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Description found in Archives

British Headquarters papers [textual record (chiefly microform)]. 



Place of creation

No place, unknown, or undetermined

30 microfilm reels positive.
60 cm of textual records : transcripts.

Scope and content

Fonds consists of records accumulated at the British Army Headquarters in North America, 1775-1783, microfilm, 30 reels; and transcripts of portions of these records, 1775-1783, 60 cm. Microfilmed material is located on microfilm reels M-341 to M-370.

Textual records: microform
90: Open
Archival reference no.
Former archival reference no.

Textual records Finding Aid 784, parts 1 to 4, is composed of a photocopy of the four-volume annotated calendar from the Report on American Manuscripts in the Royal Institution of Great Britain, supplemented with a shelf list correlating the document numbers with the microfilm reel numbers. A shelf list for the transcripts is included in the Introduction, while lists of the documents transcribed form part 5 of the finding aid. All five parts of this finding aid are also available as an electronic document. MSS0784 90 (Paper)

Textual records Volume 1 of the finding aid (295 pages). MSS0784-1 90 (Electronic)

Textual records Volume 2 of the finding aid (328 pages). MSS0784-2 90 (Electronic)

Textual records Volume 3 of the finding aid (267 pages). MSS0784-3 90 (Electronic)

Textual records Volume 4 of the finding aid (293 pages). MSS0784-4 90 (Electronic)

Textual records Volume 5 of the finding aid (199 pages). MSS0784-5 90 (Electronic)

Textual records Volume 5 of the finding aid, one page (p. 136). MSS0784-5-1 90 (Electronic)

Biography / Administrative history

The commanders-in-chief of British North America during the War of Independence were Sir William Howe, 1775-1778, Sir Henry Clinton, 1778-1782, and Sir Guy Carleton, 1782-1783.

Additional information

Custodial history
The papers of the commanders-in-chief were accumulated in the office of the commander's secretary, the last being Maurice Morgann (d. 1802) under Guy Carleton. In 1798 Morgann gave the papers to John Symmons, who presented them to the Royal Institution in 1804. In 1930 they were sold through the agency of Dr. A.S.A. Rosenbach to D. Rockefeller, who in 1935 presented them to Colonial Williamsburg. In 1957 the papers were presented to Queen Elizabeth II by the President of the United States, and they now rest in the Public Record Office, London (PRO 30/55).

Arrangement note
Textual records: While at the Royal Institution, the papers were arranged and bound as 58 volumes and 4 cases or rolls, according to a rough subject classification, with some overlapping. When the Historical Manuscripts Commission of Great Britain published a calendar to the papers, under the title Report on American Manuscripts in the Royal Institution of Great Britain (London, 1904-1909; 4 volumes, indexed), a chronological arrangement was used, giving references to appropriate volumes. The calendar also gave cross-references to the Haldimand papers preserved in the British Museum (Add. MSS. 21661-21892) and to Public Record Office series when particular items were known to exist in several copies.

Microfilm: In 1959 a microfilm copy was obtained from Colonial Williamsburg, which had retained positive photostats of the papers. These records no longer follow the arrangement cited in the introduction to the Report (volume 1, pp. vi-ix), having been re-organized while in the New York Public Library, 1930-1935.

Photostats: The photostats were bound in 107 volumes, in chronological order, with the accounts organized as a second series to follow the correspondence and petitions. Each item was given a number and the numbers were entered in the margins of a copy of the calendar. This annotated calendar appears on microfilm reels M-341 and M-342.

Reproduction note
Negative and positive copies of microfilm are available for microfilm reels M-341 to M-342; only positive copies for microfilm reels M-343 to M-370.

Location of originals note
Copied from originals now held by the Public Record Office, London, England.

Varying form of title

Subject heading

1. Great Britain - Military policy, 1747-1783 Carolina, 1747-1783.
2. Great Britain - Armed Forces - North America, 1747-1783 Georgia, 1747-1783.
3. United States - History - Revolution, 1775-1783 Florida, 1747-1785.
4. North America - Defenses, 1747-1783 Bermuda, 1747-1783.
5. Great Britain - Colonial policy, 1747-1783 Bahamas, 1747-1783.
6. Great Britain - Colonies - Defenses, 1747-1783.
7. Great Britain - Relations - United States, 1775-1783.
8. Refugees - United States, 1775-1783.
9. Great Britain. Army - Ordnance and ordnance stores, 1747-1783.
10. Petitions - North America, 1747-1783.
11. Ships - North America, 1741-1783.
12. Colonies Administration. Great Britain
13. Colonies Administration. Grande-Bretagne


Other system control no.