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Guide to the Robert Benson deeds ARC.007

128 Pierrepont Street
Brooklyn, NY, 11201

Brooklyn Historical Society

Collection processed by Patricia Glowinski

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit on November 22, 2011
English using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Arden, James
Creator: Benson, Robert
Title: Robert Benson deeds
Dates [inclusive]: 1795-1804
Quantity: 0.04 Linear feet in four folders.
Text [Box]: A0126
Call Phrase: ARC.007
Sponsor: This collection was processed and described as part of the project, "Uncovering the Secrets of Brooklyn's 19th Century Past: Creation to Consolidation," funded by the Council on Library and Information Resources, with additional support from The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation.

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Biographical note

Dirck Bensingh and Catalina Berck married in Amsterdam, Netherlands and immigrated to New Amsterdam, now New York City, in 1648. Robert Benson (1715-1762), the great-grandson of Dirck and Catalina, was a brewer in New York City. His brewery was located on Cherry Street in what is now lower Manhattan. In 1738, Robert married Catherine Van Borsum (1718-1794). They had six children: Robert, Henry, Mary, Egbert, Cornelia, and Anthony. Their daughters, Mary and Cornelia, both died young. The four sons all served in the American Revolutionary War and were members of the Sons of Liberty.

Robert Benson (1739-1823), the eldest son, inherited his father's brewery. He continued as a brewer for awhile but eventually sold the property. During the American Revolutionary War he served as a member of the first Committee of Safety, was Secretary of the first convention, and was aide-de-camp of Governor George Clinton. Following the American Revolution, he acquired farmland in Brooklyn. Robert bought, sold, and owned land in several areas of Brooklyn, including what is now the neighborhood of Brooklyn Heights. The town and area once known as New Utrecht, which now includes the neighborhood of Bensonhurst, bears the Benson family name.

Egbert Benson (1746-1833), graduated from King's College, now Columbia University, in 1765 and again in 1768. He was admitted to the bar in 1769 and moved to Red Hook, New York in Dutchess County. He went on to become a judge, congressman, and was appointed as the first Attorney General of the State of New York in 1777. Egbert was also one of the founders of the New-York Historical Society and served as the Society's first president for eleven years. Very late in life, he married Marie Conover (1797-1867) in 1820.


  1. Benson, Arthur T. Jacob Benson, pioneer and his descendants: in the towns of Dover and Amenia, Dutchess County, New York and elsewhere: together with some information of the early members of the Benson family in New England and New York State. Poughkeepsie, N.Y.: A.V. Haight Co., 1915.
  2. Van Schaack, Henry Cruger, 1802-1887. Alderman Benson's Memoir of the Benson Family. New York?: s.n., 1869.

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Scope and Contents note

This collection consists of four deeds recording Robert Benson's land transactions in what is now the Brooklyn Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn, 1795-1804. The collection includes a 1795 deed, George Powers to James Arden; 1801 deed, John H. and Brockholst Livingston to Robert Benson for land on Joralemon Street; 1802 deed, James Arden to Robert Benson; and 1804 deed, Robert Benson to Hezekiah B. Pierpont (Pierrepont). The 1801 deed was transcribed by Washington Irving.

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Access Points

Subject Names

  • Arden, James
  • Benson, Robert

Document Type

  • Deeds

Subject Topics

  • Real property

Subject Places

  • Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.)
  • Brooklyn Heights (New York, N.Y.)

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Administrative Information

Conditions Governing Access

Open to researchers without restriction.

Preferred Citation

Identification of item, date (if known); Robert Benson deeds, ARC.007, Box and Folder number; Brooklyn Historical Society.

Processing Information note

Minimally processed to the collection level.

This collection combines the accessions 1977.187, 1977.207, and 1977.213.

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