Jun 27, 2024 - Sale 2675

Sale 2675 - Lot 37

Price Realized: $ 406
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 600 - $ 900
(AMERICAN REVOLUTION--1778.) File on property destroyed in the Cruger's Wharf fire under British occupation. 3 manuscript documents, various sizes up to 13 x 9 inches; minor wear including partial separation at one fold. New York, 1783 and 1786

Additional Details

Mary Ten Eyck was a widow who lived off the income of her late husband's Manhattan real estate holdings. When the British occupied New York, she remained in the city. Five of the properties near Cruger's Wharf (the present site of Elevated Acre on South Street) were occupied by the British artillery department, with the promise of the eventual payment of rent. On 3 August 1778, a fire wiped out two city blocks, including Mrs. Ten Eyck's properties.

These three documents are from her efforts to be reimbursed by the Crown. The first document is an undated account of the rent owed for each of the five properties, from 17 September 1776 (in the earliest days of the British occupation) through 3 August 1778 (the date of the Cruger's Wharf fire). The properties are described as 4 stores and a dwelling house, with the measurements given for each; the dwelling was "made use of as a paint shop." It was accompanied by the second document, Mary Ten Eyck's signed testimony, sworn during the final weeks of British occupation on 13 September 1783. She testifies that the properties "were burnt down while in the possession of the artillery department, that they were well worth the rent at which they are charged." It was sworn before the city's infamous Loyalist mayor David Mathews, who added a note that "Mrs. Ten Eyck has been within the British lines during all the late troubels and the above property is hers" (signed in an apparently secretarial hand).

Mathews evacuated with the rest of the British in November, leaving their rent bill unpaid. The third item offered here is a letter from Mary's son Thomas Ten Eyck of New York to lawyer Robert Auchmuty of Newport, RI, 13 May 1786: "My mother, being one of the number that impower'd you for recovring the debt due from the government of Great Britain, for store rent due her during the war, I shall be much obliged . . . if is any posibility of the money being recovering."