Manual of the Corporation of the City of New York


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VALENTINE, David Thomas. Manual of the Corporation of the City of New York. New York: Thomas Snowden, 1842/3. 12mo (3-3/4 by 5-1/4 inches), original brown cloth, gilt arms of New York City.

1842-43 Valentine Manual, "one of the best and most used sources for information about New York City," preceded only by the virtually unobtainable Valentine Manual for 1841-42, with two large folding lithographic maps by Hayward—the color-outlined map of streets, and the "Plan of the City of New York," known as the Bradford map—along with two folding lithographed plates of "Croton Dam" and "Neuw Amsterdam 1659," complete in original cloth with gilt-stamped arms of the city.

Valentine's Manual was "one of the best and most used sources for information about New York City during three decades of the 19th century, published annually between 1841 and 1870 (except in 1867)." Before Valentine took an interest in the records of New York, no system had been in place to assure the archival preservation of municipal documents— so a great many public records "found their way into second-hand book- and print-shops [and] on into the outstretched hands of the covetous autograph- and relic-hunters" (Lawrence, ix). David Valentine stemmed this flow in 1830, when he became Deputy Clerk of the Common Council. Yet it took another ten years before Council would order the printing of pertinent records as a way of preserving them.

"Most of the maps which illustrated the manuals were lithographed by George Hayward" (Ristow, 257). This is complete with two very large folding maps by Hayward: color-outlined map of Manhattan from the Battery to 42nd Street, and "Plan of the City of New York from an Actual Survey Made by James Lyne"—both rarely present. The "Plan of the City," known as the Bradford map, was initially issued in 1731 by William Bradford, the first public printer for the New York province. It was "the first plan of New York engraved and printed in that city" (Ristow, 249). Also containing two engraved folding plates by lithographer Hayward: "Croton Dam" and "Neuw Amsterdam 1659." The Manual also includes the 1842 "Rules and Orders of the Board of Aldermen," listings of city officials and members of the city council, detailed sections on the city's public offices and schools, the post office and custom house, and much more.
Ristow, 257. With early owner bookplate of noted bibliophile Frank Earle Hayward, who was a member of the Bibliophile Society of Boston, the Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, and the Order of Washington. While he shares the name of lithographer Hayward, we found no direct family connection. Born in 1869, Frank Earle Hayward was the son of prominent New Yorker John W. Hayward. The bookplate was by New York engravers Ames and Rollinson, circa 1900.

Interior fresh, folding map with expert paper repairs; bright gilt-stamped original cloth with expert repairs to joints and spine ends. A highly desirable near-fine copy, rarely found complete.

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