• Albany Assemblage Reflects African American Church, Abolitionist, Notable City Architect, Building Of Medical School

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    Offering an assemblage of five important documents as early as the 1820s reflecting the African American community, abolitionists, Albany’s notable architect, the building of Albany’s medical school and the needed growth of the Hudson River navigation system. This grouping involves city receipts for payments made for improvements.


    A receipt signed by abolitionist JOHN B. VAN STEENBERGH, February 8, 1827. Van Steenbergh printed an address delivered on the Celebration of the Abolition of Slavery (July 5, 1827). The address was given by Nathaniel Paul, Pastor of the First African Baptist Society of Albany.  The $10 receipt offered here is 6 x 8 from the City of Albany for printing 25 copies of amendments to state law. Beautiful docketing on the verso.


    A receipt that includes payment to the trustees of the African Church for excavating and laying the side walk on Hamilton Street, 6 ½ x 7 ¾, dated August 14th, 1832.  This was the church pastored by Nathaniel Paul. The story of the church began in 1812 when a group of eight free Blacks banded together to acquire a lot at what is now 90 and 92 Broad Street. They build the first school house for Blacks in Albany. By 1819, it had been converted into Albany’s first Black Church. In 1822, the organization under Paul’s leadership built a new wooden church or moved the original school house-church to a site on the north side of Hamilton Street. In 1827, slavery in New York was abolished. The celebration was held on July 5 at the church, preceded by a parade, led by a band and a speech delivered by Paul.



    A receipt to John Smith signed by the notable American architect PHILLIP HOOKER of Albany, known for Hyde Hall, the façade of the Hamilton College Chapel, The Albany Academy, Albany City Hall and the original New York State Capitol building.  Hooker also held the positions of alderman assessor, city architect and city superintendent. Hooker verifies the accuracy of this receipt, dated September 13th, 1826, to John Smith for casting Spring Street, 5 x 8, with beautiful docketing on the verso, where Hooker signs, noting, “the within casting has been done pursuant to the Laws of the Common Council.”


    A receipt for a $500 donation for the Lancaster School, (4 ½ x 7 7/8) where the medical college was first housed.  For almost 100 years, 1838 to 1928, the Medical College was housed in the old Lancaster School Building (designed by Philip Hooker), on the corner of Lancaster and Eagle Streets. In 1928, the College moved to New Scotland Ave, adjacent to Albany Hospital.

    Improvements to the navigation to the Hudson River, a highly important transportation route for commerce.  6 ¼ x 7 7/8 receipt from the Corporation of Albany to Conrad Moore “To procuring subscribers to a memorial to Congress for the Improvements of the Navigation in the Hudson River -- $6.00.”  Moore has signed on the verso for having received the money.


    During and after the Revolutionary War, Albany County saw a great increase in real estate transactions. In 1797, the Albany became the state capital.  Albany has been a center of transportation for much of its history. In 1830, it became necessary to improve the navigation in the Hudson River.


    Light toning, but overall excellent condition.


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