Contents and Arrangement

Series 5: Joseph Delafield, 1778-1917

38 boxes

Collection Overview

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

The papers of Joseph Delafield, grandfather of John Ross Delafield, include student notebooks and correspondence from his college days (Yale Class of 1808); correspondence, proceedings, survey maps, and accounts relating to the United States Boundary Commission survey of the Canadian border under the 6th and 7th articles of the Treaty of Ghent; correspondence relating to the Lyceum of Natural History (later the New York Academy of Science), of which he was president from 1827 to 1866; records of the 46th Infantry during the War of 1812 and the bounty claims of some its veterans; correspondence concerning Trinity Church (New York City), where he was a vestryman; and outgoing correspondence of the Apalachicola (Fla.) Land Co., for which he was an agent and director. A few of Major Delafield's main correspondents include John Quincy Adams, Henry Clay, R. E. de Russy, John William Draper, James Ferguson, Donald Fraser, Samuel Hawkins, Fred William Hoenighaus, Baron Lederer, Thomas Meade, J. N. Reynolds, Benjamin Silliman, Benjamin Tallmadge, George W. Whistler, and James Whitelaw.


This series is arranged into seven subseries: Writings, Correspondence, Official Documents, Professional and Financial Records, Maps, Miscellaneous Material, and Printed Matter.

Collection History


No materials were separated during 2016 processing.


The Delafield Family Papers (formerly comprising the Foundation Collection and the Mansion Corporation Collection housed at Montgomery Place, Annandale-on-Hudson, N.Y) were the gift of Mr. J. Dennis Delafield and Professor Penelope D. Johnson in 1986. Processing of this collection was sponsored by the Delafield Fund.

Processing Information

This processing of this collection was completed by Judith Golden in 1992, after initial work by Stacy Flora Roth in the late 1980s. Finding aid written by Judith Golden in 1992.

Folder inventory was completed by Kristine Gift (GS) in 2016.

Some reprocessing was completed by Faith Charlton in 2016-2017. Finding aid updated by Faith Charlton in 2016-2017.

Additional description indicating Violetta Susan Elizabeth White Delafield's contributions to the fields of mycology and horticulture were added by Kelly Bolding in 2020. During 2022, restrictions on original materials where researchers were required to use surrogates were lifted as part of a restrictions review project. At this time, separated materials were refiled into their original boxes.

The collection, particularly materials from Series 7, 9 and 11, was treated for mold during 2016 processing.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. To cite or publish quotations that fall within Fair Use, as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission is required. For instances beyond Fair Use, it is the responsibility of the researcher to determine whether any permissions related to copyright, privacy, publicity, or any other rights are necessary for their intended use of the Library's materials, and to obtain all required permissions from any existing rights holders, if they have not already done so. Princeton University Library's Special Collections does not charge any permission or use fees for the publication of images of materials from our collections, nor does it require researchers to obtain its permission for said use. The department does request that its collections be properly cited and images credited. More detailed information can be found on the Copyright, Credit and Citations Guidelines page on our website. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us through the Ask Us! form.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

For preservation reasons, original analog and digital media may not be read or played back in the reading room. Users may visually inspect physical media but may not remove it from its enclosure. All analog audiovisual media must be digitized to preservation-quality standards prior to use. Audiovisual digitization requests are processed by an approved third-party vendor. Please note, the transfer time required can be as little as several weeks to as long as several months and there may be financial costs associated with the process. Requests should be directed through the Ask Us Form.

Glass plate negatives in Boxes 28-29 require special handling. Please consult with Public Services staff.

Credit this material:

Series 5: Joseph Delafield, 1790-1875; Delafield Family Papers, C0391, Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Firestone Library
One Washington Road
Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
(609) 258-3184
Storage Note:
  • Firestone Library (mss): Boxes 62-97; P-000041; P-000039

Find More

Related Materials

Edward Livingston Papers (C0280)

Princeton University Library Collection of General John Ross Delafield Family Materials (C1508)

Other repositories with Delafield Family holdings include Hudson Valley Restorations in Tarrytown, N.Y., the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society Library in New York City, and the New York Historical Society.


Much of the biographical information for the Delafield Family Papers is from Delafield: The Family History by John Ross Delafield, privately printed, 2 volumes, 1945. Additional biographical information on Violetta Susan Elizabeth White Delafield was taken from David Rose, "Our Lady of the Gasteromycetes: The Mushrooms of Violetta White Delafield," FUNGI Volume 13:4 (Winter 2020).

Yale University. Class of 1808
United States Boundary Commission
United States. Army. Armored Infantry Regiment, 46th
Trinity Church (New York, N.Y.)
Reserve Officers Association of the United States
Lyceum of Natural History (New York, N.Y.)
Military Order of the World Wars
New York academy of sciences
White, Violetta Susan Elizabeth, 1875-1949
Delafield, John, 1748-1824
Delafield, Joseph, 1790-1875
Delafield, Maturin Livingston, 1836-1917
Ross, James, 1762-1847
Wetmore, Prosper Montgomery, 1798-1876