Benjamin Homer Hall
Papers, 1795-1884


Quantity: 1 box and 6 extra-large folders (ca. 0.25 cubic ft.)
Access: Open to research
Acquisition: Purchase; George Halbert; June 1937; accretions of single accessions 5131 and 12985, May 2007.
Processed by: Fred Bassett, Senior Librarian, Manuscripts and Special Collections, May 2007.

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Biographical Note:

Benjamin Homer Hall (1830-1893) was a lawyer, poet, and author who resided in Troy, New York for much of his life.   He erected a building at First and River streets in Troy that bore his name for many years.  His most significant works were A Collection of College Works and Customs and History of Eastern Vermont, from its Earliest Settlement to the Close of the Eighteenth Century.  

Daniel Hall was born July 17, 1787 in Westminster, Vermont and died December 19, 1868 at Troy, New York. He was graduated from Middlebury College, and in 1806 moved to Troy, where he studied law under William M. Bliss with William L. Marcy and John P. Cushman.

Scope and Content Note:

A collection of letters and other papers related to personal, family, and business interests of Benjamin Hall and Daniel Hall. The collection includes four letters from Amos Eaton in regards to insuring buildings used by the Rensselaer Institute. Also includes a letter of Eaton to the Reverend Dr. Coe, J. Cushman and others, November 9, 1819, regarding religious beliefs, and a letter to his wife, Sally Eaton, February 7, 1814, written while he was in prison. (In 1811 Eaton was wrongfully convicted and imprisoned on charges of forgery in a land dispute.  See the Amos Eaton Papers, SC10685.) Other correspondents include Edward Everett, William H. Seward, Hamilton Fish, Robert T. Lincoln, Horatio Seymour, William L. Marcy and Asa Fitch.  Their letters generally concern business and politics.

Ancillary papers include a poem about Amos Eaton that was probably penned by Benjamin Homer Hall, and a narrative of travels in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania in 1808 that is attributed to Daniel Hall. An interesting item is a signed copy of the constitution of the Philonomian Society, a legal debating society, formed “for the purpose of facilitating our progress in legal knowledge, of creating a laudable ambition among the Students and of cultivating friendship and harmony.” The constitution is dated at Troy, November 27, 1807, and bears the signatures of 19 members, including R.W. Walworth as secretary.

Two political broadsides, 1807 and 1821, pertain to New York State. A third broadside is “A scheme of exercises at the public exhibition in Middlebury College, Vermont on May 5th, 1801,” printed at Vergennes, 1801. This program included Latin and Greek orations, as well as orations on genius, the progressive improvement, the propensity to admiration, and on immortality of the soul, as well as several dialogs of an allegorical character. Still another broadside contains rates of toll on Fort Miller Bridge about 1861.

Box Folder Description
1 1 Letter of Amos Eaton to his wife, Sally Eaton, February 7, 1814, written while he was in prison. With transcription.
1 2 Letter of Amos Eaton to the Reverend Dr. Coe, J. Cushman and others, November 9, 1819; re: his religious beliefs and thoughts on Christianity.  With transcription.
1 3 Letters of Amos Eaton to Daniel Hall, 1824-1841; re: Troy Insurance Company and Rensselaer Institute. 4 items. With transcription.
1 4 Letter of John Lyman to Daniel Hall. Woodstock, [Vermont], February 17, 1819.
1 5 Letter of Edward Everett to Daniel Hall, March 6, 1835; re: politics and Daniel Webster.
1 6 Letters to Daniel Hall, 1854-1855; re: politics and government.  Correspondents include Hamilton Fish, William H. Seward, and H.B. Stanton. 5 items.
1 7 Letters to Benjamin H. Hall, 1855-1884, from George W. Curtis, A. Bruyn Hasbronck, George Van Santvoord, Robert T. Lincoln, M.F. Maury, and John E. Wool. 6 items.
1 8 Letter of Asa Fitch to Benjamin H. Hall. Salem, May 13, 1874.
1 9 Letters of Horatio Seymour to Benjamin H. Hall, 1881-1884. 13 items
1 10 Letters of Benjamin H. Hall to C. E. Dudley Tibbits, January 24, 1882.  re: business matters. 2 items (12985)
1 11 Letters of William L. Marcy to Jacob L. Lane, 1823. 6 items
1 12 Letter of Whitman [Reely], West Point, N.Y.,  to Mrs. Prof. G. W. Reely, Waterville, Maine, September 7, 1835.  Concerns personal and family matters.
1 13 Albany Mayor, license to Schuyler and Cuyler Co. to sell liquor, July 2, 1795; also, Albany Commissioner of Excise, license to John I. Cuyler to sell liquor, April 9, 1799. 2 items
1 14 Constitution of Philonomian Society of Troy, November 27, 1807.
1 15 Diary of Daniel Hall, re: travels in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, commenced at Troy, N.Y., May 17, 1808. 15 p.; 7 cm. (5131)
1 16 Poem about Amos Eaton, n.d.; [Benjamin Homer Hall?]. With transcription.
1 17 Dummerston [Vermont] town records, 1771-1776, copied by B.H. Hall, Westminster, Vt., 1851. 2 v.
1 18 Printed Circulars, 1851-1883: material pertaining to Harvard college, the Boston Harvard club, “The Suffrage Question in Relation to Colored Voters in the State of New York,” the Citizens’ Committee on High License, and the Civil-Service Reform Association. Benjamin H. Hall was a graduate of Harvard College, Class of 1851. 6 items
-- -- New York (State) Comptroller. Bill against Daniel Hall, November 16, 1818. (This document reported as missing from papers, October 1957)
    Extra-Large documents
EL 1 Broadside: “A scheme of exercises at the public exhibition in Middlebury College, Vermont, on May 5, 1801”
EL 2 Broadside: “Federal meeting. At an uncommonly numerous and respectable meeting of the Federalists in Troy … on April 11, 1821”
EL 3 Broadside: “Fort Miller bridge. Rates of toll.” Troy, N.Y., [1861]; attached is an affidavit of Daniel Hall, October 14, 1861
EL 4 Broadside: “Chancellor Lansing’s third letter …  New York, April 1807”
EL 5 Deed to Jonas C. Heart by Brigam [sic] L. and Rebecca Eaton for lot in Troy, October 10, 1835.
EL 6 Map of Lowell, late Kellyvale, Vt., n.d.
Last Updated: March 26, 2010