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War of 1812 collection

Identifier: MS 1846


This artifical collection consists of diverse items reflecting Maryland's role in the War of 1812. Most of the collection is comprised of letters and documents dating from 1812 to 1814, although relevant items before and after these dates are also included. Correspondence reflects the nature of the war and the significance attached to it.


  • 1794-1960
  • Majority of material found in 1812-1814

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

The reproduction of materials in this collection may be subject to copyright restrictions. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine and satisfy copyright clearances or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections. For more information visit the MCHC’s Rights and Permissions page.


1.3 Linear Feet (3 boxes)

Language of Materials



The collection has been divided into four categories: Personal, 1808-1917; Military and Government, 1794-1960; Conscientious Objector Lists, 1808-1812; and Muster Rolls, 1812-1815. The Personal papers have been furthered divided into correspondence and general sections. The Military and Government papers have been furthered divided into correspondence, records, and general sections. There are also two other sections, one devoted to conscientious objector lists and one devoted to muster rolls.

Personal-correspondence section contains letters between friends, family members, and relatives concerning the war -- their opinions on disturbances and the general outlook of the country. There are letters dealing with the declaration of war, of rioting in Baltimore in 1812, preparations for military action in Baltimore, the Battle of Bladensburg, and the Battle of Baltimore. Some letters are from soldiers relating activities of their military life to parents and friends. These materials date from 1808-1917.

Personal-general section consists of personal accounts of wartime activities, insurance policies, a passport, and certificates of membership in the Association of the Defenders of Baltimore. These materials date from 1802-1878.

Military and Government-correspondence section consists of letters written to and from military and government officials. The letters reveal activities during the war including shipping and blockades, foreign relations, troop movements, ammunition deliveries, and battle descriptions. Correspondents include John H. Rogers, Ninian Pinkney, James McHenry, Thomas W. Veazey, William H. Nicholson, John Stricker, Robert Carr, and Florant Meline. Correspondence dates from 1794-1835.

Military and Government-records section dates from 1812-1936 and includes uniform regulations, commissions, regimental orders, ration and provision returns, pay rolls, certificates of service, orderly books, and pensions.

Military and Government-general section is made up of receipts for services offered to the military, bills, minutes of meetings, logs of the Surprize and Tonnant, descriptions of the Battle of Baltimore, and land bounty certificates for veterans. Materials date from 1807-1960.

Conscientious Objector Lists - 1808-1812

Muster Rolls - circa 1812-1815

Custodial History

The War of 1812 Collection is an artificial collection consisting of items originally located in the Manuscript Vertical File. They were amassed together to form one collection because of their relationship to the War of 1812. The items were given at various times and by various donors and the provenance of some items is unclear.

Scope and Contents

The War of 1812 Collection consists of letters, documents, and other material all of which concerns the War of 1812. Although the bulk of the collection spans the years 1812-1815, there is a wide range of material dating from 1794 to 1960.

The collection reflects both a personal side of the war and a military side. The personal side is revealed by the great number of letters between friends, relatives, and family members concerning their opinions on the war, military activities, and the outlook of the country in general. There are also pages from personal journals, personal statements regarding the war, and certificates of membership in various military associations and clubs.

The military side of the war is reflected in correspondence to and from soldiers and government officials, military records including muster rolls, pay rolls, conscientious objector lists, and commissions, and in other military and government related material such as receipts, logbooks of U.S. vessels, minutes of meetings, and resolutions.

Many of the items in the collection are either typescripts, photostats, or xerox copies.

Guide to the War of 1812 collection
Under Revision
Drew Gruenburg
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 2020-01-03: Manually entered into ArchivesSpace by Sandra Glascock .

Repository Details

Part of the H. Furlong Baldwin Library Repository

H. Furlong Baldwin Library
Maryland Center for History and Culture
610 Park Avenue
Baltimore MD 21201 United States