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) Captain Nathaniel Gordon of Portland, Maine, The Tombs was the setting for the first and only execution of an American convicted of international slave trading, a capital crime under an 1820 federal piracy law. *(Nychs)

2) The Knickerbocker Hospital of New York City had its beginning in 1862, in the Manhattan Dispensary. * (NYS History) Vol: V

3) The Brooklyn Dental Association was formed with W.C. Parks as President. * (NYS History) Vol: V.

4) "We are coming, Father Abra'am, Three Hundred Thousand More" was the refrain of one of the most popular Civil War songs. The poem written by the Quaker abolitionist James Sloan Gibbons, was first printed anonymously, on July 16, 1862 in the New York Evening Post after President Lincoln's call for 300,000 more volunteers. * (Concise)

5) Mary Putnam Jacobi, An American phjysician, the daughter of George P. Putnam, of New York City. The first woman graduated from the New York College of Pharmacy, in 1862 * (n.i.e.)

6) Wood's Minstrel Hall at 514, below Spring Street, was opened July 7, 1862. It became Wood's Theatre on June 15, 1866, with performances of the legitimate drama; but changed its character in September of the same year when it became the German Thalia Theatre Comique. * (Bwy)

7) Robert Henry Newell: pseudonym Orpheus C. Kerr born in New York City, American journalist and humorist. He wrote "The Orpheus C. Kerr Papers (1862-1868). * (Century)

8) Fort Totten, this post, for many years the headquarters of the United States Battalion of Engineers, was established in 1862, and was originally called Willets Point. The reservation comprises 136 acres on the East River at the western end of Long Island Sound, two and one-half miles from Whitestone. It is one of the defenses of the northern entrance to New York Harbor. * (n.i.e.)

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1) Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. formed * (sky-tl)

2) April 23, 1863, what is now known as the General Quarantine Act was passed, defining the quarantine establishment, authorizing its construction, creating the permanent office of Quarantine Commissioner, defining the duties and powers of the Commissioners and Health Officer, and establishing a general system of quarantine for the port.

3) The First National Bank of New York was organized in 1863, as a product of the new law. George Fisher Baker, American financier and Philanthropist, born in New York was one of the founders. * (NYS History)

4) The first to be founded was the Lozier School in New York City officially known as the New York Medical College for Women. Its founder was Dr. Clemence Sophia Lozier. An act of the New York Legislature on April 14, 1863. The Legislation paved the way for the establishment of the first women's medical college in America. * (NYS History) Vol. V

5) In 1863 the Calton Dental Association was organized by Dr. Calton at Cooper Institute in New York City. * ( NYS History) Vol: V

6) Roosevelt Hospital in New York City was founded in 1863. * (NYS History) Vol: V

7) The Catholic Club of the City of New York has for its primary interest the promotion of Roman Catholic interests in New York, and has existed since 1863.

8) New York Medical College and Hospital for Women (Homoeopathic), 19 W. 101st street, New York City. Organized in 1863. The first class was graduated in 1864.* (Polk's)

9) George Henry Smillie, born in New York City, an American landscaper. He  first exhibited at the Na6tional Academy n 1863. * (Century)

10) William Marcy Tweed born in New York, a democratic politician and notorious criminal. As head of a group of influential politicians (Connolly, Sweeney, Hall and others), known as the "Tweed Ring" succeeded in getting control of the financial affairs of the city and in robbing it of many million dollars. 1863.

11) Long Island Historical Society: An association in Brooklyn, N.Y.,  organized in 1863 for the purpose of furthering a knowledge of American  history, primarily as connected with the history of Long Island. * (n.i.e.)

12) Thomas Egleston, American geologist born in NYC. In 1863 Egleston organized with Charles F. Chandler the School of Mines at Columbia University. * (c.e.)

13) Levi Parsons Morton, American banker and statesman. He organized in 1863 in NYC the banking firm of Levi P. Morgan & Company, which became one of the more important financial organizations in the country.

14) The Park Theatre was opened on September 14, 1863 by Mr. Gabriel Harrison, a sincere friend of the nobler drama, an actor of acknowledged ability, and ca citizen of some years' standing. A better selection could not have been made, and his failure, after a short season, was a matter of universal regret. Mrs. F.B. Conway assumed the management on April 2d, 1864. She still has it being now in her fifth season. (28)

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1) The Lexington School for the Deaf, an affiliate of the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York, is at 904 Lexington Ave. This was the first school in America to teach the deaf to speak and to read lips.

2) The Prison Association of New York at 135 East 15th street in New York City was incorporated in 1864. * (Blue)

3) The Manhattan Club is a powerful factor in Democratic politics of New York. Its membership is limited to 1500, and it has an actual enrolled membership of 1200. It was organized in 1864, in opposition to the Union League Club.

4) St. Peter's Hospital. in Brooklyn, at 366-382 Henry, was established in 1864. Capacity, 350. Private. Med. Staff. Conducted by Sisters of St. Francis. * (Polk's)

5) The Sheltering Arms, was organized in 1864 for homeless children between five and twelve years of age for whom no other institution provides, is at Amsterdam Avenue and One Hundred and Twenty-ninth Street * (Bwy)

6) January 6,1864 The First Long Island Regiment, known as the Brooklyn Phalanx, came home from the front for a short furlough. Of the 1,000 men who went to the war 234 returned.

7) In 1864, the Broadway and Seventh Avenue car line was established, and  the cars were run on Broadway above Union Square, continuing through  University Place below Fourteenth Street. Sharp was one of the directors of this line and it became the backer of the Broadway line and the corporation through which the financial manipulations of the Broadway Surface Company, as Sharp's line was officially known, were made. The principal difficulty  experienced by the exploiters of the road was in getting the consent of
property owners on Broadway below Fourteenth Street.

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1) Goodman's Matzoh Company, the first company to produce matzoh by machine, is at 21-07 41st Ave., Long Island City. Founded by A. Goodman.

2) The Metropolitan Fire Department is established, which possessed a paid uniform trained force.

3) The first division of the professional force, Metropolitan Steam Fire Engine Company Number 1, began service on July 31, 1865 at 4 Centre Street.

4) Prospect Park in west central Brooklyn, designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, begins construction. *nyca

5) St. Francis Hospital in New York City was founded in 1865. * (NYS History) Vol: V

6) The New York College of Dentistry was founded. *(NYS History) Vol: V

7) The New York University Club, composed of college and university graduates, was incorporated in 1865. None except degree-holding persons are eligible for membership. Its aim is literary and artistic.

8) Eclectic Medical College of the City of New York, New York City. Organized in 1865. The first class was graduated in 1866. * (Polk's)

9) William Leete Stone born in New York City, son of W. L. Stone (1792-1844), an American lawyer and historian. He first published tge "Life and Times of Sir William Johnson in 1865. * (Century)

10) W. C. Vosburgh Mfg Co., Ltd. Manufacturers of Gas and Electric Fixture at State street corner of Smith was established in 1865.

11) Mary Mapes Dodge, from NYC. During her lifetime she was the acknowledged leader in the field of Juvenile fiction. Her story "Hans Brinker; or the "Silver Skates" (1865) has become a children's classic. * (c.e.)

12) The Fifth Avenue Opera House at fifth avenue and 24th street was built in 1865. The Christy Minstrels performed here. * (c.e.)

13) Isaac Thomas Hecker, born in NYC, he founded the Catholic World in 1865, the Catholic Publication Society which became the Paulist Press to distribute Catholic Books and Pamphlets in 1866. * (docb)

14) The Church of the Covenant at 310 East 42nd Street, now affiliated with the Brick Church, began as a mission enterprise of the old Church of the Covenant in 1865 before it merged with the Brick Church. The first Sunday School meetings were held over a stable at 206 East 40th Street. In December 1871 the Memorial Chapel at the present site was dedicated. It was called Memorial to recognize the union of the Old School and New School Churches.* (presby)

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1) The Black Crook, which opens on Broadway, is the first American Musical.

2) 1866 NYU professors of medicine produce a Report for the Council of Hygiene and Public Health. It leads to the establishment of New York City's Health Department. *(NYU)

3) The first outpatient clinic in the United States opens at NYU. *(NYU)

4) In 1866 Steinway & Sons opened the first Steinway Hall on 14th Street. With a main auditorium of 2,000 seats, it became New York City's artistic and cultural center, housing the New York Philharmonic until Carnegie Hall opened in 1891. *Sieinway

5) In 1866 the Sisters of the Poor of St. Frances opened St. Peter's Hospital in Brooklyn. * (NYS History) Vol. V

6) The first train robbery on record was that of an Adams Express car on the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad , which was rifled of $700,000 between New York and New Haven in 1866. * (Concise)

7) The first elevated line in America, a single-track structure running from Battery Place up Ninth avenue to 30th Street in New York City was built 1866-67. * (Concise)

8) In 1866 a group of parishioners of St. John's Chapel on Varick Street established St. John's Guild to help the city's impoverished and "to alleviate the squalor and inhumanity of their living conditions." * (mcny.org)

9) In 1866 Jerome Avenue opened to allow access through the Bronx to the Jerome Race Track, in Westchester County. The track also served as home base for the American Jockey Club. * (mcny.org)

10) Henry Bergh, American philanthropist, b. New York City. He founded (1866) the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The first such organization in the country. * (Bartleby)

11) St. Paul's Female Orphan Asylum, cor Congress and Clinton. in Brooklyn, was established in 1866. Capacity, 150. Conducted by Sisters of Charity. * (Polk's)

12) As a response to the long need for cooperation among writers of fire insurance, the National Board of Fire Underwriters was finally organized in 1866 in New York. * (NYS History)

13) Dorman Bridgman Eaton, American reformer. He drafted the Metropolitan health Law, passed in 1866 which gave NYC its present health department and drafted bills organizing the NYC fire and dock departments and reorganizing the police department. * (c.e.)

14) In 1866 the Jamica and East new York Horse Car Company, was chartered and it built a horse car line from Jamaica to East New York on the Plank Road where it connected with the horse car lines on Fulton Avenue and Broadway in East New York. *(jama)

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1) The first elevated railroad is established in New York City, running from downtown Manhattan to Thirtieth Street.

2) St Johns Lutheran Church Church is born. Its first Church 1867 building on fourth Street (now Leonard St) near Greenpoint Ave. * (Greenpoint)

3) Commodore Vanderbilt builds NY Central trunk line from NYC to Chicago. RRs become earliest corporations as a result of the need for capital, organizational hierarchy, bureaucracy.

4) 1867 Prospect Park is completed. The park was designed by Frederick Law Olmstead and Calvert Vaux. *(BTL)

5) Wealthy industrialist Charles Pratt built the first modern oil refinery in the US on the banks of the Newtown Creek. Standard Oil
refineries, producers of Astral oil. * (Greenpoint)

6) The American Water Color Society, held its first exhibition in 1867. * (NYS History) Vol: V.

7) 1862 Brooklyn Dental Assoc. is formed.

8) James D. McCabe, Jr. produced his first book in 1867 "The Secrets of the Great City," a work descriptive of the virtues, vices, mysteries, miseries, and crimes of New York City. * (Gaslight)

9) Death of Caesar, a painting by Gerome in 1867, in the gallery of J.J. Astor, New York. * (Century)

10) The oldest theatre in this neighborhood was originally Banvard's Museum and Theatre at 1221 Broadway, near Thirtieth Street. It was the first building in the city erected expressly for museum purposes, and was opened June 17, 1867. It became Wood's Museum and Metropolitan Theatre in 1868, and Wood's Museum and Menagerie in 1869. Very good plays with first-class actors
were given under both managers. * (Bwy)

11) The Columbia Yacht Club was founded in 1867. Headquarters were then at the foot of West Fifty-Seventh Street. In 1874 the club moved up to the foot of West Eighty-Sixth Street and the Hudson River, its present home. * (round)


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1) The first "skyscraper," the 7 1/2 story Equitable Building is constructed. Designed by architects Gilman and Kendall with George B. Post, this was the first office building in New York City to include passenger elevators in its initial design. *nyca

2) The Working Women's Protective Union is established in New York City. It gives free legal aid to workers, acts as employment agencies, and lobbies

for laws to protect women workers. * (wtv.org)

3) Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. A benevolent fraternal society, organized in the City of New York, February 16, 1868, as the outgrowth of a social club known as the Jolly Corks, composed principally of members of the theatrical profession. Its
first regular organization was New York Lodge No. 1. * (n.i.e.)

4) Sorosis, the first woman's club in America, organized with twelve members in March, 1868, by Mrs. Jane Cunningham Croly, in New York City, and incorporated in January, 1869. * (n.i.e.)

5) In 1868 Sisters of Charity opened St. Mary's Hospital in Brooklyn. * (NYS History) Vol: V

6) The Brooklyn Society of Dental Science and Art was formed. * (NYS History) Vol: V

7) Brooklyn Academy of Design opened, November 12, 1868.

8) Engine Company 38 The Bronx was organized on January 1, 1868 in Manhattan

9) Brooklyn Eye and Ear Hospital, 92 Livingston. Est'd 1868. Capacity, 80. Public. * (Polk)

10) House of the Good Shepherd, located in Brooklyn at Hopkinson avenue and Pacific was established in 1868. Capacity, 500. Private. * ( Polk)

11) Woman's Medical College of the New York Infirmary, New York City. Organized in 1868. The first class was graduated in 1870. * (Polk's)

12) 1868 New York--first cable-powered (& first elevated) line (West Side & Yonkers Patent Railway)

13) Wah Kee appeared in 1868 and established a fruitshop at 13 Pell Street which served as a blind for the gambling and opium dive he ran secretly above his shop. * (epic)

14)  An experimental elevated railroad is erected. An attempt to build a subway from Fourteenth Street to Nassau Street is abandoned. * (berea)

Continue on Page 9:  (1869-1873)                                                                             Return to Table of Contents 1800s




 

 

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