The Eleventh Ward (April 28, 1869)
The bill consolidating the city of Troy and the village of Lansingburgh, passed the Assembly yesterday—ayes 65, noes 37. There is no reason to suppose the Governor will not sign the bill. We therefore assume it is a law.
The annexation movement originated in Lansingburgh, and has been pertinaciously pushed by influential gentlemen in that village. The city has been entirely indifferent from the commencement as to the fate of the measure. Our citizens have been unable to perceive what advantages were to accrue to them from the consolidation.—For some years it has been quite apparent that the two places were sooner or later to become one. There has been no disposition here to hasten such a result; and if the general wish had been consulted, the movement would have been postponed until the people of Lansingburgh had quite unanimously petitioned for the change.
The town of Lansingburgh has an area of 5,253 acres. The village only is annexed to the city. This embraces about one-third of the town, say 1,750 acres. It will be seen by the statement below of the area of other wards, that the Eleventh will be the largest Ward, territorially, of the city.
First Ward…. 78
Add Eleventh Ward….. 1,750
Total area….. 5,138
The population of the town in 1865 was returned at 6,072. Of this, the village has about 5,500, (a low figure,) which is the population added to the city.
The assessed value of real estate in the village in 1865, was $972,899.
The incomes of the villagers subject to internal revenue tax, as reported this year, amount to $273,899. About one hundred residents return an income of over $1,000.
The manufactures of the village are considerable. The breweries of the village made in 1866, over $43,000 worth of ales. The village has not less than thirty firm. [sic] and individuals engages in the manufacture of Brushes; and the total value of brushes manufactured each year is over $600,000. There are two oil cloth manufactories in the village, whose annual product is about $300,000. One cracker manufactory is among the most extensive in the Union, and consumes about fifty barrels of flour each day, in the manufacture of crackers. Two other manufacturers consume about fifteen barrels of flour per day.
The village has two Banks, with an aggregate capital of $250,000. The village has two Presbyterian, one Baptist, two Methodist, one Episcopal, one Roman Catholic churches; one academy, one seminary, three district school houses, two private schools, one weekly newspaper, six public houses, about forty dry goods, groceries, boot and shoe, and millinery stores; three drugs stores, one hardware store, six meat markets; three Masonic bodies, two Temperance organizations, and thirty places where rum is sold.
The town of Lansingburgh cast 1,356 votes at the last State election. Of this number it is supposed the annexed territory cast about 1,150. This will leave the voting population of the Eleventh ward about equal to that of our dense wards, the Tenth and Eighth, which cast respectively at the last election 1,215 and 1,194 votes.
Between Democrats and Republicans the village is thought to be close, with the chances in favor of the Republicans.
Lansingburgh was a flourishing village when Troy was only a ferry. It was originally called “New City.” In 1791 there was but a slight difference in the importance and prospects of Troy and Lansingburgh. Lansingburgh was the oldest settlement. When in this year Rensselaer was set off from the county of Albany, Lansingburgh claimed that she was entitled to have the county buildings. Troy contested this claim; and the courts of law were held alternately at Troy and Lansingburgh, until 1794, when the county buildings were awarded to Troy. While the dispute was maintained, the courts were directed to be held alternately at the Inn of Ananias Platt, in Lansingburgh, and at the Inn of Stephen Ashley, in Troy. The advantageous position of Troy for business did not fail to attract attention abroad, and of even the leading men of Lansingburgh. Many of these removed to Troy and identified themselves with its business. While the rivalry between Troy and Lansingburgh was going on, the business of both localities seemed to demand a Bank. The Farmer’s Bank was organized, (1801,) and, to allay all jealousies, the Bank building was erected on the Surveyor’s line which then divided Troy and Lansingburgh, near the present State dam. To strengthen the Bank, two of the Directors were selected from Waterford, five from Lansingburgh, and six from Troy—care being taken, it will be observed, to locate a majority of the Directors outside of Troy.
In March, 1856, Hiram Slocum was elected Mayor of Troy. To the surprise and amusement of many, the new Mayor, in his inaugural address, advocated the annexation of Lansingburgh to Troy. He said, I have felt a desire for some years past to have Lansingburgh annexed to Troy. My opinion is that it would be highly advantageous to both places. I hope there will be measures taken to accomplish this. We may need an act of the Legislature for this purpose.” This was thirteen years ago. People who then laughed at the good natured Slocum were not so wise as he about coming events. On several occasions, subsequently, the Lansingburgh Gazette, the local paper of the village, advocated annexation as a remedy for some local evils, such as a horror of taxation for useful improvements, and the chronic fogyism of some of the villagers. But the Lansingburghers who talked “annexation” in times past, were only jokers, “Annexation,” with them, was only a scare-crow which they raised up to the visions of the antedeluvians when they refused Young America his little wants. Perhaps more than all else, the Troy and Lansingburgh Horse Railroad has helped to make annexation a fact. The facilities that has afforded for annexation between the two places, have made the two places one in fact. The city, year by year, has grown closer and closer to the Lansingburgh line, while many Trojans have become residents of Lansingburgh, while doing business in this city. The stranger among us would find it difficult to determine now where Troy leaves off and Lansingburgh begins.
Lansingburgh was formed from Troy and Petersburgh [sic], March 20, 1807. The village was founded by Abraham J. Lansing, 1770, and was first organized under the name of “Stone Arabia,” in 1771. At the first village meeting, January 1, 1771, it was voted that “Abraham Jacob Lansing, and his heirs forever should be a committee of the village.”
The law now passed leaves the town of Lansingburgh still in existence. The unannexed portion of about 3,502 acres, about 600 population, and about 150 voters. It is probable that now the project will be revived of creating a new town, from Schaghticoke, Brunswick, and this portion of Lansingburgh. The present town officers of Lansingburgh continue in office.
Trojans and Lansingburghers have known each other in the past long and well. They will live as pleasantly together as associates as they have friends and neighbors. That our up-River neighbors are to be largely benefitted by the consolidation, we have little doubt. Their real estate will advance in value, and perhaps a fresh spirit of enterprise will give the residents of the Eleventh Ward public improvements which they need. Troy is certainly to be congratulated on an accession of some 6,000 to its population, and especially so as the acquisition embraces one of the most restpectable and thrifty communities in the whole State. Eleventh Ward, ALL HAIL!
Troy Daily Whig. April 28, 1869: 5 cols 2-3. [Note that the announcement was premature; the Governor did not pass the law.]