Map of the City of Brooklyn (as consolidated January 1st 1855).
1856 (dated) 18.5 x 23.5 in (46.99 x 59.69 cm)
1 : 21600
This is a scarce and extraordinary 1856 map of Brooklyn, New York city by Matthew Dripps. The map follows the 1855 consolidation of Brooklyn, Williamsburg, Bushwick, and Greenpoint into a single city - as such it is one of the first maps to show Brooklyn much as we know it today - in fact, it is the earliest obtainable map was are aware of to do so. The map extends southwards roughly to 60th street, eastwards to Evergreen Cemetery, and northwards to Newtown creek. Parts of adjacent Manhattan (as far north as 40th Street), Queens (Long Island City), and Jersey City. Many modern neighborhoods are not specifically name, such as Red Hook, Bedford Stuyvesant, Fort Green, etc. but are nonetheless present and identifiable. The Brooklyn Navy Yards clearly represented with individual buildings present. Sunset Park, though not identified, is apparent via the hachuring Dripps has used to render elevation. Prospect Park, not yet conceived of, is notably absent.
This map does much to express the optimism and industrial transformation happening in Brooklyn during this period. Prospective landfills are ghosted in, Important piers are noted, and ferry lines to and from various parts of Manhattan proliferate. The Fulton Avenue Trolley Service is noted as is the nascent Long Island Railroad extending along Atlantic Avenue. When this map was made the population of Booklyn was 200000. Four years later census takers identified Brooklyn as the 3rd largest city in the United States. The new city's 18 wards, now defunct political districts common in the 19th century, are laid out and color coded in an extensive forward thinking grid plan - even where actual development is lacking. The contrast between these areas and the surrounding communities of New Utrecht, Flatbush, New Lots, and East New York, which are represented with trees, is strongly suggestive that these bordering communities remained quite rural well into the later 19th century. The map also notes New Brooklyn along Fulton Avenue between Decatur Street and Hull Street in Bedford-Stuyvesant. As far as we can tell, New Brooklyn was simply the name of a community on the Brooklyn and Jamaica Turnpike and Hunterfly Roads. It is cited as the location of stories in the Brooklyn Eagle and the Brooklyn Evening Star.
A manuscript annotation in pencil on 55th street marks the site of the Coney Island Ferry.
This map was published in two known editions, 1855 and the presented example 1856. All examples are extremely scarce. Dripps maintained offices at 152 Fulton Street, New York City.
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.
Very good. Laid down on archival tissue for stability. Removed from but accompanied by original gilt stamped linen binder.