Riverhead, New York: June 1st 1885. Hardcover. The original manuscript title to a very large tract of land near Brookhaven Long Island acquired by John A. Bowman from the individual proprietors and conveyed here by Bowman in its entirety to the Long Island Improvement Company Ltd.
The Long Island Improvement Company was formed by Austin Corbin, then president of the L. I. Rail Road and others in 1881. Corbin sought the land in order to develop expensive summer residences on Long Island; Bowman was acting as Corbin's agent in the acquisition of this valuable property. Austin Corbin (1827 – 1896) was an American railroad executive, plantation owner, resort operator, banker and robber baron. In Iowa, as a bank president, he engaged in mortgage scams. Later, through theft and corruption he consolidated the individual rail lines into the profitable Long Island Rail Road. He was widely despised in his day: Puck (Sept 1882) printed a caricature in which Corbin appears at a Louis XIV styled party, where he carouses with Jay Gould and other robber barons.
The Abstract, a bound sml. folio volume, records that Bowman paid $5 per acre for most of the parcels in 1882, then conveyed (January of 1883) the incalculably valuable entire tract to the LI Improvement Co for $1. The Abstract volume concludes with the Suffolk County embossed seal and is signed by the Clerk at Riverhead, 1st June 1885. It includes the ownership history of each parcel, as well as a history of the town of Brookhaven from its founding.
The Abstract volume is accompanied by the original hand colored manuscript map on architectural vellum of the entire tract with silk ribbon binding, showing the 25 property owner names and parcel sizes. Surveys were conducted by Justus Roe. The map is titled, "Map of Property of the Long Island Improvement Company (Limited) at Medford LI". The scale is 300 feet to the inch. The northern boundary of the tract shows the Brewster Terry Property and Horse Block Road; the western edge defined by Tunnel and Progues Road and the Austin Roe and Daniel Gerard property; the southern boundary with Georgianna Rider property and Canaan and Medford Roads; the eastern boundary with the Robinson property and Lime Road. The Long Island RR can be seen running from east to west at approximately one third of the way through the tract at the north side. The map signed in ink at the lower right corner, E. H. H. Forder.
The Abstract bound in full gilt tan leather, 9 x 14 3/4", attorney's name stamped in gilt at lower corner, James Armstrong, Attny 115 B'Way, N. Y. Boards slightly rubbed; front board detached but present. Pages very bright and clean. The map 67 x 44", a few short splits at folds, but very bright and clean, in very good + condition.
A remarkable record of Long Island land speculation in the late 1880s. Very good condition. Item #25162