Chronological Order of Chief Events in the Consolidation Movement 1897-1898


January 2, 1897

Charter Commission meet and announce schedule of hearings. Seth Low reports on educational chapter provisions, Commissioners Woodford and Dutcher dissenting as to appointment of principals, teachers, etc.

January 3, 1897

Commission issues revised chapters on improvements and buildings.

January 4, 1897

Chapter on Health Board, its make-up and powers.

January 5, 1897

Hearing before commission in New York on police chapter. Lexow, Schieren and Lauterbach speak.

January 5, 1897

Chapter on borough officers and board of local improvements, and local improvements.

January 6, 1897

Chapter on harbor. Regulations for Greater New York water front, penalties for net fishing, etc.

January 7, 1897

Chapter on water supply.

January 8, 1897

Chapter on street cleaning.

January 9, 1897

Chapter containing provisions for local inferior courts. Changes in previous chapters decided upon. Limitation of franchises.

January 10, 1897

Ferries joined with docks under single department.

January 11, 1897

Chapters on public buildings, lighting, parks, charities, etc.

January 12, 1897

Hearing in Brooklyn on educational chapter. School Principals Haaren and Gunnison speak.

January 13, 1897

Chapter on Departments of Fire, Correction, etc.

January 14, 1897

Hearing on chapters on fire, docks and charities and correction.

January 15, 1897

William E. Rogers tells the commission the cost of consolidation will be $12,000,000 yearly.

January 17, 1897

Commission announces that no more hearings will be held. protests.

January 18, 1897

Finishing up the charter. Four year term for mayor. Powers of chief of police curtailed.

January 23, 1897

Brooklyn police officials decide to send Captain Rhoades and Inspector Mackelar to Albany to protect the department's interests.

January 29, 1897

Assembly grants the commission more time for charter.

January 30, 1897

Commissioners De Witt, Gilroy and Pinney assigned to harmonize the charter instrument. Seth Low, General Woodford and ex-judge Dillon assigned to draw the report.

February 3, 1897

General Tracy outlines charter's radical features.

February 17, 1897

Commission's work ended. Charter ready to go to Albany.

February 19, 1897

Commission complete its report and adopt it unanimously.

February 20, 1897

Seth Low and Mayor Strong declare that they prefer a single municipal assembly, a single police commissioner and continual power of removal.

February 23, 1897

Report of commission presented to the Legislature.

February 24, 1897

Charter in the Assembly. Pharmacists fight one of its provisions.

February 8, 1897

Hearing on charter before joint Senate and Assembly cities committee.

February 26, 1897

Tracy, Low and Gilroy before the joint committee to explain charter.

February 28, 1897

Final adjournment of charter commission.

March 2, 1897

Platt says he will pass the charter without the dotting of an "I" or the crossing of a "t."

March 3, 1897

Joint cities committee hear objectors to charter.

March 7, 1897

Tracy argues for a four headed police commission declaring that one man could not properly administer a force of 7,000 men.

March 10, 1897

Objections to charter heard by legislative committee.

March 11, 1897

Joint cities committee and charter commission confer as to amendments.

March 12, 1897

Charter report deferred by amendments.

March 17, 1897

Charter reported to both Houses of Legislature with minor amendments.

March 23, 1897

Charter passed by Assembly. Vote, 117 to 28.

March 24, 1897

Senate votes down all amendments to charter.

March 25, 1897

Senate passes the charter.

April 1, 1897

First charter hearing before Mayor Strong in New York.

April 2, 1897

Proposed charter amendment to increase Brooklyn firemen's pay killed at Albany.

April 2, 1897

Second Charter hearing in New York, Ex-Mayor Hewitt says charter was drawn too hurriedly.

April 5, 1897

First charter hearing before mayor Wurster in Brooklyn.

April 8, 1897

Mayor Wurster returns the charter to the Legislature, refusing to disclose the nature of his action upon it.

April 9, 1897

Mayor Strong vetoes the charter bill suggesting various amendments.

April 12, 1897

Assembly passes charter over Mayor Strong's veto.

April 13, 1897

Senate repasses charter. Vote, 34 to 10.

April 20, 1897

Platt says Governor Black will sign charter bill. Tracy and De Witt defend the bill before the Governor.

May 5, 1897

Governor Black signs the charter bill.

May 6, 1897

Supplemental bills signed by the Governor. Mayor Wurster's indorsement of the charter cannot be found.

May 18, 1897

Dinner to charter makers at the Hamilton Club.

May 23 to June 23, 1897

Discussion as to name Brooklyn or New York East?

November 2, 1897

General election in Greater New York. Robert A. Van Wyck, Tammany Hall Democratic candidate, elected mayor.

January 1, 1898

Mayor Van Wyck takes office. Administration of government under the Greater New York charter begins.

Throughout the fight the organized work for the promotion of the consolidation project in this city was led by the Consolidation League, which was formed in December of 1892, at the Montauk Club, among the organizers being William J. Gaynor, James Matthews, James McMahon, John Gibb, Abram Abraham, Louis Liebmann, Edward C. Graves, Edward M. Grout, George W. Chauncey and John Lefferts, jr. This league distributed over 500,000 pieces of literature, held many public meetings and issued many addresses through the newspapers. it claimed an enrolled membership of 25,000.

The leading organization in opposition to the consolidation movement was the League of Loyal Citizens, formed November 12, 1894. This league published numerous pamphlets, leaflets, letters and circulars and during most of the year 1895 issued a weekly publication called Greater Brooklyn. It adopted the flag of Brooklyn as its standard. The league urged the referendum measure in the Legislature by which the consolidation bill was beaten in 1895 and caused to be introduced a bill for resubmission in 1896, which was signed by 76,000 citizens, but which was beaten.


Website: The History
Article Name: Chronological Order of Chief Events in the Consolidation Movement 1897-1898
Researcher/Transcriber Miriam Medina


The Brooklyn Daily Eagle January 2, 1898
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