You must understand that this was a very bold move on their part – in 1807, when the mappng work began, much of Manhattan was still uninhabited or sparsely inhabited, and was all hills and dales, especially in the northern reaches of Manhattan. It undoubtedly seemed like a touch of madness to most New Yorkers at that time to plat such wild terrain. As if anyone would ever live that far from Wall Street!
“No Hero in 1811, Street Grid’s Father Was Showered With Produce, Not Praise”
Remarks of the Commissioners for laying out the streets and roads of the City of New York, Under the Act of April 3, 1807