Kings County History

KINGS COUNTY NEW YORK


NY Gazetteer Of the State of New York (1860) by J. H. French


∑ Organized November 1, 1683.

∑ County seat was City of Brooklyn

∑ Courts were originally held at Gravesend but by an act of the General Assembly passed Nov. 7, 1685 they were removed to Flatbush and a courthouse was erected, the next year.

∑ In 1758 the building was used as the courthouse and jail. By June 1, 1828 39,910 prisoners had been confined in the jail.

∑ On May 1, 1828 a fireproof county Clerkís Office is built in Brooklyn. A bigger one
is built in 1837 which was used until it was removed to its present location in the City Hall.

∑ In 1852 an officer of registrar is created and by a later act discretionary powers have been granted to a Board of Commissioners for the better preservation of public records.

∑ The Almshouse is located upon a farm of 70 acres in Flatbush about three miles south of the City Hall of Brooklyn. Consists of four large brick buildings - The Almshouse proper, hospital, nursery and lunatic asylum. Buildings are spacious but poorly ventilated. A school is maintained though the year, and religious instruction is given upon the Sabbath.

∑ Children are bound out at the age of 12.

∑ The Brooklyn and Jamaica R. R. extends from the South Ferry of Brooklyn Eastward through near the center of the county.

∑ The Long Island R. R. extends from Hunters Point (Queens co.,) North of Brooklyn to the village of Flushing. (distance of 8 miles)

∑ The Village of Brooklyn has several local rail roads and from the city lines, stages extend to every village to the county.


NEWSPAPERS


The Long Island Intelligencer (first Newspaper in the co. was published sometime before 1807)

∑ Four newspapers (Three Daily and one weekly) are published in the County

∑ 1799 - June 26th. The Courier and New York and Long Island Advertiser, the first paper published on Long Island.


∑ 1806 - May 26th. The Long Island Intelligencer (first Newspaper in the co. was begun)

∑ 1824 - Jan 4th. The Brooklyn Daily Eagle Evening Star
∑ Spooner and sons . A semi-weekly edition is issued in 1824.

∑ 1821 March 7th. - The Long Island Patriot George L. Birch. 1833 changed to the Brooklyn Advocate James A. Bennett. Changed in 1836-36 to The Brooklyn Advocate and Nassau Gazette.

∑ 1835 - The Williamsburgh Gazette was started. Francis G. Fish. It changed to the Williamsburgh Daily Gazette issued a short time

∑ 1836 - The American Native Citizen and Brooklyn Evening Advertiser F.G. Fish.

∑ 1840 - The Mechanicsí Advocate was started a short time at East New York.

∑ 1840 - The Real Estate Gazette also started in East New York. Lasting one day.

∑ 1840 - June 3rd, the Williamsburg Democrat. Thomas A. Devyr.

∑ 1841 - The Brooklyn Daily Eagle begins publication Isaac Van Anden. From the same office was issued the Brooklyn Weekly Eagle. It changed in 1855 to the Saturday Evening Miscellany.

∑ 1841 - The Brooklyn Daily News. Wordhall and Watts. Continued until Nov. 1843.

∑ 1843 - The Brooklyn News and Times. J. S. Noble.

∑ 1844 - December. The Age was started in Willamsburg. It continued a short time.

∑ 1844 - The Democratic Advocate was published at Willamsburg by J. G. Wallace.

∑ 1844 - The Brooklyn Daily Advertiser was started by H. A. Lees and W. Foulkes. Continued 8 years.

∑ 1844 - The American Champion at Brooklyn. Lasted short time.

∑ 1845 - The Daily Long Islander. Started at Williamsburg by Bishop and Kelly.

∑ 1847 - The Williamsburg Morning Post, by Devyr and Taylor.

∑ 1847 - The Green Point Advertiser was published a short time by L. Masquerier.

∑ 1848 - The Saturday Evening Bee. A short time only, in Brooklyn.

∑ 1848 - South Brooklyn, the Orbit was issued.

∑ 1848 - The Kings County Patriot. Started at Williamsburg by George Thompson and S. R. Hasbrouck.

∑ 1848 - The Williamsburg Times. By Bennet Smith and Co. After consolidation of Williamsburg and Brooklyn, its name is changed to the Brooklyn Daily Times.

∑ 1848 - The Excelsior. South Brooklyn. Issued short time.

∑ 1849 - The Brooklyn Daily Freeman is published.

∑ 1850/July 16 - At Williamsburg, the Daily Independent Press by W. G. Bishop and J. A. F. Kelley. Continued until 1855.

∑ 1851 - The Brooklyn and Morning Journal by Hogan and Heighway.

∑ 18?? - The Union Ark. A temperance monthly published in Brooklyn by J. Schuebly.

∑ 1854 - Sept 2 - The Long Island Anzeiger (German) - Started at Brooklyn by Edward Rohr.

∑ 1855 - April 7. The Triangle (German semi-monthly), started in Brooklyn by Edward Rohr.

∑ 1857/May - The Kings County Advertiser and Village Guardian (semi-monthly). Started at East New York by C. Warren Hamilton.


VILLAGES

October 16, 1667 - Brooklyn incorporated by patent, under Governor Lovelace. Its name is derived from the Dutch name Breuck-landt meaning broken land.

May 13, 1686 - All of Brooklynís rights were confirmed by Governor Dungan. It was recognized as a town under state government.

April 17, 1854 - The City of Williamsburg and Town of Bushwick were annexed.

Brooklyn - includes the old settled parts of the city south of Wallabout Bay.
Williamsburgh - includes the thickly settled portions north of Wallabout Bay. It has large number of manufacturing plants. Water front is used for commercial purposes.
Green Point - 17th ward. lies between Bushwick and Newtown Creeks. It occupies
the extreme north west part of the city. Extensive shipyards, and manufactories of porcelain, coal oil, lifeboats, etc.
Wallabout - (Sometimes called East Brooklyn) lies east of Wallabout Bay.
Bedford - and New Brooklyn - Are localities on the R. R. in the east part of the city.
Bushwick Cross Roads and Bushwick Green - Are villages east of Williamsburgh.
Gowanus - is a village near the head of Gowanus Bay.
South Brooklyn - Includes the portion of the city lying south of Atlantic St. Extensive water front and immense shore works have been built to promote commerce. Wood, coal, stone and lumber years, placing mills, distilleries, breweries, plaster mills, foundries, and machine shops are present. The city is connected with New York by 11 steam ferries.
Flatbush - (Named Midwout by the Dutch (Mid-Wood). Chartered by Gov. Stuyvesant in 1652. and its rights were confirmed by Gov. Nicoll, Oct. 11, 1667. Recognized by the State Government March 7, 1788. New Lots was taken off in 1852. It is the central town in the county, lying immediately south of Brooklyn. Low broad range of hills extends along the north border taking nearly on-fourth of its surface. Remainder of the town is level.
Flatbush (p.v.) Long scattered village extending through center of the town. Contains 4 churches. (Ref. Prot. Dutch formed in 1654), M. E., Prot. E., and R. C. ) and Erasmus hall Academy, the first institution incorp. by the regents Nov. 17, 1787. It has its share of elegant homes.
Greenfield - Thinly settled village plat in the southwest corner of town. A part of Greenwood Cemetery lines in the Northwest corner. Galilee Cemetery lies East of the Village. Settled first by the Dutch in an early period.
Flatlands - Incorp. by patent under Gov. Nicoll, Oct. 4, 1667 confirmed by Gov. Dongan, March 11, 1685. recognized by the State Government March 7, 1788. It is the Southeast town in the county. Very flat (hence the name) Good part consists of salt marshes bordering upon Jamaica Bay. Several small marshy islands belong to the town.
Flatlands (p.o.) - Farming settlement
Canarsie Hamlet upon the road leading to the bay. First settled by the Dutch in 1636. Ex-Gov. Wouter Van Twiller had a tobacco farm in the town while it was under Dutch rule. Three churches in town, two M.E. and Ref. Prot. Dutch.
Gravesend (named from the English town of this name or from the deep sounds off the shore. (Thompsonís Hist. 11 169) Granted to English settlers by patent under Gov. Feift, Dec. 19, 1645. Confirmed by Gov. Nicoll, Aug. 13, 1667 and by Gov. Dongan, Sept. 10, 1686. Organized as a town March 7, 1788. Most southerly town in the co. Generally very level. Beach and ridge of sand hills extend along the coast. The rear of these are extensive salt meadows. Coney Island is separated from the mainland by a narrow tidal current flowing through the marshes.
Gravesend (p.v.) Near the center is compactly built. Formerly fortified with palisades. The county seat prior to 1686. It encompassed ten acres. Subdivided into 39 lots four houses and gardens. A street surrounded the plat. It was laid out in lots diverging from the center of town.
Unionville - Small settlement on the bay, near the west line.
The Cove - A settlement on Sheeps Head Bay. Town was settled before 1640 by English Quakers from Mass. In 1655 the settlement was saved from destruction by North River Indians by a guard from the city. In 1656 people petitioned for and obtained 3 big guns for protection. In 1659 the town agreed to give Henry Brazier 500 gilders for building a mill and every man a dayís work with a team or 2 days without in building a dam. First church Ref. Prot. Dutch formed in 1655, and two ME churches lie within the town.
New Lots - Formed from Flatbush Feb. 12, 1852. It lies in the extreme east part of the county. Generally level ground, the south half being slat meadows.
East New York - (p.v.) Contains a newspaper office, 4 churches, a manufacture of dyestuffs and colors, several shoe manufactories and 1, 000 inhabit.
Cypress Hills - Village near the N.E. Corner. Cypress Hills Cemetery, Cemetery of the Evergreens and Cemetery of the Congregation of Emanuel (Jewish) are partly in this town. First settled with 20 families from Holland. and a few Palatinates, in 1654. in 1660 portions of lands previously held in common were divided into lots and assigned to individuals. A horse mill was erected the same year. From 1799 - 1812 the schools were under the direction of church officers. In the War of 1812 1,200 militia were stationed here due to likely hood of attack by British. 5 churches in town. Ref. Port. Dutch, Prot. E., Ger. Evang., Luth., M.E., and R. C.
New Utrecht - Incorp. by Gov. Stuyvesant in 1662 by Gov. Nicoll, Augh 15, 1668 and by Gov. Dongan May 13, 1686. Recognized as a town March 7, 1788. It lies upon the Narrows in the west part of the county.
New Utrecht (p.v.) South part lies a small compact village. In early times it was enclosed by a palisade as a defense against Indians and pirates.
Fort Hamilton - (p.v.) Fine Village, chiefly inhabited by persons doing business in New York. it lies near the U.S. grounds. Fort Hamilton is a U.S. fortification upon the bluff commanding the passage of the Narrows. it was comm. in 1824 and finished in 1832. It has 60 heavy guns, 48 of which point upon the channel.
Bath - Summer resort place on Gravesend Bay.
Bay Ridge - Suburban village adjoining Brooklyn. There are six churches in town, 2 Prot. E., 2 Ref. Prot. Dutch M.E. and R.C.
Fort La Fayette - is a strong water battery built upon Hendricks Reef, 200 yards from shore. Formerly called ďFort DiamondĒ Commenced in 1812. It mounts 73
heavy guns. These forts were located and planned by Gen. Benard, a French engineer.

NEW YORK CITY AND THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR

∑ Summer of 1776 New York and vicinity becomes involved in stirring military events.

∑ After British evacuate Boston, George Washington marches to New York.

∑ July 8, British troops land upon Staten Island. On Aug. 22, they pass over to Long Island, with 10,000 Troops.

∑ British land in New Utrecht, because three roads led over the hills to where the Americans were encamped. One passed near the Narrows, one led from Flatbush and the third far to the right by route of flatlands.

∑ On the morning of the 27th, columns of British troops were seen on the Middle Road leading to the belief that the main attack would happen at that point. While engaged in fighting it was found that the main army of the enemy were approaching from the direction of Bedford, and the Americans were in danger of being surrounded. Attacked in front and rear the Americans fought bravely but a part only succeeded in gaining their entrenchmentís. 3,000 Americans were killed, wounded and taken prisoner. British lost less the 400.

∑ Gens. Sullivan Stirling and Woodhull are taken prisoner.

∑ General Woodhull dies from wounds inflicted after being taken prisoner.

∑ Americans withdrew under direction of General Washington. (A heavy fog very unusual for the time of year enshrouded the island completely. Under its protection the Americans silently pass over to the NY Side. (Onderdonkís Rev. Inc.)

∑ American prisoners were taken aboard the prison ships and died by hundreds and thousand, from violence, foul air, cold and stinted food.

∑ The first prison ship was the Whitby but this and another were burned and in April 1778, the Jersey became the receiving ship for prisoners.

∑ The Hope and the Falmouth anchored nearby were the hospital ships and upon these most of the deaths occurred. It is reported that 11,500 prisoners died while on the ships during the war.

∑ In 1808 while building the Navy Yard the graves of the of these men were uncovered.

Bones were collected in 13 coffins representing the 13 colonies and on May 26, 1808 were buried upon Hudson Avenue near the Navy Yard. John Jackson gave over the land for this purpose.


CEMETERIES WITHIN KINGS COUNTY

∑ Greenwood Cemetery - Incorp. April 18, 1838, by joint stock company. Opened for burial in 1842 and up to Aug. 1858 over 64,000 burials have been made.

∑ Cemetery of the Evergreens - lies partly in Queens co. Opened for burials in 1849.

∑ Friends Cemetery - No ornamental monuments are allowed to be erected in it.

∑ Citizenís Union Cemetery - incorp. 1851 contains 29 acres. Persons of color and of the poor are buried at no cost except the opening and closing of the ground.


SOCIETIES

∑ Kings County Lodge Library Associations - Williamsburgh. Incorp. Feb. 7 1847

∑ Hamilton Library Association - Funded in 1830

∑ Franklin Debating Association - 1852

∑ Young Menís Association - 1853

∑ St. Charles Institute - 1854

∑ Eccleston Literary Association - 1854

∑ Columbia Literary Association - 1855

∑ Great Northwestern Zephyr Association - 1838 (designed to encourage native talent in music, painting, and sculpture.

∑ The Philharmonic Society of Brooklyn - May 6, 1857, For the encouragement of music.

∑ Brooklyn Horticultural Society - Incorp. April 9, 1854. It hold annual affairs.

∑ Hunt Horticultural and Botanical Garden - Incorp. April 9, 1855. It has a garden of 16 acres.


CATHOLIC SOCIETIES

∑ St. Jamesís School
∑ St. Paulís Female School
∑ St. Peterís and Paulís School
∑ St. Mary Star of the Sea
∑ Convent and Female School attached to the church of the Holy Trinity.
∑ Convent and Boarding Academy
∑ Convent and Academy of the Visitation
∑ St., Francis of Assisiís Convent of Sisters of Mercy and Nuns of the Order of St. Dominic.
∑ The R. C. Beneficial Society of St. Peterís and St. Paulís Church incorp. June 15, 1858 to hold a Sunday school and library and support the sick and bury the dead.
∑ Free Schools are connected with all the churches except St. Charles

HOSPITALS

∑ The Brooklyn City Hospital - Raymond St. near DeKalb Ave. Incorp. May 8, 1845. Present buildings opened April 28, 1852. Supported by voluntary contributions and legislative appropriations.

∑ Brooklyn City Dispensary 109 Pineapple St. Incorp. March 5, 1850. Supported same as hospital.

∑ Brooklyn Dispensary (homeopathic) 83 Court St. Incorp. Dec. 3, 1852. Private subscriptions support it.

∑ Williamsburgh Dispensary corner of 5th and South St. Incorp. March 4, 1851. By 1851, 2,221 persons received medical treatment at the Dispensary.

∑ Brooklyn Central Dispensary 473 Fulton St. Incorp Dec. 11, 1855.

∑ Brooklyn German General Dispensary, 145 Court St.

∑ Brooklyn Eye and Ear Infirmary 109 Pineapple St. Incorp. March 27, 1851.


ORPHAN ASYLUMS & SOCIETY ASSOCIATIONS

Orphan Asylum Society. Incorp. May 6, 1834, Cumberland St. & Myrtle Ave.

Roman Catholic Orphan Asylum of Brooklyn. Incrop. May 6, 1834. Asylum for boys.

Clinton and Congress St. The asylum for girls. Congress St. near Clinton

The Sisters of Charity have charge of the girls.

Brooklyn Association for Improving the Condition of the Poor. formed March 26, 1844.

Duty is to investigate the condition of the poor. in every part of the city. Offer temporary relief with food and clothing as the cases may warrant. Refer needy to the appropriate sources for permanent relief.

Brooklyn Benevolent Society funded upon a bequest of Cornelius Heeney. Incorp. May 1845.

Brooklyn Society for the Relief of Respectable and Indigent Females. Incorp in 1851. Washington and Dekalb St.

Childrenís Aid Society Organized Feb. 1854.

Church Charity Association. Relief of the aged, sick and indigent . Incorp. March 1851 .

The Freemasons, Odd Fellows and Sons of Temperance. All have lodges located within the City.

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