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Conkling family papers

Call Number



circa 1782 to 1798, inclusive


Conkling, David
Conkling, Jacob


0.25 Linear Feet in seven folders in one manuscript box

Language of Materials

Materials are in English.


The collection includes documents principally related to members of the Conkling family of Southold, Suffolk County, Long Island (N.Y.). Among these are three day books of merchant David Conkling (1784-1785); a ledger of an unknown person for transactions in farm labor and goods (1791-1798); a journal of Jacob Conkling for a journey through northern New Jersey and into the forests beyond the Delaware Water Gap; correspondence to David from Jacob and from David to Capt. David Landon (both Jacob and Landon at Guilford, Connecticut) concerning health, business matters, and damages incurred during the British occupation of Long Island during the American Revolution (circa 1782-1784); and a Brooklyn to New York ferry pass (1782).

Biographical / Historical

Members of the extended Conkling family could be found on Long Island dating from the 1600s. Little seems to be known about brothers David and Jacob Conkling, the principals in this collection. It seems clear that David was a merchant at Southold, Suffolk County (N.Y.), Long Island. Siding with the rebels during the American Revolution, Conkling spent time in prison during the war. He died in 1787. Judging from the correspondence in the collection written from Guilford, Connecticut, Jacob was a "refugee" from the British occupation of Long Island.


The account books and journal appear first, followed by correspondence and the ferry pass.

Scope and Contents

The collection includes various documents, principally related to members of the Conkling family of Long Island. Among these are four account books. Two are daybooks of David Conkling of Southold, Suffolk County (N.Y.), with entries from 1784-1785. A third daybook includes the period July-September 1784, which overlaps in part one of the other books, and indicates that it is an account of goods sold for David Conkling. A fourth "book of accounts" is a ledger maintained by an unknown person; it is not David Conkling because the entries (1791-1798) occur after his death and concern charges for farm labor and goods, rather than the sundries found in Conkling's accounts.

The collection also includes letters from Jacob Conkling writing from Guilford, Connecticut, to his brother, David, mainly concerning family health (circa 1782) and a letter from David Conkling to Captain David Landon at Guilford concerning business matters and news of the war's damages (circa 1782). An undated journal describes Jacob's travels through northern New Jersey and into the forests of either Pennsylvania or New York beyond the Delaware Water Gap. There is a pass to take the Brooklyn ferry to and from New York, issued by the Office of Police of Jamaica in 1782 to one David Concklin.

Conditions Governing Access

Open to researchers without restriction.

Conditions Governing Use

The material is in the public domain.

Preferred Citation

Identification of item, date (if known); Conkling family papers, ARC.284, Box and Folder number; Brooklyn Historical Society.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession 1974.073 (the account books) was donated to the Long Island Historical Society (now Brooklyn Historical Society) by the sons of Rev. Jonathan Huntting of Southold, L.I. The source of the other material is unknown.

Related Materials

At Brooklyn Historical Society

Extensive documentation concerning the estate of David Conkling can be found in the Landon family papers (call number 1977.025).

Outside of Brooklyn Historical Society

The Southold Historical Society holds an assignment of loyalty (1785) concerning both David Conkling and his father, John. The item can be viewed on-line at, or at the Society.

The Oysterponds Historical Society holds a collection of logbooks, which include an expense record book of the sloop Seaflower on voyages to Philadelphia and New York City kept by David Conkling (1785).

Collection processed by

Larry Weimer

About this Guide

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on 2023-08-21 11:17:17 +0000.
Using Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language: Finding aid is written in English.

Processing Information

The collection was processed in February 2012 by Larry Weimer. The collection combines three accessions: 1974.073, 1974.142, and 1977.653.


Brooklyn Historical Society


Box: A0044 (Material Type: Text)
Center for Brooklyn History
128 Pierrepont Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201