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Amount brought forward
The Botanic Garden containing twenty acres, within two
miles and a half of the settled part of the city, which
ern district, a right to subscribe for the shares belonging
to the State in the Bank of Utica, estimated at To the New-York Historical Society
60,000 40,000 30,000
Tota, $352,000 A sum, probably exceeding any grants ever made for scientific and literary purposes, in one year, by the United States collectively.
The Legislature have likewise directed that a copy of the Laws and Journals of this State shall be regularly furnished to the Society. Congress have also provided that a copy of the Laws and Journals of the Senate, House of Representatives and other public documents published each session, he reported in the Society's Library.
The New-YORK HISTORICAL Society, thus patronized, will remit no efforts to fulfil the high expectation that has been raised of its utility, and will endeavour to remunerate, as far as depends on their zeal and activity in the diffusion of use. ful knowledge, these instances of public munificence.
In conjunction with the New-York Society Library, the Academy of Arts, and the Literary and Philosophical Society of New-York, the Society has recently applied to the Corporation of this city for the use of such of the public buildings, which in consequence of the improvements at Bellevue, may no longer be required for municipal purposes. Every reasonable indulgence is to be expected from the liberality of so patriotic a body as the Common Council, whose unceasing exertions to improve and embellish our city
are so eminently displayed, from that splendid edifice, the new City Hall, the pride and boast of New-York, to the extensive establishments at Bellevue for the relief and comfort of honest indigence, for the correction of vice, and improvement of morals. Should we succeed in obtaining a local habitation, the Society will be emulous of acquiring and sustaining an honourable name,
New-York, May 18, 1814.
Extract from the Proceedings of the Society.
New-YORK HISTORICAL Society,
January 11, 1814. Resolved, That application be made to the legislature of this state, at the present session, for their patronage of this society, and that Mr. Clinton, Vice President, be appointed to draft the memorial.
Pursuant to this resolution, Mr. Clinton prepared the following memorial which was presented to the legislature:
To the honourable the Legislature of the State of
New-York, the Memorial of the New-York Historical Society
MOST RESPECTFULLY REPRESENTS,
That this institution was established for the purpose of acquiring and promoting a knowledge of the natural, civil, literary, and ecclesiastical history of America, and more particularly of this state. The attainment of objects so various, comprehensive, and important, requiring such extensiveness of information, such profundity of research, such exertion of industry, and such liberality of expense, is unquestionably beyond the means and the faculties of any individual, however he may be endowed with the gifts of fortune and genius, and whatever may be the extent of his enterprise, activity, and influence. Associations, comprehending a mass of information and talent, and embracing not only the dispo. sition, but the ability, to promote knowledge, are essentially necessary to crown with success any important undertaking of this nature. With these motives, and for these objects, this society was formed. A liberal and enlightened legislature, justly appreciating its importance, granted it a charter of incorporation, and it now only remains for them to complete the important work which has received their approving voice, by an extension to this society of a portion of that munificence which, we are proud to say, characterizes the legislature of this state.
During the short period of the existence of this society, we have devoted no inconsiderable portion of time, attention, and money, to collect books, pamphlets, manuscripts, maps, medals, and other materials which may tend to illustrate and complete the great outlines of our history. This collection, on account of the number, the variety, and the rarity of its objects, may be safely valued at ten thousand dollars. If in the infant state of the society, without public patronage, and without any other excitement than a desire to be useful, as hunible contributors to the great stock of human knowledge, we have been able to accomplish so much, what might we not effect if public bounty should be united with individual contribution, and if the countenance of the legislature should stamp a value upon our researches, and enable us to dispel the clouds which envelop the history of our country.
It is well known to your honourable body, that America has been settled principally by the English, the Dutch, the French, the Spaniards, and the Portuguese. The Swedes at one period planted a colony on the Delaware. The Danes also have occupied islands in the West Indies; and several islands between Asia and America derive their population from Russia and its dependencies. How important, and how necessary is it to procure the books which have been written in those countries illustrative of the affairs of America. It is well known that many manuscripts are buried in the archives of state, or in the libraries of public bodies, which might be transcribed, and which would shed new light on our history. The Bibliotheca Americana, pub
lished in England, imperfect as it is, indicates what invaluable and unexplored treasures for our historians may be obtained in that country.
But we would beg leave to solicit the attention of the legislature more particularly to the history of this state. It is unnecessary to descant upon the imperfections of its natural history. Whole departments of this science have been almost entirely neglected; the powers of observation and investigation have not been applied to elucidate and explore them; the destructive hand of time is rapidly sweeping into oblivion many important objects of inquiry; and what might now with facility be rescued from oblivion, the flight of a few years will place beyond the reach of human power.
The civil history of this state may be divided into four parts:
1. When occupied by the aborigines. 2. When under the government of the Dutch, which was
about half a century. 3. Its state under England, which continued about one
hundred and twelve years, and which includes the proprietary government of the Duke of York, and its government under the kings of Great Britain, excepting about sixteen months, when it was repos
sessed by the Dutch. 4. And, lastly, its political existence as a member of an
independent government. Before the lapse of many years, the remnant of the Indian nations which now inhabit the state will experience the fate of all sublunary things. The few antiquities of the country; the forts and the tumuli, which may now be easily explored, will be effaced by the extension of cultivation. The natural history of the man of America, disfigured and perverted as he has been by European intercourse, may still be obtained to a considerable extent; bis language may be put on record, and his traditions may be perpetuated.