Andrew Billings papers  1776-1806
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Collection Scope and Content Note

The Andrew Billings papers contain six letters written by Andrew Billings, two of which are addressed to Pierre Van Cortlandt, Sr., three to Pierre Van Cortlandt, Jr., and one to Gilbert Van Cortlandt, Pierre's son and Billings' partner in the failed firm, Cortlandt, Billings & Co. The collection also includes two account sheets and a letter written by Gilbert during the Revolution, probably addressed to Pierre Van Cortlandt, Sr.

Three letters in the Billings Papers are of substantial interest beyond the information they provide on the business transactions of the Van Cortlandt and Billings families. In the first, dated March 6, 1776, Billings discusses his hardships in raising troops in Westchester County. In the later two letters, dated June 15, 1785, and October 16, 1790, he bemoans the poor business climate of the early national period, the scarcity of money, and the new laws concerning the abolition of primogeniture. In the 1785 letter, he also outlines an interesting idea for creating a co-operative among Poughkeepsie-area merchants.

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