|Quantity:||1 box (0.25 cubic ft.)|
|Access:||Open to research|
|Acquisition:||Purchase; Henry B. Barnet, III, Spartanburg, S.C., 2009|
|Processed By:||Abigail Stambach, Student Assistant, State University of New York at Albany, August 2010|
The Van Rensselaer and Schuyler families were among the earliest and most prominent among the early Dutch settlers of New York State. These families were closely tied together through frequent marriage bonds between various members. The two families were bonded again when Philip Schuyler (1733-1804) married Catharine van Rensselaer (1734-1803) in 1755. Philip Schuyler was one of the most prominent citizens of eighteenth-century Albany and he held many political positions in the city, New York State and the United States. He is probably most well known for being the first major general of the Northern Department during the Revolutionary War. The Schuyler family was acquainted with many of the influential leaders of the eighteenth century such as George Washington and Alexander Hamilton.
Philip and Catharine Schuyler’s youngest child was Catharine who was born on February 20, 1781 in Albany. She married first to Samuel Bayard Malcolm, an attorney, in May 1803. He was the son of General William Malcolm, who served in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. Shortly after their marriage, Samuel and Catharine settled in Utica, New York, and had two children who lived to adulthood, William Schuyler Malcolm (1810-1890) and Alexander Hamilton Schuyler Malcolm (ca. 1815-1888). The family returned to the Albany area shortly before Samuel Malcolm’s death in 1817.
In 1822 Catharine married James Cochran, who was born February 11, 1769, in Albany, New York, the son of John and Gertrude Schuyler Cochran. Catharine and James were first cousins since Gertrude was the eldest sister of Philip Schuyler. James Cochran studied law at Columbia College, graduating with the class of 1788. During his career, he was commissioned by President John Adams as a major in the U.S. Army, served as a regent of the University of the State of New York (1796-1820), served as a representative in the U.S. Congress from New York (1797-1799), and served in the New York State Senate (1814-1818). In 1825, James, Catharine and her two children moved to Oswego, New York. While there, James served as the postmaster from 1841 to 1845 and was the editor of Oswego Democratic Gazette, a local newspaper. James died in 1848. Catharine died nine years later in 1857.
Catharine’s eldest son, William Schuyler Malcolm, was born on February 23, 1810 in Utica, New York. He studied to be a civil engineer but found life on the seas more appealing. Thus, at the age of nineteen, he embarked on a marine voyage to Smyrna, Leghorn and the West Indies. He then returned home to take up command of vessels on Lake Ontario, which he did for twenty-three years. In 1842 he married Eliza Lawrence and they had seven children. The family settled in Oswego, New York, which is situated on the shore of Lake Ontario. William also dabbled in politics, being elected the first aldermen of the city of Oswego in 1848. He was appointed assistant engineer of the United States Civil Service in 1854 and held that position until 1869. He died in Oswego in 1890.
Alexander Hamilton Malcolm was named after his uncle, Alexander Hamilton, who married Catharine’s older sister, Elizabeth. He was the youngest child of Catharine and Samuel and he was born circa 1815. He died on December 2, 1888 and was buried in Oswego.
Catharine had seven brothers and sisters including Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton (1757-1854), the second child of the Schuyler Family. Elizabeth married Alexander Hamilton shortly before Catharine’s birth in December 1780. Elizabeth and Alexander had eight children including James Alexander (1788-1878), John Church (1792-1882) and Eliza Hamilton Holly (1799-1859). Charlotte Augusta Hamilton was born on October 3, 1818 in New York City. Her father was Elizabeth’s son, John Church Hamilton. Charlotte did not marry and she died on April 2, 1896.
One of Catharine’s brothers was Philip Jeremiah Schuyler, who was born on January 20, 1768. He followed his father’s footsteps in the political sphere and served in the New York State Assembly in 1798 and was a representative in the U.S. Congress in the early nineteenth century. Philip Jeremiah married twice and his second wife was Mary Ann Sawyer. Mary Ann was almost twenty years younger than her husband. Philip Jeremiah died in 1835; Mary Ann died in 1852.
Elizabeth Ten Broeck Schuyler was the wife of Catharine’s brother Rensselaer. Elizabeth was born in 1772 to Abraham and Elizabeth Ten Broeck. Abraham Ten Broeck was another influential figure in Albany during the eighteenth century. Elizabeth and Rensselaer married in 1793 and settled in Stillwater, New York. They did not have any children. Elizabeth died in 1848.
Richard Lawrence Malcolm (1854-1937) was the son of William and Eliza Malcolm. He journeyed to Australia at a young age in pursuit of a career in commerce and trade in the Far East. This venture was probably a success, so he spent most of his adult life in Australia. Here he became engaged to and married Martha Anna Crawford (1856-1924), the daughter of Hiram Allen Crawford (1832-1916) and Anna McNeil Crawford (1837-1862). She was born in Australia but spent part of her early life in the United States since her father was originally from Oakham, Massachusetts. Richard and Martha Malcolm had five children including sons, Richard Van Rensselaer Malcolm (ca. 1880-1957) and Herbert Lawrence Malcolm (1884-1959). In the early years of Richard and Martha’s marriage, the couple lived in Victoria, Australia, but Martha and her children eventually moved to the United States while Richard remained in Australia. Sometime in the early twentieth century, she settled in her father’s hometown of Oakham in the home of her grandparents.
Scope and Content Note:
These papers consist chiefly of correspondence between Catharine Schuyler Malcolm Cochran, her second husband James Cochran, and her sons, William and Alexander Malcolm. Also included are a number of letters written by Catharine’s siblings and other friends and relatives; Elizabeth Hamilton, Philip Jeremiah Schuyler, Mary Ann Schuyler and Elizabeth Schuyler or her nieces and nephews; James Alexander Hamilton, Philip Schuyler, George Lee Schuyler and Eliza Hamilton Holly. The letters tend to concern routine matters of everyday life such as sickness, travel, death, family news/gossip, and finances. References to notable Schuyler family events such as the controversy of Catharine’s first marriage, and the deaths of Catharine’s mother and sister, Cornelia can be found in the letters as well as evidence of the rocky relationship between Catharine’s sons.
During the later years represented in this collection, the letters and postal cards were addressed mostly to Martha Anna Crawford, the wife of Richard Lawrence Malcolm. These letters/postal cards were written mostly by her two sons, Richard and Herbert, relative to their life at college, travel, and personal finances as well news about family and friends. There are also two letters written in 1878 from Oakham, Massachusetts, and it is believed that these letters were written by or received by members of the Crawford family. It is possible that the letter addressed to Henry, was written to Henry Jenks, the son of Martha’s aunt, Almina Jenks.
|1||1||Letters to Catharine Schuyler Malcolm Cochran, 1802-1809 (10 items)
|1||2||Letters to Catharine Schuyler Malcolm Cochran, 1818-1822 (8 items)
|1||3||Letters to Catharine Schuyler Malcolm Cochran, 1828-1835 (7 items)
|1||4||Letters to Catharine Schuyler Malcolm Cochran, 1845-1857 (9 items)
|1||5||Letters to Catharine Schuyler Malcolm Cochran, date unknown (6 items)
|1||6||Letters written by Catharine Schuyler Malcolm Cochran, ca. 1795-1854 (8 items)
|1||7||Letters written to Major James Cochran, 1818-1859 (3 items)
|1||8||Letters written to William and Alexander Malcolm., ca. 1837-1838 (4 items)
|1||9||Letters written to Charlotte Hamilton (1 item)
|1||10||Crawford family letters (2 items)
|1||11||Letters written to Martha Anna Malcolm, 1907-1910 (14 items)
|1||12||Postal cards to Martha Anna Crawford (42 items)
|1||13||Letters to Mattie (1 item)
|1||14||Catharine Schuyler Malcolm Cochran, financial papers, 1799-1835 (6 items)