VAN VLEET, JOHN W.

Copyright 2000-2019 John N. Lupia, III

John W. Van Vleet (1819-1900), some records say he was born in Maryland, and another Georgia. The family surname has a few variant spellings Van de Vliet, Van der Vliet, Vanvleet and Van Vliet are quite common. He seems to be the descendent of early colonial American Dutch settlers.

He was a coin collector who was victimized by a group who falsely accused him of counterfeiting. Nothing is known of his numismatic collection.

In 1848, he married Rhoda Maria Graham (1830-1894), daughter of Archibald D. Graham and Ruth Corwithy Dickerson Graham. They had three children : John H. (1849-18-),  Charles W. (1851-19-), Carrie (1862-19-).

In 1860, he lived in Waterloo, Seneca County, New York, where he worked as an insurance agent.

He was a frequent correspondent with the Chapman Brothers purchasing coins throughout the 1880's.


Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, February 14th (1886) : 8

In 1885, he was arrested for making counterfeit money. He was tried and the charges were dismissed. Highly motivated Van Vleet undertook a thorough investigation to discover his accusers. He eventually brought Arthur W. McNames, a Waterloo, New York, dentist and his conspirators to trial, and they were found guilty. That story ran in the Sunday edition of the Democrat and Chronicle, February 14th (1886) : 8

Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, March 12th (1886) : 6


John W. Van Vleet correspondence with the Chapman Brothers postmarked Waterloo, New York, April 26, 1889, cork cancel. Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library, Special Collection, The Chapman Family Correspondence Archive.

He died on May 27, 1900, at the Homeopathic Hospital Rochester, New York.

Bibliography :

Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, Sunday, February 14 (1886) : 6
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, Frday, March 12 (1886) : 8
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, Tuesday, May 29 (1900) : 10

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