Collection ID: NPKMC-222-071

Collection context

Summary

Creator:
Enid Mastrianni
Abstract:
The Coffin Family Papers contains bills, promissory notes, receipts, account ledgers, bonds, deeds and other documents relating to the business and personal transactions of Robert Coffin of Dutchess County, NY.
Extent:
0.3 Linear Feet
Language:
English
Preferred citation:

[Description of item, date, location of item in order of series, box number, folder number ], in the Coffin Family Documents, Archives and Special Collections, James A. Cannavino Library, Marist College.

Background

Scope and Content:

The Coffin Family Papers contains bills, promissory notes, receipts, account ledgers, bonds, deeds and other documents relating to the business and personal transactions of Robert Coffin of Dutchess County, NY. Certain documents reflect the judgments made by Coffin as Justice of the Peace. The collection also contains many important documents relating to the death of Colonel Tabor Bently, father-in-law to his executor Robert Coffin.

Biographical / Historical:

The Coffin family can trace their line back to Sir Richard Coffin of Devonshire. He was born circa 1280. The first Coffin to come to America was Tristram Coffin, born January 4th, 1628. He was a direct male descendant and was fourteen generations removed from Richard Coffin. Tristram traveled from Devonshire, England to what was then New York (now part of Massachusetts) in 1642. Tristram was among a group of 9 men who bought the island of Nantucket from the Native Americans in 1659 for 30 pounds and 2 beaver hats.

Abishai Coffin, a fourth generation descendent from Tristram, moved from the family seat in Nantucket and settled in the Hudson Valley as the American Revolution loomed. One of Abishai's sons was Robert Coffin who represented Dutchess County in the New York State Assembly in 1832 and who is the focus of this collection. Robert was born in 1778. He served his county in the capacity of Justice of the Peace and was reportedly a very able and amiable man. He married Magdalene Bently, daughter of Colonel Tabor Bently and left ten children when he died in 1842 at the age of 64.

The Coffin family is currently spread across the whole of the United States. They figure in politics as well as many other notable facets of American life. Prominent Coffins include Levi Coffin, who was known as the “president” of the Underground Railroad, Lucretia Coffin Mott, a moral reform activist, suffragette and teacher of Daniel Anthony, father of Susan B. Anthony and Professor James Henry Coffin, who made contributions in the fields of astronomy, meteorology and geometry. Dramatist “Tennessee” Williams was the grandson of Isabel Coffin, writer O. Henry has ties to the family and prolific character actor and namesake of the Coffin progenitor, Tristram “Tris” Coffin appeared in countless roles in early television shows from Superman and The Lone Ranger to I Love Lucy and The Beverly Hillbillies. The Coffins, noted Quakers, were avid abolitionists and equal rights activists. The numerous descendents of Tristram Coffin were very successful. In the year 1828 alone, 26 of them graduated from New England universities, 15 of those from Harvard. Though many Coffins still live in Nantucket, a large branch of the family is settled in North Carolina and, thanks to Levi Coffin, another branch exists in Indiana. Many of the Coffin line also reside on the West Coast.

Acquisition information:
The Coffin Family Papers was donated to the Marist College Archives and Special Collections by Enid Mastrianni of Glens Falls, NY, who purchased the documents privately.
Arrangement:

Collection is arranged into one series with materials being roughly chronological. Each folder is seperated loosly by subject or document type.

Rules or conventions:
DACS Describing Archives: A Content Standard. Chicago: Society of American Archivists, 2013.

Online content

Access

RESTRICTIONS:

There are no restrictions on the collection

TERMS OF ACCESS:

Individuals requesting reproductions expressly assume the responsibility for compliance with all pertinent provisions of the Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. ss101 et seq. Patrons further agree to indemnify and hold harmless the Marist College Archives and Special Collections and its staff in connection with any disputes arising from the Copyright Act, over the reproduction of material at the request of patrons. For more information please visit the following website: http://www.loc.gov/copyright/title17/.

PREFERRED CITATION:

[Description of item, date, location of item in order of series, box number, folder number ], in the Coffin Family Documents, Archives and Special Collections, James A. Cannavino Library, Marist College.

LOCATION OF THIS COLLECTION:
3399 North Road
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601, United States
CONTACT:
845-575-3364
library.archives@marist.edu