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Guide to the King Family Papers
1754-1908
 MS 350

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


© 2011 New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Erin Shaw

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit on April 12, 2013
Finding Aid is written in English.
using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Descriptive Summary

 
Title: King Family Papers
Dates [inclusive]: 1754-1908
Abstract: The collection consists of correspondence, printed matter, and genealogical material, etc. of the descendents of Richard King (1718 - 1775) and Rufus King (1755 - 1827). The collection concerns the King family, other families directly descended from him, and some collateral branches. The following individuals are comparatively well documented: Rufus King (1755 - 1853), John Alsop King (1788 - 1867), Charles Ray King (1813 - 1901), Nancy Wharton (Fisher) King (1826 - 1905),and Charles F. Lennig (1836 - d.)
Quantity: 2.0 Linear feet
Language of Materials note: The King Family Papers are written in English.
Call Phrase: MS 350

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Historical note

This collection records the history of the King family from mid-eighteenth century to the early twentieth century. The papers concern the King family; other families descended directly from Richard King and Rufus King, and some collateral branches and connecting families are included.

Many of their descendents and relatives were prominent in politics, diplomacy, military service, law, business, banking and letters; particularly in Maine, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, and Great Britain. They were well-to-do, and connected by marriage with other distinguished and prominent New York families.

Rufus King (1755 – 1827) was an American lawyer, politician, and diplomat. He was born in Scarborough, Maine, then a section of Massachusetts, the eldest son of farmer-merchant Richard and Isabella King. He attended Harvard and briefly served in the military during the Revolutionary War. He was a delegate for Massachusetts to the Continental Congress. He also attended the Constitutional Convention and was one of the signers of the United States Constitution. He represented New York in the United States Senate, served as Minister to Britain, and was the Federalist candidate for Vice President two times and later Federalist candidate for President of the United States.

The lives of Rufus King's children and grandchildren are comparatively well documented in this collection. James Gore King (1791-1853), son of Rufus King, attended school in England and France while his father was ambassador to London. After graduating from Harvard and studying law, he became a banker, and in 1818 with his brother-in-law, Archibald Gracie, Jr. established in Liverpool the firm of King and Gracie.

John Alsop King (1788 – 1867), son of Rufus King, practiced law in New York City. John King's law career was interrupted by a stint as a cavalry lieutenant in the War of 1812. After the war, he ventured into politics. King was a member of the New York State Assembly and later the New York State Senate. King was elected as a Whig to the 31st United States Congress. He also served a short term as Governor of New York from 1837-1838.

Charles King (1789 – 1867), son of Rufus King, was a captain of a volunteer regiment in the early part of the War of 1812, and served in the 1814 New York Assembly. He was married to Eliza Gracie, the daughter of shipping magnate Archibald Gracie. He served as the ninth president of Columbia College (now Columbia University), holding the role from 1849 to 1864.

The King Family Papers also include those of John Alsop (1724 - 1794), Charles Ray King (1813 - 1901), Nancy Wharton King (1826 - 1905), Charles F. Lenning (1836 - d.) as well as additional family correspondence.

Genealogical information of the King family are located in Series II.

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Scope and Contents note

The bulk of the collection consists of correspondence (mostly among family members), and various legal and financial documents. The papers delineate personal and social lives; they deal to a much lesser extent with public, political and business affairs. They document many aspects of the lives of women and men: birth, marriage and death, daily activities and events, visits and travels, and interpersonal relations among families and friends.

There is genealogical material, mostly in the form of hand-drawn family trees. There are also inventories of personal property, memorabilia, such as visiting cards, drawings, newspapers, clippings, and photographs.

Unless specified in the inventory as copies (transcriptions), documents are assumed to be original.

Arragement

  1. Series I: Correspondence
  2. Series II: General Family Materials

The King Family Papers are divided into two series. Series I is divided into twelve subseries based on members of the King Family. Series II is organized by subject.

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Access Points

Subject Names

  • Alsop, John, 1724-1794
  • Fisher, James Cowles (1817-1896)
  • Johnson, Lawrence, 1801-1860
  • King, Charles Ray, 1813-1901
  • King, Charles, 1789-1867
  • King, James G. (James Gore), 1791-1853
  • King, John Alsop, 1788-1867
  • King, Mary Lennig Fisher, 1844-1900
  • King, Nancy Wharton Fisher, 1826-1905
  • King, Rufus, 1755-1827
  • Lennig, Charles Frederick, 1836-d.
  • Lennig, Millicent Gaw Johnson, 1882-1919
  • Troup, Robert, 1757-1832

Subject Topics

  • Abolitionists -- United States.
  • Americans -- Foreign countries
  • Americans--England--London
  • Genealogy
  • Letters
  • Lumber trade -- United States.
  • United States -- History -- Revolution, 1775-1783
  • United States--politics and government--19th century
  • Upper class -- New York (State)-- New York

Subject Places

  • Illinois
  • New York (N.Y.)
  • Philadelphia (Pa.)
  • United States--Politics and government--1783-1865

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Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

Open to qualified researchers.

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

Preferred Citation note

This collection should be cited as the King Family Papers, MS 350, The New-York Historical Society.

Related Material at The New-York Historical Society

Further information about the King Family is located at the New-York Historical Society within the Rufus King Papers and the  Erving-King Family Papers.

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Container List

Series I: Correspondence, 1761-1908

Scope and Contents note

The bulk of the collection consists of correspondence, mostly among family members.

Unless specified in the inventory as copies (transcriptions), documents are assumed to be original. The series is organized in a loosely chronological order.

Subseries 1: John Alsop, 1761-1786

Biographical note

John Alsop (1724 – 1794) was an American merchant and politician from New York City during the American Revolution. He was a delegate for New York to the Continental Congress, and the father-in-law of Rufus King. His correspondence includes letters to Philip Livingston and Thomas Wharton and a letter from his daughter, Mary Alsop King (1769 - 1819).

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 1 Folder : 1 Correspondence from John Alsop
1761-1777
Box: 1 Folder : 2 Correspondence to John Alsop
1786

Subseries 2: Rufus King, 1773-1826

Biographical note

Rufus King (1755 – 1827) was an American lawyer, politician, and diplomat. He was a delegate for Massachusetts to the Continental Congress. He also attended the Constitutional Convention and was one of the signers of the United States Constitution. He represented New York in the United States Senate, served as Minister to Britain, and was a Federalist candidate for Vice President (1804, 1808) and later President of the United States (1816). The majority of King's correspondence is to Dr. Robert Southgate (his brother-in-law) during the revolutionary period and later to Robert Troup (1756 - 1832).

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 1 Folder : 3 Correspondence from Rufus King
1773-1779
Box: 1 Folder : 4 Correspondence from Rufus King
1780-1793
Box: 1 Folder : 5 Correspondence from Rufus King
1794-1800
Box: 1 Folder : 6 Correspondence from Rufus King
1801-1824
Box: 1 Folder : 7 Correspondence to Rufus King
1785-1800
Box: 1 Folder : 8 Correspondence to Rufus King
1801-1806
Box: 1 Folder : 9 Correspondence to Rufus King
1815-1826
Box: 1 Folder : 10 Correspondence: Rufus King
undated
Box: 1 Folder : 11 Correspondence: Rufus King (Transcriptions)
1789-1821

Subseries 3: John Alsop King, 1803-1867

Biographical note

John Alsop King (1788 – 1867) was the son of Rufus King. He was a member of the New York State Assembly and later the New York State Senate. King was elected as a Whig to the 31st United States Congress. He also served a short term as Governor of New York from 1837-1838. The majority of correspondence is with his son, Charles Ray King and his brothers.

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 1 Folder : 13 Correspondence from John Alsop King
1826-1828
Box: 1 Folder : 14 Correspondence to John Alsop King
1803-1835
Box: 1 Folder : 15 Correspondence to John Alsop King
1836-1867
Box: 1 Folder : 16 Correspondence: John Alsop King
Undated

Subseries 4: Charles King, 1821-1825

Biographical note

Charles King (1789 – 1867) was the son of Rufus King. He served as the ninth president of Columbia College (now Columbia University), holding the role from 1849 to 1864. The majority of correspondence is with his brother, John Alsop King.

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 1 Folder : 17 Correspondence from Charles King
1821-1825
Box: 1 Folder : 18 Correspondence to Charles King
undated

Subseries 5: James Gore King, 1823-1853

Biographical note

James Gore King (1791-1853) was the son of Rufus King. After graduating from Harvard and studying law, he became a banker, and in 1818 with his brother-in-law, Archibald Gracie, Jr. established in Liverpool the firm of King and Gracie. The majority of correspondence with his father, Rufus King, and his brother, Charles King.

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 1 Folder : 19 Correspondence from James Gore King
1823-1853
Box: 1 Folder : 20 Correspondence from James Gore King (Transcriptions)
1824
Box: 1 Folder : 21 Correspondence to James Gore King
1827

Subseries 6: Lawrence Johnson, 1837-1854

Biographical note

Lawrence Johnson (1801 – 1860) was born in England and emigrated to the United States of America in his youth. He became an eminent stereotyper and type-founder in Philadelphia and one of the most extensive and successful type-founders in the United States. He is the grandfather of Millicent (Johnson) King Lennig (1882 - 1919). The majority of correspondence is with his children.

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 1 Folder : 12 Correspondence to Lawrence Johnson
1837-1854

Subseries 7: Charles Ray King, 1836-1898

Biographical note

Charles Ray King (1813 - 1901) was the son of John Alsop King and the grandson of Rufus King. He was first married to Hannah Wharton (Fisher) King in 1839, and later after her death married her sister, Nancy Wharton (Fisher) King, in 1872. He was a physician who resided in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. The majority of correspondence is with his father, John Alsop King (1788 - 1867) and his children.

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 2 Folder : 1 Correspondence from Charles Ray King
1836-1882
Box: 2 Folder : 2 Correspondence to Charles Ray King
1872-1873
Box: 2 Folder : 3 Correspondence to Charles Ray King
1874-1889
Box: 2 Folder : 4 Correspondence to Charles Ray King
1890-1898
Box: 2 Folder : 5 Correspondence to Charles Ray King
undated

Subseries 8: Nancy Wharton (Fisher) King, 1873-1875

Biographical note

Nancy Wharton (Fisher) King (1826 - d.) was the second wife of Charles Ray King and the sister of his first wife, Hannah. The majority of correspodence is between immediate family members.

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 2 Folder : 6 Correspondence to Nancy Wharton (Fisher) King
1873
Box: 2 Folder : 7 Correspondence to Nancy Wharton (Fisher) King
1873-1875

Subseries 9: Charles F. Lennig, 1866-1893

Biographical note

Charles Frederick Lennig (1836 - 1868) was the son-in-law of Charles Ray King (1813 - 1901). Lennig married King's daughter, Mary Fisher King (1844 - 1900). Lennig was an attorney in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The majority of correspondence is with his wife, Mary Fisher (King) Lennig (1844 - 1900).

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 2 Folder : 8 Correspondence from Charles F. Lennig
1866-1875
Box: 2 Folder : 9 Correspondence to Charles F. Lennig
1854-1893
Box: 2 Folder : 10 Correspondence to Charles F. Lennig
undated

Subseries 10: Mary Fisher (King) Lennig, 1872-1873

Biographical note

Mary Fisher (King) Lennig (1844 - 1900) was the daughter of Charles Ray King (1813 - 1901) and the wife of Charles F. Lennig (1836 - 1868). She lived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The majority of correspondence is with her husband, Charles F. Lennig, and her father, Charles Ray King.

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 3 Folder : 1 Correspondence to Mary Fisher (King) Lennig
1872-1873

Subseries 11: Millicent (Johnson) King Lennig, 1908

Biographical note

Millicent Gaw (Johnson) King Lennig (1874 - 1919) was the granddaughter of Lawrence Johnson (1801 - 1860) and the daughter-in-law of Charles F. Lennig (1836 - 1868) and Mary Fisher (King) Lennig (1844 - 1900). She married Rufus King Lennig (1874 - d.) in 1913 and lived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. All correspondence is with her cousin, Morris W. Johnson.

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 3 Folder : 2 Correspondence to Millicent (Johnson) King Lennig
1908

Subseries 12: Unidentified Correspondence, 1832-1877, undated

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 3 Folder : 3 Unidentified Correspondence
1832-1877, undated

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Series II: General Family Materials, 1803-1900

Scope and Contents note

Series II contains voluminous genealogical material, much in the form of repetitious handwritten notations and handwritten family trees. There are also inventories of personal property, memorabilia, such as visiting cards, drawings, newspapers, clippings, and photographs. There are documents relating to Rufus King's notes on the following: an act to provide for certain surviving officers and soldiers of the Revolutionary Army (1817), and the admission of Illinois and Missouri to the United States (1818). There are also biographical/obituary materials for John Alsop King (1817 - 1900) and James Cowles Fisher (1756 - 1840).

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 3 Folder : 4 Rufus King: Financial and Legal Documents
1803-1820
Box: 3 Folder : 5 Rufus King: H.R. 8 "A Bill to Provide for Certain Surviving Officers and Soldiers of the Revolutionary Army" (Draft)
1817
Box: 3 Folder : 6 Rufus King: Notes on the Bills for the Admission of the States of Missouri and Illinois
1818
Box: 3 Folder : 7 Memorial on Behalf of Archibald Gracie
1817
Box: 3 Folder : 8 James Cowles Fisher: "Memorandum of my Birth and Connections"
1832
Box: 3 Folder : 9 Charles Ray King: Passport
1834
Box: 3 Folder : 10 James Gore King: Daniel Webster Speech Notes
1835
Box: 3 Folder : 11 Historical and Geneological Notes on the King Family and Descendents
1755-1900, undated
Box: 3 Folder : 12 Geneological Charts of King Descendents
1891
Box: 3 Folder : 13 Papers Concerning the Death of John Alsop King
1900, undated

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