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Guide to the William James Bennett Print Collection
[1826]-1844
  PR 220

New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West
New York, NY 10024
Phone: (212) 873-3400


@ 2011 New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Jenny Gotwals

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit on November 01, 2011
Description is in English.

Container List

Series I. Views of New York City

Scope and Contents note

Series I. Views of New York City contains eleven views of New York City. These prints are organized into three subseries: Megarey's Street Views in the City of New-York; Other Views of New York City; and Illustrations for the  New Mirror.

Prints are listed chronologically by date painted or engraved, and are black and white aquatints unless otherwise noted.

Subseries I: Megarey's Street Views in the City of New-York

Scope and Contents note

Subseries I. consists of three images by Bennett published by Henry Megarey in 1834 as Megarey's Street Views in the City of New-York. Megarey originally planned to publish four sets of views with three views per set, but published only this first set. The three views are "Broad Way from the Bowling Green," one of Bennett's first engravings made in America, "South St. from Maiden Lane," and "Fulton St. & Market." These early views of New York show busy commerce and harbor scenes, as well as a thriving residential neighborhood at Bowling Green and lower Broadway. This subseries includes a rare complete set of the three prints in their original portfolio wrapper, which was owned by the American engraver James Smillie (1807-1885), in addition to several loose copies of each view.

Container 1     Title Date
Folder: 1 "Broad Way from the Bowling Green," after Bennett's own design.

General note

Two copies, one a proof before letters

[1826]
Folder: 2 "South St. from Maiden Lane," after Bennett's own design.

General note

Two copies, one a proof before letters

[1828]
Folder: 3 "Fulton St. & Market," after Bennett's own design.

General note

Colored

[1828-1830]
Folder: 4 Complete set of three views in original wrapper, in portfolio.
[1826-1830]

Subseries II: Other Views of New York City

Scope and Contents note

Subseries II. includes two different views that show the fire that ravaged downtown New York on December 16th and 17th, 1835. One of these, the view from the Bank of America building, shows the Merchant's Exchange (which would burn to the ground) on fire. From 1831 to 1842, Bennett issued nineteen folio engravings of views of American cities, some based on his own drawings, others based on sketches or paintings by other artists. Eleven of these views, considered to be some of the finest early American city views, are included in this collection. Two of these are views in New York City: "View of the New York Quarantine, Staten Island," and "New-York. Taken from the Bay Near Bedlows Island," a view of the harbor.

Container 1     Title Date
Folder: 5 "View of the New York Quarantine, Staten Island," after Bennett's own design, published by Parker & Co. and Lewis P. Clover, New York, 1833.

General note

Two copies, both colored

[1833]
Folder: 6 "New-York. Taken from the Bay Near Bedlows Island," after John Gadsby Chapman (1808-1889).

General note

Proof before letters

1835
Folder: 7 "View of the Great Fire in New-York, Decr. 16th& 17th 1835 as Seen from the top of the Bank of America. Cor. of Wall & Wm. St."after Nicolino Calyo (1799-1884), published by Lewis P. Clover, New York, 1836.

General note

Three copies, all colored.

1835
Folder: 8 "View of the Ruins after the Great Fire in New-York. Decr. 16th &17th 1835. As Seen from Exchange Place," after Nicolino Calyo, (1799-1884), published by Lewis P. Clover, New York, 1836.

General note

Three copies, all colored.

1835

Subseries III: Illustrations from the New Mirror

Scope and Contents note

Illustrations from the New Mirror include four small views, two views of the New York skyline, and two scenes of ships. This subseries includes Bennett's last engraving, "the U. S. Frigate Hudson," published in the 2 June 1844 issue of the  New Mirror. All prints are after Bennett's own design.

Container 1     Title Date
Folder: 9 "View of Weehawken Bluff from the Hudson"
1844 Feb. 24
Folder: 9 "View of the Bay of New York from the Battery"
1844 Feb. 3
Folder: 9 "The U. S. Frigate Hudson, Returning from a Cruise with a Fair Wind"
1844 Jun. 2
Folder: 9 "The U. S. Brig Porpoise in a Squall"
1844 Aug. 3

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