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Revolutionary War collection

Identifier: MS 1814


This is an artificial collection and includes items such as personal letters, muster rolls, military communication and orders, government administrative records, and petitions.


  • 1728-1962


Conditions Governing Access

The 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.


5.4 Linear Feet (13 boxes)

Language of Materials



Two main catagories compose the Collection: government records and personal papers. Items created or received by the government (local, state, or national) in the course of official business fall into the records category. All items not covered by this definition are defined as personal papers and covered separately. A strict chronological arrangement is followed throughout the Collection.

The two main sections are further broken down into functional sub-groupings as follows:


A. Military - all records other than correspondence dealing with official military activities or concerns. Enrollment lists, pay rolls, returns, reports, accounts and bills, muster rolls, certificates of enlistment, communications, orders, commissions, certificates of substitution, discharges, and financial accounts of disabled soldiers make up most of this section.

B. Correspondence - letters, notes, and memos sent and verified by government officials relating to official concerns, Correspondence of Maryland Governor Eden, Johnson, Lee, and Paca is abundantly represented, as are letters to and from other prominent state, civil and military figures.

C. Oaths of Fidelity - County returns of loyalty oaths sworn to the state from January to March, 1778.

D. General - all official records not falling into the above categories. Included are reports, legislative enactments, depositions, financial accounts, prodeedings of meetings, tax lists, assorted compilation and lists, licencer, petitions, and documents connected with administration of confiscated British property.

Personal Papers

A. Correspondence - letters, notes, and memos of a non-official character sent and received. Items deal with the full range of revolutionary activity.

B. Captain John Eager Howard accounts and receipts - personal records of military pay tendered soldiers under Howard's command. At the time of their creation, these documents were private accounts of Howard's own funds used for troop payments, and kept in hope of future reimbursement.

C. General - Material other than described above. Includes newspaper clippings, literary works, legal documents, diaries and reminiscences, accounts and receipts, membership certificates, speeches, and commemorative materials. Much of this section post-dates the American Revolution.

Custodial History

All items were originally part of the Manuscript Vertical File. At some point, material judged relative to the American Revolution was removed to form a separate, artificial collection.

Separated Materials

C. Oaths of Fidelity (county returns of loyalty oaths sworn to the state from January to March 1778) were removed to form part of MS 3088, Oaths of Fidelity and Oaths of Allegiance, 1775-1778.

Scope and Contents

To create this artificial collection, a general interpretation of the conflict was used in selecting items and resulted in the inclusion of a variety of documentation. The Revolutionary War Collection is comprised of personal letters, muster rolls, military communication and orders, government administrative records, petitions, and many other types of material. The Collection also includes the correspondence of John Adams, Charles Carroll of Carrollton, Robert Eden, Mordecai Gist, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Johnson, Thomas Sim Lee, William Paca, Samuel Smith, George Washington, Otho Holland Williams, and many others.

Most items date from the revolutionary years and collectively detail the event in a broad fashion, with emphasis on military concerns of the Maryland state government. Messages to and from the Governor and Council abound, as do military service records. A significant portion of the Collection dates after the revolution and is for the most part personal in nature: reminicenses, genealogies, literary works, and so on.

Guide to the Revolutionary War collection
Under Revision
William G. LeFurgy
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 2020-08-25: 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