Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
Benjamin Stevens Letter Book, 1781-1808

Finding aid created by
Caitlin Marineau, January 2011

Summary Information
Title: Benjamin Stevens letter book
Creator: Stevens, Benjamin, 1754-1838
Inclusive dates: 1781-1808
Extent: 1 volume
The letter book contains copies of correspondence Benjamin Stevens wrote as Commissary General at Hartford, Connecticut, during the Revolutionary War. The letters document his attempts to secure supplies for the Continental Army.
Repository: William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Phone: 734-764-2347
Web Site:

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

1988. M-2423.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.


Copyright status is unknown

Processing Information:

Cataloging funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the "We the People" project.

Preferred Citation:

Benjamin Stevens Letter Book, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


All of the letters are bound together in one volume, with one loose sheet, and are arranged in chronological order, followed by an undated poem and a listing of work accounts for the years 1806 to 1808.


Benjamin Stevens was born June 25, 1754, in Canaan, Connecticut, the son of Zebulon Stevens and Miriam Fellows. He enlisted in the Continental Army in 1776 and participated in the expedition to Montreal, led by General Benedict Arnold, where he was taken prisoner. In October 1778, he was appointed Assistant Commissary General, and was promoted to Commissary General at Hartford, Connecticu, in April 1780. Stevens married Esther Rowlson in 1781, with whom he had seven children: Daphne, Jane, Dulana, Guy, Arthur, Richard, and Adelia. Stevens died April 3, 1838.

Collection Scope and Content Note

The letter book contains copies of letters Benjamin Stevens wrote while executing his duties as Commissary General at Hartford, Connecticut, from 1781 to 1784. Several of the letters are addressed to the governor of Connecticut, Jonathan Trumbull. The letters contain frequent requests for items such as salt, meat, flour, and rum. Stevens had to deal with the problems of short supplies, and damaged goods. Following the letters are two stanzas of a poem about a "young Irish Girl" (page 17), and nine pages of work accounts for Stevens and William Kingsbury for the "making of Bricks and Lime" from 1806 to 1808.

Subject Terms

    • Brickmaking.
    • Connecticut--History--Revolution, 1775-1783.
    • Military supplies.
    • United States. Continental Army. Commissary General’s Dept.
    • United States--History--Revolution, 1775-1783.
    Genre Terms:
    • Business records.
    • Letter books.
    • Poems.
    Contents List
    Container / Location Title
    Volume   1  
    Benjamin Stevens letter book [series]
    Correspondence,  August 20, 1781-April 24, 1784
    Poetry,  undated
    Work Records,  May 1, 1806-December 14, 1808