Exceedingly rare circa 1796 map of New York City, chronicling the post-Revolution development of Manhattan
In the years following the Revolutionary War, New York City underwent rapid development—emerging as the largest city in the United States by 1800. The first post-Revolution plans for New York were commissioned as a result of this population growth and would shape the city’s future. This map—the first post-Revolution large scale plan of NYC—is entitled "Plan of the City of New York," and was drawn by John Anderson, Jr., engraved by Peter Maverick, and published in New York by D. Longworth, [c. May 1796-1803]. The map measures approximately 22 x 17, laid down to a larger sheet, and is handsomely mounted, matted, and framed.
This is the second state of this rare map, with 45 references in the table at the upper left (listing landmarks such as churches, government buildings, markets, and theaters), the Longworth imprint at the bottom ("Drawn and Engrav'd for D. Longworth, Map & Print Seller, No. 66 Nassau Street"), and no date indicated. The plan records the development of the lower part of the island of Manhattan, up "Broad-Way" to "Prince St." and up "Bowry Lane" (also identified as "Road to Boston") to "North St."
The artist, John Anderson, Jr., was a New York City lawyer and close friend of author Washington Irving. In his diary, held by the New York Historical Society, Anderson records that he "began to draw a plan of the city for Mr. Longworth" on April 21, 1796, and that Longworth collected the map and paid him eight dollars on May 3rd. There are five known states of this map, all considered to be great rarities. This is the only second-state variant to ever appear in auction records and represents a watershed moment in the history of New York City.