolished in 1892. Rhinelander Building erected on site 1893. * (NYS History)

6) New York City's first chamber of Commerce was established in New York.


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1) Greenhouse was erected by James Beekman in New York City. * (fff)

2) September, 1764. The new pillory, with a large wooden cage behind it, was erected between the new Jail (the present Hall of Records) and this Work-house (the site of the City Hall) the cage being for disorderly boys who publicly broke the Sabbath.* (Shannon)

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1) The British Parliament enacted the Stamp Act. A meeting of the merchants of the city was called at Burns's Coffee House on Broadway, and the first non-importation agreement was signed, October 31, 1765.

2) The church edifice, or more properly, St. Paul's Chapel, between Fulton and Vesey street was erected by Trinity Corporation upon part of its farm in 1765, and opened the following year when the Rev. Mr. Auchmuty preached the dedication sermon. It is one of the three buildings of a public, or semi-public, character, dating from pre-Revolutionary days that still stand upon the island of Manhattan*.(bwy)

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1) Irish soldiers in the British army stage New York City's first Saint Patrick's Day parade.

2) June -- Literary Society organized to instill scholarly competition among the students of King's College by awarding medals and books. Society folded in 1772.

3) Gershom Mendes Seixas-Rabbi , Appointed minister of Shearith Israel in New York, in 1766. *EOJK

4) The Methodists rank among the oldest denominations in the city having been organized in 1766 by Philip Embury, a local preacher from Ireland. * (Gaslight)

5) New York Journal: In 1766 John Holt established the "New York Journal, or General Advertiser," which in the course of the same year was united with "Parker's Gazette." John Holt edited the first Whig newspaper published in New York City, and managed it with considerable ability and courage. * (NYS History)

6) In 1766, St. Paul's chapel, the oldest church surviving in Manhattan was built as a subsidiary to Trinity Church. * (eafd)

7) St. Paul's Chapel near the Park, between Fulton and Vesey streets was erected and first opened for worship, October 30th, 1766. It is a fine structure, of a reddish grey stone, 113 feet long, and 73 feet wide. Continuing a collegiate charge with Trinity Church, its ecclesiastical affairs are consequently merged in that.* (hocadnyc)


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