Schenck family papers, 1720-1837
Correspondence, deeds, wills, accounts, military orders, receipts, estate papers, etc., 1720-1837, of various members of the Schenck family of Flatlands, Kings County, New York. Papers include 40 deeds to property in Flatlands; letters and papers pertaining to the activities of Capt. Nicholas Schenck (1732-1810), a loyalist officer, during the Revolutionary War; Nicholas Schenck's account of a boat trip to Albany and back, in company with John Remsen, in October, 1783; and letters, will, and papers relating to Stephen Janse Schenck (1685-1767) and to the settlement of his estate. Individual items include lists of British Army officers and soldiers in Flatlands during the Revolutionary War, returns of military equipment, provisions, and supplies provided to the British troops in Flatlands; correspondence and military orders addressed to Capt. Nicholas Schenck by Col. William Axtell, Maj. Jeremiah Vanderbilt, and George D. Ludlow; slave indentures, 1811 and 1819, recording the conditional sale of slaves into indentured servitude; probate copy of the will of Nicholas Schenck, 1808; local records relating to roads and military notices in Flatlands; documents pertaining to the estate of David Cooper a "free indian" of New Utrecht, Kings County, New York; and other assorted land, legal, and Schenck family papers. Historical Note: Of Flatlands, Kings County, New York.
Samuel Gilford Papers, 1754-1842
Sea captain and shipping merchant Samuel Gilford of New York City, including business correspondence, bills of lading, bills and invoices, receipts, shipping manifests, lists of ship's passengers, records of debts owed, records of seamen's wages, freight lists, marine insurance policies, accounts, promissory notes, bills of exchange, bills of sale for vessels and a slave, etc,; along with assorted personal accounts, commercial correspondence, clippings, and business papers relating to merchant Samuel Gilford, Jr. and various other relations and descendents of the Gilford family. Correspondence includes letters from merchants in the United States, Great Britain, the West Indies, and elsewhere concerning shipment, purchase, and sale of various trade goods, including rum, spirits, and sugar, as well as market and trade conditions. Later materials include business letters and papers of Gilford's son, Samuel Gilford, Jr., along with similar materials pertaining to the younger Gilford's father-in-law, New York merchant and importer Thomas Buchanan, George Buchanan, and the merchant firm of Thomas Buchanan & Sons. Also included are clippings, cards, programs, postcards, and a few photographs, ca. 1890-1951, evidently pertaining to the Riker family of New York City.
Architecture & Real Estate
—There is information on this site about certificates of occupancy, inspections, permits and violations.
—This department's website includes an online city register through which deed and mortgage records can be searched, tax maps and records of tax payments, and recommended ways to estimate property value.
—Every building in the five boroughs was photographed between 1939 and 1941 as part of a real property appraisal project. Prints of these black & white photographs can be ordered online.
—The Landmarks Preservation Commission oversees the designation of landmarks and historic districts and all changes or repairs to those buildings and districts. The Commission's website includes historic district maps, PDF files of district and individual reports that can be downloaded and a glossary of architectural terms.
—The National Register of Historic Places is the Nation's official list of cultural resources deemed worthy of preservation. Properties listed in the Register in American history, architecture, archeology, engineering and culture. The almost 2500 properties in the register can be searched online.
The Klingenstein Library houses notable collections documenting military and naval history. It incorporates the libraries of the Naval History Society, the Military Order of the Loyal Legion-New York Commandery, and the Seventh Regiment (New York National Guard). The Library also holds the Lathrop C. Harper Spanish-American War Collection and the Eugene H. Pool Collection of Captain James Lawrence.
Please note that this guide is meant to aid the researcher in using only the Library's published collections; visitors seeking to work with original manuscripts or visual materials should be certain to inquire of the Manuscripts Department and the Department of Prints, Photographs, and Architectural Drawings, respectively.
Searching the General Collections
The BobCat online catalog and the main card catalog provide the principal access to the general library collections. Although the Library has acquired several distinct military collections over the years, it has made an effort to unify them through the same cataloging system. Thus, for ease of access to the most up-to-date holdings, one should always consult the main catalogs before seeking assistance in using any special catalogs.
Researchers gain access to published materials in the library catalogs by using the Library of Congress subject headings. When searching by subject for most pre-20th-century military conflicts, the best approach is as an event in American history: United States-History-French and Indian War, 1755–1763 Personal narratives, United States-History-Civil War-Regimental Histories-New York Infantry-11th.
Twentieth-century wars, by contrast, are best accessed directly by the name of the conflict: World War, 1939–1945-Regimental Histories-U.S.-3D Armored Division.
Specific battles and campaigns of any century should be searched directly:
Saratoga Campaign, 1777. Petersburg (Va.)-Siege, 1864–1865.
Finding Published Regimental Histories
When seeking information on a military unit during a specific conflict, it is best to search for it under the name of the war following the guidelines given above. These published histories will then be grouped together under the subheading, "Regimental Histories." Although one can also look directly under the name of the unit, it requires the searcher to be very precise with names that can vary, for example: New York Infantry. 10th Regiment. New York (State) National Guard. Eighth Regiment. U.S. Army. 3D Armored Division.
Civil War Regiments
When seeking information on a Civil War regiment, it is advisable to consult first: Dornbusch, C. E. Regimental Publications & Personal Narratives of the Civil War: A Checklist. 4 vols. (New York: New York Public Library, 1961–1987) [Vols. 1 and 4 in Reading Room Reference]. This bibliography provides, at a glance, all the available published literature on any given regiment and notes the libraries where it can be found.
Dornbusch will also clarify the important distinction between different regiments that bear the same number, such as the:
New York 10th Volunteer Infantry , New York 10th Infantry (National Guard)
Many of these regimental histories are now available in microform at the New York Public Library as:
Civil War Unit Histories: Regimental Histories and Personal Narratives. (Bethesda, Md.: University Publications of America, 1990–1993). Microfiche.
New York Regiments
Dornbusch (cited above) also serves as a useful index to the principal reference work on the New York regiments in the Civil War: Phisterer, Frederick. New York in the War of the Rebellion, 1861 to 1865. 3rd ed. 6 vols. (Albany: J. B. Lyon Co., 1912). [Reading Room Reference].
Phisterer provides the best capsule history of each regiment: how and where it was raised, a list of its engagements, and the service record of its commissioned officers. The work also includes a guide to the regiments by county. The index volume provides indexing by name of officers, battles, and, most useful, the "Synonyms," or nicknames, such as "Garibaldi Guard" or "New York Rifles," by the which the numbered regiments were commonly known.
Finding Information on Military Personnel
One can often find service records of military personnel in the National Archives, but several printed sources here in The New-York Historical Society Library provide ready access to much of this information.
New York History
— See "History" section for historical background, references and information about the site and interpretive center.
— Look under "History" for an historical overview of the park, descriptions of statues, and list of movies filmed in the park.
—Where was Five Points and who lived there? These and other questions answered on this website. Includes photographs of unearthed artifacts.
—Information about visiting the museum, as well as essays on topics such as sweat shops yesterday and today and current immigration issues.
— Go to "History," for information about the history, geology and architecture of Prospect Park. Under "Park Archives" you will find over 2,000 digital images of Prospect Park.
— Link to the Education Department at N-YHS to find out more about the history of Seneca Village and the ongoing excavation there.
—Find out more about the citizens, churches and homes of Weeksville, a nineteenth century community of African-Americans in Brooklyn.
— This comprehensive website on the topic includes testimonials, photographs, audio streams, lists of victims and witnesses and a bibliography.
Subject file [graphic]
ca. 30,000 items (prints and photographs).
Call no.: PR-068
For more information:
The many images of slavery include an albumen print showing the interior of a slave pen in Alexandria, Virginia, and a French engraving of a slave sale in America. A number of prints cut from newspapers in 1858-9 detail the story of 200 captured slaves who were taken to Liberia on the steam-frigate Niagara. Also included here are group photographs of African American Civil War soldiers and a set of albumen photographs from 1863-1864 of paintings by T. Waterman Wood of African American soldiers titled "The Contraband," "The Recruit," and "The Veteran."
Following are just a few examples of the broadsides in the library’s collection representing both pro-slavery and anti-slavery positions, listed in chronological order. Notices of slave sales and rewards for runaway slaves are included in the broadside collection. Search the library’s online catalog () to identify additional sources.
Van Hoesen, Haviland, and Van Valkenburgh family papers, 1759-1889
Deeds, leases, releases, bonds, receipts, wills, mortgages, indentures, printed invitations, letters, etc., 1759-1889, pertaining to various members of the Van Hoesen, Haviland, and Van Valkenburgh families of Greene, Cortland, and Albany Counties in New York State. Individual documents include a 1770 bill of sale for a slave woman sold to Catharine Van Valkenburgh of Albany County; 1807 indenture for a destitute African American child named Susan contracted to serve James Van Valkenburgh of Catskill, New York; poems by Miss Sarah Jane Haviland (later, Mrs Richard Van Hoesen), along with an 1839 letter addressed to her and written in reverse script;1794 will of Lambert Van Valkenburgh of Catskill, New York; copy of the 1893 will of John L. Haviland; and a copy of the 1896 will of Sarah Jane Van Hoesen of Preble, New York. Historical Note: Related families of of Greene, Cortland, and Albany Counties, New York.
Slavery Collection, 1709-1864
Diverse collection of materials, 1709-1864, containing correspondence and legal and financial documents related to the North American slave trade, slave ownership, abolition, and political issues pertinent to slavery.
Series I, 1751-1799, and II, 1805-1807, contain correspondence and business papers for Rhode Island merchants Samuel and William Vernon and the Rhode Island firm of Gardner and Dean (formerly Phillips and Gardner) documenting thier involvement in the slave trade and the shipping and sale of slaves in the West Indies and southern United States. Vessels employed by the two firms include the Othello, Ascension, and the Sloop Louisa. Series III consists of various legal and financial documents, 1785-1864, related to slavery in Kentucky, including estate inventories, receipts, and deeds of gift and manumission. Series IV contains papers, 1859-1862, of E.H. Stokes of Richmond, Virginia; including correspondence and receipts pertaining to the sale of slaves in Virginia and Alabama. Series V contains correspondence, 1766-1861, concerning the abolition movement in the United States and individual slaves. Individual correspondents include eminent abolitionists Theodore Weld, Gerrit Smith, and Angelina Grimke. Of additional note is the inclusion of letters to the Governor of Maryland requesting clemency for a slave condemned for theft, and an 1826 letter from a black man, Richard Moran, to his uncle apologizing for his marriage to a white woman. Series VI consists of manifests, 1835-1855, listing persons taken aboard various vessels to be sold as slaves. Series VII is composed of legal documents related to slavery in the United States, 1709-1858, including birth certificates, depositions, petitions, indentures, deeds of manumission, and estate inventories. Series VIII contains financial documents, 1736-1862, pertaining to the sale and ownership of slaves such as accounts, receipts, and returns of taxable property. Series IX contains two poems, 1823 and undated, on the subject of slavery. Series X consists of notes and memoranda, 1790-1855, evidently recorded for newspaper advertisements and articles. Series XI contains newspapers clippings, including advertisements for rewards for return of runaway slaves,
most not attributable to particular newspapers.
Ramage family papers, 1766-1856 (bulk 1780-1830)
Family correspondence, receipts, bills, poems, and miscellaneous papers, 1766-1856 (bulk 1780-1830), relating to the miniature painter John Ramage, his wife Catharine Collins Ramage, and their sons, Thomas A. Ramage, George Collins Ramage, and John Ramage, Jr., as well other members of the family. Correspondence includes letters sent and received by family members, including letters by John Ramage to his wife Catharine, letters exchanged between Catharine and her sons Thomas A. and John Ramage, as well as letters exchanged between various additional members of the Ramage and related families. Additional document include a 1784 receipt and 1786 rent notice from James Duane, John Ramage's 1780 commission as 2nd Lieut. in the New York City Militia, Ramage's membership certificates for the New York Marine Society and Grand Lodge of Masons, John Ramage's will, dated Jan. 5, 1802; marriage license of John Ramage and Catharine Collins, Jan. 29, 1787; an undated 23 page typescript of a biography of John Ramage by J. H. Morgan; and a group of five documents, 1792-1815, concerning the purchase and sale of a slave named Dinah by John and Catharine Ramage, her marriage to a fellow slave named Bob (later Robert Blanchard), the conditional sale of Bob to Ephraim Sayre of New Jersey for eighteen years of service, and Robert Blanchard's purchase of his wife and three children from Catharine Ramage in 1815. Historical Note: Family of miniature painter John Ramage and his third wife Catharine Collins Ramage, with members in New York City and Orange, New Jersey.
Rhode Island (Ship)
Account book, 1748 Dec.-1749 Jul.
ðMicrofilm copy available