Guide to the George Hyde Clarke Family Papers,
1705-1937.

Collection Number: 2800

Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections
Cornell University Library

Contact Information:
Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections
2B Carl A. Kroch Library
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853
(607) 255-3530
Fax: (607) 255-9524
rareref@cornell.edu
http://rmc.library.cornell.edu
Compiled by:
Barry L. Wold
William A. Kearns
Date completed:
July 1977
February 1991
EAD encoding:
Evan Fay Earle, November 2007

© 2007 Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library


DESCRIPTIVE SUMMARY

Title:
George Hyde Clarke family papers, 1705-1937.
Collection Number:
2800
Quantity:
50.2 cubic ft.,
Forms of Material:
Correspondence, Financial Records, Legal Documents, Manuscripts
Repository:
Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library
Abstract:
Business, land and family papers of eight generations of the George Hyde Clarke family.
Language:
Collection material in English


BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE

The first George Clarke of record was born in England in the early 17th century. His grandson, also named George, born 1676, was appointed Secretary of the Province of New York in 1703. In 1724, he and his wife, Anne Hyde, purchased land in Hempstead, Long Island and built an estate named Hyde Park. He was Acting Governor of New York from 1736-1743, and during this time acquired over 120,000 acres of land. George's children did not remain in New York; his eldest son returned to England, two other children had close ties with Jamaica, and another died on an expedition to Oswego in the mid-eighteenth century. In 1806, George Hyde Clarke (b. 1768) settled in New York on lands he and his brother inherited from their grandfather and great uncle. Some of his tenants contested his claim to the land, resulted in a six year legal battle which the U.S. Supreme Court decided in Clarke's favor in 1818 (JACKSON VS. CLARKE). Documents Clarke accumulated concerning this case are included in the collection. In 1817 Clarke purchased land on the north shore of Otsego Lake, near Cooperstown, New York, and engaged architect Philip Hooker to design Hyde Hall. The last years of his life were spent constructing and furnishing Hyde Hall. His son, George Hyde Clarke (b. 1822), was one of the largest landowners in the state, but suffered a reversal of fortune when his crop speculations suddenly failed. He eventually went bankrupt, and Hyde Hall fell into disrepair.
His son, George Hyde Clarke (b. 1858), bought Hyde Hall and became a gentleman farmer. After Clarke's death in 1914, his son, George Hyde Clarke (b. 1889), also became a gentleman farmer, residing at Hyde Hall. In 1963, Hyde Hall and the surrounding 600 acres were purchased by the state, and became Glimmerglass State Park. When plans were made to demolish the mansion, the Friends of Hyde Hall formed to preserve the building, its furnishings, and papers. Hyde Hall is currently maintained by the Friends of Hyde Hall, and is undergoing restoration through funding provided by the New York State Department of Parks and Recreation.

COLLECTION DESCRIPTION

Business, land and family papers of eight generations of the George Hyde Clarke family. Business papers include correspondence, drafts, promissory notes, rent collection accounts, tax documents, legal papers pertaining to court cases, papers about railroad construction and funding, insurance policies, hops accounts, farm commodity documents, accounts, bills and receipts, account books, business diaries and checkbooks. Land papers include 18th and 19th century parchment and paper patents (royal land grants), leases, and releases; leases and deeds for individual farms and lots in the Clarke family holdings; bound tax assesment books, bound rent books, pamphlets of notes on various farms and transcribed deeds; land surveys; papers concerning family holdings in Wisconsin and St. Lawrence County, New York. Family papers include correspondence, primarily 1850-1920; invitations and calling cards; school papers; a scrapbook; photographs, wills, address books, poetry, prescriptions, recipes, and games; and papers concerning Mary Gale Clarke's involvement in the Springfield, New York D.A.R. Also, photocopies and transcripts of papers relating to the Swanswick and Hyde estates in Jamaica. Includes An Historic Structure Report prepared for the Friends of Hyde Hall by Kimberly Konrad and Stephanie Reinert in 1993.

SUBJECTS

Names:
Clarke family.
Clarke, George Hyde, b. 1768.
Clarke, George Hyde, b. 1822.
Clarke, George Hyde, b. 1858.
Clarke, George, b. 1676.
Clarke, George.
Clarke, Mary Gale.
Hooker, Philip.
Hyde, Anne.
Konrad, Kimberly.
Reinert, Stephanie.
Daughters of the American Revolution.Springfield, N.Y. Chapter.
Friends of Hyde Hall.
Hyde Estate (Jamaica).
Hyde Hall (Springfield, N.Y.)
New York (State).Dept. of Parks and Recreation.
Swanswick Estate (Jamaica).

Subjects:
Families--New York (State)--Chenango County.
Real property--New York (State)--Otsego County.
Real property--Wisconsin.
Farms--New York (State)--Otsego County.
Real property--New York (State)--St. Lawrence County.
Business records--New York (State)--Springfield.
Court records--New York (State)--Otsego County.
Railroads--Design and construction--New York (State)
Land claims--New York (State)--Otsego County.
Landlord and tenant--New York (State)--Otsego County.
Tax assessments--New York (State)--Otsego County.

Places:
Wisconsin--History, Local.
New York (State)--History, Local.

Form and Genre Terms:
Photographs.
Land grants.
Leases.
Account books.
Releases (permissions).
Deeds.
Wills.
Poems.
Scrapbooks.
Recipes.


INFORMATION FOR USERS

Cite As:
George Hyde Clarke family papers, #2800. Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library.

CONTAINER LIST

Description
Container
Not all the material in the collection is covered by this guide.