Gazetteer of New York, 1860 & 1861 page 565
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Sept. 1776, a conference between Lord Wm. Howe and a committee of Congress consisting of
Dr. Franklin, J. Adams, and E. Rutledge was held at the house of Capt. Billop, opposite Perth
Amboy.1 No events of special interest occurred upon the island during the late war with Great
Britain. A brigade of militia, consisting of 2000 men, was stationed here, and remained in
camp from Aug. to Dec. 1814. During the troubles that preceded the War of 1812, the Legis¬
lature of New York memorialized Congress for the erection of defensive works around the harbor
of New York, claiming protection against the arms of a foreign power as no more than an equi¬
table return for the revenues which the State had surrendered to the General Government upon
the adoption of the Constitution.2 Failing in this, the governor was directed to purchase a
tract, not to exceed 25 acres, at the Narrows;3 and upon this tract fortifications were afterward
erected. The amount of the appropriation made by the State for the defenses upon Staten
Island previous to 1820 was $154,105 46. These works were purchased by the General Govern¬
ment, pursuant to an act of Congress passed Aug. 3, 1846,1 and they are now being rebuilt at an
immense cost. When these and the other contemplated works along the approaches to New
York Harbor are completed, the city will be among the best fortified in the world.2 A quarantine
was established by the State, undei an act passed Feb. 25, 1799, upon the
n. extremity of the
island, in the town of Castleton, and maintained until it was destroyed, on the evenings of Sept.
1 and 2, 1858, by the people encouraged and led by prominent citizens.3

CASTEETOIV—was first recognized as a town March 7, 1788. It lies in the N. part of the
island, and is the smallest but most populous and wealthy town in the co. The surface is mostly
hilly. The people are principally engaged in manufacturing. Fact cry ville (North Shore
p.o.) is a populous village in the n.w. part of the town, containing extensive dye and print
works7 and other manufactories. Elliotts ville8 is a hamlet. A little
e. of this place is the

new site and erect the necessary buildings. The sum of $150,000
was fixed as the limit of expenditure under this act. After in¬
effectual efforts to obtain a site on Sandy Hook, the committee
purchased a farm of 50 acres, late the property of Joel Wolfe,
situated at Seguines Point, in Westfield. The sum paid was
$23,000, and the land had upon it farm buildings valued at
$15,000. The site was approved, and the purchase completed,
Slay 1,1857. On the night of the 5th of May all the buildings
were burned to the ground by some 40 persons without dis¬
guise. Temporary buildings were erected on the site in June.
An attack was made on the 12th of July by a few armed per¬
sons, and several shots were fired. The new buildings, con¬
sisting of two hospitals and a cook and wash house, were burned
on the evening of April 26,1858, and no effort was made to re¬
build them, or to bring the incendiaries to justice. The hostility
against the old establishment continued unabated, and gained
confidence from the approval of many of the leading citizens,
some of whom declared their willingness to unite openly, by
daylight and without disguise, to destroy the premises that they
deemed an insufferable nuisance. In the summer of 1856 a
barricade had been erected, by order of the Board of Health of
Castleton, to prevent communication with the premises. This
was taken down by a party of men from the city under the direc¬
tion of the Health Office. The occurrence of a few cases of yellow
fever outside the walls in Aug. 1858, led to the passage of a series
of resolutions hy the town Board of Health, declaring the whole
quarantine establishment a nuisance too intolerable to be borne
any longer, and recommending the citizens of the co. to protect
themselves hy abating it without delay. Copies of these reso¬
lutions were posted up in the village on the 1st of Sept., and on
the evening of the same day the walls were broken down and
the gates burst open by the excited populace, the sick carried
out upon their mattresses, the family of the resident physician
hurried from their dwelling, and every building except tho
women’s hospital was burned. On the following evening they
destroyed the last building upon the premises. The U. S. stores
were saved by a party of marines stationed for the purpose. On
the 7th the governor issued a proclamation declaring theco. in a
state of insurrection. Temporary quarantine accommodations
were soon after erected under the protection of a detachment of
the State militia, who were detained in the service till the close
of the year. The expenses attending this duty were assumed
and paid hy Governor King, and reimbursed by a special appro
priation soon after. The necessity for a permanent removal of
quarantine from Staten Island has been conceded by-most per¬
sons who have given the subject an investigation; and the prac¬
ticability of constructing an artificial island upon one of tbe
shoals in the lower bay has been certified by competent engineers.
The governor, in his message of 1859, recommended the appoint¬
ment of a new commission to investigate this difficult but highly
important subject and report to the legislature.

7 The N.Y. Dyeing and Printing Works were established iB
1819. They employ from 200 to 250 persons.

8 Named from Dr. Samuel M. Elliott, oculist.


This conference terminated without any practical results.
The old stone house in which it was held is still standing.—
Journal Cong., Sept. 6-17, 1776; Sparks’s Washington, /.198.


Additional laud was bought in 1857 near Fort Tompkins,
and this work is now about to be replaced by one of great
strength, at an estimated cost of over $500,000. The aggregate
of the appropriations made by the General Government for these
works has been as follows: for Fort Richmond, $375,000; for
Fort Tompkins, $192,300; for Batteries Hudson and Morton,
$10,000. A new fort is to be erected upon Sandy Hook, (N. J.,)
which it is estimated will cost $1,500,000, $250,000 of which has
been appropriated. For an account of Fort Hamilton and the
fortification of the inner harbor, see pp. 373,419. The recent de¬
fensive works and those now in progress were chiefly ordered
upon the advice of Gen. Totten.


In 1758 an actwas passed to prevent the spread of infectious
diseases, and a law of similar import was enacted May 4,1784.
By the act of May 4,1794, Governors Island was assigned as a
quarantine; and in March, 1797, a lazaretto was directed to be
built upon Bedloes Island. The awful visitation of yellow fever
in 1798 led to the passage of an act (Feb. 25,1799) for the pur¬
chase of 30 acres upon Staten Island for a permanent quaran¬
tine. .Of this lot 5 acres were*old, and ceded (April 1,1800) to
the U. S. for warehouses. The first buildings erected were of
materials taken from the Lazaretto on Bedloes Island. In 1819
a long brick building was erected; in 1823, a fever hospital; in
1828-29, a smallpox hospital; and subsequently other build¬
ings as the wants of the institution required. As the surround-


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