John Lansing, Jr.
Manuscripts (Collection), 1776-1823


Quantity: 1 box (0.25 cubic ft.)
Access: Open to research
Acquisition: Collation of single accessions, April 1996
Processed By: Fred Bassett, Senior Librarian, Manuscripts and Special Collections, April 1996; revised March 2011

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Biographical Note:

John Lansing, Jr., was born in Albany, New York, January 30, 1754. He studied law with Robert Yates in Albany and was admitted to practice in 1775. During 1775-1776 he served as military secretary to General Philip Schuyler. Resuming his law practice in Albany he served in the New York State Assembly six terms, 1780-1784, 1786, and 1788. In 1787 Lansing was chosen, with Robert Yates and Alexander Hamilton, as a delegate to the United States Constitutional Convention at Philadelphia. Lansing and Yates withdrew when it became clear that the intent of the convention was to draft a new constitution rather than amend the Articles of Confederation. As a member of the ratifying convention in 1788, Lansing opposed the new U.S. Constitution.

Lansing’s judicial career began in 1790 with his appointment as judge of the New York State Supreme Court where he served eleven years, being chosen chief justice in 1798. In 1801 he became Chancellor of New York State and held that post until 1814. Thereafter, he resumed practicing law in New York City until his mysterious disappearance on December 12, 1829.

Scope and Content Note:

The John Lansing, Jr., collection consists of letters and documents that originally were cataloged separately. The letters relate to all facets of Lansing’s long and varied career as secretary to General Schuyler, member of the New York State Assembly, delegate to the United States Constitutional Convention, justice of the New York State Supreme Court, and Chancellor of New York State. Also included are documents related to Lansing’s landholdings in the Town of Blenheim, Schoharie County, New York, and Oriskany Patent, which is now situated mostly in Oneida County, New York. Of special interest is a field book of surveys of parts of the Oriskany Patent compiled by James Cockburn, which includes detailed descriptions of numbered lots and some maps.

Box and Folder List:

Box Folder Contents
1 1 A.L.S., John Lansing, Jr., to Capt. Richard Varick, Albany, March 28, 1776; 1(4) p. 9 cm. Letter contains instructions as to what to do with several boats used to transport cannons up the Hudson River from Albany to Halfmoon (Originally single accession 822)
1 2 A.L.S., John Lansing, Jr., Albany, to Col. Richard Varick, June 30, 1778; 3(4) p. 23 cm. Letter concerns business and military matters (Originally single accession 2237)
1 3 A.L.S., John Lansing, Jr., to John Sanders, Scotia, [N.Y.], September 16, 1783; 2(4) p. 23 cm. Letter concerns proposed legal action to be done on Sanders’ behalf for property damages (Originally single accession 4072)
1 4 A.L.S., John Lansing, Jr., to Henry Remsen, Hanover Square, New York, May 11, 1785; 4 p. 31 cm. Letter concerns a land patent in Canajoharie, New York; also discusses his re-election to the State Assembly, and his daughter's illness. (Originally single accession 14984)
1 5 A.L.S., John Lansing, Jr., to Jelles Fonda, Anthony's Nose, [N.Y.], May 24, 1785; 1(4) p. 28 cm. Letter concerns the settlement of legal claims (Originally single accession 17746)
1 6 A.L.S., John Lansing, Jr., New York, to [?], February 17, 1786; 1 p. 24 cm. Letter concerns setting bail for a client (Originally single accession 2238)
1 7 A.L.S., John Lansing, Jr., [New York], to Leonard Gansevoort, Albany, February 24, 1786; 2(4) p. 33 cm. Letter contains comments on the politics involved in the selection of the New York State delegation to U.S. Constitutional Convention (Originally single accession 136)
1 8 A.L.S., John Lansing, Jr., and Stephen Lusk, Albany, to John Sanders, [Scotia, N.Y.], January 1, 1788; 2 p. 30 cm. Letter contains instructions as to how Mr. Sanders should testify in court regarding pending legal action with Mr. Fonda (Originally single accession 2681)
1 9 A.L.S., John Lansing, Jr., to Jeremiah Van Rensselaer and Henry Oothout, Johnstown, [N.Y.], August 7, 1788; 1(4) p. 33 cm. Letter discusses land claims. (Originally single accession 2682)
1 10 A.L.S., John Lansing, Jr., [New York], to John Jay, [Albany], January 19, 1801; 2(4) p. 23 cm. Letter requests Governor Jay to provide funds for printing and distributing notices to alert New York City merchants about counterfeit banknotes from Boston (Originally single accession 482)
1 11 A.L.S., John Lansing, Jr., to [?], June 29, 1807; 2 p.; 30 cm. Letter concerns the conveyance of "Lot No. 19 in Ray's patent in Fonda's purchase" from Peter Dopp to John Ray and James Olney (Originally single accession 14633)
1 12 A.L.S., John Lansing, Jr., Albany, to John Lovett, Washington, [D.C.], July 9, 1813; 3(4) p. 26 cm. Letter discusses New York State politics and related matters of patronage (Originally single accession 1790)
1 13 A.L.S., John Lansing, Jr., Albany, to Rufus King, Washington, [D.C.], December 8, 1817; 3(4) p. 25 cm. Letter recounts the naval career of his nephew, Edward Antill Lansing, and recommends him for promotion. (Originally single accession 14677)
1 14 A.L.S., John Lansing, Jr., Albany, to Charles E. Dudley and William James, [Albany], October 21, 1823; 3(4) p. 25 cm. Letter discusses his reasons for not paying his debt to the Albany Insurance Co., which held the mortgage on his lands at Blenheim, New York (Originally single accession 14616)
1 15 A.L.S., John Lansing, Jr., Albany, to Morris S. Miller, December 6, 1823; 2 p. 25 cm, Letter advises Miller to appear before Judge Beacon regarding a legal dispute in Oriskany (Originally single accession 16403)
1 16 A.D.S., John Lansing, Jr., January 31, 1787. Affidavit in the case of Henry Ten Eyck v. Philip Schuyler, New York State Court of Chancery; 1 p. 32 cm. (Originally single accession 1920)
1 17 Deed: Nicholas Gross to John and Abraham Lansing, February 23, 1796, for land in Herkimer County; 1 leaf, 53 x 43 cm. (Originally single accession 11879)
1 18 Deed of Exchange by John Mattise and wife to John Lansing, Jr., November 20, 1817, for land in the Town of Blenheim, Schoharie County, New York. 8 p. 32 cm. (Originally single accession 16406)
1 19 "A Field book of part of the Oriskany Patent; The property of the Honorable John Lansing, Jr. and Abraham Lansing, Esq. Divided into Lots 1789 and 1790 by James Cockburn" 1 v. 44 p. 20 cm. (Originally single accession 12270)
1 20 Bill for services as Commissioner of Specie, October 1780-May 1782, D.S. New York, May 26, 1784. 4 p. 23 cm. (Originally single accession 14528)
1 21 Note, John Lansing, Jr. to Capt. Richard Varick, February 18, 1784; A.N.S. 1 p. 9 x 19 cm. (Originally single accession 1921)
1 22 Account of John Stagg against the State of New York, May 5, 1786; D.S. 1 p. 16 x 21 cm. (Originally single accession 4073)
Last Updated: February 10, 2017