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) The Mount Vernon Garden at the northwest corner of Leonard Street was opened July 19, 1800, by Joseph Corrie, who had been French cook to an English officer, and who made the cuisine of his place famous. * (Bwy)

2) In 1800, according to a scrapbook compiled by General Jeremiah Johnson, Kings county had 4,495 inhabitants, of whom 621 were electors; 930 free white males, of 10 and upward; 760 free white males under that age; 1,449 free white females; 1,432 slaves and 46 free persons not enumerated. The inhabitants were chiefly of Dutch extraction. The slaves were treated well, but the opinion relative to their freedom was wholly influenced by pecuniary motives. * (b.d.e. 7/19/1896)

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1) New York Evening Post: The oldest of the surviving newspapers in New York City, which was started as an organ of the Federalists under the immediate patronage of Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and their political associates. First issue November 16, 1801. City inhabitants were 60,000. William Coleman, first proprietor and editor. * (NYS History)


2 In 1801, the Legislature authorized the appointment of a commission to lay out the upper part of the island above Houston Street in streets and avenues. *(Bwy)

3) New York's Common Council creates a commissioner of police who coordinates the work of city marshals and the city watch.

4) 1801 The Brooklyn Navy Yard is established on Wallabout Bay. * (BTL)

5) The first of New York's institutions devoted to fine arts had for its president Chancellor Livingston. Founded in 1801 as the New York Academy of Fine Arts and incorporated in 1908 as the American Academy of Fine Arts.

6) The American Company of Booksellers was organized on June 7, 1801 in New York City. * (fff)

7)  Alexander McLeod of New York, an american clergyman of the Reformed Presbyterian Church and religious writer. He was pastor of the First Reformed Presbyterian Church of New York in 1801-1833. * (Century)

8) New York's Common Council creates a commissioner of police who coordinates the work of city marshals and the city watch.

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1) The National Academy of Design, a society of American painters and sculptors, whose headquarters is in New York City. The first Academy of Arts in New York City was founded in 1802 by prominent citizens, Prof. S.F.B. Morse (q.v.) was the chief organizer of the movement, and was twice president of the National Academy, in 1827-45 and again in 1861-62. In this capacity he delivered the first lecture on the fine arts ever given in America. * (n.i.e.)

2) The first social gathering of American publishers was at the old City Hotel, Broadway, an organization under the auspices of the venerable Matthew Carey." *(Bwy)

3) Marine Insurance Company was incorporated in 1802. * (NYS History) Vol: V

4) Sampson Simpson, the first Jewish graduate of Columbia College was admitted to the bar in 1802. *(EOJK)

5) In 1802 Mr. Bernard Hart formed a partnership with Leonard Lispenard under the firm of Lispenard & Hart. Lispenard & Hart first started their business at 89 Water Street, in Manhattan. * (Old Merchants)

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1) Oliver Wolcott, was the first President of the Merchant's Bank in New York City in 1803.

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1) On the twentieth of November, 1804, eleven gentlemen met in the "picture room" of the City Hall and formed the New York Historical Society, electing De Witt Clinton as its first president. Since that time it has grown apace, and has done inestimable service in collecting and preserving all kinds of material connected with the nation, the state, and the city.

2) Bogart & Kneeland one of the oldest and most respected commercial houses in this started in business at 71 South Street in the year of 1804. *( Old Merchants)

3) The N.Y. Historical Society owes its existence mainly to John Pintard "our enlightened founder". It was organized in 1804 and chartered by Legislature in 1809.

4) Commercial Insurance Company in New York City was established in 1804. * (NYS History)

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1) John Howard Payne, american actor and playwright born in New York City. His first play written in his early teens was produced in New York in 1805. * (c.e.)

2) Bernard Dornin, publisher, began a bookselling and publishing firm, printed a New Testament (Brooklyn 1805) *(docb)

3) St. Stephen's Church: This church was formed March 12, 1805, and in the same year their present house of worship was built, on the corner of Broome and Chrystie streets. The history of this church has not been marked by any great revolution, or striking incidents, but it has risen gradually, from about 60 communicants when organized, to 350 at the present time. This church has had seven pastors, viz., Rev. George Strebeck, elected March, 1805, resigned May, 1809: Rev. Richard C. Moore, elected May 31, 1809, elected Bishop of Virginia, May, 1814: Rev. James Henry Feltus, elected June 10, 1814, died August 24, 1828: Rev. Henry Anthon, elected January, 1829, resigned January 17, 1831: Rev. Francis L. Hawks, elected January 29, 1831, resigned December, 1831: Rev. William Jackson, elected May 9, 1832, resigned March 25, 1837: Rev. Joseph H. Price, elected May, 1837, and is the present minister.* (hocadnyc)

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1 ) Queens County Medical Society. There have been three Medical societies. The first was formed October 1st 1806, with Daniel Minema president, Henry Mott Vice-president, Thomas Cock secretary, and James Searing treasurer. The second medical society was formed December 17th 1828. About 1853 the present Society was formed.

2) 1806 - May 26th.The Long Island Intelligencer .

3) William Colgate started a candle and soap making company in New York City in 1806. * (inventors)

4) The Eagle Fire Insurance Company in New York City was incorporated in 1806. * (NYS History)

5) Fort Columbus, A United States military post, established in 1806 on Governor's Island, in the harbor of New York, 1000 yards south of Manhattan Island. * (n.i.e.)

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1) Robert Fulton, after many failures, at last invented a model that would work, and took his steamboat, the Clermont, on a trial trip from New York to Albany and back. The beginning of steam navigation.

2) Cowperthwait's at 408, 410, and 412 Fulton street, corner of Gallatin Place in Brooklyn, was established in 1807.

3) Public School No. 1 opened on Chatham Street on April 28, 1807. * (epic)

4) The first Chinese known to have visited New York City was Punqua Wingchong in 1807. * (epic)

5) St. John's Chapel: This is an elegant stone structure, 111 feet long, and 73 feet wide, situated on Varick street, fronting Hudson's square, more recently known as "St. John's Park." It was built in 1807, at the cost of more than $200,000. * (hocadnyc)

6) A few Episcopal families were scattered in the northern parts of Manhattan Island, at Bloomingdale, Manhattanville, and around Fort Washington, and these, very naturally, sought for religious privileges according to their own forms. Accordingly, in the year 1807, a church was formed at Bloomingdale called "St. Michael's Church," and during that year a small frame building was erected for a house of worship. * (hocadnyc)

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1) Ellis Island is purchased from the estate of Samuel Ellis by the State of New York and turned over to the Federal government.

2) First Methodist Episcopal Church (E. D.). The first ecclesiastical organization in the village of Williamsburgh, and the second in the old town of Bushwick, was formed about the beginning of the present century. Their first house of worship was erected in 1808, on North Second street, between Fourth and Fifth.

3) 1808 New York's first permanent circus, Pepe and Beschard's, opens on May 31 at Broadway and Worth Street.

4) Ferdinand Suydam started business in New York on his own account at No. 37 Front Street in 1808. * (old merchants)

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1) Under the General Turnpike Act of 1807, the Brooklyn, Jamaica and Flatbush Turnpike Company was incorporated, on March l7, l809. The incorporators were,- John D. Ditmars, Eliphalet Wickes, Abraham Rhodes, John C. Vanderveer, Cornelius Bergen and Barent Lefferts.

2) Knickerbocker's History of New York was published in December 1809. * (NYS History) Vol: V.

3) Johnathan Goodhue, first partnership in 1809, was with Mr. Swett, and the firm was Goodhue & Swett. * (Old Merchants.)

4 John Howard Payne of New York, an american dramatist actor and song writer. He first appeared on the stage in New York City in 1809. He is famous as the author "Home Sweet Home." * (Century)

5) Miss Elizabeth Ten Eyck remained in charge of the girls' department until 1809 and was probably the first female teacher in a public school in the State of New York. * (NYS History)

6) 1809 First Catholic receives the nomination of Tammany Hall for political office in New York.

7) The colored Episcopalians of this city commenced a meeting by themselves in the year 1809. They assembled for worship in a schoolroom, which stood next to the old church, on the corner of Frankfort and William streets, and Mr. McCoombs, a white man, officiated as a lay-reader until his death, in 1812. * (hocadnyc)

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1) The construction of Washington Hall was begun in 1810, taking up about half the block on the east side between Chambers and Reade Streets; it was completed in 1812. The building was one of the finest in the city and was to be used as a hotel and meeting-place, especially of the Federalists, as an offset to Tammany Hall, the rendezvous of the Republicans. *(Bwy)

2) New York City is the first of the largest cities in 1810, in the U.S.

3) In 1810, the Mechanics' Bank was chartered, and John Slidell, Jr., Anthony Steenback, Mr. Miller, Jacob Sherred, and other names of the old society, "Poor Overseers" were made directors of the new Bank of Mechanics, and John Slidell was made the first president of the Mechanics' Bank. * (Old Merchants)

4) Ocean Insurance Company in New York City was incorporated in 1810. * (NYS History)


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1) New York institutes a grid pattern to mark off future streets and avenues.

2) Cornelius Vanderbilt starts a ferry service from Staten Island to Manhattan. *( nyca)

3) Fifth Avenue was actually born in 1811 as a line on the Commissioner's map. The line broadened to 13th Street by 1824, to 21st Street by 1830, to 42nd Street in 1837, then to 120th Street in 1838. *(Fifth)

4) Castle Garden was originally Castle Clinton, a fort built in 1811 on an artificial island off lower Manhattan. It was converted into a theater in 1833 and was later connected by landfill to the Battery. It served as an immigration center between 1855 and 1890, ceding that function to Ellis Island in the 1890s. * (mcny.org)

5)1811 New York--first mechanically operated (steam-powered) ferryboat

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1) A steam ferry to Long Island was opened.

2) The Military Society of the War of 1812 was organized at the Broadway House in New York City on January 3, 1826. * (Heritage)

3) The City Bank of New York opens on June 16, the forerunner of today's Citibank.

4) Fort Lafayette was built upon Hendrick's bluff, 200 yards from the shore and was originally known as Fort Diamond. * (NYS History)

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1) In 1813 authority was granted to Robert Macomb to build a bridge with a draw where the Seventh Avenue Bridge now stands. He built it, however, without a draw and dammed the river at that point. About the same time, it was also dammed at King's Bridge and remained a tidal mill pond until 1836, when a number of Westchester farmers tore down the Macomb's dam and re-opened navigation. Later, a wooden bridge was constructed at the same place with a swing draw, known as Macomb's Dam Bridge, which was in constant use up to 1891, when it was moved a short distance up the river (See Scientific American of July 14, 1894) to make room for the new steel bridge, and was used while the latter was under construction. *(borobx)


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1) Jamaica became the 1st Incorporated Village on Long Island.

2) Tompkinsville, Staten Island was laid out in 1814 by Governor Tompkins, who gave to the streets the names of his children. * (NYS History)

3) On August 14, 1814 the village of West Farms in what is now the Bronx, with its three hundred inhabitants and a flour mill as its chief industry, sought in a meeting in the public school the organization of a Presbyterian Church, which became the First Presbyterian Church in the Village of West Farms. There were present Dr. Gardiner Spring, pastor of the Brick Church, and Mr. Robert Lenox as advisers. The enterprise was successful from the first, and in 1815 a church building was dedicated on what is now 180th Street opposite the present church building. The first pastor, Rev. Isaac Lewis, combined the oversight of this church with his pastoral work at New Rochelle. *(presby)
 


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1) The first local body organized for scientific work principally, was the Physico-Medical Society which was formed in 1815. * (NYS History) Vol: V

2) George Chartres received the first american patent for an improvement in the construction of pianos in 1815. * (NYS History) Vol: V

3) The "Fulton" an american war-ship of 38 tons rating built at New York in 1815. She was designed by Robert Fulton and was the first war-ship to be propelled by steam. * (Century)

4) In 1815 the State first contributed towards the payment of teacher's salaries the amount being $46,398.

5) The Pacific Insurance Company in New York City was organized in 1815. * (NYS History)

6) The city's first St. Patrick's Cathedral was dedicated on May 6, 1815 on Mulberry Street just north of Pine Street.* (EPIC)

7) David Low Dodge, American pacifist, a merchant. In 1815 he founded the New York Peace Society, possibly the first such organization to be established. * (c.e.)

8) St. Patrick's Church, Mott street was established in 1815. * (hocadnyc)

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1) The first savings-bank was established . The first recorded meeting to organize a savings bank in New York was held on Monday, November 25th, 1816.

2) In 1816, Asa Hall started a stage route from the Battery via Broadway to Greenwich, which years afterwards came into the possession of Kipp & Brown; and stages ran to other parts of the island. *(Bwy)

3) The American Bible Society was organized in New York City in 1816.

4) Increasing facilities of communication with New York paved the way for the growth of a village on the side of the river where formerly all had been farmers or fishermen, and Brooklyn village, which was twenty-eight years younger than the township, was incorporated on April 12, 1816, having been previously created a fire district by the legislature of 1801.* (b.d.e. 1/19/1896)

5) An act passed in 1816 empowered the trustees of the village to elect such fire wardens and firemen as they might from time to time deem necessary. In accordance with this act, three engines and one hook and ladder company were organized. Of the ninety-three members elected three or four still survive. Among the members of engine one we find the name of John Murphy, father of the Hon. Henry C. Murphy. The first Chief Engineer was John Doughty, elected in 1816. * (b.d.e. 6/8/1863)

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1) Broadway Congregational, established corner of Anthony Street.

2) 1817: November 29, The first steam ferry begins service between Manhattan and Tompkinsville.

3) The oldest publishing house in New York City is Messrs. Harper Brothers, 1817. * (NYS History) Vol: V

4) This village, now known as Inwood, was first settled about 1817.

5) On October 27, 1817, an announcement of regular monthly sailing. Black Ball Line was the first and most celebrated of the lines of Transatlantic sailing packets from New York. * (Concise)

6) The Institution For The Deaf and Dumb, was incorporated in 1817 with De Witt Clinton as first president of the society; it is located at One Hundred and Sixty-third Street and Fort Washington Avenue. * (Bwy)

7) In 1817 Theodore Dwight, (1764-1846), an american journalist and politician, founded the "New York Daily Advertiser". * (Century)

8) Egbert Benson, born in New York City wrote "Vindication of the Captors of Major Andre in 1817. * (Century)

9) in 1817, John Slidell, Jr. (Rebel now) had gone into mercantile business at No. 52 South street, with James McCrea. The firm was "McCrea & Slidell." This firm continued in business as late as 1820. * (Old Merchants)

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