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[ 154 ] EDWARD PESSEN omissions" from it of wealthy men, three of whom he named.13 The evidence of the 1845 tax records indicates that more than half of the persons on Beach's list do not belong on a true list of the city's wealthiest persons for that year. Where, according to Beach, roughly one thousand persons in the city were worth $100,000 or more, the tax evidence indicates that fewer than three hundred persons were assessed for such wealth. The figure separating the wealthiest thousand from those below was actually about $45,000. The most striking disclosure is that many hundreds of persons assessed at close to or more than $100,000, and therefore obviously worth that sum, do not appear in Beach's tabulation. Clearly Moses Beach's list has lost its "indispensability!'14 The flaws inherent in tax data, in general, are no doubt present as well for 1845. Yet one cannot but be impressed by the marked similarity between Philip Hone's subjective evaluation of what he was worth and the assessment made of his property. In Hone's diary entry for January 4,1845, that eminent personage speculated philosophically about the wealth he once had, in better days. "If I [now] had half [of $500,000]" he wrote, "it would place me in the same [more fortunate] situation in which I was a few years since!'15 In other words, in 1845 he was worth substantially less than $250,000. The tax data for 1845 show an assessed valuation of $158,800 for Mr. Hone's real and personal estate. While there is good reason to believe that wealthy men were worth more than the tax figures indicate, there is equally good reason to believe that the tax evidence is an excellent clue to the relative wealth owed by individuals in New York City. It is thus first-rate evidence for answering the question that opened this essay. 18 Gattell, "Money and Party in Jacksonian America" 241. 14 Since the tax figures tended to underestimate wealth, it may well be that many persons on the Beach list were worth more than the assessments indicate. But probably so was everyone else. Continued acceptance of the Beach list would seem to require belief in a tax assessors' conspiracy to hide the true wealth of one portion of the list's members. The latter would have been delighted at such incredible treatment, for catering both to their pride, in not erasing them from Beach's honorific compilation, and their pocket- book, by taxing them less. The questions raised by the 1845 evidence have led me to examine more closely all of the extant Beach editions and to check those of the mid- 1850s against the later tax data. My findings will be presented in a forthcoming article. 16 Diary of Philip Hone, vol. 22, 356, The New-York Historical Society.