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Sale 38 Lot 809

JOHN LANSING, JR. (1754 - 1829) American politician. Member of the Continental Congress and Constitutional Convention, Secretary to General Schuyler (1775-1776), Mayor of Albany (1786), Chief Justice of the New York Supreme Court (1790-1798. Important manuscript D.S. 2pp., folio, Dec. 30, 1803, with a half page endorsement by Lansing as President of the Albany & Schenectady Turnpike. Principally written and signed by Revolutionary War Officer ELISHA PUTNAM (1752-1831) as superintendant of the project, an estimate for the probable expenses in building the first mile of the roadway, totaling $600.00. Much detail about the proposed route, specs, dimensions and projected obstacles such as a clay hill between the second and third miles for which Putnam recommends removal and the use of its debris to "pave the road". Lansing pens an authorization of payment to be sent to Barent Bleeker, President of the Bank of Albany and treasurer of the turnpike project, adding a receipt for $200 which is signed for by a LYMAN STAFFORD. Folds, one small puncture but no paper loss, some light waterstains detract very little, otherwise very good. Following the opening of the turnpike and before the completion of the Erie Canal in 1824, this was the key westbound road because of the Western Inland Lock & Navigation system, created by General Philip Schuyler. Completed in 1795, Schuyler's system began at Schenectady and connected the Hudson to the Mohawk. Quite possibly the first paved highway in the Western Hemisphere and the longest straight-lined road, in 1811 it was getting so much freight wagon traffic going West, that four rows of flat stones were laid for the wagon wheels making a two-lane highway track along the entire 15-mile length of the turnpike. Lansing would ultimately be murdered in an act of revenge for his role in the Hamilton - Burr debacle!
Estimate $ 250-350

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