438 NEW YORK COUNTY.
sioned great.uneasiness. This city was among the first to feel the effects of the arbitrary measures
of Great Britain, and was among the earliest to resist their tendencies.1 The aristocratic element
was probably stronger in this city than in any other part of America; and this was arrayed in
favor of the British measures and against the “ Sons of Liberty.” Many prominent citizens, who
had warmly sympathized with the popular movement in the hope of gaining redress of grievances,
at length yielded their opposition when there appeared no alternative but war, and continued
active or quiet friends of the Royal Government while it lasted. Several members of the first
Provincial and Continental Congress afterward became friends of the king. The British forces
took possession of the city immediately after the battle upon Long Island, Aug. 26, 1776, and
Remained until Nov. 25,1783. The anniversary of this last event, known as “Evacuation Bay,”
is still held in grateful remembrance, and is usually celebrated by military parade or other cere¬
In 1785 the first Congress of the United 'States after the war met in this city and held its ses¬
sions in the City Hall, corner of Wall and Nassau Streets. In the gallery of this building, facing
Broad St.,.Gen. Washington was inaugurated first President, April 30, 1789. The New York
Legislature returned to this city in 1784 and continued its sessions with intervals until finally re¬
moved to Albany with the State offices in 17'97. The Port of New York .was made a port of
entry soon after the peace. Its revenues were collected under the State Government till 1789, but
have since formed a most important source of income to the Federal Government. The receipts
from customs at this port considerably exceed those of all the other commercial cities of the Union
together, and defray nearly one-half the expenses of the General Government. In the midst of its
general prosperity the city has had seasons of adversity.2 At different times destructive fires have
occurred, which have for a time seriously retarded business.
March 7, 1788. It is now preserved in the
Pifth Ward Hotel, West Broadway.
1773, Nov. 5.—The Committee of Vigilance denounced the im¬
portation of tea and agreed to resist its
1774, April 21.—A vessel laden with tea arrived at Sandy Hook,
but was not permitted to land; and in a few
days it was sent back to London. About
the same time 18 chests of tea privately
brought into port were destroyed.
“ May 19.—A great meeting was held in the “Fields,” at
which strong revolutionary resolutions were
passed. A committee of 51 were appointed;
but the next day a majority of them receded
from their position, and the Whigs requested,
their names to be struck off.
1775, April 3.—The Colonial General Assembly finally ad¬
“ July 25.—Delegates were elected to the Continental Con¬
“ Aug. 23.—Capt. Lamb was ordered by Provincial Congress
to remove the cannon from the battery in the
city for the forts in the Highlands. Resist¬
ance was offered from the Asia man-of-war,
stationed off the battery; but 21 pieces—all
that were mounted—were safely carried away.
2 Two dreadful fires occurred while the city was in possession
of the enemy. On the 21st of Sept. 1776, a fire spread from
Whitehall Slip w. of Broadway, s. of Barclay Street, burning
492 houses, or one-eighth of the entire city. Another broke out
on Cruger’s Wharf, Aug. 7,1778, which burned 300 houses in
Great and Little Dock and the adjacent streets. Commissioners
were appointed May 4,1784, to settle claims to the soil and
lay out streets in these burned districts. Destructive fires have
since occurred, as follows:—
1811, May 19.—Upon Chatham Street 80 to 100 buildings were
1828, $600,000 -worth of property was burned.
1835, Dec. 16.—A fire broke out in the lower part of the city,
which was not arrested until 40 acres, mostly
covered by large stores, were burned over,
and $18,000,000 worth of property was de¬
stroyed. It was the most disastrous fire that
ever occurred in the city.
1845, July 19.—A fire broke out near Wall Street, and extended
to Stone Street, ravaging the entire district
between Broadway and the e. side of Broad
Street. Five to eight million dollars’ worth
of property was destroyed.
1858, Oct. 5.—The Crystal Palace was burned.
Theaters in New York have been burned as follows :—
Park, 1820, 1848; Bowery, 1828, 1836,1838, 1845 ; Mount Pitt
Circus, 1828; La Fayette, 1829; National, 1839, 1841; Niblo’s,
1846; and Franklin, 1849,
The principal events which occurred in the city during the
troubles leading to the Revolution are briefly as follows:—
1765, “Sons of Liberty” were organized to oppose
the Stamp Act.
1765, Oct. 31.—A committee of correspondence with other colo¬
nies was appointed.
1765, Nov. 1.—The Stamp Act took effect, and popular excite¬
ment became extreme. The Lieut. Governor
was burned in efligy before the fort.
1765, Dec. 26.—The ship Minerva was boarded by the Sons
of Liberty in search of stamp paper. The
paper was traced to a brig soon after, and ten
packages were seized and burned.
3766, June 29.—The Assembly petitioned for a bronze statue of
Pitt to be erected.
1766, Oct. 18-22.—The liberty pole on the Common (Park) was
repeatedly destroyed, and there was imminent
danger of a collision between the populace
and the troops.
1770, Jan. 13.—New attempts were made to destroy the liberty
pole, and the soldiers became riotous.
“ Jan. 17.—At a meeting of 3,000 citizens, resolutions were
passed not to submit to the acts of oppression.
“ Jan. 18.—A collision took place between the soldiers and
citizens at Golden Hill.
“ Jan. 30.—The Corporation.forbade the erection of a new
liberty pole, and the people soon after planted
one on their own land, inscribed “ Liberty
“ March 29.—Another attack was made upon the pole, which
excited great indignation, and led to its being
nightly guarded, until May 3.
“ May.—A committee of 100 was formed to resist the
importation of goods under the obnoxious
laws; but they receded from their purpose
July 9, and agreed to import everything but
“ Aug. 21.—A leaden equestrian statue of George III. was
erected in Bowling Green. This statue was
thrown down by the populace on the receipt
of the Declaration of Independence, July 10,
1776. It was subsequently melted up into
bullets in the family of Gov. Wolcott, of
Connecticut. It is said that 42,000 bullets were
made from the metal, and these did service
against 400 British soldiers afterward sent
into Conn. by Gov. Tryon.
* Sept. 7.—A marble statue of Pitt was placed in Wall
Street, in gratitude for his services in the re¬
peal of the Stamp Act. In consequence ofthe
course of Pitt after he became Lord Chatham,
this statue was mutilated by a mob May 21,
1772, and, having become an unsightly, head¬
less trunk, it was removed, under an act of