Benjamin Helm & Company account and daybook  1823-1824
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Collection Scope and Content Note

The Samuel Morris journal (187 pages) contains the daily accounts of a Connecticut private and clerk serving in Captain Andrew Dalrymple’s Massachusetts Regiment and Colonel Eleazer Fitch's 4th Connecticut Regiment during the French and Indian War. From 1758 to 1759, Morris' regiment was stationed at Fort Edward, Crown Point, and nearby camps around Lake George. On July 26, 1759, Morris witnessed the Battle of Ticonderoga (Fort Carillon) lead by Jeffery Amherst.

The journal is divided into three sections:

  • Part I: May 25 to October 16, 1758 (pages 1-43)
  • Part II: April 6-December 14, 1759 (pages 44-117)
  • Part III: Accounts and memoranda (pages 118-187)

The first section (pages 1-43) records the activities of a Massachusetts regiment commanded by Captain Andrew Dalrymple during their march from Woodstock to Fort Edward in May 1758, and the British military encampment near Lake George (June to November 1758). Described are the march north, camp and weather conditions, various small expeditions around Lake George, news of skirmishes with the enemy, and details on deaths and burials.

Of note:

  • Page 10: A report of a soldier accidentally getting shot by a fellow soldier
  • Pages 13, 23, 31, 32: Remarks about Major Robert Rogers and his skirmishes with the Indians
  • Page 34: Colonel John Bradstreet's success in the taking of "Cattorogway"

The second section (pages 44-117) details Morris' experiences as a sergeant under David Holmes in the 4th Connecticut Regiment, stationed near Lake George. He described the journey to Albany with stops in Massachusetts and Fort Miller Falls, New York, and the activities of the British/colonial army preparing for a conflict with the French and their Indian allies. Included is an account of the fall of Fort Ticonderoga (July 26, 1759), and a description of sickness and hardship experienced at Crown Point from August to November 1759. Entries from this section also contain remarks about going to church, hearing sermons, and prayer (or lack thereof) on Sundays.

Of note:

  • Page 50: Morris is married on May 3, 1759
  • Page 67: British are alarmed by French and Indians on Lake George and Major Rogers skirmishes with the enemy
  • Page 77: Colonel Townshend killed by a cannon ball
  • Page 78: British troops are in position outside Fort Ticonderoga
  • Page 82: Generals James Wolfe and Jeffery Amherst issue construction and wood chopping instructions
  • Page 85: Punishments issued for two men in Thomas Gage's light infantry
  • Page 102: Quebec taken by the British
  • Page 117: After his army service, Morris begins teaching at a school in Sturbridge, Massachusetts

The remainder of the volume is comprised of accounts and memoranda primarily written from Dudley, Massachusetts (pages 118-187). Included is an entry stating that Morris had moved his family to Sturbridge, Massachusetts (April 6, 1760). Morris also documented accounts from 1761-1762 for food, goods, and services, including paying workers for construction, fieldwork, chopping wood, transporting goods to a mill, and charges for the use of his oxen and horse. Page 132 contains a receipt for goods bought and sold in Boston, and page 142 briefly documents Henry Morris's three-month travels to Lake Erie and back. Also of note is a list of sergeants for the 2nd guard (page 162), a list of men serving under Andrew Dalrymple (pages 180-183), and an account of the dying words of Captain Bartman at Albany, age 27, in 1758 (page 179).

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