Complete a Transcription: History of a Canadian Refugee

December 16th, 2014

In an undated document, Benjamin Thompson set forth the history of his life during the era of the American Revolution. Although born in Boston, he was apprenticed at the age of fourteen to a merchant in Montreal. He recounts his efforts on the part of the American cause, prior to his departure from Montreal in 1776, all in an effort to qualify for compensation under the Act of Congress for the Relief of Refugees from the British Provinces of Canada and Nova Scotia.

The first eight pages of this document have been transcribed, but the last four (images 9-12) have not. Can you complete this transcription so its content can become part of the searchable archive of the Papers of the War Department?

Community Transcription – Forty-Three Months

December 2nd, 2014

November was the forty-third month since we opened the War Department archives to community transcription. We are still receiving regular requests for transcription accounts. Here is a snapshot of transcription activity for the month:

As of October 31, we have 2,049 users, with approximately 63 new transcribers registered since the last update. Those volunteer transcribers have made 14,072 saves to War Department documents, which is about 385 additional edits since the last update. The average number of edits before a document is saved continues to be three. We have had 217,451 total page views.

Among those who signed up to transcribe in the last month were public librarians, members of local historical societies, journalists, students at the graduate and undergraduate level, and members of the Cherokee and Chickasaw nations. Transcribers include teachers at every level of education, elementary to university. Those who specified an interest or focus mentioned the French colony at Gallipolis, Ohio, the treaties of Muskingum and Fort Harmar, the ratification of the Constitution, American Indian delegations and oratory, and James Swan. Transcribers also expressed interest in uncovering the history of American Indian tribes and nations which appear in the documentary record of the War Department, specifically the Lenape, Chickasaw, Cherokee, Choctaw, and Potawatomi.

As we continue to move forward with the project, individuals may still register for a transcription account.