Here and There: A Little Bit of Old New York Part II

Description of New York In 1800

Copied from a series of historical articles relating to the City, being published in the New York Express in 1841 : " The fashionable part of the city," or West end of the town, " was in Wall and Pine streets, between Broadway and Pearl, — Pearl from Hanover square, (now part of Old slip) to John street, along State street and a part of Broadway, below Wall. Then the City Hall was not built, and on the site where it now stands was the rear of the Almshouse — the " hog-pen " of which inclosed the ground now the most beautiful part of the Park. The change is truly astonishing. In Wall street, for example, there now is but one family residing in the whole street, and that is over a bank. Hardly an old building remains, and not one that is not so altered as to be totally different from what it was then. At the corner of Nassau street, stood the venerable Federal Hall, since torn down a splendid row of dwellings was afterwards put up, which were subsequently torn down to give place to the new Custom House, now building.* Next below stood the elegant mansion of Mr. Verplanck, the brick of which were brought from Holland, and in its stead is the Bank of the State of new York. Next was the residence of John Keese, now the Union Bank, less changed than any other building. This, however, on the 'first of May, is to be leveled with the ground and a new banking house to be put up. Between it and William street were the residences of Francis B. Winthrop and Charles Wilkes — in the place of which are the Dry Dock Bank and Bank of America. On the lot where the United States Bank now stands was the elegant mansion of Gen. John Lamb, first Collector of the Port and father of Alderman Lamb. This was considered not only the finest house, but was believed to be the grandest house that could be built. On the opposite side, where is now going up the massive new Merchants' Exchange, stood the residences of Thomas Buchanan, Mrs. White, and William C. Leffingwell. Mr. Jauncey, an English gentleman who lived in great style, occupied the building now rented by Messrs. Dykers & Alstyne — his stable is the same now used by the Board of Brokers. The very room in which millions of stock are sold every week was then a hay-loft. "

The watch-house was kept at the corner of Broad street, now used by Robinson for the sale of his caricatures. Baker's tavern, one of the most noted public houses, was at the corner of New street — a club met there nightly for more than half a century. Pine street has undergone still greater changes ; from Water street to Broadway, every house has been demolished. Then not a
store was to be seen. The old French church, the sanctuary of the Huguenots, stood at the corner of Nassau ; its surrounding burying-yard contained the ashes of many of the most valued citizens. The Walcotts, Jays, Waddingtons, Radcliffs, Brinkerhoffs, Wells, and a host of others, resided in this street, without a thought that in less than forty, and even thirty years, not one brick then standing would remain on another. In Pearl street were the fashionable residences of Samuel Denton, John Ellis, John J. Glover, John Mowett, Robert Lenox, Thomas Cudle, John Glendenning, John B. Murray, Governor Broome, Andrew Ogden, Governor George Clinton, Richard Varick, and a great number of others. Nearly all of these gentlemen are deceased. In Hanover square stood a block of buildings fronting Old slip and Pearl street. They have been all removed. The city in 1800 consisted of seven wards, now (1841) increased to seventeen." Population, 60,489.

Commencement of Railroad Building in 1834

Harlem Railroad

The New York and Harlem Railroad Company was incorporated in 1831, with a capital of $350,000, for the purpose of constructing a railroad from the central part of the City to Harlem. The road is completed from Prince Street to Yorkville, 5 miles; a single track is laid on granite sleepers, in the best manner, from Prince Street to Union Place, where a double track commences, and which is laid on granite sleepers to Twenty-third, and on wood as far as Eighty-fourth Street, or Yorkville. The road was begun to be used as far as Murray Hill in June, 1833; and up to Feb., 1834, the total number of passengers carried was 89,094. For several months cars drawn by horses have been in operation from Prince Street to Yorkville, and they now run as often as once in each half-hour every day in the week. The fare for each passenger is 12 1/2 cents."

Stage Lines, 1834

Lines of Stages, Owing close of navigation, from December to March, ran daily from Cortlandt Street to Albany, on both sides of the Hudson River. Steamboats and Stage Line also ran to Philadelphia. Office, No. 1 Cortlandt Street. Stages run daily, carrying the United States Mail, to New Haven, Boston, &c. Stages started from Brooklyn Ferry, Fulton Street, every hour, for different parts of Long Island; also, from foot Cortlandt Street, hourly, for different parts of New Jersey.

City Stages and Omnibuses  ran through Broadway and the Bowery to Fourteenth Street, and to the Dry Dock, East River; also, to Yorkville, Harlem and Manhattanville.

Railroads Finished and Running From New York in 1852

NEW YORK AND HARLEM RAILROAD, incorporated in 1831, was opened to Dover Plains, Dutchess County, in 1851, and completed to Chatham Four Corners, Columbia County, in the year 1852, 130 miles, connecting with the Albany and West Stockbridge Railroad, forming a through railroad route from New York to Albany. Capital, $8,000,000; cost of construction, $10,128,765.

, chartered in May, 1846; capital, $4,000,000. This road was completed in October, 1851, at a total cost for construction and equipment, to October, 1857, of $12,845,757. It started from the depot in Chambers street, in the City of New York, and ran on the east side of the Hudson River, through the counties of Westchester, Putnam, Dutchess, Columbia and Rensselaer to East Albany, a distance of 144 miles, connecting with the Troy and Greenbush Railroad, 6 miles in length.

LONG ISLAND RAILROAD, chartered in 1834, with a capital of $1,500,000. The first, run over the entire line, 96 miles, from Brooklyn, to Greenport, L. I., was made on the 27th July, 1844, and the road was formally opened for public use on the 9th of August, following. A branch road runs from Junction to Hempstead, 2 1/2 miles, and another from Hicksville to Syosset, 4 1/2 miles. Total cost of construction, $2,555,986.

NEW YORK AND ERIE RAILROAD. This important Company was first incorporated in 1882, with a capital of $10,000,000. It extends from Jersey City, opposite the City of New York, to Dunkirk, situated on Lake Erie, 40 miles south of Buffalo. It is 460 miles in length, with a branch terminus at Piennont, 24 miles north of New York, 18 miles m length. It was finished in May, 1851,
at a total cost, to September, 1857, of $39,081,468. It runs through the counties of Rockland, Orange (part of Pennsylvania), Sullivan, Delaware, Broome, Tioga, Chemung, Steuben, AUeghany, Cattaraugus, and Chatauqua to Lake Erie, thus uniting, by one direct route, the Atlantic with the Great Lakes of America. A branch road has since been completed from Hornellsville to Buffalo and Niagara Falls.

NEW YORK AND NEW HAVEN RAILROAD was incorporated in 1844, by the Legislature of Connecticut, and in 1846 by the Legislature of the State of New York. The road proper is 62 miles in length, extending to the City of New York from "Williams' Bridge, 14 miles further. At William's Bridge it forms a Junction, New York and Harlem Railroad. The whole distance traversed by the cars is 76 miles, connecting with the Housatonic Railroad at Bridgeport, Connecticut. It was finished in 1852, at a cost of $5,483,221, being upwards of $80,000 per mile. The Railroads and branches, now centering in the City of New York (1875), extend to all parts of the Union, connecting with steamers on all the navigable rivers and lakes of the United States and Canada. In addition to the above Railroads running from the City of New York in 1852, there were finished and running in New Jersey the Camden and Amboy Railroad, and the New Jersey Railroad, extending to Philadelphia, 90 miles; also, the Morris and Essex Railroad, and the Paterson and Hudson River Railroad. In 1852, the Central Railroad of New Jersey was finished from Jersey City to White House, N. J., 50 miles from New York; since completed to Easton, Penn.

It was not until the middle of the 19th Century (1850) that Steamships and Railways were fairly inaugurated in the United States—now both systems are nearly complete, involving an immense amount of capital.

Metropolitan Museum of Art
No. 128 West Fourteenth Street.

The movement which resulted in the establishment of the Museum of Art  was initiated at a public meeting for a consultation on this subject, held on the 23d day of November, 1869, when a Special Committee of fifty was appointed. The number of this Committee was increased, and the gentlemen organized the Association substantially as it exists at present.

On the 13th of April, 1870, the Legislature of the State of New York granted an Act of Incorporation to this body, by the name of '' The Metropolitan Museum of Art," to be located in the City of New York, "for the purpose of establishing and maintaining in said City a Museum and Library of Art, of encouraging and developing the Study of the Fine Arts, and the application of Art to manufacture and natural life, of advancing the general knowledge of kindred subjects, and to that end of furnishing popular instruction and recreation."

In 1871 an Act was passed by the Legislature of New York, authorizing the Department of Parks to raise $500,000, for the erection of a building to receive the collections of the Museum, in accordance with which a fire-proof building is now being constructed in Central Park, and, it is expected, will be ready for occupation in about two years.

A Collection of interesting Works of Art, presented and belonging to the Museum, of the aggregate value of $350,000, are now on exhibition at the Douglas Mansion, 128 West Fourteenth street.

The Loan Collection, consisting of fine Statuary, ancient and modern Paintings, Ceramics, Porcelains, Enamels, Carvings, Arms, Armor, &c., &c., has proved a great success. Numerous objects of value are being constantly offered, and important additions are expected to be placed at the disposal of the Trustees, so soon as the new building in the Central Park shall be ready for occupation.

In order to extend the educational influence of these and other Collections, the Trustees have bestowed free admissions to the Museum, on the Art Students of the National Academy of Design, and Cooper Institute, which privileges have been largely availed of by them.


Calvary.—Office, 266 Mulberry street. The grounds are in Newtown, L. I., about two miles from East Tenth Street Ferry. M. Rowan, Superintendent.

City.—On Hart's Island. Office, 66 Third avenue, corner East Eleventh street. L. C. Dunphy, Superintendent.

Cypress.—Office, 124 Bowery. The grounds are situated on the northerly side of the Jamaica Turnpike, about five miles from Williamsburg ferries. N. G. Palmer, Superintendent.

Evergreen.—Office, 163 Bowery. Located three miles east of Brooklyn.

Greenwood.—Office, 30 Broadway. The grounds are situated in Brooklyn, on Gowanus Heights, about two and a half miles from Hamilton Avenue Ferry. The Cemetery, opened in September, 1840, now contains about 450 acres; interments to January, 1875, 172,890. Henry E. Pierrepont, President. J. A. Perry, Secretary and Comptroller.

Lutheran.—Office, 293 Broadway. Grounds on the Jamaica turnpike road, near Middle Village, L. I., four miles from the Williamburg ferries.

Marble.—Office, 65 Second street. Grounds in Second street, between First and Second avenues. James H. Hull, Keeper.

Machpelah.—Office, 160 West Twenty-fourth street. The grounds are located at New Durham, Hudson Co., N. J., about one mile from Weehawken Ferry. Robert McClintock, President. Walter T. Miller, Secretary.

Mount Pleasant
.—Located on Buffalo avenue, Brooklyn, four miles from Fulton Ferry. Robert Williams, President.

New York Bay.—Office, 5 Dey street. The grounds are on the Bergen Point plank road, two and a half miles from Jersey City Ferry. T. H. Buckmaster, Secretary.

Trinity Church.—Office, 187 Fulton street. The grounds are between West 153d and West 155th streets, between Tenth avenue and the North River. James Amin, Keeper.

Union.—Office, 192 Rivington street. The grounds are located near Wyckoff avenue, Brooklyn, three and a half miles from the Williamsburg ferries. Joshua Brown, President. J. S. Cronk, Secretary.

Woodlawn.—Office, 48 East Twenty-third street. The grounds, 380 acres, are in the Twenty-fourth Ward of the City of New York, near the Westchester Co. Line, six miles from Harlem Bridge, on the line of the Harlem Railroad, The Southwest entrance, for carriages, on Central avenue.


Website: The History
Article Name: Here and There: A Little Bit of Old New York 1876 Part II
Researcher/Transcriber Miriam Medina


BIBLIOGRAPHY: New York As It Was and As It Is; Giving An Account of the City From Its Settlement to the Present Time: Compiled by John Disturnell, published by D. Van Nostrand-New York 1876.
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