Our Collection

At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 70,000 items cover five hundred years of American history, from Columbus’s 1493 letter describing the New World to soldiers’ letters from World War II and Vietnam. Explore primary sources, visit exhibitions in person or online, or bring your class on a field trip.

Van Valkenburgh Family [Letters and photographs of the Van Valkenburgh family of New York] [decimalized .01-.37]

High-resolution images are available to schools and libraries via subscription to American History, 1493-1943. Check to see if your school or library already has a subscription. Or click here for more information. You may also order a pdf of the image from us here.

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC00686 Author/Creator: Van Valkenburgh Family Place Written: various places Type: Header Record Date: 1845-1909 Pagination: 37 Items

Correspondence from the Van Valkenburgh family, who lived mostly in upstate New York. Of the five brothers in the family, three joined the Union cause and another joined the Confederates. One member of the family, Frank, became a lawyer in Wisconsin (see GLC06253 for additional materials). Robert was a Union officer and Congressman from New York. The bulk of the collection dates from 1865. Some of the collection's key materials revolve around Gerrit, the brother who lived in Arkansas as an attorney and joined the Confederate cause as a member of Fagan's Arkansas Cavalry (Gerrit lived near an uncle who also seems to have sided with the Confederacy). Gerrit's parents disowned him, but, when he was captured as a prisoner of war, his twin brother Frank got him released.

Order a CopyCitation Guidelines for Online Resources