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Guide to the Henry H. Van Dyck papers ARC.106

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Brooklyn, NY, 11201
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Brooklyn Historical Society

Collection processed by Weatherly Stephan

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit on November 23, 2011
English using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

 Additional content contributed by Emily Reynolds on January 14, 2011.  , January 14, 2011

Descriptive Summary

 
Creator: Van Dyck, Henry H., (Henry Herbert), 1809-1888
Title: Henry H. Van Dyck papers
Dates [inclusive]: 1840-1869
Dates [bulk]: Bulk, 1865-1869
Abstract: Henry H. Van Dyck (1808-1888) was an editor, financier, and politician who held a variety of public and private offices throughout his lifetime. Van Dyck was a member of Elm Place Congregational Church in Brooklyn and elected to the Holland Society of New York on March 14, 1885. At the time of his death, he lived at 5 Spencer Place in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn. Van Dyck is buried in Albany, N.Y. The collection comprises two linear feet in four manuscript boxes of correspondence received by Henry H. Van Dyck from 1840 to 1869 (bulk, 1865-1869). Materials are arranged chronologically. The bulk of correspondence in the collection is from Hugh McColloch (1808-1895), Secretary of the Treasury from 1865 to 1869. The content within the bulk dates of this collection deals primarily with matters concerning the United States Treasury in the years after the Civil War: imports and exports, inflation, national debt, personnel and politics, bond issues, draft issues, fractional currency, transportation of monies, customs policy, discussion of currency designs, counterfeiting, fraud, and embezzlement.
Quantity: 2.0 Linear feet in four manuscript boxes.
Text [Box]: 2
Text [Box]: 3
Text [Box]: 4
Text [Box]: 1
Call Phrase: ARC.106
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

Henry H. Van Dyck (1808-1888) was an editor, financier, and politician who held a variety of public and private offices throughout his lifetime. He served as a New York state senator for the Second District, which at the time included Westchester, Putnam, Dutchess, Rockland, Orange, Ulster and Sullivan counties, from 1837 to 1840. He was a proprietor and editor at the Albany Argus from 1840 to 1842. He sold his share in the  Argus in 1842 and bought a stake in the  Albany Atlas, an organ for the "Soft-Shell" Democratic Party, which he owned until 1856. That year he shifted his political allegiance to the newly-formed Republican Party, an affiliation he maintained for the rest of his life, and ran unsuccessfully for Albany's congressional seat. In 1857, Van Dyck was elected State Superintendent of Public Instruction, an office he held until 1861 when he was appointed the Superintendent of State Banking Department for New York. In 1859, he also became the representative agent for the Seneca Nation before the New York State Legislature. In 1865, President Lincoln appointed Van Dyck as Assistant U.S. Treasurer in New York. He was commissioned again by President Andrew Johnson in 1866 and served through 1869 under two Secretaries of the Treasury, Hugh McCulloch (1865-1869) and George S. Boutwell (1869-1873). After leaving the Treasury Department, he worked as president of New York & Boston Railroad and Erie Transportation Company from 1869 to 1883, and as president of the American Safe Deposit Co. from 1883 to 1888.

Van Dyck was a member of Elm Place Congregational Church in Brooklyn and elected to the Holland Society of New York on March 14, 1885. At the time of his death, he lived at 5 Spencer Place in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn. Van Dyck is buried in Albany, N.Y.

Sources

  1. "Death of Henry H. Van Dyck," New York Times, January 24, 1888, 8.
  2. "Van Dyck, Henry Herbert," National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1933: v. 23, p. 113.

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Scope and Contents

The collection comprises two linear feet in four manuscript boxes of correspondence received by Henry H. Van Dyck from 1840 to 1869 (bulk, 1865-1869). Materials are arranged chronologically.

Earlier materials include Van Dyck's 1866 commission signed by Andrew Johnson and proof imprints of gold bank notes in denominations of $20, $500, and $10,000 with accompanying letters from Spencer Clark, chief of the National Currency Bureau (later called the Bureau of Engraving and Printing). Also included is a letter calling Rev. Henry Powers to be the pastor at Elm Place Congregational Church, of which Van Dyck was a member. There is a small amount of material dated 1859 to 1861 relating to Van Dyck's role as an agent for the Seneca Nation. The correspondent is Harrison Halftoran, clerk of the Seneca Nation. Content discusses petitions for clothing, land warrants and other matters pertaining to the Cattaraugus and Allegheny Reservations, and the Tonawanda Band of Seneca Indians.

The bulk of correspondence in the collection is from Hugh McColloch (1808-1895), Secretary of the Treasury from 1865 to 1869. McCulloch is best known for his role in establishing the national banking system as the first comptroller of the currency in 1863, and for his efforts to reduce inflation after the Civil War and bring currency back to the gold standard. Other correspondents include Francis E. Spinner, Treasurer of the United States (1861-1875), William E. Chandler, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury (1865-1869), Edward Jordan, Solicitor of the Treasury, George S. Boutwell, Secretary of the Treasury (1869-1873), and Jay Cooke. Included with the communications is a small number of resolutions, opinions, memoranda, bills, account sheets and orders to sell and buy.

The content within the bulk dates of this collection deals primarily with matters concerning the United States Treasury in the years after the Civil War: imports and exports, inflation, national debt, personnel and politics, bond issues, draft issues, fractional currency, transportation of monies, customs policy, discussion of currency designs, counterfeiting, fraud, and embezzlement.

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Access Points

Subject Names

  • Chandler, William E., (William Eaton), 1835-1917
  • Johnson, Andrew, 1808-1875
  • Jordan, Edward, 1820-1899
  • Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865
  • McCulloch, Hugh, 1808-1895
  • Spinner, Francis Elias, 1802-1890

Document Type

  • Correspondence

Subject Organizations

  • Seneca Nation of New York.
  • United States. Dept. of the Treasury.

Subject Topics

  • Currency question -- United States -x History -y 19th century
  • Gold standard -- United States -x History -y 19th century
  • Indians of North America -- Government relations
  • Inflation (Finance) -- United States -x History -y 19th century
  • Republican Party (N.Y.) -- History -y 19th century

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Administrative Information

Conditions Governing Access

Open to researchers without restriction.

Preferred Citation

Identification of item, date (if known); Henry H. Van Dyck papers, ARC.106, Box and Folder number; Brooklyn Historical Society.

Other Finding Aids note

A detailed finding aid, containing box and folder lists, is available in paper format and on the library's catablog via this link.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

Gift of E.M. Van Dyck, 1897.

Processing Information note

Minimally processed to the collection level.

This collection combines two accessions: 1973.313 and 1977.045.

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