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Description

Detailed pocket map of Manhattan by one of New York's greatest mapmakers, David H. Burr.

The map is divided into 21 brightly colored precincts, with ferry lines radiating out toward Brooklyn, Williamsburg, Staten Island and New Jersey.  

The map also includes considerable detail in Brooklyn, illustrating both the Village of Brooklyn and Williamsburg. On the outskirts of downtown Brooklyn the Navy Yard is shown, as well as a Poor House, Burring Ground, and Fort Green (shown with actual fortifications), and the US Naval Hospital.

First issued in the 1840s, the present example is significantly enlarged.  The1846 edition extended north to Kips Bay and Murray Hill.  The present edition extends north to the State Arsenal, Hamilton Square, Washington Monument and Blackwells's Island.

The map includes 14 vignettes, including:

  • New York University
  • Halls of Justice
  • Presbyterian Church
  • Astor Library
  • Trinity Church
  • Croton Reservoir
  • New Bible House
  • View Near Astor House
  • Crystal Palace
  • St. Thomas Church
  • St. Patrick's Church
  • Merchant's Exchange
  • Church of the Messiah
  • C.S. Francis & Co. Bookstore

 

David Hugh Burr Biography

David H. Burr studied law, passing the New York Bar Exam, and then surveying under Simeon DeWitt in New York. His first atlas was an atlas of New York State (1829), the second state atlas to be issued in the US (after Mills’ Atlas of South Carolina in 1826). In the 1830s, he served as the official topographer for the US Post Office, producing a series of rare and highly sought-after large-format state maps. He also created a map of the country’s postal routes, which features roads, canals, and railroads. Burr traveled to London to work with John Arrowsmith; together, they produced the American Atlas in 1839.

Upon his return to the States, Burr was appointed as a draftsman for the House of Representatives, where he worked until ca. 1841. He later worked for the Louisiana Survey and the Florida Survey. By 1850, he was back in Washington D. C., working on the census. In 1852, the Senate named Burr as the draftsman to compile maps from the Federal Surveys. In 1853, Burr traveled to San Francisco, perhaps as part of his work for the Senate. He was then named as the Surveyor General of Utah in 1855. However, he was unpopular there and returned to Washington D. C. by 1870. Burr is widely regarded as one of the most important names in the nineteenth-century American history of cartography.