Scope and arrangement
The collection consists of correspondence, accounts, military records, land records, and other papers documenting Schuyler's military, political and business activities and, to a lesser extent, his family affairs. Correspondence, 1761-1804, is chiefly with military officers, members of the Continental Congress, and committees of safety concerning the conduct of the Revolutionary War in the Northern Department, 1775-1777. However, political, business, and family matters. Indian papers, 1710-1797, contain Schuyler's papers as Commissioner of Indian Affairs in the Northern Department during the war and as agent of New York State. Canal papers, 1792-1803, include correspondence, diaries, reports, surveys, accounts, and other papers relating to the construction of canals in New York. His papers as Surveyor General of New York State, 1773-1788, and other public papers, circa 1775-1796, consist of correspondence, receipts, drafts of legislation and proposals, building plans, and other papers. Financial papers, 1711-1805, estate papers, 1752-1828, and land papers, 1705-1864, pertain to business activities and land holdings of Schuyler and family. Family papers, 1772-1851, contain correspondence and other papers of Schuyler family members. Military papers, 1775-1779, comprise Revolutionary War materials that were neither generated nor received directly by Schuyler.
The Philip Schuyler papers are arranged in eleven series:
- 1761-180416 boxes, 3 volumes, 1 oversize folder
Letters Received, 1761-1804 consists chiefly of 2,431 letters arranged chronologically. A two volume calendar of these letters arranged alphabetically by name of the correspondent was prepared by Mrs. Solomon Alofsen in 1851. The majority of the letters are from military officers, members of the Continental Congress, committees of safety, and private individuals relative to the conduct of the Revolutionary War in the Northern Department, 1775-1777. Correspondents include Benedict Arnold, George Clinton, John Cochran, James Duane, Benjamin Franklin, Henry Glen, Richard Montgomery, William Smith, Jr., Richard Varick, George Washington, and members of the Gansevoort, Lansing, Livingston, Van Rensselaer, and Yates families.
In addition to the calendared letters are Schuyler’s letterbook of copies of letters and instructions from General Washington and the Continental Congress, June 1775-June 1778; approximately 70 letters, 1769-1796 (i.e. 1769; 1796-1797) from Stephen Theodore Johnson, Peter R. Livingston, Harmanus Schuyler, and Philip Ten Eyck; and 32 letters written to Schuyler in 1788 as a member of the New York Council of Appointment recommending persons for various public offices. Also among the uncalendared letters are the letters he received from his family, including two from his son-in-law Alexander Hamilton.
- 1769-18045 boxes, 4 volumes
The Letters Sent include three letterbooks, 1775-1778, of copies of letters from Schuyler to the Continental Congress, General Washington and others on the conduct of the war; two volumes of letters and military orders issued by Schuyler and his aides-de-camp, Richard Varick and John Lansing, Jr., 1776-1777; and additional letters and military orders, 1769-1804. Of the letters to family members, 1787-1795, the bulk are written to his son John B. Schuyler, 1787-1794, regarding personal and business matters, and to his wife and daughter Catherine, 1795, regarding John's death.
- 1710-17973 boxes, 1 oversize folder
Schuyler served as Commissioner of Indian Affairs in the Northern Department during the Revolutionary War, and later, as agent of the State of New York. The papers include speeches made at Indian councils; notes of proceedings; minutes of the commissioners' meetings; accounts of supplies; expenses of Indian delegates and commissioners; letters; resolutions of Congress; acts of the New York State legislature; and various papers relating to the lands of the Six Nations, including numerous claims filed in 1795 by white settlers in the Cayuga reservation. Among the papers are letters of Guy, Sir William, and Sir John Johnson, and a speech of Joseph Brant.
- 1779, 1792-1803, 18256 boxes, 2 volumes
Letters to and from Schuyler as president of both the Northern and Western Inland Lock Navigation Companies, with resolutions of the Board of Directors, reports, surveys, calculations, accounts, payrolls, and other papers regarding the construction of canals to link the Hudson River at Troy with Lake Champlain, and the Mohawk River at Schenectady with Lake Ontario. Included is a diary and expense account of Schuyler's 1802 journey along the Mohawk River and Canada Creek while supervising the construction and repair of the canal. Correspondents include Frederick De Zeng, Barent Bleecker, Samuel Jones, John Porteous, Thomas Eddy, Gerard Walton, and John Murray. An alphabetical index of this correspondence is available.
- circa 1775-17961 box, 1 oversize folder
The Public Papers bring together various documents relating to Schuyler’s work in the public sector, including his credentials as a member of the Continental Congress, 1779, drafts of legislation, copies of resolutions on various topics, papers as boundary commissioner in the New York-Massachusetts boundary line dispute, 1773-1787, a plan of education for the Washington Academy, and draft proposals and plans for a New York State prison, including floor plans and a sketch of the front elevation. His papers as New York State Surveyor General include correspondence, receipts for land certificates, locations of bounty lands, transfers, and other papers, 1782-1788
- 1790s1 box
The Mathematical papers deal with various scientific and mechanical matters such as the building of canal locks, surveying of land, problems in physics, and calculations of interest, insurance, stock values, and conversions of currency and weights and measures.
- 1711-18053 boxes, 6 volumes
Schuyler’s records of personal and household expenses, bills and receipts for provisions, clothing and merchandise, 1750-1803; military accounts of public moneys, cattle and provisions furnished by his estate, and damages done by troops, 1775-1782; business accounts including accounts with Stanton Teft, 1768-1778, and with several New York City commission merchants, 1785-1787, for timber and boards; papers regarding his schooner, Saratoga, 1763-1768; account books, 1711-1805 recording rents collected, and general expenses; bonds, promissory notes, and powers of attorney drawn to Schuyler, 1761-1804
- 1752-18284 boxes
These records pertain to the settlement of various estates for which Schuyler acted as executor or was involved with in some way, and to his own estate after his death. The most extensive estate papers are those of General John Bradstreet, comprising letters from Bradstreet to Schuyler, correspondence between Schuyler, Beverly Robinson, Sir Charles Gould, Peter Livius, members of the Bradstreet family, and others, as well as accounts, vouchers, inventories, and legal documents, some of which relate to the Dutch church at Albany, and to the affairs of Bradstreet and Schuyler as quartermasters in the French and Indian War. The remainder of the papers pertain to the estates of Schuyler's mother Cornelia Van Cortlandt Schuyler, his father-in-law John (Johannes) Van Rensselaer, his brother-in-law Jeremiah Van Rensselaer, his nephew John Cortlandt Schuyler, and his son John Bradstreet Schuyler.
- 1705-18648 boxes, 12 oversize folders
The Land Papers include letters, deeds, leases, mortgages, maps, tax lists, surveys, and field books relating to lands in Albany, Saratoga, New York City, Claverack, Cosby's Manor, Dutchess, Montgomery, and Westchester Counties, Rensselaerswyck, and elsewhere. The land transactions documented involved the Schuylers, Van Rensselaers, Livingstons, Beekmans, Bleeckers, John Morin Scott, Simeon De Witt, and others. The Saratoga files include papers of John Bradstreet Schuyler as Commissioner of Highways, of Excise, and as Justice of the Peace for the area, 1790-1795. A memo book of Abraham Ten Broeck lists lands, tenants, and rents collected, 1791-1808, in the Saratoga Patent, Rensselaerswyck, Hoosick, and other areas.
- 1772-18511 box, 1 volume
The Family Papers consists primarily of correspondence and papers of Schuyler family members other than Philip Schuyler. Documents include a transcript of Captain John Schuyler's journal of his expedition to Canada in 1690; Letters to John B. Schuyler, Philip J. Schuyler's rent account book for lands in Rhinebeck, 1815-1820; papers of Rensselaer, Robert, and Philip J. Schuyler, particularly leases, mortgages, rent accounts, and papers documenting the transfer of lands, especially in the Saratoga Patent and at 45 Cortlandt Street, New York City.
Philip Schuyler is represented here only by a warrant to raise a company of soldiers, 1755, and his military commission, 1767.
- 1775-17797 boxes
The Military Papers comprise Revolutionary War materials that were neither generated nor received directly by Schuyler. They include alphabetically arranged correspondence and reports of officers of the guard at Ticonderoga, Ft. George, Philadelphia, and other locations; reports of scouting parties in the Northern Department; examinations of deserters; depositions and affidavits of civilians concerning the enemy, including testimony against loyalists; lists of Tories and their intercepted letters; papers regarding prisoners of war; proceedings of courts-martial; regimental returns of troops, payrolls, and sick lists; returns of provisions, public stores, and supplies; accounts of commissaries; and contracts, payrolls, discharges, and other documents regarding the employment of carpenters, masons, other laborers, and spies.