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 New York Times publishes its first issue.

2) Kahal Kodesh Beth Elohim, the first Jewish congregation in Brooklyn, and as a matter of fact, in all of Long Island, was organized by a number of men led by Louis Reinhardt, Elias Adler, Isaac Mayer, Moses Kessel and Isaac Eiseman.

3) Hell Gate. A passage, called by the Dutch settlers of New York Helle Gat, being that part of the East River between Long Island and Manhattan Island, also between Long Island and Ward's Island, and between Ward's Island and Manhattan Island. The first attempts at removing the obstructions in Hell Gate were made by M. Maillefert, with whom a contract was made by citizens of New York. He commenced work in August, 1851.

4) St. Brigid's, Nassau's first Catholic church., dates back to 1851.

5) The Citizen's Union Cemetery was incorporated in November 1851 and was located on the west of Hunterfly Rd. b/w Sterling Place & Eastern Pwky. & b/w Rochester & Ralph Aves.

6) In 1851 the New York Juvenile Asylum was incorporated chiefly through the efforts of Robert M. Hartley and a number of other prominent men, Dr. John Dennison Russ, the secretary of the Prison Association, becoming its first superintendent. *(NYS History)

7) Brooklyn Navy Yard's first dry dock was erected in 1851. * (NYS History)

8) Dr. John C. Dalton Jr, professor of physiology in 1851, was the "first physiologist in America to employ the method of experiment on living animals in his teachings. * (NYS History) Vol: V

9) Brooklyn Eastern District Dispensary and Hospital, 108-112 S. 3d, Established in 1851. Capacity, 40. Semi-Public. * (Polk)

10) Graham Home for Old Ladies, in Brooklyn, located at 320 Washington ave was established in 1851. Capacity, 80. Private. * (Polk)

11) The Chinese Rooms at 539 and 541, above Spring Street, were opened September 1, 1851, with the Bloomer Company, all ladies, who dressed in the bloomer costume and gave fine concerts. In February, 1852, it became the Broadway Casino and in 1853, Buckley's Minstrel Hall. * (Bwy)

12) Felt hats for women were introduced in New York City in 1851 by John Nicholas Genin. * (fff)

13) "America", a wooden Keelschooner-yacht designed and built by George Steers of New York for Commodore J.C. Stevens of the New York Yacht club, in 1851.

14) Irving Savings Institution commenced operation December 23, 1851 at No. 279 Greenwich street between Chambers and Warren streets in Manhattan. * (nyt)

15) Henry Jarvis Raymond American journalist and politician founded the N.Y. Times in 1851. * (Century)

16) William George Fargo of New York. In 1851 with Henry Wells and others he formed a company under the name of Wells, Fargo and company to carry on an express business between New York and San Francisco. * (Century)

17) Summerfield Methodist Episcopal Church, located on the corner of Washington and Greene avenues, in Brooklyn was the result of a meeting held on the 27th of January, 1851, at the residence of Mr. Ibbotson on Washington avenue. The edifice was built and occupied before September, 1851. A chapel, in rear of the church was formally opened on the 20th of March, 1869.

18) Holy Cross Roman Catholic Church in Brooklyn was established in 1851 - Church & Rogers .

19) St. John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church in Brooklyn was established in 1851 - 21st & 5th ave {8th ward}.

20) The New York Yacht club hires George Steers of Long Island to build a ship to enter England's Royal Regatta for the first time in History. This was the year 1851.

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1) At 64 Norfolk Street, near Grand Street is the synagogue of Cong. Beth Hamedrash Hagodol, the oldest Russian Orthodox synagogue in the country. Founded in 1852, its first building was on Allen Street.

2) In 1852, the Young Men's Christian Association was established in New York. * (NYS History)

3) Benevolent Jews of New York City in 1852 established the Jews Hospital in the City of New York. This charity eventually became known as Mount Sinai Hospital which is said to have been one of the first New York Hospitals to admit women physicians to the house staff. * ( NYS History) Vol: V

4) The Bible House in New York City was erected in 1852 and 1853 at a cost of $303,000. * (Gaslight)

5) The Metropolitan Hotel made its debut on September 1, 1852. judged the most magnificent modern hostelry on lower Broadway. *( mcny.org)

6) Metropolitan Medical College (Eclectic), New York City. Organized in 1852. Incorporated March, 1857. * (Polk's)

7) The Empire City Bank at 683 Broadway corner Amity street. This institution commenced business on January 2, 1852. * (nyt)

8) On January 1, 1852 the town of New Lots was separated from Flatbush. * (NYS History)

9) In 1852, a dramatized version of Uncle Tom's cabin staged in Purdy's National Theatre on the Bowery, was sensationally successful. For the first time respectable colored people were admitted to the theater through a special entrance and seated in a parquet set off from the rest of the house. * (epic)

10) The St. Nicholas and Metropolitan were finished and opened about the same time, in 1852, and every-body said they were too far uptown to make money and catch custom. They were a great advance upon any hotels yet built, excelling in many respects even the Astor. Their success was immediate, and they stimulated the building of other large structures still further up town. The Metropolitan is still in existence, but the St. Nicholas has been turned into a business block. Meanwhile, the side streets down-town were the localities for second-class hotels for merchants and others, and the United States, in Fulton street, the many hotels in Courtland street, French's in Chatham street, Earle's, Sweeney's, and many more that might be named, have all been popular with their patrons.* (wonders)

11) The Antheneum on the corner of Atlantic and Clinton streets, was founded in 1852. Both dramatic and operatic performances have been given there, although the stage is ill adapted to either, being small and incapable of scenic display. (28)

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1) New York City holds the World Fair (at Crystal Palace near 40th Street and 5th Avenue.)

2) The American Society of Engineers was established in New York City, 1853 *(afp.com)

3) Crystal Palace exhibition opens in New York City, 14 July.

4) The first strike by African-American union members is staged by waiters in New York City. Their success inspires white waiters to establish a union. *(wtv.org)

5) The Children's Aid Society, an organization that made it its purpose to look after homeless children, was organized in 1853, largely as a result of the initiative of Charles L. Brace, who became its first secretary. * (NYS history)

6) 1853 The Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn is established. * (BTL)

7) The first local Society of Dentists of New York State seems to have been the L.I. Association of Dental Surgeon which was organized in Brooklyn in August, 1853. * (NYS History) Vol: V

8) Clearing House Association on August 16, 1853, a committee met to draft a plan "that a Bank be chosen as a medium of exchange, that all city banks keep an account with it, and send their gross exchange to it at some regular hour each morning." The plan was adopted on September 13, 1853. The first clearing was held on October 11 in the basement of 14 Wall Street. * (NYS
History) Vol: V

9) The Hippodrome staged its grand opening in New York City Fifth Avenue on May 2, 1853. * (Fifth)

10) Manhattan College was established in 1853. * (Concise)

11) In 1853, Putnam's Monthly was first published at 321 Broadway. It was the first of the magazines which might be called American; that is, it was not made up of extracts from the British periodicals with a few poems and minor articles by American writers, for which very little, if anything, was paid. * (Bwy)

12) Hope Chapel, formerly a church on the east side of Broadway below Eighth Street, was opened as a place of amusement on March 28, 1853, for lectures, spiritualists, etc. The Davenport Brothers exhibited here their spirit cabinet and mystified their audiences. It became the Broadway Academy of Music in 1864, and a year later, Blitz's New Hall, given over to concerts,
* (Bwy)

13) Terra Cotta was manufactured by James Renwick in 1853 in New York City, as a building material. * (fff)

14) James Roosevelt Bayley ,born in New York City. He was made first Bishop of Newark in 1853. He also wrote a History of the Catholic Church in New York. (1853)

15) Prominently sited on Main Street in the heart of downtown Flushing, St. George's (Episcopal) Church is a notable example of Gothic Revival design. Erected in 1853-54, this impressive stone building is the congregation's third church building on the site since 1746. * (nyclc)

16) Schuyler Hamilton born in New York. An American general. He published "History of the National Flag" in 1853.

17) Charles Loring Brace, chief founder of the Children's Aid Society in 1853. * (Century)

18) Packer Collegiate Institute, A school for girls in Brooklyn, N.Y., chartered in 1853, replacing the Brooklyn Female Academy, destroyed by fire in 1852. The new school was founded on a gift of $65,000 by Mrs. Harriet L. Packer. It has primary,
preparatory, academic, and collegiate departments. * (n.i.e.)

19) St. Benedict Roman Catholic Church in Brooklyn (German) was established in 1853; - Fulton & Ralph {25th ward}.

20) St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church in Brooklyn was established in 1853 - Pacific & Vanderbilt {9th ward}.

21) St. Patrick Roman Catholic Church in Brooklyn was established in 1853 - 4th ave & 95th .

22) The St. Nicholas Hotel 1853: It was located at the corner of Broadway and Spring street. The St. Nicholas was the first hotel to cost more than a million dollars. S. Hawk & Co., were the proprietors. * (ftw)

23) Henry A. Weaver an American actor made his debut on the professional state in Brooklyn in 1853. * (epic)

24) Antoniette Louisa (Brown) Blackwell, of N.Y., American Unitarian Minister. One of the first to receive a college education in this country whe was ordained a congregational minister in 1853, thus becoming the first ordained woman minister in the United States.

25) William Augustus Muhlenberg, American Episcopal Clergyman hymn writer and Philanthropist. Muhlenberg helped found (1858). St. Luke's Hospital of which he was first pastor and superintendent.

26) John Loughlin, in 1853 became first bishop of Brooklyn (including all of Long Island) in charge of twelve churches and 15,000 Catholics. Some 125 churches ninety-three schools, two colleges, a seminary and many charitable institution were built during his episcopate. *(docb)

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1) Kreischerville is founded in Southwest Staten Island.

2) The Small-pox Hospital. It was erected in 1854, at a cost of $38,000, and will accommodate one hundred patients. It is the only hospital in New York devoted to small-pox cases .

3) Academy of Music opened on October 2, 1854 with a performance of "Norma." * (NYS History) Vol: V.

4) The first successful resection of a hip joint is performed by Lewis A. Sayre, M.D., the first professor of orthopedic surgery in the United States. * NYU

5) 1854 - Sept 2 -The Long Island Anzeiger (German) - Started at Brooklyn by Edward Rohr.

6) The Hotel Brevoort was opened in 1854. * (Fifth)

7) 1854. In that year, Samuel Duell started the Long Island Brewery at 83 Third Avenue in Brooklyn, just a short distance from Flatbush Avenue. Only ale was brewed until 1887, when lager was added. In 1902 there was a change in ownership, and the plant became the Federal Brewing Company.

8) The paper collar was invented by Walter Hunt of New York city who obtained a patent for it on July 25, 1854. * (fff)

9) Polytechnic University, Brooklyn Campus in Brooklyn, N.Y. was founded in 1854.

10) Astor Library, a library in the City of New York founded by John Jacob Astor, opened in 1854.

11) It was about 1854 that the first trunk line established its communication between New York City and the western boundary of the state. * (NYS History)

12) The New Clearing House was established in 1854. * (Brooklyn Eagle)

13) The parents of Ira Wesley Bergen, Frank Bergen and Anna Sprague, emigrated from the Netherlands, to the U.S. in 1854 and settled in the town of Hempstead on L.I., N.Y. where they came to own their own farm. *(Hollanders)

14) The South Third Street M E. Church, corner of Union avenue, E. D., Brooklyn, was organized in 1854, by members from the old South Second street church.

15) Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary Roman Catholic Church in Brooklyn was established in 1854- Maujer &
Leonard {15th ward}.

16) St. Malachy Roman Catholic Church in Brooklyn was established in 1854 - Van Siclen & Atlantic .

17) The Packer Institute for Girls is founded in Brooklyn. * (berea)

18) Francis McNeirny, born in NYC was ordained in NY in 1854. *(docb)

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1) The founding in New York City of the "Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper", the most successful early illustrated periodical. *(NYS
History)

2) 1855 Board of Education of Consolidated City of Brooklyn first met, January 21, 1855.

3) Bedding Specialists, Charles P. Rogers & Co., Inc., at 22-26 West 48th st., New York, was established in 1855. * (Blue)

4) Walt Whitman produced the first version of Leaves of Grass in 1855, the first collection of lyrical odes to the streets, sensibilities, and varied human spirits of New York. * (concise)

5) James Bowen, born in New York city was president of the first Board of New York City Police Commissioners in 1855. * (Generals)

6) John Watts De Peyster, born in New York, an American military and historical writer. His works include "History of the Life of Leonard Torstenson. (1855) * (Century)

7) Located on the south side of East 12th Street between Broadway and University Place, this building originally housed Grammar School 47, which was one of the first New York City schools built exclusively for the education of girls at a time when the city was trying to expand learning opportunities for young women. Constructed in 1855 for the New York City Board of Education, * (nyclc)

8) In 1855 the Brooklyn and Jamaica Plank Road Company was chartered and the old turnpike taken over and made a Plank Road.* (jama)


 

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