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Guide to the Duane Family Papers
1700-1945
 MS 179

New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West
New York, NY 10024
Phone: (212) 873-3400


© 2011 New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Megan Dolan

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit on February 03, 2016
Description is in English

Scope and Contents note

This collection contains papers relating to the Duane family and related families. The majority of the collection consists of the papers of James Duane, a prominent New York lawyer, patriot, and land developer. There are also papers relating to Duane’s son, James Chatham Duane, a lawyer of Duanesburg and Schenectady, and his son-in-law George William Featherstonhaugh. The collection also includes correspondence and other papers relating to other Duane family members, predominantly William North Duane Jr, great-great grandson of James Duane, his mother Anne Dalliba Duane and others.

The portion of the collection relating to James Duane, Senior, largely pertains to such matters as: his law practice in New York and New Jersey; relations with Great Britain and political affairs in the colonies prior to the Revolution; New York State’s controversy with Massachusetts over the New Hampshire grants, and Duane’s own holdings in the disputed area; his activities and interests as the New York delegate to the Continental Cngress, as first federal judge for the district of New York, as a New York State senator, and as mayor of New York City; the settling of Duanesburgh, Schenectady County, New York, affairs of the Livingston family and of Livingston Manor; the settlement of estates; his property holdings in the Hardenburgh, Schuyler, and Franklin patents, and in New York City, Otsego County, Ulster County, and Socialburgh, New Hampshire (now Rutland, Vermont); New York State boundaries.

The portion of the collection relating to James C. Duane and George W. Featherstonhaugh is largely comprised of letters, deeds and other land papers, legal papers, accountancy papers, and miscellaneous certificates and memorabilia. The portion relating to other Duane family members contain a substantial volume of correspondence, largely relating to William North Duane and his mother, Anne Dalliba Duane. The majority of this correspondence is from the period of 1880s-1890s when William North Duane was studying in Germany. The remaining correspondence relates to a variety of Duane family members and relations of the Duane family. Also included is a range of items of memorabilia such as a stamp collection, three photographs, a lock of Anne D. Duane’s hair from her deathbed, and journals of William North Duane.

Arrangement note

This collection has not been fully processsed, but is loosely organized into the following three series:

Series I. Correspondence
Series II: Legal and Business papers
Series III. Duane family papers