New York: 1864. First. hardcover. Illustrated manual of the Corporation of the City of New York. 856 pp. 5 fold out maps (3 on one page) and 42 diagrams and chromolithographed views. Gilt tooled and lettered red leather, a.e.g.; New York seal and ownership name Walter Roche stamped on front cover. Edge worn with some loss of leather at head of spine, front and rear end papers discolored. 12 mo. New York:1864. First edition, rare. A particularly nice copy.
The "Manuals of the Corporation" were directories of extensive historical and contemporary records of New York compiled by D.T. Valentine. These books include detailed information on the meetings of the Aldermen Council, ordinances passed, public officials, the city's debts, directories of hospitals, alms houses and schools, ferry schedules, lists of public porters, demographics and census information, and descriptions of historic buildings and streets. Much of the information was gleaned from Dutch and English sources, as processed by Valentine. Notable illustrations in this edition include "Central Park. The Terrace.", various views of the Soldier's Depot on Howard St. and "The Phoenix and the Rose engaged by the Enemys Fire Ships & Galleys on the 16th Augt. 1776...". Maps in this edition are "[Map of] New-York City, County, and Vicinity.", "A Sketch of the Operations of His Majesty's Fleet and Army under the Command of Cive Admiral the Rt. Hble. Lord Viscount Howe and Genl. Sr. Wm. Howe, K.B. in 1776" and "Maps [three] Shewing the Residence of Thomas Paine before, and at, his death, 8th. June 1809. at Greenwich in the City of New York..." D.T. Valentine (1801-1869) served as the Deputy to the Clerk of the Common Council for thirty-seven years without being promoted to Clerk. Valentine took it upon himself to compile the "Manuals", which he updated and published annually from 1841-1866. Many copies were personalized for prominent officials. This compendium is an excellent source of early New York City history.