Alexander Hooker Papers

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Alexander Hooker papers
Creator: Hooker, Alexander, 1789-1849
Call Number: D.344
Dates: 1804-1903
Physical Description: 3 boxes
Language(s): Materials are in English
Repository: Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation, River Campus Libraries, University of Rochester

Table of Contents:

Biographical/Historical Note
Scope and Content
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Content List
Collection Overview
Title: Alexander Hooker papers
Creator: Hooker, Alexander, 1789-1849
Call Number: D.344
Dates: 1804-1903
Physical Description: 3 boxes
Language(s): Materials are in English
Repository: Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation, River Campus Libraries, University of Rochester

Biographical/Historical Note
Alexander Hooker was born in 1789 in Windsor, Connecticut. He attended school in Colchester, CT during the years 1804-1808. His sister Dolly married in 1812 and moved to Canandaigua, NY. In 1816 Alexander and his brother Horace visited their sister and stayed to open a general store. The general store lasted three years. In March 1819 the brothers divided the asset and Alexander married Lucy Case of Bristol, NY and remained in the area. He purchased his farm in 1828 from Jesse Tainter for $1,700, along with a 25 year old log cabin which was then located in the Town of Brighton. It was not until 1839 that Brighton was divided and Irondequoit established. His land stretched from what is now Norton Street to beyond Ridge Road and all the way from Portland Avenue to Goodman Street; for all this was known as Hooker Farm. Although the area was covered by some of the most beautiful timber to be found in New York State, it was said the area was over run with wolves, bears, rattlesnakes and swamp fever. This did not deter Alexander and Lucy. There were red and white oak, great stands of white pine and groves of chestnut trees. Millions of board feet of lumber were cut from these forests about the year 1830 when Rochester was doing a great deal of buildings.

In 1831 he and his wife and their family of five children wished to live in a better home. Hooker arranged with the mortgage holder to skip a couple of the yearly payments on the mortgage he had given to cover the additional $1,700 still owed by Tainter when he transferred title to Hooker. The Hookers moved into their handsome new red fieldstone home in 1833 and eventually in 1843 they finished paying their mortgage. Two more daughters were born after they moved into their new home.

Hooker was not only a hardworking farmer but also a land agent for the Boudinot Family of Newark, NJ who owned a considerable amount of land in western New York. He was highly praised for his diligent work as a land agent. Also during those years Rochester was incorporated in 1834, the great flood of 1835 destroyed the wooden span over the Genesee River at Carthage and the Town of Irondequoit came into being in 1839. Alexander Hooker became the first Town Clerk. The year 1841 was one of severe draughts, followed by winter storms that broke all previous records for depth of drifts and length of bad weather. The following winter was even worse with snow bound farmers and the merchants of Rochester complaining about the long stagnation. The settlers had great difficulty paying for their land and speculators soon bought and paid for almost three-quarters of the land north of the ridge. By a Burying Ground Notice of November 2, 1840, Alexander Hooker agreed to make the burying ground on his property public if enough money was raised to enclose it. It is estimated that perhaps as many as a thousand people lie buried in the one and one-half acres of the Hooker burying ground including Seneca Indians, early settlers and the many people who lived in the area until the late 1800's. Only about a third ever had a marker. The early pioneers buried their dead without even a box. They simple chose a spot under a pine or oak tree and with no minister or priest buried their loved ones. Seneca Indians were believed buried on this sandy knoll because an Old Indian Trail from the Seneca Village on Boughton Hill (near Victor) ran to the Indian Landing at the mouth of the Genesee River and passed just to the rear of this burying ground.

In 1849 Alexander Hooker died. He was sixty years old. The circumstances of his death are not known. There was a cholera epidemic in1848 or maybe it was the Genesee Fever. He was buried in the Hooker Cemetery behind the house. Over the years Alexander Hooker had worked hard, developed a good farm and built one of the finest houses in the area. His account book of earnings showed the income and activities of a typical farmer of the times.

Scope and Content
The collection is comprised of three archival boxes, the majority of its contents is correspondence. Personal Correspondence during the years 1804-1823 between Alexander and his mother and siblings are found in Box I. They include letters when he was away at school at Colchester, CT and when Horace and he moved to Canandaigua and opened a general store. Box II contains business correspondence when Alexander was a land agent and handled the affairs of the Boudinot Family. It also includes some of his personal finances. Box III deals mainly with legal documents that describe how his land was divided up. It also includes some correspondence between Alexander and his children.

New York (State)--Monroe County
Land use
Hooker, Alexander, 1789-1849
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The collection was a gift from Mrs. Alling Clements in June 1987.Access
The Alexander Hooker papers is open for research use. Researchers are advised to contact Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation prior to visiting. Upon arrival, researchers will also be asked to fill out a registration form and provide photo identification.Use
Reproductions are made upon request but can be subject to restrictions. Permission to publish materials from the collection must currently be requested. Please note that some materials may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the researcher's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections. For more information contact rarebks@library.rochester.eduCitation
[Item title, item date], Alexander Hooker papers, D.344, Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation, River Campus Libraries, University of Rochester
Administrative Information
Author: Finding aid prepared by Rare Books and Special Collections staff
Publisher: Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation, River Campus Libraries, University of Rochester
Rush Rhees Library
Second Floor, Room 225
Rochester, NY 14627-0055

Content List
Box 1, Folder 1Alexander Hooker: Personal Correspondence, 1804 - 1807
Box 1, Folder 2Alexander Hooker: Personal Correspondence, 1809
Box 1, Folder 3Alexander Hooker: Personal Correspondence, 1810
Box 1, Folder 4Alexander Hooker: Personal Correspondence, 1810 - 1811
Box 1, Folder 5Alexander Hooker: Personal Correspondence, 1811, 1815, 1816, 1818
Box 1, Folder 6Alexander Hooker: Personal Correspondence, 1819 - 1823
Box 1, Folder 7Letters to Mrs. Alexander (Lucy) Hooker from Alexander Hooker, 1844, 1846, 1851
Box 1, Folder 8Horace A. Hooker (brother): Correspondence, 1804 - 1903
Box 2, Folder 1Alexander Hooker: Business Correspondence, 1811, 1813, 1816
Box 2, Folder 2Alexander Hooker: Business Correspondence, 1817
Box 2, Folder 3Alexander Hooker: Business Correspondence, 1818
Box 2, Folder 4Alexander Hooker: Business Correspondence, 1819 - 1820
Box 2, Folder 5Alexander Hooker: Business Correspondence, 1821 - 1825
Box 2, Folder 6Alexander Hooker: Business Correspondence, 1826 - 1828
Box 2, Folder 7Alexander Hooker: Business Correspondence, 1829 - 1830
Box 2, Folder 8Alexander Hooker: Business Correspondence, 1831 - 1834
Box 3, Folder 1Alexander Hooker: Business Correspondence, 1835 - 1845
Box 3, Folder 2Alexander Hooker, n.d.
Box 3, Folder 3Alexander Hooker: Official Documents, 1821 - 1845
Box 3, Folder 4Alexander Hooker: Legal Documents -- Estates, 1804 - 1903
Box 3, Folder 5Alexander Hooker: Correspondence of Children to Each and to Their Mother, 1804 - 1903
Box 3, Folder 6Alexander Hooker, Notes, Speeches, Memorabilia
Box 3, Folder 7Miscellaneous Letters: Poor Condition
Box 3, Folder 8Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, 04/19/1865
Box II

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