St. Peter's Protestant Episcopal Church (Albany, NY)
Records, 1708-1915

SC19680

Quantity: 17 boxes (8 cu.ft.)
Access: Open to research
Acquisition: Gift, St. Peter’s Protestant Episcopal Church, Albany, N.Y., November 1990
Processed By: Susan R. Bertot, Intern, State University of New York at Albany, March 1993

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Historical Note:

Anglican services in Albany began in 1708 with the Reverend Thomas Ellison conducting services in the fort at Albany. Services were held in the Lutheran church from 1709 to 1715. The first St. Peter’s church was built and consecrated, in 1716, as the first Protestant Anglican church west of the Hudson and north of New York City. The church stood at the corner of State and Chapel streets, one block down from the present building.

During the year 1751 renovations and the addition of a steeple and bell to the church were made under the rectorship of Rev. John Ogilvie. The charter of incorporation was granted by King George III to St. Peter’s in 1769.

The Revolutionary War was a time of conflict for the Anglican Church, and the church was closed until 1785, when services resumed. In 1789 the church’s original charter with the title of “The rector and inhabitants of the city of Albany in communion of the Protestant Episcopal Church in New York” was confirmed.

Negotiations began in 1796 for a new church building. In 1803, the second St. Peter’s church, located on Lodge and State streets, the location of the present church building, was consecrated. Renovations on the land occurred in 1822 with the erection of the steeple and renovations and repairs on the church. In 1831 the building of the second rectory and the renovation of the original building for a Sunday school and lecture room was completed.

The second St. Peter’s was declared unsafe in 1857. Services were held in the Geological Hall from 1858 to 1860 until the next church was completed on the site of the 1803 building. The Gothic building stands to this day on Lodge and State streets. A memorial rectory was built in 1895.

Scope and Content Note:

This collection consists of the records of St. Peter’s Protestant Episcopal Church in Albany, New York. The bulk of these records consists of financial vouchers and collection lists dating from 1816 to 1915; legal and real estate documents dating from 1791 to 1895; and building records dating from 1803 to 1895. The earliest records are the transcribed letters of Rev. Thomas Barclay from 1708 and the church’s financial book from 1718; the latest records are printed services from 1915. Of special interest are the bound volumes of vital records, 1756-1869; vestry minutes, 1802-1888; church financial books, 1718-1828; printed materials of services and hymns, and photographs of the church throughout its history. In addition there are omitted appendices from Joseph Hooper’s A History of St. Peter’s Church in the City of Albany, the official published church history; the diary of John Ogilvie (1750-1759), and the memorial dedication to Lord Viscount Howe. There is related material concerning the financial crisis of 1842-43, which includes printed statements of the church, and resulting pew leases and rent increases.

Series Description:

1. Vital Records, 1756-1883, Boxes 1-3:
Bound volumes containing marriages, births, deaths, communicants, and lists of parishioners.

2.  Vestry Minutes, Church Books, Reports, and Correspondence, 1708-1888, Boxes 4-7, Folder 3:

Bound volumes of vestry minutes, 1802-1888; church financial books of records, 1718-1828; letters of Rev. Thomas Barclay, 1708-1722; diary of John Ogilvie, 1750-1759; letters of appointments and denials to church positions; letters and reports on the state of St. Peter’s church.

3.  Printed Material, 1865-1915, Box 7, Folders 4-7; Box 16:

Statement concerning the conflict with Rev. Doane, 1868; services, invitations, Christmas carols, newspaper, 1874-1913; omitted appendices to A History of St. Peter’s Church in the City of Albany (1899); dedication of the memorial tablet to Lord Viscount Howe, 1894-1914.

4.  Financial Records, 1718-1910, Box 7, Folders 8-11; Boxes 8-13:

Collection lists, 1816-1842; vouchers and treasurer’s reports, 1789-1910; canceled checks; ladies’ subscription list and vouchers, 1820; rector’s receipts, 1820-25; statements of debt by  St. Peter’s to parishioners, 1841-1842; pew lists, leases, and sales, 1833-1854; juvenile retreat vouchers and forms, 1853-1866; auditor’s reports, 1904-1910.

5.  Building and Maintenance, 1802-1895, Box 14, Folders 1-11:

Reports, vouchers, and orders concerning the property and buildings of St. Peter’s Church; vouchers and reports for the building of St. Peter’s Church, the excavation of bodies in the cemetery; the rectory, 1802-07; building of steeple, 1822-1823; repairs to the church and the building of a new rectory, 1851-1869; building receipts for the new church, 1859-1861; an article on the church, 1895.

6.  Legal and Real Estate Documents, 1791-1895, Box 14, Folders 12-15; Box 15:

Insurance policies, 1833-1854; church leases, 1791-1842; sale of lands, quit claim deeds, mortgages, legal disputes, 1792-1895; sale of church lots, 1844, 1849-50.

7.  Photographs, 1708-1899, Box 17:

Views of former and current buildings; views of the interior and the exterior of the current church, the Queen Anne communion silver, and the land patent; photographs of ministers.

Container List:


Box Folder/
Volume
Contents
    Vital Records, 1756-1883
1 1 Register, 1756-1768
  1. Baptisms and marriages, 1756-1768
  2. List of communicants, 1768
1 2 Register, 1768-1775
  1. Baptisms, marriages, and burials, 1768-1775
1 3 Register, 1787-1809
  1. Baptisms, marriages, and burials, 1787-1809
  2. List of communicants, 1815
2 1 List of Parishioners, 1816
2 2 Register of marriages, 1810-1855
2 3 Register of baptisms, 1810-1855
3 1 Register, 1855-1869
  1. Baptisms, burials, and church offerings, 1855-1869
  2. Marriages, 1856-1869
  3. Confirmations, 1858-1869
  4. Communicants, 1862-1867
  5. Parishioner’s list
3 2 Register, 1870-1883
  1. Baptisms, marriages, confirmations, burials, 1870-1883
  2. Offerings, 1870-1871
  3. List of families
    Vestry Minutes, Church Books, Reports, and Correspondence, 1708-1888
4 1 Vestry Minutes, 1802-1816
4 2 Vestry Minutes, 1816-1851
5 1 Vestry Minutes, 1852-1888 (1v.)
6 1 Church Book, 1712-1770 (1v.)
6 2 Church Book, 1819-1828 (1v.)
6 3 Church Book extracts, 1910 (1v.)
7 1 Typed transcripts of letters of Reverend Thomas Barclay, 1708-1722
7 2 Copy of Rev. John Ogilvie diary, 1750-1759 (Original in vault -V19680)
    Church correspondence, 1785-1841
7 3 Resolution of Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, 1785
7 3 Statement of intention to build St. Peter’s church, 1788
7 3 Preparation of church for consecration, 1803
7 3 Letter from C. Stebbens concerning a guest lecture, 1809
7 3 Appointment of William Freyer to the position of treasurer, 1815
7 3 Report on the state of St. Peter’s, 1816
7 3 Appointment of Messrs. Ford, Trowbridge, and Meads to the Committee of Accounts, 1816
7 3 Report on accounts, 1820
7 3 Resignation of Rev. Timothy Clowes, 1817
7 3 Letters from Rev. Joseph Parry, Rev. Bruce, Rev. Johnson, and Amos Baldwin for Rev. Davis denying rectorship of St. Peter’s, 1817
7 3 Appointment of Ira Porter to the position of treasurer, 1820
7 3 Letter concerning keys for the new rector, 1828
    Printed Material, 1865-1915
7 4 Booklet entitled To the Parishioners of St. Peter’s Church, from the Majority of the Vestry, concerning the conflict with Rev. Doane, (66 pages) 1868
7 5 Services, invitations, book of Christmas carols, 1874-1913
7 6 Newspaper article on the building of St. Peter’s Memorial Rectory, 1895
7 6 Albany Journal, Albany, N.Y., November 28, 1902, containing Rev. Battershall’s Thanksgiving sermon (2 copies)
    Financial Records, 1718-1910
    Collection Lists, 1816-1818
7 7 February, May, December, 1816
7 7 February, May, August, 1817
7 7 February, May, August, November, 1818
    Collection Lists with receipts, 1819-1822
7 8 Collection Book, 1819-1822
7 8 February, July, October, 1820
7 8 January, April, August, October, 1821
7 9 Collection Lists with receipts; January, April, July, October, 1822
7 10 Collection Lists with receipts; January, April, July, October, 1823
7 11 Collection Lists with receipts; January, April, May, November, 1824
8 1 Collection Lists with receipts; February, May, August, November, 1825
8 2 Collection Lists with receipts; February, May, August, November, 1826
8 3 Collection Lists with receipts; January, April, August, October, 1827
    Collection Lists with receipts, 1828-1829
8 4 February, April, August, October, 1828
8 4 February 1829
    Collection Lists, 1832-1835
8 5 July, November, 1832
8 5 February, June, August, 1833
8 5 February, May, November, 1834
8 5 February, May, August, November, 1835
    Collection Lists, 1836-1840
8 6 February 1836
8 6 May, August, November, 1837
8 6 February, May, August, November, 1838
8 6 February, May, August, November, 1839
8 6 February, May, July, October, 1840
    Collection Lists, 1841-1842
8 7 January, May, August, November, 1841
8 7 February, May, August, 1842
8 8 Vouchers, 1789-1800
8 8 Report on expenses, 1797-1800
8 9 Vouchers, 1801-1802
8 9 Rev. Thomas Ellison’s Receipt of salary, 1802
8 9 Vouchers for Rev. Thomas Ellison’s funeral, 1802
8 10 Vouchers, 1803-1810
8 10 Rev. Beasley’s receipt of salary, 1803-1808
8 11 Canceled checks from the Bank of Albany, 1803-1806
8 11 Promissory notes, 1803-1815
8 12 Treasurer’s reports, 1802-1805; 1805-1808
9 1 Vouchers and Treasurer’s report, 1808-1810
9 2 Vouchers and Treasurer’s report, 1810-1812
9 3 Vouchers and Treasurer’s report, 1812-1813
9 4 Vouchers and Treasurer’s report, 1813-1814
9 5 Vouchers and Treasurer’s report, 1813-1815
9 6 Treasurer’s Accounts, 1804-1816
9 7 Vouchers, 1816-1817
9 8 Rev. Timothy Clowes receipts of salary, 1816-1817
9 9 Vouchers, 1818
9 10 Vouchers, 1819
9 11 Committee reports on finances, estate, lamps, and clock, 1820
9 12 Ladies’ subscription list and vouchers, 1820
9 13 Rector’s receipts, January 1820-March 1821; September 1824-August 1825
9 14 Rev. William Lacey orders and receipts of salary, March 1822-August 1824
    Financial Records, 1820-1826
10 1 Promissory note due, 1820
10 1 Rev. William Lacey to John Gott requesting money, 1821
10 1 Notice regarding organist’s salary, 1826
10 2 Vouchers, 1819-1820
10 3 Vouchers, 1821-1823
10 4 Vouchers, 1824
10 5 Vouchers, 1825
10 6 Vouchers, 1826
10 7 Vouchers, 1827
10 8 Vouchers, 1828
10 9 Canceled checks, 1826-1828
10 10 Vouchers, 1829
10 11 Vouchers, 1830
10 12 Vouchers, 1831
11 1 Vouchers, 1832
11 2 Vouchers, 1833
11 3 Vouchers, 1834
11 4 Vouchers, 1835
11 5 Vouchers, 1836
11 6 Vouchers, 1837
11 7 Vouchers, 1838
11 8 Vouchers, 1839
11 9 Vouchers, 1840
11 10 Vouchers, 1841
11 11 Vouchers, 1842
11 12 Vouchers, 1843
11 13 Vouchers, 1844
11 14 Vouchers, 1845
12 1 Vouchers, 1846
12 2 Financial Reports, March 1836, May 1839
    Finances, 1839-1846
12 3 Treasurer’s statement, 1839
12 3 Treasurer’s statement, 1841
12 3 Unpaid bills, 1840-1846
12 3 Unpaid subscriptions on pews, 1842
12 3 Resolution to give Bible and Common Prayer Society money, 1843
12 3 Subscription list for painting church, 1844
12 4 Financial crisis and pew increase, 1841-1843
12 4 Resolution of Vestry to ask for money from parishioners, 1841
12 4 Publishing and printing of book concerning financial troubles of St. Peter’s, 1842
12 4 Pew lists; Book of pew owners; Agreement of current pew owners to raise rent; Sale notices of pews, 1842
12 5 Subscription book and pew lists, 1845-1846
12 6 Pew leases, 1836, 1846
12 7 Pew leases, 1849-1853
12 8 Pew items, 1849-1851
12 9 Pew rents and payments, 1853
12 10 Vouchers, 1852
12 11 Vouchers, 1853
12 12 Vouchers, 1854
12 13 Vouchers, 1855
12 14 Vouchers, 1856
12 15 Vouchers, 1857
12 16 Vouchers, 1858
12 17 Vouchers, 1859
13 1 Vouchers, 1860
13 2 Vouchers, 1861
13 3 Canceled checks, 1860-1861
13 4 Vouchers, 1862
13 5 Gas and Insurance receipts, 1854-1862
13 6 Vouchers, 1863
13 7 Vouchers, 1864
13 8 Vouchers, 1865
13 9 Choir list, 1847; Music vouchers, 1852-1860
13 10 Juvenile Retreat vouchers and receipts kept by Miss Knapp, 1853-1864
13 11 Juvenile Retreat report forms, 1865-1866
13 12 Reports on finances, 1860-1864; 1868
13 13 Auditor’s reports, 1904-1910
    Building and Maintenance, 1802-1895
    Building records of Rev. William Freyer, 1802-1807
14 1 Subscriptions for building St. Peter’s, 1802-1804
14 1 Vouchers for work upon church and cemetery, 1802-1807
    General building and maintenance, 1802-1804
14 2 Transfer of remains to new cemetery site, 1802-1804
14 2 Report on removal of pews, 1803
14 2 Work orders for removal of clay from grounds, 1804
    Repairs, 1804-1805
14   Contract to repair vestry house, 1804
14 3 Vouchers concerning repairs, 1804-1805
14 3 Notes on past due subscriptions for repairs, 1804
14 4 Vouchers concerning removal of clay from grounds, 1808-1812
    General building, 1820-1828
14 5 Allowance for repairs to William Crapo, 1820
14 5 Measurements taken on ground to be dug off the sidewalk, 1821
14 5 Agreement to rebuild Hugh Culling’s stables; subscriptions to remove ground, reports on removal of ground, 1824
14 5 Release of land to St. Peter’s, 1828
    Building of steeple, 1822-1823
14 6 Subscriptions for St. Peter’s steeple, 1822
14 6 Receipts and vouchers for steeple, 1823
14 7 Subscription to build new rectory and Sunday school building and vouchers, 1830-1831
    Repairs on church, 1842-1853
14 8 Agreement to repair ceiling of church, 1842
14 8 Vouchers for general repairs on church, 1851-1853
14 9 Vouchers, subscriptions, and contributions for repairing rectory, 1855-1869
14 10 Building receipts and orders for new St. Peter’s Church, 1859-1861
14 11 Agreement with mason and builder for grading, flagging, and sodding, 1895
    Legal and Real Estate Documents, 1791-1895
14 12 Insurance policies, 1833-1854
14 13 Leases of church lots, 1791-1794
14 14 Leases of church lots, 1795-1797
14 15 Leases of church lots, 1803-1821
15 1 Leases of church lots, 1825-1829
15 2 Leases of church lots, 1835-1842
    Legal papers concerning St. Peter’s and Mr. Glen and Dickenson, 1792-1794
15 3 Sale of land to Cornelius Glen and John, 1792
15 3 Release of land between Abraham Lansing and Jonathan Shepard, 1794
15 3 Bond of St. Peter’s to Isaac Freyer
    Legal papers concerning St. Peter’s and Cuyler land, 1807-1810
15 4 Mortgage to John and Lydia Cuyler, 1807
15 4 Bond to John Cuyler, 1808
15 4 Interest on Bond, 1808
15 4 Bond to Lydia Cuyler, 1810
    Bonds, Quit Claim Deeds, and Mortgages, 1814-1821
15 5 Quit claim deed of Judith Watkins to St. Peter’s, 1814
15 5 Quit claim deed of Hetty Halenbake to Andrew Halenbake, 1814
15 5 Bank of Albany promissory note to William Freyer, 1816
15 5 Application of Nathaniel Higley for renewal of lease, 1817
15 5 Quit claim deed of Thomas Ford and John Meads to St. Peter’s, 1818
15 5 Bond to Meads and Ford, 1819
15 5 Treasurer’s certificate for cancellation of mortgage of St. Peter’s, 1821
15 5 Bond to Henry Trowbridge, 1819
15 5 Quit claim deed of Frederick Ramsey to St. Peter’s, 1819
15 5 Bond to George Uplot, 1819
    Bonds, Deeds, Leases and Mortgages, 1820-1828
15 6 Release of land claim by Silvester Wilcott, 1820
15 6 Bond and mortgage to Samuel Farquhar, 1821
15 6 Release from bond and mortgage of Samuel Farquhar, 1825
15 6 Official release from bond and mortgage, 1828
15 6 Lease between St. Peter’s and Henry Lathrop, 1823
15 6 Deed to land for burial ground, 1826
15 6 Counterpart of deed to Nathaniel Skinner; contract to Nathaniel Skinner, 1828
    Bonds, Deeds, and Mortgages, 1830-1838
15 7 Deed to John Archer, 1830
15 7 Bond to John Archer, 1836
15 7 Bond and mortgage to John Hendrickson, 1831
15 7 Bond to Catherine Burton, and Rebecca, Mary and Elizabeth Eights, 1832
15 7 Bond and mortgage to James Porter, 1833
15 7 Bond to Trustees of Albany Waterworks, 1834
15 7 Deed and bond to Lyman Chapin, 1838
    Conflict between St. Peter’s Church and Porter family, 1808-1860
15 8 Release of land from Giles Porter to Ira Porter, 1808
15 8 Deed to Ira Porter, 1812
15 8 Official report of St. Peter’s on Porter claim to land, 1830
15 8 Mortgage and bond to Giles Porter
15 8 Court decision on conflict, 1860
    Bonds and mortgages for Albany Bible and Prayer Society and Merchants Insurance Company, 1824-1849
15 9 Bond and mortgage to Albany Bible and Prayer Society, 1824
15 9 Bond and mortgage to Albany Bible and Prayer Society, 1843
15 9 Bond to Albany Bible and Prayer Society, 1849
15 9 Bond and mortgage to Merchants Insurance Company, 1840
15 9 Breaking of mortgage for the Merchants Insurance Co., 1840
15 9 Mortgage of Merchants Insurance Co. to Henry Webb, 1848
    Sale of Church lots, 1842-1850
15 10 Statements concerning sale of church lots, 1842-1843
15 10 Documents of lots sold, 1844; 1849-1850
    Bonds, Deeds, and Mortgages, 1860-1863
15 11 Bond and mortgage to Commerce Insurance Co., 1860
15 11 Bond from Dexter Reynolds to Gilbert Wilson, 1861
15 11 Court judgment on the early release of mortgage for St. Peter’s, 1862
15 11 Bond and mortgage to Alexander Johnson, 1862
15 11 Satisfaction of mortgage for Alexander Johnson, 1862
15 11 Warranty deed from Henrietta Chapen to Moses Patten, 1863
15 12 Blank bond sheets, 1876
    Conflict between St. Peter’s and Horace Paine, 1860-1895
15 13 Document on property on Maiden Lane, 1860
15 13 Executor’s deed to Horace Paine, 1874
15 13 Bond and mortgage of Horace Paine to Maunsell van Rensselaer, 1882
15 13 Survey of land between St. Peter’s and Horace Paine, 1885
15 13 Agreement of boundary line between St. Peter’s and Horace Paine, 1886
    Conflict between St. Peter’s and Master’s Lodge, 1895
15 14 Letters between St. Peter’s and Master’s Lodge concerning lease problems; judgment on conflict
    Oversize Printed Material
16 EL Omitted appendices from A History of St. Peter’s Church in the City of Albany by Rev. Joseph Hooper, 1899
16 EL Dedication of Lord Viscount Howe Memorial Tablet; letters of receiving memorial booklet; postcards of re ceiving memorial booklet, 1894-1914
16 EL Original list of contents in archives, 1905
    Photographs
17 1 Queen Anne communion plate, 1712
17 2 Land patent with King George seal, 1714
17 3 S t. Peter’s Charter of Incorporation, 1769
17 4 Page of Church Book containing entry of Lord Howe’s burial, September 5, 1758
17 5 Print of first St. Peter’s Church, 1800
17 6 Book owned by Thomas Barclay entitled A Defence of Diocesan Episcopacy in Answer to a Book of Mr. David Clarkson Lately Published Entituled [sic] Primitive Episcopacy by Henry Maurice, DD.
17 7 Copy of Thomas Barclay’s will, 1764
17 8 Two photos of Rev. Thomas Ellison from old engraving, 1805
17 9 Picture of painting of Rev. Fredrick Beasley from original at University of Pennsylvania
17 10 Picture of Rev. William Snively
17 11 St. Peter’s exterior, built 1860; photo, 1890
17 12 St. Peter’s interior, built 1860; photo, 1899 (2 copies)
17 13 St. Peter’s parish house, 1875
17 14 Tweedle memorial tower, 1876
17 15 Pruyn memorial altar and reredos (decorative screen behind an altar), 1885 (2 copies)
17 16 Tibbits memorial pulpit, 1886
17 17 Macdonald memorial lectern, 1892
17 18 Potts memorial rectory, 1895 (2 copies)
17 19 Meads memorial bas-relief of faith, built 1850
17 20 Pruyn memorial alms basin, built 1877
17 21 Elevation showing alteration to choir stalls
Last Updated: May 23, 2013