New Netherland was a 17th-century colony of the Dutch Republic, located on the east coast of America. The claimed territories extended from the Delmarva Peninsula to southwestern Cape Cod, while the more limited settled areas are now part of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, with small outposts in Pennsylvania and Rhode Island; the colony was conceived by the Dutch West India Company in 1621 to capitalize on the North American fur trade. It was settled at first because of policy mismanagement by the WIC and conflicts with American Indians; the settlement of New Sweden by the Swedish South Company encroached on its southern flank, while its northern border was redrawn to accommodate an expanding New England Confederation. The colony experienced dramatic growth during the 1650s and became a major port for trade in the north Atlantic Ocean; the Dutch surrendered Fort Amsterdam on Manhattan island to England in 1664, contributing to the Second Anglo-Dutch War. In 1673, the Dutch retook the area but relinquished it under the Treaty of Westminster, ending the Third Anglo-Dutch War the next year.
The inhabitants of New Netherland were European colonists, American Indians, Africans imported as slave laborers. The colony had an estimated population between 7,000 and 8,000 at the time of transfer to England in 1674, half of whom were not of Dutch descent. During the 17th century, Europe was undergoing expansive social and economic growth, known as the Dutch Golden Age in the Netherlands. Nations vied for domination of lucrative trade routes around the globe those to Asia. Philosophical and theological conflicts were manifested in military battles across the European continent; the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands had become a home to many intellectuals, international businessmen, religious refugees. In the Americas, the English had a settlement at Jamestown, the French had small settlements at Port Royal and Quebec, the Spanish were developing colonies to exploit trade in South America and the Caribbean. In 1609, English sea captain and explorer Henry Hudson was hired by the Dutch East India Company located in Amsterdam to find a Northeast Passage to Asia, sailing around Scandinavia and Russia.
He was turned back by the ice of the Arctic in his second attempt, so he sailed west to seek a Northwest Passage rather than return home. He ended up exploring the waters off the east coast of North America aboard the Flyboat Halve Maen, his first landfall was at the second at Cape Cod. Hudson believed that the passage to the Pacific Ocean was between the St. Lawrence River and Chesapeake Bay, so he sailed south to the Bay turned northward, traveling close along the shore, he first began to sail upriver looking for the passage. This effort was foiled by sandy shoals, the Halve Maen continued north. After passing Sandy Hook and his crew entered the Narrows into the Upper New York Bay. Hudson believed that he had found the continental water route, so he sailed up the major river that now bears his name, he found the water too shallow to proceed several days at the site of Troy, New York. Upon returning to the Netherlands, Hudson reported that he had found a fertile land and an amicable people willing to engage his crew in small-scale bartering of furs, trinkets and small manufactured goods.
His report was first published in 1611 by the Dutch Consul at London. This stimulated interest in exploiting this new trade resource, it was the catalyst for Dutch merchant-traders to fund more expeditions. Merchants such as Arnout Vogels sent the first follow-up voyages to exploit this discovery as early as July 1610. In 1611–12, the Admiralty of Amsterdam sent two covert expeditions to find a passage to China with the yachts Craen and Vos, captained by Jan Cornelisz Mey and Symon Willemsz Cat respectively. In four voyages made between 1611 and 1614, the area between Maryland and Massachusetts was explored and charted by Adriaen Block, Hendrick Christiaensen, Cornelius Jacobsen Mey; these surveys and charts were consolidated in Block's map, which used the name New Netherland for the first time. During this period, there was some trading with the Indian population. Fur trader Juan Rodriguez was born in Santo Domingo of African descent, he arrived in Manhattan during the winter of 1613–14, trapping for pelts and trading with the Indians as a representative of the Dutch.
He was the first recorded non-native inhabitant of New York City. The immediate and intense competition among Dutch trading companies in the newly charted areas led to disputes in Amsterdam and calls for regulation; the States General was the governing body of the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands, it proclaimed on March 17, 1614 that it would grant an exclusive patent for trade between the 40th and 45th parallels. This monopoly would be valid for four voyages. All of which had to be undertaken within three years. Block's map and the report that accompanied it were used by the New Netherland Company to win its patent, which expired on January 1, 1618; the New Netherland Company ordered a survey of the Delaware Valley. This was undertaken by Cornelis Hendricksz of Monnickendam who explored the Zuyd Rivier in 1616 from its bay to its northernmost nav
The Roosevelt family is an American business and political family from New York whose members have included two United States Presidents, a First Lady, various merchants, inventors, clergymen and socialites. Progeny of a mid-17th century Dutch immigrant to New Amsterdam, many members of the family became locally prominent in New York City business and politics and intermarried with prominent colonial families. Two distantly related branches of the family from Oyster Bay on Long Island and Hyde Park in Dutchess County rose to national political prominence with the elections of Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and his fifth cousin Franklin D. Roosevelt, whose wife, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, was Theodore's niece; the earliest known ancestor of the family was a man from the Netherlands named Claes van Rosenvelt. It has been suggested that he was related to the Van Roosevelts of Oud-Vossemeer, who were amt lords in the Tholen region of the Netherlands. While evidence suggests that Claes van Rosenvelt indeed came from the Tholen region where the Van Roosevelts were landowners, no records exist that prove that he is related to the noble family.
It may be a coincidence, or Claes van Rosenvelt may have chosen the name purposefully because of its noble origins or to honor his local amt lord, as was common practice for peasants of the time. Claes Martenszen van Rosenvelt, the immigrant ancestor of the Roosevelt family, arrived in New Amsterdam some time between 1638 and 1649. About the year 1652, he bought a farm from Lambert van Valckenburgh comprising 24 morgens in what is now Midtown Manhattan, including the present site of the Empire State Building; the property included what is now the area between Lexington Avenue and Fifth Avenue bounded by 29th St. and 35th St. Claes' son Nicholas was the first to use the spelling Roosevelt and the first to hold political office, as an alderman. Nicholas' children Johannes and Jacobus were the progenitors of the Oyster Bay and Hyde Park branches of the family. By the late 19th century, the Hyde Park Roosevelts were associated with the Democratic Party and the Oyster Bay Roosevelts with the Republican Party.
President Theodore Roosevelt, an Oyster Bay Roosevelt, was the uncle of Eleanor Roosevelt wife of Franklin Roosevelt. Despite political differences that caused family members to campaign against each other, the two branches remained friendly. In heraldry, canting arms are a visual or pictorial depiction of a surname, were and still are a popular practice, it would be common to find roses in the arms of many Roosevelt families unrelated ones. Grassy mounds or fields of green would be a familiar attribute; the Van Roosevelts of Oud-Vossemeer in Zeeland have a coat of arms, divided horizontally, the top portion with a white chevron between three white roses, while the bottom half is gold with a red lion rampant. A traditional blazon suggested would be, Per fess vert a chevron between three roses argent and Or a lion rampant gules; the coat of arms of the namesakes of the Dutch immigrant Claes van Rosenvelt, ancestor of the American political family that included Theodore and Franklin D. Roosevelt, were white with a rosebush with three rose flowers growing upon a grassy mound, whose crest was of three ostrich feathers divided into red and white halves each.
In heraldic terms this would be described as, Argent upon a grassy mound a rose bush proper bearing three roses gules barbed and seeded all proper, with a crest upon a torse argent and gules of Three ostrich plumes each per pale gules and argent. Franklin Roosevelt altered his arms to omit the rosebush and use in its place three crossed roses on their stems, changing the blazon of his shield to Three roses one in pale and two in saltire gules barbed seeded slipped and left proper; the Roosevelts - 2014 PBS documentary Notes Further readingCobb, William T.. The Strenuous Life: The Oyster Bay Roosevelts in Business and Finance. William E. Rudge's Sons. Collier, Peter; the Roosevelts: An American Saga. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-671-65225-7. Hubert, Philip G.. The Merchants' National Bank of the City of New York. Schriftgiesser, Karl; the Amazing Roosevelt Family, 1613–1942. Wildred Funk, Inc. Scoville, Joseph A.. The Old Merchants of New York City. New York, NY: Carlton. Whittelsey, Charles B.. The Roosevelt Genealogy, 1649–1902.
Booknotes interview with Peter Collier on The Roosevelts: An American Saga, August 7, 1994. Booknotes interview with Betty Boyd Caroli on The Roosevelt Women, May 9, 1999. Booknotes interview with Susan Dunn on The Three Roosevelts: Patrician Leaders Who Transformed America, May 6, 2001
Chief Justice of the United States
The Chief Justice of the United States is the chief judge of the Supreme Court of the United States, as such the highest-ranking judge of the federal judiciary. Article II, Section 2, Clause 2 of the Constitution grants plenary power to the President of the United States to nominate, with the advice and consent of the United States Senate, appoint a chief justice, who serves until they resign, are impeached and convicted, retire, or die; the chief justice has significant influence in the selection of cases for review, presides when oral arguments are held, leads the discussion of cases among the justices. Additionally, when the Court renders an opinion, the chief justice, if in the majority, chooses who writes the Court's opinion; when deciding a case, the chief justice's vote counts no more than that of any associate justice. Article I, Section 3, Clause 6 of the Constitution designates the chief justice to preside during presidential impeachment trials in the Senate. While nowhere mandated, the presidential oath of office is administered by the Chief Justice.
Additionally, the chief justice serves as a spokesperson for the federal government's judicial branch and acts as a chief administrative officer for the federal courts. The Chief Justice presides over the Judicial Conference and, in that capacity, appoints the director and deputy director of the Administrative Office; the Chief Justice is an ex officio member of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution and, by custom, is elected chancellor of the board. Since the Supreme Court was established in 1789, 17 people have served as chief justice; the first was John Jay. The current chief justice is John Roberts. John Rutledge, Edward Douglass White, Charles Evans Hughes, Harlan Fiske Stone, William Rehnquist served as associate justice prior to becoming chief justice; the United States Constitution does not explicitly establish an office of Chief Justice, but presupposes its existence with a single reference in Article I, Section 3, Clause 6: "When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside."
Nothing more is said in the Constitution regarding the office. Article III, Section 1, which authorizes the establishment of the Supreme Court, refers to all members of the Court as "judges"; the Judiciary Act of 1789 created the distinctive titles of Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States and Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. In 1866, at the urging of Salmon P. Chase, Congress restyled the chief justice's title to the current Chief Justice of the United States; the first person whose Supreme Court commission contained the modified title was Melville Fuller in 1888. The associate justices' title was not altered in 1866, remains as created; the chief justice, like all federal judges, is nominated by the President and confirmed to office by the U. S. Senate. Article III, Section 1 of the Constitution specifies that they "shall hold their Offices during good Behavior"; this language means that the appointments are for life, that, once in office, justices' tenure ends only when they die, resign, or are removed from office through the impeachment process.
Since 1789, 15 presidents have made a total of 22 official nominations to the position. The salary of the chief justice is set by Congress; the practice of appointing an individual to serve as chief justice is grounded in tradition. There is no specific constitutional prohibition against using another method to select the chief justice from among those justices properly appointed and confirmed to the Supreme Court. Constitutional law scholar Todd Pettys has proposed that presidential appointment of chief justices should be done away with, replaced by a process that permits the Justices to select their own chief justice. Three incumbent associate justices have been nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate as chief justice: Edward Douglass White in 1910, Harlan Fiske Stone in 1941, William Rehnquist in 1986. A fourth, Abe Fortas, was not confirmed; as an associate justice does not have to resign his or her seat on the Court in order to be nominated as chief justice, Fortas remained an associate justice.
When associate justice William Cushing was nominated and confirmed as chief justice in January 1796, but declined the office, he too remained on the Court. Two former associate justices subsequently returned to service on the Court as chief justice. John Rutledge was the first. President Washington gave him a recess appointment in 1795. However, his subsequent nomination to the office was not confirmed by the Senate, he left office and the Court. In 1933, former associate justice Charles Evans Hughes was confirmed as chief justice. Additionally, in December 1800, former chief justice John Jay was nominated and confirmed to the position a second time, but declined it, opening the way for the appointment of John Marshall. Along with his general responsibilities as a member of the Supreme Court, the Chief Justice has several unique duties to fulfill. Article I, section 3 of the U. S. Constitution stipulates that the Chief Justice shall preside over impeachment trials of the President of the United States in the U.
S. Senate. Two Chief Justices, Salmon P. Chase and William Rehnquist, have presided over the trial in the Senate that follows an impeachment of the president – Chase in 1868 over the proceedings against President Andrew Johnson and Rehnquist in
Burgomaster is the English form of various terms in or derived from Germanic languages for the chief magistrate or executive of a city or town. The name in English was derived from the Dutch burgemeester. In some cases, Burgomaster was the title of the head of state and head of government of a sovereign city-state, sometimes combined with other titles, such as Hamburg's First Mayor and President of the Senate). Contemporary titles are translated into English as mayor. In history in many free imperial cities the function of burgomaster was held by three persons, serving as an executive college. One of the three being burgomaster in chief for a year, the second being the prior burgomaster in chief, the third being the upcoming one. Präsidierender Bürgermeister is now an obsolete formulation sometimes found in historic texts. In an important city in a city state, where one of the Bürgermeister has a rank equivalent to that of a minister-president, there can be several posts called Bürgermeister in the city's executive college, justifying the use of a compound title for the actual highest magistrate, such as: Regierender Bürgermeister in West Berlin and reunited Berlin, while in Berlin the term Bürgermeister without attribute – English Mayor – refers to his deputies, while the heads of the 12 boroughs of Berlin are called Bezirksbürgermeister, English borough mayor.
Erster Bürgermeister in Hamburg Bürgermeister und Präsident des Senats in Bremen Amtsbürgermeister can be used for the chief magistrate of a Swiss constitutive canton, as in Aargau 1815–1831 Bürgermeister, in German: in Germany, South Tyrol, in Switzerland. In Switzerland, the title was abolished mid-19th century. Oberbürgermeister is the most common version for a mayor in a big city in Germany; the Ober- prefix is used in many ranking systems for the next level up including military designations. The mayors of cities, which comprise one of Germany's 112 urban districts bear this title. Urban districts are comparable to independent cities in the English-speaking world; however the mayors of some cities, which do not comprise an urban district, but used to comprise one until the territorial reforms in the 1970s, bear the title Oberbürgermeister. Borgmester Borgarstjóri Borgermester Börgermester Burgomaestre Purkmistr Burgumaisu Borgomastro or Sindaco-Borgomastro: in few communes of Lombardy Burgemeester in Dutch: in Belgium a party-political post, though formally nominated by the regional government and answerable to it, the federal state and the province.
Mayor. In the Netherlands nominated by the municipal council but appointed by the crown. In theory above the parties, in practice a high-profile party-political post. Bourgmestre in Belgium and the Democratic Republic of the Congo Bürgermeister Burmistras, derived from German. Buergermeeschter Polgármester, derived from German. Burmistrz, a mayoral title, derived from German; the German form Oberbürgermeister is translated as Nadburmistrz. The German-derived terminology reflects the involvement of German settlers in the early history of many Polish towns. Borgmästare, kommunalborgmästare. Boargemaster Pormestari In the Netherlands and Belgium, the mayor is an appointed government position, whose main responsibility is chairing the executive and legislative councils of a municipality. In the Netherlands, mayors chair both the council of the municipal council, they are members of the council of mayor and aldermen and have their own portfolios, always including safety and public order. They have a representative role for the municipal government, both to its civilians and to other authorities on the local and national level.
A large majority of mayors are members of a political party. This can be the majority party in the municipal council. However, the mayors are expected to exercise their office in a non-partisan way; the mayor is appointed by the national government for a renewable six-year term. In the past, mayors for important cities were chosen after negotiations between the national parties; this appointment procedure has been criticised. The party D66 had a direct election of the mayor as one of the main objectives in its platform. In the early 2000s, proposals for change were discussed in the national parliament. However
The Bronx is the northernmost of the five boroughs of New York City, in the U. S. state of New York. It is south of Westchester County. Since 1914, the borough has had the same boundaries as Bronx County, the third-most densely populated county in the United States; the Bronx has a land area of 42 square miles and a population of 1,471,160 in 2017. Of the five boroughs, it has the fourth-largest area, fourth-highest population, third-highest population density, it is the only borough predominantly on the U. S. mainland. The Bronx is divided by the Bronx River into a hillier section in the west, a flatter eastern section. East and west street names are divided by Jerome Avenue—the continuation of Manhattan's Fifth Avenue; the West Bronx was annexed to New York City in 1874, the areas east of the Bronx River in 1895. Bronx County was separated from New York County in 1914. About a quarter of the Bronx's area is open space, including Woodlawn Cemetery, Van Cortlandt Park, Pelham Bay Park, the New York Botanical Garden, the Bronx Zoo in the borough's north and center.
These open spaces are situated on land deliberately reserved in the late 19th century as urban development progressed north and east from Manhattan. The name "Bronx" originated with Jonas Bronck, who established the first settlement in the area as part of the New Netherland colony in 1639; the native Lenape were displaced after 1643 by settlers. In the 19th and 20th centuries, the Bronx received many immigrant and migrant groups as it was transformed into an urban community, first from various European countries and from the Caribbean region, as well as African American migrants from the southern United States; this cultural mix has made the Bronx a wellspring of hip hop and rock. The Bronx contains the poorest congressional district in the United States, the 15th, but its wide diversity includes affluent, upper-income, middle-income neighborhoods such as Riverdale, Spuyten Duyvil, Pelham Bay, Pelham Gardens, Morris Park, Country Club; the Bronx the South Bronx, saw a sharp decline in population, livable housing, the quality of life in the late 1960s and the 1970s, culminating in a wave of arson.
Since the communities have shown significant redevelopment starting in the late 1980s before picking up pace from the 1990s until today. The Bronx was called Rananchqua by the native Siwanoy band of Lenape, while other Native Americans knew the Bronx as Keskeskeck, it was divided by the Aquahung River. The origin of the person of Jonas Bronck is contested; some sources claim he was a Swedish born emigrant from Komstad, Norra Ljunga parish in Småland, who arrived in New Netherland during the spring of 1639. Bronck became the first recorded European settler in the area now known as the Bronx and built a farm named "Emmanus" close to what today is the corner of Willis Avenue and 132nd Street in Mott Haven, he leased land from the Dutch West India Company on the neck of the mainland north of the Dutch settlement in Harlem, bought additional tracts from the local tribes. He accumulated 500 acres between the Harlem River and the Aquahung, which became known as Bronck's River or the Bronx. Dutch and English settlers referred to the area as Bronck's Land.
The American poet William Bronk was a descendant of Pieter Bronck, either Jonas Bronck's son or his younger brother. The Bronx is referred to with the definite article as "The Bronx", both and colloquially; the County of Bronx does not place "The" before "Bronx" in formal references, unlike the coextensive Borough of the Bronx, nor does the United States Postal Service in its database of Bronx addresses. The region was named after the Bronx River and first appeared in the "Annexed District of The Bronx" created in 1874 out of part of Westchester County, it was continued in the "Borough of The Bronx", which included a larger annexation from Westchester County in 1898. The use of the definite article is attributed to the style of referring to rivers. Another explanation for the use of the definite article in the borough's name stems from the phrase "visiting the Broncks", referring to the settler's family; the capitalization of the borough's name is sometimes disputed. The definite article is lowercase in place names except in official references.
The definite article is capitalized at the beginning of a sentence or in any other situation when a lowercase word would be capitalized. However, some people and groups refer to the borough with a capital letter at all times, such as Lloyd Ultan, a historian for The Bronx County Historical Society, the Great and Glorious Grand Army of The Bronx, a Bronx-based organization; these people say. In particular, the Great and Glorious Grand Army of The Bronx is leading efforts to make the city refer to the borough with an uppercase definite article in all uses, comparing the lowercase article in the Bronx's name to "not capitalizing the's' in'Staten Island.'" European colonization of the Bronx began in 1639. The Bronx was part of Westchester County, but it was ceded to New York County in two major parts before it became Bronx County; the area was part of the Lenape's Lenapehoking territory inhabited by Siwanoy of the Wappinger Confederacy. Over
Stephanus Van Cortlandt
Stephanus van Cortlandt was the first native-born mayor of New York City, a position which he held from 1677 to 1678 and from 1686 to 1688. He was the patroon of Van Cortlandt Manor and was on the governor's executive council from 1691 to 1700, he was the first resident of Sagtikos Manor in West Bay Shore on Long Island, built around 1697. A number of his descendants married English military leaders and Loyalists active in the American Revolution, their descendants became prominent members of English society. Stephanus van Cortlandt was born on the son of Captain Olof Stevense van Cortlandt, his father had been born at Wijk bij Duurstede, in the Dutch Republic, in 1637 arrived in New Amsterdam. Beginning as a soldier and bookkeeper, Olof Stevense van Cortland rose to high office in the colonial service of the Dutch West India Company, serving many terms as burgomaster and alderman before dying in 1684, his mother was Anna Loockermans van Cortlandt who may have been the person who began the custom of Santa Claus in America.
His parents had four children: Stephanus van Cortlandt. Philipse was married to Margaret Hardenbroeck and during that marriage, had adopted her daughter, Eva de Vries, who thus took the name of Philipse. Eva's father and Margaret's first husband was Peter Rudolphus de Vries. In 1668, he was appointed ensign of one of the militia companies of New York City. In 1677, he was appointed mayor of New York City, at the age of thirty-four, becoming the first mayor of New York City, born in America, he was appointed due to his intelligence, social position in the community, as he was appointed by the English Governor. During his time in office, he remained an adherent of the aristocratic party during the Leisler affair from 1689 to 1691; when Delanoy, the Leisler candidate, was elected to the mayoralty, in place of Van Cortland, the latter refused to deliver up the city seal. It has been said. Van Cortlandt married Gertruj van Schuyler, the daughter of Philip Pieterse Schuyler and the sister of Pieter Schuyler, a colonial governor of New York and mayor of Albany.
They lived at the "Waterside," on the present line of Pearl street, near Broad, where he engaged in business as a merchant. Together, they had: Margaretta van Cortlandt, who married Judge Samuel Bayard, the son of Nicholas Bayard and descendant from the Stuyvesant family. A number of their descendants were Loyalists. Anne van Cortlandt, who married Stephen DeLancey Catherine van Cortlandt, who married New Jersey politician Andrew Johnston, the son of John Johnstone, the 32nd Mayor of New York City. Elizabeth van Cortlandt, who married the Reverend William Skinner Philip Van Cortlandt, who married Catherine de Peyster, daughter of Abraham de Peyster the 20th Mayor of New York City and his wife Catharine de Peyster. Philip and Catherine had six children: Stephen who married Mary W. Ricketts, May 6, 1738. Governor of the State of New York, who married his second cousin, Joanna Livingston, daughter of Cornelia Beekman, niece of Gerardus Beekman and granddaughter of Wilhelmus Beekman, Gilbert Livingston, a son of Robert Livingston the Elder and Alida Schuyler.
His granddaughter, Gertrude Bayard, married Peter Kemble, a prominent New Jersey businessman and politician, his great-granddaughter, Margaret Kemble, married Thomas Gage, General of the British Army during the American Revolutionary War. Descendants of this union are found in England, including amongst the Viscount Gages and the noble Bertie family in England. A grandson, James DeLancey became New York Governor, granddaughter Susannah DeLancey married Vice-Admiral Sir Peter Warren. Another grandson, Oliver De Lancey Sr. married Phila Franks, daughter of a prominent New York Jewish family. Grandson, Lt. General William Skinner, was an American Revolutionary Loyalist whose son, Brig. Gen. Cortlandt Skinner was a Loyalist who married Elizabeth Kearney. Another grandson, Pierre Van Cortlandt was the 1st Lieutenant Governor of New York who married to Joanna Livingston, their descendants include Philip Van Cortlandt and Pierre Van Cortlandt, Jr
New York Society Library
The New York Society Library is the oldest cultural institution in New York City. It was founded in 1754 by the New York Society as a subscription library. During the time when New York was the capital of the United States, it was the de facto Library of Congress; until the establishment of the New York Public Library in 1895, it functioned as the city's library as well. It has been patronized by a wide variety of literary and political figures, from George Washington to Wendy Wasserstein, its special collections include books from the libraries of Lorenzo Da Ponte. Since 1937, the library has been housed in the former John S. Rogers Mansion on Manhattan's Upper East Side, the fifth location in its history; the stone Renaissance Revival building was one of the earliest recognized as a New York City landmark in 1967, was further listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983 in recognition of both its architecture and the library's historic role in the city. The library's collection of 300,000 volumes includes audio recordings and periodicals as well as books on a broad range of subjects.
It is open for research by the general public. The library is a non-profit organization supported by its membership fees and endowment. Six residents of New York City, located on what is now Lower Manhattan, formed the New York Society in 1754. At the time, the city did not have a library, the New York Society believed that such an institution would be useful to the community, they convinced Colonial Governor James DeLancey to let them use a room in the original City Hall, at Wall and Broad streets, for that purpose. In 1772, the Society received a charter from King George III. During the Revolutionary War, New York was occupied by the British Army; the library's small collection suffered from extensive looting. Soldiers sold the books for rum. After independence was achieved in 1789, the New York State Legislature recognized the library's charter. During that time, Congress was meeting in New York City pending the establishment of Washington, D. C. as the permanent national capital. The NYSL served as the first Library of Congress for two years, its records show borrowings by George Washington, John Adams and Alexander Hamilton, among other early American notables from that time.
Washington is believed to have failed to return two books due in 1789. After Congress moved out, the library built its collection back up again to 5,000 volumes and moved to its own building on Nassau Street, it continued to grow in membership and volumes, remaining there through 1840, when it joined the New York Atheneum at Leonard Street and Broadway. Among the visitors recorded at that location were Henry David Thoreau and John James Audubon. Edgar Allan Poe and Ralph Waldo Emerson lectured at the library. Like other subscription libraries at the time, members paid a membership fee to access the collection. A board of trustees was elected which hired the librarians, chose materials for the collection and drafted and enforced regulations about library use; the nature of the collection represented the ideals of the library and contained works of a great variety. Although Christian theological texts were included, so was the Koran and books on Catholic saints and popes. There were a variety of natural philosophy texts alongside works by Shakespeare.
Resources were available for a variety of vocational purposes, including manuals for merchants and farmers. By 1856, the collection had reached 35,000 and it was once again time for the library to move. A larger building for its exclusive use was erected at 109 University Place, reflecting the city's continuing northerly expansion. Herman Melville and Willa Cather were among the visitors to that location, it had a double-height central reading shelf space for 100,000 books. This building would serve the NYSL for 81 years. In 1937, with the collection having grown to 150,000 volumes, the library moved to its present location at 53 East 79th Street, on the Upper East Side between Madison and Park avenues, it was thanks to a generous donation from the Goodhue family that enabled the purchase of the building, a mansion built just 20 years earlier. Notable patrons at the present location have ranged from W. H. Auden and Lillian Hellman in the early years to David Halberstam and Wendy Wasserstein more recently.
Trowbridge & Livingston designed the house for the John Rogers family in 1917, in the firm's years. Most of their buildings in the city were commercial, such as the B. Altman and Company headquarters, the St. Regis Hotel on Fifth Avenue, the east wing of the American Museum of Natural History; the Rogers House is considered a prime example of their residential work. The library is housed in a three-bay building faced in limestone; the main entrance at street level, behind a long awning, is flanked by two Doric pilasters supporting a horizontal lintel, set in rusticated stone. Above that story is a full-width balustrade. On the upper stories the stone is laid in an ashlar pattern with quoins at the corners; the second story windows are double glass doors topped with carved bracketed pediments. Belt courses at sill level divide the stories. Above the fifth story the roofline is marked by a cornice topped by another balustrade. Behind it is a small terrace sheltered by a wide overhang. An end chimney rises from the gabled tile roof.
The interior was extensively modified for the library in 1937. Much of this effort was focused on the rear.