Burning of The Tiger

by Emon Hassan on January 23, 2012

In late summer of 1613, Dutch captain Adriaen Block docked the Tijger (Tiger) near the present day Battery Park. Block had, by November, loaded the ship with merchandise (bartering with Lenape Indians), but an accidental fire destroyed the Tijger.

clipping from History of the City of New York

The crew of the Tijger managed to salvage pieces of the ship which were used to build Restless, a yacht Block’s crew built while living near the present day 39 Broadway.

When Restless (Onrust) was finished, Block ventured upward on East River, ultimately “discovering” and naming it for himself: Block Island.

Some of you may remember the recent discovery of a ship’s remains at the World Trade Center construction site. It caused quite a stir with historians and the public alike. Some suggest that the remains found were that of the Tijger, although no conclusions have been made.

One commenter on the NY Times post wrote:

“Sounds like one of john fitch’s early steamboats which plied the Hudson in the mid to late 1700’s. since Fitch invented the steamboat decades before fulton and made many this means it is one of the first steamboats ever in the world.

In New York state Fitch had the exclusive patent for steamboat travel at that time so it must be his.
” the legislature of New York had, as early as 1787, granted to James Rumsey and to John Fitch the exclusive right to navigate the waters of the State with steam-propelled vessels;”

if they find a screw propeller or oars or paddles we will know which of his models it was since he built so many.



— George Fitch Watson (an ancestor)”

I think you meant descendant but George, if you, by any chance, are reading this, please contact me.

Do you have a story about your ancestor(s) re: New York City that’s never been published? Would you like to share?

A great article by Christopher L. Hallowell, “Disappearance of the Historic Ship, Tyger”

This piece was originally posted on The Third Web Series blog.

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