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Manuscript Division



Women's Suffrage
Health and Medicine
Papers of Presidents and First Ladies
Congressional Collections
Legal Collections
Military and Diplomatic Affairs
arrow graphicRevolutionary War
Maritime Families
Civil War
Western Frontier
World War I
World War II
Women Diplomats
Family Papers of Male Diplomats
Literature and Journalism
Artists, Architects, and Designers
Actresses and Actors




Revolutionary War

Although the division's military holdings span the entire history of the United States, they are particularly rich for the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The Revolutionary War is the focus of innumerable collections, many of which are described in the publication Manuscript Sources in the Library of Congress for Research on the American Revolution, compiled by John R. Sellers et al. (Washington: Library of Congress, 1975; Z1238.U57 1975). These collections cover both Loyalists and patriots. For example:

  • Surgeon Isaac Foster (69 items; 1769-1899) [catalog record], a patriot, described for his wife, Mary Russell Foster, his military activities and travels during the American Revolution, and she wrote to him about domestic life and the impact of war on the economy, especially in the Boston area.
  • After her Loyalist husband and their daughter fled to England during the Revolutionary War, Grace Galloway (d. 1782) remained in Philadelphia in an unsuccessful attempt to save the family property. Her correspondence in the Joseph Galloway Family Papers (260 items; 1743-1823) [catalog record] describes her daily experiences, her need to smuggle her letters through enemy lines, and the attack on the family's home during the riots following the British surrender at Yorktown.
  • Christian Barnes (54 items; 1768-84) [catalog record], the wife of merchant Henry Barnes, similarly described the hardships faced by Loyalists in Massachusetts and related her family's experiences after the war when they and other Loyalists relocated to Bristol, England.

The division's early presidential and congressional collections are also good sources of information on the Revolutionary War. In addition, letters by and about women during this time period may be found online as part of the American Memory collections focusing on the papers of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson and The Letters of Delegates to Congress in A Century of Lawmaking For a New Nation.

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