Research


New York State Supreme Court of Judicature (New York) Minute Books

Held by the New York State Archives


Overview of the Records

Repository:

New York State Archives

New York State Education Department

Cultural Education Center

Albany, NY 12230

Summary:
The minute books in this series are the record of proceedings in the regular terms of the Supreme Court of Judicature in New York City (or in other locations during the Revolutionary War). The engrossed minute books are final versions. Rough minute books are usually less complete, but may contain unique information. Until 1797, the minute books contain entries relating to both civil litigation and criminal prosecutions throughout the colony and state. After 1797, the minute books contain mostly entries or lists of legal issues, motions, and appealed cases considered and decided by the court.
Creator:
Title:
Quantity:
14 cubic feet (41 volumes); Microfilm: 19 microfilm rolls
Inclusive Dates:
1691-1692, 1704-1714, 1723-1786, 1788, 1790-1847
Series Number:
JN531
Sponsor:
With support from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS Grant number ST-03-27-0006-17), New York State Organization Daughters of the American Revolution, and the William Nelson Cromwell Foundation.

Arrangement

Chronological by court term and date of session.

Administrative History

Before the late eighteenth century most of the business of the Supreme Court of Judicature related to civil litigation and criminal prosecution, either before the justices in regular terms of court, or in circuit courts held in each county. Starting in 1784 most, and after 1797, all Supreme Court civil trials in New York City were held by a justice in what were called "sittings" or circuit court. A few criminal trials, the attorney general the prosecutor, occurred in the Supreme Court regular terms as late as 1801. After that date district attorneys were responsible for criminal prosecutions. Starting in 1797 most procedural orders were entered not in the minute books but in separate common rule books. Thereafter most of the business in regular terms of the Supreme Court in New York City, as documented by entries in the minute books, was deciding motions and points of law raised during pleading or trial, and reviewing judgments of lower courts removed to the Supreme Court by writ of error or writ of certiorari.

Scope and Content Note

Minute books are the record of proceedings in the regular terms of the Supreme Court of Judicature in New York City (or in other locations during the Revolutionary War). The engrossed minute books are final versions in fine handwriting. Rough minute books are usually less complete but may contain unique information. Until 1797, the minute books contain entries relating to both civil litigation and criminal prosecutions throughout the colony and state. In civil cases there are numerous orders (rules) concerning appearance in court, pleading by the opposing parties, determination of judgment award, final judgment, and execution of judgment. The minutes also contain a few determinations of cases transferred from lower courts by writs of error and certiorari. In criminal cases at which a Supreme Court justice presided, there are minutes of jury trials in New York City and County, as well as returns of jury verdicts and sentencing minutes for trials in circuit courts held in other counties.

The Supreme Court minutes during the early years of state government contain many entries relating to the indictment and conviction of Loyalists. After 1797, the minute books contain mostly entries or lists of legal issues, motions, and appealed cases considered and decided by the court. There are also numerous entries relating to the partition of real property and the appraisal of lands taken for street openings in New York City. The minute books for 1795-1805 contain a few orders for naturalization of aliens. During all time periods the minute books contain rules relating to court procedure, and the admission of attorneys to practice in the court.

Items Online

New York State Archives Digital Collections

Microfilm of this series has been digitized and is available online in its entirety. Only a selection of the paper documents are available in this digital collection.

Link to items online Browse items online

Use of Records

Access Restrictions

Use and reproduction of fragile documents may be restricted.

Alternate Formats Available

Volumes were microfilmed for the New York County Clerk's Office in 1959 and 1995. That microfilm was transferred to the State Archives, along with the original records, in 2017. The microfilm has been digitized and images are being made available in the State Archives’ online "Digital Collections." The volumes for 1704-1847 (with gaps) were also microfilmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah in 1977 at the New York County Clerk’s Office. The GSU microfilm has been digitized, and the images can be viewed online at FamilySearch Affiliate Libraries (including the New York State Archives and New York State Library). The FamilySearch microfilm and digital images are cataloged under the author "New York York Supreme Court (New York County)," with the title "Minute Books, 1704-1847," microfilm roll numbers 1018632-1018650. Minutes for Oct. 1691-Oct. 1692 and Aug. 1701-Oct. 1704 are published and annotated in Paul M. Hamlin and Charles E. Baker, eds., Supreme Court of Judicature of the Province of New York 1691-1704, 3 vols. (New York: 1959). Minutes for Apr. 1693-Apr. 1701 are printed in Collections of the New-York Historical Society for the Year 1912 (New York: 1913), pp. 39-214.

Related Information

Related Materials

Minutes for the period April 1693-April 1701 are held by the New-York Historical Society.

Other finding aids

Naturalizations of aliens are indexed at the front of volumes for 1795-1805.

Custodial History

Volume 14 (1775-1781) contains entries for the Supreme Court of Judicature of the Province of New York (last entry April 1776) and of the State of New York (first entry September 1777).

Processing Information

Volumes were disbound and boxed by a conservator in the 1990s. Pages are very brittle.

Access Terms

Subject(s):

Detailed Description

Dates Contents Box Folder Roll
Engrossed Minutes, 1691-1692 1
Engrossed Minutes, 1704-1709 2
Engrossed Minutes, 1710-1714 3
Engrossed Minutes, 1723-1727 4
Engrossed Minutes, 1727-1732 5
Engrossed Minutes, 1732-1739 6
Engrossed Minutes, 1750-1754 7
Engrossed Minutes, 1754-1757 8
Engrossed Minutes, 1757-1760 9
Engrossed Minutes, 1762-1764 10
Engrossed Minutes, 1764-1766 11
Engrossed Minutes, 1766-1769 12
Engrossed Minutes, 1769-1772 13
Engrossed Minutes, 1775-1781 14
Engrossed Minutes, 1781-1783 15
Engrossed Minutes, 1785 16
Engrossed Minutes, 1786 Jan-May 17
Engrossed Minutes, 1786 July-Oct 18
Engrossed Minutes, 1788 19
Engrossed Minutes, 1790 20
Engrossed Minutes, 1791-1792 21
Engrossed Minutes, 1792-1793 22
Engrossed Minutes, 1793 23
Engrossed Minutes, 1794 24
Engrossed Minutes, 1795 25
Engrossed Minutes, 1796 26
Engrossed Minutes, 1797-1800 27
Engrossed Minutes, 1801-1805 28
Engrossed Minutes, 1806-1810 29
Engrossed Minutes, 1811-1814 30
Engrossed Minutes, 1815-1816 31
Engrossed Minutes, 1817 32
Engrossed Minutes, 1818-1819 33
Engrossed Minutes, 1820-1824 34
Engrossed Minutes, 1825-1830 35
Engrossed Minutes, 1831-1842 36
Engrossed Minutes, 1843-1847 37
Rough Minutes, 1750-1756 38
Rough Minutes, 1756-1761 39
Rough Minutes, 1764-1767 40
Rough Minutes, 1772-1776 41
Rough Minutes, 1795 Oct 42
1797-1800 Partial index to Rough Minutes, roughly alphabetical by attorney name, then chronological within each letter 43

  

Dates Contents Box Folder
1797-1800 A (1797-1800); B (January 1797-October 17, 1797), pp.1-106 43 1
1797-1798 B (October 19, 1797 - December 18, 1798), pp.107-184 43 2
1797-1800 B (December 22, 1798 - February 21, 1800), pp.107-184; C (January 17, 1797 - November 22, 1798), pp.185-332 43 3
1797-1800 C ( November 24, 1798 - February 1, 1800); D (January 7, 1797- February 20, 1800), pp.333-418 43 4
1797-1800 E (January 17, 1797- February 21, 1800), pp.419-524 43 5
1797-1798 F (February 22, 1797- August 10, 1798), pp.525-559 43 6
1691 October-1692 October Engrossed minutes (Box 1) [Gap 1693-1704] 1 1
1705 March-1710 March Engrossed minutes (Box 2) 2 1
1710 June-1714 June Engrossed minutes (Box 3) [Gap 1715-1722] 3 1
1723 June-1727 June Engrossed minutes (Box 4) 4 1
1727 October-1732 December Engrossed minutes (Box 5) 5 1
1733 March-1739 October Engrossed minutes (Box 6) [Gap 1740-1749] 6 1
1750 October-1754 January Engrossed minutes (Box 7) 1 2
1750 October-1756 April Rough minutes (Box 38) 2 2
1754 April-1757 January Engrossed minutes (Box 8) 3 2
1756 April-1761 October Rough minutes (Box 39) 4 2
1760 November Oyer & Terminer (Box 8) 5 2
1757 April-1760 August Engrossed minutes (Box 9) [Gap 1761] 1 3
1762 October-1764 April Engrossed minutes (Box 10) 2 3
1764 July-1767 October Rough minutes (Box 40) 3 3
1764 July-1766 August Engrossed minutes (Box 11) 4 3
1766 October-1769 January Engrossed minutes (Box 12) 1 4
1769 April-1772 May Engrossed minutes (Box 13) [Gap 1773-1774] 2 4
1772 April-1776 January Rough minutes (Box 41) 1 5
1775 July-1781 April Engrossed minutes (Box 14). Province: 1775 July-1776 April; State: 1777 September-1781 April 2 5
1781 July-1783 November Engrossed minutes (Box 15) [Gap 1784] 3 5
6
1785 January-November Engrossed minutes (Box 16) 1 6
1786 January-May Engrossed minutes (Box 17) 2 6
1786 July-October Engrossed minutes (Box 18) [Gap 1787] 3 6
7
1788 January-November Engrossed minutes (Box 19) [Gap 1789] 1 7
1790 January-May Engrossed minutes (Box 20) 2 7
1791 July-November Engrossed minutes (Box 20) 1 8
1792 January-May Engrossed minutes (Box 21) 2 8
1792 July-1793 May Engrossed minutes (Box 22) 1 9
1793 July-November Engrossed minutes (Box 23) 2 9
1794 January-November Engrossed minutes (Box 24) 1 10
1795 January-November Engrossed minutes (Box 25) 1 11
1796 January-November Engrossed minutes (Box 26) 1 12
1797 January-1800 July Engrossed minutes (Box 27) 1 13
1797 January-1800 February Common rules, A-F (Box 43; paper records held as series JN520-17, Box 1) 2 13
April 1801-November 1805 Engrossed minutes (Box 28) 1 14
May 1806-November 1810 Engrossed minutes (Box 29) 2 14
May 1811-November 1814 Engrossed minutes (Box 30) 1 15
May 1815-November 1816 Engrossed minutes (Box 31) 2 15
1817 May-November Engrossed minutes (Box 32) 1 16
1818 May-1819 May Engrossed minutes (Box 33) 2 16
1820 May-1824 May Engrossed minutes (Box 34) 1 17
1821 May Rough minutes 2 17
1825 May-1830 May Engrossed minutes (Box 35) 3 17
1831 May-1836 May Engrossed minutes (Box 36) 1 18
May 1833 Rough minutes 2 18
1837 May-1842 May Engrossed minutes 3 18