|Rare Book & Manuscript Library|
At a Glance
Correspondence and legal and business papers of Peter Van Schaack and his family. The collection includes letters to and from Egbert Benson, Henry Cruger, James Duane, William Laight, Theodore Sedgwick, Peter Silvester, John Vardill, and many others. The letters deal with such subjects as taxation, the siege of Boston, George Washington, Tories, the Jay Treaty, Shays' Rebellion, and the many prominent people with whom Van Schaack was acquainted, including the Jay family and Gouverneur Morris. There is a large number of letters to and from his brother, Henry Van Schaack (1733-1823). The correspondence contains many political and social opinions regarding America and England before, during, and after the Revolutionary War. Many of the legal documents concern the disputed claims to the Van Rensselaer properties in Claverack and Westenhook, N.Y., as well as land claims around Kinderhoek, N.Y. Henry Cruger Van Schaack added to the collection more letters from well-known people as well as legal and family papers. These are mostly dated in the mid-19th century, and deal in part with the Delaware and Hudson Canal Company, the Berkshire Iron Works, and similar business ventures. Many documents are Colonial-era deeds or concern early land disputes such as the New York-Massachusetts boundary dispute.
Using the Collection
Rare Book and Manuscript Library
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); Van Schaack family papers; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.
Alternate Form Available
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Method of acquisition--Purchase; Date of acquisition--1935. Accession number--M-35.
About the Finding Aid / Processing Information
Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Cataloged Christina Hilton Fenn 09/--/89.
History / Biographical Note
Biographical / Historical
Family of Peter Van Schaack (1747-1832) of Kinderhook, N.Y. Peter Van Schaack graduated from King's College in 1762, studied law with Peter Silvester in Albany and later with William Smith in New York, revised the statutes of the colony of New York in 1774, was active in the "New York Correspondence Committee," was exiled as a Tory sympathizer to England from 1778 to 1785, and upon his return to this country conducted a law school at Kinderhook. His son was Henry Cruger Van Schaack (1802-1887).