Back to top

Search Constraints

Start Over You searched for: Subjects Embargo, 1807-1809. Remove constraint Subjects: Embargo, 1807-1809.
Number of results to display per page
View results as:

Search Results


Alexandre Maurice Blanc de Lanautte, Comte d'Hauterive collection, 1809

14 items

This collection consists of 13 letters and copies of letters that Alexandre Maurice Blanc de Lanautte, Comte d'Hauterive, wrote in 1809 concerning the deterioration of Anglo-American relations, as well as a list of officials involved in Franco-American relations around the turn of the 19th century.

This collection consists of 13 letters and copies of letters that Alexandre Maurice Blanc de Lanautte, Comte d'Hauterive, wrote in 1809 concerning the deterioration in Anglo-American relations, as well as a list of officials involved in Franco-American relations around the turn of the 19th century.

Hauterive addressed 10 letters to Jean-Baptiste Nompère de Champagny, the French minister of foreign relations, reporting discoveries and insights from his correspondence with John Armstrong, Jr., the United States minister to France. Hauterive also discussed issues in British politics, such as the Embargo Act of 1807 and Great Britain's diplomatic relationship with the United States, which he thought was strained. He further elaborated on those issues he believed would lead the countries into armed conflict. Hauterive also commented on the Jefferson administration and its role in international affairs. The remaining 3 letters consist of Hauterive's outgoing correspondence with other diplomatic and official personnel.

A printed chart of French military personnel lists their positions, terms of service, and the amount of money paid to them. Ten officers are listed, followed by a drum major, a drum master sergeant, 8 musicians, and 4 laborers.


Charles Machin memoir, 1807-1820

142 pages

The Charles Machin memoir - in narrative form - documents the personal, financial, and business-related trials of an early 19th century trader of a variety of goods, including cotton, slaves, and mahogany.

The Charles Machin memoir was written in an engaging, literary style, its strength lying in its ability to put the reader into the mind of an early 19th-century trans-Atlantic merchant. It is possible that Machin embellished the truth to make for better reading.

English in origin, Machin lived and traded in Savannah, Charleston, New York, Philadelphia, Jamaica, Havana, and England, moving easily among the port cities, raising capital and stores for trading voyages that inevitably went sour. Through his adventures, Machin emerges as a likable, but not always reputable man who beat and threatened the lives of his debtors and was willing to engage in smuggling cotton and slaves. At the same time, he was constantly surprised by the unethical behavior of his partners and their willingness to hurt others in the name of profit. Machin was repeatedly caught up in the machinations of other, more ruthless merchants.

The memoir provides insight into the financial wrangling, legal and extralegal, of merchants and entrepreneurs. The networks of friendships and false-friendships, the schemes to raise money, and the ideas about profit and risk are all important in situating the mind of the early American merchant. In some ways, Machin was the proverbial man without a country who either easily switched identities or whose identity changed with the context: an Englishman, a some-time resident of Savannah, and a trader in any port or enterprise that promised a good return.

Machin's memoir also includes some excellent descriptions of life in the several ports and countries he visited, most notably of Havana and other locations in Cuba, but also of Jamaica, Cartagena, and the far interior of Georgia and South Carolina.


James McHenry papers, 1777-1832

3 linear feet

The James McHenry papers contain correspondence and documents related to the political career of James McHenry. The majority of the materials pertain to his tenure as Secretary of War from 1796 to 1800.

The James McHenry papers contain over 800 items related the life and career of James McHenry. Included in the materials are approximately 670 letters and 106 documents, primarily related to McHenry's political career, as well as financial records and miscellaneous documents, including poetry and genealogical materials. The majority of the correspondence and documents are drafts or retained manuscript copies.

The Correspondence and Documents series spans 1777-1832, with the bulk of materials concentrated around 1796 to 1803. The first box of the collection contains documents and correspondence related to McHenry's service in the Revolutionary War, including correspondence with Sir Henry Clinton, George Washington, and Alexander Hamilton. The materials include a draft of a letter to British general Henry Clinton regarding his military failures, written in McHenry's hand but signed "Z" (October 26, 1779), as well as a copy of a letter allegedly written by Clinton to Lord George Germain, which McHenry sent to Samuel Louden of the New York Packet to be published (March 24, 1780). The postwar materials in the collection pertain to McHenry's tenure as a Maryland statesman. Along with documents related to McHenry's political career during those years is a letter dated August 13, 1794, which relates news of the massacre of French colonists at Fort Dauphin in Saint-Domingue (now Haiti), led by Jean-François, an important figure in the Haitian Revolution.

The bulk of the collection, representing 1796 to 1803, documents McHenry's tenure as secretary of war under presidents Washington and Adams. The correspondence and documents relate to military structures, provisions, international relations, treaties, politics, and relations with Native American tribes. The collection contains frequent correspondence with other cabinet members and politicians, including Secretary of State Timothy Pickering and Secretary of the Treasury Oliver Wolcott as well as President George Washington, John Adams, and the Marquis de Lafayette. McHenry served as secretary of war during the Quasi-War with France and, as a staunch Federalist, favored positive relations with Britain over France. A large portion of the correspondence during this period relates to the ongoing feud with that country. A letter from James Winchester to McHenry describes the suspicion with which the Federalists regarded Jeffersonian Democratic-Republicans, who favored closer relations with France: "…tho' they will not openly shew at this time their predilection for France, they will discover it in the first calamitous event which may happen to our Country. Depend on it they are not to be trusted. I speak of the party here" (April 18, 1789). Several months later McHenry wrote in an unaddressed letter draft that he believed the President should recommend a declaration of war with France to Congress. He also expressed his concerns over "a faction within the country constantly on the watch and ready to seize upon every act of the Executive which may be converted into an engine to disaffect the people to the government" (November 25, 1798).

In addition to national and international politics, many of the items relate to U.S. relations with Native American tribes, including the Creek, Chickasaw, and Miami. The materials frequently concern attempts to maintain peace and create treaties with the tribes, as well as to prevent them from giving their loyalty to other countries, such as Britain, France, or Spain. Box 2 contains a copy of a "Talk of the Chickasaw Chiefs at the Bluffs represented by Wolf's Friend, Ugalayacabé" regarding the tribe's concerns about the Americans: "Tell me if I may return to my Nation to appease the tumult of their minds. Shall I tell them the talk of the Americans is falsehood? Shall I assure our warriors our children and our women that your flag will always wave over our land, or tell them to prepare to die?" [1797]. This box also contains a small series of letters from General Anthony Wayne, written from his headquarters in Detroit, where he was stationed before his death, after successfully leading U.S. troops in the Northwest Indian War (August 29 to October 3, 1796). After the war, Miami Chief Little Turtle, became a proponent of friendly relations with the Americans. McHenry wrote to him upon his resignation as secretary of war, thanking him for his friendship: "…I shall carry with me the remembrance of your fidelity, your good sense, your honest regard for your own people, your sensibility and eloquent discourse in their favour, and what is precious to me as an individual, a belief that I shall always retain your friendship" (May 30, 1800). Other documents include an extract of a letter from Major Thomas Cushing to Brigadier General James Wilkinson, writing that he had given gifts to the Native Americans in order to prevent them from siding with the Spanish at New Orleans, who were attempting to win their favor (February 15, 1800).

Boxes 6 through 8 contain correspondence and documents written after McHenry's resignation as secretary of war at the end of May 1800. Though he retired from politics, his letters document that he maintained a keen interest in domestic and international issues. Senator Uriah Tracy wrote regular letters to McHenry in February 1801, keeping him up-to-date on the daily events regarding the presidential election between Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr. After the election, McHenry wrote a letter to U.S. Ambassador to the Netherlands William Vans Murray, in which he discussed the election and why public opinion had shifted from the Federalists to Jefferson: "I still am of opinion, that we should have gained nothing by the election of Mr. Burr, could it have been accomplished by federal means. The general sentiment is so strong and ardent for Mr. Jefferson, that experience alone can correct it" (February 23, 1801). This section of correspondence also contains a draft of a letter to the speaker of the House of Representatives containing McHenry's defense against charges brought against him regarding disbursements while secretary of war (December 22, 1802), as well as his opinions of current political happenings, including the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, and the Embargo Act of 1807. Several of the letters written during this period also relate to McHenry's low opinion of John Adams, who forced him out of office. In a series of letters exchanged by McHenry and Oliver Wolcott in 1800, McHenry described his anger regarding Adams, and expressed regret that Adams remained in office after George Washington left. Over ten years later, McHenry wrote a letter to Timothy Pickering, responding to a series of memoirs Adams had printed in the Boston Patriot . He accused Adams of making significant errors and misrepresentations, and mused, "How many recollections have these puerile letters awakened. Still in his own opinion, the greatest man of the age. I see he will carry with him to the grave, his vanity, his weaknesses and follies, specimens of which we have so often witnessed and always endeavored to veil from the public" (February 23, 1811).

The Bound Items series consists of a diary, a published book of letters, a book of U.S. Army regulations, an account book, and a book of poetry. McHenry kept the diary from June 18 to July 24, 1778, beginning it at Valley Forge. It contains accounts of daily events, intelligence, orders, the Battle of Monmouth, and the march of Washington's army to White Plains, New York. The 1931 book, entitled Letters of James McHenry to Governor Thomas Sim Lee is the correspondence written by James McHenry to Maryland governor Thomas Sim Lee during the 1781 Yorktown Campaign. The book of army regulations spans ca. 1797-1798, while the account book covers 1816-1824. The book of poetry is handwritten but undated and unsigned.

In addition to this finding aid, the Clements Library has created a full list of letter-writers in the James McHenry papers: James McHenry Contributor List.


John Dillon letter book, 1808-1863 (majority within 1808-1811, 1857-1863)

1 volume

This letter book contains personal letters that John Dillon of Baltimore, Maryland, and Zanesville, Ohio, wrote from 1808-1811 and 1857-1858, as well as newspaper clippings collected during the Civil War. The early letters, written to Dillon's father Moses, concern the Embargo Act of 1807 and Baltimore commerce. Later letters, written to relatives in Pennsylvania, relate to the history and genealogy of the Griffith family, relatives of Dillon's mother, Hannah.

This letter book contains around 105 pages of personal letters that John Dillon of Baltimore, Maryland, and Zanesville, Ohio, wrote from 1808-1811 and 1857-1858, as well as 12 pages of newspaper clippings collected during the Civil War.

The earliest letters (May 30, 1808-March 7, 1811) are almost all addressed to Dillon's father, Moses Dillon of Zanesville, Ohio, and pertain to both personal and business matters. John Dillon offered advice regarding his father's attempt to establish an iron foundry along the Licking River and discussed his own finances, especially those related to the Baltimore shipping industry. Along with reporting personal news, Dillon occasionally commented on political affairs such as the Napoleonic Wars (August 24, 1808) and trade relations between the United States and Great Britain, particularly in relation to the Embargo Act of 1807. Some later letters in this early group concern acquaintances' legal troubles, and one 4-page letter describes banking practices (January 17, 1811).

The second group of letters (January 14, 1857-February 24, 1858) is addressed to numerous members of the Griffith family, based in Quakertown, Pennsylvania. John Dillon shared and solicited information about the Griffith family genealogy, particularly related to his grandfather, Isaac Griffin, and Griffin's marriage and emigration from Wales. Dillon's letters also refer to a possible family inheritance in Wales belonging to descendants of the Griffith family. These letters are followed by an undated cure for a cancer of the lip that utilizes red oak bark, mutton tallow, and rosin, among other ingredients; the cure was originally given to Moses Dillon and later recorded by John Dillon.

The remaining pages have pasted-in newspaper clippings. Many clippings are dated during the Civil War and pertain to soldiers from the Zanesville area and from various Ohio regiments. Recipes, cures, marriage and death announcements, and poems are also present. One clipping (December 12, 1862) is an obituary describing the pneumonia-related death of Sergeant J[ohn] Morton Dillon (b. 1841).


John Holker papers, 1770-1872

0.75 linear feet

This collection consists of the official and private correspondence of John Holker, merchant, speculator, and French consul general to the United States during the American Revolution. The collection also contains items related to Holker's wife, Nancy Davis Stackpole Holker, who managed his estate after his death.

This collection consists of the official and private correspondence of John Holker, merchant, speculator, and French consul general to the United States during the American Revolution. Included are 301 letters and 35 financial records. The documents from 1825 to 1872 concern Holker's third wife Nancy Davis Holker and her business with her husband's estate after his death.

The Correspondence and Documents series contains approximately 85 items relating to Holker's official consular duties and his efforts to supply the French fleet in American waters from 1778-1781. These items, which include both letters addressed to Holker in Philadelphia and copies of letters he wrote to France, offer information on the contracts and accounts of the French Royal Marines.

The bulk of the collection, however, concerns Holker's private business interests, primarily his partnership with Turnbull in supplying the Continental Army. Also notable are letters between Holker and his associate John Barclay, 1807-1816, that address national politics and foreign affairs as well as business interests such as the building of a distillery in Poughkeepsie, New York; his import business in Virginia; and land speculation in Illinois and Indiana. Other items document various lawsuits pertaining to Holker's business ventures, especially with Daniel Parker and William Duer. Many of the documents are in French, including all dated before 1779.

The papers from 1825 to 1872 concern Nancy Davis Holker and relate to the management of Holker's Virginia farm after his death and to the settlement of his estate. One "Article of Agreement" from March 1, 1832, details the renting out of the Springbury estate for agricultural use. The lease includes the farm, tools, buildings, and at least 13 slaves (all named). The document specified that at the end of a 3-year lease all of the property had to be returned, including the slaves who should be "clothed in the manner that the custom of the country requires[.] hired slaves to be returned clothed." This portion of the collection also contains 12 personal letters to Nancy from her daughter Anna Maria Adelaide which discuss family and personal matters. One particularly interesting letter from Anna Maria Adelaide contains a defense of slavery in the South (February 1, 1839). She argued that her father bought and sold slaves and suggested that her mother was only uncomfortable with the practice because she disliked Anna's husband, Hugh Nelson. "[G]et over this prejudice and not allow those around you to influence you." While she acknowledged that slavery was a regrettable practice, to her it seemed "impossible to live above the world."

The Documents and Financial Records series (35 items) consists of two Revolutionary war era receipts for flour and beef, and later receipts from farmers, merchants, and baker's (with many items from Peter Royston) for food stuffs, cloth, and other goods (1812-1822). Of note are two receipts for slaves (1818). Later items include Nancy Holker's annual food and supply receipts from 1848 and 1857.


John Rodgers papers, 1796-1908 (majority within 1801-1836)

1.5 linear feet

The John Rodgers papers contain naval Commander Rodger's professional correspondence from shortly before his first naval commission through the end of his career. The papers provide a wealth of information on nearly every aspect of Rodgers' career, from his blockading and diplomatic activities during the Barbary Wars through his brief tenure as Secretary of the United States Navy.

The John Rodgers papers contain Rodger's professional correspondence and documents from shortly before his first Naval Commission through the end of his career. The collection holds 719 letters, 39 legal documents, 1 letterbook, and 2 genealogical items. These provide a wealth of information on nearly every aspect of Rodgers' career, from his blockading and diplomatic activities during the Barbary Wars through his brief tenure as Secretary of the Navy. In addition to documenting Rodger's career, the papers are also a source of information on the administration and political workings of the United States Navy in the early 19th century.

The Correspondence series (719 items) contains letters about Rodger's naval career, including his role in the Barbary War, his part in the War of 1812, his return to the Mediterranean after the war, and his tenure as administrator of the Navy Commissioner's Office.

The Barbary War materials contain important information on the activities of the United States' fleet off Tripoli and on the attitudes of the United States officers toward the Barbary States. These include intelligence documents used during naval operations and Barbary treaty negotiations. Many of the items are from the Navy Department, including letters from the highest rank of naval officers in Washington and the officers stationed at the Philadelphia and New York navy yards. Of note are:

  • Several navy circulars from 1808, which discuss the embargo laws
  • A letter from New York Congressman, Killian Van Rensselaer (1763-1845) about a deserter from the John Adams (July 1808)
  • A 60-page diatribe from Rodgers addressed to William Eaton, the acting Navy agent for the Barbary Regencies, which berated Eaton for impugning Rodger's name in a report to the secretary of the navy on the negotiations with Tripoli (1806). This document includes copies of letters from Samuel Barron (May 18, 1805), and Tobias Lear (May 19, 1805), used to support Rodger's viewpoint.

Letters from the War of 1812 period concern Rodgers' command of the naval forces in the northern Atlantic, which attempted to blockade the British shipping efforts in North America. The collection contains a few important accounts of engagements with British warships; approximately 30 reports of ships boarded by United States gunboats in the Atlantic; and intelligence on British naval activity around New York, Washington, and Baltimore. Of particular interest is a letter from a low-ranking navy member named Amos Brown, who was impressed by the British in Halifax, and wrote to Rodgers to request clearance to return to New York (June 9, 1812). Brown had served with Rodgers, but described his physical appearance to help jog Rodgers memory, in the hopes of obtaining his freedom. Also of note are a report from Paul Hamilton on the consequences of the Little Belt Affair (May 23, 1811), and a letter from his brother George Washington Rodgers, who wrote of family and navy matters (February 23, 1814).

The post-War of 1812 portion of the collection provides documentation for the peace-time operations of the United States Navy, including: ship building, harbor maintenance, regulations, and military discipline. From 1815-1824, Rodgers was the president of the Navy Commission in Washington D.C. He received frequent letters, marked "private," from Howes Goldsborough (1816-1824), and in 1823 received several letters from New York Congress Member Cadwallader David Colden.

Rodgers was stationed in the Mediterranean from 1824-1826, and served on the Navy Board of Commissioners from 1827-1837. Most of the letters from these years are administrative in natures. Of note are:

  • Nine letters from Rodgers to the fleet captain of his Mediterranean Squadron, Daniel Todd Patterson, of the USS North Carolina and the USS Brandywine (1825-1826). These include instructions on protocol, qualifications for officers, and general orders for ship maneuvering.
  • A 16-page report from the Navy Commissioners on the restructuring of the navy (November 23, 1829).
  • A private letter from Matthew Calbraith Perry with news of his son and the mission in the Mediterranean (February 11, 1831).
  • Eight letters from Rodgers addressed to James Barron, commander of the Philadelphia Navy Yard.

Though the collection is largely made up of official naval materials, it also contains content related to Rodgers’ family life. Frederick Rodgers, who was also in the navy, wrote two letters to his father (March 9 and April 5, 1828). Rodgers received a letter dated April 6, 1828, from one of the crew of the USS North Carolina, informing him that Frederick had died while heroically trying to save one of his shipmates after their boat sunk. Minerva Rodgers' sister Eliza wrote to her on August 17, 1828, to console her on the loss of her son).

The bulk of John Rodgers' family letters, written after his death, are dated between 1840 and 1908. These include letters between Minerva and her sons John and Henry, as well as an item to eldest son Robert Smith Rodgers, a civil engineer, and a few unsigned items. An unsigned letter from March 14, 1877, relates tensions between the North and South and news about the Hayes administration. Another item of interest is a January 9, 1872, incomplete and unsigned letter from Wusong, China, addressed to "Brother," likely from Rodger's grandson, John Rodgers, who served in the navy until his death in 1882. The writer described his time in Japan and commented on Japanese cultural practices. He wrote of his experiences in a bath house:

"the people of Japan are kind and amiable, but they are strangely careless of modesty -- they have no idea of it. Girls said to be proper and good girls and very pretty ones, came into the room where I was Bathing and wanted to scrub my shoulders with soap -- As I had no bathing dress on, you can guess how much I was horrified."

He mentioned his audience with the Mikado, and also provided information about the landscape and architecture. He admired their paper screens, which "have some advantages over our windows."

The collection also contains several letters from Rodgers’ grandson, Colonel Robert S. Rodgers, to friends, family, and colleagues.

The Letterbook series is a single volume, containing five letters by Rodgers while aboard the U.S.S. North Carolina in 1825. Three of the letters are addressed to Secretary of the Navy Samuel L. Southard and concern a court martial, various matters relating to the ship's crew, and his support for promotions. Another letter is addressed to Charles Morris and briefly mentions the ship's crew and their imminent departure to the Mediterranean. The final letter, addressed to Howard March & Co. from Gibraltar, concerns an order of Madeira wine.

The Documents series (39 items) consists of general orders, circulars, courts martial opinions, reports, and lists of ships stores. The earliest item is a list of 44 guidelines, written by Rodgers, to be followed on board the U.S. Maryland, including instructions for exercising cannons (August 29, 1799). The series contains a number of materials related to sickness, dating from 1825-1828, including doctor's letters excusing service members from their posts, as well as reports relating to illnesses onboard navy vessels. Of particular interest is a report on the causes of yellow fever on board the frigate Macedonian, which the two investigators attribute to sudden changes in climate during the voyage, poor diet and clothes, the "offensive state of the hold," and an error in treatment methods by the ship's doctor (August 23, 1823). Other notable material includes:

  • A court of inquiry document concerning the Chesapeake-Leopard Affair (1807).
  • A formal petition to Secretary of State James Monroe from 15 prisoners of war in the Melville Prison in Halifax requesting relief, (August 30, 1812).
  • An article of agreement with Charles Washington Goldsborough in a Washington-based lumber and brick-making business (October 30, 1815).
  • 30 reports documenting vessels boarded by US Naval squadrons and gunboats while enforcing the Embargo Act of 1807. These records contain the date of the boarding, the name of the vessel, the ships’ master and owner, its origin and destination, the cargo, and additional remarks.

The Genealogy series (3 items) contains two pages (followed by 11 blank pages) of notes, written by Rodgers, relating to his early life at school and as a young sailor. The series also holds a four-page document from the Sons of the American Revolution tracing Rodgers' family lineage to Captain George Denison's and a five-page photocopy of genealogical information on Rodger's family. Both items are undated.


Theodore and Wells Beardsley letters, 1808, 1833

5 items

This collection is made up of 4 letters that Dr. Theodore Beardsley wrote to Dr. Wells Beardsley about his medical practice in North Hero, Vermont, in 1808, and a letter that Wells Beardsley wrote to his son Marcus in 1833.

This collection is made up of 4 letters that Dr. Theodore Beardsley wrote to Dr. Wells Beardsley about his medical practice in North Hero, Vermont, in 1808, and a letter that Wells Beardsley wrote to his son Marcus in 1833. Theodore Beardsley wrote about illnesses, treatments, pregnancies, commerce, and agriculture in Grand Isle County, Vermont. Wells Beardsley's letter concerns a recent journey to northern New York, Vermont, and Québec (November 1833). See the Detailed Box and Folder Listing for more information about each letter.


Thomas Darling letters, 1806-1843 (majority within 1806-1831)

24 items

This collection contains letters from Bermuda privateer and merchant Hezekiah Frith to Frances and Thomas Darling, his daughter and son-in-law in New York, as well as letters by Thomas Darling's cousin, Noyes Darling. The correspondence concerns family news from New Haven, Connecticut; international trade; and the effects of the Embargo Act of 1807 in Bermuda.

This collection consists of 22 letters that Bermuda merchant Hezekiah Frith wrote to Frances and Thomas Darling, his daughter and son-in-law, and 2 letters to the Darlings from Thomas's cousin, Noyes Darling. Frith composed his first 6 letters to Thomas Darling, who lived in New York, while living with his daughter Frances and her newborn son in New Haven, Connecticut, from October 24, 1807-November 15, 1807. He shared family news and voiced his concerns about the possibility of war between the United States and European countries. By May 8, 1808, he had returned to Bermuda, where he wrote the remaining letters. Frith often discussed the effects international economic developments, such as the Embargo Act of 1807, on the local availability of food and other goods, occasionally illustrating his arguments by including prices. He wrote twice during the War of 1812 (October 28, 1812 and March 20, 1813) and continued to comment on economic matters until 1831, after which most of his letters concentrated on family news, particularly regarding his children and grandchildren. Of his letters, he addressed 17 to Thomas, 4 to Frances, and 1 to both; 3 of the letters addressed to Frances were written after 1831. The remaining items are 2 letters to Thomas Darling from his cousin, Noyes Darling, who wrote about the Greek writer Xenophon (August 15, 1806) and his inability to take in Joseph, the Darlings' son (February 29, 1820).