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Collection

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.

Collection

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.

Collection

John Vaughan papers, 1779-1781, 1784, 1789, 1794

3 volumes and 3 loose items

The John Vaughan papers document British activities in the West Indies during the American Revolution. Covered are Vaughan's incoming letters, dispatches, bills, reports, and memoranda during his command of the Leeward Islands from November of 1779 to March 1781, as well as several postwar manuscripts pertinent to the British Colonial West Indies.

The John Vaughan papers (3 volumes and three loose items) document Vaughan's first two years as commander-in-chief of the Leeward Islands, from November of 1779 to March 1781. The papers comprise approximately 470 items, almost all of which are incoming letters, dispatches, bills, reports, and memoranda from naval commanders and subordinates, officials in England and North America, and friends and relatives in England.

The papers primarily relate to the conduct of the Revolutionary War in the West Indies, and reveal a close coordination between the army and navy in the region. Topics documented include the capture of St. Eustatius, the capture of transports by the French, the treatment of prisoners of war, and the provisioning and paying of troops. Also covered are promotions, discipline, and reports on hardships, such as endemic sickness, supply shortages (food, candles, rum, and money), poor barracks, a lack of doctors and medicine, and bad weather. Of note are the letters from William Mathew Burt, governor of Antigua and St. Christopher's; Gabriel Christie, commander at Antigua; Lucius Ferdinand Cary, commander at Tobago; George Ferguson, governor of Tobago; Commodore William Hotham; Admiral Hyde Parker; Admiral Samuel Hood; George Brydges Rodney, commander of the Leeward Island Station; Anthony St. Leger, brigadier general at St. Lucia; Major Henry Fitzroy Stanhope; and Loftus Anthony Tottenham, brigadier general at Barbados.

In addition to the incoming material, this collection contains four items written by Vaughan:
  • Volume 1, item 23: After March 19, 1780: Memoranda for an answer to Christie's letter of March 18-19
  • Folder 1: May 11, 1784: Vaughan's deposition sent to Isaac Howell, for a property dispute involving Edward Foord, Samuel Delprat, Richard Clark, and Simon Nathan, over a lawsuit in Jamaica
  • Folder 1: September 29, 1789: Vaughan to an unknown property owner (partnered to a Mr. Alexander Ellis) concerning purchasing land on the Mohawk River
  • Folder 1: September 17, 1794: John Vaughan to William Wyndham, reporting on specifics of British troop strengths throughout the Caribbean. Mention of surrender of Belville Camp, Guadeloupe, by capitulation in October, and lost companies in that affair. Martinique is the most important island from a military perspective. St. Lucia. Enemy strength at Guadeloupe, specifying around 400-500 "whites" and 4,000 or 5,000 "Blacks" armed with muskets and bayonets. Guadeloupe would require a Garrison of troops, with the number of men needed to attack. Believes that they should raise the siege of Basse-Terre and keep the enemy in check. Royalists can't be relied on. Strength at Antigua, St. Christopher's, and Dominica. Sir Charles Grey, Admiral Jarvis, and islands of St. Bartholomew and St. Thomas. Current assessment of privateers. British and French reinforcements. Capt. Hare's 10th Light Dragoons: when they came from America, they had "hardly a sound horse amongst them"--consider discontinuing this expensive Corps.

Volume 1 contains 246 items; Volume 2 contains 276 pages; and Volume 3 contains 207 pages.

Collection

Thomas Townshend, 1st Viscount Sydney papers, 1665-1828 (majority within 1780-1788)

4.25 linear feet

The Thomas Townshend, 1st Viscount Sydney papers contain the official letters of Lord Sydney, spanning his entire political career, as well as material 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). Of note is material related to the Shelburne ministry and the Paris peace negotiations at the end of the American Revolutionary War (1782-1783).

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 [1748] 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

Pre-Sydney Material (1665-1761):
  • March 11, 1708 and [1708]: Petitions from the governors and assemblies of the Leeward Islands and St. Christopher to Queen Anne petitioning for protection from invaders
  • Board of Trade to Queen Anne concerning Governor of New York Robert Hunter's proposal to settle 3,000 Palatines in New York and to employ them in the production of naval stores
  • March 31, 1724: Auditors to the treasury department reporting on money due Robert Hunter for providing subsistence for the Palatines sent to New York
  • [1730]: Charles Townshend's "Considerations on the Assiento Contract" and the slave trade in the West Indies
  • November 1, 1732: Charles Townshend, 2nd Viscount, to Charles Townshend, 3rd Viscount, containing instructions for managing Whitchurch
  • October 4, 1733: Lewis Morris to the Great Britain Board of Trade on "Reasons against Paper Currency in New York and New Jersey"
  • February 17, 1735: Francis Harrison reporting on politics in New York from the point of view of the "court party"
  • January 15, 1736 and [1736]: Three items providing opinions on liquor licensing in England
  • January 12, 1738: William Richardson concerning the selling of wine to Cambridge University
  • [1740]: Proposed method "for supplying the Brazills with Negros, & an Encrease of the British Trade and Navigation"
  • [1745]: "A Plan for Negotiation of a Peace with Spain"
  • September 4, 1746: Ferdinand VI to Joseph Ruiz de Noriega, granting trading privileges for trading slaves in the Spanish colonies
  • [1748]: Remarks on the taking of Fort St. Louis by Admiral Knowles (March 8, 1747/1748)
  • September 27, 1751: James Ord to Henry Pelham, inclosing three items, one describing "The Present State of the African Trade particularly with relation to the English Collonys"
  • [1753]: Petition to George II from Lord Baltimore for consent to "Bar the Entail upon the Province of Maryland"
  • [1760]: Document on the Settlement of Nova Scotia and Louisbourg by the British
Sydney's early political career (1761-1781):
  • May 1-June 10, 1769 and October-December 1772: Intelligence concerning tension between the British and the Caribs ("Black Charibs") of St. Vincent and plans for an expedition against the Caribs
  • [1771], May 31, 1772: Report on Puerto Rico for Sir Ralph Payne and a letter from Daniel O'Flaherty related to the island
  • February 9, 1774: Power of Attorney relating to High Hall Wentworth's sugar plantation in Grenada
  • December 23, 1777: Letter from John Thornton discussing British treatment of prisoners of war and political attitudes toward the American Revolution
  • June 9, 1778: British Peace Commissioners to the Continental Congress in Philadelphia, concerning peace negotiations, independence, withdrawing the army, and refugees
  • July 17, 1779: John Frodsham's "Narrative of the Proceedings of His Majesty's Fleet, under the Command of Vice Admiral Byron from 25th May 1779 to the 15th July 1779" written from St. Kitts
  • July 26, 1779: Anonymous letter on the Spanish declaration of war
  • November 27, 1779: Letter of support from an anonymous merchant approving Sydney's stand against Lord North in the House of Commons
  • [1779]: Intelligence on the French Fleet in the West Indies near Jamaica
  • [1780]: Edward Thomson's estimate of the forces necessary to take Surinam
  • July 30, 1781; April 20, 1782; September and October 1782: English translation of "A true and impartial Account of the present State of Peru" and intelligence on a revolt in Peru
Sydney's service in the Shelburne ministry (1782):
  • February-July, 1782: Letters from Sir Robert Boyd concerning the siege of Gibraltar and Boyd's procuring of 12 Lamego hams as a prize
  • August 7, 1782: James Macabee to Shelburne from the Salopian Coffeehouse, outlining a "plan for an expedition against the Havannah, connected with an idea conducive to pacification with America"
  • August 13, 1782: Proposal from Benedict Arnold to Shelburne to fund the construction of a ship of war
  • August 24, 1782: John Murray Dunmore, 4th earl of Dunmore, to Sydney containing a proposal to settle displaced Loyalists on the Mississippi River after the American Revolution
  • September 4, 1782: Anonymous letter opposing the sending of an ambassador to the Barbary State of Morocco
  • [September 1782]: Report translated from the Spanish on a revolt in Peru
Sydney's service in the Pitt ministry (1783-1789):
  • [1783]: Notes on New England trade
  • June 25, 1784: Henry Caldwell to Thomas Townshend, concerning taxes and the Quebec Act's effect on Canada
  • July 17, 1784: Intelligence from Juan Pablo Viscardo y Guzman, on the state of Spanish settlements in South America
  • September 24, 1784: William Pitt to Sydney enclosing a letter from George III to Pitt concerning the East India Company and military forces in India[1784]: Document containing "observations on the Statute of 14 Geo: 3 For regulating Madhouses"
  • [1784]: "Case of an English Subject at the Capture of Saint Eustatius by Lord Rodney and General Vaughan in the year 1781"
  • [1785]: Document containing a "Comparative View of the Trade to Jamaica from the Continent of America in the years 1784 & 1785 and before the War"
  • January 9, 1786: Marquis de Lafayette to John Adams dealing with trade between American and French merchants
  • June 28, 1786: Lieutenant Governor of Quebec Henry Hope to Evan Nepean concerning Canadian politics and governance
  • July 5, 1786: Documents and copies of letters from Sir George Brydges Rodney, commander in chief of the West Indies to the Secretary of the Navy, concerning St. Eustatius and the Leeward Islands, and from William Knox on the St. Eustatius Bill
  • June 30, 1788: Thomas de Grey to Sydney concerning William Pitt's slave bill
  • December 3, 1788 and [1788]: Resolution from the Privy Council containing the record of examination by George III's physicians of his illness and a report on the medical treatment given to the King
  • March 1, 1789: Report from "Speculator A" to Sydney concerning corruption in Cape Breton
  • April 9, 1789: Richard Downing Jennings account of the proceedings of Lord Rodney and General Vaughan at St. Eustatius
  • June 6, 1789: Statement for Sydney's secret service-related accounts
  • May 28, 1790: George Townshend memorandum to the House of Lords concerning the importation of personal property by subjects of the United States
  • November 20, 1792: Sydney to unknown concerning the French character and the French role in the American Revolution
Undated items:
  • Memorial from John Blankett regarding establishing a colony for convicts on Madagascar
  • Extracts from Captain Arthur Phillip's diary detailing affairs with diamond mining in Brazil
  • William Townshend to Nicholas Hawksmoor containing a brief note and a detailed pencil sketch of the doorway in the Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford
  • Sydney's notes on the economy of New England
  • Miscellaneous document: Observations on a bill to regulate distillers
  • Miscellaneous document: On the status of St. Lucia
  • Miscellaneous document: On the status of Surinam in the 17th century

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.