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Guide to the New York City Tavern License Collection
1783-1797, 1862
 MS 443.28

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


© 2011 New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Alison Barr and Larry Weimer

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit on June 09, 2017 using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Scope and Contents Note

The collection includes about 400 tavern licenses, plus many related excise tax receipts, from New York City dating from the 1780s and 1790s. There is one outlying exception to this: an 1862 license for a tavern in Morrisania, Westchester County. The licenses are signed by the New York City mayors of the time, James Duane and Richard Varick, and the excise receipts are signed by Commissioner of Excise and Alderman Abraham P. Lott. The licenses were granted to a variety of individuals and pertain to several wards of the city. The licenses of the 1790s refer to the licensee's occupation (often grocer or innkeeper, but others appear as well) or to whether a woman licensee is a widow (licenses of the 1780s have "innkeeper" preprinted on the form). The container list below includes an item level description of all the documents in the collection.

Arrangement Note

There is no particular order to the overall collection, but generally the earlier licenses (circa 1784) are in the first folders and the later licenses (1790s) are in the later folders. A broader mix of dates are found in the fourth folder, including the 1862 outlier. Within some folders, the documents are arranged by license number.