Please see the Contents List for individual item descriptions.
Please see the Contents List for individual item descriptions.
The Benjamin Franklin collection is made up of 21 letters, 17 of which Franklin, as agent for the Pennsylvania Provincial Assembly in Great Britain, wrote to Joseph Galloway from 1764 to 1775. Franklin addressed numerous political issues, including the Stamp Act, Galloway’s appointment to the Pennsylvania Provincial Assembly, the Currency Act, and other Parliamentary discussions. The letters contain evidence of Franklin’s frustration with British taxation leading up to the Revolution. Four additional letters by Franklin and one document signed by him comprise the remainder of the collection.
The box and folder listing below contains notes respecting contents of each item in the collection.
9.5 linear feet
The Townshend papers contain approximately 2,600 items, including letters, documents, accounts, and printed matter relating to the public life and activities of Charles Townshend, gathered largely during the last period of his career. The collection is an extremely valuable resource for study of British commercial and mercantile policy in the 1760s, administrative perspectives on the mounting crisis in the North American colonies, and the inner workings of British political life. The papers reflect Townshend's serious research efforts in his role as policymaker; much of the collection consists of documents that he gathered for his own information on legal cases, British politics, financial and treasury matters, and affairs in North America, the West Indies, and Africa. Also present is a small amount of incoming and outgoing correspondence and an assortment of memoranda and speech drafts by Townshend. The collection spans 1660-1804, but the bulk centers around the 1750s and 1760s, when Townshend held an appointment on the Board of Trade and Plantations (1748-1754) and served as Lord of the Admiralty (1754), Secretary-at-War (1762-1763), President of the Board of Trade (1763-1765), Paymaster General (1765-1766) and Chancellor of the Exchequer (1766-1767). The collection was originally arranged by Charles Townshend into numerous bundles marked with wrappers. This original order has largely been maintained and hence, document types and topics are scattered across the collection.
See "Additional Descriptive Data" for a partial subject index of the papers as well as a list of printed matter in the collection.
A moderate amount of Townshend's incoming and outgoing correspondence is located throughout the collection. This includes contemporary copies of his letters to and from William Barrington and Thomas Gage relating to the War Office during his time as Secretary-at-War (Box 8/ Bundle 2), numerous incoming letters concerning patronage and requesting favors (8/3/A), and correspondence between Townshend and John Morton concerning politics and happenings in the House of Commons in 1764-1766 (8/37). Also present are a series of letters written from the Mediterranean by Commodore Augustus Keppel, describing British peace negotiations with Tunis and Tripoli and the signing of a treaty on October 21, 1751, (Box 297/1/2) and incoming correspondence on a variety of topics from William Dowdeswell, George Sackville-Germain, George Younge, William Shirley, Edmund Burke, Wellbore Ellis, George Macaulay, Edward Walpole, Henry Pelham-Clinton (3rd Duke of Newcastle), and John Stuart, (3rd Earl Bute).
The collection also contains scattered documents relating to legal issues and court cases in the late-18th century. The box marked 8/5 contains accounts of the court cases of the following parties, heard before the House of Lords and the Commissioners of Appeals in 1760: Francis Watkins; Francis Dalby; the Proprietors of Sulbrave, Northamptonshire; the Pennsylvania Land Company; a group of London fishmongers; and John Potter, Archbishop of Canterbury. Also represented are several cases concerning prizes captured by Dutchmen (8/5). Other legal papers include those relating to Townshend's wife, Caroline, 1st Baroness Greenwich, which span 1754 to 1789 and are located in Box 298, and documents concerning Samuel Waldo and his service in the Siege of Louisburg (8/24/a).
The Charles Townshend papers contain numerous documents gathered by Townshend for his own information or created by him during the process of policymaking. These include many items relating to North America, including reports on trade, military matters, the characteristics and features of various regions, and debates on British policies. Among the military-related topics addressed are recruitment for the British army in North America in the years 1753-1763 (8/22), expenses of maintaining a force in North America for 1765-1766 (8/28), the cost of maintaining various British forts (8/31), and the debate over foreign officers' commissions in America in 1756 (8/4). Other items concern trade between North America and Great Britain; this includes a 1761 memorandum on the prevalence of smuggling in Boston (297), information on Newfoundland fisheries (8/4 and 299), and notes on the importation of iron bar from America (299). A group of undated documents relate to the settlement of East and West Florida (8/34) and the expenses related to the settlement of East Florida by Greeks (297/4/5). Box 8/31 contains Townshend's own notes on his proposal to impose new duties on salt, wine, oil, fruit, glass, tea, sugar, molasses, china, and paper. A draft of the Townshend Duties is also included in the papers.
Other documents in the collection concern a variety of British political matters, such as contested 1754 English parliamentary elections (8/32), estimates of the strength of several parties in the House of Commons (8/42), and proceedings against John Wilkes in the House of Commons (296). The collection also includes Townshend notes for his speeches opposing the Marriage Act (298), and documents concerning his election to Parliament for Great Yarmouth in 1754 and 1756 (8/52).
Additional scattered papers relate to world trade and matters of the British Treasury. A substantial amount of material concerns the East India Company, including debates on the taxation of tea, memoranda concerning precedents for government intervention in East India Company matters, and Townshend's 1766 notes on a bill concerning East India, all of which are located in the Bowhill Box. Box 298 contains many lists and statistics on British imports and exports abroad, particularly to the North American colonies. Other documents pertain to the British manufacture of earthenware and china, the coal trade (8/40), and trade with Africa, including the activities of the Committee on African trade in 1752-1754 (297/5/3).
2 linear feet
The Manchester papers contain 250 letters, 30 drafts, 13 instructions, 9 notes, 4 letter books, and a map, spanning 1779 to 1788. These items primarily relate to diplomacy and Manchester's role in the negotiation of the Peace of Paris in 1783.
The Documents and Correspondence series contains 331 items pertaining to British politics, the American Revolution, the negotiations of the Peace of Paris, and other topics. These include diplomatic correspondence, memoranda, drafts of treaty clauses, and instructions for the period of 1783 to 1784, when Manchester participated in the negotiations with France, Spain, and the Netherlands as ambassador to France at the end of the American Revolutionary war.
Just nine letters in the collection predate 1783. These include several accounts of the British military situation in North America from Captain F. Taylor, Manchester's agent in London, in which Taylor noted that "things are as bad, as they can be" and criticized British politicians for leaving London for their country homes in a time of crisis (September 30, 1780). He also condemned the naval tactics of Admiral Henry Darby (February 12, 1781) and commented on British ships headed to Jamaica (October 30, 1781). Beginning in the spring of 1783, the primary topic of the letters and documents shifts to diplomacy and negotiations between Great Britain, France, Spain and the Netherlands. This includes the April 23, 1783, instructions given to Manchester by King George III, which discuss the release of prisoners, the rights of the "French naturalized English," and mandate that Manchester maintain frequent contact with other "Ministers employed in Foreign Courts."
The collection also contains numerous drafts of the treaty's articles and clauses, nearly all of which are in French. With these, it is possible to trace the course of negotiations through the various changes proposed and accepted by the principal negotiators. The drafts of articles pertain to the wide array of issues addressed in the treaty, including boundary negotiations and the ceding of territory, the privileges of British citizens in areas newly controlled by other nations, trading privileges in the West Indies, fishing rights in Newfoundland, use of wood cut in Central America, the release of prisoners of war, and other topics.
Also included is Manchester's incoming and outgoing correspondence concerning the treaty and negotiations, including several dozen letters from the French foreign minister, Charles Gravier, Comte de Vergennes; a roughly equal number from the Spanish Ambassador to France, Pedro Pablo Abarca de Bolea, Comte d'Aranda; and 23 letters from British secretary of state for foreign affairs Charles James Fox. Correspondence concerns such issues as possession of the islands of Saint Pierre and Miquelon and associated fisheries in the north Atlantic, restitutions to be made in India between the English and the French, and minor changes to the wording of the treaty. Correspondence between Manchester and Fox, in particular, reveals the inner workings of the British side of negotiations, including concerns that plenipotentiary David Hartley would "be taken in by [Benjamin] Franklin" and "disgrace both himself and us" (May 15, 1783), and comments on Fox's strong support for Russia and Austria (August 4, 1783). In several letters, Fox comments on specific articles within the treaties.
The collection also has a substantial amount of correspondence relating to diplomacy and European politics, which Manchester received in his position as ambassador. This includes complaints by British citizens about their alleged mistreatment at the hands of the French, such as the seizure of the merchant ship Hereford after it took shelter from a storm in Nantes, France (May 17, 1783), and the capture of the ship Merlin by privateers ([May 1781]). Several of Manchester's colleagues wrote to him about Russian politics and activities, including Sir Robert Murray Keith, who described growing tensions with the Turks (May 30, 1783), and John Collet, who gave an account of the Russian mode of colonizing Crimea, which was to pay Genoan families to settle there (June 2, 1783).
Just 27 letters postdate 1783. These give news of European politics, including information on the Russo-Turkish War, a commercial treaty between France and Portugal (February 2, 1787), and several updates on the movements and activities of the French Navy.
The Letter Books and Map series, 1782-1783, contains four volumes of correspondence and a 1783 map. The first volume contains letters and extracts of correspondence written by Alleyne Fitzherbert to Thomas Robinson, 2nd Baron Grantham (27 letters) and Charles Fox (10 letters). Covering a total of 216 pages, the letters span November 29, 1782, to May 3, 1783. They chiefly concern the peace negotiations, including discussion of the restoration of enemy ships (December 7, 1782), the wording of the treaty's preamble (January 19, 1783), ongoing negotiations relating to territory in India, and numerous associated topics.
The second volume, which covers August 9, 1782, to May 30, 1783, contains letters written by Grantham to Fitzherbert (86 letters) and Fox (7 letters), totaling 427 pages. These letters announce various appointments and refer frequently to peace negotiations. Also included are many drafts of treaty articles.
The third volume is divided into two parts, which cover April 30, 1782, to December 7, 1783. The first part includes 10 letters between Grenville and Fox, and two between Grenville and Shelburne. These contain further discussion of territory negotiations and the demands of the French, Spanish, and Dutch. The second part of the volume has 58 letters with 49 enclosures, written by Manchester to Fox.
The fourth volume contains 67 letters from Fox to Manchester, dated April 29 to December 2, 1783 and occupying 169 pages. In his letters to Manchester, Fox wrote about the Spanish treatment of British citizens, control of the wood trade in Central America, possession of Tobago, and specific treaty articles.
The map, dated 1783, is housed in the Map Division and depicts several rivers in the Yucatan Peninsula.
The John Calef memorials and petitions contains 12 government related items including: memorials and petitions to the British House of Commons and Secretaries of State, memoranda and circulars from the Penobscot colony, and various official letters and requests, from John Calef. Two items of interest are a 1782 memorial and petition appointing Calef Inspector of His Majesty's Woods, and an Estimate of Losses sustained by the rebels, which lists Calef's personal possessions lost or destroyed by rebel forces between 1768 and 1782. The loyalist claims commission, after listening to his petitioning, awarded him a lump sum of £2,400 for his losses.
The Remarks of the Eastern Country of Massachusetts Bay gives a brief history of the land transactions between the Plymouth company and various colonists for the Penobscot between 1630 and 1780. Also of note is a document of excerpts of letters from various notable British officers praising Calef for his efforts and achievements during the war.
70 linear feet
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
4.25 linear feet
The Thomas Townshend, 1st Viscount Sydney papers (approximately 1,000 items) contain the official papers of Lord Sydney, as well as letters and documents related to his grandfather, Charles Townshend, 2nd Viscount Townshend (1664-1738); his father, the Honorable Thomas Townshend (1701-1780); and his son, John Thomas Townshend, 2nd Viscount Sydney (1764-1831). The collection is primarily made up of incoming letters and government documents, along with some drafts of letters written by Sydney. Of note is material related to the Shelburne ministry and the Paris peace negotiations (1782-1783).
The Secret Instructions and State Documents relating to the Negotiations for the Independence of America series (51 items) is comprised of two bound volumes of letters and documents. These include letters, reports, negotiation instructions, printed treaty articles, and minutes of the Privy Council, all related to the Peace of Paris that ended the American Revolution. Present are items in the hand of Sydney; William Petty, Lord Shelburne; Henry Seymour Conway; Evan Nepean; Thomas Orde; and Henry Strachey (see Additional Descriptive Data for an index of this material).
The Correspondence and Documents series (approximately 940 items) comprises the bulk of the collection and consists largely of incoming official letters and documents written during Sydney's political career.
The earliest material (1665-1761) relates to the official capacities of Sydney's forebears, Horatio Townshend, Charles Townshend, and the Honorable Thomas Townshend. These papers concern local politics, particularly regardingWhitchurch, as well as international affairs and trade relations with Europe, the West Indies, and America, including issues surrounding the international slave trade. Other topics covered in this period are currency issues in the American colonies, trade issues with Spain and the Spanish-controlled West Indies and South America, and dealings with the South Sea Company.
While the earliest Sydney item is a memo from  concerning French Fishing rights off Newfoundland and Cape Breton, the first substantial grouping of his papers begins in 1762, when Sydney served as clerk of the board of green cloth. The collection documents each of Sydney's subsequent official roles: lord of the treasury (1765-1766), paymaster of the forces under William Pitt and member of the Privy Council (1767-1768), and active opposition voice in the House of Commons (1769-1782). Much of this material is related to Parliamentary responsibilities, trade, and politics concerning the Pay Office. Approximately 200 items relate to Sydney's office in the Shelburne ministry during 1782. Of note are 51 items about the Paris peace negotiations, consisting of letters, secret instructions, official documents, minutes of council meetings, and memoranda, and letters between Shelburne and Sydney on the peace process and other foreign affairs in the Mediterranean, Portugal, and Spain.
Approximately 300 items fall between 1783 and 1789, when Sydney served the Pitt ministry. This material concerns home politics, election news, lawmaking, intelligence from Europe (primarily Denmark, Germany, France, the Netherlands, and Spain), and British interests in India. The collection contains about 200 items, scattered throughout the collection, concerning the West Indies, including letters, memorials, petitions, and customs documents, many of which relate to the Leeward Islands during the American Revolutionary War, and to the St. Eustatius affair in 1781. Also of note are 16 letters from Sydney to George III, and 12 letters to Sydney from the King, as well as 20 letters from British Secretary of War George Young between 1775 and 1788.
The last 34 items relate to John Thomas Townshend, 2nd Viscount Sydney (1764-1831), covering the period from his father's death in 1800 until 1830. These letters are both social and political in nature. Of note is an 1803 document proposing a new order of knighthood called the "Order of Military Merit."
The series contains 74 undated items. These are ordered by creator's last name, with 39 miscellaneous fragments, documents, poems, essays in Latin, and printed items at the end.
Selected Highlights from the Correspondence and Documents series
The Additional Items series (3 items) consists of an account book, a legal report, and a legal document. The account book documents governmental expenses for secret services during the American Revolution, many of which are disbursements for Evan Nepean (1782-1791). The legal report concerns an inquiry into Edward Lascelles, collector of customs in Barbados, by Surveyor General Robert Dinwiddie (c.1745). The final item is a "Deed of trust" for land and slaves owned by Henry Compton and others in St. Kitts Island.
14 linear feet
The Viscounts Melville papers (14 linear feet) contain the letters of British statesman Henry Dundas, 1st viscount Melville, and his son Robert Saunders Dundas, 2nd viscount Melville, first lord of the admiralty. The collection contains approximately 1,500 Henry Dundas items and 850 Robert Dundas items, and is primarily comprised of incoming official correspondence, some copies of outgoing letters, and drafts of memoranda by the Melvilles. The papers are almost entirely political in nature and deal with English, Scottish, American, Indian, and European affairs.
The Henry Dundas papers chiefly concern British political affairs and military engagements in France, America, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, Austria, Russia, Spain, Cyprus, Gibraltar, Minorca, Portugal, Corfu, Trieste, Malta, Sicily, the West Indies, the East Indies, and South America. The majority of these span 1794 to 1805, and relate to his tenure as secretary at war and first lord of the admiralty.
American affairs consumed much of Melville's attention in the 1780s and 1790s while he served on the Committee of the Private Council for Trade and Foreign Plantations. Topics discussed include compensation claims from American Loyalists for losses during the war, and claims of British merchants against Americans for unpaid debts incurred during the war. Of particular interest are the letters between Melville and Grenville that relate to American debt issues (1785-1805 with a concentration in 1792). Also of note are letters from Thomas Jefferson and members of Congress concerning the 1794 Jay Treaty between England and the United States. Also present are the trial briefs prepared for Dundas' defense during his 1806 impeachment proceedings.
The Robert Dundas Melville papers relate primarily to his office as first lord of the admiralty from 1812 to 1830. These include material concerning the War of 1812, and secret admiralty memoranda documenting ship locations and movements, strength of forces, and instructions to and from various British admirals. Notably, Melville received copies of intercepted letters from Albert Gallatin, John Quincy Adams, John Speyer, S. Bourne, and R. G. Beasley to President James Madison from 1813 to 1814. The collection also provides insights into American-British tensions in the Great Lakes region in the years after the war. Between 1815 and 1820, Melville received many reports and letters related to the treatment of scurvy in the navy.