A scarce large New York City real estate broadside advertising a sale, presumably an auction, held on January 16, 1852 at the Merchants Exchange in New York City from the estate of David Seaman. Lots and gores (small triangular lots) on the Upper East Side and Upper West Side of Manhattan were offered by his son and executor John M. Seaman. The lots are shown in three maps on one sheet. One map shows lots between 104th and 105th Streets east of Seventh Avenue. The second shows lots along Fifth Avenue and 97th Street. The third and largest map shows lots on either side of Third Avenue between 81st and 83rd Streets.
A similar broadside with maps for an 1853 auction real estate sale by Anthony J. Bleecker, from the Museum of the City of New York, J. Clarence Davies Collection, was included in The Greatest Grid, an exhibition at the Museum of the City of New York (December 2011 through July 15, 2012) of maps documenting the development of the grid system of mapping Manhattan. This related map is also illustrated and described in the accompanying book to the exhibition. According to the label accompanying the exhibition typically “[a]uctioneers and landholders used broadsides, pamphlets, and newspaper advertisements to publicize the sale of property.” The exhibition book describes Bleecker as an astute and astonishingly successful businessman, a witty personality “whose stories convulsed Abraham Lincoln with laughter” and a leader in civic affairs.
Anthony J. Bleecker (1799-1884) was New York City’s leading real estate agent and auctioneer for decades, heir to the oldest real estate brokerage at the time, which had been founded by his grandfather Anthony Lispenard Bleecker, after whom Bleecker Street in Greenwich Village and Lispenard Street in Tribeca were named. He was respected by his peers for his business acumen and his advice on real estate transactions was sought by people of all walks of life. Bleecker’s accomplishments also included active involvement in civic affairs, including chairing the committee that recommended the extension of Central Park to 110th Street, cofounding the Republican Party in New York City and running as its first candidate for mayor in 1854.
David Seaman (d. 1828) worked his way up from a butcher’s apprentice to a successful businessman, landowner, community leader and member of the state legislature. In 1796, he purchased a stall at the Fly-market in Brooklyn and soon became known as a purveyor of beef, especially prize or extraordinary cattle. Seaman became involved in the development of Brooklyn, assisting in the formation of a fire department and establishment of better ferry accommodations, and elected a trustee for the years 1810 through 1812, and holding the office of fire engineer for several years. In 1814, he moved to Manhattan, where he resided on what was then the Upper East Side, while operating his business in Lower Manhattan. Seaman rapidly grew prosperous and prominent. He tripled his wealth by the time of his death 14 years later, amassing land holdings in Manhattan and Dutchess County, and participating in the founding of Chatham Fire Insurance Company in 1822, as well as holding three other directorships. Seaman also served as an alderman and in the state legislature as part of the People’s Movement of New York State, the earliest broad-based reform movement in the United States, led by Governor DeWitt Clinton.
Narine & Company was an engraving, lithography and printing firm operated by James Narine in New York City from 1839 to 1860.
Full publication information: Narine & Co. Lith. No. 7 Broad St. N.Y.
Condition: Generally very good overall; recently professionally cleaned and deacidified with only minor traces remaining of toning and minor brown staining. Original folds, as issued, flattened, short tears restored, small missing piece of margin outside of ruled border professionally replaced in facsimile — all as now backed with Japanese tissue.
Groce, George C. and Wallace, David H. The New-York Historical Society’s Dictionary of Artists in America 1564-1860. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1969. p. 465.
Hanyan, Craig with Mary Hanyan. DeWitt Clinton and the Rise of the People’s Men. Quebec: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1996. p. 129. Online at Google Books: http://books.google.com/books?id=Sb1g8tno7OgC (30 January 2012).
“Seaman-L Archives: More on David N. Seaman of Dutchess County.” 21 March 2006. Rootsweb. http://archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/SEAMAN/2006-03/1142917948 (30 January 2012).
Stiles, Henry R. A History of the City of Brooklyn, N.Y. Vol. 2. Brooklyn, N.Y.: 1869. p. 10. Online at Google Books: http://books.google.com/books?id=p3MxAAAAMAAJ (30 January 2012).