Leonard Gansevoort
Papers, 1778-1799


Quantity: 4 boxes (1.0 cubic ft.)
Access: Open for research
Acquisition: Account books accessioned in 1925 from an unknown source. Collated with other items previously accessioned and catalogued separately, March 1995
Processed By: Fred Bassett, Senior Librarian, Manuscripts and Special Collections April 1995, Revised December 1999

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Biographical Note:

Leonard Gansevoort, businessman, lawyer, and politician, was born in Albany, New York, circa July 1791. He was the brother of Peter Gansevoort and descendent of a prominent Dutch family in Albany, most of whose members for three generations had been brewers and merchants in town. He studied law in New York City, and, after being licensed in 1792, began his practice in Albany. After the outbreak of the Revolutionary War, he became a member of the Albany Committee of Correspondence serving as treasurer until November 1775. When the Second Provincial Congress of New York convened in New York City on December 6, 1775, he was one of the twelve deputies elected by the Albany Committee. He was also appointed to the third and fourth provincial congresses, 1776 and 1777, respectively. He served as Albany County Clerk, 1777-1798, and a member of New York State Assembly, 1778-1779. After the Revolution, he bought a country house and estate known as Whitehall, which was originally a mile and a half from Albany, where he entertained many prominent state and national political figures. He continued to remain active in politics, serving as a member of the Continental Congress in 1788, a member of the State Senate, 1791-1793; Albany County Judge, 1794-1797; a member of the Council of Appointment, 1797, and probate court judge from 1799 until his death in Albany, August 26, 1810.

Scope and Content Note:

The papers of Leonard Gansevoort consist of letters, legal documents, and account books relating to his interest in business, government, and politics. Some of the letters provide information regarding the appointment of delegates to represent New York at the Continental Congress of 1778, and in 1799, the procedures for nomination and election of members for the New York State Assembly. Other significant items include two bills of sale for slaves acquired by Gansevoort. Also included are three bound folio account journals and daybooks that provide a chronological record of receipts and disbursements for a general mercantile business, situated in Albany, that Leonard Gansevoort operated in partnership with Philip van Rensselaer. These volumes provide a chronological record of receipts and disbursements from January 1, 1788, to March 13, 1794, which list the names of many prominent individuals residing in Albany and the surrounding area, including Philip Schuyler, Stephen Van Rensselaer, Robert Livingston, Jacob Winnie, Jellis Fonda, Peter Vrooman and Peter Gansevoort. The daybook provides a detailed listing of specific goods bought and sold while the journals provide a summary of the same account entries. Monetary units were in pounds, shillings and pence. In essence, these early account books are an excellent source of information regarding trade and commerce in the post-Revolutionary era of New York State history.

A number of the items in this collection originally were cataloged as single accessions; the original single accession numbers are listed in parentheses.

Container List

Box Folder Contents
1 1 Letter, October 15, 1778. Leonard Gansevoort to John Ten Broeck. Poughkeepsie, N.Y. A.L.S. 1 p. regarding appointment to the New York State delegation to the Continental Congress. (Single Accession Number: 746)
1 2 Letter, November 10, 1788. Leonard Gansevoort to Nicholas Hoffman and son. Albany, N.Y. A.L.S. 1 p. regarding quality of linen received from the wholesale firm. (Single Accession Number: 15019)
1 3 Letter, December 30, 1789. Leonard Gansevoort to Robert Lenox. Albany, N.Y. A.L.S. 1 p. regarding payment of bill in behalf of James Caldwell. (Single Accession Number: 16720)
1 4 Letter, July 19, 1790. Leonard Gansevoort to John Porteous. Albany, N.Y. A.L.S. 1 p. regarding purchases made by Thomas W. Cary that were placed on Porteous’ account. (Single Accession Number: 15376)
1 5 Letter, April 13, 1791. Leonard Gansevoort to Rev. John Bassett. Albany, N.Y. A.L.S. 1 p. regarding payment of bill by Trustees of First Church of Albany for services rendered. (Single Accession Number: 3751)
1 6 Letter, May 24, 1791. Leonard Gansevoort to Jellis Fonda. Albany, N.Y. A.L.S. 1 p. regarding cost and shipment of whale oil ordered by Fonda. (Single Accession Number: 3985)
1 7 Letter, June 1, 1791. Leonard Gansevoort to Jellis Fonda. Caughnawaga, N.Y. A.L.S. 1(4) p. regarding shipment of two bags of white lead not included with previous order. (Single Accession Number: 15020)
1 8 Letter, April 7, 1799. Leonard Gansevoort to Stephen Van Rensselaer. White Hall [Albany], N.Y. A.L.S. 1(4) p. regarding selection of State Assembly candidates from the Town of Bethlehem. (Single Accession Number: 816)
1 9 Letter, April 9, 1799. Leonard Gansevoort to Stephen Van Rensselaer. White Hall [Albany], N.Y. A.L.S. 2(4) p. regarding Albany Committee selection of Mayor Ten Eyck as candidate for State Assembly. (Single Accession Number: 1912)
1 10 Letter, April 19, 1799. Leonard Gansevoort to John Sanders. White Hall [Albany], N.Y. A.L.S. 4 p. regarding nomination of State Assembly candidates by committees of various Albany County towns. (Single Accession Number: 4044)
1 11 Invitation. April 14, 1794. Leonard Gansevoort to Stephen Van Rensselaer. Albany, N.Y. D.S. 1 p. regarding dinner engagement. (Single Accession Number: 5698)
1 12 Articles of Agreement, April 9, 1796. Between Leonard Gansevoort, Robert McGregor, and George Kerr. Regarding conveyance of lots and parcels of land situated in Montgomery County identified as Warren’s Bush. (Single Accession Number: 15947)
1 13 Bill of Sale, May 30, 1793. Simon DiRidder to Leonard Gansevoort. D.S. 1 p. regarding sale of mulatto slave named Tom. (Single Accession Number: 15936)
1 14 Bill of Sale, June 27, 1796. John Ten Broeck to Leonard Gansevoort. Albany, N.Y. D.S. 1 p. regarding sale of Negro slave named Caesar. (Single Accession Number: 15937)
1 15 Certificate of Appointment, February 4, 1788. Poughkeepsie, N.Y. George Clinton. D.S. 1 p. Folio. Regarding appointment of Leonard Gansevoort, Egbert Benson, Alexander Hamilton, Robert Yates, Jr., and Ezra L’Homnonedeu as delegates from New York State to the U.S. Congress. (Single Accession Number: 15931)
2   Journal “A”, January 1, 1788-February 24, 1791. Albany, N.Y. Mss. Bound. 559 p. (p. 1-559)
3   Journal “B”, February 26, 1791-March 15, 1794. Albany, N.Y. Mss. Bound. 565 p. (p. 560-1125)
4   Wastebook (Daybook), June 28, 1790-August 1, 1793. Albany, N.Y. Mss. Bound.
Last Updated: May 21, 2021