George Hyde Clarke family papers,
50.2 cubic ft.,
Forms of Material:
Correspondence, Financial Records, Legal Documents, Manuscripts
Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library
Business, land and family papers of eight generations of the George Hyde Clarke family.
Collection material in English
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.
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.
Clarke, George Hyde, b. 1768.
Clarke, George Hyde, b. 1822.
Clarke, George Hyde, b. 1858.
Clarke, George, b. 1676.
Clarke, Mary Gale.
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
Swanswick Estate (Jamaica).
Families--New York (State)--Chenango
Real property--New York (State)--Otsego
Farms--New York (State)--Otsego County.
Real property--New York (State)--St. Lawrence
Business records--New York
Court records--New York (State)--Otsego
Railroads--Design and construction--New York
Land claims--New York (State)--Otsego
Landlord and tenant--New York (State)--Otsego
Tax assessments--New York (State)--Otsego
New York (State)--History, Local.
Form and Genre Terms: