Harris Family
Papers, 1662-1873

SC14808

Quantity: 1 box (0.25 cubic ft.)
Access: Open to research
Acquisition: Gift; New York State Historian, November 1968
Processed By: Thomas Ruller, RLIN Project, Manuscripts and Special Collections,
1988; revised 2017

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Biographical Note:

The Harris family, represented in this collection mainly by papers related to Apollos Harris and Stephen Harris, were descendants of George Harris who came to Southampton (Suffolk County), New York, some time prior to 1657. Apollos (January 23, 1788-February 18, 1837) married Minerva Abrams (Aubraims?) (July 1782-May 27, 1857). Their only son, Stephen (May 7, 1820-May 10, 1890), was born at his parents’ home at North Sea, Southampton, Suffolk County, New York. He married Harriet "Hattie" Rogers Brown (February 12, 1823-January 16, 1893) on August 8, 1840, and had seven children: David H.; Charles P., who died in San Francisco; Arthur A.; William B., who also died in California; Jane A.; Nelly M.; and Everett Wilson. In 1876, for family health reasons, Stephen moved to Franklin (Delaware County), New York, where he served as a deacon of the Presbyterian church.

Scope and Content Note:

The collection consists of correspondence, invoices, receipts, and legal papers of the Harris family of Southampton (Suffolk County), New York, especially that of Apollos Harris and his son, Stephen Harris. Included is a 1662 land agreement; deeds for land; business papers of Apollos Harris, including the 1831 indenture of Sarah Duey [Dewey?] to Apollos Harris; and family correspondence to Stephen Harris and his wife, Hattie, from their son, Charles, and from a cousin, John N. Genin, who was probably the John N. Genin (ca. 1819-April 30, 1878) who achieved fame as a New York City "hatter" in the 1850s (See Item 46) when he purchased the first seat sold for singer Jenny Lind’s American tour in 1850. Of special note are papers related to the Suffolk Whaling Company, and the whaling ship Henry, which was managed by Charles T. Dering.

Box and Item List:


Box Item Contents
1 1 Land agreement between John Davis and Georg [sic] Harris. April 10, 1662.
1 2 Deed: David Rose to Georg[sic] Harris for 4 acres of land in Southampton, Suffolk County, New York. October 9, 1712.
1 3 Appointment of George and John Harris, poundmasters in Southampton, Suffolk County, New York. May 7, 1719.
1 4 Deed: John Howell to Henry Harris, Southampton, Suffolk County, New York. October 11, 1744.
1 5 Will of Henry Harriss [sic]. December 3, 1769.
1 6 Appointment of Apollos Harris, ensign in Suffolk County Militia. April 27, 1810. Signed by Governor Daniel D. Tompkins.
1 7 Will of Stephen Harris. July 25, 1814.
1 8 Bill of goods from Osborn & Cornell by Mr. Harris. September 2, 1816.
1 9 Deed: David Layre to David Rose, Stephen Harris, Samuel Jagger, and William Herrick. February 4, 1812.
1 10 Appointment of Apollos Harris, lieutenant in Suffolk County Militia. February 7, 1812. A.D.S. (printed form). Signed by Governor Daniel D. Tompkins.
1 11 Inventory of the movable estate of Stephen Harris, deceased. January 4, 1814.
1 12 Receipt for lumber purchased by Apollos Harris from Gaius Lyman. Hartford, July 11, 1815.
1 13 Invoice of dry goods purchased by Luther Harris from Thomas R. Welsh. August 31, 1816.
1 14 Luther Harris. Purchases from Wm. Vail. August 31, 1816.
1 15 Receipt for purchases by Apollos Harris from David Smith. October 10, 1816.
1 16 Indenture of apprenticeship of Richard Peterson to Apollos Harris. November 27, 1819.
1 17 Invoice for purchase of molasses, tea, sugar, and coffee by Apollos Harris from Genin and Parsons. July 6, 1820.
1 18 Receipt for note payment to Jain Harris from Eleanor Harris. December 30, 1824.
1 19 Letter to Apollos Harris from Samuel Haines. May 15, 1825.
1 20 Quitclaim deed: Luther Harris, of Goshen (Orange County) to Apollos Harris, of Southhampton (Suffolk County) for land in Suffolk County, New York. January 10, 1826.
1 21 Letter to Apollos Harris from Dering & Co. February 7, 1827.
1 22 Certificate for 2 shares in the Suffolk Whaling Company to Apollos Harris. April 5, 1828. Printed form signed by S[amuel] L’Hommedieu. Each share cost $250.00.
1 23 "Account of 2 shares of whale oil from ship Henry for Apollos Harris." December 29, 1829.
1 23a Receipt for $70 "on account of the call for the second outfits of the ship Henry" to Apollos Harris. Sag Harbor, [New York], May 9, 1829.
1 24 Indenture of Sarah Duey [Dewey?], age 12, by the overseers of the poor of the town of Southold, Suffolk County, as a servant to Apollos Harris for six years. January 1, 1831. Approval of the justices of the peace dated November 26, 1830.

States what she may not do, including "taverns or ale houses she shall not frequent." States that he must "send her to school to learn to read to write and to cypher."

1 25 Receipt for $40 for 2 shares in the Suffolk Whaling Co. to Apollos Harris. May 5, 1830. Signed by Charles Thomas Dering, agent.
1 26 Statement of account of Apollos Harris with Charles Dering. September 1830. Re: cartage, storage, and "labor of cooperage" of oil, etc.
1 27 Receipt for $30 on his 2 shares in the Suffolk Whaling Co. to Apollos Harris. February 26, 1831. Signed by Charles Thomas Dering, agent.
1 28 Appointment of Apollos Harris and Daniel Jennings as appraisers of the personal estate of Joel Keene. April 18, 1832. Printed form.
1 29 School [attendance] list, North Sea, New York. April 23, 1832. Surnames listed: Harris, Jennings, Scott, Cooper, Prose [?], Atling, Fordham, Martins, White, Wright.
1 30 Receipts – on one sheet – for Apollos Harris from Caleb Halsey. January 23, 1827, and April 13, 1832.
1 31 Bill to Apollos Harris from Samuel Jaggar. January 5, 1835.
1 32 Bill to heirs of Apollos Harris for money owed on shares in the ship Henry. July 8, 1837. Signed by S[amuel] L’Hommedieu, agent.
1 33 Invoice to Apollos Harris from Dering & Co. February 7, 1837. Among items listed: turpentine, varnish, screws.
1 34 Invoice to Apollos Harris from Dering and Co. March 17, 1837. Among items listed: oil, turpentine, and "2 kegs lead."
1 35 Account statement of "sale of oil from 2 shares in ship Henry" owned by Apollos. April 28, 1838.
1 36 Letter to Stephen Harris, North Sea [Peconic?], Southampton, Long Island, from cousin John Genin. New York, September 24, 1838. A.L.S. 3(4)p. Writes of his recent trip which included "the first time I ever in my life put up to a Public House" and traveling on the steamboat Cleopatra, whereon,  "there being more passengers than there was births [berths] – so we had to draw for births."
1 37 Letter to Stephen Harris, North Sea, [Southampton], Long Island, from cousin John Genin, New York, November 8, 1838. A.L.S. 4p.
1 38 Letter to Stephen Harris, North Sea, [Southampton, Long Island], from cousin John Genin, [New York?], December 28, 1838. A.L.S. 1(4)p.
1 39 Letter to Stephen Harris North Sea, [Southampton], Long Island, from cousin John Genin, New York, April 30, 1840. A.L.S. 3(4)p. Includes summary of his visits to England, Ireland, Wales, Scotland, and then New Orleans; and Charleston, South Carolina.
1 40 Letter to Stephen Harris, North Sea, [Southampton], Long Island, New York, from S[amuel?] Huntting, Amherst College, [Amherst, Massachusetts], August 31, 1841. A.L.S. 4p. Mentions the mistreatment of freshmen by sophomores.
1 41 Letter to Stephen Harris, Southampton, Long Island, [New York], from cousin, Sidney C. Genin. New York, March 28, 1841. A.L.S. 3(4)p. Salutation: Dear Aunt and Cousins. Mentions fond memories of North Sea.
1 42 Bill to Mr. Harris from Dering and Co. September 26, 1843. A.N.S. 1p,
1 43 Letter to Stephen Harris, Southampton, Long Island, [New York], from W.H.B. Cold Spring Harbor, [Long Island, New York], December 21, 1845. A.L.S. 3(4)p. Salutation: Dear Sister. Pencilled in: Wm. H. Brown. Postscript: Apologizing to Stephen for not writing him.
1 44 Letter to Stephen Harris, North Sea, Southampton, Long Island, [New York], from cousin John N. Genin, [New York], January 18, 1846. A.L.S. 2(4)p. Mentions his business: "I have … enough work to pay the expenses of 25 girls at hat trimming & cap making …"
1 45 Letter to Stephen Harris, North Sea, [Southampton], Long Island, [New York], from cousin, John Genin. November 30, 1850. A.L.S. 2(4)p.
1 46 Letter to Apollos Harris from Charles and Eleanor Parsons. Glens Falls, [New York], September 16, 1832. A.L.S. 3(4)p. Salutation: Dear Brother & Sister. Mentions there is no cholera in Glens Falls.
1 47 Letter to Stephen Harris, North Sea, [Southampton], Long Island, [New York], from cousin John N. Genin, New York, April 2, 1837. Mentions the ship Hamilton, that "Erastus is on board of her. She had 2 whales."
1 48 Letter to Stephen Harris, North Sea, [Southampton], Long Island, [New York], from cousin John N. Genin. New York, May 1, 1837. A.L.S. 2(4)p. Deals with how sick everyone in Genin’s family has been; believes it’s scarlet fever.
1 49 Letter to Stephen Harris, North Sea, [Southampton], Long Island, [New York], from cousin John N. Genin. May 9, 1837. A.L.S. 3(4)p. More about scarlet fever; mentions "Cap[tain] Smith arrived last Friday night. … He had 1850 Bbls. of oil and 40 of sperm. He sold 1000 bbls. of it. Oil is worthless at present." Also mentions banks have stopped issuing specie and that for a while city store keepers would not take city bank bills.
1 50 Letter to Mrs. Stephen Harris, Southampton, Suffolk County, New York, from son Charles Harris, Hills Ferry, California, April 5, 1872. A.L.S. 3(4)p. Re: power of attorney and financial matters.
1 51



51a
Letter to Hattie and letter to Hattie and Stephen, Southampton, Long Island, [New York], from Maria, Jersey City, March 2, 1872. A.L.S. 4p. Two letters on one sheet of paper. Writes about finances and family.

Letter to "Dear Brother & Sister" from [?], Jersey City, March 4, 1872. A.L.S. 4p. Mentions Maria.

Both sheets mailed in one envelope to Stephen Harris, Southampton, Long Island, [New York],

1 52 Letter to Mrs. Stephen Harris, Southampton, Suffolk, County, New York, from son, Charles [Hills Ferry, California], May 29, 1872. A.L.S. 2p.
1 53 Letter to Mrs. Stephen Harris from son Charles Harris, Hills Ferry, [California], January 3, 1873. A.L.S. 2p. Mentions a change of address of his store and indicates his business is doing well; also mentions "enclosed" card with his new business address; card is not enclosed.
1 54 Letter to Stephen Harris from son, Charles Harris, Hills Ferry, [California], May 17, 1873. A.L.S. 3(4)p. Writes mainly about business, including thoughts about a canal.
1 55 Letter of administration of the estate of Henry Harris. February 5, 1782. 1(4)p.
1 56 Letter to Stephen Harris, Southampton, Suffolk County, New York, from son, Charles Harris, Hills Ferry, [California], July 20, 1873. A.L.S. 4p. Salutation: "Dear Parents." Writes that he has been "trying in every way to get rid of my place [a "general merchandise store"] – even advertising as you will see by [attached newspaper advertisement]." Writes that he is planning on coming back east; complains that since he’s been in California hardly anyone has written him.
1 57 Lease agreement (blank printed form). Charles P. Harris, Soliciting Agent for San Joaquin and Kings River Canal and Irrigation Co., California. 1873.
1 58 Letter to Stephen Harris, Southampton, Long Island, New York, from S[amuel]. Huntting, Amherst College, [Amherst, Massachusetts], June 10, 184[6]. Thanks him for his "kind advice in reference to the ladies." Comments on life as a freshman at college.
1 59 Invoice to Apollos Harris for nut wood [sic]. n.d.
1 60 Invoice to Apollos Harris for engraving on gravestones. n.d.
1 61 Letter to Mrs. Stephen Harris from son, Charles, Hills Ferry, [California], October 24, 1872 [sic]. Comments on personal and business life. A.L.S. 4p.
1 62  "The Scull [sic]," a poem - author unknown. n.d.
Last Updated: September 25, 2017