Reed-Blackmer family papers
Collection Scope and Content Note
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The Loftus Cliffe papers consist of letters and receipts dating from Cliffe's service during the American Revolution, 1776-1778. The letters detail his participation in campaigns in the mid-Atlantic theater, and include excellent descriptions of the Battles of Long Island, Trenton, Brandywine, and Germantown. As a junior officer assigned to a regiment under the direct command of William Howe Cliffe's letters form an important resource for study of the British military during the Revolution, but the importance of the collection goes beyond just this. Cliffe's strident masculinity, his love of the military, and his fondness for local color and for discussing the lifestyle of both Americans and British make these letters unusually entertaining, and his antagonism toward Major Joseph Ferguson of the 46th Regiment adds another interesting dimension. The post-Revolutionary portion of the Cliffe Papers consists of letters written from Britain, with the exception of a single letter written from India in January, 1784.