Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition/New York
I. New York State.
NEW YORK, one of the original thirteen United States of America, is situated between 40° 29' 40" and 45° 0' 2" N. lat. and between 71° 51' and 79° 45' 54".4 W. long. It is bounded N. by Lake Ontario and the St Lawrence river, which separate it from the province of Ontario; E. by Vermont, Massachusetts, and Connecticut; S. by the Atlantic Ocean, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania; and W. by Pennsylvania, Lake Erie, and the Niagara river.
Topography.—The State of New York has a triangular outline, with a breadth from east to west of 326.46 miles, and from north to south, on the line of the Hudson, of 300 miles. In addition it includes Long Island and Staten Island on the Atlantic coast. Its area is 49,170 square miles,—47,620 square miles, or 30,476,800 acres, being land, and the remainder portions of the great lakes that border it. The surface is more diversified than that of any other State in the Union. The eastern and southern portions are high, and from these the land slopes gently north and west to Lake Ontario. The mountainous belt of the eastern part is cut through by the great water-gap of the Mohawk valley, which once connected the Ontario basin with the trough of the Hudson below the present ocean-level, and is the most interesting and important feature in the topography of the State.
Mountains.—The mountains of New York form three distinct groups. (1) The Adirondacks, a series of short ranges having a north-north-east and south-south-west direction, form the centre of the elevated region of the north-east section of the State. The highest of these is Mount Marcy, 5344 feet, with several associated summits which reach the altitude of 5000 feet. (2) The Catskill Mountains, with their foothills, occupy about 500 square miles south of the Mohawk valley and west of the Hudson; the highest peaks reach an altitude of 4000 feet. The Helderberg and Shawangunk Mountains are topographically a portion of the Catskills, the first on the north, the second on the south. These all belong to the Alleghany system, and are connected with the mountains of Pennsylvania by the Delaware Mountains, which have an altitude of from 1600 to 2800 feet. (3) The Highlands of the Hudson, through which the river passes at West Point, are the northern continuation of the Blue Ridge of Pennsylvania, having an altitude of from 1200 to 1800 feet. The so-called mountains of the central and southern counties are portions of a high plateau which connects with the Helderberg and Catskill Mountains on the east. This is cut by eroded valleys in such a way as to leave many elevated points, of which the highest is East Hill in Otsego county, 2300 feet above the sea.
One of the most peculiar and impressive topographical features is formed by the cliffs of the Palisades, which border the Hudson in Rockland county, and are continuous with those of New Jersey.
Lakes and Rivers.—Two of the chain of great lakes border the State, Lake Erie and Lake Ontario, connected by the Niagara river, on which is the most celebrated cataract in the world. Lake Erie gives about 75 miles of coast-line to New York, Lake Ontario over 200. The surface level of the former is 573 feet above the sea, of the latter 245 feet; and this is 606 feet deep. A portion of the eastern border of New York is formed by Lake Champlain, which lies in the trough between the Adirondacks and the Green Mountains. Within the State the number of lakes is very great. The largest is Lake George, famous for its beautiful scenery. Through the central portion a series of peculiar elongated lakes are found which lie with a nearly north-and-south bearing on the slope from southern highlands to the Ontario basin, or the Mohawk valley. The largest of these are Cayuga, Seneca, Oneida, Crooked, Canandaigua, Owasco, and Otsego. These are river valleys once occupied and modified by glaciers and dammed up by moraines. The Adirondack region is famous for its system of lakes, which are favourite places of resort for tourists. Among the rivers of New York the Hudson is the largest and most beautiful. Formerly it ran several hundred feet below its present level, and was the great channel of drainage which led through the Mohawk valley from the interior. Now, by a subsidence of the continent, it is an arm of the sea, and navigable to Troy, 151 miles from its mouth. The Black River, the Mohawk, and the Genesee are all large streams which lie entirely within the State, while the Alleghany, the Susquehanna, and the Delaware rise there, but soon leave it to become the great rivers of Pennsylvania. From the varied topography and the abundant rainfall the number of streams is large, and many of them are marked by picturesque falls. Besides the great cataract of Niagara, a mile wide and 164 feet high, which New York shares with Canada, there are many other falls worthy of mention, as those of the Genesee at Rochester and Portage, Trenton Falls, the Falls of Ticonderoga, &c. Among the natural features which distinguish the State its mineral springs deserve special mention. Those of Saratoga, Balston, Sharon, Avon, and Richfield are famous throughout the Union. They differ much in chemical composition and medicinal virtues, but all are popular places of resort, and some have gathered round them towns of considerable size.
Climate.—In a general way it may be said that the climate of New York is typical of that of the northern United States, a climate of extremes, hot in summer and cold in winter, and yet healthful, stimulating, and on the whole not disagreeable. The average annual temperature is about 47° Fahr., the average maximum of summer heat 93°, the temperature of 100° being rarely reached, and 102° the highest maximum record. The minimum temperature is about -20° Fahr., never attained in the southern portion, seldom in the central, but often passed by four or five degrees in the most northern counties. The average rainfall is about 40 inches. Frosts begin from September 1st to October 1st, and end from April 1st to May 1st, according to the locality and year. In the Adirondack region the snowfall is heavy, the winter long and severe. In central New York it is not uncommon for snow to accumulate to the depth of 3 or 4 feet, and yet this is not persistent. About New York city and on Long Island the snow rarely exceeds a foot in depth, sleighing is always uncertain, and sometimes the ground will be bare for weeks together. Thus it will be seen that the climate of New York is intermediate in character between that of New England and the Mississippi valley States,—a little milder than the first, severer than the last. The great lakes which border it are never frozen to their centres, and exert an equalizing influence upon the climate of their shores.
In the absence of extensive alluvial plains and marshes, there is little malaria, and the climate is salubrious. About New York city and on Long Island the ocean softens the rigours of winter, and through the influence of the Arctic current, which bathes the coast as far south as Cape Hatteras, renders the summer perceptibly cooler.
The local variation of climate within the limits of the State will be best seen by the following table:—
|° '||° '||Feet.||°||Inches.|
|Moriehcs, Long Island||40 49||72 36||Sea-level.||54.2||54.67|
|New York City||40 42||74||100||51.2||44.59|
|Albany||42 40||74 45||150||46.9||40.67|
|Rochester||43 8||77 51||525||46.9||32.56|
|Buffalo||42 53||78 55||660||46.8||33.84|
|Gouverneur||44 25||75 35||400||44.1||30.15|
|Plattsburg||44 41||73 25||186||44||33.4|
Fauna.—At the advent of the whites the fauna of New York included all the wild animals which were found in the north-eastern States of the Union or the adjacent portions of Canada, but by the cutting off of forests, and the occupation of the surface by farms, the range of the native animals has been greatly reduced, and they have been unceasingly destroyed by man. Formerly the elk, the moose, and the caribou were abundant in the northern part of the State, but are now all exterminated, while the Virginia deer in many localities is still quite plentiful. Of the carnivorous animals, the couguar, the black bear, two species of lynx, the red and grey foxes, the wolf, otter, fisher, pine marten, mink, and skunk still remain, but the wolf is on the eve of extermination, and the wolverine, never abundant, has perhaps migrated northward. Among the rodents the beaver and variable hare are found, but in small numbers, while rabbits, squirrels, rats, mice, field-mice, &c., are still unpleasantly numerous.
Civilization has made but little difference with the reptiles, birds, and fishes. All the birds indigenous to the eastern portion of the continent may probably at times be found within the State, though their relative numbers are affected by the removal of the forests. Among the reptiles are seventeen species of snakes, three of which, two rattlesnakes and the copperhead, are venomous. The fishes include all the species found in the lower lakes, in the rivers of the temperate portions of the continent, and on the Atlantic coast; and the fisheries constitute an important element in the revenues and subsistence of the people. The streams and lakes of the more elevated portions contain brook trout in abundance; those of the lower levels are well stocked with bass, pickerel, perch, and other game fish. The salmon, which formerly inhabited the Hudson and its tributaries, was long since exterminated; but an effort has been made to restock some of the streams, and, like the German carp recently introduced, it may now be reckoned as an inhabitant of the waters of New York. Some of the interior lakes are stocked with a land-locked salmon, or lake trout, a valuable and interesting fish. The oyster industry of the coast has its chief commercial centre in New York city, and an important fraction of the supply of clams, oysters, lobsters, and sea fish is obtained from the New York coast.
Flora.—Originally the surface of New York was occupied by an almost unbroken forest, and, as a consequence of the general fertility of the soil, its topographical diversity, and the range of latitude and longitude, the flora is rich and varied. About seventy species of trees are known to inhabit the State, and these include all found in the adjacent portions of the Union and Canada. The most abundant are oaks, of which there are fifteen species, but with these mingle five species each of maple, pine, and poplar, four species of hickory, three each of elm, spruce, and ash, two of willow, cherry, magnolia, and pepperidge, and one each of larch, liriodendron, dogwood, arbor vitas, balsam, yew, sycamore, honey locust, sweet gum, locust, butternut, black walnut, chestnut, beech, hornbeam, basswood, sassafras, and mulberry. On the summits of the Adirondacks a true alpine vegetation is found, though consisting of but a small number of plants; several of these exist in no other locality in the United States except the mountain summits of Vermont and New Hampshire. The flowering plants and ferns of New York were studied with much care by the late Dr Torrey, and his report upon them forms two of the series of twenty-three quarto volumes which compose the Report on the Natural History of New York. The flowering plants enumerated by Dr Torrey amount to 1540 species, to which a few additions have since been made. The ferns number fifty-four species—more than are found in any other State; the lower forms of plant life, seaweeds, fungi, lichens, &c., are constantly supplying new material, and many years will yet be required for their complete elaboration.
Geology.—The geological structure of New York is more varied and comprehensive than that of any other State, since it includes, with perhaps the exception of the Jurassic, the entire geological column from the Archaean to the Tertiary. A tabular view of the relations of the rocks of New York may be given as follows:—
|Quaternary.||Alluvium, peat, shell-marl, diatomaceous earth.|
|Glacial deposits. Till, kames, moraines, erratics.|
|Raritan group. Long and Staten Island clays, with lignite.|
|Triassic.||Palisade group. Sandstones, shale, and trap of Rockland county.|
|Mountain limestone, wanting.|
|Waverly group, “White Catskill.”|
|Catskill group, “Red Catskill.”|
|Salina group. (Local.) “Onondaga salt group.”|
The surface exposures of these rocks can be seen at a glance by reference to the accompanying outline map.
The boundaries of the State enclose an area which once formed a part of the eastern declivity of the Archæan continent, of which the Canadian and Adirondack highlands are the most important representatives. These are composed of Laurentian rocks, and are perhaps the oldest portion of the earth's surface. Upon the slope of this old continent the ocean rose and fell in the different geological ages, cutting away the shore by its waves in its advance, and spreading the debris in sheets of sand and gravel—old sea beaches. During long-continued periods of submergence organic sediments, composed of the hard parts of marine animals, accumulated over the sea bottom. In the process of emergence the shallowing and retreating sea spread over its deep water deposits mixed sediments, the finer wash of the land and organic material, carbonaceous or calcareous. When indurated, these three kinds of deposits became (1) sandstones or conglomerates, (2) limestones, (3) shales or earthy limestones. During the intervals of emergence the surface was more or less eroded, and the elevations gave obliquity to the planes of deposition, so that in each invasion of the sea it deposited its round of sediments unconformably upon the older ones. The repeated submergences which have here left their record did not cover the same area, but overlapped in such a way that the succession of deposits is easily made out,—the different groups which we call geological systems being separable by unconformability along the planes of contact, by lithological characters which are faithful records of conditions of deposition, and by differences exhibited in their fossils, for in the long intervals which separated these inundations the life of sea and land was completely and repeatedly revolutionized.
The processes described above went on through the Cambrian, Silurian, Devonian, and Carboniferous ages, forming on the south shore of the Laurentian continent the most complete and consecutive record of Palæozoic time of which we have any knowledge. Then the strata along a line passing south-westerly through eastern New York were raised in a series of folds which we call the Alleghany Mountains, and at this time all the interval between the Atlantic and the Mississippi was elevated above the ocean. There it has since remained, the sea rising and falling upon its margin, and leaving its marks, but never submerging the interior. The geological record was continued by minor contributions to the land along the Atlantic coast during the Triassic, Cretaceous, Tertiary, and Quaternary ages, and by the grinding and transporting action of glaciers which once covered the entire surface of the State.
Previous to the elevation of the Alleghanies the sheets of Palæozoic rocks formed a littoral plain sloping gently southward from the Archæan continent. But in the formation of this mountain belt the country traversed by the southern line of the State was left with a surface inclination northward, and between the Alleghanies and the Canadian and Adirondack highlands a broad valley was formed which became the channel of drainage for a great interior area. Through this valley flowed a large river which reached the sea at or near New York island. From the Carboniferous age to the Ice period this was the course of the drainage of the interior, and thus was formed the great water-gap between the Helderberg and Adirondack Mountains, the gate of the continent, through which the tide of migration has flowed from the seaboard into the Mississippi valley, and where the canal and railroad lines have been constructed which are the great arteries of commerce.
During portions of the Tertiary age perhaps the whole, but certainly the eastern margin, of the continent stood many hundred feet above its present level. The drainage of the interior flowed freely and rapidly through the channel which has been described, until that part of it which lies within the State was cut below the present sea-level, and the great river, which as a whole has never been named, but of which the Hudson, the Niagara, the Detroit, and the St Mary's are representatives, reached the ocean 80 miles south and east of New York harbour, for its channel may be traced to that point on the sea bottom, and its mouth was 600 feet below its present one. By a subsequent depression of the land or rise in the ocean-level the sea covered much of its old shore, and filled the channels cut by subaerial erosion; the Hudson became an arm of the sea, and the labyrinth of tideways was formed which are such a marked feature of the coast, and such important auxiliaries to New York harbour. During the Ice period important changes were made in the topography of the State,—by local glaciers in its advent and decline, by the great ice sheet at its climax,—the first perhaps increasing topographical variety, the second producing monotony by grinding down and rounding over asperities, and filling depressions with the debris.
The basins of the great lakes which border New York,—Ontario, Erie, and Champlain,—and of the peculiar elongated lakes of the interior, are largely the work of glaciers, which broadened and perhaps deepened river channels, and dammed them up with moraines. When the glaciers retreated from the area of New York many of the old channels of drainage were left partially or completely filled, and the flow of surface water took in some cases new directions. Among the obstructed channels was that of the Hudson west of Albany, filled by the Ontario glacier. By this cause the great river flowing from the interior was deflected from its ancient course and found a line of lowest levels leading from the north-east instead of that from the south-east corner of the Ontario valley. In this way the St Lawrence was made the outlet of the interior basin, and the Mohawk dwindled to a local draining stream. Long Island Sound and part of Long Island itself should also be classed among the products of glacial action, the Sound having been scooped out by the great glacier when it left the more resistant ledges of crystalline rocks which occupy south-eastern New York and Connecticut, and plunged into the softer Cretaceous and Tertiary beds which formed the littoral plain that bordered the continent,—the hills of the island being covered, and in part composed of loose material transported by the glacier and deposited along its edge.
Minerals.—The mineral resources of New York, though less varied than those of some other States, are still of great importance. The most valuable of these are extensive deposits of iron ore, viz.:—(1) magnetite, found in great abundance in the Adirondack region, and in Putnam, Orange, and Rockland counties; (2) hæmatite, mined in the vicinity of Rossie (St Lawrence county), Clinton (Oneida county), and elsewhere; (3) limonite, largely worked on Staten Island, and at Amenia, Sharon, &c., on the line of the New York and Harlem Railroad; (4) siderite, mined at Hyde Park on the Hudson. The production of ore from these mines in 1879 was 1,239,759 tons, valued at $3,499,132; and New York is surpassed in the quantity of iron produced by Michigan and Pennsylvania only.
The quarries of New York are numerous, and they furnish a great variety of products:—granite in the Adirondacks and along the Hudson; roofing slate in Washington county; white marble in Westchester and St Lawrence counties; red marble at Warwick, Orange county; black marble at Glenn's Falls; verde antique at Moriah and Thurman. Sandstone comes from Potsdam, Medina, and various other localities; shell-limestone from Lockport and Hudson; excellent flagging from Kingston on the Hudson; and paving stone from the trap of the Palisades. In 1880 the quarries of New York numbered two hundred and fifty-one, and the value of their product was $1,261,495. A large amount of hydraulic cement is supplied from the quarries at Rondout (Ulster county), Manlius (Onondaga county), and Akron near Buffalo; also gypsum from the vicinity of Syracuse. The deposits of these substances are very extensive, and their production could be increased indefinitely. Another item of importance among the mineral resources of the State is the salt produced from the salt-wells at Syracuse; these have been worked for many years, and the present annual product is 10,997,408 bushels, having a value of $1,374,666. In south-western New York gas and oil springs are numerous, and at Fredonia the gas has been used in lighting houses for half a century. Recent discoveries show that the petroleum fields of Pennsylvania extend into New York, and it is probable that petroleum will soon claim a place among the mineral products of the State.
The Amboy clays of New Jersey extend across Staten and Long Islands. With further investigation they may prove valuable in the one State as in the other. (J. S. N.*)
History.—Recent investigations have added little to the knowledge of the prehistoric period of the territory known as the Middle States. The bias of scientific opinion seems to be that the earthworks, palisades, and piles of stone found in the region bounded by the St. Lawrence on the north and watered by the Delaware, the Susquehanna, the Alleghany, and their tributaries are of an origin much more recent than the mound system of the Mississippi and the Ohio, and are the remains of a people intermediate between the aboriginal race and the Indians found on the soil by the first European discoverers and explorers. The latter found the eastern slope of the continent under the domination of the Iroquois tribes. John Smith met with them on the north waters of Chesapeake Bay in 1607, and Hudson found them in 1609 on the banks of the river to which he gave his name. The chief seat of this powerful nation, whose sway was recognized from the St Lawrence to the Tennessee and from the Atlantic to the Mississippi, was in the wide and fertile region of western and northern New York. Forming permanent settlements about the headwaters of the streams which gave them passage to the heart of the country, they organized the political league or confederacy known as the Five Nations. These were the tribes of Mohawks, Onondagas, Cayugas, Senecas, and Oneidas. They took the name of “Konoshioni,” or People of the Long House, by which they designated the territory occupied by them, extending west from the Hudson at Albany to the foot of the great lakes, a distance of about 325 miles. There is a tradition in one of the tribes that the confederation was formed four years before Hudson's arrival, which would fix the date at 1605. On the other hand, a missionary resident among them as early as 1742 was informed by a principal chief that the confederacy was established one age (lifetime) before the white people came into the country, which, in view of the thoroughness of their organizations at the time the whites first came into immediate contact with them, seems not improbable. In 1609 Champlain, while accompanying a war party of Hurons and Algonquins on an expedition against the Iroquois, fell in with the enemy on the lake to which he gave his name. European firearms, with which the Iroquois then made first acquaintance, turned the scale of victory against them. The interference of the French aroused in the formidable confederacy a spirit of enmity which, relentlessly nourished, finally arrested the progress of French colonization and French power in Canada, and later secured the triumph of the English arms. Pursuing his explorations, Champlain in 1615 again accompanied a hostile expedition of his allies, penetrated to the very seat of the Iroquois power, and besieged their fortified village or castle, but was compelled to retreat after an ineffectual attempt to storm or fire the stockade. Thus within a few years after Hudson's voyage the French had discovered the great lakes and explored the river which separate the territories of New York from Canada. The Iroquois sought an alliance with the Dutch as a counterpoise to that of their Algonquin enemies with the French. A formal treaty (the covenant of Corlear) made in 1617 with the Amsterdam Company was faithfully observed on both sides. By the name of Corlear (a Dutchman in high honour with them) the Iroquois always addressed the governors of New York in their treaties. Tradition alleges that this first treaty was made at the mouth of the Tawasentha, the present site of the city of Albany. In 1664 a treaty made by Cartwright at Fort Orange with the Iroquois sachems secured similar advantages to the English. In 1688 this friendship was confirmed at a conference held at Albany between the chiefs of the Five Nations and Governor Andros, and again confirmed in 1689 after the accession of King William; it continued unbroken until 1775. Compelled to choose between the revolted colonists and their ancient ally, the Iroquois held fast to the “covenant chain” with the English crown. The confederacy was at the height of its power about the year 1700. In 1715 they were joined by the Tuscaroras, driven out from North Carolina, and were afterwards known as the Six Nations. Until the conquest of Canada by the English in 1763 they were in constant struggle with their French neighbours. The American revolution proved fatal to them. In 1779 their towns were burned, their orchards and stores of grain destroyed. At this time their civilization was at its height, their houses were of frame, some of elegant construction, their gardens, orchards, and farm lands extensive and abundantly supplied with fruit. From this terrible
calamity they never recovered. Their numbers have been estimated as 25,000 in 1650, and in 1750 about half that number, of whom about 2500 were fighting men. Disregarded in the treaty of 1783, their political existence terminated, and their lands were ceded to the State with some small reservations. The last official State census (1875) reports the total number of Indians in the State at 5117, chiefly the remains of the Iroquois tribes. Of these 4707 were living on reservations.
At what time, and by whom, the Bay of New York was first visited by European voyagers is still in doubt. Verrazano is claimed to have entered it with the “Dauphine” in 1524, and Gomez to have sailed along the coast to the latitude of New York in 1525. Of the voyage of Henry Hudson (see Hudson) there is no doubt. Hudson's report of the picturesque grandeur of the fine harbour and river, of the fertile country on its shores, of the kindly disposition of the Indians, and of the abundance of fur-bearing animals in the interior caused great excitement in Holland; and the United Netherlands, whose independence had been acknowledged in the spring, asserted their claim to the newly discovered country. In 1610 a vessel was despatched with merchandise suitable for traffic with the savages. The Europeans were well received, and the voyage resulted in profit. Other private ventures followed, and a lucrative trade in peltry sprung up. In 1613 a few huts were built at the southern point of Manhattan Island, and in 1615 a fortified trading house, to which the name of Fort Nassau was given, was constructed on Castle Island near the present site of Albany, and a factor permanently established there. No effort at colonization was as yet made. Encouraged by the reports of their explorers, the merchants of North Holland formed themselves into a company, which on the 11th day of October 1614 received from the states-general a special trading licence in which the name of New Netherland first appears, the association styling itself the United New Netherland Company. In 1618 the fort on Castle Island was abandoned, and in 1622 a new post, Fort Orange (now Albany), was established on the west bank of the river, at the place where, according to tradition, the first formal treaty between the Dutch and the Five Nations was made. On the expiration of the charter of the United Netherland Company (October 1618) a renewal was refused by the states-general, but private ventures were authorized. The exploration of the coast and rivers was actively continued, but special charters to the discoverers were persistently refused. On the 3d June 1621 the states-general granted to the West India Company a charter with full powers over New Netherland for a period of twenty-four years. The territory was formally erected into a province, and the management of its affairs assigned to the chamber of Amsterdam. In the year 1622 they sent out trading vessels and took formal possession of the country. It was not, however, until the 21st June 1623 that the company, its rules and regulations being formally approved by the states-general, closed their subscription books. Agricultural colonization had been already begun in the spring of the same year. The ship “New Netherland,” equipped by the company with thirty families, reached Manhattan early in May; with them went Cornelis Jacobsen May, the first director of New Netherland. May was succeeded in 1624 by William Verhulst. In 1626 the plans for the government of the province by a director and council being perfected by the Amsterdam chamber, Peter Minuit was sent out as director-general. His administration was vigorous and successful. Manhattan Island was purchased of the Indians for the West India Company, and a fort built which was named Fort Amsterdam. The charter of the company provided for a form of feudal colonization under patroons, such colonies to consist of fifty adults, and the lands occupied to run 16 miles in length on the one side of a navigable river or 8 miles if on both banks, but only so far into the country as the occupiers should push their settlement. The limits of the colonies might be increased in proportion to the number of immigrants. The patroons had special privileges of trade, and magisterial powers; leet courts were held upon their manors, and later their representatives sat for them in the colonial assembly. Under these favourable conditions the example of Minuit was eagerly followed; large tracts of land were acquired from the Indians, and settlement made by the new proprietors. The jealousy caused by these purchases and privileges brought about the recall of Minuit. The little colony was annoyed by the encroachments of the English of the New Plymouth colony, and disturbed by the hostilities between the Indian tribes in their immediate neighbourhood. In 1633 Wouter van Twiller succeeded Minuit as director-general, and carried out the policy of commercial monopoly of his principals. The Swedes now began aggressions on the southern border of the Dutch province. Irregularities in administration caused the recall of Van Twiller in 1637, and in 1638 he was succeeded by William Kieft. During Kieft's administration, which was arbitrary and ill-advised, the colony was still further molested by its English and Swedish neighbours, while its prosperity was arrested by dissensions between the company and the patroons. The fatal mistake was also made of supplying the Iroquois with firearms, which completed the estrangement of all the other tribes. A collision occurred, and
was the beginning of a bloody war which desolated New Netherland for five years. At its close scarcely one hundred men besides traders could be found in Manhattan, and the river settlements were nearly destroyed. This disastrous administration was closed in the summer of 1646 by the appointment of Peter Stuyvesant, who landed at Manhattan in May of the succeeding year. Though of a proud and overbearing temper, and by nature disposed to arbitrary rule, he proved the most satisfactory of the company's administrators. He closed the Indian difficulties, conciliating the friendly and utterly destroying the hostile tribes. He negotiated a settlement of the boundary disputes with the New England colonies (treaty of Hartford, 1650). In his relations with his own people he was less fortunate, and by his opposition to their demands for a larger freedom he alienated their affections and prepared them for ready submission to a more generous rule. The province was already shorn of its original limits, by English aggression and Dutch submission, before the consent of the director and council to a general assembly could be had. This, the first popular representative body of the province, met in April 1664. Before the year closed the colony fell an easy conquest to the English. The population of the province was now fully 10,000, that of New Amsterdam 1500 persons.
The English Government was hostile to any other occupation of the New World than its own. In 1621 James I. claimed sovereignty over New Netherland by right of “occupancy.” In 1632 Charles I. reasserted the English title of “first discovery, occupation, and possession.” In 1654 Cromwell ordered an expedition for its conquest, and the New England colonies had engaged their support. The treaty with Holland arrested these operations, and recognized the title of the Dutch. In 1664 Charles II. resolved upon a conquest of New Netherland. The immediate excuse was the loss to the revenue of the English colonies by the smuggling practices of their Dutch neighbours. A patent was issued to the duke of York granting to him all the lands and rivers from the west side of the Connecticut river to the east side of Delaware Bay. On the 29th August an English squadron under the direction of Colonel Richard Nicolls, the duke's deputy-governor, appeared off the Narrows, and on September 8 New Amsterdam, defenceless against the force, was formally surrendered by Stuyvesant. The duke's authority was proclaimed, and New Netherland became New York. The name of Fort Orange was changed to Fort Albany, after the second title of the duke. Nicolls proved an admirable ruler, and his successor Francis Lovelace continued his policy,—autocratic government, arbitrary in form but mild in practice. Religious liberty was as large as in England. In 1673 (August 7), war being declared between England and Holland, a Dutch squadron surprised New York, captured the city, and restored the Dutch authority and the names of New Netherland and New Amsterdam. But in July 1674 a treaty of peace restored New York to English rule. A new patent was issued to the duke of York, and Major Edmund Andros was appointed governor. He proved a firm but moderate ruler; the unsustained charge of maladministration made against him had its source in religious prejudice. In 1683 Thomas Dongan succeeded Andros. The province flourished under his excellent administration. A general assembly, the first under the English rule, met on October 1683, and adopted a charter of liberties which was confirmed by the duke. In August 1684 a new covenant was made with the Iroquois, who formally acknowledged the jurisdiction of Great Britain, but not subjection. By the accession of the duke of York to the English throne in 1685 the duchy of New York became a royal province. The charters of the New England colonies were revoked, and together with New York and New Jersey they were consolidated into the dominion of New England. Dongan was recalled, and Sir Edmund Andros, who suggested the policy, was commissioned governor-general. He assumed his viceregal authority at New York, August 11, 1688. The English Revolution of 1688 had its faint counterpart in the colonies in an insurrection of the militia, headed by one Jacob Leisler, which was not terminated till the arrival from England in 1691 of a new governor, Sloughter, with whose administration what may be called the second period of English rule begins.
The assembly which James had abolished in 1686 was reestablished, and in May declared the rights and privileges of the people, reaffirming the principles of the repealed charter of liberties of October 30, 1683; but religious liberty was curtailed and the Test Act put in force as to Roman Catholics. In 1697 the lords of trade, in a formal report, protested against the Act declaratory of the rights and privileges of the people of the province of New York; and the instructions of the king to Lord Bellomont, the newly appointed governor, were sharply restrictive of the rights claimed as to courts and assemblies. The government was to be ruled as a province by a governor and council,—the governor having power to institute courts, appoint judges, disburse the revenues, veto all laws, and prorogue or dissolve the assembly at pleasure. The provincial legal authorities protested at once against this excess of prerogative. Thenceforth the political history of the province records one continued struggle between the royal governors and the general
assembly,—the assembly withholding money grants, and the governors exercising the power to dissolve it at will. The chief concern of the province was the defence of the northern frontier. The quartering of British troops became a source of constant irritation between the people and the officers, and the need of money by the authorities caused as severe a struggle between the governors and the assembly. The conquest of Canada in 1763 closed the long contest in which New York troops were constantly engaged. The war left a heavy burden upon Great Britain, a part of which parliament attempted to shift to the shoulders of the colonies. A general congress of the colonies held in New York in 1765 protested against the Stamp Act and other oppressive ordinances, and they were in part repealed. But parliament maintained the principle upon which the legislation was based, the supremacy of parliament and its right to tax the colonies without their representation or consent. In 1769 the total exports of the province amounted to £246,522. During this long political agitation New York, the most English of the colonies in her manners and feeling, was in close harmony with the Whig leaders of England. She firmly adhered to that principle of the sovereignty of the people which she had inscribed on her ancient charter of liberties. Largely dependent upon commerce, she was the first to recommend a non-importation of English merchandise as a measure of retaliation against Great Britain, and she was first also to invite a general congress of all the colonies. On the breaking out of hostilities, New York immediately joined the patriot cause; the English authority was overthrown, and the government passed to a provincial congress. In May 1775, Forts Ticonderoga and Crown Point, which commanded Lakes Champlain and George, and secured the northern frontier, were captured by the Americans. New York city became the headquarters of the continental army under command of General Washington. On July 9, 1776, the provincial congress reassembled at White Plains, and formally took the name of the representatives of the State of New York. The same day they proclaimed their adhesion to the Declaration of Independence. The defeat of the Americans on Long Island, 27th August 1776, was followed by the abandonment of the city, September 15, the army of Washington retiring to the high ground at the northern end of the island. Next day a conflict took place between the advanced troops where Manhattanville now stands. The movement of Howe to White Plains, and his subsequent successful operations, compelled the withdrawal of the Americans to New Jersey. In 1777 the advance of Burgoyne from Canada was checked at Saratoga and his entire army captured; a diversion attempted by St Leger by way of the Mohawk was likewise unsuccessful. An attempt of Clinton to aid Burgoyne, in which he captured the forts at the entrance to the Hudson Highlands, failed; West Point continued to command the passage of this important line of communication. On April 20, 1777, the State assembly adopted the first constitution. General George Clinton was elected governor, and held the office till the close of the war. In 1779 (July 16) Stony Point was captured by the Americans. In 1780 the failure of Arnold's treason put an end to the schemes of the British to command the river. The only other action of importance on the soil of the State was the punishment of the Indians who had aided Sir John Johnson in his incursions. Sullivan with 3000 men penetrated to the heart of the Seneca country and destroyed the towns. In the summer of 1781 Rochambeau with French troops made a junction with Washington in Westchester county, and New York city was threatened by the allied forces. News of the approach of the fleet of De Grasse to Chesapeake Bay caused a transfer to Virginia of the military operations. On the conclusion of the war New York was evacuated, November 25, 1783. Freed from armed occupation, and its seaport regained, the State made rapid progress. Its natural advantages, which the war disclosed, attracted settlers from other States, and the western lands were quickly taken up. In 1788 (July 26) New York adopted the Federal constitution, became the most important member of the national union, and received popularly the name of the Empire State. The seat of government was transferred from New York city to Albany in 1797. The progress of the State met with no interruption until the war with Great Britain in 1812, when its northern frontier became the seat of operations by land and water. The treaty of Ghent put an end to the war, and important schemes for the development of the internal navigation to bring the products of the State to tidal water were rapidly consummated. Steamboat navigation began on the Hudson in 1807, and the canal system was perfected in 1825 in the completion of the Erie Canal, which opened the country from the lakes to the sea. This important artery of commerce has been recently freed from toll by popular vote. The railroad system is still more perfect: great lines traverse the State from its eastern to its western extremity, and a network of minor lines connects every town and village of any importance in the State with the central arteries.
Progress of Settlement.—At the close of the Dutch period the settlement of that part of New Netherland which afterwards became New York was confined to Manhattan, Long, and Staten Islands, and the banks of the Hudson. Westward of these there were small trading stations on the line of the Mohawk and other
water carriages. Early in the last century the admirable natural channel of communication which by the Mohawk river and Wood Creek connects the Hudson with the great lakes attracted immigration. The fertile valley of the Mohawk was the first occupied. A settlement was made there about 1722 by a colony from the Palatinate, who constituted almost the entire population until the close of the Revolution. In 1756 there were only ten county divisions in the province, of which but two were west of the Hudson. At the time of the Revolution there were fourteen counties, the most westerly of which lay on the sides of the Mohawk, about 40 miles from Albany. The inhabitants were at this time Dutch, French, English, Scotch, and Irish. The war brought the extreme richness of the western lands to the notice of the troops, and they in turn informed the people. After the war settlements spread with rapidity. The State of New York ceding to Massachusetts about 10,000 square miles of territory, there was before 1800 a large immigration from New England, which extended itself over the interior of the State to its western boundary. This was essentially an agricultural population. The military lands set apart as bounties during the war, to the amount of 180,000 acres, were rapidly taken up by the immigrants who flowed into the western country like a torrent, opening roads and founding villages and towns. Between 1784 and 1800 two cities, three large villages, and numerous smaller settlements were founded, and the population of the State doubled in numbers. The foreign immigration of the last forty years has chiefly settled on the lines of the great railroads, which present an almost unbroken chain of industrial cities.
Constitution.—The fundamental constitution of the State adopted in 1777 was in its main features after the English model: a chief executive and two separate legislative chambers; justice administered through local county courts, a probate judiciary, a high common law tribunal called the supreme court, side by side with a court of chancery; final appellate jurisdiction in law and equity vested in the State senate. This first constitution of the State declared the people to be the only source of political power. The secret ballot insured the independence of the vote. Religious liberty to all was absolutely secured. In 1821 a new convention greatly simplified the machinery of administration. Under this new constitution the people took to themselves a large part of the powers before delegated to the assembly. The elective franchise was extended by a removal of freehold qualification. In 1846 a new constitution made radical changes in the framework of government. The elective franchise was further extended by diminution of residence qualification; elective districts were established on the basis of population, and shifted with the varying censuses. The elective principle, before confined to part of the executive and legislative officers, was applied also to the judiciary. A court of appeals of last resort was instituted. Local tribunals were invested with the powers and jurisdictions of the supreme court of common law and of the court of chancery. The separation of the legal and political departments of government was complete. The question was again submitted to the people in 1873, and the election of the judiciary maintained by a large majority. Some slight amendments have been since made. The constitution, as finally matured, completely carries out the principle of a government of the people by its own directly chosen agencies. Elective restrictions upon negroes and mulattoes were removed by degrees. Slavery was gradually abolished under an Act passed in 1799. In 1811 the only discrimination was the requirement of a certificate of freedom. The constitution of 1821 imposed both a residence and a freehold qualification, restrictions which remained until removed in 1870 by the fifteenth amendment to the Federal constitution, when suffrage to males became absolutely free in the State. The constitution of 1777 forbade Acts of Attainder after the close of the war, and provided that no Act should work corruption of blood. Primogeniture and entail were for ever abolished. That of 1846 did away with all feudal tenures of every description. Imprisonment for debt, before limited by statute so far as females were concerned to sums over $50, was entirely abolished in 1831. Married women were secured in their separate rights to real and personal property by statute in 1848. Imprisonment of witnesses was put an end to by Act of 1882.
Education.—The grant of the West India Company (1629) to the planters of New Netherland required the establishment of a school, and in 1644 the burgomasters of New Amsterdam made a municipal provision for school purposes in the colony; but this proved nominal, and instruction received little attention until after the arrival of Stuyvesant, when an academy and classical school was established (1659). At the conquest in 1664 the English found this institution in high repute, and in addition three public schools and a number of private Dutch schools in the city alone. The academy or Latin school was continued by the English authorities for a few years, but the Dutch schools received no Government contribution. In 1702 a free grammar school was established by Act of Assembly. In 1710 a school was founded by Trinity church, and similar provisions by other religious denominations followed. In 1754 King's College (reorganized in 1784 as Columbia) was established by charter. Here many of the men who became distinguished in the
annals of the State received their education. Its departments were fully organized when the Revolution put an end to all instruction, and the building became a military hospital. The legislature of the State in 1795 granted an appropriation of $50,000 for five years for common school purposes. A general school system was. organized by commissioners in 1812. District libraries were instituted in 1838, and a State normal school established in 1844. In 1849 a free school law was enacted, but its unequal operation caused its repeal. In 1867 a free school law was again enacted. The schools of the State are noted for their efficiency. All the common schools are free, and are supported by the income of a school fund and by a State, city, and district tax. A superintendent of public instruction has general supervision. School commissioners elected by the people have charge in each district, and there are boards of education in all the cities. The expenses for the fiscal year ending September 30, 1880, were $11,181,986.55. The attendance for the same year in public schools was 1,041,089 scholars, in normal schools 6156, and in private schools 115,646. The number of volumes in school district libraries was 705,812. The result of this admirable system appears in the census of the United States for 1880. The number of the inhabitants of the State who were unable to read was reported at 166,625, or 4.2 per cent, of those unable to write at 219,600, a percentage of 5.5.
Charities.—The public charities were by Act of 1867 placed under the charge of a board of State commissioners of public charities, who are paid expenses but receive no salary. The institutions, wholly or chiefly maintained by the State are—asylums for the insane, inebriate, deaf and dumb, blind, and idiots, and establishments for reform of juvenile delinquents. In the counties, cities, and towns there are public poorhouses and asylums, besides, hospitals, dispensaries, and homes in great variety. The official report of January 1883 states the expenditures for the fiscal year ending September 30, 1882, for orphan asylums and homes for the friendless, at $4,486,204.21, the total number of persons supported being 46,985,—of these 24,868 remained at the close of the year. The expenditure for hospitals the same year was $1,503,283.68, the number of patients treated 27,850. During the same period the dispensaries treated 276,323 persons, at an expenditure of $102,834.20. There were in the several asylums and almshouses, October 1, 1882, 10,443 insane persons. The number of persons supported and temporarily relieved in the county poorhouses and almshouses during the year ending November 30, 1882, was 57,895; in the city almshouses 69,875; total 127,770, of whom there remained at that date 16,507. The amount expended for support and relief of the poor and other charities was $4,715,065.62. Comparison with previous statements shows that there had been no actual increase in pauperism in the State in twelve years, and a decrease in proportion to the population. A State board of commissioners of emigration has until recently had charge of the immigrants landed at the port of New York. The arrivals in 1882 were 476,086. The expenses of this board were met by a head-money tax, but, the Act under which it was levied having been declared unconstitutional, its functions have virtually ceased. A resort to the old system by which shipowners were compelled to give bonds to relieve the city from the care of pauper immigrants is the only alternative for State appropriation.
Correction.—The superintendent of prisons reported the number of convicts confined 30th September 1882 at 2937, the total expenses at $415,662.10, and the earnings at $421,916.95, showing a surplus of $6254.85. The strong and increasing jealousy of artisans has led to an abandonment of some of the most profitable kinds of convict labour.
Wealth and Taxation.—The aggregate assessed valuation of the wealth of the State was in 1882 $2,821,549,963, of which amount $2,482,012,682 was real and $339,537,281 personal. The amount of taxation was $47,573,820.07, of which $3,757,971.47 was State, $30,429,458.62 county, $10,324,339.16 city, town, and village, equal to 1.709 cents on one dollar ($1) valuation.
Finances.—The fiscal affairs of the State have been managed on correct principles, and its credit has been maintained unimpaired. To this its payment of the interest and principal of its bonds in coin during the temporary suspensions of specie payment which preceded the civil war and the long national suspension which followed its outbreak greatly contributed. The total funded debt of the State, 30th September 1882, was $6,385,556.30, over 6 millions of which represents the canal debt. The receipts of the State treasury during the fiscal year ending at same period were $17,735,761, and the payments $13,898,198.21, leaving a balance of $3,837,563.38. The rate of taxation for the year 1882 was fixed at 2.45 mills on the dollar, which is estimated to yield a revenue of $6,820,022.29. The revenues of the canals for the year ending September 30, 1882, were $659,970.35, and the expenditure $653,510.01. The canal system is for the future to be maintained by direct taxation.
Banking.—The bank of New York, chartered in 1791, was the first financial institution incorporated in the State. Banks continued to be incorporated by special Acts of the legislature until 1838, when a general banking law made the business free to all under certain restrictions. In 1829 a safety fund system was established to secure the circulation of the banks contributing to it, and commissioners were created to apply its provisions, but the unequal operation and insufficiency of the system brought about its abolition in 1843, and supervision was entrusted to the comptroller of the State. In 1851 a banking department was created. The Act of the United States of 1865, to provide a national currency, in its requirement of a deposit of United States bonds to secure the circulation issued to the banks by the Government made a radical change in the entire banking system. If the policy of reduction of the debt of the United States be continued, some other form of security must be devised to take the place of the bonds of the United States. In 1867 the State passed an Act enabling national banking associations to become State banking associations. The national tax of 10 per cent, being in effect prohibitory on other than national bank circulation, the State banks are banks of discount and deposit only. On the 16th December 1882 there were seventy-seven banks in operation under this Act. Their capital was $19,455,700. The mass of the banking business of the State is done by the national banks, of which there were on December 30, 1882, 307, with a capital of $86,313,692. Their deposits at same date were $355,673,215.80, their loans and discounts $336,269,003.87, and their issues of national bank circulation amounted to $45,979,914, secured by United States bonds, deposited with the comptroller of the currency at Washington, to the amount of $52,217,050. They held in specie $54,186,128.94, and in legal tender notes of the United States $18,192,201. The first bank for savings in the State was incorporated in 1819, since which time these beneficent institutions have vastly increased. On the 1st January 1883 they numbered 127, holding for 1,095,971 depositors the sum of $412,147,213. They are incorporated by special Acts of the legislature, and the provisions for the security of their investment are very stringent. Trust companies, of which there are several, are also incorporated by special Act, and the security of their depositors is guaranteed by deposits of public stocks or cash with the banking department of the State. On the 1st October 1882 there were fourteen corporations for the safe keeping and guardianship of personal property, with a capital of $2,676,900.
Agriculture.—New York is the third State of the Union in the number of farms, and second in their value. The total number of acres in farms in 1880 was 23,780,754, of which 17,717,862 acres were improved lands. The number of farms was 241,058, value $1,056,176,741. The live stock included 610,358 horses, 5072 mules and asses, 39,633 working oxen, 1,437,855 milch cows, 862,233 other cattle, 1,715,180 sheep, 751,907 swine. The farm products were—oats, 37,575,506 bushels; Indian corn, 25,690,156; wheat, 11,587,766; barley, 7,792,062; rye, 2,634,690; buckwheat, 4,461,200; potatoes, 33,644,807; hay, 5,240,563 tons; hops, 21,628,931 ℔; tobacco, 6,481,431 ℔; milk (sold or sent to butter and cheese factories), 231,965,533 gallons; butter (made on farms), 111,922,423 ℔; cheese (made on farms), 8,362,590 ℔; wool, 8,827,195 ℔. The estimated value of all farm productions by the census of 1880 was $178,025,695.
Manufactures.—New York is the first manufacturing State in the Union, and in the last decade the value produced has increased nearly 35 per cent. In 1880 there were in the State 42,739 establishments, employing a capital of $514,246,575 and 531,533 hands. The amount paid in wages was $198,634,029; for materials, $679,612,545. The products were valued at $1,080,696,596.
Shipbuilding.—The vessels of all classes built in the State during the fiscal year ending 30th June 1882 numbered 1371, aggregating 282,269 tons. Of these there were 668 sailing vessels of 118,798 tons, 502 steamers of 121,942 tons, 68 canal boats, and 135 barges.
Fisheries.—The chief fishing industry is the taking of menhaden, in value (1880) $1,114,158, and the raising of oysters, value in 1880 $1,577,050, other fisheries $1,689,357. The total number of hands employed in all branches in 1880 was 7266, the amount of capital $2,629,585, and of product $4,380,565; the number of vessels employed was 541, measuring 11,583 tons, valued at $777,600.
Commerce.—New York, owing to its magnificent seaport and its admirable land and water communication, enjoys a large proportion of the national trade. In 1882 the State had in exports and imports of merchandize, including specie and bullion, the sum of $894,430,636, or 56¼ per cent. of the trade of the United States. Of the imports it received and distributed $499,928,774, and it exported $394,501,862. The amount of internal trade can only be estimated by the value of the tonnage moved. In the year ending 30th September 1882 the arrivals at tide water were 3,068,152 tons, and the internal movement reached 1,361,268, the total value of the property transported being $147,918,907. The freight carried on railroads amounted to 47,350,174 tons, which at the same rate of valuation as that given for canal traffic, $35 per ton, may be set down at $l,657,256,090 a total value transported of $1,805,174,997.
The value of the freight carried through the Sound, the Hudson river, and the lakes may be estimated at $250,000,000, which would give an aggregate of over $2,000,000,000. Deducting from this gross amount 900 millions, the value of its foreign commerce (imports and exports), the sum of 1000 millions is arrived at as an approximate valuation of the internal trade of the State.
Conveyance.—On the 30th September 1882 there were 326 steam and 81 horse railroads incorporated under the laws of the State. The paid up capital stock of the steam roads amounted to $623,772,211.67 (of which for this State $397,386,453.21), and of the horse roads to $24,068,248.35. The steam roads carried 66,691,562 passengers; two elevated roads in New York city carried 86,361,029, and the horse roads 277,171,345 passengers. The total of miles of steam roads built and owned by New York companies was 10,058, of which 6641 were in New York State. There are twelve canals, of which the Erie is the principal. The total movement on all reached 5,467,423 tons in 1882.
Population.—New York has the largest population of any of the States. From official sources the population of the province was given in 1698 at 18,067; in 1703 at 20,665; in 1723, 40,564; in 1731, 50,824; in 1737, 60,437; in 1749, 73,448; in 1756, 96,790; in 1771, 163,337. By the first United States census of 1790 at 340,120; in 1800, 589,051; in 1810, 959,049; in 1820, 1,372,111; in 1830, 1,918,608; in 1840, 2,428,921; in 1850, 3,097,394; in 1860, 3,880,735; in 1870, 4,382,759.
The total population by the census of 1880 was 5,082,871 (2,505,322 males, 2,577,549 females); of these 3,871,492 were native born. The race division was—whites, 5,016,022; coloured, 65,104; Chinese and Japanese, 926; Indians, 819. There are 59 cities having each a population of over 4000, the principal being New York, 1,206,299; Brooklyn, 566,663; Buffalo, 155,134; Albany, the State capital, 90,758; Rochester, 89,366; Troy, 56,747; Syracuse, 51,792; Utica, 33,914; Auburn, 21,924; Oswego, 21,116; Elmira, 20,541; Poughkeepsie, 20,207. There were engaged in agriculture 377,460 persons; in professional and personal service, 537,897; in trade and transportation, 339,419; and in manufactures and mechanical and mining industries, 629,869. The population averaged 106.74 persons to the square mile, and occupied 772,512 dwellings. (J. A. S.*)
|VOL. XVII.||NEW YORK||PLATE XI.|
|ENCYCLOPÆDIA BRITANNICA, NINTH EDITION|
- In 1881-82, of 1723 Indian children of school age reported, 1169 attended school. The State pays $8500 for their education.
- This includes only Indians subject to taxation.
II. New York City.
 long., and is about 18 miles distant from the ocean, which is reached through the upper and lower bay, together constituting a harbour of the first order. The upper bay has an area of 14 square miles and the lower bay of 88 square miles of safe anchorage. The ship channels have from 21 to 32 feet and from 27 to 39 feet of water according to the state of the tide. The Hudson and East Rivers also afford the city 13¼ square miles of good anchorage. The tide rises and falls on the average 43 inches. Manhattan Island, as well as the adjacent country to the north and east, is composed mainly of rocks, chiefly gneiss and mica schist, with heavy intercalated beds of coarse-grained dolomitic marble and thinner layers of serpentine. These rocks have been usually supposed to be Lower Silurian, but Professor Newberry holds that they have so great a similarity to some portions of the Laurentian range in Canada that it is difficult to resist the conviction that they are of the same period. The deep troughs through which the Hudson and East Rivers now find their way through New York harbour to the ocean are supposed by the same geologist to have been excavated in the late Tertiary period, in which Manhattan Island and the other islands in New York Bay stood much higher than they do now, when Long Island did not exist, and a great sandy plain extended beyond the Jersey coast some 80 miles seaward. Manhattan Island, for half its length from the southern point, slopes on each side from a central ridge. On the upper half of the island the ground rises precipitously from the Hudson River in a narrow line of hill, which again, on the eastern side, sinks rapidly into a plain bordering on the Harlem and East Rivers, and known as Harlem Flats. The surface is throughout rocky, with the exception of this plain, and levelling on a great scale has been necessary in laying out streets. The district beyond the Harlem river, which extends as far north as the city of Yonkers, is traversed by lines of rocky hill running north and south, and still thickly wooded. The original settlement out of which New York has grown was made on the southernmost point of the island, and it has, since the beginning of the 18th century, spread due north and from river to river.NEW YORK, the principal city of the United States in point of wealth and population, and, next to London, the most important commercial and financial centre in the world, lies mainly on Manhattan Island, which is situated at the upper end of New York Bay, between the Hudson River and East River, on the west and east respectively, and the Harlem River and Spuyten Duyvil Creek, small connecting tide-ways which separate it from the mainland on the north-east and north. The legal limits of the municipality also include on the northern side a portion of the mainland which formerly constituted the towns of Morrisania, West Farms, and Kingsbridge, the boundary on the N. being the city of Yonkers and on the E. the Bronx and East Rivers, containing in all 41½ square miles, or 26,500 acres, of which Manhattan Island makes 22 square miles, or 14,000 acres. They also contain the small islands in the East River and New York Bay known as North Brother's, Ward's, Randall's, Blackwell's, Governor's, Bedloe's, Ellis, and the Oyster Islands. The city-hall stands in 40° 42' 43" N. lat. and 74° 0' 3" W.
The street called Broadway runs for nearly 3 miles along the crest of the island, forming for that distance the central thoroughfare from which streets spread with some regularity to the water on each side. The leading thoroughfares originally followed the line of the shore, along which the earliest buildings were chiefly erected, the central ridge being the last to be occupied, until the city reached what is now known as Wall Street, the site of which was marked by a rampart and stockade extending from river to river across the island. Within this space the streets were laid out either as convenience dictated or as old pathways suggested, without any general design or any attention to symmetry, and were named, for the most part, after prominent settlers. The first regular official survey of the city, tracing the line of the streets, was made in 1656, when Wall Street was its northern limit. In 1807 the present plan of the city was adopted, with its broad longitudinal avenues crossed by side streets at right angles, beginning at a point about two miles from the Battery and running the whole length of the island. The erection of buildings along these streets has led to the levelling of the region below the Central Park, but in the park the varied outline which once characterized the whole island is still retained. The precipitous banks of the Hudson river at the upper end have also compelled a treatment in which the original configuration of the ground is preserved, and the streets and roadways are adapted to it. The city in its growth northward absorbed several suburban villages known as Greenwich, Harlem, Manhattanville, Fort Washington, Morrisania, and Kingsbridge.
|VOL. XVII.||NEW YORK—City and vicinity||PLATE XII.|
General Aspect.—The appearance of New York everywhere but in the leading thoroughfares is usually disappointing to strangers. The pavement of all the streets, except Broadway and Fifth Avenue, is bad, and the street cleaning in all but the principal streets is very defective. The lower part of the city, which is the centre of trade, is generally well kept, and contains a large number of imposing buildings. Wall Street in particular, which is now, after Lombard Street, the most important haunt of moneyed men in the world, has several banks of effective architecture, together with the United States customhouse; while Broad Street, which runs off from it at right angles, besides having the stock exchange, is being rapidly occupied at its upper end by handsome buildings of vast proportions intended for the offices of merchants and bankers. After the city had spread beyond Wall Street, the well-to-do portion of the population and the leading retailers seem to have clung to Broadway as the great line of traffic and trade. For one hundred years the wealthy residents built their houses along it, or, if in the streets running off from it at right angles, as near it as possible; and the shops followed them up closely. As population grew during this period the private dwellings of the better class simply moved up farther on Broadway and the adjacent streets, leaving the old houses to be converted into shops. The farther from Broadway, and the nearer the river on either side, the cheaper land was, and the poorer the class of houses which sprang up on it. This fondness for Broadway in a great degree explains the aspect of the city. About a mile and a half from the Battery, or southernmost point of the island, the cross streets which up to this line are mostly named after local notables of the colonial period, become designated by numbers, and are separated by equal intervals, known as “blocks,” of which twenty form a mile. Up to Eighth Street, Broadway divides the streets which cross it into east and west. After Eighth Street, Fifth Avenue, which begins at a handsome square, known as the Washington Square, lying a short distance west of Broadway, becomes the dividing line, and continues to be so out to the Harlem River, a distance of 8 miles. Broadway at Fourteenth Street runs into Union Square, which contains statues of Washington (equestrian), La Fayette, and Lincoln, and is surrounded by large shops; it then trends westerly towards the Hudson River, and thus crosses Fifth Avenue (which runs due north) at Twenty-Third Street, where it enters Madison Square, another open space, on the west side of which are clustered several of the largest hotels in the city. Fifth Avenue has played for the last forty years the same part, as the fashionable street, which Broadway played in the preceding period. It was long the ambition of wealthy men to live in it. It is lined from Washington Square to the Central Park, a distance of 3 miles, with costly houses, mostly of brown stone and red brick, without much architectural pretension, and producing from the preponderance of the brown stone a somewhat monotonous effect, but perhaps unequalled anywhere as the indication of private wealth. Fashion has long permitted, and of late has encouraged, resort to the side streets as places of abode, but the rule is nevertheless tolerably rigid that one must not go beyond Fourth Avenue, two blocks on the east side, or Sixth Avenue, one block on the west side, if one wishes to live in a good quarter. Within the district thus bounded the city presents a clean and orderly appearance, but mainly owing to the exertions of the householders themselves.
Harbour Defence.—For this the city depends on forts situated at the western entrance to Long Island Sound, at the Narrows (a passage between the upper and lower bays), and in the harbour itself. All these are confessedly powerless against a fleet armed with modern ordnance. The forts at the entrance of the Sound are Fort Schuyler, situated on Throgg's Neck, and a fort on Willett's Point on the opposite shore. The defences at the Narrows consist of Forts Wadsworth and Tompkins and several detached batteries on the Staten Island shore, and of Fort Hamilton and several batteries on the opposite Long Island shore. The forts in the bay are small and weak structures, and comprise Fort Columbus, Castle William, and some batteries, all on Governor's Island, and Fort Gibson on Ellis Island. Fort La Fayette, made famous during the war of the rebellion as a prison, was destroyed by fire in 1868, and Bedloe's Island, on which stood Fort Wood, is now given up for the reception of Bartholdi's statue of Liberty.
History.—The history of the first Dutch settlements at Manhattan, and of their transference to England, is sketched in the article on New York State. Down to the Revolution the history of the city is to all intents and purposes that of the province at large. The population grew slowly but steadily, and so did the trade of the place,—the Dutch language and influence, however, gradually giving way to the English. During the Revolution the city, while containing a large body of loyalists, shared in the main in the feelings and opinions of the rest of the country, but was cut off from active participation in the struggle by being occupied at a very early period of the war by the British troops, and it was the scene of their final departure from American soil on November 25, 1782. Since the Revolution its history has been principally the record of an enormous material growth, the nature and extent of which are described in other parts of this article. It was the capital of the State of New York from 1784 to 1797, though the legislature met several times during this period at Albany and Poughkeepsie. From 1785 to 1790 it was the seat of the general Government, and there the first inauguration of Washington to the presidency occurred on the 30th of April 1789.
Population.—The population of New York, in spite of the great attractions of the site, increased very slowly for the first century after its settlement. When the Revolution began it amounted to less than 22,000, and the city stood far below Boston and Philadelphia in importance. It was, too, dominated to a degree unknown in the other Northern States by the landowners whose estates lined the Hudson as far up as Albany, and who played the leading part in society and politics. The original constitution of colonial society was thoroughly aristocratic, and it was maintained almost intact until after the Revolution, the large landed estates along the Hudson being still held by the descendants of the original Dutch grantees, and let on tenures which were essentially feudal in their character. In spite of the large influx of settlers from New England and other parts of the country, the Revolution found the Dutch elements in New York society still strong, if not dominant, and the political ascendency of the territorial families on the Hudson on the whole but little diminished. After the Revolution the growth of the city population became more rapid, but it did not reach 100,000 until 1815, nor 160,000 until 1825. From this date it grew by leaps and bounds until it reached, in 1880, 1,206,299, although a large body of persons whose business lies in New York reside in Brooklyn or Jersey City, on the other side of the East and Hudson Rivers respectively, or in the lesser suburbs, and are not included in the census return. At the end of 1883 the population was estimated at 1,337,325. The impetus which the population received in 1825 was due to the opening of the canal connecting the Hudson with Lake Erie, which made New York the commercial entrepot for a vast and fertile region such as lay behind no other port on the eastern coast. The tendency of foreign trade to concentrate at New York, which has since reduced many small but once flourishing ports along the Atlantic coast, and has taken away from Boston and Philadelphia a good deal of the chief source of their early prosperity, at once began to show itself, and has apparently lost none of its force since the railways came into use to supplement or supersede the canals.
In considering New York as a commercial port, the population of several suburbs within 10 or 15 miles radius should be taken along with it. Including only that of Brooklyn (556,663) and of Jersey City (120,722), the total would be 1,883,684. Of the 1,206,299 forming the population of the municipality of New York proper in 1880, 478,670, or nearly one-third, were of foreign birth. Of these 163,482 were Germans and 198,595 Irish, forming together by far the largest and most important part of the foreign element. Of the total population, 336,137 are males above the voting age, and the females exceed the males by about 25,000. In the native American population, amounting to 727,629, there are 647,399 natives of the State of New York, only 80,330 coming from other States. New Jersey furnishes the largest contingent, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Connecticut following next, though every State and Territory in the Union contributes something. There are no means of ascertaining the proportion of the inhabitants born within the city limits; it is probably smaller than even in London or Paris.
The heterogeneous character of the population, however, so largely composed of persons who come from widely different parts of the globe to seek their fortune, while infusing great energy into commercial and industrial operations, has had an unfortunate effect on the municipal life of the place. It has prevented the growth of a healthy local pride among the successful men of business, many of whom labour with the intention of passing their closing years elsewhere, a sentiment particularly strong among the prosperous New Englanders, whose affections are very apt to be fixed on the place of their birth. The result is that, considering the very large fortunes which have been made in the city during the last century, it has profited but little, compared with others in America, by the gifts or endowments of its wealthy men. The same cause has operated to some extent to prevent hearty co-operation in municipal affairs. The inhabitants of the different nationalities live much apart, both in politics and in society. The Germans, whose social life is very active, give but little attention to local politics, although they form, owing to their intelligence, order, and industry, a very valuable element in the population. Germans head a good many of the principal banking and commercial houses. A considerable proportion of those settled in New York are skilled artisans; cabinetmaking and upholstering in particular are largely in their hands. They supply also most of the music of the city, do nearly all its brewing and a considerable portion of its baking, and furnish a very large contingent in the work of all the leading manufactures. They supply comparatively few of the domestics of either sex, or of the manual labourers. Difference of language, combined with the absence of political training at home, keeps the Germans from taking a very active part in politics, except to resist some of the attempts at restrictive legislation directed against their beer drinking and Sunday amusements, which the American temperance advocates frequently make. As a rule it may be said that the prominent Germans in the city, like the Catholic Irish, belong to the Democratic party.
The port of New York is the great gateway for immigrants coming to the United States. Of the 7,892,783 immigrants who have come to the country from the years 1855 to 1882 inclusive, 5,169,765 have landed at New York city. The largest number landed there in one year was 476,086 in 1882. Germany sends the greatest number, Ireland coming next, England third, and Sweden fourth. From 1847 to 1881 inclusive the German immigrants arriving in New York have numbered 2,498,595; the Irish, 2,171,982; the English, 834,328; and the Swedish, 208,505. The total number of immigrants landed at New York during the years 1858 to 1862 inclusive was 404,918; from 1863 to 1867 it was 1,009,641; from 1868 to 1872, 1,209,011; from 1873 to 1877, 614,219; in 1878 it was 75,347; in 1879, 135,070; in 1880, 327,371; in 1881, 455,681; in 1882, 476,086; and in the first six months of 1883 it was 257,635. The Irish emigrants who settle in New York are to a considerable extent a deposit left by the stream of emigration which enters the country at that port. The more energetic and thoughtful, and those who have any money, push on to the west; the penniless and the shiftless are apt to stay where they land, and furnish the city with most of its unskilled labour, although of late years they have been exposed to considerable competition from Italians, mainly from southern Italy. The resource of a large number of the more pushing is apt to be liquor dealing, which generally brings them influence in ward politics, and secures recognition from the party leaders as a means of communicating with and controlling the rank and file. The great body of the porters and waiters in the hotels and second-class restaurants, of the carters and hackney-coach drivers, a large proportion of the factory workers, and almost the entire body of household servants are Irish also, and for the most part a saving and industrious body.
The social life of New York in the earlier days, and, in fact, down to 1825, took its tone from the landholding aristocracy. Social traditions were, however, principally Dutch, and were characterized by the simplicity and frugality of that people. As the place grew in wealth and population, the ascendency of the old Dutch families was gradually lost. The successful commercial men who came to New York from all parts of the country became the real local magnates, and business prosperity became the chief sign and cause of social distinction. This state of things still exists. There is no other city in the United States in which money gives a man or woman so much social weight, and in which it exercises so much influence on the manners and amusements, and meets with so little competition from literary, artistic, or other eminence. The luxury of domestic life is carried to a degree unequalled in any other city. The entertainments are numerous and costly, and the restaurants, of which Delmonico's is the chief, have achieved a world-wide fame. The number of horses and equipages has greatly increased within twenty years under the stimulus given by the opening of Central Park, the drives of which on fine afternoons in April and May and the early part of June present a scene of great brilliancy. The city is, however, almost completely deserted during the summer months by the wealthy, who fly to country houses along the coast from New Jersey as far up as the province of New Brunswick, or to the mineral springs of Saratoga, or to Europe. Thirty years ago it was the ambition of rich men to own country houses along the Hudson river, the scenery of which possesses great grandeur, but its banks have of late been infested by malaria, and for this and other reasons the tide of fashion has been turned to the seaside, and more particularly to Newport in Rhode Island, which is now a city of marine villas. For people of small means New York is slenderly provided with summer entertainments, except such as are afforded by the beauty of the suburbs and by the many water-side resorts within easy reach on the Hudson, the New Jersey coast, and Long Island Sound, and especially at Coney Island, which is really a continuation of the sandy beach that extends all along the south side of Long Island. Its western extremity is distant from the Battery about 8½ miles in a straight line, and its extreme length is about 5 miles. Since 1874, when capitalists suddenly woke up to the capabilities of the spot, a number of favourite resorts have sprung up on the island, with monster hotels, in one of which as many as four thousand people can dine at once, conveniences for surf-bathing, and a great variety of amusements. The island is reached by steam and horse cars, by steamboats, and by carriages. The Germans have beer gardens on a grand scale, both on Manhattan Island and elsewhere which they frequent in vast numbers. The Irish organize picnics to groves and woods along the Hudson and East Rivers, which are let for that purpose. Excursions by water down the harbour and up Long Island Sound are very numerous. For this species of amusement there are few cities in the world so well situated.
New York has about thirty places of amusement using scenery, not including a few small variety theatres of little importance; of all these the Metropolitan Opera House is much the largest. Its stage is 96 feet wide, 76 feet deep, and 120 feet high. There are seventeen outside entrances, six of them 10 feet wide; and the whole structure is fire-proof. The chief foyer is 34 feet wide and 82 feet long, with a parlour so connected that the foyer can be used as a lecture-room, the parlour giving place for a stage. The seating capacity of the auditorium is about three thousand. Of the other theatres the largest are Miner's Bowery, Miner's Eighth Avenue, Academy of Music, M‘Kee Rankin's, Niblo's, Fourteen Street Theatre (Haverly's), Thalia, Criterion, London, Harrigan and Hart's, Cosmopolitan, Fifth Avenue, Star, Twenty-third Street, Union Square. Beside the theatres there are two fine concert and lecture-rooms—Steinway Hall and Chickering Hall.
The clubs of New York may be divided into two classes,—the political and social, and the purely social. To the former belong the Manhattan and the Union League; to the latter the Century (1847), Harmonie (1852), Knickerbocker (1871), Lotus (1870), New York, St Nicholas, Union (1836), and University (1865). The Manhattan Club (with some 570 members) is the local club of the Democratic party, founded during the closing years of the civil war, and reorganized in 1877. The Union League Club was founded in 1863, in order to give to the Federal administration during the war the organized support of wealthy and influential men in the city, and it has been ever since the Republican social organization of the city. The Century Club represents literature, art, and the learned professions, and owns a valuable collection of pictures and a well-selected library. All the members of the Harmonie Club speak German. The original plan of the Lotus Club looked to a membership of literary men and artists, and members of the musical and dramatic professions.
Education.—The Dutch West India Company, which settled the island of Manhattan, was bound by its charter to provide schoolmasters as well as ministers for its colonists. The company consequently maintained schools from the beginning, and private schools were also soon established, and drew pupils even from other colonies. When the colony passed into the possession of England, the schools of the city still continued in the hands of the Dutch Church and ministers, and were supported by them, receiving little or no aid from the Government. At a later period, the desire of the new rulers to hasten the substitution of the English for the Dutch language in the colony led to an attempt by the colonial Government to reserve to itself the appointment of the schoolmasters, but it was not successful. Down to the middle of the 17th century the bulk of the population remained Dutch, and the support and control of the schools remained with the Dutch Church. The only outward sign of the growth of English influence during this period was the establishment of the still existing Trinity school, in 1710, in connexion with the Anglican Church. About the middle of the century the
tide of English emigration, which has never since ceased, began to flow in, and English influence in educational matters began to gain the ascendency. In 1754 King's College, afterwards Columbia College, was established, and, after a short struggle to preserve it from denominational control, became distinctively an Anglican institution. Before the Revolution the English language had practically carried the day, and taken possession of the schools, colleges, and churches; but the political troubles which preceded the outbreak of the war, and the occupation of the city by the royal army during the war, closed them all, and for nearly ten years suspended all educational progress.
It was not until over ten years after the Revolution that the State legislature took any steps for the establishment of a system of popular education in the State at large. But within three years after the peace the beginnings were made in New York in the form which has made the educational history of the city so peculiar, namely, as a charitable organization. In 1785 the Manumission Society established free schools for the poor coloured children of the city, and they were continued under the same auspices until 1794. A Quaker society, known as the “Female Association for the Relief of the Poor,” in like manner opened a school for white girls in 1802, and the organization extended its operations and continued them until 1846. It was the means of suggesting the formation in 1805 of the association known as the “Free School Society,” and afterwards as the “Public School Society,” which has played so important a part in the education in New York. These were both charitable societies, and at first only sought to provide for children unconnected with the churches of various denominations, all of which maintained schools of their own. Of the Free School Society the mayor, recorder, aldermen, and assistant aldermen were made ex-officio members, and membership was open to all citizens offering contributions to the funds. This society was in 1826 converted into a still larger and more powerful one with a new charter, called the Public School Society, which continued to have charge of popular education in the city until 1853. It was supported in part by voluntary contributions, in part by subscriptions from those who desired to share in its management, and in a small degree, by a contribution from the school fund of the State. For fifty years it may be said to have done all that was done for popular education in New York city, and its existence caused the exemption of the city for nearly thirty years from the operation of the common-school system established in the rest of the State, under which the schools were managed by trustees elected by the voters of each school district. During its existence 600,000 children passed through its schools, and it expended every year a large and increasing revenue, and when dissolved turned over $600,000 to the city. It gradually became plain, however, that the work of popular education in a large city was too great to be carried on by a charitable association, however able or energetic. In 1842 New York was brought under the system prevailing in the rest of the State, but the Public School Society was permitted to continue its existence and retain control of its own schools. It was found, after a few years trial, that the society could not flourish in competition with the official organization, and in 1853 it was voluntarily dissolved, and its schools and property handed over to the city authorities, by whom the work of popular education has ever since been carried on.
The municipal board of education was at first composed of representatives elected by the different wards, but in 1864 the city was divided into school districts of equal school population, each of which sends three commissioners to the board. The ward schools were left in the control of elected trustees, subject only to a somewhat ill-defined power of supervision at the hands of a central board. This was found to work so badly, owing to the low character of many of the elected trustees, that in 1873 the whole system was reorganized. The power of appointing the twenty-one commissioners of the board of education, and three inspectors for each of the eight school districts, was given to the mayor, and to the commissioners the power of appointing five school trustees for each ward. The commissioners and inspectors hold office for three years, and trustees for five. As an outgrowth of the common-school system there is a normal college for the education of teachers, with a model school connected with it, and also the college of the city of New York, which began in 1848 as a free academy for the advanced pupils who had left the common schools. It was empowered to grant degrees in 1854, and was formally converted into a university in 1866.
The total number of scholars attending the city schools in 1882 was 289,917, and the number of professors and teachers employed was 2544. An Act providing for compulsory education was passed by the legislature in 1874, and came into operation in the city in 1875. It compels every person in the control or charge of any children between the ages of eight and fourteen to cause them to attend some public or private school at least fourteen weeks in each year, eight weeks of which are to be consecutive, or the pupils are to be instructed regularly at home at least fourteen weeks in each year in spelling, reading, writing, English grammar, and arithmetic. The law is enforced in the city by the city superintendent, who has twelve assistants known as “agents of truancy.”
The schools, colleges, and other institutions not connected officially with the Government are very numerous, beginning with Columbia College, founded in 1754, and now the oldest university in the State, and the richest in the United States. Though not formally denominational, it is managed chiefly by members of the Protestant Episcopal Church. It has well-equipped law, medical, and mining schools, besides its academic department, a library of about 20,000 volumes, and a rapidly growing income from advance of its property in the city. There are also several denominational colleges belonging to Catholics, which offer a full course from the primary to the most advanced stage; and two theological seminaries, one the Protestant Episcopal, and the other the Union Theological Seminary, belonging to the Presbyterians. The endowment of the non-sectarian University of the City of New York is small, so that it makes but little figure in the educational field. There are also numerous medical colleges, and a large number of private schools frequented by children of the wealthier classes.
Libraries.—The principal public libraries are the Astor Library, the Mercantile Library, and the New York Society Library, which have been described in vol. xiv. pp. 535, 536.
Periodical Press.—There is probably nothing in which New York more nearly occupies the place of a metropolis than in the position of its periodical press towards that of the rest of the country. See Newspapers, supra, p. 434. The modern American newspaper may indeed be said to have originated in New York, which is naturally the chief centre for foreign news, as well as the chief financial and commercial centre, and the chief entrepot of foreign goods. In fact, as early as 1840 it had become plain that any one proposing to address the whole country through the press could address it more effectively from New York than from any other point. As population has spread and other cities have grown in wealth and numbers, New York newspapers have of course lost more or less of their early superiority, but they are still more widely read than any others, and absorb more of whatever journalistic talent there may be in the country. In the field of literary and artistic and musical criticism they are exposed to but little competition, from any quarter. The periodical literature of the city is now very large; there is hardly an interest or shade of opinion, religious or political, which does not possess a New York organ, as the subjoined table will show:—
Periodicals published in New York City, May 1, 1883.
|Class.||Daily.||Semi-Weekly.||Weekly.|| Bi-Weekly and
|Commerce, finance, and trades||11||4||62||15||49||1||1||143|
|News and politics||14||4||27||1||...||...||...||46|
|Science and mechanics||...||...||13||4||19||...||...||36|
|Medicine and surgery||...||...||4||...||15||1||4||24|
|Society and fashions||...||...||3||...||13||...||2||18|
|Music, art, drama||1||...||7||1||4||...||...||13|
|Politics and literature||...||...||1||...||...||...||...||1|
|Class, secret society, and miscellaneous||...||...||10||...||4||...||1||15|
|In foreign languages||11||1||42||7||16||...||...||77|
Churches, Religion, and Charities.—In the absence of official returns as to churches and religious denominations, the most trustworthy statistics are those of the City Missionary Society, which puts the number of places of religious worship in the city, including halls, chapels, and missions, at 489. Of these, 349 are churches properly so-called, each with a fixed congregation, and a settled pastor and a building appropriated to its own use. They are divided as follows among the various denominations: Protestant Episcopal, 72; Roman Catholic, 57; Methodist Episcopal, 48; Presbyterian, 41; Baptist, 38; Jewish synagogues, 25; Lutheran, 21; Dutch Reformed, 20; African Methodist Episcopal, 7; United Presbyterian, 6; Congregational, 5; Universalist, 4; Unitarian, 3; Quakers, 2; “miscellaneous,” 23. This last term covers spiritualists and radicals of various shades, who, without having any fixed creed, or definite object of worship, meet on Sunday for speculative or ethical discussion.
The Roman Catholic Church lays claim to 500,000 worshippers, or nearly half the population, which is probably a considerable exaggeration, as its hold on the natives is, beyond question, very slight, and the total foreign population of the city does not reach 500,000. The Irish are almost wholly Catholic, as are the majority of the Germans, and nearly all the French, Italians, and other persons of foreign birth. The Catholic increase, too, is derived almost
exclusively from foreign immigration. The priests are mainly Irish and German, the higher clergy being almost exclusively Irish either by birth or parentage. There is, too, a considerable Catholic element in social life, composed of the well-to-do French and German and Irish and Spanish, who, however, confine themselves very much to the company of persons of their own creed.
All the places of worship in the city of one sort or another, taken together, are supposed to contain 375,000 sittings. The Protestant denominations lay claim to 83,400 communicants and 400,000 attendants or supporters. The value of all the church buildings, including the ground on which they stand, is estimated at $40,000,000. The annual church expenses, including the ministers' salaries, are supposed to be $3,000,000. There are connected with the churches 418 Sunday schools, with an average attendance of 115,826 pupils. There are also in the city 326 local charitable institutions, of which 261 are Protestant, 38 are Roman Catholic, 18 are Jewish, and the rest are not classified. They disburse annually about $4,000,000. The most remarkable and successful of these charities is undoubtedly the Children's Aid Society, which was founded in 1853 by Mr Charles Loring Brace, the present secretary, for the purpose of helping friendless street children, especially street boys, both by sending them to the west and by opening schools and lodging-houses for them in the city. Since it began its work 67,287 children have been, by its agency, sent away from the city to country homes. During the year 1882 the society gave 14,122 boys and girls 230,968 lodgings in its six lodging-houses, of which 173,152 were paid for by the lodgers themselves; and it furnished them with 305,524 meals at low rates or free. The income of the society has risen from $4,732.78 in 1853 to $237,624 in 1882 from subscriptions and endowments.
The richest and most fashionable denomination is the Protestant Episcopal, and it is the one which seems to grow most by accretion from the native population. On the other hand, while the Baptists and Methodists have always flourished in New York, the two denominations which owed their origin in the United States chiefly to New England—the Unitarians and Congregationalists—have never taken deep root in the city.
Municipal Charities.—The municipal charities are in the hands of a department of the city government called the Commissioners of Charities and Correction, consisting of three commissioners appointed by the mayor, who have charge of all prisons for persons awaiting trial, of all city hospitals, almshouses, workhouses, and lunatic asylums, and of the penitentiary and city prisons. Most of these institutions are situated on small islands in the East River, known as Blackwell's, Ward's, Randall's, and Hart's Islands, the last-named containing a municipal industrial school.
Two charities are, however, exempt from the control of the department. One, the House of Refuge on Randall's Island, which is the property of a private corporation that receives vagrant and disorderly children, and gets its income partly from the labour of the inmates, partly from the proceeds of theatrical licences granted by the city, and partly from State grants. The other is the Juvenile Asylum, which also is managed by a private association, and partly supported by State grants. The influence of political partisanship on the appointment of the officers under the control of the department of charities and correction has been found to result in such serious defects of management, as regards the hospitals and charities especially, that a voluntary association, composed mainly of ladies, and known as the State Charities Aid Association, was formed in New York some years ago, and has obtained from the legislature powers of compulsory inspection. Its volunteer visitors are thus enabled to visit and examine all the institutions belonging to the city, as well as those of the State at large, and report on their condition both to the public and to the superiors of the officers criticized. The emigrants, of whom by far the greater portion pass through New York, are also placed in charge of Commissioners of Emigration, appointed by the mayor, whose duty is to afford all information and assistance which helpless strangers are likely to require on their first arrival in a foreign country. Their duties include also the discovery on shipboard, and detention for return to the country of their origin, of all paupers, cripples, and insane persons or others who are likely to become a charge to the city. These functions are discharged in a huge wooden structure known as Castle Garden, on the southernmost point of Manhattan Island, at the lower end of Broadway. Their magnitude varies from year to year. In 1883 about 405,000 emigrants of all ages and both sexes passed through the hands of the commissioners.
Government and Administration.—During the first stage of the colony the government was to all intents and purposes a military one. The governor, or director-general, appointed by the Dutch East India Company, exercised virtually absolute power, subject, of course, to the distant control of the directors in Holland. In 1652 the town received municipal magistrates appointed for one year by the director-general. They held office at his will, and were liable to have their decisions overruled by him on appeal; but, subject to these conditions, they possessed the powers and
exercised the functions of corresponding officers in the Dutch municipalities at home. This form of government continued until after the conquest of the colony by tho English, when the so-called “Duke's Laws” were proclaimed, and, on June 12, 1665, all the inhabitants of Manhattan Island were declared a body politic and corporate. The first formal charter, known as the Dougan charter, was bestowed on the city in 1686. The recorder, mayor, aldermen, and assistants were to constitute the body corporate, but the mayor, recorder, sheriff, and other superior officers were to be appointed yearly by the lieutenant-governor of the province, while the aldermen and assistants (who together with the mayor and recorder constituted the common council) and the petty constables were to be elected by a majority of the freemen and free holders of each ward. In 1730 the charter was again amended, and took the form known as the Montgomery charter, reserving the appointment of a mayor and recorder still to the crown, and providing for the annual election by the people of the aldermen and assistants, constables, assessors, and collectors. The freedom of the city was purchasable from the corporation for five pounds, and was necessary to the pursuit of any trade or handicraft within its limits. This charter continued in force for nearly a century. It was confirmed by the State constitution of 1777 adopted after the outbreak of the Revolution, and again by the revised constitution of 1821, and has furnished, in fact, the framework of the city government down to the present day. The power which it gave the corporation of fixing the price of all articles sold in the city market was exercised till the Revolution. It was not essentially altered until 1831, when among other minor changes the common council was divided into two boards. The appointment of the mayor remained in the hands of the governor and council until the Revolution, when it was transferred by the State constitution to the governor and council of appointment which shared with him the appointing power. By the amended State constitution of 1821, the duty of electing the mayor annually was imposed on the common council, and so continued until 1834, when provision was made by statute for his election by a vote of the qualified city electors. This charter continued in force without material modification until 1857.
The revised State constitution of 1846 introduced manhood suffrage, and its effect on the city government during the first ten years gave considerable dissatisfaction. It came into operation simultaneously with a great increase in the stream of foreign immigration, most of which passed through New York on its way westward, but not without leaving behind a sediment, composed of the poorest, the most ignorant, and the most vicious. The result was that a very inferior class of men began to find their way into the mayoralty and the common council. The liquor dealers and others of a similar stamp, whose occupations gave them access to, and influence over, the more ignorant voters, began to assume increasing importance in municipal politics, becoming able to impose conditions on candidates for office and to exercise considerable control over the distribution of municipal patronage. The police force was gradually converted into a refuge of political partisans, and was employed without scruple in electioneering. Every political department of the city government suffered more or less from the same causes. The great political club known as the Tammany Society, which was formed in 1789 as a non-political patriotic organization, professedly to counteract the aristocratic tendencies of the Order of the Cincinnati, and which had long been the managing body of the Democratic party in the city, was much strengthened by the increase of the immigrant vote, and its government was also affected for the worse by the same influences to which the city government was exposed. During these years, however, the Republican party, as the opponent of slavery, was slowly rising into prominence in State and Federal politics on the ruins of the old Whig party. By the year 1857 it had gained a majority of the voters of the State outside of the city, secured the control of the State legislature, and elected a governor. It was not very long in power in the State at large before it determined to take the government of the city of New York, to a certain extent, out of the hands of the local majority by giving portions of it to commissions appointed by the governor. There was perhaps reason enough for the experiment to be found in the condition of the municipal administration, but it was unfortunate that it had to be made by a political party to which the local majority did not belong. This gave it an air of partisanship, and exposed it to the charge of being simply an attempt to put the Republican party in possession of a portion of the city patronage, which it could not get hold of in any other way, and to punish the city voters for being Democratic and standing by the South in the slavery controversy. It was in reality, however, an effort on the part of the native-born and the property holders to escape the inevitable
result of a sudden increase in the power of the ignorant and poor in a great commercial city.
Accordingly, in the spring of 1857, the charter was so modified by the legislature as to give the construction of a park, known as the Central Park, for which provision had just been made, to a commission appointed by the governor. The police was in like manner taken out of the hands of the mayor and given to a similar commission. The mayor then in office, Fernando Wood, attempted forcible resistance to this change on the ground that the statute was unconstitutional. He barricaded himself in the city-hall surrounded by his policemen, and had to be ousted and arrested by the aid of the militia. Ever since 1857 interference of the State in the city government has been frequent, and alterations of the charter have been made or attempted almost every year with the view mainly of effecting a new distribution of the city patronage, sometimes as the result of a change in the majority of the legislature, and sometimes as the result of a bargain between the Republican leaders in the legislature and the Democratic leaders in the city. But the policy of withdrawing or withholding power from the common council has through all these changes been steadily adhered to on both sides, owing to distrust of the persons now usually elected to that body.
During the war, and for several years afterwards, the art of managing the city voters of the Democratic party through the political club known as the Tammany Society was continually improved under the leadership of William M. Tweed, who had succeeded Fernando Wood as the municipal chief of his party. Before 1870 he had brought the city majority under his control through a very perfect organization, and had filled the mayoralty and all the leading administrative offices as well as the common council with his creatures. He thereupon began an elaborate system of plunder, of which the main feature was the presentation of enormous bills for work done on a new court-house then in process of erection by city tradesmen acting as his confederates. To these he paid a portion only of their demands, retaining the balance, which he divided in certain proportions with his principal followers. The total amount taken from the city treasury in this and similar ways was never clearly ascertained, but the city debt, which was apparently a little over $73,000,000 in 1870, was, when the liabilities were fully ascertained in 1876, found to be nearly $117,000,000. These frauds, which had been long suspected, were finally brought to light by the treachery of one of the conspirators, who was dissatisfied with his share. But their success and the length of time which had elapsed before their detection were, considering the very large number of persons who had been made privy to them, and who had been admitted as partners in their results, a remarkable illustration of the perfection to which the system had been brought. The overthrow and punishment of the leading perpetrators of them greatly purified the municipal administration, and led to a watchfulness on the part of the public regarding municipal affairs which promises, as long as it lasts, to make a repetition of them impossible. In fact, they could not have been perpetrated without a combination which included all the chief city officers; and this could not have been effected, and as a matter of fact was not effected, without many years of careful, and, to a certain extent, unobserved preparation. The great source of corruption in the city government is the practice of treating places in the municipal service as what are called party “spoils,” or, in other words, as rewards for electioneering services. This practice, which has prevailed in the Federal as well as in the State service all over the country, is of older growth in the State of New York than elsewhere, having shown itself there very soon after the Revolution. It has been much weakened, however, in New York by an Act of the legislature, passed in 1873, which forbids the removal of any regular clerk or head of bureau in the service of the city government, except for cause, and after an informal trial. The police and fire departments are protected in a similar way; but this does not relieve the elected officers from the necessity of purchasing their nominations by such promises as still remain in their power to carry out, such as contributions from their salaries, or the filling of vacancies occurring within their departments, or the employment of labourers in any public work of which they may have charge. A more receut Act of the legislature (1883) prescribes competitive examination as a basis for appointment to all State offices, and forbids, under heavy penalties, all assessments on salaries for political purposes; but its application to the large cities as regards competitive examinations is left optional with the mayor, and with the heads of certain departments. As the charter stands at present, the legislative power of the board of aldermen is restricted to the regulation of the traffic in the streets, the granting of licences to street vendors, the opening of new streets, and similar matters. Their confirmation is, however, necessary to the mayor's appointment to office. The amount of taxes for each year is fixed by the board called the board of apportionment, composed of the mayor, the comptroller, the president of the board of aldermen, and the president of the department of taxes and assessments. The estimate so made is
laid before the board of aldermen for their approval, but this is a mere form, for, if the aldermen refuse such approval, the board of apportionment disregards the refusal and goes on to levy the taxes, after having placed on file their reasons for so doing. Moreover, the aldermen are expressly forbidden by the charter to impose taxes, or borrow money, or contract debts, or lend the credit of the city, or to take or make a lease of any real estate or franchise save at a reasonable rent and for a period not exceeding five years.
Taxation.—For purposes of taxation New York is a county as well as a city, the two being conterminous. The city taxes, when settled by the mayor, comptroller, president of the board of aldermen, and president of the board of assessments and taxes, forming the board of apportionment, are levied by the same officers, forming the board of county supervisors, upon all the real and personal property in the county, and in this levy is included the amount needed for State purposes, the city's share of which is settled by a State board. The rule on which the New York taxes are levied is that which prevails with but little modification all over the United States, though applied with much more rigour in some States than in others, viz., that every species of property, visible and invisible, is liable to taxation. In New York city it is the custom of the appraisers to tax land and houses at about two-thirds of their market value. The amount assessed on personal property is generally increased in successive years, until the owner gainsays the assessor's guess, but his oath is sufficient proof for its reduction. In other words, it may be said that the attempt to tax personal property in the city, except in the case of corporations, has failed. The city tax levy for 1881 amounted to $31,071,840.19, and the rate of the tax was $2.62 per cent, on the valuation of all kinds of taxable property. There is a steady increase in the valuation of land and houses, but a nearly steady decrease in the valuation of personal property.
Courts and Police.—The city has three courts of record, of which two, the superior court and court of common pleas, possess con current jurisdiction with the supreme court of the State in all cases in which the cause of action has arisen within the county, or in which the property or other thing in dispute lies within the county, or in which the defendant is a resident. Each court has six judges, elected by popular vote for a term of fourteen years. The supreme court can, however, remove any cause from either of these courts by order on notice, and take jurisdiction of them itself, but in that case the trial must take place in another county. The third, formerly the marine court, now the city court, consists also of six judges. Its jurisdiction, however, is limited to cases not involving more than $2000 dollars in value, and to the enforcement against real estate of mechanics' liens, that is, of liabilities incurred to contractors or labourers who have been engaged in the construction of a house or other work of improvement on land. The only marine causes of which the court has cognizance are suits brought by sailors for wages, or by any person for assault and battery or false imprisonment on board a vessel. Below these are ten district courts which are not courts of record, and whose jurisdiction only extends to cases not involving over $250. The justice of each court is elected by popular vote, and holds office for six years, and must be a member of the bar. Appeals from his decisions, in certain cases specified by statute, lie to the court of common pleas. The surrogate, who has charge of the court of probate, is also elected, and holds office for six years.
The criminal courts of the city begin with the court of oyer and tenniner, which consists of a single judge of the State supreme court belonging to the judicial district within which the city lies, and tries all such cases sent to it by the court of general sessions as it thinks proper to try, and is, in fact, intended to furnish relief to the latter. The working criminal court of the city is the court of general sessions, which consists of the recorder, the city judge, and the judge of the court of general sessions, each of whom tries cases sitting apart; but an appeal in all capital cases, and in all cases punishable with imprisonment for life, lies from them to the supreme court and court of appeals. All three judges are elected, and hold office for fourteen years. Below the general sessions there is the court of special sessions, composed of any three police justices, which tries all misdemeanours, unless the defendant prefers to be tried by the court of general sessions, or is sent before that court for trial by the special sessions. The police courts are held by eleven police justices possessing the usual jurisdiction of police magistrates, and appointed by the mayor, subject to the confirmation of the board of aldermen, for a term of ten years.
In addition to the courts of law there is an official arbitrator, appointed by the governor of the State, who, with or without two assessors chosen by the parties to the controversy, hears and decides, on short notice, all disputes between members of the chamber of commerce. His judgments have all the force of those of the courts of law, and are executed in the same manner, and are rendered without formal pleadings, on the oral or written statements of the litigants, and the submission of the necessary documents.
The police department is in the control of four salaried
commissioners, who are nominated by the mayor and confirmed by the aldermen, and hold office for six years. The total force performing actual police duties consists of 2237 patrolmen, 165 roundsmen, 143 sergeants, 78 doormen, 36 captains, 40 detective sergeants, 4 inspectors, and 1 superintendent. The expenses of the department for the year ending January 1, 1882, were $3,209,960.65. The city is divided into thirty-five police precincts, each under the direction of a captain and subordinate officers. There is, in addition, a steamboat squad, whose duties confine them to the piers and the neighbourhood; a mounted squad, on duty in the uptown avenues; a central-office squad, on duty at the department headquarters; a special-service squad; a detective bureau; a sanitary company for the inspection of steam-boilers and tenement houses; four inspection districts; and six district-court squads.
About half of those arrested for various offences in the city are natives of the United States. The statistics of the police courts (including the court of special sessions) show that in the year ending October 31, 1882, they disposed of 66,867 prisoners, a decrease of 17,954 as compared with the year 1874.
The fire department is under control of three salaried fire commissioners, who are nominated by the mayor and confirmed by the aldermen. The working force of the department consists of 826 uniformed men, who are divided into fifty-one engine companies and nineteen hook-and-ladder companies. The city is thoroughly equipped with a fire-alarm telegraph system. The number of fires in the city in 1883 was 2168, with a loss of $3,517,326. The expenditure of the department in 1883 was $1,464,850. The department has other duties besides that of extinguishing fires. It has charge of the bureau which looks after the proper construction of buildings, seeing that they are erected in compliance with the Building Act, and that old buildings do not become in any way dangerous, and supervises the storage of combustibles and explosive materials.
An adjunct of the fire department, although under entirely independent control, is the fire-insurance patrol. This is an organization authorized by an Act of the legislature passed in 1865, and supported by the fire insurance companies doing business in the city. Its object is not to assist in extinguishing fires, but to remove goods from the burning buildings, and to protect them from damage by water.
Vital Statistics.—The situation of the city, surrounded as it is by tide water, renders the disposition of its sewage easy. This, combined with its excellent supply of fresh water, tends to make the city a healthy one. On the other hand its limited area causes an excessive crowding of its inhabitants into tenement houses; and, as a majority of the tenement population is foreign, with little appreciation of the value of cleanliness, the death-rate among this class is very large. This is especially true of young children in the very hot months. Quarantine inspection at the mouth of the harbour, and vigilant sanitary inspection throughout the city itself, have been very successful in warding off pestilence. Since 1822 there have not been more than one hundred deaths from yellow fever in any one year. Since 1831 there have been six outbreaks of cholera, but only two deaths occurred from that disease from 1875 to 1882 inclusive.
The sanitary condition of the city is in charge of a board of health, consisting of the president of the police board, the health officer of the port, and two commissioners of health, one of whom must have been a practising physician for not less than five years preceding his appointment. In the health department are two bureaus, one in charge of a sanitary superintendent, and the other in charge of a registrar of records. The board has authority to frame and enforce a sanitary code. The death-rate was 26.47 in 1880, 31.08 in 1881, and 29.64 in 1882.
Commerce and Manufactures.—New York owed its first rise in importance to the excellence of its situation as a seaport, and in this respect still maintains its pre-eminence over all American cities. Nearly 57 per cent, of all the foreign trade of the country passes through its harbour. Its exports during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1882, amounted to $344,503,775 out of a total for the whole country of $750,542,257. Its imports during the same period reached $493,060,891 out of a total of $724,639,574, but a very much larger proportion of this trade is done in foreign vessels than formerly. There is no line of steamers to Europe sailing from the port under the American flag. Its supremacy as a port naturally brought with it supremacy as an entrepôt of foreign goods; of these New York has been for the last half century the principal distributing agency, especially as regards dry goods. Of late this branch of business has to some extent migrated to Chicago and other western cities, owing to the growth of population west of the Mississippi; but east of the Alleghanies, and all through the Southern States, the hold of New York on the retail dealers is practically unshaken. New York is also the foremost city of the Union in manufactures, and no other city, except Philadelphia, can make any pretence of competing with it in this field.
The following table shows the growth of New York's manufactures since the census of 1860:—
|Value of products.||$472,926,437||$332,951,520||$159,107,369|
In number of establishments the boot and shoe industry leads in 1880, the number in this case being 839. Then, in order, come—bakery products, 782; cigars, 761; men's clothing, 736; carpentering, 460; printing and publishing, 412; plumbing and gasfitting, 401; furniture, 299; painting and paper-hanging, 293; foundry products, 287; jewellery, 240; machinery, 240; women's clothing, 230; blacksmithing, 205. The whole number of industries enumerated in the census table is 164. In the value of products, men's clothing leads, the total being $60,798,697. Next in order come meat packing, $29,297,527; printing and publishing, $21,696,354; malt liquors, $19,137,882; women's clothing, $18,930,553; cigars, $18,347,108; lard (refined), $14,758,718; foundry products, $14,710,836; sugar and molasses (refined), $11,330,883. Then come furniture, bakery products, machinery, silk and silk goods, boots and shoes, carpentering, musical instruments (pianos and materials), grease and tallow, flouring and grist-mill products, coffees and spices (roast and ground), marble and stone work, shirts, iron castings, oleomargarine, millinery and lace goods, jewellery, all with annual production ranging from $10,000,000 to $5,000,000.
Docks.—Until 1870 the docks of the city were not confided to the care of a special department of the city government, and there was no adequate attempt made to put them in practical and durable shape, and to extend the wharf line. In that year a separate dock department was authorized by the legislature, and it is continued under the present charter. It is in charge of three commissioners, nominated by the mayor and confirmed by the aldermen. They hold office for six years, and receive an annual salary of $3000 each. The bulkhead line of the city from the Battery to Sixty-First Street on the Hudson River, according to the new plan, measures 25,743 feet, and from the Battery to Fifty-First Street on the East River 27,995 feet. At the Battery a stone pier was completed several years ago. This is the only stone pier on the water front. The system which the department is trying to carry out proposes the construction of a new bulkhead wall, first along the Hudson River front, and eventually along the East River, and the widening of the street along the Hudson River to a width of 250 feet, and of that along the East River to a width of 150 feet in the lower part and of 100 feet in the upper part. A beginning of this work has been made along the Hudson River, but it makes slow progress, partly because the title to the water front in many places is disputed by private individuals, and this results in much tedious litigation. It is the intention to give 20 to 25 feet of water at every point along the new bulkhead. This bulkhead is now completed at detached points on the Hudson River, as from West Tenth Street to Canal Street, and from Jay Street to Warren Street, and the work is going on at other points. The allotment of wharfs and places in the harbour to vessels is not done by the dock or any other city department, but by the captain of the port and eleven harbour masters, all of whom are nominated by the governor of the State and confirmed by the State senate. The captain of the port holds office for three years, and the harbour masters for two years.
Ferries.—As New York is on all sides surrounded by water, ferry-boats form the principal means of communication between it and the opposite shores. The water-courses of its northern boundary—Harlem River and Spuyten Duyvel Creek—are narrow enough to be bridged; but, until the opening of the Brooklyn Bridge, steam ferry-boats supplied the only means of communication with New Jersey and Long and Staten Islands. These boats are arranged with cabins for passengers on both sides, and a roadway for horses, waggons, cattle, &c., in the middle. They are worked by the railroad companies and other private corporations. The principal ferries to New Jersey, running from the Hudson River side, have their piers at the foot of the following streets:—Liberty, Cortlandt, Barclay, Chambers, Desbrosses, Christopher, Twenty-Third, and Forty-Second. The principal ferries to Brooklyn, running from the East River side, have their piers at the foot of the following streets:—Whitehall (2), Wall, Fulton, Catharine, Roosevelt, Grand, and Houston. There are also two ferry lines to Staten Island, four to Long Island City, one to Astoria, L.I., one to Blackwell's Island, two to Greenpoint, L.I., and one to Governor's Island. The Brooklyn ferry-boats leave their piers every ten minutes (and those from Fulton Street every five minutes) during the business hours, lessening their trips afterwards to one every fifteen or twenty minutes. On the New Jersey side they run at intervals of from ten to thirty minutes. During certain of the busiest hours of the morning and evening the fare for each foot passenger on the leading Brooklyn ferries is 1 cent; during the rest of the day it is 2 cents. On the New Jersey ferries it is uniformly 3 cents.
Conveyances.—The rapid growth of the city in a long line to the northward has naturally led to great difficulties of transportation. The old omnibuses began to be supplemented in 1834 on all the leading longitudinal lines of thoroughfare by tramway cars drawn by two horses, but, though running in the most frequented routes at intervals of a minute, they became long ago unequal to the demands on them. As the dwelling houses became farther and farther separated from the business part of the city, the discomfort and delay of this mode of travel, especially in winter weather, grew very serious, and caused a considerable migration to Jersey City and Brooklyn of persons who would have remained on Manhattan Island but for the difficulty of getting to and fro. After a long period of clamorous discontent, the remedy was applied in 1878 by the construction of what is known as the Elevated Railroad, worked by steam locomotives on raised iron trestle work in four of the avenues, the Ninth, Sixth, Third, and Second, and running from the Battery to the Harlem River every three to four minutes, 10 cents being the ordinary fare for the entire distance of 10 miles, but with “commission” trains at 5 cents between certain hours of the morning and evening, for the accommodation of the working classes, the fare in these having been fixed by the State commission which settled the conditions of the charters. The result has been a very rapid increase of population in the upper end of the island.
Public Works.—There are but few public buildings of much architectural pretension. The principal are the city-hall, the general post-office, the custom-house, the barge office at the Battery for the accommodation of passengers landing from steam-ships, the new produce exchange, and the Roman Catholic cathedral in Fifth Avenue. The two great public works of the city are the Croton aqueduct and the suspension bridge, spanning the East River, connecting New York with Brooklyn. The former, which carries the water supply of the city over 40 miles from the Croton Lake in Westchester county, has a capacity of 115,000,000 gallons daily, and is now delivering 90,000,000 gallons daily. It has for forty years supplied the inhabitants with water with a profusion never seen elsewhere in the modern world, and with little or no restriction on its use. Of late the supply has begun to be inadequate, and provision has (1883) been made by the legislature for the construction of an additional reservoir and aqueduct.
The Brooklyn Bridge connecting New York with Brooklyn across the East River is much the largest suspension bridge yet constructed, measuring 5989 feet in length, while that at Kieff, the next largest, only measures 2562. The work on it began in 1870, and it was opened for traffic on May 24, 1883. The bridge consists of a central span 1595½ feet in length from tower to tower, two spans of 930 feet each from the towers to the anchorage on either side, and the approaches of ironwork and masonry, the one on the New York side being 15622⁄3 feet, and that on the Brooklyn side 971 feet in length. The towers, between which the central span extends, are 2762⁄3 feet above high water, and rest upon a rock foundation 80 feet below the surface of the river and 40 feet below its bed. The cables, four in number, supporting the spans, are 15¾ inches in diameter, and 3757½ feet in length. They rest on movable “saddles” where they pass over the towers, exerting here a vertical pressure only, the stress (or lengthwise pull) being sustained wholly at the anchorages, masses of solid stone masonry weighing 60,000 tons each, and rising 90 feet above the river's edge. Each cable contains 5282 galvanized steel wires in nineteen separate strands, consisting of 278 lengths, each strand having over 200 miles of continuous wire. The wires are laid parallel (not twisted), and packed as closely as possible, the greatest care being necessary to secure perfect evenness of length, and are covered with an outside spiral wrapping of wire. The deflexion of the cables between the towers is 128 feet; the clear height of the bridge above high water is 135 feet in the centre and 118 feet at the towers, giving a free passage to shipping. The width of the bridge is 85 feet, divided between five passage ways. In the centre is a footway 15½ feet wide and raised 12 feet above the other passages, giving an open view on both sides; next this on each side are tracks for cars, worked by cables from a stationary engine at the Brooklyn terminus; and outside of these are waggon ways 19 feet wide. The entire cost of the bridge, $15,500,000, was borne by the cities of New York and Brooklyn, the latter paying two-thirds.
Hudson River Tunnel.—The width of the Hudson River along the city's front is so great that no engineer has yet proposed to bridge it there; but an engineering feat almost as difficult is now in progress. This is the excavation of a tunnel beneath the bed of the river large enough to permit the running of steam trains in it. The work is in the hands of private capitalists. The entrance of the tunnel in New York is at the foot of Morton Street; in Jersey City it is at the foot of Fifteenth Street, near the Hoboken line. Work was begun at the New Jersey entrance in 1874, and at New York entrance several years later. There are in fact to be two tunnels, about 25 feet apart, with connexions every 1000 feet. This mode of construction is easier than to make one tunnel of double width. The river from bulkhead to bulkhead at this point measures 5400 feet in width, and each entrance is about 60 feet back from the bulkhead. The tunnels will measure, inside, 17 feet
in width and 17 feet in height. From Jersey City one tunnel had been, in August 1882, completed a distance of 1600 feet, and the other a distance of 640 feet; from New York 170 feet of one tunnel only is completed. Unfinished work has been pushed a considerable distance farther on each side. The material through which the tunnel is cut has made its construction very difficult—on the New Jersey side silt, and on the New York side a light sandy soil, through both of which the overlying water percolates freely, and it was necessary to keep this water out of the excavated sections as the work proceeded. The plan adopted consisted of the sinking, at each mouth, of a heavy caisson of timber to the required depth. In the river side of this, when it was completed, a hole was cut corresponding with the mouth of the tunnel. The caisson was air-tight, and into it the air was pumped until it reached a density sufficient to prevent the entrance of the water. As soon as a short section is excavated it is lined with iron plates firmly braced. The interior of the tunnel will therefore consist of an outer lining of iron, and an inner lining of bricks laid in mortar. Whenever one section is completed an iron bulkhead is moved to its further end, and a new air-tight chamber is formed beyond the bulkhead. The company has met with financial embarrassments, and the work has meanwhile been suspended.
Parks, Museums, and Galleries.—The city is well supplied with parks and public gardens. There are in all thirty of these, including small open squares. The principal are the Battery, at the southernmost point of Manhattan Island, containing 21 acres; the City-Hall Park, containing 6; Washington Square, 8; Union Square, 3½; Tompkins Square, 10½; Madison Square, 6½; Reservoir Square, 4¾; Mount Morris Square, 20. The chief is, however, the Central Park, lying nearly in the centre of the island, and containing 843 acres; it is 2½ miles long by half a mile wide. It was laid out in 1858, and is considered a masterpiece of landscape gardening. It contains the building of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, immediately in front of which stands the obelisk brought in 1880 from Alexandria. Outside the Central Park, but within Manhattan Square, a small addition recently made to it on the west side, stands also the American Museum of Natural History, which, like the Museum of Art, is the property of a private corporation.
The National Academy of Design, situated at Fourth Avenue and Twenty-Third Street, has a frontage of 80 feet and a depth of 98 feet 9 inches. The exterior is Venetian; the material used is grey and white marble and blue stone. The first and second stories contain offices, lecture-rooms, and rooms for art schools. On the third are large exhibition rooms, lighted from above. Every year one exhibition of oil paintings and one of water colours are given, and in later years supplementary exhibitions have been added. The art schools are free, and are open to both sexes.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art was chartered by the legislature in 1870. It is managed by a board of officers, comprising the comptroller of the city, the president of the department of public parks, the president of the National Academy of Design, and certain
private citizens who are members of its corporation. The museum building, opened in 1880, was erected by the park department, at a cost of about $500,000, and is situated in the Central Park, near Fifth Avenue and Eighty-Third Street. It measures 218 by 95 feet. The material is red brick with sandstone trimmiugs. Among its valuable possessions are the Blodgett collection of pictures, the Cesnola collection of articles taken from the Cypriote cities and tombs, two paintings by Rubens, two by Van Dyck, and many other works of eminent masters. The museum is open to the public free, on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. On the other days an admission fee of 25 cents is charged.
The American Museum of Natural History was incorporated by the legislature in 1869, and its present building was opened in 1877. It is situated in Manhattan Square. The exterior is of red brick with yellow sandstone trimmings. It is four stories high, and each of its halls measures 170 feet in length by 60 in width. It is governed by a board of twenty-five trustees. The building was erected by the park department, which has charge of it and the surrounding grounds. It is open free. Among its possessions are the Veneaux collection of natural history specimens, the museum of Prince Maximilian of Neuwied, the Elliot collection of the birds of North America, the Jay collection of shells, the James Hall collection of geological specimens of New York State, the Bement specimens of the Stone Age of Denmark, the De Morgan collection of stone implements from the valley of the Somme in France, and the Squire and Davis collection from the Mississippi valley.
The Cooper Institute, or “Union for the Advancement of Science and Art,” occupies a huge brown stone building at the junction of Third and Fourth Avenues, the gift of Peter Cooper, who erected it in, 1857 at a cost of over $600,000, and further endowed the union with $200,000 for the support of a library, reading-room, and schools of science and art, all of which are free, and are largely attended by young men and young women of the working classes. Its evening schools are attended by over 3000 students annually, and in the women's art school instruction is given gratuitously to 350 pupils yearly. The library contains 15,000 volumes, a notable feature being a complete and fully indexed set of the reports of the United States patent office. The reading-room is supplied with about 300 periodicals and newspapers, and is frequented daily by over 2500 readers. No one instrumentality is doing more than the Cooper Union for the instruction of the working classes in the city.
The principal works relating to New York are—Thomas Jones, History of New York during the Revolutionary War, 1879; Mrs Lamb, History of the City of New York, 1877; Stone, History of the City of New York, 1872; Perge, History of the City of New York, 1859; Mary L. Booth, History of the City of New York, 1880; Valentine, History of the City of New York, 1853; The City Charter, with Chancellor Kent's notes, 1836; Bourne, History of the Public School Society, 1870; Newberry, The Geological History of New York Island and Harbour, 1878; Disturnell, New York as it was and as it is, 1876; C. L. Brace, The Dangerous Classes of New York, 3d ed., 1880; The Laws of New York (consolidated), 1882; Boese, Public Education in the City of New York, 1869; Cammann and Camp, The Charities of New York, 1868; Friedrich Kapp, Immigration and the Commissioners of Emigration of the State of New York, 1870. (E. L. G.)
- New York is 3° E. of Washington. In time it is 12m before Washington, 55m before Chicago, 3h 14m before San Francisco, and 4h 56m after Greenwich.
- When the present street plan was adopted, no arrangement was made for back entrances to the houses as in Boston and Philadelphia, and the consequence is that all ashes and refuse have to be removed by a front door, and are placed in barrels on the sidewalk in the morning to await the arrival of the municipal scavenger carts, which is very uncertain as to time. The streets, consequently, are defaced for half the day by these unsightly accumulations. In the better quarters the inhabitants avoid this by having their refuse removed at their own cost by dustmen who enter the houses for it. They have the streets in front of the houses swept in the same way to make up for the defects of the municipal street cleaning. When we pass out of this favoured region we find the garbage and ashes heaped in front of the doors, and the streets impeded by carts and waggons which their owners, in disregard of the municipal ordinances, are allowed to keep standing out of doors, thus saving themselves the expense of coach-houses. Consequently, all that portion of New York which does not lie within a quarter of a mile of Broadway or Fifth Avenue presents a spectacle of dirt and disorder and bad pavement for which it would be difficult to find a parallel in other great capitals. The fine and well-kept part of the city nowhere touches on the rivers or approaches them, but runs in a long central line north and south, and the river banks are lined by wooden wharves. Some part of this neglect to beautify the city is due to the rapidity of its growth, some to defects in the plan on which it is laid out, but more to the badness of the municipal government.
- The following are the numbers given in the different United States census returns:—in 1790, 33,131; in 1800, 60,515; in 1810, 96,373; in 1820, 123,706; in 1830, 202,589; in 1840, 312,710; in 1850, 515,547; in 1860, 813,669; in 1870, 942,292; in 1880, 1,206,299
- The legal title of the corporation is now the “ Mayor, Aldermen, and Commonalty of the City of New York,” and the legislative branch consists of a board of twenty-four aldermen, who constitute the common council, and are elected by a majority vote, one from each electoral district, within the city limits, which sends a member to the State assembly.