25 photographs (in 1 folder)
The prints are illustrative of significant moments in the history of Michigan from pre-history to World War II.
25 photographs (in 1 folder)
The prints are illustrative of significant moments in the history of Michigan from pre-history to World War II.
1.5 linear feet
The Alexander Thompson papers (653 items) consist of the papers of three generations of Thompsons: Captain Alexander Thompson (1759-1809), Colonel Alexander Ramsey Thompson (1793-1837), and Reverend Alexander Ramsey Thompson (1822-1895). The collection is comprised of 494 letters and documents, 1 diary, 25 photographs, 103 religious writings and hymns, and 30 items of printed material. These papers document the military service of Captain Thompson in the United States Army (1793-1809); Colonel Thompson's military service (1819-1837); attempts by Colonel Thompson's widow, Mary Thompson, to secure a military pension (1838-1849); and the career of Reverend Thompson, Union Army chaplain and Presbyterian minister, along with his family letters (1850-1932).
The Correspondence and Documents series (494 items) is made up of three subseries, one for each Alexander Thompson represented in the collection.
The Captain Alexander Thompson subseries (255 items) consists of letters and documents related to Thompson's army career, including 37 military records (pay rolls, musters, and accounts) and 14 provisional returns. The bulk of the letters are to and from the war office in Philadelphia and from fellow army officers. These provide administrative documentation for the fledgling American military, as well as specific details on Thompson's assignments at Governor's Island, West Point, Fort Niagara, and Detroit. Topics covered include his efforts to provision and pay his troops, fortify his outposts, and recruit soldiers.
The Colonel Alexander R. Thompson subseries (137 items) documents his post-War of 1812 military career, and his wife's efforts to secure a pension after his death. These include letters from fellow officers and friends, a few retained copies of Thompson's letters, and 55 letters to and from Mary Thompson and various prominent government officials concerning military pensions. In many of Mary's letters she described episodes in her husband's military career, including wounds and sicknesses suffered while on duty.
The Reverend Alexander R. Thompson subseries (102 items) contains Thompson's letters and 25 of his children's letters. Of note are the items documenting his Civil War service as chaplain of the 17th Regiment of Connecticut Volunteers and at the Roosevelt Hospital. These include many letters from solders and former parishioners serving throughout the country. Also present are letters discussing Thompson and his family's travels around New York and New England, and to the Canary Islands, Quebec, and San Francisco. The post-1872 letters largely concern Thompson's children.
The Diary series (1 item, 372 pages) is the personal journal of Reverend Alexander Ramsey Thompson for 1861. The diary is deeply personal and includes Thompson's thoughts on personal, spiritual, and political matters, as well as his thoughts on the outbreak of the Civil War and his decision to join the army as a chaplain. In the back of the diary are 5 newspaper clippings concerning New York University commencements.
The Photographs series (25 items) contains undated family pictures, images of houses and landscapes, and commercial photographs of buildings in Europe.
Four additional photographs are located with the letter of September 23, 1871. These are portraits of Chinese Americans, one taken by Chinese photographer Lai Yong of San Francisco, and one of letter writer Gin Bon, secretary of the Chinese Young Men's Christian Society. Gin Bon's portrait contains watercolored highlights. The hymn book for the Roosevelt Hospital in the Printed Materials series contains family photographs, including a group picture in which many of the sitters are holding tennis rackets.
The Religious Writings series is composed of two subseries: Sermons and Ecclesiastical History Notes, and Hymns. Though largely undated and unattributed, these writings were all likely created by Reverend Thompson. The Sermons and Ecclesiastical History notes subseries (61 items) contains 58 sermon notes that Thompson wrote in the 1890s, much of which was written on Roosevelt Hospital stationery. Some of these are outlines while others are fully formed sermons. He also wrote notes on ecclesiastical history in two notebooks dated 1881 (232 pages), and on the Hebrew language in an undated notebook (58 pages). The Hymns subseries (42 items) contains 9 manuscript hymns, 16 printed hymns, and 17 volumes of manuscript hymns. They consist of transcribed and translated hymns, Bible quotations, and ballad lyrics. Two of the printed hymns, both Christmas carols, include music for four voices.
The Printed Material series (30 items) is comprised of 18 newspaper clippings and 12 miscellaneous printed items. The newspaper clippings are an essay by Reverend Thompson entitled "The Burial of Moses," and an address from Thompson delivered at the unveiling of a Gettysburg monument for the 17th Connecticut Volunteers. The Miscellaneous Printed Items subseries contains 12 items, including ephemera related to New York University commencements; an engraving of author, nurse, and charity organizer Isabella Graham; an annual report for the Brooklyn Nursery (1888); and a Roosevelt Hospital hymnal in which someone has inserted photograph clippings of Reverend Thompson, his wife, and others.
3 linear feet
The Emerson R. Smith papers mostly consist of correspondence and reference materials pertaining to the history of the Straits area of Michigan (St. Ignace, Mackinaw City and Mackinac Island).
16 linear feet
The Gordon Charles papers contain his journals, copies and clippings of his articles, his books, subject files, slides, photographs, and correspondence related to his work as travel and outdoor activities writer for local Michigan newspapers. The papers are divided up into three series: Personal, Articles, and Subject Files.
1 linear foot
The Goulburn papers (301 items) contain the diplomatic correspondence and treaty drafts of the British and American negotiations for the Treaty of Ghent. The collection includes the letters between the British commissioners and the British foreign office, both official and private, and between the American and British commissioners. These comprise 80 letters, 74 drafts and copies of letters, and various enclosures, treaty drafts, and memoranda. Also present is one of the six original copies of Treaty of Ghent, written in the hand of Henry Clay and signed by each commissioner.
Goulburn and the other British commissioners primarily communicated with Prime Minister Liverpool, Foreign Secretary Lord Castlereagh, and Secretary of War Earl Bathurst, providing them with updates on the negotiation process and receiving instructions and peace guidelines from their superiors. The foreign office also kept the commissioners abreast of military developments in North America, such as the burning of Washington and their defeat at Plattsburgh, New York. Goulburn and his colleagues also exchanged notes, formal gambits, and treaty drafts with the American commissioners ("Ministers Plenipotentiaries") John Quincy Adams, James A. Bayard, Henry Clay, Albert Gallatin, and Jonathan Russell. The collection also contains copies of communications with President James Madison and Secretary of State James Monroe. The negotiations centered on agreements regarding frontier boarders, Native American land guarantees, naval impressments, Atlantic fishery rights, and general maritime rights. Together, these papers document the peace treaty proceedings throughout the fall of 1814, which ultimately led to the settlement at Ghent.
The collection contains one letter from Goulburn, stationed at the Irish Office, to an unknown recipient concerning Goulburn's interest in representing Cambridge University in the British House of Commons (February 8, 1826).
The John Porteous letter book contains 83 letters written by Porteous and 4 by his secretary on his behalf, comprising a total of 251 pages of material. Covering the period between March 8, 1767, and November 1, 1769, the letters primarily concern the business affairs of Porteous and his trading firm, Duncan, Sterling & Porteous, located in New York, Michigan, and Montreal. The letters include numerous details of trading activities; travel between Schenectady, Niagara, Detroit, Fort Michilimackinac, and Montreal; relationships and transactions with clients, traders, and Native Americans; and occasional social and family matters. Recipients of letters included James Sterling (22), John Duncan (10), Robert and Alexander Ellice (13), and James Phyn (5).
The letters touch on numerous details of the trade services provided by Duncan, Sterling & Porteous. In his correspondence, Porteous enumerated and discussed shipments of the various items distributed by the company, such as bear and beaver pelts, spirits, salt, clothing, stones, and food items. Several letters also communicate orders for supplies to Porteous' associates. Porteous frequently noted the sale of items to British soldiers, including Lieutenant Perkins Magra, a cartographer and later consul to Tunis, and Captain Patrick Sinclair, who oversaw the construction of Fort Mackinac. On March 15, 1767, he noted that payments owed to him by the 17th Regiment of Foot were in arrears; elsewhere, he recorded the comings and goings of several military officials, including General Thomas Gage (May 26, 1768). Additional letters discuss the quality and prices of the available products and the increasing difficulty of finding labor at a moderate price.
Porteous's correspondence also sheds light on the firm's efforts to serve their many clients. On June 9, 1767, Porteous wrote to Sterling that he was "at a loss how to excuse" him after a client refused to accept a shipment a brandy that had been sent by Sterling in lieu of rum. Another letter provides a glimpse of the difficulty of working with independent-minded trappers, including one whom Porteous found "unwilling to come to any written agrement[.] only says I may depend upon him" (July 16, 1767). On June 6, 1767, he expressed concern that white traders were slow to arrive at Fort Michilimackinac. Coaxing payments from debtors also proved difficult and is the subject of several letters. Porteous commented occasionally on his encounters with Native Americans and their attitudes toward the British. On July 2, 1767, he reported that Jean-Baptiste Marcotte, a trader near Michilimackinac, had been "Pillaged by the Indians," and in other letters he mentioned gifts intended for the Ojibwe. While in Detroit on February 26, 1768, he assessed Native Americans there as "not very well intent'd this spring" but predicted that no war would take place.
Another frequent topic is Porteous' continual travel between various regions, including New York, Michigan, and Montreal. His journeys were sometimes hindered by the elements, as on March 23, 1767, when he noted to fellow merchant Hayman Levy that he was "obliged to remain" in Schenectady "until our river is open." The letters also contain occasional personal news, such as the health and death of family members and references to pastimes.
0.25 linear feet
The Native American collection is comprised of approximately 125 miscellaneous letters and documents concerning Native American Indians in the United States, Canada, and the West Indies, and their interactions with British and American settlers (1689-1921). Topics range from land agreements, legal issues, treaties, descriptions of travel through Indian Territory, Indian uprisings and conflicts, Indian captivities, prisoners of war, Indian enslavement, and interactions with Quaker and Moravian missionaries. Tribes include the Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Cree, Iroquois, Ojibwa, Oneida, Ottawa, Kickapoo, Seneca, Shawnee, Sioux, among others, and concern activities in Canada, New England, the Midwest, the South, and the western frontier. Also present are items written in Cherokee, Mohawk, and Ojibwa.
The 38 items in the Riopelle family papers span 1737-1894 and relate to several interconnected families of French-Canadian origin living in Montreal and Detroit. The collection contains 26 legal and military documents, 5 receipts, 3 letters, 2 newspaper clippings, and 2 small prints. Approximately one-third of the collection is in French.
The legal documents include a 1737 trading license for Jean Baptiste Cuillerier dit Beaubien allowing him to trade in the vicinity of Fort Detroit; it specifies his route, trading partners, and supplies. Most of the other legal documents are land deeds and title abstracts for land in southeast Michigan owned by various family members. President James Madison and Secretary of State James Monroe signed a land patent issued to "Ambroise Riopel" on April 20, 1811. A few items after Nicholas Gouin's death in 1813 relate to the bequest of his land near the Detroit River to his daughter Collette and son-in-law, Dominique Riopelle.
The collection's seven military documents include promotions, general orders, and commissions, issued between 1753 and 1805. One such item, signed by King Louis XV and dated August 16, 1766, commissions J.B.M. Quindre as sublieutenant of a Burgundy Regiment. Other military documents relate to the Beaubien brothers in Michigan. Also present is a copy of the terms of treaty between the United States and the Chippewa, signed at Michilimackinac (October 18, 1842).
The collection's three letters relate family matters, including the death of Dominique Riopelle's uncle (April 29, 1843) and news from a branch of the family in Chatham, Michigan (June 25, 1845). The undated items comprise a list tallying trading activities with Native Americans; two newspaper clippings (one concerning land near River Rouge and the other giving biographical information on William Gouin); and two small prints, one of Lewis Cass and one of Detroit in 1820.
The Rogers-Roche collection contains 53 letters and documents, spanning 1758 to 1881, with the bulk concentrated around 1758 to 1801.
Approximately half the collection consists of letters written by Robert Rogers to his wife, Elizabeth ("Betsy"), between 1761 and 1775, while he was in New York, South Carolina, Michigan, Ontario, Quebec, and London. The most frequent topic of letters is Rogers' finances; he often informed his wife of various attempts to get money that he believed the British government owed him, whether for commanding at Lake George during the French and Indian War (June 2, 1758), or for his expenses related to service at Fort Michilimackinac (March 8, 1770). On April 7, 1774, he notified his wife of his plan to send a memorial to General Thomas Gage requesting reimbursement and included a copy of the document on the verso of the letter.
The collection also includes three letters written by Rogers to his wife during his imprisonment at Montreal on charges of colluding with the French. On August 25, 1768, he noted, "my confinement…is made as agreable for me as possible," but several months later, he angrily noted, "I hop to soon have it in my power to reveng on my Enemys" (December 24, 1768). His early letters to Betsy are very loving in tone; he referred to her as "dearest dear," and soon after their marriage, wrote that he wished "once more to feast my Eyes on hir who so suddenly made me a prisoner to love" (November 9, 1761). In the same letter, written from South Carolina, he noted that a peace had been made between the Cherokees and British forces. His fine description of the capture of Fort Presque Isle by Native Americans during Pontiac's War is dated July 15, 1763.
The remainder of the collection primarily relates to John ("Jack") Roche, Jr., who joined the Navy and served on the U.S.S. Constitution during the quasi-war with France. The letters mainly concern his naval career and wartime service between 1798 and 1801. On May 7, 1798, Edward Livermore wrote to Roche, informing him, "I have entered your name as a midshipman on board the frigate-- You must come immediately if you mean to secure the place" and notified him of the pay and terms. In a letter of June 19, 1798, Roche described conditions onboard the Constitution, including the excellent provisions, the crew, and the ship's ordnance. In other letters, he made note of his duties and the capture of prizes. On September 25, , he described the capture of the 24-gun French ship Niger, carrying "large sums of money in bags & chests which have not been op'ned, probably the plunder of defenceless Americans."
Other topics include the death of several shipmates from yellow fever (September 29, ), the difficulty of finding French privateers off of Prince Rupert's Bay, Dominica (March 16, ), and the capture of a ship called the Indiaman (November 26, 1799). Roche also commented several times on conditions in Haiti, which had recently experienced a revolution. On Toussaint l'Ouverture, Commander-in-Chief of French Forces in Saint Domingue, he wrote, "we may shortly see the whole Island containing near a million of Inhabitants govern'd despotically by an ignorant negro, formerly a slave" (January 30, 1801). Several orders are also included among the papers, including one by the Constitution's commander, Silas Talbot, which required that "each Lieut, Master and Midshipman Keepe an exact Journal of the Ships way" (December 15, 1800). The collection closes with a few scattered letters relating to Arthur Rogers and conveying family and financial news.
The Thomas Duggan journal is composed of 120 pages of journal entries and 23 pages of ledgers (128 blank pages), spanning from October 31, 1795 to September 6, 1801. Duggan, a storekeeper and clerk for the British Army’s 24th Regiment of Foot stationed at Fort Michilimackinac, wrote several entries per week, varying in length from a few sentences to 4 pages. Duggan discussed managing the store and detailed his outpost's interactions with the Native American groups that came to the store for "presents" of food, arms, and supplies. He recorded numerous tribes and Indian chiefs by name and the places from which they had traveled. The bulk of the interactions were with the Ojibwa tribe (referred to as Chippewa in the journal) and the Ottawa Indians, but Duggan also mentioned the Potawatomi, Sioux, and Cherokee. Indians traveled from Detroit, Milwaukee (Minowaukee), Thunder Bay, L'Arbre Croche (now Harbor Springs, Michigan), Saginaw, Beaver Island, Grand Traverse Bay, Mackinaw Island, Sault Sainte Marie, Lake Superior, and other locations around the Great Lakes.
The first entry noted the start of Duggan's post of storekeeper and clerk for the Indian Department. In the bulk of the entries, Duggan records information on the groups of Indians visiting the store and recounts their conversations and speeches. He frequently used paternalistic language in discussing the relationship between the British and the Indians, terms also found in his transcriptions of speeches given by Indians. The following excerpt is typical of such language that reinforces the idea of Indian dependency on the British: "Their great father [King George III] would never forsake them as long as they behaved as good Children" (p. 27). Duggan described British charity toward and protection of the Indians, and many entries include reports on the hardships and brutality of the region. Duggan also makes several notes on the Indians’ relations with Americans. In one instance, Duggan wrote about an American Council, during which the Americans threatened the Indians with violence if they did not "behave themselves" (p.22). "That if they stole nets or any thing else from the White people they should pay four times their Value and be imprisoned. That if they killed any One They should be tied by the neck and hung up like dogs[,] in short that They should suffer for the least injury they done to a White man..." (p.22).
Duggan also noted regular contact with the British military in Detroit and throughout the Great Lakes region. He mentioned William Doyle, Deputy Adjutant-General in Canada, and transcribed a letter sent from Lieutenant Colonel Commandant D. Strong and British Agent of Indian Affairs Jacob Schieffelin, advising the Chippewa not to attack the Cherokee Nation, (p.73-75).
In the back of the journal is a ledger of accounts for trade of sugar, fur, clothing, and other goods, covering the period from 1787-1801. The last five tables document wampum, sugar, and caribou traded by the British at St. Joseph with the Ojibwe and Ottawa tribes. They list the names of the Indian traders. See Additional Descriptive Data for a list of goods traded to the Indians.
The volume holds one unbound letter, in French, from A. Joseph to Duggan (July 4, 1798). The letter concerns a shipment of porcelain and other goods to the outpost (letter is laid in at page 121).