Jun 27, 2024 - Sale 2675

Sale 2675 - Lot 36

Price Realized: $ 4,000
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 2,000 - $ 3,000
(AMERICAN REVOLUTION--1777.) John Moore. Personal account book kept as a Loyalist in occupied New York. [49] manuscript pages. 8vo, 7 x 4¾ inches, original limp calf, minor wear; disbound with all pages detached; later collector's inked stamp on first page. New York, January 1779 to December 1782

Additional Details

John Moore (1745-1828) was born into a distinguished New York family, and served as deputy customs collector in the years before the revolution. As an agent of the crown, he fled the city once the patriots established control in 1776, returned after the British occupation began a few months later, and served as a customs clerk throughout the occupation. He was permitted to live in New York and Connecticut after the war. His manuscript "Memoirs of an American Official in the Service of the King" was published in the Journal of American History in 1907.

Most of this slender pocket notebook is devoted to a daily daybook of expenses recorded in a small tidy hand, followed by several pages of other miscellaneous accounts. In addition to the regular expenses for clothing, food, furnishings, and other household expenses, Moore does business with several notable New Yorkers such as Dr. Samuel Bard (Columbia medical school founder and later the personal physician to George Washington) on 30 January 1779; and patriot-turned loyalist Joseph Allicocke (28 January, 28 February, 17 May 1780, etc.).

Moore's enslaved servant is noted on 26 February 1779 with a payment for "mending Cato's cloaths" and another payment for "Cato's shoes" (15 December 1779), followed by an expense for "Cato's coffin" on 23 February 1780. On 10 January 1780, he paid a "Negro wench" for washing.

Moore's movements in and around the city are noted: "Moved to Mr. Livingston's house the 10th from DePeyster's, Queen St." on 10 July 1779. He apparently lived in a confiscated house in 1780, "in Van Zandt's house, Water Street, on Mr. Townsend's going as DC Gen'l to Ch'stown; Van Z was out of the King's lines & in rebellion" (1 January 1780). Moore paid soldiers to help him move 14 loads to the "Com. G. office" on this occasion. This arrangement was elaborated upon on his December 1781 page, noting an expense as "for Van Zandt's house. The rents of all houses belonging to such rebels as did not live in town, but occupied them themselves, was by the Com. in Chief pd to Uncle Smyth towards the support of the poor, in the Allen's house." Moore paid for boat hire on 10 July 1781 when "family moved to Gowanus." He paid for expenses for trips to Hempstead Harbor, Fort Neck, and Polhemus on 9 October 1781. He paid for a Bible to be sent out to eastern Long Island in an entry following shortly after the daybook: "Bible 112 to the Church at Setauket."

One entry alludes to a dispute with a cousin in the Bayard family, who Moore charged for room and board plus expenses for firewood and wine, "which I did not intend until he behaved so ill." He subscribes to the "Dancing Assembly" on 8 February 1780, and "Paid Waddington for a barrel beer" on 10 April 1780. He "Paid Oliver Vanderbilt for boots & shoes" on 1 November 1781. Immediately following the daybook are "Expenses attending my brother D[aniel]'s funeral" from July 1780 to May 1781. A later page is devoted to his investments in New York and Rhode Island lottery tickets in 1780. In short, this volume offers a detailed and evocative portrait of New York life under British rule.

With--a similar volume in Moore's hand spanning from 1824 to May 1828 while living at 16 Lispenard street in New York. [64] manuscript pages, in similar binding, slightly smaller, including a smaller unbound 6-page insert; 3 leaves excised, otherwise minimal wear. The pastedowns have the printed rules of the Merchant's Bank of New York from 1803, with the signature of Oliver Wolcott Jr. (previously Secretary of Treasury and later Governor of Connecticut). Includes many short diary-type entries in the margins, mostly recording local deaths and notes on his travels. In February 1826 he notes the deaths of David Richard Floyd Jones and Peter W. Livingston, "both intimate friends." Noting the death of Senator Rufus King on 30 April 1827, "I had met him at dinner at old Mr. Barrow's some years ago."