Williamsburgh

Back

City in Kings Co, NY, 147 miles south of Albany; from Washington 227 miles.  Water by Bushwick creek and East river, the latter of which separates it from the city of New York.  It is built on a slope, gently rising from the water for about a third of a mile, and then descending toward the east a distant of about a mile more.  From the pleasant heights of North Brooklyn; at the south of this city, appears an interesting panorama of the towns which thickly cluster around this part of Long Island.  Brooklyn, resting on somewhat elevated ground, and bending a wide circuit, is every day blending more closely with Williamsburgh.  Far toward the east and north spreads the latter city, and north of this the pleasant villas of Greenpoint, Ravenswood, and Astoria; while the East river separates these from the great forest of masts and spires on the opposite shores.  From the river, Williamsburgh presents a fine effect; it tall steeples, and a number of imposing manufactories along its water front, add much to the picturesqueness of the place. Its streets are regular, generally well paved, lighted with gas, and ornamented with trees.  Here a large number of persons who do business in New York reside, crossing daily by the four steam ferries, the boats of which ply constantly between the two cities; other citizens are extensively engaged in ship building, and in the manufacture of blocks, cordage, marble, glue, glass, chemicals, oil, casting, buttons and lamps.

The progress of Williamsburgh is one of the phenomena of the age.  Thirty years ago, a few insignificant buildings stood on the ground now covered by its northern part.  After slowly increasing for about twenty years, it received a new impetus, and arose, in ten years, from a village of 5,000 souls, to the sixth city of the Empire state.  It is destined to a still higher rank. Williamsburgh was formerly a part of the town of Bushwick, and was incorporated as a village in 1827; with extended powers in 1835, and as a city in 1851.

The population of Bushwick in 1820 was 930; of Williamsburgh in 1830 was 1,620; in 1840 was 5,680 and in 1850 was 30,780