WILLIAMS, John, 1752-1806

Guide to Research Collections

Cornell University Library
Department of Manuscripts and University Archives
Ithaca, NY
Papers: Family papers (1785-ca. 1935) in Washington County, NY, papers, 1773-1959. ca. 8 feet.

New York State Library
Manuscripts and Special Collections
Albany, NY
Papers: 1767-1841, approximately 1500 items.
The John Williams Collection consists of Correspondence, Legal Documents, and Financial Documents. In addition there are five much smaller series: Printed Material; Minutes, Proceedings, etc; Maps, Diagarams and Lists; Literary Productions; and Miscellany. The earliest documents date from 1767-68 and the latest from 1830, but the majority pertain to the 1780’s and 1790s. The major subject areas of the collection are politics, militia, commercial activity, and land. However the range of subjects include in the collection, especially in the correspondence, demonstrates the wide interests and variety of activities of an educated Eighteenth Century man.

Papers: 1796, 2 pages.
A letter from John Williams to the “Messrs. Webster”, written on February 8, 1796. In the letter, Williams primarily discusses commercial matters. He especially discusses the comparative importance of the navy and army. “Our safety does not lay in a navy, therefore the expediency of a navigation act to create seamen would be ineligible... It is our business to invite all the world to come to import and buy our produce,... Every man in the United States taken from the plough and put on board a vessell is a man lost to the true interest in this country... Your letter respecting the post roads from Albany or Lansingburgh to be extended through Washington and Clinton counties to meet the Amil from Canada shall be attended to,...”

Washington County Historian’s Department
Fort Edward, NY
Papers: ca. 1768-1851, 2 volumes.
The John Williams Papers are mainly deeds concerning properties in Washington County, New York. Some properties were as far north as the Schroon River. John Williams was involved in most of these transactions. In addition to the deeds, there are also surveys, maps, and related correspondence for many of the deeds. Other Williams family members are involved in some of the transactions, including a second (and later) John Williams.