New York: D.T. Valentine, 1860.
View. Lithograph. Image measures 6" x 8 1/2".
This charming small view features the Macombs Dam across the Harlem River in New York City. With the High Bridge visible in the background, the view looks northward from the Manhattan banks. Two boats tied to poles are seen in the foreground while a carriage is being driven across the dam. A house can be viewed on the opposite bank.
In 1813, the New York State Legislature granted permission to Robert Macomb to build and operate a dam across the Harlem River. A bridge was also included as part of the structure and Macomb was allowed to collect tolls, half of which would be used for the education of the poor. The dam also included a lock to be operated by Macolm which allowed small boats to pass, limiting the river's capacity. In 1839, angry residents who were refused passage broke through the dam with axes. The court declared Macolms Dam a 'public nuisance'. By 1858, the dam was completely removed and a toll free bridge was constructed at the site, which was replaced by a new structure in 1890, one that stands to this day. This 'new' Macolmbs Dam Bridge is today New York City's third-oldest bridge. This view was published in the 1860 edition of "Valentine's Manual", a directory of extensive historical and contemporary records of New York. In good condition. Minor wear along folds with some foxing and staining at places.
David Thomas Valentine (1801-1869) served as the Deputy to the Clerk of the Common Council for thirty-seven years and began publishing the "Manual for the Corporation of the City of New York" in 1841. The Manuals were directories of extensive historical and contemporary records of New York that included facts about the City of New York, city history, city council information, and reported on the progress of public works such as Central Park. Popularly called Valentine's Manuals, the texts were richly illustrated with maps, lithographs, and engravings. This view provides a fascinating look at New York City.