Townsend Family
Papers; 1795-1914, bulk 1795-1854


Quantity: 5 boxes (1.50 cubic ft.)
Access: Open to research
Acquisition: Purchase: E.B. Ryder, February 1933; includes a number of accretions from the single accession collection; see accession file for further information.
Processed By: Regina Berry, Student Assistant, State University of New York at Albany, November 2015

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Biographical Note:

Brothers Isaiah (1777-1838) and John (1783-1854) Townsend were important merchants, iron manufacturers and politicians in the Albany, New York, area in the first half of the nineteenth century.  Born at Sterling, Orange County, New York, they were the sons of Henry Townsend (1752-18l5) and Mary (Bennet) Townsend.  The family was descended from brothers John and Henry Townsend who had settled in Oyster Bay, New York, in 1661.  Isaiah and John had seven siblings including brothers Samuel, William, Peter, Charles, and Noah.

Isaiah Townsend married Hannah Townsend (1784-1854), the daughter of Solomon Townsend, in 1809. Among their children were Frederick (1825-1897), a lawyer who practiced in Albany, served in the Civil War and as the adjutant general of New York State; Franklin (1821-1898), who worked in the family's iron business and served as mayor of Albany in 1850-1851; Robert (1819-1866), a naval officer who died of heat stroke on board the ship Wachusett in China; Howard (1823-1867), a physician and professor at the Albany Medical College; and Isaiah, Jr. (18l3-1859).  Isaiah and his wife Hannah and five of their children are buried in Albany Rural Cemetery in Menands, New York

In 1810 John Townsend married Abby Spencer (1790-1849), daughter of Ambrose Spencer (1765-1848), who had served as mayor of Albany, associate justice and, later, chief justice of the New York Supreme Court of Judicature, and as a member of the House of Representatives in the U. S. Congress from 1829-1831.  Ambrose Spencer’s son, and Abby’s brother, was John C. Spencer (1788-1855), who had a significant career in state and national politics, becoming a U.S. Congressman, speaker of the New York State Assembly, the New York State Secretary of State, U.S. Secretary of War and U.S. Secretary of the Treasury. As John Townsend’s brother-in-law, he seems to have been a close friend and ally, serving at times as the brothers’ lawyer.  Some of his papers are contained in this collection.

Of John and Abby’s twelve children, only Theodore Townsend (1826-1905) became involved with his father’s iron works business. John and Abby Townsend and most of their children are buried in Albany Rural Cemetery in Menands, New York.

Isaiah moved to Albany from Orange County in 1799 as a partner in the firm of Stewart & Townsend, iron merchants.  His brother John joined him a few years later and the firm of I. & J. Townsend was formed.  The Townsends’ business involved the buying and selling of both foreign and domestic iron and the production, at their foundry, of mill gearings, machinery castings, chilled and dry sand rolls and railroad car wheels. The firm, under various names, remained in the family until the l890s. While the records overlap at times, the succession of firm names is, generally, as follows:

1799 - 1802                 Stewart & Townsend
1804 - 1838                 I. & J. Townsend
1838 - 1849                 John Townsend
1849 - 1856                 F. & T. Townsend [Franklin & Theodore]
1856 - 1867                 Franklin Townsend & Co.
1867 - 1882                 Townsend & Jackson [George P.]
1882 – [1895?]            Rufus K. Townsend [son of Franklin]

In addition to their interests in the iron business, the brothers built up other businesses comprised of steamboats, salt production, railroads, real estate, banking and insurance.  During the War of 1812 the brothers became heavily involved in activities to supply the army with provisions, supplies and rations, contracting with Elbert Anderson, Jr., and others.

John Townsend organized the Albany Insurance Company and the Albany Savings Bank and aided in the development of the Utica & Schenectady Railroad, of which he held the directorship until its consolidation with the New York Central in 1853. He served as the mayor of Albany for three terms (1829, 1830 and 1832). At the time of his death in 1854 he was president of the Commercial Bank, the Board of Water Commissioners, the Albany Exchange Co., of the Albany Savings Bank, the Albany Pier Company, the Syracuse Salt Co., the Watervliet Turnpike Co., and was acting president of the Albany Insurance Co. The brothers, Isaiah and John, and their heirs, Franklin, Theodore and Rufus King, were active in many of the business and political developments of their day.

Scope and Content Note:

These papers consist of correspondence, both personal and professional, bills and receipts, leases, deeds and bonds, promissory notes, accounts, orders and contracts.  The items have been organized by topic, as follows, and in roughly chronological order:

  • Townsend Family Letters and Papers: These include early correspondence between Hannah and Isaiah Townsend and from Hannah’s parents, Samuel and Anne, and an 1814 letter from the father of John and Isaiah, Henry Townsend; and some papers from Isaiah’s sons, Robert, Frederick, Franklin, Howard, and Isaiah, Jr.  Rather unusually, the collection contains some letters written by the women of the family.  There are several interesting items among these letters:
    •  A first-person account of the anti-rent protests, known as the Helderberg War, in 1839, written by Franklin Townsend, son of Isaiah (Box 1, Folder 12).
    • A long letter from 21-year-old midshipman, Robert Townsend, aboard the U.S.S. Ohio, about his impressions of European ports in 1840 (Box 1, Folder 2).
    • Letters of Theodore Townsend in March and July of 1850, relating details of a sea trip on the steamship Ohio from New York to Havana and back, writing from Havana, Cuba; New Orleans, Louisiana; Mobile, Alabama; and Augusta, Georgia. (Box 1, Folder 8).
  • Household Receipts: This interesting and extensive series of bills and receipts from Mrs. Isaiah (Hannah) Townsend, from 1839-1851, documents the running of her household following her husband’s death. There are receipts from numerous Albany merchants: china importers, clothiers, engravers, grocers, the apothecary, etc., plus her requests for cash from her brother-in-law.  Also included are some tuition receipts to Isaiah Townsend for his children’s schooling.
  • Isaiah and John Townsend Business and Political Papers: This series of papers reveals how wide-ranging the interests of the Townsend brothers were.  There are property leases, bills of sale for two ships, receipts for repairs on the mansion of the late Gen. Philip Schuyler, papers from Common Council meetings, petitions, and plans for the visit to Albany of General Lafayette in 1824.
  • Isaiah and John Townsend Commercial Ventures: This series of papers contains items related to the War of 1812, including instructions, dated October 25, 1814, to agents concerning the slaughtering and packing of cattle and the making of tallow for the northern army of the United States. One letter indicates the Townsends were “contractors for supplies & provisions for the U.S. Northern Army” during the war. There are also papers concerning the Albany and Bath Ferry Association, 1821-1825; papers relating to the Watervliet Turnpike Company, including lists of shareholders, 1828-1831; and stock certificates for the Albany Basin enterprise, 1823-1825.
  • Isaiah and John Townsend Business and Political Correspondence: While Isaiah Townsend appeared to have little interest in holding political office himself, the brothers were deeply involved in the local and state politics of their day, resulting in the election of John Townsend as mayor of Albany three times.  Letters here are from diverse sources and on numerous topics.
  • John C. Spencer Correspondence and Papers: Comprised mainly of correspondence, these papers include two letters relating to the case of Philip Spencer (son of John) who was executed for mutiny aboard the U.S.S. Somers in 1842.  Several letters are to John Townsend from Ambrose Spencer and William A. Spencer, father and brother of John C., respectively.
  • John Townsend’s Mayoral Papers: This group consists mainly of correspondence to the mayor during his three terms and a draft of one of his acceptance speeches, bids and plans for construction of Academy and City parks, and two photographs of Albany City Hall, the building of which Townsend presided over.

Related Collections:

The New York State Library also holds the Townsend Family Business Papers, SC14831, containing extensive records of the family’s various business endeavors, mainly during the first half of the nineteenth century.

An additional archive of Townsend family and business records is held at the New York Public Library under the name Townsend family papers.external link A copy of the finding aid is available in the accession file for this collection. The New-York Historical Society also holds a sizable series of business and personal papers related to various members of the Townsend family of Albany, New York.

Box and Folder List:

Box Folder Contents

  Townsend Family Letters and Papers, 1808-1914
1 1 Correspondence of Townsend Family, 1808-1838 (14 items):
  • Solomon Townsend to daughter Hannah, March 1, 1808
  • Henry Townsend, Cornwall, [New York], to his children, January 20, 1814
  • Hannah Townsend to husband, Isaiah Townsend, June 17, 1819
  • Hannah Townsend to husband, Isaiah Townsend, June 26, 1819
  • Hannah Townsend to husband, Isaiah Townsend, August, 1821
  • Anne Townsend to daughter, Hannah Townsend, August 3, 1822
  • Isaiah Townsend to brother, Robert, or Samuel, Townsend, May 4, 1825
  • Hannah Townsend to son, Robert Townsend, October 30, 1826
  • Thomas Carpenter to cousins, Isaiah & John Townsend, April 5, 1831
  • B[enjamin] D. Townsend to uncle, John Townsend, May 2, 1833
  • D.S. Townsend to [Am]Brose [Townsend], May 1837
  • B[enjamin] D. Townsend to uncle, John Townsend, August, 1837
  • Robert Townsend to uncle, John Townsend, December 6, 1838
1 2 Correspondence of Townsend Family, 1840-1852 (15 items):
  • John Dumford, Syracuse, [New York], to Ambrose S. Townsend, March 10, 1840
  • Robert Townsend, U.S.S. Ohio to uncle, John Townsend, November 17, 1840 (letter from a 21-year-old midshipman about his impressions of European ports in 1840), 8p.
  • Abby Townsend to husband, John Townsend, March 10, 1842
  • John Townsend, Pittsfield [Massachusetts] to mother, Abby Townsend, November 19, 1842
  • John Townsend, Pittsfield [Massachusetts] to mother, Abby Townsend, December 10, 1842
  • S.T. Nicole, New York, [New York], to aunt, Mrs. Isaiah (Hannah) Townsend, May 3 1843
  • John Townsend, Pittsfield, [Massachusetts], to mother, Abby Townsend, July 11, 1843
  • William H. Townsend, Cornwall, [New York], to uncle John Townsend, October 7, 1843
  • Samuel Townsend, Cornwall, [New York], to brother John Townsend, July 15, 1845
  • Solomon Townsend, New York, [New York], to [John Townsend?], December 14, 1847
  • Laura Townsend Walsh to father, John Townsend, March 12, 1850
  • Mary Ann Townsend to uncle [?], December 21, 1851
  • Laura Townsend Walsh to father, John Townsend, April 21, 1851
  • Solomon Townsend, New York, [New York], to [John Townsend?], January 14, 1852
  • Julia Townsend Munroe, Syracuse, [New York],  to father John Townsend, December 18, 1852
1 3 Letters of uncertain family relations (3 items):
  • Eliza L. [?], Rome, [New York], to Ransford Ashby, Groton, Connecticut, July 1, 1823
  • J.A. Burleigh, South Berwick [Maine] to cousin, Nancy Gordon, West Prospect, Maine, June 24, 1829 (copy)
  • L. [?] Townsend Laurence, New York, [New York], to [?], August 6, 1835
1 4 Letters from Isaac Cock, Cornwall and Eddyville, [N.Y], to uncle, John Townsend, 1824, 1837-1849, mainly concerning his money problems and debts to John Townsend  (11 items)
1 5 Correspondence of Samuel Townsend, Cornwall, [New York], 1830-1843, mainly to his brothers, John and Isaiah, concerning local news and business dealings (7 items)
1 6 Frederick Townsend. Letters and Receipts, 1842-1852  (12 items):
  • William H. Townsend, New York City,  to Frederick Townsend, Union College, Schenectady, New York, May 5, 1842
  • Two receipts for clothing items, 1847
  • Note to mother, Mrs. Hannah Townsend, with a news clipping attached regarding Naval Officer Robert Townsend, December 23, 1847
  • Letter from Charles Maguire regarding accounts of Frederick Townsend, March 20, 1849
  • Henry Loomis, New York City, to Frederick Townsend, October 25, 1849
  • Frederick Townsend, San Francisco, [California], to John Townsend, July 13, 1850, regarding difficulty of raising the $1000 cost of travel back to Albany
  • Four receipts for clothing and supplies, 1850, 1851
  • Frederick Townsend, Willow-brook [?], to Robert Townsend, Albany, [New York], March 9, 1852, regarding bank business and travel to Detroit, [Michigan]
1 7 Letters to Frederick Townsend, 1851-1853  (16 items) concerning business activities in Michigan; correspondents include uncle, John Townsend; E.T. Thorpe Martin, Willowbrook, [Michigan?]; William Finley, Ann Arbor, [Michigan]; Mr. Green, Detroit, [Michigan]; S[imon] Newton Dexter, Whitestown, [New York]
1 8 Letters of Theodore Townsend to his father, John Townsend, and brother, Charley Townsend, relating details of sightseeing trip with his brother, Howard, from New York to Havana and back, through several southern cities; and three later letters (8 items):
  • Theodore Townsend, U.S.S. Ohio, to John Townsend, February 16, 1850
  • Theodore Townsend, Havana, to John Townsend, March 3, 1850, relating impressions of the city, its sights, activities and food
  • Theodore Townsend, New Orleans, to John Townsend, March 14, 1850
  • Theodore Townsend, Mobile, [Alabama], to Charley Townsend, March 18, 1850
  • Theodore Townsend, Augusta, Georgia, to John Townsend, March 28, 1850
  • Theodore Townsend, Albany, to John Townsend, July 9, 1850
  • Theodore Townsend, Albany, to John Townsend, July 12, 1850, discussing the death of President Taylor
  • Theodore Townsend, Albany, to John Townsend, July 15, 1850 with family and local news
1 9 Letter to Mrs. Isaiah Townsend regarding debt of Robert Townsend, April 30, 1843 (1 item)
1 10 Harriet and Robert Townsend papers, 1850-1911 (6 items):
  • Marriage certificate of Robert Townsend and Harriet Munroe, June 19, 1850
  • Envelope (empty) of Mrs. Townsend marked “Letters of condolence after my husband’s death 1865”
  • Translation of a Chinese dispatch concerning missionaries living at Tengchow, China, July 14, 1866
  • Hand-drawn floor plans (3 floors) labeled “Sketch of Mrs. Robert Townsend’s house, ca. 1870
  •  Pension certificate to Harriet M. Townsend, November 25, 1873
  • Archaeological Institute of America membership certificate for Mrs. Robert Townsend, May 1, 1911
1 11 Letters and papers of Commander Robert Townsend from U.S. steamer Wachusetts, an American man-of-war, 1865  (11 items):
  • Acceptance of an invitation to dine with the governor of Martinique, March 17, 1865
  • Letter to the governor of Martinique inviting him to visit the ship, March 26, 1865
  • Letter to Monsieur E. Dupré, agent, inviting him to breakfast, March 27, 1865
  • Handwritten breakfast menu, given at Martinique, n.d.
  • Letter of acknowledgement to Admiral Bosse, Martinique, March 31, 1865
  • Recommendation to other American captains of the procurement services of Mr. Gilbert Gonzaloes in Porto Praya, Santiago, May 18, 1865
  • Letter to Spanish Lt. Commander Martinez in reference to a report of a shoal near Rio de Janeiro, August 8, 1865
  • Acceptance to a dinner with Admiral Chaigneau at Rio de Janeiro, August 12, 1865
  • Letter to Admiral Chaigneau regarding the shoal near Rio de Janeiro, August 31, 1865, with penciled note to “Sam”
  • Invitation to Robert Townsend from [?]Webb, Rio de Janeiro, September 7, 1865
1 12 “History of the Helderberg War, December 1839,” by Franklin Townsend, ca. 1839.  Typed manuscript, copied in 1897, containing first-person account of the actions that occurred (11 p.)
1 13 Receipts of Franklin Townsend, mainly for print subscriptions, 1844-1856  (15 items)
1 14 Isaiah Townsend, Jr. correspondence and papers, 1841-1850 (20 items):
  1. Expense accounts from Greene & Co., Paris, France, December 1841-December 1842 (2 items)
  2. Letter regarding London hotel bill, April 1, 1842 (1 item)
  3. Letters from Isaiah to his brother and to John Townsend, 1842-1848 (6 items)
  4. Letters to Isaiah Townsend, Jr., 1842-1851 (9 items)
  5. Expense receipts, 1841, 1846 (2 items)
1 15 Letters to John Townsend from A. Nash and S.S. Dodge, Pittsfield [New York, 1841-1844, regarding schooling bills and issues for his children (4 items)
1 16 Dr. Howard Townsend letters and purchase receipts, 1844-1851, including a June 25, 1848, letter from Interlachen [Interlaken], Switzerland (19 items)
1 17 Letters from Peter Seton Henry, 17 Wall Street [New York City], 1845  (3 items):
  1. To Erastus Corning, Albany [New York], June 22, 1846, regarding Mrs. Jane Armstrong
  2. To John Townsend, July 9 1846, regarding his correspondence with Erastus Corning
  3. To John Townsend, July 18, 1846
1 18 Grade reports for John Chester Townsend (youngest son of John Townsend) from Kinsley’s Classical and Mathematical School, West Point [New York], 1848  (2 items)
1 19 Isaiah Townsend Estate Papers, 1850-1851 (5 items)
1 20 Will of John Defreest, (copy), unknown connection, 1824 (1 item)
1 21 Letter to Mrs. H.M. Townsend, Syracuse, N.Y., from W.J. Thornby, Deadwood, So. Dakota., June 24, 1914, regarding mining deeds and investments (1 item)
    Household Receipts, 1807-1851
1 22 Personal and household receipts of Isaiah and John Townsend, 1807-1808
1 23 Tuition receipts for family and children of Isaiah Townsend, 1814-1847 (33 items) to:
  1. Union College Grammar School
  2. Albany Academy
  3. Albany Female Academy
  4. Albany Medical College
  5. Poughkeepsie Collegiate School
1 24 Household bills and receipts of Mrs. Isaiah (Hannah) Townsend, 1839-1844
1 25 Household bills and receipts of Mrs. Isaiah (Hannah) Townsend, 1845
1 26 Household bills and receipts of Mrs. Isaiah (Hannah) Townsend, 1846
1 27 Household bills and receipts of Mrs. Isaiah (Hannah) Townsend, 1847-1849
1 28 Household bills and receipts of Mrs. Isaiah (Hannah) Townsend, 1850-1851
    Isaiah and John Townsend Business and Political Papers, 1795-1856
2 1 Property and legal documents, 1795-1813 (8 items):
  1. Lease for store property between Robert McClallan and Daniel Moore, March 7, 1795, passed to Isaiah Townsend by 1803.
  2. Deed from the consistory of the Dutch Church to Isaiah Townsend, September 19, 1805
  3. Lease from the City of Albany to George G. Holt for property to rent, July 27, 1807
  4. Bond of John W. Yates to the Albany Insurance Co., for duties as secretary, March 11, 1811
  5. Bond of William Mann to Isaiah and John Townsend for $4000, December 17, 1813
  6. Deed of sale of property in Waterloo, [New York], to Henry S. Lisk by Isaiah and John Townsend, March 1, 1832
  7. Deed for sale of property in Cicero, Onondaga [County, New York], to Hugh Robinson, then transferred to Isaiah and John Townsend, August 13, 1835
  8. Apprenticeship contract for George Rathbone of Albany, age 17, with William M. Cammon to learn iron work, October 28, 1838
2 2 Leases by I. & J. Townsend for property in Albany, New York, 1813-1817
(10 items):
  1. Lease to John and Charles Van Valkenburgh for a store at Lion and Hawk streets, November 20, 1813
  2. Lease to Abraham Oake and Peter Miller for a house and lot in Albany, March 31, 1815
  3. Lease to Archibald Campbell for a house and lot in Albany, April 4, 1815
  4. Lease to Christian H. Shear and Daniel P. Clark, Jr., for a house and lot in Albany, April 4, 1815
  5. Lease to Joseph G. Pinne and John Rush for a house in Albany, April 22, 1815
  6. Lease to Joseph G. Pinne and William Clark for a house in Albany, March 4, 1816 (two copies)
  7. Lease to Daniel P. Clark, Jr., for a house and lot in Albany, March 21, 1816
  8. Lease to Michael O. Shaunessey, William Cagger and William Kerney for a house in Albany, August 5, 1816
  9. Lease to Michael O. Shaunnessey for a house in Albany, May 7, 1817
2 3 Leases by I. & J. Townsend for property in Albany, 1818-1823 (10 items):
  1. Lease to Horatio Merchant for a house and lot in Albany, February 7, 1818
  2. Lease to Jacob J. Lansing for a store house and lot at Washington and Hawk streets, April 16, 1818
  3. Lease to Stephen Sanford for a lot in Albany, April 23, 1818
  4. Lease to Albert Bradt for a house and lot in Albany, April 17, 1818
  5. Lease to Horatio Merchant for a house and lot in Albany, April 1, 1819
  6. Lease to Erastus Hills for a house and lot in Albany, April 1, 1819
  7. Lease to John W. Dana and Daniel Dana, Jr., for a store house and lot in Albany, February 7, 1818
  8. Lease to James Matchett and Samuel McElroy for a house and lot in Albany, March 27, 1819
  9. Lease to James D. Wasson for a house and lot in Albany, February 5, 1821
  10. Lease to E.P. Phelps and Barzilla[?] Howe for a house and lot in Albany, February 1, 1823
2 4 Bills of sale for two sloops:
  1. Sale of sloop Diana of Albany, by Gilbert Stewart to Isaiah Townsend, August 14, 1800
  2. Sale of sloop Hardware of Albany, by James Keeler and Jasper S. Keeler to Isaiah and John Townsend, December 16, 1815
2 5 Receipts for repairs to Schuyler Mansion, 1806-1810  (10 items)
2 6 Bills, receipts, stocks and account papers, 1806-1832 (numerous items)
2 7 Petition to establish a newspaper in Albany to “support Republican interests,” December 29, 1812 
2 8 Recap of the 1812 resolution in regards to digging out and paving Deer Street [Albany, N.Y.], including names of petitioners, residents, and interested parties, signed March 25, 1826  (2 p.)
2 9 Power of attorney statements from Henry Townsend, Philip S. Parker, and William James, 1814, 1818, 1820  (3 items)
2 10 Bonds and mortgages to the Corporation of the Presbyterian Church in Albany, 1815-1816  (4 items):
  1. Bond of Philip S. Parker for $2625, August 2, 1815
  2. Mortgage of John and Abba Townsend for $6787.50, August 2, 1815
  3. Bond of John Townsend for $13,600, August 2, 1815
  4. Mortgage of Walter Stewart for $640, November 2, 1815
2 11 Statements of accounts due to I. & J. Townsend, 1815-1826  (11 items)
2 12 Contracts and letters of patent, 1815-1823 (4 items):
  1. Contract with Ira Babbit for 300,000 bricks at a cost of $5.50 per thousand, January 26, 1815
  2. Jethro Wood of Ledyard [New York] for an improved plough, September 1, 1819
  3. William Schuneman of Catskill [New York] for a new fire place, October 6, 1821
  4. Contract appointing I. & J. Townsend as licensees for Jethro Wood’s improved plough, July 23, 1823
2 13 Legal papers: Deeds, bonds, etc., 1817-1839  (9 items)
2 14 Promissory notes from:
  1. Philip Schuyler, May 16, 1821
  2. Gen. H. Moffitt, August 27, 1821
  3. Pierre D. Van Rensselaer, July 9, 1828
  4. S. Van Rensselaer, June 8, 1837
2 15 Albany Common Council and Chamber of Commerce papers, including a 38-point draft proposal for “The Albany Institute,” 1819-1824  (11 items)
2 16 Albany Common Council papers: Petitions, resolutions, and minutes, including an offer to the city by Isaiah Townsend and Thomas Russell to purchase some waterfront property, 1825-1832, n.d.  (35 items)
2 17 Political letters to John Townsend regarding the election of Governor [DeWitt] Clinton, 1820  (3 items)
2 18 John Townsend papers from Albany Library, 1820, 1827  (2 items)
2 19 Albany County Agricultural Society papers, authors unknown, 1820, n.d.  (2 items):
  1. Draft address to the president, officers, and members of the Agricultural Society of the County of Otsego[?]
  2. “Regulations” relating to the Cattle Show and Fair, Albany, October 1820, by the secretary
2 20 Remarks on “Giles Tract” in Steuben County, authors unknown, April 2, 1821  (1 item)
2 21 Resolution to hold a reception for General Lafayette in Albany, authors unknown, [1824] (1 item)
2 22 Albany Marine Benevolent Association constitution, 1830  (1 item)
2 23 Harbor and Rivers Bill—Declaration of Sentiments of the Chicago Convention, print, October 29, 1847 (1 item)
2 24 List of stockholders of Albany Water Works, 1847 (1 item)
    Isaiah and John Townsend Commercial Ventures, 1812-1831
3 1 War of 1812 papers, 1812-1813 (29 items)
3 2 War of 1812 papers, 1814-1815 (35 items)
3 3 War of 1812 papers, related to war debts and accounts, 1816-1819 
(24 items)
3 4 Albany and Bath Ferry Association records, 1821(numerous items)
3 5 Albany and Bath Ferry Association records, 1822 (numerous items)
3 6 Albany and Bath Ferry Association records, 1823  (numerous items)
3 7 Albany and Bath Ferry Association records, 1824-1825  (numerous items)
3 8 Albany Basin Stock receipt books, 1823, 1825  (2 items)
3 9 Albany Basin Stock certificates and receipts, 1823-1825  (18 items)
3 10 Watervliet Turnpike Company documents, 1828-1829  (22 items)
3 11 Watervliet Turnpike Company documents, 1830-1831  (29 items)
    Isaiah and John Townsend Business and Political Correspondence, 1808-1852
4 1 Letters from various correspondents, 1808, 1813  (12 items)
4 2 Letters from various correspondents, 1814-1816  (19 items)
4 3 Letters from various correspondents, 1817-1818  (22 items)
4 4 Letters from various correspondents, 1819-1821  (16 items)
4 5 Letters from various correspondents, 1822-1825  (25 items)
4 6 Letters from various correspondents, 1826-1829  (22 items)
4 7 Letters from various correspondents, 1830-1832  (15 items)
4 8 Letters from various correspondents, 1834-1839  (11 items)
4 9 Letters from various correspondents to John, Franklin and Isaiah (Jr.) Townsend, 1840-1852  (22 items)
4 10 From Daniel Martin, Schenectady, [New York], regarding the Mohawk Bridge petition, May 28, 1818 (1 item)
4 11 Letters from Lemuel Pomeroy (1778-1849), Pittsfield, [Massachusetts], 1828-1848 (18 items). These letters to one or both the brothers mention the sale of muskets and other matters of business; also discuss war, politics, the Whig party and national issues.  More letters from Pomeroy can be found among the correspondence in SC14831, Townsend Family Business Papers
4 12 Letters from Charles Rhind and John Tayler Cooper to John Townsend, August-September 1824  (18 items): Letters detail plans for visit of Marquis de Lafayette in Albany; also discuss the operations of two competing Hudson River steamboat companies arriving and departing from Albany (originally accessioned as 13039) 
4 13 J. Stringham to John Townsend, regarding property for sale in Rome, New York, with hand drawn map, May 9, 1836 (transcription of letter included)  (2 items)
4 14 Letters from Isaiah and John Townsend to:
  1. Capt. William Davis, December 17, 1815
  2. Mr. Benjamin Jones, Philadelphia [Pennsylvania], December 26, 1816 (copy)
  3. E. Jenkins, June 17, 1819 (copy)
4 15 Letters to Prime Ward & King, bankers, 1830  (5 items)
    John C. Spencer Correspondence and Papers, 1818-1852
4 16 Letters: John C. Spencer to Isaiah and John Townsend, 1821-1847 (originally from accession SC13209) (19 items)
4 17 Letters to John C. Spencer from:
  1. John C. Calhoun, War Department, re: Mr. Cheever’s claim, August 27, 1818 (copy; original retained in vault)
  2. L. [?], re: purchase of land in the Village of Brighton, [Monroe County, New York], August 22, 1820
  3. Samuel King, Friendship, [New York], re: purchase of lumber and dealings with Messrs. Towson[?] and Mr. Wilson, May 23, 1821
  4. Munson & Barnard, Boston, [Massachusetts], re: loan to Mr. Townsend, July 14, 1823
  5. Robert Robinson, Newport, [Rhode Island], re: the low price of iron and a shipment of iron to be put in storage, October 3, 1823
  6. David Henshaw, Navy Department, [Washington, D.C.], re: a painting of the city of Albany to be placed on the war sloop Albany, December 12, 1843
  7. [Ambrose] O. Spencer, Lyons, New York, reporting on the health of their uncle Ambrose, June 18, 1847 (originally from accession 13209)
4 18 Letters from John C. Spencer (originally from accession SC13209) (4 items):
  1. To D. Wager[?], July 17, 1835
  2. To Timothy C. Strong, clerk of Orleans County, Albion, New York, October 23, 1839
  3. To Rev. Benjamin Hale, president of Geneva College, Geneva, [New York], where his son Philip was in residence, March 9, 1839 and October 3, 1840
4 19 Letters and papers of Ambrose and William A. Spencer to John Townsend, 1838-1852 (originally from accession SC13209)  (12 items)
In his letter of June 12, 1847, Ambrose Spencer comments on the war with Mexico.
4 20 John C. Spencer. National Institute of Science proceedings, June 13, 1842  (1 item)
4 21 Letters from Lewis Benedict , 1842, 1843 (originally from accession SC13209) (2 items):
  1. To the Court of Enquiry in the Somers mutiny affair (John C. Spencer’s son, Philip, a midshipman on board the brig Somers, was executed for attempting to stage a mutiny on the brig November/December 1842.), Washington, December 21, 1842 (See Dictionary of American Biography article on Alexander Slidell Mackenzie, vol. 12, page 91)
  2. Letter to John Townsend, Washington, February 25, 1843
4 22 Anonymous letter to Thurlow Weed urging the appointment of Mr. [John C.] Spencer as associate justice of the Supreme Court, Albany, January 23, 1844 (originally from accession SC13209)
4 23 Accounts of Isaiah and John Townsend relative to the judgment of Lee and Patterson, 1820-1822 (J.C. Spencer was Townsend’s lawyer) (originally from accession SC13209) (4 items)
4 24 Letters related to business interests of John C. Spencer, 1839-1843 (originally from accession SC13209) (3 items):
  1. John Wilkinson to John Townsend, Utica, May 8, 1839; discusses the laying of railroad tracks on Utica streets
  2. Robert E. Temple to John Townsend, Albany, February 2, 1843 (Temple was adjutant general of New York in 1846)
  3. Henry Morris to John Townsend, Washington, July 5, 1843
    Accretions from Single Accessions
4 25 Letters: John Townsend to Isaiah Townsend concerning business relative to the War of 1812 (2 items) (13315)
  1. Watertown (N.Y.), October 25, 1814
  2. Utica, (N.Y.), October 39, 1814
4 26 Letters: Augustus James to John Townsend, New Yok, 1843-1853 (10 items) Re: business and politics (13277)
  1. January 10, 1843
  2. [May 25, 1843]
  3. January 8, 1844 [1845?]
  4. [December 30, 1844]
  5. October 20, 1848
  6. [January 21, 1849]
  7. [March 20, 1849]
  8. October 4, 1850
  9. February 28, 1851
  10. [February 1853]
4 27 Letter: Franklin Townsend to John Townsend, Headquarters, A[lbany] B[urgesses] C[orps], Hudson, January 1, 1844 [1845], (4p.); describes handling anti-rent uprising (11334)
    John Townsend’s Mayoral Papers, 1829-1832
5 1 Acceptance speech of John Townsend, draft, n.d.  (1 item)
5 2 Correspondence to Mayor John Townsend, 1829  (19 items)
5 3 Correspondence to Mayor John Townsend, 1830  (13 items)
5 4 Correspondence to Mayor John Townsend, 1831-32  (11 items)
5 5 Correspondence to Mayor John Townsend, n.d.  (4 items)
5 6 Development of Academy and City Parks, 1831-1832  (15 items)
5 7 Albany City Hall photographs, before and after the 1880 fire, n.d. 
(2 items)
5 8 Sketch of designs for a tablet commemorating the completion of Albany City Hall, by architect P[hilip] Hooker, n.d.
Last Updated: May 24, 2021