Community Transcription: March 2017

April 3rd, 2017

March 2017 marked the seventy-first month since we opened the War Department archives to community transcription, and over five years after launch we still receive requests for transcriber accounts! Here is a snapshot of transcription activity for last month:

Twenty-four new transcribers signed up last month which brings the total number of transcribers up to 2,874 as of March 31, 2017. These individuals who signed up in March mentioned an interest in people and topics such as the history of the Choctaw Nation, William Simmons, Kentucky Mounted Volunteers, Battle of Fallen Timbers, Joshua Humphreys,  Oconee War, and Georgia.

Newly transcribed documents include ones regarding procedures to charge stores, certification of payment, request for boring mill and bill of scantling, memorandum for Doctor Johnson, and estimate of money wanted for supplies for Georgia. Transcribers also transcribed documents reflecting last month’s theme of the military, including discussion of transportation of military stores from Rhode Island, general policy on southern frontier, concerning military stores and clothing, plans for providing and issuing military supplies, request for military regulations, account of Captain James Bruff, and shipment of paper and military stores.

Our community of transcribers have added 262 transcribed pages to War Department documents, with the total number of saves being 20,212. Overall, we have had 688, 521 page views.

For the month of April, we are encouraging our volunteers to transcribe documents relating to international affairs. The following documents mention this theme and are in need of transcription: response to inquires from John Adams regarding relations with France, activity with France, and intelligence report on relations between Spain and Britain.  Follow us on Twitter (@wardeptpapers) where we’ll be posting more documents in need of transcription throughout the month.

Interested in contributing to the project? Individuals can register for a transcription account and become a transcription associate.

Community Transcription: February 2017

March 1st, 2017

February 2017 marked the seventieth month since we opened the War Department archives to community transcription, and over five years after launch we still receive requests for transcriber accounts! Here is a snapshot of transcription activity for last month:

Twenty new transcribers signed up last month which brings the total number of transcribers up to 2,850 as of February 28, 2017. These individuals who signed up in February mentioned an interest in people and topics such as the Chickasaw nation, Chocktaw nation, Navy uniforms, and George Washington’s funeral.

Newly transcribed documents include ones regarding Caspar Iserloan’s woes, report on activity at Fort Harmar, and a list of proposed officer appointments. Transcribers also transcribed documents reflecting last month’s theme of borders and boundaries, including making permanent Indian boundary linesinstructions about Cherokee borders, a message to Indiansquestions regarding power to negotiate, instructions to the military commander in Tennessee, forwarding of extract from Jay’s Treaty, and a letter from Governor St. Clair on the county lieutenants.

Our community of transcribers have added 119 transcribed pages to War Department documents, with the total number of saves being 19,950. Overall, we have had 681,889 page views.

For the month of March, we are encouraging our volunteers to transcribe documents relating to the military. The following documents mention this theme and are in need of transcription:  shipment of paper and military stores, nation’s resistance to a large military, and a plan for providing and issuing military supplies. Follow us on Twitter (@wardeptpapers) where we’ll be posting more documents in need of transcription throughout the month.

Interested in contributing to the project? Individuals can register for a transcription account and become a transcription associate.

Community Transcription: January 2017

February 1st, 2017

January 2017 marked the sixty-ninth month since we opened the War Department archives to community transcription, and over five years after launch we still receive requests for transcriber accounts! Here is a snapshot of transcription activity for last month:

Twenty new transcribers signed up last month which brings the total number of transcribers up to 2,830 as of January 31, 2017. These individuals who signed up in January mentioned an interest in people and topics such as Fort Rensselaer, Fort Plain, Marinus Willett, Mohawk Indians, French Broad Rivers, and pilot boat schooners.

Newly transcribed documents include ones regarding discussion of the removal of the War Office, Israel Chapin’s speech to the Six Nations, transportation of military stores from Rhode Island, Knox invited to a ceremony for the president, relief for veterans, transportation of ammunition, and requesting a travel journal of western lands. Transcribers also transcribed documents reflecting last month’s theme of illness including illness update, delay for Captain Simkins, leave of absence due to illness, silence on sending accounts due to illness, personal letter on illness, illness of General Wayne, and caring for sick at Fort McHenry.

Our community of transcribers have added 157 transcribed pages to War Department documents, with the total number of saves being 19,831. Overall, we have had 672,379 page views.

For the month of February, we are encouraging our volunteers to transcribe documents relating to borders and boundaries. The following documents mention this theme and are in need of transcription: the Florida boundary mission of Isaac Guion, appointment of commissioners to survey US boundaries with Creeks, Chickasaws, and Cherokees, and enforcement of the Treaty of Madrid. Follow us on Twitter (@wardeptpapers) where we’ll be posting more documents in need of transcription throughout the month.

Interested in contributing to the project? Individuals can register for a transcription account and become a transcription associate.

Community Transcription: December 2016

January 10th, 2017

Happy New Year!

December 2016 marked the sixty-eighth month since we opened the War Department archives to community transcription, and over five years after launch we still receive requests for transcriber accounts! Here is a snapshot of transcription activity for last month:

Twenty new transcriber signed up last month which brings the total number of transcribers up to 2,810 as of December 31, 2016. These individuals who signed up in December mentioned an interest in people and topics such as John Sevier, land grants, and the battle of the Wabash.

Newly transcribed documents include ones regarding protection of frontiers, permission to travel to New York, letter to the accountant of the Navy, request for account information, sundry accounts, transport of goods and bookkeeping, Mr. Pierce’s absence, and quarters for recruits.

Our community of transcribers have added 53 transcribed pages to War Department documents, with the total number of saves being 19,674. Overall, we have had 666,856 page views.

For the month of January, we are encouraging our volunteers to transcribe documents relating to illness. The following documents mention this theme and are in need of transcription: silence on sending accounts due to illness, leave of absence due to illness, and the grave illness of Mrs. Clymer. Follow us on Twitter (@wardeptpapers) where we’ll be posting more documents in need of transcription throughout the month.

Interested in contributing to the project? Individuals can register for a transcription account and become a transcription associate.

Community Transcription – Sixty-Seven Months

December 5th, 2016

November marked the sixty-seventh month since we opened the War Department archives to community transcription. We continue to receive regular requests for transcriber accounts. Here is a snapshot of transcription activity for the month:

Thirty-five new transcriber signed up last month, and as of November 30, the total number of transcribers was 2,790. These new transcribers come from a variety of backgrounds and include researchers, genealogists, historians, university students, and librarians.

The individuals who signed up to transcribe in November mentioned an interest in people and topics such as the Cherokee nation; the northwest territory; Buffalo, New York; and the military presence in Tennessee.

Transcribed documents include documents regarding a profound secretabstract of supplies to the Choctaw Indians, muster master for the Washington District, rules regarding payment of women, annuities and presents for Indians, report on a memorial to Congress, treaty between Spanish and Indians, and the election of Aaron Burr and Thomas Jefferson.

Our community of transcribers have added 177 transcribed pages to War Department documents, with the total number of saves being 19,621. Overall, we have had 664,280 page views.

For the month of December, we are encouraging our volunteers to transcribe documents relating to travel in Early America. The following documents mention this theme and are in need of transcription: Chickasaw and Choctaw Indians travel to Philadelphia, ice making travel by river difficult, McHenry’s request for a travel journal, and information regarding the transportation of ammunition. Follow us on Twitter (@wardeptpapers) where we’ll be posting more documents in need of transcription throughout the month.

Interested in contributing to the project? Individuals can register for a transcription account and become a transcription associate.

Community Transcription – Sixty-Six Months

November 1st, 2016

October marked the sixty-sixth month since we opened the War Department archives to community transcription. We continue to receive regular requests for transcriber accounts. Here is a snapshot of transcription activity for the month:

Twenty-five new transcriber signed up last month, and as of October 31, the total number of transcribers was 2,755. These new transcribers come from a variety of backgrounds and include researchers, writers, university students, and genealogists.

The individuals who signed up to transcribe in October mentioned an interest in people and topics such as the Navy, St. Clair’s Defeat, the Quasi-War, and George Washington.

Transcribed documents include documents regarding William Knox conveying Congressional resolutions, provisions for the Senecas, information on US-British relations from John Jay, high demand for kentledge, prohibition on the exportation of arms and ammunition, blankets for the Marine Corps, politics and Indian relations, and Maryland’s ratification of the Constitution.

Our community of transcribers have added 158 transcribed pages to War Department documents, with the total number of saves being 19,444. Overall, we have had 597,479 page views.

For the month of November, we are encouraging our volunteers to transcribe documents relating to veterans and veteran affairs in Early America. The following documents mention this theme and are in need of transcription: request for money from a veteran of St. Clair expedition, preference towards veteran officers in selections for military appointment, military service of Sergeant Pollard, and the petition of a veteran of the Revolutionary War. Follow us on Twitter (@wardeptpapers) where we’ll be posting more documents in need of transcription throughout the month of November that discuss this theme.

Interested in contributing to the project? Individuals can register for a transcription account and become a transcription associate.

Discovering Foreign Policy in the PWD

October 27th, 2016

Elected and appointed officials in the 1790s faced a number of challenges when the war between Great Britain and France forced the United States into a defensive position. Federalists and Republicans debated loyalties as each faction sought to protect the commercial and political interests of the new nation. The Papers of the War Department offer a number of documents relevant to researchers interested in foreign policy of the early American republic. This post highlights documents that reveal some of this history.

Amidst their own revolutionary transitions, the French government declared war against Great Britain in 1793. President George Washington declared the United States would remain neutral in the conflict, and refused a request from their ambassador to provide military and financial support. Having already established a treaty with France years prior, the United States began negotiating with Great Britain to resolve remaining tensions following the Revolutionary War. The negotiations produced the Jay Treaty in 1795 that maintained peace with Britain. Angered by this new treaty, French ships began to stop, search, and seize American merchant ships for “contraband” supplies heading for British territories. In an effort to end merchant ship seizures, President John Adams sent ambassadors to France in 1797 to re-negotiate the American-French Treaty of Amity and Commerce. However, negotiations failed and resulted in the establishment of the US Navy as well as an undeclared conflict known today as the Quasi War. Assaults on American vessels continued until 1800 with the signing of the Treaty of Mortefontaine between the United States and France.

Below is a selection of documents relating to foreign policy, arranged chronologically:

  1. Notes Concerning the Conduct of the French Minister”: Letter from Alexander Hamilton (Secretary of the Treasury) to unknown recipient lists reasons the actions of the French ambassador, Charles Genêt, were deemed unacceptable by the United States.
    [
    Unavailable on PWD, can be found here]
  2. Extract of a Letter…Concerning U.S.-British Relations”: Letter from John Jay (Chief Justice) to Edmund Randolph (Secretary of State) discussing negotiations of the treaty Jay negotiated with Great Britain and the United States.
    [
    Transcribed]
  3. On the nation’s resistance to a large military establishment”: Letter draft from James McHenry (Secretary of War) to unknown recipient advocates for expanding the military and acknowledges popular resistance to maintaining a large military.
    [
    Needs Transcription]
  4. Detailed Response…Regarding Relations with France”: Letter from James McHenry (Secretary of War) to John Adams (President) discussing relations with France and avoiding war. Advice given to avoid appearing to favor Britain.
    [
    Needs Transcription]
  5. Requests Defence of US Merchant Ships against French”: Letter from William Hindman (Representative from Maryland) to James McHenry (Secretary of War) discussing the Direct House Tax and the need to defend American merchant ships against French attacks.
    [
    Needs Transcription]
  6. Federalist anger over Adam’s peace commission to France”: Letter from Uriah Tracy (Senator from Connecticut) to James McHenry (Secretary of War) illustrates Federalist opinion of France. Alludes to peace talks leading to the Convention of 1800 and a treaty with France.
    [
    Transcribed]


The documents referenced in this post are only a handful of examples that reveal opinions and disagreements over foreign policies from the early republic. To read more on what the PWD has to offer relating to this topic, see
these two blog posts. To uncover them all, explore our collection.


Interested in transcribing documents to increase the discoverability of the past? We encourage you to request a transcription account. The secrets of the past can be brought to the present with your help!

Any questions, comments, or suggestions for a future post? Please email us, we look forward to hearing from you! info@wardepartmentpapers.org

Community Transcription – Sixty-Five Months

October 4th, 2016

September marked the sixty-fifth month since we opened the War Department archives to community transcription. We continue to receive regular requests for transcriber accounts. Here is a snapshot of transcription activity for the month:

Forty-six new transcribers signed up last month, and as of September 30, the total number of transcribers was 2,730. These new transcribers come from a variety of backgrounds and include university students, genealogists, archivists, historians, and writers.

The individuals who signed up to transcribe in September mentioned an interest in people and topics such as the Wyandot people, military chaplains, Fallen Timbers, Henry Knox, and the Simcoe family.

Transcribed documents include documents regarding the account of requisitions made for Lincoln’s Mill; request for pay despite records lost during St. Clair defeat; clothing, muskets, and powder; training, supplies, and pay; British military activity; paperwork arriving with next post; agreement to repair arms; and updates on troop movement. Special thanks to students of Dr. George Oberle’s History 300 class for transcribing a large number of documents this month.

Our community of transcribers have added 358 transcribed pages to War Department documents, with the total number of saves being 19,286. Overall, we have had 557,516 page views.

For the month of October, we are encouraging our volunteers to transcribe documents relating to politics in Early America. The following documents mention this theme and are in need of transcription: ‘artful Democrats’ and federal reactions, details of the post-presidential journey home, Hamilton’s plan for military supply, and disputes over the importance of the Army and Navy. Follow us on Twitter (@wardeptpapers) where we’ll be posting more documents in need of transcription throughout the month of October that discuss this theme.

Interested in contributing to the project? Individuals can register for a transcription account and become a transcription associate.

Guide to Native American Research

September 26th, 2016

Representing federal correspondence and documents from the early republic, the Papers of the War Department contains over 2,000 documents pertaining to federal relations with more than forty Native American tribes. Finding a specific item on the site can be difficult without knowing the full scope of the collection or how individual documents are described. To assist researchers of Native American history, we compiled a list of tribes, with all known variations of spelling, mentioned in the documents of the PWD (see below).


The below list of tribes are meant to be used as initial search terms. To achieve the best results, perform an
advanced search and browse documents for places associated with the tribe of interest during the late 18th century. To get an idea of what locations would be associated with a tribe on PWD, browse tags in the “place” field of a specific document, such as in the example below.

Speech to the Five Nations of Indians at Philadelphia,” April 17, 1792, from Timothy Pickering to the Headmen of Five Nations.


List of Native American Tribes on PWD
Each grouping includes all known variations of tribal/nation names within the collection for locating documents on each specific tribe. This list includes plural spellings only when the tribe cannot be found under the singular. Assume a plural search will be needed. Some of the below names/spellings may yield similar or same documents.

  • Five Nations
  • Mohawk
  • Oneida
  • Onondaga, Onandaga, Onondago, Onondagoes
  • Cayuga, Cayoga, Cuyahuga
  • Seneca, Senaca, Seneka, Senecas of the Glaize
  • Six Nations
  • Tuscorora, Tuscarora, Tuscarawas
  • Seven Nations, Seven Villages, Anishanabea
  • (Mississauga) Mississaga, Massasauga, Messagues, Messassagues
  • Creeks, Creek Nation
  • Iroquois
  • Piaukonohou
  • Delaware, Delaware Nation
  • Moravian
  • Lenape
  • Munsee, Munsey
  • Mohicans
  • Connoy
  • Nanticoke, Nantakokies, (Wantikokes?)
  • Mingo, Mingoes
  • Chippewa, Chippawa, Chipewa, Chipeewas
  • Potawatomi, Potawatami, Pattawatamie, Poutawatomie, Putawatomie, Pottawatamies, Pouttawatamies, Potowatomies, Potawatomies, Potawatimes, Potawanamees, Pattawatamies
  • Sioux
  • Catawba
  • Muscogee, Muskogee
  • Natchez (search within persons/groups)
  • Chickamauga, Chiccamaga
  • Chickasaw, Chicasaw
  • Cherokee
  • Miami, Miamies
  • Choctaw, Chocktaw
  • Weas, Weeas, Oiatanon, Ouiatenon
  • Kaskaskia
  • Peoria, Peorians
  • Cahokia
  • Kickapoo, Kikapoo
  • Eel River
  • Piankashaw, Piankishaw, Piankeshaw
  • Musquitoes
  • Wyandot, Huron
  • Ojibwa
  • Weachtenos
  • Ottawa
  • Shawnee, Shawanese, Shawanesse, Shawnese, Shawanee, Shawanoe, Shawenesse, Chanuanan, Chaouanon, Chanianons
  • Sauk, Sacs

 

If you have found any tribes or variation in spelling not mentioned here, please send us an email: info@wardepartmentpapers.org

Community Transcription – Sixty-Four Months

September 6th, 2016

August marked the sixty-fourth month since we opened the War Department archives to community transcription. We continue to receive regular requests for transcriber accounts. Here is a snapshot of transcription activity for the month:

Nineteen new transcribers signed up last month, and as of August 31, the total number of transcribers was 2,684. These new transcribers come from a variety of backgrounds and included genealogists, retired librarians, and university students and professors.

The individuals who signed up to transcribe in August mentioned an interest in people and topics such as Richard Howell, George Washington, Marquis de Lafayette, William Campbell, and Shays’ Rebellion.

Transcribed documents include documents regarding provisions and supplies; discussion of condition of military stores in Rhode Island; coffee, sugar, and planting a garden; and Knox soliciting Lincoln’s opinion regarding his militia plan.

Our community of transcribers have added 189 transcribed pages to War Department documents, with the total number of saves being 18,928. Overall, we have had 530,501 page views.

For the month of September, we are encouraging our volunteers to transcribe documents relating to autumn and the change of weather more generally. The following documents mention this theme and are in need of transcription: clothing contracts in preparation for autumn, Indian attacks and expressions of support for Hodgdon, Captain Calendar Irvine’s request for vests for troops, weather conditions and river transportation, and the favorability of cool weather for escaping fever.

Interested in contributing to the project? Individuals can register for a transcription account and become a transcription associate.