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Guide to the Jacques Cortelyou papers ARC.025

128 Pierrepont Street
Brooklyn, NY, 11201
718-222-4111
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Brooklyn Historical Society

Collection processed by Nicholas Pavlik

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

Descriptive Summary

 
Creator: Cortelyou, Jacques, 1796-1891
Title: Jacques Cortelyou papers
Dates [inclusive]: 1706-1898
Abstract: Jacques Cortelyou (1796-1891) was of the seventh generation of the eminent Cortelyou family of Brooklyn. He was born in Brooklyn in 1796 as the third child of Peter J. and Phebe H. (Voorhees) Cortelyou. During the War of 1812 he served as a private in the 64th Regiment of the New York Militia. He married Ann Maria Fowler in April of 1830, and over the course of their marriage the couple had three children. Cortelyou was the last member of his family to reside at the historic Old Stone House (commonly known as "the Cortelyou house") at Gowanus. The Jacques Cortelyou papers span the period 1706 to 1898 and consist chiefly of business, legal and financial records, many of which pertain to Cortelyou's farm at Gowanus and serve to illuminate the inheritance of the Old Stone House. The remaining portion of the collection consists of a small amount of genealogical material pertaining to the Cortelyou family, and various other papers.
Quantity: 0.21 Linear feet in eleven folders.
Text [Box]: A0134
Call Phrase: ARC.025
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

Jacques Cortelyou (1796-1891) was of the seventh generation of the eminent Cortelyou family of Brooklyn. He was born in Brooklyn in 1796 as the third child of Peter J. and Phebe H. (Voorhees) Cortelyou. During the War of 1812 he served as a private in the 64th Regiment of the New York Militia. He married Ann Maria Fowler in April of 1830, and over the course of their marriage the couple had three children. Ann died in 1848, and Jacques did not remarry.

Jacques Cortelyou was the last member of the Cortelyou lineage to reside at the historic Old Stone House (commonly known as "the Cortelyou house") at Gowanus, which he had inherited from his grandfather, also named Jaques Cortelyou (1743-1815). The Old Stone House was originally built by Claes Arentson Vechte in 1699. Vechte and his descendants resided in the house and prospered as farmers on the surrounding property until the Revolutionary War, when the house was seized by the British. In 1779 the house was willed to Nicholas R. Cowenhoven, who was the last descendant of Vechte to reside at the property before selling it to the elder Jaques Cortelyou in 1797, who purchased the house with the intent of passing it on to his recently married son, Peter (b. 1768). However, upon Peter's premature death in 1804, the house was instead willed to Peter's son, the younger Jacques Cortelyou. Shortly after the death of his wife, Jacques sold the property in 1852 to Edwin Litchfield and moved to a farm in Hope Junction in Dutchess County, N.Y., where he resided until his death in January of 1891.

The Old Stone House continued to stand in Gowanus until 1897, when street grading nearly buried the entire house and the remaining exposed part was razed. In 1926 the Brooklyn Parks Department excavated the house, and by 1934 the house had been rebuilt using the original stones. The replica still stands today, serving as a museum dedicated to preserving a part of Brooklyn's colonial heritage.

Sources:

  1. Cortelyou, John Van Zandt. The Coretlyou Genealogy: A Record of Jacques Corteljou and of Many of His Descendants. Lincoln, NE: Brown Printing Service, 1942.
  2. New York City Department of Parks & Recreation. "The Old Stone House." Accessed June 23, 2010. http://www.nycgovparks.org/sub_your_park/historical_signs/hs_historical_sign.php?id=138

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Scope and Contents note

The Jacques Cortelyou papers span the period 1706 to 1898 and consist chiefly of business, legal and financial records, many of which pertain to Cortelyou's farm at Gowanus. Some of these documents serve to illuminate the inheritance of the Old Stone House, such as excerpts from the last wills and testaments of Nicholas Veghte and Jaques Cortelyou (Jacques Cortelyou's grandfather) that concern the inheritance of the property, and the deed of sale of the Old Stone House from Nicholas Cowenhoven to the elder Jaques Cortelyou. The majority of the documents, however, are tax receipts, property assessments, and ledger sheets. There are also bonds, agreements, and indentures for land sold to Clarence Sackett and Orlando C. Osborne by Jacques Cortelyou. The land sold to Sackett is located on Navy, Wallabout, and Tillary Streets. The remaining portion of the collection consists of a small amount of genealogical material pertaining to the Cortelyou family, a miscellaneous receipt, an honorable discharge from the First Regiment of the Horse Artillery of the New York Militia, a Report of the Treasurer of the Brooklyn Female Academy (later the Packer Collegiate Institute), a description of land owned by a William Barkelo, and a document articulating the conditions of sale for the estate of Harmanes Barkelo (in which Jacques Cortelyou's father, Peter, seems to have played a role). Not all items in the collection are dated, so there is a small chance the aforementioned date range is not entirely conclusive.

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Access Points

Subject Names

  • Cortelyou, Jacques, 1796-1891

Document Type

  • Conveyances
  • Correspondence
  • Discharges
  • Genealogies
  • Indentures
  • Land titles |z New York (State) |z Kings County
  • Ledgers (account books)
  • Reports
  • Tax records

Subject Organizations

  • New York (State). Militia.
  • Old Stone House (Brooklyn, New York, N.Y.).

Subject Topics

  • Conveyancing -- New York (State)
  • Deeds -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Farms -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Property tax -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Real property -- New York (State) -- Kings County

Subject Places

  • Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.)
  • Gowanus (New York, N.Y.)
  • New York (N.Y.) |x Politics and government

Family Name(s)

  • Cortelyou family

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Administrative Information

Conditions Governing Access

Open to researchers without restriction.

Preferred Citation

Identification of item, date (if known); Jacques Cortelyou collection, ARC.025, Box and Folder number; Brooklyn Historical Society.

Related Materials

Related archival collections at the Brooklyn Historical Society:

  1. 1974.137, Isaac Cortelyou family notebook, 1698-1824
  2. ARC.026, Timothy Townsend Cortelyou papers, 1810-1826

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

Gift of Dr. Jacques Cortelyou Rushmore, 1949. Additional materials purchased by the Long Island Historical Society (later the Brooklyn Historical Society) from bookseller Charles Apfelbaum, 1987.

Processing Information note

Minimally processed to the collection level.

The collection combines the accessions 1973.099, 1991.020, and 1991.025.

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