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Spalding Family Papers

An inventory of their papers at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Spalding family.
Title: Spalding Family Papers
Inclusive Dates: 1796-1901
Quantity: 2.0 linear ft.
Abstract: Material relating to the Evans, Ellicott, and Spalding families of western New York, some of whom were Quakers. Members of these families were involved with the Holland Land Company, the Erie Canal, agriculture, and the temperance and anti-slavery movements. Correspondence (1804-1887) primarily of David E. Evans and his son, Ellicott Evans; legal and financial papers, including contracts, deeds, and wills; and 9 diary volumes (1832-1884) of Lyman A. Spalding of Lockport; photographs, and clippings.
Language: English
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010
http://scrc.syr.edu

Biographical History

The Spalding, Evans and Ellicott families (some of whom were Quakers) were prominent in the early history of western New York, and various family members were involved with the Holland Land Company, the Erie Canal, agriculture, and the temperance and anti-slavery movements. Their rise coincided with a decision by the directors of the Holland Land Company to sell all lands in the so-called Holland Purchase, a vast tract between Lake Ontario and the Pennsylvania border. Pressure on the American frontier forced this decision upon Dutch investors, no less than European turmoil around 1800, when "Empires were daily swinging from their moorings" (Batavia Times, September 15, 1826). At the turn of the century, therefore, the Holland Land Company contracted with Americans to dispose of the land.

The first resident company agent was Joseph Ellicott who had served the Holland Land Company as a surveyor in Pennsylvania and New York. He was succeeded by Jacob S. Otto, who died in office in 1826. Ellicott's nephew, David E. Evans, held the post for the next ten years, and during this time he managed to parcel out more land than his two predecessors combined. Peter J. VanHall served briefly in 1837, but at this juncture the Holland Land Company's control over the remnant of the Purchase was disrupted by world depression, proprietary mismanagement, and armed debtors converging on the land office.

In the process of developing the Holland Purchase Joseph Ellicott founded Buffalo and Batavia. He also encouraged the construction of turnpikes and canals across western New York through his political influence and an offer of 100,000 acres to the Erie Canal Commission. At the end of his life of prosperity, power and bachelorhood, Ellicott divided his wealth among several brothers and sisters, three of whom had married into the Evans family.

David E. Evans, son of Rachel Ellicott and Lewis Evans, succeeded Joseph Ellicott in the management of the family fortune. He lost much of it in the panic of 1837, however. His son, Ellicott, pursued an academic career after attending Harvard. Ellicott Evans became a professor of law and political economy at Hamilton College, where he remained until the early 1880's.

The Ellicott and Evans families were united to the Spaldings of Lockport, New York, when Charles Evans, another son of David E. Evans, married Alice Jane Spalding. Her father, Lyman A. Spalding, was a significant member of the Lockport community after its foundation. By marrying Amy Pound in 1824 he combined two prominent Quaker families owning valuable property along the Erie Canal.

For further information, refer to the following family trees:

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Spalding Family Papers consist of correspondence, legal and financial records, journals and miscellany. While the legal and financial documents relate to the Ellicott properties, and many of the letters were written to members of the Evans family, the most significant items in the collection are the journals of Lyman A. Spalding. Genealogical charts, constructed from the Spalding Memorial (1897) and information in these papers, follow this description.

Correspondence spans the years 1804-1887, and while letters of all three families are present, the greater part revolve around the figures of David E. Evans in the early period and his son, Ellicott, in the later period. The letters are arranged chronologically and an index is provided below.

Some of the gathering political controversy between old Clintonians and new Bucktails can be detected in exchanges among Joseph Ellicott, Martin Van Buren, David E. Evans and William L. Marcy, but most of the correspondence deals with commercial and family matters.

The Lyman A. Spalding Journals, which begin in 1832, contain a wealth of observations about farming, merchandising, canal commerce, politics and reform over a period of fifty years. Passages from this continuous narrative indicate that Spalding was a sensitive diarist with a wide range of interests. He knew or saw from a distance many prominent Americans of his day -- Benjamin Lundy, Lucretia Coffin Mott, Martin VanBuren, Theodore Dwight Weld, Gerrit Smith, Horace Greeley -- and he gave all a line or a paragraph in his diary. The style is spare but artfully appropriate for the recording of everyday events in rural New York. Spalding took part in the temperance and abolition movements and is said to have operated in the underground railroad.

Legal and financial documents consist of contracts; court judgements; two indentures (1800 and 1804), one for a nine-year-old boy, the other for a seven year-old girl, both apprenticed to Erastus Spalding; memoranda (1819) about a proposed court house, jail and adjoining commons in Batavia; two copies of a formal claim against Paul Busti by Joseph Ellicott (1825) together with a legal opinion in the dispute (1822); autographed military commissions of David E. Evans by Governor Daniel D. Thompson (1812), and Charles Evans by Governor Horatio Seymour (1864); deeds, mostly for the properties of Joseph Ellicott and David E. Evans; miscellaneous receipts and vouchers; and wills, codicils and property inventories of Joseph Ellicott and his sister, Rachel Ellicott Evans.

Miscellany includes old newspapers from Batavia, Buffalo and Lockport; offprints and broadsides, biographical data; ephemera, which consist of pencil sketches, photographs, programs and verse; a lot map of Ellicott and Evans properties in Buffalo. There is also a copy of the Holland Land Company map of 1804. Newspaper clippings once laid in among the leaves of the Spalding journals have been placed in folders following the journals, while others remain firmly laid into the journals at front and rear.

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Arrangement of the Collection

Correspondence and Journals are arranged chronologically. Legal and financial papers and Miscellany are arranged alphabetically.

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Restrictions

Access Restrictions

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

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Subject Headings

Persons

Ellicott family -- Archives.
Evans family -- Archives.
Evans, David Ellicott, 1788-1850.
Evans, Ellicott.
Spalding family -- Archives.
Spalding, Lyman A., 1800-

Corporate Bodies

Holland Land Company.

Places

Erie County (N.Y.)
Lockport (N.Y.)
New York (State) -- History.
Niagara County (N.Y.)

Genres and Forms

Contracts.
Correspondence.
Deeds.
Diaries.
Wills.

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Spalding Family Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Bulk of collection purchased, 1968.

1888 correspondence, gift of Len Chaitin, 2015.

Finding Aid Information

Created by: JEJ
Date: Feb 1969
Revision history: 21 May 2009 - converted to EAD (MRC); 29 Sep 2015 - 1888 corresp added, index corrected, abstract and bio updated (MRC)

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Inventory

Correspondence
A selected index to the correspondence is provided at the end of this finding aid.
Box 1 General 1804-1882 (11 folders)
Box 1 General 1885-1887
Box 1 General 1888 - envelope only
Gift of Len Chaitin, 2015.
Box 1 General undated
Journals
Box 3 Volumes I-III 1832-1848
Box 3 Volumes IV-VI 1848-1868
Box 3 Volumes VII-IX 1868-1884
Box 3 Clippings from Journal VI
Box 3 Clippings from Journal VII
Box 3 Clippings from Journal VIII
Legal & financial papers
Box 2 Contracts & judgements 1835-1901
Box 2 Indentures 1800-1814
Box 2 Memoranda 1819-1825
Box 2 Military commissions 1812-1864
Box 2 Real estate deeds 1796-1835
Box 2 Receipts & vouchers 1830-1887
Box 2 Wills, codicils and inventories 1823-1851
Miscellany
Box 2 Biographical data
Box 2 Broadsides 1830
Box 2 Ephemera 1837-1880
Box 2 Fragments
Box 2 Maps & plans circa 1851
Box 2 Newspapers 1823-1894
Box 3 Survey map of Holland Land Company tracts 1804
"Map of Morris's Purchase or West Geneseo [and] the Boundary lines of the several Tracts of Land Purchased by the Holland Land Company.... Boundary lines of Townships...of New York and Indian Reservations: Laid down from actual Survey...by Joseph & B. Ellicott 1800. To the Holland Land Company their General Agents Theophilus Cazenove & Paul Busti Esquires This Map Is respectfully inscribed by the Authors."
Box 2 Surveys

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Selected index to correspondence

  • (Evans?), Fanny : no year Sep, to (Spalding?), Kate
  • (Spalding?), Edna : 1885 May 6, to (Evans?) Alice (Spalding) includes a folk remedy for tapeworms
  • Adams, John C. : 1844 Feb 12, Clyde, to Evans, Ellicott
  • Allen, Samuel : 1828 Jan 31, Rochester, to Spalding, Lyman A.; 1828 Mar 12, Rochester; 1828 Mar 25, Rochester; 1828 Jun 30, Rochester; 1829 Feb 20, Albany, with "Resolutions of the Canal Commissioner, Albany, 1829 Feb 19"; 1829 Mar 27, Albany; 1829 May 6, Lockport; 1843 Jan 26, Toledo; 1844 Jan 26, Toledo
  • Backer, George P. : 1835 Oct 22, Buffalo, to Evans, David E.
  • Bishop John of Nova Scotia : See John, Bishop of Nova Scotia
  • Bleekar, H. : 1835 May 26, Albany, to Evans, Ellicott
  • Bolles, James A. : 1843 May 29, Batavia, to Evans, David E.
  • Bowne, Walter : 1833 Dec 6, New York, to Evans, David E.; 1834 Jul 16, New York
  • Brinkerhoff, George : 1830 Nov 22, Utica, to Evans, David E.
  • Brinkerhoff, Lloyd : 1836 Nov 19, Albany, to Evans, David E.
  • Brinkerhoff, Marie : 1836 Apr 13, Albany, to Evans, Ellicott; 1837 Nov 23, Albany; 1841 Oct 4, Albany
  • Cony, Walter : 1850 Dec 8, Buffalo, to Evans, Charles
  • Cooper, C.N., et al. : 1839 Jan 4, Buffalo, to Evans, Ellicott
  • Cooper, Paul A. : 1879 Aug 6, Albany, to Evans, Ellicott
  • Cowperthwait, Joseph : 1831 Feb 7, Philadelphia, to Evans, David E.
  • Davis, Brooks & Co. : 1850 Sep 4, New York, to Evans, Charles
  • Dean, Elisha : 1830 Jun 7, Rochester, to Spalding, Lyman A.
  • Dudley, Charles E., et al. : 1822 Oct 21, Albany, to Ellicott, Joseph
  • Eliot, Samuel : 1839 Nov 4, Boston, to Evans, Ellicott
  • Ellicott, Ann B. : 1823 Jul 15, Ellicott Mills, to Ellicott, Joseph
  • Ellicott, Thomas : 1826 Apr 22, Baltimore, to Evans, David E.
  • Evans, Charles W. : 1835 Sep 8, Batavia, to Evans, Ellicott; 1837 Oct 4, Medina; 1838 Jun 21, Geneva; 1838 Dec 16, Batavia; 1839 Apr 28, Batavia; 1839 May 16, Batavia; 1841 Mar 25, Lockport; 1841 Dec 17, Lockport; 1842 Mar 7, Lockport; 1842 May 26, Lockport; 1842 Jun 17, Lockport; 1842 Jul 4, Lockport; 1842 Oct 4, Lockport; 1842 Oct 12, Lockport; 1842 Nov 18, Lockport; 1882 Jul 14, Buffalo
  • Evans, Charles W. : 1840 Apr 13, Buffalo, to Gwinn, William R. (includes property valuation of Rachel Evans)
  • Evans, Charles W. : 1847 Mar 25, Lockport, to Spalding, Lyman A.; 1847 Apr, Lockport; 1860 Mar 4, Lockport
  • Evans, Charles W. : 1857 Aug 21, Lockport, to Rogers, Henry W.
  • Evans, David E. : 1812 ? 1814, Fort Gray, to Ellicott, Joseph; 1820 Jan 4, Albany; 1820 Apr 26, Baltimore; 1821 Mar 23, Albany; 1822 Feb 6, Albany; 1822 Feb 17, Albany; 1822 Jun 30, Batavia; 1822 Aug 4, Batavia
  • Evans, David E. : 1821 Jun (draft), to Van Buren, Martin
  • Evans, David E. : 1823 Apr 3, Batavia, to Gwinn, Hannah
  • Evans, David E. : 1825 Apr 29, Batavia, to Evans, Rachel
  • Evans, David E. : circa 1865 Sep 26, Washington, to (Evans?), Charles
  • Evans, Ellicott : 1843 Nov 7, Batavia, to Evans, Charles
  • Evans, Henry : 1838 Mar 2, Batavia, to Evans, Ellicott
  • Evans, Lewis : 1831 Nov 5, Baltimore, to Evans, David E.
  • Evans, William : 1825 Dec 24, Baltimore, to Evans, David E.
  • Flagg, A.C. : 1826 Nov 23, Albany, to Evans, David E.
  • Ganson, John : 1840 Aug 13, Canandaigua, to Evans, Ellicott; 1840 Oct 30, Canandaigua; 1840 Dec 5, Canandaigua; 1841 Oct 2, Canandaigua; 1841 Oct 4, Canandaigua
  • Gomels (?), Thomas G. : 1865 Mar 10, Montreal, to Spalding, Amy P.
  • Gough, John B. : 1850 Mar 13, Buffalo, to Spalding, Lyman A.
  • Greig, John : 1820 Jan 28, Canandaigua, to Ellicott, Joseph
  • Gwinn, William R. : 1847 Spring, to Spalding, Lyman A.
  • Hartwell, M.C. : 1852 Jan 25, Washington, to Evans, Charles
  • Hartwell, M.C. : no year Aug 6, St. Catharines, to (Spalding?), Kitty
  • Hobart, John Henry : 1819 Jan 12, New York, to Evans, David E.; 1822 Aug 7
  • Ivies, L.S. : 1824 Apr 10, Philadelphia, to Evans, David E.
  • James, William : See under Dudley, Charles E., et al.
  • John, bishop of Nova Scotia : 1829 Jun 1, Halifax, to Evans, David E.
  • King, Rufus : 1825 Feb 24, Washington, to Evans, David E.
  • Kirkland, C.M. : 1836 Feb 22, Detroit, to Evans, Ellicott
  • Knower, B. : See Dudley, Charles E., et al.
  • Livingstone, Edward : See Marcy, William L., et al.
  • Loring, C.W. : 1840 Apr 28, Cambridge, to Evans, Ellicott
  • Luden, H.J. DeBie : 1839 Feb 5, Amsterdam, to Evans, David E.
  • Ludin, Samuel L. : 1842 Jul 1, Rochester, to Evans, Charles
  • Magee, John : 1826 Aug 22, Bath, to Evans, David E.
  • Marcy William L. : 1827 Aug 7, Albany, to Spalding, Lyman A.
  • Marcy, William L., et al. : 1825 Sep 23, Albany, to Evans,David E.
  • Marcy, William L. : 1824 Aug 10, Albany, to Evans, David E.; 1830 May 24, Albany
  • Mason, John Y. : 1845 Apr 11, Washington, to Evans, David E.
  • Montross, P.A. : 1830 Jul 29, at sea, to Spalding, Lyman A.
  • Muncy, Ann : 1847 Jun 29, Hillhouse, to Muncy, James; 1848 May 17, Aberdeen
  • Nova Scotia, John, bishop of : See John, bishop of Nova Scotia
  • Pompelly, Marie : 1849 Feb 24, to Evans, Ellicott
  • Porter, Peter Buell : 1835 Feb 17, Blackrock, to Evans, David E.
  • Pound, Amy : See Spalding, Amy Pound
  • Pruyn, John V.L. : 1863 Nov 24, New York, to Evans, Charles; 1864 Jun 15, Washington
  • Seaver, William A. : 1837 Dec 5, Batavia, to Evans, Ellicott; 1837 Dec 21, Batavia; 1838 Feb 12, Batavia; 1838 Feb 25, Batavia; 1838 Apr 9, Batavia; 1838 Apr 26, Batavia; 1838 Apr 30, Batavia; 1838 May 1, Batavia; 1838 Jun 12, Batavia; 1838 Sep 17, Batavia; 1838 Sep 19, Batavia; 1838 Oct 16, Batavia; 1838 Nov 13, Batavia; 1839 Jan 3, Batavia; 1839 Mar 23, Batavia; 1839 Apr 30, Batavia; 1839 Jun 29, Batavia; 1842 Mar 16, Batavia
  • Seymour, Henry, Jr. : See Cooper, C.N., et al.
  • Skinner, Roger : See Dudley, Charles E., et al.
  • Smith, David : 1840 Jan 31, Batavia, to Evans, Ellicott; 1841 Mar 24, Batavia; 1841 Mar 31, Batavia; 1841 Jul 21, Batavia; 1842 Sep 26, Portland, Maine, to Evans, Ellicott; 1845 Jan 28, New York; 1853 Sep 13, New York
  • Spalding, Amy Pound : 1823 Jan 21, Perrington, to Spalding, Lyman A.; 1823 Jul 16, Perrington; 1832 Jun 17, Avon; 1838 Apr 8, Lockport; 1845 Dec 17, Lockport
  • Spalding, Erastus : 1820 Jul 27, to Spalding, Lyman A.; 1830 Jul 6, Saratoga Springs
  • Spalding, L. Austin : 1861 Mar 22, Washington, to Evans, Charles
  • Spalding, L. Austin : 1864 Aug 12, Washington, to Spalding, Lyman A.; 1865 Feb 26, New York
  • Spalding, L. Austin : 1887 Sep 22, Aix-la-Chapelle, to Evans, Spalding
  • Spalding, Lyman A. : 1825 Oct 27, to Spalding, Erastus
  • Spalding, Lyman A. : 1860 Dec 6, Albany, to Spalding, Amy P.; 1861 Jan 18, Albany
  • Spencer, Ambrose : 1804 Feb 28, Albany, to Ellicott, Joseph; 1807 May 7
  • Spencer, Ambrose : 1819 Mar 23, Albany, to Evans, David E.
  • Spencer, J.C. : 1842 May 9, Washington, to Evans, David E.
  • Stevens, Kenneth P. : See Cooper, C.N., et al.
  • Swift, (General) : 1832 Aug 7, Geneva, to Evans, David E.
  • Talcott, Samuel A. : 1821 May 10, Albany, to Evans, David E.
  • Thompkin, Daniel D. : 1814 Mar 7, Albany, to Ellicott, Joseph
  • Throop, E. : 1819 Mar 17, Auburn, to Evans, David E.; 1829 Jun 18, Auburn; 1830 Jan 24, Albany; 1832 Dec 8, Auburn
  • Van Antwerp, Cornelius : See Marcy, William L., et al.
  • Van Buren, Martin : See under Charles E., et al.
  • Van Dyck (?), C.A. : 1862 Nov 6, New York, to Evans, C.
  • Vanderkemp, John J. : 1837 Feb 9, New York, to Evans, David E.
  • Vanderkemp, John J. : 1840 Dec 26, Philadelphia, to Smith, Junius A.
  • Verplanck, Isaac D. : 1835 Sep 2, Batavia, to Evans, Ellicott; 1835 Dec 8, Batavia
  • W--(?), Norton & Co. : 1869 Jan 25, London, to Hale, Henry
  • Wadsworth, James : 1835 Jun 25, Geneseo, to Brimmer, Martin
  • White, Jonas : 1835 Oct 6, Stuyvesant, to Van Buren, Martin
  • Williams, George, Jr. : 1840 Feb 12, Baltimore, to Evans, Ellicott
  • Williams, J. : 1830 Aug 2, Saratoga Springs, to Spalding, Lyman A.

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