This collection is made up of correspondence, military documents, financial records, and other items related to the Van Vechten (also Van Veghten) family of Albany and Catskill, New York, and Detroit, Michigan. Most of the material dates from the mid-1700s to the late 1800s.
Two loose Correspondence items are a letter from Abraham Van Vechten to Harmanus Bleecker regarding news from Albany, New York, and local politics (January 20, 1813) and a letter that Abraham Van Vechten received from an acquaintance (November 10, 1813).
The Scrapbook (37 pages), currently disbound, contains printed and manuscript documents, notes, and other items from the late 1700s and early 1800s. Military records include muster rolls and related registers concerning Samuel Van Vechten's Continental Army company; a muster roll for John Van Vechten's company of the 66th Regiment of New York militia, pertaining to his service in the War of 1812; and military commissions for Samuel and John Van Vechten, signed by Cadwallader Colden and Daniel D. Tompkins. A Revolutionary War parole claim and several additional documents concern Jonathan, Lucas, and other members of the Elmendorff family. Additional items include a land survey conducted by Samuel Van Vechten in 1773, indentures pertaining to lands in the state of New York, a political broadsheet printed by the Albany Argus (October 12, 1824), and a letter from George Clinton to Christopher Tappen dated July 1, 1768.
The Orderly Book (34 pages) pertains to John Van Vechten's service in the New York Milita in the War of 1812. Orders, dated September 14, 1814-November 29, 1814, concern troop movements, drills and parades, and logistical matters. John's son Peter presented the volume to his own son, James, in 1913.
The Financial Records series contains loose and bound items. The Accounts subseries (7 items) contains brief notes and calculations; an undated document by Philip Phelps of the Albany Comptroller's office is also present.
Two Account Books belonged to members of the Van Vechten family in the 18th century. The first (approximately 310 pages) contains records dated from approximately 1672-1752, some of which were written in Dutch. The second half of this volume is an extensive genealogical record of the Van Vechten family and related families, compiled by Peter Van Vechten in the early to mid-1890s. The second account book (approximately 260 pages), which may have belonged to Teunis Van Vechten (1707-1785), contains records pertaining to individuals customers, dated from approximately 1768 to 1787 (bulk 1770s). Most entries pertain to sales of foodstuffs and related services, such as grinding wheat; at least one customer regularly paid for postage. Many of the individuals referenced in the volume were residents of Catskill, New York, including farmers, blacksmiths, and other laborers.
The Maps series includes 3 Loose Maps and a Survey Book . The individual maps include John Van Vechten's manuscript survey of lands along Batavia Kill; a printed map of the "Hollow Land" in the Netherlands, including the area around Amsterdam, showing city locations, the North Sea, and the Zuiderzee ; and a blueprint map of lands belonging to Teunis Van Veghte [sic] in September 26, 1770. Samuel Van Vechten's Survey Book (approximately 40 pages) contains instructions for conducting land surveys, with illustrated examples and problems. Some pages bear small sketches of buildings.
The Photographs series (5 items) includes reproduced 19th-century portraits of Charlotte Scott, Harmon William Van Veghten, and Mary Jane Tigert, as well as a 20th-century portrait of John J. Tigert IV. The final item is a photograph of a house that belonged to the Schuyler family.
The undated Recipe Book contains manuscript instructions for making cakes, puddings, custard, blancmange, whipped cream, and other items. Newspaper clippings pasted into the front page include recipes for numerous types of cakes and puddings.
The Genealogy series (13 items) includes manuscript and typed notes about the Van Veghten (or Van Vechten) and Schuneman families, genealogical charts and trees pertaining to the Vanderpool and Van Vechten families, and reproduced images of manuscript notes about the Van Vechten family. Also included is a reproduced image of the Van Vechten family crest. The notes concern persons born as early as the mid-1600s and as late as the mid-1940s. Additional genealogical material may be found in one of the collection's account books (see above).
Miscelleanous material (5 items) includes fragments and an etching of a man and dog in front of a country home.