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Eyewitness account of the New York fire of 1835
4to sheets. 3 pages of manuscript. Near the intersection of Hanover Street and Stone Street on December 16, 1835, a fire began in a five-story warehouse. Fed by high winds, the fire quickly spread through the city, as sub freezing temperatures prevented the use of fire hoses. After fifteen hours, firefighters were able to stop the progress of the fire by blowing up a series of buildings. This 1835 blaze was the worst in the history of New York. It destroyed over fifty acres of land, 700 buildings, and many of the remnants of the original city. Only two people perished, but financial losses were estimated around twenty million dollars. Most of the insurance companies for local properties immediately went bankrupt. This is a moving, emotional, three page letter written two days after the fire by an eyewitness who sees the hand of a “wise Providence” in the devastation of a “City, bloated in wealth, forgetful of daily favors.” “Property and merchandise to an incalculable amount has been consumed... And those who foolishly believed or fancied themselves secured by Insurance have since discovered that all the Principal offices are more than doubly ruined... Many worthy individuals, who by their industry and economy had acquired a sufficiency, have in a moment, as it were, been deprived of their All. And a vast number of pampered, rich, overgrown Individuals, who boast of their wealth, and feel their only importance, in the distinction which it created, have been reached in a way, least expected, and shaken and sifted after the manner of wheat...”
      [Bookseller: Ten Pound Island Book Co.]
Last Found On: 2013-01-08           Check availability:      IOBABooks    

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