Opposition to the New Quarantine Location 1857

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A meeting was held yesterday by the Quarantine Commissioners, for the purpose of hearing and answering objections to the proposed change of the Quarantine buildings from their present site to a new one below Seguine's Point in Prince's Bay. The Staten Island and oyster interests were largely represented, and their objections warmly and forcibly urged. The discussion, was conducted on one side by Mr. Lott, C. Clark, Judge Ceopsey, Mr. Van Name, Mr. Bohm and several others, the Commissioners, especially Mr. Hall and Mr. Bowen, stated the views by which they had been influenced, the troubles they had had, the constraints under which they labored, and argued the necessity for adopting the site complained of.

On the one side it was contended that the location of the Quarantine in Prince's Bay would inevitably ruin the fortunes of the men engaged in the oyster trade, by putting an end to the business; that as a new line of railroad was about to be built, running in the immediate vicinity of the proposed location, the railroad interest would be injured, and the health of the passengers endangered: that the salubrity of the locality would be destroyed; that if this spot were elected, even temporarily, as the Commissioners stated to be their intention, it would, in all probability, become a fixture, because if the comparative political weakness of the interest anxious for its removal; that, if erected there, the Staten Islanders would not stand it: that a majority of them 15 out of every 20 of them_would actually prefer to have it stay where it is; and that it was the duty, therefore, of the Commissioners, to hesitate before making a final determination, and, if another location could not be obtained this Summer, to change the present anchorage, and keep the buildings where they are now.

On the part of the Commissioners it was agreed that they had attempted to have the Quarantine located at Sandy-Hook, but failed; that they had tried to have it located at Coney Island, but failed; then they had tried to have it built in the Bay, on some shoal-water, but that would take too long a time to accomplish; that then they endeavored to have it placed at West Bank, but with the same lack of success as in the former cases, and that finally they were compelled to locate it in Prince's Bay, which, of all other available points, was in fact the least objectionable and the most convenient. It was further urged by them, that the health of the citizens of New York, Brooklyn, and Williamsburg, imperatively demanded an immediate change; that the fund of $50,000 at their disposal, necessarily limited them in their selection to a place offering the desired facilities and with the necessary buildings obtainable at that sum; that as it had been said by the medical authorities that the danger of the spread of such diseases as yellow fever arose not from properly-constructed and well-managed hospitals, but from infected vessels at anchor, no ill results need be apprehended by the inhabitants of the shore in the neighborhood of the hospital, nor by the oystermen, inasmuch as the ships would be anchored out in the bay, and the communication with the buildings would be by steamboat, which could do no possible harm to the oyster-beds: that no such thing as a floating Quarantine could be erected, because of the agitations to which the waters of the bay are subject, and which would be enough to make a well man sick if confined to his bed on them, and that finally, the only course open to them was to select this point at Wolf's Head below Seguine's Point, as a temporary location, until Sandy Hook should be procured.


Website: The History Box.com
Article Name: Opposition to the New Quarantine Location 1857
Researcher/Transcriber Miriam Medina


New York Times Apr 23, 1857. p.5 (1 page)
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