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Land under First Building Hit on 9/11 Sold - for $9,000 - - World Trade Center documents at auction
A researcher has recently discovered original antique documents for the land under the World Trade Center. They are part of a unique 200-piece World Trade Center collection, in the Nov. 13th auction of Cohasco, Inc., Yonkers, N.Y.
The archive’s 1797 deed - signed by George Washington’s first District Attorney for N.Y. - sells land within the future footprint of 5 WTC, site of the “Survivor’
This deed’s property, near Dey Street, was within a ball toss of the very first European settlement in Manhattan. When the Dutch ship “Tyger” burned in 1613, its stranded sailors unwittingly founded modern New York City. Ironically, demolition for the World Trade Center began on that same street, in 1966.
Other items in this World Trade Center collection reveal more interesting facts:
• The very first World Trade Center was announced in a simple ceremony at the New York World’s Fair - in 1939. Promising “world peace through world trade” in the “world of tomorrow,” the first World Trade Center was soon scuttled by the outbreak of World War II ...
• The first actual design for the World Trade Center was someplace else – on the Lower East Side, at the foot of Wall Street. Its tallest building would be “50 to 70 stories” ...
• The World Trade Center was highly controversial, and rentals limited to selected businesses. While early plans called for razing vast tracts of lower Manhattan, entire districts were still destroyed, after rallies and court battles were waged ...
• An early drawing shows a cargo ship actually docking inside the World Trade Center building. The architects probably had no idea that Robert Fulton’s steamboat once moored there ...
• An obscure 1970 British novel offered a plot thought preposterous for decades: an airliner sent to destroy New York City.
The World Trade Center archive also includes 147 different, dramatic newspapers following the 9/11 attack, including “extras” rush-printed that afternoon in Pennsylvania and Texas. Also present are rare promotional advertising items.
The collection, estimated at $24,000 to $32,000, shows the startling time-tapestry of the World Trade Center and its site, and captures the chain of New York’s historical evolution from quaint village to center of world trade.
Among the auction’s hundreds of other original historical documents and collectibles, in 30 fields:
• A letter about the 1876 Presidential election impasse, still undecided in Feb. 1877 ($160-200) ...
• 1869 Republican circular urging supporters to enlist “foreigners in your election district” ($100-125) ...
• Portion of the young Thomas Jefferson’s earliest surviving manuscript from the beginning of his life in elected office. Penned in his first year in Virginia’s House of Burgesses, the 26-year-old’
• Pictorial 1860 campaign envelopes for both the Southern and Northern Democratic Parties, which ran separate candidates ($300-400 and $275-375, respectively)
• Pre-Civil War 7-page manuscript on women in politics, “What Consummate Nonsense!” ($130-170) ...
• Typewritten letter of Eleanor Roosevelt, 1940, on the arrival of 3,000 young activists in Washington. “...They believe in some things with which we do not agree” ($350-475) ...
• A trio of newspapers on the “original”
• Important 1755 manuscript from the very voyage of the slave-trading ship Snow Venus on which the violent “slave drum” torture was documented ($4,250-5,000)
• Report of a team of Confederate spies in Elvis Presley’s hometown of Tupelo, Miss. ($550-750) ...
• Collection of 71 different leaves tracing the evolution of printing from 1465 to 1830. Beginning in the lifetime of Gutenberg, the twelve-language group showcases the development of the most important facet of modern civilization – the transmission of ideas through the printed word ($1,900-2,500)
• Pay order for a black soldier in George Washington’s favorite unit, the Connecticut Line. He was promised payment “in gold or silver” – seven years in the future! ($450-750) ...
• And many other items.
All items are fully described at http://cohascodpc.com. A free 160-page printed catalogue is available by mail, while supplies last.
About Cohasco, Inc.: Established 66 years, Cohasco is a dealer in and auctioneer of historical documents, manuscripts, books, antiquarian materials and collectibles. Over the years they have handled the sale of numerous prominent collections, in a range of fields, from colonial to Confederate, mediaeval to modern. Past highlights included the lamps that illuminated Lincoln’s wedding, an archive of the Duryea, America’s first “mass-produced”