James Caldwell Family Papers

Held by the New York State Library Manuscripts and Special Collections

Overview

Arrangement

Biographical Note

Scope and Content

Related Information

Use of Records

Administrative Information

Access Terms

Detailed Description


Overview of the Records

Repository:

New York State Library Manuscripts and Special Collections

Summary:
The James Caldwell Family papers include correspondence of businessmen James Caldwell and his son William Caldwell with their associates in Town of Caldwell, today the Town of Lake George, regarding Warren County property and expenses; legal records (deeds and leases); and financial records related to land sales and development by the Caldwell's. Also included are road assessments, Commissioner of Highway reports and miscellaneous legal documents regarding properties in the Town of Caldwell.
Creator:
Caldwell, James, 1747-1829
Title:
James Caldwell Family papers
Quantity:
1.0 cu. ft. of textual records
Inclusive Dates:
1795-1915
Series Number:
SC20327
Sponsor:
Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Arrangement

There is no apparent arrangement scheme.

Biographical Sketch

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 Information

Related 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.

Other finding aids

A finding aid is available at the repository.

Use of Records

Access Restrictions

There are no restrictions regarding access to or use of the material.

Available Alternate Formats

No other form exists.

Administrative Information

Custodial History

Papers were a gift of Stedman Seay of Esperance, New York, April 20, 1992.

Processing Information

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.

Access Terms

Personal Name(s):

Caldwell, William, 1776 - ca. 1841

Caldwell, James, 1747-1829

Geographic Name(s):

Warren County (N.Y.)

Lake George (N.Y.)

Subject(s):

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

Genre(s):

Leases

Deeds

Detailed Description

Note: These records are held by the New York State Library Manuscripts and Special Collections

Dates Contents Box Folder
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