Samuel Bayard Papers


Date: 1670-1929 1761-1796 | Size: 0.5 Linear feet, 23 Items


Papers of jurist Samuel Bayard (1767-1840), including a diary from his time in London as American Claims Agent; correspondence with William Bradford (1755-1795), second attorney general of the United States; and a 1778 letter from William Alexander, Lord Stirling, to Governor William Livingston of New Jersey that discusses troop deployment in that state.

Background note

Jurist Samuel Bayard was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on January 11, 1767. He was the fourth son of Revolutionary War veteran Colonel John Bayard and Margaret Hodge Bayard. With the turmoil surrounding the struggle for American independence, Bayard's childhood was spent in motion, moving from Philadelphia, to the family's manor house in Maryland, to a farm on the Schuylkill River.

Despite coming of age in a tumultuous time, Bayard excelled academically, graduating as valedictorian of Princeton College in 1784. At Princeton, he studied law with William Bradford, and upon graduating, became Bradford's partner.

After practicing law for seven years in Philadelphia, Bayard had the privilege to be appointed clerk of the United States Supreme Court in 1791. A further prestigious appointment came later in 1794 after the ratification of the Jay Treaty, when President Washington tapped Bayard as American Commissioner of Claims to represent the United States in the British courts. For four years he appeared before the admiralty courts in London, obtaining over ten million dollars in compensation for American interests.

Bayard returned to the United States in 1798 and resided for several years at New Rochelle, New York, where he was appointed by Governor Jay as presiding judge of the Court of Common Pleas of Westchester County. In 1803 he moved to New York City, and resumed practicing law. During this time, he was active in cultural heritage, and helped establish the New York Historical Society in 1804.

In 1806 he returned to the town of Princeton, New Jersey, where he settled down and involved himself in community and state affairs. He served as treasurer and member of the board of trustees at Princeton College. He represented his fellow citizens in the New Jersey state legislature, and presided as judge of the court of common pleas of Somerset County.

In 1814 he was nominated by the Federalist Party as a candidate for United States Congress, but lost the election.

A man of faith, Bayard acted as delegate to the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church, helped found the Princeton Theological Seminary, and with Elias Boudinot established the American Bible Society and the New Jersey Bible Society.

Bayard married Abigail Martha Pintard on August 14, 1790. Together, they had six children: Lewis Pintard Bayard (1791-1840), Samuel John Bayard (1808-1890), Caroline Smith Bayard Dod (1814-1891), William Marsden Bayard, Maria Bayard, and Susan Bayard.

Bayard's published writings include: "A Funeral Oration, Occasioned by the death of General George Washington (1800); "A Digest of American Cases on the Law of Evidence, intended as Notes to Peake's Compendium" (1810); "Letters on the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper" (1825); and, "An Abstract of the Laws of the United States which relate to the Duties and Authority of Judges of Inferior State Courts and Justices of the Peace" (1834).

Samuel Bayard died in Princeton, New Jersey, on May 12, 1840.

Scope and content

A small collection of correspondence, receipts, and family death notes, the papers of jurist Samuel Bayard (1767-1840), include a diary from his time in London as American Claims Agent; correspondence with William Bradford (1755-1795), second attorney general of the United States; and a 1778 letter from William Alexander, Lord Stirling, to Governor William Livingston of New Jersey that discussed troop deployment in that state.

Digital objects note

This collection contains digital materials that are available in the APS Digital Library. Links to these materials are provided with context in the inventory of this finding aid. A general listing of digital objects may also be found here.

Collection Information


Accession M2008-03. Bill G. Smith, Professor of History at Montana State University, arranged for the donation of the collection in April 2008 by Archie Alexander of Bozeman, Montana.

Preferred citation

Cite as: Samuel Bayard Papers, American Philosophical Society

Processing information

Processed by Michael Miller, November 2016.

Separated material

APS Library also possesses a printed copy of a journal written by Samuel Bayard's wife: The Journal of Martha Pintard Bayard, London, 1794-1797. Call number: B B34d.

Related material

The Historical Society of Pennsylvania houses other letters written by Samuel Bayard to William Bradford; the New York Historical Society has letters from Bayard to Elias Boudinot.

Early American History Note

This collection contains materials which may be of interest to students of Early American History.

Indexing Terms

Family Name(s)

  • Bayard Family


  • Business Records and Accounts
  • Correspondence.
  • Diaries
  • Legal Records

Geographic Name(s)

  • United States -- History -- Revolutionary War, 1775-1783

Personal Name(s)

  • Alexander, William, 1726-1783
  • Bayard, Samuel, 1767-1840
  • Boudinot, Elias, 1740-1821
  • Bradford, William, 1755-1795
  • Livingston, William, 1723-1790


  • Great Britain. High Court of Admiralty
  • Law
  • Treaty of Amity, Commerce, and Navigation, with the United States of America (1794 November 19)

Detailed Inventory

 Samuel Bayard Papers
1670-1929; 1761-1796 0.5 Linear feet 23 items Box 1-2
 Bollen, James, 1629-circa 1683.
Deed for Wiehaken
1670 April 18 2 page(s) Box 1

Fragment. About a parcel of land called Wiehaken. Phillip Carteret is referenced in the document.

 Verlet, Abraham.
Deed of land sold to Nicholas Bayard
1705 December 14 2 page(s) Box 2 (OS)
LH-B-24 OS

Sale of land in Hooboke, New Yorke from Abraham Verlet to Nicholas Bayard. English translation from the original in Dutch. Attested by Peter de Konig and Reijnier van Putten, members of the honorable court of justices for the city.

 Livingston, Robert, 1663-1725.
Letter to Margareta Livingston
1713 October 23 2 page(s) Box 1

In Dutch.

 Carmer, Mary. Le Roux, Gertrude. Stoutenburgh, Ann.
Indenture for land sold to Garret De Graw
1725 December 20 1 page(s) Box 2 (OS)
LH-B-24 OS

Deed of sale of a plot of land on Broadway from Mary Carmer, Ann Stoutenburgh, and Gertrude Le Roux to Garret De Graw. Sealed and delivered in the presence of Robert Crooke and Charles Le Roux.

Bayard Family notes
1746 April 11 4 page(s) Box 2 (OS)

List of births and deaths in the Bayard family, from 1675 to 1746. One page is labeled, "A Copy of the Names of the Ancestors of the Family of Col. John Bayard at New Brunswick."

Deaths of James Bayard and Susanna Bayard
1749 November 30 - 1752 April 13 3 page(s) Box 2 (OS)

Discusses their lives and prays for their souls.

Death of Mary Bayard
1751 September 11 1 page(s) Box 1

Discusses Mary's life and prays for her soul

 Bancker, Evert, 1734-1815.
Receipt to Nicholas Bayard
1765 November 28 1 page(s) Box 1

Receipt for the purchase of sugar.

 Bancker, Evert, 1734-1815.
Receipt to Ph. Livingston
1765 December 2 1 page(s) Box 1

Receipt for aniseed, clove, orange, etc.

 Bancker, Evert, 1734-1815.
Receipt to P.V.B. Livingston
1766 February 27 1 page(s) Box 1

Receipt for nine barrels of sugar.

 Bayard, William, 1729-1804.
Letter to Thomas Seymour
1768 October 29 2 page(s) Box 1

Letter regarding mercantile business.

 Abeel, James, 1733-1825.
Receipt to Stewart Nicoll
1773 November 18 1 page(s) Box 1

Receipt for the purchase of a pipe of Madeira wine.

 et al. Bayard, John Bubenheim, 1738-1807.
Petition on behalf of Edward Y.
1775 December 14 1 page(s) Box 1

Recommends that Edward Y. be appointed as a lieutenant in the battalions. Fragment.

 Alexander, William, 1726-1783.
Letter to William Livingston
1778 October 4 2 page(s) Box 1

Regarding troop deployment in New Jersey. Asks Governor Livingston to order out two classes of the militia. Signed, "Stirling."

 Bradford, William, 1755-1795.
Draft Document from the September Sessions, Bucks County
1782 September 2 page(s) Box 1

Draft document regarding the birth of an unnamed illegitmate (i.e. "bastard") child in Bucks County during the September Sessions. In two pieces. On the reverse of the document is a list of expenses dated December 19, 1782.

 Pintard, John, 1759-1844.
Letter to Elias Boudinot
1795 January 24 1 page(s) Box 1

New York. On family matters.

 Bayard, Samuel, 1767-1840.
Letter to William Bradford
1795 March 31 4 page(s) Box 1

London. On current events in Europe.

 Bayard, Samuel, 1767-1840.
London Diary of Judge Samuel Bayard
1795 May 8 - 1796 December 31 190 page(s) Box 1

Commissioner from the United States to Settle Claims of British and American Subjects after the Revolution. Written while Bayard was in London, settling claims.

 Bradford, William, 1755-1795.
Letter to Samuel Bayard
1795 August 1 3 page(s) Box 1

Philadelphia. Asks Bayard to take the earliest opportunity of procuring from the Plantation Office papers relating to the boundaries of Georgia and West Florida, and Indian claims. Bayard wrote "His last letter to me" on the reverse of the letter.

 Boudinot, Rachel Bradford, 1764-1805.
Letter to Samuel Bayard
1795 November 26 3 page(s) Box 2 (OS)

Rose Hill, [Philadelphia]. References the loss of her brother, [William Bradford], and thanks Bayard for his kind letter. Discusses Robert Morris, Benjamin Franklin Bache, Susanna Bradford, and Elias Boudinot.

 Bradford, Susan, 1764-1854.
Letter to Samuel Bayard
1808 May 14 1 page(s) Box 1

Pleased to say that "our dear Susan" is doing better and has "the most favorable kind of measles." Letter is addressed to "Patty."

 Moore, John Bassett, 1860-1947.
Letter to Caroline Wittpenn
1929 November 11 3 page(s) Box 1

New York. Authenticating Samuel Bayard's London diary of 1795-1796. Addressed to Mrs. Otto Wittpenn, [Caroline Bayard Stevens Wittpenn].

Access digital object:

 Jewett, William. Waldo, Samuel Lovett, 1783-1861.
Print of Elias Boudinot
Undated 1 page(s) Box 2 (OS)

Engraving by J.W. Paradise from a painting by Waldo & Jewett.