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1865 Dripps Map or Plan of New York City and Vicinity

Map of New York and Vicinity. - Main View

1865 Dripps Map or Plan of New York City and Vicinity



Map of New York and Vicinity.
  1865 (dated)     34 x 21 in (86.36 x 53.34 cm)     1 : 17000


This is a rare large format 1865 map or plan of New York City by Matthew Dripps. It covers the entire island of Manhattan as well as parts of Brooklyn, Queens, Hoboken and Jersey City. Shows the city in considerable detail with all streets and, in Manhattan, block numbers clearly shown. The northern portion of Manhattan in included in an inset along the left border. The map labels most of the piers in lower Manhattan and shows numerous individual buildings with identifying numbers. Where Columbia University now stands, this map reveals a 19th century Lunatic Asylum. In Queens, Dripps labels Hunters Point and shows the beginnings of the Long Island Railroad. Astoria is delineated. Central Park is mapped detail exhibiting the fully glory of Olmsted's plan.

The mid-19th century was a dynamic period in urban development of New York City. Under the governance of Tammany Hall and the corrupt 'Boss' Tweed, New York City had become a melange of extremes. By 1864 the Five Points had devolved into the world's most notoriously dangers slum, while further north the high ideals and design genius of Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux created Central Park, the world's first and possibly finest planned public recreation area. Meanwhile, across the East River, Brooklyn, Greenpoint, and Williamsburg consolidated into a single city, becoming in the process the third largest city in the United States, and setting the stage for the emergence of the modern New York City.

Dated 1865 under the title, the copyright at the bottom left reads 'Entered according to Act of Congress in the year 1865 by M. Dripps in the Clerk's Office of the District Court for the Southern District of New York.' Prepared by Matthew Dripps for issued in David Valentine's 1865 Manual of the Common Council of New York.


Matthew Dripps (1812 – April 9, 1896) was an Irish-born American mapmaker active in Philadelphia and New York during the second half of the 19th century. Dripps was born in Gracefield, Ireland. In Ireland, probably Belfast, he worked as a grocer. Dripps immigrated to American from Belfast on the Patrick Henry in 1849, arriving in Philadelphia, where he connected with the Reformed Presbyterian Church and worked briefly as a tax collector. His earliest recorded maps, depicting Philadelphia, appeared during this period. Dripps relocated to Brooklyn, New York in 1850, setting up shop as a map publisher. His two largest maps were published in the following years, 1850 and 1851, and combine to form an enormous map of Manhattan. These gained him the attention of the City Council, who used his maps for census and government work. Afterwards, he issued other large format New York City and Brooklyn maps as well as smaller maps for the New York City Clerk's office. He was married to Ameila Millar Dripps with whom he had six children, among them Amelia Dripps and the clergyman Joseph Frederick. Dripps is interred at Greewood Cemetery, Brooklyn. More by this mapmaker...

David T. (Thomas) Valentine (1801 - 1869) served as the Clerk of the Common Council of New York City. He edited and published a series of New York City almanacs and fact books entitled Manual of the Corporation Of The City of New York. Valentine's Manual, as it came to be called, included facts about the City of New York, city council information, city history, and reported on the progress of public works such as Central Park. The production of this annual manual was the responsibility of the Clerk of the City of New York, a position held at different times by D. Valentine and by Joseph Shannon, who also produced a similar manual. Valentine used his manual to reproduce some of the rarest and most important maps of New York City ever created. Learn More...


Valentine, D., Valentine's Manual of the Corporation of the City of New York, (1865 edition).    


Very good. Printed on onion skin paper. Original fold lines exhibits some toning and wear. Minor foxing upper left quadrant near Tubby Hook. Professionally flattened and backed with archival tissue for stability.


Haskell, D., Manhattan Maps: A Co-operative List, 1154.