John Van Vechten (1822-1869) was the son of John Van Vechten (? - ?) and Letita Sebring (1790- 1854). Van Vechten's ancestors were among the early residents of New York City. It was through the extensive holdings of lumber interests in northern New York that he became a resident of Chateaugay when he came here to look after these interests.
The collection was donated in 2005 to St. Lawrence University by Mary Smallman.