NEW YORK FUR TRADEASTOR FAMILY.
Manuscript account book, 64 pp mostly recto and verso, small 4to, [New York City], 1787-1791, bound in original wallpaper wrappers, some soiling and stains, occasional foxing. The lower wrapper bears a period folk-art drawing of a trademan standing with a long pipe.
Account books of the tanning company of Arcularius and Merrell, including records of transactions with HENRY ASTOR [1754-1833] a few of which are SIGNED by Henry Astor. The variety of animal hides is notable, including dog, seal, goats, hog, calf, horse, and "porpus" (porpoise?). The only supplier of hides specified in the manuscript is Henry Astor, the elder brother of John Jacob Astor. Henry Astor attained notoriety for dealing in stolen livestock procured in Westchester County and sold at cut-rate prices. Arcularius made enough money from his dealings with him to become quite wealthy and politically prominent. He was elected to the State's General Assembly five times, but public scandal forced his removal from politics in 1805.
Manuscript material relating to any aspect of the Astor clan in the 18th century is scarce.