James Caldwell Family PapersHeld by the New York State Library Manuscripts and Special Collections
New York State Library Manuscripts and Special Collections
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James Caldwell was born in 1747 in Donegal County, Ireland. He immigrated to the United States in his early twenties with his older brother Joseph and settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where they worked for Francis Wade, an established merchant. Circa 1770, the brothers moved to Albany, New York where they established their own mercantile business. In 1774 James married Elizabeth Barnes, daughter of a Philadelphia military officer and merchant. The couple had eleven children, including a son William, born in 1776, who eventually took over the family business. Joseph Caldwell, besides being a merchant, worked as a teacher in the Albany area. During the Revolutionary War, the Caldwell brothers expanded their business and became suppliers for the military and eventually wholesalers and suppliers to regions north of Albany including Canada. James also established tobacco mills in Albany and sold the products to buyers throughout northeastern New York and Canada. Throughout his lifetime he owned thousand of acres of land in New York, Vermont and Canada. In 1787 Caldwell purchased over 1500 acres of land on the western side of Lake George, much of what is now the Village of Lake George. James and his son William became landlord to hundreds of Warren County residents. The Town of Lake George was established in 1810 and called Caldwell until 1963. James Caldwell died in 1829. After the death of his father, William remained in Lake George and oversaw the family land holdings. He built a stone building at the edge of the lake that served as his office. The Caldwell family worked to develop the area and established mills and promoted travel to the region. William Caldwell died circa 1841.
Scope and Content Note
The James Caldwell Family papers contain correspondence and financial records of James Caldwell including letters from his business associates in the Town of Caldwell regarding land deals, property rentals, and payments from tenants in Caldwell. There are also accounts, payment receipts, and articles of agreement, relating to business interests in Caldwell; an insurance policy and lease papers for Caldwell properties; and newspaper clippings regarding sale of lands in Caldwell. The papers also contain correspondence and business records of William Caldwell from business associates in Caldwell regarding land deals, property rentals, and the condition of a steamboat on Lake George. The business records include a copy of a deed for land in Caldwell; a list of accounts of James Caldwell to be settled; and records relating to roadwork including road assessments, reports on roadwork, a description of road districts from the Commissioners of Highways, meeting minutes, and a schedule of receipts relating to roadwork in the Town of Caldwell. Also included are legal records in the form of letters, tax assessment and ground rent lists, a copy of a burial ground agreement between James Caldwell and the Town of Caldwell, and miscellaneous papers regarding Town of Caldwell properties.
Related InformationRelated records can be found at the Albany Institute of History and Art, Caldwell Family papers GQ78-14. Also see Caldwell Estate papers at the Warren County Archives. Drawings of James Caldwell's Albany mills can be found in the collections of the New York State Museum.
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Papers were a gift of Stedman Seay of Esperance, New York, April 20, 1992.
The original finding aid was created during processing by staff of the New York State Library Manuscripts and Special Collections. This collection's description was enhanced as a part of the New York State Archives Environmental History Virtual Research Collection Project, 2004. The National Endowment for the Humanities provided funding for this project.
Caldwell, William, 1776 - ca. 1841
Caldwell, James, 1747-1829
Warren County (N.Y.)
Lake George (N.Y.)
Roads -- New York (State)
Land subdivision -- New York (State) -- Warren County
Real estate business -- New York (State) -- Warren County
Land titles -- New York (State) -- Warren County
Note: These records are held by the New York State Library Manuscripts and Special Collections
|1795-1817||Indentures and insurance policies regarding James Caldwell's Lake George properties||1||1|
|1807-1836||Correspondence to James Caldwell regarding his Lake George property, related lease papers, receipts, and account records; road assessments from Commissioners of Highways of the Town of Caldwell||1||2|
|1807-1848||Road assessments, minutes regarding a town meeting, and a schedule of receipts regarding roadwork in the Town of Caldwell; letters and a lease regarding James Caldwell's Lake George property||1||3|
|1807-1837||Public notice newspaper clippings of James Caldwell regarding sale of lands, payment receipts, list of accounts to be settled by James Caldwell, a list of payments from Lake George tenants, and a description of road districts for Town of Caldwell||1||4|
|1808-1836||Public notice newspaper clippings of James Caldwell and correspondence to James and William Caldwell regarding Lake George sale of land and mortgages; articles of agreement and payment receipts of James Caldwell||1||5|
|1807-1822||Letters to James and William Caldwell regarding Lake George property; statement of mortgage payments; a copy of a rental agreement for a house and lots in Town of Caldwell||1||6|
|1803-1817||Letters to James Caldwell regarding his Lake George property; copies of bills sent to tenants, lease agreement, and account records regarding materials for buildings in Lake George and property rentals||1||7|
|1814, 1890-1915||Copy of a burial ground agreement between James Caldwell and the Town of Caldwell. Also includes lists of tax assessments and ground rents and legal papers regarding land in Caldwell||1||8|