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Revolutionary War Collection, 1770-1856, 1901-1961, undated

Identifier: MM 2

Scope and Content Note

The Revolutionary War Collection includes ships' papers, regimental records, enlistment records, company rolls, pay rolls, orderly books, correspondence, bills, receipts, journals, notes, and sketches related to the Revolutionary War. The majority of the material documents the involvement of Massachusetts during the war. This collection has been arranged into three series.

Series I. Ships Papers includes correspondence, a power of attorney, articles of agreement, officers, crew and shares listings, along with bills and receipts created aboard ships during the time of the Revolutionary War. Subseries A. Tyrannicide (Brigantine) includes ships' papers along with secondary research material related to the Tyrannicide. Subseries B. Other Vessels includes ships' papers arranged alphabetically by ship name. These ships participated in some way in the American naval presence during the Revolutionary War or were impacted by the British Naval presence during the conflict.

Series II. Service Records includes regimental records, muster rolls, company rolls, pay rolls, provision returns, enlistment records, commissions, appointments, orderly books, correspondence, pension papers, journals, sketches, and lists of men in military service during the Revolutionary War. Subseries A. Regimental Records includes records for the 1st Massachusetts Regiment, 2nd Massachusetts Regiment, 3rd Massachusetts Regiment, 4th Massachusetts Regiment, 5th Massachusetts Regiment, 14th Massachusetts Regiment, and Colonel Nathaniel Wade's Regiment, along with muster rolls from Massachusetts towns, Lloyd's Neck, Byfield, Marblehead and Gloucester, enlistment records, and provision and clothing returns. Subseries B. Commissions and Appointments includes commission papers for Jeremiah Page, appointment papers for Brigadier General James Bricket and Quartermaster Caleb Cushing, along with a list of newly ranked Captains in the United States Navy upon establishment of the position. Subseries C. Orders and Receipts includes orders and court proceedings, an orderly book from the Connecticut 19th Regiment of Foot, a British orderly book and transcript, and a five volume transcript of Captain John Francis' orderly book. Subseries D. Correspondence includes various letters related to the Revolutionary War. This includes a letter from Dr. Church to Major Cane concerning the battle at Bunker Hill; multiple letters between Captain Hodgkins and Aaron Perkins; and a letter from Colonel John Brooks at White Plains. Of particular note is the correspondence to and from General George Washington. Finally, this subseries includes the completed Certification of Service papers reviewed in light of pension requests. Subseries E. Journals and Notes includes a memorandum book by Isaac Parson, journals by Abel Chandler, John Goodwin and additional unknown authors, along with notes, two fort plans designed by Lieutenant Colonel Stephen Rochfontaine, chief engineer of the United States Army, a manual for drills and parades, newspaper clippings, and a sketch. Subseries F. Rolls of Men includes lists of men who served during the Revolutionary War including lists of deserted, wounded, discharged, or killed individuals, along with lists of medals awarded by Congress, lists of privateers and prizes taken, and lists of Americans in Old Will Prison. Finally, included are handwritten copies of military documents from Topsfield, Massachusetts recording service of soldiers and sailors from that town made by George Francis Dow in 1893. Subseries G. Financial Records include various bills and receipts along with currency from New Hampshire and Pennsylvania.

Series III. Secondary Research Material includes handwritten notes, typescripts and manuscripts created by individuals while researching issues related to the Revolutionary War. Correspondence from Robert S. Rantoul discusses the British 64th Regiment. Manuscripts from Langton Haldane-Robertson relate to Philadelphia's involvement in the first year of the Revolutionary War.


  • Creation: 1770-1856, 1770-1856, 1901-1961, undated

Restrictions on Access

This collection is open for research use.

Historical Sketch

The Revolutionary War was fought between Great Britain and the thirteen British colonies in North America, lasting from 1775 to 1783. The war was the culmination of the political American Revolution, caused by the colonists rejecting the right of the Parliament of Great Britain to govern them without representation. In 1776, representatives from all thirteen colonies voted unanimously to adopt a Declaration of Independence, officially rejecting the British monarchy in addition to its Parliament. France entered the war on the side of the Americans in early 1778, balancing military and naval strengths with Britain. The Treaty of Paris was signed on September 3, 1783 formally ending the war. The last British troops left New York City on November 25, 1783; the United States Congress of the Confederation ratified the Paris treaty on January 17, 1784.


6.25 linear feet (6 boxes)

Language of Materials



The Revolutionary War Collection includes ships' papers, regimental records, enlistment records, company rolls, pay rolls, orderly books, correspondence, bills, receipts, journals, notes, and sketches related to the Revolutionary War. The majority of the material documents the involvement of Massachusetts during the war.

Series List

SERIES I. Ships' Papers

  • A. Tyrannicide (Brigantine)
  • B. Other Vessels
SERIES II. Service Records
  • A. Regimental Records
  • B. Commissions and Appointments
  • C. Orders and Receipts
  • D. Correspondence
  • E. Journals and Notes
  • F. Rolls of Men
  • G. Financial Records
SERIES III. Secondary Research Materials

Physical Location

Phillips Library Stacks


This material was acquired through various sources. The British Orderly Book was donated by Isabella M. Camman in October, 1933. Lawrence W. Jenkins donated the articles of agreement document for the Ship Young Grand Turk, along with additional items, in November 1937 (acc. 10,234). The "Circular to Collectors and Naval Officers" document was purchased from the Boston Antique Shop located at 59 Beacon St. Boston, MA on January 26, 1938 (acc. 10,259). The General Stark document was donated by Augustus P. Loring, Jr., on July 30, 1943 (acc. 11,097). Individual documents were acquired from Robert S. Sull on March 28, 1952. The Schooner Hawke contract was acquired from William J. Tremblay of Salem (acc. 12,484). The Sloop Woolwrich document was donated by Worrall D. Prescott on October 26, 1961. The currency from New Hampshire and Pennsylvania was acquired from Mr. Paul Stevens on January 25, 1963 (acc. 16,109). The document related to the Brig Saratoga was acquired from Mr. Malcolm B. Jones on September 17, 1974 (acc. 20,451). Multiple items were donated by Lawrence W. Jenkins. Some of this material was originally arranged as Fam. Mss. 1062, Fam. Mss. 1063 or MM 24.

Bibliography and Related Material

Lambert, David Allen. "Massachusetts Regimental Histories of the Revolutionary War." American Ancestors. Web. 17 Apr 2012.

Eben F. Stone Papers, 1743-1793, Fam. Mss. 966

Edmund Gale Diary, 1780-1781, Fam. Mss. 352a

John Glover Papers, 1732-1797, MSS 314

Massachusetts Volunteer Militia Records, 1779-1914, MM 6

Wade and Hodgkins Papers, 1775-1845, Fam. Mss. 1056

For additional printed material related to the Revolutionary War, including regimental histories by Frank A. Gardner, and issues of the Massachusetts Magazine, please visit Philcat, our online catalog.

Processing Information

Collection processed and cataloged by Halley Grogan, July 2012.

REVOLUTIONARY WAR COLLECTION, 1770-1856, 1770-1856, 1901-1961, undated
Inventory prepared by Halley Grogan
Language of description
Script of description
Processing of this collection was funded by a grant from the NHPRC (National Historical Publications and Records Commission).

Repository Details

Part of the Phillips Library Repository

Peabody Essex Museum
306 Newburyport Turnpike
Rowley MA 01969 USA