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Abraham Bell papers, 1812-1901 (majority within 1830-1854)

1.5 linear feet

The Abraham Bell papers contain correspondence and financial documents related to Abraham Bell & Co., an early 19th-century New York City shipping firm owned by Abraham Bell.

The Abraham Bell papers contain correspondence and financial documents related to Abraham Bell & Co., an early 19th-century New York City shipping firm owned by Abraham Bell. The majority of material in the Correspondence series is addressed to either Abraham Bell or to his company, and relates to various business affairs, often concerning payment or delivery of goods. Many of the letters originated from European firms, including a letter from Collman, Lambert & Co. in Liverpool, written on stationery that includes a printed list of current prices for cotton and related goods (February 8, 1837).

The Receipts and financial papers series consists of non-correspondence items related to the operation of Abraham Bell & Co. throughout the early and mid-1800s. These include records of payment and lists of cargo carried aboard Bell's ships, as well as several documents relating to loads of street manure in 1839. Several early items within this series pertain to the ship Josephine.

Fifteen Account and receipt books provide information about Bell's financial endeavors throughout the period in explicit detail, covering the years 1840-1868. A letter book contains copies of letters written by Abraham Bell between October 16, 1833, and August 15, 1834.

Miscellaneous items in the collection include an indenture for land in New Jersey belonging to the Budd family (December 25, 1812), and a record of fiscal accounts between Abraham Bell & Co. and [Malionson] Bell & Co. (June 30, 1836).


Anthony H. Hoskins letter books, 1860-1861, 1869-1872

2 volumes

This collection is made up of 2 letter books, which contain over 270 secretarial copies of Captain Anthony H. Hoskins's official outgoing correspondence. His letters pertain to service aboard the H.M.S. Hecate (May 22, 1860-January 1, 1861), H.M.S. Plumper (January 1-July 2, 1861) and the H.M.S. Eclipse (July 20, 1869-September 27, 1871, and September 25, 1871-October 20, 1872) in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Hoskins corresponded with superior officers and fellow captains about his ships' movements, personnel, upkeep, and orders. P.H.W. Mayow and Henry F. Nicholson, acting captains on the Eclipse, wrote the letters dated between July 20, 1869, and September 20, 1869.

This collection is made up of 2 letter books, which contain over 270 secretarial copies of Captain Anthony H. Hoskins's official outgoing correspondence. His letters pertain to service aboard the H.M.S. Hecate (May 22, 1860-January 1, 1861), H.M.S. Plumper (January 1-July 2, 1861), and the H.M.S. Eclipse (July 20, 1869-September 27, 1871, and September 25, 1871-October 20, 1872) in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Hoskins corresponded with superior officers and fellow captains about his ships' movements, personnel, upkeep, and orders. P.H.W. Mayow and Henry F. Nicholson, acting captains on the Eclipse, wrote the letters dated between July 20, 1869, and September 20, 1869.

Hoskins wrote his first letters from the Hecate while stationed at Woolwich and other English ports between May and July 1860. The ship then traveled to Madeira and, after rounding Cape Horn, to the Pacific Ocean, where it spent time at Valparaíso, Chile, and the Hawaiian Islands. In his letters to Commodore James R. Drummond and other officers, he reported on aspects of the ship's daily operation, including its arrival at different ports and travels around the Pacific. He frequently informed his superiors about disciplinary measures for the sailors onboard, and often mentioned financial reports, which are not copied into the volume. On January 1, 1861, Hoskins transferred to the Plumper, which traveled from near Esquimalt, British Columbia, back to Valparaíso, around Cape Horn to Rio de Janeiro, and finally to Portsmouth, England, where he arrived in June. In addition to reports on disciplinary measures, changes in rank, and ship movements, the commander's letters include content respecting the search for information about the missing gunboat Forward and the lost crew of the Charles Tupper. A 4-page report respecting the Forward documents interactions with the crew of the trading yacht Templar and with Nootka (Nuu-chah-nulth) natives in November and December 1860. A 2-page letter provides a summary of the Plumper's search for information about the Charles Tupper near the Straits of Magellan (April 22, 1861). Although they discovered the shipwreck, the fate of the crew remained ambiguous. The commander wrote that they probably did not take refuge with Indians and that they likely perished while attempting to reach a settlement.

The remainder of Volume 1 (roughly 3/4 of the volume) and the entirety of Volume 2 were composed while the Eclipse served in the Caribbean and along the eastern Canadian coast between September 1869 and October 1872. The first letters in Volume 2 are attributed to P. H. W. Mayow and Henry F. Nicholson, and relate to the recent sudden death of the ship's commander, Captain Harvey. Hoskins assumed command in late September 1869. The Eclipse spent much of its time at Barbados, the Bahamas, Bermuda, Halifax, St. John's, and other ports. In letters addressed to superior officers and colonial governors, Hoskins reported on the ship's sailors, courts martial and other disciplinary actions (for desertion, theft, drunkenness, etc.), ship movements, repairs, and daily operations. Hoskins served as a regional commander in the Caribbean, and some of his letters are sailing orders for subordinate captains. One such order is a response to a request from Belize, British Honduras, for assistance against an attack by natives (May 3, 1870). Others report interactions with French, Spanish, American, and other ships (including prizes). Though the volumes overlap slightly, only one letter is common between them.

A copy of a recommendation letter Hoskins wrote for David O'Sullivan is laid into the first volume (October 11, 1872).


Bartlett family papers, 1839-1931

1.5 linear feet

The Bartlett family papers contain correspondence, documents, photographs, and a scrapbook related to Lieutenant Washington A. Bartlett of the United States Navy and to his descendants, including his granddaughter, author Lina Bartlett Ditson.

The Bartlett family papers contain correspondence, documents, photographs, and a scrapbook related to Lieutenant Washington A. Bartlett of the United States Navy and to his descendants, including author Lina Bartlett Ditson, his granddaughter.

The Correspondence series contains letters written to various members of the Bartlett family. The earliest items concern Washington A. Bartlett's naval career, including several letters between Bartlett and his wife Ruth. In a letter from May-June 1845, Washington Bartlett discussed political and military conflicts between the United States and Mexico. Much of his other correspondence is contained in a letter book, which covers the years 1835-1862.

Other items in the series are incoming personal and business letters to George L. Ditson, Bartlett's son-in-law. Some of these pertain to his appointment as United States Consul in Nuevitas, Cuba, a few of which are in Spanish. Later material includes a letter from Ronald Lodge to his mother, Oralie Ditson Lodge (Washington A. Bartlett's granddaughter) about his successful fitness examination for the United States Navy, enclosing a photograph of Lodge in uniform (April 17, 1917), and a letter on stationery from the White Star Line ocean liner Olympic (November 14, 1928).

The Documents and Financial Papers relate to several generations of the Bartlett family. Of note are a certificate about Washington A. Bartlett's qualification as a United States Navy midshipmen, signed by Martin Van Buren (November 20, 1839), and an authorized copy of Washington A. Bartlett and Ruth Budd Bloom's marriage certificate (June 17, 1861). The series also contains receipts and accounts.

The Writings series primarily contains typed copies of poems and stories composed by Lina Bartlett Ditson. Included are 8 poems, 1 group of poetry "Fragments," and 7 short stories. Two items, which may not be by Ditson, are in French, including an acrostic poem based on Ruth Budd Bartlett's name.

The collection's 8 Calling Cards and Invitations include manuscript and printed visiting cards for "Mr. and Mrs. Bartlett" and an invitation to the home of William H. and Frances Seward.

A single Illustration, dated August 1833, depicts the brig Mermaid at sea. A map of a portion of Albany, New York, shows the location of B. Lodge & Company.

The Photographs series has mounted and loose portraits, several cartes-de-visite and cabinet cards, a glass-plate positive of a young girl, and numerous snapshots. Early portraits depict Oralie Ditson Lodge and Lina Bartlett Ditson (occasionally in costume), and 130 20th-century snapshots were taken during a family vacation Eagle Lake in New York.

The Lena Bartlett Ditson Scrapbook contains newspaper articles, programs, and correspondence about Lina Bartlett Ditson, assembled by her sister Oralie after Lina's death. Most items pertain to Lina's artistic pursuits, such as vocal performances and published novels. Incoming correspondence to Lina and condolence letters to her family following her death are also present.

The Printed Items series is made up of postcards, newspaper clippings, pamphlets, and other items. Newspaper Clippings pertain to numerous topics, such as William S. Lodge's political career, interstate commerce legislation, labor news, and members of the Bartlett family.

The collection contains three Pamphlets:
  • Defence of Washington A. Bartlett, Ex-Lieutenant, United States Navy: Read and admitted to Record, by Naval Court of Inquiry... New York: Harper & Brothers, 1857.
  • International Association for the Total Suppression of Vivisection. "The Woman" and the Age: A Letter Addressed to the Right Hon. W. E. Gladstone, M.P., First Lord of the Treasury. London: E. W. Allen, 1881.
  • Olcott, Henry S. The Spirit of the Zoroastrian Religion. Bombay: 1882.

Other printed material includes poems by Barrington Lodge; engravings of Washington A. Bartlett; a colored print showing a woman in a dress that Ruth Budd Bartlett wore during a royal reception; and a campaign poster for William S. Lodge's mayoral campaign in Albany, New York.

The Genealogy series contains information about Washington A. Bartlett's descendants and allied families, particularly the Lodge family.


Benjamin Gilbert letter book, 1780-1783

202 pages (1 volume)

The Benjamin Gilbert letter book (219 pages) contains copies of 83 personal letters written by Sergeant Benjamin Gilbert during his service in the Revolutionary War (1780-1783). The letters provide a picture of a junior officer's perspective on the progress of the war.

The Benjamin Gilbert letter book (219 pages) contains copies of 83 personal letters written by Sergeant Benjamin Gilbert during his service in the Revolutionary War (1780-1783). The bulk of Gilbert's letters are to his father and other family member, living in his home town of Brookfield, Massachusetts. The letters provide a picture of a junior officer's outlook on the war.

Gilbert wrote these letters during his service in upper New Jersey in late 1780; during his stay at West Point in early 1781; and while fighting with the Marquis de Lafayette's troops at Trenton, New Jersey; Wilmington and Christiana, Delaware; Elkton and Annapolis, Maryland; and Yorktown, Virginia. He wrote the letters dated 1782-1783 from West Point and Continental Village, New York, where the army awaited the withdrawal of Carleton's forces from New York. Gilbert discussed Arnold's treason; the revolt of the Pennsylvania Line; the burning of Manchester, Virginia; southern hospitality; the exhilaration of the impending triumph at Yorktown; widespread desertion of Hessians during the evacuation of New York; and severe shortages of pay, food, and clothing. Throughout the volume, Gilbert wrote reflective comments on the progress of the war.

Several letters concern personal matters. Four are love letters, two to an anonymous recipient (October 14, 1780, October 19, 1780) and two that relate to a paternity claim made by a Patience Converse, with whom he was romantically involved (September 30, 1782 and March 24, 1783). Family news and personal finances are mentioned frequently throughout the volume.

For an annotated transcription of the letterbook, with a comprehensive index, see: Winding Down: the Revolutionary War Letters of Lieutenant Benjamin Gilbert of Massachusetts, 1780-1783


Benjamin Stevens letter book, 1781-1808

1 volume

The letter book contains copies of correspondence Benjamin Stevens wrote as Commissary General at Hartford, Connecticut, during the Revolutionary War. The letters document his attempts to secure supplies for the Continental Army.

The letter book contains copies of letters Benjamin Stevens wrote while executing his duties as Commissary General at Hartford, Connecticut, from 1781 to 1784. Several of the letters are addressed to the governor of Connecticut, Jonathan Trumbull. The letters contain frequent requests for items such as salt, meat, flour, and rum. Stevens had to deal with the problems of short supplies, and damaged goods. Following the letters are two stanzas of a poem about a "young Irish Girl" (page 17), and nine pages of work accounts for Stevens and William Kingsbury for the "making of Bricks and Lime" from 1806 to 1808.


Charles E. Barthell letterbook, 1893-1895

1 volume

Charles E. Barthell's letterpress volume of correspondence primarily relates to his business in real estate, loans, and retail management, particularly in Superior, Wisconsin, March 18, 1893-August 24, 1895. Approximately 1,000 pages of letters pertain to mortgages, deeds, real estate transactions, property taxes, and the collection of rental payments. Other content includes his efforts to secure a position in customs in Superior, as well as occasional references to the local steel business and conditions in the region. He sporadically commented on economic markets, noting bank closures, financial hardships, and how Superior withstood the changes. Only a small minority of letters contain personal or family content.

Charles Garth letterbook, 1758-1760, 1762-1766

358 pages

The Charles Garth letterbook contains letters from Sir James Wright, South Carolina's agent to parliament from 1758-1760, and letters from Charles Garth, South Carolina's agent to parliament from 1762 through 1766.

The Charles Garth letterbook (358 pages and 6 blank pages) contains 20 pages of copied letters from Sir James Wright, South Carolina's agent to parliament from 1758-1760, and 336 pages of copied letters from Charles Garth, South Carolina's agent to parliament from 1762 through 1766.

The volume begins with 12 letters from Sir James Wright, addressed to members of parliament, commissioner of the treasury, and the lord high admiral of Great Britain. These largely relate to trade policies between South Carolina, England, and Europe. Wright discussed the trade of rice, salt, and hemp; he was also concerned with debts incurred during the French and Indian War between Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina, from1754 to 1758. Of note is a petition to the British treasury, in which Wright described South Carolina's interactions with the Cherokee, Creeks, and Chickasaws, all of whom expected expensive presents in order to maintain peaceful relations (pages 5 verso-6 verso).

Charles Garth is the letterbook's primary author, contributing letters spanning from May 19, 1762, (when he was appointed South Carolina agent) to March 10, 1766. As agent, Garth's primary focus was on commercial matters, particularly concerning trade between South Carolina, England, and Europe. He communicated frequently with the British parliament, the commissioners of the treasury, the Commons House of Assembly of South Carolina, as well as other colonial agents and independent merchants.

Garth discussed commercial matters in depth, including regulations for imports and exports, such as exporting rice and indigo to England, and importing salt from Spain and Portugal. He also discussed taxes and financial matters: he debated the share of taxes that South Carolina needed to pay for the war with France, and, particularly in 1764, he debated questions concerning paper money value manipulation and South Carolina’s right to control its monetary policies. Garth repeatedly attempted, without success, to secure public funds from the Grenville administration. Other important matters include ongoing border disputes with Georgia and North Carolina, and efforts to attract immigration from Ireland, England, Scotland, and Hamburg to the province.

Many of the entries from 1764 and 1765 concern the decision to enact the rights and privileges of the colonies. Garth argued against the burden of internal taxes, imposed by England on South Carolina, such as the Stamp Act. In one petition to Parliament, Garth listed the South Carolinian's many disadvantages: "Their situation is dangerous & at the same time weak, surrounded by numerous Tribes of Indians from without, & exposed & lyable to the Insurrection of their own Slaves from within, their climate hot & unhealthy, such inclement seasons to Struggle withal..." (pages 150 verso-151). He constantly advocated for colonial rights over parliament’s control over financial matters.

Items of note include:
  • A "Report on Petition relating to the Exportation of Rice from Carolina" with testimonies from James Crockatt, William Middleton (a planter), James Gordon, and Georgia agent William Knox, arguing that Carolina should be able to trade rice freely with Madeira. The report states that "the general Exports are Rice, Indigo, Deer Skins, Naval Stores, & some slaves: the Deer Skins are purchased from the Indians" (56-57 verso). This entry is followed with a copy of an act that encouraged Carolina's production of indigo, and indigo export accounts for 1756-1762 (pages 58-59).
  • A lengthy plea to the Earl of Egremont to let South Carolina, not Georgia, annex land south of the Altamaha River, July 5, 1763 (pages 64 verso to 67 verso).
  • Communications with Baron Jeffery Amherst, including a return of troops per colony that were furnished with pay and clothes, and the actual number of troops raised per colony in 1761 (page 69).
  • Premiums for exporting wine, olive trees, raisins, sarsaparilla, barilla, hemp, silk, cinnamon trees, cochineal (red dye), and sturgeon to England (pages 89-90 verso).
  • An itemized account of the monies "received and disbursed" by Garth in 1763 and 1764 (pages 138-141 verso).
  • A report To the Committee of Correspondence: Against the sugar act, February 17, 1765 (pages 149 verso-150).

Charles Goore letter book, 1774-1783

170 pages (1 volume)

The Charles Goore letter book contains letters, dated March 1774 to January 1783, from a prosperous Liverpool merchant to other English merchants, members of Parliament, British naval officers, customers, and friends. These letters touch on various aspects of Atlantic trade, including the detrimental effects of the American Revolutionary War on British commerce, whaling ventures off Greenland, and the trade in tobacco, hemp, flag stones, and ironware.

The Charles Goore letter book (170 pages) contains copies of 295 letters from Goore to other English merchants, members of Parliament, British naval officers, customers, and friends. These letters, dated March 1774 to January 1783, touch on various aspects of trade, including the detrimental effects of the American Revolution on the tobacco trade, his whaling ventures off Greenland, and trading interests in hemp, flag stones, and ironware. Goore discussed difficulties with war ships, effects of the Revolution on prices and trade, the practice of impressment of seamen, and news from the American colonies. He also described the effects of privateering on trade, the slave trade, and technical matters relating to navigation. Several letters concern helping friends who were hurt by the upheaval in America. For instance, he tried to place seamen, formerly in his employment, in the British navy. This letter book provides an interesting perspective of the British side of the Revolution and particularly English merchants' reactions to the conflict.

While the collection primarily consists of business, legal, and political papers, Goore occasionally related information about his family. Of particular interest are 6 letters related to Goore's niece, Jenny Tatlock, whom he placed as an apprentice to Mrs. Ann Carus (pages 15, 19, 28, 93, 144). Goore wrote two stern letters to his niece Ellen Tatlock, who often begged for money because her husband was in prison (pages 82, 97). Goore also wrote to his niece Jenny, advising her not to marry an apprentice painter because she would end up supporting him (page 162). Several letters document Goore's business relationships with women, and a few letters are condolences to widows of his employees.

Other letters of note include:
  • January 25, 1775: describing a crowd in a coffee house waiting to hear the "resolves of Parliament relative to American affairs..."
  • June 13, 1775: revealing his opinions on the tense relationship between Great Britain and the American colonies: "The ax is laid to the root of the tree & it must be cut down or adieu to the colonies. God grant such measures may be taken that his Majesty may bring the Americans to become dutiful subjects."
  • February 5, 1776: describing his early career in the tobacco trade and the effects of the Revolution on Atlantic trading.
  • November 28, 1776: offering news of the war in America concerning generals Burgoyne and Howe.
  • March 14, 1778: reprimanding a neighbor for physically abusing his wife.

Charles Hicks letter books, 1738-1750, 1800-1828

2 volumes

The Charles Hicks letter books contain the letters and accounts of an American merchant operating out of St. Augustine, Florida, in the 1730s and 1740s, as well as notes concerning the estate of the Hicks family of Flushing, New York, between 1800 and 1828.

The Charles Hicks letter books (two volumes, 234 pages and 175 pages) contain the letters and accounts of an American merchant operating out of St. Augustine, Florida, in the 1730s and 1740s. The volumes are comprised of financial accounts, logs, letter drafts, and miscellaneous records, with 112 pages of letters in English (approximately 60 items), and 98 pages written in Spanish. The volumes were created concurrently, and entries are often undated and lack clear chronological organization. In addition to the mercantile records are notes concerning the estate of the Hicks family between 1800 and 1828, found at the beginning and end of each book.

Charles Hicks' business dealings were primarily with Spanish merchants in Florida and Cuba, and with British colonial merchants in New York and Charleston, South Carolina. Hicks discussed the trade conditions in Florida and Havana, and occasionally referenced the strained political relations between Spain and England. Entries contain references to trading enslaved Africans, whom Hicks sold on various Caribbean islands. He also described the activities of the slaves he owned, one of whom was named Caesar (volume 1: pages 39, 82, 196-109, and 133). Also of interest are a copied article and a recipe on how to cure "hydrophobia," to be used when bitten by a rabid dog (volume 1, page 29). Letter contributors and recipients include captains Samuel Bradstreet and Othniel Beale; Florida merchants Juan de Acosta, Joaquin Blanco, and Dr. Pedro A. Estrada; and New York merchants Samuel Franklin, Nicholas Gouverneur, Isaac Gouverneur, Jacob Walton, William Walton, Anthony White, and Nicholas Wycoff.

In addition to the Charles Hicks material are accounts, inventories, and notes regarding the Hicks family of Flushing, New York, recorded at the beginning and end of each volume (1800-1828). Family members mentioned include Hick's children Charles, Eliza, Ann, Scott, Caroline, Philip (a resident of the island of Antigua), and son-in-law Willet Bowne (volume 1: pages 19 and 29). Also present is an inventory for the personal estate of Charles Hicks of Flushing (grandson of the merchant Charles Hicks), who died in 1824 (volume 1: pages 76-79).


Charles McIntier letter book, 1835-1837

1 volume

This letter book contains the outgoing business correspondence of Boston broker Charles McInteir, pertaining to real estate, railroad stocks, lumber, and other financial and legal interests.

This letter book (162 pages) contains the outgoing business correspondence of Boston broker Charles McInteir, pertaining to real estate, railroad stocks, lumber, and other financial and legal interests. The letters are dated October 24, 1835-July 27, 1837. McInteir wrote to correspondents throughout Massachusetts and in states such as Maine, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. Many of his letters concern the buying and selling of land, work with agents, mortgages, and lawsuits. He commented on banks and banking, the lumber trade, railroads (particularly railroad stock), and other industries. In his later letters, McInteir occasionally mentioned the effects of the Panic of 1837, which included bank closures and other financial difficulties. Many of the letters appear out of chronological order.


Charles S. Watkins letterbook, 1853-1854

50 pages

Charles Watkins' letterbook contains copies of letters written by Watkins while searching for gold in California in 1854.

Among the most interesting and literate Gold Rush collections in the Clements Library, Charles Watkins' letterbook contains copies of 14 lengthy, descriptive letters, written to his siblings during a sojourn in California in 1854. With an exceptional eye for detail and an enjoyable sense of humor about himself and others, Watkins' letters provide a startlingly carefree perspective on the California scene, where even personal misfortunes paled in the face of overwhelming opportunities for "fun."

Watkins' upbringing remains something of a mystery, although a few hints can be gleaned from his correspondence. His letters indicate a highly practiced hand, and the larding-in of classical allusions suggest that his education may have been somewhat better than average.

Nearly every letter is polished and well thought out, and suggest he was as wide a reader as he was a traveler: at times, his readings of romance stories and dime novels seem to have helped him to cast his own experiences for his sisters and brother. Thus, in describing his meeting with a group of California Indians, to his sister, Abby, he recreates the dime novelist's melodramatic Indian: "The California Indians are different from any others that I have ever met with, they are filthy in their habits and treacherous in their disposition. I had an encounter with a few of them at night shortly after my arrival in the mountains. I had lost my way travelling alone about 10 miles from Coloma and did not know exactly where I was, stopped by two of the Indians belonging as I afterwards learned to a camp near Coloma, my hand was instantly on my trusty revolver and visions of poisoned arrows, scalping knives, burning at the stake &c &c flitted through my mind as I prepared for the combat, it was a fit scene for a novel or tragedy..." (1854 May 20). After building the suspense and drawing out the encounter at great length, in the tradition of the classic dime novel, Watkins suspends the conclusion of his story to a later letter, where he deflates the apparent danger of death-by-poison-arrow into a pathetic account of poverty and beggary.

Watkins' letters include fine descriptions of the passage across the Nicaraguan, and some excellent descriptions of the wandering life among the central and southern mining districts. Particularly in his early letters, he provides fine descriptions of mining techniques and mining activities, and the composite picture that emerges of the miners themselves is fascinating.


Charles Winstone letter book, 1777-1786

1 volume

The Charles Winstone letterbook, 1777-1786, contains the business correspondence of Winstone, attorney general and planter in Dominica during and after the American Revolution.

The Charles Winstone letterbook contains 131 letters written between December 22, 1777, and July 20, 1786, comprising a total of 210 pages. Winstone wrote 126 of the letters. His clerk, Thomas Pryor, wrote an additional 5 items, on Winstone's behalf, during Winstone's business trip to Antigua from July to September 1780. The letters primarily concern legal, financial, and plantation affairs, and are addressed to 40 different recipients. They include references to the effect of the American Revolution on trade, the activities of American privateers, the defenses of Dominica, French naval and military activities in the West Indies, the capture of Dominica by France, and conditions there after the capture. Winstone wrote most frequently to John Rae (29 letters), Benjamin Sandford (13 letters), David Chollet (11 letters), John Fordyce (8 letters), John Greg (5 letters), and the firms of Bordieu, Chollet & Bordieu (7 letters) and Langston & Dixon (5 letters).

Many of the letters narrate political activities and developments in the West Indies during and after the American Revolution, including the increasing presence of the French Navy, the French invasion and capture of Dominica, and conflict over neighboring islands. On December 22, 1777, Winstone wrote to the governor of Dominica, William Stuart, and described the "very weak state" of Dominica's garrison, Fort Shirley, as well as the "swarming" of numerous "Rebel Privateers" around the island. He also nervously anticipated "something unfriendly" based on the presence of 12,000 soldiers and numerous ships at the nearby islands of Martinique and Guadaloupe. Several months later, he wrote to James Irvin, and recounted the story of Sharpe, a slave stolen by an American privateer and later recovered (January 6, 1778). A highlight of the letterbook is Winstone's letter to David Chollet of October 26, 1778, in which he described Dominica's feeble resistance to France's invasion and subsequent takeover: "we had only the Name of a Garrison [and] about forty Regulars to carry Arms…. We partly lay the blame on our Admiral who remained [at] an Anchor in Carlisle."

Winstone wrote particularly revealing letters concerning the war's financial consequences, to which he was well attuned. He noted that property in the West Indies had lost half of its value, and bemoaned the embargoes enacted by the British to halt French trade via Dominica, which had made his position as attorney general unprofitable (October 26, 1778). On June 18, 1779, he reported the difficulty of trading because of the risks associated with sending items to St. Eustatius en route to Europe. He also provided the prices of sugar, beef, and salt-fish, and requested assistance from Chollet in convincing Dutch ships to come to Dominica for trading purposes. On January 12, 1780, he wrote to Robert Melvill and described the ubiquitous high prices, the seizure of livestock for use by the military hospital, and the general suffering of the population. A terrible hurricane and destructive fire in the town of Roseau, described by Winstone on July 16, 1781, compounded the distress of the inhabitants.

Although many letters in the volume relate to political events and their financial consequences in Dominica, others concern more routine financial matters and events. On October 27, 1778, Winstone wrote a letter to accompany a slave he sold to Thomas Campbell, in which he intimated, "the Reason of my selling the Fellow is that he is disliked by the rest of the Negroes on the Plantation & he is addicted to running away." Many later letters relate strictly to financial matters, such as the mortgages of planters and the settling of accounts. The final letter in the volume, dated April 30, 1786, gives a rare glimpse into Winstone's personal life; in it, he hopes his daughter Rebecca ("Becks"), wife of his business associate Benjamin Sanford, has successfully delivered her first child.


Christopher Mason letter book, 1780-1783, 1794-1795

1 volume

The Christopher Mason letter book contains copied incoming and outgoing letters of a British navy officer who fought in America during the Revolutionary War. The volume covers communications from three of Mason's commands: HMS Delaware (1780), HMS Quebec (1781-1783) and HMS Zealous (1794-1795).

The Christopher Mason letter book (143 pages, 124 letters) contains copied incoming and outgoing letters of a British navy officer who fought in America during the Revolutionary War. The volume covers communications from three of Mason's commands: the HMS Delaware (1780), the HMS Quebec (1781-1783), and the HMS Zealous (1794-1795). The volume contains 79 incoming letters, an index for the 1794-1795 incoming items, and 43 outgoing letters. These include Mason's contact with the British Navy Board and with fellow officers serving during the Revolution.

The inscription on the front cover of the book reads: "Letters Relating to the War in America. Movements of Ships & Men, Information regarding the Enemy, Convoys, Lists of Rebel Ships, Victualling & Refitting, Exchange of Prisoners, List of Prizes taken, ETC."

Pages 1-49 and 1a-22a cover Mason's time on board the Delaware while it was stationed in Halifax Harbor and during its patrol of the coast of Maine (April 3-December 24, 1780). These letters contain details on the naval operations in the northern theater of the war. Topics include the conditions and activities of the British army and navy in Nova Scotia, the French and American navies, the Americans' use of whale boats to attack the British scouting ships, coal mining in Nova Scotia, and conflicts near Spanish River (Sydney, Nova Scotia), Penobscot River, St. Lawrence, and the Bay of Fundy.

Entries of note:
  • June 12, 1780, page 1a: Warren 's acknowledgement of control of the British fleet from Captain Cosby.
  • June 20, 1780, page 4a: News that the Nautilus was burned by the rebels.
  • July 9, 1780, page 37: Intelligence on conflicts with the French Fleet and rumors that George Washington had disappeared from the army for three weeks and might not return.
  • July 20, 1780, pages 14-19: A long letter from Peter Aplin describing enemy activities near Halifax. This item contains a list of rebel ships in the area and was delivered by two Native Americans.
  • July 27, 1780, page 13: Intelligence on the American ships the America, Thorn, and Brutus.
  • August 9, 1780, page 9a and August 11, 1780, page 24: A description of the condition of the Delaware, which had many rotten boards and was infested with rats. On September 16, 1780, page 13a, Warren "smoked" the ship to kill the rats.
  • September 11, 1780, page 48: News that General Horatio Gates was defeated in North Carolina by Cornwallis.
  • September 16, 1780, pages 14a-15a: A list of officers serving under Mason in Nova Scotia (name, office, ship, and reason for promotion), and a list of prizes seized or destroyed under Mason.

Pages 58-60 and 29a-34a document Warren's service patrolling the Delaware River and the North River (Hudson River) in the HMS Quebec (October 27, 1781-September 19, 1783). These communications are primarily between Warren and the admiralty office.

Entries of note:
  • October 27, 1781, page 30a: A list of convoy ships under Mason.
  • July 30, 1782, page 58: Complaints against Lieutenant Piers of the Argo for "Molesting the Inhabitants, turning cattle into their grounds, taking their wood without paying for it &ca. &ca. &ca."
  • December 23, 1782, page 31a: An account of taking the American ship the South Carolina and bringing the ship to New York.
  • January 2, 1783, page 32a: Rumors that peace has been settled and concern by Warren that this will decrease the value of the prize ship South Carolina.

Pages 62-88 and 41a-55a cover Warren's time when he was patrolling the British Channel and while he was stationed at Spithead and Plymouth in the HMS Zealous (May 17, 1794-April 24, 1795). Communications are largely to and from officers in the Admiralty Office, Navy Office, Office of Ordnance, and the Vitualling Office. These letters concern supplying ships with ammunition, cannons, and other provisions; disciplining and discharging sailors, and securing bounty owed to his crew on board the Zealous.

Entries of note:
  • November 21, 1794, page 44a: A report that failure to follow anchoring signals at sea caused damages to ships.
  • January 9, 1795, page 51a and January 15, 1783, page 83: Reports of Greek sailors replacing sick seamen on Warren's ship.

Clark W. Hatch collection, 1889-1891

3 volumes

This collection is made up of a letter book, stenographer's notes, and scrapbook pertaining to the trials of Clark W. Hatch of Boston, Massachusetts. Hatch was accused of murdering his uncle, Henry Hatch of Kit Carson County, Colorado, and, later, of defrauding his employer, the Travelers Insurance Company.

This collection is made up of a letter book, stenographer's notes, and scrapbook pertaining to the trials of Clark W. Hatch of Boston, Massachusetts. Hatch was accused of murdering his uncle, Henry Hatch of Kit Carson County, Colorado, and, later, of defrauding his employer, the Travelers Insurance Company.

The letter book (102 pages) contains correspondence regarding Hatch's arrest and trial for the murder of his uncle, Henry Hatch. Most items are copies of letters by William J. Lewis, an acquaintance of Clark W. Hatch. Lewis requested information from officials involved in the case, including a local sheriff, and on at least one occasion provided information on Hatch's movements around the time of the murder (September 5, 1889). Lewis also affirmed his loyalty to Hatch and urged the accused to maintain a calm demeanor, lest he raise suspicions about the funding of his legal assistance (March 3, 1890). The letter book also includes letters from Hatch and other parties interested in the case; some of these are pasted onto the letter book's pages.

H. C. Hollister, the official stenographer for Clark W. Hatch's initial trial under Judge Lewis C. Greene in Burlington, Colorado, in May 1889, composed typed copies of witnesses' testimonies (189 pages). Witnesses included Henry Hatch's acquaintances, the boys who discovered his body, and several people who had seen Henry Hatch or Clark Hatch around the time of the murder. Clark W. Hatch and his father-in-law, Orrin Poppleton, also testified. The testimonies provide details about Henry Hatch's life, Clark W. Hatch's life and occupation, and their mutual histories.

A 70-page scrapbook contains newspaper clippings about Clark W. Hatch's murder trials and his later legal difficulties. Most clippings are from the Burlington Blade, the Burlington Boomerang, and the Rocky Mountain News. The editors of the Burlington papers wrote about the case and its background, and shared their stances regarding Hatch's guilt. The scrapbook also contains recapitulations of Hatch's arrests and trials. Later clippings detail a late investigation into the forgery charges against Clark W. Hatch. The final clipping, dated May 1891, pertains to Hatch's disappearance.


Constantin family papers, 1800-1829 (majority within 1806-1809)

1 linear foot

The Constantin family papers are made up of correspondence, financial records, and other items related to the family's involvement in transatlantic shipping in the early 19th century. Personal and professional acquaintances corresponded with Barthelemy Constantin and his son Anthony of Bordeaux, France, and New York City, and the Constantins also compiled accounts, inventories, and receipts.

The Constantin family papers (1 linear foot) are made up of correspondence, financial records, and other items related to the family's involvement in trans-Atlantic shipping in the early 19th century.

The Correspondence series (around 330 items) contains personal and business letters, most of which were addressed to Barthelemy Constantin and Anthony Constantin from 1806-1809. Most items pertain to the Constantins' ship brokering business, finances, and shipments of goods between Europe and the United States. Personal letters to Anthony Constantin from his father, Barthelemy Constantin, and his brother, Simon Constantin, provide personal advice and news from Bordeaux. In a letter of August 9, 1806, Simon warned Anthony about potential military conflicts, and later letters from that year concern financial difficulties and disputes.

The Documents and Financial Records series (around 275 items) is divided into five subseries. The Accounts and Account Books subseries (8 items) pertains to cargo shipments, and 2 items also contain copies of business and personal letters. The Invoices and Receipts subseries concerns ships carrying building supplies, clothing, and other cargo between Bordeaux and New York. Fifteen printed Import Price Lists concern the wholesale prices of goods in Bordeaux and Nantes in 1806-1808. Twenty-five Inventories detail the goods aboard ships and other materials of the shipping business. The Financial Documents and Inventories of the Brig Batavian subseries includes cargo inventories and receipts of goods received in New York.

Anthony Constantin's Waste Book (8" x 12", 44 pages) has personal correspondence, poetry, accounts, and drawings. Visual subjects include architecture, a portrait, sketches of combs with pearls, and a drawing of a skeleton holding a sickle and a bottle. The Poem Book (4" x 6", 35 pages) belonged to Eloise Maria Le Comte. Miscellaneous items include an incomplete newspaper article about female heroism and a printed document, "Instruction contenant les principals dispositions des ordaonnances et reglemens applicables aux ecoles primaires de filles," as well as other items.


Daniel H. B. Davis letter books, 1871-1884 (majority within 1871-1875, 1879-1884)

3 volumes

This collection is comprised of 3 letter books containing copies of business and personal letters written by Daniel H. B. Davis, who owned a shipping firm that conducted business in New York City and in Lima, Peru. Davis wrote to his brother James and to his acquaintance B. H. Kaufmann, and discussed business matters and contemporary politics in Lima during the War of the Pacific.

This collection is comprised of 3 letter books containing copies of business and personal letters written by Daniel H. B. Davis, who owned a shipping firm that conducted business in New York City and in Lima, Peru. Davis's private correspondence relates to business affairs and, particularly in the later volumes, the politics of Peru, Bolivia, and Chile during the War of the Pacific.

Davis wrote the earliest letters in Volume 1 (January 10, 1871-May 10, 1875, 482 pages) from Lima, Peru, regarding the local affairs of Davis Brothers. After his return to New York, Davis wrote about his social life and commented on business. Volume 2 (June 9, 1879-April 19, 1881, 301 pages) also relates to business affairs, and contains letters to James B. Davis and to B. H. Kaufmann ("Harry"), a business associate in Lima. Davis discussed South American politics as conflicts between Peru, Chile, and Bolivia escalated into the War of the Pacific. This volume also contains several letters inserted between its front cover and first page, which were written by James B. Davis and B. H. Kaufmann between 1880 and 1881 and concentrate on South American politics. Davis lived in Lima, Peru, while composing Volume 3 (May 25, 1881-April 2, 1884, 493 pages) and continued to discuss politics and business; he occasionally described other aspects of life in Peru and commented on news from New York.


Denckla-Maison family papers, [1815-1891]

Approximately 4 linear feet

The Denckla-Maison family papers contain business and family correspondence and financial documents primarily concerning various land holdings and other financial matters of the Denckla and Maison families, who owned substantial property in Pennsylvania throughout the mid-19th century.

The Denckla-Maison family papers consist primarily of intra-family correspondence, usually regarding monetary affairs and real estate. Several themes are common throughout the collection, with a number of letters comprising lengthy correspondence series between different members of the family. Throughout the late 1800s, William P. Denckla and his wife, Julia wrote to his sister, Mary, asking her for financial support. The collection also includes a significant amount of correspondence from William Maison to his parents, Peter and Augusta Maison, describing his life with the Pollock family in Como, Illinois, in the 1850s and, later, his intent to permanently settle there. Other main topics of correspondence are land transactions, insurance policies, and Mary Denckla's inheritance of C. Paul Denckla's estate. Several items relate to the property dispute between William Pollock and Peter Maison, and other legal cases and lawsuits are also well represented. Though the bulk of the collection consists of correspondence, the collection also holds documents and ephemera. Among these are several notarized powers of attorney, hand-drawn maps, financial calculations, and business cards. Particular examples include a series of invoices for seats at a local church, a poem entitled "Hard Times," a deed for a grave plot and use of a sepulcher, and a certified copy of Augustus Denckla's will.

Bound items in the collection include the following:
  1. Executrix of estate of C. Paul Denckla, by Mary Denckla, 6 January 1861-2 November 1885
  2. Executrix of estate of C. Paul Denckla, by Mary Denckla, 19 November 1861-19 May 1888
  3. C. Paul Denckla receipt book, 30 December 1823-26 October 1843
  4. Kate M. Maison travel journal, 12 May 1869-30 July 1870
  5. Peter and Augusta Maison letter book, 17 November 1858-8 March 1862
  6. Augusta Maison letter book, 20 March 1862-14 July 1874
  7. C. Paul Denckla receipt book, 18 November 1843-3 December 1853
  8. C. Paul Denckla receipt book, 1852-1876
  9. Peter and Augusta Maison receipt book, 8 August 1825-24 August 1885
  10. Henry J. Denckla receipt book, 1 March 1845-19 August 1851
  11. [Augusta Maison] account book, 15 November 1866-26 January 1876
  12. Isaac Wampole receipt book, 7 August 1815-26 November 1826
  13. C. Paul Denckla account book, 12 October 1842-14 December 1842
  14. Mary Denckla account book, 12 September 1869-21 June 1872
  15. [Augusta Maison] account book, 3 January 1874-4 January 1884
  16. [Augusta Maison] account book, 6 January 1873-12 December 1884
  17. [C. Paul Denckla] rent book, 7 May 1844-January 1853
  18. [C. Paul Denckla] rent book, 11 October 1854-6 April 1872
  19. [Mary Denckla] rent book, 1877-1889
  20. Inventory of the estate of Paul Denckla, by Mary Denckla, 8 November 1861-9 May 1867

DuBois-Ogden-McIlvaine family papers, 1786-1983 (majority within 1801-1877)

3 linear feet

The DuBois-Ogden-McIlvaine papers contain the 19th-century letters, letter books, diaries, account books, and other miscellaneous material relating to the DuBois, Ogden, and McIlvaine families. The collection pulls together items from family members in New York, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, and Louisiana.

The DuBois-Ogden-McIlvaine papers (851 items) center on the writings and affairs of Sarah Platt Ogden DuBois, George Washington DuBois, Charles Pettit McIlvaine, and their extended families. The collection is comprised of 656 letters, six letter books, five diaries, four account books, one logbook, 29 genealogical records, and 46 poems, prayers, drawings, cards, and other miscellaneous items. The collection conists of items from family members in New York, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, and Louisiana.

The Correspondence series (656 items) contains letters written by the extended DuBois-Ogden-McIlvaine families. The earliest letters concern Cornelius DuBois, Sr. (1786-1794), and Sarah "Sally" Ogden, and are from friends and family (1799-1807). Of interest are the letters that discuss the birth and death of Sarah’s son Robert (March 14, 1804, and September 6, 1804).

The series contains 25 letters between Sarah P. O. DuBois on Long Island and her husband Cornelius DuBois in New York City (1812 and 1813). In these, the couple discussed domestic matters such as childbirth, child rearing, and Sarah's poor health. The bulk of the letters between 1813 and 1836 are addressed to Sarah from friends and family members. These provide a glimpse into the family members’ personal lives as well as their views on religious matters, manners, and child rearing.

Many of the letters from 1835 to1845 concern Reverend Charles P. McIlvaine and his siblings Henry, George, and Mary Ann DuBois. Also throughout the 1840s are letters relating to George W. DuBois, including 16 letters from his father, 33 from his wife, and 71 letters written by DuBois to various family members. Of interest are several letters written by Dubois during a European sojourn in 1847-1848 in which he discussed the political turmoil afflicting the Continent. From 1846 through September 1848, many of the letters are between Dubois and his love interest Mamey McIlvaine, in Gambier, Ohio, as well as a few to Mamey from her father, Bishop Charles McIlvaine.

Of special interest are five letters written by George W. Dubois during his time as the chaplain of the 11th Ohio Regiment Volunteers in 1862. The collection also contains several Civil War era letters from the family members on the home front.

Between 1891 and 1892, the series contains 10 letters from George W. Dubois living in Redwood, Colorado, to his mother, father, and siblings. These relate to family health, crops, a new camera, the exercise of bicycling for health reasons (Victor Safety Bicycle model C.), and religious matters. Several items concern DuBois' management of the Marble Cemetery, and describe logistics on moving bodies and selling portions of the cemetery.

Many of the 20th-century items are personal and business letters from Cornelius DuBois, Jr., and Mary S. DuBois. The items from 1960 to 1983 relate to family genealogy collected by the ancestors of the DuBois, McIlvaine, and Ogden families. These also provide provenance information for items in this collection.

The Letter books series (6 items) contains copy books of letters written by Sarah P. O. DuBois, Charles P. McIlvaine, and George W. DuBois. The Sarah P. O. DuBois letter book (92 pages) is comprised of letters to family members spanning 1782 to 1819. McIlvaine’s letter book (125 pages) contains autographs and letters from various prominent religious, government, military, and academic leaders from 1830 to1873. Also present is a binder of typed copies of letters to and from McIlvaine. Many of the original incoming letters are in the correspondence series.

Notable items include:
  • July 21, 1829: Leonidas Polk, a personal letter discussing religion and indicating the role religion played at West Point
  • May 17, 1848: John C. Calhoun, a letter of recommendation for the letter bearer
  • September 16, 1850: Jefferson Davis, concerning reminiscences on instruction at West Point
  • January 8, 1861: Senator John Sherman, concerning the coming war
  • February 7, 1861: John McLean, a personal letter discussing the likely formation of a southern Confederacy within the month
  • August 21, 1862: William H. Seward, a private letter discussing European opinions about the Civil War
  • November 18, 1862: George McClellan, defending his actions in the war and remembering McIlvaine's visit to the front
  • May 29, 1863: Ambrose Burnside, a Civil War travel pass
  • February 15, 1864: James A. Garfield, concerning his views on treason
  • June 19, 1865: Edwin M. Stanton, regarding the military’s use of seminary buildings in Alexandria, Virginia
  • June 19, 1867: Rutherford B. Hayes, concerning the recovery of articles taken by Union troops during the Civil War
  • February 7, 1870: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, a personal letter
  • February 9, 1871: Samuel P. Chase, a request for McIlvaine to perform the marriage of his daughter
  • July 10, 1873: Henry Ward Beecher, personal letter

The "Commercial Manifold" copybook (4 pages) contains a fragment of a letter by an anonymous author (October 1879). The final two letter books are both from George W. DuBois. The first (165 pages) spans January 1883 to April 1885, and includes letters, poems, prayers, music, and drawings. The second (99 pages) spans November 1886 to January 1887, and contains letters, a recipient index, and one poem written by DuBois' daughter Mary Cornelia DuBois.

The Diaries, Account Books, and Ships' Logs series (10 items) is comprised of bound volumes that contain personal and financial information on family members:

These include:
  • 1827-1836: Sarah P. O. DuBois' account book, containing itemized monthly expenses for doctor and apothecary visits; sewing; carriage hires and traveling; charity; and mortgage accounts from 1907-1910
  • September 1842-August 1848: George W. DuBois' "Journal No. 1" covering his time at the Theological Seminary at Gambier, Ohio, at age 19, through his European travels in 1848
  • 1847-c.1949: Typescripts of George W. DuBois' journals from 1847-1848 (2 pages) and 1861 (9 pages), and Harry O. DuBois' recollections recorded sometime before his death in 1949 (21 pages)
  • April 21-May 22, 1848: George W. DuBois' logbook for his voyage on the ship Victoria from London to New York. Enclosed is a small photograph of George W. DuBois
  • 1852-May 1893: Two journals kept by George W. DuBois, the first spanning February 1852-May 1878, and the second spanning from February 1853-July 1893. Book one contains business accounts for 1852-1853 (p.2-107), 1853-1857 (p.198-261), and 1873-1875 (271-278), along with George W. DuBois’ and Eugene DuBois' personal accounts from 1872-1874 (p.398-405). Pages 282-299 contain a list of signatures for the Post Office of Crosswicks Creek, New Jersey. Book two consists of a "Farm Day Book," comprised of the accounts and activities of George W. DuBois' farm. Beginning at the back of the volume are 160 pages of meteorological and astronomical records noting latitude and longitude calculations.
  • April 1853-July 1854: Typescript from Kenyon College of Emily Coxe McIlvaine's European trip
  • July 1861-February 1862: A typescript of the Journal of Reverend George W. DuBois while chaplain of the 11th Ohio Regiment during the Civil War
  • 1882-1905: An account book containing records on mortgages, inventories, securities, interest payments, and accounts for various people and companies, kept by George W. DuBois and his son Cornelius M. DuBois
  • 1892-1895: An unsigned journal and poetry book, including 13 pages of verse (some likely original) and a seven-page diary of a trip in upstate New York

The Documents series (42 items) contains of 33 legal documents, George W. DuBois' commission in the Ohio Army as a chaplin in 1861, Cornelius DuBois’ war deeds, and the will of Charles P. McIlvaine. Twentieth-century items include wills and executor documents for Mary Cornelia DuBois, Henrietta DuBois Burnham (draft), Mary Constance DuBois, Peter DuBois, and a copy of Cornelius DuBois ' (father to George W. DuBois) will.

The Genealogy series (29 items) consists of several manuscript books and loose notes, documenting the genealogy of the families represented in the collection. Of interest are notes for the McIlvaine, Reed, and Coxe families beginning in the 14th century and following the line to the early 1700s (9 pages); a comb bound booklet containing "genealogical charts prepared for the decedents of Floyd Reading DuBois and Rosilla Marshall" with annotations; and a DuBois Family Album, which contains copied letters, biographies, and genealogical notes, including copies of letters between siblings Robert and Sarah Ogden and from Sarah to her son Henry Augustus Dubois.

Of note in the volume:
  • Pages 59-83: Record of descendents of John Ogden "The Pioneer" as early as 1460 and continuing through the 19th Century
  • Pages 86-89: Detailed biography of Henry Augustus Ogden
  • Pages 90-93: Biography of brother Cornelius DuBois, Jr.
  • Pages 100-106: Epenetus Platt's family line (George Washington DuBois' great-great-great maternal grandfather)
  • Pages 111-113: Indexes to journals and letters in the collection
  • Pages 114-248: Blank
  • Pages 249-269: Three copied letters between family members in the 1820-1830s and a short biography for George W. DuBois

The Photographs and Engravings series (9 items) contains an engraving of Charles P. McIlvaine and Robert J. Chichester, photographs of C.E. McIlvaine and George Washington DuBois, and five photographs depicting rustic life on a lake.

The Miscellaneous and Ephemera series (46 items) is comprised of 12 poems, prayers, manuscript music, and drawings (undated); 23 printed holiday cards and calling cards (1904 and undated); 18 newspaper clippings, including family death and marriage announcements (February 4, 1910-July 1983 and undated); 14 religious announcements and pamphlets (1873-[1925]); and 10 writing fragments and ephemeral items, such as dried flowers and lace handmade coasters.

Items of note include:
  • Undated: Sketch of the McIlvaine homestead, and music for a chorus entitled "There is a Lord of Pure Delight" by Harry O. DuBois.
  • Undated: Typed copy of Daniel Coxe's A Description of the English Province of Carolina By the Spanish Called Florida and by the French Louiseane..., written in 1727 and published in London.

Duncan and Hugh MacKenzie collection, 1872-1919 (majority within 1889, 1917-1919)

9 items

This collection is made up of one letterbook containing 41 retained draft letters by Scottish immigrant Duncan MacKenzie in New York City between May and August 1886, and eight letters by Duncan's son Hugh MacKenzie while he served in the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) during World War I. Duncan MacKenzie was a manager of the Argyle sugar plantation on St. Vincent for 19 years before the plantation sold and he was forced to seek work in New York in the spring and summer of 1886. While there, he wrote letters to siblings, cousins, business contacts, and his wife Amy MacKenzie, who remained on St. Vincent with their children. These letters inform recipients of his efforts to find work, requests for financial assistance, and frustrations at being middle aged and unable to provide for his family. He could not find work and ultimately moved to St. Croix, where he worked as an overseer on the La Grande Princesse sugar plantation. Hugh K. MacKenzie wrote eight letters to his brother Colin F. MacKenzie while testing and training for the CEF Engineers, Signal Division at Toronto and Ottawa in 1917, from England and France in the fall of 1918, and from Germany and Belgium, December 1918-January 1919.

This collection is made up of one letterbook containing 41 retained draft letters by Scottish immigrant Duncan MacKenzie in New York City between May and August 1886, and eight letters by Duncan's son Hugh MacKenzie while he served in the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) during World War I. Duncan MacKenzie was a manager of the Argyle sugar plantation on St. Vincent for 19 years before the plantation sold and he was forced to seek work in New York in the spring and summer of 1886. While there, he wrote letters to siblings, cousins, business contacts, and his wife Amy MacKenzie, who remained on St. Vincent with their children. These letters inform his recipients of his efforts to find work, requests for financial assistance, and frustrations at being middle aged and unable to provide for his family. He could not find work and ultimately moved to St. Croix, where he worked as an overseer on the La Grande Princesse sugar plantation. Hugh K. MacKenzie wrote eight letters to his brother Colin F. MacKenzie while testing and training for the CEF Engineers, Signal Division at Toronto and Ottawa in 1917, from England and France in the fall of 1918, and from Germany and Belgium, December 1918-January 1919.

Please see the box and folder listing below for details about the contents of each letter.


Dutilh & Wachsmuth collection, 1769-1833 (majority within 1781-1810)

0.75 linear feet

The Dutilh & Wachsmuth collection is made up of business correspondence, financial records, and documents related to the Philadelphia merchant company in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Many items concern George Louis Stockar, a Swiss merchant living in La Rochelle, France.

The Dutilh & Wachsmuth collection is made up of approximately 160 letters and documents, 250 financial records, and 12 printed items related to the Philadelphia merchant company in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Many items concern George Louis Stockar, a Swiss merchant living in La Rochelle, France.

The Correspondence and documents series contains approximately 160 items, including the incoming business correspondence of Dutilh & Wachsmuth. The firm frequently dealt with food and lumber, and traded with merchants in French port cities, such as Bordeaux and Marseille, and in Philadelphia. Correspondents occasionally reported on the wheat trade and sometimes commented on political events in France and Haiti. Within a group of 14 items related to Captain Jean Christopher Sicard is a chart concerning a shipment of cargo between Marseille and New York, transported by Captain Sicard and signed on May 28, 1793. A group of approximately 10 items dating from 1781 to 1785 relate to George Louis Stockar, and include papers about his establishment of a business in La Rochelle, France. One letter, dated May 27, 1790, is written in German by M. Lang to John Godfried Wachsmuth, detailing a trip from Philadelphia to Fort Pitt. Lang notes the death of a pet dog, being injured by a captive bear, conflict with German settlers, and being persuaded by a wealthy family travelling with slaves to serve as their guide and protector against Native American attacks as they descended to Kentucky.

The Financial papers consist of approximately 250 items, such as account books, loose accounts, receipts, and other types of financial records, mostly related to the Dutilh & Wachsmuth firm's financial affairs. Some of the accounts pertain to John Dutilh's personal finances.

Among the collection's 12 Printed Items are a declaration by King Louis XVI, issued on June 20, 1784, to the citizens of the Canton of Schaffhausen, and a public letter to the citizens of the Pays-Bas region (May 26, 1795).


Eckert and Baxter records, 1814-1816

1 volume

Abstract: A letterbook of John Welsh Eckert and J. Baxter, British merchants who traded cotton, sugar, cocoa, and other items between the Caribbean and Europe during the War of 1812.

This volume documents John Welsh Eckert and J. Baxter's shipping business between 1814 and 1816. The book contains copies of letters written to investors that describe details about shipments of cotton, sugar, cocoa, hides, straw for hats, rum, gold (dust and bars), paint, wooden planks, and, in one letter, Peruvian sheep or llamas, to Cartagena, Cuba, Montego Bay, England, and Europe. They occasionally report on developments between the British and Americans during the War of 1812, since the American embargo of raw cotton to England made it a particularly valuable commodity. The letters mention the prices of goods and the value of cargo. Another issue is the settlement and collection of unpaid debts and disputes, the largest of which was the loss of two ships, one lead by Captain William Purcell, which were captured by Spanish privateers. Much of the business concerned Thomas O'Reilly (a London merchant in Kingston Jamaica), Mr. John Burke, Captain Campbell, and Captain Darby. Ships mentioned include the Ship Annete, the Sloop Chance, the British Sloop Herold, the Brig El Blanco (landing in Montego Bay), and the Brig Caledonia.

Approximately one third of the letters are in Spanish and the rest are in English.


Edmund Whitman papers, 1830-1881

73 items

The Edmund Whitman papers contain personal and military accounts and records concerning Whitman's teaching, Civil War service as chief quartermaster, and post-war work locating the graves of Union soldiers.

The Edmund Whitman papers contain 23 personal account books/diaries, 3 military account and letter books, a document, and 38 newspaper clippings. The materials span 1830-1881.

The Personal Account Books/Diaries series contains 23 volumes covering 1830-1876. They primarily contain information on Whitman's financial transactions, but also record major life events and feature occasional brief diary entries. While most of the volumes contain information on only one year, Volume I covers 1830-1855 in many brief entries, and several pages in the back of the volume note events such as his wedding to Nancy Russell, which took place "in a Hurricane at K[ingston]" (September 30, 1839), the deaths of his parents and wife, and the dates and places of his children's births and school attendance. The volumes for the years 1851 and 1853 contain only financial entries, which document the economic aspects of running the Hopkins Classical School in Cambridge. In addition to accounts, the 1855 volume contains a page of genealogical information, compiled by Whitman, which sheds light on several generations of the Whitman and Russell lines. Other volumes contain lists of publications and books that Whitman wanted to purchase (1858), and beginning in 1862, scattered military transactions mixed in with personal accounts. Tucked into the pocket of the 1865 volume is a table of the burial locations of approximately 20 Union soldiers who died in Missouri. In late July 1866, Whitman wrote a lengthy entry about cemeteries in Knoxville and Chattanooga, Tennessee. The later books in the series, 1872-1876, document Whitman's travel, interest from investments, and general transactions. The collection also contains two ongoing accounts, placed at the end: one spans 1856-1880, and records transactions related to the National Kansas Committee, and later, the schooling of Whitman's children; and another volume primarily records tuition transactions from the 1840s to the 1870s.

The Military Account Books and Letterbook series contains three items. The first account book covers May 1, 1863-December 1864 and lists payments made by Whitman, mainly to soldiers, on behalf of the United States government. The second volume contains similar records for the period of January 1, 1867-August 20, 1868, when the government undertook efforts to identify the graves of Union soldiers and rebury many of them in national cemeteries. Unlike the previous volume, this book provides information on the reason for each payment, whether "postage," "service," "hired men," "towing," or "purchase." The letterbook covers April 11, 1865-April 25, 1868, and records and summarizes the content of incoming letters to Whitman. The letters mainly contain requests for such items as fuel, clothing, and livestock, or for payments by the government for requisitioned items.

The Miscellaneous series contains a promotion document for Whitman, signed by Ulysses S. Grant (November 15, 1867), and 38 newspaper clippings from the 1850s to the 1870s, mainly pertaining to the Kansas controversy and its aftermath.

The collection also includes nine large format volumes kept by Edmund B. Whitman, containing correspondence, letter abstracts, and accounts of the office of the Assistant and Chief Quartermaster, District of Tennessee.


Eyre Coote papers, 1775-1925 (majority within 1775-1830)

21 linear feet

The Eyre Coote papers contain the military, family, and estate material of Sir Eyre Coote, a prominent British officer who participated in the Revolutionary war and many military expeditions in the early 19th century. The papers include military commissions, letters and letterbooks, orderly books, journals, notebooks, diaries, financial accounts, genealogical material, estate and legal papers, newspapers, and maps.

The Eyre Coote papers consist of 41 boxes containing 1,925 numbered items, covering Eyre Coote’s military papers and family and estate material. These include: 13 Eyre Coote military commissions; 1,160 military letters, mostly to Coote; 22 letterbooks, containing copies of Coote’s correspondence, predominately to military and political figures; 69 orderly books covering Coote’s career from 1775 to 1809; 35 journals, notebooks, and diaries recording expedition details, day-to-day activities, and financial accounts; 14 items of genealogical material; 359 family letters; 200 financial papers; 235 estate and legal papers; 26 bound family and estate volumes; 83 newspapers, nearly all collected by Eyre Coote (1857-1925) with various references to either Sir Eyre Coote or the Coote family; and 40 maps.

The Military Papers series contains the letters, letterbooks, orderly books, and journals of Eyre Coote; these papers are organized into five subseries. See Additional Descriptive Data for a timeline of Eyre Coote's military placements.

The Commissions subseries (13 items) is comprised of Eyre Coote's official military commissions, from his assignment as an adjutant in the 37th Regiment in 1778 to his appointment as colonel of the 34th (Cumberland) Regiment in 1810. Such notable officers as William Howe, Henry Clinton, Thomas Townshend, William Henry Cavendish-Bentinck, and Thomas Pelham signed these documents.

The Military Correspondence and Documents subseries (1160 items) consists of letters and documents concerning Coote's activities in the British military. These cover his role in the Revolutionary War with the 37th Regiment; his expedition to Egypt and the Mediterranean; his governorship in Jamaica; and his service in England, Ireland, and the Netherlands. Item types include letters from all ranks of the British army and navy; copies of letters written by Coote; accounts and receipts for supplies and payment of Coote's regiments; general orders, instructions, regulations, and memoranda; and copies of addresses given to various military and political audiences. Correspondence topics include notable military events and division maneuvers; regimental management, reviews and inspections; disciplinary actions and courts martial; capture and requests for parole; appointments, promotions, the purchases of ranks; military intelligence; soldier defections; and health and sickness of soldiers and family.

Notable material includes:
  • A Loyalist poem entitled "An address to Americans" [1775]
  • Revolutionary War items concerning the 37th Regiment in Virginia and Pennsylvania (1776-1782)
  • Private six-page memorandum containing Coote's description of landing near Ostend, his destroying the gates, and his subsequent capture (May 1798)
  • Letters between Coote and John Hely-Hutchinson concerning the British/French conflict in Egypt, including 5 reports from Coote on the state of the Abū Qīr Hospital (March 1801)
  • Material documenting Coote's governorship of Jamaica, such as letters from British Administration at Downing Street, including one item from Robert Stewart Castlereagh warning of the likelihood of a "negro insurrection" (April, 4, 1807), and material related to slavery and the slave trade in the West Indies
  • Letters describing the attack and unsuccessful occupation of Walcheren, Netherlands, (1809)
  • Two printed reports on the parliamentary inquiry into the Walcheren expedition (published 1811)

This series contains two printed items: two findings of the parliamentary inquiry into the Walcheren expedition, published in 1811.

The Letter Books subseries (22 volumes) consists of books with copies of letters to and from Coote concerning his military activities (1786-1809).

These letter books largely document Coote's correspondence with other British officers and regiments, while he was stationed at the following locations:
  • Bandon, Ireland, 1796-1798
  • Ostend, Netherlands, 1798
  • Dover, England, 1798-1801
  • Alexandria, Egypt, 1801
  • Southampton, England, 1800-1801
  • Athlone, Loughrea, Castlebar, Fermoy and Cork, Ireland, 1803-1804
  • Jamaica, 1805-1808
  • Walcheren, Netherlands, 1809

Many of the copied letters concern other British officers, including: Major Boulter Johntone, Captain Thomas Neill, Lieutenant Thomas Walsh, and Lieutenant Colonel William Yorke, among others. Of note are copies of messages from the Jamaican House of Assembly with Coote's replies and speeches (21 October 1806 -- 5 April 1808).

The Order Books subseries (69 volumes) consists of regimental and battalion orderly books and rosters, as well as books of general orders.

Below is a list of the regiments and missions documented in this series:
  • 37th Regiment of Light Infantry's activities in Dublin, Ireland; York Island [Manhattan], New York; and Elkton, Maryland; their march towards Chadds Ford, New Jersey; their participation in the Battle of Brandywine; and their efforts at Germantown, Philadelphia, Jamaica [Long Island], and New York City, 1775-1779
  • Battalion Order Book: Staten Island; at sea; James Island; Drayton House; William’s House; Charleston; Monk’s Corner; Philipsburg, South Carolina; and Flushing, New York, 1779-1781
  • 47th Regiment at New York and later at various English cities: Lancaster; Preston; Warrington; Warrington [Cheshire]; Whitehaven [Cumbria]; Whitehaven; Drogheda; and Limerick, Ireland, 1781-1785
  • Also a duty roll of the 56th and 47th Regiments for 6 September 1783
  • Standing orders for the 70th or Surrey Regiment, 1786
  • Standing orders for the Sussex Regiment of militia, 1792
  • General Order Book of the expedition to the West Indies, 1793-1794, with headquarters in Barbados, Guadeloupe, and Port Royal, Martinique
  • General and Garrison Order Book of the regiment garrisoned at Dover, Canterbury, Bandon and Dunmanway, Cork, throughout 1797-1799
  • General Order Book for the expedition to Ostend, Netherlands,1798-1799
  • General and battalion orders for the expedition to Helder, Netherlands, headquartered at Schagerburg and Helder
  • General orders for the expedition to Egypt, at sea on board HMS Kent, and at headquarters in Alexandria, 1800-1801
  • General and district orders for the regiment garrisoned at Dublin, Cork, and the south-western district, Ireland, 1804
  • General orders for the regiment intended for the West Indies, including Jamaica, 1805-1808
  • General orders for the regiment intended for Walcheren Island, Netherlands, expedition, garrisoned at Portsmouth, London, and ‘at sea’ and later at headquarters in Middleburg and on Walcheren Island. Endorsed ‘Lieut.-Colonel [Thomas] Walsh', 1809
This subseries holds 3 printed items:
  • A list of the General and Field Officers, as they Rank in the Army. Printed by J. Millan, London, 1758 (160 pages).
  • Standing Orders to be Observed in the 47th (or Lancashire) Regiment, by Order of Lieutenant-Col. Paulus Æmilus Irving. Printed by Edward Flin, opposite Quay-Lane, Limerick, 1785. (40 pages with additional blank forms of documents).
  • Regimental Standing Orders, Issued by the Field Officers and to be Observed by the 70th (or Surry [sic]) Regiment of Foot. And to be Read to the Men, with the Articles of War. Printed by Catherine Finn, Kilkenny, 1788 (50 pages with additional blank forms of documents).

The Journals and Notebooks subseries (35 items) contains journals, notebooks, and diaries related to both military and personal matters. Eyre Coote kept many volumes that contain his remarks and reflections on regiments, forts, and military expeditions lead by him. Fellow officers, including Major General Archibald Campbell, Major Henry Worsley, and Lieutenant Thomas Walsh, kept the other journals. Of particular interest are two of Walsh's journals kept during Coote's expedition to Egypt; these contain numerous maps of the region and sketches and watercolors of cities, landmarks, and monuments in Egypt and along the Mediterranean coast (June-December 1801). Locations mentioned are Alexandria, Egypt; Ceuta, Spain; Houat, France; Marmaris, Turkey; Tangiers, Morocco; and Valletta, Malta. Monuments pictured include the Grecian mausoleum at Marci; the Great Sphinx; the Great Pyramids of Giza; Pompey’s pillar; Cleopatra’s needle; Porte des Bombes; Palace of the Grand-Masters; and funeral monuments for various Grand Masters of the Order of St. John in Malta. Also of interest are 10 volumes recording Coote’s daily movements and his expenses (1784-1800).

The Family and Estate Material series contains genealogical materials, family correspondence, financial papers, and personal journals and notebooks; these are organized into five subseries.

The Genealogy Material and Notes subseries (14 items) consists of documents relating to Coote family genealogy. Among the 14 items are a 17th-18th century genealogical chart, a volume entitled Memoirs of the Anchent and Noble family of Coote (late 18th century), the wills of Reverend Chidley Coote (1730) and Sir Eyre Coote (1827), and memoranda of biographical information on Coote and the Coote family. The series also contains locks of hair from Eyre Coote's immediate family, and two official Coote seals.

The Family Correspondence subseries contains letters concerning various members of the Coote family.

These letters are arranged by correspondent in the following groups:
  • Coote, Eyre, Sir, 1726-1783, to Susan Hutchinson Coote
  • Coote, Eyre, Sir, 1759-1823
  • Coote, Jane Bagwell
  • Fordingbridge Yeomanry Cavalry (1830-1833)
  • Miscellaneous

The correspondence of Coote’s second wife Jane and his son Eyre are also catalogued under a separate heading. The remaining correspondence concerns Eyre Coote’s (d. 1834) education, and the organization of the Fordingbridge Yeomanry Cavalry.

The Financial Papers subseries contains 200 items largely grouped into bundles of bills and receipts for Eyre Coote and Lady Jane Coote's expenses. These include receipts for a service of china, a list of personal jewelry, and a veterinary bill for Coote's horses.

The Estate and Legal Papers subseries is organized into three groups: the Estates in Ireland (1798-1827); the Estates in England (1807-1828); and the Estate and family papers (1897-1925). These papers include letters and documents concerning leases and rent payments, property sales, land disputes, feuding tenants, land use (agriculture), property development, wills and estate transfers, and banking matters. This subseries also contains published correspondence between Coote's family and their legal representative, A plain statement of facts, relative to Sir Eyre Coote (London, 1816), relating to Coote's prosecution for indecency (1815-1816).

Lady Jane Coote handled many letters concerning the estates in Ireland, including decisions regarding raising or reducing rent and managing accounts that were in arrears. Other Ireland material includes 28 half-yearly accounts prepared by the firm Dublin and Maryborough, covering 1796-1817. The England papers largely concern the West Park property, which were largely handled by Eyre Coote. Of note are the audited income and expenditure accounts for West Park, prepared by William Baldwin (1815-1822) and a wine cellar inventory book (1810-1839 and 1966). Estate and family papers document Eyre Coote's (1857-1925) handling of the Coote properties.

The Family, Estate, and Financial Bound Volumes subseries contains the bound estate papers and the personal journals and notebooks of the Coote family. Estate volumes include an item containing copies of wills and accounts, and 5 lists of tenants at the Coote's West Park estate and their Irish estates. Among the personal items are two journals kept by Eyre Coote (1806-1834) that contain his observations of Italy and Switzerland (1821), and a sketchbook of pencil and ink drawings of coastlines, towns, boats, antiquities, buildings, and volcanoes, which he made while sailing in the Mediterranean. Financial volumes include private account books of Eyre Coote (1830-1864) and of his son Eyre Coote (1857-1925) and accounts for their West Park estate.

The Newspapers series contains 83 newspaper clippings, nearly all collected by Eyre Coote (1857-1925), with various references to either Sir Eyre Coote or the Coote family. These clippings span from 1766-1926 and come from 24 different publications (see Additional Descriptive Data for a complete list). Articles document honors bestowed upon the Coote family, death notices for members of the Coote family, and reports of Eyre Coote's activities in the House of Lords and in the military. Of note is an item mentioning the first Sir Eyre Coote's defeat of Hyder Ali at Porto Novo, Benin (The Gazetteer and New Daily Advertiser, December 18, 1781); a "Law Report" concerning Major Armstrong's attempt to summon Coote for a duel (The Times, June 11, 1801); and 16 items related to the Walcheren Expedition and Coote's attack on Flushing, Netherlands (The Morning Chronicle, July 1809-April 1810).

The Maps series (40 items) consists of maps of England, Ireland, the Netherlands, Portugal, and locations in the Mediterranean, including Egypt and Asia Minor (Turkey). Thirty-three maps are housed to the Map Division (see Additional Descriptive Data for list of maps). Additionally, the collection contains 63 maps found within the military papers, orderly books, journals, and notebooks. These have been cataloged and can be found in the University of Michigan library catalog (search for "Coote Maps").

The Manuscripts Division has detailed a calendar of the Eyre Coote papers. The following calendar contains item-level description and additional background information on the Coote genealogy: Eyre Coote Papers Calendar.


Fort Wayne Indian Agency collection, 1801-1815

3 volumes

The Fort Wayne Indian Agency collection consists of a letterbook kept by Indian agents John Johnston and Benjamin Franklin Stickney; an English-to-Ottawa dictionary, likely written by Stickney; and a memorandum book kept by Johnston during his time at Fort Wayne.

The Fort Wayne Indian Agency collection consists of a letterbook kept by Indian agents John Johnston and Benjamin Franklin Stickney; an English to Ottawa dictionary, likely written by Stickney; and a memorandum book kept by Johnston during his time at Fort Wayne.

The Fort Wayne Indian Agency Letter book (189 pages) was compiled by agents John Johnston (April 15, 1809-November 30, 1811) and Benjamin F. Stickney (April 18, 1812-October 1, 1815), who documented all accounts, disputes, complaints, and other occurrences that transpired between the soldiers at the fort and the Native Americans. The letterbook records the agency business during the critical years before and during the War of 1812, when Fort Wayne was a vital part of American frontier defenses. The volume is comprised of copies of letters, speeches, circulars, and documents, to and from the agents and various departments of the United States government. The correspondents include Presidents Jefferson and Madison; Secretary of State James Monroe, Secretaries of War Henry Dearborn, John Armstrong, and William H. Crawford; the governor of Indiana Territory, William Henry Harrison; and Michigan governors William Hull and Lewis Cass; as well as several Indian chiefs (listed in Additional Descriptive Data). The entries contain lists of supplies received at Fort Wayne, lists of supplies and gifts extended to the Indians, receipts for work done at the garrison, reports on Indian activities, speeches addressed to the Indians, accounts of the war on the frontier, and reports about other conflicts in the area. The volume concludes with a 13-page "statements and observations relating to the Indian department" which summarizes Stickney's efforts during the War of 1812. For a complete transcription of the letterbook, along with a thorough index, see:

Thornbrough, Gayle. Letter Book of the Indian Agency At Fort Wayne, 1809-1815. Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Society, 1961.

The English to Ottawa dictionary (40 pages) contains phonetic spellings for English words in the language of the Ottawa Indians (the Ottawa speak a dialect of Ojibwe). The book, likely composed by Stickney, contains words for mammals, fowl, birds, fish, reptiles, elements (earth, water, wood, stone, clay, etc.) plants, trees, body parts and facial features, food, maladies, medicine, feelings (love, malice, envy etc.), celestial features, weather, clothes and other goods, numbers, colors, and useful phrases. In addition to providing information on the Ottawan language, the dictionary relates concepts and terms that were important to the Americans. This volume was likely never published.

John Johnston kept the Fort Wayne memorandum book (145 pages) during his tenure as Indian agent at Fort Wayne, from 1802-1811. The volume contains both personal and official material. The first entry was March 20, 1801, when Johnson was appointed by General Henry Dearborn to be a clerk in the War Department. He arrived at Fort Wayne on September 20, 1802. The volume contains several lists of supplies for Fort Wayne and for gifts to the Indians, and records bills and accounts from the Indian agency and the War Department. Many of the accounts concern Indian agent William Wells (1802-1803). Johnston also made notes on his daily responsibilities, of enquiries into food and supplies, and on people traveling to and from Fort Wayne and Washington D.C.; Dayton, Ohio; and Detroit, Michigan. Several entries relate to Native Americans, and discuss Little Turtle's adopted son and the husband of Little Turtle's daughter. Among Johnston's personal notes are financial records for planting his farm and orchard in 1808. The memorandum book provides information about life in the Indiana Territory in the early 19th century.


Frank J. Hecker papers, 1868-1908 (majority within 1898-1905)

1.75 linear feet

The Frank J. Hecker papers are primarily made up of official letters and documents pertaining to his service during and following the Spanish-American war (1898-1899) as Chief of the Division of Transportation, Quartermaster's Department, and as a member of the Isthmian Canal Commission (1904). The collection also contains scrapbooks and newspaper clippings related to his work in these capacities, plus miscellaneous photographs, printed items, and ephemera.

The Frank J. Hecker papers are primarily made up of official letters and documents pertaining to his service during and following the Spanish-American War (1898-1899) as Chief of the Division of Transportation, Quartermaster's Department, and as a member of the Isthmian Canal Commission (1904). The collection also contains newspaper clippings related to his work in these capacities and miscellaneous photographs, printed items, and ephemera.

Frank Hecker's correspondence and documents begin in June 1898, as he began to manage the purchase of transport ships. Correspondents include Hecker, Russell Alexander Alger (Secretary of War), Charles Patrick Eagan (Commissary General of Subsistence), George D. Meiklejohn, Nelson A. Miles (Commander, U.S. Army), William Giles Harding Carter, and many representatives of companies in business with the government. The letters are all official, mostly regarding the purchase and charter of ships; the inspection of ships; and the procurement of laborers, construction materials, and equipment throughout the campaigns in Cuba, Puerto Rico, and elsewhere.

The letters and documents include Frank Hecker's appointment as Chief of the Division of Transportation within the Quartermaster Department; J. M. Ceballas and Company's report of expenses for the transportation of prisoners of war from Santiago de Cuba to Spanish ports, September 1898; correspondence regarding proposed stations for U.S. troops in Cuba and the construction of railways and piers; and other communications respecting transportation, supplies, and storage.

Frank Hecker's two letter books consist of retained copies of his official War Department letters to governmental and military personnel and various businesses. This correspondence contains additional detailed information on the purchase, charter, and maintenance of transport ships and equipment, as well as administrative and financial decisions related to them.

From 1899 to 1903, the collection's correspondence and documents follow up on Hecker's work during the Spanish-American War. Among these are legal documents regarding the John C. Calhoun v. Atlantic Transport Company case (including Hecker's testimony before the Supreme Court, New York County). John Calhoun brought suit with the transport company for commission related to the sale of several vessels to the U.S. government during the war. The correspondence and documents also include one small, undated, Spanish-American War-era notebook, marked "Col. F.J. Hecker. U.S. Vols." Each of approximately 50 pages in this volume contains a ship's name, owning company, tonnage, size, speed, claimed capacity, and cost of charter.

The correspondence and documents dated 1904ff. begin with President Theodore Roosevelt's appointment of Col. Hecker to the (second) Isthmian Canal Commission and a letter specifying the responsibilities of the Commission. The bulk of this material is made up of the proceedings of the Isthmian Canal Commission. The proceedings (meetings 1-49, 53-55, 60) consist of minutes and resolutions, awarded contracts, financial distributions, subcommittee appointments, and other administrative paperwork. Hecker's letter of resignation to Theodore Roosevelt (November 11, 1904) is present, as is the President's letter of acceptance and a series of letters to Hecker, lamenting his decision to leave the commission. Several of them (particularly Russell Alger's of December 1, 1904, and George W. Davis' of January 17, 1905) suggest that Hecker's resignation was in part the result of confusion and turmoil caused by the allegations made against him by the newspapers.

The collection also includes two scrapbooks with content largely related to Frank Hecker's unsuccessful run for Congress (Detroit, Michigan) in 1892, his service on the Isthmian Canal Commission (1904ff.), and the World War I service of his son Christian Henry Hecker, in the 338th Infantry. Other materials include loose clippings from Detroit and New York newspapers with content concerning Hecker's resignation from the Isthmian Canal board. Please see the detailed box and folder listing for a complete list of photographs, printed items, and ephemera.


George Albert Taber collection, 1869-1895 (majority within 1871-1886)

0.25 linear feet

This collection contains correspondence, poetry, financial records, and other items related to the medical career of George A. Taber, a homeopathic physician who attended and taught at the University of Michigan and practiced in New York and Virginia in the late 19th century.

This collection (0.25 linear feet) contains correspondence, financial records, patient visiting records, poetry, and other items related to the medical career of George A. Taber, a homeopathic physician, who attended and taught at the University of Michigan and practiced in New York and Virginia in the late 19th century.

The Correspondence series (36 items) contains 33 letters to George A. Taber, as well as 3 personal and professional letters written by Taber. Taber's grandfather, Gamaliel Taber, provided family news from New Bedford, Massachusetts, and occasionally discussed his work as a coffin maker. Many letters pertain to Taber's assistant professorship at the University of Michigan Homeopathic Medical School, to Taber's private practices, and to 19th-century homeopathic medicine. One correspondent commented on an article that Taber had contributed to a medical journal, and another wrote a case report on a patient treated with picric acid. Samuel A. Jones discussed clinical cases in Ann Arbor, Michigan, developments at the university's medical school, and the economics of medical practice. George A. Taber also wrote 2 brief personal letters to his future wife, Caroline L. Crowell, and 1 draft letter to a professional acquaintance.

The Letter Book (approximately 85 pages) includes personal and professional letters that George A. Taber wrote from March 1875-December 1895, in which he discussed his experiences in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and his private practices in New York and Virginia.

The collection's 3 Account and Cash Books belonged to George A. Taber and pertain to his medical practices and to his personal finances. Taber kept Patient Visiting Records in 2 volumes, each of which contains printed reference information for homeopathic physicians. Taber's manuscript notes record the names of his patients, dates and types of patients' visits, fees charged, and remedies prescribed.

The Poetry series (8 items) consists of brief verses, including a poem about South Carolina around the time of secession. Samuel A. Jones wrote a poem entitled "The Yankee," and George A. Taber dedicated one poem to Carrie L. Crowell.

Four Pamphlets concerning homeopathy and physicians are housed in the Book Division.

The Ephemera series contains 3 items: a photographic identity card for George A. Taber, a blank invoice from "Drs. Jones & Taber" with manuscript notes on the back, and a card with statistics comparing the use of allopathy and homeopathy at an almshouse in Denver, Colorado.


George Clinton papers, 1697-1760 (majority within 1745-1753)

2.5 linear feet

This collection contains the letters, documents, and accounts of George Clinton, colonial governor of New York. The bulk of the collection is comprised of drafts of Clinton's letters, incoming official letters, Clinton's letter book for 1752-1753, military memoranda, documents related to Indian affairs, and personal, government, and military accounts during King George's War.

The George Clinton papers (985 items) contain the letters, documents, and accounts of George Clinton, colonial governor of New York. The bulk of the collection documents the years 1744 through 1753, and is comprised of drafts of Clinton's letters and speeches, incoming letters, Clinton's letter book for 1752-1753, military memoranda, and personal, public, and military accounts. The collection is rich in correspondence concerning Indian relations and the political history of New York, along with records concerning Clinton's troubled personal finances.

The Correspondence and Documents series (699 items) consists Clinton's outgoing letters and speeches, as well as incoming letters, military and government reports, instructions from Whitehall, intelligence on French and Indian activities, memoranda, legal papers, and court documents. Included are 191 items written by Clinton, of which many are draft dispatches that contain material omitted in the official copies sent to London. The papers largely concern New York politics, including political sparring with James DeLancey and the Assembly, as well as military activities and affairs with Native Americans. Clinton maintained correspondence with Massachusetts Bay Lieutenant Governor Spencer Phips concerning frontier conflicts with Indians, communicated with General Peter Warren concerning the siege at Louisbourg, and discussed allying with the Six Nation Indians against the French during King George's War with George Thomas and Sir William Johnson.

Notable items include:
  • July 2, 1741: George II to Benning Wentworth detailing the boundaries of New Hampshire, certified by Theo. Atkinson
  • June 25, 1742: George II to Clinton discussing a conspiracy and attack on Fort George by "Blacks and Others" during which buildings and stores were burnt, an incident that resulted in 30 executions
  • June 1744: Michael Houden to Clinton concerning "Observations…touching the method of succeeding in the intended expedition agt. Canada"
  • [1744]: John Lydius' account describing the state of the French military at Crown Point
  • August 19, 1745: Spencer Phips to Clinton requesting a quota of troops in aid of Massachusetts troops on the frontier near Fort George, in case of a war with the Indians
  • September 12, 1745: George Thomas of the Philadelphia Assembly to Clinton supporting a treaty with the Six Nation Indians at Albany
  • September 14, 1745: Peter Warren to Clinton listing the French ships bound for Louisbourg
  • April 9, 1746: Newcastle to Clinton instructing the raising of a body of regular troops from New York for a land expedition against Montreal
  • June 1746: James Livingston's account of French defense on the St. Lawrence River near Quebec
  • July 19, 1746: Stephen Bayard to Clinton concerning British and Dutch prize ships and a demand for the return of "the free Negros which Capt. Denas took and sold at Rhode Island"
  • September 11, 1746: Intelligence on the French fleet from a French sailor cast away
  • January 22, 1747: Clinton's reasons against attacking Crown Point
  • April 22, 1747: Clinton to Knowles giving an account of his and his family's attendance at a country dance where they were treated rudely
  • October 20, 1747: John Roberts to Clinton concerning an Indian spy pretending to be a Seneca
  • October 25, 1747: Sir Charles Knowles to Clinton discussing his views on trading with the enemy during a time of war
  • November 1747: Massachusetts General Court's amendments to the agreement of September 8, 1747, between Massachusetts, New York, and Connecticut, concerning their mutual defense and security
  • October 6, 1748: "The information of Thomas Williams who went with the Flag of Truce to Canada," which included intelligence from a black prisoner captured by the French, information on French-Indian relations on the Mississippi River, and the difference in prices of beaver pelts purchased by British and French traders
  • October 28-November 10, 1748: Benjamin Stoddert journal containing descriptions of Crown Point, Montreal, and Québec
  • September 24, 1749: Clinton to Newcastle describing the "State of the present disloyal Situation of Affairs in New York…" and concerning conflicts between the governorship and assembly
  • October 3, 1750: Spencer Phips to Clinton concerning the French instigating the Indians to attack British settlers on the eastern frontier of Massachusetts
  • May 18-30, 1751: George Croghan's journal of his trip to Ohio, in which he reported that the French were keeping the Indian women and children naked and not letting the tribes trade with the British
  • [July 2, 1751]: List of condolence gifts for the loss of Onondaga Indians who died in Canada, and notes on Indian rituals of condolence as said by Mohawk chief Hendrick
  • July 1751: Clinton's "Reasons for the Suspending of James Delancey Esqr from the Execution of the office of Lieutenant Governour…"
  • January 25, 1753: Lewis Morris to Clinton concerning purchasing a slave in New York
  • April 20, 1753: Sir William Johnson to Clinton concerning the mobilization of military forces by the French and Indians
  • August 20, 1753: Bill of exchange of two Negro women from Anne Clinton to Elizabeth Williams
  • August 4-14, 1757: Copies of 10 letters concerning the French and Indian capture of Fort William Henry, describing the murder and scalping of women, children, "Negroes, Mollatoes & soldiers"
  • June 1758: Clinton's will dividing his meager estate among his family

The Letter Book series (1 volume) is a 175-page copybook covering Clinton's final year as New York governor from January 3, 1752, to February 23, 1753. Entries are primarily drafts of letters from Clinton, as well as copies of letters from prominent New York lawyer James Alexander and other New York officials. Recipients include Sir William Johnson, Cadwallader Colden, John Catherwood, George Clarke, and Benjamin Stoddert, among others. Topics covered include New York politics (concerning the council, assembly, and James DeLancey), military matters (concerning troops at Fort Frederick, Oswego, and Fort George), relations with the Six Nations and Catawba Indians, and British relations with Spain.

Entries of note include:
  • February-March 1752: Letters discussing the January 11, 1752, mutiny at Oswego under Captain John Mills
  • September 20, 1752: Letter concerning a widow's military pension
  • October 25, 1752: Letter concerning Clinton's membership in a missionary society promoting the Gospel at Staten Island
  • December 5, 1752: Letter to Governor of St. Augustine Fulgencio Garcia de Solis discussing British-Spanish relations, governmental issues in East Florida, and efforts to emancipate enslaved people "that could prove [their] right to it." December 6, 1752 letter to Francisco Caxigal de la Vega, Spanish governor of Cuba, referencing previous communications with Garcia de Solis.

The Indian Speeches and Councils series (38 items) consists of copies of official treaties, deeds of surrender, proclamations, conference and speech transcriptions, petitions, responses from sachems, and other official interactions between the British colonial government and the Six Nation tribes. Documented are activities at Albany, Annapolis Royal, Cape Breton, Mount Johnson, Fort George, Oghguago (Tuscarora Village on the Susquehanna), Lake Ontario, Niagara, and Quebec. Of interest is material related to expeditions against the French in Canada, conferences at Philadelphia and Albany, and items from important figures such as Sir William Johnson and Mohawk chief Hendrick Theyanoguin (1692-1755).

Items of note include:
  • December 13, 1726: Deed of surrender from the Cayuga, Onondaga, and Seneca Indians with the Sachem's marks
  • May 21, 1744: Paul Mascarene to William Shirley reporting on letting women and children into the garrison after a rumor of approaching French and Indian forces created panic in the region
  • December 4, 1750: Speech from Cayuga Sachem and a reply from William Johnson concerning a Five Nations and British alliance
  • August 8, 1751: Colden's State of Indian Affairs
  • November 11, 1752: Letter from South Carolina Governor James Glen to the Six Nation confederation concerning friendships between northern and southern tribes (Creeks, Cherokee, and Chickasaw)
  • June 16, 1753: Response to the "Mohawk Indians complaining of Encroachments on their Lands and Frauds in the purchase of them--Fort George in New York"

The Accounts series is organized into three subseries: Personal Accounts, Indian Accounts, and Government and Military Accounts.

The Personal Accounts subseries (114 items) documents George Clinton's finances, particularly his and his family's personal expenses in New York, and records of his debts in his final years. Items include receipts for goods and services, records of paid and outstanding bills, stocks purchased, two financial memo books (1745 and 1750-1754), and a cash book (1748).

The Indian Accounts subseries (20 items) contains colonial government accounts for Indian presents, disbursements paid to Indians for military expeditions, and payments to British officers for Indian prisoners and scalps. These primarily document interactions with the Six Nation tribes.

The Governmental and Military Accounts subseries (113 items) contains paymaster records for troops, laborers, and government officials; accounts for troop provisions, stores, medicine, and supplies; levy and customs accounts; payments for transportation of goods and mail; and other financial records related to New York's colonial administration. Included are the expenses for the aborted British and Indian expedition into Canada against the French (March 1747 and November 1, 1748), and the expenses for John Young "entertaining the French Embassy for Exchange of Prisoners" (October 17, 1748).


George Gardner papers, 1821-1900 (majority within 1854-1895)

0.5 linear feet

This collection contains correspondence, letter books, and additional material related to the career of George Clinton Gardner, a surveyor and railroad engineer who worked in the United States, Mexico, and Peru throughout the latter half of the 19th century. Correspondence includes several letters related to Gardner's attempt to join the Army Corps of Topographical Engineers during the Civil War. The letter books provide details of Gardner's work with nitroglycerin in Pennsylvania, his experiences and travels while supervising railroad construction throughout Mexico, and his work with the Pacific Company in Peru.

This collection contains correspondence, letter books, and additional material related to the career of George Clinton Gardner, a surveyor and railroad engineer who worked in the United States, Mexico, and Peru throughout the latter half of the 19th century. Included are 17 letters, 4 letter books, 2 financial documents, 10 photographs, 1 printed copy of a painting, and several calling cards.

The Correspondence series has 17 items, including 15 directly related to George Clinton Gardner. These include 3 letters of recommendation that William H. Emory wrote in 1854 and 1856 regarding Gardner's work as a surveyor in the Pacific Northwest, with one addressed to President James Buchanan (August 13, 1856), as well as 5 letters related to Gardner's efforts to serve in the Union Cavalry and in the Army's Corps of Topographical Engineers during the Civil War (1861-1862). Postwar correspondence consists of 3 letters related to financial matters, 1 letter related to Gardner's surveying career, 2 personal letters addressed to Mary Gardner in 1889 and 1890, and a photographic Christmas card addressed to George Clinton Gardner from an acquaintance in Pacasmayo, Peru (1900).

The Letter Books series contains 4 letter books of Gardner's retained copies of his correspondence. The first letter book includes 27 pages of private letters to Messrs. Paul & Mooney and to James Mooney in Buffalo, New York, regarding property Gardner and his parents owned in Buffalo, as well as 2 related enclosed letters (3 pages). These are dated between September 27, 1862, and February 5, 1867, and primarily concern the finances associated with owning the land. Gardner frequently reported sending checks to pay for property taxes. One enclosed letter is dated January 11, 1868, and a second enclosed item is undated.

The second letter book is comprised of 42 loose pages from a single volume, dated between February 9, 1869, to February 14, 1874, with one letter dated October 28, 1879. The pages are numbered, though many are missing. Between 1869 and 1874, Gardner wrote to George M. Mowbray, a chemist involved in the development of nitroglycerin, and to other correspondents concerning Gardner's work overseeing submarine drilling for the Philadelphia & Erie Railroad Company. Many of the letters reflect Gardner's experiences with Mowbray's improved form of nitroglycerin, including a 5 1/2-page report Gardner wrote to General John G. Parke on August 2, 1869. Many letters from 1874 reflect the financial aspects of Gardner's property holdings in Buffalo, New York, and the single letter from 1879 relates to taxes he owed on property in St. Paul, Minnesota.

The third letter book (approximately 212 pages) consists of copies of letters Gardner wrote while working as the general manager of the Mexican National Construction Company, for which he supervised railroad construction on lines running west from Mexico City. The letters, written between September 9, 1881, and July 3, 1882, are addressed to both business and personal acquaintances, and cover Gardner's life, work, and travels throughout Mexico. He described recent developments in local railroad construction and often told his wife Fanny of his travels. The letter dated September 13, 1881, includes a diagram of a stateroom onboard the steamship Knickerbocker. He also discussed the local culture and economy, and provided details on contemporary Mexican life, particularly about the area west of Mexico City. Between January and July 1882, Gardner lived in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, and Laredo, Texas. The letter book has been disbound, but the letters are in their original order.

The final letter book (approximately 84 pages) covers George C. Gardner's life in Peru between July 5, 1885, and November 9, 1895. The volume holds copies of personal and professional letters, including several lengthy ones to his wife Fanny, describing his travels around the country searching for and assessing coal deposits. He wrote a continuous letter "from the trail" during August and September 1895. Other topics he discussed are financial affairs and his work for the Pacific Company. Gardner returned to Washington by early October 1895, where he composed the volume's final letters.

The two Documents are financial accounts related to the settlement of the estate of General John McLean, Gardner's maternal grandfather (approximately 20 pages, May 8, 1821-December 27, 1828) and a list of "Charges against [an unidentified] Personal Estate" (1 page, undated).

The 8 card photographs in the Photographs series include one portraying a boy named Clinton Gardner Reed (May 22, 1884) and one taken at the Exhibition of Philadelphia in November 1876, as well as a carte-de-visite and a photographic portrait of Charles Kitchell Gardner. The final item is a black-and-white reproduction of a painting depicting a scene from Charles Le Brun's opera "La Famiglia di Dario ai Piedi di Alessandro," mounted on a thick card.

The Ephemera series contains several calling cards for Mrs. George H. Brodhea. Among several envelopes is one from the White House to Fanny Gardner .


George Sackville Germain papers, 1683-1785

6 linear feet

The Lord George Sackville Germain papers contain the political and military correspondence of Germain, British military officer and secretary of state for North America during the American Revolution. In addition to official letters and reports, the collection comprises copies of secret military dispatches, reports and extracts detailing the activities of the commanders and colonial governors of North America, and a copybook of letters between American diplomat Benjamin Franklin, Massachusetts Governor Thomas Pownall, and Boston reverend Samuel Cooper.

The Lord George Sackville Germain papers (6 linear feet) contain the political and military correspondence of Germain, British military officer and secretary of state for North America from 1775 to 1782. Though the papers document Germain's entire public career, the bulk of the material relates to his role overseeing the military during the American Revolution. In addition to official letters and reports, the collection is also comprised of copies of secret military dispatches, reports and extracts detailing the activities of the commanders and colonial governors of North America, and a copy book of letters between American diplomat Benjamin Franklin, Massachusetts Governor Thomas Pownall, and Boston reverend Samuel Cooper.

The Correspondence and Documents series (4.5 linear feet) contains drafts and retained copies of letters from Germain and official incoming letters and documents sent to Germain during his years of military and public service. The collection includes little related to Germain's personal life.

The series holds some correspondence relating to Germain's early military career, including ten letters he wrote to his father while serving in the War of Austrian Succession. Though only a few items relate to Germain's service at Minden, present are several letters written and received by Germain in Germany in 1759, and French and Indian War-era letters from politicians and military leaders such as Pitt, Temple, Holland, Mansfield, Bute, Newcastle, Charles Townshend, Grenville, and Ligonier. Of special interest are the letters of Lord Jeffery Amherst and General Wolfe's account of the fall of Louisbourg and the military in Canada. Germain held no high office between the French and Indian war and the American Revolution but he kept in close contact with Sir John Irwin, with whom he discussed politics and current events.

The bulk of the collection covers Germain's tenure as secretary of state to the colonies (1775-1782), and provides a thorough account of his public policy decision-making process. As American secretary, Germain maintained voluminous correspondence with ministers and officials in England, particularly secretaries of state Lord Suffolk and Lord Stormont, Undersecretary William Eden, and Solicitor General Alexander Wedderburn. Germain also received regular updates from Richard Cumberland, whom Germain sent to Madrid to negotiate peace with Spain.

As a key overseer of the British war effort, Germain had direct communication with the commanders-in-chief in America and their immediate subordinates, as well as with the naval commanders. Included are letters from Thomas Gage, William Howe, Richard Howe, John Burgoyne, Henry Clinton, Charles Cornwallis, John Vaughan, Guy Carleton, and Frederick Haldimand. He communicated frequently with the British governors in Nova Scotia, Canada, and Florida, and with Governor Henry Hamilton at Detroit. As France, Spain, and the Netherlands entered the war, much of his attention turned to naval action and trade (sugar and slaves) in the West Indies. He also dealt with the Carlisle peace commissioners, various merchants, and loyalists, such as Jonathan Boucher, physicist-adventurer Lieutenant Colonel Benjamin Thompson, Count Rumford. The series concludes with 58 undated letters, largely written during the Revolution.

Below is a list of notable items from this series:
  • 1757: "Considerations on the present State of the Military Operations in North America"
  • January 20, 1775: Thoughts on the Dispute between Great Britain and Her Colonies, by Brook Watson
  • July 29, 1775: Report on the occupation of Charlestown Heights, written by William Howe
  • August 20, 1775: Military report by General John Burgoyne
  • October 18, 1775: An early "Constitution" created by the Provincial Congress of North Carolina, declaring independence and laying out the groundwork for a cooperative government among the colonies, containing 13 articles
  • December 29, 1775: "Reflections on the Dispute with the Colonies by Apollos Morris," containing a history or empires and discussion of the problem
  • [1775]: Report by John Shuttleworth on the British and American forces throughout North America: artillery, arms, and navy
  • [1775]: "Advantages of lord Cornwallis's Expedition going rather to Chesapeake Bay than to the Carolinas," by Sir John Dalrymple
  • January 12, 1776: Letter from Lord Ellibank who proposed returning Canada to the French as the most effective means of reducing the rest of our colonies
  • January 17, 1776: Proposal for growing vegetables for the British troops in North America - radishes, red spinach, lettuce, cabbage, and potatoes etc.
  • July 4, 1776: Contemporary manuscript copy of the Declaration of Independence created for Germain
  • August 10, 13, 1776: Reports on the campaign in New York from William Howe, stationed at Staten Island
  • 1776: Peace commission instructions from Germain
  • February 28, 1777: "Thoughts for conducting the War from the Side of Canada"
  • March 18, 1777: "Political Remarks on the present state of affairs in respect to the Rebellion in America, and the danger of its involving us in a War in Europe"
  • April 2, 1777: William Howe's 3rd plan of military operations in North America
  • 1777: "A State of the Circumstances in Philadelphia"
  • March 8, 1778: A description of Germain's southern strategy sent to Henry Clinton
  • March 24, 1778: "Plan for taking of French and Spanish Islands," by John Drummond
  • May [26], 1778: Extract from Burgoyne's speech to the House of Commons concerning the Battle of Saratoga
  • August 24, 1778: British spy Dr. John Berkenhout's "Journal of an Excursion from New York to Philadelphia in the Year 1778," reporting on Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Benjamin Rush, and others
  • February-July 1779: "A Short Journal and Remarks of Transactions, that happened at Grenada & other parts of the West Indies"
  • March 31, 1779: Two copies of letters from George Washington to Henry Clinton, enclosed in Clinton to Germain, no. 46, April 2, 1779
  • 1779: "Hints for the Management of an intended Enquiry: an assessment of the War with America," including reports on the state of the military and intelligence looking into Howe's decisions: such as "Why did he not attack Washington at Valley Forge" and "Why did he not pursue Washington's Army after the Defeat at Brandywine,” and General Grey's "evidence and opinions and extracts from Howe's letters used at the inquiry"
  • March 8, 1780: "Sketch of a System by which the rebellious Colonies in America might be reduced to Obedience in two Campaigns, which offers a strategic plan for engaging the rebels"
  • July 25, 1780: Extracts from General Horatio Gates' orderly book, headquarters at Buffalo Ford July 25-August 15, with details on divisions from Maryland, North Carolina, and Virginia
  • August 10, 1780: Petition from Ethan Allen and others from Vermont, concerning their unhappiness with the Continental Congress and their desire to form an independent British province, by John Griffiths
  • August 21, 1780: Reports from General Charles Cornwallis on the victory at Charleston and the Battle of Hanging Rock
  • October 1780: Copy of a letter by Alexander Hamilton discussing and describing the capture and trial of John André, and Arnold and Washington's involvement in the incident
  • October 1781: Reports on the battle and surrender of Yorktown and the siege of Chesapeake Bay
  • January 13 and 15, 24, 1782: Letters from Lieutenant Colonel Benjamin Thompson, A New Hampshire Loyalist in the British cavalry, stationed in South Carolina, describing fighting at the end of the war

The Secret Military Dispatches volume (429 pages) is comprised of 246 secret dispatches and orders sent by Germain to political and military leaders between 1775 and 1782. In these, Germain discussed military strategy for the British army and navy in America and the West Indies with Henry Clinton, John Dalling, John Grant, Frederick Haldimand, John Vaughan, and the Lords of the Admiralty, among other officers and governors. One letter is housed separately in Volume 23, a retained copy of George Germain's letter to William Howe, January 5, 1776.

The Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Pownall, and Samuel Cooper letter book (296 pages) contains copies of 68 letters from Benjamin Franklin, Governor of Massachusetts Thomas Pownall, and Reverend Samuel Cooper of Boston. These communicate both British and American points of view of the developing unrest in the colonies between 1769 and 1774. Throughout the volume, Franklin and Pownall wrote from London while Cooper wrote from Boston; each voiced their unique perspective on political and civil conflicts between England and America.

The Undated Reports series (39 items) consists of undated documents found in Germain's papers relating to trade, customs, government finances, Irish policies, military strategy proposals, assessments on the outcome of military engagements, conditions on the ground in various colonies, the state of West Indian islands, and the role of the French and Spanish in the American Revolution.

The Supplements series (40 items) is comprised of documents submitted to Germain to keep him informed about the conditions and developments of the American conflict. Many contain added commentary aimed to inform and influence his decision-making. The documents include reports and compiled summaries of correspondence and military dispatches related to operations throughout North America.

In addition to this finding aid, the Clements Library has created three other research aids: The Subject Index and Contributor List provides access to events, people, places, and topics discussed in the Correspondence and Documents series (Volumes 1-16). This index also contains a list of contributors. The Volume Guide includes notes on the contents for 22 volumes in the collection. The Guide to Volumes 17-21 provides lists of the documents in each of these volumes.


George Townshend, 1st Marquis Townshend papers, 1649-1848 (majority within 1764-1772)

2.25 linear feet

The papers of George Townshend, 4th Viscount and 1st Marquis Townshend, particularly concerning his lord lieutenancy of Ireland.

The collection contains 127 letters and 7 letterbooks, covering the years 1649 to 1848, with the bulk concentrated around 1767-1772. The materials relate almost entirely to Townshend's career as lord lieutenant of Ireland.

The Correspondence series primarily contains Townshend's incoming correspondence for the 1760s and 1770s, with a small number of outgoing items written by Townshend. Letters concern Townshend's political career, the politics of Ireland, the Seven Years War, political patronage, and Townshend's social and family life. While sailing to North America in the spring of 1759, Townshend wrote some of the earliest letters in the collection to his wife Charlotte; in these he described the voyage and his shipmates. On February 18, 1759, he mentioned acquainting himself with a French pilot on the deck of the HMS Neptune, and wished that his young son George could see the assemblage of ships at Plymouth. Other early letters relate to his career in Parliament, including a bill to expand the militia, which he strongly supported (May 11, 1765).

During 1767 to 1772, the years in which Townshend served as lord-lieutenant of Ireland, the bulk of letters concern Irish politics, political patronage, and Townshend's social life in Dublin. One frequent topic was the augmentation of the army in Ireland, which Townshend advocated as a way to standardize the size of British and Irish regiments. The collection includes the comments of William Petty, 2nd Earl of Shelburne, on the subject (March 14, 1768), as well as those of Augustus FitzRoy, 3rd Earl of Grafton (October 18, 1768). Also present is Lord Frederick North's discussion of another of Townshend's undertakings, the division of the Irish Board of Revenue into two boards of excise and customs (January 3, 1771), and Shelburne's comments on a bill to enable Catholics to lend money to Protestants (May 7, 1768).

In addition to references to these political issues, the Correspondence series contains numerous mentions of patronage as well as payments made to several Irish politicians. On January 16, 1768, Shelburne wrote to Townshend, acknowledging his "secret and confidential" letters and recommended offering a "certain Salary" to the lord chief justice of the Kings Bench in Ireland. He also noted, "In regard of the Bill for Appointing The Judges during good Behaviour, I can add nothing more to what I have already said on that Subject to your Excellency." Thomas Thynne, 1st Marquis Bath, noted in a letter that "other Opportunities must be found, as soon as possible, for providing for some of the most eminent of those Gentlemen who so honorably supported Government the last Session of Parliament" (July 8, 1769). In addition, Townshend received frequent requests from friends and acquaintances for favors and minor roles in the government. This includes a request by a Henrietta Macartney that Townshend confer on her younger brother "any small place of about four hundred pounds a year" (February 11, 1768), as well as a request for a favor from William Barrington for a friend's son. Occasional bits of Irish news, letters concerning family matters (including the death of Townshend's wife in August 1770), and remarks about Townshend's departure from Ireland in late 1772 are also part of this series. On this last topic, Richard Jackson wrote, that the exit must provide "agreeable Relief to you from the long Fatigue and Trouble of a painful Preeminence in this Country" (September 4, 1772).

The Letter Books series contains 7 letter books covering 1767-1772. The original numbering of volumes 1-7 has been kept despite some overlapping dates. The letter books consist of George Townshend's outgoing letters to various recipients, including, among many others, William Barrington, 2nd Viscount Barrington; Augustus FitzRoy, 3rd Duke of Grafton; William Petty-FitzMaurice, 1st Marquess of Lansdowne (known as the Earl of Shelburne between 1761 and 1784); Frederick North, Lord North; and John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich. Several early letters contain references to the death his younger brother, Charles, in August 1767, and the family's grief over the loss. However, most letters relate to politics, patronage and appointments, and Townshend's activities as the lord-lieutenant of Ireland. In letters to his colleagues, Townshend wrote candidly about many topics, including the filling of political vacancies, conditions in Ireland, and his agenda for augmenting the army in Ireland and reorganizing the Irish Board of Revenue. In a letter of November 28, 1768 (Volume 1), he wrote to Grafton, "With respect to Ireland it is true Sir that Preferments in the Church since I have been here, have gone chiefly and in unnatural Proportion to the Natives." To Lord Frederick Campbell, he wrote about the Irish poor: "The emancipating the poor Irish Peasants from the savage Oppressive Landlords…will have a very salutary effect both upon the Service of the Crown & the prosperity of the Kingdom." ([January 1769] Volume 1, page 337). The letterbooks provide a wealth of information on the various positions taken by Townshend, as well as the duties required of him as lord-lieutenant.


Griffin family papers, 1799-1942 (majority within 1835-1868)

47 items

The Griffin family papers contain the letters of a family from Sempronius, New York, and are comprised primarily of correspondence from Lavalette and Reynolds Griffin while serving with the 75th New York Volunteers during the Civil War.

The Griffin family papers contain the letters of the Griffin Family of Sempronius, New York, and are comprised primarily of correspondence from Lavalette and Reynolds Griffin while serving with the 75th New York Volunteers during the Civil War. The collection is composed of 20 letters, 4 miscellaneous compositions, 2 newspaper clippings, and 16 photographs and negatives.

The Correspondence series contains 20 letters, four of which date before the war. The earliest letter is from a group of men, including Daniel Griffin, to their landlord requesting that their credit be extended, because of a bad harvest (1799). The next two are between Adnah H. Griffin and Ephraim, Louisa and Jane Griffin, and concern family issues (1835). Gideon Wales (resident of Pike Pond, [New Hampshire]) wrote a letter to Jennie L. McConnell, in which he discussed many of his relative's struggles with mental illness.

The Civil War letters are from brothers Lavalette and Reynolds Griffin and are primarily addressed to their parents, Adnah H. Griffin and Jane Reynolds Griffin, and their sisters Loretta and Jennie Griffith. The letters were written from several camps in Virginia and Louisiana, and from on board the ship Daniel Webster. The bulk of the letters are in a 103-page letterbook dated October 1861-March 1863. These letters were likely copied by a relative around 1900. Both brothers were competent writers and discussed typical soldier gripes regarding food, pay, bad officers, and the boredom of the army. In a letter from December 30, 1862, Lavalette wrote: "If you want to fix a man so that he does not know anything in this world, nor care a d__m for the next, just put him to soldiering, and keep him shut up in camp for one year."

Seven separate Civil War letters are from Lavalette Griffin, dated April 1862-February 1865, and addressed to his father and sister Loretta ("Rett"). In these, he wrote favorably of the New York Soldiers' Depot, which he found well managed with many amenities for the troops. In an April 1864 letter, he recounted a trip to the capital while stationed at Camp Distribution, Virginia. In the next letter, he spoke highly of General Grant: "One thing is in our favor Since General Grant has assumed command there is not so many shoulder straps lying round Washington and there papers are examined as closely as the meanest private -- There is scarcely a day that there is not some dismissals and there aught to be more[.]" Even after the loss of his brother and his own illnesses, Lavalette found a way to keep his good humor through the war.

The lone post-war letter (1868) is an interesting item from Jennie Griffin to her brother-in-law Silas McConnell, in which she complained about the difference between salaries for male and female teachers in New York.

The Miscellaneous series has 13 items, which include two newspaper clippings; 4 pages of family birth records (1780-1878) from the family Bible; two journals by Mary Jane Wilson, which are entitled Compositions Written by Mary Jane Wilson During the Summer of 1861, A present to her Teacher Jennie Griffin (14 pages), and The Scholar's Casket, A Journal of Councils and Companion for the Young, January 1862, containing amateur essays such as Being Honest, Fault Finding, and Courage; two essays entitled On the Death of Lois Jane Griffin and On the Death of Polly Griffin, Written for her Mother (3 pages); and a receipt for groceries from Syracuse, New York, 1915.

This collection contains 11 photographs and modern prints of 5 negatives of the Griffin family. The original photographs are located in the Clements Library Graphics Division.


Henry Carey letter book, 1815-1835 (majority within 1830-1835)

1 volume

The Henry Carey letter book contains approximately 130 letters that Carey wrote to his father, Mathew Carey, about the family's finances following Mathew's retirement from his publishing firm. The letters primarily concern a dispute over Mathew's expenses, and their effects on the firm's profits.

The Henry Carey letter book contains approximately 130 letters (536 pages) that Carey wrote to his father, Mathew Carey, about finances. Many letters pertain to the financial effects of Mathew Carey's retirement from his publishing firm. The volume consists of loose letters, many accompanied by their original coversheets, which were bound together at a later date.

After Henry Carey and his brother-in-law, Isaac Lea, took over the publishing firm, they and Mathew Carey drafted a contract specifying Mathew's proceeds from the sale of his firm to his son, though his cost of living quickly exceeded his annual allowance and led to a dispute over the amount of money he should receive. The first few pages of letters mainly document Mathew's financial affairs during the 1820s, with a few items dated as early as 1815. Most of the remaining correspondence dates between 1830 and 1835, as Mathew and Henry Carey attempted to reconcile their monetary differences. Henry's formal letters to this father focus on financial affairs, such as the costs of running a household ([March 16, 1830]). In 1835, the matter was handed to Philadelphia lawyer Horace Binney, who successfully arbitrated a satisfactory resolution.


Henry Clinton papers, 1736-1850

304 volumes (90 linear feet)

The Henry Clinton papers contain the correspondence, records, and maps of Henry Clinton, who served under Thomas Gage and William Howe between 1775 and 1778, and was commander-in-chief of the British forces in North America from 1778 to 1782. Although the bulk of the papers cover his tenure as commander-in-chief, with particular attention to engagements in New York and New Jersey and the sieges of Charleston and Yorktown, they also document Clinton's efforts to restore his reputation after the war, and to some extent, his personal life. The Harriot Clinton and Elizabeth Carter diaries are described in a separate finding aid.

Series I: Chronological Materials

The Chronological Materials series (Volumes 1-220) comprises approximately 10,500 items, or over 75% of the collection. Covering the years 1736-1850, it contains a huge variety of document types, including incoming correspondence, Clinton's retained copies of outgoing letters, military documents, memoranda, financial accounts, printed matter, journals, meeting minutes, poetry, and newspaper clippings. The bulk of the material (approximately 7,500 items) concentrates on the years 1778-1782, when Clinton was commander-in-chief of the British forces in North America, although the postwar years are also well represented. All items in this series are arranged chronologically. This series has been indexed for General Subjects and Names and Geographic Subjects.

Pre-Revolutionary War: 1736-1774

Volumes 1-9 contain Clinton's pre-Revolutionary War papers, which cover the years 1736-1774, and primarily document his early career, personal life, and finances. Frequent subjects include Clinton's service in the Seven Years War in Europe; routine military matters related to the 12th Regiment of Foot, of which Clinton was colonel; Clinton's property in New York and Connecticut and his attempts to sell it; occasional personal and family matters; and Clinton's political career, including a few references to his service in Parliament. Clinton's most frequent correspondents during this period include William Phillips; William Picton; Henry Lloyd; Henry Fiennes Clinton, 2nd duke of Newcastle; and John Jervis, 1st earl of St. Vincent.

Of particular interest are:
  • Clinton's description of his being wounded and his gallantry at the Battle of Friedberg (August 30, 1761)
  • An interview between William Goldthwait and an unnamed Mataugwesauwack Indian, describing the location of the Mataugwesauwacks and other tribes of the upper Midwest and central Canada and comparing Mataugwesauwack and Penobscot women (July 1771)
  • A letter describing the relationship between Mary Dunckerley and King George II, which produced an illegitimate son, Thomas Dunckerley (June 9, 1766)
  • A letter to Clinton from his close confidant, William Phillips, shortly after the death of Clinton's wife, Harriot, which urges him to "throw off" his "unseemly way of thinking" and not to "lose the tribute due her virtues in an inexprimable maze of error." The papers contain only a handful of references to Clinton's wife and his grief over losing her ([1772] 8:43)

Clinton's service under Gage and Howe: May 1775- February 1778

Volumes 9-31 cover the period during which Clinton served in the Revolutionary War as third in command under General Thomas Gage (through September 26, 1775), and subsequently second in command under General William Howe (through February 4, 1778).

The primary writers and recipients of letters are Clinton's colleagues in North America, in particular, Thomas Gage, William Howe, Richard Howe, John Burgoyne, Charles Cornwallis, John Vaughan, Peter Parker, Thomas Graves, William Phillips, John Jervis, Hugh Percy, Charles Grey, and William Erskine. Correspondence also sheds light on Clinton's relationships with politicians, friends, and family members in England (primarily Lord Germain; Clinton's sisters-in-law, Elizabeth and Martha Carter; and Henry Fiennes Clinton, Duke of Newcastle, and his son,Thomas Pelham-Clinton, Lord Lincoln). The letters concern a variety of topics, including military strategy, troop movements, provisioning, battles, disagreements between military officers, reports of intelligence, encounters with Native Americans, attitudes of locals toward the British, and Clinton's grievances.

Several topics are covered in particular depth during this period. The Siege of Boston is well documented for the time between Clinton's arrival in Boston in May 1775 and his departure for the Carolinas in January 1776. Of particular interest are Lieutenant William Sutherland's account of the Battles of Lexington and Concord (April 26, 1775), various tactical discussions and firsthand reports of the Battle of Bunker Hill, and Clinton's strategy notes and records of conversations with Howe during the late autumn of 1775. After Clinton's arrival in South Carolina, the papers shift focus to possible methods of seizing Charleston, the relationships between the British Army and the Cherokee and Creek tribes, British failure at the Battle of Sullivan's Island and culpability in the matter, and the subsequent deterioration of the working relationship between Clinton and Admiral Sir Peter Parker.

Materials representing the latter half of 1776 record Clinton's return to New York, and the planning and administration of the New York and New Jersey campaign, with multiple accounts of the battles of Long Island, Trenton, and White Plains, and Clinton's continuing defense of his actions at Sullivan's Island. Also documented is the crumbling relationship between Clinton and Howe (particularly after the missed opportunities to deliver a decisive blow to the Americans in New York), and many aspects of the Saratoga campaign, including accounts of battles, Burgoyne's perspective on the events, and negotiations concerning the resulting “Convention Army” of captured British soldiers, including Clinton's plans to rescue them (January 18, 1778).

Other items of note include:
  • Intelligence report concerning the condition of the American Army one day before they left Whitemarsh, Pennsylvania, for Valley Forge, which describes the poor condition of the Army and their many shortages, and notes their use of leather from cartridge boxes for makeshift shoes (December 18, 1777)
  • A diary of an unknown officer in the 84th Regiment of Foot (Royal Highland Emigrants) for May-July 1776 (Volume 16) describing daily life and travels of the regiment
  • John Burgoyne's defense of his actions at Saratoga (October 20, 1777)

Clinton as Commander-in-Chief: February 1778-May 1782

The volume of papers increases greatly beginning in February 1778, upon General William Howe's resignation and the promotion of Clinton to commander-in-chief. Clinton's four-year tenure in this role is documented in Volumes 32-194, which contain chronologically arranged correspondence, military documents, reports, memoranda, newspaper clippings, printed matter, and a few journals and pieces of ephemera, which, taken together, document myriad aspects of the British prosecution of the war.

Clinton's correspondence during this period is quite varied and includes official, semi-official, and personal letters to him from a wide range of military and civilian writers both in North America and England, as well as Clinton's retained copies of many of his outgoing letters. Clinton's most frequent correspondents during his tenure as commander-in-chief were other British military officers, with whom he discussed many aspects of war planning and administration, particularly army and naval strategy; the logistics of transporting, provisioning, arming, and detaching troops; expenditures; army policies; and military engagements. The collection contains significant correspondence to and from the following officers (as well as many others) during this period: Charles Cornwallis, Marriot Arbuthnot, Francis Rawdon-Hastings, Leslie Alexander, Oliver DeLancey, Patrick Ferguson, John André, William Dalrymple, Frederick Haldimand, Guy Carleton, and John Graves Simcoe.

Although the series contains references to most battles and a number of lesser- known skirmishes between 1778-1782, some receive special attention in the correspondence, particularly the battles of Monmouth, Stony Point, Camden, King's Mountain, and Guilford Courthouse, and the sieges of Charleston and Yorktown. Letters reveal British planning, troop movements, strategy debates, reactions to successes and failures, casualties, and in the case of the two sieges, negotiations with the enemy forces.

Clinton's correspondence with the Cabinet of Great Britain, particularly with Lord George Germain, the Secretary of State for the American Department, is also an excellent source of information on high-level army strategy. The collection preserves both sides of the Clinton-Germain correspondence and documents Germain's numerous recommendations, many of which Clinton obeyed only reluctantly. Clinton's letters to Germain are an excellent source of information on his intentions in prosecuting the war, as well as his justifications of his actions in North America. They are also notable for their enclosures and attachments, which often contain first-hand accounts of battles or pressing issues from officers under Clinton.

Included are numerous intelligence reports, particularly on New York, New Jersey, and South Carolina. These reports provide information on the location, number, and condition of enemy troops, as well as their defenses, weaponry, and provisions. As the war drew on, Clinton and the British Army relied more heavily on deserters' depositions as a source of information on the Continental and French troops; these increased over time, with some providing basic information on American enlisted men. Also well-documented is the Arnold-André affair, regarding Benedict Arnold's defection to the British, promising them control of West Point, and John André's subsequent capture and execution. The series contains letters, documents, and drafts relating to the negotiations between André and Arnold under Clinton's authorization, including some of the letters in cipher from Arnold, under various pseudonyms, addressed to “John Anderson,” André's alias. Also present are letters concerning André's expedition and capture, attempts to exchange him, his farewell letter to Clinton (September 29, 1780), and Clinton's bleak account of André's fate and the progress of the war, written to his sisters-in-law on October 4, 1780.

Other notable topics covered during Clinton's tenure as commander-in-chief, 1778-1782, include:
  • Clinton's ongoing conflicts with Cornwallis, Arbuthnot, and other officers
  • The debate over the British evacuation of Rhode Island in the fall of 1779
  • Unsuccessful attempts by Clinton to capitalize on Continental Army mutinies, especially among the New Jersey and Pennsylvania lines
  • Military handling of plundering and profiteering and the role of the Commissary of Captures
  • Negotiations concerning the status of present-day Vermont
  • Clinton's frequently-expressed desire to resign
  • British protection of Loyalists and efforts to organize them

In addition, the series contains hundreds of military documents, including returns, memorials, depositions, reports, and minutes. The returns are particularly diverse in the types of information and statistics that they record, including casualties in battles, invalids in hospitals in New York and South Carolina, provisions, ordnance, supplies (including several returns of “intrenchment tools” at Yorktown), prisoners of war, and regular prisoners and their crimes. The returns also convey otherwise obscure statistics on African Americans, women, and children; officers frequently took a count of the number of women receiving provisions in New York or the number of African Americans assisting in various construction projects. The Subject and Name Index is particularly useful for locating a variety of returns and references to these groups in the collection.

Clinton's post-resignation papers (1782-1850)

The Henry Clinton papers also contain a considerable volume letters and documents which postdate his resignation as commander-in-chief. These are located in volumes 194-220, and span 1782-1850, with the bulk covering the years between 1782 and 1794. These materials focus primarily on Clinton's postwar career, including his pamphlet war with Cornwallis, his defense of his expenditures after a damaging report on them by the Commissioners of Public Accounts, his desire for the governorship of Gibraltar, and his interest in world politics, including the French Revolution, Third Mysore War, and the Northwest Indian War. Clinton's primary correspondents during this period are Peter Russell, the Duke of Newcastle, and Lord Lincoln (later the 3rd Duke of Newcastle). Of particular interest are Clinton's many defenses of his actions leading up to Yorktown, his discussions of the creation of the Commissary of Captures, and his expenditures as commander-in-chief.

Series II: Undated Materials

The Undated Materials series (Volumes 221-232) contains approximately 600 items, spanning roughly 1750-1795, with the bulk created during and slightly after the Revolutionary War. The documents, which are arranged alphabetically by author, are mainly correspondence and military items, but also include intelligence reports, memoranda, receipts, and other miscellaneous items. The series also contains numerous memorials requesting promotions or financial assistance from the British military.

The most frequent contributor to the series is Clinton himself, who produced the majority of the items in Volumes 222-226, or approximately 225 items. Clinton's letters and documents concern a wide variety of topics, including military strategy, his relationships with other military officers (particularly Cornwallis), defenses of his actions and expenditures during the war, his property in North America, and his health.

Other items of note include:
  • John André's autograph poem "The Frantick Lover" (221:3b)
  • An anonymous piece of pro-British propaganda entitled "Queries to a Renegado Rebel" (221:11)
  • Affidavit concerning burning of homes of Loyalists led by Brigadier-General Griffith Rutherford in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina (221:23)
  • Draft of a speech by Clinton to the House of Commons defending his wartime actions (223:2)
  • Postwar letter from Henry Clinton to Oliver Delancey concerning the plight of African American veterans of the Revolutionary War "deprived of their lands" in Nova Scotia (224:25)
  • Numerous proposals and plans, including Hector McAlester's plan for carrying out the war in Virginia (229:27)

Series III: Letter books and Other Correspondence

The Letter books and Other Correspondence series contains both bound and unbound correspondence which supplements and sometimes duplicates the correspondence found in the Chronological series. Contained in this series are the following 12 volumes: 235, 254-263, and 275.

Volume 235 spans 1793-1794 and contains 123 letters, primarily to Clinton from his sons, William Henry Clinton and Henry Clinton, both of whom served in the Flanders Campaign during the French Revolution. Letters mainly concern the younger Clintons' careers and family news. Clinton's youngest daughter, Harriot, wrote or co-wrote several of the letters.

Volume 254 contains 45 letters from Clinton to William Henry, Duke of Gloucester, spanning 1778-1789. Of these, Clinton wrote 31 during the period of the Revolutionary War, giving updates on the war effort and on mutual friends and acquaintances. The 14 post-war letters mainly concern Clinton's grievances over his reputation and defenses of his actions during the war, and mention his attempts to rehabilitate his reputation. Also included in the volume are typescripts for the letters. Gloucester's responses can be found in the Chronological series.

Volumes 255-256 contain five letter books spanning May 1778-May 1782 and comprising Clinton's letters to George Germain, Secretary of State. These bring together the letters from Clinton to Germain found within the Chronological series and provide Clinton's accounts of battles and engagements and his discussions of strategy during his time as commander-in-chief. In the subsequent volume (257) are two books of letters from Germain to Clinton, as copied by Clinton's secretary. These, too, duplicate the materials in the Chronological series. Likewise, the letter books in volumes 260-263 mainly unite duplicates of letters written by Clinton to Howe, Arbuthnot, Rodney, Graves, Hood, Digby, Phillips, Leslie, Arnold, and Cornwallis.

Volume 258 contains three items: Clinton's letter book of his correspondence to the Treasury (1781-1782), and two books of letters from the Treasury to Clinton, (1778-1782). All three letter books hold material which is not duplicated elsewhere in the collection. John Robinson, Secretary of the Treasury, is Clinton's correspondent throughout the three volumes. Robinson's letters primarily concern military expenditures--particularly those relating to provisioning, the keeping of prisoners, and quartering. Additionally, Robinson frequently requested justification for irregular spending and emphasized his problems in communicating with Clinton concerning these matters. The volume also contains copied meeting minutes of the Treasury Board, which Robinson provided for Clinton's perusal. Clinton's letters to Robinson describe and defend his expenditures, relay information uncovered by investigations into public accounts, and discuss and evaluate memorials addressed to him.

Volume 275 contains a letter book used first by John André (primarily in June-September 1780), and subsequently by Frederick Mackenzie and Oliver Delancey (September 1780-January 1781). The letter book contains letters that André wrote to various military officers in his capacity as deputy adjutant general, including Wilhelm von Knyphausen, Peter Russell, James Robertson, and Alexander Leslie. The letters primarily concern matters related to the adjutant general corps, including leaves of absence, embarkations, and attachments and detachments of troops.

Series IV: Clinton's Notebooks and Manuscript Writings

The Clinton Notebooks and Manuscript Writings series covers volumes 236-242, 271, and 278-284, and 286, and contains both bound and unbound writings by Clinton on a variety of subjects, including his actions at Sullivan's Island and Yorktown, the culpability of Lord Charles Cornwallis in the British defeat, his wartime expenditures and the Commissioners of Public Accounts, the Seven Years War, post-Revolution foreign affairs, and his relationship with his mistress, Mary Baddeley.

Volumes 236-237 contain 164 documents written by Clinton concerning the Commissioners of Public Accounts. Though undated, Clinton likely wrote them circa 1782-1790; many are fragments and re-workings of a few themes. In these documents, Clinton repeatedly defended himself and justifies his wartime expenditures in response to criticisms made against him by the Commissioners of Public Accounts in their seventh report; the Commissioners criticized Clinton's expenditures and praised Cornwallis. Clinton addressed such topics as discrepancies between his expenditures as commander-in-chief and those of William Howe, Cornwallis' expenditures in the Southern District, and his perceived unfairness of investigations into military spending.

Volumes 238-240 contain a total of 264 documents, primarily written by Clinton about Cornwallis' actions during the war. Though only a few of the documents are dated, all appear to have been written after Clinton's return to England in 1782. Those that are dated range from 1783-1791, with most between 1786 and 1788. In these writings, Clinton discussed Cornwallis' actions leading up to the defeat at Yorktown, and repeatedly found reasons to blame him for that failure and the loss of the war. Frequent topics include Clinton's disapproval of Cornwallis' march into Virginia, Patrick Ferguson's defeat at King's Mountain, British intentions regarding Charleston, the establishment of a post at Yorktown, and the actions and intentions of the Royal Navy in the Chesapeake. Many of the documents refer directly to Clinton's Narrative of His Campaigns, Cornwallis' An Answer to that Part of the Narrative of Lieutenant-General Sir Henry Clinton, K.B..., and Clinton's subsequent pamphlet, Observations on Lord Cornwallis' Answer. Supplementing the large volume of Clinton memoranda are several letters of support from unidentified Clinton defenders.

Volumes 241-242 contain miscellaneous memoranda written by Clinton.

Topics include:
  • Loyalist Claims
  • Charleston Prize
  • Commissary of Capture
  • Tactics
  • Rochambeau's Narrative
  • Notes on histories of the war
  • Seven Years' War
  • Gibraltar
  • Benedict Arnold
  • Sullivan's Island Affair
  • Third Anglo-Mysore War
  • Foreign relations with Spain
  • French Revolution
  • Russian affairs

Volume 271 contains miscellaneous notes written by Clinton (ca. 1785) in a book of household inventories kept in the late 1760s and early 1770s. The notes concern his thoughts on Charles Stedman's history of the Revolutionary War, as well as brief notes on wartime expenditures, Charles Cornwallis, and other topics.

Volumes 278-283 relate to Clinton's 1783 book, entitled Narrative of Lieutenant-General Sir Henry Clinton, K.B. relative to his conduct during part of his command of the King's troops in North-America: particularly to that which respects the unfortunate issue of the campaign in 1781. These volumes include his notes, from which he drafted the Narrative (Volume 278), an extract of the work (Volume 279), and a manuscript version of it (Volumes 280-283). Several printed editions of the Narrative are also available (Volumes 294, 295, 303, and 304).

Volume 284 contains 13 notebooks kept by Clinton, spanning approximately 1759 to 1794 with several large gaps.

Notebooks have been assigned letters of the alphabet (A-M), and are arranged alphabetically according to these designations.
  • Notebook A: Notes on Seven Years' War (European theater), including Battle of Prague and Prussian military tactics
  • Notebook B: Clinton's 1771 observations on Gibraltar, where he was second in command of the garrison. He noted the soldiers' love of rum and the poor state of the fort's defenses. For unclear reasons, he wrote some entries in cipher
  • Notebook C, part one: Orders for June 6-July 2, 1759 in Werte, Germany
  • Notebook C, part two: Clinton's journal of the Siege of Boston, which covers August 19-September 29, 1775. In it, Clinton commented frequently on strategy and described his relationships with Thomas Graves and Thomas Gage
  • Notebook D: Undated list of acquaintances and Clinton's accounts with them
  • Notebook E: Memorandum on expenditures for Clinton's daughter, Augusta (1776) and notes on organization and tracking of his correspondence (ca. 1780s)
  • Notebooks F-H, J: Postwar notes defending his actions as commander-in-chief and blaming failures on Cornwallis [n.d.]
  • Notebook I: Clinton's comments on the objectives of the Seven Years' War
  • Notebook K: Clinton's thoughts on the French Revolution (1793)
  • Notebook L: Clinton's memorandum to his sons, in which he described his connection with his longtime mistress, Mary Baddeley, as well as her background and personal qualities, and her husband's complicity in the relationship. Clinton also admitted that he had "many children" with her, and mentioned an illegitimate daughter in Germany and his support of her
  • Notebook M: Miscellaneous notes on promotions and military actions during Seven Years' War in Germany (ca. 1759-1760)

Volume 286 contains two memoranda books, marked A and B. In Book A, Clinton recorded 16 pages of abstracts of letters he received in the autumn of 1777. The abstracts primarily convey intelligence concerning the Hudson Highlands in New York, but also contain several notes on military proposals and information on British troop numbers and positions. Book B contains writings and drafts of letters by Clinton on a number of military strategy and Revolutionary War topics, likely written ca. 1774-1776. Subjects include Clinton's observations of the Russian army, Lord Francis Rawdon's bravery during the Battle of Bunker Hill, commentary on the Siege of Boston, and miscellaneous remarks on military strategy.

Series V: Financial Materials

The Financial Materials series comprises volumes 249-253, and 264. Within Volume 249 are ten account books recording Clinton's personal and household spending for the years 1758, 1765, 1767, 1767-1774, 1773, 1775, 1787, and 1795. Also present is an account book for Isaac Holroyd, a relative of Harriot Carter, covering 1778-1781 and one for Henry Clinton, Jr., spanning 1814-1816. Bound financial accounts for the Clinton family can also be found in Volume 253, which covers 1789-1793. Supplementing these account books are three volumes of the Clinton family's unbound accounts for 1748-1781 (Volume 250), 1783-1805 (Volume 251), and 1782-1790 (Volume 252). A partial record of Clinton's military expenditures while serving as commander-in-chief can be found in Clinton's warrant book, located in Volume 264. The book contains several hundred warrants issued by Clinton from his headquarters in New York between January 5, 1780, and September 5, 1781. Most of the warrants authorize payments for rations and soldiers' salaries. Many more financial records, documenting both Clinton's personal and official expenditures, are located within the Chronological series.

Series VI: Orders, Reports, and Other Military Documents

The Orders, Reports, and Other Military Documents series comprises Volumes 233, 265-268, 272-273, 285, 287, and 289, and supplements the numerous military documents found throughout the Chronological series.

Volume 233 contains 54 undated returns of the Great Britain Army, relating statistics concerning personnel, ships, ordnance, and provisions. Unfortunately, all are undated, but they appear to relate primarily to the Revolutionary War period. Two items are of particular interest for the information they contain on African American regiments: one document records the supplies needed to clothe 500 members of the Black Pioneers Regiment (233:42), while another lists the names of African Americans in "Captain Martin's Company" of the Black Pioneers Regiment.

Volume 265 contains an orderly book for the 38th Regiment of Foot while stationed in New York, 1764-1775, which includes instructions on the distribution of provisions, a prohibition on the taking of boats by officers, and other matters of discipline. An order for May 18, 1775, instructs soldiers on what to do in case of attack by Americans in Boston. Volume 266 contains general orders by Clinton, 1778-1782, primarily concerning promotions, paroles, rulings on courts martial, assignment of recruits, invalids, and troop movements. Volume 267 contains seven volumes.

These include:
  • Reports on the distribution and recapitulation of British troops, 1779-1781
  • The minutes of the British "War Council" (duplicated in the Chronological series), in which Clinton, Robertson, Campbell, Knyphausen, Leslie, and Affleck debated the timing of sending reinforcements to Yorktown in 1781
  • Army promotions, by regiment
  • Lists of quarters occupied by various units and departments of the British Army
  • A copy of an oath of allegiance to the British and lists of names of inhabitants of various townships in the vicinity of New York City
  • Two volumes of information on ports and trading by colony, with notes on smuggling

Volume 268 contains the proceedings of a Board of General Officers at New York, appointed to assess wartime expenditures in late 1781. The report contains information on men, women, and children victualled with various regiments and departments; lists of ships and their masters; and comparative information on expenses between1775 and 1781.

The series also includes two Army lists (Volumes 272-273) that provide the names of general and staff officers for British regiments, Hessian corps, and provincial corps. The 1779 list is printed, and contains annotations by John André, while the 1781 list is a manuscript.

Volume 285 contains three of Clinton's military notebooks recording orders, instructions, tactics, and strategies, and covering Clinton's early military career in the 1740s and 1750s. These notebooks shed light on Clinton's military education and early experiences, and include his "thoughts on modern military authors," extensive rules for officers, several diagrams and drawings of battlefields, and accounts of the movements of the 1st Regiment of Foot Guards around Germany during the Seven Years War.

Volume 287 contains three orderly books produced during the 1750s.

These include:
  • Undated orders in French, issued by Louis Georges Érasme de Contades during the Seven Years' War
  • Clinton's orderly book for the 2nd Battalion, Coldstream Regiment of Foot Guards, of which he was captain (1751-1754)
  • Clinton's orderly book for the Coldstream Regiment of Foot Guards, 1753-1757

Volume 289 contains documents relating to the Brunswick Corps, 1789-1793, including accounts, returns, and orders. Nearly all are in French.

Series VII: Intelligence

The Intelligence series comprises Volumes 234, 274, 276, and 291 and supplements the large amount of intelligence materials found throughout the Chronological series. Forty-seven intelligence items, comprising both tools and accounts, have been brought together in Volume 234. This includes 37 reports (one with invisible ink on the verso), 5 ciphers, 2 codes, 2 masks (used to reveal hidden messages in letters), and a narrow strip of paper containing intelligence, which could be easily concealed. In addition to providing numerous examples of the information with which the British worked, this volume sheds light on the many varied methods used to convey sensitive and secret reports. Items range in date from 1777-1781, and contain intelligence gathered on the positions of American troops, the location of the French navy, the names of English and Hessian deserters, and of suspected American sympathizers. The documents also reveal information on several spies, including a female agent, whom other spies had "trusted often" (234:27). Other reports provide geographical details on locations such as Massachusetts and New Hampshire, and information on the number and location of enemy ordnance. Several documents refer to Native Americans, including General John Sullivan's attacks on the British-allied Iroquois (234:10).

Volume 274 contains John André's intelligence book for the years 1779-1780, featuring dozens of brief intelligence reports delivered by spies, deserters, and loyalists, and recorded by André. In addition to André's entries in the book, there are several unbound reports in his hand and letters from George Beckwith, James Delancey, and Gabriel George Ludlow, laid into the volume. The entries mainly concern such matters as the location, numbers, weaponry, and provisions of the American forces; they pertain primarily to New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. The volume ends at July 23, 1780, and makes no mention of the Arnold-André affair.

Also of note are Virginia War Office letter books (Volume 276), which were captured by the British around 1781; they provided intelligence concerning American war efforts in Virginia. The volume contains two letter books, covering 1777-1781. Book I spans October 15, 1777-November 1780, and consists of copies of 28 documents issued by Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson, governors of Virginia in 1776-1779 and 1779-1781, respectively. Ten of the items are commissions appointing American representatives to various locations, including the Netherlands, Italy, France, and St. Eustatius. Other items include Jefferson's proclamation regarding land for returning soldiers near the Ohio River (pp. 31-33), articles of agreement between the Commonwealth of Virginia and a French representative regarding trade between Virginia and France (pp. 34-36), and orders allowing the Commonwealth government to impress various goods for the supplies of the militia (pp. 39, 41-42).

Book II covers November 8, 1779-November 20, 1780, and contains approximately 106 resolutions, statements of approval, and letters. The majority of the resolutions deal with the finances and supplies for the war, with several documents at the end of the letter book addressing the disposition of hospitals. Many of the entries in late 1779 and early 1780 concern the construction of defenses against the British, as well as the maneuvering of supplies and men away from the coast and up the James and York Rivers. All but a few of the documents are dated from the War Office in Williamsburg, then Virginia's capital. The back of the book contains 29 pages of accounts for the War Office, spanning October 7, 1779-January 1781.

Some items of note include:
  • A document stating the duties of the Commissary of Stores and the amounts of rum, coffee, sugar, and tea given to men of specific ranks within the army (November 11, 1779)
  • A document containing specific instructions and preparations for fortifying Virginia against an anticipated winter attack from the British (November 16, 1779)
  • A small chart and prose explanation of the assignment of hospital staff and supplies to various Virginia regiments and the United States Navy (January 28, 1780)

Series VIII: Other Clinton Family Members

The Other Clinton Family Members Materials series series comprises items created by several of Clinton's relatives. Volume 288 contains the military notebook of Clinton's son, William Henry Clinton (1769-1846). William wrote in the book periodically between 1793 and 1801, while he served in several campaigns during the French Revolution as captain and later as lieutenant-colonel of the First Regiment of Foot Guards, and then as aide-de-camp to the Duke of York. The book contains Clinton's account of the Siege of Dunkirk in 1793, as well as lengthy descriptions of the Brittany coast, Île d'Yeu, and Madeira. These give accounts of the geography, infrastructure, agriculture, inhabitants, and governments of these areas. The last three pages of the volume describe a successful experiment to melt ice in the Netherlands.

Also of note are 12 oversize journals kept by Henry Clinton's sister-in-law, Elizabeth Carter (Volume 290). Along with her sister Martha (ca. 1745-1783), Elizabeth Carter (1741-1817) cared for Henry Clinton's children and household after their sister Harriot Clinton's death and during Clinton's tenure in North America. The journals contain nearly 800 pages of entries, covering 1774-1795, and are a rich source of information on the Clintons' and Carters' home life. Elizabeth rarely committed detailed observations to paper, but she was a precise recorder of daily events, especially the movements and activities of various members of the household. In her journals, Carter expressed deep devotion to Clinton's children, and noted milestones like losing teeth and the boys' transition to long pants, as well as details about their health and educational activities. She also kept track of the letters she received from Clinton, whom she frequently called "my dearest Genl." (September 6, 1776), and the family's many social visits, particularly to the Duke of Newcastle. Though Carter lived until 1818, the journal ends the day before Clinton's death, December 23, 1795. Volume 290 also contains the only item in the collection written by Clinton's wife, Harriot--a diary of very short entries noting financial transactions and a few activities for 1767-1772. It includes payments to a nurse and for household items, as well as several references to the Clinton children. The Harriot Clinton and Elizabeth Carter diaries are described in a separate finding aid.

Series IX: Books

The collection contains 14 books and pamphlets, mainly related to Clinton and his colleagues' postwar reputations. See Volumes 291-305 in the box and folder listing for titles.

Series X: Maps

The Maps series contains 380 maps used by Clinton and other British military officers, spanning 1750-1806, with the bulk created during the American Revolution. Of these, 335 are manuscript and 45 are printed; they vary greatly in size, from sketches occupying only six square inches, to larger wall maps covering 6 square feet. Henry Clinton created 22 of the maps and sketches himself; the other most frequently represented cartographers are Claude Joseph Sauthier (10 maps), John Hills (9), Edward Fage (8), John Montresor (8), Joseph F.W. Des Barres (6), Abraham d'Aubant (5), and Patrick Ferguson (5).

Over 300 of the maps depict locations in North America, including their geographic, demographic, and military features. The most common subjects are New York (98 maps), New Jersey (46), Rhode Island (44), South Carolina (27), Virginia (26), Massachusetts (24), North Carolina (11), and Pennsylvania (8). In addition to such features as roads, waterways, towns, and boundaries, many maps show extant military works and proposed locations for forts, works, batteries, and barracks. Others reveal troop movements and formations during battles and sieges, including Saratoga, Monmouth, Camden, Guilford Courthouse, and Yorktown. A few maps also convey information on Native Americans, including the boundaries of Creek land, the locale of the Battle of the Wabash (St. Clair's defeat) in 1791, and the locations of Cherokee villages.

Approximately 75 maps in the collection represent areas outside North America. These include maps associated with various campaigns in the French Revolution, the Third Anglo-Mysore War in India, and the European theater of the Seven Years' War.

For a complete list of the 380 maps in the Henry Clinton papers, search for "Clinton maps" (include the quotes) in the University of Michigan online catalog.

Series XI: Miscellany

The Miscellany series includes Volumes 243-248, containing approximately 735 undated, miscellaneous items. The series covers a range of topics, including postwar defenses of Clinton's actions as commander-in-chief written by Clinton and others, comments on world politics, a few pieces of wartime intelligence, notes on military tactics, and scattered discussion of strategy in North America.

Some highlights include:
  • A manuscript giving details on Fort Putnam and other works near West Point, and a possible plan of assault (243:6)
  • Intelligence from two African Americans, identified as “Murphy & Abraham” (243:24)
  • Descriptions of military maneuvers for training British troops, including rudimentary drawings (246:45-46)

In addition to this finding aid, three other research aids have been created for the Henry Clinton papers: The Subject Index provides access to the large number of people, events, places, and themes represented in the Henry Clinton papers, the Geographic Index catalogs references to specific places, and the Volume Descriptions provide brief overviews of the content of each volume in the collection.

The Manuscripts Division has also created a list of the names of letter-writers in the collection: Henry Clinton Papers Contributor List.


Henry Murfey letter book, 1855-1856

54 pages (1 volume)

The Henry Murfey letter book contains copies of 12 letters addressed to Henry, of Cleveland, Ohio, ostensibly from his deceased sister and father via a spirit-writing medium. The letters date from December 28, 1855, to September 20, 1856. The longest and most revealing of the letters details the experience of his sister Mary's physical death, her arrival at a "large spiritual temple," and her introduction to a spirit guide named "Flora." Mary then described her visit to the planet Saturn and its inhabitants.

The Henry Murfey letter book is a wallet-size, leather bound notebook containing 12 letters recorded over 54 handwritten pages and dating from December 28, 1855, to September 20, 1856. The letters are each addressed to Henry Murfey of Cleveland, Ohio, ostensibly from his deceased sister Mary (11) and father John (1) via a spirit-writing medium.

The letters are written in reverse chronological order, with the final letter located at the beginning of the letter book. The longest and most revealing of the letters details the experience of Mary's physical death, her arrival at a "large spiritual temple," and her introduction to a spirit guide named "Flora." Mary then described her visit to the planet Saturn and its inhabitants. Later letters assured Henry of the veracity of their communication and assured him that she often thought of him and communicated with him through the movement of inanimate objects. Several letters are undated, including one by Murfey's father John. The final three pages contain a crossed-out note, a recipe for an herbal remedy, and random calculations.


Henry Van Solingen collection, 1820-1838 (majority within 1820-1831)

30 items

This collection contains a letter book (72 pages) and 29 retained drafts of Dr. Henry M. Van Solingen's outgoing correspondence, which relate to his financial affairs. Much of the material concerns Van Solingen's ownership of land in northern Ohio during the early 19th century.

This collection contains a letter book (72 pages) and 29 retained drafts of Dr. Henry M. Van Solingen's outgoing correspondence, which relate to his financial affairs. Much of the material concerns Van Solingen's ownership of land in northern Ohio during the early 19th century.

The letter book (September 26, 1821-March 1, 1828) and drafts (March [8], 1820-June 20, 1838) are made up of Dr. Van Solingen's letters to numerous correspondents, including William Townsend, Jacob Arnold, David B. Ogden, and others. Many of the drafts were written on cover sheets initially addressed to Van Solingen's wife, Henrietta Wynkoop; on the reverse side of printed invitations; or on partially printed financial documents. The annotated drafts often concern Van Solingen's farmland in Avery, Townsend, and Milan, Ohio, which he rented to settlers and later considered selling. In addition to Van Solingen's outgoing correspondence, the letter book also holds copies of a small number of his incoming business letters, mostly regarding rent payments and other financial affairs related to unspecified land holdings.


Henry Vignaud papers, 1840-1922 (majority within 1860-1915)

3 linear feet

The Henry Vignaud papers are made up of letters, manuscript notes, and published works concerning Vignaud's diplomatic career and scholarly life in Paris during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Letters and notes by his correspondents and fellow “Americanistes” Pierre Margry and Henry Harrisse comprise the bulk of the collection.

The Henry Vignaud papers are made up of letters, manuscript notes, and published works concerning Henry Vignaud's diplomatic career and scholarly life in Paris during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The collection is divided into four series: Henry Vignaud, Pierre Margry, Henry Harrisse, and Miscellaneous. Groups of correspondence, writings, printed materials, and biographical portraits are arranged within each series.

The Henry Vignaud series includes incoming and outgoing letters, manuscript notes, and published works related to Henry Vignaud.

The Correspondence subseries mainly consists of letters Vignaud received between 1866 and 1922 regarding his diplomatic work and academic interests. Correspondents, such as Pierre Margry and Henry Harrisse, often discussed articles and other publications about North American history. One 496-page letter book contains copies of Vignaud's outgoing correspondence from February 25, 1876, to June 1, [1888]. Written in both English and French, these letters relate to his appointment as secretary for the United States legation in Paris. The letter book contains a chart comparing the sizes and expenditures of the standing armies of European countries (p. 198) and a floor plan for the United States legation's new offices (p. 343).

The Writings subseries contains notes, speeches, and manuscript books by Henry Vignaud. He compiled notes about topics in American history and composed biographical sketches of Henry Harrisse. He entitled his manuscript books Lettre de Toscanelli à Martins (Texte et Traduction) and Notes de Ximenes sur la Lettre de Toscanelli. Additionally, his papers include the bottom portion of a colored map depicting the French-German border and a description of plans for an arc de triumphe to stand over the "Monument du Gen. Lafayette," accompanied by a photograph of the model of the monument. The second photograph is a of mock-up a statue of George Washington and Lafayette shaking hands; the statue now stands in Moringside Park,New York City. Both photographs are signed by [Frédéric-Auguste] Bartholdi.

The Writings of Ferdinand Denis, a fellow Americaniste and future librarian of the Saint Geneviève Library in Paris, consist of his manuscript notes on topics related to Portuguese exploration and colonies, particularly in South America.

The Printed Materials subseries includes articles that Benjamin Franklin Stevens wrote about unpublished manuscript collections in European archives and specimen pages from his annotated facsimile edition of Christopher Columbus: His Own Book of Privileges 1502…. Additional materials dated between 1895-1896 pertain to a legal case involving the former American consul to Madagascar, John L. Waller.

The Pierre Margry series of letters, writings, and other items relates to Margry's scholarly work on North America. The bulk of the Correspondence subseries comprises 381 incoming letters between June 1839 and October 1889 about his academic interests. Margry also composed Writings on various topics, such as Isle Royale, Canada, and Detroit. François-Edme Rameau de Saint-Père and Gabriel Gravier wrote Biographical Sketches about Pierre Margry shortly after his 1894 death; 4 engraved portraits of Margry accompany the biographies.

The Henry Harrisse series contains materials similar to those in the Pierre Margry series. The Correspondence subseries includes 11 letters, 3 undated and 8 sent between November 1866 and January 1904, Harrisse wrote about his academic work, discussion of publications by his colleagues, and his efforts to locate specific maps. The Writings subseries contains extensive manuscript notes related to his publications about the European discovery and early exploration of North America. This interest continue to be reflected in the Biographical Portraits subseries, which includes notes and proofs for Harrisse’s work on “Americus Vespuccius” and on the sixteenth-century explorers John and Sebastian Cabot, as well as a 1-page account of Harrisse written by John Johnson (June 23, 1891); Henry Vignaud's writings on Harrisse are located in the Henry Vignaud series.

The Miscellaneous series includes 13 additional letters, 3 postcards, 2 funeral invitations for Sigismond-Joseph-Marie-Louise de Pourcet, baron de Sahune and Antoinette Helin, an invitation to a ceremony honoring the 100th anniversary of the Louisiana Purchase on December 18-20, 1903, and other miscellaneous notes.


Hillard-Low family papers, 1817-1935 (majority within 1829-1897)

0.5 linear feet

This collection is made up of approximately 160 items related to the Hillard family and Low family of New York and Boston, including correspondence, documents, photographs, poetry, ephemera, and pamphlets. Family members wrote around one-third of the approximately 110 letters and typescripts, as well as 35 pages from a letter book, while living and working in China in the mid-1800s. Other letters and additional materials concern the families' social and business lives in New York and Massachusetts throughout the 19th century. The families were related by marriage.

This collection contains approximately 155 items related to the Hillard family and Low family of New York and Boston, including correspondence, documents, photographs, poetry, ephemera, and pamphlets. Family members wrote around one-third of the approximately 110 letters and typescripts, as well as 35 pages from a letter book, while living and working in China in the mid-1800s. Other letters and additional material concern the families' social and business lives in New York and Massachusetts throughout the 19th century. The families were related by marriage.

The Correspondence series contains the following subseries: Manuscript Correspondence, Edward Low Letter Book, and Low Family Typescripts.

The Manuscript Correspondence subseries contains around 100 items related to the Hillard and Low families. "Caroline," a friend of Harriet Low, wrote letters to Harriet in New York City from Macau, China, in 1834 and 1835. Caroline commented on aspects of her life abroad, such as William Napier's arrival from Great Britain and the difficulty of having goods shipped from the United States. Other early correspondence includes personal letters between members of the Low family, who often wrote from Boston about family news and their social lives.

Francis (Frank) A. Hillard wrote 25 letters to his parents and siblings between June 1844 and July 1846, including 2 while traveling onboard the ship Honqua and 23 while living in Canton (now Guangzhou) and Macau, China. He described many aspects of his everyday life and of his career as a merchant, and provided detailed accounts of scenery, people, customs, and local news. He also commented on his experiences as a foreigner living abroad. After returning to the United States and settling in Brooklyn, New York, he corresponded with his brother Oliver, to whom he wrote approximately 30 letters between 1847 and 1853. Frank discussed his mercantile career and social life, which included interactions with members of the Delano family. The bulk of the correspondence ends in 1853.

Abiel Abbot Low wrote 4 letters to his wife Ellen on June 12, 1841, and from June 28, 1845-August 21, 1845. In his first letter, he described his travels in northern New York along the Erie Canal. Low's letter of June 28, 1845, pertains to his transatlantic voyage to Manchester, England, on the Great Western: he discussed his fellow passengers, his leisure activities on the ship, and his reunion with his sister Harriet and her children. The final 2 items (August 16, 1845, and August 21, 1845) concern Low's life in New York City after his return from England; he provided news of acquaintances and briefly mentioned the possibility of war with Mexico.

The subseries contains a letter Frank received from his brother Oliver, who provided news of United States politics (June 9, 1846), a letter from a girl named Hattie to her mother that mentions a sermon by a "Mr. Longfellow" [1864?], and a letter and membership card from the New York State Woman Suffrage Association sent to Mary Loines (September 21, 1895).

The Edward Low Letter Book is comprised of 35-pages of retained copies of letters that Low wrote to various family members, including William Henry and Abiel Abbot, while living in Macau, China, from May to September 1842. He discussed his life and work in China, as well as the Chinese economy and current events.

A group of Low Family Typescripts contains 12 letters exchanged by members of the Low family between 1829 and 1841, accompanied by a table of contents and a letter about the original material, dated 1935. The location of the original letters is unknown. Harriett Low wrote the first 9 letters between 1829 and 1834, while traveling in the Pacific and living in Macau, China. She told her mother and sister of her life onboard steamships and about her loneliness, caused by separation from her family in the United States. The remaining 11 letters include items by Frank and William Henry Low concerning their travels to China and around the Pacific region. They also commented on financial affairs.

The Documents series has 2 subseries: Legal and Financial Documents (5 items) and Passports (2 items). Included are an indenture between John Hillard, Harriet Low, and Seth Low (November 1, 1836); 4 receipts (August 1894-March 9, 1896, and undated); and passports for John Hillard (1842) and George Stillman Hillard (1859). Each passport is housed in a leather wallet.

The Photographs series contains 3 cartes-de-visite of Samuel Stillman and Rebecca Allen Stillman, as well as 3 card photographs of George Stillman Hillard.

Poetry and Other Writings (10 items) are comprised of 3 small poems, including one Francis A. Hillard wrote for his brother Oliver; 1 long poem entitled "The Tale" (27 pages); a preface and notes concerning the preparation of a work on the Low family papers; 3 loose pages and 1 packet of notes; and a 2-page prose draft.

The Genealogy series holds a 25-page document with genealogical information about the Hillard family and associated families.

Printed Items are divided into 3 subseries. Printed Ephemera (4 items) includes an illustrated envelope for the company Fritz and Dean, a business card for John B. Hillard, an image of George S. Hillard, and a bookplate for items bequeathed to the Massachusetts Historical Society by James Savage. The Currency (13 items) was all issued in North America between 1770 and 1780. Three of the four published Pamphlets were written by George Stillman Hillard between 1843 and 1852. The final pamphlet is a copy of "A Clipper Ship and Her Commander" (1924).


Ira J. Patch letter book, 1856-1857

1 volume

The Ira J. Patch letter book contains letters that Patch wrote about his interest in collecting and trading autograph documents and signatures by prominent American politicians. Patch discussed possible trades with fellow collectors, provided lists of material he wished to acquire, and expressed his desire to receive copies of publications regarding the history of Massachusetts.

The Ira J. Patch letter book (56 pages) contains around 45 letters that Patch wrote from March 24, 1856-February 5, 1857, about his interest in collecting and trading autograph documents and signatures by prominent American politicians. He discussed possible trades with fellow collectors, provided lists of material he wished to acquire, and expressed his desire to receive copies of publications regarding the history of Massachusetts.

Patch most frequently wrote to fellow autograph collectors, sometimes providing lists of famous individuals whose autographs he desired and those which he was willing to send in return. He often discussed specific trades and provided names of other collectors. Patch's letter to Lewis J. Cist of St. Louis, Missouri, dated March 28, 1856, lists United States presidents, vice presidents, cabinet secretaries, attorneys general, and postmasters general, as well as signers of the Declaration of Independence. In other letters, Patch referred to his interest in collecting signatures from governors of Massachusetts, New York, and Rhode Island. He explained his attempt to focus on specific subjects, and also mentioned some areas that he did not collect in, such as Revolutionary War generals' manuscripts and paper money. On at least two occasions, Patch purchased items by British monarchs.

Patch sometimes wrote to publishing firms about his desire to obtain copies of publications such as the New England Historical and Genealogical Register, the Records of Massachusetts, and the History of Boston. Two letters to his uncle, Alvah C. Smith of Cambridgeport, Massachusetts, pertain to transactions with Smith's acquaintance "Mr. Morse"; Patch shared his initial displeasure and subsequent satisfaction with the items that Morse offered (April 14, 1856, and April 17, 1856). Patch wrote letters to former Massachusetts governors Marcus Morton and George S. Boutwell on May 8, 1856, requesting the names of council members who had served during their administrations; he later thanked Morton for his prompt response (May 14, 1856). One personal letter from Patch to a friend concerns the Know-Nothing Party, the 1856 presidential election, and Patch's pride in voting for John C. Frémont and "liberty" (July 17, 1856).


Isaac Chauncey papers, 1801-1818

0.75 linear feet

This collection holds official letters, letterbooks, and documents of the American naval commander Isaac Chauncey, who served during the Franco-American War, the War of 1812, and both Barbary Wars. The material largely concerns naval administration during Chauncey's command of the American navy in Lake Ontario and naval operations in the Mediterranean during the Second Barbary War.

This collection holds 41 official letters, 3 letterbooks (1199 pages), and 7 documents of the American naval commander Isaac Chauncey, who served during the Franco-American War, the War of 1812, and both Barbary Wars. The material largely concerns naval administration during Chauncey's command of the American Navy on Lake Ontario and Erie during the War of 1812, and naval operations in the Mediterranean during the Second Barbary War.

The Correspondence series (41 items) contains letters related to Chauncey's naval career primarily during the War of 1812 and the Second Barbary War. The collection contains 11 secretarial copies of letters and 5 English translations of letters from the Dey of Algiers and the Spanish Diplomat Luis de Onís. The rest of the items are original including a letter from James Monroe and one from Stephen Decatur.

Five of the early letters are from Robert Smith, Secretary of the Navy in the Jefferson Administration, regarding Chauncey's placement as a lieutenant on the President, ordering Chauncey not to assist ships carrying contraband; one letter informed him of his appointment as Captain (April 24, 1806). Other early items include a letter from Chauncey to Stephen Decatur, reassuring him that he had no deserters or private sailors on board the John Adams (April 3, 1805) and a friendly letter from Decatur to Chauncey that mentions the possibility of their being sent to the Mediterranean (May 11, 1809).

Items related to the War of 1812 include three letters to Roger Hale Sheaffe, one congratulating him on becoming a baron and another placing a British officer into his service in Upper Canada. The collection also holds two Chauncey letters from 1813, including a letter from James Wilkinson about the positioning of Chauncey's squadron, and a letter from the Mayor of Savannah celebrating Chauncey’s and Commodore Perry's victories against the British.

Several letters concern the political situation in the Mediterranean Sea during the Second Barbary War. One is an 8-page extract from Tobias Lear, consul general to Algiers, describing the political situation there. Another is a translation of a letter from the Dey of Algiers to President Madison on continuing terms of peace. Four letters are from Chevalier Luis de Onis, Spanish foreign minister to the United States, addressed to Secretary of State James Monroe. The letters discuss Chauncey's capture of one of the Deys' brigantines, an act of aggression which violated the American-Algerian peace agreement and lead to threats from the Dey. Other letters are from Stephen Decatur to James Monroe and William Shaler, United States consul general to Algiers, and between Secretary of the Navy Benjamin William Crowninshield and Chauncey.

The Letterbooks series contains 3 volumes of incoming and outgoing letters and orders during the War of 1812 and from 1815-1817, while Chauncey served as captain and diplomat in the Second Barbary War. These volumes provide an excellent account of the highest level of decision making for the Great Lakes in the War of 1812, and document Chauncey's part in America's Mediterranean naval operations between 1815-1817. Entries consist primarily of outgoing letters (many marked private and confidential), but also include some incoming letters, general orders, circulars, charges of disobedience, records of courts martial, and tables of naval expenses. The entries are largely ordered by date, though occasionally Chauncey's reply was copied before the incoming letter was entered, and, in a few instances, letters were misplaced and copied at a later date.

The first volume dates from September 3, 1812, to March 30, 1813 (320 pages). Over this period Chauncey mainly corresponds with high-level naval and military leaders, such as Secretary of the Navy Paul Hamilton, Major General Henry Dearborn, Navy Agent John Bullus, Naval Commander of the forces on Lake Erie Jesse Duncan Elliott, Brigadier General John Chandler, and Commander Melancthon Taylor Woolsey. Of note are letters written on November 17, 1812, to New York Governor Daniel D. Tompkins and American General Dearborn, stating that Chauncey has "complete command of this Lake, and that we can transport Troops and Stores to any part of it with safety" (volume 1, p.102 and p.105). Along with communications between Chauncey and high-ranking officers, the volume also contains official correspondence with captains and lower-ranking service members throughout the great lakes region. For example, a letter from January 27, 1813, grants leave to mid-shipman William Bunnell, so that he can visit his dying father (volume 1, p.214). During most of this time period, Chauncey is stationed at Sackets harbor, except for September 3-26, 1812, when he was managing the New York Navy Yard (volume 1, p.1-36); October 21-October 24, 1812, when he was on a trip to Oswego (volume 1, p.56-62); December 25- January 9, 1813, when he was at Black Rock, Connecticut (volume 1,,p.176-200); and February 10-28, 1813,when he was on a trip to Albany and New York (volume 1, p.239-257).

The second volume, April 1-August 25, 1813, is a continuation of the first (561 pages and 11 blank pages). The bulk of this volume are letters to Washington D.C., with many addressed to the Secretary of the Navy, Williams Jones. Like the previous volume, these communications document the navy's ship-building operations and military decisions. Chauncey was away from Sackets Harbor on three occasions: he was at the capture of York on the U.S. Ship Madison, April 27-May 8, 1813 (volume 2, 85-100); he stopped near Niagara, May 9, 1813 (volume 2, 101-103); and he visited Niagara again from August 3-6, 1813 (volume 2, 277-288). Of note are a report of the killed and wounded in the attack on Fort George, May 27, 1813 (volume 2, p.134), and an account of 195 vouchers for Navy Department expenses from September 1812-July 1813 (volume 2, 250-269). Another interesting item reveals Chauncey's attitude toward racial prejudice in the navy. He wrote to Oliver H. Perry, "I regret that you are not pleased with the men sent by Mssrs. Champlin & Forrest, for to my knowledge a part of them are not surpassed by any seamen we have in the Fleet, and I have yet to learn that the colour of the skin or cut and trimmings of the Coat can effect a man’s qualifications or usefulness. I have nearly 50 blacks on board of this Ship and many of them are amongst my best Men..." (volume 2, p.275).

The third volume dates from March 17, 1815-March 25, 1817 (318 pages and 4 blank pages). It documents Chauncey’s final months at Sackets Harbor, between March-June 1815 (volume 3, 1-108), a short stay in New York from July 19-August 18 (volume 3, 109-121), and three months on Board the U.S. Ship Washington stationed first in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, August 27-November 25 (volume 3, 122-178), and then in Boston and New York, December 5-May 8, 1816 (volume 3, 178-231), and finally just off Annapolis, May 10-June 8 (volume 3, 231-241). The early part of the 3rd volume contains many letters to and from Secretary of the Navy B.W. Crowninshield and other contacts in Washington during the close of the war with Britain. Of note is a detailed report on building ships on Lake Ontario during the war years (volume 3, 115-120).

The remainder of the volume contains Chauncey's letters from the US Ship Washington as it travelled through the Mediterranean Sea. The ship visited Gibraltar; Malaga Bay, Spain; Port Mahon, Spain; Naples Bay, Italy; Messina, Italy; Tunis, Tunisia; and Algiers Bay. He maintained contact with several US captains in the Mediterranean and with American diplomat William Pinkney in Naples. A considerable portion of the volume consists of copies of letters, accounts of events, and transcriptions of the hearings of various courts marital during the war. Chauncey was in close contact with Captain John Shaw, president of the courts martial on board the Constellation. One particularly well-documented trial was for Captain John Orde Creighton of the Java, for beating a fellow crew member with a stick. The charges are on pages 282-284, but numerous copies of documents from the trial continue to page 328.

The Documents series (7 items) contains:
  • An item documenting the court inquiry of Captain James Barron who, in 1807, surrendered the Chesapeake to a British war ship off the coast of Virginia, without properly attempting to defend it.
  • A copy of a deed of land transfer from the New York State government to the United States government, for use as a navy yard along the East River (April 3, 1810).
  • A general order from Commissioner Steward to Naval Commissioner Isaac Chauncey, discussing disciplinary duties of naval officers and commending Chauncey for his skill in this field (February 4, 1818).
  • A parole and receipt for British prisoners taken after the siege of York, signed by Lieutenant Clemworth of the 3rd Regiment Militia and 37 British officers (April 28, 1813).
  • A copy of Colonel Tobias Lear's observations concerning the Barbary affairs addressed to the United States government (17 pages). The document reports the political role of Algiers in the Mediterranean Sea and its relationship with various European nations in 1812. This document is intended to give American policymakers and military leaders background on the Algerian situation.
  • Extracts from general accounts of losses sustained by the Mohawks during the War of 1812, with a note at the bottom stating that one claim had been paid to Joseph Brant by Mohawk Chief Isaac Hill.
  • A memorandum on the defense of Kingston, Ontario (undated).

Jacob Aemilius Irving letterbooks, 1809-1816

518 pages (3 volumes)

The Irving collection consist of three volumes of outgoing correspondence written from Liverpool, England, and Jamaica, 1809-1816. These volumes are a resource for understanding the mentality of a Jamaican sugar planter during the years following the cessation of the British slave trade.

The Jacob Aemilius Irving Letterbooks consist of three volumes of out-going correspondence written from Liverpool, England, and Jamaica, 1809-1816. These slender volumes are an outstanding resource for understanding the mentality of a Jamaican sugar planter during the years following the cessation of the British slave trade. While there is little information on plantation management, per se, the letters provide considerable insight into the psychology and management of debt. Having inherited a substantial debt as receiver of his father's estate, Irving struggled to settle the family accounts, placing himself in continued conflict with relatives and creditors alike.

Irving's management of his daily business demonstrates how thoroughly his vision of the world was trans-Atlantic. His network of agents, suppliers, friends, and competitors extended not merely to the West Indies, but to America and Britain, as well, and for Irving, the nation clearly straddled the ocean. Intriguingly, the letters suggest the manner in which debt worked to cement Irving's network of relationships, however uneasily -- indebtedness was the mortar binding Irving's familial and commercial lives. To Irving, debt was an inevitable byproduct of successfully maneuvering the sugar trade, and the gambler's mentality implicit in this formulation comes across clearly in the letters to Irving's largest creditor, Joseph Birch, and to his attorney, Alexander Peterkin, and clerk, John Pigot. Of particular interest is an excellent series of letters to and about Jacob's nephew, James, imprisoned for debt at the tender age of 19, admonishing him for profligacy and a lack of concern for his budget and accusing him, at one point, of a conscious design to indebt himself. See especially the letter of 1810 September 13 and the letter to Alexander Peterkin written on 1811 August 6.

The commercial impact of Anglo-American foreign relations and the War of 1812 forms a second, though relatively minor line of interest in the collection.

Finally, the Irving letterbooks are a fine resource for understanding aspects of the mentality and economics of slaveholding in Jamaica. While there is nothing in the collection relating directly to the management of slaves, there is considerable discussion of trading in slaves, their value to the estates, and their status as currency in the Jamaican economy. Among the most intriguing letters is one in which Irving described the departure (in England) of his servant, Peter:

"My Man Peter has left us after long threatening to do so -- indeed I was obliged to [word crossed out: discharge] part with him he had become so idle & fond of company, his services were not worth having -- it is no more than what I always expected -- for as soon as these gentry get to this Country, & get connected with Buckra Woman the fools go mad, & at length when poverty & disease ensue, the press gangs get them, or they become beggars in the streets. I should as soon recommend a Man to bring his horse with him to England as his domestic servant" (1812 March 3 to John Pigot)

In an impassioned letter to Simon Clarke responding to reading an antislavery work (1812 February 26), Irving includes an edgy defence of the slave system against charges that it is antireligious: "Teach them [slaves] morality, and you teach them wisdom. Teach them religion, and you confound their understandings, & render them a prey toEvil-doers!"


James Douglas papers, 1738-1850 (majority within 1738-1787)

26 volumes and 29 loose letters and documents

The James Douglas papers are comprised of letters, letter books, logbooks, account books, and official naval documents relating to the career of Sir James Douglas, a British Admiral who was active in European and Caribbean waters and participated in the 1745 Siege of Louisbourg.

The James Douglas papers are comprised of letters, letter books, logbooks, account books, and official naval documents relating to the career of Sir James Douglas. Douglas rose to the rank of admiral and was active in European and Caribbean waters, and participated in the 1745 Siege of Louisbourg. The collection contains 7 letterbooks, 10 logbooks, 1 orderly book, 7 prize and account books, 1 book of sailing instructions (with notations by Douglas), 10 letters, 17 financial and official documents, and 2 genealogical documents (for an itemized list of the collection, see Additional Descriptive Data).

The Letter Books, Logbooks, and Account Books series contains the collection's bound volumes.

The letter books are comprised of copies of over 1,000 letters and orders to and from Douglas and his fellow naval officers. The letter book from Jamaica (1738-1745) includes letters and orders from Edward Vernon, Sir Chaloner Ogle, Thomas Davers, and Commodore Charles Brown, mostly addressed to naval store keeper George Hinde, concerning repairing and outfitting ships. The 1755-1759 letter book contains observations on ship movements and encounters, and letters from him to other naval officers, largely concerning European waters. The letter books from 1775 to 1777 hold copies of letters from Douglas, written when he was commanding the naval base at Spithead during the Revolutionary War. The letters are primarily addressed to Sir Philip Stephens, Secretary of British Admiralty, regarding naval administration and military news during the war in America (August 6, 1775-May 27, 1777).

The collection contains logbooks for the following ships:
  • Tilbury, 1741-1742 (kept by Thomas Lempriere)
  • Vigilant, 1745-1747
  • Anson, 1755
  • Bedford, 1755-1759
  • Alcide, 1757
  • Dublin, 1760
  • SterlingCastle, 1760-1762
  • Cruzer, 1770 (kept by Midshipman James Douglas, Jr.)
  • Cerberus, 1770 (kept by Midshipman James Douglas, Jr.)

Topics of note include: an account of the British attack against the Spanish at Cartagena (Tilbury logbook, 1740-1741); the British capture of Dominica and Martinique, and the Siege of Havana, while Douglas was commander and chief of the Leeward Island Station (1760-1762 logbook); and a logbook for a captured French ship (1760-1761). The logbook of a French ship captured in the West Indies (December 16, 1761-May 1, 1762) contains sketches on the insides of the front and back covers. Depicted are fish and sea creatures; crude portraits of men and women, dressed in finery; silhouettes of faces; and drawings of two stately homes.

Account books constitute four volumes:
  • Ledger of Douglas' private accounts (1770-1771).
  • Two notebooks accounting for prizes taken by British ships in 1759 and 1762.
  • A sederunt book of the trustees, relating to the settlement of Douglas' estate, created sometime after his death in 1787.

Also of note is a printed copy of Sailing and Fighting Instructions, heavily annotated by Douglas.

The Correspondence and Documents series contains 29 letters and documents, including: 8 letters concerning naval matters; 4 letters concerning Douglas' will, estate, and genealogy; Douglas' marriage agreement; 7 signed naval promotions on vellum; Douglas' appointment as baronet (1786); 3 memorials and petitions; 2 essays; 1 speech; 1 receipt; 1 legal disposition; and two genealogical items. Genealogy records include a family tree of Douglas' ancestor Douglas of Friarshaw (d. 1388) and a facsimile of the genealogical chart of Sir Thomas Makdougall Brisbane's ancestors going back to the 13th century.


James Furnis letter book, 1755-1759 (majority within 1755-1758)

179 pages (1 volume) and 1 letter

The James Furnis letter book contains copies of letters from a British commissary of stores and paymaster to the Royal Artillery and army comptroller of ordnance in North America, primarily stationed in Albany and New York City. He communicated frequently with British officers, independent merchants, and the Board of Ordnance in London, revealing decision-making processes for supplying and managing the Royal Artillery in America. These letters also supply information on troop movements and estimates of dead and wounded after battles.

The James Furnis kept his letter book (179 pages) from July 23, 1755, to December 16, 1758, while serving as British commissary of stores and paymaster to the Royal Artillery and as army comptroller of ordnance in North America. The volume contains 114 letters, all official in nature. He communicated frequently with British officers, independent merchants, and the Board of Ordnance in London, revealing decision-making processes for supplying and managing the Royal Artillery in America. These letters also supply information on troop movements and estimates of dead and wounded.

Furnis wrote the bulk of the entries from Albany and New York City, but also wrote while on short trips to Philadelphia and Boston. Recipients are officers, engineers, and merchants at Albany, New York, Owsego, Fort Edward, Fort William Henry, Boston, and Philadelphia. His letters offer in-depth descriptions of fort upkeep and artillery management and activities. Of particular interest are 24 dispatches from Furnis to the Board of Ordnance in London, which detail the Braddock expedition, describe the poor state of order at Fort Edward, and provide a firsthand account of the siege and capture of Fort William Henry by the French army under Montcalm (August 3-26, 1757).

Furnis wrote the first entry from Fort Cumberland, Maryland, in August 1755, about a month after Braddock's defeat at the Battle of the Monongahela.

Other notable entries include:
  • 4 letters from Furnis to John Ewing, an independent merchant in Boston from whom the British Military purchased military stores.
  • 7 letters to Major General Abercrombie, including a letter that concerned supplies for Abercrombie's failed attack at Fort Carillon, and the positions of Colonel Williamson, who at that time was laying siege to the French Fort at Louisbourg in Halifax (June 22, 1758).
  • A letter to William Saltonstall, commissary of Royal Artillery at Halifax, written during the Siege of Louisbourg (May 79 1758).
  • A letter giving a full account of the siege on Fort William Henry, between July 31 and August 10, 1757, with discussions of General Webb, Lord Loudoun, Lieutenant Colonel John Young, and Montcalm, and with notes on the preparations of Fort Edward and Fort William Henry in June (August 27, 1757).

An additional loose letter from John Bradstreet to James Furnis (September 2, 1759, Albany, New York) is located in the front of the volume. In it, Bradstreet asks if artillery, ammunition, and stores sent west have been stopped for want of carts.


James Moncrieff papers, 1710-1894 (majority within 1780-1804)

403 items (1.5 linear feet)

The James Moncrieff papers are made up of letters, documents, and reports partially documenting the military career of Moncrieff, a British engineer. In particular, the papers regard Moncrieff’s engineering work following the siege of Charlestown, South Carolina (1780 ff.), and in the West Indies in the early 1790s.

The James Moncrieff papers consist of 403 items, dated from August 2, 1710, to June 15, 1894 (the bulk dating between August 28, 1780, and April 4, 1804). The collection contains seven bound letter and account books, 38 pieces of correspondence, 244 documents pertaining to Works and Services for the Engineers Dept. of the British military, six military reports, 43 miscellaneous military documents, 10 documents pertaining to land holdings, 41 personal and financial documents, and 14 miscellaneous items.

The letterbooks and 38 individual letters pertain to the military career of James Moncrieff and regard military orders, personal purchases of Moncrieff, military purchases, military fortifications and other matters pertaining to the Engineer Corps. The 244 documents are numbered payment orders for Works Services in the Engineers Department of the British military. They include detailed lists of services and materials purchased for the operation of the Department. Each document is authorized and signed by the Commanding Engineer, James Moncrieff, by the sellers after payment, by the Paymaster, and by witnesses to the financial transactions. The 6 Military Reports (1791), initialed by G.B., G.D., B.P. and J.M., contain material regarding military engineering in the West Indies. Four of the reports contain James Moncrieff’s reports on military fortifications on Barbados, Dominica, St. Christopher’s and St. Vincent’s. The remaining reports are investigations into account fraud by bookkeepers on Barbados and St. Christopher’s.

The 43 miscellaneous military documents regard the Royal Engineer Corps. 10 documents pertain to land in Great Britain, several of which relate to the estate of George Moncrieff. The most extensive of the land documents is 13 pages in length and is titled “Search of Incumbrances on the Lands of Kingsbarns” (November 11 to November 20, 1887). The 41 documents related to personal affairs are almost exclusively accounts and receipts of James Moncrieff.

The 14 miscellaneous items include four bound volumes, including a manuscript book of poetry and notes by Moncrieff on the principles of war and on water drainage. The remaining 10 items are all undated and consist of: one printed fragment, one manuscript fragment, six unlabeled maps, one broadside and a print labeled “THE CASINO Promenade Concert Rooms.”


James Sterling letter book, 1761-1765

1 volume

The James Sterling letter book contains the outgoing letters of Sterling, a prominent trader at Fort Detroit, concerning transactions, prices, demand for goods, as well as accounts of events during Pontiac's War.

The James Sterling letter book contains 164 pages and 175 letters in all, spanning July 1761 to October 1765. Sterling wrote all the letters while at Fort Detroit, and they deal mainly with business and occasional local political matters. His letters provide a picture of the fur trade and the consumer needs of Indians, French civilians, and the British military, as well as the day-to-day concerns of a prominent trader at Fort Detroit.

The volume opens with a 6-page record of a council held "at the Wiandot Town near Detroit" by the deputies of the Six Nations (Iroquois) in order to convince members of the Ottawa, Wyandotte, Ojibwa (Chippewa), and Potawatomi tribes to ally themselves with the French. Sterling acted as interpreter during the meeting, and kept its minutes. The document records the Iroquois' grievances with the British, whom they accused of having "Disrespect" for them and their lands, adding "their Behaviour towards us gives us the greatest Reason to believe that they intend to Cutt us off intirely." The Iroquois urged the more western tribes to take quick action against the British and stated that "our Warriors are already prepared." The document contains long quotes from several speakers, including an Iroquois deputy and a "Captain Campbell," likely Donald Campbell, who expressed astonishment at the belligerent attitude of the Iroquois toward the British. The following day, the western tribes reported the meeting to the British, maintaining their loyalty.

Sterling's outgoing letters commence on July 20, 1761. He mainly wrote them to trading partners and clients, discussing details of shipments, prices (generally calculated in beaver pelts), and the availability of goods. On page 11 of the book, in a letter to Captain Walter Rutherford [August 27, 1761?], Sterling listed numerous items for sale along with their prices in pelts. These include strouds, blankets, shirts, buckskins, wampum, brass kettles, gun powder, knives, bed lace, and thread. Letters also shed light on the destinations and methods of the transportation of goods. In the first years of the correspondence, goods were shipped by fleets of bateaux, sometimes belonging to the military. Later, several schooners and sloops plied Lakes Erie and Huron, and went as far north as St. Mary’s River at Sault Ste-Marie. All goods had to be portaged at Niagara ("The Carrying Place"), while those to and from Albany were similarly reloaded at Oswego on Lake Ontario.

Sterling sometimes encountered problems with other traders and colleagues, including unscrupulousness, drunkenness, and offensive treatment of Native Americans, which alienated them as trading partners. He criticized John Collbeck, the commissary at Fort Niagara, for allowing his staff and servants to drink without restraint and for keeping a "seraglio of Indians Squahs in the same condition" of intoxication (January 10, 1762). On May 31, 1762, he complained to his partner, James Syme, that goods had arrived from New York "wet, dirty, and broken." Other hazards included storms and theft, which Sterling noted on several occasions.

A few letters detail the events of Pontiac's War as well as its effect on trade. On July 25, 1763, Sterling noted the capture of Fort Venango in Pennsylvania and the continuation of the siege at Fort Detroit, and hoped for relief from the army. On August 7, 1763, he described the Battle of Bloody Run as "the damn'd Drubbing the Savage Bougres gave us" and lamented the death of an aide-de-camp, "Capt. Delyelle." In other letters, he reported that trade with Native Americans had been prohibited by British officials (August 7, 1763), and gave an account of an attack on the schooner Huron by 340 Native Americans, resulting in the death of its commander, Captain Walter Horsey (September 8, 1763). The volume contains a gap in the correspondence between October 1763 and September 1764.

The volume also contains occasional references to Sterling's personal life. In a letter of February 26, 1765, Sterling informed his associate, John Duncan, that he had married Angélique Cuillerier, "the best interpreter of Indian languages in Detroit;" her dowry of 1,000 pounds included houses in Fort Detroit. Sterling also frequently referenced his brother, John Sterling, who was stationed at Niagara. James did not feel that John was capable of running the operation there, but called him dependable.


John and Charles Francis collection, 1869-ca. 1905

1 linear foot

This collection consists of condolence letters, newspaper scrapbooks, a letter book, a published memorial volume, and a photograph album related to John M. Francis of Troy, New York, and to his son Charles. The letters, which are addressed to Charles Francis, express sympathy following his father's death in June 1897; the memorial volume contains biographical sketches and published tributes to John M. Francis; and the newspaper scrapbooks chronicle John M. Francis's travels around Europe and the world between 1869 and 1876.

This collection (1 linear foot) consists of condolence letters, newspaper scrapbooks, a letter book, and a published memorial volume related to John M. Francis of Troy, New York, and to his son Charles.

The Condolence Letters series contains 211 items addressed to Charles S. Francis between June 5, 1897, and January 18, 1898. One letter from Hallie M. Brown concerns her regret about missing an opportunity to visit, and the remaining correspondence is made up of letters expressing the authors' condolences after the death of John M. Francis on June 18, 1897. Writers included Charles Francis's friends and family members and John Francis's personal and professional acquaintances. Many writers reminisced about their relationships with John M. Francis and shared stories about their experiences at the Troy Daily Times.

The Letter Book, Scrapbooks, and Published Memorial series (6 volumes) pertains to John M. Francis's travels around the United States, Europe, and Asia in the 1870s and to Charles S. Francis's career and business affairs. Four scrapbooks contain newspaper clippings of letters that John M. Francis sent to the Troy Daily Times while traveling abroad. Each contains lengthy descriptions of local people, customs, politics, architecture, geography, and history, and some also have accounts of transoceanic and transcontinental travel.

  • Western Europe, June 12, 1869-October 15, 1869, including England, Wales, Ireland, Scotland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, and France (21 letters; 38 pages)
  • Western and Southern Europe, July 18, 1871-December 28, 1871 (published August 2, 1871-January 3, 1872), including England, Wales, France, Belgium, Germany, Austria-Hungary (now the Czech Republic and Austria), Italy, and Greece (20 letters; 28 pages)
  • Around the world, July 5, 1875-June 6, 1876, including the western United States, Japan, China, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), India, Egypt, Greece, Italy, and France (2 volumes containing duplicate clippings, 115 pages and 71 pages)

The letter book (282 pages), which belonged to Charles S. Francis, has retained copies of his outgoing correspondence from October 25, 1897-July 29, 1901. The letters pertain to personal and business affairs, such as Francis's editorial work for the Troy Daily Times and land he owned in Mississippi. Several newspaper clippings relate to Francis's appointment as envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary to Greece, Romania, and "Servia."

The published memorial (125 pages), entitled In Memoriam: John M. Francis, March 6, 1823-June 18, 1897, contains an engraved portrait, a brief biographical sketch, reminiscences, essays, poetry, and reprinted newspaper obituaries commemorating the life and death of John M. Francis.

The Photograph Album (ca. 1905?) contains 14 images of a new automobile, family members, and pets (possibly in New York state); and 144 vacation photographs showing landscapes, buildings, and persons in Europe. The photos are not labeled or identified, but appear to show Switzerland or Austrian lake districts, as well as urban environments. The photographer captured many of these images with a panoramic camera.


John Atkinson papers, 1742-1876 (majority within 1812-1840)

265 items

This collection contains business and personal papers of John Atkinson and his family, with the bulk of the items documenting their postwar business ventures in commercial trade, land speculation, and investments in the Bellows Falls Canal Company. The letters also describe contemporary reactions of British merchants before, during, and after the Revolution; events in New York City during the War of 1812; and domestic and social situations of a prosperous nineteenth-century family.

This collection contains business and personal papers of John Atkinson and his family, with the bulk of the items documenting their postwar business ventures in commercial trade, land speculation, and investments in the Bellows Falls Canal Company. Since Atkinson lived in New York City until 1819, the collection contains many detailed reports on the financing and operations of the canal company.

Business correspondence (includes letters to and from):
  • Alexander Fleming (1790-1867), husband to Atkinson’s daughter, Emma Seton
  • Francis Green, husband to Caroline Francis, cousin to Elizabeth Atkinson, and business partner with Alexander Fleming
  • Isaac and Richard Smith, business associates of John Atkinson
  • Charles Storer, Elizabeth's brother, who managed many of Atkinson's interests in Vermont and was the clerk of the canal corporation between 1804-1814
  • Joshua Wentworth, Atkinson's shipping agent stationed in Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Family letters (include personal and business correspondence to and from):
  • Betsy, John’s wife
  • John's brothers, Francis and Hodgson Atkinson
  • Daughters Mary Ann, Eliza, Emma, Caroline Francis
  • Sons John Jr., George, and William
  • George Atkinson, nephew of John

Beyond letters documenting Atkinson's business activities, this collection also accounts contemporary reactions of British merchants before, during, and after the Revolution. Letters from Joshua Wentworth, Atkinson's agent in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, describe difficulties procuring ships and transporting goods, before the war. John Atkinson, Jr. wrote several letters from New York City in the spring of 1813, in which he mentions events in the War of 1812, including the city's reception for the crew of the frigate United States, the blockading of the Atlantic coast, and seizure of coasters by the British. Many letters also contain domestic and social information written by Atkinson family women.

The Letter Books series contains three volumes of carbon copy letters concerning the management of George Atkinson’s property in America, including the canal company. They describe the toll that railroad traffic took on Bellows Falls Canal use. The first and second books, (October 10, 1836-September 17, 1840 and November 3, 1840-February 27, 1847, respectively) have alphabetical indexes of names mentioned in the books, while the third volume (March 12, 1847-September 15, 1849) has no index and is only ¼ full. The diary pages are extremely fragile and the texts are typically impressions from carbon paper copying except for the page numbers, which are in ink or pencil. The second and third volumes were kept by a J.L. Stackpole.

The Documents and Deeds series consists of various contracts, bills, inheritance documents, and land transfers. Included in this series are thirteen oversized items, all of which document the sale of land. Atkinson purchased land along the Delaware River in New York State; in Middle Island Creek in Ohio County, Virginia; in Ulysses, Pennsylvania; along the Cacapon River in Hampshire County, Western Virginia; and in Columbia Territory, Maryland. He sold land in Ontario, New York, and Bellows Falls, Vermont, to his son-in-law Alexander Fleming. The 1830 item is a deed recording the sale of Bellows Falls land by Fleming to his business partner Henry Green. These items not only document the transaction, but often describe the land's dimensions, characteristics, and previous ownership.

The Printed Items series consists of four newspaper clippings.

The Miscellaneous series holds one item: a detached book front cover with J. Atkinson's name printed on the inside.


John Brand Umfreville letter books, 1814-1817

2 volumes

These letter books contain orders and letters that Captain John Brand Umfreville of the Royal Navy wrote and received while commanding the HMS Childers in the Caribbean and along the English coast during and just after the War of 1812.

These 2 letter books (8" x 13") contain orders and letters that Captain John Brand Umfreville of the Royal Navy wrote and received while commanding the HMS Childers, an 18-gun brig-sloop, in the Caribbean and along the English coast during and just after the War of 1812. Each volume is comprised of 2 sections, beginning from the front and back covers, and the contents are copied in several hands. The titles written on the four covers are "Letters Written," "Letters Received," "Orders Given," and "Orders Received."

The "Letters Written" section (41 pages) contains outgoing letters that Umfreville and his lieutenants wrote from May 1814-February 1817. Most of the correspondence concerns provisions and personnel during the ship's service at Nassau, Bahamas; Pensacola, Florida; Havana, Cuba; and Spithead, England. Two supplementary tables provide lists of men onboard the Childers who had served in the Royal Navy since 1804 and who claimed the right to be discharged because of their foreign citizenship (pp. 26-27). Later letters relate to a sailor who claimed to be of Danish origin and to Portuguese officials' accusation that the commanders of the Childers had insulted them near the Azores.

John Brand Umfreville's incoming letters (August 1814-February 1817, 16 pages) pertain to administrative issues onboard the Childers. His subordinate officers provided information about the ship's provisions and his commanding officers discussed American prisoners of war, ship arrivals, and ship movements. A letter of January 14, 1817, requests Umfreville's account of the alleged incident with the Portuguese in the Azores.

The third section, "Orders Issued," dates from May 1814-June 1815 (23 pages). Umfreville most frequently ordered his purser and lieutenants to conduct surveys of clothing, food, tobacco, and other supplies onboard the Childers and to procure extra supplies when necessary.

Incoming orders (April 1814-June 1815, 13 pages) relate to the ship's movements and to changes in the Royal Navy hierarchy. In July 1814, Umfreville was ordered to sail to the mouth of the Mississippi River to conduct a blockade of American ports. A letter of July 20, 1814, reported news of American atrocities against British citizens in Upper Canada and ordered the Childers to respond by destroying towns along the southern coast of the United States. Other orders reflect the ship's movements around the Caribbean and its return to England in June 1815.


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 Graves Simcoe papers, 1774-1824 (majority within 1774-1804)

0.75 linear feet

The John Simcoe papers are a miscellaneous collection of letters and documents pertaining to Loyalist Colonel Simcoe's career as an officer during the American Revolution and as Governor of Upper Canada (1792-1796).

The John Simcoe papers are a miscellaneous collection of letters and documents pertaining to Colonel Simcoe's military career in the British Army during the American Revolution and his post-war life. The collection contains letters between Col. Simcoe and a variety of correspondents. Most prominent are 23 letters from General Sir Henry Clinton, dated 1782-1792; letters and documents related to the Queen's Rangers, including military orders and returns, dated 1774-1799; nine letters from Col. Henry Caldwell regarding a monument to General James Wolfe, dated 1802-1804; and letters between Simcoe and George Hammond, the first British minister to the United States. Several unofficial documents relate to Simcoe's advancement and the disposal of his Canadian estates. Other miscellaneous letters and documents include one by Margaret Graves, in which she defends the conduct of her husband, Admiral Samuel Graves, in Boston before the outbreak of the Revolutionary War.

The collection contains one "Memorandum Book," which is made up of copies of letters and military orders written for Simcoe by his Secretary, Major Edward Baker Littlehales, dated 1792-1793. Maps from the Simcoe papers have been transferred to the Map Division, including several attributed to John's wife, Elizabeth Simcoe. An unsigned commonplace book and a selection of literary drafts (including one for Simcoe's publishedRemarks on the travels of the Marquis de Chastellux in North America, 1787) and fragments of other works complete the Simcoe papers


John Hughes letter book, 1826-1830

1 volume

This volume contains letters that John Hughes of Frederick County, Maryland, wrote to his brother James and to other correspondents about his personal and financial affairs between 1826 and 1830. He primarily discussed his father's estate, the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, property ownership and management, and national politics. Hughes occasionally described recurring "imaginations," which included visions of his brother James becoming a personal enemy.

This volume (138 pages) contains letters that John Hughes of Frederick County, Maryland, wrote to his brother James and to other correspondents about his personal and financial affairs between February 20, 1826, and May 13, 1830. Most of the correspondence concerns financial and business affairs, often related to real property that Hughes owned in several locations; some entries include lists of properties and their value, and his letter of January 4, 1829, includes a property map of parts of Frederick County, Maryland. Hughes also discussed the administration of his father's estate and the affairs of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, commenting on the benefits and drawbacks of proposed routes, funding, and continued development. Some of the letters pertain to personal news and political issues, such as the 1828 presidential campaign and the early years of the Jackson administration. Hughes occasionally referred to a woman named Mary Ann and her daughters, and his final letter reports the end of his relationship with a woman who became pregnant by his gardener. In some of the later letters to his brother James, Hughes described the effects of repeated "imaginations," which included visions of figures intent on destroying him and voices warning of the imminent end of the world. His experiences led him to embrace temperance by the time of his final letter.


John Louis Ligonier letter books, 1752-1760

2 volumes and 4 loose manuscripts

The John Louis Ligonier letter books (containing 842 letters) are made up of the outgoing letters of the field marshal, master general of the ordnance, and commander-in-chief of the British army during the Seven Years' War.

The John Louis Ligonier letter books (1758-1760, 237 pages; and 1760-1761, 279 pages) contain outgoing letters of the field marshal, master general of the ordnance, and commander-in-chief of the British army during the Seven Years War.

The 1758-1760 volume contains copies of 298 letters, most of which are outgoing items signed by Ligonier with 30 signed by his secretary Richard Cox. Ligonier communicated frequently with various officers and officials in the British military, including Secretary of War William Barrington, Major General Jeffery Amherst, Lord George Beauclerk, Judge Advocate Charles Gould Morgan, Marquis of Granby, Major General Napier, William Pitt, Duke of Richmond, Lord George Sackville, Earl of Shaftesbury, Prince Karl Wilhelm Ferdinand, and James Wolfe. Ligonier's letters deal primarily with personnel and regimental matters, including troop provisioning and payment of troops, problems with recruitment, appointments and promotions, troop movements, troop health, desertions and mutinies, prisoners of war, and orders for officers. While his focus was on the war in America, Ligonier also commanded armies in Scotland and England, and British invasions into France. In addition to the letters, this volume also contains a report on the court martial of George Sackville for failure to follow orders (April 23, 1760), and a document concerning ordnance management, containing instructions for military recordkeeping (pages 85-90). See additional descriptive data for a complete list of the letters.

The second letter book, 1760-1761, contains 544 outgoing letters from John Louis Ligonier (442 items) and his secretary Richard Cox (102 items). Ligonier communicated most frequently with Secretary of War William Barrington, Lord George Beauclerk, the Marquis of Granby, Marquis Townshend, the Mayor of Bath Ralph Allen, Lieutenant Colonel Mark Napier, Lieutenant General Alexander Duroure, and Major General Studholme Hodgson. Ligonier discussed financial matters, recruitment issues, troop movements, the succession of officers, and the selling and purchasing of commissions. The most pressing matters that Ligonier wrote about were depleted financial resources, inadequate numbers of soldiers, and the lack of new recruits. The volume also includes congratulatory letters to officers returning from campaigns and correspondence pertinent to William Barrington's transfer to become Chancellor of the Exchequer. Ligonier's letters to Jeffery Amherst contain remarks on the Siege of Quebec (July 25, 1760) and the capture of Belle Isle (October 28, 1761).

In addition to this finding aid, the Clements Library has created a recipient index, which may be accessed here: John Louis Ligonier Letter Books Recipient Index.

Along with the letter book are four loose items from Ligonier:
  • March 17, 1752: A bill for accounts of land and sea services, spanning 1746-1752, addressed to Mr. Gashry
  • July 12, 1758: A copied letter from Ligonier to Louis de Brunswick (in French)
  • November 25, 1758: A copied letter from Ligonier to Monsieur La Houliere at Bath, England (in French)
  • Undated: A copied letter from Ligonier (in French)

John Porteous letter book, 1767-1769

1 volume

The John Porteous letter book documents the business endeavors and concerns of a fur trader and merchant active in New York, Montreal, and Michigan between 1767 and 1769.

The John Porteous letter book contains 83 letters written by Porteous and 4 by his secretary on his behalf, comprising a total of 251 pages of material. Covering the period between March 8, 1767, and November 1, 1769, the letters primarily concern the business affairs of Porteous and his trading firm, Duncan, Sterling & Porteous, located in New York, Michigan, and Montreal. The letters include numerous details of trading activities; travel between Schenectady, Niagara, Detroit, Fort Michilimackinac, and Montreal; relationships and transactions with clients, traders, and Native Americans; and occasional social and family matters. Recipients of letters included James Sterling (22), John Duncan (10), Robert and Alexander Ellice (13), and James Phyn (5).

The letters touch on numerous details of the trade services provided by Duncan, Sterling & Porteous. In his correspondence, Porteous enumerated and discussed shipments of the various items distributed by the company, such as bear and beaver pelts, spirits, salt, clothing, stones, and food items. Several letters also communicate orders for supplies to Porteous' associates. Porteous frequently noted the sale of items to British soldiers, including Lieutenant Perkins Magra, a cartographer and later consul to Tunis, and Captain Patrick Sinclair, who oversaw the construction of Fort Mackinac. On March 15, 1767, he noted that payments owed to him by the 17th Regiment of Foot were in arrears; elsewhere, he recorded the comings and goings of several military officials, including General Thomas Gage (May 26, 1768). Additional letters discuss the quality and prices of the available products and the increasing difficulty of finding labor at a moderate price.

Porteous's correspondence also sheds light on the firm's efforts to serve their many clients. On June 9, 1767, Porteous wrote to Sterling that he was "at a loss how to excuse" him after a client refused to accept a shipment a brandy that had been sent by Sterling in lieu of rum. Another letter provides a glimpse of the difficulty of working with independent-minded trappers, including one whom Porteous found "unwilling to come to any written agrement[.] only says I may depend upon him" (July 16, 1767). On June 6, 1767, he expressed concern that white traders were slow to arrive at Fort Michilimackinac. Coaxing payments from debtors also proved difficult and is the subject of several letters. Porteous commented occasionally on his encounters with Native Americans and their attitudes toward the British. On July 2, 1767, he reported that Jean-Baptiste Marcotte, a trader near Michilimackinac, had been "Pillaged by the Indians," and in other letters he mentioned gifts intended for the Ojibwe. While in Detroit on February 26, 1768, he assessed Native Americans there as "not very well intent'd this spring" but predicted that no war would take place.

Another frequent topic is Porteous' continual travel between various regions, including New York, Michigan, and Montreal. His journeys were sometimes hindered by the elements, as on March 23, 1767, when he noted to fellow merchant Hayman Levy that he was "obliged to remain" in Schenectady "until our river is open." The letters also contain occasional personal news, such as the health and death of family members and references to pastimes.


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.


John W. Croker papers, 1765-1860 (majority within 1765-1857)

21 linear feet

This collection contains materials related to the personal and political life of Irish politician and writer John Wilson Croker, who served as secretary to the Admiralty from 1809 to 1830.

This collection contains materials related to the personal and political life of Irish politician and writer John Wilson Croker, who served as Secretary to the Admiralty from 1809 to 1830. The collection (approximately 25,000 items) includes correspondence and letter books, diaries, financial records, poetry, printed materials, and political, legal, and judicial manuscripts.

The Correspondence series is divided into 4 subseries: a chronological sequence, an alphabetical sequence, bundled groups of letters, and letter books. The Chronological, Alphabetical, and Bundled subseries contain personal and political letters that Croker exchanged with colleagues, including many items pertaining to his career as secretary to the Admiralty. These include material on the Napoleonic Wars, such as dispatches from the Duke of Wellington (1810-1852) and information on the locations of British troops and ships. Additional material concerns the War of 1812 and military news about the Iberian Peninsula; the series also contains Croker's correspondence with Lord Ashburton regarding peace negotiations with the United States. A letter from March 22, 1813, pertains to the battle between the USS Constitution and HMS Java off of the Brazilian coast.

The series also includes a list of transports awaiting convoy (April 24, 1813), information on Russian ships (May 10, 1813), and 2 printed bulletins in French regarding Napoleon Bonaparte (October 9, 1813, and June 14, 1814). Later material reflects Croker's literary career, particularly his contributions to The Quarterly Review. Croker's personal correspondence includes letters to and from family members and friends. Items post-dating Croker's death largely originated from Edward Gifford, who discussed the treatment of Croker's papers. Further letters in the collection are addressed to Croker's wife, Rosamund Carrington Pennell, and reflect Croker's family life as well as aspects of his political life in London.

The collection's 45 Letter Books include Croker's private letter books and their indexes, as well as bound groups of letters organized by correspondent. Croker kept his set of 28 "private" letter books between 1811 and 1857; they contain copies of letters he authored on personal and political matters. The bulk of the political correspondence relates to Croker's duties as secretary to the Admiralty and to his relationship with the Duke of Wellington. The series contains 3 indexes to these volumes.

The remaining 14 letter books contain letters that Croker received from individual correspondents:
  • "Canning, Holograph Letters to Rt. Hon. J. W. Croker" (1 volume, 1812-1827) is comprised of letters from George Canning. Canning's letters relate to personal and political matters, including affairs of the Houses of Parliament and the Admiralty; he frequently inquired about the French Marine and about ships stationed in foreign waters. Some of the letters were composed during Canning's tenure as Ambassador to Portugal (1814-1816).
  • "Admiral Cockburn, His Holograph correspondence to the Rt. Hon. J. W. Croker" (1 volume, 1809-1830). These letters by Sir George Cockburn pertain to domestic politics within Great Britain, as well as to issues related to the Admiralty and to other members of government, including George Canning. Some private correspondence concerns affairs with the United States. This volume also contains "A Map intended to illustrate the threatened Invasion of England by Bonaparte," as well as a chart entitled "The No. and Description of guns carried by H.M.S. Victory at different periods." The volume also contains photocopies of letters that Croker wrote to Cockburn.
  • "Lockhart, His Holograph Correspondence to the Rt. Hon. J. W. Croker" (6 volumes, 1819-1854) is comprised of letters by John Gibson Lockhart pertaining to the British Admiralty.
  • "Huskisson, His Original Holograph Correspondence with the Rt. Hon. J. W. Croker" (1 volume, 1815-1828). This volume contains letters by William Huskisson about the British Admiralty.
  • "Spencer Perceval, His Holograph Correspondence to the Rt. Hon. J. W. Croker" (1 volume, 1808-1812) includes personal letters from Spencer Perceval. Perceval's letters focus on a political matters related Parliament and the British government.
  • Copies of letters from King George III to Lord Halifax, Duke of Cumberland, Lord Rockingham, and General Conway (1 volume, 1765-1770)
  • Copies of letters by King George III to Lord Weymouth (1 volume, 1768-1779)
  • Copies of letters by King George III to Robert Stewart, Viscount Castlereagh (1 volume, 1804-1807), comprised of copied correspondence between King George III and Robert Stewart about British diplomacy and domestic politics.
  • Copies of letters from William IV, Duke of Clarence, to John W. Croker (1 volume, 1810-1828)

The Diaries series contains 24 diaries that Croker kept between 1797 and 1829, the bulk of which are dated between 1817 and 1829. Several of Croker's diaries are travel accounts. Additional diaries are 19th-century manuscript copies, including "Extract from the Journal of a Tour through England in the year 1735 written by Mr. Whaley Fellow of Kings Coll. Cambridge," and extracts from diaries by Lord Hertford (1822) and Sir Henry Hulford (1831).

A series of Political, Legal, and Judicial Manuscripts relates to contemporary British politics and to foreign relations, particularly with France. The series contains an essay draft written by Croker and annotated by Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington, entitled "Observations on Choumara's Book," May 16, 1838 (referring to Choumara's The Battle of Toulouse), as well as Croker's notes on conversations with the Duke. The series also contains an undated, 254-page speech by Croker.

Five bound volumes pertain to the contested will of Francis Charles Seymour-Conway, 3rd Marquis of Hertford, including a copy of his will and codicils (1842) and records from Croker's legal case against Richard Seymour Conway regarding the will's validity (1844).

The Financial Records series contains miscellaneous receipts and accounts that document Croker's finances between 1842 and 1855. The series includes material such as a receipt for wine shipped to Haiding Gifford in Ceylon (Sri Lanka), and 5 account books.

The Poetry series includes loose manuscript copies of poems and 2 bound volumes: Croker's translations of Greek poems (1799) and a poem by Hugh Warrender entitled "The Night."

A group of Lists and Indexes relate to Parliamentary elections, birth records, and other topics.

Three Subject Volumes include the following:
  • A volume containing journal articles and reviews of the works of Thomas Babington Macaulay, including an answer to his criticisms of Croker's edition of Boswell's Life of Johnson.
  • A volume of records, letters, and drawings related to the Croker family's property at West Molesey, Surrey, England. The volume contains 20 pen and ink drawings of architectural plans for the renovated house, as well as maps of the surrounding area. The volume also includes bills and contracts for the architectural work.
  • A volume pertaining to the Croker family, which contains letters, histories, family trees, and illustrations of the family's crests. A Latin document reflects the family's time in Dublin, and a gravestone rubbing depicts a knight laid to rest. Family tree sketches include around 12 versions of the family crest and trace its development over time.

The Printed Materials series consists of pamphlets, newspapers, and clippings about a variety of topics, particularly the French Revolution and issues in contemporary Irish politics.


Jonathan Thorne letter book, 1839-1851

1 volume

This letter book (around 420 pages) contains retained copies of the outgoing business correspondence of Quaker and New York City merchant Jonathan Thorne, dated between October 23, 1839, and May 12, 1851. Thorne wrote to professional acquaintances and firms about his interests in the leather industry and about his land holdings in western Michigan.

This letter book (around 420 pages) contains retained copies of the outgoing business correspondence of New York City merchant Jonathan Thorne, dated between October 23, 1839, and May 12, 1851. Thorne wrote to professional acquaintances and firms about his interests in the leather industry and about his land holdings in western Michigan. Several different copyists contributed to this volume. Three loose letters, dated in 1850 and 1851, are laid into the letter book, and two loose letters are affixed to its final pages.

Thorne's earliest letters primarily concern his involvement in the leather industry in the late 1830s and early 1840s. He corresponded with companies and individuals about hides and finances. Thorne later shifted his focus to his land holdings in Berrien County and Kalamazoo County, Michigan, and discussed issues such as taxes and tenants. Though Thorne wrote almost extensively about his business affairs, he commented on politics on at least one occasion, offering his opinions about the Locofocos and William Henry Harrison in mid-1840.


Joseph Paxton letter book, 1853-1856

0.25 linear feet

The Joseph Paxton letter book contains over 350 letters that Paxton received between 1853 and 1856, most of which pertain to financial matters, property, and railroads in Pennsylvania. His correspondents included his father, Joseph Paxton, and his brothers Charles, Lloyd, and Frank.

The Joseph Paxton letter book contains over 350 letters that Paxton received between around January 26, 1853, and June 10, 1856. The individual items were once bound, and the collection includes Paxton's alphabetical index of correspondents. Most of the correspondence pertains to real property, finances, business matters, and railroads in Pennsylvania; some items concern personal matters, such as his brother-in-law's visit to Europe in 1853. A few items reflect Paxton's interest in books and music, and some mention the Seventy-Six Society, a group that published pamphlets and manuscripts related to the American Revolution. Paxton's correspondents included his father, also named Joseph Paxton, and his brothers Charles R., Lloyd, and Frank, who wrote from "Iron Dale" near present-day Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania. The letter book includes a printed advertisement for a Philadelphia paper called The Fireside Visitor (p. 328).


Joseph Titcomb papers, 1861-1869 (majority within 1862-1869)

330 items (0.5 linear feet)

The Joseph Titcomb papers contain the business correspondence of a Maine shipping merchant during the first years of the Civil War and a letterbook of his outgoing correspondence dated 1863-1869. The collection includes three letters from C. Lee Moses, a naval officer, who describes his experiences around Virginia in 1862 and 1863.

The Joseph Titcomb papers contain 329 business letters of a Maine shipping merchant during the first years of the Civil War, plus a letterbook of Titcomb's outgoing correspondence (729 pages) dating from late December 1863 to March 1869. Most of the letters in the collection relate to business matters, including ship charters, insurance policies, and trade. Though many of the letters come from New York, Boston, and other northern ports, much of Titcomb's trade was also carried out internationally; the collection includes notes on trade from various ports throughout Europe, including Le Havre, France, and Swansea, Wales. Several items in the collection are written by George Nowell, who was in charge of the Tropic and who provided periodic updates on the ship's progress and business affairs. Others concern the sale of the Nathaniel Thompson in July 1862, and various business concerns of Titcomb's other ships, including the Golden Eagle, Atlas, and Greenwood.

A series of three letters from C. Lee Moses, a sailing master aboard the Mahaska, concern different engagements of the Union Navy during the Civil War. Moses was often outspoken; for example, "The Galena built at Mystic Conn. is a perfect failure, her sides fall in to such an extent that the batteries have thrown their balls completely through her" (May 23, 1862). He discussed fighting on the James River near Fort Powhatan (May 29, 1862), and his resignation at the prospect of facing a court martial "for striking [a] negro" (September 20, 1862).


Kenderton Smith letter book, 1822-1847 (majority within 1822-1836)

1 volume

This letter book contains copies of Kenderton Smith's outgoing correspondence from the 1820s to 1840s. Smith, a lawyer, discussed legal issues with his clients and wrote about personal financial affairs, which included a claim against the United States under the Adams-Onís Treaty.

This letter book contains copies of Kenderton Smith's outgoing correspondence from 1822 to 1847. The first two letters relate to property owned by Smith's father prior to the purchase of Florida by the United States under the Adams-Onís Treaty of 1819. On October 7, 1822, Smith wrote Robert S. Hollins about the matter, and on the same day advised his uncle, General Samuel Smith, that the estate had a $2,000 claim against the United States Government. Throughout 1823, he wrote former United States Representative Thomas Hill Hubbard about the inheritance of his aunt's estate. On January 31, 1823, he addressed Hubbard on behalf of Mrs. Nicholas O'Connor, whose widow's pension halted after the death of her husband. Smith addressed numerous legal topics in his correspondence with clients and others; many of his letters relate to inheritance.


Leger & Greenwood letterbook, 1770-1775; 1788

332 items

This letterbook contains the outgoing correspondence of the mercantile firm Leger & Greenwood in Charleston, S.C. leading up to the American Revolution. The letterbook also contains correspondence regarding William Greenwood's attempt to receive compensation after fleeing America as a loyalist.

First Half: Leger & Greenwood, 1770-1775: The first section of the letterbook (pp. 1-194) documents several matters of importance for historians of the history of commerce in late colonial South Carolina. The firm's correspondence, though outgoing only, provides an important perspective on rice and indigo production and marketing in the years immediately preceding the American Revolution, 1770-1775, and it presents a fairly detailed depiction of trade networks, protocols, and the mechanics of trade. Leger & Greenwood were also major importers of British goods, and their willingness to supply luxury goods has resulted in a fascinating portrait of the tastes of wealthy Charlestonians, as well as the sources for supplying those tastes.

More generally, the Leger & Greenwood letterbook documents the tensions building within the trans-Atlantic mercantile community during the pre-Revolutionary era. Neither Leger nor Greenwood were particularly far-sighted about the events in which they were embroiled, and at points, they display a disarming naïveté about how things might work out. Clearly, their venture into the tea trade could not have come at a worse time, and the letters describing the Charleston Tea Party provide a view from some very interested participants in the events.

Second Half: Abram Greenwood, 1788: The second half of the letterbook (pp. 196-271) was written entirely in 1788, when Abram Greenwood, William's nephew, traveled to Charleston to collect the remaining debts of the late firm. At the time, William Greenwood, "the surviving member of the firm," was still very much unwelcome in his former home. Somewhat optimistically, the Greenwood family hoped that the adoption of the Constitution might enable them to collect their debts more easily (p. 211).

Where the first half of the book consists almost exclusively of correspondence with foreign suppliers, the second half contains mostly copies of letters sent to local debtors, and letters from Abram to his father and uncle in London, apprising them of his efforts. While in Charleston, word arrived from London that John Beswicke Greenwood had died, and, following an argument with his brother (another William Greenwood), had left his entire estate to Abram. Several thousand miles from the scene, Abram frantically did what he could to secure his legacy, authorizing powers of attorney to his father and uncle to represent his claims against what promised to be a hotly contested probate.

Most of Abram Greenwood's correspondence was occupied, therefore, with the twin concerns of Leger & Greenwood's settlement in South Carolina, and his own anticipated estate battle in England. His letters include a few other incidental, but important, items of interest, such as an outstanding description of Charleston (pp. 213-15) and an account of a slave being beaten and put into irons ( p. 253). Abram's efforts to collect on outstanding bills took him to the South Carolina convention for the ratification of the federal Constitution (pp. 245, 248), on which he provides some sketchy comments.


Levett Harris letterbook, 1813-1814 (majority within 1814)

1 volume

The Levett Harris letterbook contains 82 retained copies of official and semi-official letters from Harris, American consul to Russia, to correspondents in Europe and America. His recipients include members of the U.S. peace commission at Ghent, bankers and merchants in the U.S. and England, and other professional contacts.

The Levett Harris letter book contains 82 manuscript copies of personal business and official and semi-official letters from Harris, United States consul to Russia, to correspondents in Europe and America. His recipients include members of the United States peace commission at Ghent, bankers in the U.S. and England, and other professional contacts. A comprehensive list of recipients is included in the additional descriptive data section of this finding aid. The letter book is in the hand of Harris' secretary, Joachim Schmidt, and, because Russians used the Julian calendar, the bulk of the letters include both Julian and Gregorian dates. With the exception of five letters from London, December 1813-April 1814, the letter book spans Harris’ service in St. Petersburg from July 10/22-November 11/23, 1814. A comprehensive list of Levett Harris’ recipients is included in the Additional Descriptive Data section of this finding aid.

Harris' eight letters to John Quincy Adams, in Ghent, report on his activities as chargé d'affaires. He informed Adams about interactions with Alexander I, public support of the United States in St. Petersburg, foreign visitors to the emperor, changes in titles and honors of Russian officials, discussions with the chancellor, and the health of Louisa and Charles Adams (who remained in Russia). On August 21/September 2, 1814, Harris offered to rent his former housing with furniture to Mr. and Mrs. Adams. His letters to Adams occasionally include candid reports, as in this passage regarding a British minister's view of peace talks between Great Britain and the U.S.:

"We have very late advices from England by sea -- private letters report some curious sayings of the P[lenipotentiary] R[epresentative] on our subject such as that he would never sign a peace with Mr Madison, that he would employ the whole force of his nation to overthrow him, to subdue us &c. H[is] R[oyal] H[ighness] must have found himself more than half seas over I think when he thus cheered us. it is to be hoped for their sake that his enlightened cabinet partake not of this happy spirit of their muster and for yours & the great interests confided to you that equal temperance will manifest itself in the deputies chosen to meet you" (August 21/September 2, 1814).

Levett Harris' correspondence with Alexander Glennie & Company (bankers), G. Shaw, Thomas Wilson, and others, pertains to his business activities. He discussed credits and debts, investment in what he hoped would be a profitable bullion shipment (July 10/22, 1814) and its disappointing yield (September 5/17, 1814), exchange rates, lost trunks, account corrections, shipments of wine and sundries, and other subjects. His letters occasionally document out-of-the-ordinary occurrences or practices. For example, Harris wrote about a shipment from Kiev Buxton & Company, London, which was held at the Russian custom house (September 5/17, 1814); and about a private shipment of paintings from Harris to John Vaughan, with a justification for the lack of "custom house interference" (September 16/28, 1814).

Harris peppered his business and diplomatic letters with two primary topics: fêtes and concerns about the progress of negotiations at Ghent and Vienna. One celebration in St. Petersburg was held in honor of the return of Emperor Alexander I; Harris wrote about a procession of nearly 900 military personnel, the emperor, the royal family, dukes and duchesses, and other prominent figures (July 30/August 11, 1814). He also informed his recipients about smaller parties and dinners with Russian officials and aristocrats, including Princess Beloselsky (July 29/August 9, 1814, and others). His letters reveal a deep concern for the state of negotiations at Ghent and he persistently entreated his recipients for news regarding them. In a typical example he pleads "By this time something must be known of our business at Ghent, where the British Commissioners have at length arrived. We should hope for peace, for it is really as necessary to our Adversary as to ourselves -- both are sufferers from the war & a longer continuance of it under present circumstances can only serve to gratify passion at the Expence of humanity & the dearest interests of both nations" (to Sylvanus Bourne, August 29/September 10, 1814). His outlook on the negotiations was pessimistic; one example of many is in a letter to John W. Forbes: "I perceive Mr. Adams is about returning here from his unsuccessful mission which will induce me after his arrival to travel towards France" (September 16/28, 1814, italics added for emphasis). He occasionally responded to news of the war, including the unwelcome news of the burning of Washington and the translation and distribution of pro-British papers on the subject (three letters dated October 17/29, 1814; one to John Q. Adams dated October 21/November 2, 1814; and one to Christopher Hughes dated November 4/16, 1814).

Other topics covered in Harris' letters include: an American sailor named Samuel Hunt supposed by his family to be held in Russia (to John Q. Adams, July 25/August 5, 1814, and to M. de Weydemeyer, July 26/August 6, 1814); Admiral Cochrane's proclamation of April 25 and the detrimental impact of British naval blockades on the whole of Europe (to M. de Weydemeyer, August 30/September 10, 1814); an unpleasant travel experience in Sweden, wherein a peasant drove him with an unfit horse resulting in the death of the animal, and Harris' subsequent detention by authorities at a Post House for refusing to pay for the horse (August 8/20, 1814); a request for assistance in promoting a plan to build a permanent bridge across the Neva River (October 3/15, 1814); questions regarding patents (November 4/16, 1814); and many others.


Lewis Walker letter books, 1813-1880 (majority within 1813-1815)

2 volumes and 3 loose items

Lewis Walker letter books contain copies of letters written by a citizen of Catoctin Furnace, Maryland, who described the local effects of the War of 1812, as well as the dress and manners of visitors to the town.

The Lewis Walker letter books (58 pages) contain copies of letters written by a citizen of Catoctin Furnace, Maryland, who described the local effects of the War of 1812, as well as the dress and manners of visitors to the town. The collection is comprised of a letter book entitled "Private Letter Book commencing May 1, 1813;" a letter book of "Discriptions of Gentlemen & Ladies, who appeared in Stile at Catoctin Furnace, since the 5th of March;" and three loose items related to the Walker family.

The first letter book (17 items) contains letters written by Lewis Walker to friends and family. Walker discussed events and repercussions of the War of 1812, as well as his own efforts to avoid the war. Topics include: the workings of the town's iron forge (page 1), Walker's thoughts on joining Colonel Richard M. Johnson's horse troops and avoiding the draft (2, 4-6), the state of Baltimore before and during British occupation (pages 2, 4), descriptions of soldier's uniforms (6 page), the lack of available furnace workers because of the war (page 8), the "conflagration of Havre de Grace" (page 9), a description of Franklin County, Pennsylvania (page 13), a Catholic seminary in the area (page 14), the popularity among young men of joining the army (page 13), a ball attended by 60 couples (page 21), and many accounts of social interactions.

Below is a list of letters in this volume:
  • April 23, 1813: Cover page
  • May 1, 1813: Walker to Samuel Hackly
  • May 10, 1813: Walker to Reverend John P. Hecht
  • May 19, 1813: Walker to S.M. Potts
  • May 20, 1813: Walker to his father Thomas Walker
  • May 28, 1813: Walker to cousin Nancy Leonard
  • July 20, 1813: Walker to Thomas Walker
  • July 28, 1813: Walker to his mother Anna Walker
  • August 1, 1813: Walker to cousin Ann Leonard
  • August 22, 1813: Walker to George H. Leonard
  • September 11, 1813: Walker to cousin Nancy Leonard
  • January 14, 1814: Walker to his sister Sarah H. Walker
  • January 17, 1814: Walker to cousin Nancy Leonard
  • January 21, 1814: Walker to Thomas Rutter, Esquire
  • Undated: Walker to Edward Burd Hubley
  • Undated: fragment
  • March 15, 1797: Thomas Erskine to General Washington

The second letter book (19 items) is comprised of letters Walker sent to a group of friends between March and July of 1815. The letters contain reports on the dress, appearance, and social gifts of the "Gentlemen & Ladies, who appeared in Stile at Catoctin Furnace," Maryland. In the letters, Walker commented on visitors' personalities, physical traits (height and size), facial features, hair, and manners of dress. He often provided specific details on elements of the subjects' clothing, as well as on their opinions on politics and interesting conversation topics. Descriptions are both positive and negative. The following quotation is a sample of one of Walker's entries:

"Miss M. G…..y. there is no pretention to beauty neither in respect to face or person here. Her face bears the aspect of a Lady who has seen his "Satanic Majesty" for near eight years, as in plain terms been in the old maiden register for that length of time. Her eyes are jet-itself—very handsome black hair finely put up and very "stylish" in front, crowned with a small red Bonnet with white plumes flying—her person is considerably shorter than the generality of her sex—appears to be hip-short. I had no opportunity of discovering the state of her mind, "as the methodists say." Therefore can not judge of its elegance, but have been informed that it is of the first order—Adieu my fair nymphs. So good night. Stay but not bright."

Below is a list of letters in the volume:
  • March 6, 1815: Describing Captain Hillery
  • March 7, 1815: Describing Mr. Sweadow of Baltimore
  • March 8, 1815: Describing Mr. James Johnson
  • March 8, 1815: Describing Captain B. Johnson, and Miss M.C..e of Baltimore
  • March 10, 1815: Describing Miss. M. G….y
  • March 14, 1815: Describing Miss A. R. G……
  • March 16, 1815: Describing Mr. George Grundy
  • March [16], 1815: Describing Mrs. N….I……
  • March 27, 1815: Describing Mr. John Dillingham
  • April 2, 1815: Describing Miss F…. I……
  • April 18, 1815: Describing Mr. James Harwood of Lower Marlborough
  • April 18, 1815: Describing Mr. Thomas T. Blackford (student at Physics)
  • April 20, 1815: Describing Mr. Benjamin Blackford from Virginia
  • April 22, 1815: Describing Mr. Joseph Johnson
  • July 6, 1815: Describing Miss Z…. M…….
  • Undated Sunday: Describing Miss A………e of Philadelphia
  • Undated Sunday: Describing Miss J……a J…..n of Fredericktown
  • Undated Sunday: Describing Miss M…..a Joh…. of Fredericktown
  • Undated Tuesday the 5th: Describing Miss A……. of C.
The three loose items are:
  • July 15, 1815: Walker to unknown - the letter is faded and only partially legible
  • February 6, 1875: Copy of a March 4, 1822, letter to Sarah Walker from her mother Anna Walker, containing news on friends and family
  • January 3, 1880: Brief notes on Uncle Hackly's reading of various letters

McViccar-Antes collection, 1802-1916

0.5 linear feet

The McViccar-Antes collection contains correspondence, financial records, legal documents, and other items related to the McViccar and Antes families of northern New York.

This collection contains correspondence, financial records, legal documents, and other items related to the McViccar and Antes families of northern New York.

The Correspondence series (168 items) contains 1 letterbook and 167 personal letters that members of the McViccar and Antes families received from 1802-1901; most letters are dated 1817-1845 and 1865-1894. The earliest items pertain to Elizabeth Todd McViccar of Cambridge, New York, and her sons, John and Peter. John McViccar received personal letters from acquaintances and family members, including his brothers-in-law, Palmer, Halsey, and Nathaniel Townsend. John McViccar also received a series of letters from his brother Peter, who described his journey from New York to Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia in 1821. Peter McViccar continued to write about life at the college until the mid-19th century. One of Peter's letters contains ink drawings of Mount Vernon, the United States Capitol, and government buildings in Washington, D.C. (December 22, 1821).

On September 4, 1832, John McViccar wrote to his brother Archibald about the death of his young daughter, Louisa. John T. McViccar wrote several letters to his parents, John and Rhoda McViccar, relating his experiences at school in the 1840s. Other correspondents mentioned subjects such as travel to the South and discussed political issues. Most items dated after 1850 are related to the Antes family of Cicero, New York. Harriet (or "Harriette") Fiske McViccar wrote to her cousin, Mary McViccar Antes, wife of Evert Antes, with news from Fayetteville, New York (September 16, 1856). M. M. Duncan, an acquaintance of Mary Antes, discussed her employment and aspects of domestic life.

John McViccar's letter book (approximately 66 pages) contains copies of his personal and professional letters, dated September 8, 1818-October 3, 1840. He commented on aspects of his daily life, his finances, and his business affairs. Some of the letters from 1823 concern Elizabeth McViccar's estate.

The Legal and Financial Documents and Invitations series (64 items) concerns members of the McViccar (earlier items) and Antes (later items) families. Financial records include wills, receipts, and indentures, many of which relate to land in Onondaga County, New York. Evert Antes received several preaching licenses in the late 1800s; the series also contains 2 marriage certificates. Later items include a military discharge for Paul J. Antes, who served with the 3rd New York Volunteers during the Spanish-American War.

The Genealogy, Poetry, Obituary, and Visiting Card series (12 items) includes a newspaper obituary for John McViccar, genealogical notes about the McViccar family, essays by Evert Antes, and a calling card.

Three Photographs are portraits of Nancy Barkly Antes Benedict: one is a carte-de-visite, one is a large card photograph, and one is a tintype.


New York Mercantile letter book, 1801

1 volume

This letter book contains business letters that an unidentified man wrote to professional acquaintances from New York between November 18, 1801, and December 17, 1801. The letters concern the pepper trade, the potential effects of peace between France and Great Britain on international commerce, and other mercantile subjects.

This hand-stitched letter book (6.5" x 8", 30 pages) contains 13 business letters that an unidentified man wrote to professional acquaintances from New York between November 18, 1801, and December 17, 1801. The author wrote to several of his business associates, including a group he addressed as "dear friends" (8 letters), John William Fossatt (2 letters), John T. Clark (1 letter), Captain John Foster (1 letter), and an anonymous recipient (1 letter). He reported local market prices for goods and frequently commented on the possibility of loading and shipping pepper onboard different ships at New York Harbor. The letters also concern the author's attempts to collect payments and his intentions to travel to other ports, such as Baltimore. In letters to his "dear friends," he occasionally mentioned his interactions with John Fossatt and Captain John Foster. The letter to Foster orders Foster to sail to Providence, Rhode Island, onboard the Maria and transport money to a bank in Boston. After November 20, 1801, when news of peace between France and Great Britain reached New York, the author mentioned its possible effects on international trade.


Peter H. Musty papers, 1859-1865

0.25 linear feet

The Peter H. Musty papers are made up of two bound diaries, disbound diary entries, a letter book, ten loose illustrations, and two printed items belonging to Peter Henry "Hank" Musty of Greensburg, Ohio. In 1862, Musty enlisted in the 61st Ohio Infantry and served as a musician until his health-related discharge in 1864.

Peter H. Musty Bound Diaries. The earlier of the two bound diaries dates from Musty's enlistment and initial period of service in the army (January 1862- September 1862) and the later bound diary begins after Musty had been discharged and returned home (June 1864- February 1865). Throughout both diaries, Musty wrote personal names and the daily entries for July 2- September 16, 1864, in a numerical substitution code. Before enlisting, Musty made multiple visits to a gypsy camp near Greensburg, where he had his fortune told and received an invitation into a tent to sing for them (January 15-19, 1862). Shortly after his enlistment, Musty was appointed as a musician (drummer) and transferred to Field and Staff duty where his responsibilities included cooking and guarding prisoners. Musty described daily life at Camp Dennison and Camp Chase in Ohio, including mentions of petty thefts such as a soldier being placed in the guard house for stealing a pie as well as someone stealing his blanket.

Although not directly involved in combat with his unit at the second Battle of Manassas, Musty was impressed by the intensity of the heavy "cannonading and musketry," and mentioned the forced retreat with the entry: "Jackson after us. I run all night - no sleep at all - cold, cold." On July 31, 1862, he described flags flying at half-mast in their camp and "canons fireing in every direction," at the news of Martin Van Buren's death.

After being invalided out of the army in 1864, Musty's diary entries again focused on life in Greensburg, Ohio. Musty spent a large part of each day playing his violin, often for two or three different gatherings on the same day. He played at "apple cuttings," parties, school programs, and oyster dinners. He serenaded neighbors, often not returning home until well after midnight. Sometimes Musty was accompanied by friends on the "basse" and drums, and on several occasions they donned "blackface" by rubbing their faces with cork only to find that it was much easier to apply the cork than it was to remove it. Musty returned to helping his father with the coopering business and began working part time at the local post office, hoping to get well enough to return to Washington, D.C., to work for the Veteran's Relief Corp. On the local scene, the town of Greensburg worked actively to prevent the drafting of local men in 1864. Instead of individual men buying their way out of the draft by hiring replacements, a committee of Greensburg citizens went to Cleveland and hired replacements for all the Greensburg men subject to the new draft. The town then set about soliciting money from all the local families to cover this communally-incurred expense. Musty made a passing mention to visiting a photographic gallery in November 1864, where he saw "movements on negatives" and had his "picture taken with motion." The December 23, 1864, entry includes four small pencil sketches of a friend named Tom, showing his progression from civilian to soldier. Musty was fond of keeping lists, and in the back of his diaries he compiled the names of soldiers he served with, people who owed him money, letters he had received, and a six page chronological list ("Memorandum") of all the girls he had accompanied home from local events between April 1860 and February 1865.

Peter H. Musty Disbound Diaries. Pages disbound from diaries span from January 1, 1861, to August 7, 1863, with some ca. 1865 entries at the end. The early entries pre-date Musty's enlistment and describe his schooling, daily activities, and work. Musty occasionally mentioned topics like slavery (January 8, 1861; February 24, 1861), and by April 1861 he began to note military activity. Throughout the rest of 1861 Musty recorded local enlistments, drills, and military news alongside his daily work and activities, providing a glimpse of local reactions to the early war effort. Entries from January to September 1862 overlap with the bound diary for these dates, but with variant wording and occasionally more details. Musty described his enlistment on February 26, 1862, and his subsequent stay at Camp Dennison and Camp Chase, providing details about daily camp life. Musty commented on guarding Confederate prisoners at Camp Chase, some who were en route to Johnson's Island (April 26-May 27, 1862). Musty described the march through West Virginia, arriving in Strausburg, Virginia, on June 21. From June to November 1862, Musty wrote from Strausburg, Middleton, Sperrysville, Arlington Heights, Fairfax Court House, New Baltimore, and other Virginia encampments, describing marches, camp life, nearby Confederates and guerrillas, and recent military encounters. In his entry for September 10, 1862, he vividly recalled his first time in battle on August 22. From April to August 1863, the collection includes copies of letters Musty wrote while at the hospital at Brooks Station, Virginia, and convalescent camps near Alexandria, relaying news of nearby engagements and activity at the hospitals. In July 1863 he began working as a clerk at the Medical Head Quarters for the convalescent camp and subsequently the Invalid Corps Head Quarters. The entries for 1865 primarily detail his health complaints. Musty included occasional references to African Americans (May 4, 1862; May 28, 1862; July 30, 1862; June 9, 1863; June 25, 1863). Other items include lyrics to a song about alcohol, an extract from the Army Herald entitled "The Fruits of Rebellion," and several pages accounting for Ohio soldiers.

Musty's letter book contains eleven of his outgoing correspondences and eighteen incoming letters from friends (both male and female) during the Civil War. It also includes poems, songs, programs of performances at the local Greensburg school from 1859 to 1861, the constitution of the Tyrocinean Debating Society, and a list of other men from Greensburg who served in the Civil War. Among the copied letters is a formal letter of complaint against Captain Thomas Graham for being intoxicated on multiple occasions while stationed at the Invalid Corps Convalescent Camp in Virginia (November 7, 1863). A table of contents for the letter book appears between pages 101 and 104.

Ten illustrations drawn by Musty during his military service are present in this collection. He drew three of these sketches between February and April 1863, when his unit (61st Ohio Infantry) was stationed near Stafford Courthouse, Virginia. Of particular interest is a detailed drawing of General Adolph von Steinwehr's headquarters and the surrounding camp activities, with what appears to be a self-portrait of Musty sketching the scene in the foreground (March 6, 1863). The illustration is on the reverse side of a fragment of a letter in which Musty states that he and all of the soldiers he knows are not fighting for "the freedom of the collord race." Another drawing from around the same time shows a soldier carrying dispatches in front of a tent, with several wooden hitching posts in the foreground. The third illustration depicts a log cabin next to what appears to be an oven while two soldiers stand guard nearby. On the reverse side of this sketch is part of a letter to his brother Francis in which Musty mentions having received a valentine from a girl (whose name he rendered in code). The fourth sketch from this period is on the back of a letter dated May 28, 1863, and shows a long tent, possibly a field hospital, with a "No Admittance" sign over the entrance. A man is visible through the tent flap with a bucket at his side. The fifth sketch (undated) shows the fortifications at Aquia Bridge, Virginia, and the surrounding countryside. Two undated sketches depict women, one drawn in pencil with the title "Going By the Gate" and the other in black, blue, and red ink showing a woman with a striped hat. An undated pencil sketch, "The Signal Flag," shows soldiers atop a house waving the signal flag, an army encampment in the foreground, and soldiers marching in the background. A pen and ink drawing captioned "Near Cedar Mountain" shows three soldiers, one on horseback and two others cajoling a balking donkey. A dialog entitled "A Quaker on an argument" includes a pen and ink illustration of two men debating theology before a fireplace.

The last two items in this collection are printed items, a black and red print of Major General John C. Frémont torn from a letterhead and a Valentine containing an illustration of a man playing his guitar for a woman that includes the following poem:

"My song is mute, the strainWhich melodized each line,My sentiments conveyTo thee my Valentine."


Peter Warren papers, 1738-1764 (majority within 1744-1751)

1.25 linear feet

The Peter Warren papers are the letters, documents, and financial papers of Admiral Peter Warren, the British naval officer who led the siege of the French fortress at Louisbourg in 1745. The collection primarily contains material related to the Louisburg expedition in 1745 and the British occupation of the outpost. The Peter Warren papers were originally part of the Thomas Gage papers.

The Peter Warren papers (268 items) are the letters, documents, and financial papers of Admiral Peter Warren, the British naval officer who led the siege of the French fortress at Louisbourg in 1745. The collection primarily contains material related to the Louisburg expedition in 1745 and the British occupation of the outpost. Included are communications with navy commissioners and treasury officials; monthly pay lists of carpenters, masons, smiths, and laborers; accounts of fuel and building materials purchased for the strengthening of Louisburg; and Warren's accounts with his London agents, Samuel and William Baker. Many of the letters and accounts are directed or attributed to both Peter Warren and General William Pepperrell who also commanded at Louisbourg.

The Correspondence series (72 items) is comprised primarily of letters written to Warren concerning trade and money lending interests in London and the colonies, the siege in Louisbourg and its aftermath, and supplying and paying the British navy. Warren received letters from contacts in London, Boston, and Philadelphia. Several letters mention his success in Louisbourg and provide details about his personal accounts and finances. The series contains four memorials concerning troops who fought in Louisbourg and payments made to Warren and Pepperrell by the British Treasury.

Of note:
  • A series of 12 letters from merchants Samuel and William Baker of London, in which they discussed commerce opportunities, details on loans, and news from London.
  • May 26, 1744: the description of the plight of a widow of a "regularly bred" officer who drowned in Antigua.
  • November 2, 1745: A report to Warren concerning the shortage of sailors willing to work on British navy ships. Many of the men impressed into service had fled to Rhode Island.
  • December 14, 1745-May 17, 1746: An 18-page, 21-letter booklet containing "Joint Letters By Admiral Warren and General Pepperrell at Louisburg To be entered in the Admiral's Letter Book." The volume contains letters addressed to several colonial governors (Governor William Shirley of Boston, Governor John Wentworth of New Hampshire, Lieutenant Governor Paul Mascarene of Nova Scotia, Governor George Clinton of New York, Thomas Penn of Pennsylvania, Lewis Morris of New Jersey, Thomas Bladen of Maryland, and William Gooch of Virginia), and merchants Apthorp and Sparhawk. Topics discussed include intelligence on the French Navy, requests for troop provisions and quotas, a description of the inhabitants of Nova Scotia, and news of expected British reinforcements arriving from Gibraltar.
  • October 20, 1747: Reports on the capture of the ship Vigilant and inventories of the stores and guns on board the ship.
  • March 5, 1749: A letter from Warren to William Montague about a dispute over the prize for the ship Union.

The Documents series (35 items) contains legal documents, requests made by the Boston Council of War, estimates for the proposed construction of barracks at Louisbourg, plans relating to attacking French forces in Canada, and meeting notes from the Massachusetts House of Representatives. The series also contains lists of ships in Warren's squadron, and lists of ships under Sir Edward Hawkes and Duke D. Enville's command.

Of note:
  • September 9, 1745: Orders from King George for holding courts martial on Cape Breton Island.
  • September 10, 1745: A signed copy of the council of war held at the Citadel of Louisbourg concerning intelligence on a French squadron reported in the seas around Cape Sable.
  • January 6, 1746: Approval of Warren and Governor Shirley's plan to move on the French forces of Quebec.
  • June 6, 1746: Instructions from the Council of War ordering Warren to take a small group of ships to the Mouth of the St. Lawrence River to blockade French ships from supplying Canada.
  • September 10, 1746: Reports on the wreck of the ship Shirley during a violent storm at Annapolis Royal.
  • September 21, 1746: A request from the Council at Boston for Warren to protect the town from the French navy.
  • October 13, 1746: A request from the Council at Boston to Warren and his ship Bien Amie to defend the fort at Annapolis Royal against the French.
  • Undated: "Signals by Night and Day" for ships in Warren's squadron.

The Financial Records series (161 items) is comprised of the accounts for operations at Louisbourg, including account books, bills of lading for incoming shipments, pay lists for laborers, and other financial records. Also present are items documenting Warren's personal accounts and his interests in money lending.

The Account Books subseries (9 volumes) contains Warren's naval and personal account books.

These include:
  • Account Book 1: August 22, 1738-December 21, 1751: Personal accounts for Warren with Samuel and William Baker and other financiers, accounts for victualling Warren's ships, Navy Commission debts, prize inventories for the ships Vigilant, St. Francis Xavier, La Charmonte, La Notre Dame de la Deliverence, Le Suprenant, Les Deua Amis, La Marie de Grace, St. Andrew (64 pages).
  • Account Book 2: July 15, 1745-May 31, 1746: "Account Of the Disbursements for the Repair and other public Expense of the Garrison of Louisbourg &c." This account includes the names and pay of workers at the fort (22 pages).
  • Account Book 3: July 22, 1745-October 15, 1745: "Second Attested Copies of Accounts for Fuel. Book No. 1." This account volume includes descriptions of orders and lists of the laborers who loaded wood and fuel at Louisbourg (61 pages).
  • Account Book 4: August 2, 1745-September 18, [1745]: "An Account of the Deliverance's Cargo," a prize ship brought to Louisbourg (7 pages and 10 loose documents).
  • Account Book 5: August 31, 1745-May 2, 1746: "Second attested Copies of Accts. for Contingencies. Book No. 3." This account contains the names and occupations for workers at Louisbourg. Laborers worked at the Royal Hospital, mines, and repairing the city and fort after the siege. Others were paid for guarding captives from the Cape Sable (Micmac) Indians (96 pages).
  • Account Book 6: September 6, 1745-May 21, 1748: "Accounts for Contingencies. Book No. 3." This volume contains accounts and descriptions of supplies and labor for projects in Louisbourg, including taking care of the sick and repairing the city. Also present is a list of the sailors on board the ship Vigilant, captained by Sir James Douglas (40 pages).
  • Account Book 7: September 6, 1745-August 20, 1748: "Accts. for Contingencies. Book No. 3." This volume largely duplicates the previous volume but covers accounts into August 1748 (58 pages).
  • Account Book 8: November 18, 1745-May 30, 1746: "Second attested Copies of Acct. for Fuel. Book 2." A continuation of account book three, this volume includes descriptions of orders and lists of the laborers who loaded wood and fuel at Louisbourg (55 pages).
  • Account Book 9: April 27, 1749-December 18, 1764: Peter Warren and Lady Warren's personal cash account book (40 pages).

The Bills of Lading subseries (3 volumes, 93 bills) consists of bills documenting cargo arrived on board ships sent from Boston to Louisbourg. Many of these items are partially printed forms with details on the inventory and crew filled out by hand. See the additional descriptive data for a list of ships and their masters.

The Pay Lists subseries (35 items) contains pay lists for overseers and laborers who worked at Louisbourg. Labor included hauling cannons; repairing roofs, chimneys, and other parts of military and public buildings; constructing pickets, bridges, and gates; and digging wells. Lists are organized by date and by regiment or work group.

The Other Financial Records subseries (123 items) is comprised of content similar to the supply and labor accounts in the Account Book series. Many items are labeled "Second Original" and have signatures from Warren and Pepperrell. These are accounts concerning supplies, such as wood, boards, shingles, and glass, as well as payments to workers for repairing and cleaning barracks, storehouses, guardhouses, gates, and other public buildings at Louisbourg.

Warren left Louisbourg in 1746. The financial records from 1747-1750 document his interests in money lending in Massachusetts and England, and his and his wife's personal accounts. Also present are shipping invoices for the ships Willing Mind, Lydia, and Robert & Molly, and reimbursements to Massachusetts Bay for expenses incurred during the siege and occupation of Louisbourg. Of the 18 undated items is an extract for provisioning troops sailing from Gibraltar to Louisbourg.


Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais papers, 1766-1832 (majority within 1766-1811)

109 items

The Beaumarchais papers primarily consist of the incoming and outgoing correspondence of Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais; his wife, Marie-Thérèse-Emilie Willer-Mawlar; and his daughter, Eugénie Beaumarchais Delarue.

The Beaumarchais papers primarily consist of 106 incoming and outgoing letters of Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais; his wife, Marie-Thérèse-Emilie Willer-Mawlar; and his daughter, Eugénie Beaumarchais Delarue. The collection also includes a letter book of Pierre Beaumarchais and two documents.

The Correspondence series is comprised of 35 letters by Pierre Beaumarchais, 65 by Marie, and 6 by Eugénie. Pierre addressed the bulk of his letters to Monsieur Airain, an attorney from Tours, France, and informed him of business affairs and travel plans. The series also includes a letter from Pierre Beaumarchais to Monsieur DeFraney, in which he discusses developments in the American Revolution (March 18, 1779). This letter bears a watermark of King Louis XVI's Grand Royal Coat of Arms. Other correspondence also includes personal letters by his family, who discussed their health and social life. The letter book is made up of correspondence between Pierre Beaumarchais and his friend, "Citizen Perregaut," discussing his travels and the life of his family; a contemporary list of documents related to his arrest and subsequent imprisonment (p. 17); and items detailing his interactions with various members of the French government. One letter, for example, regards a financial advance received from the Committee of the Republic (p. 19).

The Documents series contains a power of attorney, granted by Pierre Beaumarchais to Jean Auguste Marie Chevaillé (July 29, 1787), as well as a monetary allowance granted by Beaumarchais pertaining to Monsieur Comte [D'artois] (January 2, 1788).


Richard Blackburn journal and letterbook, 1789-1802

1 volume

The Richard Blackburn journal contains an account of his journey from Virginia, through Pittsburgh, to Lexington, Kentucky, from March 26-May 3, 1789. The journal consists of brief entries describing the course of travel, the landscape and towns, and occasionally the people encountered.

The Richard Blackburn journal includes an account of his journey from Virginia, through Pittsburgh, to Lexington, Kentucky, from March 26-May 3, 1789. The journal consists of brief entries describing the course of travel, the landscape and towns, and occasionally the people he encountered. Included are interesting descriptions of Marietta, Ohio, and other small settlements along the Ohio River established by Revolutionary War veterans from the Virginia Line, as well as descriptions of Lexington, Kentucky. Blackburn stopped writing in the journal before departing Lexington for New Orleans.

The copybook portion of the journal includes over ninety copies of letters written by Blackburn to military officials. Many of the letters from Dumfries and Fort Washington are concerned with administrative matters, often provisioning, but a few from Georgia document special military discipline problems posed by life on the frontier and the proximity of the border with Spain. In his first two months at Fort Washington, Blackburn lost 10 men to Florida by desertion.


Richard Peters collection, 1749-1825

11 items

This collection contains correspondence and documents related to Reverend Richard Peters (1704-1776) and his nephew, also named Richard Peters (1744-1828), both of Philadelphia. The bulk of the material pertains to their professional and financial affairs.

This collection (11 items) contains correspondence and documents related to Reverend Richard Peters and his nephew, also named Richard Peters, who both lived in Philadelphia in the mid- to late 18th century. The material pertains to Pennsylvania property and Cumberland County boundaries, Arlington sheep, finances, and politics. The collection includes a certified copy of a map of property belonging to Peters in Bucks County, Pennsylvania (copy dated March 17, 1810), an account book kept by the younger Richard Peters from 1785-1789, and a letter that the younger Richard Peters wrote to William Rawle about his uncle's biography (September 22, 1825).


Rooke-Blathwayt letter book, 1700-1702

1 volume

The Rooke-Blathwayt letter book contains letters that Admiral Sir George Rooke wrote in the early 18th century, as well as documents regarding the English Navy's actions in the English Channel and in the West Indies.

The Rooke-Blathwayt letter book contains 18 letters that Admiral Sir George Rooke wrote in the early 18th century, as well as documents regarding the English Navy's actions in the English Channel and in the West Indies.

Rooke composed much of the correspondence while onboard the Triumph at Spithead, off the Isle of Wight. He addressed several different English officials, and the material in this volume was compiled by William Blathwayt, acting secretary of state. In his letters, Rooke confirmed the receipt of various orders and discussed developments around Brest, France, and other news of the fleet. An item entitled "A List of his Matys. Ships design'd on Service with Sr. George Rooke" provides the locations of English ships (July 10, 1701). The book has two sets of official instructions from King William about naval actions in the West Indies during the War of the Spanish Succession (August 12, 1701, and [September] 10, 1701). Two letters are in French: a letter from Count Wachtmeister, who was awaiting a rendezvous with George Rooke and the English fleet (June 19, 1700), and a letter about King William's confidence in George Rooke's military abilities (August 12, 1701).


Samuel Raisbeck letter book, 1858-1883 (majority within 1858-1863)

1 volume

This letter book contains Samuel Raisbeck's professional correspondence between the years 1858 and 1863, during his time as a broker on Wall Street in New York City.

This volume contains Samuel Raisbeck's outgoing professional correspondence between 1858 and 1883, primarily written while he was a broker on Wall Street, New York City.

The bulk of the letters (February 4, 1858-March 1863) reflect Raisbeck's financial interests and include a significant number of letters to business partners in Ohio and Indiana, and to contacts in Great Britain and France. His letters to Joseph Young of Piqua, Ohio, pertain to the Columbus, Piqua, and Indiana Rail Road Company, for which Raisbeck purchased land. He also discussed the construction of a gasworks in Tarrytown, New York, and other financial ventures. Raisbeck occasionally commented on political issues, the Confederacy, and the anticipated outcome of the Civil War. Additional letters are dated 1864, 1866, and 1883. The volume contains an index.


Samuel Sanford letter books, 1814-1818, 1825-1853

2 volumes

These letter books contain the business correspondence of Boston merchant Samuel Sanford from 1814-1818 and 1825-1853. Sanford discussed shipments of cloth, foodstuffs, manufactured items, and other goods between ports in the United States, the Caribbean, Europe, Asia, and Africa. Some later letters pertain to Sanford's personal finances and his relationship with the Union Bank.

These letter books (2 volumes) contain the business correspondence of Boston merchant Samuel Sanford from March 1, 1814-June 20, 1818, and December 5, 1825-December 23, 1853. Sanford discussed shipments of cloth, foodstuffs, manufactured items, and other goods between ports in the United States, the Caribbean, Europe, Asia, and Africa. Some later letters pertain to Sanford's personal finances and his relationship with the Union Bank. The first volume is numbered fifth in a series.

Sanford's letters mainly pertain to his business interests, often concerning shipments of goods such as tea, coffee, cotton, "nankins," calico, indigo, and timber from the United States to countries including England, Russia, and India. Many letters pertain to aspects of international shipping during and after the War of 1812, such as duties and piracy; some include copied invoices or other financial statements. Many letters from the early 1830s are addressed to or mention the firm Cheever & Fales, and Samuel Fales co-signed some of Sanford's letters from this period. Several letters from the mid- to late 1840s relate to Sanford's dispute with the Union Bank. Sanford occasionally mentioned his ownership of railroad stock. William H. Sanford co-signed letters in the early 1850s. A few loose items (ca. late 1840s) are pasted into the second letter book.


S. Houldsworth letter book, 1889-1890

1 volume

The S. Houldsworth letter book contains letters that Houldsworth wrote to the firm Norcross Brothers about construction projects in 1889 and 1890. Houldsworth discussed building materials, specific projects, and other business matters.

The S. Houldsworth letter book contains around 170 pages of letters that Houldsworth wrote to Norcross Brothers about construction projects from November 30, 1889-May 1, 1890. The letters are written in reverse chronological order on pages numbered 133-300; the first 132 pages are not present.

Writing from Stony Creek, Connecticut, Houldsworth addressed most of his correspondence to Norcross Brothers offices in Worcester, Massachusetts; Boston, Massachusetts; and New York, New York. Some letters are addressed to O. W. Norcross. Houldsworth discussed several aspects of the construction business, such as hiring workers, building materials, building plans, and alterations to specific projects. Some of the earlier letters mention quarrying and shipments of stone. A few letters have small diagrams of building layouts and similar subjects. A partially used alphabetical index appears at the front of the volume.


Sidney Brooks letterbook, 1863-1867

80 pages

This letterbook kept by Sidney Brooks contains the correspondence of a New York businessman and financier through the Civil War and in the late 1860s.

The letterbook kept by Sidney Brooks represents a portion of the correspondence of a businessman and financier through the Civil War and in the late 1860s. The letterbook consists entirely of outgoing correspondence written to various associates.

There is a vague topical coherence to the letters retained by Brooks. Most are of a personal nature, and many concern Brooks' business and personal relationship with the great sculptor, Hiram Powers. Even the few letters that strictly concern business matter have a personal cast to them, suggesting that this was a private copybook used for private matters.


Stinchfield family papers, 1837-1999

6.25 linear feet

The Stinchfield family papers contain the correspondence, business records, financial and legal documents, photographs, and genealogical papers of the Stinchfield family, founders of a successful lumber business in Michigan in the mid-19th century. The collection also includes materials related to social and family events in Grosse Pointe and Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, through the mid-20th century.

The Stinchfield family papers consist of the correspondence, business records, financial and legal documents, photographs, and genealogical papers of Jacob W. Stinchfield, his wife Maria Hammond Stinchfield, and their descendants. The collection's correspondence and documents are organized by generation, reflecting their original order. The earliest items in the collection (Generation I series) include real estate transactions involving Jacob Stinchfield of Lincoln, Maine, dating from 1837. Beginning in the 1860s, after the family’s move to Michigan, the records include correspondence, accounts, and other financial records relating to the lumber business, begun by Jacob and continued by his son Charles Stinchfield. The materials provide information respecting the management of men in lumber camps, logging in winter weather conditions, methods of transportation, the challenges of rafting logs downriver, and other lumber business operations in volatile market conditions. Jacob and Charles Stinchfield’s partner, and frequent correspondent, was David Whitney, Jr., a wealthy Detroit businessman.

The Stinchfields expanded their company to include railroads (to facilitate their logging operations) and mineral mines. Many documents in the Generation II series, including manuscript and printed maps, concern land development in Michigan, where the family owned a farm in Bloomfield Hills, and in the West, especially Wyoming. The family traveled extensively and corresponded about their experiences in Europe, Asia, and the western United States. The Civil War is represented with small but significant holdings -- among them, a September 21, 1864, note written and signed by President Abraham Lincoln, requesting a fair hearing for a furlough (probably for George Stinchfield), and a February 14, 1863, letter from Vice President Hannibal Hamlin to Jacob W. Stinchfield, assuring him that George McClellan would not be ordered back to the command of the army.

The collection's twentieth-century materials (Generation III and Generation IV series) consist largely of the personal correspondence of Jacob Stinchfield’s grandchildren and great-grandchildren. The life of Charles Stinchfield, Jr., is well documented, from his schooling at St. John’s Military Institute in Manlius, N.Y., and a brief time at Cornell University, through his roles in the family business, his marriage, and the raising of his three children. Interactions between Charles Stinchfield, Jr., and his father, Charles Stinchfield, a demanding and energetic businessman, are also well represented in the collection. The materials reveal relationships between family members and their servants, and spiritualists' attempts to contact Charles Stinchfield III, who died of appendicitis in 1933 at the age of 15. Later papers provide descriptions of the social life of a wealthy family in the early and mid-20th century, at their residence in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, and at their country home in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.

The Genealogy series, compiled largely by Diane Stinchfield Klingenstein, contains extensive background research on family members, copies of Ira and George Stinchfield’s Civil War records, transcriptions of letters written by Charles Stinchfield on a journey west in 1871 (not otherwise represented in the collection), and a typewritten draft of Diane Klingenstein’s family history, "One bough from a branch of the tree: a Stinchfield variation."

In addition to materials organized by generation, the collection includes photographs, scrapbooks, pastels, realia, and books. Many of the photographs are individual and group portraits (both studio and candid) from the 19th and early 20th centuries. The images include many exterior views of the land and buildings of the family’s country home in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan (Stonycroft Farm, ca. 1910), and of the Stinchfield residence in Grosse Pointe, Michigan (ca. 1940s). Early 20th-century lumber camps and railroads in Oregon and mining camps in Nevada are represented in photographs and photograph albums. The collection contains photos from trips to Japan (ca. 1907), the American West, and Europe. The collection's scrapbooks include newspaper clippings, invitations, and photographs, mainly concerning the life of Diane Klingenstein in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, during the 1930s and 1940s.

The Stinchfield family papers contain three pastel portraits of unknown subjects. The Realia series includes a bone ring likely made by George Stinchfield when he was a prisoner on Belle Isle, Virginia; a ring bearing Ira Stinchfield's name and regiment, in case he died during the Civil War; hospital identification and five baby pins for Diane W. Stinchfield (1925); a variety of additional Stinchfield family jewelry; and several wooden, crotched rafting pins, apparently from Saginaw, Michigan.

The Books series includes a copy of The Pictorial Bible, given to Charles and Mary from Father Fish, June 12, 1879, and a selection of 9 additional publications, which are cataloged individually. A comprehensive list of these books may be found by searching the University's online catalog for "Klingenstein."


Tailyour family papers, 1743-2003 (majority within 1780-1840)

12.75 linear feet

The collection focuses primarily on John Tailyour, a Scottish merchant who traveled to North America and Jamaica in the 1770s and 1780s to conduct business, before finally returning to his home in Scotland in 1792. His correspondence is heavily business related, centering especially on his trading of slaves, foodstuffs, and sundry goods. It also chronicles the current events in both Jamaica and the Empire. Many of Tailyour's correspondents debate the meaning and merit of the cessation of the slave trade in the late 18th century, as well as the military events of the American and Haitian revolutions, and of the Maroon rebellion of 1795. The papers also include letters between John and his family in Scotland regarding John's mixed-race Jamaican children. He sent three of his children to Britain to be educated, which caused much family concern. Tailyour's account books and financial papers relate both to his Jamaican estate and business, and to his Scottish estate, from which he received added income from rents. The accounts for this estate continue for several decades after Tailyour’s death in 1815. A number of disparate and miscellaneous letters, war records, photographs, and realia that belonged to various members of the extended Tailyour family date mainly from the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries.

The collection has three substantial parts. The most comprehensive and cohesive section is the one concerning John Tailyour, until his death in 1815. The second part contains business papers and accounts related to the Tailyour estate. The third part is the least integrated, and consists of a variety of family papers, photographs, military memorabilia, and other miscellanea.

The Tailyour papers date from 1743 to 2003, with the majority of the collection concentrating in the period from 1780 to 1840. Within these bulk dates, are the two largest portions of the collection: the correspondence and accounts of John Tailyour until his death in 1815, and the account records of the Tailyour estate after 1815.

Seven boxes contain John Tailyour's personal and business correspondence of 3757 letters. The letters focus on Tailyour's mercantile activities in the Atlantic market, especially on the slave trade, its profitability, and the threat posed by abolitionists. Tailyour's correspondence also chronicles personal and family matters, including the education and provision for his mixed-race children from Jamaica. In addition, the collection contains four of Tailyour's letter books of 1116 copies of retained letters that cover the period from 1780 to 1810, with the exception of the years 1786-7 and 1793-1803. In these letters, Tailyour's focus is business, particularly as it relates to the slave trade, but he also includes personal messages to his friends and family.

Tailyour's business papers contain 32 loose account records, as well as five account books documenting the years between 1789-90 and 1798-1816. These primarily concern his Kingston and Scottish estates, including the expense accounts and balance sheets for each, as well as the finances of his merchant activities during the period. Finally, 38 documents of probate records for John Tailyour mainly relate to his landed estate.

The latter portion of collection within these bulk years (1815-1840) also contains correspondence and accounts, although the 228 letters are almost entirely concerned with business accounts. These focus on Tailyour's estate after his death, with John's brother Robert as the main correspondent. Additional materials include 1761 business papers that chronicle the finances of the estate, 11 account books, and 6 hunting books. The business letters and account books detail the estate's expense accounts and receipts, as well as the balances for their annual crops, salmon fishing business, and profits derived from the rents collected on their land. The hunting books contain descriptive accounts of the family's hunts and inventories of their hunting dogs.

The third, and final, part of the collection consists of Tailyour family records (bulk post-1815), including 49 letters from various family members in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries and five letterbooks, kept by Alexander Renny Tailyour and Thomas Renny Tailyour. 4 account books are also present kept by Alexander Renny Tailyour and others. Some of the records concern the First World War, including a group of prisoner-of-war records sent from Germany, and journals kept at home that detail news of the war, and daily domestic activities.

The family history documents include 64 genealogical records and 58 probate records. Many of the genealogical items are brief notes on family history, and sketches of the family tree, including a large family tree that spans several hundred years to the present day. The probate records contain one will from the late-nineteenth century, but are otherwise entirely concerned with John Tailyour's estate in the years immediately after his death.

Of the printed records, Memoirs of my Ancestors (1884), by Hardy McCall is a genealogy of the McCall family, and Tailyour's Marykirk and Kirktonhill's estates are described in two printed booklets, one of which is an advertisement for Kirktonhill's sale in the early-twentieth century. Other printed material includes 14 various newspaper clippings concerning the family over the years, and 12 miscellaneous items.

The illustrations, artwork, and poetry comprise 14 fashion engravings, 12 sailing illustrations, a picture of a hunting cabin, two silhouettes, and a royal sketch, all of which date from the early- to mid-nineteenth century. Kenneth R. H. Tailyour's sketches are represented in two sketch books created in his younger years (1917 and 1920). Loose records of poetry, as well as a book of poems from George Taylor, are in this section.

The 221 photographs are of the Tailyour family from the late-nineteenth to the twentieth century, with the majority falling in the early decades of the twentieth century. Most are portraits of the Tailyour family from the early twentieth century, particularly Kenneth R. H. Tailyour.

The 138 pieces of ephemera are, for the most part, postcards of foxhunts during the nineteenth century. These announce the almost-weekly family foxhunts during the middle years of the nineteenth century. The 19 items of realia, include Robert Taylor's quill pen from 1826.

The audio-visual portion of the collection contains three items: a compact disc with an audio interview of John Dann, Director of the Clements Library, on National Public Radio's "The Todd Mundt Show;" a compact disc with photos of the West Indies; and a collection of photographs of the Tailyour papers in their uncatalogued state, and of the festivities surrounding the acquisition of the collection.

Finally, miscellaneous material of 18 pieces includes Robert Taylor's commonplace book of short stories, letters, and poems; the catalogue of Robert Taylor's books; James Tailyour's 1771 style and form book; and a communion book.


Thirza Finch diary and letter transcriptions, 1858-1870

480 pages

The Finch diary and letter transcriptions volume contains Thirza Finch's sporadic (or selected) diary entries from 1858-1870, plus copies of letters written to Thirza and other family members from her brothers who served in the Civil War.

The Finch diary and letter transcriptions contains Thirza Finch's sporadic (or selected) diary entries from 1858-1870, plus copies of letters written to Thirza and other family members from her brothers in the service. Unfortunately, in many cases the diary entries and letters appear to be extracts of the originals, rather than true transcriptions, and there is no way to know what has been omitted.

Except for a few entries written during the first year of the war, while Thirza was at Maple Valley, the diary entries are generally brief. These few entries, though, are a powerful record of the uncertainty felt by civilians caught in a war zone, and of the fear and suspicion surrounding the appearance of unknown persons, white or Black, soldier or civilian, northern or southern. The diary is at its best in the few days surrounding the 2nd Battle of Bull Run, when Thirza writes longer pieces, and when events take place at a very rapid pace and the tension reaches its peak. There are also several excellent entries relating her experiences nursing Union soldiers -- semi-voluntarily, it seems -- and hosting "deserters" from the Confederate Army.

Among the correspondence copied into the book, a few of the letters from Thirza's brothers are outstanding, though most are fairly routine, and many have been edited down during the copying process. Particularly noteworthy are a letter written by Richmond following the death of their father, in which he laments the fact that the family have drifted apart, and the series of letters written during the siege of Washington, N.C. Edwin's letters describing a spirited cavalry skirmish at Lacey Springs and the trenches at Petersburg three days before the fall are also excellent, as is his lengthy description of a huge snowball fight between members of three New York regiments and the 1st Vermont Cavalry.


Thomas, Frederick, and Robert Hubbard family papers, 1803-1902 (majority within 1810-1869)

2.5 linear feet

This collection is made up of correspondence, diaries, writings, documents, and other material related to Thomas Hill Hubbard of Utica, New York, and his sons Frederick and Robert.

This collection contains correspondence, writings, documents, and other material related to Thomas Hill Hubbard of Utica, New York, and his sons Frederick and Robert.

The collection's Correspondence is divided into two subseries. Chronological Correspondence (63 items) consists of personal letters to and between various members of the Hubbard family, dated December 12, 1803-April 9, 1902; most of the material is dated 1811-1858. Many letters pertain to personal and family news and travel. The series includes correspondence between Thomas Hill Hubbard and his wife Phebe; from Frederick Hubbard to his parents, Thomas Hill and Phebe Hubbard; and between the children of Thomas Hill and Phebe Hubbard. The subseries also contains incoming letters to "Philinda" from siblings, cousins, and a niece, who wrote in the mid- to late 1850s.

The Letter Books subseries is comprised of 6 volumes.

1. The first letter book contains around 99 pages of extracts from letters by Reverend Robert Hubbard (dated June 1810-May 24, 1840), who discussed religious topics. A poem by Grace D. Litchfield for her grandmother (December 16, 1869) and an unknown writer's poem for their mother ([December] 1888) are laid into the volume.

2. The second letter book has a few outgoing business letters by Thomas Hill Hubbard (July 10, 1841-July 7, 1842, 9 pages), but mostly contains outgoing letters by Robert J. Hubbard about matters related Thomas Hill Hubbard's estate (May 27, 1859-September 11, 1869, 362 pages).

3-4. The first of 2 letter books belonging to Frederick Hubbard contains outgoing letters and financial accounts pertaining to his work for the Northern Indiana Railroad in South Bend and La Porte, Indiana (March 3, 1851-June 18, 1852, 457 pages). His second letter book (June 18, 1852-November 10, 1854, 464 pages) is comprised outgoing letters and financial accounts pertaining to his work for the Northern Indiana Railroad in La Porte, Indiana, and the Michigan Southern Railroad in Clinton, Michigan.

5. One volume contains outgoing business correspondence of Litchfield & Co., often signed by C. H. Manson and E. Darwin Litchfield (letter book "J," February 12, 1857-April 29, 1860, 366 pages), and additional letters by Robert J. Hubbard about his father's estate (June 21, 1861-May 8, 1871, 387 pages).

6. Robert J. Hubbard kept a letter book with outgoing correspondence to family members and acquaintances (November 20, 1855-January 1872, 344 pages). He most frequently discussed finances, property, and business affairs.

The Diaries and Journals series (30 items) pertains to Frances Elizabeth Hubbard and Frederick Hubbard. Frances Elizabeth Hubbard began her two diaries on November 27, 1835 (around 140 pages), and April 25, 1836 (around 100 pages). She commented on her daily experiences, social activities, and travels in and around Richmond, Virginia, and Middletown, New York. The first volume also includes 4 pages of financial records and a list of names.

The Frederick Hubbard travel journals consist of 23 slim bound volumes (approximately 50 pages each), which together comprise a detailed account of Hubbard's travels in the United States and the Caribbean between March 1842 and October 1855. He often traveled on the New York & Erie Railroad.

An additional 5 volumes of writings by Frederick Hubbard recount a Grand Tour of Europe and the East between 1855 and 1857. He created the manuscript later in his life, by copying his earlier travel notes into blank books. He provided detailed observations and descriptions of locations in Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Madeira, Malta, Palestine, Rome, Sicily, Spain, Egypt, Nubia, England, Syria, and other areas. Hubbard contributed original illustrations and tipped relevant engravings, prints, and maps into the books. Linnaeus Shecut II transcribed and edited the 5-volume manuscript in Notes of Travel in Europe and the East in the Years 1855-1856 and 1857: a Yankee Engineer Abroad (Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse, 2007).

The Writings series contains approximately 50 compositions, including groups of school essays, descriptions about Florida locales, and book proposals. Robert J. Hubbard composed around 40 of the school compositions at Utica Academy in the mid-1840s. Also included are notes on the history of Christianity; poetry; a manuscript copy of extracts from the Biblical gospels; and a personalized, alphabetical subject index, written in a volume printed for that purpose, belonged to Edward B. Hubbard and Robert J. Hubbard in the 1840s.

Documents and Accounts include Land Documents, Financial Records, and a Passport. The Land Documents subseries contains 2 items: an indenture (1841) and a book recording the disposition and dispensation of lands that belonged to the estate of Thomas H. Hubbard in 1857, with notes dated as late as the early 1880s. Financial Records (49 items) consist of a ledger regarding property and real estate assets in multiple states in the 1830s and 1840s and receipts made out to various persons, including Robert J. Hubbard and his wife, in 1868. The receipts concern various types of household items and services. The Passport dates between 1854 and 1887 and includes documentation from Europe and northern Africa.

The Published Material series is divided into two subseries. The Pamphlets and Tables subseries includes two pamphlets, "A Short and Easy Method with the Deists" by Charles Leslie (1830) and "Conrad and Medora; or, Harlequin Corsair and the Little Fairy at the Bottom of the Sea" by William Brough (undated). A printed table, "Table of Ranges of Temperature on a Journey up the Nile, and through the 'Long Desert' and 'Syria.' January to June, 1857," is also included. The A Yankee Engineer Abroad subseries contains digital versions of Notes of Travel in Europe and the East in the Years 1855-1856 and 1857: a Yankee Engineer Abroad, ed. Linnaeus Shecut II (Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse, 2007).


Thomas Gage papers, 1754-1807 (majority within 1759-1775)

70 linear feet

The Thomas Gage papers consist of the military and governmental correspondence and headquarter papers of General Thomas Gage, officer in the British Army in America (1754-1763) and commander-in-chief of the British forces in North America between 1763 and 1775. The papers include incoming correspondence and retained copies of letters written by Gage, together with a large quantity of documents related to military administration and manuscript maps of North America. The collection is particularly strong in documenting British administration of North America after the French and Indian War, interactions with Native Americans, and the years preceding the American Revolution. The Thomas Gage warrants series is described in a separate finding aid.

The Thomas Gage papers consist of the military and government correspondence of General Thomas Gage, officer in the British Army in America (1754-1763), commander-in-chief of the British forces in North America (1763-1775), and Governor of Massachusetts (1774-1775). The papers include incoming correspondence and retained copies of letters written by Gage, together with a large quantity of headquarters documents related to military administration. The collection is particularly strong in documenting British colonial administration after the French and Indian War, interactions with Native Americans, and the years preceding the American Revolution.

The collection is divided into five series:
  1. The English Series (30 volumes) contains Gage's correspondence with military officers and politicians in England, including the Secretaries of State, the Secretaries at War, the Treasury, the Board of Trade, the Board of Ordnance, the paymaster general, the commanders-in-chief, and other officials.
  2. The American Series (139 volumes) consists of Gage's correspondence with military officers and civil authorities in North America, including colonial governors, generals, commanders and subordinate officers, Indian superintendents and deputies, admirals of the British Navy in North America, engineers, army contractors, and various prominent civilians.
  3. The Letter Books, Account Books, and Additional Material series (17 items) contains copy books of communications with military outposts in North America and accounts for military expenses.
  4. The Warrants series (40 boxes) is made up of financial documents authorizing payment for the British military forces in North America. The Thomas Gage warrants series is described in a separate finding aid.
  5. The Maps series (87 maps) includes maps and fort plans created for British military leaders in North America in the years before the American Revolution.

The English series and the American series comprise the bulk of the collection. In addition to the many letters, these series contain the following: addresses, speeches, and proclamations; official petitions and memorials for troop promotions and transfers; proceedings and depositions from courts martial and courts of inquiry; intelligence on enemy activities; reports on the condition of the army and the state of the colonies; orders, instructions, memoranda, and meeting minutes; stores and provision inventories, receipts, and accounts of expenses; newspaper clippings and broadsides; and other miscellaneous items. Memorials typically describe the military career and professional history of a soldier or officer; these frequently contain information on both his regiment's activities and his personal life. The courts martial document desertion, embezzlement and fraud, violence, murder, rape, and other crimes committed by service members. Some of these cases, such as the trials of John Wilkins and Robert Rogers, are extensively recorded, involving many levels of the military and government. Returns typically list the numbers of troops, by rank, stationed at a fort, city, or region. These occasionally include names and other personal information. Stores and artillery lists account for the food, supplies, and ammunition maintained at forts, cities, and regions.

The English Series (30 volumes) contains Gage's incoming and outgoing letters from the Secretaries of State, Secretaries of War, Secretaries of the Treasury, Board of Ordnance, Judge Advocate General, Paymaster General of the military, Board of Trade, and the Admiralty. The bulk of these items were created during Gage's tenure as military governor of Montréal, commander-in-chief of North America, and governor of Massachusetts. Gage's years as an officer during the French and Indian War and his time in Britain from 1773-1774, however, are not well represented.

Gage communicated extensively with the British Secretaries of State. In many of these letters, he discussed, at length, the state of the colonies, with particular focus on civil unrest. He also reported on Indian relations and boundary lines, conditions of forts and the British military presence on the western and southern frontiers, hostilities toward the Stamp Act and other parliamentary acts, and civil unrest in Boston, New York, Charleston, and other colonial cities. Secretaries include: George Montagu-Dunk, Lord Halifax (Montagu Dunk); Sir Henry Seymour Conway; Charles Lennox, the Duke of Richmond; William Petty, Lord Shelburne; Wills Hill, Lord Hillsborough; William Legge, Lord Dartmouth; William Henry Nassau, Earl of Rochford; and Lord George Germain.

Items of note include:
  • A report from Lord Hillsborough concerning relations with Indians and advising Gage to cut military spending by abandoning forts on the frontier (English Series [hereafter ES]): April 15, 1768)
  • A report, with treaty extracts, describing the boundary lines for colonial and Indian territories in Georgia, East and West Florida, North and South Carolina, and the northern territories (ES: April 15, 1768)
  • Narratives on the Boston Massacre written on and just after March 5, 1770
  • A narrative and discussion of the Boston Tea Party (ES: April 9, 1774)

In communications with Secretaries of War Lord William Barrington and Welbore Ellis, Gage discussed troop movements and logistics; regiment conditions, supplies and expenses; colonial troop quartering and recruitment; requests for regimental needs, such as surgeons, hospitals, and barrack repairs; and officer transfers and promotions. The secretaries frequently petitioned Gage to allow officers to return to England for personal reasons, such as health and estate issues. These letters also provide general updates on the state of the colonies and contain information on Indian affairs.

Items of note include:
  • Barrington's opinions on whether or not the British should designate the western lands for Indian nations (ES: October 10, 1765).
  • A warning from Gage that "the colonists are taking large strides towards Independency, and that it concerns Great Britain by a speedy and spirited conduct to show them that these provinces are British Colonies dependent on her, and that they are not Independent States" (ES: January 17, 1767).

The Secretaries of the Treasury letters offer detailed information on colonial expenses and the financial decisions made in London and by Gage. The treasury secretaries include Charles Jenkinson, Thomas Whatley, William Mellish, William Lowndes, Grey Cooper, Thomas Bradshaw, and John Robinson.

Gage also communicated regularly with the Judge Advocate General Charles Gould, Earl of Granby John Manners, and John Boddington from the Office of Ordnance; Paymaster General of the Military Richard Rigby; and Generals Amherst, Harvey, and George Williamson. Gage received many letters from army officers stationed in England and Ireland. Most of these officers served under Gage and wrote him regarding business or legal issues. Notable officers include Lieutenant Colonel John Wilkins of the 18th Regiment and Major Robert Rogers stationed at Michilimackinac. Also of note in this series are printed versions of speeches made by King George III to parliament and the official responses from the Houses of Lords and Commons.

The American Series (139 volumes) comprises the bulk of the Thomas Gage papers. The Correspondence and Enclosures subseries (volumes 1-136) contains the communications between Gage and various civil and military personnel from North America and the West Indies. Represented are documents from Gage's tenures as an officer in the British Army during the French and Indian War under Braddock and Abercromby, as military governor of Montréal, as commander-in-chief of North America, and as governor of Massachusetts. The items from 1754-1760 all relate to the military, and include communications from various forts, often containing troop returns and stores inventories. As governor of Montréal, much of his administrative duties pertained to coordinating sloops, bateaux, and other ships that moved troops and provisions around Canada. The breadth of his responsibilities and the variety of decisions he had to make expanded considerably during his service as commander-in-chief and governor.

Writers (contributors) in the American Series include: colonial governors and lieutenant governors, private merchants and suppliers, generals and headquarters staff (barrack master general, quarter master general, commissary of stores and provisions), subordinate staff (barrack masters, paymasters, and engineers), superintendents and deputies from Departments of Indian Affairs, surveyor generals, commissioner of customs, and admirals and other naval officers.

These communications reveal information on a vast array of administrative responsibilities, such as:
  • Disseminating information from England
  • Enforcement of parliamentary acts, particularly concerning commerce
  • Managing relations between the colonies and settling inter-colonial boundary disputes
  • Quelling violence and civil unrest in the cities and policing new settlements on the western and southern frontiers
  • Managing Indian relations and enforcing treaties
  • Maintaining outposts and constructing new forts
  • Coordinating colonial defenses and troop movements, provisioning, and quartering
  • Settling disputes between military and civil leaders

Notable gaps in documentation occur between May and August 1760 and during Gage's time in England between June 1773 and May 1774, when General Haldimand served as commander-in-chief of British forces in North America. Though fairly well documented, the year 1769 also seems incomplete.

Colonial Governors. As commander-in-chief, Gage maintained communications with the governors of every colony in North America and several West Indian islands. He received administrative information on civil government and was particularly involved in legal matters concerning civil/military relations and in quelling violence and unrest in the cities and on the frontier. The governors were partially responsible for implementing parliamentary acts regarding trade and raising troops for the British army. The letters also contain vast amounts of information on relations with Native Americans, local political movements, militias, and the provincial governments that emerged during the years preceding the Revolutionary War. (See Additional Descriptive Data for a list of the colonial governors represented in the collection.) Gage communicated with deputy paymasters general of North America including James Barbut, Jacob Blackwell, William Eddington, and Abraham Mortier. He also corresponded with the French and Spanish governors of Louisiana, including Jean-Jacques-Blaise Abbaddie, Charles Phillippe Aubrey, Alejandro O'Reilly, Antonio de Don Ulloa, and Luis de Unzaga.

Topics of Note:
  • Responses to the Stamp Act, including riots and non-importation agreements, with disturbances focused in Massachusetts and New York (1765)
  • Ongoing conflicts between Major Farmar of the 34th Regiment and George Johnstone, governor of West Florida at Pensacola, who claimed the authority to give orders to the military (1765)
  • Civil unrest in Boston that forced Governor Bernard to flee to Castle William (1768)
  • A build up of forces in West Florida in response to threats of war between England and Spain (1771)
  • Territorial disputes between New York and New Hampshire over settlements in what is now Vermont (1774-1775)
  • Governor of New Hampshire John Wentworth's reports on the raid of Fort William and Mary by revolutionaries, including Paul Revere (1775)
  • The battles and aftermath of Lexington and Concord (1775)

British Army in America. An important portion of the collection relates to Gage's administration of the far-reaching British military occupying North America. He communicated with many high-ranking officers and generals including Henry Bouquet, John Bradstreet, John Burgoyne, Ralph Burton, Henry Clinton, Frederick Haldimand, William Howe, Alex Mackay, John Pomeroy, and James Robertson. Subordinate officers, such as engineers, majors, barrack masters, paymasters, and ensigns, also corresponded with Gage. Routine topics include officer promotions and transfers; troop discipline and courts martial, particularly surrounding desertions; provisioning regiments and forts with food, supplies, and ammunition; and orders and instructions regarding troop movements and recruitment numbers.

Gage also interacted with the British Navy in North America, which was integral to provisioning and transporting troops. Ships traveled along the Atlantic seaboard from Newfoundland to the West Indies, to Québec by way of the St. Lawrence River, along the Mississippi river, and on Lakes Champlain, Erie, George, Huron, Michigan, Ontario, Superior, and at Forts Niagara and Detroit. Gage also oversaw naval stores and naval activities, such as shipbuilding and ship maintenance, and frequently received news on shipwrecks. Prominent contacts included Admiral Alexander Colville, Commodore Samuel Hood, Commodore James Gambier, Admiral Samuel Graves, Captain Joshua Loring, and Admiral John Montague.

Topics of Note:
  • Relations between the Native Americans and colonists of Québec, including intelligence about a possible alliance between the Five Nations and the French-Jesuit clergy (1762)
  • Colonel Henry Bouquet's expeditions against the Indians on the Pennsylvania and Ohio frontiers (1764)
  • The court martial of Major Robert Farmar, whom West Florida Governor Johnstone accused of embezzling funds (1765)
  • Problems with the "Black Boys Gang" of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania (1765)
  • Mining efforts in Newfoundland and Nova Scotia for coal, and around Lake Superior for copper and other metals (1764-1775)
  • The court martial of Robert Rogers, infamous superintendent of Michilimackinac (1767-1769)
  • Eyewitness accounts of the Boston Massacre, including reports and depositions from all of the troops who took part in event, and news from the ongoing trial of the troops involved (1770)
  • The court martial of Colonel John Wilkins of the Illinois Country over charges of embezzlement and fraud (1771-1773)
  • Civil unrest in Massachusetts as a result of the "Intolerable Acts" and the formation of new bodies of local government (1774)
  • Twenty testimonies and oaths of Massachusetts residents, including several women, concerning the Association (Continental Association) which prohibited merchants from trading with Great Britain (February 13-17, 1775)
  • Descriptions of the skirmishes at Lexington and Concord (1775)
  • Reports of Americans taking Ticonderoga and Crown Point (1775)
  • Intelligence on troop counts and fortification descriptions for the British and the colonists at the Battle of Bunker Hill, along with many memorials from soldiers who fought in the battle (1775)
  • Reports on the American march on Québec and Montréal lead by General Philip Schuyler and Benedict Arnold (1775)
  • Attacks by the Machias "pirates" on British ships in the Bay of Fundy (1775)
  • Three letters from General George Washington to Gage (June 17, 1768, August 11 and 20, 1775)
  • A spy letter from a Mrs. Cooke who had contact with Generals George Washington and Charles Lee and who reported on the squalid conditions in the barracks in and around Boston before she was caught in Lexington (1775)

Indian Superintendants and Deputies. The Gage papers contain a large body of letters and documents relating to Indian Superintendents Sir William Johnson of the Northern District and John Stuart of the Southern District. Gage, who supervised the Indian Departments, received extensive communications documenting all aspects of Indian affairs, including negotiations and treaties, accounts for gifts, trade regulations, captives, and information on violent civil and military conflicts with the Native Americans. Letters include particularly extensive documentation on the New York and Canadian Indians, and on interactions at Detroit, Fort Stanwix, Nova Scotia, and the frontier areas of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia, Georgia, and East and West Florida. In addition to having direct lines of communication with Johnson and Stuart, Gage received material from subordinate officials, including Colonel Guy Johnson (who took over his father Sir William Johnson's responsibilities after his death), and Indian agents Captain Daniel Claus, Edward Cole at Illinois, Colonel George Croghan, Major Joseph Gorman, Montaut de Montereau, Benjamin Roberts at Michilimackinac, and Lieutenant John Thomas in Mississippi. Agents dealt closely with the colonial governments and often described the actions and motives of the legislature and the governor, and the Indians' responses. Throughout the collection, particularly in the late 1760s and early 1770s, Gage dealt with a constant stream of reports of murders of British frontier settlers and Native Americans. Prominent tribes included the Arkansas, Carib, Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, Delaware, Iroquois (Five/Six Nations: Cayuga, Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Seneca, and Tuscarora), Kaskaskia, Kickapoo, Miami, Mingo, Ojibwa (Chippewa), Ottawa, Potawatomi, Shawnee, and Wyandots. For a comprehensive list of Native American materials search the Subject Index.

Topics of Note:
  • Congress at Niagara resulting in a treaty with Western Indians (1764)
  • Conflicts and treaties with Chief Pontiac, including Pontiac's Rebellion (1763-1769)
  • Negotiations at Fort Pitt and the Congress of Fort Chartres with the Shawnees, Delaware, Huron, and Six Nations of the Iroquois (1766)
  • Unsuccessful efforts by the British government to remove colonial settlers from the Redstone Creek and Cheat River region near Fort Pitt (1767)
  • Congress of Fort Stanwix (1768)
  • The First Carib war on St. Vincent's Island (1772)

Merchants, Contractors, and Civilians. Also important are communications with merchants and contractors. Gage relied heavily on private contractors to provision the army and to build and maintain the military's forts and ships. Additionally, Gage received letters from colonial citizens, usually concerning business matters or legal proceedings. Prominent citizens, merchants and shipping companies included George Allsopp; Baynton, Wharton, & Morgan; David Chamier; Delancy and Watts; Volkert Van Dow; Franks, Inglis, & Barclay; John Hancock, Thomas Hancock, Plumstead and Franks; Philip Schuyler, Edward Shippen, George Townshend, and Nathaniel Wheelwright. Of note is an extended legal battle over the assault of merchant Thomas Walker by citizens of Montréal (1766-1767).

The Indian Congresses and Treaties subseries (15 items) contains reports, proceedings, treaties, negotiations, and memorials related to Indian Affairs in the Southern District and on the Illinois frontier. The bulk of the treaties and Indian-related documents are ordered throughout the American Series. See the Subject Index for an itemized list of this subseries.

The Journals and Reports subseries (24 items) is a collection of volumes and documents concerning the administration of the British Army in America. Several items describe the condition of forts and waterways on the southern and western frontiers, while others are expense and provision reports. Of note are John Wilkins' "Journal of Transactions and Presents Given to Indians from 23 December 1768 to 1772," and a "Journal of Events at Fort Edward Augustus," which describes abandoning the fort during Pontiac's rebellion. See the Subject Index for an itemized list of this subseries.

The Proclamations and Documents subseries (39 items) has official proclamations, memorials, articles from treaties, extracts from parliamentary acts, official court depositions, and various financial and legal certifications. Many of the items in this series are undated. See the Subject Index for an itemized list of this subseries.

The Broadsides subseries (14 items) contains many of the collection's printed broadsides. Half of the items are related to revolutionary activities in Boston, including a broadside that recounts the Battle of Bunker Hill (June 26, 1775). See the Subject Index for an itemized list of this subseries.

The Newspapers and Clippings subseries (12 items) is comprised of fragments of newspapers from Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina from 1773 and 1774. See the Subject Index for an itemized list of this subseries.

The Pay Lists of British Army Officers subseries (31 items) consists of officer pay lists spanning 1759-1775. The lists contain officer's names, regiments, ranks, days served, and amounts owed for the pay period.

The Letter Books and Account Books Series (17 items) contains four of Gage's official letter books from 1759 to 1763, 12 account books from 1763-1773, and a list of bills spanning 1769-1773.

The letter books contain copies of official communications from Gage to other military outposts in North America and to officials in London. These volumes hold only outgoing letters. The first volume covers "Winter Quarters" in Albany, from January 20 to April 27, 1759 (69 pages), and from December 14, 1759 to May 5, 1761 (119 pages). The second volume concerns Gage's time at Fort Oswego from August 19 to November 20, 1759 (78 pages). The third and fourth letter books contain letters from his time as military governor of Montréal, and consist largely of letters written to other northern military forts and to Commander-in-Chief Jeffrey Amherst. The third volume spans August 21, 1761-December 23, 1762 (92 pages), and the fourth January 15-October 24, 1763 (61 pages).

The Account Books group consists of 12 account books documenting expenses for Transport Services, Incidental Expenses, Secretary's Office, Engineers Department, Naval Department on the Lakes, Indian Department Southern District, Indian Department Northern District, Quartermaster General's Department Albany and New York, Commissary General's Department, Deputy Paymaster General, Crown Account, Warrants, Cash and Contra, Commission of the Treasury, Secretary of War, and Contingent and Extraordinary Expenses from forts throughout North America.

Account Books:
  • Account Book 1 (14 pages) 1763-1766
  • Account Book 2 (31 pages) 1763-1766
  • Account Book 3 (21 pages) 1763-1769
  • Account Book 4 (33 pages) 1765-1766
  • Account Book 5 (24 pages) 1765-1768
  • Account Book 6 (12 pages) 1766-1767
  • Account Book 7 (36 pages) 1766-1769
  • Account Book 8 (42 pages) 1767-1770
  • Account Book 9 (28 pages) 1770-1773
  • Account Book 10 (43 pages) 1770-1773
  • Account Book 11 (39 pages) 1767-1773
  • Account Book 12 (39 pages) 1767-1773

This series also contains a loose list of bills "Drawn by General Gates" on behalf of the officers under him in North America (1769-1773). The categories are "By Whom Drawn," Number of Bills, In Whose Favor, Sums Drawn for (New York Currency), Dates of Acceptance, and Sums Paid.

The Thomas Gage Warrants Series (10 linear feet), a collection of additional administrative and financial records spanning 1763 to 1775, are described in a separate finding aid entitled Thomas Gage warrants. The warrants document payment of the army's departmental salaries and expenses, and represent a large source of information relating to hospitals, victualling, frontier expeditions, the building and repair of fortifications and barracks, transportation of troops and stores, wages for civilian workers, and disbursements to the Indians.

The Maps Series (87 manuscript maps) includes maps on the exploration, settlement, and fortification of the interior of British North America before the Revolution. They cover the years from 1755 to 1775 and were created for the British authorities. The maps portray rivers, lakes, and waterways throughout the continent, the coastlines and ports along the Atlantic, fortifications, and roads and routes between forts and cities. Of note are 12 maps of the Southern District and of the Mississippi River, created by Captain Philip Pittman. These maps are located in the Clements Library's Map Division - search the University of Michigan catalog for "Gage Maps."

In addition to this finding aid, the Clements Library has created three other research aids:
  • The Correspondence Inventory lists the bulk of the collection's contributors and inventories each item sent or received from them to Gage.
  • The Subject Index provides access to events, people, places, and topics discussed in the collection. The index also contains a list of contributors, a list of the collection's maps, and an itemized list of volumes 137-139 of the American series.
  • The Volume Descriptions provide brief overviews of the content of each volume in the collection.

Thomas Rutland letterbook, 1787-1789

139 pages

The Thomas Rutland letterbook consists of retained copies of Annapolis, Maryland merchant Thomas Rutland's outgoing correspondence.

The Rutland letterbook consists of retained copies of Thomas Rutland's outgoing correspondence between May 10, 1787 and August 28, 1789. Although the letters are usually brief and "routine," they form an important resource for the study of the commercial activities and attitudes of a substantial Annapolis merchant.

A major theme that emerges in Rutland's correspondence is the extremely contentious nature of his relationships with creditor, debtor, and neighbor alike, particularly with James Williams, Charles Ridgely, and Charles Carroll of Carollton. The letters provide relatively little detail on Rutland's mercantile activities, either in scope or in terms of goods traded, but they do create an impression of the tenuous financial foundation, built on a bedrock of indebtedness, that underlay his mercantile empire. Though Rutland held considerable interests in land and slaves, the letterbook documents the time and energy that he necessarily devoted to fending off creditors, as well as the extensive efforts he made to collect from his many debtors.


Thomas Shadwell letter book, 1773-1778

1 volume

The Thomas Shadwell letter book contains Shadwell's letters to John Marsh, which include court gossip from Madrid, references to the American Revolutionary War, and discussion of political matters.

The Thomas Shadwell letter book consists of 90 correspondence items bound into a single volume. Shadwell wrote the letters to his friend, John Marsh, consul at Málaga, Spain, who collected them, bound them together, and wrote an introduction to them with a short note on Shadwell's background, dated March 25, 1791.

The letters span October 4, 1773-March 6, 1778, the period during which Shadwell worked as the private secretary to Baron Grantham, who was the British ambassador to Spain. Written from Madrid and from various localities nearby, including Arajuez, San Ildefonso, and San Lorenzo de El Escorial, they primarily relate to issues and happenings about British foreign policy, including the American Revolutionary War, the Spanish-Portuguese War of 1776-1777, the Russo-Turkish War of 1768-1774, Spanish-British relations, and Madrid's court gossip and social news.

Shadwell had particular interest in the Russo-Turkish War, and had lived in Turkey for some period of time prior to his arrival in Spain. He admired what he considered the "Purity of Morals & Simplicity of Manners amongst the Turks," and praised them for their lack of "wine and gaming." During his time in Turkey, he had met the eccentric scholar, Edward Wortley Montagu, whom he described as "an ingenious and a learned Man, but whose Moral Character I am afraid, is not without Stains of the deepest Dye" (April 5, 1774). In a number of letters, he commented on the progress of the war, and noted its conclusion in a letter of August 23, 1774.

Shadwell also commented frequently on Spain, its leaders, and its conflicts abroad. On April 11, 1775, he wrote about the birth of the future Queen consort of Portugal, Carlota, daughter of King Charles IV of Spain. He also made frequent references to General Alejandro O'Reilly, who had served as Governor of Louisiana in 1769, noting his activities, which included an expedition to attack Algiers, and relationships with other important Spanish figures. In several letters, he also tracked the events of the Spanish-Portuguese War of 1776-1777 as it progressed in South America, and on June 28, 1776, noted that "The Conduct of the Prime Minister at Lisbon has long been truely [sic] unaccountable." Shadwell also referred repeatedly to conflicts between the Spanish and the "Moors"; he predicted that the fort at Ceuta in Northern Africa would not be captured (October 31, 1774) and described Spanish distrust at Moorish efforts toward peace (April 11, 1775).

Shadwell closely followed the disintegrating relations between the British and the colonists in North America, first with a comment on the Quebec Act of 1774 and its protection of Catholicism in Canada, and later with contempt for the American patriots and their cause. On January 13, 1775, describing a proposal by the farmers of Virginia, he wrote, "The most laughable Resolution is that of the Virginians, not to plant Tobacco for our Use, for it will grow very well in England, and the planting of it there is prohibited solely in favor of them." On April 29, 1777, he expressed his hope that the Americans would "become thoroughly sensible of the nonexistence of their supposed Grievances" and predicted that the war would end within the year.

The volume closes with Shadwell's ongoing discussion of the failures at Saratoga, and he hopes that the British government will not be "intimidate[d]" by the capture of 4000 prisoners (January 13, 1778). He also mentioned that he planned to return to England to see his father (March 13, 1778).


Thomas Thaxter letter book, 1810-1813

1 volume

This letter book contains copies of Boston merchant Thomas Thaxter's outgoing business correspondence from November 1810-January 1813, along with a few newspaper clippings. Thaxter discussed shipments of foodstuffs, dry goods, and other products between North American and European ports.

This letter book (243 pages) contains copies of around 350 outgoing business letters by Boston merchant Thomas Thaxter, dated November 16, 1810-January 15, 1813. The letters are addressed to numerous merchants, firms, and ship captains, and pertain to Thaxter's shipping interests in the United States and abroad. He occasionally mentioned doing business with firms in various parts of the United States and in countries such as Norway and Sweden. He often wrote the names of the merchant ships. Some of the letters contain brief invoices or similar financial statements, and many concern Thaxter's efforts to purchase or sell goods such as rice, spices, cotton, fabric, and animal skins. In at least two letters, Thaxter commented directly on the country's "unqualified" declaration of war against Great Britain (July 8, 1812, pp. 189, 191). Newspaper clippings, mostly of poems, obscure the first 3 pages of letters.


US Frigate Potomac collection, 1844-1847 (majority within 1844-1845)

2 volumes

The US Frigate Potomac collection is made up of a letter book and logbook concerning the ship's service along the Atlantic coast, in the Gulf of Mexico, and in the Caribbean in the mid-1840s. The letter book contains correspondence between Captain John Gwinn and various navy officials from 1844-1847, and the log chronicles daily incidents onboard the Potomac from 1844-1845.

The US Frigate Potomac collection is made up of a letter book and log book concerning the ship's service along the Atlantic coast, in the Gulf of Mexico, and in the Caribbean in the mid-1840s.

The Letter Book contains 107 pages of copied outgoing letters that John Gwinn wrote to various United States Navy personnel, such as Secretaries of the Navy John Y. Mason and George Bancroft, from October 11, 1844-December 29, 1847 (primarily in 1844 and 1845). The first letter is a copy of the Navy Department's official order for Gwinn to assume command of the Potomac, and the remaining letters pertain to the ship's service along the Atlantic coast, in the Gulf of Mexico, and in the Caribbean. Gwinn discussed the ship's movements, personnel, and maintenance. Many letters concern a leak sustained by the Potomac and its repair, and another group of letters addresses Gwinn's concern about possible cases of yellow fever on another ship. Gwinn wrote far less frequently after the Potomac's arrival at the Gosport Shipyard in December 1846, and his later correspondence includes a lengthy letter from Philadelphia with his opinions regarding possible improvements to the Pensacola Navy Yard (February 2, 1846). A letter by Gwinn dated July 3, 1847, is laid into the volume's back pages, alongside a transcription written directly into the book.

The Potomac's Journal (198 pages) is a log of the ship's movements and incidents onboard, with daily entries covering October 16, 1844-December 17, 1845. Entries written while the Potomac was at sea include charts with hourly records of the ship's course and wind direction, and every entry has prose remarks, often concerning weather conditions. The remarks also address issues such as activities at various ports, encounters with other ships, rations and cargo, and crew discipline and deaths. This log was compiled while the Potomac visited ports such as Norfolk, Pensacola, Port Royal, Port-au-Prince, Havana, and Veracruz. The final entry was written as the ship entered dry dock at the Gosport Shipyard. Two sheets of blotting paper are laid into the volume.


Walter Gibbs Beal letter book, 1877-1879

500 pages (1 volume)

This volume contains around 300 letterpress business letters from commission merchant W. G. Beal in Caibarién, Cuba, to recipients in Cuba, France, Spain, Boston, and London respecting administration of nearby sugar plantations Floridanos and Prudencia from December 10, 1877, to February 3, 1879. Working on behalf of Benjamin Burgess & Sons of Boston, Beal's letters provide detailed, day-to-day documentation of mechanical aspects of growing sugar cane, processing it, storing it, transporting it, securing buyers, shipping it, and financing the efforts. Beal also wrote about slavery, contract labor, other labor issues, impending emancipation, the final days and conclusion of the Ten Years' War, and the beginnings of the Little War.

The Walter Gibbs Beal Letter Book contains around 300 business letters from commission merchant W. G. Beal in Caibarién, Cuba, to recipients in Cuba, France, Spain, Boston, and London respecting administration of nearby sugar plantations Floridanos and Prudencia from December 10, 1877, to February 3, 1879. Working on behalf of Benjamin Burgess & Sons of Boston, Beal's letters provide detailed, day-to-day documentation of mechanical aspects of growing sugar cane, processing it, storing it, transporting it, securing buyers, shipping it, and financing of the efforts. Beal also wrote about slavery, contract labor, other labor issues, impending emancipation, the final days and conclusion of the Ten Years' War, and the beginnings of the Little War.

Sugar Plantation Oversight

Walter Beal's letters primarily take the form of reports to his employers, his uncle Nathan Bourne Gibbs (a retired merchant who had been a part of Burgess & Sons until 1876), and Santiago Innerarity of "Hendaya" [Hendaye, on the Franco-Spanish border]. The volume also includes correspondence with contractors, financial factors, nearby plantation owners, and the overseers of Floridanos and Prudencia. Beal visited both plantations regularly to assess the status of planting and harvesting, the volumes of "1st" sugar, "2nd" sugar, melado (sugar/molasses), and molasses produced, and the mood and disposition of the work force. With fine detail, he wrote about securing plantation machinery, planting and harvesting sugar cane, moving the cane on the plantation, grinding the cane, manufacturing molasses, transporting the products by cart and railroad, arranging for storage and insurance, securing contracts for the sale of the goods, chartering vessels for export, and handling any post-sale issues. The harvesting season of 1878-1879 was particularly poor because of unrelenting rain and thunderstorms that prevented the use of roads to cart cane or products on account of mud. The weather placed the plantation at a standstill.

Enslaved and Contract Labor

Beal's letters provide regular information about the plantations' enslaved laborers, who he frequently referred to as "the people." More detailed accounts include costs for the purchase and hire of enslaved persons, including an instance where he arranged for the purchase of a man, woman, and two free children, Nicolas and José (Beal to Dodge, February 6, 1878). As harvesting season ended, more and more laborers took ill with fever and were exhausted to the point of needing to rest. While peace negotiations were underway in 1878, the subject of slavery became more prevalent. Enslaved persons who had fought in the Ten Years' War for the Spanish were granted their freedom while Beal (and other planters) became very concerned about their own enslaved work forces. Fearing that they would refuse to work or plan to emancipate themselves, Beal made efforts to pacify them with additional gifts--while also securing additional guards. Rumors spread that the enslaved laborers believed slavery would be abolished on January 1, 1879, and the Governor installed 100 men on an adjoining estate for even more security. Matters became more complicated when a nearby planter named Carbo arranged for the freedom of his 68 slaves. Carbo agreed to furnish these persons with agricultural implements and oxen--and then purchase the cane from them in the crop season. For this, Beal and other planters censured him, believing that this action would set in motion a wave of enslaved persons refusing to work.

Following the Ten Years' War, labor shortages increased and Beal wrote about attempts to hire Spaniards from the Canary Islands, but found them to be good at all work excepting fieldwork (see Beal to Gibbs, April 8, 1878, for example). He also wrote about difficulties hiring Chinese laborers on contract because of the poor treatment they received by plantation overseers in the 1860s. By the fall of 1878, a company out of Havana began importing Chinese labor and Beal estimated that his force would include 24 Chinese laborers and 56 hired hands for Prudencia, and 31 Chinese laborers and 15 hired hands for Floridanos.

The Ten Years' War, etc.

Early in the volume, W. G. Beal kept an eye on developments in the "Eastern Section" as General Martínez y Campos made efforts to round up surrendering revolutionaries, but regularly reported that matters remained calm in the country. In February 1878, however, a group of unidentified persons injured (hamstrung) or killed 80 oxen on Floridanos, prompting Beal to make inquiries for assistance in identifying the perpetrators and replacing the dead oxen. In March, after Major-General Carlos Roloff capitulated, Beal had the opportunity to interview him at Caibarién and discovered who had led the attacks on the oxen. Beal kept track of which revolutionary leaders had surrendered, General Campos' progress, and developments related to the peace negotiation process and its aftermath. Once the Pact of Zanjón was signed, he wrote about militants in the woods, still refusing to surrender, and especially about José Antonio de la Caridad Maceo, who would not accept the terms of the pact and maintained a force of men. Other revolutionaries mentioned include the Brothers Arcos, Miguel Ramos, Máximo Gómez, Francisco Carillo, and Francisco Jimenez.


Whittemore-Low family papers, 1729-1955 (majority within 1840-1939)

7.5 linear feet

The papers of the Whittemore, Low, Peck, Parmelee, and Bonticou, families, primarily of Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. The collection concerns the families' military service, genealogy, travel, and social activities.

The Correspondence series contains approximately 1.5 linear feet of letters, spanning 1776-1939, with the bulk concentrated around 1840-1939. It documents many branches of the family.

William Whittemore (b. 1761) of Boston, Massachusetts, wrote several of the earliest letters to his brother Amos in London, England, in the late 1790s. These letters primarily pertain to their business producing wool and cotton cards, and address such topics as business difficulties and market conditions in Massachusetts. Other items mention family matters and news, such as the death of their father, Thomas Whittemore (October 10, 1799). Also present are several letters concerning the Hubbard family of New Haven, Connecticut. In a letter to his parents, Thomas Hubbard shared his impressions of Georgetown, South Carolina, which he called a "wicked part" of the world (December 9, 1798). He described his living situation in a "bachelor hall," and referenced his wish to "make a fortune" in the South.

In the late 1830s, the focus of the correspondence series shifts to William Whittemore Low (1823-1877), the grandson of William Whittemore. The series, which includes both incoming and outgoing letters, documents many aspects of Low's career with the navy. In several early letters, his relatives strongly discouraged him from enlisting: His mother requested that he remain near her (August 9, 1839), and his grandfather wrote, "You will rue the day, should you enter either the Navy or Merchant Service," recommending instead that he become a shopkeeper or lawyer (December 1, 1839). Accompanying these are several recommendations from friends of Low's character and fitness for service. For the period of the 1840s and 1850s, many of the items are orders transferring Low between ships or addressing the logistics of his service. Included is a response to Low's request for detachment from the schooner Graham, signed by Jefferson Davis in his role as U.S. Secretary of War (June 8, 1853).

Of particular interest are the letters that Low wrote during his Civil War service as commander of the gunboat Octorara from September 1863 to the end of the war. They include a large number of long letters home, some giving excellent descriptions of Low's activities in the West Gulf Blockading Squadron. In a letter dated October 30, 1863, written to his brother Henry, Low anticipated his duties at Mobile but worried, "I am very much afraid that we shall break down before operations commence." In a letter to his father several days later, he gave a good description of the features of the Octorara and noted the repairs made on it (November 11, 1863).

A few letters during the Civil War period describe engagements and dangers faced onboard the Octorara. These include an account of an engagement on Mobile Bay on the morning of August 5, 1864, in which the Octorara fired on a Confederate ship "at anchor on the West side of the Bay in 2 fathoms water" (August 29, 1864). In an additional letter, Low described an incident in which he and his men mistook a ship for the CSS Nashville but quickly realized their error (September 14, 1864). Incoming letters to Low also shed light on the naval threat of the Confederacy. They include a copy of a letter by Edward La Croix, warning that a torpedo boat "propelled by a small engine" had just been built by Confederates at Selma, Alabama (November 20, 1864), and two letters by naval officer Edward Simpson, conveying intelligence concerning the blockade runner Heroine (March 23, 1865) and discussing the aftermath of the torpedoing of the USS Osage (March 29, 1865). In the latter, Simpson wrote, "I feel deeply for those poor fellows from the Osage and had already resolved on appropriating…one of the tin clads for hospital purposes." He also expressed hope that surgeons could transport the injured without inflicting further harm on them.

Also included are several letters to Low from inhabitants of Alabama, which include:
  • A letter from James M. Dabney, in which he explained, "I am the owner of the Plantation nearest your present anchorage," and inquired whether he and his neighbors could return to their "homes & families, unmolested." (April 17, 1865)
  • A letter from Ben Lane Posey, captain in the 38th Alabama Regiment, in which he admitted to being a Confederate States Army officer, but claimed, "I have had no connection with the army since Oct 6 1864." He also offered to surrender and requested to be returned to Mobile (April 20, 1864).
  • A letter from J.B. Mendenhall of Buford's Landing, Alabama, which notes that a neighboring woman, "Mrs. Cleland," wishes to take an oath of allegiance to the United States. The letter also describes the response of slaves to the end of the war: "Her negroes have become defiant insulting, and she thinks dangerous….It is believed by some of the neighbours that their intention is to rob and plunder us perhaps murder before they leave. I know that mine are preparing to leave & wish they were gone." Mendenhall also expressed worry that his slaves would bring their friends and return to plunder his plantation (April 20, 1865).

A few letters also discuss the logistics of administering oaths of allegiance to southerners.

Also addressed in Low's Civil War correspondence are fairly routine matters, such as leaves of absences (July 2, 1864), complaints about the system of promotions (July 30, 1864), and a letter relating to the court martial of John Kennedy of the USS Oneida, who was found guilty of treating a superior officer with contempt (June 16, 1864). The series also includes official navy correspondence. Circular letters and orders address such topics as the use of alcohol onboard ships (September 16, 1862), appropriate actions in neutral waters (June 20, 1863), and the retrieval of supplies from Key West, Florida (September 11, 1863). Letters concerning Low's postwar career are much scarcer, but of particular interest is an 11-page description by Fred Patter of the capture of the pirate ship Forward (June 19, 1870).

From the 1870s on, the focus of the collection shifts to William W. Low's daughter, Grace Bonticou Low, and several other family members. Incoming letters to Grace Low begin in 1873, and her uncle, Henry Whittemore Low, and mother, Evelina P. Low, wrote much of the earliest correspondence of this period. Grace’s outgoing correspondence began in 1880 with letters to her family in New Haven about her time in Washington, D.C., where she attended a co-educational school and participated in ice skating, a tour and reception at the White House (Jan. 4, 1881), a reception of the First Lady Lucy Webb Hayes (Jan. 15, 1881), and visits to the Smithsonian Institution. Among her female acquaintances was Frances ("Fanny") Hayes, the daughter of President and Mrs. Hayes. In the mid-1880s, Low attended school in Watervliet, New York, and wrote of her social life and classes there. Her outgoing correspondence ends in 1891. Approximately 100 letters to Grace Low from her brother, Theodore H. Low, date from the mid-1890s to 1939. These regard his time at various naval hospitals in South Carolina, Rhode Island, and Washington D.C. Grace also received around 20 letters from another brother, William Low (1912-1916). Also of interest are letters written to Henry Low, mostly by his nephews, William and Theodore Low. Their correspondence with him includes accounts of their service with the Marines during the Boxer rebellion, Philippine insurrection, and the invasion of several Caribbean countries in 1907-1908. Theodore's later letters provide details of his work as an inventor, including applying for and receiving a patent for a bottle opener.

Several additional sets of letters provide insights into various female members of the Whittemore, Low, and Parmelee families. Geraldine Whittemore Low wrote a handful of letters to her uncle, Henry W. Low, from New Haven about her recreational activities and social gatherings with friends during the 1880s. They concern Valentine’s Day, her whist club, weddings, balls, and other social events. A set of 30 letters from Julie Parmelee Marston and Mary Parmelee Low, the widow of William Whittemore Low, Jr., to their cousin, Mary E. Redfield in New Haven, relate to their trip to Switzerland between September 1923 and August, 1926. They traveled on the American Line, SS Mongolia, and after their arrival, explored Switzerland, France, and Italy. Both Mary and Julie described their surroundings, cultural events they attended, and the people that they met in Europe. Mary also wrote about her two children, Charlotte and Billy; the expenses of the trip; and several aspects of the children’s education while in Switzerland.

The Letter Books series contains four letter books by William Whittemore Low, Sr., between 1840 and 1875, and two kept by Elisha Peck, 1843-1863. The earliest William W. Low letter book spans July 25, 1840-March 19, 1867 and contains 415 letters in its 466 pages. It comprises copies and originals of both incoming and outgoing letters that document much of Low's naval career. Early letters shed light on Low's time onboard the Missouri and the Saratoga and his education at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. Many pertain to transfers, ship inventories, orders, and the enlistment of crews. Of particular interest are letters from the period of Low's service with the Union Navy during the Civil War onboard the St. Louis, Constellation, andOctorara. Both official and personal in nature, they shed light on naval policies, personnel, and Low's wartime experiences.

For example:
  • A navy circular signed by Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles concerning the blockade and capture of Confederate vessels (August 18, 1862)
  • A printed note containing intelligence that "the Oreto Gunboat is intended for the Southern Confederacy" (February 27, 1862)
  • Low's orders to proceed to New Orleans and join the Octorara (September 22, 1863)
  • A substantial amount of correspondence related to the Battle of Mobile Bay in early August 1864
  • Numerous manuscript orders by Admiral Henry K. Thatcher tipped into the volume. They include one from March 31, 1865: "Open fire on the fort. Aim well to the left."

A significant part of the postwar correspondence relates to a bureaucratic error which resulted in the delay of a promotion for Low from the Board of Admirals. An index appears at the end of the volume.

The second William W. Low, Sr., letter book spans 1865-1875, and contains 212 pages of copied incoming and outgoing letters as well as copied passages from books concerning military science and ordnance, and copies of general orders. The materials pertain to the transportation of supplies, Low's knowledge of ordnance, a proposed article concerning Low for the Army & Navy Journal, Low's recommendations for various navy colleagues, and other subjects.

The third William W. Low, Sr., letter book spans 1870-1871, and consists of 335 letters within 263 pages. It comprises writer-retained copies of outgoing letters to correspondents in the U.S. Navy. Low wrote the letters while onboard the steam sloop-of-war USS Mohican. His primary correspondents were Rear Admiral John A. Winslow, S.W. Gordon, Rear Admiral Thomas Turner, Commodore William Rogers Taylor, and George M. Robeson. Topics of the correspondence include health and sanitation, supplies, the condition of the ship, the ventilation of the berth deck, and navy financial matters. Low also included in his letters summaries of courts martial for theft, intoxication, and the escape of prisoners, as well as information on casualties, training, and transfers. A series of significant letters in June 1870 record a conflict between San Salvador and Mexico, as well as the capture of the pirate ship Forward.

Also included is a volume of compiled circular letters from the U.S. Navy Department, 1870-1875. Likely kept by William W. Low, Sr., the item contains printed and manuscript letters concerning such topics as courts martial, recordkeeping, uniform regulations, and rank. The book also includes an index of topics in the front.

The first Elisha Peck letter book covers 1843-1863 and contains 30 letters by Peck, most of which he wrote to his wife Grace and children, Evelina ("Eva"), Henry, and Joanna ("Anna"). Peck wrote 11 of the letters while onboard the U.S. sloop of war Portsmouth from 1849-1851; during this time, Peck commanded the ship as part of an effort to stop the illicit slave trade from West Africa. In his letters home, he described terrain that he saw from the ship, expressed his sorrow over being separated from his family, and gave accounts of his experiences. On January 1, 1850, he wrote a letter from Cape Verde, noting that most American and British ships of war took "on board 20 or 30 African Negroes" to row in the "extreme heat of the African sun." He also gave details on the evasive movements of slave traders. In other letters, Low discussed Ghezo, the King of Dahomey and the kingdom's corps of female soldiers (April 20, 1850); the transportation of beeswax and ivory to the coast of present-day Angola (September 1, 1850); and drinking 100-year old wine on Christmas Day (January 2, 1851). Peck wrote most of the remainder of the letters while onboard the Carolina off the Brooklyn Navy Yard, discussing naval happenings and social visits and expressing affection for his children.

The second Elisha Peck letter book contains writer-retained copies of official naval correspondence written by Peck to various correspondents. The volume spans June 12, 1849-September 1, 1851, and covers the period of Peck's service with the Portsmouth. Letters concern personnel matters, the compiling of returns, disciplinary matters, and other topics. Major recipients include Francis Gregory, William B. Preston, William Craig, and William A. Graham.

Note: Two additional letter books by Thomas J. Whittemore are located in the Genealogy series because they contain correspondence related only to family research.

The Reminiscences, Essays, and Miscellaneous Writings series contains various materials written by members of the Whittemore-Low family, including poems; accounts of the military service of William W. Low, Sr., and Theodore Low; short fiction; religious writings; and fragments. Much of the writing is undated and unsigned, but several pieces concerning military duties in China and at the U.S. Naval Academy are attributed to Theodore Low.

The Diaries, Commonplace Books, and Logbook series contains 12 volumes kept by various family members between 1820 and 1886. The series consists of two volumes by Grace Bonticou Peck (1820 and 1827), two by William W. Low, Sr. (1844-1845 and [1848-1849]), one by Evelina Peck (1852-1853), one by Henry S. Parmelee (1865), one by Grace B. Low (1886), and five unattributed volumes.

Grace B. Peck's two volumes contain poems and quotations selected for or dedicated to her by various friends. The entries address subjects such as religion, hope, death, friendship, love, solitude, and the qualities of women. Most of the entries are signed, although few are dated or indicate location. The books kept by William W. Low, Sr., include an early commonplace book and a logbook for the USS Mohican. The latter volume comprises daily entries recording weather, barometer readings, sails set, the use of steam power, and the ship's longitude and latitude. The entries also contain records of minor transgressions, desertions, courts martial, and punishments. Detailed descriptions of the geography of Mazatlan, Altata, Pichilingue Bay, and San Blas, Mexico, are present on pages 35-41. The logbook also records the arrivals and departures of foreign ships and shore parties, the receipt of food and supplies, and the transfer of sailors between ships and to hospitals. Of particular interest is the description of the Mohican's engagement with the pirate ship Forward on June 16-19, 1870 (pages 58-61). The Evelina Peck volume is an album of messages from various friends and acquaintances, including quotations and several original poems. Most of the entries are reminiscences about friendship or expressions of sorrow over an imminent departure. The majority of entries are signed and dated; many mark "New Haven" as their location. The last entry is an ink drawing of a harp and pipe with no date or signature. The entries are in no particular order. Henry S. Parmelee's diary records very brief entries for eight days of Civil War service with the 1st Connecticut Cavalry Regiment in March and April 1865. Grace Bonticou Low’s diary dates from January to June 1886, and describes her life as a 21-year old woman staying with her aunt Anna and uncle James in Washington, D.C. Her entries reflect almost entirely on social events, dances, masquerades, visits, theater performances, and church attendance. She often wrote of particular female friends and of the military men she encountered in Washington.

The Documents and Receipts series contains several subseries based on the original bundles in which the family papers arrived. The subseries are as follows: Elisha Peck Bundle, which spans 1831-1875; Bonticou Bundle (1778-1837); Low Bundle (1895; undated); Washington, D.C. Property Bundle (1880-1883); Property and Pension Bundle (1880-1909); Theodore Low Naval Bundle (1906-1907); Other Documents and Receipts (1729-19[02?]). The bundles contain a wide variety of document types, including military and legal documents, wills, land indentures, pension papers, receipts, and petitions. These shed light on the careers, finances, and transactions of many members of the Whittemore-Low family.

The Graphics series contains 10 photograph albums, 2 scrapbooks, and approximately 100 cased and paper photographs, totaling approximately 1000 photographs of various kinds. The albums and scrapbooks date from the late-19th and early-20th centuries.

Short descriptions of them follow:
  • Asian Travel photograph album, 1875-1877: The album contains albumen print views and portraits from Aden; Nagasaki, Kyoto and Hakodate, Japan; and Singapore. In addition to images of ports and group portraits of Japanese women, the album has several early photographs of the Ainu that offer an impression of their mode of dress and style of living. The series of photographs taken in Singapore show native theatre and homes, as well as a Hindu temple and a European style church under construction (in the background of one image). The album also includes a portrait of the King of Siam (Chulalongkorn or Rama V).
  • Friendship album, 1879-1883: The album contains signatures, quotations, and eight chromolithographs of floral images. The creator of the album is unknown.
  • Parmelee family album, ca. 1890: The album contains 137 silver gelatin photoprints showing the Parmelee family yachting, relaxing on the beach, and socializing at home.
  • Henry S. Parmelee family Newport and Yale photograph album, 1901: The album contains gelatin silver prints of the Parmelee family and friends in a series of outdoor activities throughout southern New England. A series of photographs taken in the harbor of Newport, Rhode Island, features the yacht Speranza with women, children, and a dog among its passengers, as well as a number of candid portraits of a swimming party in Newport. Photographs taken in New Haven show an outing to the New Haven Country Club, as well as an image of decorations for the Yale Bicentennial. Also present are some faint but interesting images of tobogganing.
  • Parmelee family Schooner Alert and Nassau photograph album, 1902: This album, which contains 92 gelatin silver prints, documents the Parmelee family vacationing and yachting in the Bahamas. The images are a combination of professional souvenir and amateur candid photographs. Many photographs show Nassau's Colonial Hotel: its exterior, interiors, tennis courts, and swimming pool. Other images from Nassau show natives near their homes, at market, and diving. Several photographs feature varied foliage, such as palms, banana plants, ciba trees, and cacti. Nearly half of the album focuses on Henry S. Parmelee's Schooner Alert, including numerous group photographs of the men and women on board, as well as several images of people reading and resting on deck.
  • Julie F. Parmelee obituary scrapbook, 1902: The scrapbook contains newspaper clippings and articles on the death of Henry S. Parmelee and his wife, Mary F. Parmelee. Also included is a clipping on the death of William Whittemore, Jr., and an article on the reception hosted by the Parmelee family. The compiler of the scrapbook is Julie F. Parmelee, daughter of Henry and Mary Parmelee.
  • William W. Low, Jr., Puerto Rico and Hawaii photograph album, ca. 1901-1902: The album contains photographs of Hawaii and of Puerto Rico after the Spanish-American War. Images depict navy officers as well as navy vessels, including the Arethusa. Several photographs document bridge-building and the Puerto Rican countryside. Also included are a fine early view of Honolulu, an image of a polo game, and portraits of an Asian child and an Asian woman.
  • William W. Low, Jr., Puerto Rico photograph album, ca. 1902: The album contains 28 silver developing-out prints of Puerto Rico after the Spanish-American War. Several images show men in military uniform (mostly American army and navy, but also some Spanish or local militia). Additional images feature groups of American men and women and local women and children, along with several views of architecture.
  • [William W. Low, Jr.] Travel photograph album, 1897-1909: The album contains 121 silver gelatin photoprints of Connecticut, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico. It includes a series of images of navy officers and vessels such as the New York and Columbia, as well as numerous images of family and friends aboard a sailboat. Also present are a handful of photographs of East Rock Park in New Haven, Connecticut, in the winter.
  • [William W. Low, Jr.] Puerto Rico, U.S., and Hawaii photograph album, 1911: The album contains 268 silver gelatin photoprints of locations in Puerto Rico, Hawaii, Connecticut, and South Carolina. Images of Puerto Rico include various buildings, dwellings, harbors, a naval station, and views of the countryside. In addition are images of street scenes with Puerto Ricans, many of them children. Several photographs of the Lows on vacation in Charleston, South Carolina, are also present, as are several images of the Low home in Connecticut.
  • Charlotte Low Baby photograph album, 1910-1922: The album contains 94 albumen prints and silver gelatin photoprints of Charlotte Low as an infant and young child. It includes numerous portraits of Charlotte posed with toys, other children, and family members.
  • Charlotte Low photograph album, 1921-1922: The album contains 110 silver gelatin photoprints of Charlotte Low and friends at home in New Haven, Connecticut, and at Camp Broadview for girls. It includes amateur portraits as well as photographs depicting girls engaged in swimming, canoeing, and hiking. Also present are several photographs of family pets and of Charlotte Low riding a bicycle.

The individual photographs date from the 1840s to the 1890s and depict members of the Low, Whittemore, and Parmelee families, in groups and individually. Subjects of portraits include Theodore Low, Geraldine Low, Henry Wentworth Low, Evelina (Peck) Low, William W. Low, Sr., Mary Frances Parmelee, Eliza Parmelee, Lewis C. Parmelee, Henry Parmelee, Elizabeth Parmelee, Fanny Whittemore, Anna Whittemore, and James M. Whittemore. A wide array of formats, such as daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, crystoleums, and cabinet cards, are present.

The Ephemera and Realia series contains a variety of items, including invitations, calling cards, fliers, locks of hair from various family members, cloth, and the artificial orange blossoms used to decorate Evelina Peck Low's wedding dress. The items mainly date to the mid- to-late-19th century.

The Genealogical Materials series contains approximately two linear feet of materials related to the history of the Whittemore-Low family. Items pertain to various lines of the family, including the Whittemores, Lows, Pecks, Bonticous, and Parmelees. Included are newspaper clippings, pamphlets, manuscript records of birth and death dates for various family members, and miscellaneous material giving biographical information. Also present are two letterbooks kept by Thomas J. Whittemore on genealogical matters and inquiries.

The Miscellaneous series contains a few scattered notes and envelopes from the late-19th and early 20th-centuries.


William and Ann Story letter book, 1840-1842

1 volume

This volume is comprised of retained copies of letters that William and Ann Story of Wigton, England, wrote to their son Daniel after his immigration to North America in the early 1840s. The couple described political and economic conditions in England and discussed their preparations for joining Daniel in North America.

This vellum-bound volume is comprised of 24 pages of retained copies of letters that William and Ann Story of Wigton, England, wrote to their son Daniel between June 23, 1840, and March 17, 1842, after Daniel's immigration to North America. They described political and economic conditions in England and discussed their preparations for joining Daniel in North America.

Daniel Story arrived in Liverpool before June 1840 and sailed for North America on July 13, 1840, accompanied by a friend or relative named Thomas. William and Ann Story responded to news of Daniel's journey and to his thoughts about their potential emigration. They provided updates about acquaintances and family members in England, including Daniel's sisters, and frequently discussed political and economic issues, the Chartist movement, and political figures such as Daniel O'Connell and Feargus O'Connor. Some letters include information on recent trials and elections, and on local food prices. In later letters, the couple described their preparations for a move to North America and the difficulty they had recovering money from various debtors. Though Daniel offered to visit England to assist, his parents dismissed the idea as too dangerous and recounted stories of recent shipwrecks.

Following the family letters, Jane Story copied a 1-page article about a prophet in France who supposedly predicted Great Britain's destruction by war in 1842. The article originally appeared in a German-language newspaper. The volume is bound in vellum.


William B. Franklin letter book, 1857-1859

1 volume

The William B. Franklin letter book is made up of approximately 500 copies of letters that Franklin wrote between 1857 and 1859. Many of the letters relate to Franklin's position as Secretary of the Lighthouse Board and concern the construction and maintenance of lighthouses.

The William B. Franklin letter book contains approximately 500 copies of letters that Franklin wrote while living in Washington, D.C., between November 21, 1857, and July 29, 1859. Several of the earliest letters concern his position as a superintending engineer for the construction of the customs house in Portland, Maine, including his approval for improvements, records of associated costs, and reports of payments he received from the Treasury Department. The majority of the letters pertain to Franklin's work as Army Secretary to the Lighthouse Board, discussing the establishment, protection, and maintenance of lighthouses, as well as related financial issues. Franklin often responded to inquiries about specific lighthouses and sometimes suggested improvements, occasionally accompanied by diagrams. He also discussed beacons, described the method of replacing lanterns (p. 269), and provided illustrated specifications for building a lantern room (pp. 491-494). The opening pages of the volume contain an index, in which Franklin noted the recipients and subjects of his letters.


William Ellery account and letter book, 1751-1773

1 volume

The William Ellery account and letter book contains financial records and correspondence by the signer of the Declaration of Independence, from his time as a merchant and lawyer in Newport, Rhode Island, between 1751 and 1773.

The William Ellery account and letter book contains financial records and correspondence by the signer of the Declaration of Independence, from his time as a merchant and lawyer in Newport, Rhode Island, between 1751 and 1773. Accounts cover a variety of goods, many originating from naval trade. Though most of the transactions are simple invoices or records of money owed, the book includes a "Wharfage Account" (January 1763-May 11, 1764) and an "Account of Ferryage" (May 9, 1763-March 27, 1764). Occasionally, Ellery mentioned specific vessels taking on or offloading goods, such as the entry entitled "Invoice of Merchandize Ship'd by Barnard's of Harrison on Board the Pitt[,] Pollipus Hammond Commr." (November 20, 1764). He also used this volume as an abbreviated letter book to retain copies of letters on legal and business matters, especially credit and debt. Ellery's most frequent correspondents were William Rodman of Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and William Redwood of Philadelphia, for whom he attempted to collect debts.

Three letters accompany the account and letter book:
  • 1779 September 28. Henry Laurens ALS to William Ellery; State House, Philadelphia. 2 pages. Respecting an election for “the Minister for treating with the Court of Great Britain” and the arrival of Count d’Estaing.
  • 1789 June 1. William Ellery ALS to Nathaniel Appleton; Newport, [Rhode Island]. 3 pages. Regarding Rhode Island’s relation to the Union.
  • 1805 January 2. William Ellery ALS to N. G. Duffield; Newport, Rhode Island. 2 pages. Concerning the sale of books ordered from Duffield and the settlement of accounts with him. He also offers his thoughts on learning languages, especially French.

William Henry Lyttelton papers, 1730-1806, 1755-1761

5 linear feet.

The William Henry Lyttelton papers document Lyttelton's career as governor of South Carolina and governor of Jamaica. These items primarily relate to colonial administration of South Carolina and Jamaica, and military engagements with Native Americans on the South Carolina frontier and against the French in the West Indies.

The William Henry Lyttelton papers (1217 items) document Lyttelton's service as governor of South Carolina and governor of Jamaica. The collection consists of 864 letters (including 26 letters from Lyttelton), 316 documents, 37 financial records, four letter books, and one personal account book. These items primarily relate to colonial administration of South Carolina and Jamaica, and military engagements with Native Americans on the frontier and against the French in the West Indies. Document types include intelligence reports, orders, treaties, drafts of acts, pardons, and speeches; financial documents consist of disbursements, payment and supply receipts, and government and military expenses.

The bulk of the collection documents Lyttelton's governorship in South Carolina. Lyttelton received communications and reports from officials in London, southern governors, the Superintendent for Indian Affairs in the Southern Colonies John Stuart, Indian Agent Edmond Atkin, military commanders, and members of the South Carolina Commons House of Assembly, the Council, and courts. Some of the most important items are 37 letters, reports, and enclosures from Agent Edmond Atkin on Indian relations, and 21 letters from Jeffery Amherst that describe his activities against the French at Fort Carillon (Ticonderoga) and Crown Point.

Topics of note include:
  • Construction of new forts and reports on the condition of forts and other defense efforts
  • Taxes, trade, tariffs, and embargoes concerning South Carolina
  • Relations and conflicts with various tribes, including the Catawba, Chautauqua, Cherokee, Chickasaw, Coweta, Creek, Shawnee, and Savannah tribes
  • The escalating Anglo-Cherokee war (Cherokee Rebellion) and French efforts to ally with the Cherokee during the French and Indian War
  • The postage system connecting the southern provinces
  • Smallpox and diseases among settlers, troops, and Native American populations
  • Intelligence on French military activities, including many intercepted French letters

In addition to communications between colonial officials regarding trade policies, peace treaties, boundary agreements, and military conflicts, the collection also contains letters and speeches from various Native American leaders including: Attakullakulla (Little Carpenter), Black Dog, King Hagler, Long Dog, Ohatchie [Wohatchee], Oconostota [Ouconnostotah], Old Hop, Standing Turkey, Tistoe of Keowee, Usteneka (Judge's friend), Willinawa, The Wolf, and Young Warrior of Estatoe. (See Additional Descriptive Data for a list of items written by Native Americans.)

Highlights of the South Carolina material include:
  • September 7, 1730: Copy of "Articles of Friendship & Commerce proposed by the Lords Commissioners for trade and plantations to the Deputies of the Cherokee Nation in South Carolina"
  • July 18, 1755-April 23, 1756: Jerome Courtonne's journal of his time with the Chickasaw Nation in Georgia
  • August 3-September 1755: Lyttelton's account of his capture by the French on his way to South Carolina, his imprisonment in France, and his return to England
  • July 5, 1756: Instructions to end communications with the French in South Carolina and to stop supplying them with provisions or arms
  • September 15, 1756: Conflicts between the Upper Creek and the colonial settlements at Ogeechee
  • November 8 and 12, 1756: Directions from William De Brahm to Raymond Demere concerning the operations of Fort Septentrional on the Tennessee River
  • [1756]: Daniel Pepper to Lyttelton with remarks on the Creek Nation
  • [1756]: "Short observations upon several points relative to the present constitution of the province of South Carolina"
  • March 4, 1757: Proposal to improve fortifications at Charleston and Fort Johnson
  • April 24, 1757: Minutes of a meeting of governors from Maryland, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Virginia concerning southern defenses
  • May 1757: Proposed Asylum Act for the settlement of Georgia
  • September 12, 1757: Letter from Thomas Wigg to Lyttelton concerning the construction of Fort Lyttelton
  • [1757]: Catawba leader King Hagler to Cherokee leader Old Hop concerning the Catawba joining the British against the French and their Indian allies
  • June 24, 1758: Intelligence from three French deserters from forts in French Louisiana
  • July 27, 1758: Copy of article of capitulation between Generals Amherst, Admiral Boscowen, and Drucour at Louisbourg
  • September 8, 1758: Joseph Wright’s journal of negotiations with the Lower Creeks (July 20-August 7, 1758)
  • December 23, 1758: Letter from John Murray to Lyttelton which includes a list of acts to be reviewed by the South Carolina Assembly
  • May 5, 1759: Intelligence from Samuel Wyly on a Cherokee attack on colonial settlers
  • May 17, 1759: Advertisement warning against illegal trading with Native Americans
  • July 27, 1759: Letter from Jeffrey Amherst to Lyttelton describing the taking Ticonderoga and Crown Point from the French
  • August 1, 1759: Intelligence from Cherokee Indian Buffalo Skin to Paul Demere
  • August 18, 1759: Copy of a treaty between Great Britain and the Choctaw Nation with a list of Choctaw towns and prices for trade goods
  • September 4, 1759: Letter from James Wright to Lyttelton enclosing copies of two letters from Benjamin Franklin concerning the postal system
  • October 12, 1759: South Carolina Assembly to Lyttelton regarding resolutions on the Cherokee Expedition
  • October 19, 1759: List of Cherokee living in Charleston
  • [October 1759]: A letter from King Hagler and other Catawba leaders voicing their friendship with the colonists and describing an outbreak of smallpox in their community (with signatures from chiefs)
  • November 30, 1759: Edmond Atkin letter with enclosures regarding negotiations with Creek, Choctaw, and Cherokee tribes, as well as intelligence
  • [1759]: Lyttelton's declaration of war against the Cherokee
  • January 29, February 12, 1760: Extracts of letters concerning murders and outrages committed by Cherokees
  • February 7, 1760: Journal kept at Fort Prince George during an attack by the Cherokee signed by R. Coytmer, Alexander Miln, and John Bell (January 13-February 7, 1760)

The collection contains 162 items that document Lyttelton's service in Jamaica (1761-1766). These consist primarily of letters from various naval officers, army officers, and British agents serving in the West Indies. Lyttelton also received letters from the Jamaica Committee of Correspondence, and local planters. Of note is material on the Coromantee slave rebellion (Tacky's Rebellion), a violent slave insurrection at St. Mary Parish in Jamaica in 1765.

Other topics include:
  • Relations with other European properties in the West Indies and conflicts with Spain and France
  • The British capture of the Morro Fortress in Havana
  • The losses suffered by the Boston merchant ship John Gally after the French capture of Turks Islands
  • Slave labor in Jamaica and the practice of raising regiments of slaves and black men to fight for Britain
  • Sickness among the British troops and African slaves
  • Danger of wide scale slave disturbances and escapes in November-December 1765
  • Disagreements between Sir James Douglas and Lyttelton after Douglas was not saluted when he arrived on the island
  • News that Charles Wyndham, 2nd Earl of Egremont, the secretary of state of the Southern Department, had died
  • British Acts of Navigation and laws passed in Jamaica
  • Differences of opinion on taxes between continental proprietors and island proprietors and on the implementation and repeal of the Stamp Act
  • Issues surrounding smuggling brandy and levying duties on spirits
  • Inspections of the fortifications in Jamaica in preparation for war
  • The Jamaica assembly's efforts to remove Lyttelton from office for alleged misconduct

Also of note is a letter from Mary Fearon regarding Lyttelton's purchase of a slave for his children in England (March 21, 1766). The collection contains one letter from Lyttelton's retirement in England, a June 8, 1796, item addressed to Mortimer Street concerning poetry.

Volume 1 (446 pages) and Volume 2 (76 pages) are a copy books containing letters from Lyttelton to British government and military officials, covering August 1757 to March 1760, while Lyttelton was governor of South Carolina. These provide answers to many of the incoming letters from the Correspondence and Documents series. Both volumes have alphabetical indices of letter recipients.

Volume 3 (125 pages) is a copybook containing two sets of letters. In the first group (pages 1-99) are secret and private dispatches between Lyttelton and British military leadership related to coordinating attacks on French forts in Alabama, Mobile, and Florida (1758-1759). The second group (pages 1a-26a) consists of miscellaneous letters labeled "Omitted in the Former Books," (1756-1759).

Volume 4 (30 pages) is Lyttelton's personal copybook covering his outgoing letters from April 15, 1762 to September 11, 1765, while stationed in Jamaica. Recipients include Governor General Philippe-François of Saint-Domingue, Marquis de Lambertye, Governor de St. Louis, Comte de Choiseul, Colonel John Irwin, Captain Kafflin, Monieur de Chambette de St. Louis a Paris, Captain Geofry, Comte do Ricla, and Comte d'Elva. Several of the letters concern prisoners of war. All letters are in French.

Volume 5 (167 pages) is Lyttelton's accounts book covering 1755 to 1806. The accounts detail Lyttelton's income, expenditures, and investments throughout his career, including his posts in South Carolina, Jamaica, Portugal, and England. Entries occasionally include brief mentions of his and his family's whereabouts.


William Mildmay papers, 1748-1756

7 volumes

The William Mildmay papers contain letters and documents related to Mildmay's appointment as British commissioner to France after the War of Austrian Succession. As commissioner, Mildmay was involved in settling disputed sections of the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle.

The William Mildmay papers (7 volumes) contain letters and documents related to Mildmay's appointment as British commissioner to France after the War of Austrian Succession, and prior to the Seven Years' War. The collection consists of seven bound volumes of letters, essays, documents, and personal discussions related to the Anglo-French Commission. Many of the items are retained copies created for Mildmay's personal use. The collection contains material in both English and French, and many items are dually labeled with both Julian and Gregorian dates.

Volume 1 contains various letters and documents, including:
  • A copy of the articles of the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle
  • Instructions from the French government to the French commissioner of negotiations.
  • "A collection of divers Opinions relating the British Seas, Channel, & Northern Seas," containing opinions regarding the boundaries of the British seas, including those of Sir Charles Hedges, Judge of the Admiralty; the Fraternity of Trinity House; and Sir Nathaniel Lloyd
  • Instructions given to English commissioners for meeting in Paris regarding the disputed aspects of the treaty, as well as a French reaction, and a reply from Britain
  • Letters regarding the concern by British West Indian governors over the "daily Incroachments of the French" in the region, referencing settlements on the islands of St. Lucia, Dominica, St. Vincent, and Tobago, and orders from the British government to the governors
  • Various letters related to the treaty

Volume 2 contains Mildmay's private accounts of conferences and negotiations held with the French commissioners from 1750 to 1754.

Volume 3 contains letters from Mildmay to Benjamin Mildmay, the Earl Fitzwalter, during his time in Paris. The letters serve as an ongoing description of Mildmay's time in France, and they document issues surrounding the negotiations, politics, foreign relations, social events, and the activities of the French court. Included is an account of the governmental crisis that arose from a dispute between the French Parliament and clergy. Mildmay also recorded details related to his personal life and social events, including a description of a party with dramatic fireworks at the Duke of Orleans's palace, in honor of the Dauphin's recovery from smallpox (September 27, 1752). The letters reveal that Mildmay was growing increasingly frustrated by the treaty negotiations; in a letter from January 24, 1753, Mildmay wrote, "I am now in full business with the French Commissaries, & heartily sick of their chicanery; but it is to be hoped His Majesty will put an end to all wrangling & disputes by a happier method of accommodation, or more persuasive arguments than what are delivered in written Memorials." In addition, he mentioned that if they are to enter into a war with France, it would be against the will of the people in the country, but if they are to maintain peace, France would only use it to prepare for a later war (March 26, 1755). Mildmay discussed specific issues with the negotiations, such as the British refusing to agree to an article that stated if France and Britain went to war, neither would commission privateers to disrupt commerce (March 6, 1754).

Volume 4 contains various letters and documents, including:
  • Copies of letters and documents related to Mildmay's private commission to negotiate the exchange of prisoners captured during the War of Austrian Succession, as well as French soldiers captured in Scotland during the Jacobite uprising
  • Copied letters concerning accounts documenting the ransoms and costs related to the upkeep of prisoners
  • Detailed line-item descriptions of the demands made for the release of prisoners.
  • Blank forms for recording the accounts for the total spent for subsistence, hospital charges, burial certificate, and receipt for prisoners delivered
  • Printed copy from 1743 of "Traité et Conventions Pour les Malades, Blessés & Prisonniers de Guerre des Troupes de Sa Majesté Très-Chrêtienne, Auxiliares, & celles des Alliés," regarding the treatment and exchange of the wounded and prisoners of war
Volume 5 contains various letters and documents, including:
  • Descriptions of letters from previous commissioners Allix and Hinde, concerning the settlement of accounts between Britain and France regarding prizes taken at sea after hostilities ended
  • Description of instructions given to Mildmay and William Shirley
  • Copies of letters written by William Mildmay, William Shirley, and Ruvigny de Cosne documenting the progress of the commission. Recipients include secretaries of state the Duke of Bedford, the Duke of Newcastle, the Earl of Holderness, and Sir Thomas Robinson
Volume 6 contains various letters and documents, including:
  • Essays primarily focused on commerce in France and abroad
  • "Sur le Commerce" ("On Commerce")
  • "Memoire sur le commerce" ("Memorandum on commerce")
  • "Situation du Commerce Exterieur du Royaume" ("Situation of Commerce Outside of the Kingdom")
  • "Extrait d'un Memoire sur un Projet de Commerce de Negres a Guinée" ("Extract of a Memorandum on a Project of Commerce of Negros at Guinea")
Volume 7 contains various letters and documents, including:
  • Essays and letters primarily about commerce in France and her colonies, as well as relations between France and Britain
  • "Memoire sur le commerce de France, et sur l'état present de ses Colonies en general et en particulier" ("Memorandum on the commerce of France, and on the present state of her Colonies in general and in particular")
  • "Letre à Monsieur Mildmay sur le commerce de St. Domingue, et sur l'état present de cette colonie" ("Letter to Monsieur Mildmay on the commerce of St. Domingo, and on the present state of this colony")
  • Memorandum related to the reasons for the prohibition of foreign commerce between the French colonies and New England in 1727
  • "Lettre à Monsieur Mildmay Commissaire de [S.M.B.] à Paris sur les moyens de conciliation entre les deux courones de France et d'Angleterre, au sujet des contestations presents en Amerique" ("Letter to Monsieur Mildmay, Commissioner at Paris, on the means of conciliation between the two Crowns of France and England, about the present disputes in America")

William Rawle letter book, 1778-1782

1 volume

The William Rawle letter book contains copies of letters that Rawle, a Loyalist, wrote to his sisters, mother, and stepfather from New York; Cork, Ireland; London, England; and Boulogne, France, between 1778 and 1782. Rawle commented on the progress of the war, local customs and politics, and his travels, among other subjects.

The William Rawle letter book (162 pages) contains copies of letters that Rawle wrote to his family from New York and Europe between 1778 and 1782. He most frequently addressed his letters to his sisters P. R. ("Adelaide") and A. R. ("Anna" or "Fanny"). Rawle occasionally wrote to his stepfather, former Philadelphia Loyalist mayor Samuel Shoemaker, with whom he had fled to New York, and to his mother, who had joined him in New York the following year. The letters sometimes appear out of chronological order, and the first 2 pages are missing. Rawle often signed his letters "Horatio."

Rawle's earliest letters to his sisters, dated around 1778, describe his journey from Philadelphia to New York on the sloop Harlem in mid-June 1778, a journey of nearly 2 weeks. After his arrival, he mentioned Long Island residents' preoccupation with politics and his own confidence in British success against the French fleet in the Caribbean. He commented most frequently on his social life, his concern for family members in Philadelphia, and news of acquaintances. In 1781, he began to discuss his desire to leave for England. He sailed on June 13, 1781, and arrived in Cork, Ireland, on July 15, 1781, where he wrote 2 letters to his mother, providing his impressions of the country. He also noted Irish support for the American Revolution, and expressed surprise at the freedom with which the Irish voiced their opinions. By October 1781, he had arrived in London, where he wrote about his activities, including his studies at the Middle Temple. Rawle also noted some differences between life in England and North America, and developed a desire a return to Pennsylvania, despite his Loyalism. His final letters pertain to his decision to go to France in 1782 and note his arrival in Boulogne that summer. Rawle's letters are followed by a page of brief biographical notes and a 2-page poem entitled "On the Death of a young Lady."


William Roberts letterbook, 1849-1851

29 items

The William Roberts letterbooks contains letters sent by a gold rush miner during his trip to and while working in California to his family back east. The letters comment on gold mining and other jobs available in California, prices for items, descriptions of the area, and religious sentiments.

William Roberts' letterbook contains his retained copies of 29 letters written to his wife, sons, daughter, and daughters-in-law between the time of his departure from Boston and his establishing camp along the Merced River. His early letters are filled with fine descriptions of the sea voyage and the ports of call in the Azores and Chile. They reflect his close family relationships and his growing sense of religious fervor. Roberts is at his best as a writer, though, when describing the economic instability and amorality of Gold Rush San Francisco. But, interestingly, as he spends more time in California, and begins to salt away money through mining, the religious sentiments decrease, and he begins to express the benefits of gold mining as an occupation. In the end, Roberts writes that he is planning to delay his return to Rhode Island, ostensibly to make even more money for his family, but indicating that the free life of the gold mines, even with its amoral aspects, is better than life back east.