John Greenwood journal
Collection Scope and Content Note
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This volume (7.5"x6") contains John Greenwood's memoirs about his experiences during the Revolutionary War (approximately 163 pages) and about his family and personal life (17 pages). During the war, Greenwood was a fife player with a Massachusetts regiment and served on privateers and other vessels in the Caribbean Sea. Greenwood originally composed his Revolutionary War memoirs in 1809; this item is a later copy made by his son Clark.
After a brief note by Clark Greenwood, who transcribed his father's memoirs, the main narrative opens with John Greenwood's brief account of his early years in Boston and in Portland, Maine, and of the unrest that eventually led to the American Revolution (5 pages). Pages 5-51 consist of Greenwood's detailed recollections about playing the fife in a Massachusetts regiment in the Continental Army, and about his experiences in the military. After page 51, the memoirs focus on the interception of British ships in the Caribbean Sea, during which time Greenwood was captured as a British prisoner of war. In addition to his wartime experiences, he also briefly recounted some stories of his postwar life, such as the beginning of his dental practice (pp. 85-89). The remaining parts of the volume include a note by a Greenwood family member who had recently read the memoirs (January 11, 1894), and an additional 17-page autobiographical account by John Greenwood.