The Fire of 1797

From Albany Chronicles: On August 4, 1797 a fire destroyed fifty houses on Montgomery, Dock, Steuben, North Market (Broadway), Columbia and Middle Lane (James street).

Subsequent newspaper accounts described the damages in more detail. What follows has been adapted from the Albany Centinel for August 1797.

On Friday night last, a little before eleven o'clock the inhabitants of this city were alarmed with the cry of fire, which broke out in a stable belonging to the widow A. Bradt, in Montgomery Street, and not withstading the [________] displayed by the citizens to check its progress, was soon communicated to the adjacent buildings; the wind blew fresh from the southeast, and great apprehensions were entertained for the fate of no inconsiderable part of the city: the misery & distress concomitant on this dreadful calamity can be more easily conceived than deseribed.

Eighty-three dwelling-houses were burnt and a number of others much injured-forty-nine storehouses and workshops, and eighty stables were destroyed, a greater part by the flames - a few were taken down to obstruct the spreading of the terrible element. It is said theat nearly one thousand persons are driven from the friendly roofs which protected them previous to this distressing accident. The wine and oil of charity we trust will be administered, with a ready hand, to the necessitous.

The officers of the city, and the inhabitants in general, merit applause for their melancholy occasion.

Gratitude and praise is due to our brethren of Troy, Lansingburgh, Bath, and the citizens in our vicinity in general, for their ready and active co-operation with the inhabitants of Albany to impede the ravages of the fire. So great were the exertions of the citizens of Troy, as we have been informed, that they appeared at the scene of distress at a very early period after the fire broke out.

We dare not attempt to mention the amount of Property destroyed by the unforrtunate accident, as no accurate calculation has yet been made, nor do we think it early to ascertain it. We do not hefitate however to pronounce th loss greater than ever has been experienced in this City by fire.

The following is the list of buildings destroyed, of the persons owning the property, and by whom the buildings were occupied, according to the information we have been able to collect: if errors are contained in the statement, we will thank our friends to enable us to correct them.

Buildings Destroyed In Montgomery Street:

A dwellinghouse, storehouse and stable, belonging to the widow A. Brat. occupied by herself and Mr. I. Simmons; a dwellinghouse and stable belonging to Mr. Stephen Wynant; a dwellinghouse and stable belonging to Mrs. Tunis Bradt, and occupied by herself and two families; a dwellinghouse, storehouse & stable belonging to the widow Roseboom, occupied by hereself and two other families; two dwellinghouse and two stable belonging to Leonard Gansevort,Esg. and occupied the one by the widow Sroop, and the other by J. Jackson; two dwelling houses, one storehouse, and two stables, belonging to Mr. Peter Dox, occupied by him and Mr. G. Bogart; one storehouse, and stable belonging to the widow Pryun, occupied by her; one dwelling house, storehouse, and stable belonging to Mr. Cornelius Wendll, and occupied by Mr. Jacob Cuyler; and dwelling house and stable belonging to Mr. Wm. Mancius, an occupied ny him; and dwelling house and stable belonging to Mr. Groot, and occupied by Mr. J. Hickson; one dwelling house and stable belonging to Mr. Van Buren; and occupied by Mr. I. Sturgie and Mr. I Vanderhyden; one dwellinghouse, slorehouse and stable belonging to Sanders Lansing, Esg. and occupied by him; one dwellinghose, storehouse and stable belonging to doctor P. Gansevoort, occupied by Mr. Van Derlip; one dwellinghouse storehouse and stable belonging to the widow Ten Eyck, occupied by her; one dwellinghouse and stable belonging to Mr. Peter Yates, and occupied by Mr. Frederick Heyner; one storehouse and stable belonging to Meslis. Jauncey and Hoyt; two dwellinghouses and two stables, belonging to Mr. Walter Quackenhoss, occupied by him and Mr. H.Milton; one dwellinghouses, and one stable and a work shop, belonging to Mr. Jacob G. Lansings and occupied by the widow Graham, one stable belonging to Mr. Jacob Fonda; one dwellinghouse and stable belonging to G. W. Van Schaick, Esq; occupied by Mr. Issac Bogart; one stable belonging to the widow Vischer; one large storehouse and stable belonging to Mr. John Given; one stable belonging to Mr. Christopher A. Yates; one stable belonging to the widow Wendel; one dwellinghouse and one stable belonging to Mr. Lucas Van Veghten, and occupied by Mr. Jacob Wendell.

In Market Street:

One work shop, the property of Mr. Stephen Wyant; one dwelling house and stable belonging to Ambrose Spencer, Esq. of Hudson, and occupied by Mr. Jacob Wright; one dwellinghouse, one store house and stable belonging to Mr. Wm. Fryer, and occupied by the widow Van Wie; a dwellinghouse, storehouse and stable belonging to Mr. Henry Truax, and occupied by him; a dwellinghouse stable belonging to Mr. Eldert Tymete, occupied by Mr. Peter Young; a dwellinghouse and stable belonging to Mr. Jacob Pruyn; and occupied by Henry Bowne; a dwellinghouse, store house, and one stable belonging to Mr. Rynier Van Everen, and occupied by him; a dwellinghouse, stable, and tobacco manufactory belonging to Mr. Conradt Sharp, and occupied by him; a dwellinghouse and stable belonging to Mr. Thomis Hunn, and occupied by Mr. James Chestney; a dwelling house belonging to the widow Wendell, and occupied by by her; a dwelling house belonging to Mr. Christopher A. Yates, occupied by Mr. John McHargh; a dwellinghouse belonging to Mr. John Given, and occupied by Mr. Goddard Spencer; a dwellinghouse belonging to the widow Vischer, occupied by her; one dwelling house and druggists shop belonging to Dr. Wm. Mancius and occupied by Missis. Woodruff and Mancius; one dwellinghouse and work shop, belonging to G. W. Van Schaick, Esq. and occupied by Mr. Jermiah Lansing and Mr. John Gowey; a dwellinghouse & work shop belonging to Mr. Stephen Wynant; a dwellinghouse belonging to Mr. Jacobus Fonda, occupied by the widow Fonda; a dwellinghouse and stable and work shop belonging to Mr. Cornelius Van Scherlyne, & and occupied by Mr. Benjamin Wallis; a dwellinghouse stable and work shop belonging to Mr. Jacob Cuyler, jun.and occupied by by him and Robert Hurtt; a dwellinghouse, store house and stable belonging to Mr. Abraham Schuyler, and occupied by him; a dwellinghouse, store house and stable belonging to Mr. Dudley Walsh, and occupied by him: a dwellinghouse and stable belonging to the widow Truax, occupied by herself and son; a dwellinghouse, store house and stable belonging to Mr. Cornelius Ten Broeck, occupied by Mr. Messs. Terme and Da Jardan; a dwellinhouse and stable belonging to Doct. Peter Gansevoort, occupied by him; a coach-house and stable belonging to the estate of Mr. J.B. Schuyler, occupied by Mr. James Rogers.

In Water Vliet Street:

A dwellinghouse, storehouse and stable belonging to Mr. Lucas Van Veghten, and occupied by Messes Schuyler and Cuyler; a very large and elegant dwellinghouse belonging to Mr. Jouney; a dwelling house and stable belonging to the widow H. Roseboom, occupied by her; a dwellinghouse, storehouse and stable belonging to Mr. John Bogart, and occupied by him, a dwellinghouse, storehouse and stable belonging to Mr. Levinus Dunbar, and occupied by him; a dwellinghouse and stable belonging to Jellis Winnie, and occupied by him; a blacksmith's shop belonging to Messrs. Dunbar and Pruyn; a dwellinghouse and stable belonging to Mr. Nicholas N. Quackenboss, and occupied by him; a dwellinhouse and stable belonging to the widow Deforest, and occupied by her and Mrs. Low; a dwellinghouse, stable, and three work shops belonging to Mr. Phillip Desore [Foreest] and occupied by him, Messrs, G. Vischer, and H. Able; a dwellinghouse, and blacksmith's shop, belonging to Mr. Walter Groessbeck; a workshop belonging to Mr. George Hines; two workshops belonging to Mr. John Gates; (a house and stable belonging to Mr. Wm. Dunbar, much injured;) a dwellinghouse and stable belonging to the widow Morril, and occupied by her; two very large crockery and glassware stores belonging to Mr. John Fonda, jun. a dwellinghouse, storehouse and stable belonging to Mr. Wm. Hun, and occupied by him.

In Columbia Street:

A dwellinghouse and stable belonging to Mr. Geradus Landing, and occupied by Jacob Vanderheyden Esq. the very elegant, large brick dwellinghouse, storehouse, stable and other buildings belonging to Abraham Ten Broeck, Esq. Mayor of the city, occupied by him; a dwellinghouse and stable belonging to Mr. George Kinck, occupied by him; a dwellinghouse and stable belonging to Mr. John Raro and occupied by him; one large store belonging to Mr. Abraham A. Lansing; a dwellinghouse, brew, house and stable, belonging to Mr. Gerrit T. Vischer, occupied by two families; two dwellinghouses and two stables belonging to Mr. John Vischer, and occupied by Mr. John Nemeyer and 3504two other families three dwellinghouses and two workshops belonging to Mr. Cornelius Van Scherlyne, and occupied by Mr. D. Schuyler, Mr. Brower, and Mr. D. Morrill; a dwellinghouse and stable, belonging to Wm. Haggarty and occupied by Mr. Aaron Bradt; a dwellinghouse and stable belonging to Mr. Bastian T. Vissher;a dwellinghouse and stable belonging to house and stable belonging to Mr. Jacob S. Pruyn, occupied by him; a dwellinghouse and stable belonging to Mr. Fonda; a dwellinghouse and stable belonging to Mr. Philip Dunbar and occupied by him.

In Middle Lane:

A store house and stable belonging to Mr. John J .Beeckman; a store and stable belonging to widow C. Bleecker; a stable belonging to Mr. Harmanis Ten Eyck.

In Steuben Street:

Two dwellinghouses, a coach-house and stable belonging to Judge Lansing, occupied by Mr. John M'Kinney and Mr. B. Degramo; a dwellinghouse and stable, belonging to the widow Groesbeck, occupied by herself and Mr. Merrill; (the stable and coach house belonging to G.Banyer, Esq. were much injured, as also was the dwellinghouse of Mr. John Groesbeck;) a bake-house and stable belonging to Mr. Sanders Lansing; a dwellinghouse and stable belonging to Mr. P. Van Renslaer & occupied by Mr. McCloud; a stable belonging to the widow Van Schaick.

In Dock Street:

A dwellinghouse and stable belonging to the consistery of the Low Dutch church, and occupied by Mr. Wm. Groesbeck; (a stable belonging to the widow Pruyn, was much injured:) a dwellinghouse and stable belonging to Mr. Peter Dox, and occupied by Mr. Wm. Crannell; a dwellinghouse and stable belonging to Mr. James Robiscau; a dwellinghouse belonging to Mr. Wm. Crannell; a dwellinghouse and stable belonging to Mr. Barent Bleecker, and occupied by Mr. James Gourlay.

notes

Transformed from a photostatic copy in the CASHP office by Joyce Patterson in January 2013. Some spelling, punctuation, and usages have been adjusted for presentation clarity.

The Albany Centinel: published semi-weekly 1797-1806. Some issues on microfilm from the New York State Library.Issues for 1804 have been reproduced in pdf form. Perhaps Loring Andrews was its first publisher.


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first opened 12/15/08; online 1/13; last updated 8/6/13