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Secor, Flint, and Cousins families collection

Call Number



1840-1971, inclusive
; 1860-1899, bulk


Flint family
Cousins family
Secor family


1 Linear Feet in 3 manuscript boxes and 3 boxes of special photographic formats

Language of Materials

Materials are in English.


This collection contains materials pertaining to the Flint, Secor, and Cousins families of New York from 1840-1971. Material types include correspondence, photographs, bound books, deeds, wills, indentures, marriage certificates, ephemera, and Civil War military passes and correspondence. Subjects of correspondence in this collection include travel, family health, and basic communicative efforts between family members over four generations. The photographs are primarily portraits of the Secor, Flint, and Cousins families during the turn of the twentieth century, though some images of the interiors and exteriors of homes are included.

Biographical / Historical

In the years before the Civil War, Cyrus Flint (1804-1869) had a furniture business, Flint & Jones, at 36 Royal Street, in what is currently the French Quarter area in New Orleans, Louisiana. Flint, his wife, Catherine M. Flint (1810-1895), "a colored girl," and their two daughters, Cornelia Anna (1836-1915), and Mary Lawrence (1848-1921), settled in Brooklyn during the first half of the American Civil War. Cyrus and Catherine Flint also had two sons, Alden (1837-1872) and George C. (1840-1924). George C. Flint was an avid traveler whose destinations included various parts of the United States, London, Panama, and Mexico. Like his father, George also later engaged in the furniture manufacturing business; Geo. C. Flint & Co. thrived on Hudson and Clarkson Streets in present day Greenwich Village in New York City during the late 1800s until about 1930. Cornelia A. Flint married John G. Secor, who was involved in the dry goods business on Canal Street in New York until his death at the age of 39. Cornelia and John had two children, Cora M. and Mary Lawrence, who married brothers, Thomas and Joseph Blandford Cousins. Mary Lawrence Secor and Joseph Blandford Cousins had a daughter, Cornelia Flint Cousins (b. 1888), who was a member of the Brooklyn Junior League and who married Martin Egan, a writer, correspondent, and employee at J.P. Morgan & Co.


The first 6 folders in this collection are in the original order created by the donor; the arrangement for the remaining contents of this collection was imposed by the archivist.

Scope and Contents

The majority of the printed materials in this collection are correspondences between various members of the Flint, Secor, and Cousins families over the course of four generations. The primary correspondents are George C. Flint, Cornelia A. Flint Secor, John G. Secor, and Mary Lawrence Cousins. Many of George C. Flint's letters describe his travels to Panama, San Francisco, and London, and contain descriptions of the hotels and restaurants where he stayed, as well as detailed accounts of the scenery and markets he experienced while in Panama and Mexico. Other members of the Secor, Flint, and Cousins families traveled around Europe as well.

Other subjects of correspondence include family affairs such as finance, visits, illnesses, and general communicative efforts; as well as weather, theater, and family businesses. One letter to John G. Secor, from his daughter includes a political cartoon clipping of a man's face on a cat's body digging into a fishbowl with a fish inside that says "presidential nomination."

The Civil War related documents in this collection include passes for Cyrus Flint, his wife, two girls, and a "colored girl" to travel from New Orleans to New York. Also included are two letters from John G. Secor's brother, Leonard H. Secor, while he served in the NY 4th Regiment Heavy Artillery during the Civil War. His letters reference General Ulysses S. Grant, the Potomac Army 2nd Corps, as well as some of his general duties. Two military passes for Leonard Secor are also included.

Other document types in this collection include deeds, indentures, marriage and death certificates, receipts, and a bill of sale for a steamer called "Polomska." There are also newspaper clippings, a hand-made valentine, New Jersey Railroad line tickets, and a train schedule for the Long Island Railroad from 1872. Also included in this collection is genealogical information pertaining to the Secor, Flint, and Cousins families.

There are five bound books in this collection, including a diary (1861) that is mostly blank, with an entry regarding Cyrus Flint and his family traveling to New York in 1862 if given permission by General Butler. Cora L. Flint's Bible (1869), adjoined common prayer and hymnal books, a Yale University Class Day program from 1906, and an address book are also included.

The photographs in this collection are primarily portraits, with some images of interiors and exteriors of homes. Subjects are the Flint, Secor, and Cousins families in the late 1800s and early decades of the 1900s. Media include mounted photos, cartes-de-visite, daguerreotypes, tintypes, cabinet cards, cyanotypes, and hand-colored photos. One daguerreotype and one carte-de-visite are in ornate cases.

Conditions Governing Access

Open to researchers without restriction.

Conditions Governing Use

Materials in this collection are in the public domain.

Preferred Citation

Identification of item, date (if known); Secor, Flint, and Cousins families collection, ARC.192, Box and Folder number; Brooklyn Historical Society.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

This collection was donated to the Brooklyn Historical Society in 1992 by Richard P. Wunder.

Separated Materials

Museum accession M1992.22 contains materials separated from this collection, including a leather traveling book case, dance cards, a party favor, and a pair of brass keys. Further details of the items can be found in PastPerfect, BHS's museum objects database, available in the library.

Other Finding Aids

The photographs in the collection can be viewed in PastPerfect, BHS's image database, in the BHS library. Search for object ID V1992.017.

Collection processed by

Robyn R. Hjermstad

About this Guide

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on 2023-12-19 20:13:55 +0000.
Using Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language: English

Processing Information

The collection was processed in February 2011 by Robyn Hjermstad.

The collection combines two accession numbers: 1992.019 (text matter) and V1992.017 (photographs).


Brooklyn Historical Society
Center for Brooklyn History
128 Pierrepont Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201