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Map, New York City, Brooklyn, Jersey City, Ensigns & Thayer, Antique Print, 1848


John M. Atwood (born c. 1818) (artist and engraver)
Map of the City of New York, with the Adjacent Cities of Brooklyn & Jersey City, and the Village of Williamsburg
Humphrey Phelps, New York (copyright holder): 1844
Ensigns & Thayer, New York (publisher): 1848
Hand-colored engraving
18.75 x 21.75 inches

Map of New York City and surroundings. The main map includes most of Governor’s Island and all of Lower Manhattan from the Battery to 32nd Street, as well as parts of the City of Brooklyn on the opposite shore of the East River from the Navy Yard to Sackett Street, and the shoreline of Williamsburg. There are small inset maps top left of Jersey City, New Jersey, as well as the “Northern Part of New York Island” (a simplified map of the part of Manhattan not included in the main map, then a largely rural and undeveloped area). An uncolored version of this map is in the collection of the New York Public Library, along with hand-colored versions from 1849 and 1850.

Product Description Continues Below


Streets, squares, parks and piers are labeled and the footprints of some major buildings are indicated by shaded rectangles. Wards, district lines, section lines and fire districts are noted, with boundaries and numbers highlighted in red, blue, yellow and green. Concentric circles indicate half-mile increments in distance from City Hall. Dotted lines indicate “omnibus routes” according to the key beneath the cartouche, which also lists the number of “strokes of bell” for the fire alarms in the First, Second and Third Districts. The inset map of upper Manhattan shows the path of the Croton Aqueduct and locations of city reservoirs, the Harlem Railroad tracks, and the meandering route of Bloomingdale Road, which eventually became part of Broadway.

John M. Atwood was an engraver born in Washington, D.C. and active in New York City from 1838 to 1852, where he drew and engraved maps for major American mapmakers, including Humphrey Phelps, Ensigns & Thayer, and the Colton family.

The publishing firm Humphrey Phelps (also known as Phelps, Humphrey) operated in New York City from the 1830s to the 1850s, at various times co-publishing work with Ensigns & Thayer. They produced maps, prints and books. They are well known for “Phelps Guides” series of folding maps and wall maps for travelers, which Phelps began producing in 1838.

Timothy and Edward Ensign were partners in a New York City printing firm, active in a series of partnerships between 1841 and 1861, working with Phelps and Humphrey, as Ensigns & Thayer (with Horace Thayer), and finally, as Ensign, Bridgman & Fanning. Over their career they produced a number of notable prints on subjects from American history as well as maps and U.S. traveler’s guides.

Full publication information: “Drawn & Engraved by John M. Atwood, 145 Fulton St., N.Y. Published by Ensigns & Thayer, 50 Ann St., New York, 1848. Entered according to Act of Congress in the year 1844 by Humphrey Phelps in the Clerks Office of the District Court of the Southern District of New York.”

Condition: Generally very good, formerly folded as issued. Now professionally cleaned, flattened, deacidified, and backed with Japanese tissue, thus repairing some marginal tears and chips, but still with some remaining some toning, wear, handling including a patch of minor browning lower right.


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. 15.

“Map of the City of New York.” New York Public Library. (21 February 2012).

Peters, Harry T. America on Stone. U.S.: Doubleday, Doran, 1931. pp. 181, 325.

Additional information


19th Century