Robert C. Wetmore
Papers, 1804-1899; bulk, 1838-1841

SC17905

Quantity: 1 box (0.25 cubic ft.)
Access: Open to research
Acquisition: Donated by Mr. and Mrs. Winslow Foster, December 1983
Administrative Note: A number of documents in this collection may be missing. The inventory list reflects those documents, marked with an asterisk (*), that were recovered in 2008 by the Office of the New York State Attorney General.
Processed By: Fred Bassett, Senior Librarian for Manuscripts and Special Collections, April 1986; revised May 2014

View catalog record

Biographical Note:

Robert Charles Wetmore was born in Pequannock, near Bridgeport, Connecticut, on December 12, 1799. He was educated at private schools in Bridgeport. In 1813 he entered the crockery business of his brother-in-law, George Treadwell, in New York City. In 1826, he organized Robert C. Wetmore & Co., with his brother, Prosper W. Wetmore. He retired from the crockery business in 1849.

Wetmore was also actively involved in politics, particularly the local Whig Party organization.  He became chairman of the Young Men’s Whig Committee of New York, which provided him with an opportunity to make contacts with important party officials. These contacts eventually led to his appointment as Collector for the United States Navy at the Port of New York under President William Henry Harrison in 1841. He was removed from the position after the Whig Party lost the presidency in 1844 election.

Wetmore served in the New York Militia for many years, rising in rank to that of colonel. In later years he served on the staff of General Charles W. Sanford as division inspector. He married Adeline Geer, daughter of Seth Geer, a well-known architect. They had three children. In later years, he resided in Orange, New Jersey, as indicated in the city directories for 1886, 1887, and 1889. Robert Wetmore died in New York, May 1, 1890.

Scope and Content Note:

This series of papers consists chiefly of letters received by Robert C. Wetmore from about 1838 to 1842, when he was most actively engaged in politics and government. The majority of the letters relate to his involvement in the Whig Party, especially his appointment by President William H. Harrison as Collector for the Port of New York in 1841. Many of the letters provide insight into the politics of the Whig Party in New York State.  Correspondents of Wetmore included a number of individuals who were prominent in politics and government in the mid-nineteenth century: Henry Clay, Hamilton Fish, Francis Granger, Horace Greely, Rufus King, John Tyler, William H. Seward, and Thurlow Weed. Ancillary papers include Seaman family estate documents, broadsides, slave bills of sale, and a manuscript copy of a poem by Epes Sargent: "Ode for Washington's Birthday."

Box and Folder List:


Box Folder Description
1 1 Letters: George Badger, Secretary of the Navy, to Robert C. Wetmore; regarding charges against Wetmore as Navy Agent
  1. Navy Department, [Washington, D.C.], June 5, 1841
  2. Navy Department, [Washington, D.C.], June 24, 1841
  3. Raleigh, [N.C.],  June 13, 1855
1 1 Letters: Robert C. Wetmore to George Badger
  1. New York, June 7, 1841 (copy)
  2. New York September 30, 1841 and October 1, 1841, with copy of letter from George Badger, New York, September 30, 1841 (copy)
1 2 Letters: Henry Clay to Robert C. Wetmore; regarding Whig Party politics and Wetmore’s appointment as Navy Agent.
  1. Washington, D.C.  May 23, 1838 (cover sheet only)*
  2. Washington, [D.C.]  March 7, 1840
  3. Senate Chamber, [Washington, D.C.], May 22, 1840
  4. Senate Chamber, [Washington, D.C.], September 9, 1841
1 2 Letter: Henry Clay to William H. Harrison, Washington, D.C., March 7, 1840
1 3 Letter: Andrew J. Cooke to Robert C. Wetmore, New York, August 28, 1840; regarding Wetmore‘s election as president of the North Bend Association.
1 4 Letter: Hamilton Fish to Robert C. Wetmore, New York, October 28, 1843; regarding a meeting with a French official.
1 5 Letters: Francis Granger to Robert C. Wetmore; regarding political matters
  1. Canandaigua, N.Y., May 20, 1838
  2. Canandaigua, N.Y., July 6, 1838
1 6 Letter: Horace Greeley to Robert C. Wetmore, Albany, N.Y., February 11, 1838; regarding politics of the Whig Party
1 7 Letters:
  1. Alexander Hamilton, Jr., to Robert C. Wetmore, Washington, March 5, 1838; regarding political matters
  2. Alexander Hamilton, Jr., to John J. Crittenden, New York, March 13, 1841; regarding nomination of Wetmore as Collector of New York.
1 8 Letters: Ogden Hoffman to Wetmore; regarding politics.
  1. New York, October 21, 1837
  2. House of representatives, [Washington, D.C.], February 12, 1840
  3. New York, June 21, 1841
1 9 Letter: Rufus King, Adjutant General, to Robert C. Wetmore, Albany, N.Y., May 25, 1839;  regarding state militia matters
1 10 Letter: John T. Newton to Robert C. Wetmore, U.S. Frigate Missouri, March 9, 1842,  2(4)
1 10 Letters:  Robert C. Wetmore to John T. Newton
  1. New York, July 7, 1841
  2. Draft of letter regarding membership in the Naval Lyceum at Brooklyn (undated)
1 11 Letters: Abel Parker, Secretary of the Navy; regarding political attacks on Wetmore’s conduct as New York Navy Agent
  1. Navy Department, [Washington, D.C.], December 7, 1841
  2. Navy Department, [Washington, D.C.], December 21, 1841
  3. Navy Department, [Washington, D.C.], December 24, 1841
  4. Navy Department, [Washington, D.C.], December 31, 1841
1 12 Letters: Abel Parker, Secretary of the Navy; regarding political attacks on Wetmore’s conduct as New York Navy Agent
  1. Navy Department, [Washington, D.C.], January 13, 1842
  2. Navy Department, [Washington, D.C.], March 28, 1842
  3. Navy Department, [Washington, D.C.], May 13, 1842
  4. Washington, [D.C.], June 18, 1842
  5. Washington, [D.C.], June 24, 1842
  6. Navy Department, [Washington, D.C.], October 16, 1842
  7. [Washington, [D.C.], November 10, 1842
1 13 Letter: Epes Sargent to Robert C. Wetmore, [Philadelphia], February 22, 1841; includes ode for Washington’s Birthday,
1 14 Letters: William H. Seward to Robert C. Wetmore; regarding political matters and patronage
  1. Auburn, N.Y., June 4, 1834
  2. Albany, N.Y., November 27, 1838
  3. Albany, N.Y., February 1, 1839 (cover sheet missing)*
  4. Albany, N.Y., February 11, 1839
  5. Albany, N.Y., March 15, 1839
1 15 Letters: William H. Seward to Robert C. Wetmore; regarding political matters and patronage
  1. Albany, N.Y., April 2, 1839*
  2. Albany, N.Y., April 3, 1839
  3. Albany, N.Y., May 16, 1839
  4. Albany, N.Y., May 22, 1839
  5. Albany, N.Y., May 30, 1839 (copy)
  6. Albany, N.Y., June 22, 1839
  7. Albany, N.Y., June 26, 1839*
1 16 Letters: William H. Seward to Robert C. Wetmore; regarding political matters and patronage
  1. Albany, N.Y., July 3, 1839
  2. Auburn, N.Y., August 18, 1839
  3. Albany, N.Y., October 29, 1839
  4. Albany, N.Y., December 26, 1839
  5. Albany, N.Y., January 10, 1840
  6. Albany, N.Y., February 2, 1840 (clipped)
  7. Albany, N.Y., February 5, 1840
  8. Albany, N.Y., February 29, 1840
  9. Albany, N.Y., March 3, 1840
  10. Albany, N.Y., April 8, 1840
1 17 Letters: William H. Seward to Robert C. Wetmore; regarding political matters and patronage
  1. Auburn, N.Y., July 18, 1840
  2. Albany, N.Y., September 24, 1840
  3. Albany, N.Y., October 8, [1840]
  4. Executive Dept., [Albany, N.Y.], September 4, 1841
  5. Albany, N.Y., September 15, 1841
1 18 Letter: J.D. Simms, Acting Secretary of the Navy, Navy Department, [Washington, D.C.], September 18, 1841; regarding appointment of Wetmore as Navy Agent for the Port of New York
1 19 Letters: John Tyler to Robert C. Wetmore
  1. n.p., n.d.
  2. n.p., n.d.
  3. n.p., n.d.
1 19  Letter: John Tyler to W. Livingston, Washington, [D.C.], June 26, 1843 (copy)
1 20 Letter: Thurlow Weed to Robert C. Wetmore, regarding political appointments, New York, January 8, 1874
1 21 Letters to Robert C. Wetmore, 1839-1842
  1. Samuel Blatchford, Albany, N.Y., June 1, 1839
  2. John Davis, Governor of Massachusetts, Worcester, Mass., October 5, 1840
  3. D. Graham, New York, N.Y., January 18, 1841
  4. Francis Hall, New York, N.Y., February 1, 1841
  5. Willis Hall, Albany, N.Y., January 6, 1840
  6. Charles Hillander, Navy Department, [Washington, D.C.], November 23, 1842, 
1 22 Letters to Robert C. Wetmore, 1840-1856:
  1. Schuyler Livingston, New York, N.Y., February 10, 1841
  2. George P. Morris, New York, N.Y., March 5, 1856
  3. M.O. Roberts, Albany, N.Y., August 10, 1840
  4. J.O. Sargent, Washington, D.C. June 15, 1841
  5. James van Nostrand, New York, N.Y., August 5, 1840
  6. Robert Winthrop, Boston, Mass., October 27, 1840
1 23 Letters to Robert C. Wetmore, 1840-1855:
  1. Lewis Cass, November 1, 1855
  2. H.O. Dayton, Washington, December 21, 1850
  3. Michael Carroll, July 8, 1841
  4. John M. Butts, July 14, 1841
  5. J.N.R., Washington, September 9, 1841
1 24 Letters: Robert C. Wetmore to J.B. Seaman
  1. Fairfield, March 30, 1869
  2. Fairfield, May 13, 1870
  3. Fairfield, Wednesday evening, [ca. 1869-1870]
  4. Fairfield, Wednesday evening, [ca. 1869-1870]
1 25 Letters and documents
  1. Letter: Robert C. Wetmore to Silas Wright, New York, June 15, 1841 (copy)
  2. Affidavit of J.D. Glenworthy, New York, September 5, 1842
  3. Copy of a transcript of deposition, October 1842, by Jonathan D. Sheppard in Recorders Court of New York City, regarding alleged election fraud
1 26 Letters to others, 1840-1856:
  1. N.C. Dayton to J.N. Reynolds, New York, February 24, 1841
  2. Stephen Crooker to J.N. Reynolds, New York, February 24, 1841 [sic]
  3. G. McAlester, [Philadelphia], January 27, 1841
  4. Myron Holley Clark to E.B. Seaman, Albany, September 3, 1856
  5. K. Seaman to Elizabeth [?], February 9, [18-?]
1 27 Letter: Richard H. Woods to President Wm. H. Harrison; recommending Wetmore for Collector for the United States Navy at the Port of New York, 1840
1 27 Resolution: New York City, 9th Ward, Whig Party, Executive Committee recommendation of Wetmore for Collector for the United States Navy at the Port of New February 1841
1 28 Testimonials and recommendations in favor of Robert C. Wetmore’s appointment as Collector for the United States Navy at the Port of New York, 7 p., [1841]
1 28 Letters (copies) between various persons, 1840-1841, regarding recommendations for Wetmore as Collector (11 items bound together)
1   Printed Material
1 29 Miscellaneous
  1. Newspaper clippings, regarding Wetmore's removal as Navy agent, ca. 1845
  2. U.S. Naval Lyceum – membership certificate of Robert C. Wetmore, October 5, 1841
  3. New York state Republican Committee – Form, New York September 28, 1880
1 30 Broadsides:
  1. “That Hand-Bill,” n.d. [broadside ballad]
  2. “James R. Vilikins and his Ah! See Dinah,” n.d. [broadside ballad]
  3. C. Chenelette Dusseausoir, Confectioner and Distiller, 1804 [list of items sold by the firm]; on verso is a receipt giving the quantity and value of goods purchased.
    Seaman Family Papers
1 31 Certification to Mrs. Emeline Seaman, South Orange, New Jersey, September 2, 1887, regarding will of Hiram Geer
1 31 Receipts of Edward Seaman relative to the estate of Hiram Geer, 1869-1870, 1884
1 32 Slave bills of sale
  1. Israel R. Dissosway to Capt. John Seaman, March 28, 1818*
  2. Jeffery Wood to John Seaman, February 3, 1819*
1 33 Seaman family – Estate and Land Papers, 1811-1861 (24 items)
1 34 Receipts from executorship of the estate of Emilene Seaman, 1898-1899 (16 items)

 

Last Updated: June 16, 2014