Centuries of New York History Prepare for a MoveBreaking News
tags: New York Supreme Court records
On the upper floors of the grand courthouse, above the Corinthian columns chiseled from granite and the lobby with sweeping marble staircases peeking out from scaffolding, the rows of shelves, barely shoulder wide, form a maze that never seems to end.
Caked in dust on the shelves are leather-bound volumes and stacks of parchment that, in a way, sketch out the story of New York City. Some of the early records swear allegiance to King George III, and the names of historic figures like Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr pop up in documents from when they were working as lawyers in the city.
The rows, on the seventh and eighth floors of the Surrogate’s Courthouse in Manhattan, include the condemnation records of the properties taken to make way for Central Park and the city’s grid system of streets. In one room, shelf after shelf is filled with the immigration documents of Europeans who sought to become citizens of the United States.
The vast collection, once part of a bureaucracy aptly named the Division of Ancient Records, is visited occasionally by researchers, like historians and genealogists (both academic and amateur). It is mostly the province of the staff members who tend to the documents, many of which predate the Declaration of Independence.
comments powered by Disqus
- The New York Times journalist who secretly led the charge against liberal media bias
- A history lesson: Do tax cuts pay for themselves?
- Trump is being sued to stop him from shrinking Bears Ears national monument by 85 percent. Who will win?
- As colleges investigate slavery ties, George Washington University joins in
- Before the Bus, Rosa Parks Was a Sexual Assault Investigator
- The Penn TA who said she calls on black women first won’t be teaching next semester
- Black South African scholars urged to correct white historians’ distortion
- At Columbia, Three Women, 30 Years and a Pattern of Harassment
- Pakistani Historian Mobarak Haidar says Muslims “have no religious basis to rule Jerusalem”
- AHA Announces Last-Minute Sessions Timed to News Events