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Wealthiest New Yorkers of the Jacksonian Era [ 153 ] Fortified by the conviction that my mining of the 1828 tax evidence had been hard labor but fruitful, and undeterred by Frank Gatell's sensible warning that research into the tax lists would require an enormous expenditure of time,121 proceeded to dig into the 1845 records. They are located in manuscript notebooks for the city's seventeen wards, which contain close to eighty thousand separate entries, un- indexed and often unintelligible or illegible. (Doggett's Directory was thus a necessary companion in the research.) The list of the wealthiest one thousand New Yorkers in 1845 that follows these remarks is the result of that investigation. It can make no claim to total accuracy. Its compiler's eyes are imperfect and his computations subject to human error. Rich men are clearly missing: Samuel Jaudon, August Belmont, Preserved Fish, among others—although the fault here is probably with the assessors. It can only be attested that the work was done carefully, as accurately as possible, patiently even doggedly, with every tax manuscript entry double-checked by the author to assure that its evidence was recorded. Probably the most interesting feature of the 1845 tax list evidence is the light it throws on Beach's publication. Professor Gatell, who recently made use of Beach's list, was quite aware of its weaknesses, observing that "the principle recommendation for [its] use ... is its availability!' Gatell noted a number of flaws, as well as the "striking 12Gattell, "Money and Party in Jacksonian America" 241. In view of the enormous number of hours I did in fact have to spend on the project, I better appreciate the remarks made by William H. Boyd in the preface to the tax list he published in 1857: "It was the intention of the publisher to have issued this work at an earlier date ... but unusual difficulties and expenses are involved in such a publication, and . . . few printers could have executed the work. . . . By far the most arduous part of the labor has been in collating and alphabetically classifying the names, and this labor has been gready augmented by the ignorance of some of the assessors of the ordinary modes of spelling names? Boyd's New York City Tax-Book . . . 1856 & '57, hi. Boyd, who had been a publisher of directories for almost a decade, produced a list of all citizens and corporations taxed. A check of the manuscript tax data indicates that Boyd's list is substantially accurate although it too misspelled, at times showed questionable judgment, and most importandy in about 12% of the items I checked it failed to record large sums of property owned by individuals. The sums it attributes to the nearly one thousand persons who are both on my 1845 Ms$ and Boyd's are lower than one would have expected in view of the general prosperity of the time. It may be that Boyd's researchers did not make a fetish of tracking down every tiny lot owned by every person. Since I was interested in checking on the accuracy of Beach's sums for 1845,1 did try to take note of all such stray and minuscule bits of property and work their value into my totals. A useful list for 1850, although not wthorough as Boyd's, is Darling, comp., List of Persons . . . Taxed . . . in the City of New York in 1850.