William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan
Finding aid for
Finding aid created by
Winchester Family Papers, 1799-1847
Meg Hixon, November 2011
Winchester family papers
The Winchester family papers contain correspondence and one document related to the family of John and Nancy Winchester of Groton, Connecticut. Their son William, a sailor during and after the War of 1812, wrote most of the letters.
The material is in English
William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Web Site: www.clements.umich.edu
Access and Use
The collection is open for research.
Copyright status is unknown
Cataloging funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). This collection has been processed according to minimal processing procedures and may be revised, expanded, or updated in the future.
Winchester Family Papers, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan
The collection is arranged chronologically, with undated items placed at the end.
John Winchester was born in Hartford, Connecticut, ca. 1768, and served as a drummer in the United States Army's 2nd Regiment of Arrtillery and Engineers in the late 18th century. He and his wife Nancy lived in Groton, Connecticut, and had at least four sons: John, William, Alden, and Elias. William served on Gunboat 95 during the War of 1812, and John and Alden may have been sailors as well. Elias died of an illness in 1814.
Collection Scope and Content Note
The Winchester family papers contain correspondence and one document related to the family of John and Nancy Winchester of Groton, Connecticut. Their son William, a sailor during and after the War of 1812, wrote most of the letters. In his brief letters to his mother Nancy, William reported on his health and recent assignments and voyages, and requested news of his brothers and of life at home. He composed several of the letters while serving in the Navy during the War of 1812. In one letter, he reported having heard the news of the death of one of his brothers, and implored his mother to tell him which brother had died (May 11, 1814); most likely Elias. Other letters in the collection include correspondence from William's brothers, John and Alden, who, like William, gave their mother brief updates on their own travels at sea and of their employment, In her letter of February 18, 1814, Nancy sent news about the ill health of Elias. Also of interest within the collection is the official discharge form relieving the senior John Winchester from duty as a drummer in the Second Regiment of Artillery and Engineers, signed by Secretary of War James McHenry (November 30, 1799).
- Sailors--United States--Correspondence.
- United States. Navy--History--War of 1812.
- Byrne, E. Daniel.
- McHenry, James, 1753-1816.
- Winchester, Alden.
- Winchester, John.
- Winchester, William.
- Letters (correspondence)
- Military records.