Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
Jehu Hay Journal, 1763-1765

Finding aid created by
Philip Heslip, April 2011

Summary Information
Title: Jehu Hay journal
Creator: Hay, Jehu, 1748-1785
Inclusive dates: 1763-1765
Extent: 1 volume
The Jehu Hay journal is a diary kept by Hay, a lieutenant of the 60th Regiment (Royal American), while he was stationed at Detroit from May 1, 1763, to June 6, 1765. In the journal, he wrote a firsthand account of the Ottawa, Ojibwa, Potawatomi, and Huron siege of Detroit, led by Pontiac, between May and October 1763.
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:

1936. M-303.

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:

Jehu Hay Journal, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


One volume, disbound and kept in page number order.


Jehu Hay (1748-1785) was born in Chester, Pennsylvania. He entered the British army in 1758, and was promoted to lieutenant in the 60th Regiment (Royal American) in 1762. He arrived at Detroit on August 23rd of that year and witnessed Pontiac's siege on Fort Detroit from May through October 1763. In 1764 he married Marie Julie Reaume, and two years later Sir William Johnson appointed him commissary of Indian affairs at Detroit.

Though his department was dissolved in 1769, the British appointed him Indian agent of Detroit in 1774. In 1776, he was appointed deputy Indian agent and major of the Detroit militia. Hay accompanied Lieutenant Governor Henry Hamilton's expedition against Vincennes in the fall of 1778. George Rogers Clark's forces reoccupied Fort Vincennes in February 1779, and Hay helped negotiate the British surrender. Hay and the other prisoners were sent to Virginia, and were not freed until October 1780. Once freed, Hay traveled to England in 1781. The British government promoted Hay to lieutenant governor of Detroit in 1782, but illness and political quarrels with Governor Frederick Haldimand prevented Hay from reaching Detroit until June 1784. He died there on August 2, 1785.

Collection Scope and Content Note

The Jehu Hay journal (212 pages) is a diary kept by a lieutenant of the 60th Regiment (Royal American) while stationed at Detroit from May 1, 1763, to June 6, 1765. In the journal, Hay provided a firsthand account of the Ottawa, Ojibwa, Potawatomi, and Huron siege of Detroit, led by Pontiac, between May and October 1763. Hay recorded entries almost daily and described the political and military news coming into Detroit. He discussed the internal operations of Fort Detroit and gave a British perspective on the colonial/Native American relations in the Great Lakes region, along with details on skirmishes and casualties.

The Hay Journal has been published:

Hough, Franklin Benjamin. Diary of the Siege of Detroit in the War With Pontiac. Also a Narrative of the Principal Events of the Siege. Albany: J. Munsell, 1860.

Subject Terms

    • Detroit (Mich.)--History--Siege, 1763.
    • Great Britain. Army. Regiment of Foot, 60th.
    • Pontiac, Ottawa Chief, d. 1769.
    • Pontiac's Conspiracy, 1763-1765.
    • United States--History--French and Indian War, 1755-1763.
    Genre Terms:
    • Diaries.
    Contents List
    Container / Location Title
    Volume   1  
    Jehu Hay journal [series]
    Folder   1  
     October 12, 1763-June 7, 1764
    Folder   2  
     June 9-10, 1764
    Folder   3  
     June 10-August 21, 1764
    Folder   4  
     August 24, 1764-June 6, 1765
    Folder   5  
     May 1-June 14, 1763
    Folder   6  
     June 15-July 12, 1763
    Folder   7  
     July 13-August 29, 1763
    Folder   8  
     August 30-October 9, 1763
    Additional Descriptive Data
    Related Materials

    The following collections contain items related to Jehu Hay:

    • The Thomas Gage papers, American Series:
      • September 11, 1764
      • February 19, 1764
      • May 10, 1764
      • June 11, 1764
      • August 7, 1774
      • May 2, 1774
    • The Josiah Harmar papers: May 17, 1785: Obadiah Robbins to Harmar concerning Governor Hay's efforts to fortify Fort Detroit
    • The Michigan collection: June 8, 1764: Henry Gladwin to Sir William Johnson, recommending Hay for service

    The Clements Library Graphics Division has a color print of Pontiac by Jerry Farnsworth entitled Pontiac, Chief of the Ottawas.


    Peckham, Howard H. Narratives of Colonial America, 1704-1765. Chicago: R.R. Donnelley, 1971.

    Peckham, Howard H. Pontiac and the Indian Uprising. New York: Russell & Russell, 1970.

    Russekkm Peter E. "Hay (Hayes, Hays), Jehu (John)." Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online. Volume IV. Toronto: University of Toronto, 2000.