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HON. HENRY C. MURPHY,
Mr. Murphy was born in Brooklyn, Long Island, July 5, 1810, and died there December 1, 1882. His paternal grandfather, a physician, settled in the State of New Jersey. He was a member of the Colonial Council, the representative in the Assembly of the province, and a soldier of the American Revolution. The son of this patriot, Mr. Murphy's father, settled in Brooklyn, of which city he was a Judge of the Municipal Court. But his memory is most endeared to the citizens of Brooklyn by the fact of his liaving been one of the promoters of their first public school in 1816.
His eldest son, the late Henry C. Murphy, graduated from Columbia College with honors when he was twenty years old, and was admitted to the bar in 1833. The year following he was made Assistant Corporation Counsel of Brooklyn. A little later he became City Attorney, and still later Counsel to the Corporation of the newly evolved "city" of Brooklyn.
When thirty-two years old he was elected Mayor of the city of Brooklyn on the Democratic ticket. In 1843 he was chosen a Member of the Twenty-eighth Congress of the United States. He was, however, defeated for a second Congressional terin, and his labors temporarily ended in the House of Representatives on March 4, 1845. But he was re-elected in 1846 to Congress “ by the largest vote ever previously polled in his district."
In 1852 Mr. Murphy nearly became the Democratic candidate for the Presidency of the United States, when the Virginia delegation, at the Baltimore Convention, considered him and Franklin Pierce as the best men available for the highest office in the gift of the American people.
President Buchanan, as a reward for his zealous services to his party, and as a recognition of his abilities, appointed him United States Minister to Holland. He remained at the Hague until the coming into office of President Lincoln, who recalled him.
Mr. Murphy was elected in 1861, and five times successively afterward, to the New York State Senate. He was a State Senator for twelve consecutive years. It was under his auspices, as President of the East River Bridge Company, that the greatest triumph of modern engineering genius, the New York and Brooklyn Bridge, was begun and completed. He was
also the President of the Brooklyn, Flatbush and Coney Island Railroad, until his death.
Mr. Murphy's highest claim to recognition is not as a statesman, but as a littérateur and bibliophile. He was a journalist and author of repute. When in his twenty-second year, he was the principal editorial writer of the “ Brooklyn Advocate and Nassau Gazette.” For many years he was one of the leading contributors to the “ North American Review,” as well as the “ Democratic Review." He was the founder and proprietor of the “ Brooklyn Daily Eagle and Kings County Democrat,” in October, 1841. While United States Minister at the Hague, he wrote a series of some thirty-five letters to that newspaper, which were extensively copied. His contributions to the “ Historical Magazine” were continuous, and attracted much attention.
He was no seltish lover of literature for his own sake. It seemed to be his greatest desire to benefit others as well as himself. Thus, while a young man, he was the principal founder of the “ Young Men's Literary Association of Brooklyn," and when it changed its vame to the “ Hamilton Literary Association of Brooklyn,” he was elected its first President. In 1839 Mr. Murphy was a trustee, and one of the organizers of the “ Brooklyn City Libray,” and a year later was also a trustee of the “ Brooklyn Apprentices' Library,” upon its reorganization. In 1863 he was one of the initial founders of the “ Long Island Historical Society.”
Among his personal literary labors should be named his edition and translation of De Vries's “ Voyage from Holland to America, 1632-1644;" “ Broad Advice to the New Netherlands,” which he attributed to Cornelius Melyn; his - First Minister of the Dutch Reformed Church in the United States," dated at the Hague, April 1, 1858; his seventy-two page work, published 1859, entitled “ Henry Hudson in Holland;" his edition for the Long Island Historical Society of Dankers and Sluyter's “ Journal of a Voyage to New York and a Tour in Several of the American Colonies in 1679–80;" and his memoir of the bibliophile Herman Ernst Ludewig for the New England Memorial Biographies.
Mr. Murphy's two most important works were “The Anthology of the New Netherlands,” of which only 208 pages were printed for the Bradford Club, and his monograph entitled “The Voyage of Verrazano.”
The best life of Mr. Murphy yet written is from the pen of his friend, the well-known author, Dr. Henry R. Stiles. It consists of a paper read before the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society, and which takes some twenty-four pages of the January (1883) number of the valuable quarterly “ Record” of that Society.
It is well to state further and more particularly that in general geography, voyages and travels, which were Mr. Murphy's specialties, the library is unusually large, and comprises the collections of DeBry, Ramusio, Hakluyt, Purchas, Grynæus, Thèvenot, Commelin, Abelyn, and TernauxCompans.
Of the early editions of Ptolemy's “Cosmographia,” the collection is not surpassed in the United States. It comprises no less than twent-six editions of the famous geographer, printed between the years 1462 and 1600. Besides these are the works of other noted geographers, as Strabo, Pom
ponius Mela, Abulfeda. Edrisi, Apian, Ortelius, Mercator, Wytfliet and Munster. The more recent geographers are also fully represented.
New FRANCE and CANADA are conspicuous. Among works on this widely extended region are the JESUIT RELATIONS,” in forty-two volumes, probably the most complete set of these valuable books ever offered for sale either in Europe or America. In the same department will be found the writings of SAGARD, LESCARBOT,
CHAMPLAIN, LECLERCQ, CHARLEvoix, HENNEPIX, LAHONTAN, BRESSANI, ST. DENIS, WHITBOURNE, BIARD and MARGRY; also the Mercure Française, in 24 volumes.
New NETHERLAND, embracing portions of New York and New Jersey, is probably the most complete of any department. Mr. Murphy was learned in the Dutch language and literature, and no book or pamphlet that related directly or indirectly to the Dutch and Swedish settlements in North America is known that is not to be found in the collection.
Among the works relating to New York are the writings of VAN DER Donck, DE VRIES, the Hudson TRACTS by GERRITZ, editions of 1612 and 1613, and DENTox. On NEW JERSEY are the works of CAMPANIUS, ACRELIUS, THOMAS, THOMPSOX, Smith.
New England is represented in the works of the MATHERS, ELIOT, COTTON, MORTON, Higginson, LEDERER, BISHOPE, HUBBARD, MOURT, SHEPARD, CODDINGTOX, Roger WILLIAMS, Winslow, WOOD, WHITFIELD, and VAUGHAX.
PENNSYLVANIA, MARYLAND, VIRGINIA, the CAROLINAS, FLORIDA and LOUISIANA are also represented by the most desirable books.
Upon the Indian languages, the works are very numerous, and include Dictionaries, Vocabularies, Grammars, unpublished mannscripts, and both editions of Eliot's Indian Bible and New Testament.
Among the early Spanish and Dutch writers are the “ Letters of Cortes," the original edition of 1552, and the works of PETER MARTYR, Las Casas, Acosta, BENZONI, Cieca, GOMARA, HERRERA, Enciso, LINSCHOTEN, DELAET, OVIEDO, THEVET, SOTO), VEGA, ZARATE, VAN DER DONCK, DE VRIES, WASSENAER, 24 vols., 4to., and USSELINCX.
Of USSELINCX there are twelve different works, relating io New NethERLAND, New SWEDEN, and the operations of the DUTCH WEST INDIA COMPANY. So complete a collection of the works of this writer does not exist in any library in the United States. See numbers 2553 to 2563*.
Among the miscellaneous books are the Archæologia, or Miscellaneous Tracts, relating to Antiquity, published by the Antiquarian Society of London, forty-two vols., The British Poets, Riverside Edition, 135 vols., crown octavo, large paper; Botta and FLANDIN's Monumens de Ninève, printed at the National Printing Office, Paris, five vols., atlas folio; LAYARD'S Nineveh, two vols., atlas folio; Chinese Repository, complete, twenty vols., octavo; the Harleian Miscellany, edited by T. Park, ten vols., quarto; JACOB BEHMEN'S Works, 5 vols., 4to.; the Nuremberg Chronicle, fol., 1493 ; CHOISEUL-GOUFFIER'S Voyage Pittoresque de la Grece, 3 vols., fol., 1782-1822; and FABER’s Origin of Pagan Idolatry, 3 vols., 4to.
Early Laws of the Colonies of New YORK, NEW JERSEY, PENNSYLVANIA and CONNECTICUT.
LORD KIxGSBOROUGH's Antiquities of Mexico, 9 vols., folio. A COLORED COPY. Transactions and Collections of the Ilistorical Societies of NEW YORK, NEW JERSEY, PENNSYLVANIA, MASSACHUSETTS, and of the Literary and Historical Society of QUEBEC.
BIBLIOGRAPHY. The works of PINELO, ANTONIO, BRUXET, Rich, TERNAUX, ASIER, KENNETT, DE BURE, MULLER, HARRISSE, the Bibliotheca Grenvilliana, 4 vols., Bib. Spenceriana, 5 vols., Bib. Sussexiana, and the Catalogue of the Carter-Brown Library in Providence, in 4 rols., imp. 8vo.
LEXICOGRAPHY AND PHILOLOGY. The Collections of Dictionaries in various European languages is large. Among these are the late publications on the old Basque languages of the Pyrennes, now attracting great attention.
Last, but not least of the rarities in the collection, are copies of the "Columbus Letter," Rome, 1493; “Cosmographiæ Introductio St. Dié, 1507; “Pæsi Novamente,” Milan, 1508; D'AILLY'S “Imago Mundi,” Paris, 1490; the VERARDUS-COLUMBUS, printed at Basle in 1494: VARTHEMA's Itinerario, Venice, 1526, containing GRIJALVA'S Account of Yucatan, in 1518; CAMERS-SOLINUS, of 1522, with the very rare map, the earliest engraved map that bears the name of America; STOBNICZA's Commentry on Ptolemy's CosmoGRAPHIA Cracow, 1512, excessively rare, containing a map of America before it had received its name; and SIR HUMPHREY GILBERT'S “Discovery for a New Passage to Cathay," London, 1576; the Itinerarium Portugallensium, Milan, 1508; JOHNSON's Wonder-Working Providence London, 1654; Fox's North West Fox, London, 1635; BESTE's True Discourse of the voyages and discoverie of a Passage to Cathaye, by FroBISHER, London, 1578; CABECA DE Vaca's Relaciony Comentarios, Valladolid, 1555, 4to.; FRAMPTON'S Joyful Newes out of the New-Found World, London, 1580; GORGES' America Painted to the Life, London, 1658 ; GARDYNER'S Description of the New World, London, 1651; JONSSINE'S Gronlandia, printed at Skalholte, Iceland, 1688; LAUDONNIERE'S Histoire Notable de la Floride, Paris, 1586; the American Remembrancer, 1764-1784, 16 vols.; JEFFERSON's Notes on Virginia, the original privately printed edition, printed in Paris in 1782, for presents only; HORSMAN- . DEN'S Journal of Proceedings in relation to the Negro Conspiracy for burning the city of New York; New York, 1744; TEXIER AND PULLAN'S Byzantide Architecture, folio; STRABO's Geography, Venice, 1472, folio; RoMANS' Florida, the editions of 1775 aud 1776.
The last of the gems in the collection to which attention should be called are the original autograph letters of the “Signers of the Declaration of Independence," all remarkably fine specimens.
Such is the Library which Mr. Murphy, one of the most ardent bibliophiles of this country and century, collected.
14 1 ABBOT, Abiel. History of Andover, from its settlement to 1829.
8vo. half cloth, Andover, 1829 140 2 ABBOTT, G. A Briefe Description of the Whole World, wherein
is particularly described all the Monarchies, Empires and Kingdomes of the same, with their Acdaemies.
18mo. calf, gilt edges, London, B. Alsop, 1642 1400 3 ABELIN:GOTTFRIED. Historia Antipodum oder Newe Welt,
Das ist : Natur vnd Eigenschaft desz halbentheils der Erden,
inside gilt tooling. Francof. ad Mænum, 1631 An abridgment of the first twelve Parts of the Grand Voyages of De Buy, A second edition was printed in 1655, which contains maps from De Buy not in the present edition. These, with others, are laid in loose in this copy. They are Occidentalis America, 1504; Hispaniae Novae, 1595; Nova Guiana; Chorographin nobilis, and opulenta Peruane Prorincive, 1524; Das Norder Areil des
Landes Brasilien ; America noviter delineata, n. d. 4 ABNAKI. Alnambay uli Awikhijan, kisitunessa Eugin Vetro
mile, S. J. ulihalakona Penaubsket, Sybayk, Ulastook, Micmac teba minaktakik etalaunsisik Wanbanakki Alnambak.
12 mo. red mor. Manhàttan Udenek, 1857 Indian Good Book made by Eugene Vetromile S. J. for the benefit of the Penobscot, Passamaquoddy, St. John's, Micmac, and other tribes of the Abnaki
Indians. New York, 1857. 5 Account of the Society for Propagating the Gospel in Foreign
Parts, established by the Royal Charter of King William III. (2 copies.)
4to. half mor. London, 1706