MS Eng 508.1
Hamilton, Henry, d. 1796. Henry Hamilton papers: Guide.
Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University
Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138 USA
© President and Fellows of Harvard College
Call No.: MS Eng 508.1
Repository: Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University
Creator: Hamilton, Henry, d. 1796.
Title: Henry Hamilton papers,
Quantity: 1 collection (2
boxes (.75 linear ft.)
Language of materials: Collection materials are in English.
Abstract: Papers of British officer Henry Hamilton and correspondence and other papers related
to the acquisition and publication of these and other Hamilton manuscripts.
*2001M-12. Original Hamilton materials were gift of: Mrs. Caroline Isabella Hamilton Rice, Grange Erin, Douglass, County Cork, Ireland; received: 1902 Mar. 28
Jacob Schieffelin materials were gift of: Howland Pell, Mary S. Sayers and John Lawrence Schieffelin, 1 Wall Street, New York, New York; received: 1933 Oct. 25.
Processed by: Bonnie B. Salt
There are no restrictions on physical access to this material.
Henry Hamilton Papers (MS Eng 508.1). Houghton Library, Harvard University.
See also HOLLIS database for other materials owned by the Houghton Library relating
to Henry Hamilton and his family.
Hamilton's father was Henry Hamilton (1692-1743), MP for Donegal, County Cork, Ireland.
Henry Hamilton was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1734? as the fourth of seven children.
He spent his youth in Cork and was commissioned into the 15th Regiment of Foot in
the British Army. He earned distinction in the British victories at the battles of
Louisburg and Quebec in the French and Indian War.
Hamilton was the British Lieutenant-Governor at Detroit from 1775-1778 and was the
man responsible for implementing British Indian policy in the Old Northwest during
the American Revolution. He was called the "Hair-Buyer General" by his adversary George
Rogers Clark, referring to Hamilton's alleged practice of offering bounties for American
scalps, but many historians have since dispelled much of this legend. In August of
1778, Hamilton learned that the Virginians under Colonel George Rogers Clark were
descending the Ohio River to invade Illinois country to occupy posts there, including
Vincennes on the Wabash River. Hamilton mounted an expedition to counterattack and
drive the Virginians from Vincennes. He set out in September and October via the Maumee
and Wabash Rivers but by February 1779 Clark retook Vincennes and took Hamilton prisoner.
Hamilton was taken by the Americans to Williamsburg, Virginia and held in jail until
parole was arranged in October of 1780. He was then taken to New York where he was
exchanged for an American prisoner in March of 1781 and he arrived in London in June.
Hamilton was sent back to Quebec from 1782 to 1785 as Lieutenant-Governor and later
Deputy-Governor. He was Lieutenant-Governor, then Governor of Bermuda from 1785-1794,
and Governor of Dominica from 1794-1796. In March of 1795, at the age of 61, Hamilton
married Elizabeth Lee (25 years old), daughter of Colonel Lee of Banbury, Oxfordshire.
They had only one child, Mary Anne Pierpoint Hamilton, who died unmarried on 1871
Dec. 12. Hamilton died in 1796 at Antigua while still holding office.
Hamilton's older brother was Sackville Hamilton, a Privy Councillor and Chief Secretary
for Ireland. It was this brother's great-granddaughter, Mrs. Rice, who donated the
Hamilton material to Harvard.
Organized into the following series:
- I. Henry Hamilton papers
- II. Papers concerning the Henry Hamilton archive
- ___A. Correspondence
- ___B. Other materials
This collection of Hamilton materials include correspondence, clippings, compositions,
drawings, notes, photographs, and transcripts. The series "Henry Hamilton papers"
was part of the original gift sent by Mrs. Rice and contains original (or transcipt
copies) of materials by, sent to, or related to Henry Hamilton and his family. The
series "Papers concerning the Henry Hamilton archive" includes letters from the donor
to various members of the administration of Harvard University and the Harvard College
Library as well as letters to and from Librarian William Coolidge Lane regarding his
research on Hamilton and his attempts to publish the journals.
- Series: I. Henry Hamilton papers
- (1). Compton, Lady Eliza, 16th cent. Transcript of letter to Lord Compton, [17--]. 1 folders
18th-century copy of a 16th-century letter. Also includes clipping concerning circumstances of the letter.
- (3). Dorchester, Sir Guy Carleton, 1st baron, 1724-1808. Letter to Lambert : Quebec, 1768 Jul. 14. 1 folders
- (4). Hamilton, Mrs., recipient. Envelope wrapper from unidentified correspondent, undated. 1 folders
Addressed to "25 Upper Seymour St., Portman Square." Notation inside: "American chiefs
by Gov. Hamilton." Possibly once housed Hamilton's portrait drawings of Native Americans?
- (5). Hamilton, Henry, d. 1796. Drawings of unidentified men, undated. 1 folders
Bust portrait sketches in pen on 1 sheet of paper.
- (6). Hamilton, Henry, d. 1796. Journal of the British expedition to Vincennes, 1778-1779. Ts mimeograph transcript : Cambridge, [ca. 1905]. 4 folders
Apparently made after the gift of the original manuscript journal to Harvard University.
- (7). Hamilton, Henry, d. 1796. Letter (draft) to unidentified correspondent : Bermuda?, undated. 1 folders
- (8). Hamilton, Henry, d. 1796. Letter (draft) to unidentified correspondent : [Quebec], 1784 Apr. 26. 1 folders
Concerns the governmental apparatus of the province.
- (9). Hamilton, Henry, d. 1796. Notes : AMss, 1785 and undated. 1 folders
- (10). Hamilton, Henry, d. 1796. Of the soil and productions of Bermuda : AMs, [Bermuda], 1790 May 20. 1 folders
- (10a). Hamilton, Henry, d. 1796. Reasons [for not accepting parole] in answer to Governor Jefferson's demands : AMsS, [Williamsburg], 1780 Sept. 27. 1 folders
- (11). Hamilton, Henry, d. 1796, recipient. Letter from unidentified correspondent : [Ireland], undated. 1 folders
- (12). Hotham, Charles. Letter to Henry Hamilton : Dalton, 1772 Jun. 28. 1 folders
- (13). Pitt, John, 2nd earl of Chatham, 1756-1835. Letter to [Henry Hamilton] : [London], 1789, Oct. 15. 1 folders
- (14). Rawdon. Letter to Henry Hamilton : Camden, South Carolina, 1780 Aug 25. 1 folders
- Series: II. Papers concerning the Henry Hamilton archive
- A. Correspondence
- (15). Harvard College Library. Correspondence with various others concerning the Henry Hamilton Papers, 1902. 1 folders
Includes correspondence of: William Coolidge Lane, William Dana Orcutt of the Harvard University Press, and others.
- (16). Harvard College Library. Correspondence with various others concerning the Henry Hamilton Papers, 1903. 1 folders
Includes correspondence of: B.F. Stevens & Brown, Ltd., Archer Butler Hulbert, William Coolidge Lane, Harry Miller Lydenberg, William Phillips of the United States Embassy (Great Britain), and others.
- (17). Harvard College Library. Correspondence with various others concerning the Henry Hamilton Papers, 1906-1907.
Includes correspondence of: Henry S. Culvar of the United States Consulate (Queenstown, Ireland),William Coolidge Lane, Caroline Isabella Hamilton Rice, and others.
- (18). Harvard College Library. Correspondence with various others concerning the Henry Hamilton Papers, 1908. 1 folders
Includes correspondence of: Charles Mclean Andrews, Jacob Piatt Dunn of the Indiana Historical Society, Worthington Chauncey Ford of the Library of Congress, William Coolidge Lane, and others.
- (19). Harvard College Library. Correspondence with various others concerning the Henry Hamilton Papers, 1914. 1 folders
Includes correspondence of: William Coolidge Lane and R. C. Ballard Thruston.
- (21). Pell, Howland. Correspondence with Harvard University and others, 1906-1933. 1 folders
Includes correspondence with: William Coolidge Lane,Clarence Pell (his cousin and a student at Harvard College), Alfred Claghorn Potter, and George Parker Winship.
Concerns Henry Hamilton and Jacob Schieffelin, a lifelong friend of Hamilton's.
Includes an uncancelled loose US postage stamp issued in 1929 to commemorate the 150
anniversary of the capture of Fort Sackville at Vincennes, Indiana.
Photograph and text description moved to items (24) and (27) below.
- B. Other materials
- (23). Lane, William Coolidge, 1859-1931. Research notes on Henry Hamilton : AMss, Tss, [Cambridge], [ca. 1907]-1913. 2 folders
- (25). Lt. Governor Henry Hamilton : photomechanical prints, undated. 2 items in 1 folder.
Prints of drawing of Henry Hamilton on ivory. Original cataloged as MS Eng 508.2.
- (26). Materials concerning Henry Hamilton : print, 1902-1903. 1 folders
Includes portions of: The American Historical Review, April 1903; and Transactions of the Colonial Society of Massachusetts, March 1902.