Condit, W.J./ Milbourne, C. "The Government House"

Condit, W.J./ Milbourne, C. "The Government House"

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W.J. Condit/ C. Milbourne. "The Government House". 

New York: H.R. Robinson, 1847. Second stone. Chromolithograph. Printed in color by Wm. Ells. 14 3/4 x 21 1/4. Old mat burn in margins not affecting image. Otherwise, very good condition. Bright. Ref: Stokes, The Iconography of Manhattan Island, plate 66.

An interesting historical view of the "Government House" as it looked in 1797, issued in the mid-nineteenth century. The image (and the original watercolor) has the signature of C. Milbourne, "Delin Et Excu'd," that is drawn and executed by C. Milbourne. However, the credit for the image says it is "From the original drawing by W.J. Condit." This seems to indicate either that Milbourne painted the image after a drawing by Condit, or Condit drew the lithograph after Milbourne's watercolor.

The Government House was built in 1790, designed to be George Washington's house when New York was the Capital. However, the Capital was moved to Philadelphia in 1790, so the house became the New York Governor's house, and was occupied by both George Clinton and John Jay. In 1799, the building became the Custom House, lasting until 1815 when it was torn down. The building stood on Broadway facing Bowling Green, the latter of which can be seen at left. The original watercolor was drawn on the spot, so despite being issued a half century later, this print gives us an excellent image of New York City at the end of the eighteenth century.