Appendix #6: The Wall and Distribution of Fire Buckets (circa 1660)
Illustration 6: The Wall and Distribution of Fire Buckets (circa 1660)
The highlights here overlay the Stokes redraft of the Castello map. The red wall shows stone bastions with cannons added along Wall Street and extension of the wall added down the Hudson River.
The houses highlighted show where the city fire buckets were stored. Other than City Hall (J) which had 50+ buckets, the houses each had 12 buckets. Note the (E) location in Smith's Valley is off-map.
One hundred and fifty leather buckets were ordered in August, 1658 and delivered in January, 1659. The Map here shows where those buckets were then distributed throughout the town. As seen below each of nine households selected received twelve buckets and fifty were designated for City Hall. The total accounted for here (158) is more than the buckets newly made and reflect buckets already at City Hall and gifts of buckets from public-spirited citizens.
Numbers, names, and number of buckets are from Records of New Amsterdam by Fernow, Vol VII page 209.
The location of the households (in parentheses) are from Stokes Iconography of Manhattan Island Vol II Plate 82e (for the map reference) and pages 215-341 (for the householder information) as extracted by Robert L. Protzman at Ancestry.com and put in the online database at University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill.
*The translated Records of New Amsterdam lists the 'Numbers' sequentially (except for 37-50) but repeats the Number of every 12th bucket as shown. Thus Hendricksen's Numbers are 12 - 25, but since #12 was already used on Janzen's upper number there would be a confusing redundancy. Similarly with Backer's lower number if left at #24 as indicated in the Records would be redundant with Hendricksen's upper number, etc. So this author has rationalized the numbering to be consistent with the number of buckets that were issued to each householder, also specified in the Records, by suggesting the number shown with an asterisk.
The number of buckets contracted was 150. If all households above received their allotment, that would account for 108 buckets. That would leave city hall with only 42 rather than the 50 specified on an earlier page (Page 207) in the Records. However, both householders and the city had buckets before the newly built ones were delivered. In addition, burgers often contributed buckets directly to the city as evidenced on Page 208.