Throop Family Papers. 1826-1942 (bulk 1836-1860).

Summary Information

New York State Historical Association – Research Library
Throop Family Papers
Coll. No. 333
1826-1942 (bulk 1836-1860)
0.5 Cubic feet + 2 volumes
Funding Source
This finding aid was made available electronically through a Regional Bibliographic Data Bases (RBDB) grant from the South Central Regional Library Council, Ithaca, N.Y.

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Biographical/Historical note

Deborah Goldsmith was born on August 14, 1808, in Brookfield, New York. Her parents were Richard and Ruth (Miner) Goldsmith, originally from Guilford, Connecticut. Deborah Goldsmith’s sister, Lucretia, was married to Sanford Boon. As a naive or itinerant artist, Deborah travelled from Brookfield to Hamilton (where she met her husband), Lebanon, Toddsville, Hartwick, and Cooperstown to paint portraits. George Addison Throop and Deborah Goldsmith had a long-distance courtship through letters.

Deborah Goldsmith married George Addison Throop on December 27, 1832, in Hamilton, New York. Deborah (Goldsmith) and George Throop had two children: Cordelia on November 17, 1833, and James Addison on December 7, 1835. Deborah Goldsmith Throop died on March 16, 1836, and is buried in Cole Hill Cemetery outside Hubbardsville, New York. George Throop died on September 17, 1849.

George Addison Throop was born in 1810. His parents were Dan Throop and Sarah Stanton Mason Throop Waite. The Throop family were strong Universalists and lived in Hamilton, New York. George A. Throop was one of seven children. His youngest brother was Dan Dewitt Clinton Throop (1819-1888).

Cordelia married William Ramey Cole in 1856 and had five children. Her youngest child was Olive Cole (b. October 21, 1869), who wrote
Ancestral Charts. Olive Cole married Elbert E. Smith in 1896. Their son, Daniel Throop Smith (b. November 20, 1907), married Martha Vaughn in 1935. James Addison Throop married Rowena Beebe on April 7, 1858. They had three children.

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Scope and Content Note

Though the collection is named the Throop Family Papers, its main significance is the connection to the itinerant artist, Deborah Goldsmith, who married into the Throop family. The Throop Family Papers contain two of Deborah Goldsmith’s friendship albums (1826-1830). These albums include poems she and her friends chose as well as many sketches, drawings, and watercolors drawn by Deborah before she married. Four of Deborah’s reading books are also in the collection.

There are letters between Deborah Goldsmith Throop’s parents (Ruth and Richard Goldsmith) and her husband, George A. Throop, around the time of her illness and death (before she turned 28). Most of the letters are either between George Throop and his brother, Dan Dewitt Throop, or between George and Deborah’s children, Cordelia and James Addison Throop. They remained in the Hamilton, New York area.

The friendship albums date from 1826 to 1830, written when Deborah was between eighteen and twenty-two years old. The remaining correspondence dates from 1836 to 1942. The bulk of the material is dated between 1836 and 1860.

Other resources at the NYSHA Library include a thesis about Deborah Goldsmith and a genealogy book about the Throop family. Sandra Shaffer’s thesis (Cooperstown Graduate Program, State University College at Oneonta, New York State Historical Association) was written in 1968 and entitled,
Deborah Goldsmith 1808-1836: A Naive Artist in Upstate New York. The genealogy book (call number 929.2 / T531) is entitled,
Ancestral Charts of George Addison Throop and Deborah Goldsmith, by Olive Cole Smith (a descendant/family member) in 1934.

There are four watercolors by Deborah Goldsmith in the New York State Historical Association Collection — “Flower Spray,” 5.5 x 5 inches, N-5.69; “Lady and Gentleman,” ca. 1832, 6 x 5 inches each, N-326.61(a,b); “Portrait of Permilla Forbes,” ca. 1832, 5 x 5 inches, N-103.68.

Supporting files are at Iroquois Storage, including information about the paintings. Additional information includes correspondence with Mrs. Dan Throop Smith (Martha V. Smith, donor) and a copy of the
Antiques article by Jean Lipman (November 1943, pages 227-229) about Deborah Goldsmith. A print of another Goldsmith painting (“Talcott Family”) owned by Abby Aldrich Rockefeller is also in the files (illustrated in,
At Home: The American Family 1750-1870, by Elizabeth Donaghy Garrett).

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Arrangement note

All of this collection is housed in one box (333.1) except for the friendship albums, which are housed together as 333.v1.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

New York State Historical Association – Research Library

Special Collections
P.O. Box 800, 5798 State Highway 80
Cooperstown, NY 13326
(607) 547-1470


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Accession Numbers

NM-26.87, NM-27.87, NM-17.88

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Collection Inventory

Series 1 – Friendship Albums

333.v1(1) — Deborah Goldsmith Album. “No 1.” 1826-1830.
333.v1(2) — “Presented to Deborah Goldsmith by Sanford Boon [her brother-in-law] Brookfield, October 19, 1829.” Entries continue through 1831. Book was manufactured by Hastings & Tracy, Utica. 1829-1831.

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Series 2 – Books

Brooks, Thomas.
An Ark for all God’s Noah’s in a Gloomy Stormy Day; or The Best Wine Reserved Till Last; or The Transcendent Excellency of a Believer’s Portion Above All Earthly Portions Whatsoever. Philadelphia: Jonathan Pounder, 1811. Inscription – “The Property of Ruth Goldsmith” (Deborah’s mother).
Hall, J.E.
The Philadelphia Souvenir: A Collection of Fugitive Pieces from the Philadelphia Press with Biographical & Explanatory Notes. Philadelphia: Harrison Hull, 1826. Inscription – “Deborah Goldsmith’s book, 1828.”
Murray, Lindley.
The English Reader; or Pieces in Prose and Poetry, Selected from the Best Writers. Hamilton, New York: Williams, Orton, & Co., 1831. Inscriptions – “GA Throop’s book, Hamilton, October,” “Cordelia Throop.”
Scott, Walter, Esq.
The Lady of the Lake: A Poem. New York: Solomon King, 1827.

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Series 3 – Photographic Prints

Photograph of trunk containing letters and sketches; written on back: “The old Traveling bag in which Olive Cole Smith granddaughter of Deborah Goldsmith (Throop) found many of the letters from and to relations in Preston, Hamilton and Norwich. MVS 1988.”
Black and white photographic prints (22) made from nitrate negatives.

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Series 4 – Correspondence and Other Manuscripts

333.1/1 — Letters (2) about Deborah’s illness; one from Ruth and Richard Goldsmith; one from George Throop. 1836.
333.1/2 — Expense book (expenses paid in Norwich, Preston, Randolph, Waterboro by G.A. and Wm. Throop). William is George’s older brother. 1839.
333.1/3 — Letters (6) from GA (George Addison Throop) to D. Dewitt Throop (his younger brother). 1837-1839.
333.1/4 — Letters (2) from Dewitt to George A. Throop. 1844.
333.1/5 — Letters (13) from George A. to Dewitt. 1841-1847.
333.1/6 — Letters (3) from George A. to his mother (Sarah Waite). 1847.
333.1/7 — Letters (3) from Cordelia to her brother, James A.; one letter from Cordelia to her father; calling card and writing sample of Cordelia’s. 1844-1849.
333.1/8 — Writings (26) from Cordelia while at Hamilton Academy; 1852 and 1855 teaching agreements; tuition bill for N. Illinois Institute. 1850-1852.
333.1/9 — Letters (19) from Cordelia to James A. 1850-1858.
333.1/10 — Letter from James A. to Cordelia; 1854 letter to James A. from [?]. 1850, 1855.
333.1/11 — Letter from Richard Coleman (brother of William) to Rev. W.R. (William) Cole (Cordelia’s husband). 1866.
333.1/12 — Letter from Cordelia to Olive Cole. 1899.
333.1/13 — Letter (typed) to Olive Cole Smith from National Women’s Christian Temperance Union. 1942.

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