The Henry Addison collection consists of 38 letters written by Addison while an exile in England during the Revolutionary War. The majority of the letters are addressed to fellow exile and brother-in-law Jonathan Boucher. The letters not addressed to Boucher included one letter written to Addison's son Daniel Addison dated March 1, 1779 regarding Daniel's obtaining a commission in the British Army; a letter to George Germain seeking compensation for Addison's loses when fleeing America (April 1777); and a letter to Sir Guy Charleston asking advice in collecting debts and compensation (October 7, 1783). There is also a letter and petition from James Chalmers regarding injustices to his Maryland loyalist regiment enclosed in a letter to Boucher (1783).
Addison's letters document the life of an exiled, loyalist American including his political thoughts, financial hardships, health, and attempts to return to America. The letters describe Addison's life in Shropshire England and his travels though the county. His financial troubles are a frequent topic with Addison commenting on debts he occurred when going into exile, attempts to borrow money, reclaiming debts owed to him, and receiving compensation for property lost while fleeing America. In addition Addison's son Daniel is the topic of many letters as Addison attempted to secure him a position in the British Army, ensure that Daniel will be taken care of after his father's death, and reign in his expensive lifestyle.
In addition the letters provide insight into Addison's thoughts about the war. He comments on military progress, the British conduct of the war and English politics, including his eventual acceptance of independence and willingness to return to America. He also writes about his loyalist sympathies including the connections between loyalism and Anglicanism. Addison also took an active interest in the peace negotiation, particularly the status of confiscated property. Addison's letters written after his return to American detail his own attempts to regain lost property.
The collection also includes transcripts of Addison's letters to Boucher. In addition the collection came to the Clements with transcripts of other letters written to Boucher. The Clements does not own the originals letters.