Coxe family papers
The collection is broken into three major series of papers. They include the Tench Coxe section, 1638, 1776-1824, 1879; the Charles Sidney Coxe, Edward Sidney Coxe, and Alexander Sidney Coxe legal papers section, ca. 1810-1879; and Third Party Papers, ca. 1722-1815. The Tench Coxe Section is broken... Full description
|Collection Information:||Coxe Family Papers (#2049)|
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|Main Author:||Coxe family|
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Material Specific Details:11/14/14 ch: Volume 116 is currently missing from the collection and has not been instanced in Managed Locations.
130.0 Linear feet 218 boxes, 393 volumes, 51 flat files
The collection is broken into three major series of papers. They include the Tench Coxe section, 1638, 1776-1824, 1879; the Charles Sidney Coxe, Edward Sidney Coxe, and Alexander Sidney Coxe legal papers section, ca. 1810-1879; and Third Party Papers, ca. 1722-1815. The Tench Coxe Section is broken down further into four series: Volumes and printed materials; correspondence and general papers; Essays, addresses and resource material; and Bills and receipts.
In 1776 Tench Coxe began in the import-export business by joining his father's firm Coxe, Furman & Coxe. In 1780 he established his own house, entering into partnership in 1783 with Bostonian Nalbro Frazier. Coxe & Frazier was dissolved in 1790, after which government service became Tench Coxe's principal employment. A fervent supporter of the adoption of the Constitution, his increasing political involvement was especially concerned with patent legislation, funding of the national debt, the location of capital, and the effort to establish a National Manufactory. At first serving in the Federalist administration, Coxe was named assistant secretary of the treasury, 1790-1792, and commissioner of the revenue, 1792-1797. His sympathies moving toward the Republican Party, he spent from 1797 to 1800 engaged in party political activities and personal business, chiefly land speculation in Pennsylvania, New York, Maryland, North Carolina, and Virginia. By 1796 his personal finances were hopelessly complicated by debts and litigations from his own ventures and the bankruptcy of a partner Dr. Thomas Ruston. Nevertheless Coxe continued to retain and manage his property, from which his heirs would benefit greatly, until his death.
As a Republican, Coxe resumed his office-holding with his appointment as secretary of the Land Office of Pennsylvania, 1800-1801, collector of Revenue for Philadelphia, 1801-1802, supervisor of Revenue of Pennsylvania, 1802-1803, purveyor of public supplies, 1803-1812, and clerk of the Court of Quarter Sessions of Philadelphia, 1815-1818. Coxe is probably best known to both contemporaries and historians, as a writer. Throughout most of his life he published numerous pamphlets and contributed frequently to the press, writing on economic and political matters, foreign affairs, and sundry other subjects.
Volumes and printed material of Tench Coxe include: letter books, 1778-1819, deal chiefly with mercantile and real estate business matters, revenue letter book, 1801-1802; letter book, 1813-1816, concerning Coxe's difficulties in completing his accounts as purveyor of public supplies. Account books, 1772-1824 relate to Coxe's personal and official business finances and include daybooks, journals, ledgers, checkbooks, bank books, receipt books, land records, revenue records, and others. Additionally, there are Coxe's commercial records consisting of Coxe, Furman and Coxe letter book, 1776-1779, and account books, 1776-1796; Coxe and Frazier letter books, 1784-1798, journals, 1783-1798, and other account books.
In this series also are: miscellaneous Coxe family volumes, 1810-1871, consisting of docket books and other legal records, estate records, and household accounts of Coxe's children, Alexander, Charles, Henry, and Mary Rebecca; Dr. Thomas Ruston and Mary Fisher Ruston account books, domestic account books, medical notes, 1762-1803; George Harrison's Office of Naval Agent letter book, 1801-1806, journal, 1802, and personal journal, 1845, and ledger, 1842-1844; some account and letter books of other Coxe debtors, William Harrison, 1793-1799, and James McCalley, 1792-1797; Office of the collector of revenue letter books, 1791 (George Clymer), 1798-1800 (James Ash); and a final group of records, ca. 1759-1849, partly derived from business firms with which Coxe had dealings, partly from private individuals connected with him or his family, but much for which the provenance is undetermined.
Printed materials consist of: books; newspaper clippings, 1787-1885; pamphlets and booklets, 1767-1885, including pamphlets authored by Tench Coxe; circulars and form letters, 1783-1822; broadsides and broadsheets, 1782-1837; and miscellaneous.
Tench Coxe's incoming correspondence forms the bulk of the second series with a small body of outgoing correspondence, and a larger body of third party correspondence, all arranged together chronologically. Letters on all of the commercial, official, and personal subjects which concerned him are represented, usually in quantity: national economic policy, Coxe's writings and publications, land speculations and development, domestic and foreign commerce, the operations of his state and federal offices, politics and government, church, Philadelphia civic organizations, family matters. In addition to his business associates and family members, among his correspondents were James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, Benjamin Rush, John Dickinson, Joel Barlow, Pierce Butler, Aaron Burr, Albert Gallatin, John Jay, Robert Morris, Timothy Pickering, and Gouverneur Morris.
Interfiled with the correspondence are general papers: deeds, surveys and other land papers; ships' papers, insurance policies, invoices and other commercial pieces; tax records, licenses, and sundry revenue forms; notes and memoranda; financial accounts and calculations; calling cards and other personal memorabilia.
After his father's death, Charles S. Coxe, lawyer, judge, and executor of the family estate, became the principal recipient of correspondence in the Coxe family papers. This remaining part of the series, 1824-1879, concerns management of the estate, family affairs, and personal business.
The bulk of the Essays, Addresses, and Resource Material series is made up of drafts and occasional fair copies of Tench Coxe's books (published and unpublished), pamphlets, and pieces for newspapers and periodicals. There is supplemental material such as manuscripts of other authors and excerpts of books. The series consists of writings on economic subjects, political topics, and miscellaneous and fragmentary material.
Tench Coxe's bills and receipts, the last series, filed in alphabetical order, relate to his personal expenses, to his business accounts, to his official duties, particularly his purchases as purveyor of public supplies, and to the accounts of persons for whom he acted as agent or trustee. Also included in this series are Tench Coxe's cancelled checks, 1783-1843.
The Charles Sidney Coxe, Edmund Sidney Coxe, Alexander Sidney Coxe Legal Papers section, ca. 1810-1879, includes: correspondence, financial papers, legal documents and memoranda of the attorney sons of Tench Coxe are primarily concerned with their law practices. Most correspondence and other papers of the three brothers which do not pertain directly to legal matters have been included in the Tench Coxe Section, Series II; however, some personal and family items do remain here. The papers of Charles Coxe, who served as deputy attorney general of Pennsylvania, and judge of District Court for Philadelphia, 1826-1841, are the most numerous, with lesser amounts for Edmund and Alexander.
The Third Party Papers, ca. 1722-1815, is filled with loose records supplementary to the volumes that appear in Section I. Dr. Thomas Ruston's papers, ca. 1722, 1785-1794, 1812, were seized by Coxe in an attempt to salvage something of the debt due to him after the Chester County, physician and land speculator went bankrupt. They relate to his business interests, especially land, to his writings, and to a small extent his medical education. There is correspondence, deeds, and other land papers, bills, receipts and other accounts, legal papers. Other of Coxe's debtors are represented by William Harrison correspondence, accounts, land paper, legal material, ca. 1790-1800; James McCalley accounts and other business papers, ca. 1785-1815; and Oliver Pollock miscellaneous papers, 1785-1790.