A Historical Tour of Bond Street Part VI

 

 
 
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No. 27 Bond Street

As we have seen, the first resident at No. 27 Bond street was Benjamin De Forest. After he left, the house was taken by one of New York's best known citizens, William C. H. Waddell, usually called Coventry Waddell.

He was a descendant of Captain John Waddell, distinguished among England's great sea-fighters, who came to new York in 1736. Captain Waddell was one of the first
subscribers to the Society Library, and after his death his widow became one of the trustees. He was also one of the founders of the Masonic fraternity in New York, and of the St. Andrew's Society.

It is said that the present Dover street took its name from a ship called the Dover that he built on the East River near that locality. William Coventry Henry Waddell was a great-grandson of the old Captain, and a grandson of Mrs. Mary Daubing, who conducted a famous boarding house in Wall Street. When New York was the capitol of the United States seven members of the first congress were among her boarders. Coventry Waddell, a lawyer by profession, was an active supporter of General Jackson and when the latter became President was made financial agent of the State Department at Washington and also given charge of the Secret Service funds, for which he accounted to the President alone. In 1831 he returned to New York as United States marshal, a highly lucrative appointment which he received direct from General Jackson and held for a number of years. In 1842 he was made General Assignee in Bankruptcy for New York under the bankruptcy act passed by congress in that year. His brother Frank Waddell was as popular as any man in New York in his time. Of him Haswell, in his Reminiscences, says: "Francis L. Waddell, brother of William C.H. Waddell, and known as "Frank" was a widely known character; he married a daughter of the late Thomas H. Smith, who had been the leading tea importer of the United States, and in this year (1847) visiting Washington we renewed what had been a school-boy acquaintance.

There was a sui-generis in his manner, and piquancy in his conversation, which added to humor and wit, rendered him very agreeable company; so much so that, at the United States Hotel at Saratoga, he was a welcome guest of the proprietor, who held that he gained more by his company than the cost of it. He not only wrote good poetry, but his Salus populi suprema lex, as an
introduction to his eulogy on Dr. Horne, will never be forgotten by those who heard it."

About 1845 Coventry Waddell built the famous Waddell mansion, on the west side of Fifth Avenue between Thirty-seventh and Thirty-eighth streets, in which occurred a succession of brilliant entertainments. At a fancy dress ball to be given by Mrs. Waddell (who was a daughter of Jonathan Southwick of New York) James W. Gerard wore the first police uniform seen in this country. The
Waddell mansion had a short life, for "upon its site" says Mrs. Lamb, "Was erected the massive sanctuary of the old Brick Church organization." The church, which still stands, was dedicated about 1857, not more than twelve years after the Waddells' "Gothic villa" was completed. After the Waddells left Bond street, No. 27 was occupied in the late '40's by Effingham Cock and
William E. Cock, of the dry goods firm of E. & W. Cock and Company, 33 Liberty street.

No. 28 Bond Street

No. 28 Bond street had no building on it as late as 1851. When the dwelling house now standing in the site was erected, and who lived in it, have not been ascertained.

No. 29 Bond Street

No. 29 Bond street was occupied for two or three years by Samuel Cowdry, a distinguished lawyer, who moved from 27 Cherry street about 1828. He was assistant alderman from the fourth ward in 1822 and two years later was elected alderman. Mrs. Cowdrey was president of the Association for the Relief of Respectable Aged Indigent Females. In 1831 No. 29 became the home of Mrs. Maria Kane Hone. She was the widow of John Hone, Jr., son of John Hone, Sr., the elder brother of Mayor Philip Hone. In 1838 Mrs. Hone went to 67 Carmine street. A year or two later she became the wife of Frederick De Peyster, the eminent lawyer, who lived for many years in University place. Following Mrs. Hone No. 29 was taken by John Warren, a broker of 46 Wall street, who was a son of John G. Warren , one of the founders of the Stock Exchange a hundred years ago. Before he moved to Bond street John Warren resided at 52 Franklin street. His wife was a daughter of Robert Kearny, a cousin of John W. Kearney, the old merchant, and one of his sisters married a son of John W. Kearney. Her husband was a first cousin of Gen. Phil Kearny, who was killed at Chantilly in 1862. In 1847 John Warren moved from No. 29 to No. 41, where he died about 1878, having resided in Bond street for forty years. His son James Kearny Warren was his partner in the firm of John Warren and Son, for many years one of the strongest in Wall street. After John Warren left No. 29 the house was taken by Dr. Jonathan Ware, a dentist.

No. 30 Bond Street

No. 30 Bond street seems to have been occupied first by Thatcher T. Payne, a lawyer, of 19 Nassau street who came to Bond street from 67 Varick street in 1833. The varick street house was once the residence of William Cullen Bryant. In 1840 Thatcher T. Payne was living at 25 Broadway, and a year later No. 30 Bond street was occupied by James Foster. In 1843 and 1844 it was also the residence of James Foster, Jr. In 1845 the latter was living at No. 40. The former's name is not in the directory after 1844. The house was next the residence of George Bradshaw, a lawyer, who about 1847 moved from 11 Park place. This latter house was for a number of years the home of Churchill C. Cambreleng, for eighteen years one of the Congressmen from New York City. In the
'50's No. 30 was occupied by Dr. S.W. Parmly, a dentist.

No. 31 Bond Street

No. 31 Bond street was in 1827 and 1828 the home of Timothy Woodruff, a builder, who in 1826 lived at 20 First avenue and in 1829 at 29 First street. Who occupied it from 1829 to 1830 has not been ascertained, but in the directory of the latter year, and down to 1841, it is given as the residence of Mary Sutherland, widow of Dr. Talmadge Sutherland, a physician, who in 1837
resided at 10 Park place. In 1840 it was the residence of William Waring, who remained there until the late '40's. In 1851 it was occupied by Dr. John Lovejoy, a dentist. A few years later the house suddenly became famous as the scene of one of the most celebrated crimes of the nineteenth century, the murder of Dr. Harvey Burdell, a crime that in point of sensational character and extent of interest excited in the community and throughout the country is not often paralleled. Dr. Burdell is described as "a fine looking man of forty-six, well proportioned, and of singularly youthful appearance." He possessed a high temper and seems to have quarreled, at one time or another, with about every one with whom he cam in close contact. His exceptional skill was recognized in the profession to which he belonged, and he was a member of the leading medical societies of the city. He was also the author of several authoritative works on subjects pertaining to dentistry. He graduated from the Pennsylvania Medical College, at Philadelphia, and not long afterward went into partnership with his older brother, Dr. John Burdell, who was also a dentist. Their office was in a building that formerly stood on the corner of Chambers street and Broadway, south of old Washington Hall. After a few years they separated as a result of a rather acrimonious dispute, apparently over money matters, for the younger brother was grasping as well as hot tempered. Dr. Harvey Burdell then moved to 310 Broadway, near Duane street. This is believed to have been the northernmost of the row of three-story houses shown in the view of Masonic Hall (which was Nos. 314 and 2316 Broadway) in Valentine's Manual for 1855, page 296.

Dr. Burdell was there for only a short time, moving about 1841 to 362 Broadway, on the southeast corner of Franklin street. This house had been the residence of John S. Crary, and in appearance was much the same as the home of his brother and partner, Peter Crary, at 361 Broadway across the street, the second house below Franklin street. Dr. Burdell remained at 362 Broadway till 1852, when he bought No. 31 Bond street. A year or two later he employed a Mrs. Emma Augusta Cunningham as his housekeeper, his wife having divorced him some time before. Mrs. Cunningham was the widow of a once wealthy distiller, of Brooklyn. He was found dead in his chair one day, and she collected his life insurance amounting to $10,000. She had two adult daughters, Margaret Augusta and Helen, and a son named George W. who at the time of the murder of Dr. Burdell seems to have been about eleven or twelve yeas old. Mrs. Cunningham and Dr. Burdell soon quarreled and she was displaced, but in 1855 she came back.

In May, 1856, Dr. Burdell leased his house to her. For several years it had been a boarding house, and she continued it as such. Dr. Burdell occupied all of the floor above the parlors except the hall-bedroom, his office being the rear room and his bedroom the front room, but he took his meals at the Metropolitan Hotel, on the east side of Broadway, between Prince and Houston streets. It was said that "however prepossessing Mrs. Cunningham may have been when younger she is not at this time an extra-ordinarily attractive woman." Among her lodgers was a man named Eckel, whose character may be judged from the fact that he ended his days in prison. At the time of his death Dr. Burdell was the owner of No. 2 as well as No. 31 Bond street. He also owned real estate in Shrewsbury, New Jersey, and in Herkimer County, New York, and was a stockholder and a director of one of the banks in this city. In all his fortune amounted to about $100,000.

On the morning of Saturday, January 31, 1857, at about eight o'clock, John J. Burchell, a youth employed by Dr. Burdell to take care of his office, came to perform his customary duties, and found Dr. Burdell dead on the floor. "Around him was a sea of blood." Blood was found on the floor and walls of the hall outside, and a later search discovered a bloodstained sheet and nightshirt in a storeroom in the garret. The victim's face was black, and his tongue protruded from his mouth. The boy gave the alarm and Dr. Francis, who lived, as we have seen at No. 1 Bond street, was called. Upon examining the body he announced that Dr. Burdell had been strangled by a cord or other ligature, and that there were fifteen "deeply incised wounds" in his body. The heart was pierced in two places, both lungs were penetrated, and the carotid artery and the jugular vein were both severed.

At the inquest, which followed immediately and continued for two weeks amidst tremendous excitement, Mrs. Cunningham stated on the witness stand that she had been married to Dr. Burdell on October 25, 1856, and produced a marriage certificate to that effect, signed by Rev. Uriah Marvin, one of the ministers of the Dutch Reformed Church in Bleecker street, corner of Amos (now
West Tenth) street. The Rev. Mr. Marvin was called as a witness, and at once recollected the marriage but was unable to identify either Dr. Burdell, whose corpse he viewed, or Mrs. Cunningham, who was brought before him. He did however, identify her daughter Augusta as one of the witnesses, the other being a servant girl in his own household. He further stated that as the
party left the house the supposed Mrs. Burdell requested that no publication be made of the marriage. From other witnesses (of whom a large number were called) it was developed that Dr. Burdell had been in fear of assassination, and that Mrs. Cunningham had been heard to remark that "she had a halter around his (Dr. Burdell's) neck and he had to do what she wanted him to." The
testimony of some of the witnesses, including servants and former lodgers, was sensational in the extreme, and exposed, to a considerable degree at least, the relations that had existed in the house for some time before the tragedy.

(To be continued in Part VII)

 

Website: The History Box.com
Article Name: A Historical Tour of Bond Street Part VI
Researcher/Preparer/Transcriber Miriam Medina

Source:

BIBLIOGRAPHY: From my collection of Books: Valentine's Manual of the City of New York 1917-1918 Edited by Henry Collins Brown; The Old Colony Press, Copyright: Henry Collins Brown 1917
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