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 and put in the online database at University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill.

  1. Numbers 1 - 12: Jan Janzen the Younger (Jan Jansen de Jongh R1)...12

    Jan Jansen the Younger as such was not listed in the online Stokes database; but there was a "Jan Jansen de Jongh" listed in the Iconography under the "Dutch Grants" (1656-1661 time frame) in transactions for Block A Lot 16 (Iconography of Manhattan Island Vol II page 362-363, Dutch Grants) and Block D Lot 1 (Vol II page 374); but, these transactions were only for lots not houses.

    However, according to Stokes (Vol II page 333), in the 1658 time frame Jan Jansen de Jongh was living in Albert Andriessen's house on Block R (1 and 2). He had to live somewhere while he was making all the real estate deals for vacant lots...the buckets needed to be delivered to a house not an empty lot. Thus the best estimate for where the buckets were kept is R1.

  2. Numbers 12/13* - 24: Hendrick Hendrickzen Kip, the Elder (H. Hendricksen Kip E8)...12
  3. Numbers 24/25* - 36: Jacobus Backer, (Backer M8)...12
  4. Numbers 51 - 62: Daniel Litsco (Litschoe Q9)...12
  5. Numbers 62/63* - 74: Abraham Ver Planck's House in Smith's Valley (not in Stokes)...12

    Although not in Stokes, the listing in the Record actually specifies "in Smith's Valley" which would place his house somewhere Beyond The Wall as shown in our map here. Costello (author of Our Firemen and only coincidentally similar in surname to the Castello Map) helpfully suggests that his house, not shown on the Castello Map, was at Pearl and Fulton.

  6. Numbers 74/75* - 86: Joannes Pietersen Verbruggen (not in Stokes/D8?)...12

    The only Stokes listing for Joannes Pietersen Verbrugge(n) is for a formal garden outside the land gate. But, he was a partner with his cousin and others in Gillis Verbrugge & Company who built a new brick structure on D8/9 in 1657. (Stokes, Vol II page 251). There are many references in contracts that confirm JP had a house and a cellar that he routinely used in the business. Thus, the most likely address for JP receiving fire buckets would be his house/business listed as the company address of D8/9 in Stokes, which was on Stone Street as shown on the Map.

  7. Numbers 86/87* - 98: Paulus Leenderzen vander Grift (Van Der Grift A14)...12
  8. Numbers 12/13* - 24: Numbers 98/99* - 110: Nicasius de Sille (Nicassius de Sille L12)...12
  9. Numbers 110/111* - 122: Pieter Wolferzen van Couwenhoven (Couwenhoven G11)...12
  10. Unspecified #'s: probably (37 - 50?) and (123 - 158?): City Hall...50 (note: #124 missing)

*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.