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) Brooklyn's oldest African-American church, Bridge Street A.W.M.E. Church, is founded. * (BTL)

2) The Society for Prevention of Pauperism in New York City was established in 1818. * (Concise)

3) On March 26, 1818, the first savings bank ever operated in the city was opened in a basement room; it was called at first the Chambers Street Bank, and later the Bleecker Street Savings Bank, it is now at Fourth Avenue and Twenty-second Street. * (Bway)

4) The New York Horticultural Society was founded in 1818.

5) Richard Delafield, born in New York City entered the Military Academy at the age of 16, he graduated first in the class of 1818 and was reportedly the first cadet assigned a standing according to merit. * (Generals)

6) African Wesleyan Methodist Episcopal Church (colored), in the village of Brooklyn (Regular Line), High street, near Bridge. On the 18th of January, 1818, it was duly incorporated under the above title.

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1) The first unitarian service in New York was that held in a private house on April 25, 1819, when the sermon was preached by Dr. Channing of Boston. * (NYS History)

2) The first Unitarian Society was founded on May 24, 1819 and incorporated on November 15 of the same year when it became known as All Soul's Church. Its first church building was on Chambers Street in New York City and dedicated on January 20, 1821. * (NYS History)

3) The first velocipede appears in New York. The "Savannah" sails from New York to England on the first trans-Atlantic voyage under steam. * (berea)

4) Bklyn: The old village, which was laid out in streets in 1819, included part of the First and Second wards and the Fourth and Fifth wards. When the century opened the two most important land owners in the vicinity of the ferry were Comfort and Joshua Sands, whose farms included all of the Fifth and about half of the Fourth wards, and were bounded by the river, Fulton street, the navy yard and Concord street. The Sands property was broken up about 1802, when the owners began subdividing it into building lots. They argued that the hill, since so fashionable and exclusive, was too steep and difficult of access to be available for residence purposes. * (b.d.e. 7/19/1896)

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1) Reliable Furs, C.G. Gunther's Sons at 184 Fifth Avenue in New York City was established in 1820. * (Brooklyn Eagle)

2) Henry Eckford, was the builder of the Robert Fulton, which made the first successful ocean trip ever made by a steamship, from New York to New Orleans and Havana. In 1820 he was appointed naval constructor in charge of the Brooklyn Navy Yard, where he designed and superintended the construction of six ships of war. * (n.i.e.)

3) All Saints' Church: This church was gathered by the persevering missionary labors of the Rev. William A. Clark. An effort had been made in the northeastern section of the city, in the year 1820, to establish a church near "Corlaer's Hook," but after about a year the project failed. In the early part of 1824, Mr. Clark commenced preaching in that part of the city, in private houses, and being encouraged with the success attending his labors, a church of a few members was organized on May 27th, in that year.* (hocadnyc)

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1) The Saturday Evening Post, is the first periodical designed for the masses.

2) New York Eye & Ear Infirmary, founded in 1821 the first of its kind to be established in America. * (NYS History) Vol: V

3) The Long Island Patriot George L. Birch. 1821 March 7th.

4) On January 8th, 1821 Rev. William Patton, D.D. called a meeting at his residence in Elm Street for the purpose of organizing a church. "The Madison Square Presbyterian Church.

5) The Long Island Farmer - established in  1821, was published every Tuesday and the The Long Island Democrat - James J. Brenton, published every Tuesday.

6) In 1821 George Youle built his first shot tower on the banks of the East River just north of 53rd Street, but a few months later it collapsed. The replacement was built in 1823, probably designed by John McComb, Jr. (1763 -1853).2 It was so strong that demolition was difficult a hundred years later. Shot towers were used in manufacturing shot or bullets. * (mcny.org)

7) A first Court of Common Pleas is established in New York. * (berea)

8) In 1821 engines four and five were organized and in 1827 companies six, seven and eight and the first hose company were formed. * (b.d.e.) 6/8/1863)


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1) The Hebrew Orphan Society was founded in 1822 and is on the same avenue at 136th street. * (Bwy)

2) Fulton Market is established. * (berea)

3) The Bowery Church, organized in 1822, was an outgrowth of the work of the Female Missionary Society for the Poor. Two of its missionaries, Ward Stafford and Samuel T. Mills were responsible for organizing this and other churches.* (presby)

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1) The first Jewish periodical in the U.S. was "The Jew", published in New York by Solomon H. Jackson, from 1823 to 1825, as a counter-measure against Christian missionary activity.

2) The New York Gas Light Company begins laying the first pipes for gas street lights in lower Manhattan. *nyca

3) St. Thomas Episcopal, Houston Street, established 1823 removed in 1870 to Fifth Avenue.

4) The Sacred Music Society, founded in 1823, gave oratorios and concerts in the Tabernacle, as did later musical organizations. *(Bwy)

5) The Marion Street Maternity Hospital was founded in 1823 and four years later was incorporated as the New York Female Asylum for Lying-in Women.

6) In 1823 Woodworth with George P. Morris established the "New York Mirror". * (NYS History) Vol: V

7) On Sunday, October 12, 1823, a new Protestant Episcopal congregation was organized in a meeting room at 44 Broome Street. * (mcny.org)

8) New York lexicographer Clement Clark Moore writes Twas the Night Before Christmas.

9) St. James , a Roman Catholic Church in Brooklyn at Cathedral & Jay {4th ward was established in 1823.

10) George Pope Morris of New York, American journalist and poet. With Samuel Woodworth he established the "New York Mirror" in 1823. In 1845 he founded the "National Press," its name was changed in a few months to "The Home Journal."

11) Sidney Edward Morse, he founded con-jointly with his brother R.C. Morse), the "New York Observer" in 1823.

12) The Brooklyn Institute Of Arts and Sciences, was founded in 1823. Incorporated in 1824 as the "Brooklyn Aprentices Library
Association. In 1843, its name was changed to Brooklyn Institute. In 1890, the establishment of a new corporation under its present name. * (n.i.e.)

13) St. Thomas's Church, now located on Broadway, at the corner of Houston street, was organized with 23 members, on December 25, 1823, and soon after the Rev. Cornelius R. Duffie was instituted its Rector.* (hocadnyc)


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1) The New York Athenaeum established at the corner of Pine Street.

2) James Fenimore Cooper originated a club in 1824 which met at Washington Hall; this was the "Bread and Cheese Club," which numbered among its members the most eminent scholars and professional men of New York. *(Bwy)

3) 1824 First dry dock in US built in NYC. * (MaritimeNY)

4) Fort Hamilton on the Long Island Shore, was begun in 1824 and was finished in 1832. It is one of the principal military stations on the Atlantic Coast. *(Gaslight)

5) In July 1824 the cornerstone for the new building was laid at the intersection of Broadway and Houston Street. Construction moved quickly, and the new St. Thomas Church was consecrated in February 1826. Josiah R. Brady (c. 1760 -1832) was the architect of the first St. Thomas Church, * (mcny.org)

6) In 1824 the road from little Neck Hotel was donated, a causeway, constructed and a ridge built at Wynandt Van Zandt's expense who owned the land. * (NYS History)

7) Andre Parmentier horticulturist came to N.Y. in 1824 where he established a botanical nursery in Brooklyn and become the earliest famous professional landscape gardner in the United States. * (docb)

8) Robert Charles Sands, American editor and author born in NYC. He founded the "Atlantic Magazine" in 1824 and when it merged with the New York Review and Athenaeum he became joint editor with William Cullen Bryant. * (c.e.)

9) In 1824 the House of Refuge for Juvenile Delinquent the first Juvenile Reformatory in the country was established in New York City by the Society for the Reformation of Juvenile Delinquents."

10) The Bank of Long Island, the first Brooklyn bank, is incorporated. * (berea)

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1) The National Hotel established at Number 112, corner of Cedar Street. *(Bwy)

2) Scotch Baptist, established in 1825 in a hall corner of Reade Street.

3) The first German Jewish congregation was established in New York in 1825. *EOJK

4) The first catholic newspaper in New York was the "Truth Teller" published in 1825.

5) The first Italian opera of New York City was performed in November, 1825 at the Richmond Hill Theatre.* (c.e.)

6) Reformatory for Juvenile delinquents was the New York House of Refuge, in New York City which was officially opened on January 1, 1825.

7) Alexander Turney Stewart, American merchant and capitalist in New York City. He became established in the dry-goods business in New York City in 1825, and acquired great wealth (about $40,000,000). * (Century)

8) That year 1825, the Traders' Fire Insurance Company was chartered, and Mr.John Slidell, Sr., was president. * (old Merchants)

9) 1825, The United Tailoresses of New York, a trade union organization for women, was organized in New York City. (c.e.)

10) Manuel del Popolo Vicente Garcia , Spanish tenor, teacher impresario and composer, was encouraged to give New Yorkers their first taste of Italian Opera in 1825 at the Park Theater in New York City. * (NYS History)

11) New York City set the pace for this nation's first great business boom. In the early months of 1825 at least 500 new merchants set up shop here. That first year 12 new banks and 13 new marine insurance firms were established. * (epic)

12) In 1825 a seven story tenement was erected at 65 Mott street.

13) The completion of the Erie Canal is celebrated in New York. The first grand opera is given in New York. * (berea)

14)The Broadway Church was organized as the Bleecker Street Church on April 20, 1825. The first meeting was in the house of Peter Hattrick, 43 Bleecker Street. For more than a year before this Mr. Bruen, who became the first pastor and was a missionary of the Domestic Missionary Society, had been conducting a Sunday School in the neighborhood.* (presby)

15) St. Andrew's Church: The service of the Episcopal church was commenced at Harlem, in November, 1825. In February following, the parish was organized, and on October 20th of that year, the church was formed with eighteen members, taking the name of "St. Andrew's Church," and the Rev. George L. Hinton became its rector.* (hocadnyc)

16) Probably the first entertainment of a theatrical character given in Brooklyn, was that by George Frederick Handel (George Handel Hill) in a hotel in Front near James street, about 1825-8. Handel, or Hill, afterward famous as Yankee Hill, was then locally noted as a very clever comic singer and dancer. His entertainment consisted of songs and dances, the Indian war dance, then "new and popular," being an attraction. The pecuniary success of this entertainment is very doubtful, but as Hill shortly after received and accepted an offer from the manager of a traveling company on the strength of it, I infer that it was otherwise artistically considered. (28)

17) In December, 1825, a colored comedian, Mr. Hewlett, quite a celebrity at that time, gave an entertainment at Duilon's famous Military Garden, at the junction of Fulton and Joralemon streets (the site of the present Kings County Court House). The Long Island Star, December 22d, 1825, informs us that Mr. Hewlett was "a native of our own dear Island of Nassau. Rockaway being said to be the place of his birth. He was announced (in Kean's style) as "Shakespeare's proud representative." Mr. Hewlett recited Shakespeare and other standard authors and dramatists, indulging in imitations of Kean, Matthews, Phillips and other eminent actors. The Star says he had a good voice and figure. (28)

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1) Flushing village in Queens hosted that future borough's first Catholic mass in 1826 in a Main Street shop,

2) Eclectic School of Medicine, American, or New School of Medicine. In 1826 an eclectic college was founded in New York by Wooster Beach. *(n.i.e.)

3) 1826 - J. H. Hackett, of New York, debuted in Love In a Village at the Park Theatre in New York City. * (a.com)

4) The Second Congregational Unitarian Church Society of New York erected its first edifice in 1826. * (NYS History) Vol: V.

5) Bialystoker Synagogue at 7-13 Willett Street in Manhattan, was built in 1826 of cut stone. The Bialystoker Synagogue was once the home of the Willett Street Methodist Episcopal Church. * (Museums).

6) Alexander F. Vache, M.D. hung his first shingle in 1826 at No. 28 Liberty Street. * (Old merchants)

7) The first organized gang of street criminals was the Forty thieves formed by Edward Coleman in 1826 in Five Points. *(fff)

8) Samuel Pinley Breese Morse, American artist and inventor was the first president of the National Academy of Design at New York 1826-42. (c.e.)

9) The Second Congregational Unitarian Church Society of New York erected its first edifice in 1826 in New York City. * (NYS History)

10) St. Mary's at 28 Attorney Street New York, New York was established in 1826.

11) The Bowery Theatre which opened in 1826, was the nation's first gas-lighted playhouse and it seated 3000 persons. * (epic)

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1) In 1827, the first fire engine carried by a horse was used to fight a fire and additional help was sought for the first time, from Brooklyn, to help fight a fire. *FDNY

2) In 1827, the Adelphi Hotel, six stories in height, was erected at the corner of Beaver Street.

3) In New York City, John Russwurm and Samuel Cornish begin publishing Freedom's Journal, the first newspaper owned by African Americans.

4) The weekly newspaper the Richmond Republican, the first newspaper to cover Staten Island is produced (but printed in Manhattan). October 17

5) Dr.BALL, One of the orginal organizers to form the County Medical Society1827-1837. He became it's 1st President, meetings were held Fulton & Main Streets .

6) G. Mauboussin, manufacturing jeweler at 33 East 51st Street, in New York City was established 1827. * (Blue)

7) Delmonico's restaurant in New York City was founded by two brothers Giovanni and Pietro Del-Monico in 1827. * (fff)

8) In 1827, Mr. Elliot formed a partnership with John W. Palmer, another printer, and the firm was Elliott & Palmer, at No. 7 Wall street, corner of New. Afterward they moved to No. 20 William street, where they opened a moderate sized "stationery store," and kept all kinds of books and blanks, such as are used by merchants. * (Old Merchants)

9) 1827 First U.S. nursery school is established in NYC. It promises "to relieve parents of the laboring classes from the care of their children . . . offering the children protection from weather, from idleness & contamination of evil example."

10) Journal of Commerce," its first issue was September 1, 1827. Founded under the auspices of Arthur Tappan, its first editor was William Maxwell, of Norfolk, Virginia, who had been brought to New York by Mr. Tappan, and, with his brother Lewis, was at this time engaged in the importation of dry goods at their store in Pearl Street. * (NYS History)

11) 1827 Abolition of slavery in New York state. The first black newspaper in the United States, Freedom's Journal was established in New York by Samuel E. Cornish and John Brown Russwurm.* (epic)

12) 1827 New York--first horse-drawn urban stagecoach (omnibus) line (Dry Dock & East Broadway).

13) 1827 July 4 Celebration in honor of the abolition of slavery on Staten Island.

14) The New York Arcade opened in 1827, along Broadway between John Street and Maiden Lane, with 40 stores clustered under a corrdor covered by a skylight. *(hsd)

15) Church of the Ascension: This church was formed in the year 1827, and the Rev. Manton Eastburn became its Rector. On the 6th of April, in the following spring, the corner stone of a building was laid by Bishop Hobart, for the accommodation of this congregation; situated on Canal street, between Broadway and Elm street, and it was completed, and opened for worship May 26th, 1828. * (hocadnyc)

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