Collection Facts

Extent: 
621 items
Dates of Original: 
c. 1732 - 1889
Collection Owner:
NYH Topic Area(s):

Historical Context

George Clarke (b.1768). A great-grandson of Lieutenant Governor George Clarke, he left England and moved to Albany, New York, in 1806 to administer his family’s American property. In 1817 he purchased 340 acres in Springfield, New York, and began the construction of Hyde Hall, which would become the center of Clarke’s extensive agricultural and industrial investments empire. Philip Hooker, the noted Albany architect, drew plans based on Clarke’s conceptual vision. The mansion and its English-style Picturesque park setting were mostly completed by the time of Clarke’s death in 1835.

Scope of Collection

Include correspondence, drafts, promissory notes, rent collection accounts, tax documents, legal papers, railroad construction and funding material, insurance policies, hops accounts, farm commodity documents, accounts, bills and receipts, account books, business diaries and checkbooks, and lastly, maps, all of which are associated with eight generations of the Clarke family. Also included are eighteenth and nineteenth century land papers (royal land grants), leases, and releases related to the family’s tenants, bound tax assessment books, bound rent books, pamphlets of notes on various farms and transcribed deeds, and surveys and papers concerning the family’s holdings in New York State and Wisconsin. George Clarke (1768-1835), the Builder of Hyde Hall, business papers prior to 1835 folded each pre-1835 business document into a 1-1/2 inch strip and labeled, dated, and numbered each on the end. Late eighteenth and early nineteenth century leases and deeds appear labeled with patent, farm number, tenant, and date.