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Guide to the Andrew Haswell Green Collection
  MS 264

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

@ 2011 New-York Historical Society

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit on October 25, 2011
Description is in English.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Andrew Haswell Green Collection
Dates: 1843-1911
Abstract: The collection includes materials by planner and preservationist Andrew Haswell Green and others documenting Green's career and service to New York City. The materials in this collection form the basis for John Foord's 1913 Life and Public Services of Andrew Haswell Green.
Quantity: 0.43 Linear feet (1 box)
Location note: Manuscript cage
Call Phrase: MS 264

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Biographical Note

Andrew Haswell Green (1820-1903) was an influential city official, preservationist, and reformer, who played crucial roles in determining the plans of Central Park and the institutions bordering it, the restoring of fiscal control after the excesses of the Tweed Ring, and the consolidation of New York's boroughs in 1898.

1820 Born Worcester, Massachusetts.
1835 Moved to New York City.
1844 Admitted to the bar: practiced law with his mentor, Samuel Tilden (1814-1886), who became Governor of New York in 1874 and the Democratic presidential candidate in 1876. After Tilden's death in 1886, funds from his estate, of which Green was an executor, would be combined with the Astor and Lenox Libraries to form the New York Public Library.
1855-1861 Served on the Board of Education, eventually as its President, and developed an interest in civic affairs.
1857-1871 Served on Central Park's Board of Commissioners, including as its President and Comptroller. Despite differences with designers Olsted and Vaux, championed their Greensward plan for the Park (accepted by the Commissioners in 1858) and areas beyond.
1859 Central Park Commission expanded to become the city's first comprehensive planning body.
1868 First recommended that the many unincorporated areas and municipalities of southern Westchester (the Bronx), Kings, Queens, and Richmond (Staten Island) counties be consolidated with Manhattan to form a Greater New York City.
1871-1876 Served as New York City Comptroller to instill fiscal responsibility and restore the City's financial health after the uncontrolled spending of the Tweed Ring.
1895 Founded the American Scenic and Historic Preservation Society, which created numerous state parks, lobbied to save endangered sites, erected historic markers, and proposed the name for the Williamsburg Bridge during his lifetime.
1895 As President of the Consolidation Inquiry Committee, helped to draft the Consolidation Law.
1898 Consolidation of New York City took effect.
1903 While entering his house on Park Avenue and 40th Street on November 13, fatally shot by a man who mistook him for someone else. Pallbearers at his funeral at the Brick Presbyterian Church on Fifth Avenue included Mayor Seth Low, City Comptroller Edward M. Grout, and New York University Chancellor Rev. Dr. Henry Mitchell MacCracken.

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Scope and Content Note

The materials in this collection form the basis for John Foord's 1913 Life and Public Services of Andrew Haswell Green and include materials by Green and others documenting his career and service to New York City.

Included in the collection are Green's three-volume diary; some 200 letters from Green to his sisters relating to family matters and the management of Green's farm in Worcester, Massachusetts; accounts by Henry Mann of Green's role in the creation of Central Park, the overthrow of the Tweed Ring, and the consolidation of Greater New York; and other miscellaneous manuscript and printed material pertaining to Green's life and works, and to Foord's published account.

Among the diaries' entries are those mentioning a Temperance Convention of African-Americans held in Catskill, NY, in 1844; and the forming of his law partnership with Samuel J. Tilden in 1845.


The collection is arranged in chronological order in nine folders.

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Access Points

Subject Names

  • Foord, John
  • Green, A. H. (Andrew Haswell), 1820-1903
  • Mann, Henry, 1848-1915
  • Tweed, William Marcy, --1823-1878

Document Type

  • Correspondence
  • Diaries
  • Manuscripts

Subject Topics

  • Agriculture
  • Politics, Practical

Subject Places

  • Central Park (New York, N.Y.)
  • New York (N.Y.)
  • New York (N.Y.) -- Politics and government
  • Worcester (Mass.)

Family Name(s)

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Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

Open to qualified researchers.

Photocopying undertaken by staff only. Limited to twenty exposures of stable, unbound material per day. (Researchers may not accrue unused copy amounts from previous days.)

Use Restrictions

Permission to quote from this collection in a publication must be requested and granted in writing. Send permission requests, citing the name of the collection from which you wish to quote, to

Manuscripts Curator
The New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West
New York, NY 10024

Preferred Citation

This collection should be cited as Andrew Haswell Green Collection, The New-York Historical Society.

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Container List

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 1 Folder : 1 Letters from Green to his sisters in Worcester, Massachusetts
Box: 1 Folder : 2 Diaries in three volumes
Box: 1 Folder : 3 Letter from Central Park Commissioners to Mayor A. Oakley Hall on their leaving office
1879 Apr 9
Box: 1 Folder : 4 Typescript of "A Year's Record of a Reformer as Comptroller of New York City" (author unidentified)
Box: 1 Folder : 5 Printed and manuscipt items
1874-1910, undated
Box: 1 Folder : 6 Typescript account of Green's career as City Comptroller, by Henry Mann
Box: 1 Folder : 7 Typescript account of Green's role as Central Park Commissioner, by Henry Mann
Box: 1 Folder : 8 Manuscript notes by Foord on Green's diaries
1911, undated
Box: 1 Folder : 9 Account of Green's role in the consolidation of New York City (manuscript and printed)

General note

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements note


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