Historic Pelham

Presenting the rich history of Pelham, NY in Westchester County: current historical research, descriptions of how to research Pelham history online and genealogy discussions of Pelham families.

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

More Research on the First "Indian Deed" Reflecting the Dutch Purchase of Lands that Included Today's Pelham



Readers of the Historic Pelham Blog know that I have struggled for nearly fifteen years to locate an actual copy of, or reliably-transcribed text of, the elusive first "Indian Deed" reflecting the sale by local Native Americans to the Dutch of the lands that included today's Pelham.  It seems that Dutch authorities instructed Cornelis Van Tienhoven to acquire the lands in 1640, but no acquisition occurred until 1649 -- though I CONTINUE to be unable to establish the accuracy of these oft-asserted propositions.  To read more about this quest, and about the 1654 "Indian Deed" reflecting the sale of these lands to English settler Thomas Pell, see:






17th Century Copy of Pell Deed Signed by Thomas Pell
and Native Americans on June 27, 1654.  Believed To Be
in Thomas Pell's Handwriting.

There have been recent references to the purported Dutch purchase of these lands.  None seems to shed any light on a meaningful source, primary or reliable secondary source, for the assertion.  

"CONFLICT, 1640-1645

Although hindsight shows that the first seeds of discord had been sown early, relations between Indians and colonists were generally amicable, at least superficially, during the first decade and a half of intensive colonial settlement on and around Manhattan.  Signs of serious tension appeared only after English settlers moving west from New England began approaching Indians to purchase lands on the still-unsurveyed eastern border of New Netherland.  New Englanders began looking to acquire land beyond the borders of Massachusetts Bay, Plymouth, and Connecticut during the late 1630s.  In late March 1638, for example, Connecticut government emissaries met near Norwalk with a gathering of 'old [Indian] men and captains from about Milford to Hudson River' to talk about extending their colony's authority over their lands.  They told the assembled sachems that they had been sent to establish a protectorate over 'the Indians along the coast from Quilipioke [Quinnipiac; today's New Haven] to the Manhatoes.'  After consulting among themselves, the sachems reached consensus and agreed to place themselves, their people, and their lands under Connecticut protection.  

Within two years, English colonists from Connecticut were purchasing their first tracts of land from Indians around Norwalk.  News of these purchases alarmed Kieft and his council in New Amsterdam.  On April 19, 1640, Kieft dispatched his second-in-command, [Page 31 / Page 32] Cornelis van Tienhoven, to the Norwalk Archipelago with an order 'to purchase the adjacent lands there; to set up the arms of the Lords States-General; to take the Indians under our protection, and to prevent any other nation from committing any usurpation on our limits and encroaching further on our territory.'

Van Tienhoven failed to purchase any Indian land at Norwalk.  Instead, he appears to have spent much of his time trying to confirm rumors that other men from Connecticut and New Haven (separate colonies at the time) were founding settlements on Long Island, on land placed under Dutch authority the previous year.  Sailing across Long Island Sound from Norwalk to Hempstead Harbor to meet with Penhawitz, Van Tienhoven found that the rumors were true.  Kieft immediately dispatched troops, who succeeded in evicting the English homesteaders."  

Source:  Grumet, Robert S., First Manhattans A History of the Indians of Greater New York, pp. 31-32 (Norman, OK:  Univ. of Oklahoma Press, 2011).

The assertion that Van Tienhoven "failed to purchase any Indian land at Norwalk" set forth above is at odds with other secondary sources that likewise fail to cite primary sources for their assertions.  For one example, see footnote 1 on Page 9 of the quoted excerpt from the History of Norwalk immediately below:

"[Page 8]

INDIAN DEED TO CAPT. DANIEL PATRICK

RECORDED IN VOL. I, PAGE 30, NORWALK LAND RECORDS.

Of the meadows and uplands adjoininge, lyinge on the west side of Norwake River.

'An agreement betwixt Daniell Patrick and Mahackem, and Naramake and Pemenate Hewnompom indians of Norwake and Makentoub 3 [Footnote 3 reads:  "3 Seemingly the name of an Indian clan"] the said Daniell Patricke hath bought of the sayed three indians, the ground called Sacunyte napucke, allso Meeanworth, thirdly Asumsowis, fourthly all the land adjoyninge to the aforementioned, as farr up in cuntry as an indian, and all trees, can goe in a day, from sun risinge to sun settinge; and twoe Islands on the east side to the middle of the River of Norwake, and all trees, meadows, waters and naturell adjuncts thereunto belonginge, for him and his forever; for whith Lands the sayed indians are to receive of the sayed Daniell Patricke, of wampum tenn fathoms, hatchetts three, howes three, when shipps come; sixe glasses,, twelfe tobackoe pipes, three knifes, tenn drills, tenn needles; this as full satisfaction for the aforementioned lande, and 

[Page 8 / Page 9]

for the peaceable possession of which the aforementioned mahachemill doth promise and undertake to silence all opposers of this purchase, if any should in his time act, to witnesse which, on both sides, hands are interchangeably hereunto sett, this 20th of Aprill, 1640. 1  [Footnote 1 reads:  "1  The day before this transaction, viz:  April 19, 1640, Ponus or his successors, had granted to the Dutch West India Company all the lands from Norwalk west to the Hudson River.  It should be borne in mind that the Patrick purchase extended on the west to Five Mile River, and that the Runckinheage lands lay within this purchase.  Probably the territory covered by the Partrick deed was originally the domain of Naramake 1st, a predecessor of Naramake 2nd, who signed the Partrick paper.  This second Naramake returned finally, it is believed, to the Mohawks."]."

Source:  Selleck, Charles M., Norwalk, pp. 8-9 (Norwalk, CT:  Published by the Author, 1896).  

I have transcribed these additional resources as part of the ongoing research (and quest) to locate the initial "Indian Deed" to the lands that became today's Town of Pelham and surrounding areas.



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Monday, September 01, 2014

Solar Salt Manufacturing Plant Built on City Island in the Town of Pelham in the 1830's


One of the earliest commercial manufacturing enterprises constructed in the Town of Pelham was a small solar salt works built on City Island by Dr. Edward C. Cooper of 22nd Street in New York City during the early 1830's.  A print in the collection of the New York Historical Society entitled "E.C. Cooper's Plan of Salt Works at City Island (1835)" shows a remarkable facility with a windmill built atop a platform in Long Island Sound that pumped water via a pipe to a tank above four "inclined planes" down which salt water was dripped onto a bed of gravel covering the inclined plane surfaces at precisely the correct rate so that water would coat the gravel and the heavier salt-laden brine would flow downward into "rooms" (also known as "pans") at the bottom of the inclined planes.  There, a small and movable roof could be rolled over the pans during rain (and at night) and rolled away from the pans during sunlight  Evaporation of the liquid in the thick brine would leave salt crystals that could be harvested for profit.  

An image of the print depicting Cooper's salt plant included in a book published in 1912 appears immediately below.  The image originally appeared as part of a technical article about the salt works that appeared in the January, 1836 issue of the Journal of the American Institute quoted in full at the end of today's Historic Pelham Blog posting. 



"E. C. Cooper's Plan of Salt Works at City Island (1835)
From an old print in the New York Historical Society"
Source:  Jenkins, Stephen, The Story of The Bronx From
The Purchase Made by the Dutch from the Indians in 1639
to the Present Day, Opposite p. 626 (G. P. Putnam's Sons
New York and London, The Knickerbocker Press, 1912).

Introduction

The story behind Dr. Cooper's salt works at City Island is a fascinating tale of a get-rich-quick scheme that failed.  Edward C. Cooper of New York City was an entrepreneur who, in the late 1820's or early 1830's, perceived an opportunity that he hoped would make him a rich man.  He analyzed the ability of limited U.S. manufacturing resources to manufacture the salt necessary to serve the American public.  He further determined the costs (and related pricing) that made American-based solar salt works unable to produce salt at a cost that would allow competitive pricing and that might reduce the massive negative net export balance involving salt.  Once Dr. Cooper assembled the data, he embarked on a quest to design and build a solar-based salt-production facility that would produce salt that could be sold at a competitive price.  He chose City Island in the Town of Pelham as the site of his salt works.  He built the facility, it is believed, in about 1830 along what once was Banta Lane and the eastern part of today's Carroll Street.   

Who Was Dr. Edward C. Cooper?

The "E.C. Cooper" who built the salt works on City Island was Dr. Edward C. Cooper, a New York City physician and a brother of Peter Cooper, an American inventor, industrialist, philanthropist and founder of the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in Manhattan, New York City.


The famed Peter Cooper was a son of John Obadiah Cooper.  He had a brother named Edward C. Cooper.  Cf. DR. HENRY CROPSEY COOPER, N.Y. Tribune, Aug. 4, 1893, Vol. LIII, No. 17,064, p. 8, col. 4 ("Dr. Henry Cropsey Cooper, a son of Dr. Edward C. Cooper and a nephew of Peter Cooper, died last week at his home in Woodridge, N.J."); DIED . . . COOPER, N.Y. Sun, Jul. 16, 1886, Vol. LIII, No. 319, p. 3, col. 7 ("COOPER.--On Tuesday, the 13th inst., Maria, relict of the late Dr. Edward C. Cooper.").    

According to a number of sources, at about the same time that E. C. Cooper constructed his salt works in City Island, "Peter Cooper of Cooper Union fame bought property on City Island in 1835 with the idea of building a glue factory.  [He started in the glue business in 1920 [sic] and expanded several times; it made him very rich.]  He gave up the idea, however, due to poor transportation facilities, and sold his land to the Leviness family."  See Payne, Alice, City Island:  Tales of the Clam Diggers, p. 11 (Floral Park, NY:  Graphicopy Inc., 1969).  Salt, it turns out, was important in the manufacture of glue during portions of the nineteenth century.

Further evidence points to Peter Cooper's brother, Edward C. Cooper, as the builder of the salt works on City Island.  Edward C. Cooper is referred to in various resources quoted below as Dr. Edward C. Cooper or Dr. E.C. Cooper.  Peter Cooper's brother, Edward C. Cooper, was a physician.  

Physician Edward Cooper married Maria Cropsey in 1828.  (Maria Cropsey reportedly spent several years at the Bloomingdale Asylum and was insane.)  

Peter Cooper had a son that he named Edward Cooper, evidently naming the boy after his brother, Edward C. Cooper.  Peter Cooper's son, Edward, later became Mayor of New York City.  

While it is not certain that the E.C. Cooper who built the salt works on City Island was the brother of Peter Cooper of Cooper Union fame, the evidence suggests that they were one and the same.  Indeed, as indicated below, one of the two witnesses to the patent issued to Edward C. Cooper for the inventions reflected in his salt works constructed at City Island was a signatory named "Peter Cooper."  At a minimum, the clues are tantalizing.  Only time -- and additional hard work -- undoubtedly will confirm this conclusion.

Cooper's Invention

Cooper claimed to have developed the first cost-effective way to recover salt from sea water using only solar heat rather than more expensive "artificial" heat (i.e., fire-based boiling away of the water to leave salt crystals).  In October, 1835, Cooper won a silver medal for his "improved apparatus for making salt."  The accolade certainly seemed to bolster his claims that he had invented a more cost-effective way to use solar energy to extract marketable salt from sea water.  

Described simplistically, the majority of salt production plants in the United States at the time operated by pumping salt water into large steel pans.  Such "pans" allowed impurities to settle at the bottom.  The "good" salty sea water then was siphoned off and heated above a fire.  Any foam that formed on the top was skimmed off.  As the water heated, it evaporated until only salt crystals remained.  The process was slow and the cost of manpower to oversee the process and fuel to boil the sea water made the process very expensive.  

Solar-based evaporation salt works, however, attempted to hold seawater in large vats as the sun-based evaporation left salt crystals.  The process took so long that very large mobile "roofs" had to be built, maintained and moved into place when it rained (and moved away after it rained).  This sort of equipment was prone to failure at the wrong time and required a lot of labor to maintain, thus driving up the cost of producing each bushel of sea salt.  

Cooper claimed to have solved these problems by developing a series of inclined planes with a novel system to distribute a thin film of sea water along the top of the planes that would evaporate in a perfectly-timed manner as the film of water flowed down the planes.  A description of the entire apparatus published in 1836 described it as follows:

"This improvement chiefly consists in the substitution for all that part of salt works on which the salt water or brine is merely reduced, previous to the deposit of the salt of inclined plane beds, in place of the salt rooms or pans with moveable [sic] roofs, as now in use.

These inclined plane beds are are made directly on the ground, and are made water-tight by coating them with hydraulic cement; they are then covered with a coarse gravel:  this gravel, by means of a capillary affinity for the water, distributes the salt water in the most minute quantities over the whole inclined plane surface, and thus exposes it to evaporation while flowing down.  

By means of the valve and float in an ordinary water cask, connected with the reservoir, and logs running along the top of the plane, the column of water in the cask is kept at any required height, by the adjustment of the float on its surface:  and as the water flowing out of the holes in the logs is always in exact proportion to the column of water in the cask, the quantity of salt water flowing out upon the planes can, from time to time, be accurately regulated by the adjustment of the float, so as at all times to be in proportion to the amount of evaporation; and thus the brine can be run off the inclined planes at any required strength.  

The remaining parts of the works consist of the windmill for raising the water; the reservoir for receiving it -- which reservoir is made by enclosing any required extent of ground in a dirt embankment, about three feet high, and cementing it on the inside; the logs with a small aperture made in them opposite each plane; and the pickle and salt rooms or pans, with moveable [sic] roofs at the bottom of the inclined planes.  These pickle or salt pans may be made of cement or wood; or where salt works now exist, they may be substituted for this part of the works.

When rains occur, the insertion of a plug separates the inclined planes from the pickle and salt rooms, and the rain water thus flows away."

Source:  MANUFACTURE OF SALTJournal of the American Institute, Vol. I, No. 4, Jan. 1836, pp. 170-75 (NY, NY:  1836). 

Cooper Obtains a Patent for His Invention

In a number of these published descriptions, Cooper announced that he had successfully "secured a patent" for his improved apparatus for making salt.  For example, the December, 1835 issue of The Journal of the Franklin Institute a description of the patent appeared.  It read:

"26.  For an improvement in the Manufacture of Salt by Solar Evaporation; Edward C. cooper, city of New York, May 16.

An inclined plane is to be formed by properly preparing the ground and covering it with a coating of hydraulic cement, and down this plane the water to be evaporated is to run, there being proper receptacles for it at the bottom.  To cause it to be distributed properly over the plane, the latter is to be covered with gravel to the depth of one-fourth of an inch.  The water is to be pumped into a reservoir at the head of the plane, and from this it flows into a regulating tub, and distributing logs, furnished with perforations; means being adopted, by the employment of valves and floats, to regulate the supply.  

The claims are to be application of an inclined plane as described; to the regulating tub, valves, and floats; to the equal distribution of the water by means of gravel; and to the 'successful application of a cemented water-tight surface upon a natural soil, by means of coating the same with hydraulic cement, as hereinbefore described.'"

Source:  AMERICAN PATENTS.  LIST OF AMERICAN PATENTS WHICH ISSUED IN MAY, 1835, With Remarks and Exemplifications, by the Editor, Journal of the Franklin Institute of the State of Pennsylvania, Dec., 1835, Vol. XVI, No. 6, pp. 385 & 393-94 (Dec. 1835).

Edward C. Cooper, indeed, received United States Patent X8,821 from the United States Patent Trademark Office on May 16, 1835 (current U.S. class 159/32 and current International class B01D 1/00 (20060101).  The Letters Patent issued to Edward C. Cooper set fourth four "improvement in the manufacture of salt" invented by Cooper:  

"improvement in the manufacture of salt as above described and for which Letters Patent are hereby claimed consists first, the successful application of an inclined plane surface as herein described to the evaporating salt water or brine to a nearly saturated brine while flowing down the said plane.  2d. [Second] The successful application of a valve and float in a regulating tub as described herein for regulating the quantity of water flowing on to inclined plane surface by means of a regulated level of water in the regulating tub.  3d. [Third] The equal distribution of the salt water over the inclined plane surface by means of the gravel spread on said plane as before described.  4. [Fourth] The successful application of a cemented water tight surface upon a natural soil by means of coating the same with Hydraulic cement as herein before described as successfully applicable to the construction of salt pans with level bottom sides as well as to inclined plane surface."

Source:  United States Patent X8,821 from the United States Patent Trademark Office on May 16, 1835 (current U.S. class 159/32 and current International class B01D 1/00 (20060101).

Images of the patent drawing and each of the pages of of the patent appear immediately below.  I have transcribed the entirety of the text of the entire patent at the end of today's posting to the Historic Pelham Blog to the extent I have been able to transcribe the handwritten patent.  



Page 1, United States Patent X8,821 Issued to E.C. Cooper for an 
"Evaporator" by the United States Patent Trademark Office on 
May 16, 1835.


Page 2, United States Patent X8,821 Issued to E.C. Cooper for an 
"Evaporator" by the United States Patent Trademark Office on 
May 16, 1835.


Page 3, United States Patent X8,821 Issued to E.C. Cooper for an 
"Evaporator" by the United States Patent Trademark Office on 
May 16, 1835.


Page 4, United States Patent X8,821 Issued to E.C. Cooper for an 
"Evaporator" by the United States Patent Trademark Office on 
May 16, 1835.


Page 5, United States Patent X8,821 Issued to E.C. Cooper for an 
"Evaporator" by the United States Patent Trademark Office on 
May 16, 1835.

Touting the "Improvement" and Hoping to Issue Stock

Upon the completion of his new salt works on City Island, Cooper entered a model of his invention in a competition sponsored as part of the Eighth Annual Fair of the American Institute held in New York City in October 1835.  A lengthy article published in the October 22, 1835 issue of the New-York Spectator described the fair and the exhibits presented.  The article made reference to Cooper's model.  It read, in part, as follows:

"An inclined plain [sic], as a model of a new and improved method of manufacturing salt upon the seacoast, by solar evaporation, was exhibited by Dr. E. C. Cooper, of this city.  The principle, he says, has been successfully tested upon City Island -- East river."

Source:  THE FAIR, New-York Spectator, Oct. 22, 1835, Vol. XXXVIII, No. p. 2, cols. 1-4.

At the close of the Fair, the American Institute awarded Cooper a silver medal as a premium for his "improved apparatus for making salt."  See LIST OF PREMIUMS, Journal of the American Institute, Vol. I, No. 2, Nov. 1835, pp. 57, 77 & 85 (NY, NY:  Nov. 1835) (stating "LIST OF PREMIUMS Awarded by the Managers of the 8th Annual Fair of the American Institute . . . Doct. E. C. Cooper, Twenty-second street, N.Y., for an improved apparatus for making salt.  A Silver Medal.").  

Almost immediately, Dr. Cooper embarked on a nationwide effort to tout his award-winning improved apparatus for making salt.  First an extensive description of his invention appeared in the January, 1836 issue of the Journal of the American Institute.  That description included an illustration of the salt works identical to the one shown above and is quoted in its entirety below.  

Within a short time, descriptions of the improved apparatus for making salt began to appear in publications distributed throughout the United States.  Such publications included the Journal of Commerce published in New York, the Farmers' Register, and newspapers including The Pittsburgh Gazette.  

The account of Cooper's salt works on City Island that appeared in the Journal of the American Institute made clear what Cooper's plans were.  He planned to form a company based in New York City and issue stock to raise $100,000 to build a larger salt works on Long Island.  Interestingly, all other accounts of the City Island salt works published at the time also made reference to Cooper's plan.  It was described in the Journal of the American Institute as follows:

"It is Dr. Cooper's intention to form a stock company in this city for the construction of salt works on Long Island, or near this city, with a capital of $100,000, which he estimates will yield near 200,000 bushels annually."

Source:  MANUFACTURE OF SALT, Journal of the American Institute, Vol. I, No. 4, Jan. 1836, pp. 170-75 (NY, NY:  1836).   

Apparent Failure of Cooper's Venture

Tradition on City Island holds that Cooper's grand plans failed and that he "discontinued" his salt works on City Island after a short time "when mining of salt became more economical in other parts of the country."  See Payne, Alice, City Island:  Tales of the Clam Diggers, p. 11 (Floral Park, NY:  Graphicopy Inc., 1969).

Diligent effort has uncovered no primary sources that address when, how or why Cooper's salt works on City Island failed (if the works actually "failed").  There is no doubt, however, that sea water evaporation works to manufacture salt long had been considered to be more expensive than the importation of salt from less expensive overseas sources.  It may be the case that "mining of salt became more economical in other parts of the country" at the time, but that assertion has not yet been tested (and is beyond the scope of this research note).  

Other research considerations seem to be at play, but involve only speculation at present.  There was, at the time, no bridge to the mainland to allow land-based transportation of salt manufactured by Cooper's City Island salt works  Transportation by water (using appropriate methods), however, traditionally has been considered less expensive than overland transportation.  Additionally, tradition holds that Peter Cooper's efforts to create a manufacturing concern in 1835 failed for as yet unknown reasons and led Cooper to sell his property to the family of Joshua Leviness.  If true, could this have played a role in the closing of E.C. Cooper's salt works?

Moreover, no record has yet been located to determine whether Edward C. Cooper ever sold stock to raise money for his plan to build an larger solar salt works.  At present, however, it does not appear that any such sale of stock took place.  

*          *          *          *          *

Below are transcriptions of the text of various items regarding Dr. Edward C. Cooper's salt works built on City Island in the Town of Pelham.  

"To the Editors of the Journal.

MANUFACTURE OF SALT.

A leading object of the American Institute in publishing a Journal, was 'particularly the discovery of such useful materials as our mineral resources, our soil and our climate afford, and which the enterprise and industry of our citizens, will from time to time develope [sic].'

In conformity with this is presented a succinct account of the manufacture of salt, and more particularly a statement of a new and economical method for its manufacture lately put into operation by Dr. E. C. Cooper of this city.  

The mineral kingdom, as connected with the arts and uses of social life is one among the most important sources of a nation's wealth.  Of all the products of the mineral kingdom, there is none so immediately important to man, as one of the substantial necessaries of life as Salt.  Salt enters in a thousand ways into practical use; in agriculture, in the arts, in domestic economy; but more especially as the agent used to preserve what are denominated 'salted provisions.'  The consumption of salt is immense.  In Williams' Annual Register for 1834, it is computed for the United States, for the last year, at 12,000,000 of bushels, about 5,000,000 being manufactured in the country, the rest being imported.

The United States has a seaboard of near two thousand miles in extent, along the whole of which salt can readily be made; and it has been said that the whole country, west of the Allegany [sic] mountains is underflowed by salt water.  It is in fact obtained almost every where throughout the west, by boring a sufficient depth.  In the interior of this state, ,salt or brine springs are found to extend through the counties of Onondaga, Cayuga,, Seneca, Ontario, Niagara, Genesee, Tompkins, Wayne, and Livingston.  Yet with such a universal abundance of this mineral, one half the whole consumption of the country, including the almost entire supply of our seaboard, is imported, and this commercial emporium, with every faculty for the manufacture and exportation of salt, now imports its whole supply, to the amount of more than a million of bushels annually.  

Salt is an article, that on account of its bulk and cost of transportation, should be made as near the place of its consumption as possible, as the cost of its transportation diminishes the value of the article to the manufacturer, as well as enhances its price to the consumer, besides the labour employed in transportation being non-productive.

This principle is very evident in the article of salt.  It is now purchased abroad at an average price of 13-3/4 cents per bushel, yet its cost in the city of New-York is from 36 to 40 cents, and at that price is nearly unproductive of profit to the merchant.  Salt made at Salina, at 6 cents per bushel, sold at the city of Utica, before the completion of the canal, at $3 per barrel, and although the state has made it free of toll, and given a large bounty, $10,000, to have the Salina salt delivered on the Hudson, the manufacturers have as yet been unable to deliver it at the city of Albany, in competition with foreign salt.  It is a singular fact, that the landing of a canal-boat in the city of New-York in 1824, loaded with salt from Salina, by way of the canal and Hudson, 'being the first, and it might be added the last that has reached New-York, so laden, was the occasion of a public dinner.'

An important reason why salt should be derived from domestic manufacture, is the astonishing enhancement it undergoes in price, during war -- thus salt sold during the year 1814, at Charleston and Baltimore, for $5 per bushel, and during the war of Independence, it was a common article of barter along the banks of the Hudson in equal weights for butter.  There were imported into the United States, from 1791 to 1819, 77,751,024 bushels of salt, paying a duty to the government of $13,694,065, and costing the consumer over $30,000,000.  The import of the last year was 6,038,076 bushels, paying to the government near a million of dollars, in duty.

All of these immense sums might be saved to the people, by the domestic manufacture of salt, as the material is inexhaustible, and existing throughout the country.  

Salt can now be made equal to the whole demand of the country, and afford a liberal profit to the manufacturer at from 10 to 12 cents the bushel, and a far better article than any of the now imported salts; and it is a subject of national importance, especially in the present critical state of our foreign relations, that we at once commence the works for producing a domestic supply, fully equal to the demands of the country; and there is in fact, no better way of preparing for war in peace, than by the domestic manufacture and production of the necessaries of life.

The manufacture of salt is simple in its operations.  It is effected by the evaporation of water, and the separation of the other ingredients, contained in the water, from the muriate of soda, or salt of commerce.  

Evaporation is carried on it two ways, by artificial and by solar heat.  

Salt made by artificial heat, -- that is by boiling, -- costs more, and is more impure than when made by solar evaporation; yet nearly the whole of the salt made in the interior of the country is made by boiling.  An improved process of boiling, by using the steam of one boiler to heat another, where the salt is formed, has been, within a few years, introduced at the Kenhawa salt springs, Va., which makes a salt, equal in appearance, to the best made by solar heat, but the works are too expensive for use on the seaboard.

Solar evaporation is in exact proportion to the surface exposed.

Of all the various plans of making salt by solar heat, there is but one that is in general use in the United States.  This plan was first suggested by John Sears in 1776, who built his works on Quivet Neck, Dennis, then Yarmouth, Mass., and like Fulton, had to contend with the bigotted [sic] ignorance of his cotemporaries [sic], who denominated his salt works 'John Sears' Folly.'

Some of the salt works, built cotemporary [sic] with Sears', are still in operation on Broad Point, town of Brewster, Mass.  Sears also invented the wooden windmill, now universally used in salt works on the seaboard -- previous to which invention, he had the salt water carried to his works by hand.

These works were made of a board floor, strongly supported, raised two or more feet from the earth, and surrounded by strong timber sides, grooved into the floor, so as so [sic] make a water-tight basin or pan.  The pans or rooms, as they are technically called, vary from 12 to 18 feet in width, and from 18 to 200 feet in length -- they are generally made in four divisions, the weak and strong water rooms, the pickle and the salt rooms; in the last of which alone, the salt if formed -- the salt room is in proportion to the whole surface as one to ten.

Over the whole of these rooms or pans are substantial roofs; these roofs are mounted on rollers or pans, as the weather indicates.  The moving of these roofs constitutes the material labour of making salt.

The cost of these works is $1 per 10 square feet, or $4,000 for 40,000 square feet; they require one man to about every 40,000 square feet of works, and this extent of works annually yields from 1,000 to 1,200 bushels of salt, which at present prices, and the uncertainty of the market, renders the works nearly unproductive of profit; and although over a million and a half of dollars was invested in works on this plan, during the last war, many are now abandoning them, and the salt manufactured for the supply of the seaboard, is now literally in a death struggle with foreign competition; and unaided by government, the market of our commercial cities will soon be dependant [sic] on a foreign supply for every bushel of salt they require.  The only means to sustain the home manufacture is by the introduction of some new and cheaper process for making it.  This with the prospect of collision with a foreign government, now so imminent, should lead mercantile men in time to adopt a certain and cheap domestic supply of salt for our seaboard.

The expense of works constructed on this plan, more especially the roofing, which wears out rapidly, has led to various attempts to dispense with the roofing in whole or in part.  

A Frenchman built works of cement, pans without roofs, on Plumb Island; and after expending $40,000 abandoned them in consequence of the excess of rain, neutralizing the evaporation.  A German plan of dripping water through twigs, suspended on wooden frames, is now in operation at New Bedford, Mass., but it is found equally expensive with the roofed works.

The substitution of an inclined plane, from which the rain may spontaneously flow away, and thus dispense with the roofing for a part of the works has been frequently attempted, but as yet none have been used beyond the first experiment, in consequence of practical difficulties that had to be overcome.  The more important being the distribution of the water over an inclined plane surface, flowing thin enough to be equal to the evaporation from it, and also to wet over the whole surface, and lastly to regulate the amount evaporated off it in the same time.

To render an inclined plane surface practically useful, it is necessary to evaporate the salt water to a fixed strength, near the point of saturation, which heretofore has never been done.  

A patent exists for spreading the salt water on an inclined plane surface, by means of cotton-bagging, but the expense is too great to make it profitable.  A gentleman at Boston attempted the same thing at his works on Natasket Beach, by dripping the salt water on steep roofs, to evaporate as it descended, but it has not answered his expectations, in consequence of the difficulty just mentioned.  

At New-Bedford, there is an inclined plane surface now in operation, made of plank, the surface being studded with wooden pegs, to distribute the water, which they but very partially do; it has not answered expectation, and is too expensive.

A gentleman in North-Carolina, Mr. Bradley, tried precipitating salt water in falls, from one ledge to another, but this too failed from its cost.

As the material from which salt is made costs nothing, the expense of its manufacture arises out of the works, and the value of labour in making it.  With regard to making salt, it requires a perfectly water-tight surface; and it inclined planed surfaces are adopted means must also be used to distribute the water in the most minute quantity, over the whole surface, and the salt water must be so let on to the planes, as to be easily regulated to the exact amount of the evaporation; and in time of rain the planes must be disconnected with the pans where the pickle and salt is collected.  All these contrivances have been carefully studied, and reduced to successful practice in the works of Dr. Cooper, on City Island, of which the drawing in this number is a correct representation.  

By this plan, the cost of salt works is diminished from $1 to 15 cents per foot; and seven eights [sic] of the roofing being dispensed with, saves the whole labour that was necessary for their removal.  

The simplicity of the works, and the accompanying plate, preclude the necessity of a lengthened description.  

This improvement chiefly consists in the substitution for all that part of salt works on which the salt water or brine is merely reduced, previous to the deposit of the salt of inclined plane beds, in place of the salt rooms or pans with moveable [sic] roofs, as now in use.

These inclined plane beds are are made directly on the ground, and are made water-tight by coating them with hydraulic cement; they are then covered with a coarse gravel:  this gravel, by means of a capillary affinity for the water, distributes the salt water in the most minute quantities over the whole inclined plane surface, and thus exposes it to evaporation while flowing down.  

By means of the valve and float in an ordinary water cask, connected with the reservoir, and logs running along the top of the plane, the column of water in the cask is kept at any required height, by the adjustment of the float on its surface:  and as the water flowing out of the holes in the logs is always in exact proportion to the column of water in the cask, the quantity of salt water flowing out upon the planes can, from time to time, be accurately regulated by the adjustment of the float, so as at all times to be in proportion to the amount of evaporation; and thus the brine can be run off the inclined planes at any required strength.  

The remaining parts of the works consist of the windmill for raising the water; the reservoir for receiving it -- which reservoir is made by enclosing any required extent of ground in a dirt embankment, about three feet high, and cementing it on the inside; the logs with a small aperture made in them opposite each plane; and the pickle and salt rooms or pans, with moveable roofs at the bottom of the inclined planes.  These pickle or salt pans may be made of cement or wood; or where salt works now exist, they may be substituted for this part of the works.

When rains occur, the insertion of a plug separates the inclined planes from the pickle and salt rooms, and the rain water thus flows away.

A capital of $6,000 will construct ten acres of the work, yielding rising 1,200 bushels each, or 12,000 bushels salt for the whole, and one hand readily attend this extent of works.

The Standing Committee on Manufactures of the American Institute having visited the works before referred to, on City Island, are expected to report at a future meeting.  

It is Dr. Cooper's intention to form a stock company in this city for the construction of salt works on Long Island, or near this city, with a capital of $100,000, which he estimates will yield near 200,000 bushels annually."

Source:  MANUFACTURE OF SALT, Journal of the American Institute, Vol. I, No. 4, Jan. 1836, pp. 170-75 (NY, NY:  1836).  

"SALT. 

Not attic salt, nor saltpetre, but common salt. Of this article it is calculated that about twelve millions bushels are consumed in the U. States per annum, of which about 7,000,000 are imported.  The bulk and weight of the article make its transportation a principal item in the cost.  According to a statement in the Journal of the American Institute, it is now purchased abroad at an average price of 13 3/4 cents a bushel; yet its cost in this city is from 30 to 35 cents by the quantity, and at the present price it affords but a moderate profit to the merchant.  Salt made at Salina at 6 cents per bushel, sold at Utica before the completion of the canal at $3 a barrel; and although the legislature made it free of toll and offered a liberal bounty for its delivery on the Hudson, the manufacturers have as yet been unable to do so at a remunerating price, by reason of the competition of foreign salt.  For consumption in the interior, very large quantities are manufactured in western N. York, western Virginia, and several other states, it is a remarkable arrangement of Providence, that while near the sea board saline springs are rarely or never found, (at least in this country) they are abundant far in the interior.  In this State they are found to extend through the counties of Onondaga, Cayuga, Seneca, Ontario, Niagara, Gennesee, Tompkins, Wayne, and Livingston; and it has been said that the whole country west of the Alleghenies is underflowed with salt water. 

On the sea board, particularly in the regions of Cape Cod, the manufacture of salt has long been carried on extensively, but is represented to be now in a declining state, on account of the low price which the article commands.  The cause Is less to be regretted than the effect.  But surely, if it be possible by improved methods of manufacture to make the business profitable, and even to reduce tho price of the article below what it is at present, every friend of his country would wish success to the enterprise.

Such improvements are stated to have been actually made by Dr. E. C. Cooper, and are about to be put in operation on a large scale.  It is well known that on the sea board the manufacture is carried on entirely by evaporation.  Of course a vast extent of surface must be exposed to the action of the sun, which, in the old method, is effected by extensive vats, with movable roofs to shelter them from rain, when occasion requires.  The vats or rooms, as they are technically called, vary from twelve to eighteen feet in width, and from 18 to 200 feet in length.  They are generally made in four divisions, viz: the weak and strong water rooms, the pickle, and salt rooms, in the last of which only salt is formed.  Except the pickle and salt rooms, forming about one eighth of the whole. Dr. Cooper's plan substitutes inclined plane beds made directly on the ground and rendered watertight by hydraulic cement.  They are then covered with coarse gravel, which, acting by capillary attraction, distributes the salt water in the most minute quantities over the whole inclined plane surface, and thus exposes it to evaporation while flowing down. By this plan the cost of the works is reduced from $1 to 15 cents per 10 square feet, and there is also a very great saving of labor, in consequence of dispensing with so large a portion of the roofs.  When rain occurs, the insertion of a plug separates the inclined planes from the pickle and salt rooms, and the rain water thus flows away.  Any person who is curious to see a more particular description of this improvement may find it in the 4th number of the Journal of the American Institute, just published.  A capital of $6500, according to this authority, will construct ten acres of the work, yielding 12,000 bushels of salt per annum, at an expense which will allow it to be sold at 10 or 12 cents a bushel, and at the same time afford the manufacturer a liberal profit.  Dr. Cooper has secured a patent for his improvement and proposes to form a joint stock company for the construction of salt works on Long island, with a capital of $100,000, which he calculates will yield near 200,000 bushels per annum.  Of the practical operation of the thing, we of course know nothing, personally; but from the description given of it, we are led to anticipate favorable results. N. Y. Journal of Commerce." 

Source:  SALT, The Pittsburgh Gazette, Feb. 12, 1836, p. 2 (quoting the "N.Y. Journal of Commerce").  

The same text as that quoted immediately above from "The Pittsburgh Gazette" also appeared in the following:  IMPROVEMENTS IN THE MANUFACTURE OF SALT,  Farmers' Register, Mar. 1836, Vol. III, No. 11, p. 701. 

"E.C. Cooper maintained a small solar plant on City Island, now included in New York City, about 1830.  Nothing can be learned of this enterprise except the above meager facts.  The attempt did not last very long."

Source:  Werner, Charles J., A History And Description of the Manufacture and Mining of Salt in New York State, p. 14 & After p. 14 (Huntington, Long Island, NY:  Charles J. Werner, 1917).  

"E.C. Cooper built a small solar salt plant in 1830 along Banta Lane and east Carroll Street.  This was probably the first commercial enterprise on the island.  The sun's rays evaporated seawater and deposited salt crystals, using inclined plane beds for salt rooms and a windmill to raise the water.  This etching, from the 1836 Journal of the American Institute, is the earliest known extant illustration of City Island.  The business closed because salt mining became more economical in other parts of the country."  

Source:  Scott, Catherine A., City Island and Orchard Beach, p. 10 (Arcadia Publishing, 2004).  

"A source of supply of salt was as necessary to the early colonists, and demand always exceeded the available supply, until the opening of the salt mines after the turn of the past century.  Along the Atlantic seaboard there were numerous solar salt plants built, which depended upon the sun's rays to evaporate the seawater and deposit the salt crystals.  E. C. Cooper maintained a small solar salt plant on City Island about 1830 but the enterprise did not last long because of competition from the salt mines.  On page 14 of The History and Description of Manufacturing and Mining of Salt in New York State, by Charles J. Werner, published 1917, will be found the reproduction of a picture of this old Cooper plant on City Island."

Source:  Barr, Lockwood Anderson, A Brief, But Most Complete & True Account of the Settlement of the Ancient Town of Pelham Westchester County, State of New York Known One Time Well & Favourably as the Lordshipp & Manour of Pelham Also The Story of the Three Modern Villages Called The Pelhams, pp. 85-86 (The Dietz Press, Inc. 1946) (Library of Congress Control Number 47003441, Library of Congress Call Number F129.P38B3).

Below is a transcription of the handwritten text of United States Patent X8,821 issued to E. C. Cooper for an "Evaporator" by the United States Patent Trademark Office on May 16, 1835.

"[Page 1]

E. C. COOPER.
EVAPORATOR.
8821X     Patented May 16, 1835

[Image of the device]

[Page 2]

8821X  May 16 . 1835     515.

Edward C. Cooper of the City, County & State of N.Y.

Letters Patent.

The schedule referred to in these Letters Patent & making part of the same, containing a description in the words of the said Edward C. Cooper, himself of his improvement in the manufacture of salt by solar evaporation.

To all to whom these presents shall come.

Be it known, that I, Edward C. Cooper of the City, County and State of New York, have invented a new and useful improvement in the manufacture of salt by solar evaporation, and that the following is a full and faithful description of the construction and operation of said process as invented by me.

This improvement consists in the successful application of an Inclined Plane Surface, to the evaporating of Ocean Water or other brines to a concentrated brine while flowing down, the said inclined plane surface and also of the means by which this is rendered practical.  These means consist first in making a water tight surface by means of coating the natural surface with cement.  2d. [Second] the means for the even distribution of the salt water over the inclined plane surface and 3d. [Third] the means for regulating the quantity of salt water draining on to the quantity evaporated while flowing down, the inclined plane surface; The above salt works are to be constructed in the following manner, on ground having a southerly aspect & a descent of from one to four inches in every ten feet; being selected, and the intended inclined plane surface being marked out at the top and at the bottom of this intended inclined plane surface, two horizontal lines at levels are to be made on the ground parallel with each other and about two hundred feet apart, and the lower line to be at least from two to six feet lower than the line parallel with it at the top.  Between the above two lines or levels the whole

[Page 3]

516.          8821X

whole [sic] ground is to be evenly graded to a level plane regularly descending from the top line or level down to the line or level at the bottom; The surface being thus reduced to a regular inclined plane; trenches are then to be dug, perpendicularly from the top to the bottom of the inclined plane surface, these trenches to be about four feet apart and one foot deep for draining the ground of superfluous moisture 4th. The ground being made an inclined plane surface is now to be coated with a moderately stiff mortar composed of one part of hydraulic cement to two of clean sand.  The mortar to be carefully laid on by a trowel [illegible] to the depth of one half an inch & raised on the edges one inch, where the cement has become well hardened, it is to be washed over with a thin seal of cement to close all fissures or holes.  These being sloped and the cement being firmly set, the whole inclined plane surface is to be evenly received with gravel one fourth inch deep, which gravel constitutes the means for the even distribution of the water over the inclined plane surface while flowing down.  At the top of the inclined plane surface is to be placed a cistern of ordinary construction and of any size that may be practically required, the bottom of said cistern to be about two feet above the top of the inclined plane surface, upon a level with the top of the inclined plane surface and projecting half way under the cistern aforesaid is to be a water tight tub holding 100 gallons, and being about two feet high.  Immediately over the front of this tub (denominated the regulating tub) projecting under the cistern aforesaid is to be a hole in the bottom of the cistern one or more inches in diameter, upon this hole in the bottom of the cistern is a valve to be placed, connected by a rod to a lever attached to upper edge of the cistern or reservoir and from the other end of this lever another rod is attached, which rod projects down into the regulating tub aforesaid and upon this last rod is a moveable [sic] float of wood and a [illegible] at any required length on the rod aforesaid.

Along the whole extent of this top of the inclined plane surface is a bored log or logs, which communicate with the regulating tub aforesaid.  Into these logs opposite the ends of each single breadth 

[Page 4]

8821X           517.

of planes between the ditches one or more are to be bored and then plugged with lead and through each of these lead plugs a hole one fourth inch in diameter is to be bored.  The valve and float / which may be constructed in any practical method together with the regulating tub and the aperture in the log aforesaid together consolidate the means for regulating the quantity of salt water flowing on to the quantity evaporated from the inclined plane surface in the same given time.  

At the bottom of the inclined plane surface runs a gutter to receive the brine coursing off and carry it to pickle and salt rooms of ordinary concentration and equal in extent of surface to one sixth part of the inclined plane surface.  Having completed the structure of the inclined plane surface as well as all the parts necessary thereto, as herein before described, it is put into operation from which it flows into the regulating tub, before mentioned and from the regulating tub and into the logs and through the apertures before stated in them, -- out upon the inclined plane surface.  The float in the regulating tub, being fixed on the rod as already described at any required length the salt water rises in the regulating tub aforesaid and the float with it to the required length when it closes the valve in the cistern by means of the lever to which they are attached as herein before described, until a portion of the water in the regulating tub has run out and again lowered the float and thus reopened the valve aforesaid and thus by means of the valve, and float the water can be constantly kept at any required height in the regulating tub, by raising or lowering the float upon the rod to which it is attached; The level of water in the regulating tub accurately regulates the quantity flowing through the apertures in the logs and the salt water flowing on the inclined plane-surface can at any time be regulated to the quantity evaporated from said surface by raising or lowering the  float upon the rod in the regulating tub, The salt water flowing on to and down the inclined plane surface is evenly and distributed over the same by means of the affinity

[Page 5]

578.          8821X

the water has for the gravel upon said inclined plane surface as before mentioned.  The remaining nearly saturated brine flowing off the inclined plane surface runs into the gutter before mentioned and is by it conveyed into the covered pickle room and salt room for final crystallization of salt.  At night and at all times when there is no evaporation the salt water or brine in the cistern is shut off by fixing the valve down, upon the hole in the bottom of the cistern aforesaid.  During rain, the communication between the gutter & pickle rooms is also to be closed; in any practical way that the rain water &c falling on the inclined plane surface may flow away.  The improvement in the manufacture of salt as above described and for which Letters Patent are hereby claimed consists first, the successful application of an inclined plane surface as herein described to the evaporating salt water or brine to a nearly saturated brine while flowing down the said plane.  2d. [Second] The successful application of a valve and float in a regulating tub as described herein for regulating the quantity of water flowing on to inclined plane surface by means of a regulated level of water in the regulating tub.  3d. [Third] The equal distribution of the salt water over the inclined plane surface by means of the gravel spread on said plane as before described.  4. [Fourth] The successful application of a cemented water tight surface upon a natural soil by means of coating the same with Hydraulic cement as herein before described as successfully applicable to the construction of salt pans with level bottom sides as well as to inclined plane surface.

Edw. C. Cooper

Witnesses

Peter Cooper       )
                             )
Ebenezer Conklin )

(Patented 16 May 1835)

(Drawing)

[1440. [illegible]]"

Source:  United States Patent Trademark Office Database.


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Friday, August 29, 2014

Announcement of Two-Day Fair in Pelham in 1842 to Raise Money to Build Christ Church


Today's Christ Church, Parish of Christ the Redeemer, in the Village of Pelham Manor was built in 1843 of native granite.  The cornerstone of the sanctuary was laid on Friday, April 28, 1843.  The church building was completed and was consecrated on September 15, 1843.

The opening of the church building was the culmination of a dream long held by the first rector of the church, The Rev. Robert Bolton.  Father Bolton was born in Savannah, Georgia in 1788, the son of a prominent merchant also named Robert.  As a young man, Robert Bolton traveled to England and became a merchant in Liverpool, England.  

In 1836, Robert Bolton returned to the United States with his family.  They settled at Bronxville, in Eastchester, on a beautiful farm.  Robert Bolton became the rector of the parish of East Chester.  The Rev. Robert Bolton had a large family including five sons (each of whom became Episcopal priests) and eight daughters.

In 1838, the Bolton family built Bolton Priory in Pelham Manor.  The home still stands and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

In 1840, Bolton -- in addition to his ministerial duties in Eastchester -- began holding a Sunday service in his residence, Bolton Priory.  By 1842, an effort was underway to organize a parish and construct a church building.  According to the second edition of Robert Bolton Jr.'s History of Westchester County published in 1881, prior to consecration of the new church building:

"the Reverend Founder prepared a deed transferring the church, and a quarter of an acre of land on which it is situated, to a parochial corporation, when one should be there formed -- reserving, however, six free seats, the southeast and northwest transepts, and two vaults beneath the floor of the church; and, further, it provides that no rector or minister can be called or employed to officiate in the said church without the written consent of a majority of his heirs residing in America be given thereto.  The act of incorporation bears date 25th of September, 1843.  Richard Morris and Henry Grenzabach [sic], church-wardens; Isaac Roosevelt, George F. Mills, John Bolton, William J. Bolton, Peter V. King, Jacob LeRoy, Cornelius Winter Bolont, and Robert Bolton, Jun., vestrymen."

Source:  Bolton, Robert, The History of the Several Towns, Manors, and Patents of the County of Westchester, from its First Settlement to the Present Time Carefully Revised by its Author, Vol. II, p. 95 (NY, NY:  Chas. F. Roper, 1881).

Robert Bolton, of course, became the first Rector.



Christ Church, Shortly After It Was Constructed, as
Depicted in the 1848 First Edition of Bolton's History
of Westchester County, Volume 1.

Recently I ran across a fascinating announcement published in The Brooklyn Daily Eagle of a fair to be held in the summer of 1842 on the grounds of Bolton Priory to raise money for the construction of an "Episcopal Chapel for Pelham" -- i.e., Christ Church.  Immediately below is the text of that brief item published on July 25, 1842.  

"A FAIR.-We are informed that a Fair will be held on the grounds of the Rev. Robert Bolton, Pelham Priory, near New Rochelle, on Wednesday the 27th, and Thursday the 28th inst., to aid in the erection of an Episcopal Chapel for Pelham.  If the weather should prove unfavorable, the Fair will be opened on the first fair day, and continue two days.  The steamer Fairfield will convey such as are desirous of attending, leaving Fulton Market slip, New York, at 7 A. M. and returning at 5 P. M.  Many of the fair will doubtless embrace the opportunity to contribute to so worthy an object, and such of the sterner sex, too, as believe this method of raising funds for benevolent objects to be the fair thing, of which, we confess, we are not one:  Provided always, that the articles offered at said fairs, are such as come in competition with those produced by that large and worthy portion of the fair, whose object is a livelihood for themselves and children."  

Source:  A FAIR, The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Jul. 25, 1842, Vol. I, No. 191, p. 2, col. 2.  


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