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Manuscripts of Colonial and Revolutionary America
Personal Letters and Correspondences

What follows is a list of Colonial and Revolutionary personal letters and correspondences from the North American manuscript holdings in the Department of Special Collections, University Libraries of Notre Dame. Letters and letter groups included here date wholly or primarily from the years before 1788.

  • WILLIAM BEATTY LETTERS. 1777-1778. 5 letters. A group of five letters written from the field by 1st Lieutenant William Beatty (1758-1781) of the Maryland Line. Beatty enlisted in the Continental army in 1776 and served almost uninterruptedly until his death at Hobkirk's Hill, North Carolina in 1781. All the letters are addressed to Beatty's father, Colonel William Beatty, in Frederick County, Maryland. The earliest letter dates from August 1777, and was written from Hanover, New Jersey. The remaining four date from July to September 1778, and were written from New Brunswick, New Jersey; Philadelphia; and White Plains, New York. MSN/COL 8500-1 to MSN/COL 8500-5. [Finding Aid & Images]

  • PATRICK BURKE LETTERS. 1755. 2 letters. A pair of letters, totaling around 2500 words, written by Patrick Burke from St. Christopher in the Leeward Islands, to Martin Blake in London. Burke was "chief servant and manager" of the recently deceased sugar planter Arthur Blake, Patrick Blake's cousin. The letters provide Blake with details of the will, and with many particulars regarding the plantation. MSN/COL 8504-1-F1.

  • ANTOINE DELAFOREST LETTER. 1786. 1 letter. A letter in French in clerical hand, written from French vice consul general Antoine Delaforest in New York to Jean Toscan, the French consul at Boston. MSN/COL 8503-1

  • SAMUEL HAYNES LETTER. 1783. 1 letter. A letter written and signed by Samuel Haynes from Edenton, North Carolina, to Colonel Benjamin Baker in South Quay, Virginia. The letter concerns Haynes's prospective purchase of a half-interest in Baker's schooner Peace & Plenty. MSN/COL 8505-1-F2.

  • PARSONS-WILLIAMS FAMILY CORRESPONDENCE. 1757-1777 (bulk 1760-1766). 11 letters and 2 records. The eleven personal letters in this group were all written by or to: Rev. Joseph Parsons (1702-1765), of Bradford, Massachusetts; his son Rev. Joseph Parsons, Jr. (1733-1771), of Brookfield, Massachusetts; and Joseph Parsons, Jr.'s wife, Sarah (Sally) Williams Parsons (1737-1800), originally of Waltham, Massachusetts. There is also a document with minutes of a town meeting held at Brookfield (9 September 1757), confirming the hiring of Joseph Parsons, Jr. as minister. MSN/COL 8501-1 to MSN/COL 8501-13. [Finding Aid & Images]

  • THOMAS PRINCE LETTER. 1744. 1 letter. A one-page letter written and signed by Rev. Thomas Prince (1687-1758), pastor at Old South Church in Boston from 1718 until his death. The letter is addressed to Prince's brother Nathan (1698-1748) in Stratford, Connecticut; it encourages Nathan to redeem some recently pawned silver plate. MSN/COL 8507-1.

  • HUGH VANS LETTER. 1731. 1 letter. A one-page letter written and signed by Hugh Vans (c1699-1763) of Boston, to his uncle Col. Patrick Vans of Barnbarroch (Scotland). Hugh Vans was a Boston merchant and author of several pamphlets on monetary topics, including An Inquiry into the Nature and Uses of Money (Boston, 1740). Much of the letter's content pertains to the ongoing dispute between the Massachusetts House of Representatives and the colony's Royal Governors regarding the Governors' manner of payment. MSN/COL 8506-1.

  • LUCY WOODBRIDGE LETTER. 1779. 1 letter. A personal letter written by Lucy Woodbridge of Stonington, Connecticut to a female friend or relative, "Cretia". MSN/COL 8502-1.

  • SARAH BURD YEATES CORRESPONDENCE. Before 1768-1814. 14 letters (17 pages). The 14 personal letters in this small correspondence are all written either by or to Sarah Burd Yeates (1747/8-1829) of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Yeates was the oldest daughter of Col. James and Sarah Shippen Burd of "Tinian", near Harrisburg. On 30 December 1767 she married Jasper Yeates (1745-1817), a prominent Lancaster jurist and long a member of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. The group includes seven letters to Sarah Burd Yeates from her mother, mostly from ca. 1767 to 1775, and seven from Sarah to her husband Jasper, 1771-1814. Content is largely personal and social. MSN/COL 8505-1 to MSN/COL 8505-14.

  Related Collections:   Colonial & Revolutionary America Early National & Antebellum America American Civil War Modern America Sports

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