Clarke and Van Ness Family Papers,1841-1925

Collection Number: 2166

Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections
Cornell University Library


Clarke and Van Ness family papers, 1841-1925.
Collection Number:
James Irving Clarke, 1885-1961.
1 cubic ft.
Forms of Material:
Papers, correspondence, photograph albums, publications, clippings, reports, inventories.
Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library
Includes official papers and correspondence concerning the Civil War service of Mr. Clarke's father, James E. Clarke, and his maternal grandfather, Zolman Van Ness, as well as correspondence, campaign publications, and clippings concerning the fund-raising drive of the National Contributors Committee.
Collection material in English


Includes official papers and correspondence concerning the Civil War service of Mr. Clarke's father, James E. Clarke, and his maternal grandfather, Zolman Van Ness; autograph and photograph albums of his mother, Julia Marie Van Ness Clarke, and maternal grandmother, Gloriana Gidney Van Ness; letters, veterans' pension documents, estate inventories, other business and legal papers, genealogy, sheet music, and miscellaneous items of the Clarke, Fowler, Gidney, Van Ness, and Van Zile families; Albany, Dutchess, Rensselaer and Saratoga Counties. Also a scrapbook of correspondence, campaign publications, and clippings concerning the fund-raising drive of the National Contributors Committee, of which Mr. Clarke was executive secretary, conducted on behalf of the Republican National Committee during the 1924 presidential election campaign. Also, a report (Dec. 1924) of Payson & Clarke Company, New York City, concerning a proposed drive to sell American Realty Corporation stock as a means of financing a new American Woman's Association club house in midtown Manhattan; selected reports, plans, and form letters (1 v., Jan. to June, 1925); and an album of photographs of persons and events associated with this undertaking. Also includes Civil War memorabilia of James E. Clarke.

Clarke, James Irving, 1885-1961.
Clarke family.
Clarke, James E.
Fowler family.
Gidney family.
Gidney, Gloriana, 1824-1897.
Van Ness family.
Van Ness, Julia Marie, 1851-1908.
Van Ness, Zolmon.
Van Zile family.
American Realty Corporation.
American Woman's Association.
Payson & Clarke Company, N.Y.
Republican National CommitteeNational Contributors Committee.

Military pensions--United States--Civil War, 1861-1865.
Family--New York (State)--Albany County.
Family--New York (State)--Dutchess County.
Family--New York (State)--Rensselaer County.
Family--New York (State)--Saratoga County.
Inventories of decedents' estates--New York (State).
Women--New York (State)--Societies and clubs.

United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Veterans.

Form and Genre Terms:
Photograph albums.


Cite As:
Clarke and Van Ness family papers, #2166. Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library.


Box 1
Bible: (large, red and gold, leather-bound, clasp) - family Bible of James Irving Clarke, son of James E. Clarke. Contains records of births, marriages, and deaths; came through maternal line: Gidney, Fowler, Van Ness, Clarke. Punch paper bookmark, "God is Love." 1758-1961
Box 2
Bible: (pocket size, black, leather-bound) - note by J. and C. "Presented by my mother, Julia M[arie] Van Ness, to my father before they were married and my father carried this pocket bible throughout the Civil War"
Box 1
Album: (small, brown, leather-bound, raised design, clasp) - belonged to Julia Van Ness; contains unlabelled photographs
Box 1
Autograph Album: ("Rosebud Album," black) - autographs of friends 1866-1868 while Julia Van Ness Clarke was a student at Hudson Vale Institute, contains a photograph of her. Lansingburgh, Albany Co.
Box 2
Album (55 items): (small, dark, green, "Photographs") - only three are identified by Mrs. Clarke. Some appear to have been taken of Eskimos and some in Japan. 3, Japanese girls; 4, Eskimos; 9, Indians (Mrs. J.I.C. - remnants of tribe living in or near Saratoga); also, Saratoga and vicinity scenes
Box 2
Velvet folder: containing loose photographs of U.S. Grant, Lincoln, Booth, Lincoln's Cabinet; some of family pictures identified, souvenir album of Pasadena, 19-women, 25-men, 10-group or misc. Taken at Troy, Ballston, Saratoga, Newburgh, Poughkeepsie, N.Y.C., Atlantic City. Mr. and Mrs. JEC, JIC, Mrs. Sarah Stillman Locke
Box 2
Autograph Album: (black, leather-bound, raised design) - belonged to Gloriana Gidney Van Ness, grandmother of James Irving Clarke, 1841-1852
Box 3
Album: (large, brown, raised design, leather-bound, "Julia") - photographs of some family members and fiends identified, Lincoln, Sherman, Beecher, and H.B. Stowe, Horance Greeley, John Brown
Box 1
Memoranda notebook: (black cardboard cover) - belonged to Gloriana G. Van Ness, dated Jan. 1, 1858. Only five pages filled with notes of interest on the size of various buildings and scriptural verses on love
Box 1
Music book: (black hard cover) - "Mendelssohn's Songs without Words," Jan. 1, 1867
Box 1
Three volumes of bound sheet music: (large, black, hard cover) - on cover, "Julia M. Clarke." On binding, "Music Vol. I." Vol. 2 and Vol. 3 respectively. Piano solos, duets, transcriptions and songs, "Battle of Manassas," by Blind Tom. Most of these pieces must be typical of the period because few if any have survived as a part of the piano repertoire
Box 2
Photograph album: "American Woman's Association Campaign, Jan. 1, 1925-June 15, 1925. A Selection of Photographs Property of Payson and Clarke (J.I. Clarke) Co. 385 Madison Ave., New York." Pictures of Marie Dressler, Carol McComas, Billie Burke, Gloria Swanson, etc.
Box 1
Bound volume: "American Woman's Association Campaign, Jan. 1, 1925-June 25, 1925. A Selection of Reports, Plans, Form Letters, etc." For a fund-raising campaign to build a clubhouse
Box 2
Album: "Literature, Press Clippings, and Letters Regarding the Campaign for Funds Conducted by the National Contributors Committee for the Republican National Committee in the 1924 Campaign"
Box 1
Marriage certificate of James E. Clarke and Julia M. Van Ness, Apr. 25, 1870, Troy, New York
Box 3
Citizenship paper of James E. Clarke, from England, Oct. 16, 1866. Rensselaer Co. Ct.
Box 3
Envelope containing 50-cent Confederate bill
Box 3
Photostat of letter dated Oct. 4, 1864, from Executive Mansion and signed Abraham Lincoln concerning the pardon of Roswell McIntyre. Note at bottom, "Taken from the body of R. McIntyre at the battle of Five Forks, VA, 1865"
Box 3
Folder containing Preliminary Report to the American Woman's Association by Payson and Clarke Co.
Box 3
Typescript, "Siege and Capture of Port Hudson," 10 pages. Presumably written by JEC. Action took place at Port Hudson, LA, May 27, 1863-July 8, 1863
Box 3
Letter from James E. Clarke to Capt. Ed. N. Ketchum, Jan. 27, 1914, eight pages (typed cb.) relating Civil War adventures. JEC tells ENK what happened during rest of battle after ENK was wounded and taken to the rear. 19th Corps, General [cuvier] Grover's division. Between Newton and Middletown, VA (probably Battle of Cedar Creek, Oct. 19, 1864. Reference to Sheraton's ride
JEC was living in Saratoga Springs when above letter was written. Ketchum was in Galveston, Texas. The two had served together in the 128th Reg't., N.Y.S. Vols.)
Box 3
Typescript carbon, "How the Slave Mother Found Her Son," by James E. Clarke, 5 pages
Envelope: "Zolman Van Ness Papers" (Zalmon?)
Box 3
Marriage certificate of Zolman Van Ness and Gloriana Gidney, Feb. 4, 1847. Milton (Saratoga Co.?)
Box 3
Longhand Certificate stating that Zolman Van Ness volunteered Apr. 20, 1861. Camp Willard
Box 3
Longhand Pass May 21, 1863 for Van Ness to visit Hq. and return to hospital
Box 3
Longhand Discharge June 2, 1863 from hospital for Van Ness
Box 3
Certificate of Discharge from Service May 26, 1863 for Zolman Van Ness
Box 3
Manuscript Copy of "The Inscription on the Momument at Lindiwold (Lindenwald?) at Kirkhook erected to the memory of Peter Van Ness, copied by James E. Clarke, Oct. 21, 1902
Envelope addressed to Z. Van Ness from Dept. of Interior
Box 3
Certificate of Elgibility for Pension for Z. Van Ness, July 22, 1891
Envelope: "Other Papers Old"
Box 3
Warrenty Deed between Otis G. Clarke and wife Amelia S., Jesse and Mary Van Zile, and wife to Sarah M. McClure, Feb. 25, 1864. Land, Troy, Rensselaer Co.
Box 3
Citation to appear at Surrogate's Court for the Probate of the will of Solomon W. Gidney, Apr. 17, 1865. Dutchess Co. Addressed to Sarah Maria Gidney, Ballston, Saratoga Co.
Box 3
"James E. Clarke with Ensign S. Lockrow Contract to Convey, dated Oct. 8, 1908. Land and house, furniture and fixtures for sum of $7,100, Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
Envelope: "J.E. Clarke Papers"
Box 3
Statement of James E. Clarke as to Disablement to War Claims and Pensions, 1893 (?)
Box 3
Pension Certificate of James E. Clarke, Dec. 15, 1913
Box 3
Order for Transportation on the B&O for James E. Clarke from Harpers Ferry, VA to Baltimore, MD
Box 3
Affidavit of Isaac J. Mickle on behalf of War Claim of James E. Clarke
Box 3
Letters of James E. Clarke to Gen. B. Raum, Commissioner of Pensions, Oct. 24, 1892
Box 3
Deed, Isaac J. Flansburgh and wife to James E. Clarke, Saratoga Springs, N.Y., Dec. 28, 1891
Box 3
Receipt for payment of $2.00 for Saddle horse used by J.F.C. in G.A.R. parade, pd., Feb. 4, 1918
Box 3
Check for $10.00 to J. Irving Clarke for Julia M. Clarke, Mar. 12, 1907
Box 3
Promisory note in the amount of $34 from Gloriana Van Ness to James E. Clarke, Mar. 1, 1890
Box 3
Affidavit of J.E. Clarke on behalf of War Claim of Isaac J. Mickle, Sept. 26, 1888
Box 3
Rent Receipt, Jan. 18, 1887 - Gloriana Van Ness received payment from James E. Clarke
Box 3
Receipt of Dr. Kingsley from James E. Clarke, Oct. 27, 1873, for treating cancer of breast for wife
Box 3
Envelope containing letter from Isaac Van Dyck to James E. Clarke, Sept. 25, 1888, re disability claim of JEC
Box 3
Envelope addressed to J.E. Clarke conatining letter from E.M. Hinman, June 19, 1888, re disability
Box 3
Envelope addressed to James E. Clarke containing letter from James E. Clarke to B.F. Page, Jan. 23, 1893, and on the bottom the reply of Benj. F. Page, re disability
Box 3
Discharge from Service for James I. Clarke, given at Savannah, Georgia, July 12, 1865
Box 3
Certificate of Inclosure of Certificate of Pension, Nov. 26, 1889 (JEC?)
Box 3
Letter to J. E. Clarke from (?) Van Ness, Sept. 23, 1886
Box 3
Saratoga Surrogate's Court Inventory of the Estate of Zolman Van Ness
Box 3
Saratoga Surrogate's Court Inventory of the Estate of Gloriana Van Ness, Dec. 17, 1897
Civil War Objects
Also includes an object that is noted as being from an Egyptian mummy.
Box 5 MU-354
American anti-slavery medal
Box 4 MU-356
Torpedo wire
Box 4 MU-357
Part of a torpedo rescued from a river
Box 4 MU-358
Fuse to a 15” shell from the Monitor
Box 4 MU-359
Unidentified piece of metal
Box 4 MU-360
Fuse to a 15” shell
Box 4 MU-361
Fuse to a 17” shell-gunboat guns
Box 4 MU-362-363
Grape Shot for Cannon
Box 4 MU-365
Unidentified piece of metal, possibly a fuse to a large shell
Box 4 MU-366
Unidentified piece of metal
Flat, oval
Box 5 MU-367
Section of a chain
Box 5 MU-368
Unidentified pieces of metal,
Resemble gears
Box 4 MU-369
Connection to 2 torpedo wires
Box 4 MU-370
Unidentified piece of metal
Box 4 MU-371-372
Unidentified piece of gun
Box 4 MU-547
Canteen carried through Civil War by JEC
Box 5
Lead ball
Includes note by James E. Clarke: "This bullet was shot at our skirmish line while fighting in front of the rebel brest works at Port Hudson, May 27, 1863, and came within a fraction of an inch of finding a lodgement in my head (good luck). James E. Clarke, Sergt. Co. E. 128th N.Y.S. Vols."
Box 4 MU-549
Briar pipe
JEC: "This Pipe was used in the War of the Slave holders rebellion by James E. Clarke, Sergt. Co. E. 128th regt. N.Y.S. Vols."
Box 5 MU-550
Leather pocketbook
JEC: "This pocket book was carried through the War of the Slave holders rebellion by James E. Clarke. Sergeant Company E. 128th Regiment N.Y.S. Volunteers (contains no writing)
Box 5 MU-551
JEC: "Cartridges brought home from the War of the Slave holders rebellion by Sergt. James E. Clarke, 128th Regt. N.Y.S. Vols."
Box 4 MU-552
Mummy Cloth
Note reads: "Taken from an Egyptian mummy over 3300 years old. This was a piece of the cloth wrapped around the body. It was a lady."
Box 5 MU-553
Hand-carved bone ring
, JEC: "This bone ring was made by me while in camp at Chalmette, LA., about Jan. 1863. James E. Clarke"
Box 5 MU-554
Human hair watch fob
Box 5 MU-555
Watch chain with gold lover’s knot as a fob