I recently received a shipment of what is mostly ephemera from Peter Luke and I’m always well-pleased for the opportunities he provides. He acquires material that is in my focus: the Hudson Valley. This time around he sent 48 items for consideration, provides a discount and a further incentive if I buy them all. More often than not I buy them all as his selections are relevant and his pricing sharp. The downside is he doesn’t often prepare descriptions and as a collector it becomes my responsibility to identify, confirm and understand these things and it takes work to understand what they are. Given it’s interesting, I think of his shipments as great fun.
I share with you what he has provided and what I’ve concluded. These items are uneven. Somethings show up by the box full and others are early, original and important. As well, it’s in the nature of ephemera that the stories exposed are rarely fully explained. His saving grace is that I have a 60 mile focus and he lives in it.
For collectors and collecting institutions open to be deeply immersed in ephemera provide such dealers invaluable service.
Here’s a rundown:
- D & H 1859 Pass. Delaware & Hudson Canal Company’s Collector’s Office, Hawley, Sept. 13th, 1859. When canal boats were to pass at Eddyville, its terminus, evidence of payment was apparently needed at completion of the trip from Honesdale, Pennsylvania
- A leather West Point bookmark
- A business card: Charles Cocks, Dealer in Carriages and Harnesses. All kinds of vehicles furnished to order. Monroe, N. Y.
- Hudson Fulton card
- Cablydon card
- An obscure railroad item
- R & M Hudson River
- West Shore Railroad Time Table in effect June 27, 1897 including the busy schedule of the Wallkill Valley Railroad, in particular stopping at New Paltz 6 times daily going both north and south.
- Tourist Map of Hudson River. 1923.
- Seen from – Car
- Watson Hollow Inn
- Superior Residences For Sale at Public Auction. A 11.75” x 7.75” broadside printed on both sides. Of particular interest: Ten Residences located on Eastman Place, Po’keepsie, NY. On the verso “Superior Residences For Sale at one half their real value.” Dated April 25th, 1874. The financial panic seems to have been the impetus for this promotion.
- Mongaup House and Cottages, Ferndale. 12 pages of detail with a list of guests.
- The Farmer’s Almanac for the year of our Lord 1813: being first after leap year and (until July 4th) the 37th of American Independence. By Andrew Beers, Pholom. Printed & Sold by by S.S. Freer, 18 leaves, 36 pgs. 4” x 6.625”. Freer printings are interesting.
- Delaware & Hudson Railroad. Time Table dated June 25th, 1899. A large map is included and would be more useful if not torn in half.
- Lake Mahopac M. E. Church. Constitution of the Young People’s Society of Christian Endeavor. 1889. Four pages of serious purpose. 5.875” x 4.25”
- Highland Hospital Founded May 4, 1871. This, the Twelfth Annual Report. This 8 page report printed at Fishkill Landing in Dutchess County by J. W. Spaight, Printer. 1883.
- Stirling Iron ?
- The Archer Sulky Hay Rake manufactured by Clegg, Wood & Co., Dayton, Ohio for Edgar Knapp, general agent for the eastern states, Stanfordville, NY. The 19th century saw almost daily improvements in manufacturing processes.
- C. H. Evans
- Dutchess Co. document
- A report on and by St. Barnabas’ Hospital, founded A. D. 1871, the first hospital In Poughkeepsie. In 1887, when Vassar Brothers Hospital opened, St. Barnabas’ Hospital closed. It was, in its time, an important institution.
- Souvenir of M. Hudson
- The Forces of Nature, an address delivered before the Chemical Society of Union College, July 22d, 1863, by George F. Barker, M. D. Printed at Albany, N. Y., J. Munsell, 78 State Street: 1863. In Munselliana its print run is listed as 2,000 copies.
- Minnewaska Mountain Houses. Season of 1910. 24 pages, this resort in its heyday.
- The Speeling Copy. The Hudson River Today and Yesterday by Arthur P. Abbott. Historian Publishing Co., New York City: 1915. 85pgs with preliminaries and a priceless map bound into back cover. On the map New Paltz rendered into New Platz and Ohioville into Ohjoville, as well as Rondout into Roundout. For those that collect spelling errors this is a must-have.
- A fist full of early Columbia and Rensselaer County payments and notes dating from 1785 to 1839. Various local names appear.
- Mount Meenahga. A Summer Home in the Shawangunk Mountains, 1,500 feet above sea level. Collecting their mail in Ellenville while pretending to be near enough on the Shawangunk ridge to be kissing cousins with the Lake Minnewaska and Mohonk Hotels. To polish their credentials they mention that John D. Rockefeller is a sometime guest but the place losses luster quickly with their many references from Brooklyn. It sounds like a pickpockets convention. 8.5” x 5”. 20 pgs. with a printed wrap.
- Suburban Homes. A pleasing 1902 map of the Hudson Valley in the last era before the car quickly transformed into every “berg” and “ville” into destinations.
- Playland. Rye. Before Walt Disney could do it the Westchester Park Commission opened an amusement park just as the Depression was ensuing. It was the roaring twenties and optimism was out and about.
- 1798 Hudson, New York. An obligation to pay fifty dollars current money of the State of New York.
- 1864 Documents concerning theft of money from a saloon in Copake, Columbia County, New York. Money was taken from a cash drawer and the barkeep asserted only one person was present. The outcome of the case is unknown but the court determined, based on this written interrogatory to hold the accused party until the case was to be resolved. Nine pages, very interesting. The lesson: don’t leave your cash in an unlocked box.
- The Rising Star. As “extra”, a single sheet comprising Vol. 1, No.2 of a new publication at Bellvale, Orange Co., N. Y. February 1889. The Union List of [American] Newspapers 1821-1936 provides details on the holdings of Newspapers and doesn’t mention this one. It was probably very short lived.
- A Father’s Legacy by William Hill. Albany: J Munsell, 78 State St: 1856. 4.5” x 2.875”. 30 pgs. In Transactions+ we have a single reference: Munselliana that was incorrect, calling for 40 pages. It’s 30 pages. Now we know.
- James Girard Lindsley. Elected to Congress as a Republican March 4th, 1885. This letter, signed and dated October 23rd, 1884 requests a resident to support his candidacy. And it apparently worked. He won!
- Souvenir of Walton Illustrated. 9.75” x 6.75”. A 52 page history of this Delaware County community at 1900 with 68 images. A very nice piece.
- Monticello Fallsburg & White Lake Railroad Company. 4.375” x 7”, 30 pgs. The Woodstock Music Festival in 1969 would have been helped, had this line been running when this place’s most famous event White Lake occurred August 15-18, 1969. I believe the final 3 mile walk in to the natural amphitheater was just a half mile away.
- Poughkeepsie Regatta: 1934.. 9” x 12”, 24 pgs. In 1934, the Annual Regatta of the Intercollegiate Rowing Association was held June 16, 1934. That year Columbia, Cornell, Pennsylvania, Syracuse and the United States Naval Academy as members as well California, Washington and Rutgers by invitation, were competing. This copy of the program includes the order of finish and each team’s times. Almost certainly all of these men would fight in World War II.
- Miscellaneous Ulster Manuscripts. Worthwhile, complex and obscure. One relates to the maintenance of roads, before roads became the property of and responsibility of the communities they passed through. It suggests in exchange for use of the road the user incurred responsibility to do some road maintenance.
- Prattsville. “A Greate concerte of Musick” Two of these words were spelled correctly.
- Middletown imprints
- F. C. Cook [Munsell]
- From MHalyo Moon
- Real Ectar Poughkeepsie [unclear]
- Bachyte obituary
- Kinderhook Ledger. This is a gem and is going to take some study. About it:
I’m a collector and like a mystery and this item is a ledger maintained by or for Anson Parsons. It’s a commercial ledger stipulated to be the “Petty Ledger” of Anson Parsons Aug 1st 1848. The first transactions however are actually recorded from 1 Jan’ry 1845 and are only identified at the close of this first section as pertaining to Savannah, Georgia. Of its own this is an interesting survival.
And then, the second section commences to relate what the volume’s title suggests is its principal focus, as transactions from August 1st, 1848 identified by location and are principally marked as Kinderhook in Columbia County [New York], along with random mentions of other places the majority of which are nearby. Other locations in Columbia County are; Chatham, Valatie, New Lebanon Springs and Stuyvesant. Others, beyond Columbia County are White Creek in Washington County, Schodack in Rensselaer County, and New Baltimore in Greene County. More distant and clear across the State of New York, Fredonia on the Lake Ontario coast seems a curiosity. Possibly a combination of railroads or canals may connect them. Houstonicville is mentioned but is no-where to be found. Altogether this is a precious volume.
Among the Kinderhook records are those of one Martin Van Buren, who a few years earlier was busy as President of the United States [March 4, 1837 – March 4, 1841]. He’s buried there. He, of the same name, his son, may have had the account in these records. In other cases though, where applicable, Jr. has been affixed, suggesting this was the habit. Hence, the account without Jr. was probably the old man’s himself.
For those suffering amnesia, trying to remember President Van Buren, it was Davie Crocket who left the bon mot now forever pinned upon him, “…All in all, he’s a riddle must puzzle the devil.” With this manuscript ledger we’ll simply call it another puzzle.
Looking further at what categories of things recorded in the these commercial accounts they are yard goods [ by this I mean cloth], and gloves, sundries, drugs, balms and ointments and vegetables as well as “bills of goods per auction.” The double accounting entries show invoices were regularly paid. The auction lots are not enumerated.
In the 1840’s Thomsonian Theory and Practice of Medicine was in the Hudson Valley both commonplace and controversial and I have compared the names in these accounts with the known practitioners of what in my perspective was “plant based” medicine. I have no conclusions yet.
All in all, this ledger is a splendid object to have in my collection. A full ledger was subsequently used to past random things.
- Place Book. It relates to Saugerties but it’s going to take time to understand.
The story is the underlying entries, not what is pasted on them. It looks to be a lot of work.
The whole shooting-match was $3,000.
Here is a link to him.
Peter Luke Americana
P.O. Box 282
New Baltimore, NY 12124-0282