First Events In Old New York
( Originally Published 1921 )
First Woman Suffrage Bill
Fifty years ago the Legislature of the Territory of Wyoming passed a bill granting equal civil rights to women—the first legislation of the kind adopted in America.
First White Men Land at Coney Island
On September 3rd, 1609 the first white men to set foot on the soil of New York landed at Coney Island. Hendrik Hudson who was just entering on his great discovery of the Hudson river despatched a boat's crew from the Half Moon for the purpose of getting a haul of fish which were so abundant in the waters of the bay. The crew landed on the lonely beach at Coney Island little dreaming of the stirring and exciting scenes which a later time would witness.
When New York Became New York
When the English took possession of New Amsterdam in 1664 the Dutch form of government was revoked and the name of the Province and the Burgh changed to New York in honor of the royal proprietor James, Duke of York who later became James LI. This took place Sept. 8, 1664. The government of the municipality was placed in the hands. of a mayor and five alder-men appointed by Governor Richard Nicolls who himself had been appointed first English governor of the colony. Thomas Willett was the first mayor and took his seat 1665.
The First White Child Born on Manhattan
The first white child born on Manhattan Island was Isaac du Trieux son of Philip and Susanna du Trieux. The date of his birth was April 21, 1642. Philip du Trieux was a Walloon hailing from the French section of the Netherlands and was one of the first company of colonists who came to Manhattan to settle. He became a respected burgher of the little settlement. After 1664 when the colony was ceded to the English many of the Dutch names took on an English form. The name of du Trieux became Truax and has come down to us in this form. It has been claimed that Isaac Bedlew was the first white child born in New Amsterdam but the records of the Reformed Dutch Church in New Amsterdam bear out the facts as given above. Isaac Bedlew's birth did not take place until the following year, namely 1643.
A Fire Incident 1796
This morning (Dec. 9, 1796) about one o'clock a most dreadful fire broke out near the centre of Murray's Wharf, Coffee-house slip, which notwithstanding all the exertions of all the engines, and a vast concourse of the citizens could not be got under, until it terminated at the Fly Market, consuming nearly fifty buildings, the property of a number of citizens, some of whom are reduced from affluence to indigence.
During this dreadful fire a gentleman belonging to the Company of the Bag-men, returning home with a bag filled with papers of considerable importance to the owners, in order to insure their safety met with two "sons of the sea" evidently disinterested in the horrors of the night standing idle at the corner of one of the streets. The gentleman, observing their want of duty to their fellow citizens in distress, expostulated with them on the impropriety of their absence, when one of them more impertinent than the other, retorted with, "Blast the fellow ; What business is it to you—you've got your booty" ;
Table Customs of Long Ago
Steel knives were used exclusively. The head of the house cut the bread at the table, usually by holding it under his arm and carving off the big thick slices, and passing them around. Bones from the table were thrown on the crumb cloth for the dogs, who were watching for the crumbs that fell from the master's table. Coffee or tea was poured out into the saucer and light breezes blown over it from the puckered up mouth until it was cool enough to drink. The butter was in a large dish, usually a pound or two, and each person helped himself, plastering his portion on the edge of his plate. The plate was large enough to hold a buckwheat cake six or seven inches in diameter without hanging over the edges.
A New York Dresser at Palm Beach
I get up and put on llama gray wool socks, brown leather brogued shoes with heavy soles of rubber, a gray flannel shirt with cricket collar of the same stuff attached, a deep red sailor's knot scarf and a loose jacket and bag trousers of woolly gray flannel and I am dressed and ready for my first meal of the day and an hour of motor-boating. Later in the morning there is no humidity with the heat and I find linen is the nicest thing to wear. A white silk shirt with a slightly starched linen collar, a plain dark brown silk sailor's knot scarf and polished buck shoes tipped at heel and toe with varnished brown leather—and I am ready. I wear no hat—I never wear one here.