History of Troy, New York (part 2)

Part 2

The Troy Female Seminary, located in this place, holds a high rank among institutions of learning in our country. John H. and Sarah L. Willard are the principals, and Nancy Hinsdaie the viceprincipal; there are besides 21 teachers and officers. . . . This school has educated at least five thousand pupils; of whom about one-tenth have been teachers, and it has furnished principals for many of the most distinguished female schools in every part of the Union. The present principal of this seminary, Mrs. Sarah L. Willard, spent nineteen years in the institution as pupil, teacher and vice-principal, before assuming its government. But the larger number of the young ladies here educated have married, and are now, many of them, standing in the first circles and among the first women of our country in regards to piety and moral worth, domestic usefulness, and intellectual and social accomplishments. Several of the pupils have been distinguished as authors. About twenty teachers are constantly employed. The number of pupils being about two hundred, gives an average of one teacher to ten pupils. . . . Great care has been bestowed on health, and but one death of a pupil, and that a sudden one from organic affection of the heart, has occurred.

The Rensselaer Institute is an excellent institution under the charge of Professor Eaton. Many young men are here fitted for the profession of civil engineering. The system of teaching is thorough and practical.

In the same year, the Buffalo Gazette, the leading newspaper of Western New York, in commenting upon the prosperity induced by the energy of the people of Troy, said:

The Trojans are proverbial for their enterprise and public spirit. Everything which they take hold. of "goes ahead." For two or three years past they have been endeavoring to compete with Albany for the western travel to New York and the East. For this purpose a railroad had been constructed to Schenectady which intercepts the great Western line at that point and upon the river a line of most splendid steamers has been put. Having recently passed over this route we can speak of it advisedly. The railroad is one of the best constructed in the United States, and passes through a section of country abounding in beautiful scenery. This, with the gentlemanly attention of those in charge of the cars-which by the way are superb- being like those of the Attica & Buffalo road-renders it a trip of pleasantness and comfort. And then upon the noble Hudson! We thought we had seen steamboats on our own Erie, and so we have, some of the finest specimens of this class in the world. But the boats comprising the Troy line, being fitted up especially for passengers, surpass in beauty and magnificence anything we have ever beheld in the shape of water craft. There is the Buffalo-named as a compliment to our city- with the gentlemanly and attentive Captain R. B. Macy. She is one of the most elegant boats on the river. The Swallow, Captain A. McLean; the Troy, Captain A. Gorham, and. the Empire, Captain S. R. Roe; all well known and popular with the traveling public. The two former compose the Night Line and the two latter the Day Line. The Empire is the longest boat on the river.

A fire which destroyed many thousands of dollars' worth of property occurred on the afternoon of Sunday, June 6, 1841, when nine wooden buildings and two brick buildings on the west side of River street, bounded on the north by Fulton market and on the south by the store of Haight, Gillespy & Co., were destroyed. This fire was the most disastrous which had occurred since the conflagration of 1820. On the burned area several handsome business buildings were immediately erected.

Two years after the founding of the Church of the Holy Cross by Mary Warren, wife of Nathan Warren, in 1844, this noble woman, associating with her her sons, Nathan B., Stephen B. and George H. Warren; her son .in-law, Edmund Schriver; the Rev. John Ireland Tucker, pastor of the Church of the Holy Cross, and Amos S. Perry, established "The Warren Free Institute of the City of Troy. " This dày school for girls was incorporated May 19, 1846, it having been established first in 1815 by Phoebe, wife of Eliakim Warren, as a Saturday sewing school for poor girls. At her death in 1835, Mary Warren, her daughter.in-law, succeeded her in its management, and four years later changed it to a charity day school, finally incorporating the institution as described. When the latter change was made the school was located in the old Vanderheyden mansion on the southwest corner of Eighth and Grand Division streets. April 5, 1859, the name of the school was changed by act of the Legislature to "The Mary Warren Free Institute of the City of Troy," the act providing that a fourth of the income of the institute might be applied for the instruction of children of both sexes, and a fourth for maintaining services in the Church of the Holy Cross, of which the institute was a branch. Joseph D. Lomax, M. D., for many years was principal of the boys' department of the school. The building was burned May 10, 1862, and at the beginning of the following year the new school building south of and adjoining the church was opened. This is the edifice now occupied by the institute.

The year 1846 marked the introduction into Troy of the first Morse magnetic telegraph line. In June of that year the construction of a line between Troy and Whitehall was begun, and July 24 the first message was sent to Saratoga Springs from the Troy office, located in the basement of the Athenaeum building, on First street. August 6 the line from Troy to Buffalo was completed and the first message sent over those wires. October 6 the first message from New York to Troy was received by way of Boston. Moses Johnson was the first superintendent of the Troy station. The operations of the mysterious apparatus created a widespread interest in Troy and were even more inexplicable to the wondering masses than was the telephone, introduced thirty years later.

A year later the inhabitants of Troy were once more given an opportunity to marvel, this time over a new illuminating gas which its inventors endeavored to have introduced into the city. July 19 of that year an exhibition of the wonderful qualities of the gas was given in front of the court house, which resulted in creating such a general demand for its introduction in Troy, that February 16, 1848, the Troy Gas Light company was incorporated with a capital stock of $100,000. Of this amount $11 000 was subscribed by Trojans and the balance by Philadelphia capitalists. Conduits were laid at once and the streets of the city and many public and private buildings were illuminated by gas for the first time on the evening of October 2, 1848. An attempt had been made many years before, first as early as 1818, to introduce an inferior quality of gas; and March 29, 1825, a number of citizens even went so far as to become incorpOrated as "The Troy Gas Light company," with a capital stock of $150,000, but the company never began the manufacture of gas and the project ended with the granting of the charter. The leading spirits in this early unsuccessful company were Nathan Warren, George. Tibbits, Richard P. Hart, Samuel McCoun, John D. Dickinson, Jedediah. Tracy, Gurdon Corning, Elias Patterson, Gilbert Reilay, Daniel Southwick, John Paine, John Gary, Warren Kellogg, James Van Schoonhoven, James Van - Brackle, Jeremiah Dauchy, Ephrairn Gurley, Alsop Weed and Gurdon Grant.

St Peter's Roman Catholic church, which was built in 1826 and 1827 on the corner of Hutton and North Second streets and later enlarged by a brick addition, was totally destroyed by fire February 10, 1848, caused by sparks from a stove-pipe. Thenew church was erected the following year and was dedicated December 16, 1849, by Bishop John McCioskey of Albany.

The third of the disastrous conflagrations occurring in Troy was one which began about 9:30 o'clock in the evening of Monday May 1, 1848, in a stable in the rear of Mechanics' hall on the east side of River street between Congress and Ferry streets. Most of the buildings were of wood and within a short space of time the entire block was destroyed, beside the McCoun block on the south side of Congress street and five large buildings on the west side of River street. Help was sent from Albany, West Troy and Lansingburgh and the firemen of these places did splendid service in preventing the progress of the flames to other parts of the city. No lives were lost, but seventeen horses of the Troy and Albany stage line and seven belonging to S. J. & A. C. Haistead were burned to death.

The Troy Board of Trade was organized by a number of prominent merchants and shippers October 13, 1849, the first meeting being held four days later in the hall in the Antenaeum building. The body continued in existence 27 years, during which time many products were listed and the business men of Troy and vicinity drawn - into closer relations.

The consecration of Oakwood cemetery October 16, 1850, was attended by solemn and impressive cerem6nies. - The plans for. the establishment of this handsome and imposing burial ground, which occupies one of the finestsites in the country devoted to a similar purpose, had their inception in the fall of 1846, when a number of citizens agreed to contribute money sufficient to purchase and lay out the land selected by the majority of them. Their original plan was deemed impracticable, and two years later they determined to take advantage of the law authorizing the incorporation- of rural cemeteries. Consequently the Troy Cemetery association was organized September 9, 1848, with Isaac McConihe, George M. Tibbits, John Paine, D. Thomas Vail, John B. Gale and Stephen B. Warren as trustees. The committee appointed at the time of organization reported in favOr of the selection of the present site on the high hill near the northeastern limits of the city, and the next- fall the trustees purchased about one hundred and fifty acres of land on that spot and engaged J. C. Sidney, a landscape architect, to lay it out in an artistic manner. The dedication cere monies were very impressive. A procession headed by the Watervliet Arsenal band, composed of the officers - of the cemetery association, the members of the Common Council, the pastors of the various churches and other representative citizens, under the escort of the -local military companies, proceeded from the court-house to the grounds under the leadership of Colonel A. H. Pierce, grand marshal. The exercises began with a prayer by the Rev. Dr. Nathan S. S. Beeman, past6r of the- First Presbyterian church, followed by the reading of the Scriptures - by the Rev. Robert B. Van Kleeck, pastor of St. Paul's church, and the singing of the dedication hymn composed for the occasion by Rev; John Pierpont, pastor of the First Unitarian church. The dedicatory address was delivered by the Hon. David Buel, jr., who declated the name -of the ground to be Oakwood cemetery. The exercises were brought to a close by the benediction pronounced by the Rev. Dr. George C. Bald win, pastor of the First Particular Baptist church.

June 6, 1850, witnessed the formal inauguration of the work upon the Troy & Boston Railroad, a charter for which had been granted April 4, 1848. As early as 1819, duri-ng the construction of the Erie and the Champlain canals, it had been proposed by a civil engineer to make a canal from the Atlantic ocean at Boston to the Hudson river at Troy. The project was investigated, the commissioners appointed by the Massachusetts Legislature reporting that the work could be best accomplished by means of a tunnel through the mountains of western Massachusetts. Before any practical steps toward the construction of the road were taken, however, the era of steam railways had dawned and the canal pioject gave way to plans for the construction of a railroad over the same route. In 1849 several Troy capitalists had surveys made for a road from Troy to the Vermont line, for the purpose of reaching Boston temporarily by way of Rutland, Vt., and ultimately by way of Green field,' Mass., through the contemplated tunnel through the Hoosac mountains. The survey proving satisfactory the charter of 1848 was granted and the work was begun in 1850 as stated. The ceremonies of June 6 were as imposing as the event was important. A long procession, composed of the militia and numerous civic organizations, started in the morning from the court-house to a field in the eastern part of the city, near the line of Glen avenue, where, after speeches by representative Trojans, General John E. Wool, one of the directors of the company and a most enthusiastic promoter of the road, broke the first ground. Mayor Day O. Kellogg, secretary and treasurer of the company, loaded the soil upon a wheelbarrow, which Amos Briggs, president of the company, dumped to the ground a short distance away. After the ceremonies a banquet was served at the Troy house in which more than a hundred persons participated. Thus started the work progressed favorably. The construction of the Hoosac tunnel was begun in 1854 by the Troy & Greenfleld Railroad company, the State of Massachusetts extending a credit of $2,000,000 to facilitate the work. On the evening of June 28, 1852, the first passenger train on the Troy & Boston railroad, from Eagle Bridge, arrived in the city. But it was not until February 9, 1875, that the first train of cars passed through the Hoosac tunnel. October 13 of that year the first passenger train from Boston arrived in Troy, and July 17, 1876, the first through train to Boston left Troy, the journey occupying seven and a half hours.

It may be added, in connection with the development of railways running out from Troy, that the city about this time was a prominent centre for the manufacture of passenger and freight cars, which were sent to all parts of the country. This industry was started in 1841 by the manufacture of railroad passenger cars at the works of Eaton & Gilbert. Eleven years before the works of Charles Veazie and Orsamus Eaton had turned Pout fifty post coaches, used on the various stage lines in and about Rensselaer county, in addition to which many vehicles of other kinds were made. The firm of Eaton & Gilbert built the first eight-wheel passenger cars used on the Schenectady & Troy railroad. In 1844 Edward O. Eaton was admitted to the firm, which was then known as Eaton, Gilbert & Co. In the year 1850 the output of this concern, which at that time was located on Sixth street, between Fulton and Albany streets, was thirty passenger cars and 158 freight cars, besides 100 stage coaches and fifty omnibuses. The stages and- cars built by that establishment were used, not only in all parts of the United States, but also in Canada, Mexico and South America.

April 17, 1851, two new wards were created by the Legislature by the division of the sixth and seventh wards. The ninth ward was defined as "all that part of the sixth ward bounded by a line running through the centre of Polk street eastwardly to the centre of the Greenbush road, thence northerly through the centre line of the -road to a point in the north line of the Bumstead farm, thence easterly along the north line of the farm to a point in the west line of the Rensselaer county poor. house farm, thence northerly along the west line of the farm to the northwest corner of the farm, thence northerly to the Hollow road, thence westerly along the centre of the Hollow road to the centre of the Poesten kill, and thence westerly along the centre of the creek to the Hudson river." The tenth ward was defined as all that part of the seventh ward lying north of a line running through the middle of Hoosick street.

Another disastrous fire, entailing a loss of over $50,000, started on the afternoon of October 28. 1852, in a shed in the rear of a house on Fulton street, between Fifth and Sixth streets. Before the fire could be controlled it had consumed several adjacent buildings, including the car works of Eaton, Gilbert & Co., the North Baptist church and Union Place block.

A notable trial which occurred in Troy in 1853 was that of a woman supposed to be Mrs. Henrietta Robinson, afterward famous as the "veiled murderess." The charge against her was murdering, by poison given in beer, a man named Lanigan and attempting to kill by the same means - a woman visiting at his house in Troy. Throughout the entire trial the accused sat with her face heavily veiled, and forever after her identity remained undisclosed. The mysterious woman was convicted on the charge and sentenced to death; but the sentence was commuted to imprisonment for life through the efforts of Judge Harris, the presiding judge, and Martin I. Townsend, her chief counsel. In 1896 Mrs. Robinson was still confined, in the State Asylum for- insane criminals at Matteawan, N. Y.

Two banking companies, both of which are now extinct, were organized in 1853 and 1854. They were the Market Bank of Troy, incorporated in January, 1853, with a capital of $200,000, and the Troy Savings company, incorporated June 29, 1854. The first named began business in September, 1853, in the building No. 280 River street, with Jeremiah S. Hakes as president and Albert C. Gunnison as cashier. The bank ceased to exist in January, 1865, being succeeded by the National Exchange bank. The Troy Savings company was located at No. 18 First street and began business with TJri Gilbert as president, Joseph U. Orvis as vice-president and John P. Albertson as secretary and treasurer. Its business never was very extensive, and after a career of twenty-six years it discontinued business.

By a decision of the Supreme Court of New York State the exclusive right to operate steam or other ferries across the Hudson river opposite the city of Troy by the heirs to the Vanderheyden estate -and their successors was annulled, and the right to receive tolls by the persons or companies operating the ferries became a State franchise. Ever since 1826 steam ferryboats had been running across the river to and from Gibbonsville, the first one having been constructed especially for John G. Vanderheyden. When the decision of the Supreme Court was handed down a third ferry was established as the foot of Broadway, landing on the opposite side of the river at the south end of Green Island. It was not until some time after the construction of the State dam that the fourth ferry, running between the foot of Douw street, Troy, and Tibbits street, Green Island, was established. The first and only very serious accident on any of these lines occurred on the morning of October 13, 1854, when the ferry boat plying between the city and Green Island was upset in midstream by swells from the steamboat Alice, throwing its seventeen passengers in the water, eleven of whom were drowned.

The next important chapter in the history of railroad development in Troy centres about the organization of the Troy Union Railroad company. As we have seen, the first tracks of the Rensselaer & Saratoga railroad, which were also used by the Schenectady & Troy Railroad company, were laid from the Green Island bridge down River Street to First and thence to the front of the Athenaeum building. Soon after the opening of these roads the business men of Troy and others began to complain of the inconvenience caused by running cars on these streets, particularly on River Street, the principal business thoroughfare. This feeling finally culminated in a general desire that the tracks be taken up and removed to some other street where the running of the cars would not so seriously interfere with local street traffic and general business. Consequently, on petition of the citizens of Troy, the Legislature, June 20, 1851, authorized the city and the different railroad companies to form a stock company for the construction of a railroad through a part or the whole of the city. In accordance with this permission the Troy Union Railroad company was organized July 21 of the same year. The work of construction was delayed some time for the purpose of determining-the streets which might best be set apart for the new railroad, and it was not until December 3, 1852, that the city authorities granted the company a franchise to use each side of Sixth street, between Fulton and Albany streets, for a passenger depot, and to change the course of Sixth Street at that point if necessary. Soon after this the work of construction was begun. March 14, 1853, the company purchased of Orsamus Eaton his property, located on the site chosen for a depot, and the erection of that structure was begun. New tracks connecting with the Troy & Greenbush railroad were laid on Sixth street, and another line was laid to the Rensselaer & Saratoga railroad bridge.

Meantime other plans for the betterment of Troy's railroad facilities were in progress. The ownership of the Schenectady & Troy railrOad, and its operation and maintenance, had proven a heavy burden for the city and soon after the organization of the Troy Union Railroad company a number of citizens petitioned the Common Council to sell the Schenectady & Troy railroad for as large a sum as it would bring. Six months afterward the committee to whom the matter had been referred for investigation reported in favor of selling the road for not less than $200,000. January 24, 1853, a committee consisting of Mayor George Gould, Recorder Gilbert Robertson, jr., Alderman Jonathan Edwards, Alderman Foster Bosworth, Russell Sage and D. Thomas Vail were appointed a committee to make the sale at not less than the price mentioned. In accordance with its instructions the committee contracted to sell the road to B. D. Morgan for $200,000, March 1, 1853, who was to pay $50,000 cash upon that date and the balance in fourteen years, with six per cent, semi-annual interest after March 1, 1858. The new owner entered into an agreement with the city to keep the road in good condition and to fulfill the agreement between the city and the Troy Union Railroad company. The sale was immediately confirmed by the Common Council and the necessary papers signed by the mayor.

The Troy Union railroad and its large new depot were opened for business February 22, 1854, when a banquet was given on the upper floor of the building. Five new passenger cars brought from Albany, by way of Greenbush, 425 invited guests, including 125 members of the State Legislature, then in session, several of whom made addresses speaking in most flattering terms of the great enterprise of the people of Troy. From this time on the interests of the various railroads centering in Troy were indissolubly linked together, and it may be said that on February 22, 1854, a new era of prosperity opened, not only for Troy's railroads but for all its diversified interests.

The inhabitants of Troy were again called upon to suffer a great loss by fire when, on the afternoon of Friday, August 25, 1854, a large quantity of lumber and several blocks of buildings were destroyed. The flames originated about one o'clock in a brick planing mill on the south west corner of Front and Division streets and quickly consumed the piles of lumber south of the mill. From there it continued until it had burned all the buildings and lumber west of River street, from Division street to Jefferson street; all the buildings of any kind west of First street, between Liberty and Jefferson streets, and nearly all the structures between the latter streets along and west of the alley between First and Second streets. About two hundred buildings were destroyed, including among the most important, the freight depot and repair shop of the Troy & Greenbush Railroad company, the chair factory of Edgerton, Sheldon & Osborn, the bell foundry of Jones & Hitchcock and Parmenter's machine shop. About 20,000,000 feet of lumber was also burned, and fully three hundred families were rendered homeless, many losing all their possessions excepting the cloth. ing they wore. Relief was extended the sufferers by residents of Troy and other cities. On this occasion the local fire department received valuable assistance from fire companies in Albany, Lansingburgh, West Troy, Cohoes and Waterford. A conservative estimate of the loss places it at about one million dollars.

Troy was the original home and is the present centre of the linen collar, cuff and shirt industry of the world. The collar industry was started in this city in a modest way by one man in the year 1828. His success, coupled with that of his successors, incited emulation, and several other firms soon entered the field. The great convenience of detachable collars and cuffs was apparent from the start, and the demand for them soon distanced even the rapidly increasing production. This continued to enlarge, however, until it seemed that the limit of consumption must have been reached. But it may almost be said with truth that there is no limit to the demand. The competition which began soon after the establishment of the first collar manufactory gave birth to many new fashions, and there have been in the past thirty or forty years several freakish and fantastic periods in the industry, each one of which was followed almost immediately by reaction to forms less radical. During this time practically every new style has originated in the city of Troy, and this is true to-day.

The importation of English collars of some brands began about the year 1875, and about the year 1884 German collars also were introduced, both with indifferent success. But ever since its inception the development of the domestic manufacture has proceeded with marvelous strides, though with occasional brief pauses. Strangely enough the business is almost entirely confined to Troy, where over a score - of firms, some of which are very wealthy, are engaged in it. Some of these establishments are very large, employing many hundred persons in each and maintaining large warerooms in several large cities in various parts of the Union. Unlike many other branches of industry there is no trust or combination in the collar business, but the freest competition. Many grades, from the finest of linen -and part linen and cotton, to all cotton, are produced, and the workmanship in all grades has been brought up to the highest standard of excellence. The wages paid to both men and women are good, and the industry, taken as a whole, is a splendid illustration of modern American skill, integrity and indomitable energy and enterprise. With the branch factories which some of the Troy concerns maintain in other places, such as Glens Falls, Mechanieville, Baliston Spa and Greenwich, and other towns even further away, the value of the annual production of linen and cotton collars and cuffs alone by the Troy concerns is about $5,500,000, besides the value of immense quantities of men's shirts and women's shirt-waists. Paper collars and cuffs, which were in general use at one time, are now manufactured in small quantities, the value of the annual output being about $300,000 only. In 1880 the annual production exceeded in value $1,500,000. By the beginning of the twentieth century a paper collar will be almost an anomaly. Celluloid, at one time employed, is also rapidly decreasing in the popular demand.

To the Rev. Ebenezer Brown, a retired Methodist preacher, belongs the credit of originating the collar industry. In 1828, while he was established as a dry goods merchant at No. 285 River street, south of the present site of Fulton market, he contracted with a number of women to make and launder "string collars." For six years he continued their manufacture, when he removed from the city. About the time he left, the firm of Montague & Granger, composed of Orlando Montague and Austin Granger, located at No. 222 River street on the site of the Hall building, began the business on a somewhat larger scale, selling their wares in New York city and other places. In 1835 Independence Starks began the manufacture of stocks and collars at No. 66 North Second street, soon after adding a laundry for his own use and thatof patrons who demanded it.. About the same time Lyman Bennett, witnessing the increasing demand for the product, entered upon the new industry in connection with his trade as carpenter. The, collar business proving more profitable, in 1837 he devoted his time exclusively thereto, in 1838 removing his factory from No. 24 North Third street to No. 308 River street, and in 1853. moving again to No. 344 River street, where he entered into a partnership with M. W. Hicks and O. W. Edson under the firm name of Bennett, Hicks & Edson.

By this time the manufacture of collars had become an established industry in Troy. Other firms and individuals picked up the business from time to time and scores of women, and a few men, were given employment. From collars, one or two concerns turned part of their attention to the manufacture of shirts and cuffs about the year 1845, Lawrence Van Valkenburgh beginning the manufacture of shirts in that year at his collar factory on the southeast corner of Seventh and Elbow (Fulton) streets.

A new era in the collar industry dawned in the winter of 1851-52 when Nathaniel Wheeler, of the then recently formed sewing-machine manufacturing firm of Wheeler, Wilson & Co., visited the collar manufacturers of Troy to introduce the newly invented machine for sewing. The manufacturers at first were skeptical as to the merits of the invention and it was with difficulty that Mr. Wheeler finally induced one of them, Jefferson Gardner, to agree to give it a trial in his factory. Several were sent to him, and they at once proved so satisfactory that more were ordered; and from that time no factory was able to enter into the competition on anything like a fair footing without the use of sewing machines. The employés of the factories, too, welcomed the invention, for by its use they were able to increase their earnings, which before had averaged no more than fifty cents per day, to four or five times that sum, many of the best operatives soon earning as high as two dollars and fifty cents per day. It may truthfully be said that the introduction of the sewing machine marked the beginning of a new era in the collar and cuff industry of Troy, giving it an impetus that soon placed the city at the head of all others in the world in that particular, a position it has ever since maintained.

During the remaining five years of the decade from 1850 to 1860 but few incidents worthy of record occurred in Troy. One of the most noteworthy Of these events occurred Sunday, February 8, 1857, when the high water in the Hudson, which on that day reached a point a foot and a half higher than was touched in the spring of 1832, carried away the covered wooden bridge between Green Island and Van Schaick Island, acrOss one of the branches of the Mohawk river. The structure was carried over the State dam as far the Rensselaer & Saratoga Railroad company's bridge between Troy and Green Island, where it lodged. Two years later, on the evening of March 17, 1859, another landslide occurred on the west side of Mount Ida, when many hundred tons of clay, loosened by the thaw which had been in progress for several days, came in an avalanche down into Washington street, ruining St. Peter's college, which was then in course of construction, and causing a loss to that institution of about $12,000. The college, a Catholic institution, had been started six months before when, September 19, 1858, Bishop McCloskey had laid the corner stone.

Just before the opening of the War of the Rebellion a thrilling incident, one of many of a similar nature which occurred in various parts of the country. created a great sensation in the city. In the spring of that year Charles Nalle, an escaped slave from Virginia, was employed as a coachman by TJri Gilbert. Feeling secure in his new home he 'foolishly communicated to some of his newly formed acquaintances the fact that in the fall of 1858 he had become a fugitive. His owner was informed of his whereabouts and in April, 1860, United States Deputy Marshal J. L. Holmes was given an order for the arrest of the fugitive. Nalle was arrested on the 27th of the month and taken at once to the office of United States Commissioner Miles Beach, which was located on the second floor of the Mutual bank building on the corner of First and State streets. Martin I. Townsend was immediately secured by friends of the prisoner to secure his release if possible. While Mr. Townsend was preparing papers requisite for a writ of habeas corpus, the intention being to take Nalle before Justice George Gould of the Supreme Court of the State of New York, a crowd of spectators, including many colored persons, had gathered about the office of Commissioner Beach. The story of Nalle's flight from the land of slavery to a free State was pathetically told by one of his colored friends, and almost in the twinkling of an eye a plot was laid to liberate the captive from the hands of the officers of the law. The excitement increasing with every moment, Chief of Police Timothy Quinn was ordered to send a large force of officers to the scene, with instructions to quell any signs of a disturbance as soon as they appeared. The writ of habeas corpus secured by Lawyer Townsend was served upon Marshal Holmes at four p. M., the instrument directing the latter official totake the prisoner before Judge Gould at his office, No. 39 Congress street. As the prisoner descended the stairs, in company with several officers, all were instantly surrounded by the crowd below and a number of colored men made a bold dash to take Nalle from his custodians. In an instant all was confusion. The mob kept the city policemen so far from the other officers as to prevent them from rendering any assistance. A moment later Deputy Marshal Morgan S. Upham was torn from the prisoner, leaving the latter in the hands of Marshal Holmes. The crowd then followed on to Congress street where, after a desperate fight, the prisoner was released and carried to the foot of Washington street. Here he sprang upon a ferry boat and was taken to West Troy, where he was almost immediately captured and taken to the second story of a house near by. The rescuers surmised that Nalle had not made good his escape, and within a brief space of time 300 of them captured the steam ferry boat and rushed to the rescue. The temporary prison was taken by storm, despite the free use of pistols by the West Troy officers, and Nalle's friends escorted him rapidly down Broadway, whence he jumped into a wagon that was in waiting and was carried westward far from the reach of the unsuccessful officers of the law. After remaining for a while in the woods in the eastern part of Schenectady county he proceeded to Amsterdam. In May he returned to Troy, his freedom having been purchased by his former employer, Uri Gilbert, and other citizens of Troy.

The construction of the first street railway in Troy was begun July 15, 1861, by the Troy & Lansingburgh Street Railway company, which had received from the Common Council August 20, 1860, a franchise granting it permission to construct a single track railroad from Lansingburgh to Troy, through River, Adams and Second streets to a point on the Greenbush road near the bridge across the Wynants kill. The company had a capital stock of $100,000, divided into shares of $100 each, cnd its first officers, elected February 19, 1861, .were: President, Thomas Symonds; vice-president, John A. Griswold; secretary and treasurer, Miles Beach; engineer, William Barton. The work of construction was completed in a trifle over six months, but August 29 the first passenger car was drawn over the partially constructed road by a single horse. The road was finished early in 1862 and in the same year was extended to Waterford. Soon afterward the first road from Troy to Cohoes was begun, a company haying been organized February 11, 1862, under the name of the Troy & Cohoes Railroad company, with John A. Griswold as president. The road began operation October 11, 1863.

We have told in a separate chapter of the history of Rensselaer county of the several regiments of Volunteers in Troy and vicinity in the early days of the War of the Rebellion and the participation of the valiant young soldiers, including many residents of Troy, in that memorable struggle. During the lcng period while the Rensselaer county regiments were at the front many incidents worthy of chronicling, some of which were directly related to, the war, occurred in Troy. One of the most noteworthy of these incidents of the first year of the war was the brief visit to the city of President-elect Abraham Lincoln, while on his way from his home in Illinois to his inauguration in the city of Washington. Mr. Lincoln arrived in the city on the morning of Tuesday, February 19, 1861. Upon his arrival at the Union depot he was greeted by a crowd estimated at fully 30,000 persons, many of whom had come to the city from surrounding towns. Upon an open car in the station Mayor Isaac McConihe made a brief speech welcoming the distinguished statesman and extending to him the hospitality and freedom of the city. Mr. Lincoln in a brief address returned his thanks for the mark of respect which had been paid him, after which D. Thomas Vail, vice-president of' the Troy Union Railroad company, conducted him to the train of the Hudson River railroad, which was waiting to receive the president-elect, and a minute later the latter was on his way to New York amid the hearty cheers of the vast concourse of people there assembled.

After the beginning of the war and during its first year Troy maunfacturers secured numerous contracts for munitions of war. Many thousands of brass fuses for artillery projectiles were turned out by the firm of W. & L. E Gurley; a large number of army wagons and artillery carriages were made by Eaton, Gilbert & Co., several steel rifled cannon were manufactured by Corning, Winslow & Co., rifled brass cannon were manufactured by Jones & Co., mortar bombs were produced in large quantities by the firms of Fuller, Warren & Co. and Knight, Harrison & Paine; and immense quantities of shot and shell of various sizes were sent south by Swett, Quimby & Co. Several other firms and individuals furnished other stores for the government at different times.

An instance of the high spirit of patriotism which pervaded the hearts of Trojans in these stirring days was seen in the successful efforts of John A. Griswold and John F. Winslow, both of Troy, to obtain for Captain John Ericsson the contract for the construction of the famed iron-clad "Monitor," and, in conjunction with Cornelius S. Bushnell of New Haven, in their assuming the responsibility of guaran. teeing the government against all loss in the event of that vessel s proving unserviceable in any manner. After the hazardous experiment with the Monitor had been tried in Hampton Roads, and that remarkable additon to the Union navy had been proven a success, it became conceded on all sides that the vessel would never have been constructed had it not been for the indefatigable efforts of the two Troy men, who, from the start, were determined to allow no failures to discourage them so long as their resources were not exhausted.

August 7, 1861, the navy department advertised for bids for the construction of one or more iron-clad war vessels. In response thereto C. S. Bushnell & Co. of New Haven submitted plans and specifications for an iron-clad gun-boat, the Galena. These plans did not meet the requirements, in the eyes of the representatives of the government, and Mr. Bushnell went to New York to consult the distinguished engineer, Captain Ericsson. The latter had already prepared a plan for a small but powerful floating battery, which he exhibited to Mr. Bushnell. The plan was then presented to the government for consideration, but the authorities at the navy department ridiculed the idea that the unique vessel whose designs they had seen could be utilized to advantage in war. Not disappointed Mr. Bushnell consulted Mr. Griswold and Mr. Winslow by telegraph, with the result that the Troy gentlemen left for Washington September 3, 1861, with the determination to use all the influence at their command to further the plans of Captain Ericsson and Mr. Bushnell. After a study of the plans both the Troy gentlemen were convinced of the practicability of the proposed vessel and agreed to go before the naval board and endeavor to persuade that body to recommend making a contract for the construction of at least one. Commodore Smith, after an interview, discouraged the project, but they immediately visited President Lincoln. The latter agreed to look into the matter and the next day he attended a meeting of the board at the office of Commodore Smith, in conjunction with Mr. Griswold, Mr. Winslow and several officers of the Navy Department. At this meeting Mr. Winslow described the novel manner in which the proposed vessel would operate, but even then few of those present appeared to look upon the project as practicable. Mr. Lincoln thought differently, however, and the next day Commodore Smith, much to thedelight of Mr. Winslow, informed the latter that the naval board would recommend the construction of a battery according to Captain Ericsson's plans, provided the contractors should assume all the risk of the experiment. This was all that the Troy men desired, and both agreed to shoulder the responsibility, Mr. Griswold individually agreeing to see that the inventor should lose nothing. In the contract with the government the three men who had thus befriended Captain Ericsson guaranteed that the vessel should be ready for sea in one hundred days from the date-October 4, 1861-and further, that should she fail as to speed or in the security or successful working of the turret and guns "with safety to the vessel and the men in the turret," or in her buoyancy to float her battery properly, they would refund to the government the amount of money advanced to carry on the work of construction.

Contracts were at once made with Corning, Winslow & Co., of Troy, and the Rensselaer Iron Works, of which Mr. Griswold was one of the principal proprietors, for all the armor, bars and rivets to be used in the construction of the strange craft, and the work was begun at once and pushed with all possible speed. The result was that the Monitor was launched at Greenpoint, Long Island, January 30, 1862, just 101 working days after the date of the contract. Then came the trial trip, the mounting of her guns, the journey to Hampton Roads, and finally, March 9, 1862, the famous engagement with the rebel iron-clad Merri'mac, in which the confidence of her inventor and his backers was vindicated beyond all question. When the news of the great victory was received in Troy there was great rejoicing, for every patriotic citizen had awaited with intense interest to hear the result of the first battle of the little vessel in the production of which so many Trojans had assisted. On the evening of Saturday, March 22, about 400 of the employes of the Albany Iron Works and the Rensselaer Iron Works, every one of whom doubtless had helped work out the metal with which the Monitor had been so well protected, celebrated the event by a torchlight procession which was witnessed by all the inhabitants of Troy. In the parade was a large transparency, on one side of which was painted a picture representing the battle between the two irondads, and on the other pictures of Captain Ericsson, Mr. Griswold and Mr. Winslow, with the inscription, "Honor to whom honor is due," and the words contained in the dispatch of General John E. Wool, then in command of Fortress Monroe, to Mr. Griswold, telegraphed on the day of the engagement-" The Monitor has saved everything inside and outside the fort."

The great fire of 1862, as it became known in later years, was one of the most disastrous blows which ever fell upon the city. During a gale of wind from the northwest, Saturday, May 10, at noon, sparks from a locomotive set fire to the roof of the eastern part of the old Rensselaer & Saratoga railroad bridge, and almost before an alarm could be sounded the flaming brands were flying before the wind and falling upon hundreds of business houses 'and residences in the most thickly populated portion of the city. The firemen were powerless to quench the fire on the bridge, the heat being so intense that even the boldest and hardiest fighters among them could not get near enough to do effective service. Before the bridge was destroyed the flying pieces of blazing shingles had set fire to hundreds of houses, causing the occupants to flee panic stricken, leaving everything behind. The smoke was very dense and many persons fell in the streets while trying to escape, overcome by the parched air. The scene throughout the central portion of the city was awful beyond description. After the first brief and desperate attempt to stay the fire all hope was abandoned and men and women fled through the streets in the wildest disorder. The path of the holocaust widened as the flames swept on, and scores of buildings which at first were supposed to be out of danger went up like tinder. In less than an hour and a half from the time the first blaze was discovered the element had cut a clean swath from the bridge to the corner of Seventh and Congress streets, a distance of about half a mile, the ruined district being in some places more than a quarter of a mile in width. The total area burned over exceeded seventy-five acres, and the buildings burned numbered five hundred and seven, exclusive of barns and out-houses. Several lives were lost, the fatalities including Dr. Zenas Cary, an aged physician residing at No. 29 Grand Division street; Ransom S. Raight, who was burned almost beyond recognition on Seventh street; Thomas O'Donnell, an aged blind man., burned to death in his home on Green street; and Mary Dunlop and her child, whose bodies were discovered after the fire. The fire was under control six hours from the time it started.

Among the prominent buildings burned were the Second Presbyterian church, on the southeast corner of Grand Division and Sixth streets; the North Baptist church, on the southeast corner of Fulton and Fifth streets; the Associate Presbyterian church on the east side of Seventh street between State street and Broadway, and the Home Mission close by; the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, on the northeast corner of Sixth and State streets; the Troy Orphan Asylum, on the north side of Grand Division street west of Eighth; the Church Asylum, on the south side of Federal street between Sixth and Eighth streets; the Troy City bank, on the southeast corner of Grand Division and Fourth streets; and the depot of the Troy Union Railroad company, on the site of the present structure. The city fire department was assisted by engines and firemen from Albany, Lansingburgh, West Troy, Cohoes and Waterford. The actual loss to the city of Troy was in reality much greater than the figures established by the adjusters of the various insurance companies, which were as low as they could be made. According to their appraisal the total value of the property burned was $2,677,892, on which there was an aggregate insurance of $1,321,874. The total loss on real estate was estimated to be $1,386,080, on which there was an insurance of $766,691; and the loss on the personal property was reckoned at $1,291,812, on which there was an insurance of $555,183. Before the end of the month the people of Troy and other places raised about $50,000 for the relief of the sufferers, which amount was still further increased by later donations. Two months after the fire nearly 200 new buildings had been erected or partially so, and within six months handsome new buildings stood upon every lot except two that had been visited by the conflagration.

On account of the scarcity of practical currency which was so common during the years of the war, the common Council of Troy, following the example of other cities, September 18, 1862, authorized the issue of notes of small denominational value to the amount of $25,000. Upon their face was an engraving of the Rensselaer county courthouse. The notes were dated October 1, 1862, and were made payable at the office of the city chamberlain when presented in sums of five dollars. They were accepted in all quarters as cash. April 1, 1864, there was another issue of the notes of the same class, to the value of $104,071.20.

July 25, 1862, the city was practically at the mercy of a mob who opposed the drafting of men for the army, which had been ordered a few days before. The Troy Times had been outspoken in its advocacy of the measure,. and this paper was made the especial target for the attack of the small army of disgruntled citizens, the majority of whom were representatives of the least respectable class in the population of the city. On the evening of July 14 a meeting of these men was held in the southern part of the city. .Fearing that they might make a demonstration that would prove dangerous to the peace of the community, some of the citizens induced Sheriff Joseph F. Battershall to call out the local companies of the National Guard. This was done at once, several companies remaining under arms at the armory all that night and the next day. On the morning of the 15th arnob of 400 men formed in the southern part of the city and marched northward as far as Mount Olympus, gaining a small number of recruits on its way. At first its numbers appeared to be peaceable, but this aspect soon wore off and later in the day rioting began on a scale that caused considerable apprehension. On their return from Mount Olympus the rioters, despite the most earnest efforts of prominent and influential citizens to persuade them to disperse, entered the office of the Troy Times at No. 211 River street and threw from the building all the movable appurtenances upon which they could lay their hands. The presses and engines were wrecked and several volumes of the Times published in early years were thrown into the river at the rear of the building. After leaving the building the demonstration was continued, the rioters breaking into the county jail during the absence of the sheriff and liberating eighty-eight prisoners. Many colored people were also grossly maltreated by the mob, some of them sustaining painful injuries. All through the day Rev. Father Peter Havermans, John A. Griswold and other influential citizens followed the mob from place to place and on several occasions dissuaded the lawless men from doing damage to property. Late in the afternoon Recorder John Moran, in the absence from the city of Mayor William L. Van Aistyne, issued a proclamation announcing the suspension of the draft in the city, but the rioters were too excited to pay much attention to the decree, and continued their depredations The crowning act of their lawlessness, however, occurred at ten o'clock in the evening, when they made an attack upon the residence of Martin. I. Townsend, No. 165 Second street, broke in the doors and windows, wrecked a large amount of house furnishings and carried away many valuable articles. Mayor Van Alstyne having returned to the city he ordered the militarvto the scene. When the rioters saw that the authorities had finally determined to make a show of preserving order they agreed to disperse, pro. vided the mayor would direct the military to return to the armory. This was agreed to and soon afterward the mob dispersed, after having driven scores of colored men, women and children from the city and having ruined thousands of dollars worth of property.

The first class was graduated from the Troy University in July, 1862. This institution was the only one of its kind ever founded in Troy. In 1854 a number of persons interested in the cause of higher education proposed to establish a college in the city and accordingly a meeting of citizens was held at the court house January 5 of that year to consider the proposition. June 10 another meeting was held, at which a committee was appointed to solicit funds for the purchase of a site and the erection of a building. The deep interest which the public.spirited citizens of Troy took in the project is attested by the fact that the sum of $200,000 was readily raised by subscription to buy a site and erect a building. October 1, 1856, the corner stone was laid on the splendid site on the east side of Eighth street, afterward occupied by St. Joseph's Provincial seminary, and two years later, September 8, 1858, the first term of the university began with the Rev. Dr. John McClintock as president. The first class numbered about sixty students. The subscribers to the fund for the institution, it appears, were either unable or unwilling to fulfill their contracts, and before the university was fairly under way it was found that it would be impossible to mainiain it.

Accordingly it was sold under foreclosure of a mortgage for $11,000 to the real estate firm of Peck & Hiliman for $7, 000, the liabilities of the institution amounting to over $55,000. The purchasers offered to allow the buildings to be continued for the purposes for which they were intended if money enough were raised to pay the indebtedness; but this could not be done and December 6 the property was sold to the Rev. Father Peter Havermans, agent for Archbishop John Hughes of New York, for $60,000. This wasagreat sacrifice, as the property originally cost $197,000. Two years later, in October, 1864, it was opened as a Roman Catholic provincial seminary for the education of priests. December 1 it was named St. Joseph's Provincial seminary and consecrated by Archbishop John McCloskey.

January 29, 1867, the Troy & Lansingburgh Railroad company received permission from the Common Council to lay a track on Mill Street, extending the road from the Greenbush road to Vandenburgh avenue; also to lay a track from the the intersection of Second and Fourth streets northward on Fourth street to Congress street, and through the latter to Third street, thence to Fulton, there to intersect the track on River street. By this improvement Troy was afforded additional street railway facilities which were greatly appreciated by all classes.

St. Vincent's Female Orphan Asylum received its name and underwent important changes in 1865, though the history of the institution dates from the year 1848. In that year, through the efforts of the Rev. Peter Havermans, rooms were set apart in the Troy hospital as a temporary home for a number of female orphans for whom he was caring. Having secured pledges for enough money to build-a permanent home for orphans work was begun in 1853, when the corner stone of St. Mary's Female Orphan Asylum was laid on the west side of Hill street between Adams and Washington streets. It was occupied for the first time in the following year, but four years later, the building being found unsuited to the purposes of the institution, it was moved to 185 Third street. Its name was changed to St. Vincent's Female Orphan Asylum, and in the following year the buildings Nos. 20 and 22 Liberty street were purchased. The Troy hospital building, on the corner of Fifth and Washington streets, was secured in 1872, and here the asylum was maintained until September 7, 1886, when the present imposing building on the east side of Eighth street, between Federal and Jacob streets, overlooking the entire city, having been erected that year, was occupied.

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