Archives Documents, Manuscripts, Maps, & Photographs
Manuscript Group 785, Kinney Family (Newark, NJ)
Papers, 1783-1900 (Bulk dates: 1850-1900) 6 linear feet / 11 manuscript boxes and 1 oversize volume
Call Number: MG 785 + box and folder number
Letters, documents, notebooks, and diaries of William Burnet Kinney (1799-1880) - a Newark lawyer and publisher of the Newark Daily Advertiser who served from 1850-1853 as chargé d'affaires to the court of Sardinia at Turin, Italy. His wife, Elizabeth Clementine Stedman Kinney (1810-1889), a poet and essayist, is represented in this collection by correspondence and verse. Also included are papers of William Burnet Kinney's son Thomas Talmadge Kinney (1821-1900), who succeeded his father as editor and manager of the Newark Daily Advertiser, and William Burnet Kinney's mother Hannah Burnet Kinney (1761-1832), whose casebook, kept as an officer of the Newark Female Charitable Society, is found in the Kinney Family Papers. There are letters and signed documents of:
Gift of Mrs. William Burnet Kinney, 1971.
The records of the Kinney Family collection date from 1783 to 1900, and total 6.0 linear feet. The collection was processed as part of the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) grant project (1997-1998) to process, describe and catalog the New Jersey Historical Society’s health care and social welfare-related manuscript collections. The finding aid was revised in 2000 as part of a second NHPRC grant to process the earlier manuscript collections of the New Jersey Historical Society.
The Kinney Family collection contains the papers of three generations of this prominent New Jersey family. The first generation reflected in the documents includes Hannah Burnet Kinney (1761-1832) and her husband, Colonel Abraham Kinney (1762-1816); the second generation, their two sons, Thomas T. Kinney (1785-1826) and William B. Kinney (1799-1880) and his second wife, Elizabeth Clementine Dodge Stedman Kinney (1810-1889); and the third generation, William B. Kinney’s son, Thomas T. Kinney (1821-1900).
Hannah Burnet Kinney, 1761-1832
Hannah Burnet Kinney was born in Newark, New Jersey on May 24, 1761, to Mary Comp Burnet (1731-1781) and Dr. William Burnet (1730-1791), a prominent New Jersey physician, scientist, soldier and member of the Continental Congress. In 1784, she married Colonel Abraham Kinney and lived in Newark with their sons, Thomas T. and William B. Kinney.
In 1803, She became one of the original subscribers of "The Female Society for the Relief of Poor and Distressed Persons in the Village of Newark," also known as the Newark Female Charitable Society, and soon became the manager of one of its six districts. In this capacity she worked until 1816 when, after the death of her husband, she moved to her brother’s home in Cincinnati. From 1816-1823, she worked with the Female Charitable Society of Cincinnati, and after her return to Newark in 1824, renewed her work with the charitable society there. Hannah Burney Kinney died in 1832.
Colonel Abraham Kinney, 1762-1816
Hannah Burnet’s husband, Abraham Kinney was born in Speedwell, Morris County, New Jersey on August 16, 1762 to Elizabeth and Sir Thomas Kinney (d.1793), an English Baronet. Like his father, Abraham Kinney was a patriot during the Revolution, serving as an ensign of the Third Regiment of the Pennsylvania Continental Line and, in 1782, as a lieutenant of the Second Regiment of Continental Dragoons. During the War of 1812, he was a lieutenant colonel of the Morris and Essex Cavalry stationed in Sandy Hook, New Jersey. A landowner with extensive property in Morris County, he married Hannah Burnet and resided in Newark until his death in 1816.
Thomas Talmadge Kinney, 1785-1826
The eldest son of Abraham and Hannah Kinney, Thomas T. Kinney was born in Speedwell, New Jersey on January 28, 1785. He was educated as a lawyer and served as surrogate of Essex County, as aide-de-camp to Governor William S. Pennington in 1814, and as a member of the New Jersey Assembly in 1817. He married Maria Webb (d. 1880) in 1809; they had no children. Mr. Kinney died in New York City on January 6, 1826.
William Burnet Kinney, 1799-1880
The second child of Abraham and Hannah Kinney, William Burnet Kinney was born in Speedwell, New Jersey on September 4, 1799. Initially, William entered the United States Military Academy at West Point, however, soon after his admission, his father died and his mother withdrew him. He next studied law with his brother and later with his cousin, Joseph C. Hornblower. He was more interested in literary endeavors however, and in 1820, he became editor of the New Jersey Eagle, a weekly Newark paper. He stayed in this position until 1825 when he left for New York City. In New York, he worked with Harper & Brothers Publishers and participated in founding the New York Mercantile Library, where he served as a librarian. In 1833, he returned to Newark and became a manager of the Newark Daily Advertiser, which was the first and, at that time, only daily paper in New Jersey. As its major stockholder, he merged the paper with the Sentinel of Freedom, which he was also publishing.
William Burnet Kinney was an active member of the Whig party. In 1843, he was defeated as Whig candidate for Congress, but the following year represented the party as New Jersey’s delegate-at-large. In 1850, he was appointed Unites States representative at the court of Sardinia in Turin, Italy. He served under President Zachary Taylor as chargé d’affaires in Turin for three years, from April 22, 1850 to October 8, 1853, and advised the Sardinian government on the transition to a Republican system. He worked in close contact with Count Camillo Benso Cavour, Secretary of State Daniel Webster, and British Ambassador Sir Ralph Abercrombie. After his term ended, Kinney stayed in Italy for another decade, settling with his family in Florence. He returned to Newark in 1865 and died there in 1880.
In 1820, William B. Kinney married Mary Chandler the daughter of Jemima Winans and Finley Chandler (d.1772) of Elizabeth, New Jersey. From this marriage he had two children: Thomas Talmadge Kinney (1821-1900) and William Burnet, Jr. (1824-1825). After Mary’s death in January of 1841, he married Elizabeth Clementine Dodge Stedman in November of that same year. By this second marriage, he had two daughters: Elizabeth Clementine Kinney (Kip) and Mary Burnet Kinney (Easton).
Elizabeth Clementine Dodge Stedman Kinney, 1810-1889
A poet and essayist from New York City, Elizabeth Clementine Dodge Stedman Kinney was the daughter of Sarah (Cleveland) Dodge and David Low Dodge, a prominent New York merchant. Her maternal grandfather was the colonial poet Aaron Cleveland. Elizabeth Clementine Dodge married Edmund Burke Stedman in 1830 and was the mother of Edmund Clarence Stedman, the poet and scholar. She lived in Hartford, Connecticut until her husband’s death in 1835. She became the second wife of William B. Kinney (1799-1880) in 1841, when he was editor of the Newark Daily Advertiser. They had two daughters.
Elizabeth Stedman Kinney contributed poems and articles to numerous magazines, and, after her marriage, many of her essays and critiques appeared in the Newark Daily Advertiser. While she and her husband were stationed in Turin and Florence, Italy from 1850-1865, she continued to write and publish: Poems (1867) and Bianca Cappello (1873). The Kinney’s were popular in social and literary circles that included the Brownings, the Tennysons, the Trollopes, and Hiram Powers, the American sculptor.
Thomas Talmadge Kinney, 1821-1900
Thomas T. Kinney, the eldest son of William B. Kinney and his first wife, Mary (Chandler) Kinney, graduated from Princeton University in 1841. Kinney studied law with Joseph P. Bradley and was admitted to the bar in 1844. When his father retired from the Newark Daily Advertiser in 1851, Thomas Kinney took over as editor and manager of the paper. He managed the Newark Daily Advertiser until his own retirement in 1895. Thomas T. Kinney was also active in other areas. He was a founder of the Newark Board of Trade and a delegate to the convention that organized the national board; an organizer and president of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals; a trustee and manager of the Asylum for Handicapped Deaf-Dumb Children; president of the Board of Agriculture (1878-1882); president of the Fidelity Title and Guarantee Company of Newark; one of the oldest stockholders in the Morris and Essex Railroad; and a board member of the National State Bank of Newark, the Newark City Ice Company, the Stephens & Condit Transportation Company, and the Newark Electric Light and Power Company.
In 1863, Thomas T. Kinney married Estelle Condit, a daughter of Joel W. and Margaret (Harrison) Condit, with whom he had five children: Mary Clementine (b. Aug. 12, 1864), Margaret Condit (b. Oct. 28, 1865), Estelle Burnet (b. July 9, 1868), William Burnet Kinney, Jr. (b. April 29, 1871) and Thomas Talmadge Kinney, Jr. (b. Oct. 24, 1872).
The Kinney Family collection was donated to the New Jersey Historical Society in 1971 by Mrs. William B. Kinney, II of Red Bank, New Jersey. The acquisition included oil portraits and a photograph of some family members, as well as objects such as the diplomatic corps uniform of William B. Kinney (1799-1880). At the time of the donation, these non-manuscript items were transferred to the museum collection.
The collection consists of the personal papers of three generations of the Kinney Family of Newark, New Jersey. The personal and business correspondence, casebooks, legal papers, diaries, speeches, essays, poems, financial records, consular papers, miscellaneous materials, and newspapers clippings date from 1783-1900. The bulk of the collection pertains to the latter half of the nineteenth century, ca. 1850-1900.
The documents of the collection cover a wide variety of subjects from domestic life and health, to charity work in Newark at the turn of the nineteenth century, to the problems and details of the publishing business in which men of the family were closely involved. As the founders, publishers and editors of the Newark Daily Advertiser for well over half a century (1835-1900), William B. Kinney and his son, Thomas T. Kinney, influenced popular opinion and followed the course of local and international historic events as journalists, civic leaders and politicians. Their papers represent the largest part of the Kinney Family collection, which includes business and editorial correspondence regarding the Newark Daily Advertiser; official diplomatic papers of William B. Kinney during his term as chargé d’affaires to the court of Sardinia in Turin, Italy; and speeches and writings of Thomas T. Kinney as a business leader in prominent organizations and as an activist in welfare reform and social policy. The collection thus reflects in a broad sense the social, economic, and political aspects of society in Newark, in New Jersey, and in Europe in the nineteenth century.
Those documents created by Hannah B. Kinney are an important source for the study of social welfare in the nineteenth century. Kept by a founding officer of the Newark Female Charitable Society, her casebooks shed light on the first 25 years of the organization and on the welfare and social conditions of Newark at that time. Kinney recorded sixty-one cases, including such details as race and gender of the recipients, the number of children, living arrangements, state of health, as well as the type of assistance provided: kinds and amounts of food, medication, cash allotments, and dates and names of major contributors.
Also included in the collection are the poems, notebooks and correspondence of Elizabeth Clementine Dodge Stedman Kinney, a published poet, essayist and, a member of a European literary circle in the 1850s. These papers include copies of her published poems, and some handwritten poems, as well as a notebook reflecting her involvement with a Newark opera club.
The Kinney Family Collection is organized into three generations, and further divided by individual family members. The papers of each family member are arranged in roughly chronological order.
The First Generation:
Hannah Burnet Kinney (1761-1832). Papers, 1797-1827, n.d.
Consists of .5 linear feet of casebooks, family papers, and correspondence that document her work as a manager of the Newark Female Charitable Society and her life as a mother and wife. The documents of this series are organized into three series:
Series I. Correspondence, 1797-1817.
Consists of three folders of letters to and from family members and friends, such as her son Thomas Kinney, Isaac Burnet, Rebecca Burnet, Joseph C. Hornblower, Cornelia C. Kipham, and Daniel Thew.
Series II. Business records, 1803-1826.
Consists of two Newark Female Charitable Society casebooks.
Series III. Literary productions, 1801-1825, n.d.
Consists of seven folders of notebooks with essays on religious subjects, attributed to Hannah Kinney, as well as her notes.
Colonel Abraham Kinney (1762-1816). Papers, 1799-1807.
Consists of two folders of letters from his son, Thomas, as well as letters from other family members and friends.
The Second Generation:
Thomas Talmadge Kinney (1785-1826). Papers, 1800-1820.
Consists of five folders of correspondence and writings that reflect matters of daily living and self-education. Arranged in two series.
Series I. Correspondence, 1800-1820.
Consists of two folders of letters of family member and friends regarding mostly family matters.
Series II. Literary productions, 1807-1813.
Consists of two notebooks of "Questions and answers made while reading the commentaries of ‘Blackstone’" and an oration delivered by Thomas T. Kinney at the Episcopal Church in Newark on June 24, 1813.
William Burnet Kinney (1799-1880). Papers, 1765-ca. 1880.
Consists of two linear feet of correspondence, financial documents, literary works, and miscellaneous papers that document Kinney’s roles as the publisher of the Newark Daily Advertiser, a civic leader, and a diplomat. Arranged in four series.
Series I. Correspondence, 1813-1876.
This series is divided into two sub-series:
Sub-Series I. Personal correspondence, 1813-1876.
Consists of nine folders of letters from family members and friends. There is a significant number of letters from his mother, Hannah B. Kinney, mostly on family matters with strong moralistic and religious undertones.
Sub-Series II. Official correspondence, 1850-1853.
Consists of twelve folders of letters sent and received by William B. Kinney while in Italy as chargé d’affaires to the court of Sardinia in Turin, Italy (1850-1853). There is a considerable amount of correspondence between Mr. Kinney and Secretary of State Daniel Webster, which reflects the restructuring of the Sardinian government and touches upon domestic problems of Italy at that time. There are a number of letters related to Mr. Kinney’s efforts to secure passage to the United States for Louis Kossuth, a Hungarian patriot, and his family, and letters regarding the criminal case of American citizen Henry Wykoff, and several others. Other correspondents include: Martin Van Buren, John M. Clayton, Horace Greeley, Philip Kearny, Theodore Frelinghuysen, Dorothea L. Dix, Frances Trollope and European monarchs such as Count Camillo Benso Cavour and Countess Oldofredi. Correspondence concerns the American fleets in the Mediterranean, legal difficulties of American seamen, customs disputes, legal aid for American citizens, refugees, the Universal Exposition in New York, and the death of Daniel Webster.
Series II. Financial documents, 1850-1880.
Consists of ten folders of various receipts, two account books, and bank records. Documents the personal expenses of William B. Kinney both in Europe and the United States.
Series III. Literary productions, 1825-1831.
Consists of three commonplace books containing mostly thoughts on books read.
Series IV. Miscellaneous, 1765-ca. 1880.
Consists of a variety of printed material, including items regarding the Stamp Act and the Green Bay and Lake Pepin Railway Company, calling cards, and notebooks of uncertain origin. Contained in six folders.
Mary Chandler Kinney (1803-1841). Papers, 1828, 1831, n.d.
Consists of one folder of correspondence primarily from William B. Kinney recounting his travels through Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Ohio and New York
Elizabeth Clementine Dodge Stedman Kinney (1810-1889). Papers, 1839-ca. 1880.
Consists of four folders of correspondence, literary productions, and miscellaneous papers. Arranged in three series.
Series I. Correspondence, 1839-1880.
Consists of two folders of letters sent and received, which deal with the events of Mr. and Mrs. Kinney’s social life.
Series II. Literary productions, 1851.
Consists of one folder with numerous love poems by Mrs. Kinney.
Series III. Miscellaneous, 1839-1840.
Consists of one folder of newspaper clippings of published poems by Elizabeth Kinney and of opera club lists.
The Third Generation:
Thomas Talmadge Kinney (1821-1900). Papers, 1839-1853.
Consists of 1.5 linear feet of correspondence, official documents, literary productions, financial documents, and miscellaneous papers reflecting Thomas T. Kinney’s personal and family interests and his role as a leader in the Newark community. Arranged in five series.
Series I. Correspondence, 1839-1887.
Consists of eight folders of letters from family members and friends. There are a significant number of letters written by William B. Kinney that deal with family matters, health issues, social events in Newark, as well as national political news.
Series II. Official documents, 1851.
Consists of one folder containing the passport of Thomas T. Kinney.
Series III. Literary productions, 1839-1846.
Consists of six folders of diaries from the years 1842-1846, speeches, essays, and Valentine poems. These documents touch on issues of education, family matters and the social life of Newark’s young upper class.
Series IV. Financial documents, 1851-1884.
Consists of two folders of general receipts reflecting the personal expenses of Thomas T. Kinney in the United States during his travels in Europe.
Series V. Miscellaneous, 1828-1899.
Consists of six folders and one oversized volume. Contains business advertising, offers, and invitations, newspaper clippings, printed materials (including a list of the private art collection of Thomas T. Kinney), and a testimonial to Thomas T. Kinney from Fidelity Trust Company.
Estelle Condit Kinney. Papers, 1897-1900.
Consists of one folder of correspondence from the years 1897-1900.
Elizabeth Clementine Kinney (Kip). Papers, 1874.
Consists of one folder of correspondence.
Unidentified Kinney Family Members. Papers, 1783-1900
Consists of 1.5 linear feet of literary productions, correspondence, legal documents, financial documents, miscellaneous, and newspaper clippings reflecting a variety of subjects such as: waterways and fishing rights in colonial New Jersey, land ownership, Kinney Family history, the history of printing in New Jersey, family expenses, and newspaper distribution in New Jersey in the 1880s.
Series I. Literary productions, 1831-ca. 1850.
Contains a commonplace book (1831), a daily mail book, a directory of names, essays, a draft of an article on the 1844 presidential election, articles on the history of printing in New Jersey, and unidentified notes. Contained in ten folders.
Series II. Correspondence, 1831-1850.
Consists of one folder of the correspondence of unidentified family members.
Series III. Legal documents, 1783-1850.
Contains one folder of legal documents including estate papers of Major Ichabod Burnet; copies of land tract records from Newark (1728-1797); a copy of a contract between East New Jersey and Carteret regarding waterways and fishing rights (1681-1733); and a map of beach properties (n.d.).
Series IV. Financial documents, 1883-1900.
Contains two account books from the years 1883-1900.
Series V. Miscellaneous, 1883-1887.
Contains four folders of name cards, bills, receipts, and printed materials.
Series VI. Newspaper clippings, 1840-1900.
Contains twelve folders of newspaper clippings on a variety of domestic and foreign political topics. Two folders contain clippings regarding William B. Kinney’s travels in Europe
Manuscript Group 21, Sanford B. Hunt (1825-1884) Papers: Hunt was editor of the Newark Daily Advertiser
Manuscript Group 129, William Leddel (1747-1827) Papers: Contains documents regarding Abraham Kinney's court martial for insubordination
Processed by Kim Seltzer, December 1997
Revised by Irina Peris, May 2000 as part of the "Farm to City" project funded by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.
The New Jersey Historical Society