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Guide to the Nicholas Low Papers Supplement
1784-1829
 MS 392.1

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 Charles S. Birmingham

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

Descriptive Summary

 
Title: Nicholas Low Papers Supplement
Dates: 1784-1829
Abstract:
Quantity: 0.5 Linear feet
Location note: Manuscript cage
Call Phrase: MS 392.1

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Biographical Note

1739 Mar. 30 Nicholas Low born near New Brunswick, NJ to Cornelius Low, Jr. and Johanna (Gouverneur) Low
1785 Low, already established as a prominent New York City businessman, is elected a director of the Bank of New York. Soon thereafter, he becomes a director of the NY branch of the Bank of the United States.
1788 Low, a member of the Assembly, is a Federalist member of the state constitutional convention in Poughkeepsie.
1790-1823 Low manages the finances of Rufus King, a fellow Federalist and government official.
[1800-1826] Low's chief interest is in the role of proprietor and land speculator in New York City and State.
1826 Nov. 15 Low dies in New York City

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Scope and Content Note

This collection consists of 167 items, the majority of which is correspondence, chiefly letters sent to Low by the statesman Rufus King concerning financial matters and, to some extent, political affairs. The remainder of the collection is made up of correspondence received by Low from other correspondents. There is one letter penned by Low himself as well as a portion of Nicholas Low's father Cornelius Low's will.

Rufus King's early letters to Low, which span the years 1790 to 1792, discuss matters of political affairs including: the establishment of a national bank; the Bank of North America and the Bank of New York; and the gubernatorial election in New York. Rufus King served as minister to Great Britain from 1796 to 1803. During this time, King's letters to Low discuss both domestic and international politics as well as his personal finances. As the years progress, the later correspondence from King primarily deals with his personal finances.

Arrangement

Chronological arrangement within each series.

This collection is organized into nine series.

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Access Points

Subject Names

  • Benson, Egbert, 1746-1833
  • King, Rufus, 1755-1827
  • Knox, Henry, 1750-1806
  • Madison, James, 1751-1836

Document Type

  • Business papers
  • Correspondence
  • Legal documents

Subject Organizations

  • Bank of New York
  • Bank of North America

Subject Topics

  • Banks and banking--United States
  • Finance, Personal
  • Napoleonic Wars, 1800-1815
  • National banks (United States)
  • Seizure of vessels and cargoes

Subject Places

  • France–History–Revolution, 1789-1799
  • Great Britain–History–1789-1820
  • New York (N.Y.)–Commerce
  • United States--Foreign relations--1789-1809
  • United States–Commerce

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Administrative Information

Provenance

Donation by Peter McBean, 1989

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

Library Director
The New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West
New York, NY 10024

Preferred Citation

This collection should be cited as Nicholas Low Papers Supplement, The New-York Historical Society.

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Container List

Series I: Rufus King, Letters sent to Nicholas Low, 1790-1823

Scope and Contents note

The letters between 1790 and 1823 span King's career as a U.S. Senator, from his first term to his last, and his time spent as Minister to Great Britain. The sustained topic of these letters is the state of King's financial affairs. The letters cast a great deal of light on the investments and financial interests of King and to the manner in which Low controlled them. Along with King's personal finances, the letters often turn to the domestic and international issues of the day. During King's first term as senator, he was especially concerned with the issue of banking in the United States. The early letters in this series include his thoughts on the establishment of the Bank of the United States and the role of the Bank of North America and the Bank of New York. Other topics include the defeat of Arthur St. Clair's army by the Indians, the 1792 campaign for governor in New York, William Duer's financial problems and a plan by Genet to send 2,000 men down the Mississippi River to take New Orleans and Florida.

After assuming the position of Minister to Great Britain in 1796, King's letters move away from the domestic concerns of the United States and are dominated by the war between England and France. From 1796 to 1803, King describes the course of the war, periodic negotiations for peace, developments and shifts in alliances (especially the role of North European powers) and popular opinion towards the war. As a representative from the United States, King's main concerns were the seizure of American ships by England and France, the effects of the war on American trade and the intentions of European powers in North America during and after the war. Of special interest is the letter dated October 10, 1798, which links Thomas Paine with advice given to the French on how to pursue a war against the United States. Along with reports on the war, King discusses trade prospects in Europe, describes domestic affairs in England and Ireland and makes general observations on the political scene in the United States. When King returned to the United States and returned to the Senate, his letters to Low tended to focus much more on his financial affairs and less on the work he was involved with and the issues of the nation.

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 1 Folder : 1790-1792 Establishment of a national bank; resolution on system for funding the public debt
1790 Dec. 13
Box: 1 Folder : 1790-1792 Surprise attack by Indians on St. Clair's army; information on the Bank of the United States
1791 Dec. 8
Box: 1 Folder : 1790-1792 Union of national and state banks; purchase of 30 or 40 scripts from (?) bank
1791 Dec. 11
Box: 1 Folder : 1790-1792 Indians attack on St. Clair's army
1791 Dec. 11
Box: 1 Folder : 1790-1792 Competition between state and national banks
1791 Dec. 18
Box: 1 Folder : 1790-1792 Bank of New York
1792 Jan. 22
Box: 1 Folder : 1790-1792 Bank of North America and bank notes
1792 Jan. 29
Box: 1 Folder : 1790-1792 Bank and branches in New York and Boston; Jay's election campaign for Governor of New York
1792 Mar. 1
Box: 1 Folder : 1790-1792 Bank branch in New York; election of governor; Duer's failure to make payment at the Bank of New York
1792 Mar. 11
Box: 1 Folder : 1790-1792 Financial problems for the Bank of New York
1792 Mar. 14
Box: 1 Folder : 1790-1792 Duer and his friends; Purchase of New York Bank stock
1792 Mar. 19
Box: 1 Folder : 1790-1792 Bank of North America; Bank of the United States; Bank of New York; Competition between the three
1792 Mar. 21
Box: 1 Folder : 1790-1792 Banks, Manufacturing Society
1792 Mar. 26
Box: 1 Folder : 1790-1792 Bank
1792 Apr. 1
Box: 1 Folder : 1790-1792 Bank and the "complete assumption" of debt
1792 Apr. 1
Box: 1 Folder : 1790-1792 Bank stocks; banks in general
1792 Apr. 8
Box: 1 Folder : 1790-1792 Personal finances
1792 Apr. 8
Box: 1 Folder : 1790-1792 Bank of the United States; Nomination of Wayne to command army in place of St. Clair
1792 Apr. 9
Box: 1 Folder : 1790-1792 Bank; election of Governor of New York; bank stocks
1792 Apr. 29
Box: 1 Folder : 1794-1796 Petition against Madison's resolution; a ship report from Bordeaux; French West Indies
1794 Feb. 16
Box: 1 Folder : 1794-1796 Prospects of peace/war with England; Low putting together a petition to Congress; 2,000 men under Clark and Logan, commissioned by Genet, plan to descend the Mississippi River and take New Orleans and Florida (Spain was notified of these intentions).
1794 Mar. 2
Box: 1 Folder : 1794-1796 A resolution put together in New York; the question of war with England
1794 Mar. 9
Box: 1 Folder : 1794-1796 Personal finances
1795 Dec. 14
Box: 1 Folder : 1794-1796 Personal finances
1796
Box: 1 Folder : 1794-1796 Personal finances
1796 Jan. 24
Box: 1 Folder : 1794-1796 Establishment of Mutual Insurance Company
1796 Jan. 29
Box: 1 Folder : 1794-1796 Wine shipment
1796 Feb. 27
Box: 1 Folder : 1794-1796 Effects of affairs with England on the insurance of ships
1796 Apr. 17
Box: 1 Folder : 1794-1796 Obtaining passage to London
1796 May 26
Box: 1 Folder : 1794-1796 Personal finances
1796 May 28
Box: 1 Folder : 1794-1796 Personal finances
1796 June 17
Box: 1 Folder : 1794-1796 Personal finances
1796 Aug. 1
Box: 1 Folder : 1794-1796 Personal finances
1796 Sept. 9
Box: 1 Folder : 1794-1796 Letter of introduction for Mr. MacDonald and Mr. Rush
1796 Dec. 6
Box: 1 Folder : 1797 Bank of England has stopped using spice and is continuing with the experiment with paper money; England's relations with France
1797 Mar. 11
Box: 1 Folder : 1797 Insurance of shipping vessels; the receptiveness of French leaders to peace; the call for peace in England
1797 Apr. 26
Box: 1 Folder : 1797 Personal finances; observations on current tensions in England (Ireland; Occupation on Thames River); conflict with England and France
1797 June 6
Box: 1 Folder : 1797 Letter of introduction for General Korusko(?)
1797 June 10
Box: 1 Folder : 1797 Concern that his letters have been seized; opinions on the war; seizure of ships during the war; paper currency in England; stocks
1797 Aug. 16
Box: 1 Folder : 1797 Personal finances; congratulations on the birth of Low's second son
1797 Sept. 9
Box: 1 Folder : 1797 War between England and France; "The Army of England"
1797 Nov. 13
Box: 1 Folder : 1798 Low's need to secure King's financial security; comments on captured ships
1798 Jan. 4
Box: 1 Folder : 1798 Defense of property in regards to American ships sailing in European waters and the possibility of sailing with convoys
1798 Jan. 15
Box: 1 Folder : 1798 War with France and the effects on merchants in the United States
1798 Feb. 7
Box: 1 Folder : 1798 Collection of personal debt; rebellion in Ireland
1798 Apr. 6
Box: 1 Folder : 1798 Personal finances
1798 June 8
Box: 1 Folder : 1798 Possible purchase of farm in Dutchess County, New York
1798 July 4
Box: 1 Folder : 1798 An act of Parliament concerning additional foreign duties upon trade and navigation
1798 July 7
Box: 1 Folder : 1798 Desire to purchase a farm in New York
1798 Aug. 14
Box: 1 Folder : 1798 Personal finances
1798 Sept. 25
Box: 1 Folder : 1798 The naval battle led by Admiral Nelson and the observation that the British are "now entire masters of the Mediterranean" and how that relates to the fate of Napoleon; France and Austria in conflict; Turks and Russians against the French; Thomas Paine's advice on how to pursue an attack against the United States; rebellion in Ireland
1798 Oct. 10
Box: 1 Folder : 1798 Request for goods from home
1798 Oct. 12
Box: 1 Folder : 1798 The French seizure of American vessels; trade prospects in Constantinople; war related taxes and public opinion in England
1798 Nov. 9
Box: 1 Folder : 1798 Personal finances
1798 Dec. 18
Box: 1 Folder : 1799 Personal affairs re: the house in New York City
1799 Jan. 3
Box: 1 Folder : 1799 Neutral ships being seized by British and French
1799 Jan. 24
Box: 1 Folder : 1799 Personal finances
1799 Jan. 24
Box: 1 Folder : 1799 Personal finances
1799 Feb. 26
Box: 1 Folder : 1799 Political affairs in Europe; commerce prospects
1799 Feb. 26
Box: 1 Folder : 1799 An epidemic in New York City; the war between France and England
1799 Apr. 19
Box: 1 Folder : 1799 Personal finances; Low's trip to India
1799 July 15
Box: 1 Folder : 1799 Personal finances; the war
1799 July 22
Box: 1 Folder : 1799 Low's and King's merchant trade; maritime system in England; personal finances; ship seizures in England
1799 Sept. 26
Box: 1 Folder : 1799 Personal finances
1799 Oct. 25
Box: 1 Folder : 1799 Personal finances; trade situation in Europe
1799 Nov. 1
Box: 1 Folder : 1799 Setting up B. Dandridge up as a merchant in New York
1799 Dec. 20
Box: 1 Folder : 1800 England, Austria and Russia and their commitment to war against France
1800 Jan. 24
Box: 1 Folder : 1800 Letter of introduction for Mr. Dandridge
1800 Feb. 21
Box: 1 Folder : 1800 Personal finances
1800 Feb. 26
Box: 1 Folder : 1800 Supply of food in England; American trade in Europe and European colonies when peace comes
1800 Mar. 8
Box: 1 Folder : 1800 The state of the war
1800 June 6
Box: 1 Folder : 1800 Changes in political direction of the U.S. and the effect it will have on property
1800 July 7
Box: 1 Folder : 1800 Personal finances
1800 Aug. 14
Box: 1 Folder : 1800 Life in England; possibilities of peace between Austria and France; American vessels traveling with convoys
1800 Aug. 16
Box: 1 Folder : 1800 The politics of war
1800 Sept. 2
Box: 1 Folder : 1800 Peace prospects; convoys
1800 Sept. 11
Box: 1 Folder : 1800 Purchasing a farm in New York
1800 Sept. 24
Box: 1 Folder : 1801 French convention and the prospect of peace
1801 Mar. 4
Box: 1 Folder : 1801 Personal finances; the war
1801 Mar. 7
Box: 1 Folder : 1801 Personal finances
1801 Mar. 7
Box: 1 Folder : 1801 The war and prospects of peace; selling his house
1801 Mar. 16
Box: 1 Folder : 1801 Selling his house; the war and prospects of peace
1801 Mar. 23
Box: 1 Folder : 1801 The war and prospects of peace
1801 Apr. 11
Box: 1 Folder : 1801 The war and prospects of peace; the Northern League (The League of Northern Powers); the death of the Russian Emperor
1801 Apr. 15
Box: 1 Folder : 1801 Personal finances
1801 Apr. 25
Box: 1 Folder : 1801 Relations between England and the United States
1801 May 9
Box: 1 Folder : 1801 Bringing a case concerning ship seizures
1801 May 21
Box: 1 Folder : 1801 Sale of his house
1801 July 3
Box: 1 Folder : 1801 The war; the Portugal Convention (?)
1801 July 4
Box: 1 Folder : 1801 Personal finances
1801 July 7
Box: 1 Folder : 1801 Personal finances and house on Maiden Lane
1801 July 23
Box: 1 Folder : 1801 Personal finances
1801 Aug. 14
Box: 1 Folder : 1801 England joyous over peace; the end of the blockade on U.S. naval vessels; general reaction to peace
1801 Oct. 14
Box: 1 Folder : 1801 French military expedition to the West Indies, and, possibly, Louisiana and its effects on American trade; peace
1801 Oct. 26
Box: 1 Folder : 1801 Peace; French expedition to St. Domingo; the expedition's need for supplies
1801 Dec. 26
Box: 1 Folder : 1802 Selling of Broadway house; personal finances
1802 Mar. 15
Box: 1 Folder : 1802 Observations; St. Domingo expedition
1802 Apr. 7
Box: 1 Folder : 1802 Selling his house to John J. Astor; personal finances; observations on British political scene
1802 June 10
Box: 1 Folder : 1802 Selling his house to John J. Astor; personal finances; observations on British political scene
1802 June 15
Box: 1 Folder : 1802 Personal finances
1802 June 16
Box: 1 Folder : 1802 Sale of house to Astor; personal finances
1802 June 30
Box: 1 Folder : 1802 Letter of introduction from Captain Upton of British Navy
1802 July 30
Box: 1 Folder : 1802 Returning to the states; visiting Paris; political climate of Europe; prospects of continued peace
1802 Dec. 3
Box: 1 Folder : 1803 Personal finances
1803 Feb. 6
Box: 1 Folder : 1803 Deed to house
1803 Feb. 10
Box: 1 Folder : 1803 Personal finances
1803 Mar. 5
Box: 1 Folder : 1803 Relations between England and France and the possibility of war recommencing and how that will effect the French expedition of Louisiana
1803 Mar. 9
Box: 1 Folder : 1805-1823 Personal finances
1805 Sept. 30
Box: 1 Folder : 1805-1823 Letter of introduction
1807 July 17
Box: 1 Folder : 1805-1823 Personal finances
1815 Mar. 22
Box: 1 Folder : 1805-1823 Personal finances (the cotton factory)
1815 Apr. 6
Box: 1 Folder : 1805-1823 Stock transfer to Low (official document)
1816 Nov. 9
Box: 1 Folder : 1805-1823 Congress' repeal of internal taxes
1817 Dec. 13
Box: 1 Folder : 1805-1823 Personal finances; Congress
1818 Jan. 9
Box: 1 Folder : 1805-1823 Personal finances
1818 Jan. 16
Box: 1 Folder : 1805-1823 Personal finances
1818 Jan. 17
Box: 1 Folder : 1805-1823 Personal finances
1818 Jan. 21
Box: 1 Folder : 1805-1823 Personal finances
1818 Jan. 23
Box: 1 Folder : 1805-1823 Death of (presumably) Low's wife
1818 Apr. 16
Box: 1 Folder : 1805-1823 Personal finances; Bank of New York
1823 Apr. 11
Box: 1 Folder : 1805-1823 Personal finances
1823 May 31
Box: 1 Folder : 1805-1823 Personal finances
1823 July 13

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Series II: Rufus King, Letter sent to Jonathan Burral, 1815, 1815

 

General note

Letter sent to Burral regarding Ballston Spa Company

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 1 Folder : 1815 Personal finances, Ballston Spa Company
1815 Nov. 14

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Series III: Rufus King, Letters sent to Augustus Flemming, 1818-1824, 1818-1824

 

General note

Letters sent to Flemming , who was most likely an assistant to Low, from King who was serving as a U.S. Senator from New York. All of the correspondence pertains to King's personal finances.

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 1 Folder : 1818-1824 Personal finances
1818 Aug. 14
Box: 1 Folder : 1818-1824 Personal finances
1821 Aug. 8
Box: 1 Folder : 1818-1824 Personal finances
1821 Nov. 27
Box: 1 Folder : 1818-1824 Personal finances
1822 Dec. 3
Box: 1 Folder : 1818-1824 Personal finances
1823 Aug. 2
Box: 1 Folder : 1818-1824 Personal finances
1823 Oct. 17
Box: 1 Folder : 1818-1824 Personal finances
1823 Oct. 31
Box: 1 Folder : 1818-1824 Personal finances
1823 Nov. 10
Box: 1 Folder : 1818-1824 Personal finances
1824 June 6

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Series IV: Rufus King, Power of Attorney, 1802, 1802

 

General note

King gives power of attorney to Low.

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 1 Folder : 1802 Power of attorney from King to Low
1802 July 14

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Series V: Nicholas Low, letters received (excluding King letters), 1784-1829, 1784-1829

 

General note

Letters sent to Low by prominent local, state, and national figures including Egbert Benson, Robert Morris, Samuel Smith, General Henry Knox and James Madison. The letters chiefly concern Low's mercantile and financial activities. Of special note is a letter which gives a detailed description of the sinking of the ship Bengal, presumably owned by Low.

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 1 Folder : 1784-1829 Smith Sam L. Thank you letter for sweet meats sent to Knewels
1784 Aug. 3
Box: 1 Folder : 1784-1829 Livingston, Peter R. Unable to take up a draft of $300
1785 June 6
Box: 1 Folder : 1784-1829 Egbert, Benson. Business transactions
1790 Feb. 4
Box: 1 Folder : 1784-1829 Egbert, Benson. Business transactions
1791 Feb. 4
Box: 1 Folder : 1784-1829 Buckholm, Thomas. Bill of landing, a case containing "a marble statue of the late eminent Dr. Franklyn"
1791 Oct. 10
Box: 1 Folder : 1784-1829 Morris, Robert. Received the wrong wine
1793 Apr. 29
Box: 1 Folder : 1784-1829 Noailles, Nisc. Wants a letter directed to R. Morris' home
1793 Sept. 6
Box: 1 Folder : 1784-1829 Watts, John. Financial dealings; information on debate regarding W. Clarke's proposition to prohibit commerce with England and Ireland
1794 Apr. 10
Box: 1 Folder : 1784-1829 Bingham, William. Concerning a wine shipment
1797 Jan. 12
Box: 1 Folder : 1784-1829 Cutting, John B. Letter of introduction for Lord Henry Stuart
1798 Apr. 3
Box: 1 Folder : 1784-1829 Morris, Thomas. Regarding a deed
1799 Apr. 7
Box: 1 Folder : 1784-1829 Madison, James. R. King's passage back to the United States.
1802 Oct. 9
Box: 1 Folder : 1784-1829 Knox, Henry, General. Information on Patterson Manufactory instituted under the auspices of "your lamentable friend Hamilton"
1805 Dec. 16
Box: 1 Folder : 1784-1829 DeRoven, Henry. Insurance of money aboard the Bengal bound for Buenos Aires
1806 Dec. 5
Box: 1 Folder : 1784-1829 DeRoven, Henry. Sinking of (Low's?) ship Bengal
1807 Apr. 4
Box: 1 Folder : 1784-1829 Mumford, Gordon. Letter to the President of the United States
1808 Mar. 12
Box: 1 Folder : 1784-1829 Conant, George C. Financial matters
1809 July 24
Box: 1 Folder : 1784-1829 Gay, A. Erection of a New York bath house on Beaver Street
1815
Box: 1 Folder : 1784-1829 Ogden, Gouverneur. Financial matters
1821 Sept. 18
Box: 1 Folder : 1784-1829 Ogden, David B. Low living with his daughter
1826
Box: 1 Folder : 1784-1829 Weddington, J. Public auction of pew in Trinity Church
1829 May 12

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Series VI: Nicholas Low, Miscellaneous Documents, 1801-1828

 

General note

A collection of documents relating to Low. Included within this series are a bill of sale for the ship, Lace; a request issued by the American Consulate, Amsterdam, for safe passage for the ship, Eugenia; a copy of an act by the New York State Legislature; legal opinions given on the seizure of a ship by the British and other documents; a financial contract; a circular regarding the Park Theatre.

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 1 Folder : 1801-1828 Bill of sale for vessel Lace
1801 Mar. 4
Box: 1 Folder : 1801-1828 Request for safe passage of vessel Eugenia by American consulate, Amsterdam
1801 Oct. 16
Box: 1 Folder : 1801-1828 Contract
1818 Oct. 26
Box: 1 Folder : 1801-1828 A copy of an act of the New York State Legislature
[1823 Feb. 28]
Box: 1 Folder : 1801-1828 Circular re: Park Theatre
1828 Apr. 14

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Series VII: Cornelius Low, Last Will, [1784], undated

 

General note

The will of Nicholas Low's father, Cornelius

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 1 Folder : Cornelius Low's last will The will of Cornelius Low, Nicholas Low's father
undated [proved June 30, 1784]

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Series VIII: Nicholas Low, Letter sent, undated

 

General note

Fragment of a draft of a letter concerning the motives behind the people who fled from Philadelphia and sought shelter in New York City.

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 1 Folder : Nicholas Low, Letter sent Letter sent by Nicholas Low, fragment of draft
undated

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Series IX: Gouverneur Ogden, Letter sent to Augustus Flemming, 1829, 1829

 

General note

Letter sent to Augustus Flemming by Gouverneur Ogden re: personal finances

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 1 Folder : 1829 Ogden letter to Flemming
1829 Feb. 24

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