Stokes, I. N. Phelps The iconography of Manhattan Island 1498-1909 (v. 6)

(New York :  Robert H. Dodd,  1915-1928.)



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  Page [ix]  


IT IS more than nineteen years since work on the Iconography began, and
all but thirteen years since the first volume was published. Clearly, the sub¬
scribers are entitled to an explanation—or to an apology. As an apology is,
on the whole, the easier alternative, the author hastens to offer it—very humbly
—and he sincerely thanks his subscribers for their considerate forbearance. He
will only add that during all these years the work has never halted, but has pro¬
ceeded as rapidly as circumstances would allow.

The outstanding contribution of the sixth volume to the history of Manhat¬
tan Island is the section devoted to the mapping of the original grants and farms.
This is a continuation—from Wall Street to Harlem—of the Dutch Grant material
contained in Volume II. The author's personal contribution to this subject is vir¬
tually negligible. To Miss Macarthy belongs the full credit for the successful
completion of a task which, when begun by her brother more than ten years
ago, few thought possible of satisfactory accomplishment. It is a high tribute to
her sldll and patience that only one of the original eighty grants has failed to
yield its long-guarded secrets to her persuasive treatment.

The Bibliography, which was almost the first section of the work begun—
by Mr. Paltsits in 1910, while still State Historian—is at last completed, al¬
though not upon quite so broad a plan as was originally contemplated. This cur¬
tailment was made necessary by increasing demands in recent years upon Mr.
Paltsits' leisure hours, many of which, in earlier years, he devoted to this work.
Notwithstanding this curtailment, the author believes that the Bibliography will
prove a valuable supplement to the work of Prof. Osgood, and a real contribu¬
tion to a subject which can only be finally dealt with when the records of our
city are gathered together into a suitable City archives building, under such
scholarly direction and such adequate support as will permit of a proper classifi¬
cation and arrangement of the ancient records, now scattered throughout a score
or more of city departments, and when these are supplemented by transcripts or
  Page [ix]