Colden was also one of the most learned men in the colonies. He wrote his own critique of Newton, The Principles of Action in Matter (1751). He became a botanist of the new Linnaean system of classifying flora and made significant contributions to medical literature. He also published his History of the Five Indian Nations (1727), a valuable source on the Iroquois tribes. His letter books (1877-78) and letters and papers (7 vol., 1918-23) were published by the New-York Historical Society.
See A. R. Raymond, The Political Career of Cadwallader Colden (1971) and biography by A. M. Keys (1906, repr. 1971).