The Stryker papers consists of letters to and from Rev. Peter Stryker and his family, written while he was living in New Jersey and working as a missionary in New York City. Religious issues are the major theme in the collection, but most of the letters are lacking in substance regarding Stryker's missionary work in the city. Instead, most of the letters are comprised of family news, and tend to be descriptive, dealing with a variety of topics.
Illness and death are frequent topics. The coming of the great cholera epidemic is referred to in Sarah Stryker's letter from New York in July, 1832, and one month later, Peter Stryker writes to express his sorrow at the death of Elizabeth Ricord's son, John. In a letter to Elizabeth, Herman B. Stryker provides some details of the last days of Rev. Peter.
Travel is another recurring topic in the collection. In 1837, while Rev. Stryker was living in Elizabeth's home in Geneva, N.Y., he wrote to her describing life at the house. In the process, he gave incidental descriptions of various rooms within her home. In other travels, Rev. Stryker visited Schenectady, N.Y., which he enjoyed so much that he moved there in May, 1841. In a later letter he described a journey by canal boat.