William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan
Finding aid for
Finding aid created by
George Bomford Collection, 1821-1822
Meg Hixon, January 2012
George Bomford collection
This collection consists of five letters George Bomford wrote to Lieutenant Nehemiah Baden and Captain Jos. H. Rees in 1821 and 1822 regarding ordnance for United States Army arsenals in Virginia, Maryland, and Connecticut.
The material is in English
William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Web Site: www.clements.umich.edu
Access and Use
The collection is open for research.
Copyright status is unknown
Cataloging funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). This collection has been processed according to minimal processing procedures and may be revised, expanded, or updated in the future.
George Bomford Collection, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan
The collection is arranged chronologically.
George Bomford was born in New York City around 1782, the son of a military officer, and graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1805. Initially an engineer, he rose to the rank of captain while serving along the Atlantic coast and developed an expertise in ordnance, which led to his invention of the Columbiad cannon and to an appointment in the Office of Ordnance in 1815. Promoted to lieutenant colonel, he oversaw the operations of the country's arsenals, and in 1832 he became chief of ordnance, a position he held until 1842. In addition to his official duties, he invented the versatile Columbiad cannon, used against Great Britain in the War of 1812. He died in Boston in 1848. He and his first wife, Louisa Sophia Catton, had at least three children; he later married Clara Baldwin, with whom he had three children.
Collection Scope and Content Note
This collection consists of five letters George Bomford wrote to Lieutenant Nehemiah Baden and Captain Jos. H. Rees in 1821 and 1822 regarding ordnance for United States Army arsenals in Virginia, Maryland, and Connecticut. Four letters to Baden reflect the affairs of arsenals near Richmond, Virginia, and Baltimore, Maryland, including the appointment of a sutler for the Virginia arsenal (June 30, 1821) and the Ordnance Department's request for the Baltimore aresenal's estimated expenditures (November 2, 1821). Bomford also shared his expectation that appropriations would decrease (April 22, 1822) and mentioned a proposed delivery of gunstocks to Hartford, Connecticut (August 7, 1822). In one letter to Captain Jos. H. Rees "of the U.S. ordnance," Bomford discussed vacancies within the Ordnance Department, as well as the production of rockets; he included a diagram of a rocket guiding stick, complete with detailed measurements (undated).
- United States. Army--Appropriations and expenditures.
- United States. Army--Ordnance and ordnance stores.
- United States. Army. Ordnance Dept.
- Rocket launchers (Ordnance)--Design and construction.
- Bomford, George, 1782-1848.
Additional Descriptive Data
Mahon, John K. "Bomford, George." American National Biography Online. Oxford University Press, 2000. DOI 03-00045.
Peterson, Nancy Simons. "Guarded Pasts: The Lives and Offspring of Colonel George and Clara (Baldwin) Bomford." National Genealogical Society Quarterly 86 (December 1998): 283-305.