Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Cropsy's Hotel - 1846


CONEY ISLAND.--Would you enjoy the cool sweet breeze fresh from the Ocean? then go down to Coney Island this evening, and stay there till Monday. The accommodations at Cropsy's Hotel are of an excellent character, and every attention is paid by the gentlemanly host and his efficient assistants to the pleasure and comfort of guests. The accommodations for bathing at the beach, under the superintendence of Mr. Barry, are of a superior character ; and ladies here are not subject to any annoyance. They will find every attention paid to their delicacy and comfort that could be desired.

--Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Saturday, August 8, 1846

Pretty sure they mean Cropsey. I was hoping I could find some good info on Google, but if you Google "James Cropsey Coney Island" do you know what comes up? This blog! Ah well.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Poem from Coney Island - 1846

This was on the front page of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle:

Written for the Daily Eagle.

The Child, the Clouds, and Wind.

Emblems of life, where are ye fleeting,
     Shading the earth in your airy way ;
Now sailing lone, then far off meeting ;
     Whither go ye, summer clouds, say ?

We kiss the sky o'er the waves wild roaring,
     Dropping our tears where the sailor dies,
And up aloft with the storm-bird soaring,
     There child, we go, where the loud wind sighs !

Stay, wind, thy speed, where art thou flying,
     Bending the oak in thy pathless way ;
Then 'mong the leaves of the forest sighing,
     Where goest thou, spirit wind, say ?

I fly o'er the earth, from its blossoms stealing
     Fragrance to bear on my gentle wing ;
Then on the sea the sailor's doom sealing,
     I war with the waves and a requiem sing.


Coney Island, June 14, 1846

--Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Saturday, August 1, 1846

Kind of morbid, really, but I'm no judge of poetry.

So this Marion, whoever he or she was, got a poem published in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle under editor Walt Whitman. Nicely done, Marion.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Fair at Gravesend and Suspicious Quotation Marks

FAIR AT GRAVESEND.--This evening the splendid affair will be brought to a close, and there will undoubtedly be a rich and racy time. It is held in the basement of the church at Gravesend, and the room is decorated in a manner that the cunning fingers of Eve's fair daughters alone know how to accomplish. This is the first fair that the ladies of Gravesend have ever attempted, but we are forced to state from personal inspection that it affords the most fascinating scene we have ever witnessed. The sale opened yesterday afternoon, and the attendance from all parts was so full that on closing for the night the unprecedentedly large sum of $400 had been received.--From Gravesend it is but a short distance to Coney Island, and those who go down from the city can in almost " no time " combine the pleasure of chatting with the ladies with the allurements of a visit to the cool sea-beach.

--Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Thursday, July 30, 1846

This actually reads very much like stories I caught in the 1921 Casa Grande Bulletin. Small town newspapers, I suppose.

I like the early use of suspicious quotation marks, too.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Fishing Excursion

FISHING EXCURSION !----The safe and commodious schooner GEN. GILES, Captain Greenwood, has been chartered by the subscriber to go down on the Bay on the Fishing Grounds, and will leave the foot of Fulton street, Brooklyn, on THURSDAY evening, July 30, returning on Friday evening.

Those wishing a pleasant fishing excursion will find this agreeable. The schooner will stop at Fort Hamilton and Coney Island, and an opportunity will be afforded for passengers to go ashore at several other landings.

Fishing apparatus furnished without charge.

Tickets for the trip, only ONE DOLLAR--may be obtained of the subscriber, or at the Franklin House, corner of Fulton and Water streets ; Samuel Carmon, Long Island Hotel ; Owen Colgan, James street ; and at the Post Office.

jy28 3t HENRY HINES.

--Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Tuesday, July 28, 1846

Historical Currency Conversions pegs that dollar as $29.02 dollars today, while The Inflation Calculator says it's $23.99. Either way, it seems to me like it wasn't a lower-class trip, when it was only 12.5 cents to take the ferry to or from Coney Island for the day.... (Was it really an overnight trip? Were there accommodations?)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Walt Whitman and Coney Island - 1846

Believe it or not, this is about Walt Whitman (!).

...EXCURSION TO CONEY ISLAND.--A brilliant private pic-nic, comprising some forty ladies and gentlemen, "came off" at Coney Island yesterday. There were three omnibus loads of them--part from the great Gomorrah on the other side of the river. They had a "first rate time," we are informed.

--Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Friday, July 24, 1846

Normon Mailer: An American Aesthetic states "Whitman described Manhattan as 'Gomorrah on the other side of the River'..." Interesting, but why in the world...


The Walt Whitman Archive informs us that Walt Whitman was the editor of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle from March 1846 to January 1848. This appears to be the first use of the phrase in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Mystery solved!

January 17, 1857 the Eagle referred to "the Sodom across the river". Later,

The Providence Journal expresses the opinion that if New York city does not disappear some night, and the sound steamers find themselves sailing into a new Dead Sea, people will not believe the account of Sodom and Gomorrah.

--Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Monday, Jun 01, 1857

It wasn't until 1859 that the label drifted to Brooklyn, albeit sarcastically:

Those who have labored under the fallacious idea that Brooklyn was somewhat of a moral community, a "City of Churches" par excellence, will be astounded to learn that it is a perfect Sodom or Pandemonium, with half its population going to perdition and 12,300 of them drunken sots. It will probably relieve such apprehensions to know that from the Report of the Police authorities of the city for the quarter ending 31st of January, it appears that the whole number of arrests for the period were 3,368, of which only 1342 were "directly" from intoxication, and it is well known to the police that the same persons are arrested over and over again during the quarter. The number of disorderly characters arrested was 191 and these may be set down as originating in intemperance; but even these added to the others come short of one half of the tremendous statistics of Mr Hall. We are not insensible to the evils of intemperance, but we would beg leave to suggest that monstrously exaggerated statements of the immorality existing among us, however, necessary to secure votes or cash contributions are an injury to the fame of the city, give us a bad game abroad, depreciate the value of property and are moreover a violation of the precept that forbids the baring of false witness against a neighbor, whether that neighbor be an individual or a whole community.

--Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Friday, February 11, 1859

The New York Times' first use of "Sodom-by-the-Sea" to refer to Coney Island dates October 15, 1893. But there was an similar reference, albeit not a catchy one, buried deeper in an article 20 years prior:

"A few adventurous spirits had even more harrowing stories to tell of perils encountered at Coney Island from sharks of land and water, and the fatal fascinations of three-card monte, until the innocent City youth shuddered at the place as a marine Sodom and Gomorrah..."

--The New York Times, September 29, 1873

Speaking of Gomorrah, in 1848, there were a lot of advertisements for:

Grand Combination of Hanington's Sacred Dioramas of the Creation of the World, and the grand spectacle of THE DELUGE--Also, 22 Magnificent Scriptural Paintings by Mr. BAKER, of London, each one containing about 100 square feet of canvas...

Such scenes included the "Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, Gen xix".

Price of admission to the whole, 25 cents--Children half price. Doors open at 7, curtain rises at 7 1/2 o'clock.


WEDNESDAY and SATURDAY afternoons, commencing at 3 o'clock, at the splendid new Hall, 396 Broadway, corner of Walker street.

--Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Monday, October 2, 1848 (similar ads through November 25, 1848)

Sunday, May 22, 2011

4th of July 1846

More steamboat excursions. The fractions are hard to read and might be off:

CONEY ISLAND AND FORT HAMILTON FERRY.--The proprietor of the above Ferry has, for the accomdation of the inhabitants of the city of New York and Brooklyn, placed the following boats on the Ferry for the 4th of July ; Phe (sic) PROPRIETOR, Capt. H. Mallan ; IOLAS, Capt. R. Yates ; WAVE, Capt. O. Vanderbilt ; and HERALD, Capt. J.B. Parks ; one of which will leave at the following times and places :

Rivington st., E.R. 7 1/2 and 11 1/2 A.M., and 3 1/2 P.M.
Pik st, " 7 3/4, 9 1/2, and 11 3/4 A.M.; and 12 1/2, 3 1/2, and 3 3/4 P.M.
Thorne's Dock, near Fulton Ferry, Brooklyn, 8 and 9 1/2 A.M., 12 M., 12 3/4, 3 3/4 and 4 P.M.
Canal st., N.R., 8 1/2 and 11 1/2 !.M., and 2 1/2 P.M.
Pier 3, N.R., 8 3/4 and 11 3/4 A.M., and 2 1/4 P.M.
Whitehall 8, 8 1/2, 9, 10 and 11 A.M., 12 M., 1, 2, 3, 4, 4 1/2 and 5 P.M.
Coney Island 9, 10, 10 1/4 and 11 1/4, A.M., 12 1/2, 1 1/4, 2, 2 1/4, 3 1/2, 4 1/2, 5 1/2, 6 and 6 1/2 P.m>, landing at Fort Hamilton each way.

FARE, 12 1/2 cents.

jy3 1t
THOMAS BEILBY, Proprietor.

--Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Friday, July 3, 1846

Same date:

...There has been, of late years, altogether too much apathy on the subject of "keeping" the 4th of July. It is, we know, quite fashionable in certain quarters to discountenance the day, either directly or indirectly. Disgraceful! We by no means think it well to commit any excesses, on such an occasion. Indeed, we consider any excesses--any gross indulgence in mere physical appetites--most insulting to the day. Such are not the methods of doing honor to so sublime an anniversary. They are really at war with the feelings which should be cherished on its recurrence.

But the day should be kept with exultation, with thanksgiving, with a cessation from ordinary temporal affairs, and with the development of true patriotic feeling! To those whose convenience, health, or taste does not impel them to bestir themselves abroad (though we hope all in Brooklyn, who can, will participate in the exercises, to-morrow,) let the day be devoted to a home celebration, if possible...

To every one we especially enjoin to "be temperate in all things." There are thousands of persons who are foolish enough, on jubilees of this kind, to indulge in many kinds of pernicious "amusements" (overloading the stomach with drink or food, for one)--and we caution our readers against such a weakness...

They then describe Brooklyn festivities, including a parade, including "Revolutionary Patriots and Clergy." This was 70 years after 1776, so it's not impossible that some survivors would be present.

Then in the same article:

AMUSEMENTS, EXCURSIONS, &C., TO-MORROW.--Among the principal portion of our citizens, particularly the younger ones, to-morrow will be held as a day of 'jollification,' (not too excessive, we hope.)...

See adv't of steamboat trips to Coney Island in our adv. columns. The boats stop several times at Throne's dock Brooklyn.

--Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Friday, July 3, 1846

Other attractions include "Fire Works" and music, and a "Temperance jaunt to Sing-Sing."

Oddly, I didn't see any articles after saying how the celebrations went!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

More Sunday excursions and half pennies

I didn't quite notice when the Iolas started to be mentioned in these ads. I'm also still not sure what the captain's name is. (Mallan? Malian?)

SUNDAY EXCURSIONS--THE steamboat PROPRIETOR, Capt. Mallan, will on Sunday, June 28, and each succeeding until further notice, make Two Excursions to FORT HAMILTON and CONEY ISLAND, leaving THONRE'S Dock, near Fulton ferry, Brooklyn, at 11 A.M. and 3 1/2 P.M.; Coney Island at 12 1/2 and 6 1/2 o'clock P.M. And the steamboat IOLAS, Capt.-------------, will leave Thorne Dock at 9 1/2 A.M. and 2 1/2 P.M., and Coney Island at 11 1/2 and 5 P.M., stopping at Fort Hamilton each way. Fare 12 1/2 cents. For further information, apply to

je20 tf R.J. Todd, 88 Fulton street.

--Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Saturday, June 27, 1846

Apparently, they made half-pennies through 1857.

(If inflation didn't exist, we could be using half pennies even today!)

More ferry articles at this earlier post.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Mysterious Body - 1846

Sad, but not very conclusive.

CORONER'S OFFICE, Gravesend, L.I., JUNE 25th.--The coroner was called to view the body of a man found on Coney Island beach. The body was entirely naked, and had the appearance of being in the water a short time.; he had sandy hair, had no marks of violence upon his person ; supposed to be about 35 years of age. Verdict, came to his death by causes unknown to the jury.

--Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Friday, June 26, 1846

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

New Hotel at Coney Island

Good news, for a change.

NEW HOTEL AT CONEY ISLAND.--The framework and stock for a large hotel at Coney Island, to be erected near the steamboat landing, is about prepared, and will be taken to the ground in the course of a few days, and the house immediately put up.

--Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Monday, June 22, 1846

I sure don't know enough to know what hotel it is. Gravesend: The Home of Coney Island says John Wyckoff built Coney Island's second hotel and Charles Denson's "Coney Island Lost and Found" mentions the Wyckoff Hotel too, so that seems plausible.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Horse Accident and "Stupid Girl" - June 13-15, 1846

Warning, nothing but sad news from 1846. :(

SINCE DIED.--Mrs. Marion Nelson, the unfortunate woman whom we mentioned on Saturday as having been dangerously wounded by a runaway horse, died yesterday morning at the house no. 68 Stanton street, whither she was removed the previous afternoon from Dr. Ayres' office, corner of Fulton and Sands streets. Mr. Coroner Oakes held an inquest in the course of the day, and the following, among other testimony was taken : Dr. Ayres deposed that her injury was concussion of the brain ; but she revived somewhat after she was brought to his office ; and that her death arose from effusion of blood within the cavity of the brain, from a fracture of the base of the skull.

John Duryea deposed that she must have seen the approach of the horse, but seemed too much paralyzed with fear to get out of the way.

James Downy, the driver of the horse, was sworn, and testified that he left him in the charge of a boy fifteen years of age, while he (Downey) went into the Mansion House, in Hicks street, and when he came out, about a minute afterwards, the animal had run away. The horse was a gentle one, and the witness was told by a colored man and some boys that a cracker had been thrown under him, which caused him to start. The witness did not hear any explosion of crackers, nor could he learn the name of his informant.

The jury rendered the following verdict: "That the deceased came to her death from injuries inflicted by a horse, owned by Messrs. Newton & Co., Broadway, New York, which ran away while left standing in the street."

There seems to have been a fatality about the family of the deceased ; for we learn that her husband was drowned at Coney Island some seven years since, by the sinking of a vessel, and by whose death she was reduced to rely upon her daily exertions for a livelihood. By the untoward accident of Saturday a family of four children who were dependent upon her are thrown upon the charities of the world. We learn that some benevolent persons have taken their case into consideration for the purpose of collecting a fund for their benefit. We are likewise told that Messrs. Newton & Co. have expressed their readiness to do all that can be expected of them to alleviate their condition as well as defraying the funeral expenses of the deceased.

We understand that when the unfortunate woman was taken to the drug store of Mr. Howard immediately after the accident he refused to receive her on account of the inconvenience, and directed the driver to convey her to the office of Dr. Ayres !--Such conduct requires no comment from us.
--Brooklyn Eagle, Monday, June 15, 1846

Very sad. The June 13 article says the horse was standing for the purpose of receiving empty bottles, and smashed his cart but kept running. "He then continued down the sidewalk, as a stream of people were coming up who had just landed from the ferry boat. How they all escaped is difficult to tell ; and the only wonder is that at least a dozen were not killed, as the horse was at full speed and the aforesaid shaft playing about in all directions. The animal abated not his speed until he had knocked down a lady who had just landed from the boat, and a man inside the ferry gate, and ran upon the further end of the boat where the chain finally stopped him...."

And this isn't Coney but below the article where Mrs. Nelson died...wow. Just WOW.

CHILD KILLED.--A stupid girl suffered a child to fall from her arms upon the sidewalk in Hicks st. a week or two since, through sheer carelessness.--The unfortunate little sufferer was so injured that it died a few days ago. We did not learn the names.

--Brooklyn Eagle, Monday, June 15, 1846

I do wonder if they would have used the word "stupid" had they known the names. Of course, the early Brooklyn Eagle put out some rather sensationalistic stories that turned out to be false (my personal favorite being the mystery of the female murder victim in the brown dress). So here's hoping they just published a rumor as fact. They already had enough bad news for the day, in my opinion.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Sunday Excursion to Coney Island - 1846 - if you missed it...

Blogger's downtime (see Blogger Buzz: Blogger is back ) caused all sorts of problems for millions of blogs on Wednesday and Thursday. That prevented Thursday's update from going up automatically. I re-published and it still published with a date of Thursday, even though it was Saturday New York Time. So anyway, there's now a mystery post kind of lost in the space-time continuum of my blog. Sorry about that.

Good thing it's not as exciting as one about Governor Gil Davis or today's Insane Asylum post! :)

Coney Island and the Kings Co. Lunatic Asylum

A drive out of Brooklyn.

Yesterday afternoon, we took an excursion to the Camp Ground, at Flatbush, where the officers of our Brooklyn military corps have stationed themselves of late with laudable intentions of professional practice. We also went to the Kings co. Lunatic Asylum ; also to Coney Island, all along shore, roundabout, and back again to Brooklyn. The afternoon seemed just the one for a drive. The air was cool, and yet not cold. Dust, to be sure, covered the roads, and dashed in our faces--but then, a person can't expect to have perfection in every thing....

Despite the fact that a war was going on, they found the Flatbush encampment "an inspiring and gay spectacle." The Lunatic Asylum, meanwhile, was "a sad spectacle." ((I can't feel too sorry for them, as they're the ones who chose to go sightseeing by visiting lunatics.))

From the Lunatic Asylum we drove to Coney Island, through that beautiful road and range of farms that characterize this part of Long Island. How refreshing was the scent of clover fields for miles ere we reached the shore ! How grand, too, the rolling scope of the ocean, whose waves dash into the sand-hills there ! We drove some distance on that hard, clean level sand, snuffing up the air with such delight as a man feels, who rarely gets away from the purlicus of the crowded city.--The phantom shapes of vessels, with full-bellied sails, saw we in the distance, moving along like children of the mist. There, too, were the white plumes of many a mighty ripple--ere it threw its long shallow scoot high up on the shore. Nor was the scene wanting in solemnity. How can human eyes gaze on the truest emblem of Eternity, without an awe and a thrill?

--Brooklyn Eagle, Thursday, June 18, 1846

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Sunday Excursion to Coney Island - 1846

SUNDAY EXCURSION--THE steamboat PROPRIETOR, Capt. Mallan (? Maltan?), will on Sunday, June 14, and each succeeding until further notice, make Two Excursions to FORT HAMILTON and CONEY ISLAND, leaving THORNE'S Dock, near Fulton ferry, Brooklyn, at 1/4 to 11 A.M. and 1/4 to 3 P.M.; Coney Island at 12 1/2 and 5 o'clock P.M., stopping at Fort Hamilton each way. Fare 12 1/2 cents.

For further information, apply to

jc10 tf R. J. TODD, 88 Fulton street.

--Brooklyn Daily Eagle, June 10, 1846

Same story on June 11, 16, 17, 18, and so forth.

There were also repeated articles starting May 16 about a land auction to take place "by James Cole, auctioneer, at the house of James Cropsey, Coney Island, in the town of Gravesend, in the county of Kings, on Thursday, the ninth day of July next, at half-past 4 o'clock in the afternoon of that day..."

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Proclamation from Governor Gil Davis - Mexican-American War - 1846

PROCLAMATION--OFFICIAL--Highly important if true.--I, Gil Davis, Governor and Owner of the Province of Coney Island, hereby issue this my proclamation, to all creation, that, on and after the 14th instant, May, 1846, I give to all nations, languages, people and tongues, free ingress and egress to this, my colony, for all sorts and kinds of political offenses, either against Church or State ; and more particularly, the Mexican nation will be fully admitted, without any restrictions, or expense, by way of light money, pilotage, anchorage, hospital, or any other charges, either by land or water. All the Mexican prizes may be sent in, as well as all their men-of-war, privateers, letters of marque, counter marque, and all and every description in whatsoever state ; either through stress or weather, or by being crippled by the enemy, or being scared--it's all the same.

By order of His Excellency,
Emperor and Governor,
B. Bates. D. D., Acting Pacificator.

P. S.--The Governor reserves the right to charge a moiety upon all vessels and cargoes, which is usually charged in times of war.

--Brooklyn Daily Eagle, May 15, 1846

You may recall that Gil Davis was the reported "governor" of Coney Island. Can't say he was afraid to speak his mind.

Per PBS, the real fighting in the Mexican-American War appears to have started in early May, 1846. It apparently was a rather polarizing issue for Americans--some Northerners suspected that the South was wanting to add more slave-holding states to the Union.

At the end of the war, in early 1848, Mexico ceded California, Nevada, parts of Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico, and most of Arizona to the United States.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Sloop Victoria - March 17, 1846

Another death at Coney Island.

Singular Affair.

The sloop Victoria was found on the beach at Coney Island this morning with her sails completely blown to pieces, and on boarding her a man was found dead and partly under water.

From the appearance of blood on the cabin floor it is supposed there has been some foul play. The Coroner, Mr. Cozine, is now holding an inquest. The sloop formerly belonged to Capt. Langdon who parted with her about six months since.

--Brooklyn Daily Eagle, March 17, 1846

SLOOP VICTORIA.--This vessel which drifted ashore at Coney Island yesterday morning with her sails blown to pieces, has been taken in charge by Mr. Roberts, news collector for the Offing Telegraph, who will this day endeavor to get her off the beach and bring her up to the city. No intelligence has yet transpired in relation to the ownership. There was reason to suppose from traces of blood about the cabin that the man whose body was found had met with foul play ; but after an examination by Mr. Coroner Cozine, of Gravesend, sufficient was ascertained to warrant a verdict that he came to his death by exposure during the gale of Monday night. The body has not yet been identified ; but it will be left for some days at Gravesend for recognition. There is reason to suppose that there were but two persons on board, and that one of them was washed overboard.

--Brooklyn Daily Eagle, March 18, 1846

THE SLOOP VICTORIA.--It has been ascertained that this vessel was owned at Islip, L. I., and sailed thence for New York on Monday last, laden with a cargo of clams. Two brothers named Brewster were on board. In the night she sprang a leak and John Brewster, the man found dead in the cabin occupied himself so at the pump that he was forced to retire to the cabin where he died. The survivor succeeded in running her ashore on Coney Island early on Tuesday morning, and making his way to Mr. Cropsey's, could not arouse any person. He then walked up to this city where he found the L. I. train ready to start ; and proceeded to Islip ; but returned yesterday morning to Coney Island and gave the information which has thus solved the mystery attached to the vessel.

--Brooklyn Daily Eagle, March 19, 1846

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Terrible storm - February 14, 1846

Oddly, no mention of this in the Brooklyn Eagle.

From the New York Herald, Feb. 17th.
On Saturday night and Sunday morning.

Ten Vessels Stranded, on Squan Beach.
Sixty Human Beings Perished!!
&c. &c. &c.

Many years have elapsed since we were called on to describe a greater calamity to life and prosperity than that of the night of the 14th inst., and morning of the 15th. About sixty lives have been lost in one wreck-master's district, and the amount of property is not yet fully ascertained; but enough is known to say that, from a quarter to a half a million dollars will fall upon the insurers of Wall street, from this gale....

We learn that the New York and Offing Electro-Magnetic Telegraph withstood the storm without a single break, and operated from its present terminus, Coney Island, with perfect success during the whole of the late storm.

The Hartford Times - Feb 21, 1846

In addition to the Coney Island link, the article describes several tragic wrecks, including one where a captain and his wife and children (among many others) died. Like some other historic articles I've read, they left the most tragic stories to the middle of the article, for some reason.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Coney Island Telegraph Part 2

If you recall, the Brooklyn Eagle was not optimistic about the telegraph line staying intact under the river. And it appears their concerns were well-founded.

OFFING TELEGRAPH.--The final experiment of carrying the wire of this telegraph across the East River having proved unsuccessful, we understand the project is now abandoned. The leaden tube broke by some unknown means, and the communication was in consequence interrupted. It has since been taken up. Mr. Colt now intends, we believe, to carry the wire across in the air, from "pole to pole," at the Fulton ferry. The telegraph between the ferry and Coney Island was tested last week and found to work well.

--Brooklyn Eagle, Monday, January 19, 1846

Again, the telegraph worked fine from Coney to Fulton ferry:

Regular reports are now received from Coney Island by the Telegraph, the station of which is at present in the store corner of Everit and Fulton sts., near the ferry.

--Brooklyn Eagle, Thursday, January 22, 1846

Can you believe the telegraph was a big attraction?

The station of the Coney Island Telegraph near the Fulton ferry is daily visited by numbers of ladies and gentlemen, for the purpose of gratifying their curiosity in relation to this wonderful means of communication. The operations, though very simple, are well worth seeing. At 9 o'clock this morning the revenue cutter Spencer was reported in the offing bound for sea.

--Brooklyn Eagle, Wednesday, February 11, 1846

Later there was a big storm--

City Intelligence
...Yesterday the Coney island telegraph reported the storm as very severe on the coast, and the air so thick that the lookout couldn't see more than fifty feet from the shore--the wind blowing stiffly from the north...

--Brooklyn Eagle, Monday, February 16, 1846

And more winter weather woes:

City Intelligence
...The Coney Island Telegraph has been suspended all this morning, it is supposed, by some of the poles having been carried away by the ice in the creek. The interruption will be remedied in the course of the day.

--Brooklyn Eagle, Friday, February 20, 1846

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Coney Island, Capital of Long Island

The Brooklyn Eagle bashes another paper.

City Intelligence.
...The Sun presumes that Coney Island is to be the capital of the new State of Long Island ! It appears not to know--though we could hardly have thought it so ignorant of its country's history--that Coney is already a distinct empire, the head and front of which is Governor Gil. Davis. Guess again, neighbor?

--Brooklyn Eagle, Thursday, December 11, 1845

Some background came later.

The Sun thinks it a good joke that meetings should continue to be held at Prospect Hill in favor of making Long Island a State, and Brooklyn a port of entry. We hope it will not deprive the joke of its relish, for the Sun, when we inform it, that we understand, from the individual upon whom the choice of the Longislanders will undoubtedly rest as their first governor, that all shinplasters are to be banished from the State, and the manufacturers and venders of them sent to Davy Jones's locker.

N.B. In answer to several applications we may state, that there are to be two capitals--for winter in Brooklyn, and for summer at Coney Island.

--Brooklyn Eagle, Thursday, January 15, 1846

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Coney Island Railway

NOTICE--Application will be made to the Legislature of New York, at the next session, for a charter to construct a Railroad from Brooklyn to Coney Island, to be called the "Brooklyn, Fort Hamilton and Bath Railroad Company." Brooklyn, November 28, 1845. n28 1aw3*

--Brooklyn Eagle, Friday, November 28, 1845

Interestingly, in 1836, an Act was passed to provide for this construction.

But these documents from 1913 state "No record of any construction. In the state engineer's report for 1882 the Company is described as extinct."

In 1845, you got to Coney by stage, cart, or steamboat.

NOTICE is hereby given that an application will be made at the next session of the Legislature of the State, for the incorporation of a company to be called the New York, Gowanus, Fort Hamilton and Coney Island Ferry Company, with a capital of one hundred thousand dollars. New York, Dec. 19, 1845. ja13 1aw6w*

--Brooklyn Eagle, Tuesday, January 13, 1846
(and intermittently through March 2, 1846).

It appears to have passed the Legislature about Wednesday, March 11, 1846.