enter name and hit return
FERRY TICKETS..A LAW SUIT
Feb 14, 1878
Brooklyn Union Argus
(NOTE: THIS GIVES A GREAT IDEA OF WHAT IT WAS LIKE AT THE TIME, AND HAS
A LOT OF NAMES.)
Suits Against Employees of the Union Ferry Company.
A Large Batch of Cases Examined into by Justice WALSH " Decisions
Rendered Pro and Con " Interesting Reading for Citizens who Cross the
Ferries " The Coupon ticket Nuisance.
Justice WALSH’s Court was thronged yesterday afternoon by persons
interested in the conflict between certain citizens and the Union Ferry
Company relative to the right of the latter through its employees to
subject to violence such persons who, though provided with coupons or
tickets, may fail to comply with regulations governing the manner of
their presentation. Mr. Samuel MORRIS appeared as counsel for the
company, and Assistant District Attorney OAKEY represented the People.
There were several cases, and in the first Hon. W. W. GOODRICH appeared
as counsel of the complainant.
Mr. OAKEY said he could simplify matters by making an admission that the
ferry company had a right to make certain regulations as to commutation
tickets, to prescribe the method and manner of their use. The only
question was, whether in ejecting persons they had used unnecessary
violence and without proper notice. The people in accepting coupon
tickets, accepted them to be used in the prescribed manner.
Mr. GOODRICH said that in his particular case he agreed with Mr. OAKEY.
The first case was that of William DOOLEY, an employee, charged by
Charles CHAPIN of 84 Third place, with assault and battery. Mr. CHAPIN
was the first witness, and said that on the 25th ult he attempted to
cross the Wall Street Ferry. He handed a coupon ticket to the
ferrymaster. It was accepted without remark. He had not proceeded more
than three feet further when he was seized by the shoulder by DOOLEY and
roughly ejected. Nothing had been said.
Cross examined by Mr. MORRIS " He said that he detached the ticket
before he left home, putting it in his overcoat pocket, but not knowing
that it would not be good. When DOOLEY took hold of him complainant
said to him,
"Take Your Hands Off Me, Sir."
He had been in the habit of purchasing tickets. Mr. MORRIS asked
witness if he had purchased tickets from boys,.
Mr. GOODRICH objected,
Mr. MORRIS said that persons had been in the habit of deadheading the
ferries by purchasing packages of tickets, crossing and selling them to
Mr. GOODRICH objected on the ground that it concerned nobody what a man
put his tickets to.
The Court ruled the question out.
To Mr. OAKEY " The ferrymaster said to Mr. DOOLEY, "Put him out, Bill."
Witness volunteered the information that he had never deadheaded it.
Abraham SANGER, merchant, of No.143 Elliott place, testified that he
was behind Mr. CHAPIN and witnessed the occurrence. He thought that
DOOLEY said nothing to Mr. CHAPIN. DOOLEY seized Mr. CHAPIN with a
violence that appeared unnecessary under the circumstances. Thought he
had heard the ticketmaster call upon DOOLEY to eject Mr. CHAPIN. The
ticket was not returned.
Mr. CHAPIN, recalled by Mr. MORRIS, said he had before had difficulty at
the ferry, Mr. MORRIS asked him if he had been ejected, but Mr.
GOODRICH objected. Mr. MORRIS said he wanted to show that the
complainant had acted maliciously.
The Justice said that he supposed that the question was inadmissible,
the only question being whether Mr. CHAPIN had been ejected without due
notification, and so ruled.
David B. PALMER, of No. 295 Henry street, merchant, testified that he
was directly in front of Mr. CHAPIN. He thought Mr. CHAPIN had gotten
fully six feet when seized. Hearing a noise he looked around and saw
Mr. DOOLEY jamming Mr. CHAPIN with violence backward through the crowd.
Mr. MORRIS cross-examined witness, asking him whether he had not been a
witness to a previous trouble between Mr. CHAPIN and the company, but
the Court ruled it out. He then asked witness if he himself had not
previously used violent language toward the company, but that too was
William DOOLEY, of 85 Tillary street, the defendant, a powerful man,
Weighing About 250 Pounds,
then took the stand and testified under Mr. MORRIS’ questioning that he
was stationed inside the gate to preserve order.
Mr. MORRIS tried to get in a question as to a previous trouble, but it
was ruled out.
Witness testified that Mr. CHAPIN did not heed the ferrymaster’s knock
on the window to come back, and that when the ferrymaster called out to
witness: "Bill, there he goes, fetch him back," he approached Mr.
CHAPIN and directed him to go back, and when he did not, pushed him back.
Being cross-examined by Mr. GOODRICH, witness said that he handed Mr.
CHAPIN as gently as though he was his own child. (Laughter)
Mr. GOODRICH " Do you use your children that way?
Witness " If my children misbehave, I chastise them.
Wilbur J. CORTER, of 96 Amity street, ferrymaster, was called to the
stand. He said that the last day Mr. CHAPIN came in he laid his ticket
down and passed quickly. Witness rapped quickly on the window and told
Mr. DOOLEY to put him out; did not know that he had rapped hard enough
for Mr. CHAPIN to come back; his impression was that Mr. CHAPIN would
not have come back had he heard.
Cross- examined by Mr. GOODRICH " Could not tell how much Mr. DOOLEY
pushed. It was as little force as could be used to push a man out; Mr.
CHAPIN did not resist. Witness supposed there was a push, did not think
there was much of a push.
Mr. MORRIS " Oh, when a man is looking for a push, he’s sure to get it.
Mr. GOODRICH " Yes, when there’s a ferry company to push.
This closed the testimony. Mr. GOODRICH summed up. He said that the
complainant entered peaceably, and was ejected with force, without
previous request to leave, and quoted at length from legal decisions to
prove that the company’s conduct in this instance was unwarrantable and
illegal. Held DOOLEY to be
Guilty of Assault and Battery,
because neither he nor anyone else compiled with the law. He asked that
the defendant should be held to await the action of the grant Jury.
Mr. MORRIS said he was glad that the other side had come to one
conclusion, that the company had a right to make regulations respecting
its tickets. By the time that another stage of the case was reached,
the counsel said, he believed that under the circumstances no
notification on the part of the ferry company was required under the
circumstances shown in this case. He argued that the complainant had
gone to the ferry the morning in question for the purpose of being put
out. If a party entered a place peaceably he was entitled to a notice,
but when he entered in the face of a notification he did not enter
Mr. GOODRICH replied that they had nothing to do with previous
occurrences " the Court had ruled that out. He would admit that his
client, having accepted the coupons under certain conditions, was bound
to abide by them, but the company had no right to employ unnecessary
force to eject him, or any force without due notice to leave. The
speaker, as a lawyer, denied that the company had a right to attach
conditions to their tickets.
While Mr. GOODRICH was speaking, his remarks about the rights of
citizens was applauded by the spectators.
Justice WALSH then rendered his decision. He said: "In justice to Mr.
CHAPIN I want to say that there is nothing in the evidence to show that
he was a deadhead. I think there is evidence sufficient to hold the
defendant to await the action of the Grand Jury, and will fix bail at $250.
The next case was that of Mr. Alex G. BRINKERHOFF, of no. 1072 Fulton
street, against Thomas FARRELL, of the Fulton Ferry. Counsellor
GRAVES appeared with the complainant. Mr. BRINKERHOFF testified that
he entered the Fulton Ferry and threw down an old ticket which rolled
into the money-box. As he did so he said: "I have detached it"
(playfully). The ticket-taker did not notice it, but as witness went on
the ticketmaster called him to come back. Witness did not return, and
got down on the bridge when the defendant took him by the shoulder and
told him to go back, as the ferrymaster wanted to see him. Witness
replied that he would not as he had given the ferrymaster an old
ticket. He then went back and made his explanations, but they were not
He Was Ejected.
Outside the gate he struck one of the employees.
Mr. MORRIS moved for the dismissal of the case. The justice granted the
motion and discharged Farrell.
The next case was that of John MACKEY, of no. 24 High street, newsboy,
against Horatio N. ROTHWELL. He said he purchased a bundle of coupon
tickets; that he tore one off and put it in the box when the defendant
caught hold of him, threw him out and kicked him. There were about nine
coupons on the ticket. He gave a boy 4 cents for the package, intending
to return them when he came back from New York with his tickets.
Cross-examined - He bought them to help a boy; he would rather help a
boy than the ferrycompany.
John MARTIN, of 236 York street, newsboy, testified that he was the boy
who sold the tickets; MACKEY was not allowed to cross; saw MACKEY
thrown out; but did not notice whether he was kicked.
MACKEY, who is a small boy, in reply to question by the Justice, said he
was fifteen years of age.
Horatio N. ROTHWELL, of no.. 96 High street, testified that MACKEY
attracted his attention by crying out "Coupon." He watched and saw
MACKEY give MARTIN 2 cents, and MARTIN detached the tickets; witness
went and told the ferrymaster, and when the boy tried to pass on a
detached ticket put him out; caught him by the shoulder; used no
unnecessary violence; knew that MARTIN was a nuisance around the ferry,
and used bad language.
Justice WALSH asked witness what he meant by a nuisance, and witness
explained that when people had bought tickets, and were sheepish about
throwing them out, the boy would dart in the gate and get the tickets,
run out, and call out to the gateman ......
Cross-examined by Mr. OAKEY - Went outside the gate to see what MACKEY
bought, and was about six feet from when he purchased the ticket. The
boy had tried to get in at the two entrances; was refused at the first.
Witness followed him around to the second, and upon the boy again
presenting a detached ticket, by order of the ferrymaster, put him out.
Benjamin H. WEEKS, of Hempstead, ferrymaster, testified: The boy threw
down a detached coupon ticket; the last witness stepped up and said:
"That boy bought the ticket outside; its no good;" witness told the boy
he could not receive his ticket, and would either have to pay his fare
or get out; the preceding witness then put the boy out; the boy entered
in a hurry and threw the ticket down.
Cross-examined - the boy stopped and wheeled around when the witness
called to him; supposed it was necessary
When People Did Not Pay Their Fare
that they should be put out; could swear that the coupon was not
detached in his presence; never had had any trouble with the boy MACKEY
before; could not say positively that the complainant was the boy who
put down the ticket on the day in question.
Officer Henry GRAHAM, of the Second Precinct, stationed at the ferry,
testified that he heard a noise, and saw the bridgeman trying to force
the boy out, and the boy trying to force his way in.
Mr. OAKEY awoke laughter by asking the witness how the boy could have
pushed, when Rothwell had sworn he lifted him out with one hand. The
witness said they were out in the street when he saw them.
Jackson ELDRED, a ferry employee, testified that he saw the boy crying,
and heard him say he would get out a warrant for him. Did not see
defendant kick the boy.
Cross-examined - Heard the boy ask Officer GRAHAM to take the defendant
in and he would make a charge against him. GRAHAM advised him to go
before Justice WALSH.
Justice WALSH said he believed the boy’s story that the ticket was not
detached. He thought there was sufficient to hold the defendant to
await the action of the Grand Jury.
Mr. MORRIS - All right.
The next case was of James B. MARTIN, (boy) of no. 236 York street,
against Thomas FARRELL. MARTIN testified that he sold papers. On the
24th of January, about 8:30, he met a boy named DEVY, who asked him if
he had any tickets. He said he had only a few coupon tickets "
fourteen. He sold all the tickets to the boy for two cents, cautioning
him not to detach his until he got to the gate. Devy did as directed,
and then tossed the tickets out. As witness stooped to pick them up,
Special Officer FARRELL, of the company, gave him a push and then
pocketed the tickets, although the boy said they were his.
George MARTIN, twelve years old, brother the complainant, testified,
corroborating his brother’s testimony. The
Witness Was An Intelligent Boy,
with large, lustrous eyes.
The Justice said there is technically an assault here. I will hold for
the Grand Jury. If I was trying the case it might be that I would
suspend sentence or discharge.
The next case was that of George HARLEY, boy, of no. 2 Flint street,
against John GILDERSLEEVE. Hurley, who works for WEBSTER & BRO.,
testified that he sold coupon tickets to a young man, and that as the
young man tried to pass the tickets through the gate the defendant
pushed him away and took the tickets. Witness referred to Officer
GRAHAM for corroboration, but GRAHAM was not put on the stand.
No further evidence was submitted, and Justice WALSH said he would hold
the defendant to await the action of the Grand Jury.
The Next case was that of Frank G. RICHARDSON, of 17 St. Felix street,
vs James BRUSH and Alonzo SMITH. Witness said he was in the sink
business in New York. On the 30th of January, at the Catharine Ferry,
he put down a detached coupon ticket. The ferrymaster said: "Have you
any more?" Witness said: "No; that is the last one, and was
accidentally detached." SMITH, one of the defendants, said, "You have
more in your pocket," and then caught him by the nape of the neck and
bounced him. As witness reached the other defendant the latter caught
hold of him. Witness went back and said to the ferrymaster, "Did you
order that man to put me out," and demanded his passage. He was
referred to the "Boss", whom he saw, but who gave him no satisfaction.
Witness then demanded back his ticket, and got it under protest.
Upon his cross examination, and being asked as to threats, witness
explained that the day previous he had thrown down a detached ticket.
The ferrymaster had gruffly asked him if he had any more. Witness
replied that if wanted to find out to come along with him. The
ferrymaster knocked on the window, and the defendant
SMITH Caught Hold Of Him,
saying that the ferrymaster wanted to see him. Witness returned, and
produced the rest of the tickets. He was then allowed to proceed. He
told SMITH that if he ever again took hold of him in that way he would
strike him square in the face.
Mr. MORRIS " You didn’t do it the next day, eh? " (Laughter.)
Witness - He caught hold of me from behind in a cowardly manner.
Wm. M. S. DOLAN, of 206 Livingston street, a witness of the occurrence,
gave his testimony. What he remembered, was in corroboration of
Alonzo SMITH, of 187 Sands street, testified that complainant went with
but very little help. At the occurrence of the first day complainant
said to the ferrymaster; "I have showed you the ticket this time; but
I’ll see you in h___ before I do so again." Complainant then went on,
then came back and said: "Will you be here tomorrow? If you are and
put your hand on me, I’ll hit you right in the snoot." Witness
testified that the next morning when complainant stopped to argue with
the ferrymaster he told him to step aside and then pushed him.
Noble BROOKS, of 334 Dean street, ferrymaster, testified that
complainant, when asked if he had any more tickets, said he had none,
that the ticket was torn off accidentally. Witness told him he could
not enter, and stand outside of the passage, and then directed Mr. SMITH
to put him out.
Willett SMITH, of 122 Lawrence street, ferrymaster, testified that he
was at the box on the day previous to the 30th, when complainant had his
first difficulty. He corroborated Brooks’ testimony.
The Justice dismissed the complaint, discharging the accused.
The next case was that of Sam. CLARK, of 136 Lexington avenue, merchant
of 68 Warren street, NY., vs John DIXON and Gustavus E. ENELL. The
complainant was present with counsel, Mr. John D. SHEDLOCK. He
testified that on the 24th of January, he laid down an old style ticket,
and had passed on some distance, when he was
Grasped By The Arms By Two Men,
forced to the ferry box, and ejected into the street. He demanded his
ticket back, bus was refused.
Cross-examined - Purchased his ticket from a boy. Had never had a
coupon ticket in his hand up to that time.
E. W. HAWLEY, of 407 Cumberland street, testified that after
complainant was ejected; that he, witness, heard him ask for his ticket
back. One was offered him, but complainant said that was not the one.
Cross-examined - Thought no unnecessary violence was used. They rather
crowded complainant out.
Z. M. BACON of 51 South Portland avenue, testified that he saw one of
the defendants (DIXON) with his hand on the complainant’s collar,
pulling him out. They stopped at the box, and after a dispute the other
defendant came up and caught hld of complainant, and together they
jammed complainant out rather roughly.
Gustavus E. ENELL, defendant, of 57 Middagh street, testified that he
saw complainant purchase a detached coupon ticket from a boy. Witness
went and told the ferrymaster, and they went after complainant, who
returned without a word to the box. The ferrymaster told him he could
not pass. Witness had to put complainant out.
Cross-examined - Thought he recognized the boy the coupon was purchased
Counsel called a boy named CURLEY, but witness could not identify him
as the boy.
Jacob S. DIXON, defendant, of 141 Pearl street, testified that upon
going back complainant refused to pay again. The ferrymaster said put
him out, and witness shoved Enell, and Enell shoved complainant.
Benj. W. WEEKS, ferrymaster, testified corroborating the testimony of
Thomas FARRELL, special police officer at the ferry, testified that Mr.
CLARK wanted him to arrest somebody, that Mr. CLARK said that the
tickets were new ones and that he had purchased them a week before.
Witness replied that could not be so as the new ones were just issued.
Mr. CLARK recalled, testified, that he told the officer that the ticket
was an old ticket and was purchased some time before; by the "time
before" he meant to deny the right of the officer to thus question him.
Edward CURLEY, a boy, testified that he sold an old style ticket to the
Justice WALSH said, I think this is a case to discharge the defendants
on. There is a doubt between the new and old tickets.
The next case was that of Francis H. VAN VECHTEN, [VanVECHTEN] of 377
Sackett street, managing clerk in a law office, vs Alonzo SMITH.
Complainant testified that he was with his father, and laid down two
detached coupon tickets and walked through. When eight feet inside
heard some one call: "Have you any more tickets?" Witness saw the
ferrymaster’s head out of the window, and replied: "That’s none of your
business". SMITH and two special officers pushed him out.
James R. VAN VECHTEN, the father, corroborated the testimony of his
son. No objection was made to the witness going through.
The witness became considerably excited under Mr. MORRIS’
Alonzo SMITH, the defendant, said that the complainant did not resist,
and that the witness only put his hand on him, Complainant said that he
did not blame witness for what he was doing.
The Justice dismissed the case.
The last case was that of Marcellis SUNDERLAND, of 21 East Houston
street, NY, vs John H. RAYNOR. SUNDERLAND (who speaks English
indifferently) testified that at the Catharine Ferry he gave a detached
ticket. The ferrymaster demanded the rest of his tickets. Witness
said, "What for, did I not give you a ticket; I have no time." Witness
then tried to go on, and was ejected with the damage to his pantaloons
of a tear. The ferrymaster struck him too.
Willard SMITH, ferrymaster, took the stand. He denied striking the
man. He said that when complainant would not come back, he pulled him
back. Complainant wanted two cents for....
Transcribed for the Bklyn Info Pages by Nancy Spader Wilson
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