“Washington Was Here, but Rarely Slept: The Context for Washington’s Military Actions in Lower New York - A Collector’s View” will be the focus of a lecture by Richard Maass, former Westchester County Historian and a long-time collector of historical documents relating to American history, on Thursday, September 25, 6:15 p.m. at New York University’s Fales Library, 3rd floor of the NYU Bobst Library, 70 Washington Square South. This event, which is free and open to the public, will open a special exhibition of American Colonial and Revolutionary War documents, all of which were given to NYU by Mr. Maass last year. The exhibition, culled from this collection, runs through November 7. For further information on both the lecture and the exhibition, the public may call (212) 998-2596.

Last fall NYU acquired from Mr. Maass, a 1949 alumnus of NYU and an investment banker who has spent 50 years collecting historical documents, rare books, letters and broadsides, a major collection of over 250 historical documents from the American Colonial and Revolutionary War periods, as well as some papers of early governors of New York State and mayors of New York City. The collection is valued at over $700,000.

Featured in the exhibition will be:

  • Ten letters written by Washington, one of which outlines his plans for the battle of New York City;
  • A land treaty from 1680 for the first purchase of Connecticut land from the Native Americans;
  • Letters from American military leaders detailing the Westchester and New York battles of the Revolutionary War on a near daily basis;
  • A letter from John Quincy Adams (1839) articulating his position on the freedom of the slaves (he was against it);
  • A 1787 document signed by John Hancock approving monies to be paid out to representatives from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to the House of Representatives;
  • A confirmation of title of property to William Beekman, June, 1667, by the English Governor of Manhattan; map of property in lower Manhattan below Wall Street, plus many other documents of historical significance.

The Fales Library holds a collection of over 160,000 volumes of British and American literature from 1700 to the present and is open to researchers and scholars.

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