Manuscript Group 875, Samuel Hayes Congar (1796 – 1872), Coach painter Papers, 1818 – 1853

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Manuscript Group 875, Samuel Hayes Congar (1796 – 1872), Coach painter
Papers, 1818 – 1853, 0.3 linear feet / 20 items
Call Number: MG 875


Accounts kept by Congar while he worked as a coach painter in Newark, New Jersey. Inserted into the volume are several documents, memoranda, and a letter protesting an attempt being made in 1845 to appropriate Newark’s “Old Burying Ground” for other purposes. The “Old Burying Ground” was adjacent to the First Presbyterian Church on Broad Street. Also includes Congar family correspondence. Born in Newark, Congar at age sixteen was apprenticed to a coach painter and worked as a coach painter himself until 1855. He served as Librarian of the Apprentices Library of Newark, and from 1852 until his death in 1872 as Librarian of The New Jersey Historical Society.

Biographical Note:

Samuel Conger (1753-1826) of Newark, New Jersey served as a lieutenant in the Revolutionary War. He married Elizabeth Hays (d. 1794), and with her had three children: Elizabeth (b. 1780), Abby (1782-1807), and Mary (b. 1782). When Elizabeth died, he married Hannah Hayes (1759-1851) and with her had twins: Samuel Hayes (1796-1872) and Bruen Hayes (1796-1868). At some point, Samuel Hays Conger and Bruen Hayes Conger started spelling their last name Congar.

Samuel Hayes Congar married Hannah Parkhurst (1799-1879) and with her had two sons: Horrace Parkhurst Congar (1830-1849) and Henry Congar (1835-1904).

Samuel Hayes Congar was a coach painter by profession. According to his records, Congar worked as for Carter, Mitchel & Co. from 1828-1831; for George & Amos K. Carter from 1831-1834; and for James M. Quimby (d. 1874) from 1834-1855. As a result of his opposition to an attempt to destroy the Old Burying Ground in Newark in 1848, he became a member of The New Jersey Historical Society. He was appointed the first librarian of the Society in 1853 and served until his death in 1872. In addition to his duties as librarian of the Society, Congar edited many of the publications of the Society such as the Newark town records in 1864, and he wrote articles for the Newark Daily Advertiser. Samuel Hayes Congar also served as the librarian of the Apprentices Library of Newark.

Abby Conger (1782-1807), the sister of Samuel Hayes Congar, married Daniel K. Brown (fl. 1818-1828), a clerk in various branches of the federal government in Washington, DC. The couple had at least three children: Elias F. (fl. 1818-1828), Charles B. (fl. 1818-1828), and Mary C. (fl. 1818-1828).


Leonard, Maxine Crowell (Compiled by), The Congar Family of America (published by the compiler, Janesville, Iowa 1972)

Provenance Note:

The source of this collection is unknown. The correspondence seems to have been a later addition to the papers.

Scope and Content Note:

This collection consists of one volume used by Samuel Hayes Congar from 1826-1853, and of correspondence dating from 1818-1828.

The record book contains lists of goods Congar purchased or sold, payments for the boarding of his mother Hannah Conger, and his wages as a coach painter. Inserted in this volume are documents pertaining to the estate of Congar’s father Samuel; a lease agreement between Congar and Amos K. Carter for furniture dated 1835; and various financial documents and receipts. Included are handwritten recipes for paint, ham curing, inks, “Cologne Water,” and “Chambers Remedy for Intemperance.”

The eighteen letters in this collection date from 1818-1828 and are arranged by recipient and then author. Letters were sent to Samuel Hayes Congar by Mary C. Brown, Elias F. Brown, Daniel K. Brown, and Charles B. Brown. Also included is a letter to Mary C. Brown from Daniel K. Brown and a letter to Hannah Conger from Mary C. Brown. The majority of the correspondence from the Brown family to the Congar family details their personal life, life in Washington, DC, and problems faced by Daniel K. Brown as an appointed employee in various offices of the federal government.

Related Collections:

Manuscript Group 12, Congar Family (Newark, NJ) Papers
Manuscript Group 262, Essex County, New Jersey, Tax Office Account book: Contains notes for Samuel Hayes Congar’s “Genealogical Notices of the First Settlers of Newark.”
Manuscript Group 746, James M. Quimby (d. 1874) / James Dawes (1795-1844) / Hayes Family (Newark, NJ) Records

Folder List:

Folder Title Dates
1 Record book 1826-1853
2 Samuel Hayes Congar from Mary C. Brown (7) 1826-1828
2 Samuel Hayes Congar from Elias F. Brown (5) 1827-1828
3 Samuel Hayes Congar from Daniel K. Brown (2) 1818-1827
3 Samuel Hayes Congar from Charles B. Brown (1) May 26, 1827
3 Samuel Hayes Congar from Jacob Allen (1) July 25, 1823
3 Mary C. Brown from Daniel K. Brown (1) Oct. 22, 1824
3 Hannah Conger from Mary C. Brown (1) Oct. 21, 1820
Miscellaneous Document:
3 Fragment of poetry No Date

Processed by Luis Delfino, February 2001 as part of the “Farm to City” project funded by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

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