Harriet Gladwin commonplace book  1808-1810
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Collection Scope and Content Note

This commonplace book (56 pages) was compiled by Harriet Gladwin, daughter of British Army Major General Henry Gladwin, who commanded the British forces during Pontiac's siege against Detroit in 1763. The volume contains Harriet's copies of a published account of the siege (33 pages), a memorial poem dedicated to her father by William Hayley (13 pages), and 3 additional memorial poems and epitaphs (7 pages). She began the volume on September 25, 1808.

The first portion of the book (pages 1-34) contains a passage copied from Jonathan Carver's Travels through the Interior Parts of North America in the Years 1766, 1767, and 1768. The text regards the attack on Detroit by Native American forces throughout the summer of 1763. Carver's account concentrates heavily on Gladwin's role in successfully defending Detroit against the Native Americans.

Harriet copied "An Ode to General Gladwin, requesting him to publish his Journal of the Siege of Detroit" in the next section of the volume (pages 36-48). The poem, written by William Hayley (1745-1820), is comprised of 13 7-line stanzas, and celebrates Gladwin's victory over Pontiac and the allied Native American forces.

The remaining pages contain memorials for 3 members of Harriet Gladwin's family. The first is "An Epitaph on General Gladwin who departed this life on the 21 of June 179[1] in the 61st year of his age" (pp.49-51). A brief prose celebration of his military accomplishments is followed by a 10-line poem. The next memorial is dedicated "To the Memory of Jhon [John] Beridge M. D. who died Octbr. 17th 1788 aged 45" (p. 53). This 6-line poem, written by William Hayley, commemorates Harriet Gladwin's grandfather, Henry Gladwin's father-in-law. The final memorial, attributed to "G. H.," is titled "To the Memory of a beloved Wife who died May the 3d. 1810[.] By her Husband" (pp. 54-56). The poem contains reflections on mortality and on the life and qualities of the deceased.

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