This English-born American bookseller and publisher was controversial during the American Revolution for his suspected Tory sympathies, especially since he published the "New York Gazetteer," even returning to England briefly early during the war; but it's believed he was actually a spy for the Americans, and smuggled messages to General Washington printed on thin paper bound into the covers of books. Item #32194
ADS, 2pp (separate leaves), 7 3/4" X 6" and 7 3/4" X 7½", New York, NY, 1789 September 10-11. Very good. Mild bit of age toning, slight bit of soiling. First leaf, in Rivington's hand, records a real estate transaction (verbatim, with line breaks included): "James Rivington & wife / to / Benj: Moore / deed & Release Sept: 10 & 11, 1789. / Recd. -- Lib:45. p529 -- & Lib:46. p221. -- / 16 ac. 2 roads & 32 paas.-- Between Green- / -wich Road & the River -- South of / Mary Clarke's land. --" The second leaf, in another and neater hand, notes: "Abstract of Title to two Lots of Ground, on the North-Easterly side of Twenty first Street, in the 12th Ward of the City of New York, distinguished on the plot beneath by the numbers 1 & 2." Below this is a well-drafted plat map showing land parcels between "9th Av." at left, "8th Ave." at right, "22d St" at top and "21. St." at bottom -- with the two lots in question here neatly marked "1" and "2" in the lower right area of this block. The purchaser here was Bishop BENJAMIN MOORE (1748-1816) the second bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of New York and president of Columbia College -- best remembered as the father of Clement C. Moore (1779-1863), the scholar who penned the immortal poem "A Visit from St. Nicholas" in 1823. Bishop Moore and his son owned a number of properties in this area, mostly in the Chelsea Historic District slightly north of the two lots he purchased from Rivington. A scarce document with interesting connections. Accompanied by a superb and itself scarce vintage steel-engraved portrait, heavy stock 7" X 10½", n.p., n.y. [mid-19th century]. Fine. A bold and handsome head-and-shoulders portrait of Rivington gazing intently at the viewer, looking rather like Washington himself, engraved by A.H. Ritchie.