1865 Dripps Map or Plan of New York City and Vicinity

Map of New York and Vicinity.

1865 Dripps Map or Plan of New York City and Vicinity


An exceptionally detailed map of New York City just after the Civil War.

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


This is a scarce 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. The map shows the city in considerable detail with all streets and, in Manhattan, block numbers clearly shown. The northern portion of Manhattan is 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 in detail exhibiting the fully glory of Olmstead's plan.

The mid-19th century was a dynamic period in the urban development of New York City. Under the governance of Tammany Hall and the corrupt 'Boss' Tweed, New York City had become a mélange of extremes. By 1864 the Five Points had devolved into the world's most notoriously dangerous slum, while further north the high ideals and design genius of Frederick Law Olmstead 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 issue in David Valentine's 1865 Manual of the Common Council of New York. This is an exceptional example of this map. Usually, the way that this map was bound into the guide, the left border would have been cut off. With this example, the left border is intact. If someone is looking to purchase an example of this map, this is the one to buy, because it is in exceptional condition and this is the only example we have seen that has the left border intact.


Matthew Dripps was a New York based map publisher working the middle to later part of the 19th century. He is best known for his numerous maps of New York City, but also has to his credit several maps of Brooklyn and New York State. Dripps had his offices at 105 Fulton Street, New York City. Curiously, for a fairly prominent New York publisher, little is known of his life beyond his obvious work.

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.


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.