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Guide to the Morgan Lewis Papers
1715-1860
 MS 383

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 Susan E. Burke

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit on November 01, 2011
Description is in English.

Descriptive Summary

 
Title: Morgan Lewis Papers
Dates: 1715-1860
Abstract: The Morgan Lewis Papers consist primarily of papers belonging to Morgan Lewis (1754-1844) and his family members, including correspondence, accounts, leases, mortgages, wills, maps, surveys, rent rolls, commissions, printed materials, and notes. They cover his time as a solider in the American Revolution and the War of 1812, as a jurist, and as governor of New York and primarily describe the business and land dealings of Morgan Lewis and his extended family.
Quantity: 7.5 Linear feet (8 boxes)
Location note: Manuscript Cage
Call Phrase: MS 383

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Biographical Note

October 16, 1754 Morgan Lewis is born.
1773 Lewis graduates with high honors from the College of New Jersey (Princeton University) and goes on to study law with John Jay.
1775 June Joins a rifle company at the outbreak of the American Revolution.
1775 August Becomes commander of a company of volunteers.
1775 Nov. Becomes 1st Major of the 2nd regiment, commanded by John Jay.
1776 June Appointed deputy quartermaster-general.
May 11, 1779 Marries Gertrude Livingston, daughter of Robert R. Livingston.
1785 Forms law partnership with Richard Harrison.
1789 Elected to the New York State Assembly.
1791 Nov. Becomes Attorney General of New York.
1792 Elected to the New York State Assembly.
December 24, 1792 Named to the New York Supreme Court.
October 28, 1801 Becomes chief justice of the New York Supreme Court.
1804 Defeats Aaron Burr to become governor of New York.
1804 Appoints son-in-law, Maturin Livingston (married to Lewis's daughter Margaret) to the position of recorder of New York, amidst accusations of nepotism.
1806 Maturin Livingston is removed as recorder of New York by DeWitt Clinton and the Council of Appointments.
1807 Removes the popular New York City mayor, DeWitt Clinton, from office. Defeated in his bid for re-election as governor by Daniel D. Tompkins.
1810 Elected senator in the New York Assembly.
1812 Appointed quartermaster-general with the rank of brigadier general.
1813 Appointed major general and briefly commanded the Northern Army when Major General Henry Dearborn became ill. Lewis failed to follow up on the American victory at Ft. George leading to the subsequent American defeat at Stoney Creek. He then served under Major General James Wilkinson in the ill fated attempt to take Montreal from the British troops.
1814 Assigned to the defense of New York City.
June 15, 1815 Receives honorable discharge from the United States military.
1830-1844 Serves as grandmaster of the Masonic Order of the State of New York.
1832-1836 Serves as president of the New-York Historical Society.
1839 Named an honorary member of both the Georgia Historical Society and the American Institute.
1839-1844 Serves as president general of the Society of the Cincinnati.
April 7, 1844 Morgan Lewis dies.

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Scope and Content Note

The Morgan Lewis Papers consists primarily of the land dealings and personal correspondence of Morgan Lewis (1754-1844) and his family members, including correspondence, accounts, leases, mortgages, wills, maps, surveys, rent rolls, commissions, printed materials, and notes. They cover his time as a solider in the American Revolution and the War of 1812, as a jurist, and as governor of New York and primarily describe the business and land dealings of Morgan Lewis and his extended family. The collection also contains the land dealings and correspondence of his son-in-law, Maturin Livingston, the land dealings of Henry Beekman, his wife's maternal grandfather, and the correspondence of his daughter, Margaret Lewis Livingston, and his wife, Gertrude Livingston Lewis.

Also included in the collection are an 1801 copy of Robert R. Livingston's will; a document from 1805 entitled "The Sins of the United States" and signed by "Shiloh" that was sent to "The Governor of the State of New York" when Morgan Lewis held that position; letters from 1806 relating to Maturin Livingston's removal as recorder of New York; a letter from DeWitt Clinton on November 15, 1824, favoring Andrew Jackson for president; letters from 1830, 1831, and 1842 pertaining to Masonic matters, including an 1842 letter from James Herring suggesting that Lewis contact John Jacob Astor to obtain funding for a new Masonic building; and Margaret Livingston's correspondence from the early 1840s regarding the antirent agitation, including a letter from P.P. Wright in August of 1845 describing the murder of Sheriff O.N. Steele in Delaware County, New York.

The majority of the collection is composed of land deals negotiated in Duchess and Delaware counties in New York between Morgan Lewis and various renters. Materials prior to 1775 deal primarily with the land dealings of Henry Beekman, who was Gertrude Livingston's maternal grandfather. The correspondence is also primarily focused on the business, financial, and legal transactions of Morgan Lewis and his extended family.

Arrangement

Items in the collection are arranged chronologically. The undated material in box 8 is arranged by subject matter.

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Access Points

Subject Names

  • Beekman, Henry, 1688-1776
  • Lewis, Gertrude Livingston, 1757-1833
  • Lewis, Margaret, 1780-1860
  • Livingston, Maturin, 1769-1847
  • Livingston, Peter R., 1766-1847
  • Livingston, Robert James, 1760-1827

Document Type

  • Bills
  • Commissions
  • Correspondence
  • Leases
  • Legal documents
  • Maps
  • Mortgages
  • Pamphlets
  • Surveys
  • Wills

Subject Topics

  • Antirent War, N.Y., 1839-1846
  • Farm tenancy
  • Land Tenure
  • Landlord and tenant
  • Politics, Practical
  • Rent Rolls
  • United States--History--Revolution, 1775-1783
  • United States--History--War of 1812

Subject Places

  • Delaware County (N.Y.)
  • Dutchess County (N.Y.)
  • New York (N.Y.)

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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 the Morgan Lewis Papers, The New-York Historical Society.

Related Material at The New-York Historical Society

Additional material at NYHS related to Morgan Lewis:

The Beekman Family Papers

The Robert R. Livingston Papers

Cheetham, James. 1806.  Observations on the Conduct of Governor Lewis: In relation to the Bribery Charged on the Passage of the Act to Incorporate the Merchants' Bank. New York: Printed by James Cheetham.

Delafield, Julia Livingston, Mrs. 1877.  Biographies of Francis Lewis and Morgan Lewis. By their Granddaughter, Julia Delafield. New York, A.D.F. Randolph and Company.

Person in New York. 1807.  A Concise Account of the Rise, Progress, and Final Dissolution of the Late General Committee Friendly to the Re-election of His Excellency Morgan Lewis : In a Letter / from a person in New York to his friend in the country. New York: The Committee.

 To the Republican electors of the state: Fellow-citizens, Governor Clinton, your long tried and faithful servant, having declined a re-election, two candidates are offered to your choice as his successor: the one is Chief Justice Lewis, the other is Aaron Burr. 1804. Broadside. [New York : s.n.].

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Container List


Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 1 Folder : 1 Correspondence and Papers
1715-1769
Box: 1 Folder : 2 Correspondence and Papers
1770-1774
Box: 1 Folder : 3 Correspondence and Papers
1775-1779
Box: 1 Folder : 4 Correspondence and Papers
1780-1784
Box: 1 Folder : 5 Correspondence and Papers
1785-1789
Box: 1 Folder : 6 Correspondence and Papers
1790-1792
Box: 1 Folder : 7 Correspondence and Papers
1793-1794
Box: 1 Folder : 8 Correspondence and Papers
1795
Box: 1 Folder : 9 Correspondence and Papers
1796-1799
Box: 2 Folder : 1 Correspondence and Papers
1800
Box: 2 Folder : 2 Correspondence and Papers
1801
Box: 2 Folder : 3 Correspondence and Papers
1802
Box: 2 Folder : 4 Correspondence and Papers
1803
Box: 2 Folder : 5 Correspondence and Papers
1804
Box: 2 Folder : 6 Correspondence and Papers
1805
Box: 2 Folder : 7 Correspondence and Papers
1806
Box: 2 Folder : 8 Correspondence and Papers
1807
Box: 2 Folder : 9 Correspondence and Papers
1808
Box: 2 Folder : 10 Correspondence and Papers
1809
Box: 2 Folder : 11 Correspondence and Papers
1810
Box: 3 Folder : 1 Correspondence and Papers
1811
Box: 3 Folder : 2 Correspondence and Papers
1812
Box: 3 Folder : 3 Correspondence and Papers
1813
Box: 3 Folder : 4 Correspondence and Papers
1814
Box: 3 Folder : 5 Correspondence and Papers
1815
Box: 3 Folder : 6 Correspondence and Papers
1816
Box: 3 Folder : 7 Correspondence and Papers
1817
Box: 3 Folder : 8 Correspondence and Papers
1818
Box: 3 Folder : 9 Correspondence and Papers
1819
Box: 4 Folder : 1 Correspondence and Papers
1820
Box: 4 Folder : 2 Correspondence and Papers
1821
Box: 4 Folder : 3 Correspondence and Papers
1822
Box: 4 Folder : 4 Correspondence and Papers
1823
Box: 4 Folder : 5 Correspondence and Papers
1824
Box: 4 Folder : 6 Correspondence and Papers
1825
Box: 5 Folder : 1 Correspondence and Papers
1826
Box: 5 Folder : 2 Correspondence and Papers
1827
Box: 5 Folder : 3 Correspondence and Papers
1828
Box: 5 Folder : 4 Correspondence and Papers
1829
Box: 6 Folder : 1 Correspondence and Papers
1830
Box: 6 Folder : 2 Correspondence and Papers
1831
Box: 6 Folder : 3 Correspondence and Papers
1832
Box: 6 Folder : 4 Correspondence and Papers
1833
Box: 6 Folder : 5 Correspondence and Papers
1834
Box: 6 Folder : 6 Correspondence and Papers
1835
Box: 6 Folder : 7 Correspondence and Papers
1836
Box: 6 Folder : 8 Correspondence and Papers
1837
Box: 6 Folder : 9 Correspondence and Papers
1838
Box: 6 Folder : 10 Correspondence and Papers
1839
Box: 7 Folder : 1 Correspondence and Papers
[1840-1849]
Box: 7 Folder : 2 Correspondence and Papers
1840
Box: 7 Folder : 3 Correspondence and Papers
1841
Box: 7 Folder : 4 Correspondence and Papers
1842
Box: 7 Folder : 5 Correspondence and Papers
1843
Box: 7 Folder : 6 Correspondence and Papers
1844
Box: 7 Folder : 7 Correspondence and Papers
1845-1846
Box: 7 Folder : 8 Correspondence and Papers
1847
Box: 7 Folder : 9 Correspondence and Papers
1848
Box: 7 Folder : 10 Correspondence and Papers
1849
Box: 7 Folder : 11 Correspondence and Papers
1850-1851
Box: 7 Folder : 12 Correspondence and Papers
1852
Box: 7 Folder : 13 Correspondence and Papers
1853-1860
Box: 8 Folder : 1 Notes pertaining to Government and Military Matters
Undated
Box: 8 Folder : 2 Correspondence sent to Morgan Lewis
Undated
Box: 8 Folder : 3 Correspondence sent by Morgan Lewis
Undated
Box: 8 Folder : 4 Correspondence sent to Margaret Livingston
Undated
Box: 8 Folder : 5 Correspondece sent by Maria Tillotson
Undated
Box: 8 Folder : 6 Correspondence
Undated
Box: 8 Folder : 7 Photograph of "Mrs L" and her two children, Ogden and Bobby
Undated
Box: 8 Folder : 8 Ephemera
Undated
Box: 8 Folder : 9 Accounts, Bills, and Receipts
Undated
Box: 8 Folder : 10 Maps and Surveys of Plots of Land
Undated
Box: 8 Folder : 11 Newspaper Clippings
Undated
Box: 8 Folder : 12 Geneaological Materials pertaining to the Livingston and Beekman Families
Undated
Box: 8 Folder : 13 Note pertaining to a Jewel Theft
Undated
Box: 8 Folder : 14 Biographical Information on Morgan Lewis
Undated
Box: 8 Folder : 15 Legal Documents
Undated
Box: 8 Folder : 16 Historical Materials
Undated
Box: 8 Folder : 17 Prayers and Religious Materials
Undated
Box: 8 Folder : 18 Notes
Undated
Box: 8 Folder : 19 Poetry
Undated

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