Jump to navigation
Selected papers of William Alexander, Lord Stirling, 1767-1782. 1776-1782 (bulk)
These selected papers of William Alexander, spanning the years 1767 to 1782 (with a gap between late December 1779 to June 1781), consist of correspondence sent and received, military orders and reports, and bulletins to the Continental Congress. The earliest documents relate Lord Stirling's early commercial dealings, but the bulk of the papers chronicle his activities during the American Revolution. Alexander's baptism by fire emerges from the records of numerous campaigns and conflicts; the Battles of Long Island and Trenton in 1776, and of Brandywine the following year are well documented. Also covered in the Alexander Papers are civil and military affairs in New Jersey; military intelligence and troop movements in New Jersey and the Hudson Highlands; communication with enemy forces; and various matters of army administration. Alexander's frontier command is particularly well documented.
Notable correspondents include the most of the military and political leaders of the new state and national governments, as well as prominent merchants in New York and New Jersey. Exemplifying the caliber of the material is a report dated June 12, 1781, from General Washington to a board of general officers at New Windsor. In this signed document, Washington outlines plans for a Franco-American assault on New York and requests advice on seven specific points from his officer corps.
Items have each been inlaid into two folio volumes. The papers are extensively described in Sotheby's catalog "The Library of H. Bradley Martin, Highly Important Printed and Manuscript Americana: Auction Wednesday, January 31, 1990" (Lots 2506-2553) and are available to researchers on microfilm. Additional manuscripts relating to William Alexander can be found in the extensive Alexander Papers and the Rutherfurd Papers as well as in other gatherings of William Alexander's own correspondence, in The New-York Historical Society Manuscripts Department.
HistoryBrandywine, Battle of, Pa., 1777Long Island, Battle of, New York, N.Y., 1776Trenton, Battle of, Trenton, N.J., 1776
1 linear foot (2 folio volumes).
The collection is described in the Sotheby's catalog for the sale of the library of H. Bradley Martin.