|New York, by James Fenimore Cooper
"The increase of the towns of Manhattan, as, for the sake of convenience we shall term New York and her
adjuncts, in all that contributes to the importance of a great commercial mart, renders them one of the most remarkable places of the present age. ...they have grown from a city of the fifth or sixth class to be near the head of all the purely trading
places of the known world. That there are sufficient causes for this unparalleled prosperity, will appear in the
analysis of the natural advantages of port, in its position, security, accessories, and scale.
...If the Manhattan towns, or
Manhattan, as we shall not scruple to term the several places that compose the prosperous sisterhood at the mouth of the Hudson�a name that is more ancient and better adapted to the history, associations, and conveniences of the place than any
other�continue to prosper as they have done, ere the close of the present century they will take their station among the capitals of the first rank."
Shortly before his death of a fatal illness in 1851, Cooper was writing a
historical work, to be entitled "The Towns of Manhattan" (sometime referred to as "The Men of Manhattan"), which was probably meant to provide a past, present, and future look at New York. The unfinished work consisted of an Introduction and eight
chapters. His daughter, Susan, sent them to be published, but the printing office was destroyed by fire, and with it the main chapters of this work. Fortunately a few pages, the Introduction, had been set up and the impression sent to a literary
gentleman, then editor of a popular critical journal, and they were thus saved from destruction. The published Introduction first appeared during the Civil War. The above is an excerpt from a "New York", published by William Farquahar Payson, 1930,
hand-numbered copy 255 of 765 copies on hand-made paper by the Stratford Press in New York
Contributed by the English Trader