Rare Book & Manuscript Library
 

Seymour B. Durst Collection of Historical Manuscripts and Documents, 1764-1885

Item Descriptions

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Box 1 Folder 1 Greeley, Horace: Autograph letter signed, to Mrs. Lucy Gibbons Morse, 737 Seventh Ave., regarding an upcoming visit to her home on February 18, 1871. (1 page)

CLIO Catalog Record. Columbia University Libraries.


Box 1 Folder 2 Land, Silas H.: Autograph letter signed, from Silas H. Land, to an unnamed official

Requesting the performance of a marriage on Thursday, Oct. 1842, and requesting a reply be sent to Montgomery Square by way of Ezra Price, a stage driver who drives between Morristown, N.J. and Doylestown, Pa. (1 page)

CLIO Catalog Record. Columbia University Libraries.


Box 1 Folder 3 Cummings, E. E. (Edward Estlin): Typescript postcard signed, from E. E. Cummings, 4 Patchin Place, New York City, to Ellen Borden Stevenson, 65 East Bellevue Place, Chicago, Ill.,

Declining an invitation and describing his and Marion Morehouse's efforts to retain occupancy at their Patchin Place residence (1 card)

CLIO Catalog Record. Columbia University Libraries.


Box 1 Folder 4 New York (State). Secretary's Office. Endorsed manuscript copy of original certificate of organization of the New York Cab Company, with printed forms completed in manuscript. (8 pages, bound ; 36 x 22 cm.)

CLIO Catalog Record. Columbia University Libraries.


Box 1 Folder 5 Ralph Waldo Emerson epigram: "If a man can write a better book ..." Typescript (1 sheet)

Title from first line of epigram. Full epigram reads: If a man can write a better book, / preach a better sermon, / or make a better mousetrap / than his neighbor, though he build his house / in the woods, / the world will make a beaten path / to his door.

This epigram is attributed spuriously to Ralph Waldo Emerson, and the signature appears not to be in Emerson's hand. The quotation was contributed to the anthology Borrowings (1893) by Sarah Yule, and was later said by her to originate in a lecture given by Emerson in 1871. Others, including Elbert Hubbard, have claimed authorship. Cf. The Home Book of Quotations, ed. Burton Stevenson, 10th ed., pp. 630, 2275 (1967).

CLIO Catalog Record. Columbia University Libraries.


Box 1 Folder 6 Sackett, Joseph T. Autograph letter signed, to the Kings County Board of Supervisors

Requesting the cleaning of a dirty carpet in the city court room. With an annotation on verso indicating that the request was presented in the Board of Supervisors' meeting, Aug. 4, 1868. (1 page)

CLIO Catalog Record. Columbia University Libraries.


Box 1 Folder 7 Hoffman, John T. (John Thompson). Autograph letter signed, from New York City Mayor John T. Hoffman to New York Governor Reuben E. Fenton

Requesting the pardon and early release of Michael Doyle and John Conway from their 15-year prison sentences for robbery committed during the draft riots in 1863; Hoffman had been the Recorder of New York City at the time of the sentencing on August 5, 1863. (2 pages)

CLIO Catalog Record. Columbia University Libraries.


Box 1 Folder 8 Articles of Association.

Manuscript copy of articles of an unnamed association of citizens of the town of Flushing, Queens County, State of New York, organized "for the mutual protection of ourselves and property, so far as the laws will permit, against the evil designs of mobs, rioters, and disturbers of the public peace..."; undated, unsigned. (1 page)

CLIO Catalog Record. Columbia University Libraries.


Box 1 Folder 9 Record of Hudson River ice

Manuscript record of yearly dates on which the Hudson River closed and opened from ice obstruction, from 1786 until 1837; some years are incomplete. (3 pages)

CLIO Catalog Record. Columbia University Libraries.


Box 1 Folder 10 Smith, Geo. B. (George B.). Two manuscript checks, dated Jan. 25, 1830, payable to John Jacob Astor

Signed by Geo. B. Smith, assessor, and in his hand. Drafted in the amounts of $1296.37 and $517.00, awarded to Astor for opening 7th Avenue from Greenwich Lane to 21st Street, and for opening 14th Street from the Bowery to the Hudson River, respectively. Endorsed by Astor on verso, and numbered 1664 and 1658. (4 pages)

CLIO Catalog Record. Columbia University Libraries.


Box 1 Folder 11 Freer, Peter S. Manuscript promissory note, signed, to Robert Ratsey Goelet, dated Aug. 1, 1813, in the amount of $367.73, with interest. Endorsed to Peter G. Hart by Robert Ratsey Goelet on verso. (2 pages)

CLIO Catalog Record. Columbia University Libraries.


Box 1 Folder 12 New York (N.Y.). Common Council

Printed check completed in manuscript; check number 592, dated Aug. 28, 1813, in the amount of $160.00 paid to John Baker, for his taking of census in the 6th ward; signed by DeWitt Clinton, Mayor, Jacob Morton, Clerk, and Thomas R. Mercein, Comptroller. Endorsed by John Baker on verso. With a triangular perforated stamp. (2 pages)

CLIO Catalog Record. Columbia University Libraries.


Box 1 Folder 13 Theatical contract for Theodora

Manuscript contract transfering all of James Gordon Bennett's rights and title to the play Theodora by Victorien Sardou for performance and publication in the United States to Lester Wallack, for $1.00. Signed and sealed by James Gordon Bennett, March 9, 1885. Attestation beneath, unsigned. Bennett was the proprietor of the Theatre Port Saint Martin in Paris, at which the play was first produced (4 pages)

CLIO Catalog Record. Columbia University Libraries.


Box 1 Folder 14 Letters concerning disappearance of Maria L. Patterson

9 autograph letters signed, totalling approximately 34 pages, chiefly between family and friends of Maria L. Patterson, concerning her disappearance en route from New York City to Saco, Maine in March 1867. Letters dated chiefly between April and October 1867, with one undated letter, and one letter by Maria dated 1861. Some letters mention the consultation of a clairvoyant who claimed Maria could be found in Lowell, Mass., but she was apparently never located. From Maria L. Patterson, Albany, to her cousin Mary, Nov. 19, 1861 -- From Margaret (Maria's sister), Saco, Maine, to Mary, April 2, 1867 -- From Charles L. Snow, New York, to Post Master, Lowell, Mass., May 30, 1867 -- From Mary, New York, to Maria, Lowell, Mass., May 30, 1867 (copy) -- From Benjamin Patterson (Maria's father), Saco, Maine, to Charles L. Snow, New York, June 19, 1867 -- From Benjamin Patterson, Saco, Maine, to Charles L. Snow, New York, July 20, 1867 -- From E.P. Davis, Newark, N.J. to her brother, Oct. 4, 1867 -- Margaret, Saco Maine, to friends, Oct. 8, 1867 -- Benjamin Patterson, Saco Maine, to Charles L. Snow, New York, Oct. 8, 1867 -- Charles L. Snow, New York, to a friend, dated Monday morning; with embossed stamp of Snow & Richardson Commission Merchants, 23 South St. N.Y.

CLIO Catalog Record. Columbia University Libraries.


Box 1 Folder 15 Results of the election for Trustees of the Society, held May 6, 1805

Manuscript report of the results of the election of trustees of the Society for establishing free schools in the city of New York for the education of poor children who do not belong to or are not provided for by any religious society, held at the City Hall, May 6, 1805. Trustees elected: DeWitt Clinton, President; John Murray Jr., Vice President; Leonard Bleecker, Treasurer; Benjamin D. Perkins, Secretary; and 9 others. Witnessed and signed by election superintendents William Edgar, Thomas Eddy and Thomas Franklin, dated May 10, 1805. (2 pages)

CLIO Catalog Record. Columbia University Libraries.


Box 1 Folder 16 Bill of sale for an enslaved person

Manuscript in blanks on printed blank form bill of sale, documenting the sale of Pegg, an enslaved woman, and a child aged 5 months, by John Lawrence of New York City, to Normand Tolmie, for the price of 85 New York Pounds, dated Feb. 6, 1764, signed in the presence of Robert Watts, John Lawrence, and Anthony Shackerly. (2 pages)

CLIO Catalog Record. Columbia University Libraries.


Box 1 Folder 17 Seymour Durst Collection of 18th-Century New York Checks

Collection of 8 manuscript checks on 7 sheets to various payees, chiefly for public utilities expenses; directed to Daniel Phoenix, the Treasurer, by order of the Common Council, and signed by Richard Varick, Mayor, and Robert Benson, Clerk; endorsed by payee on verso. 1793 July 29, to Lazalier & Williamson £7 8s 3d, from the pump fund for repairs to public pumps -- 1793 Sept. 30, to Edward Day £27 3s 7d, from the city contingency fund for making two cisterns at the City Hall -- 1793 Oct. 11, to Alsop & Hicks £9 1s, from the lamp fund, for lamp oil; an attached note indicates that the Common Council directs that no more whale oil be purchased for the lamps -- 1794 April 1, to Robert Valentine £12 7s 2d, from the street fund for carpenters work and materials at Broad Street common sewer -- 1794 Apr 1, to Latham Bunker £192 4s, from the lamp fund for lamp oil, and to Willson Rawson £617 3s 4d, from the lamp fund for lamp oil -- 1799 Aug 19, to the street commissioners £20 14s for expenses of the jury assessing lands taken for a new road in Harlem -- 1799 Sept. 2, to Alexander Phoenix £3 12s, for travel expenses to Harlem to pay proprietors for land taken for the new road.

CLIO Catalog Record. Columbia University Libraries.