1863 McCloskey Pocket Map of Brooklyn, New York
Description: An extremely rare first edition of Henry McCloskey’s 1863 pocket map of the city of Brooklyn, New York. In the mid 19th century, fueled by the advent of the steam ferry, which made crossing the East River practical, Kings County experienced an massive population burst. Wealthy and poor alike were quick to abandon the dirty and claustrophobic Manhattan for then suburban lands just across the East River. In 1855 the communities of Brooklyn, Greenpoint, Bushwick and Williamsburg were consolidated by the State of New York into one large city, modern day Brooklyn. It was around this time that the term “Kings County” began to fall out of popular usage in favor of “Brooklyn”. By 1865, two years after this map was printed, Brooklyn had become the third largest city in America, following New York and Philadelphia. Here Brooklyn is revealed in the midst of this incredible development. Prospect Park, which was still being built, is shown, as is Greenwood cemetery. The street layout, mimicking the grid system of Manhattan, is shown in considerable detail. Attemptes to detail important buildings, ferry crossings, bridges, train lines, and “plank roads.” Also notes public buildings and lands such as the Lunatic Asylum, the Hospital, the Alms House, the Military Parade Grounds, the Marine Hospital and the Navy Yard. Manhattan appears in the lower left hand corner of the map. North is oriented to the lower left. The whole is surrounding by a decorative vine and leave border. This map was drawn by A. Brown of 47 Nassau Street, New York, for inclusion in Henry McCloskey’s 1863 Manual of the City and Corporation of Brooklyn. Cartographically this map references and expands upon the 1846 map of Brooklyn surveyed and prepared by Richard Butt. The only other copy of this map we have been able to identify is in the collection of the Brooklyn Public Library. Ours is in superior condition. An extremely rare map
Date: 1863 (dated)
References: New York Public Library Map Div. 01-1836 (Butt Map). Brooklyn Collection, Brooklyn Public Library, Document 51. Bulletin of the New York Public Library, Vol 4, 1902, Page 86.
Cartographer: Henry McCloskey was a journalist working in Brooklyn in the mid 19th century. He was the first regular reporter employed by the Brooklyn Daily Eagle and consequently the first true Brooklyn reporter. When the editor Arnold resigned, McCloskey stepped up to the position became Editor-in-chief. An ardent southern sympathizer and fierce advocate of states' rights, McCloskey had no shame in using the Eagle to express his radical political views. In 1861, following the outbreak of the Civil War, McCloskey published a series of aggressive anti-war editorials. Shortly thereafter, the Eagle, along with several other news papers including the New York News, were accused of disloyalty to the Union and denied access to the U.S. Mail system. The charges were dropped when McCloskey resigned shortly afterwards. McCloskey's true interest was government and in 1863 he was voted city clerk for Brooklyn. He retained this position from 1863 to 1867. Both his predecessor and successor seem to have been William Bishop. One of the duties of the city clerk was to publish an annual report detailing the government, progress, urban planning and development of the city. The resulting Manual bearing the McCloskey name was published during his four years of tenure as City Clerk. The first Brooklyn Manual was published in 1855 following the consolidation of the city. The Manual was published under various names and in various forms until 1888. Click here for a list of rare maps from Henry McCloskey .
Size: Printed area measures 25 x 20 inches (63.5 x 50.8 centimeters)
Condition: Very good condition. At some point this map appears to have been professionally flattened and backed with linen. Light overall age toning. Minor discoloration in upper right quadrant. Else fine.
Code: Brooklyn-mccloskey-1863 (to order by phone call: 646-320-8650)