Popular Science Monthly/Volume 75/October 1909/The Hudson-Fulton Celebration of 1909
|THE HUDSON-FULTON CELEBRATION OF 1909|
By Dr. GEORGE FREDERICK KUNZ
NEW YORK CITY
SINCE the London Exhibition of 1851, and the first Paris Exposition of 1855, there have been probably one hundred expositions in various parts of the world. Generally they have been held in commemoration of some historic event or anniversary, and each one, large or small, has usually had some special distinctive feature. The great exposition at Chicago had its White City and its illuminations; the Buffalo Exposition had its architecture, its illuminations and the added advantage of its striking environment, and the various French expositions have each possessed peculiar points to mark their individuality. All of them have been held for six months or more, but in a great many cases from one third to one half of that time elapsed before all the departments were completed and opened to the public. In this way public interest was checked at the beginning, and when the exposition was finally completed, a good part of the allotted time had passed, and the enthusiasm always excited by these affairs had begun to flag.
New York in itself is not only the greatest exposition, perhaps, in the world, because of its geographic features and its wonderful resources, but its various lines of transit—surface cars, elevated railways and subways—facilitate the handling of great crowds. In addition to this New York lies between two rivers, and is as easily reached by boat as by rail, to say nothing of the attractive physical advantages this location gives it.The writer, in an article published in the North American Review for September, 1902, and entitled "The Management and Uses of Expositions," strongly urged the holding of an exposition to mark the tercentenary of Henry Hudson's arrival at the mouth of the river which bears his name. The forecast of the present advantages of our city
given in this article has been almost literally fulfilled, and the writer realizes more than ever that he was correct in saying that the museums and institutions of our city would "furnish a greater display to the visitor than any exposition yet held on the continent."
New York, with its great variety of public buildings, its miles of waterways, its dozens of museums, its many civic buildings, its great system of parks, stands alone as a prominent and fitting exposition ground. Why erect a city of staff, wood and other inflammable material to hold costly objects? Whoever contributed his much-prized works of art to such shelter, awaited, with fear and trembling, their safe return, and few of the finest things were ever loaned except in Paris, where they were shown in permanent structures such as the artistic Nouveau Salon, and its dainty neighbor, the Petit Salon, to the right of which is the magnificent Pont Alexandre II.Although not so named, this Hudson-Fulton Celebration really presents the features of a great exposition, for when all the resources
Hudson-Fulton Celebration Commission.
Last Days of Henry Hudson, by Sir John Collier. Original in Tate Gallery. London.
On his last voyage (in the Adriatic) Hudson was set adrift in a small boat
by his mutinous crew and nothing was later heard of him.
Hudson-Fulton Celebration Commission.
yet, where the great expositions of the past have cost from $10,000,000 to $20,000,000 or more for their organization, all the treasures and beauties of New York can he displayed at an expense of only $1,000,000. A single building, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, with the objects it will hold, would not he over-valued at from $30,000,000 to $40,000,000. At an exposition the public is called upon to pay fifty cents admission each time to enter the gates and an additional fee for each special exhibition. The great New York celebration will be free for all, even for those who have no car fare to enable them to ride. The demonstrations are in the heart of the city itself. They do not take place in some suburb, or barren, out-of-the-way spot. They are not encompassed within a temporary city built like that at Coney Island, or held away out in the Bronx, on the Palisades or at Staten Island; neither is the celebration instituted or furthered to boom any special piece of real estate, or to sustain the selling of a quantity of traction stock or railroad stock that might be affected by an unusual traffic for the time being.
The celebration is designed to cover a very wide field, and the aim of the commission has not been confined to honoring the explorer of the Hudson River and the man who made steam navigation a permanent success; in addition to this the occasion has been utilized to illustrate and emphasize the development and greatness of New York City, the metropolis of the western hemisphere. Those who can understand the true significance of this celebration, and who are able to forecast the future, will see the vision of a still greater and more magnificent city, worthy of being called a world metropolis.
Although the naval parade owes its greatness to the presence of the American and international war fleet, and to the immense aggregation of vessels of all kinds and denominations assembled for the occasion, the place of honor is fittingly assigned to the replicas of the two small vessels which helped to make the names of Hudson and Fulton famous. The reproduction of the Half Moon, generously offered by the government of the Netherlands, is a craft of but 80 tons burden and is only 741⁄2 feet long and 17 feet wide. The Half Moon will be under the command of Commander Lam, who will be costumed to impersonate Henry Hudson; the crew will also wear the dress of sailors of Hudson's time. A comparison with the Celtic shows in a striking manner the wonderful progress in naval construction, the giant liner being 700 feet long and 75 feet wide, while its tonnage is 20,904. The historic Clermont, which, in 1807, made its memorable trip up the Hudson, thus inaugurating steam navigation on the river, has been carefully reproduced. This craft, while larger than the Half Moon, is still small and insignificant in comparison with the magnificent steamers of to-day. It is only 150 feet long and 18 feet wide.
The reproductions of the Half Moon and the Clermont constitute the central point, the very focus, of the celebration, and this has been fully recognized by the commission. Hence the opening day, Saturday, September 25, will be devoted to a grand naval parade, perhaps the greatest naval pageant ever seen. The eighty warships, American and foreign, form the most imposing array of naval forces assembled at any time in the new world, and we may safely say that, with one or two possible exceptions, no fleet of equal might and numbers was ever brought together.
The United States will be represented by 16 battleships, 12 torpedo-boats, 4 submarines, 2 supply ships, 1 repair ship, 1 torpedo vessel, 1 tug and 7 colliers: 53 vessels in all, the battleships constituting the most powerful fleet ever assembled except on a few occasions in the English Channel. Rear-Admiral Sea ton Schroeder, U.S.N., is in command.
From the Netherlands comes the cruiser Utrecht, commanded by Captain G. P. van Hecking Colenbrander, R.N.N., and the replica of the Half Moon. Germany sends the cruisers Dresden, Hertha, Viktoria Luisa and Bremen, under the command of Grand Admiral H. L. R. von Köster, retired, of the Imperial Navy. The English squadron will consist
of the cruisers Inflexible, Drake, Argyll and Duke of Edinburgh, commanded by Admiral Sir Edward Seymour, of the Royal Navy. France will be represented by two battleships, the Liberté and the Justice, under the command of Vice Admiral Le Pord. From Italy come the cruiser Etruria and the schoolship Etna, on board of which will be the cadets of the Royal Naval Academy—the future officers of the Italian navy.
Latin America will also participate in the parade, Mexico being represented by the gun-boat Bravo, commanded by Captain Manuel E. Izaguirre; Cuba, by the revenue-cutter Hatuey; the Argentine Republic, by the warship Presidente Sarmiento, and Guatemala, by a coastpatrol boat.An immense fleet of seagoing and coastwise merchant vessels, steamboats, ferryboats, steam yachts, motor boats, tugs and steam lighters, sailing crafts, police boats, wrecking boats, fire boats, hospital boats, naval-militia vessels, steam cutters and launches, United States revenuecutters and other craft, including the Clermont and Half Moon, will assemble in ten squadrons in the Harbor, in the vicinity of the Brooklyn p. m. the parade will begin, the warships in the lead. The whole array of vessels, at least seven miles in length, will advance, slowly and majestically, up
The Half Moon. An exact photograph of the replica of the Half Moon, in which
Hudson sailed under the auspices of the Dutch East India Company, built
by patriotic citizens of Holland and to be presented to the Commission.
Hudson-Fulton Celebration Commission.
the Hudson River. When the head of the column reaches Forty-second Street, the two leading warships will swing out of line and cast anchor opposite each other; a little further on the second pair will then perform the same evolutions, to be succeeded in turn by all the other warships, the line finally extending from Forty-second Street to 175th Street. The civic fleet will continue on its way, passing to the left of the warships until the head of the line is reached, when the vessels will cross over and move down the river between the warships and the Manhattan shore, to 110th Street.
In the meanwhile the replicas of the Half Moon and the Clermont, accompanied by their more immediate escort, will pass up between the lines of warships to 110th Street and will be greeted by a salute in passing. Arriving at 110th Street, the formal presentation of the two vessels will be made, the exercises taking place on a landing stage constructed at that point.
The parade of the civic fleet will be repeated in the evening, starting at 7:30 p. m., and will make a very brilliant spectacle, for the moving vessels as well as the warships will be illuminated with electric lamps, which will outline their form with a tracery of fire.
On Wednesday, September 29, about 9:30 a. m., the Half Moon and the Clermont will leave their anchorages at 110th Street and will proceed up the river, stopping for a time at Yonkers, Tarrytown, Ossining, Peekskill and Cornwall. On Friday, October 1, these vessels will arrive at Newburgh, where they will meet the Upper and Lower Hudson fleets. The latter fleet will leave New York on the morning of October 1, and will consist of the submarine Costine (the first submarine), twelve torpedo boats and a large number of other ships, divided into six squadrons.
There can be no question that the naval parade with which the Hudson-Fulton Celebration begins, represents the central idea of the whole festival. The spectators, in gazing upon the immense fleet of modern vessels, may find it difficult to realize that the tiny ships, the Half Moon and the Clermont, so faithfully reproduced for this occasion, occupy a more important place in the world's history than will all the gigantic vessels that are assembled to honor the two remarkable men who accomplished so much with such scant resources.
This lesson is especially important in our time, for the tendency of our day is to lay undue stress upon mere magnitude, and to believe that larger ships, larger buildings and larger cities necessarily mark a real progress in civilization. No sane person will deny the fact that the conditions of life have changed and are changing for the better—slowly, it is true—but there can be as little question that the rate of progress would be greatly accelerated if the essentials of civilization
were more regarded than the development of mere material greatness.
The first of the land parades, the great historical pageant, will take place on Tuesday, September 28, and will consist of 54 cars, or "floats," bearing groups of figures and accessories illustrating scenes from the history of the city or state of New York. These floats will be accompanied by marching bodies from various civic societies, American and foreign. The one which will head the procession has been named "The New York Title Car" and will bear a seated figure of the Goddess
of Liberty; two owls, the birds of Minerva, are perched upon the high back of the chair on which the goddess sits, signifying that wisdom has guided her in her progress. The contrast between the primitive conditions of Henry Hudson's time and those of the present day is strikingly presented by the model of an Indian canoe alongside of that of an ocean liner, and by representations, in due proportions, of a "skyscraper" and of an Indian wigwam.The parade will be divided into four divisions, devoted, respectively, to the Indian, the Dutch, the Colonial and the Revolutionary periods, each division being preceded by a car bearing a group which epitomizes
the leading characteristics of the period. The last car typifies the hospitality of our city, a gigantic figure of Old Father Knickerbocker standing upon it with hands outstretched and extending a hearty welcome to all the nations of the earth. In order to add to the verisimilitude of the different groups, Iroquois Indians have been secured to man the Indian floats; members of the various Holland societies to represent
Comparative Picture, "Celtic" and "Half Moon." Celtic (1909)—length 700 feet, beam 75 feet, depth 49 feet, displacement 37,870 tons, tonnage 20,904 tons, horsepower 13,000. Half Moon (1609)—length 74.54 feet, beam 16.94 feet, depth 10.08 feet, tonnage 80 tons. The Celtic crosses the Atlantic in a little less than eight days. The Half Moon crossed the Atlantic in fifty-nine days.
Copyrighted, 1909, by Hudson-Fulton Celebration Commission.
the characters on the Dutch floats, and descendants of the old Colonial families, members of the Society of Colonial Wars, Sons of the Revolution, etc., to perform the same service on the Colonial floats. The float showing the capture of Major André will be manned by descendants of John Paulding, one of André's captors.
The parade will begin at 110th Street and Central Park West and will proceed down Central Park West to 59th Street, through that street to Fifth Avenue, and down Fifth Avenue to Washington Square.
This parade will be repeated in Brooklyn on Friday, October 1, proceeding from the Memorial Arch at the entrance to Prospect Park by way of the Eastern Parkway to Buffalo Avenue. Richmond Borough will also have its historical parade, on a smaller scale, it is true. This will take place on Monday, September 27, and will traverse the Amboy Road, between New Dorp and Oakwood. The ceremonies on the site of the first church on Staten Island, founded by the Waldensians, will commemorate the first permanent settlement on the island.
The military parade will take place on Thursday, passing over the route followed by the historical pageant. It will be composed of the Federal Troops of the Department of the East, the National Guard of the State of New York within the limits of New York city, the United States Navy and Marine Corps, the Naval Reserve, the veteran organizations, and marines and sailors from foreign warships. It is estimated that 25,000 men will be in line.
The carnival parade on Saturday evening, October 2, will traverse the route followed by the historical parade and the military parade. This will unquestionably be one of the most interesting and probably the most brilliant feature of the celebration. It will be under the care of the German societies of New York, and the Germans have always displayed a remarkable aptitude for organizing and designing pageants of this kind. The fifty cars composing the parade will be artistically illuminated, and many thousands of torch-bearers will precede and follow the emblematic groups. These will represent music, art and literature, and the wide field of German legend, song and history will furnish most of the themes. The streets along the route of the parade will be made as light as day by festoons of electric lamps. This pageant will be repeated in Brooklyn on the evening of Saturday, October 9, and will pass along the Eastern Parkway.The general illumination of the city every night during the festival period will offer the most brilliant spectacle ever seen in this country. All the municipal buildings, as well as thousands of private buildings, will be lighted up by tens of thousands of electric lights. The four bridges spanning the East River will be radiant with rows of lights, 14,000 being placed on the Queensboro Bridge, 13,000 on the Brooklyn Bridge, 11,000 on the Williamsburg Bridge and the same number on
the Manhattan Bridge. As seen from any point on the East River, these bridges will be outlined against the dark background of the night, so as as to appear like structures of flame, evoked by a magician's hand. On the other side of the island, both shores of the Hudson River from Forty-second Street to Spuyten Puyvil will be ablaze with light. At 110th Street there will be a battery of twelve searchlights, aggregating 1,700,000 candle power; these lights will be directed up, down and across the river, illuminating an immense radius. Another battery of searchlights, four in number and aggregating 400,000 candle power, will cast its rays upon Grant's Tomb, which will be thrown into striking relief by the dazzling light.
The historical parade and all the other pageants of the week will arouse in the minds of the beholders a more lively understanding of the history and development of our city, and, while delighting the eye, will convey an important lesson in the very best and most effective way—that is, unconsciously. A population like ours is greatly in need of some powerful stimulation of this kind to weld together all its heterogeneous elements. But let it not be supposed that this is the only end to be attained; such brilliant spectacles are a good in themselves and none will appreciate this more thoroughly than those whose life is merely a sad and monotonous struggle for their daily bread. On this occasion the poorest and the richest will share equally in the enjoyment of the various splendid and artistic spectacles.
Of the special exhibitions which have been organized by the Art and Historical Exhibits Committee, the most important is the magnificent collection of masterpieces by Dutch painters which will be seen in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, at Fifth Avenue and Eighty-second Street. Never before have so many splendid examples of Dutch art been gathered together in the United States; indeed, the exhibition as a whole has never been rivaled even in Europe. Here may be seen no less than thirty-five Rembrandts, a larger number than exist in any permanent collection, except that of the Hermitage in St. Petersburg. Then there are nineteen portraits by Franz Hals, who is only inferior to Rembrandt among the Dutch portraitists, and five specimens of the work of Vermeer van Delft, whose pictures are extremely rare, there being only thirty authentic examples extant. Besides the works of these artists there are fine and characteristic pictures by Jacob and Salomon Ruysdael, Cuyp, Hobbema, Metsu, Van Ostade and many others who were contemporaries of Henry Hudson. These works come from the finest private collections in the United States and many years will pass before an equally favorable opportunity will be afforded for the study of Dutch pictorial art.
The special exhibition also embraces a large and valuable collection of furniture, silver, pewter, porcelain and glass, produced in this country between 1625 and 1815, the year of Fulton's death; and there is also a fine collection of paintings by American artists born before 1800, including pictures by Woolaston, Copley, West, Allston, Peale, Stuart, Trumbull, Fulton, Doughty, etc.We have all read of the Indians who were settled on Manhattan Island before the arrival of Henry Hudson, but few realize how many relics of these aborigines have been found here, especially at the upper end of the island. A large and valuable collection of these relics may be seen in the American Museum of Natural History, at Central Park West and Seventy-seventh Street, and a classic monograph, written by Dr. Clark Wissler, can be obtained at the same place, and will enable the visitor to understand the significance of the various relics. The
manners and customs of the Indians of Long Island are represented by an important exhibit in the Brooklyn Institute. Independent of any museum, and of ethnological interest, will be the 125 Indians, men, women and children, from New York reservations, who will participate in the landing of the Half Moon, and in several of the parades.The early history of New York and the beginnings of steam navigation will be illustrated by an exhibition of views, paintings, manuscripts, books, etc., shown in the Lenox branch of the New York Public Library, detailed information in regard to the exhibits being offered in a special catalogue. The New York Historical Society, in its new building, on Central Park West, corner of Seventy-seventh Street, just below the American Museum of Natural History, exhibits many interesting pictures and relics relating to Robert Fulton. At the National Arts Club, No. 15 Gramercy Park, the special collection is entitled "Three Hundred Years of New York," and the visitor will see a large number of pictures and other objects illustrating the development of the city and its rapid and marvelous growth. A collection of oil paintings and old manuscripts concerning the early history of New York is exhibited by the Genealogical and Biographical
Society, No. 226 West Fifty-seventh Street, and rare manuscripts and books on the same subject may be seen at the College of the City of New York, St. Nicholas Avenue and 138th Street.
As is the case with all great inventions, steam navigation was not the work of one man alone, although Robert Fulton was the first to apply it consequently and permanently. Epoch-making inventions have usually been the work of a group of men pursuing the same end, often independently of each other, but the credit and glory of success is reserved for that one of them who possesses the energy and persistence requisite for ultimate triumph. Before Fulton built the Clermont, John Fitch had constructed a boat operated and propelled by steam, and John Stevens had already sailed a steamboat, his Phœnix being undoubtedly the first steamboat to sail on the ocean; but Fulton applied the ideas of Fitch and improved upon them to such an extent that he is rightly regarded as the parent of steam navigation. Aided by the advice of Chancellor Livingston, he secured a sort of monopoly in steamship building and his name will always be remembered among those of the great benefactors of humanity.
The portrait of Fulton by Benjamin West is justly regarded as one General Stewart L. Woodford. President of the Hudson-Fulton Celebration Commission. of the best works of our American painter, who became president of the Royal Academy in London. Fulton himself was an artist of considerable ability, and pursued his art studies in London under West's direction. Among his works is a most interesting portrait of himself, which can be seen in the Brooklyn Institute. Although this does not equal West's portrait in artistic merit, like other attempts of artists to portray their own features it gives Hermann Ridder, Vice-president of the Hudson-Fulton Celebration Commission. us something not to be found in other portraits, namely, the idea, or perhaps we should rather say the ideal, the artist has formed of himself. Henry W. Sackett, Secretary of the Hudson-Fulton Celebration Commission. One of the most interesting of the printed documents referring to the Revolution is an old "Broadside" printed in New York, March 25, 1783. We are here given a vivid idea of the time required for the transmission of news in that day, for this sheet tells us that the first news of the signing of the preliminaries to the treaty of peace at Paris on January 20, 1783, reached Philadelphia, by way of Cadiz, Spain, on the twenty-seventh of March.
The flora of Manhattan Island and its vicinity, in the time of Henry Hudson, is shown in the New York Botanical Garden, where these specimens are indicated by the letter "H," and in the parks of Brooklyn and Queens boroughs, a special sign in this case indicating the trees and shrubs which grew here in 1609. It is difficult for those who see this city of stone, brick and concrete to imagine its appearance in Henry Hudson's time, when stretches of meadow land alternated with groves or small forests of trees, over the greater part of the territory, while the upper part of Manhattan Island was traversed with rocky ridges rising in some cases to a considerable height above tide-water. Except in the outlying portions of the city, all these irregularities have been effaced, but the large parks, especially Morningside Park and a portion of Central Park above 100th Street, still show much of the primitive conditions.
Such a transformation makes the old pictures of Manhattan Island seem unreal, nevertheless it should be a consolation for the present landowners to know that the land was duly and legally acquired by the first Dutch settlers, and although Peter Minuit may have made a good bargain, the title is clear and without stain.
Those who wish to form some idea of the fauna of this region at the time of Hudson's arrival should visit the New York Zoological Garden, where the specimens in question are marked by the flag of the Hudson-Fulton Celebration. In the New York Aquarium appropriate signs have also been placed on the tanks containing fish indigenous to the Hudson River and the waters surrounding New York.
For many special exhibitions catalogues have been prepared at considerable expense. The price at which they are sold scarcely covers the cost of printing them from the plates. A first edition of 5,000 to 10,000 copies has been printed, but when this supply is exhausted new editions of, say, 2,000 copies will be issued from time to time as occasion requires.
One of the leading features of the celebration will be a grand banquet of 2,000 persons in the magnificent new dining-hall of the Hotel Astor. This will be the greatest fine banquet ever given in this country, and the use of the hall has been held back to have this the initial banquet. It is true that in point of size it can not be compared with the dinner given to 22,000 maires of the French communes, at the opening of the Paris Exposition in 1889. Some idea of the gigantic proportions of this function may be given by the fact that the plates used in serving the dinner, if placed on top of each other, would have made a pile two miles in height. However, this was merely a dinner, while the function in the Hotel Astor is a grand banquet faultless in every detail.In Brooklyn the social side of the celebration will find expression in
a ball to be given at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Invitations have been extended to the officers of the American and International fleets, the diplomatic representatives of foreign nations, and many other distinguished guests, and the ball will undoubtedly be a brilliant and imposing affair.
Lovers of good music will have ample opportunity to gratify their tastes. On Sunday evening, September 26, the masterpieces of Irish music and song will be rendered in Carnegie Hall by Irish citizens of New York, many of the songs being given in both English and Gaelic. In the Hippodrome, on the same evening, there will be a concert by the United German Singers of the Northeast District of New York.
On Monday evening, September 27, the Hudson-Fulton official ceremonies will open with a reception to the distinguished visiting guests at the Metropolitan Opera House, when all the distinguished foreign guests will present their addresses, after an official welcome by the Hudson-Fulton Celebration Commission, Gen. Stewart L. Woodford, Charles E. Hughes, Governor of the state of New York, Mayor George B. McClellan, and Mrs. Julia Ward Howe, over ninety years old, author of the "Battle Hymn of the Republic," will recite a poem.
On Tuesday evening, September 28, there will be a musical festival by the German Liederkranz in the Metropolitan Opera House, and on Thursday evening, September 30, a concert will be given by the New York Festival Chorus in Carnegie Hall. Lastly, there will be a sacred concert at Carnegie Hall by the People's Choral Union, under the leadership of Walter Damrosch, on Sunday, the third of October.
Educational exercises, dealing with subjects appropriate to the celebration, and designed to be participated in by universities, colleges, schools, museums and learned and patriotic societies throughout the state, will be held on Wednesday, September 29. In New York City, the following lectures will be delivered in various rooms of the New York University: "Literature of the First Two Centuries of New York City," by Professor Francis H. Stoddard; "Conditions Determining the Greatness of New York City as a Commercial and Financial Center," by Professor Joseph F. Johnson; "The Political History of New Netherlands" by Professor Marshall S. Brown; "History of Education in New York," by Professor Herman H. Home; "Fulton and Other Promoters of Steam Navigation," by Professor Daniel W. Hering; "History of Steam Navigation," by Professor Charles E. Houghton; "A Comparison of the Steam Engine Before 1809 with Fulton's Steam Engine," by Professor Collins P. Bliss; "The Physiographic Development of the Hudson River Valley," by Professor Joseph E. Woodman. There will also be exercises in connection with the university's schools in Washington Square. In Brooklyn Borough there will be literary exercises on Tuesday evening, September 28, at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
Commemorative services will take place throughout the city and state on Saturday, September 28. On this day the Reformed Protestant Dutch Church of the City of New York, organized in 1628 and representing the earliest religious organization in New York, will hold special commemorative services at 11 a.m. and 8 p.m., in its churches at Second Avenue and Seventh Street, Fifth Avenue and Twenty-ninth Street, Fifth Avenue and Forty-eighth Street and West End Avenue and Seventy-seventh Street.
The Henry Hudson Monument on Spuyten Duyvil Hill will be dedicated on Monday, September 27, and is so placed as to form a prominent landmark. From a base ornamented with bas-reliefs springs a fluted Doric column, surmounted by a pedestal supporting the statue of Hudson. This monument, by Karl Bitter and Schrady, is a chaste and beautiful work of art. It is 110 feet high, and, being set upon an
Gateway erected on Stony Point Battlefield by Daughters of the Revolution
(New York State) and to be dedicated during Hudson-Fulton Celebration—
September 25 to October 9, 1909—as part of the official program.
Hudson-Fulton Celebration Commission.
elevation 200 feet above tide-water, it can be seen from a distance of several miles up and down the Hudson River, and even from the waters of Long Island Sound; the sum required for its erection was supplied by private subscription. The monument rests on the site of the Indian village of Nipinichsen, whence, on October 2, 1609, an attack was made upon the Half Moon.
The last scene of Hudson's life makes a gloomy picture. Set adrift in a small boat by the mutinous crew of his ship Adriatic, he passed away out of the sight of men and was never heard of again. In the dreary hours of aimless drifting over the tossing waves, and face to face with death, Hudson had not even the consolation of knowing that his name would be handed down to posterity, and that nearly three centuries after his death millions of his race and speech would assemble to do him honor.
Land is so valuable on Manhattan Island that but few remain of the old buildings associated with the early history of the city. For this very reason a visit to four of these historic buildings which have been preserved from destruction will be of interest. Fraunces' Tavern, situated near the corner of Pearl and Broad Streets, is famous as the place where Washington bade farewell to his officers, December 4, 1783. The collection of old pictures and historic relics gathered here will gain in interest by the associations connected with the place.
Another building dating from colonial times is that formerly known as the Morris Mansion, or the Jumel Mansion. This fine old residence was built about 1760 and it was here that Washington established his headquarters during the military operations on the upper part of Manhattan Island. The building is now the property of the City of New York, and is under the care of the Daughters of the American Revolution (State of New York), who have brought together a very interesting collection of mementoes of the Revolution.
The Van Cortlandt Mansion, erected about 1748, is a fine and characteristic specimen of the colonial style of architecture, and will contain a valuable collection of portraits of men who played a leading part in the Revolution. This building is cared for by the Colonial Dames of the State of New York.
The Aquarium building in Battery Park was originally erected, in 1807, as a fort, and was named Fort Clinton in 1812. Many years later it was transformed into a theater and concert hall, under the name of Castle Garden. There are some still living who can recall the wild enthusiasm evoked by the "Swedish nightingale," Jenny Lind, when she made her first appearance before an American audience in this building. In 1855 a new use was found for Castle Garden and it became the goal of an immense host of immigrants, 7,690,606 passing through its portals in the period from 1855 to 1890.
One of the interesting exercises connected with the celebration will be the dedication of the Memorial Arch erected by the Daughters of the American Revolution in the Stony Point Battlefield State Reservation. The ceremonies will take place on Saturday, October 2. The governor of the state and many prominent citizens, as well as a number of military and civic organizations, will be present. The National Scenic Preservation Society, the official custodian of the reservation, will cooperate in the formal exercises.
On Wednesday, September 29, at 4 p.m., the American Scenic and Historic Preservation Society will dedicate the tablet erected through the generosity of Mr. Cornelius I. G. Billings, on the site of Fort Tryon. on Fort Washington Avenue. This fort was gallantly defended on November 16, 1776, by the Maryland and Virginia Regiment, against the attack of the Hessian troops.
The following dedications have also been officially recognized by the commission: On Wednesday, September 29, the City Wall Bastion Tablet, at No. 48 Wall Street, New York, marking the site of a bastion in the old city wall to be dedicated by the Society of Colonial Wars in the State of New York; the Fort Amsterdam Tablet placed on the United States Custom House in New York City, marking the site of Fort Amsterdam, dedicated by the New York Society of the Founders and Patriots of America. On Monday, September 27, the Palisades Interstate Park, extending for thirty miles along the western shore of the Hudson River, from Fort Lee, N. Y., to Piermont, N. Y., will be dedicated by the commissioners of the Interstate Palisades Park. The date for the dedication of the bust of Verrazzano, the Italian navigator who visited New York Harbor in 1524, has not yet been selected by the Italian societies which have donated it to the city.
Aquatic sports will be the order of the day on Wednesday, September 29, when boat races will be held on the Hudson River, the boats being manned from the crews of the foreign and American warships. There will also he interstate contests between members of the Naval Reserves from different states, canoe races and motor-boat races. At Yonkers, on the same day, high-power motor-boats will compete, and there will be boat races between various amateur crews from clubs.
The astonishing progress in aeronautics during the past year has excited public interest to the highest pitch, and the celebration commission is making every effort to assure the presence of some of the leading aeronauts and aviators. While the arrangements for this branch of the celebration are not fully completed at the time of writing, the public will certainly be given an opportunity to see many types of dirigibles and aeroplanes, and some sensational flights will be made. If the weather conditions are favorable, the aeronautical exhibitions will begin on Monday, September 27.
In organizing the various parades and exercises, the celebration commission has not forgotten the children of our city, for whom special festivals will be held, on Saturday, October 2, at fifty different centers. There will be games, historical plays, folk-dances, etc., given by thousands of children from the public schools, and accommodations will be provided for a half million children to witness the spectacles.The close of the celebration in all its phases will be marked by a chain of immense beacon-fires lighted on mountain tops and heights from Staten Island to the head of navigation on Saturday evening, October 9. All these beacons will be connected by electric wires and will be lighted simultaneously by President Taft. The beacons are made of peat with chemicals, so that they will burn even if it rains.
Henry Hudson Monument. To be erected on Spuyten Duyvil by popular subscription at a cost of $100,000. and to be dedicated as a part of the official program of the Hudson-Fulton Celebration. This monument is by Karl Bitter and Schrady, is 110 feet high and will stand on an elevation of two hundred feet above the water, being visible for many miles above the Hudson River and from Long Island Sound.
A special two-cent stamp to commemorate the Hudson-Fulton Celebration has been issued by the Post Office Department. The background of the design shows the Palisades, with the Half Moon sailing up the Hudson River, and the Clermont steaming in the opposite direction; in the foreground is an Indian in a canoe, and another canoe manned by four Indians can just be discerned in the distance. The commission has to thank Congressman Bennett and his colleagues, Congressmen Parsons and Olcott, for their successful efforts in securing the consent of the Postmaster General to the issue of these stamps, of which fifty million will be printed.
- In Brooklyn Institute exhibit. Published by his permission. Loaned by Colonel Henry T. Chapman.