|Rare Book & Manuscript Library|
At a Glance
The collection contains documents about land holdings in and around Yonkers and Westchester and Dutchess Counties, New York owned by the wealthy Philipse, Gouverneur, Verplanck, Livingston, and other allied families. Included are grants, patents, deeds, indentures, transfers, wills, leases, accounts, maps, and records of civil and chancery court actions. These records not only chronicle legal actions, riots and uprisings of the European colonial settlers related to land disputes against these wealthy colonial settler families, but also record their interactions with the true landowners the Wappinger Confederacy.
The Wappinger ('easterners'), a confederacy of the Algonquian Indians, formerly occupied the eastern bank of the Hudson River from Poughkeepsie to Manhattan Island and the country extending east beyond the Connecticut River. The Wappinger Chief Daniel Nimham (1726-1778) fought a long sustained battle to recover tribal lands fraudulently taken through the Philipse Highland Patent, 13 August 1702 (document (56)). In 1766, Nimham traveled to England, presented his case, and received a favorable ruling before the Royal Lords of Trade. In New York Provincial Council proceedings, the governor ruled against Chief Nimham stating that returning the land to the Indians would set an adverse precedent regarding similar disputes. Some aspects of this long legal fight can be reviewed in the following documents: (45) through (49); (54) through (56); and (99).
Unfortunately, documents that contain references to the enslavement of African-Americans were withdrawn before Columbia University received the collection. However, please refer to the original PDF finding aid URL located below at "Other Finding Aids", which identifies in highlighted yellow all removed items.
Finally, many of the documents bear the signature of Roger Morris, Sir Henry Clinton, General Sir William Howe, General William Tryon, Edward Hyde Viscount Cornbury (later, 3rd Earl of Clarendon), John Jacob Astor, and various members of the landholding families of the area. In addition, there are some reproductions of Philipse and Gouverneur family portraits.
Using the Collection
Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Other Finding Aids
A PDF scan of the original typed description was the primary method for accessing these items until 2022, when it was superceded by the current finding aid. A copy of the PDF is made available for historical reference here: http://www.columbia.edu/cu/libraries/inside/projects/findingaids/scans/pdfs/ldpd_rbml_4079215.pdf.
Restrictions on Access
You will need to make an appointment in advance to use this collection material in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room. You can schedule an appointment once you've submitted your request through your Special Collections Research Account.
This collection is located on-site.
This collection has no restrictions.
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.
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Philipse - Gouverneur family papers; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.
Existence and Location of Copies
A small number of items have been digitized. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
A number of items referred to in the Index, many containing references to the enslavement of African-Americans, were removed from the collection before it became the property of Columbia. These items include: 91, 92, 97, 106, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 116, 120, 121, 122, 123, 126, 127, 129, 132, 134, 138, 139, 140, 147, 148, 149, 150, 151, 152, 153, 169. 170. 171, 174, 175, 176, 177, 178, 181, 182, 183, 184, 187, 190, 191, 192, 193, 194, 195, 196, 197, 198, 199, 201, 203, 204, and 205. In addition, items 34, 77, 99 1/2, 207, and 208 are missing as of 2022.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Source of acquisition--Goodrich, Mrs. Ethel May Iselin Goodridge. Method of acquisition--Gift; Date of acquisition--1930. Accession number--M-30.
About the Finding Aid / Processing Information
Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library
1989-08-00 Cataloged Christina Hilton Fenn.
2020-06-15 Following the guidelines outlined in the Protocols for Native American Archival Materials, restored the original Algonquian language regarding appropriate and accurate geographic and cultural identifiers emphasizing positive power tribal leadership relationships. cml
2022-08-10 Finding aid updated. cml/kws