Joseph V. Bacon letters  1855
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Collection Scope and Content Note

The Horatio Nelson collection (117 items) consists of two bound volumes of Nelson’s incoming and outgoing correspondence, and one chronologically arranged box of letters and documents, primarily related to the Royal Navy and British international relations during the early 19th century.

Volume I, "Lord Nelson and the Battle of Copenhagen" (35 items, April 4, 1801-July 30, 1801), contains 20 letters between Nelson and Hans Lindholm concerning the battle and diplomatic relations between Great Britain, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Russia, including efforts to secure peace between Great Britain and Denmark. Letters to Nelson from other writers about the Royal Navy and Nelson's military career are also present.

Volume II, "Letters of Horatio Lord Nelson to Captain S. Sutton, R. N. with Memorabilia of the Battle of Trafalgar" (30 items, October 28, 1773; October 22, 1801-September 25, 1805), contains Nelson's letters to Sutton (18 items), as well as additional correspondence and documents related to the Battle of Trafalgar and Nelson's death. In his letters to Sutton, Nelson discussed various naval issues, such as ship movements, the possibility of treaty between Great Britain and France in 1801, and tensions with France in 1805. Other items include engravings of Nelson, "Bacchante," and Nelson's column; Cuthbert Collingwood's orders for Nelson to sail to Cadiz and spy on the enemy fleet (August 24, 1805); Samuel Sutton's admission ticket for Nelson's funeral; and illustrated manuscripts about Royal Navy night signals, its order of battle, and Nelson's final flag-based signal to the fleet ("England expects every man will do his D U T Y").

A chronological series of manuscripts (52 items, 1781-1805) covers Horatio Nelson’s naval career in the West Indies, Mediterranean, and Baltic. A 46-page manuscript describes Horatio Nelson’s attempts in the British West Indies to curtail illegal trade with the United States of America from June 1784 through July 1786. Several letters relate to Nelson’s diplomatic and naval efforts in Italy in the late 1790s. Others detail Nelson’s involvement in and opinion of European political and military affairs, including relations with France, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Egypt, Turkey, Algeria, Sweden, Denmark, and Russia. The collection also includes series of correspondence with William Hamilton, Robert Barlow, and John Hookham Frere. For additional information about each individual item, see the Detailed Box and Folder Listing.

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