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De Forest family papers

Call Number: MS 177

Scope and Contents

The papers consist of the account books, journals, letterbooks, financial records, and related papers of David Curtis De Forest (1774-1825), William B. De Forest, George Butler Griffin, and other family members. David Curtis De Forest files include documentation on his service as United States consul general to Argentina.


  • 1798-1889
  • Majority of material found within 1798 - 1825


Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright status for collection materials is unknown, though much of the material in this collection is likely in the public domain. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased from Frederick Hill, 1939, and gift of Clementine De Forest Griffin, 1940.


Arranged in four series: I. David Curtis De Forest, 1798-1825. II. William B. De Forest, 1861-1873. III. George Butler Griffin, 1857-1889. IV. Family Papers.


4.5 Linear Feet

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL


The papers consist of correspondence, account books, journals, letterbooks, financial records, and related papers of David Curtis De Forest and family members. The papers document the business and political careers of De Forest, including his commercial enterprise in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Correspondence, located within journals and letterbooks, includes letters written to family members, colleagues, and associates while on sea voyages to South America and elsewhere.

Biographical / Historical

David Curtis De Forest was born January 10, 1774 in Huntington, Connecticut. He worked on sailing vessels as a young man and served as a lieutenant in the army (1799-1801). De Forest established the first American commercial house in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Political and military unrest in Argentina (1811-1817) did not harm his business, and De Forest was commissioned as consul general to the United States by the new Argentine Republic (1815). De Forest resigned this position before receiving any U.S. diplomatic papers. De Forest died on February 22, 1825 in New Haven, Connecticut.
Guide to the De Forest Family Papers
Under Revision
compiled by William E. Brown, Jr.
October 1984
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

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