The History of Buffalo: A Chronology
Buffalo, New York

1832-1840

1664
1679
1689

1721

1722
1759
1774
1775
1780
1785
1786
1788
1789
1790
1791
1792
1793
1794
1795
1797
1798
1800
1801
1802
1803
1804
1805
1806
1807
1808
1809
1810
1811
1812
1813
1814
1815
1816
1817
1818
1819
1820
1821
1822
1823
1824
1825
1826
1827
1828
1829
1830
1831
1832
1833
1834
1835
1836
1837
1838
1839
1840
1841
1843
1844
1845
1846
1847
1848
1849
1850
1851
1852
1853
1854
1855
1856
1857
1858
1859
1860
1861
1862
1863
1864
1865
1866
1867
1868
1869
1870
1871
1872
1873
1874
1875
1876
1877
1878
1879
1880
1881
1882
1883
1884
1885
1886
1887
1888
1889
1890
1891
1892
1893
1894
1895
1896
1897
1898
1899
1900
1901
1902
1903
1904
1905
1906
1907
1908
1909
1910
1911
1912
1913
1914
1915
1916
1917
1918
1919
1920
1921
1922
1923
1924
1925
1926
1927
1928
1945
1929
1930
1931
1932
1933
1934
1935
1936
1937
1938
1939
1940
1941
1942
1943
1944
1945
1946
1947
1948
1949
1950
1951
1952
1953
1954
1955
1956
1957
1958
1959
1960
1961
1962
1963
1964
1965
1966 1967
1968
1969
1970
1971
1972
1973
1974
1975
1976
1977
1978
1979
1980
1981
1982
1983
1984
1985
1986
1987
1988
1989
1990
1991
1992
1993
1994
1995
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000

2001
2002

INDEX

1832

Buffalo 1832 Directory Alphabetial list of households (WNY Geneology)

Buffalo 1832 Directory (Distantcousin.com)

Online Buffalo City Directories - LINKS (BuffaloResearch.com)




Henry Priebe, The City of Buffalo 1832 - A City is Born

Henry Priebe, The City of Buffalo - 1832 to 1840 Essay




Buffalo incorporated as a city on April 20.
4 .5 square miles, with a population of 10,000. The northern border is North Street.

Virtually every aspect of daily life in the city is closely supervised by the Common Council (the mayor is appointed by the council and has powers similar to a village justice of the peace), including the management and control of finances of all property, real and personal.

Buffalo first mayor, Dr. Ebenezer Johnson, is elected for a one-year term. Under the first city charter, the Common Council has the power to elect the mayor. Salary: $250. per year. Before the election, Johnson is one of Buffalo's wealthiest citizens. Johnson Park will be named after him.




In June, a cholera epidemic breaks out. City spokesmen (among them the physician and first mayor of Buffalo, Dr. Ebenezer Johnson) say it is caused by Irish immigrants in Quebec who had brought the dread disease with them from the old country. The Common Council's first action is to quarantine the city. All traffic - lake and canal boats, stages and coaches - is stopped immediately.

A man might be in apparent good health in the morning and in his grave the same night. The death carts patrol the streets, and when there is an indication of a death in a house , the driver would shout, "Bring out your dead." Bodies are not permitted to remain unburied over an hour or two, if it is possible to obtain carriers or a sexton to bury them.

By July, over 120 Buffalonians die from the epidemic.

Another epidemic will occur in 1849, and the worst in 1854.


Cemeteries: When Buffalo incorporates, the city established cemeteries beyond the northern boundary of the city, Guideboard Road, which the city fathers appropriately name North Street .

The principal cemeteries:



In November, a fire destroys 60 buildings in the heart of the city.


The Williamsville-Buffalo Road (later to become Main Street) is paved and to recoup the cost, a toll house is built at the present intersection of Kensington Avenue and Main Street.

1833

Millard Fillmore elected to US House of Representatives 1833-35



After Dr. Ebenezer Johnson declines a second term as mayor, the Common Council votes Major Andre Andrews as Buffalo's second mayor. In 1834, the cholera will returne and Andrews, as well as his wife and daughter, die from the disease.


White Oaks on Grand Island
The East Boston Company purchases about 16,000 acres of land on Grand Island for five dollars per acre. The Company planned to cut the white oaks and sell the timber to the shipyards in Boston and New York. The timber would be shipped via the Erie Canal.

The Company cleared the land on the island opposite Tonawanda. A small "town" was laid out, including the beautiful home on the south portion of the cleared land now occupied by the Mesmer Supper Club. Bunkhouses for the Iumberjacks, a store, a building used as a school and a church, a dry dock, warehouses for ships' supplies and a long wharf were built. A gristmill and a sawmill were included in this settlement which was named Whitehaven in honor of Stephen White.

The sawmill at Whitehaven was said to be the largest steam saw in the world at that time. Six gangs of nine to ten men each were needed to keep the saw supplied with raw material. They used white oak logs from eighteen inches to five feet in diameter and from forty to seventy-five feet long - Source: The History of Grand Island


Buildings erected:


1834 Buffalo's single Police Constable proves inadequate to keep the peace. Additional watchmen are appointed.



The Buffalo & Black Rock Land and Railroad Company opens a horse railway between the city and a horse ferry to Canada.



The Commercial Bank - Buffalo's first bank - opens for business.



Weekly steamboat service between Buffalo and Chicago is inaugurated.



The city's first railroad, the Buffalo & Black Rock, is chartered.



80,000 people pass through Buffalo headed for the West.



Dr. Ebenezer Johnson appointed mayor of Buffalo for the second one-year term. He served one term in 1832.

Dr. Ebenezer Johnson, physician turned politician, purchases almost 100 acres north of the settled area of the city, on Delaware Avenue, and erects a magnificent home.

Around 1850, a few years after Johnson has sold his estate and left Buffalo, the grounds will be divided into Johnson Park and Johnson Place, the lake will become part of
Rumsey Park, and the cottage will serve as the first home of the Buffalo Seminary. The Rumsey family will sell Rumsey Park around 1914. By 1915, Rumsey Lake will be filled in and subdivided, making it possible to extend Elmwood Avenue from Virginia Street into downtown.

1835 Benjamin Rathbun builds 99 buildings at a cost of $500,000, including the first American Hotel on Main Street near Court and the city's jail.

Rathbun apparently entrusts the wrong men -- including his brother and a nephew -- who become involved in a forgery scheme on his behalf. The ensuing scandal lands Rathbun a five year prison sentence.



A fugitive slave family named Stanford is kidnapped from St. Catherine's, Ontario, and taken to Buffalo. Blacks of both cities free the Stanfords at Hamburg, and return them to Canada after a clash between liberators and a sheriff's posse at Black Rock.



Escaped slave William Wells Brown, a steamboat crew member, arrives and begins helping other former slaves escape to Canada.


The Commercial Advertiser becomes Buffalo's first daily newspaper, New Year's Day, 1835.


Buffalo's population: 19,715; Erie County's: 57,594.

1836

Another bank, the City Bank, opens.

The Eagle Street Theater opens and is praised for its elegance.

Samuel Wilkeson appointed mayor

Buffalo and Erie County Public Library (BECPL history) was founded in 1836 as the Young Men's Association, not to be confused with the YMCA. The Young Men's Association donated their collection to the city as the basis for the Buffalo Public Library, which became the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library in the 1950s.

1837

Appendix A, B, C, Buffalo Historical Society Publications and Index (1837-1838) Reprinted by Cornell U.


42 steamboats operate on Lake Erie.
Fort Porter, known as The Castle, serves as a customs and guard house and will be demolished for the Peace Bridge in 1925.


On Mar 18, future Buffalo mayor and U. S. President Stephen Grover Cleveland is born in Caldwell, New Jersey, to Congregationalist minister the Reverend Richard Falen Cleveland and Anne Neal Cleveland.



Village of Black Rock is incorporated on April 24. It takes its name from a large, flat Onondaga limestone rock that rises four to five feet out of the Niagara River, forming a small natural harbor and ideal ferry crossing point. The rock will be removed by blasting in the 1820s. Black Rock will be Buffalo's rival for the county seat and the terminus of the Erie Canal and will be annexed by the City of Buffalo on April 13, 1853, becoming one of Buffalo's west side neighborhoods. Prior to the Civil War it will serve as an Underground Railroad "station" from which runaway slaves can cross over into Canada.


The Buffalo Post Office has its first permanent building, a former Baptist church at the corner of Washington and Seneca Streets. Previously, the post office moved with the postmaster.



Samuel Morse invents the telegraph.


The Caroline Incident during the Patriot War
The eruption of the Patriot War of 1837 in Canada results in an influx of leaders of discontented Canadians to American soil. Buffalo becomes a center of plotting for a serious campaign.

On December 29, 1837, the steamer "Caroline" is hired at Buffalo and begins a ferry service between Navy Island and Schlosser on the American shore. Seven boatloads of men from Chippewa seize the boat killing one American. A great American clamor breaks out over this incident. However, the American government stops the rebel reinforcement from the American side and American involvement subsides.

1838

Appendix A, B, C, Buffalo Historical Society Publications and Index (1837-1838) Reprinted by Cornell U.


The Ogden Company succeeds in having the federal government approves the sale of the lands on the Buffalo Reservation from the Senecas who are living on the reservation just a few blocks from the Buffalo harbor and the Erie Canal terminus.

Encyclopedia of North American Indians: Efforts to remove Senecas from their lands culminated in the Treaty of Buffalo Creek in 1838, by the terms of which the four remaining reservations -- Buffalo Creek, Tonawanda, Cattaraugus, and Allegany -- were sold and provisions were made for the Senecas to remove to Kansas. The corrupt proceedings were protested, however, and a new treaty of Buffalo Creek was signed in 1842. The new agreement stipulated the sale of Buffalo Creek and Tonawanda, but retained Allegany and Cattaraugus. As a result of the Buffalo Creek treaties, some Senecas moved to Kansas Most did not, however, and of those who did, all but two returned. Senecas of Tonawanda, who had not been present at the treaty proceedings in 1842, objected. By a treaty signed in 1857, they bought back most of their reservation with money set aside for their removal from Kansas. The Tonawanda Senecas maintain their government by hereditary chiefs, practice the Longhouse religion, perform traditional calendric rituals, and have medicine societies (a tradition separate from the Longhouse religion) for preventative and curative practices.

In 1828 Red Jacket had successfully thwarted their efforts by appealing to President John Quincy Adams who negated a deal. But in 1832 Red Jacket had died.



Buffalo's first fire alarm bell is placed in the Terrace Market.

Ebenezer Walden is elected mayor for a one-year term. He will build the first brick building in Buffalo.


Erected buildings:
  • Three companies of the U.S. Artillery establish a garrison at Buffalo Barracks or Poinsett Barracks after Martin Van Buren's secretary of war Joel Poinsett who visited here. (Poinsett's name continues today in the holiday plant poinsettia which Poinsett is credited for introducing to the United States from Mexico.) In just a few years, this military post will give way to the more strategically located Fort Porter.

1839

New York State's first public school opens in Buffalo on Church St..


The bicycle is invented.


An African School is established in July 1839 within the Buffalo School System. This school is located on Washington Street and has 30 children attending. The total of$150 for teacher's salary suggests there was probably one teacher.

1840

Henry Priebe, The City of Buffalo - 1840 to 1850 Essay


Buffalo's
population: 18,213; Erie County's: 62,465.

Sheldon Thompson becomes mayor in 1840, winning the first popular election by a slim margin of 10 votes.

See also:



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