Sign In

- Or use -
Forgot Password Create Account
Description

One of the Earliest Printed Maps of New York City

Detailed Revolutionary War Plan of New York City, published in the November 1776 edition of the Universal Magazine.

The Universal Magazine plan of the City of New York is among the earliest obtainable maps of New York City. Appearing only 13 years after Bellin's Ville De Manath ou Nouvelle-Yorc, the earliest obtainable map of New York City, the Universal Magazine map is an important early map of the City, being perhaps the first widely distributed map of New York City in English and an important synthesis the earlies work of Montressor and Ratzer.

The map is a combination of the maps of Montresor (1766) and Ratzen (1767) maps, but with some new additions and details, including the addition of the name Delaney's New Square to an area near the Collect Pond (labeled here Fresh Water) that is surrounded by blocks of New Buildings not Finished. The square which appeared on the Ratzen map as the Great Square is filled now no longer vacant and has been filled in with buildings.

The map names many streets and roads, including Broadway and the Road to King's Bridge where the Rebels mean to make a Stand, which runs parallel to Road to Kipps Bay where the Kings Troops Landed. It also includes details of wharves, ferries, public buildings, some industries, orchards, gardens, fields, houses (including some resident's names), Fort George, and the battery. The map also covers what was then the rural part of Manhattan Island up to present-day 14th Street and small parts of Long Island.

The map also notes both the "Vauxhall Gar[den]" (on the North River below the road to Greenwich)) and "Ranelah Gardens," (to the north of the Fresh Water pond, Tanner's Yards and Powder Magazine). These would be a the locatiosn of New York's "pleasure gardens," an outdoor festival of music, lights and other performances popularized in French and English culture in the 18th Century. The two most famous English venues were the Ranelagh Gardens and the Vauxhall Gardens. As noted by Naomi Stubbs in Cultivating National Identify Through Performance: American Pleasure Gardens (p 31-35), the performance of these Vauxhalls (or Ranelags) became very popular in larger American Cities (New York, Philadelphia, Charleston, Baltimore, etc,).

While the map is not rare, it has become increasingly scarce on the market.

Reference
Jolly, D.C. (Brit Per) UNIV-177; Sellers & Van Ee #1110; Nebenzahl, K. (Biblio Amer Rev) #114.