Mayors Of Brooklyn From 1834 to 1873: #3
 

 
HENRY C. MURPHY

He was elected Mayor in 1842, and served one year in that position, was born in Brooklyn in the year 1810. He chose the law for a profession, and for many years was partner with Judge Lot and Hon. John Vanderbilt. He first came into political prominence as a delegate to a Democratic State Convention in 1834. He was appointed Corporation Counsel in 1840. When elected Mayor two years later he was the youngest man who had been chosen to that position, being only thirty-two years of age. During his administration he introduced a system of retrenchment, commencing with a reduction of his own salary, and succeeded in keeping the expenditures of the city within its income, but he did not occupy the Mayor's chair long enough to continue his system, for he was elected a representative of Congress before his time as Mayor expired, and took his seat in the Twenty-eighth Congress the following year, and was afterwards re-elected. He was a member of the Constitutional Convention in 1848, and again in 1867-8.

He took a leading part in the measures to secure the establishment of water works for the city. President Buchanan appointed him minister to the Hague in 1856, and while in that position he wrote a series of very interesting letters from the Netherlands, which were published in the Eagle. During the war he was a strong opponent of secession, and both by word and deed upheld the Union cause. He was elected to the State Senate in 1861, and has been re-elected five times in succession, but his failing health, which compelled him to retire from the Presidency of the Bridge Company, and to decline a re-nomination for Governor, will probably deter him from again accepting a nomination for office. Mr. Murphy is strong and earnest in debate, and almost always carries his point. He is an exceedingly well read man, and has one of the finest private libraries in the country. The portrait of him in the Council Chamber bears little or no resemblance to the man he now is. It represents a young man of very slim frame, clear complexion, light brown or almost sandy hair, and with dark blue eyes, which seem fired with youthful enthusiasm, and the general appearance is that of a young clergy-man.

JOSEPH SPRAGUE

Was elected Mayor on the Democratic ticket i n 1843 and re-elected the following year, was born in Leicester, Mass., July 25, 1783. After trying storekeeping, farming and school teaching he came to New York and engaged in the business of selling cotton and wool cards and domestic goods. He came to Brooklyn in the year 1819, and purchased a house on Fulton street, near Main, which house was then a pleasant country residence, surrounded by apple trees, open in front to the East River, and in the rear on vacant lots. In 1825 he was elected a member of the Board of village Trustees, and chosen two years afterward as president of the Board, which position he filled until 1831. During his first term as Mayor the Whig members of the Common Council refused to attend the meetings of the Board, whereupon he had them arrested for neglect of duty and compelled their attendance. He was elected a Supervisor for several terms. As a public officer he was prompt, thorough, economical, conscientious in the discharge of h is duties, and at the same time public spirited. He was connected with several of the banks and insurance companies of this city, and his counsels were always looked to as valuable. His death took place in 1854. The portrait of him in the Common Council Chamber represents him as about fifty-eight years of age, with well shaped head and features, and very pleasant eyes and mouth, altogether a good business man and a thorough gentleman.

THOMAS G. TALMAGE

A descendant of an old Long island family, was elected Mayor in 1845 by a majority of 1,492 over George Hall, the Whig candidate. He was born in Somerset, N.J., Oct. 22, 1801. He removed to New York in 1819, and while there was a representative in the State Legislature and afterward a member of the Common Council. In 1840 he came to reside in this city and at once took a prominent position in public life. For four years, from 1842 to 1845, he was a member of the Board of Aldermen, and his election as Mayor was a natural promotion in office. During his administration the present City Hall was completed. He was attentive and conscientious in the discharge of his duties, and dignified and courteous in his bearing, just such a man as his portrait in the Council chamber represents him to be. He was also a judge of the County Court, Loan Commissioner of the United States Deposit Fund, President of the Broadway Railroad Company and member of the Chamber of Commerce. He did very much to develop and improve that portion of the city known as Gowanus, where he resided for many years. His death took place May 4, 1863.

FRANCIS B. STRYKER

He was elected Mayor in 1846 and re-elected the two successive years, was born in Brooklyn, December 11, 1811. When fourteen years of age he was apprenticed to Jeremiah Wells, a carpenter, and worked at that trade until 1838,at which time he was elected one of three tax collectors. In 1840 he was elected Sheriff, which position he filled for three years. Then he returned to his trade, working for his brother Burdett, and while at the bench as journeyman, at $1.50 per day, he was nominated by his party, the Whigs, the Mayor. This was in 1846. He was then elected, and also the two succeeding years. It was during his term, in 1847, that the ship fever, brought hither by emigrants, raged in Hudson avenue. Mayor Stryker, aided by several equally self-sacrificing men, went among the sick and dying, cared for them, and took measures to prevent the spread of the disease. By his efforts at that time, and also during the cholera season two years later, he won the respect and devotion of a large class, who are still attached to him. In all his labors for the pestilence-stricken people, he incurred no expense for the city. After retiring from the Mayoralty, Mr. Stryker was elected County Clerk for three years, which was the last elective position filled by him. He is now, and has for the past thirteen years been Superintendent of Sewers, which place he will probably hold during the remainder of his life. The portrait of him in the Council Chamber is like him now, only it represents a much younger man. He is a man of large frame and features, good natured, of fairness and untiring in any course he pursues. During his term the great fire of 1848 occurred, burning out a district bounded by Henry, Orange, Concord, Washington, Sands and Fulton streets, and destroying property to the value of one million and a half of dollars.



 

Website: The History Box.com
Article Name: Mayors of Brooklyn From 1834 to 1872: #3
Researcher/Transcriber Miriam Medina

Source:

Brooklyn Daily Eagle August 16, 1873
Time & Date Stamp: