William L. Marcy Papers, 1821-1863

SC7007

Quantity: 14 boxes (6.0 cubic feet)
Access: Open to research
Acquistion: Gift, Eugene Hartt, Albany, New York, 1921
Processed By: New York State Library/Manuscripts and Special Collections staff

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Biographical Note:

William Learned Marcy was born December 12, 1786, in Sturbridge (now Southbridge), Massachusetts, and graduated from Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, in 1808. He was admitted to the New York State bar in 1811 and practiced law at Troy, Rensselaer County, New York. When the War of 1812 broke out, he volunteered his services to New York Governor Daniel D. Tompkins and was commissioned as lieutenant in a company stationed on the Canadian frontier.

Marcy served his city, state and country in a variety of government posts: Troy city recorder (1816-1818, 1821-1823), New York State adjutant general (1821-1823), New York State comptroller (1823-1829), associate justice of the New York State Supreme Court of Judicature (1829-1831), and U.S. Senator (1831-1832). He resigned his senate seat after his election as governor of New York State. During his administration as governor (1833-1838), the New York State Geological Survey was created (1836); Mount Marcy in the Adirondacks, the highest peak in the state, was named in his honor. On the national level, Marcy served as secretary of war (1845-1849) under President James K. Polk and as secretary of state (1853-1857) under President Franklin Pierce.

Marcy married Dolly (Dolley) Newell (1788-1821) in 1812 and they had at least two children: William George (1818-1896), who served in the U.S. Army (ca. 1846-1870), and Samuel (1820-1862), who served in the U.S. Navy (ca. 1838-1862). Dolly’s brother, George W. Newell (1806-1868), became, for all intents and purposes, an adopted son of the Marcys. Marcy oversaw George’s education and George frequently served as his brother-in-law’s aide, serving by his side in the City Bank of Buffalo receivership (1838-1845). Marcy’s second wife, whom he married in 1824, was Cornelia Knower (1803-1889), daughter of New York State’s treasurer (1821-1824), Benjamin Knower. Cornelia bore him two children: Edmund (1832-1853) and Cornelia (1834-1888).

Marcy died at Ballston Spa, Saratoga County, New York, on July 4, 1857. Thomas B. Carroll and John Knower served as executors of his estate.

Scope and Content Note:

The collection, consisting of some 4,000 items (account books, letters, and papers dating from 1821 to 1863) of William L. Marcy and George W. Newell, is concerned largely with their receivership of the City Bank of Buffalo (1838-1845). Included are court records relating to claims against and by the bank; correspondence; court orders, inventories of bank property and other assets; records relating to Marcy’s suit, as receiver of the bank, against East Boston Timber Company; and other legal documents relating to the bank’s failure. However, it also includes material on canal affairs, mainly 1840s and 1850s, and the Danish Sound dues, the dues that had been charged by Denmark on commerce passing into and out of the Baltic Sea through the Straits of Elsinore.

There are relatively few personal letters. Most noteworthy is a collection of correspondence (most of Box 1, Folder 2) regarding a job offer from John Jacob Astor to George W. Newell.

Documents are filed by item number. As best can be determined, items for the following numbers were not in the collection in June 2020: 91, 172, 181, 334-338, 342-344, 347-349, 353, 397, 399, 401, 405, 409, 463, 465.

Box and Folder List

Box Folder Contents
1 1 Item 1. Papers relative to Ephraim Starr’s business, Albany, Albany County, New York, 1830-31.
1 2 Items 2-35. Single items - See index for names of correspondents.
1 3 Item 36. William L. Marcy’s notices against various persons as Receiver for the City Bank of Buffalo, 1840-1841.
1 4 Item 37. Court of Chancery orders to George W. Newell, Receiver. 1839-1847. 28 items.
1 5 Items 38-79. Single items - See index for names of correspondents.
1 6 Items 80-119 (except 92). Single items - See index for names of correspondents.
1 7 Item 92. Bills, receipts, and memoranda of George W. Newell, 1848-1853 (ca. 130 items)
1 8 Items 120-159 (except 133, 144). Single items - See index for names of correspondents.
1 8a Item 133. Miscellaneous papers mainly dealing with City Bank of Buffalo (ca. 40 items).
1 9 Item 144. Report of the condition of affairs regarding the City Bank of Buffalo. August 1839.
1 10 Items 160-199 (except 191). Single items - See index for names of correspondents.
1 11 Item 191. City Bank of Buffalo - Series of papers dealing with various accounts of the bank, foreign notes, office paper, foreign paper, etc. (21 items).
2 1 Items 200-229 (except 221). Single items - See index for names of correspondents.
2 1a Item 221. City Bank of Buffalo, miscellaneous papers including sheets of arithmetical figuring (13 items).
2 2 Item 230. Letters to George W. Newell and William L. Marcy, Receivers of the City Bank of Buffalo (27 items).
2 3 Item 231. Bankruptcy notices, 1842-1844. City Bank of Buffalo as creditor (121 items).
2 4 Item 232. Papers of Capt. Wm. G. (William George) Marcy and others, including letters, memoranda and invoices of provisions, 1846-1849, California (140 items).
2   Item 233. Pkg. 1. Papers relative to the settlement of the Vandervoort affair and others with the City Bank of Buffalo, 1837-1840.
2   Item 234. Pkg. 2. Matters and papers settled and of no use to Receivers, 1838-1845.
2   Item 235. Pkg. 3. Supreme Court papers. William L. Marcy vs. sundry persons, finished (94 items).
2   Item 236. Pkg. 4. Miscellaneous papers of Receivers William L. Marcy and George W. Newell including list of stockholders, notes given up for real estate.
2   Item 237. Pkg. 5. Statements of City Bank of Buffalo, 1839-1845 (28 items).
3 1 Item 238. Letters to George W. Newell, 1853. (75 items.)
3 2 Item 239. Letters to William L. Marcy and George W. Newell, 1840-1842 (118 items).
3   Item 240. Miscellaneous newspaper clippings:
Pkg. 3. Politics (1856-1857). Pkg. 4. Miscellaneous (1853-1858).
3 3 Item 241. Letters from Azariah C. Flagg and others to George W. Newell, 1840-1849. Also letters of Gideon Welles to Azariah C. Flagg (64 items).
3 4 Item 242. Letters to George W. Newell, 1840-49, 1863 (79 items).
3   Item 243. Pkg. 1 and Pkg. 2. Letters to George W. Newell relative to debts, leases, mortgages, etc. of the City Bank of Buffalo, 1844-1848 (133 items).
3 5 Item 244. Two pamphlets sent to George W. Newell:

  1. A Review of Mr. Seward’s Diplomacy by a Northern Man. (n.p., n.d.)
  2. True and False Democracy … A Brief Synopsis of Recent Publications on This Subject by John Stuart Mill & Thomas Hare. (Boston, 1862.)
4 1 Item 245. Miscellaneous papers concerning political matters, treaties, etc., 1828, 1854-63. Mainly newspaper clippings (ca. 42 items).
4   Item 246. Pkg. 1. Bills, receipts, list of bills, orders, attorneys’ receipts of Commercial Bank of Buffalo, 1838-1843 (52 items).
4   Item 247. Pkg. 2. Letters to George W. Newell relative to City Bank of Buffalo, 1842-1844 (82 items).
4   Item 248. Pkg. 3. Letters to William L. Marcy, George W. Newell and others concerning City Bank of Buffalo, 1840-1841. 1841 report to legislature. 1840 list of claims against the City Bank (42 items).
4   Item 249. Pkg. 4. In Chancery: Bank Commissioners and others vs. City Bank of Buffalo and City Bank vs. sundry persons, 1839-1940.
5   Item 250. Pkg. 1. Schedules of property and effects of City Bank of Buffalo reported to Receiver, 1840. Also records, bonds, etc., 1838-1845 (16 items).
5   Item 251. Pkg. 2. Claims vs. City Bank of Buffalo, 1838, 1845 (26 items).
5   Item 252. Pkg. 3. Papers in judgements in Supreme Court and Recorders Court by George W. Newell, Receiver, 1838-43 (37 items).
5 1 Item 253. Memoranda, newspaper clippings of George W. Newell on political questions, essays, speeches, etc., 1855-1862 (18 items).
5 2 Item 254. Newspaper articles, memoranda, pamphlets on maritime law, neutral rights, 1854-1860.
5 3 Item 258. Ledger or memorandum of William L. Marcy’s notes (loans) to various people, n.p., ca. 1841?

Item 259. Inventory of the real estate and effects of the City Bank of Buffalo in Chancery proceedings, 1843?
6   Item 255. Pkg. 1. Searches and reports on property titles, City Bank of Buffalo, various years (57 items).
6   Item 256. Pkg. 3-4. Papers concerning City Bank of Buffalo received from Burwell’s Office, July 16, 1847. Includes deeds; agreements; memoranda, inventory of assets of City Bank of Buffalo sold at auction, 1845; articles of association of the Black Rock Land and Railroad Company, 1835 (76 items).
6   Item 257. Pkg. 2. Stock Certificate books, City Bank of Buffalo, 1836-1840. 2 books.
6 1 Item 260. Ledger listing notes left for collection and notes not yet due, 1840-1844(?)

Item 261. Checkbook of White and Williams’ Bank, Buffalo, 1842.

Item 262. Cash Account Book, 1840-1842. Also cash accounts of Commercial Bank of Buffalo, 1841.

Item 263. Sundry papers and statements in paper cover - accounts, cash book entries, judgements, bonds and mortgages.
7 1 Item 264. Sheets of rough figuring; profit and loss problems, etc., 1847(?)



Item 265. Interest account of George W. Newell, Receiver, with New York Life Insurance and Trust Co., 1842, along with letter of transmittal, June 8, 1842.
7 2 Items 266-267. Papers relative to the City Bank of Buffalo. Single items - See index.
7 3 Items 268-289. Transcriptions of translations from Spanish newspapers on Spanish politics including suspension of the amortization law (desamortizacion), a copy of the constitution of the Spanish monarchy, material on Spanish cabinet, etc., 1856.
7 4 Item 290. Brief paragraphs on various subjects, 1856-1857? Contents - See index (“Translations”). 32 p. (in paper covers)
7 5 Items 291-311. Transcriptions of translations from Spanish, German and French newspapers on European, mainly Spanish, affairs, 1856.
7 6 Item 312. Inventory of the real and personal property of the City Bank of Buffalo, 1840. 75 p. (in paper covers).
7 7 Item 313. Scratch Book of George W. Newell, Receiver, 1841-1845(?). Also loose papers with book.
7 8 Item 314. Miscellaneous reports and memoranda of City Bank cases in Chancery. Also miscellaneous City Bank records of bills discounted, attorney accounts, foreign bank notes, inventory of office furniture, etc., 1841 (ca. 50 p.)
8 1 Item 315. Memorandum Book recording judgements vs. various people by City Bank of Buffalo, 1839-1841(?)
8 2 Item 316. Cash Book of City Bank of Buffalo, 1840-1843, in paper cover (ca. 45 p.)
8 3 Item 317. Ledger of bills discounted and notes in suit by George W. Newell, Receiver, City Bank of Buffalo, 1840(?) (ca. 50 p.)
8 4 Item 318. Memorandum of banks holding notes of City Bank of Buffalo, 1837-1839 (60 p.)
8 5 Item 319. Ledger of suits vs. various people kept by George W. Newell, Receiver, City Bank of Buffalo, 1838(?)-1842 (50 p.)
8 6

Item 320. Essay entitled “The dignity of man and excellence of his nature.” Another essay without title, by George W. Newell? n.d.


Item 321. Notes relating to articles in Albany Argus on Cuba, 1858.

8 7 Items 322-333. Single items.

Items 339-341. Letters to William L. Marcy and George W. Newell

Items 345-346. See index

Items 350-363. See index
8 8 Items 364-394. Transcriptions of translations of foreign newspaper articles, 1856, relating to foreign affairs, mainly Spanish and Latin American. Also a copy of the convention between Guatemala, Salvador and Honduras and extracts from a report by the Brazilian foreign minister, 1856 (365).
8   Item 337. Pkg. 1. City Bank of Buffalo, papers past due (A) and papers to come due (B), 1840. 2 items.
8 9 Item 395. George W. Newell’s bank book with the Albany City Bank.

Items 396, 398-399. Single items - See index.
9 1 Items 400-432. Single items - See index for names of correspondents.
9 2 Item 433. Albany Argus, September 10, 1859, with speech of H. Seymour.

Item 434. Two copies of printed proceedings of the Democrat State Convention, Syracuse, September 14-15, 1859.
9   Item 435. Pkg. 1. Memoranda and affidavits relative to mutilated notes of City Bank of Buffalo, ca. 1841.
9 3 Item 436. Letter copybook of business letters by William L. Marcy and George W. Newell as Receivers of the City Bank of Buffalo, 1840-1843. 202 p.
9 4 Item 437. Alphabet (Index) to letter copybook of William L. Marcy and George W. Newell, 1840-1843 (Item 436).

Item 438. Letter copybook of business letters of George W. Newell as Receiver, 1844-1846. 12(32) p.
9 5 Item 439. Transcriptions of translations from foreign newspapers (1856) relative to relations between Great Britain and the U.S. and parties in the U.S.

Item 440. Translations relative to the Sound dues question.
9   Item 441. Pkg. 2. Canal Board Papers - reasons for not paying drafts on new contracts …, May 11, 1853.
9   Item 442. Pkg. 3. City Bank of Buffalo. Cases in Supreme and Recorder’s courts of William L. Marcy, Receiver, vs. various persons, 1840-1841 (ca. 35 items).
9   Item 443. Pkg. 4. Sundry papers, relative mainly to notes of the City Bank of Buffalo, 1839-1840.
9 6 Items 444-469 except 454, 462, 466, 467, and 468. Single items - See index. Mainly letters to George W. Newell.
9   Item 454. Pkg. 5. Papers regarding the outstanding notes of George W. Newell, 1837-1841.
9 7 Item 462. Map of East Huron, Ohio.

Item 466. Plan of Huron, Ohio, n.d.
10   Item 467. Pkg. 1. City Bank of Buffalo, Accounts with various banks, 1839-1842 (ca. 45 items).
10   Item 468. Pkg. 2. City Bank of Buffalo, various papers including proof sheets of ledgers, papers relative to the Phenix Bank, etc., 1837-1838.
10 1 Item 470. Returned checks of George W. Newell, 1839-1841, 1845-1848.

Item 471. Printed report of Canal Fund Commissioners regarding sums paid to George W. Newell since 1829. Assembly Document No. 271, March 25, 1833.
10 2 Item 472. Papers relative to joint account of E. Knower and G.W. Newell in ownership of lot in Parsonage, Block 4, Oswego, New York, 1838-1840.
10 3 Items 473-499, ex. 475, 476, 481, 487, 489, 492, 495, 497, 498. Single items -See index for names of correspondents.
10 3a Item 475. Letters, business and personal, to George W. Newell, 1829-30, 1832, 1836, 1839-45, 1847-49, 1858 (ca. 100 letters).
10 3b Item 489. Map of Bowery Farm (Delaware Avenue and Allen Street area), Buffalo, n.d.
10 4 Item 476. Copies and extracts of letters of John Quincy Adams, mainly to Joseph Blunt. Also, A.L.S. of John Quincy Adams to Isaac Tichenor, Dept. of State, Washington, D.C. March 2, 1821.
10 5 Item 481. Supreme Court notices and summons through William L. Marcy, Receiver of City Bank to various companies, 1840-1841 (ca. 20 items).
10 6 Item 487. Letters by R.L. Hill, Knowersville, July-September 1839, to Lewis Eaton. (5 A.L.S.)
10 7 Item 492. Copies of letters of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and others relating to the Federal City (26 p.)
10   Item 495. Pkg. 3. Letters to George W. Newell from Stephen Allen and others of New York Life Insurance and Trust Co., 1843-1847, concerning drafts, certificates, etc. (15 A.L.S.)
10 8 Items 497-498. Checks of George W. Newell on the Albany City Bank, 1851-1852 and Albany Canal Bank, 1843-1844. ca. 30 items.
11 1 Items 500-540, ex. 501A, 504-508. Single items - See index for names of correspondents.
11   Item 501A. Pkg. 1. Supreme Court, copies of commands to Erie County sheriff to summon City Bank of Buffalo to answer pleas of John Delafield, Albany, 1839-1840. 3 items.
11   Item 504, Pkg. 2. Memo book of George W. Newell of cash received and spent, 1821-1822.
11   Item 505. Pkg. 3. Letters to George W. Newell from William Bard for New York Life Insurance and Trust Co., 1841-1842 (12 A.L.S.)
11   Item 506. Pkg. 4. Checks and drafts of George W. Newell on Albany City Bank, 1843-1845 (ca. 75 items)
11   Item 507. Pkg. 5. Erie Canal, reports giving capacity of canal boats and freight weights, 1846. Also, other papers relative to the canal (ca. 10 items)
11   Item 508. Pkg. 6. Papers relative to mortgages and bonds of Lewis A. Cole, 1841-1843 (ca. 30 items)
11 2 Item 541. Drafts of petitions and orders of City Bank of Buffalo, 1842.
11 3 Item 542. Plea of City Bank through William L. Marcy, Receiver, in Supreme Court vs. East Boston Timber Co., Utica, New York, July 1840.
11   Item 543. Pkg. 7. Memoranda relative to City Bank of Buffalo, 1841 (13 items)
11 4 Item 544. Letters to George W. Newell and William L. Marcy mainly relative to City Bank of Buffalo, 1841.
11 5 Item 545. Miscellaneous manuscripts, newspaper clippings and printed papers relative to canal and politics, 1852-1859(?) (ca. 45 items)
12 1 Item 546. Miscellaneous letters to George W. Newell, A.S. Merrill, and Lewis Eaton relative to notes, mortgages, and other debts of City Bank of Buffalo, 1839-1845.
12 2 Item 547. Miscellaneous letters to George W. Newell relative to Erie Canal, politics, railroads, etc., 1852.
12   Item 548. See Box 14. Matters and papers settled and of no use by Receivers. 1838-45.
12   Item 549. Pkg. 2. Court of Chancery, orders, subpoenas and notices of bankruptcy relative to City Bank of Buffalo, 1838-1845. [There is no Pkg. 1 in this box.]
12   Item 550. Pkg. 3. Memoranda and newspaper clippings on presidential conventions of 1860, including list of New York delegates to Charleston convention of Democrats.
12   Item 551. Pkg. 4. Newspaper articles from Albany Argus and Albany Atlas relative to canals and state finances, 1853.
13   Item 552. Pkg. 1. Letters of George W. Newell to William L. Marcy, 1840 (11 items)
13   Item 553. Pkg. 2. Letters to George W. Newell, 1833-1855 (12 items)
13 1 Item 554. Letters and petitions of Lewis F. Allen and printed Assembly reports respecting the City Bank of Buffalo, 1841 (9 items)
13 2 Item 555. Presidential proclamation signed by Franklin Pierce giving William L. Marcy power to confer with Russia concerning rights of neutrals. 2(4) p.
13   Item 556. Pkg. 3. Letters to William L. Marcy and George W. Newell, 1840-1842, from A.S. Merrill and others relative to City Bank (ca. 91 items)
13 3-4 Item 557. Miscellaneous papers including letters and drafts of letters, business papers, mainly of City Bank of Buffalo, and miscellaneous writings, probably of George W. Newell. ca. 1821-1860.
13 5 Item 558. Three checkbooks of George W. Newell from Albany City Bank, 1836-1851.

Item 559. Checks of Newell on Albany City Bank, 1845-1847, 1852-1853.
14   Item 560. Pkg. 1-2. City Bank of Buffalo miscellaneous papers.
14 1 Item 561. Copy book of letters, etc. of George W. Newell, 1824-1827. 18(52) p.
14   Item 548. Pkg. 3-4. City Bank of Buffalo. Matters and papers settled and of no use to the Receivers, including material on Niagara Suspension Bridge Bank, debt settlement, sheriff’s sale on Grand Island, etc.
14   Item 562. Maps:
  1. Map of Outer Lot # 2, Buffalo Harbor area.
  2. Map of dam at Black Rock.
  3. Map of Outer Lot # 2, Buffalo Harbor area.
14   Item 563. Pkg. 5. Lease agreements of Receiver of City Bank of Buffalo to various persons. ca. 1840-1843.
14   Item 564. Pkg. 6. Papers relative to City Bank of Buffalo and Bank of Ypsilanti. ca. 1841-1844.
14 3 Item 565. Letters and drafts of letters of George W. Newell, 1825-1852. 12 items.
14 4 Item 566. Miscellaneous papers including letters between persons other than George W. Newell and William L. Marcy; receipts of Newell; and miscellaneous City Bank of Buffalo papers. ca. 30 items.

 

Last Updated: September 1, 2020