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Guide to the Records of the American Iron Company
1744-1806 (bulk 1764-1806)
  MS 18

New-York Historical Society
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New York, NY 10024
Phone: (212) 873-3400

@ 2011 New-York Historical Society

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit on October 19, 2011
Description is in English.

Historical Note

The American Iron Company, established in London in 1767, was the reorganization of an iron-manufacturing venture (1764-1767) whose original backers went bankrupt. The trustees for the new enterprise were originally Major General David Greeme; George Jackson, Deputy of Admiralty; Commodore Arthur Forrest; Richard Willis; and Richard Atkinson. Peter Hasenclever was named the agent for the Company and managed the Company's Ringwood (purchased by American Iron Company in 1764), Long Pond (founded by Hasenclever in 1766), and Charlotteburgh iron manufacturing companies in New Jersey and New York, in which he had interests. He served as agent from June to October, 1767. Financial problems related to the bankruptcy of his former partners Andrew Seton and Charles Crofts resulted in his return to London in 1768.

The Company's iron works were subsequently managed by Seton Humfray, Thomas Jordan, John Jacob Faesch (beginning in 1769), and Robert Erskine (d. 1780). The bankruptcy of Peter Hasenclever in 1769 weakened the Company because of his close financial relationship with it. Hasenclever's creditors therefore sought to put an attachment on the Company for their claims.

Hasenclever returned to Silesia (Germany) in 1773. The Revolution halted all legal action underway and from 1773 to 1788, the claims made against the Company were ignored. However, the iron works continued to supply material for the Revolutionary forces during this period. In 1788 Chief Justice Richard Morris of New York appointed three trustees for the Company: Peter Goelet, a New York merchant; Robert Morris, a New Jersey judge; and William Popham, a New York attorney. Their responsibility was to ensure that all of the Company's outstanding debts were settled, and in pursuance of this they conducted a sale of all Company lands in 1795. By 1806, all of the Company's accounts had been settled.