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Guide to the Seaman Family Papers
1761-1983 (bulk 1830-1923)
  MS 552

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

@ 2011 New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Jan Hilley and Megan Hahn Fraser

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit on November 02, 2011
Description is in English.

Container List

Series VI. Business and Financial Documents, 1813-1923

Scope and Contents note

This series (one box and 36 volumes) contains papers of a business or financial nature, the majority having belonged to Abner Van Horn. The folders are arranged by type of document with the exception of Box 5, Folder 1. This folder holds two packets of various document types all involving Junius Judson, manufacturer of governors and valves, who supplied valves to Van Horn's business. The packets include correspondence, receipts, accounts, illustrations, etc. Folders 3 and 4 contain a large number of receipts and bills. Along with these are what appear to be worksheets on which bills were calculated. The items include Van Horn business purchases as well as customer accounts and bills. They are arranged chronologically, falling between 1864 and 1879 with the bulk dated 1870. In Folder 5 are bonds issued by the Mott Manufacturing Company along with a notice that the Mott Company is filing bankruptcy (both Van Horn and Henry Freeman are listed as creditors); a related letter written by Abner Van Horn; and a document transferring company stock to Van Horn. Items in Folder 7 include miscellaneous documents such as a survey report, insurance policy documents and cancelled checks.

Two folders contain Seaman Family items. Folder 8 contains an account book belonging to the George A. Seaman family. Among its entries are items purchased for his children, Emily, George and Charles (Carl). There are several of George Williams Seaman's receipts in Folder 9. The final folder (Folder 10) in this series is an account book fragment; the author is not identifiable.

The majority of volumes in this series are those of Abner Van Horn and Company. According to the 1870 New York City Directory, the company was located at 624 5th Street, between Avenue D and Lewis Street. Most of the volumes are account books or ledgers. Among them are a Workmen's Account Book and a Wage Book that identify hours worked and wages paid. It appears that Henry V. Freeman, Van Horn's son-in-law, was also an employee of the company. A Diary (1880-1884) belonging to Henry V. Freeman is of interest not only for its financial content but also the information printed in the volume (e.g., "Eclipses for 1880," "Church Days," postage and interest tables, "The Interest Laws of the United States" and "Population of States and Territories 1870").

A volume labeled "Journal" is actually used as both an account book and a scrapbook. Belonging to Abner Van Horn, it contains transactions that occurred in 1836-1839 while he was doing business in Charleston, South Carolina, as well as business conducted in 1842 in New York. The rest of the volume is taken up with newspaper clippings on a variety of topics, one of which is Shakespeare, primarily the controversy over who actually wrote Shakespeare's plays, etc. There are also articles on Epictetus, Raphael, Rubens, Swedenborg, Prior and others, as well as an article by Henry Ward Beecher called "Cats, Dogs and Robins."

Two of the volumes belonged to Irmingarde Van Horne Freeman Seaman. One is an Account Book from her home furnishings and decorating business. The other, labeled "Bank Book," contains lists of layette items and their costs for two different years - 1904 and 1908. Her daughter, Sarah Corvinus, was born in 1904 and her son, Ogden Van Horne, in 1908.

While fewer in number than the Van Horn volumes, those of the Seaman family contain a mix of business papers that reveal a good deal about the David Brown Company, later George W. Seaman, Inc., a New York City-based import-export business dealing in wood and rubber. Much of the material is loosely contained within a large Ledger Book (1913-1923) and a Letterbook (1918-1923) of business correspondence, shipping documents, bills of lading and brochures.

Some of the volumes in this series are in good condition although others have begun to deteriorate, have faded ink, or have come unbound. The letterbook of business correspondence contains numerous items in poor condition. Several volumes are housed in boxes or enclosures (*).

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 5 Folder : 1 Abner Van Horn Business Correspondence, Accounts, Receipts - Junius Judson Governor Works
Box: 5 Folder : 2 Abner Van Horn Proposals and Related Documents
Box: 5 Folder : 3 Abner Van Horn & Co. Receipts and Bills (1 of 2)
1864 - 1879
Box: 5 Folder : 4 Abner Van Horn & Co. Receipts and Bills (2 of 2)
Box: 5 Folder : 5 Abner Van Horn - Mott Manufacturing Co. Bonds
Box: 5 Folder : 6 Abner Van Horn Pages from Account Book
Box: 5 Folder : 7 Abner Van Horn Miscellaneous Business Documents
Box: 5 Folder : 8 Seaman Family Account Book
Box: 5 Folder : 9 George W. Seaman Receipts
1916, Undated
Box: 5 Folder : 10 Account Book Fragment
Volume: Receipt Book Samuel and Mary Freeman *
Volume: Journal A. Van Horn *
Volume: Account Book A. Van Horn *
Volume: Account Book Van Horn *
Volume: Day Book A. Van Horn
Volume: Account Book A. Van Horn
Volume: Accounts Receivable / Payable Abner Van Horn
Volume: Ledger CM& J
Volume: Ledger A & A Van Horn
Volume: Account Book Van Horn / Freeman
Volume: Stock Book NY OLEIC Company (Van Horn)
Volume: Bank Book (Check Register) A. Van Horn *
Volume: Account Book
Volume: Account Book
Volume: Ledger
Volume: Account Book A. Van Horn & Co.
Volume: Ledger
Volume: Workmen's Account Book Van Horn
1866-1873, 1877-1883
Volume: Account Book
Volume: Account Book
Volume: Bank Book A. Van Horn *
Volume: Account Book
Volume: Wage Book Freeman / Van Horn *
Volume: Letterbook Abner Van Horn
Volume: Cash Book NY OLEIC Company (A. Van Horn)
Volume: Diary Henry V. Freeman *
Volume: Account Book Irmingarde Van Horne Freeman House Furnishing and Decorations *
Volume: Bank Book (Lists Layette Items and Costs ) Irmingarde Van Horne Freeman Seaman *
1904, 1908
Volume: Notebook Van Horn *
Volume: Notebook * (Financial Notes - Amounts Paid)
Volume: Account Book John B. Seaman
Volume: The Merchant's and Seaman's Expeditious Measurer George W. Seaman *
Volume: Ledger Book David Brown Co. -- George W. Seaman *
Volume: Stock Certificates
Volume: Letterbook / Business Correspondence *
Volume: Stock Book and Ledger (used as Order Book)

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