Sawing the Island Off: Comments
(most recent posts first)

Joel Rose has recently written a good book about this hoax. It's titled New York Sawed in Half. It came out in 2001. He argues that De Voe's book (or rather, the small part of it that relates the story of Manhattan being sawed in half) is itself a hoax, and that this famous con probably never happened.
Posted By: Alex Boese
January 5, 2002
I appreciate the info on the book, and will try to find it. At and other new book sellers it is fairly expensive, a rare book I guess. But I should be able to get it through a library I hope. Thanks again.
Posted By: Chris
March 10, 2000
If you're still interested, I did come across a referenced source for the hoax about sawing off Manhattan Island. It is:
Thomas Farrington De Voe. The market book, containing a historical account of the public markets in the cities of New York, Boston, Philadelphia and Brooklyn, with a brief description of every article of human food sold therein, the introduction of cattle in America, and notices of many remarkable specimens. 1862. Reprint. New York: Augustus M. Kelley, 1970: 462-64.
Posted By: Alex Boese
March 5, 2000
I'm afraid to say that I don't have any more information about Lozier's Manhattan Island hoax than the few sentences I included in the timeline of hoaxes on my webpage. I think I first came across the story in Gordon Stein's Encyclopedia of Hoaxes. But my primary source of information was another webpage written by R.J. Brown: If you've been researching the story you've probably already run across this page.
I spent a little bit of time looking for other references to it, but never found anything else of substance. I suppose if you really wanted more details about the story you'd have to go back to primary sources, such as New York City newspapers. However, getting access to New York City newspapers from the 1820s can be a lot of work, especially if you don't live in New York.
I'd be interested in knowing if you manage to find out anything more about it.
Posted By: Alex Boese
January 5, 2000
I am interested in the hoax you summarized regarding the planned sawing of Manhattan Island.
It is an interesting story, but I have not found any detailed sources, and would like to know which you used. There are some accounts differing in minor points, so to know and be able to refer to another would be much appreciated. Thank you very much.

Posted By: Chris
December 31, 1999