The research for the work took place over a period of several years. Searching tax records. Common Council Minutes. The minutes of The Court of New Amsterdam. Fire and Police Department records. Church histories. Diaries, Manuscripts, Letters, Newspapers and Magazines. Recollections and Personal Interviews. The goal was to bring under one roof, so to speak, the existing information so that a picture emerges showing a microcosm of the growth of the city.
The book answers questions of why and where streets were opened. What were the motives of the various people who settled in an area so far from the city. Who were the main personalities that emerged to lead its inhabitants ? What support did the municipal government provide, if any ? The activities of the village during the draft riots of 1863. The advent of railroad and horse car service.
For almost 50 years the village existed independently. Long before the City of New York grew that far north from the battery to absorb it. During those 50 years streets and avenues were opened in the village in accordance with the Street Plan of the New York City. Most were opened years before the city reached that part of Manhattan.
The development of the transportation and road construction on Manhattan during the 19th century is well documented. The role the village played in both of those activities is discussed as well.
Overall, it is an informative and valuable work for anyone interested in the history and development of The City of New York, from the perspective of an independent community growing in its midst. It is also well illustrated with many photographs of buildings no longer in existence. Several are one of a kind, taken by the author himself. It is fine book for history lovers.