Chronological Order of Chief Events in the Consolidation Movement 1896


January 7, 1896

Mayor Wurster declares himself in favor of resubmission.

January 8, 1896

Meeting of prominent Brooklyn men, called by Richard S. Storrs, Charles A.Schieren, Charles A. Moore and Henry Hentz. Speeches in favor of resubmission.

January 9, 1896

Senator Lexow's resolution for a consolidation investigating committee, composed of sub-committees of the Senate and Assembly cities committees, passed the Senate.

January 14, 1896

A committee was named under the Lexow resolution, consisting of Senators Lexow, Page, Brush and Grady, and Assemblymen Austin, O'Grady, Kneeholts, Wells and McKeown.

January 14, 1896

Big meeting at Academy of Music for resubmission. Chief address by the Rev. Dr. R.S. Storrs.

January 19, 1896

Hearing before the investigating committee.

January 23, 1896

Brooklyn members of state Legislature appear before Governor Morton to oppose consolidation.

February 4, 1896

Senator Lexow's committee grants another hearing to anti-consolidationists.

February 10, 1896

Mayor Wurster decides not to go to Albany with Republican anti-consolidation committee.

February 21, 1896

Committee amends its report to include Jamaica, Flushing and Hempstead and submits the whole to both branches of the Legislature.

February 27, 1896

Consolidation bill recommitted to the Senate committee for further hearing.

March 4, 1896

Bill advanced to third reading in the Senate.

March 10, 1896

Assembly adopts Senate amendments. A substitute providing for resubmission defeated.

March 11, 1896

Senate passes the bill by a vote of 38 to 8.

March 26, 1896

Consolidation bill passed Assembly by 91 to 56.

April 2, 3 and 4, 1896.

Hearings on the bill before Mayor Wurster.

April 7, 1896

Final hearing before Mayor Wurster.

April 10, 1896

Mayor Wurster vetoes the bill.

April 10, 1896

Message of Mayor Gleason of Long Island City approving the bill read in the Legislature.

April 14, 1896

Mayor Strong's veto in the Senate.

April 15, 1896

The bill repassed over the vetoes in the Senate by a vote of 34 to 14.

April 21, 1896

Talk of bribery to force through consolidation bill.

April 22, 1896

The bill passed by Assembly. Vote: 78 to 69. Number of votes necessary to pass, 76. New York City cast 33 votes, 25 of which were against and 8 in favor of the bill. Of the negative votes from New York Tammany Hall supplied 23 and t he Republicans 2. of New York's eight affirmative votes 6 were Republican and 2 were Tammany Hall. Of Kings County's 21 votes, 15 were cast against the bill, and of the Latter 8 were Republican and 7 Democratic. The 6 votes which Kings cast for the measure were equally divided between Republicans and Democrats.

April 29, 1896

Mass meeting at Cooper Union. Consolidation bill denounced.

May 1, 1896

St. Clair McKelway declines to go on the charter commission.

May 11, 1896

Governor Morton signs the bill and files a memorandum. The text of the law is as follows:


Section: 1. All municipal corporations and parts of municipal corporations, other than counties within the following territory, to wit: The County of Kings, the County of Richmond, the City of Long island City, the Towns of Newtown, Flushing and Jamaica, and that part of the Town of Hempstead, in the County of Queens, which is westerly of a straight line drawn from the southeasterly point of the Town of Flushing, through the middle of the channel between Rockaway Beach and Shelter Island, in the County of Queens, to the Atlantic Ocean, are hereby consolidated with the municipal corporation known as the mayor, aldermen and commonalty of the City of New York.

Sec. 3. The president of the commission appointed under chapter three hundred and eleven of the laws of eighteen hundred and ninety, the mayors respectively of the City of New York, Brooklyn and Long island City, the state engineer and surveyor, the attorney general and nine other persons, residents of the territory of said municipal corporation as so enlarged, who shall be appointed by the governor, by and with the consent of the Senate, shall be commissioners, and are hereby authorized and directed, on or before the first day of February, eighteen hundred and ninety-seven, to make a final report tot he Legislature, and submit therewith such bills as will, upon their enactment into laws, provide a government for the municipal corporation, the mayor, aldermen and commonalty of the City of New York, as by this act enlarged, and among other things, for obtaining an equal and uniform rate of taxation, and of valuation for the purpose of taxation, throughout the whole of the territory, and of said municipal corporation as so enlarged, and that said commission shall cease to exist on the first day of March, eighteen hundred and ninety-seven. Said commission may, in and for the performance of said work, employ counsel and such other persons as it may deem necessary, and fix their compensations; subpoena, witnesses, compel the production before it of any public record or document of any of the bodies politic or corporate aforesaid, administer oaths and examine thereunder any person touching the subject matter hereby committed to its charge; and each of the said bodies politic or corporate, its agents and servants, is hereby directed, for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this act, to furnish to the said commission or its representative, free access at all reasonable hours to all such records and documents, and all information within its possession or under its control. The said commission shall proceed as continuously as may be with the work of the aforesaid, and shall, from time to time, report to the Legislature bills in proper form for enactment, embodying such recommendations with a proposed charter, or bills for the government of such consolidated municipality, and providing further for the election of a mayor and the other municipal officers therein provided for, at the general election to be held in the year A.D. eighteen hundred and ninety-seven.

Sec. 4 For the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this act, each of the cities of New York and Brooklyn shall raise such proportions of the sum of twenty-five thousand dollars as the value of all its real property, as fixed by the Board of State Assessors for the purpose of State taxation bears to the aggregate value, as so fixed, of all the real property of both cities. Upon the requisition of said commission upon the Board of Estimate and Apportionment of either of said cities, such board shall raise the whole or any part of the proportion of said sum to be raised by such city from any unexpended balance of appropriation in such city, for any year prior to the year eighteen hundred and ninety-seven, or by the issue of revenue bonds of such city in the manner provided by law, or by the inclusion thereof in the annual tax levy upon real and personal property liable to taxation in such city. Payments shall be made by the controller of each of said cities, from the respective proportions of said sum so to be raised by each of said cities, for the expenses incurred by said commission in carrying out the provisions of this act, upon vouchers certified by said commission of by such officer or officers thereof as it may designate for that purpose, in form to be approved by the controller making such payment.

Sec. 5. Nothing in this act contained shall be construed as attempting or intending to affect in any way the boundaries, government, rights, powers, duties, obligations, limitations or disabilities of any county, or officer thereof, as fixed by the constitution, or otherwise.

Sec. 6. Section one of this act shall take effect on the first day of January, in the year eighteen hundred and ninety-eight; sections two, three, four and five of this act shall take effect immediately.

June 9, 1896

Governor Morton appointed the following as men members of the Greater New York commission: Seth Low, Benjamin F. Tracy, John F. Dillon, Controller Ashbel P. Fitch, Stewart L. Woodford, Silas B. Dutcher, William C. Dewitt, George M. Pinney, jr.; Harrison S. Moore.

The following are those named by the act: Andrew H. Green, State Engineer Campbell W. Adams, Attorney General Theodore E. Hancock, Mayor William L. STrong of New York, Mayor Frederick W. Wurster of Brooklyn, Mayor Patrick Jerome Gleason of Long island City. Mr. Fitch resigned from the commission and Thomas F. Gilroy was appointed in his place.

June 13, 1896

New York aldermen invite Brooklyn aldermen to cooperate in work of consolidation.

June 19, 1896

Governor Morton entertains Greater New York Commission at his home at Ellerslie.

June 25, 1896

The commission organized with Benjamin F. Tracy as president.

June 25, 1896

Ex-Mayor Gilroy of New York appointed a member of Greater New York Commission in place of Controller Fitch resigned.

June 25, 1896

Commissioner William C. De Witt introduces a resolution before the commission favoring a charter creating boroughs. His plan was to have three boroughs on this side of the East River, preserving the autonomy of Brooklyn an intrusting to each borough all matters of local concern.

June 27, 1896

Commission rejects Mr. De Witt's plan. Chairman Tracy appoints a committee on charter draft consisting of Messrs. De Witt, Dillon, Green, Low and Gilroy.

July 2, 1896

Corporation Counsel Burr accepts Commissioner De Witt's invitation to co-operate with the charter draft committee.

July 14, 1896

Commissioner De Witt, aided by David J. Dean, assistant corporation counsel of New York, begins work on charter draft at Long Beach.

July 18, 1896

Two chapters of charter draft completed. They provide for eight boroughs.

July 24, 1896

Aldermanic committee appointed to attend conference with New York aldermen.

July 29, 1896

New York and Brooklyn aldermanic committees confer with Queens County Supervisors.

August 1, 1896

Finance chapter of charter draft issued.

August 5, 1896

Law chapter issued.

August 16, 1896

Chapters on street cleaning and parks issued.

August 18, 1896

Chapter on public works issued.

August 27, 1896

Chapters on buildings, charities, correction and fire issued.

August 28, 1896

Chapter on the port of Greater New York issued.

August 29, 1896

Chapters on schools and taxes issued.

September 1, 1896

Chapter on health issued.

September 4, 1896

Charter draft completed except for a general statute chapter.

October 21, 1896

Meeting in Brooklyn to discuss means to preserve the local school system under the greater city.


Website: The History
Article Name: Chronological Order of Chief Events in the Consolidation Movement 1896
Researcher/Transcriber Miriam Medina


The Brooklyn Daily Eagle January 2, 1898
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