Bronck Family Manuscript Collection
Vedder Research Library
90 County Highway 42
Coxsackie, NY 12051
Bronck Family, numerous generations
4 cu. ft.
1710 - 1939
Pieter Bronck, a sailor originally from Jonkoping, Sweden, settled in Beverwijck, New Netherland in 1652 accompanied by his wife Hilletje Jans (originally from Holland). At Beverwyck Pieter and Hilletje opened a tavern and brewery which catered to the influx of traders, fur trappers, and adventurers passing through along the frontier. However, the vicissitudes of frontier economy and what appears to be Pieter’s own "contentious personality" resulted in an unstable income stream which made supporting a family difficult. By the early 1660’s Pieter and Hilletje were considering another move. Pieter purchased a tract of land approximately 20 miles south of Beverwyck near the present village of Coxsackie from the native Mohicans. Pieter Bronck and his family moved to settle their land at Coxsackie in 1663, although both Pieter and his descendants would retain ties with Beverwyck's society and economy.
On a small hillock in the midst of the flood plain of Coxsackie Creek Pieter found a small clearing and commenced construction of a typical rural European style dwelling. Built of local rubble stone the one room 20’ x 20’ structure had both garret and cellar for storage. Pieter, Hilletje, and their young son Jan carried on all daily activities in the single first floor room. It is likely that Pieter dabbled in the fur trade at the Coxsackie site but certainly by the time of his death in 1669 the family had transition to selling timber and subsistence farming. This home, still standing, is currently the oldest known dwelling in Upstate New York.
In 1738 Pieter’s grandson Leendert and his wife Anna de Wandelear built a handsome Dutch brick dwelling adjacent to Pieter’s old stone house. Pieter and Hilletje’s descendents were by that time established grain farmers and considered themselves to be culturally Dutch despite Pieter Bronck's Swedish roots. By the time the American War for Independence commenced the Bronck family had already been farming their land at Coxsackie for 113 years. In the 1770s the Farmstead was in the hands of Pieter’s great grandson, Jan Leendert, and Jan's son Leendert (Leonard) Bronck. Both men were active in the effort to secure American independence - pledging the family’s wealth, farm produce, and considerable prestige to the Patriot cause.
For 276 years seven generations of Pieter’s descendants would pass the family dwellings and the accompanying farm directly from father to child. The last family owner, Leonard Bronk Lampman, willed the Bronck farm and its contents to the Greene County Historical Society in 1939.
Summary of Contents
The Bronck Family Manuscripts consist of approximately four cubic feet of material primarily on parchment and handmade paper. Contents include personal letters, business papers, and legal documents dating from the lifetime of Jan Bronck (1652-1742) to Leonard Bronck Lampman (1872-1939), final family owner of the estate and its contents. The most intellectually unified batches of papers in the collection come from the lifetime of Judge Leonard Bronck (1751-1828) and his immediate descendants and deal with the Revolutionary legacy of that generation of the Bronck family as well as their involvement in local and state government in the early Republic. With this accounted for, the bulk date for the collection would be between 1775 and 1900 with the earliest records being an 18th century copy of a grant from 1673 and the most recent being paperwork related to Mr. Lampman's estate in the late 1930s.
Collection is arranged chronologically in folders by year. Subject and surname indexes are available.
Documentation available within collection, gift of Leonard Bronck Lampman.
Original processing information unknown, inventory and indexing done Audrey Madison and Lawrence V. Rickard, finding aid published Spring 2018 by Jonathan Palmer
Materials are available to examine on-site at the Vedder Research Library in Coxsackie, New York during posted hours as found on the repository’s website.
Researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming to current copyright laws. Duplication of print and photographic materials without express permission of library staff is strictly prohibited.
Identification of Item, Folder, Box, Collection Name, Date Range. Vedder Research Library, Greene County Historical Society, Coxsackie NY.
Contents of Collection
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