Sep 27, 2018 - Sale 2486

Sale 2486 - Lot 336

Price Realized: $ 7,500
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 2,000 - $ 3,000
(NEW YORK.) Family papers of William Wilson of Clermont, NY, close associate of the Livingston family. Approximately 400 items in 3 boxes (1.3 linear feet); condition fairly strong with a few exceptions. Vp, bulk 1790-1835

Additional Details

William Wilson (1756-1828) was a physician who emigrated in 1784 from the north of England to rural Clermont, Columbia County, NY. There he soon became closely associated with the powerful Livingston family, administering their many rental properties, as well as serving as a county judge.
The heart of this archive is a file of approximately 200 letters to William Wilson. 29 of the letters are from various members of the Livingston family, 1797-1823, most of them from Edward Philip Livingston (1779-1843) of Albany, master of Clermont Manor. A 29 June 1801 letter is from founding father Robert R. Livingston (1746-1813), one of the "Committee of Five" who drafted the Declaration of Independence. Most of his letter concerns the family tenants, and he delves into New York politics at the end, noting "You find my predictions relative to the treasury are well founded; can all this be accident?" Two others dated 1797 are from General Henry Livingston. Among the other correspondents are New York mayor Richard Varick, who wrote 8 letters from 1800 to 1804; he wrote on 13 October 1802: "The value of blacks is become very small with us, as the Devil or French ideas of liberty possess them."
Also included in this collection are a file of about 100 letters to two of Wilson's sons, Robert Livingston Wilson (1794-1830), a Union College graduate who practiced law in New York City; and William Henry Wilson (1791-1884), who studied medicine and then followed in his father's footsteps as an estate manager in Claremont. A file of miscellaneous documents includes numerous deeds, survey maps, and leases from the area of Clermont and Livingston, NY dating back to 1790, some of them quite elaborate.
Also included are several broadsides of local interest--8 Columbia County election returns, 1828-33, and 5 significant pieces which are unrecorded in OCLC: "Canvass of the Stump Candidates, the Enemies of the Right of Suffrage" and "Tallmadge's Lament" (both regarding local politics circa 1825); "In the Court for the Trial of Impeachments and Correction of Errors" regarding a 1794 legal case; "An Act to Incorporate the Clermont Academy Passed April 25 1834" (3 copies); and a circular for the Claremont Academy signed in type by August Wackerhagen dated 23 January 1835. Taken as a whole, this is an important collection for the history of Columbia County and the upper Hudson Valley.