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THE CITY RECORDS.
[These records, embracing a period of sixty-seven years, from 1686, when the Charter was obtained, to 1753, were published in the Annals of Albany, and the indexes to that work furnish a clue to the transactions of the Common Council during that time, which could be known before only by the tedious process of examining the original volumes in manuscript. They are now taken up from the time they closed in that work, and embrace a very important period in the history of the city, namely, from the beginning of the French war to the close of the American Revolution.]
At a Common Council held for the City of Albany, at the City Hall of the said City on the 29th day of May, 1753—Present, Robert Sanders, Esq. Mayor, Sybrant G. Van Schaick, Esq., Recorder, John De Peyster, Abraham Douw, Joh's Van Sante, John Glen, Harmee Gansevoort, Esq", Aldermen, Barent H. Ten Eyck, Volkert P. Douw, John R. Bleecker, Assistants.
This day two Petitions was signed in order to send to New York, one to his Excellency the Governor and the other to Robert Livingston, Jr, Esq., to lay before the General Assembly, praying the Honorable House to gitt an Act passed to lay a Tax on the province of New York for building a Stone wall about this City, which Petitions runs thus:
To His Excellency the Honourable George Clinton, Captain Generall and Governour in Chief in and over the Province of New York and the Territories thereon depending in America, Vice Admiral of the same and Admiral of the white Squadron of his Majesty's Fleet. The Petition of the Mayor, Aldermen, and Commonalty of the City of Albany in Common Council convened, Most Humbly Sheweth:
That whereas the City of Albany is a frontier Town, and the defence and preservation thereof of very great consequence to the safety of the whole Province in case of war with the French, but that the said City at present is altogether undefensible, open and exposed to the incursions of any Enemy, and the Corporation by reason of the heavy debt they ly under occasioned by the great expence we were at during the late War and no ways able to fortify the City unless assisted by a Provincial Tax, and whereas your Excellency's Petitioners have prepared a Petition to be laid before the General Assembly praying they would be pleased to lay a Tax of £6000 on Estates throughout this Province to defray the expence of building a wall with Bastions or Batteries at convenient distances for the defence of said City and security of the Province.
Your Excellency's Petitioners most humbly pray that your Excellency may be pleased to recommend to the Generall Assembly in the most pressing terms that you think proper to raise the said sum of £6000 for defraying the charge of building said wall with Bastions and Batteries at convenient distances for the defence of the City and security of the Province. And your Excellency's Petitioners as in duty bound shall ever pray.
To the Honourable the Generall Assembly of the Province of New York in General Assembly convened. The Petition of the Mayor, Aldermen and Commonalty of the City of Albany, Humbly Sheweth:
That whereas the City of Albany is a frontier Town and if well fortified might be a place of great security and defence not only for the Inhabitants of the said City and County of Albany, but of very great importance to the safety of the whole Province if attacked by the Enemy, the said City is at present altogether defenceless, open and exposed to Invasions of any Enemy, and in case a War break out with the French, it is not to be doubted their first attempt would be made on the City of Albany and the Inhabitants become an easy prey to the Enemy, which might prove of very fatal consequence to the Province.
The Corporation of the City of Albany are much in debt occasioned by the great expense they were at during the late War, and are not at present in circumstances to pay the same much less to fortifie the City.
There was a Stone wall began severall years ago; it was carried on but a little way: from the wall Stockadoes were put up and Block houses erected at convenient distances round the City. Many of the Stockadoes are now rotten and falling down, and could be of little or no use or service in case we should be attacked by the Enemy. That part of the wall then made is yet standing, and if carried on and finished might be of very great advantage to the safety of the Province in time of War. The Inhabitants to the northward and westward of the City could in time of danger retire thereto and not only defend themselves but probably be able to repulse the Enemy. It is computed that a sum of £6000 would be sufficient to build a wall to enclose the City (except on that side along the River), with Bastions or Batteries in the same at convenient distances, and if a Tax was laid on Estates, real and personal, throughout the Province for to build said wall, it is hoped that said Tax would not be the least grievance to any particular person.
Your Honours Petitioners most humbly pray that you will be pleased to raise by a Tax on Estates, real and personal, throughout the Province the sum of £6000 for to defray the expence of building said wall with Bastions and Batteries at convenient distances for the defence of the place and security of the Province. That said sum be entrusted to such persons and paid in such proportions and at such times as the Legislature think proper, and that you appoint such proper person or persons to oversee the work under such regulation and restrictions as in your wisdom you shall think good. And your Honours Petitioners as in duty bound shall ever pray.
Robert Livingston, Esqr: Sir—We enclose a Petition which we beg the favour of you to deliver into the General Assembly, and beg also the favour of you to use your interest to gitt our prayer granted. If you find any fault in the Petition we desire you will please to gitt another drawn and send it up by the first opportunity. Coll. Johnson will bring with him a Petition for his Excellency the Governour for the same purpose. By order of Common Council.
Ha: Gansevoort, Clerk.
At a Common Council held for the City of Albany at the City Hall of the said City on the 5th day of June, 1853—Present, the Mayor, Recorder, John De Peyster, Jacob Ten Eyck, John Glen, Joh's Van Sante, Harmee Gansevoort, Esq", Aldermen; John R. Bleeker, Volkert P. Douw, Peter D. Wandelaer, Assistants.
This Board agreed with Mr. Isaac Switts for passage and victualls for a number of Indians, not exceeding fifteen, to carry down to New York; and this Board to pay him six shillings for each Indian; that is to say for passage and victuals.
The Mayor undertook to right a Letter to his Excellency the Governour and to sign the same in behalf of yl Common Council, which runs thus:
Albany, June 5, 1753. May it please your Excellency—Severall of y Mohawk Seachims and others came down here applied to us in Common Council and told us that they had received some Wampen and a Message from y' Governour of Canada of very great consequence, and as there were no Commissioners to apply to here they requested of us to pay and provide them a passage down to New York, so as that they might communicate ye same to his Excellency, which we thought we could not well refuse, so that we have provided a passage for few of them I? Mr. Swits; we are with due respect.
At a Common Council held for the City of Albany at the City Hall of the said City on ye 2 June, 1753—Present, the Mayor, Recorder, Jacob Ten Eyck, John Glen, Johannis Van Sante, Harmee Gansevoort, Esqr\ Aldermen; John R. Bleeker, Barent H. Ten Eyck, Peter de Wandelaer, Assistants.
The Mayor produced the Opinion of Mr. Smith, concerning yc Ferry, which runs as follows, viz:
Albany, ye 20 June, 1753. I have considered the case of the City of Albany, relating to the Ferry, and am of opinion that the present right of the Corporation will only extend to the ferrige from y City to the opposite side of the River.
Wm. Smith. I have also considered the case of the Corporation of Albany, and am of opinion that actions for Rent are well maintainable against y Tenants who refuse to pay the rent for those years in which they injoyed the profitts of the Lands. Dated 20 June, 1753. Wm. Smith.
This day Mr. Barnardus Bratt for himself, and Harmee Gansevoort for Mr. Johannis Ten Broeck, agreed with this Board for y Rent of the Ferry, each 50s. from y 4 day of Aprill last till y 4 day of Aprill, 1754, at the rates made in Common Council y 26 day of February, 175,f, excepted only they may ferry from both sides.
This Board ordered that an order be drawn upon their Chamberlain to let Michael Bessett and Robert Lansingh each have 6 Skipple of Wheat, and charge their accounts therewith.
Resolved by this Board, that y- Mayor execute the Deed to Daniel MacMichael for the House and Land where he now dwels, in behalf of yc Common Council in the presence of two Aldermen, and that the Clerk affix the City Seal thereunto.
This Board having considered upon the Opinion of Mr. Smith, relateiug the Tenants of Schagkook, and Resolved, that a Power of Attorney be drawn and signed in Common Councill to send Mr. Smith, in order to prosecute those Tenants that do not agree on or before the first day of August next ensueing, and that copies of the Indentures of such persons as shall not agree within ye time lemittcd be sent to Mr. Smith in New York.
At a Common Councill held for the City of Albany at the City Hall of ye said City on y' 31 day of July, 1753—Present, the Mayor, Recorder, John Glen, John De Peyster, Jacob Ten Eyck, Joh* Van Sante, Abraham Douw, Harme Gansevoort, Esqrs, Aldermen; Johannis Ja. Lansingh, John R. Bleeker, Volkert P. Douw.
Ordered by this Board that an order be drawn upon y City Treasurer to let Jacob Ten Eyck have 416i Skipple Wheat at 4s. I? Skipple and eight pence in cash, which is in full to discharge y ballanee of a Bond of £200 and interest of the same, which Bond was executed by Dirck Ten Broeck, Esqr, late Mayor, under the City Seal, by vertue of a Resolution entered in the Minutes of Comon Councill y 24th day of October, 1747, which order y Clerk sign in behalf of y Common Council, and that y Treasurer demand yL said Bond when yd Wheat is delivered.
John Davids presented a Petition to this Board, which is taken into consideration.
Petition of severall of j° Inhabitants of y Third Ward, which this Board has taken in consideration and made a Resolution thereupon as follows:
Resolved by this Board, that y Pavement between the Houses of Jacob Lansing and David A. Schuyler be raised and made higher, so that the water that comes down from the hill between y Houses of Jacob Visscher and Jacob Lansing may vent itself thro' y Lane or Street between the Houses and Lots of David A. Schuyler and the Widow Catharina Cuyler, and so down the said Lane or Street into y River, to be performed and finished at any time before y,1 15th day of September next ensueing, and if any person or persons shall neglect, refuse or delay to obey, perform and fulfill y orders and directions so given by the Aldermen and Assistants of y" said Third Ward, shall forfeit the sum of twenty shillings for each delaye and for the behoof of y c Sheriff, to be recovered before y Mayor, Recorder, or any one of y Aldermen of y said city.
Ordered, That an Order be drawn upon y Treasurer to let Anthony Bratt have twelve Skipple of Wheat and charge his account therewith at four shillings ^ Skipple.
An Ordinance published for the selling of Flesh in the Markets
At a Common Council held for the City of Albany at y c City Hall of ye said City on y° 8 day of August, 1753—Present, the Mayor, Recorder, Johannis Van Sante, Harmee Gansevoort, John Glen, John De Peyster, Esqr", Aldermen; John R. Bleeker, Barent H. Ten Eyck, Joh" Jaw Lansingh, Peter De Wandelaer.
John Plensburgh delivered an Account to this Board of 8s. M. for repairing y c Steep before ye City Hall, and orders payment.
Pieter Binneway, in behalf for ye rest of ye people of Schaagkook, appeared in Common Councill and agreed with this Board for ye Rent and arrearages due to this City to leave the dispute to two indifferent persons, and if in case they can not agree, that then they chuse yc third person, and that ye People of Schagkook appoint one or more proper persons to enter into Bonds of Arbitration on or before ye first day of September next.
Resolved by this Board, That ye Treasurer pay Joh'i Seger £9:10.
At a Common Council held for ye City of Albany at y, City Hall of the said City on the 5th day of September, 1753—Present, the Mayor, Jacob Ten Eyck, John De Pcyster, Harme Gansevoort, John R. Bleeker, John Beekman, Junr, John Ja. Lausingh, Volkert P. Douw.
Whereas the Ordinance formerly made by the Mayor, Aldermen and Commonalty of this City for the electing two Constables in each Ward of this City is expired of its own limitation, it is hereby ordained by the Mayor, Aldermen and Assistants of this City, that on the 29 day of September next ensueing shall be chosen in each of the Wards of this City, two petty Constables of which the Aldermen of each Ward or any of them shall make their return with the rest of the City Officers.
At a Common Council held for the City of Albany at the City Hall of the said City on the 27 day of September, 1753—Present, the Mayor, John Glen, Job* Van Sante, Jacob Ten Eyck, John De Peyster, Harmee Gansevoort.John Ja. Lansingh, Barent H. Ten Eyck, John R. Bleeker, Volkert P. Douw.
Pursuant to# Resolution made in Common Council the 8 day of August, 1753, appeared here in Common Councill Peter Binneway, John De Wandelaer, and Job- Knikerbaker, Junr, together with this Board appointed Renselaer Nieoll, Esq', and Mr. Joseph Yates, Junr, and have entered into Bonds of £500.
Resolved by this Board, that the Mayor in behalf of the Mayor, Aldermen and Commonality, execute the said Bond and the City Seal be thereunto affixed, which is done in the presence of this Board.
Egbert Bratt delivered to this Board an Account of £2 out of is allowed twenty-eight shillings, and ordered the Treasurer to the same.
Elizabeth Donalsou delivered an Account of £8:2, which is allowed to her mother Anna Kitchner, the 6th day of December, 1745, and is ordered that the Clerk draw an order upon the Treasurer to pay the same, provided that what is paid thereon before on the same Account.
At a Common Council held for the City of Albany at y City Hall of the said City on y1 29 September, 1753—Present, the Mayor, John De Pcyster, Jacob Ten Eyck, John Glen, Harme Gansevoort, Volkert P. Douw, John R. Bleeker, John Beekman, Junr.
This day being appointed by the Charter for choosing and electing Corporation Officers, the following persons were chosen to serve for ye year ensueing, according to the direction of y^ Charter, viz:
First Ward.—John De Peyster and Johannis Van Sante, Aldermen; Volkert P. Douw, Barent H. Ten Eyck, Assistants; Joghum Staats and Gerrit Job' Marcelis, Constables.
Second .Ward.—Jacob Ten Eyck and John Glen, Aldermen; John R. Bleeker, John Beekman, Junior, Assistants; John Joh5 Cuyler, Rynier Van Yveren, Junr, Constables.
Third Ward.—Abraham Douw and John H. Ten Eyck, Aldermen;