Series III. Legal, Taxes, Insurance, 1817, 1824-1889
Scope and Contents note
This series contains a variety of legal documents, forms and maps including: contracts, wills, titles, indentures, deeds, trial transcripts, depositions, powers of attorney, tax and insurance forms, maps and surveys. The material is arranged by subject and then chronologically within folders. Some of the earliest material in this series relates to the Estate of Jesse Leverich (probably Col. Edward Leverich's brother), Newtown, New York and dates from the 1820's to the 1840's. These documents detail the estate's finances and land holdings. There is also some genealogical information contained in this material.
The "General" folder includes legal documents from Leverich and non-Leverich Family members. Notable non-Leverich Family members include the Porter, Gustine, and Schuchardt families. The materials in the "General" folder span the years 1830-1889, with a single item dating from 1817. These documents consist of power of attorney forms, contracts, wills, articles of association, articles of incorporation, and other legal materials. Of special interest is the last will and testament of James Porter, 1848, owner of the Oak Lawn Plantation. Included in this folder is an "Abstract of Title to the Homestead of Late Henry S. Leverich at Newtown, Queens County, Long Island," ca. 1885. There are also arbitration documents from the 1860's and 1870's for the New York Cotton Exchange.
Much of the legal material relating to the Oak Lawn Plantation dates from the 1870's and 1880's and deals with two lawsuits involving Annie F. Leverich. Following the death of her husband Edward Leverich in 1886, Annie Leverich became involved in legal suits with the Burdon Central Sugar Refinery. At issue was Annie Leverich's contractual obligation to provide the refinery with Oak Lawn's crops from the years 1886 to 1889. The first case, Henry J. Davison v. Mrs. Annie F. Leverich, 1887, alleges Annie's failure to meet the requirements of the contract. In 1888, Annie Leverich countersues Mr. Davison's company, The Burdon Central Sugar Refinery, for negligence in the handling of the sugar cane that she had supplied to them in 1886. The trial transcripts, depositions, and notes of Annie Leverich and her confidante George Payne, provide insight into the management of the plantation in the years following the Civil War and the legal status of women as property owners at that time.
Other items of note relating to Oak Lawn include announcements advertising the sale of the plantation in 1888; inventories of the contents of the house; and promissory notes related to tenants and the hiring of workers. Among the Oak Lawn material can be found maps and drawings of the Oak Lawn and Dogberry plantations and their surrounding areas. The drawings include layout of crops.
Taxation materials also make up a part of this series, these include property and utility tax documents, 1838-1886 non-inclusive, the bulk of which are for properties in New York; business permits from the U.S. Internal Revenue Collectors Office, 1863-1868; and customs forms, 1835-1838.
Materials relating to insurance and insurance policies, 1854-1875, can also be found in this series. Insurance materials include a register, 1866-1875, and record books for the Atlantic Mutual Insurance Company, 1854-1876; Long Island Insurance Co., 1865-1874; Niagara Fire Insurance Company; United States Fire Insurance Company, 1866; and the American Fire Insurance Co., 1865-1866.
Maps and surveys of the Newtown, New York area can be found in a separate folder in the series.