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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

Jeffery Amherst papers, 1758-1764

2 linear feet

The Jeffery Amherst papers (763 items) consist of the correspondence, documents, and military orders of Jeffery Amherst, British commander-in-chief in North America from 1758-1763. Included are Amherst's letters to General Thomas Gage and the papers given to Gage with the transfer of authority in 1763.

The Jeffery Amherst papers (763 items) contain the correspondence, documents, and military orders of Jeffery Amherst, British commander-in-chief in North America from 1758 to 1763. The collection constitutes the papers given to General Thomas Gage at the transfer of authority in 1763. Also included are letters and petitions addressed to Amherst, Amherst's letters to Gage, and letters addressed to Amherst that arrived in New York City after his departure for England.

The Letters and Documents series (241 items) contains letters between Amherst and Thomas Gage, as well as material left for Gage, and letters that arrived at the New York headquarters for Amherst after his departure to England. Items include administrative letters concerning military matters and news, troop instructions and orders, details on troop movements and the outcomes of battles, court martial reports, intelligence reports on enemy forces, promotions, petitions, memorials, troop returns, and accounts for provisions and other military expenses. These document the French and Indian War, British control over Canada and the western territories after the war, management of Indian Affairs, and dealings with Pontiac. Also discussed are activities and construction at forts Crown Point, Edward, George, Herkirmer, Louisbourg, Niagara, Oswego, Pitt, Stanwix, and Ticonderoga. The letters mention and discuss John Appy, John Bradstreet, William Browning, Henry Gladwin, Frederick Haldimand, William Johnson, supplier Christopher Kilby, Robert Monckton, John Prideaux, Robert Rogers, John Stanwix, and John Stuart, among others.

Of note:
  • August 1758-January 1759: Material related to Amherst's successful siege at Louisbourg, including letters, orders, returns, and a report on the condition of the camp
  • May 7, 1759: Plans for an invasion into Canada and for the taking of Fort Ticonderoga
  • July and August 1759: Preliminary action before the taking of Ticonderoga
  • July 28, 1759: News of the death of Brigadier General John Prideaux
  • August 5, 1759: A description of the design of the proposed fort at Oswego
  • March 31, 1760: A letter describing a great fire in Boston that destroyed one quarter of the city
  • October 18, November 4, 1760, and August 31, 1761: Mentions of Mrs. Gage traveling from Albany to Montreal, of her pregnancy, and of her interactions with "the religious ladies"
  • August 1, 1761: Description of Lieutenant Colonel Grant's success against the Cherokee with details on the attack; consideration of a tax on spirits to encourage spruce beer
  • September-October 1761: Amherst's headquarters at Staten Island
  • December 12, 1761: Lord Egremont stresses the use of gentleness and kindness with the French and Indians in Canada
  • 1762-1763: Letters to Gage regarding provisioning forces in Canada and transmitting news from America, England, and Europe
  • January 16, 1762: Sir William Johnson reports on relations with Seneca Indians
  • October 13, 1762: News of the retaking of St. Johns from the French, making the entire island of Newfoundland British
  • July 1, 1763: Sir William Johnson's report on steps to take to appease the Six Nations
  • August 1, 1763: Report that Michilimackinac has fallen to the Potawatomi Indians
  • November 1, 1763: A letter from Henry Gladwin from Detroit recounting the settlement of peace with Pontiac - enclosed are 8 letters from Neyon de Villiere to Gladwin and the Indians of Detroit and a letter from Pontiac to Gladwin (in French)
  • November 17, 1763: Amherst advices the colonial governors that he is returning to England
  • January 30, 1764: Accounts for Henry Gladwin of Detroit with receipts and account records spanning October 1762-October 1763

The Schedules series (306 items) comprises the "Papers Delivered by Major General Sir Jeffery Amherst, on his giving up the Command of the Troops in North America, to Major General [Thomas] Gage." The letters and documents are organized into 14 "schedules" grouped by geography and sender/recipient. Letters are primarily copies and extracts, and the bulk of the items date from April to October 1763.

Schedule 1 (Volume 1, pages 1-34) documents Amherst's communications with the British administration at Whitehall, primarily with King George III and Secretary of State Charles Wyndham Egremont.

Discussed are:
  • Pages 9-12: The Treaty of Paris
  • Pages 18 (see also Schedule 2 pages 45-47, 51-53): Captain John Dalrymple's petition concerning accusations from North Carolina Governor Arthur Dobbs
  • Pages 19-26: Britain's new acquisitions in America after the Treaty of Paris, and the boarders with the Indian tribes in Canada and Florida
  • Pages 20 and 29: Suspicions of Catholics and priests in Canada

Schedule 2 (Volume 1, pages 35-61) documents relate to Secretary of War Welbore Ellis and Treasury Secretary Henry Jenkinson.

These contain:
  • Pages 38-39: Lists on the makeup of the regiments of Major General Robert Monckton and Lieutenant General James Abercromby
  • 45-47, 51-53: A memorial for Captain John Dalrymple and communications between Amherst and Governor Arthur Dobbs regarding Dalrymple's arrest and trial
  • Page 50: Amherst's report on the troops along the Mississippi and in Canada, including a suggestion that the commander-in-chief's headquarters be either at New York or Philadelphia

Schedule 3 (Volume 1, pages 62-93) documents relate to commanders on the Southern and western frontier, including officers at Pensacola, St. Augustine, Mobile, the Bahamas, Bermuda, Canada, and Fort de Chartres.

These contain:
  • Page 62-68: Instructions for armies across the continent
  • Page 71: A list of transport ships under Lieutenant Colonel Robertson
  • Page 81: Report on the Seneca Indians from Amherst
  • Page 83-87: Provisions and returns for troops stationed at St. Augustine and Pensacola

Schedule 4 (Volume 2, pages 1-29) documents relate to Major Henry Gladwin stationed at Detroit, and Major John Wilkins at Fort Niagara, concerning Pontiac's rebellion.

These contain:
  • Pages 5-9: Intelligence from Detroit
  • Pages 16-17: A description of an Indian attack on the schooner Queen Royal, leaving Niagara for Detroit, and Amherst's response
  • Pages 19-21: Courts of inquiry on soldiers captured by Indians
  • Pages 22-28: Reports on the 60th Regiment at Niagara and Indian relations
  • Page 29: Discussions concerning the offer of a reward of 100-200 pounds to the person who kills Pontiac

Schedule 5 (Volume 2, pages 30-37) contains the letters between Amherst and General Henry Bouquet.

Discussed are:
  • Page 30-31: Plans for troop reductions in the Southern District
  • 34-37: Details on the 60th Regiment at Fort Pitt

Schedule 6 (Volume 2, pages 38-39) letters to Lieutenant Colonel Browning of the 46th Regiment at Niagara concerning a robbery at Fort Pitt, and to Lieutenant Colonel Campbell of the 17th Regiment regarding disbanding regiments

Schedule 7 (Volume 2, pages 40-74) concerns scaling back operations at Fort Halifax, including many accounts and expense reports.

These concern:
  • Pages 41-45: Orders to Otho Hamilton for the 40th Regiment to move to Halifax
  • Pages 46-52: Proceedings of councils of war at Halifax concerning supply stoppages (September 1, 1752, August 3, 1759, September 3, 1763)
  • Page 60: A list of persons "as judged as absolutely neccissary for office at Halifax"

Schedule 8 (Volume 2, pages 75-82) contains information on operations at Louisbourg, primarily with Colonel John Tulleken.

Schedule 9 (Volume 3, pages 1-38) documents operations at the fort at St. John and the troops at Newfoundland, primarily through communications with Captain Stephen Gauly.

Discussed are:
  • Page 5: Expenses for 1762
  • Page 8: Disbursements for September 1762-August 1763
  • Pages 9-38: Accounts for the Newfoundland operations

Schedule 10 (Volume 3, pages 39-42) contains letters between Amherst and Sir William Johnson, concerning Indian relations, including the Seneca and Six Nations tribes in Western New York, Canada, and the Illinois and Ohio territories.

Schedule 11 (Volume 3, pages 43-60) documents communications with John Stuart from Charleston, South Carolina, concerning southern Indian affairs. Of note is a speech from Cherokee Chief Little Carpenter

Schedule 12 (Volume 3, pages 61-80) contains letters from Governor Thomas Boone of South Carolina; Lieutenant Governor Fauquier of Virginia; Colonel Adam Stephen at Winchester, Virginia; Lieutenant Governor James Hamilton and Governor John Penn of Pennsylvania; New Jersey Governor William Franklin; New York Lieutenant Governor Cadwallader Colden; and Amherst. These concern purchasing lands from various Indian tribes, settlement on Indian lands, and troop levels in the various colonies.

Schedule 13 (Volume 3, pages 81-91) concern Henry Bouquet and the regiment organized at Fort Pitt.

Schedule 14 (Volume 3, pages 92-117) contains troop dispositions, expense accounts, military returns, and letters received in New York after Amherst had left for England.

Included are:
  • Page 81: A disposition for all British forces in North America in August 1763
  • Pages 92-95: Reports from Bouquet regarding Fort Pitt (October 24, 1763)
  • Pages 95-110: Reports from John Hopkins of Detroit including accounts and returns
  • Page 111: A letter from Robert Rogers at Detroit who was too deep in debt to pay his creditors
  • Pages 112-115: Letters from Colonel John Bradstreet on the forces at Albany, New York
  • Pages 116-117: Letters from Thomas Hancock of Boston concerning the sale of supplies at Louisbourg

The Commissions, Reports, and Articles of Capitulation series (11 items) contains various treaties and reports relating to the British victory over France in the French and Indian War.

These are:
  • November 24, 1759: Proclamations for the British takeover of Ticonderoga and Crown Point (2 items)
  • September 8, 1760: Articles of Capitulation for the surrender of Canada from Amherst to French Governor Pierre François de Rigaud
  • May 29, 1762: Appointment of Lieutenant Launcelot Hill to the 55th Regiment
  • February 10, 1763: "The Definitive Treaty of Peace and friendship Between His Britannick Majesty, the Most Christian King, and the King of Spain, Concluded at Paris," printed in London, 1763
  • June 8, 1763: "A Report of the Board of Trade" relating to the new British possession in America from France and Spain and the board's "opinion by what regulations the most extensive Advantages may be derived from them" (2 copies)
  • July 9, [1763]: A customs act from George III along with a printed list of ships in Newfoundland and America and additional instructions to the fleet under Captain Graves (4 items)
Collection

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

70 linear feet

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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