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) Medical instruction is inaugurated at King's College (Columbia University) in New York.

2) In December 7, 1767, David Douglas had opened the city's first real playhouse the John St. Theatre halfway between Broadway and Nassau Street. * (epic)

3) The first libretto published in the English colonies, was "The Disappointment or the Force of Credulity by Andrew Barton. It was printed in New York City. * (eafd)

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1) The New York City Chamber of Commerce is organized. August -- Leading merchants organize New York Chamber of Commerce, the first in America; several King's College Governors prominent among founders.

2) In 1768, the Methodists erected their first church in John Street in New York City. * (Gaslight)

3) In 1768 John Cruger was elected the first president of the New York Chamber of Commerce. * (eafd)

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1) King's College of New York City graduated its first Bachelors of Medicine. * (NYS History) Vol: V

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1) January 18, 1770, nearly seven weeks before the Boston Massacre, British soldiers killed one citizen and wounded three in a riot
caused by the destruction by the soldiers of a liberty pole set up by the "Sons of Liberty." This riot, called the "Battle of Golden Hill," is ranked by some writers as "the first conflict of the War of the American Revolution."

2) Charter granted for establishment of New York Hospital.

3) The St. George's Society of New York was established in New York City in 1770 as the "Sons of St. George". It was reorganized in 1786 as the "Society of St. George." In 1838, the Society was incorporated as the " St. George's Society of New York". * (Heritage)

4) The Society of Merchants was incorporated March 13, 1770, when the Royal charter was granted to it as the Chamber of Commerce of the City of New York.

5) August, 1770. An elegant equestrian statue, the first of the kind in this city, of his Majesty George III, was erected in the Bowling Green in presence of a large concourse of persons and amid music and a discharge of ordnance. It remained six years but was destroyed by the Liberty boys in 1776, and its material (lead) cast into bullets.* (Shannon)

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A) President Cooper adapted Oxford tradition of "The Black Book," or "Book of Misdemeanors," to record disciplinary actions taken against King's College students.

B) 1771 City builds first dock on Hudson River side of Manhattan. * (MaritimeNY)

C) 1771 - Bear market developed in New York City on land donated by Trinity Church that would later become the site of the World Trade Center. It was first known as Bera Market after a butcher killed and displayed a bear that had crossed the Hudson. This old market was replaced by the new Washington Market that dominated lower Manhattan throughout the 19th century. * (hsd)

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1) In 1772, a charter was grant it by George III. under the name of the New York Society Library, and under the new impetus given it by this incorporation, it flourished till all thoughts of literary enterprise were banished by the general stagnation of the Revolution. The city fell into the hands of the British and the library into the hands of the British soldiery; and, in the scenes of Vandalism which followed, the choice and valuable collection which had been gathered with so much care, was scattered, mutilated and almost totally destroyed. * (hocny)


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A) Regular mounted mail service is established between Boston and New York.

B) In 1773 Herman Zedwitz violin teacher from Europe gave a concert at Hull's Assembly room at which he was accompanied on the pianoforte by Mr. Hulett. * (NYS History)

C) As early as 1770 several physicians notified Lieutenant-Governor Colden that subscriptions were being solicited for the establishment of a public hospital; and a royal charter was obtained the following year. The land secured was from the Rutgers farm and was considered far out of town. It comprised five acres on the west side of Broadway, between the present Duane and Worth streets, Thomas Street being cut through later. The corner-stone of the building was laid by Governor Tryon, September 2, 1773. The building was partially burnt before completion, but was repaired and was ready for occupancy at the time the Revolution began. It was located on the Kalck Hook, a hill some forty or fifty feet high, situated on the line of Broadway, and, therefore, a commanding position for fortifications, which were erected here by the British, the hospital building, itself, being used by the soldiers and being surrounded by a fort.* (mccny)

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1) Kingsland House at 143-35 37th avenue Flushing, N.Y. The Kingsland homestead was built in 1774 by Charles Doughty and his wife Sarah Dusenbury. Doughty was a wealthy Quaker farmer who was reputed to be the first person to free a slave in Queens. * (Museums)

2) The first teaship arrived in New York Harbor, April 18, 1774. The ship was "Nancy" commanded by Captain Lockeyer. * (NYS History)

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1) The Bridewell, a prison for vagrants, for those guilty of minor offences, and for those awaiting trial, was erected in 1775, just previous to the Revolution. It stood facing Broadway between that thoroughfare and the west wing of the City Hall. * (Bway)

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1) In the early summer of 1776 a large part of the American troops were quartered in New York. On July 8th, in the presence
of Washington, the Declaration of Independence was for the first time publicly read to them.

2) The Battle of Long Island, the first major battle of the Revolutionary War. A battle fought on Brooklyn Heights, Long Island, N.Y., August 27, 1776, during the Revolutionary War, between a British force of more than 15,000 under General Howe and an American force of about 8000 under the immediate command of General Israel Putnam. The British, landing at a point of Long Island a short distance below the "Narrows," marched by three routes against the American position, which had been strongly fortified in anticipation of an attack. Brooklyn Heights being necessary to the British if they were to succeed in their plans for the capture of New York. The most important road, the Jamaica Road, leading to the American position, seems to have been left almost wholly unguarded, and it was by this that the British advanced in greatest force. Parts of the American army under Gen. William Alexander (Lord Stirling) and General Sullivan, stationed in advance of the principal American fortification, were defeated after some stubborn fighting, both Alexander and Sullivan being captured; and Howe then proceeded to invest the works. In the evening of the 27th Washington crossed over to Long Island, and on the following day brought over reinforcements. General Howe showing no disposition to storm, however, Washington decided to abandon the works and transfer his forces to Manhattan Island, and during the night of August 29-30 this was successfully effected, the British not suspecting the movement until the Americans had crossed in safety. The British loss in killed, wounded, and missing in the battle of Long Island was about 400, while the American loss was about 1000.

3) The first considerable fire in American History destroyed a large portion of the town of New York during the British army occupation in 1776 and was attributed by Americans to British vandalism. * (Concise)

4) Strike on record by union: Journeymen Printers New York City 1776. First in America. * (t.a.)

5) A large transport named the Whitby, was the first prison ship anchored in the Wallabout. Shwas moored near "Remsen's Mill," about October 20, 1776 and was then crowded with prisoners. * (A&C)

6) the Battle of Harlem Heights was fought on September 16, 1776 * (nyc.gov)

7) June 29, 1776 General Sir William Howe and his brother Admiral Lord Richard Howe appear in New York Harbor with a huge fleet, including transport ships, signaling the beginning of a full-scale British invasion effort. The appearance of the fleet is no surprise to the Americans. * (TBA)

8) July 2, 1776 General Howe, having sailed from Halifax, lands an army of 10,000 men, unopposed, on Staten Island. * (TBA)

9) Levi Hanford, of Walton, Delaware County, New York, entering the army in the autumn of 1775, was one of the company sent by Lee, in 1776 to break ground for the first fortifications erected on Governor's Island. * (hocny)

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1) After the colonies seceded from the British Empire, New York was the first state to enfranchise the Jews completely (1777). * (Concise)

2) James Rivington in 1777 established Rivington's New York Loyal Gazette whose title was changed to The Royal Gazette in the same year. * (Century)

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1) The Hand in Hand Fire Company was instituted in New York City in November of 1780, for the purpose of Averting as much as possible the ruinous consequences which occasionally happen by fire. * (Old Merchants)

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