Rare Book & Manuscript Library

Duer family papers, 1784-1937

Summary Information


The Duer Family papers include correspondence, diaries, genealogical manuscripts and notes, miscellaneous poetry, and early photographs, daguerreotypes, tintypes, engravings, and illustrations (the Duer coat of arms). The collection depicts aspects of social customs in Old New York, patriotism, and life abroad.

At a Glance

Call No.: MS#0369
Bib ID 4078716 View CLIO record
Creator(s) Duer family
Title Duer family papers, 1784-1937
Physical Description 2.515 linear feet (7 manuscript boxes)
Language(s) English .

This collection has no restrictions.

This collection is located on-site.



Some of the correspondence and manuscripts are cataloged.

The collection is arranged in three series.



The Duer Family Papers consists primarily of correspondence, documents, and books pertaining to the Duer Family as well as tintypes, daguerreotypes, photographs and illustrations. Also included in the collection are the diaries of Frances Maria Duer Hoyt's travels in Europe from 1864 to 1894, and the diaries of Hannah Maria Denning Duers from 1838 to 1862.

Using the Collection

Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Restrictions on Access

This collection has no restrictions.

This collection is located on-site.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. The RBML maintains ownership of the physical material only. Copyright remains with the creator and his/her heirs. The responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.

Preferred Citation

Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Duer family papers; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.

Selected Related Material-- at Columbia

Alice Duer Miller Papers, Barnard College Archives.

Duer Family Papers, Barnard College Archives.

Elizabeth Meads Duer Papers, Barnard College Archives.

Caroline King Duer Papers, Barnard College Archives.

"Reminiscences of Caroline King Duer," Oral History Research Office.

Papers of George Washington, University of Virgina.

Papers of William Duer, New-York Historical Society.


No additons expected

Ownership and Custodial History

The Duer family papers were assembled by Caroline King Duer (1865-1956), Alice Duer Miller (1874-1942, Barnard College A.B., 1899), and May King Van Rensselaer (1848-1925).

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Processing Information

Cataloged Christina Hilton Fenn 06/--/1989.

Papers processed by Vanessa Cano (Pratt Institute, 2011).

Finding aid written by Vanessa Cano (Pratt Institute, 2011) February 2011.

Revision Description

2011-03-04 File created.

2011-03-08 XML document instance created by Catherine C. Ricciardi

2019-05-20 EAD was imported spring 2019 as part of the ArchivesSpace Phase II migration.

Subject Headings

The subject headings listed below are found in this collection. Links below allow searches at Columbia University through the Archival Collections Portal and through CLIO, the catalog for Columbia University Libraries, as well as ArchiveGRID, a catalog that allows users to search the holdings of multiple research libraries and archives.

All links open new windows.


Heading "CUL Archives:"
"CUL Collections:"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
Alexander, William, 1726-1783 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Aristocracy (Social class) -- New York (State) -- New York -- History -- 19th century Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Bridgen, Anna Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Columbia College (New York, N.Y.) -- Presidents Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Duer, Caroline, 1865-1956 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Duer, Hannah Maria Denning Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Duer, William Alexander, 1780-1858 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Duer, William, 1747-1799 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Expatriation Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Families -- New York (State) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
France -- Description and travel Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Hoyt, Frances Maria Duer Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Italy -- Description and travel Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Miller, Alice Duer, 1874-1942 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Patriotism -- United States Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
United States. Continental Congress -- Membership Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Van Rensselaer, May King, 1848-1925 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Van Rensselaer, Stephen, 1764-1839 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Wealth -- Social aspects -- New York (State) -- New York -- History -- 19th century Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Women -- Diaries Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

History / Biographical Note

Biographical / Historical

The Duer Family was one of the founding families of New York City. Prior to moving to New York from England, the Duer Family had purchased tracts of land on the Hudson River near Albany. The area, known as Fort Miller, served as their first residence and as the site of their early financial ventures. By 1776 the Duer family had built a successful mercantile business based primarily on lumber production.

The Duer family patriarch, William Duer (March 18, 1743-May 7, 1799), was an American lawyer, developer, and speculator who lived in New York City. A Federalist, he had served in the Continental Congress and the convention that framed the New York Constitution. In 1778, he signed the United States Articles of Confederation. Duer was married to Katherine "Kitty" Alexander, the daughter of the Revolutionary War General William Alexander (Lord Stirling), and together they had three sons: William, Alexander and John.

William Alexander Duer (1780-1858) grandson of William Duer through his son John, was an American lawyer, jurist, educator, member of the New York State Assembly (1816), and one of the first eight New York State Circuit Courts judges appointed (1823). He served as the President of Columbia College (now Columbia University) from 1829 to 1842.

William Alexander and Hannah Denning Duer (1782-1862) had four children: Henrietta Amlie, Frances Maria, Catherine Theodora, and William Denning. The writings and correspondence of William Alexander, Hannah Maria Denning Duer, and their daughter Frances Maria Duer Hoyt are featured throughout this collection.