Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
Northwest Territory Collection, 1755-1822

Finding aid created by
Shannon Wait, March 2011

Summary Information
Title: Northwest Territory collection
Creator: William L. Clements Library
Inclusive dates: 1755-1822
Extent: 0.25 linear feet
The Northwest Territory collection contains approximately 100 miscellaneous items relating to the settlement and surveying of the Northwest Territory, as well as the social and military history of the region.
Language: The material is in English
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:

M-295.2et al.

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:

Northwest Territory Collection, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


The collection is arranged chronologically, with undated items at the end.


The United States Congress established the Northwest Territory on July 13, 1787; the region included present-day Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin, as well as northeastern Minnesota. A territorial government was created in 1788, with Arthur St. Clair as governor from that year until 1802, when Charles Willing Byrd replaced him. In 1803, Ohio became a state and the Northwest Territory ceased to exist.

Collection Scope and Content Note

The Northwest Territory collection contains approximately 100 miscellaneous items relating to the exploration and settlement of the Northwest Territory, as well as the region's social and military history. Although the territory existed from 1787 to 1803, the materials span 1755 to 1822 and include both correspondence and documents.

Examples of items in the the Northwest Territory collection:

  • Two letters by John Armstrong providing news of Fort Hamilton in Ohio (January 14, 1792; January 19, 1792).
  • Letter from Isaac Shelby to Charles Scott concerning the recruitment of the Kentucky Volunteers, who are to be sent to Fort Jefferson (September 18, 1793).
  • A letter by Andrew Marschalk describing the cutting of a road from "Lormies" (Fort Loramie, Ohio) toward St. Marys, Ohio (March 18, 1796).

Also included are several military returns and warrants for arrest.

Subject Terms

    • Fort Jefferson (Ohio)
    • Frontier and pioneer life--Northwest, Old.
    • Indians of North America--Michigan.
    • Indians of North America--Northwest, Old--Wars.
    • Indians of North America--Ohio.
    • Indians of North America--Wars--1790-1794.
    • Northwest, Old--Description and travel.
    • Northwest, Old--History--1775-1865.
    • United States. Army. Legion of the United States.
    • Wayne, Anthony, 1745-1796.
    • Wayne's Campaign, 1794.
    Genre Terms:
    • Correspondence.
    • Returns (military reports)
    Contents List
    Container / Location Title
    Box   1  
    Northwest Territory collection,  1755-1822 [series]