Isaac LeFevre Papers (1786-1854)

Finding Aid Completed by Eric Roth, January 4, 2001
Volume: 0.33 cu. ft.
Acquisition: The papers were donated to the Huguenot Historical Society by Leslie Mott in 1974.
Access: Unrestricted.
Copyright: Request for permission to publish materials from these records should be discussed with the Archivist and Director of the Huguenot Historical Society.

Biographical Note

Isaac LeFevre was born to on October 10, 1760 Peter LeFevre and Elizabeth VerNooy of New Paltz, Ulster County, New York. On December 17, 1803, he married Catherine Burhans (1783-1839), daughter of Edward Burhans and Bridget Blanshan. They had 11 children: Eliza, Peter, William, Jane, Anne, Henry, Alfred, Sally, Margaret, Elias, and Catherine. Isaac LeFevre died on March 12, 1847 [1].

During his life he was a noted surveyor and local politician. At New Paltz, he was appointed to the position of town clerk in 1797, and later served as 1807 and 1808. He also served as supervisor in the town of Esopus from 1820-1825, and was elected to the New York State Assembly in 1803 [2].

Collection Description

The collection includes letters, financial papers, and legal papers of Isaac LeFevre who resided in the towns of New Paltz and Esopus, Ulster County, New York. The collection chiefly documents the business and legal activities of Isaac LeFevre during two distinct time periods: 1793-1798, and 1830-1854. Documentation of the years between 1799 and 1829 is very scarce, consisting of only a few receipts and one deed. The physical condition of the records is generally quite good, with only minor damage evident from folding, tearing, and yellowing.

The financial and legal papers comprise the bulk of the collection, consisting of deeds, lease agreements, bills for court fees, vendue lists and estate inventories, and receipts. The receipts and other financial papers are generally arranged separately from the standard legal documents, but some overlapping between the different types of documents does occur. The deeds, leases, agreements, inventories and other legal papers primarily concern the management of Isaac LeFevre's farm and other land holdings in the 1840's in the towns of Wawarsing, New Paltz, and Esopus, in Ulster County. The inventories and vendue lists are particularly useful documents in that they provide a listing of the items owned by LeFevre at the time of his and his wife's deaths. Some of the legal papers from the 1840's include mention of LeFevre's sons Alfred LeFevre and Peter E. LeFevre. The receipts and other financial documents typically document the purchase and sale of farm and domestic goods such as clothing and textiles, kitchenware, tools, writing supplies, foodstuffs and spices, and alcoholic beverages. Items such as wool, buttons, buckles, hats, calico, silk, linen, pewter plates, candles, a griddle, saws, screws, flour, tea, pork, bread, liver oil, salt, sugar, ginger, rum, wine, brandy, and gin are evident, particularly during the 1790's. Other receipts relate to travel and lodging, medical attendance, newspapers, and court fees.

Several letters from the 1790's relate to Isaac LeFevre's work as a land surveyor. One letter to him from an unidentified Mr. Brodhead mentions a surveying trip in the "North Country" (probably relating to work done North of Albany, perhaps even as far as Rome, New York). This letter also discusses LeFevre's wages and supplies and workers that he would require for his trip. There are also several letters written to LeFevre by Gerrit Newkirk, who addresses him as "Dear brother", although it is not entirely clear what the familial relation is between Newkirk and LeFevre. In these letters, Newkirk briefly a variety of topics, including a dream that he had; the marriages of friends and/or family members; and a mill that LeFevre was having built. There is also a letter appointing Isaac LeFevre to the position of town clerk in New Paltz during the absence of elected clerk Josiah Hasbrouck in 1797. Also in the collection is an undated print dedicated to the memory of Isaac LeFevre and his wife Catherine.

Other significant collections of LeFevre family papers housed in the archives of the Huguenot Historical Society include the Daniel J. and Nellie LeFevre Family Papers (1810-1888), Peter and Josiah P. LeFevre Family Papers: "The Bontecoe LeFevres" (1703-1937), and the Mariana LeFevre Family Papers (ca. 1850-1963).

Box and Folder List

Correspondence (1796-1797)

Estate and Legal Papers (1806-1850 and undated)

Oversize Documents (1849-1850 and undated)

Receipts and Accounts:
(1786, 1793-1794)
(1795-1798 and undated)


[1] Wright, Donald L. The New Paltz LeFevres: Simon LeFevre and Elizabeth Deyo, married 1660, and their descendants. LeFevre Family Association, New Paltz, NY, p. 5.

[2] LeFevre, Ralph. History of New Paltz and Its Old Families. Fort Orange Press, Albany, N.Y. (1909): pp. 437-438.