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Guide to the Duffie Family Papers
1834-1859 (Bulk 1851)
  MS 183

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


@ 2011 New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Processed by Valerie Paley

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit on October 21, 2011
Description is in English.

Historical Note

1780 At age 17, John Duffie begins work as a clerk in Isaac Clason's flour and grocery store at 14 Albany Pier.
[1784] Cornelius C. Roosevelt provides Duffie with the capital for his own flour and wholesale grocery business, John Duffie & Co. The business prospers, and Duffie becomes part of the new merchant aristocracy that develops following the British evacuation.
1786 Duffie marries Cornelius C. Roosevelt's sister, Maria (sometimes called Mary).
1805 In 1805, John Duffie buys part of the Kips Bay Farm from his wife's cousin, Elbert Kip, for $4500. The land extends the west from the Boston Post Road in the Murray Hill area to the East River, and from the south at 35th Street, and north to 40th Street.
1807 The family business becomes devoted exclusively to salt importing. William Whetten Todd, a salesman and partner in the business, marries John Duffie's daughter, Maria Caroline.
1808 John Duffie dies at his summer home in Greenwich Village at the age of 44. Duffie gives his son, Cornelius Roosevelt Duffie the option of partnership in the family company. Because Cornelius Roosevelt Duffie choses the salt company partnership as his share of his father's estate, neither he nor his children have rights to the Kips Bay Farm property. The family company name changes to Todd, Duffie and Todd.
1815 Cornelius Duffie no longer a partner in the salt importing company and establishes his own commission business. His agency closes in 1820.
1816 Cornelius Duffie marries Helena Bache Bleecker.
1821 Mary Duffie dies giving her unmarried daughters, Cornelia and Margaret, rights to the Kips Bay Farm property. Helena Bache Bleecker dies after the birth of her fifth child.
1824 Cornelius Duffie is ordained a priest of the Protestant Episcopal Church, and became the first pastor of St. Thomas Church at 621 Broadway. Cornelius, his children, and his unmarried sisters, Cornelia and Margaret, live in the plain 3-story brick rectory on Houston and Mercer Streets.
1827 Cornelius Roosevelt Duffie dies of typhoid fever at the age of 38. Cornelia and Margaret Duffie care for their brother's children and move to 155 Greene Street. The Duffie sisters hold on to the family property that was once part of the former Kips Bay farm.
[1850] As New York City develops northward, the family property becomes valuable. Cornelia and Margaret Duffie develop their property, dividing it into blocks of lots and selling them for high prices.
1855-1856 Cornelia and Margaret build an Episcopal church, Saint John the Baptist, on lots of their property at the northeast corner of Lexington Avenue and 35th Street. Cornelius Roosevelt Duffie II, organizes the new parish, along with the help of his uncle Anthony James Bleecker, and his mother's cousin, Samuel Jones. Cornelius Roosevelt Duffie II, is the rector of the new church. The Rectory becomes the home for Cornelia and Margaret, their nieces Helena and Maria, and Cornelius Roosevelt Duffie II.
1873 Cornelia Duffie dies.
1874 Margaret Duffie dies.

John (1763-1808) and Mary Duffie's (1760-1821) Children:

Maria Caroline, 1787-1857 (m. William W. Todd, b. April 7, 1781)
Cornelius Roosevelt Duffie, 1789-1827 (m. Helena Bache Bleecker, 1796-1821)
Margaret d. 1874 (unmarried)
(Eliza) Matilda, d. 1881 (m. Gerard DePeyster, widower)
Cornelia Ann d. 1873 (unmarried)
Jane Antoinette, born 1801-1889 (m. Capt. Miles Burke, 1832, died 1836, m. Isaac Gibson, 1842)
John Herring (died young, date unknown)

Cornelius Roosevelt Duffie (1789-1827) and Helena Bache Bleecker's (1796-1821) Children:

Charles William Duffie (1817-1824)
Helena Bleecker Duffie (1818-1886)
Maria Roosevelt Duffie (1819-1876)
Cornelius Roosevelt Duffie (II) (1821-1900)