Robert McCallen papers  1749-1826
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Collection Scope and Content Note

The Robert McCallen papers (84 items) are the personal and military documents of a captain in the Revolutionary War from Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The collection contains nine letters, 31 military records and accounts, six regimental orders, one muster roll book, 29 receipts and financial records, one town tax record, and six legal documents.

The letters contain both personal and military information and are addressed both to McCallen and to his wife Isabella.

Of note:

  • October 22, 1774: From Agnes and James Lock to Robert and Isabella McCallen, mentioning the "Indian War" in western Pennsylvania where over 2,000 men were stationed at a Shawnee town. Also mentioned is a massacred by the Cherokee of several families in Houston, Pennsylvania
  • October 19, 1776: From servant William Grear to his "Dear and loving Master and Mistress," written the Battle of White Plains while he was in Kingsbridge
  • December 26, 1776: From McCallen to his wife containing his eyewitness account of the Battle of Trenton
  • Undated: From Agnes Lock to her daughter Isabella McCallen concerning family life and remarriage

The military records relate primarily to outfitting, arming, and paying McCallen's Pennsylvania company. Included are five lists of firearms borrowed from the local citizenry, which detail the types, conditions, and owners of the weapons (May 15, 1776, and four undated items from 1776). Also of note is the pledge from McCallen's militia agreeing to join General Washington's army (December 7, 1776). The regimental orders contain instructions for troop movements in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and the 11-page muster roll book, kept by McCallen in the summer of 1776, is comprised of multiple lists of members of McCallen's regiment and an absentee roll.

The receipts and financial documents record McCallen's personal transactions for goods, land, and services, before and after the war. The tax collecting document for Lancaster, Pennsylvania, is made up of printed instructions for the tax collector and four pages of accounts of the person who paid the tax (August 12, 1778). Legal documents include the will of Sarah McCallen (Robert's mother) and documents related to Robert McCallen's estate, such as an inventory of his property and a record of sale of land by his executors William Boal and Robert Geddis. Of note is a broadside advertisement, in German, of the sale of a piece of Pennsylvania property owned by Thomas McCallen: "Oeffentliche Vendu. Dienstags, Den 30sten Dieses Instehenden Novembers, Wird Auf Dem Vermögen Selbst, öffentlich Verkauft Werden… (Lebanon, Pennsylvania, 1824).

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