( Updated 11 / 24 / 2004 )

James Fenimore Cooper writes his first sea romance The Pilot, to demonstrate what Sir Walter Scott's The Pirate might have been like if written by a seaman.

Jan 3
Canal engineers Canvass White and Benjamin Wright present two separate city water supply proposals to New York City's water committee.

Jan 24
During an Ontario Canal Company meeting at Canandaigua's Mead's Hotel, nine directors are elected. The canal is never built.

Former New York mayor Stephen Allen declines a directorship in the troubled New York and Sharon Canal Company.

Feb 2
The Niagara County town of Lockport is formed from Cambria and Royalton.

Feb 19
Rochester's first bank, the Bank of Rochester, is chartered.

Feb 22
Actor Frank S. Chanfrau is born in New York City.

A fire breaks out at the New York City boatyard of Adam and Noah Brown. A vain attempt is made to launch all ships currently on the stocks. Firemen are driven back by the flames and several are forced to jump into the East River to save themselves. The fire engine Black Joke No. 33 (named for a Revolutionary-period sloop out of Albany) is destroyed as is the entire boatyard. ** The New York assembly favors a plan by educator John Griscom's plan for a New York Water-Works, for a Manhattan water supply. The legislative sessions will end with no action taken.

Mar 1
Construction begins on New Jersey's Morris Canal, to link New York City with the Delaware and Lehigh rivers.

Mar 2
John Marshall hands down the U. S. Supreme Court decision in Gibbons v. Ogden, that the U. S. Congress has the right to control intrastate navigation. State monopolies are struck down; Robert Fulton's monopoly is broken.

Mar 23
The Tioga County town of Barton is formed from the Town of Tioga.

Mar 29
The New York House of Refuge, for New York City juvenile delinquents, is incorporated. ** The Broome County town of Conklin is formed from the Town of Chenango.

Manhattan Company superintendent John Lozier issues a report, lowering his estimate of possible new customers to 1,000, and offering an uninterrupted supply of water. At an annual rate of $12 few sign up. ** The New York Common Council considers White's plan, pays him an $1,100 fee, and shelves his proposals.

Apr 2
50,000 New York City inhabitants come out to see murderer John Johnson hanged for the killing of tourist James Murray.

Apr 3
Samuel Young is nominated by a state caucus for governor.

Apr 12
De Witt Clinton is deposed as an Erie Canal commissioner.

Apr 22
A home at 286 Water Street in New York City is the first house to be lighted by gas.

James Fenimore Cooper moves his family from 3 Beach Street, New York City, to 345 Greenwich Street.

May 11
The cornerstone of Rochester's St. Luke's Church is laid.

May 13
American Bible Society president John Jay addresses the New York City chapter.

May 28
Naturalist Edward Hitchcock writes to Professor Benjamin Silliman at Yale, complaining that Amos Eaton of the Renssalaer School at Troy has reproduced, without authorization, a part of the geological survey conducted by Hitchcock, in Eaton's published survey of the Erie Canal route, out earlier this year.

Jun 1
The Erie Canal Commission signs a second, overlapping contract with Samuel Wilkeson and Ebenezer Johnson, for building the dam at Tonawanda.

Jul 4
Thousands watch as New York City firemen parade from the lawn in front of the hospital on Broadway between Anthony and Duane streets (Hospital Green) to the Bowery Church.

Jul 12
Horatio Gates Spafford registers his A Pocket Guide for the Tourist and Traveller along the Line of the Canals and the Interior Commerce of the State of New-York with R. R. Lansing, the Clerk of the Northern District of New-York in New York City and subsequently publishes it.

Jul 23
Western New York land agent Paolo Busti dies at the age of 74.

Cooper receives an honorary M. A. from Columbia University.

Aug 1
State electors are selected in Utica to nominate the governor and lieutenant governor.

Aug 4
Rochester lumber dealer William B. Morse is born.

Aug 15
The Marquis de Lafayette arrives in New York harbor, along with his son George Washington Lafayette.

Aug 16
Lafayette is given a public welcome at Castle Clinton.

Sep 11
Holland Land Office agent Joseph Elliott gives his nephew and accounting clerk David E. Evans power of attorney for conducting the office's business. ** Scottish reformer Frances Wright and her sister Camilla are invited to stay with Maria Colden, wife of former mayor Cadwallader Colden, during their visit to the U. S.

Oct 26
The cutting of the western end of the Erie Canal at Lockport, to Lake Erie, is completed.

Oct 28
The Reverend Joseph Penney preaches the dedication sermon at the opening of his Presbyterian Church in Rochester. The sermon will be printed by Everard Peck.

De Witt Clinton is again elected governor of New York, partly a backlash due to his ouster from the canal commissioner's post by Van Buren's colleagues.

Nov 5
The Rensselaer School of Theoretical and Practical Science (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute) is founded in Troy - the first U. S. engineering college.

Nov 11
Orleans County is created out of north central Genesee Country.

Final engineering measurements are made at Lockport, the work is found completely satisfactory.

Dec 18
New York's mayor Hone decides to back the Delaware and Hudson Canal.

Dec 29
The trustees of the Rensselaer School have their first meeting, set tuition at $25 a term.


The new Mystic,Connecticut, schooner Harriet, carrying a cargo of naval stores from Plymouth, North Carolina, on its maiden voyage, is destroyed by fire in New York Harbor. ** The brokerage firm of J. L. Joseph, agent of the Rothschilds, joins the New York Stock Exchange. ** James Cooper (not using Fenimore quite yet), Fitz Greene Halleck, Samuel Finley Breese Bryant, James Kent, James Kirke Paulding, Gulian Verplanck and others found Cooper's Lunch (shortly afterwards the Bread and Cheese Club). ** Newgate Prison is filled to capacity. Plans to build a new facility outside of the city are discussed. A legislative committee enlists the aid of Auburn Prison warden Captain Elam Lynds to select a site. They select the Silver Mine Farm at Mount Pleasant (near Sing Sing.

John Beardslee, founder of Beardslee City, dies. ** Syracuse is incorporated as a city. ** The approximate year editor Benjamin Smead turns Bath's Farmers' Advocate and Steuben Advertiser over to his sons. ** The Naples Village Record begins publication. ** Hector pioneer Mrs. William Wickham dies at the age of 82. ** Charles Butler is admitted to the bar, begins practicing in Lyons. He will move to Geneva after a few months. ** Wine is first produced in the Chautauqua region. ** James Seaver, MD's The Life of Mary Jemison, from her own words, is published. ** James Fenimore Cooper accompanies four English noblemen (including future prime minister Edward Stanley) on a tour of Saratoga, Ballston, Lake George, Ticonderoga and Lake Champlain. While in Little Falls he decides to write Last of the Mohicans. ** The 7th Regiment of the New York State Militia takes the title National Guards. ** Evangelist Charles G. Finney begins his career, in western New York. ** The steamboat Martha Ogden is built at Sackets Harbor, financed in part by Rochester merchants. ** Richard McDaniels settles in Connewango. ** Ebenezer Mack, publisher of Ithaca's Seneca Republican, takes on William Andrus as a partner. ** The late land agent Paolo Busti is replaced by John J. Vander Kemp. ** H. G. Spofford's Gazetteer of the State of New York is published. ** When Troy hardware merchant John Spencer dies partner Erastus Corning buys out Spencer's heirs to become full owner. ** Lafayette visits Albany, returns to his former headquarters on North Pearl Street. ** Legislation is passed calling for the final sale of all unassigned patent lands in the state.

The Auburn system of prison management is implemented, ending universal solitary confinement. ** William Henry Seward marries Frances Miller, daughter of his senior law partner Judge Elijah Miller. Miller gives them a house.

The second County Court House (later City Hall) is completed. ** A. N. Phelps begins publishing the Canandaigua Republican. He soon sells the paper to Thomas B. Barnum who runs it for a short time. ** The home of Dr. E. Carr at 50 Gibson Street is completed. ** Boston architect Francis Allen's home for Alexander McKechnie is completed. ** David E. Evans becomes a director of the Ontario Bank and the Western Insurance Company.

Chautauqua Lake
A bursting dam destroys Robert Miles's log canoe, used for freighting on the lake since 1806. ** Elisha Allen builds a horse-boat scow for the Chautauqua to Maysville passenger run. Powered by two pair of horses alternating hourly, the run takes ten hours.

Erie Canal
Canal construction serves as Utica's water supply aqueduct. ** Professor Eaton's report on the rock formations along the route of the future canal, commissioned by Stephen Van Rennselaer, is published. ** The aqueducts at Crescent and at Rexford are completed, as is the entire canal distance between Schenectady and Albany. ** The river and guard locks at Tonawanda are completed.

Pioneers from Virginia and New York found Ann Arbor.

Penn Yan
The approximate date Alexander Heimup builds a house at 200 Main Street. ** The Yates County Court House is built.

The village gets its first theater. ** A visitor is robbed of $1,800 at a gambling shop. ** St. Luke's Episcopal Church is built. ** The wooden Main Street bridge across the Genesee River is replaced by a new wooden one on stone piers, at half the cost of the previous, 1812, one. ** The aqueduct is completed. ** Nathaniel Rochester's home at Spring and South Washington streets is completed. He is named a subscription manager for the new Bank of Rochester. ** Thurlow Reed becomes editor of the Telegraph. ** The First Presbyterian Church is built. ** Printer H. Leavenworth publishes David Rogers' The American Physician and Lewis W. Covell's An Account of the Destruction of the City of Jerusalem, by the Roman Army Under Titus. ** Joshua Bradley's An Address to the Masons, on the Importance and Utility of forming Associations . . . is published. ** The Rochester Magazine and Theological Review, edited by the Reverend John Samuel Thompson, is printed by L. W. Sibley.

Martin Van Buren declines to back Andrew Jackson, causing a split in the Democratic Republican Party.



© 2004 David Minor / Eagles Byte