Caldwell Estate Papers

Held by the Warren County Records Center and Archives

Overview

Arrangement

Biographical Note

Scope and Content

Related Information

Use of Records

Administrative Information

Access Terms

Detailed Description


Overview of the Records

Repository:

Warren County Records Center and Archives

Summary:
The Caldwell family of New York State was a successful and influential family in both the Capital and Adirondack regions. The Caldwells were active in various industries and in possession of many land holdings. These papers consist of original Caldwell family records and those generated by surveyors in their work to partition the estate of James Caldwell. The papers include an account book, deeds (copies and originals), surveys, and maps.
Creator:
Caldwell family
Title:
Caldwell Estate papers
Quantity:
1 cu. ft. of textual records; surveys; maps
Inclusive Dates:
1774-1900
Series Number:
WCA_CaldwellEstate
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 for the material.

Biographical Sketch

The Caldwell family of New York State was a successful and influential family in both the Capital and Adirondack regions. The Caldwells were active in various industries and in possession of many land holdings. 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. The brothers 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, the daughter of a Philadelphia military officer and merchant. The couple had eleven children, including a son William, born in 1776.

In addition to being a merchant, Joseph also worked as a teacher in the Albany area. During the Revolutionary War, the Caldwell brothers expanded their business and became suppliers for the military. They eventually operated as 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 thousands of acres of land in New York, Vermont, and Canada. In 1787, he purchased over 1500 acres of land on the western side of Lake George, N.Y. and became landlord to hundreds of local residents (at the time, this land was within the boundary of Washington County, but later became part of Warren County). He was instrumental in founding the town of Caldwell, which was renamed Lake George in 1963. The Caldwell family worked to develop the area, establishing mills and promoting travel to the region. The family built a large home in Caldwell, which became known as the "Mansion House." James Caldwell died in February 1, 1829.

After the death of his father, William Caldwell remained in the town of Caldwell, overseeing the family land holdings and investing in the Delaware Turnpike Company. Like his father James, William operated steamboats on Lake George. William Caldwell died in Albany, April 1, 1848.

William inherited much of his father's estate and the majority of his own holdings, in turn, were left to his daughter, Eliza and her husband John McGillis, who lived in St. Johns, Canada East (now known as Quebec). William also left some land to Catherine and Helen Beck, the daughters of his friend and colleague Theodric Romeyn Beck who ultimately managed the estate as executor. A codicil to Caldwell's will stated that any land not mentioned in the main will was to be divided among the three women and their spouses and heirs. This led to lengthy court proceedings and subsequent division of the land. Eliza and John McGillis had at least one son, also named William. Eliza Caldwell McGillis died in 1893 and after her death, her part of the estate was divided among her heirs.

Scope and Content Note

These papers consist of original Caldwell family records and those generated by surveyors in their work to partition the estate of James Caldwell. The papers include an account book and deeds (copies and original), surveys, and maps. The account book records payment of rent on Caldwell manor properties. Rent accounts include a lot number, section, acreage, and payment records. Included with the accounts are records of improvements made by renters to properties, sundries purchased by renters, work done to a schoolhouse, gristmill operations and repairs, and payment for steamboat services and lumber. Also included are accounts of the William Caldwell estate.

Related Information

William Caldwell estate file, Summary 316, Warren County Surrogate's Court, Lake George, N.Y.

Other finding aids

A partial index is available at the repository.

Use of Records

Access Restrictions

There are no legal restrictions; however, repository staff will access all records and must approve all requests for copies.

Available Alternate Formats

No other form exists.

Administrative Information

Custodial History

The custodial history is unknown.

Processing Information

This collection's description was created and 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

Beck, Theodric Romeyn, 1791-1855

Caldwell, James

McGillis, Eliza Caldwell

Geographic Name(s):

Lake George (N.Y.)

Subject(s):

Partition of decedents' estates

Detailed Description

Note: These records are held by the Warren County Records Center and Archives

Dates Contents Box Folder
1774 Indenture between estate of Robert Kennedy and John Jones for land on the west side of Lake George 979 2
1774 Letters Patent granting Robert Kennedy land on the west side of Lake George 979 5
1774 Letters Patent granting John Jones 200 acres on the west side of Lake George 979 7
1785 Indenture - John Jones, Barrack Master, Town of Sorel, Province of Canada and Udny Hay and James Caldwell for land on the west side of Lake George 979 1
1785/06/27 Notice regarding lands of Nova Scotian and other Canadian refugees (Clinton County, N.Y., along Lake Champlain) 979 6
1787 Indenture - Udny Hay to James Caldwell for 200 acres in Caldwell 979 15
1793 Lease - James Caldwell to Enoch Phillips for the Orchard Lot in Lot 4 979 10
1802 Lease - James Caldwell to Nathan Burdock for Lot in Caldwell Park 979 11
1802 Lease - James Caldwell to John Prosper re: north section of Lot 0 979 17
1808-1844 Miscellaneous accounts and letters regarding land and leases 979 4
1814-1860 Account/rent book 599
1818 Mortgage - Mathew Cole to James Caldwell for Lot 3 in the Garrison Tract 979 12
1818 Mortgage - Samuel Pike to James Caldwell for Lot 1 in the Garrison Grounds 979 13
1819 Deed - Samuel Payne to James Caldwell for three lots in Caldwell 979 14
1821 Lease - James Caldwell to Samuel Payn for three lots in the town of Caldwell 979 9
1822 Deed - John Stevens to James Caldwell for Lot 12 in the Town of Caldwell 979 16
1850-1852 Genealogy and survey notes; printed abstract of Supreme Court Commissioner's report regarding the partition of the Caldwell estate among Eliza Caldwell McGillis and Helen and Catherine Beck. 979 3
1851-1900 Mansion House accounts; notes from deeds; notice of pending action, Albany County Supreme Court; will of William Caldwell; copies of court orders; copy of final judgment 979 8