Our Firemen, The History of the NY Fire Departments

Chapter 4, Part II

By Holice and Debbie

Engine Company No. 9.--Edward Doughty, John Betts, John Clark, Jr., John Doughty, Samuel Doughty, Abraham Bond, Henry Bausher, Charles McLain, John Anderson, Jacob Cushun, Moses Egbert, James Stewart, Andrus Ten Eyck, Richard Ten Eyck, Thomas Burns, Daniel Barbee, Nathan Strong, and John Astin.

Engine Company No. 10.--Gabriel Furman, foreman; Garrit Peterson, Gideon Kastang, Aaron Dow, Josiah Furman, Jacob Tier, Peter Balmer, Garrett Quackenboss, Frederick Gants, John Faulk, John Odel, James Miers, Oliver Hubbs, Leonard Fisher, James Balmer, John Blinkes, Richard Furman, Andrus Thompson, James Renolds, William Collister, John Hogelandt, Valentine Tatter, and James Hawkins.

Engine Company No. 11.--Daniel Ten Eyck, Evert Hessells, Jacobus Quirk, Andrew Myers, William Myers, Adam Keyser, Abraham Ten Eyck, James Moore, Henry Sickles, Samuel Wessells, Gerardus Burger, Joseph George, William Brown, Benjamin Shyrkird, John Murray, James M. Cullen, Moses smith, John Devine, John Young, John Nicholls, Jacob Morris, Joseph Corrie, Augustus Sidell.

Engine Company No. 12.--Henry Riker, John Brevoort, Thomas Franklin, Jr., John Seagar, Robert Johnson, Donald McKay, Henry Titus, Willett Seaman, Jacob Seaman, John Gassner, Joseph Stringham, Jonathon Dickinson, John Walter, Andrew Merrill, John Webb, Abraham Polhemus, Thomas Stagg, Burling Martin, Mathias Warner, John Aurther, Henry Mitchell, John Evans, Enoch Carter, and Daniel Hitchcock.

Engine Company No. 13.--William Borkee, foreman; Victor Baker, Ezekiel Robins, William Post, John Young, Richard Norwood, William Shotwell, Thomas Warner, Cornelius Ricker, James Woodward, Walter Hyer, Richard Pinfold, Adolph Degrove, John Lawrence, Thomas Saunders, George Archeart, John Alstine, William Smith, Jr., James Lent, Nicholas Carmer, James Beekman, William Allen, Henry Ricker, John Smith.

Engine Company No. 14.--Captain Jacobus Bogart, Jacob Resler, Abraham Brower, Bisset Weeks, Isaac Vaardenburg, John Ritter, Burget Shellhouse, Ernest Awick, Marmaduke Earl, Peter Lawrence, Francis Moore, Michael Nistel, Thomas Lincker, John Kiersted, Valentine Shemeal, Medrif Eden, John Baldridge, Morris Earle, James Blanchard, Abraham Delamater, Samuel Johnston, George Garland, John Carrow, and Cornelius Van Alen.

Engine Company No. 15.--Ahasurus Turk, George Warner, Alexander Hosack, John Buxton, John Colong, Cornelius Warner, Garret Walgrave, George Walgrave, John Mowatt, John Mildeberger, Stephen Rose, Peter Garbrance, Samuel Walgrave, James Kip, George Smelzel, Josiah Jones, Charles Warner, Robert Carter, Thomas Barrow, and George Webster.

In May, 1785, a fire engine was purchased of Richard Deane for the sum of forty pounds sterling. In July of that year the French church was burnt. In October, as "the season in which fires most frequently happen was approaching," the law for better preventing of fire was published in the newspapers of the city, so that no one could plead ignorance.

Although no effort appears to have been made by State laws prior to 1787 to organize any force of men specially charged with the extinguishment of fires in this city, it is worthy of note that two previous enactments had been made looking toward the prevention of fires, one in 1785, and the other the following year. The first of these laws was aimed at "the pernicious practice of firing guns, pistols, rockets, squibs, and other fireworks, on the eve of the last day of December, and the first and second day of January," and provided for a fine of forty shillings for the offense of firing off any gun, etc., within a quarter of a mile of any building on the days named. In the event of the fine not being paid, then the offender went to jail, "there to remain without bail or mainprize for the space of one month."

The other, passed in 1786, was directed against "the storing of pitch, tar, turpentine, resin, linseed oil, or shingles," as well as against the firing off of guns, pistols, etc. it prohibited the storing of any of the substances named in any place, 'south of fresh water in said city,' under a penalty of ten pounds. But any ship chandler was allowed to have "near his door in the open street," not to exceed twenty barrels at any one time, "in order the more readily to supply the merchant ships, and others who may have occasion for small quantities of such commodities." Any person discharging any firearm or fireworks "on any land, street, or ally, garden, or other enclosure, or in any other place where persons usually walk, "south of fresh water," was liable to a penalty of twenty shillings, or to be imprisoned for ten days. If the offender were a slave, it was provided that he was to be "publickly whipped on the naked back as many times as the justice shall prescribe, not exceeding thirty-nine."

On March 15, 1787, the first act regulating the keeping and storing of gunpowder was passed. By this law, any gunpowder in greater quantity than twenty-eight pounds, found by any fireman outside of the powder magazine and within one mile of the City Hall, was forfeited to the use of such fireman, without the formality of any legal process whatever.

On November 1, 1780, the Hand-in-Hand Fire Company was organized. Certain rules and regulations were at various times agreed on, and adopted at a meeting held at the Coffee House on November 20, 1788. "The utility of associations for the purpose of averting as much as possible the ruinous consequences which may occasionally happen by fire," the preamble recites, "induced a number of individuals to form themselves into select companies, with the laudable view of affording their particular aid to each other, and to the community at large." Under this impression the society was formed. Among the articles of association was one requiring that each member should provide himself with two bags, consisting of three-and-a-half yards raven's duck (with proper strings), marked with the owner's name at length, and "H.H.," the initials of the company; also with a round hat, the crown to be painted white, and thereon the letters, "H.H.," painted black, as large as the crown would permit of; which hat should be considered as the badge of distinction of the company in case of fire. Another article provided that there should be a watchword given by the president or vice-president, in order to prevent deception from intruders at the removal of effects in case of fire; and the watchword was to be demanded by one of the members, who should be placed as sentinel at the house or store in danger.

The earliest state law providing for the protection of the city from the ravages of fire, and upon which is founded all subsequent legislation relating to the appointment and equipment of firemen, is that passed on March 19, 1787, entitled "an act for the better extinguishment of fires in the city of New York." By the act, the Common Council was authorized and required to appoint a sufficient number of strong, able, discreet, honest, and sober men, willing to accept, not exceeding three hundred in number of the inhabitants, being freeholders or freemen of said city, to have the care, management, working and using the fire engines and the other tools and instruments, now provided or hereafter to be provided for extinguishing fires, * * * which person shall be called the Firemen of the City of New York; and who, with the engineers of the same city are hereby required and enjoined to be ready at all times, as well by night as by day, to manage, work and use all the same fire engines, and other of the tools and instruments aforesaid."

The firemen so appointed were made subject to such rules as the Common Council might prescribe "for the frequent exercising, trying and using of the same fire engines, tools, and other instruments."

It was decided in February, 1788, to remove the engine located in Nassau Street to a house to be erected on the ground belonging to the Reformed Protestant Dutch Congregation adjoining the North Church.

In January, 1788, the following appointments were made: George Titlar and James Ketchum to engine No. 11, vice Jacobus Quick and Henry Sickels, resigned; Abraham Moore to Engine No. 14, vice Bisset Weeks; Isaac Vervelen to Engine No. 8, vice Dowe Talman; Oliver Mildeberger to Engine No. 12, vice Henry Riker; George Seal and Thomas Saunders to Engine No. 13, vice George Arhart and Richard Penfold; John Halsted and Samuel Carman to Hood and Ladder Company No. 2, vice Daniel Lawrence and David Rosette, William Pinckney to Engine No. 5, vice William Rammey; and William Peterson, Jeremiah wood, and Jacob Free to "Out Ward" engine, vice James Balmer, John Fasch, and John Binckes.

On the thirteenth of May the following appointments were made: Ebenezer C. Kilburne to Engine No. 15, vice Alexander Hosack, resigned; Thomas Stevenson to Hook and Ladder company No. 1, vice Edward Lowvier, resigned; Samuel Sneeden, Garret Debow and Robert Roberts to Hook and Ladder Company No. 1, vice Anthony Abramse, Isaac Abramse, and Thomas Underhill, removed from the city; John Simmons to engine No. 6, vice Thomas Campbell, resigned; David Ackerman to engine No. 14, vice Thomas Lincoln, displaced; John J. Bogert to Engine No. 13, vice Samuel Johnston, deceased; Cornelius Sebring to Engine No. 14, vice John Kiersted, resigned; and Isaac Cock to Engine No. 12, vice John Segar, resigned.

Transcribed by Holice B. Young

HTML by Debbie

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