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) St. Luke's Hospital in New York City Had its inception on St. Luke's Day, 1846, when Rev. Dr. W. A. Muhlenberg rector of the Church of the Holy communion, set aside $15, one-half of the offertory on that day, toward the erection of a hospital, which he named St. Luke's. * (NYS History) Vol: V

2) The Century Club, organized in 1846, has the promotion of art and literature in view. Membership is limited to authors,
artists, and amateurs in letters and the fine arts, and must not exceed 1300.

3) 1846 Hudson River Railroad established. * (MaritimeNY)

4) Henrietta Bruckman, Founder of the first Jewish Women's Lodge in America. In 1846, with other women of Congregation Emanu-el, founded the Independent Order of True Sisters.

5) B'nai B'rith Lodge : The Order was founded October 13, 1843, by 12 men in New York who, under the leadership of Henry Jones, organized at Sinsheimer's Cafe in Essex Street. The first name chosen was Bundes Bruder which was later changed to Independent Order of B'nai B'rith. At the 13th quinquennial convention of the Order in Cincinnati in April 1930, the name was shortened to B'nai B'rith. The first B'nai B'rith lodge was established in New York, November 12, 1843. * (n.i.e.)

6) Henry Kirke Brown, American sculptor. He settled in New York city in 1846. His finest achievement (1856) is the bronze equestrian statue of Washington in Union Square, NYC. * (c.e.)

7) John Drew, an American actor made his debut in 1846 at the Bowery Theatre, New York. * (c.e.)

8) Charles Scribner, American publisher born in New York City. He founded in 1846 the publishing house which in 1878 became Charles Scribner's sons and began Scribner's Monthly in 1870. * (c.e.)

9) 1846: Alexander Turney Stewart created the first department store in the U.S. when he opened his Marble Dry-Goods Palace on Broadway Street in New York, offering a wide-range of merchandise under one roof at a fixed price affordable to the middle class, and by 1862 had expanded to 8 stories and a full city block to become the largest retail store in the world. *(hsd)

10) Augustus Thebaud became the first President of St. John's College, Fordham, N.Y. 1846-1851.

11) Church of the Good Shepherd: A small Episcopal church by this name has been gathered under the ministry of Rev. R. Hoyt, meeting in a Hall on Market street, near Munroe street. The organization was effected in the early part of the year 1846.* (hocadnyc)

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1) The College of the City of New York (q.v) , at Lexington Avenue and Twenty-third Street, was established in 1847 under the name of the New York Free Academy. * (N.I.E.)

2) College of Saint Francis Xavier, a Roman Catholic institution in the city of New York, founded in 1847 and endowed with collegiate powers in 1861. It is conducted by the Fathers of the Society of Jesus, and is intended for day scholars only. *(N.I.E.)

3) Originally a militia regiment, formed in 1847 as the Fourteenth Regiment, N.Y.S.M., the men of the 14th Brooklyn served a full three year enlistment, returning home to Brooklyn on May 25th 1864.

4) The first china decorators in the city were Thomas Maddoclus and William Leigh, who came from England in 1847 and became established in business in Spruce Street. * (NYS History)

5) . Dr. Isaac K. Snell, becomes Greenpoints first physician and druggist. 1847 .

6) Green Point's first organized church is built: First Methodist Episcopal Church built on Manhattan Avenue between India and Java
Streets. 1847 .

7) 1847 -The Williamsburg Morning Post, by Devyr and Taylor.

8) Clark Dodge & Co., at 61 Wall Street was established in 1847. Members New York Stock Exchange. * (Blue)

9) In 1847 the New York Hotel, the second of its name in the city, was opened at 721 Broadway, between Washington Place and Waverly Place, by S.B. Monnot. * (Bwy)

10) Fort Wadsworth, A United States military post, established in 1827, and occupying a reservation of 221 acres on Staten Island, N.Y. It was named for Gen. J.S. Wadsworth, who was killed in the battle of the Wilderness. (1864). * (n.i.e.)

11) As the first vessel from the "Celestial Empire" to visit New York, the Keying met with great fanfare when it moored at the Battery in July 1847. * (mcny.org)

12) The Arsenal located at 830 Fifth Avenue, Central Park at 64th Street was begun in 1847 and completed in 1851. Designed by architect Martin E. Thompson. The building is now used by the city Department of Parks as its headquarters. * (Museums)

13) The Old Broadway Theatre was located on the east side of the street, between Pearl and Worth Streets, and was opened, on September 27, 1847, with "The School for Scandal" and "Used Up", in the latter of which Mr. John Lester (Wallack) made his first appearance on the American stage. * (Bwy)

14) First M. E. Church of Green-Point, Union avenue, near Java street, E. D., Brooklyn, was organized in the winter of 1847-8, by the Rev. Sylvester H. Clark, of the New York East Conference.

15) Verdi's opera Ernani was presented on the opening night November 22, 1847. * (epic)

16) David Dudley Field, American lawyer and law reformer. He was responsible for the New York's legislature's appointment in 1847 of one commission to reduce the laws of the state to a systematic Code and another to prepare codes of court practice and procedure. * (c.e.)

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1) The New York News Agency is founded, later in 1856 changing its name to Associated Press.

2) Bogardus and Badger introduce cast-iron front, lightweight and quick construction of commercial space (light) * (sky-tl)

3) First "department store", Marble Dry Goods Palace, opened in 1848, New York City.

4) The New York Association for Improving the Condition of the Poor. This was incorporated in 1848, the first president being James Brown, the banker. *NYS History

5) 1848 The first Greenpoint School located on Manhattan Avenue and Kent Street. * (Greenpoint)

6) 1848 - The Kings County Patriot. Started at Williamsburg by George Thompson and S. R. Hasbrouck.

7) College of the City of New York established in 1848. * (Concise)

8) Flatlands Reformed Church at Kings Highway and East 40th Street was built in 1848. * (Museums)

9) Two New York organizations were founded in 1848, which did excellent missionary work for the fine arts. The Apollo Association, which became the American Art Union and the International Art Union. The American Art Union published a bulletin, the First American periodical devoted to the fine arts. * (American)

10) The baby carriage was made by Charles Burton in 1848 in New York City. * (fff)

11) William Berri's Sons, Carpets, Rugs, Upholstery Goods at 522 to 528 Fulton Street in Brooklyn, was established in 1848. * (Brooklyn Eagle)

12) 1848 Ladies Home Mission Society establishes a mission in the Five Points.

13) J & J Eager, importers and dealers in wines, brandies and fine whiskeys at 34 Cliff Street in New York was established in 1848. * (EAFD)


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1) Holy Cross is a Roman Catholic cemetery, owned and operated by the Diocese of Brooklyn. It was founded in 1849. The first burial took place on July 13, 1849 .

2) Manhattan College, a Roman Catholic institution in New York City, under the control of the Brothers of the Christian Schools. It was opened in 1849 as an academy for young men under the name of the Academy of the Holy Name, and was incorporated under its present name in 1863. *(n.i.e.)

3) Charles B. Allen of New York formed a secret Patriotic Society, The Order of the Star Spangled Banner. * (NYS History) Vol: V

4) 1849 -The Brooklyn Daily Freeman is published.

5) Church of the Transfiguration at 1 East 29th Street in Manhattan, was completed in 1849. The church has been known as The Little Church Around The Corner since 1870. * (Museums)

6) Independent Order of Free Sons of Israel, A Jewish fraternal and benevolent society, with headquarters in New York City, founded on January 10, 1849. * (n.i.e.)

7) North Fifth Street Methodist Episcopal Church, North Fifth street near Fifth, in Brooklyn was organized April, 1849, and at that time, met in a school house, in North Sixth street, near First, from whence they removed to a frame building in North Fifth near Fourth street. Its first officers were David H. Betts, Henry 0. Austin, Richard White, John C. Brig,",, William Johnson, John Cox, Wm. P. Coleman, Wm. Butler and Henry A. Bodwell.

8) St. John's M. E. Church (formerly known as Third, or South Fifth street), E. D. was colonized from the First M. E. church of Williamsburgh, and was organized May 6th, 1849; its first trustees being James D. Sparkman, Nathaniel Briggs, Dr. S. Wade, Thomas Lewis, William Y. Hemmingway, Gilbert Potter, Wm. Morgan, Geo. W. Smith, and Geo. D. Hubbard.

9) High Bridge, located about one third of a mile below the Washington Bridge, was completed in 1849, and is a portion of the old Croton Aqueduct, carrying the water across the valley of the Harlem River. it extends from One hundred and Seventy-fifth Street and Tenth Avenue to Aqueduct Avenue. Various schemes were proposed for the aqueduct at this point, and in 1837 a contract was actually let and work started on a rock fill, with an arch at the centre eighty feet wide and thirty feet high, the intention being to lay the water-pipes on top of the embankment and cover them with earth. The government, however, seeing that such a structure would prove an effectual bar to the further improvement of the river as a navigable stream, refused to permit the continuance of the work, and caused the construction of the bridge as it now stands. it has a total length of 1450 feet, made up of 15 semi-circular arches, 8 of which are of 80 feet and 7 of 50 feet spans. The bridge is about 25 feet wide, and provided with a pathway for foot passengers, but has no provision for vehicles. The arches at the crown give a clear height of 100 feet above high water.The Croton water is carried in three large pipes built in brick masonry. Two of cast iron, each three feet in diameter, were laid first, but were soon found to be of insufficient capacity. Between 1860 and 1864 the Croton Aqueduct Commissioners raised the side-walls of the bridge and laid a wrought ion pipe, 7 feet 6 inches in diameter, over the other two. The new Croton Aqueduct crosses under the river just north of this bridge. The bridge was built by the city at a total cost of $963,428.*(borobx)

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1) The first prefabricated cast-iron-and-glass buildings are constructed in Manhattan. Designed by James Bogardus.

2) African Americans from New York City and the surrounding region began to settle permanently at Sandy Ground in the Woodrow/Rossville Area. They established the A.M.E  Zion Church there.

3) New York Medical College was chartered on April 8, 1850, and in October of that year began its first course of lectures at 112 E. 13th Street. * (NYS History) Vol: V.

4) Eliphalet S.Scripture of Greenpoint, Brooklyn, received the first patent for the improvement of the "flying" carousel horse. * (Greenpoint)

5) In 1850 David Swalm opened the first general store on the West Side of Franklin Street near Green Street.

6) July 19, 1850 - New York raised to status of an Archdiocese; Bishop Hughes becomes first Archbishop of New York.

7) The New York Produce Exchange was organized in 1850. It deals in grains, hay, lumber, naval, stores, tallows etc. *(Concise)

8) Jenny Lind tours America, opening at Castle Garden, New York on September 11, 1850. * (Concise)

9) In 1850 August Schmid and Emanuel Bernheimer, recently arrived from Germany, established the Costanz Brewery at East 4th Street near Avenue B, filling the demand of their fellow immigrants for the familiar lager beer of their homeland. * (mcny.org)

10) Home for Aged, in Brooklyn, located at 464 Herkimer was established in 1850. Capacity. 60. Private (P.E. Church). * (Polk)

11) Harper's magazine was founded in 1850 as Harper's New Monthly Magazine. It was called Harper's Monthly Magazine after 1900 and after 1925 simply Harper's Magazine. * (Benet's)

12) Tripler's Hall was opened at 677 Broadway near Bond Street in 1850. * (Bwy)

13) Congregation Anshe Chesed building at 172 Norfolk Street (now the Angel Orensanz Foundation) not only is New York's oldest surviving synagogue (erected 1850) and one of its largest (capacity 1,200) but also was the first building on the Lower East
Side erected specifically as a synagogue.

14) P. Freel, money to loan at 160 Grand Street in Brooklyn, N.Y. was established in 1850. * (Brooklyn Eagle)

15) St. Francis in the Fields (German) a Roman Catholic Church was established in 1850. Putnam & Bedford in Brooklyn.

16) 1850 New York--first use of exterior advertising on street railways.

17) Hotel Churchill 1850: On the southeast corner of Broadway and Fourteenth Street is the Hotel Churchill, formerly the Morton House, and originally the Union Place Hotel, established in 1850. * (FTW)

18) Tripler's Hall was opened at 677 Broadway near Bond Street in 1850. * (n.i.e.)

19) The idea of a surface car line on Broadway had its inception as early as 1850, and a company of thirty was incorporated for the purpose. This  corporation, of which Jacob Sharp and John L. O'Sullivan were the prime  movers, secured from the Common Council in December, 1852, a franchise "to  lay a double track in Broadway and Whitehall or State Street from the South  Ferry to Fifty-seventh Street; and also, hereafter to continue the same from  time to time along the Bloomingdale Road to Manhattanville." * (Bwy)

20) Robert Ogden Doremus, american chemist, inventor and physician, born in NYC. He was a founder (1850) of the first New York Medical College. * (c.e.)

21) In 1850 Mr. John E. Cammeyer erected a fine large building on the corner of Fulton and Orange streets for a museum and theatre. There are, perhaps, few of my Brookly7n readers who do not remember the museum. The "museum," which was on the second floor (the first being occupied by stores) contained a fine collection of stuffed birds, old pennies and other coin, musty coats, deformed skeletons, wax figures, "wild animals," &c. The museum, which was fitted up at an expense of $10,000 (so the bills said), was opened on Monday night, July 1st, 1850. (28)

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