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Stock# 46824
Description

A Superb Pocket Map of Brooklyn.

Scarce folding map of Brooklyn, in original hand-color, showing the nascent village occupying what are today the neighborhoods of Brooklyn Heights, Downtown Brooklyn, DUMBO, Vinegar Hill and the Navy Yard. The map includes one of the first depictions of Brooklyn's oldest African American church.

This is one of the earliest maps to show the Village of Brooklyn in any real detail, following its incorporation in 1816. The map underscores the beginning of metropolitan Brooklyn and how small the Village was at the beginning of the 19th century.

The African Methodist Episcopal Church

The map is probably the first to show the Brooklyn's oldest African American church, the African Methodist Episcopal Church on High Street. The church depicted here, the AME church on High Street, was built in 1818, but the history of the congregation goes back much earlier than that; the first AME sermons, held by Captain Webb, were conducted in downtown Brooklyn beginning in 1766. The congregation is still in existence today, and operates as the Bridge Street African Wesleyan Methodist Episcopal Church.

The map key describes five libraries and local offices, two banks, two insurance companies, four lodges, six gardens, three hotels, one market, a post office, a physician's office, and a gin distillery.

The information about ferries linking Brooklyn and Manhattan would have proved one of the more important features of the map to the original user. Hooker included the following ferries:

  • Fulton Ferry (day and night)
  • New Ferry
  • Navy Yard Ferry
  • Ferry to Williamsburg
  • Contemplated New South Ferry (not yet established)

The map shows a few points of interest in Manhattan, including William Hooker's Nautical Store on Fulton and Water. It also commemorates Lafayette's Landing on August 16th, 1824, when he returned to America to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Revolutionary War, an important event in 1820s New York.

The map lists other places of public worship:

  • St. Ann's Episcopal Church
  • St. John's Episcopal Church
  • Naval Chapel, U.S. Navy Yard
  • Presbyterian Church
  • Reformed Dutch Church
  • Baptist Church
  • Methodist Church
  • Methodist Church
  • Roman Catholic Church

Only three schools are shown:

  • U.S. Naval School, U.S. Navy yard
  • Whiting & Seymur Academy
  • A. Hageman's Male & Female

William Hooker (1797-1856) was an important American mapmaker and engraver, who operated in New York from circa 1810 to 1845. He probably began his career as an apprentice to Edmund March Blunt (1770-1862), the publisher of the American Coastal Pilot. Hooker and Edmund March Blunt operated from the same location, 202 Water Street, in New York for many years. It has been proposed that Hooker apprenticed with Blunt, the established chartmaker. Hooker married Blunt's his daughter, Eliza Carlton Blunt, in 1816. Hooker's primary focus was maps of New York City and nautical charts.

Rarity

Printed maps of Brooklyn from the early 19th century are quite rare, and this map is know different. We have identified only two institutional examples of the 1827, at the Clements Library and the Brooklyn Historical Society. The 1838 final edition is somewhat more common.

Condition Description
Folding into original leather covers with embossed gilt title on front. Full original color. One very small repaired loss in lower left quadrant, leather folder somewhat split at spine, map separated from folder.