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faced Bowling Green that opposition to the Stamp Act was first started. This old building stood until a comparatively late date, when it was taken down to make way for modern improvements. It was built partly of brick, the sides and rear being of wood, and was surrounded by a garden in which musical entertainments were given. Tradition says that Benedict Arnold lodged in this house after his treason.
During British occupation, the coffee houses merely existed. Fraunce's held its own, however, although it was more of a hotel than coffee house proper. This old building is still standing at the corner of Broad and Pearl streets, and has been enlarged, it being at that time only three stories in height; it is of brick and was built in the early part of the eighteenth century by Mr. S. Delancey, who resided in it. It is still quite firm and may be identified by the green marble slab set in the corner, stating that within its walls Washington delivered his parting address to the army. After that event it declined in importance.
After the War of the Revolution, nationality seemed forgotten, and the descendants of the English, Dutch, and French met in a loving brotherhood born of their late common grievances; and they chose for their place of mutual resort the "Merchants' Coffee House," which stood at the corner of Wall and Water streets. It is described as a three-story building, a store occupying the lower part. On the second floor was the "Long Room" in which public meetings were held. Here statesmen and politicians, merchants and literary men, discussed the affairs of the nation over their cups of coffee or tea.
Amongst its frequenters might be seen the majestic figure of Washington and the angular one of Thomas Jefferson, his political opponent, the brilliant Alexander Hamilton and the intriguing Aaron Burr, Ben Franklin, who never contradicted any one, and Gouv
erneur Morris, who found fault with every one except General Washington, the refined Chancellor Livingston and that rock of sense, John Jay, George Clinton, the anti-Federal governor, and John Adams with royalistic tendencies, John Morin Scott, the versatile lawyer, and William Bradford, the first public printer of New York, Hugh Gaines, the champion of the free press, and his insatiable satirist, Philip Freneau; these, and many others perhaps as well known, found ample subject for present discussion and future conjecture. Here Washington was received upon his arrival in the city for the inaugural ceremonies. The Chamber of Commerce held here its first meetings, and the insurance business was started within its walls, as was also the first bank of New York. The compilation of a city directory," the size of a Westminster Catechism," was herein essayed, and the "Loyal Sons of St. Andrew" and the "Grand Lodge of Free Masons," as well as many other associations, held their meetings inside its doors; but with the removal of the national government to Philadelphia its sun sank to rise no more.
The year 1686 was a marked one in the little colony. The mother country had seemed to awaken to the fact that its infant, and future prodigy, was still acting under the seal of Holland; and forthwith a larger and more elaborate one was granted it. The same year Governor-General Dongan, who had accorded a kind reception to the Huguenots since 1683, deemed it necessary to extend the city limits to meet the requirements of the increased population; he therefore ordered a survey of the northern boundary of the settlement, and a removal of its walls to a more remote locality.
Hitherto the line of the present Wall Street had been defined by a palisaded work erected as a means of defence against the Indians; it extended the entire
width of the island from the shipyard of Rip Van Dam, now comprised in Trinity churchyard, but at that time the western limit of the island, to " Bucther's Pen," adjoining the river on the eastern limit. At the head of Broadway was a large gate, which was closed every evening by the city watch; and nearer the river on the eastern side was another, called the "Water Gate," through which ran the road to the ferry to Breucklin, now Pearl Street. Beyond this gate stood the ferry-house, by the door of which hung a tin horn; any one desiring to cross, by winding the horn, would summon a boatman to conduct him to the opposite shore, for the moderate sum of one-half
In many places the works had fallen down; which rendered the duty of closing the gates at night quite a nominal one; except that the fact of doing so gave the inhabitants a certain sense of security; which was a great thing in itself. The guns too had disappeared, and the ditches and trenches were in a ruinous condition.
By the governor's orders, the palisade was removed to the present line of Chamber Street, running from the river bank on the west side to the old Ferry house on the east side, now Catherine Street; at every short distance a block-house was placed. The line of the old palisade was laid out into a street, which took its name from the wall that had once occupied its place. The streets, that same year, were paved, and they were also lighted by means of lanterns suspended from every seventh house; and a watch patrolled them all the night, who sang out the hours as they passed.
The city limits were at that time more circumscribed than at the present; Greenwich Street then formed the western boundary, and Pearl Street the eastern one. All ground beyond these streets has been made by filling in.
Recently, in excavating in the lower part of Front Street, the ribs of a vessel were unearthed; they were thought by some to have been those of the "Morning Star," a powder ship blown up in the harbor August 7, 1778. This fact goes to prove the encroachment of the city upon the water limits.
The French refugees were relegated to the eastern side of Broadway below Wall Street, and in the vicinity of the "Bucther's Pen," this being an unfavored part of the city, where the laboring portion of the community dwelt, and there were many unused lots.
The frequent Indian incursions had caused the settlers to centre around the fort to such an extent as to endanger its safety; so much so that certain officials complained to the home government that it might be easily scaled by placing ordinary-sized ladders upon the surrounding houses.
This old fort deserves a word for itself, it being the first and oldest structure of the settlement; and, according to the author already quoted, "one of the best Pieces of Defence in the north parts of America." am inclined, however, to the opinion that Mr. Lamothé would have said of it the same as he said of an old fort on the Jersey side of the river, "It is no great things."
This venerable piece of Dutch antiquity, that was destined never to hand down its name to our republican times, indeed, to bear none for any great length of time, - was erected in the year 1614 by the Nieu Amsterdamers as a defence from the attacks of the Indians. It is described as a mere palisaded work, but its form and dimensions have not been stated; it went by the name of Fort Manhattan until 1626, when its increase in extent, and number of inhabitants, caused a more substantial work to be constructed, which upon completion was called Fort Amsterdam. It is most probable that the plan of De
Razieres was not carried out to the full extent of his designs, as we find Governor Stuyvesant alleging, as an excuse for ceding it so easily to the English, that it was an untenable place, and not fit to bear an assault from European firearms. The walls, furthermore, on its northern and northeastern part, although much higher than those of its other sides, were, nevertheless, lower than the ground beyond. So much higher was the latter, he added, that people sitting on it could see the very soles of the shoes of those who might be standing on the esplanade, or bastions of the fort. deed, its walls for some eight or ten years were merely ramparts of earth, from eight to ten feet high. The buildings within it, occupied by the officers of the garrison, were composed of planks, or bark only, with roofs of reeds.
In 1633 Governor Van Twiller came to Nieu Amsterdam invested with full power to better this state of things. Under his administration a guard-house and barracks were constructed, and a wind-mill erected for grinding the grain for the garrison. A substantial brick house took the place of the former governmental building, which lasted during the successive administrations of the Dutch dynasty.
The condition of the walls of the fort, however, does not seem to have been improved, as we find the governor in his Council of 1647 deliberating as to the advisability of having them repaired. This was to be accomplished by means of "stones laid in mortar to make of it a lasting work;" and for this purpose it was suggested that every male inhabitant between the ages of sixteen and sixty should devote twelve days of labor in the year; or give instead, the sum of eighty cents per day.
Within the fort and adjoining the gubernatorial mansion there stood a stone church of peculiar structure, consisting of two peaked roofs with a steeple be