The Allaire-Gibbons papers contain letters, receipts, and other material related to the early steamboat industry and, more specifically, to the 19th-century business affairs of James P. Allaire, Thomas Gibbons, and William Gibbons.
The Correspondence series (16 items) consists primarily of business correspondence addressed to Thomas Gibbons, William Gibbons, and James P. Allaire. The earlier material in the series (1822-1837) is related to the Gibbons family's business affairs and often pertains to the legal disputes between Thomas Gibbons and Aaron Ogden. These include several letters from William Gibbons to his father, in which he discusses the impending court case as well as his own personal affairs. The majority of the series consists of later material (1837-1849) related to James P. Allaire's business interests, including the manufacture of steamboat engines. Interspersed with these items are receipts for parts related to Allaire's industrial operations.
The Documents series (12 items) contains receipts related to steamboats owned by James P. Allaire as well as 20th-century material about the early steamboat industry and the town of Allaire, New Jersey. The series includes 5 receipts for steamboat supplies (1828; 1856), including material for the Swan , the Thistle , and the Emerald , all Gibbons-owned ships whose engines were supplied by Allaire. The series also includes a document signed by the crew of the Swan affirming the receipt of their wages for April 1828. Later material in the collection includes two postcards of watercolor pictures of Allaire, New Jersey, and two articles, from the Proceedings of the New Jersey Historical Society (January 1949) and American Heritage (October 1963), respectively. These relate to the early steamboat business, and to the role of Thomas Gibbons in its development.