Our Police Protectors
History of New York Police
Press Notices

By Holice and Debbie



NEW YORK TIMES, November 2, 1885

OUR POLICE PROTECTORS, by A. E. Costello, New York: Published by the Author, 1885--here is a big octavo of six hundred pages with the imprimatur of the President and Treasurer of the Police Board. It is the history of the police of New Amsterdam and New York City down to the present time, and its ostensible reason for existence is the swelling of the Police fund. Mr. Costello hs begun at the beginnings, and by extracts from the Dutch archives and the Insertion of curious old prints makes a capital opening in the first two chapters. After 1783 the city grew too fast for the old system of watchmen, and the policemen came gradually into existence. Many curious and elsewhere forgotten items are introduced. "Cops," for example, came from the cooper shields worn by the police before uniforms were worn. It may not be remembered by the present generation that not very many years ago the system of uniforming the police was extremely unpopular and caused veritable political upheavals in the city. Steel and wood portraits of eminent Police Captains of old and of today are scattered through the book, and an appendix gives a list of all policemen up to May 1, 1885, with the dates of their appointment. Mr. Costello has compiled a very useful and entertaining volume, and one that throws a light on New York municipal history from a very unusual direction.

THE SUNDAY STAR, June 7, 1885

Seldom has a labor of love been so ably and acceptably performed as that which now appears before the New York public in the shape of a handsome volume entitled "OUR POLICE PROTECTORS." The author and publisher is Mr. A. e. Costello, and as the proceeds of the sales are to be devoted to the augmentation of the Police pension Fund, it is certain to be the means of putting a very handsome sum into the treasury of that worthy organization.

But apart from these considerations, Mr. Costello has produced a work which deserves to rank wit the best historical and biographical volumes having relation to the Empire City or State. From the fist to the last page it si replete with interest, and its literary features are enhanced by the addition of over two hundred choice engravings, embracing many incidents prominent in the history of the city, the noted riots of a century, the famous police officials of olden times, and the Superintendents, Inspectors, Captains and best-known officers of a more recent period, down to date.

Concerning a volume embracing a multitude of events, and covering almost the entire period of the growth and development of our city, it is impossible to give an adequate idea on the columns of the newspaper. The opening chapters deal with the primitive police regulations from 1609 to 1664; events during the period of British occupancy up to 1783; the old system of watching which prevailed in the early part of the present century up to 1830; and the repeal in 1844 of the old system, which proved altogether insufficient.


A history of the New York Police force from the earliest times has just been published under the title of "Our Police Protectors," by the author, A. E. Costello, and the proceeds from its sale will be devoted to the benefit of the Police Pension Fund.

The narrative of the suppression of the draft riots in 1863 is a graphic description of the most terrible work the police of New York were ever called upon to undergo. The illustrations of the trying situations in which they were then placed, as well as others of an older as well as more recent date, lend an additional attraction to the work.

Among the 200 fine engravings with which it is embellished are many portraits of deceased and living officers who have earned the respect and esteem of their fellow citizens.

In a word the work is a valuable addition to local history, and the object for which it has been compiled ought to secure for it a wide list of subscribers among the people whose persons and property the beneficiaries have protected.

THE MERCURY, June 14, 1885

"OUR POLICE PROTECTORS"--This is the title of a work of 570 royal octavo pages, illustrated with over two hundred engravings, compiled and published by Mr. A. E. Costello, the well-known journalist. The book gives a complete and most interesting history of the police protective system of New York from the days of the Dutch Governors Peter Minuet and Wouter Von Twiller, down to the first of May last. It is literally packed with facts and figures, and at the same time is as interesting in many portions as a romance. Mr. Costello has done his work well and produced a book of great historical value, fit to take its place beside Mary J. Lamb's "History of New York." It is, in fact, itself a history of New York, for the progress and growth of the Police Department marks, step by step, the progress and growth of the city. The book is published for the benefit of the Police Pension fund, and may be had at Police Headquarters.

THE SUN, June 7, 1885

Mr. A. E. Costello is the author of a handsome octavo volume of nearly 600 pages, entitled "OUR POLICE PROTECTORS," giving a history of the New York police from the earliest period to the present time. It is illustrated with many engravings, including a series of faithful and life-like portraits of the various Police Commissioners and Police Captains. It is published for the benefit of the Police Pension Fund.


We commend "OUR POLICE PROTECTORS," as a book worth the attention of all New Yorkers, more especially as the proceeds from it are to be devoted to the aid of the Police Pension Fund. The book contains over five hundred pages, is handsomely printed and bound, and very profusely illustrated.

DAILY NEWS, Tuesday, June 16, 1885

"OUR POLICE PROTECTORS" is the title of a history of the police of this city from the Dutch occupancy of Manhattan Island to the present time. The author is Mr. Agustine E. Costello, the well-known journalist. The publication is a royal octavo volume of about six hundred pages. It is impossible in a brief notice to give an adequate idea of this highly meritorious work. Mr. Costello sketches graphically, in the opening chapter, the primitive system of "watching" that prevailed under the old Dutch burgomaster, another chapter being devoted to the period of British rule.

The book contains over 200 engravings, Nast and the Grimm having furnished some remarkably bright sketches. The exploits of the leading officials from the time of High constable Haye are mentioned in detail, namely, Matsell, Walling, Acton, Carpenter, Kennedy, Murray, Byrnes, etc. The book, finally, is an encyclopedia of police affairs. It is published under the auspices of the Police Commissioners for the benefit of the Police pension Fund.

DAILY TRIBUNE, June 29, 1885

"OUR POLICE PROTECTORS" is the title of an attractive volume reciting the history of police organization and work in this city, recently published in this city. the profits derived from the sale of the book are to be devoted to the Police Pension Fund. It is written by A. E. Costello, whose practical experience as a newspaper police reporter gave him many advantages in the accomplishment of the task. He has gone back to earliest Dutch settlement on Manhattan Island, and has traced its gradual growth and development tot he present time. The story of the progress and repeal of the old watch system and the organization of a municipal police, in the twenty-five years subsequent to 1830, is well told and in fuller detail than is perhaps to be found in any other single publication. The chapter of 1853 provided for the entire re-organization of the police force. Mr. Costello thinks that the greatest benefit to the community that resulted from this law was the separating of the department from political influences. The Police Commissioners at this time put in force the rule that no officer would be permitted to connect himself directly or indirectly with any political society, club, or similar organization the history of the riots in New York is given at considerable length, as well as of all the changes and chief events affecting the Police Department since the rebellion. The whole work is interspersed with amusing or pathetic incidents illustrating the varied and exciting life of the average policeman. Considerable space is given to brief sketches of various officers who have distinguished themselves by particularly good work in the Department,. The illustrations by Nast and de Grimm are spirited and appropriate.

TELEGRAM, July 8, 1885

Mr. A. E. Costello has compiled an extremely interesting, informing, and valuable work. It is entitled "OUR POLICE PROTECTORS: History of the New York Police from the Earliest Period to the Present Time." It is published for the benefit of the Police Pension Fund. It is admirably complete, including two hundred illustrations and nearly six hundred pages. It also contains a full table of contents to its twenty-three chapters , a list of illustrations, and an adequate index--a feature too often lacking in works of this kind. A year and a half's hard and steady labor has been concentrated upon this volume, The wood engravings are extremely in reproducing the spirit of the scenes wherewith they are concerned. The more ambitious illustrations fulfill their ambition--an arduous task seldom satisfactorily performed. The information is immense, dating from 1609 to the present day. He tells us all about primitive police regulations, the period of British occupancy, the city's condition when outgrowing the old system of watching, the progress and repeal of that system, the organization of a municipal police, the appointment of a board of Police commissioners, the Metropolitan police districts, and the draft riots of 1863 and their suppression. History of this kind continues until he acquaints us with the Detective Department, Inspector Byrnes' command: the Police Central office, the duties of a policeman, and the history of the Police Pension Fund. In all the necessary statistics of crime there is nothing to please the prurient. In the many faithful portraits of police officials there is everything to please all who esteem what is estimable in those servants of the public. The late Sidney P. Nichols was deeply interested in the success of this work, and Mr. Costello's personal experience peculiarly qualified him for his well performed task.

GRAPHIC, July 5, 1885

This useful book, embellished with over two hundred engravings, is a history of the city's protectors from the earliest period to the present time. It gives an account of the primitive police regulations, beginning with 1609, and those during the period of British occupancy; the organization of a municipal police in 1844-1853; two interesting chapter relate to the draft riots and their suppression; the era of organization and development is dwelt upon; the Detective Department is discussed; the Police Pension Fund sketched, and the duties of the policeman defined. Full and accurate lists of the present force are embodied in this comprehensive work, and a vast deal of other information.

WORLD, June 21, 1885

"OUR POLICE PROTECTORS" is the title of nearly six hundred pages just issued. Mr. A. E. Costello, the author, has been closely associated with the police for many years. The book contains much interesting matter, beginning with the establishment of a primitive police force on Manhattan Island in 1621 up to the beginning of the present year. It is profusely illustrated with portraits and sketches by Thomas Nast and other well-know artists. The proceeds from the sale of the work are to be given to the Police Pension Fund.

SUNDAY NEWS, June 7, 1885

A. E. Costello had added to the already large number of works on New York City a highly interesting, and at the same time reliable, historical and biographical encyclopedia, entitled "OUR POLICE PROTECTORS: History of the New York Police from the Earliest period to the Present Time, Published for the Benefit of the Police Pension Fund." The book is thorough. Everything in connection with it is well done. It commences with the primitive police regulations in 1609, and, in twenty-three chapters, brings the history of the city down to tits present period. It contains two hundred and fifty-seven illustrations, of which nineteen are full-page engravings. The portraits of the Police commissioners, Superintendents, Inspectors, Captains, and Sergeants, from the day of Jacob Hays to the present time, Mayors Harper and Wood, Chief Matsell, important point of interest, incidents that have occurred at various times and particularly during the draft riots, a reproduction of localities as they existed long ago, and a thousand facts and pictures are set forth. The portraits, as a rule, are remarkably correct. The proceeds of the sale of the book to swell the Police Pension fund, and there is no doubt that there will be an eager demand for it. those wishing to obtain copies can do so by addressing Superintendent Walling.

THE NATION, June 11, 1885

The laborious and praiseworthy compilation entitled "OUR POLICE PROTECTORS: History of the New York Police from the Earliest period to the Present time," is published y the author, Mr. A. E. Costello for the benefit of the Police Pension fund. It is a mine of information on a subject in which every city in the country has a vital interest--the development of a constabulary force equal to the demands of increasing population and increased facilities for crime, disorder and destructiveness. The chapters on the draft riots of 1863 connect this work with the political history of the republic. Great numbers of portraits and other illustrations add much to the value of the record.




Our Police Protectors, History of the New York Police, Published for the benefit of the Police Pension Fund, by Augustine Costello, Published by Author, 1885.

Transcribed by Holice B. Young

HTML by Debbie

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