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Guide to the Strong Family Papers
1747-1940
 MS602

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


© 2011 New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Catherine Newton. Machine-readable finding aid created by Catherine Newton and Susan Kriete.

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit on November 21, 2012
Finding Aid is written in English.

Scope and Contents note

This collection includes correspondence, diaries, deeds, personal notes, and photographs of members of the Strong family located in Long Island and New York City.

The collection consists of two separate acquisitions, arranged in two series. Series I, Early Generations, consists mainly of correspondence from Benjamin Strong in New York City to his father and other members of his immediate family, spanning the period from 1790 to 1839. Letters to Selah Strong concern New York State politics (Selah Strong was elected New York State senator in 1792), Tammany Hall's support of Strong in his campaign for the senate, comments on Greenleaf's New York Journal, as well as family and business matters, sale of farm animals, fire wood, farm products, etc., in New York City. Additional correspondence includes 35 letters from Benjamin to his brother, Thomas S. Strong, a farmer in Brookhaven, Long Island, concerning family matters, his management of Thomas's financial affairs in New York City, and the sale of farm produce, meat, fire wood, fence posts, and hoop poles in New York City; letters to his brother George Washington Strong, on Long Island, many concerning the yellow fever epidemic of 1822 in New York City; letters to Rev. Isaac Ferris, concerning his appointment to the Pearl Street Presbyterian Church; and letters to various other family members, including Caroline A. S. Strong, Selah B. Strong, and a letter addressed to Selah Strong from his wife, Anna Strong, Feb. 28, 1800. Also included are approximately 21 deeds, releases, receipts, and related documents concerning title to property on John Street, New York City, owned by Benjamin Strong in 1832; accounts of Thomas S. Strong with his brother Benjamin, 1795-1847; and legal papers involving a trust for James H. Woodhull, "an idiot," (son of Benjamin's brother-in-law) and the members of assigned committee on his estate, including Benjamin and George W. Strong

Series II consists of diary entries and assorted other documents from John Ruggles Strong (the son of noted diarist George Templeton Strong). The first diary (bound) records John's activities over a 25 year period, from 1909 (at which point John Ruggles Strong was a retired widower) to 1936. Frequent mention is made of his adult son George Templeton Strong III (born 1888). The two had a contentious relationship. From 1923 to 1937, John began keeping a separate diary on loose sheets, with each page headed "George," to record his son's activities and their stormy relationship. At least one entry touches upon the ethnic transition of their uptown neighborhood, Hamilton Heights in West Harlem: "George says the owner or manager of the tennis court in front of his house, a Jew named Ullman, has rented teh court to Negroes, refusing to rent it any longer to the present white tenants" (December 1, 1934). Series II also includes approximately 100 family photographs, including portraits of family members from earlier generations.

Arrangement note

The collection consists of two separate acquisitions of Strong family material that has been arranged in two series.