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ADMINISTRATIVE INFORMATION    

Title
Merrick and Jamaica Plank Road Collection

Collection Number
SC 282

OCLC Number
122687673

Creator 
Various

Provenance 
Donated by Cornell Jaray in 1981.

Extent, Scope, and Content Note
The Merrick and Jamaica Plank Road was a toll road that extended from Jamaica (Queens County), New York easterly for about 13 miles to Merrick (formerly Queens County, now Nassau County), which forms part of present-day Route 27A.  This collection of 1.35 cubic ft. of records (approximately 1,000 items) was created by the Merrick and Jamaica Plank Road Company which existed from 1852 to circa 1888. The largest series of papers are bills and receipts for tolls, construction, labor, and maintenance. The collection also includes stock documents, financial and real estate transactions, land purchases, maps, and correspondence.

Arrangement and Processing Note
Finding aid updated and revised by Kristen J. Nyitray in April 2020.

Series 1:  Financial Records, c1852-1888. Includes agreements, bills, drafts, financial statements, land purchases, letters, maps, notices, orders, petitions, proposals, receipts, stock dividend payment schedules, and stockholder proceedings. 

Series 2:  Toll Gate Receipts, c1854-1881. 

Separation note: Oversized format business records dating from 1852-1875 originally contained within Series 1 and 2 have been removed and placed in Box 3, folder 30. The contents of folder 30 include bills, receipts, specifications, stock purchases, and a work log. For a detailed list, please see Box 3, folder 30.

Language
English 

Restrictions on Access
The collection is open to researchers without restriction.

Rights and Permissions 
Stony Brook University Libraries' consent to access as the physical owner of the collection does not address copyright issues that may affect publication rights. It is the sole responsibility of the user of Special Collections and University Archives materials to investigate the copyright status of any given work and to seek and obtain permission where needed prior to publication.  

Citation 
[Item], [Box], Merrick and Jamaica Plank Road Collection, Special Collections and University Archives, Stony Brook University Libraries.

Historical Note
The Merrick and Jamaica Plank Road Company operated under a board of directors which consisted of a director, a finance committee, and a treasurer. 

Directors
1852-1867 John Alsop King 
1867-1888? Abraham B. Hendrickson 

Finance Committee
1852-1853 Samuel H. DeMott, Elisha B. Baldwin, Abraham B. Hendrickson 
1853-1857 Abraham B. Hendrickson, Thomas Seaman 
1857-1888?, Julius Auerbeck, Elisha B. Baldwin, Henry Pearsall 

Treasurers
1852-1854 James Rider 
1854-1862 Elisha B. Baldwin 
1862-1888? John W. DeMott ( see also the John W. DeMott Collection)

Most of these individuals were the prominent members of their community. John Alsop King, the founding Director, was Governor of New York State from 1857-1859. James Rider was a state senator from 1856-1857, and John W. DeMott was one of the more active lawyers of the area.

Many of the stockholders, salaried gatekeepers (toll collectors), and repairmen were property owners along the road. The initial construction, maintenance, and subsequent rebuilding of this road was often executed by these same individuals. Although this corporation was organized during the height of plank road construction in New York State, it operated until 1888, after most other plank road companies went out of business. In 1857 there were 352 plank road companies chartered in New York State, while eleven years later in 1868 there were only seventeen companies in the state.

The effect of the plank road helped to develop both city and farm life. Since travel time was almost cut in half, road surfaces were passable in any weather condition, and farmers became quite independent. The cities consequently provided depots for farmers, as cheaper commercial transportation afforded produce to be sold outside of the immediate geographic area.

References
Beers, Frederick W. Atlas of Long Island, New York, From Recent and Actual Surveys and Records. N.Y. Beers, 1873. 
Durrenberger, Joseph Austin. Turnpikes. Cos Cob, Conn.: J.E. Edwards, Publisher, 1968. 
Geddes, George. Observations Upon Plank Roads. Syracuse, N.Y., 1850. 
Owen, Robert D. A Brief Practical Treatise on the Construction and Maintenance of Plank Roads. N. Albany, Ind.: Kent and Norman, 1850. 

Related Collection
Jamaica and Merrick Plank Road Company.  Queens Public Library (Archives at Queens Library).
The collection is a small one consisting of about 80 documents. About 15 of these documents are lists of tolls collected by toll gate keepers, W.H. Jones and Daniel Wanser. These sheets list the amounts collected on each day of the month. With the exception of two lists which are dated 1867, the others are all for 1866.

Subjects
Jamaica and Merrick Plank Road Company -- Sources.
Toll roads -- New York (State) -- New York -- History -- Sources.
Plank roads -- New York (State) -- New York -- History -- Sources.
Roads -- New York (State) -- Nassau County.
Roads -- New York (State) -- Queens County.
Transportation -- New York (State) -- Nassau County.
Transportation -- New York (State) -- Queens County.
Roads.
Transportation.
New York (State) -- Nassau County.
New York (State) -- Queens County.

INVENTORY

Series 1: Financial Records

Box 1 
f.1 undated - Agreements 
f.2 undated - Bills and Receipts 
f.3 undated - Financial Statements 
f.4 undated - Land Purchases 
f.5 undated - Letters 
f.6 undated - Maps 
f.7 undated  - Notice - To: Ellis, John 
f.8 undated - Petition - Town of Hempstead, tax waiver 
f.9 undated - Proposals - Construction (also see Box 3 folder 30) 
f.10 undated - Stock Dividend Payment Schedule 
f.11 1852 - Agreement - Land Purchase w/Ellis, John 
f.12 1852 - Agreement - Town of Hempstead, 30-year lease 
f.13 1852 - Agreement - Town of Jamaica, 30-year lease 
f.14 1852 - Bills and Receipts (also see Box 3 folder 30) 
f.15 1852 - Drafts - Miscellaneous 
f.16 1852 - Proposals - Construction 
f.17 1852 - Stock Certificates 
f.18 1853 - Bills and Receipts 
f.19 1853 - Orders - Tickets 
f.20 1853 - Receipts - Toll House Constructions 
f.21 1853 - Stock Transfer 
f.22 1854 - Bills and Receipts 
f.23 1854 - Notice - Resignation of Rider, James, Treasurer 
f.24 1855 - Bills and Receipts 
f.25 1855 - Letters 
f.26 1856 - Bills and Receipts 
f.27 1856 - Loans 
f.28 1857 - Bills and Receipts 
f.29 1858 - Bills and Receipts 
f.30 1858 - Letters 
f.31 1858 - Loans 
f.32 1859 - Bills and Receipts 
f.33 1859 - Letters 
f.34 1859 - Proceedings - Stockholders 
f.35 1860 - Bills and Receipts 
f.36 1861 - Bills and Receipts 
f.37 1862 - Bills and Receipts 

Box 2
f.1 1863 - Bills and Receipts (also see Box 3 folder 30) 
f.2 1864 - Bills and Receipts
f.3 1864 - Receipts - Internal Revenue Service
f.4 1865 - Bills and Receipts (also see Box 3 folder 30) 
f.5 1865 - Letters - County of Queens: Isaac Wright, Inspector of Turnpikes and Plank Roads
f.6 1865 - Receipts - Internal Revenue Service
f.7 1866 - Bills and Receipts
f.8 1867 - Bills and Receipts
f.9 1868 - Bills and Receipts (also see Box 3 folder 30) 
f.10 1869 - Bills and Receipts (also see Box 3 folder 30) 
f.11 1869 - Letters - Sage, C.S.
f.12 1870 - Bills and Receipts (also see Box 3 folder 30) 
f.13 1871 - Bills and Receipts ( (also see Box 3 folder 30) 
f.14 1872 - Bills and Receipts (also see Box 3 folder 30) 
f.15 1872 - Letters - Sage; C.S.
f.16 1873 - Bills and Receipts
f.17 1874 - Bills and Receipts
f.18 1875 - Bills and Receipts (also see Box 3 folder 30) 
f.19 1875 - Petition - to Benjamin W. Downing, District Attorney, County of Queens
f.20 1876 - Bills and Receipts
f.21 1877 - Bills and Receipts
f.22 1878 - Bills and Receipts
f.23 1878 - Letters - Complaint, Smith, B.F.
f.24 1879 - Bills and Receipts
f.25 1879 - Letters - County of Queens: Edward F. Titus, Inspector of Turnpikes and Plank Roads
f.26 1880 - Bills and Receipts
f.27 1881 - Bills and Receipts
f.28 1882 - Bills and Receipts
f.29 1882 - Letters - County of Queens: Edward F. Titus, Inspector of Turnpikes and Plank Roads
f.30 1886 - Bills and Receipts
f.31 1887 - Bills and Receipts
f.32 1888 - Bills and Receipts

Series 2: Toll Gate Receipts

Box 3

f.1 1854 - December
f.2 1855 - January - October, December
f.3 1856 - January - December
f.4 1857 - January - December
f.5 1858 - January, March - December
f.6 1859 - January - December
f.7 1860 - January - December
f.8 1861 - January - September, November - December
f.9 1862 - January - December
f.10 1863 - January - December
f.11 1864 - January - December (also some labor receipts)
f.12 1865 - January - December
f.13 1866 - January
f.14 1867 - February - December
f.15 1868 - January - December
f.16 1869 - January - December
f.17 1870 - January - December
f.18 1871 - January - December
f.19 1872 - January - December
f.20 1873 - January - December; also January 1874
f.21 1874 - February - December; see f.20 for January 1874
f.22 1875 - January - December
f.23 1876 - March
f.24 1877 - January - December
f.25 1878 - January - December
f.26 1879 - January - December
f.27 1880 - January - December
f.28 1881 - January - December; also January 1882
f.29 n.d. - February, May, June, and personnel
f.30 Oversized folder
- n.d. Specification and Work Log
- 1852 Receipts - Printing; Benjamin H. Willis
- 1852 Stock Purchase - John G. Brown
- 1863 Stock Dividend Payment
- 1865 Bill - Construction: W.H. Jones, July - October
- 1868 Bill - Construction: William E. Smart, March - April
- 1868 Bill - Construction: William E. Smart, July
- 1869 Bill - Construction: Henry Conklin, August - September
- 1869 Bill - Construction: Henry Conklin, September - October
- 1870 Bill - Construction: William E. Smith, November 1869 - December 1869, January 1870 - July 1870
- 1871 Bill - Construction: Henry Conklin, December 1870, January - May
- 1872 Bill - Construction: Henry Conklin, May - September
- 1875 Bill - Construction: Henry Conklin, September - October