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Stock# 92336

The Second Printed Plan of New York City Published In America -- Unknown To Stokes

Rare American Almanac, first published for 1775, with an exceptionally rare plan of New York City, the second printed plan of New York City published in America.

Gaine published it with blank pages interleaved at the beginning. The present copy contains contemporary notes, apparently kept by a customs officer, and is filled with notations regarding counterfeit currency, its place of origin and identifying characteristics, and the contents of various shipping trunks.

Quaritch notes:

Printed in 1775, it is still New York loyalist in its information-covering Canada as well as the original colonies-save that Massachusetts Bay has slipped past the reach of reporting: "The present unhappy state of this Province prevents us from being as particular in our Account of it as we cou'd wish-We do not know who are in, or who are out of Office.-When the melancholy Differences that now subsist between the Mother Country and her Colonies, are happily terminated, we shall with Pleasure present the Public with as correct and copious Lists of the Offices of Government as can be possibly obtain'd." Thomas Gage is still listed as Governor. . . .  NO PERFECT COPY EXTANT

The Universal Register for 1775 was advertised in the New York Gazette on December 11, 1775.  For the first and only time, it was offered with a plan of New York, along with significant information for trading in the American Colonies:

JUST PUBLISHED, And to be SOLD at his BOOK-STORE and PRINTING-OFFICE, in Hanover-Square, [Illustrated with a beautiful and accurate Copper Plate Plan of the City of NEW-YORK.] GAINE’s Universal Register, OR, AMERICAN and BRITISH KALENDAR, For The YEAR 1776. CONTAINING . . . 

. . . Enumerated Goods subject to Duty in America, Government of West-Florida, --- East Florida, --- Georgia, --- South-Carolina, --- North-Carolina, --- Virginia, --- Maryland, Pennsylvania and lower Counties of New-Castle, Kent, and Sussex, upon Delaware, --- New Jersey, --- New York; Corporation for the Relief of the Widows and Children of Clergymen of the Church of England, Government of Connecticut, --- Rhode-island, --- Massachusetts-Bay, --- New-Hampshire, --- Nova Scotia, --- Newfoundland, --- St. John’s, --- Canada; Ministers and Congregations belonging to the Revd. Synod of New-York, &c. Associate Presbytery of Philadelphia,  his Majesty’s Forces at Boston, Governors of New-York, from the Year 1664 to the present Time, Governors of New-Jersey, Governors of the West-India Islands, Staff of the Army of the thirteen United Provinces in North-America, State of the four Regiments raised in the Colony of New-York, Royal Artillery raised in New-York, Officers in the Troop of Light Horse in New-York, Independent Companies in New-York, New-Jersey Bills reduced to New-York currency, Tables of Interest, Roads, &c. 

Gaine continued publication of his Universal Register into the 1790s. It is filled with useful information, including population estimates for the American colonies, comparisons of various coins and monies, and lists of civic, military, and religious officers.

The Gaine Map of New York City

Gaine's Almanak includes an impressive and extremely rare "Plan of the City of New York," with a street grid of the tip of Manhattan Island and farmland, the "Road to Boston" leading north, and the tip of Brooklyn at the bottom. The scale is one mile per three inches.


The plan is of the utmost rarity and was unknown to Stokes.  

The last example the 1775 Universal Register to appear in a catalog was in 1982 (Bernard Quaritch, $650), which was likely the example sold at Parke Bernet in 1939, the last example to appear at auction listed by RBH.  The Parke-Bernet catalog entry noted "Very rare. Apparently the first copy to appear at public sale in nearly twenty years." (Catalog 152, #167).

The map is not mentioned by Sabin.

Condition Description
18mo. Original calf. 168 pages plus folding map. Map measures 5.25 x 7.75 inches. Interleaved with blank pages with contemporary ink notes. Spine perished but held by cords. Worm hole in front board through to front endpapers, not affecting text or map. Internally very clean. An entirely unsophisticated example in original state. Housed in a half morocco slipcase (raised spine bands) and chemise.
Evans 14057. Drake, 5858. Sabin 26332.