Transcribe this and “oblige a poor woman”

February 11th, 2015

In a letter dated February 27, 1796, Abiel Foster wrote to Secretary of War James McHenry on behalf of the mother of John Stanal Gilman. Gilman was a deceased soldier who served under Captain Cass and fought in the Western Army. Gilman’s mother resided in Foster’s neighborhood in New Hampshire and was curious as to whether her son was owed any “arrears of pay or clothing” at the time of his death. If Gilman was to have been the recipient of money or clothing, both would be due to his mother. Foster asks McHenry to look into Gilman’s mother’s inquiry, and stated that any information McHenry might discover would “oblige a poor woman.”

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Community Transcription – Forty-Five Months

February 3rd, 2015

January was the forty-fifth 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 January 31, we had 2,100 users, with 28 new transcribers registered since the last update. Those volunteer transcribers have made 14,198 saves to War Department documents, which is about 46 additional edits since the last update. The average number of edits before a document is saved continues to be three. We have had 225,033 total page views.

Among those who signed up to transcribe in the last month included genealogists and park service employees, as well as high school and university students. Transcribers include teachers at every level of education, elementary to university. Those who specified an interest or focus mentioned the frontier fort system, St. Clair’s defeat, commerce, and the beginnings of the United States Navy.

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