Jonathan Chase papers (1775-1797)

Collection processed and finding aid created by Philip Heslip, February 2010
Manuscripts Division, William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan

Summary Information

Title: Jonathan Chase papers
Creator: Chase, Jonathan, 1732-1800
Inclusive dates: 1775-1797
Extent: 74 items
Abstract:
The Jonathan Chase papers contain letters and documents relating to the services of Colonel Jonathan Chase, of the 13th and 15th New Hampshire Militia regiments, during the Revolutionary War. These record Chase's involvement with recruiting soldiers and providing supplies for the army during the war.
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: www.clements.umich.edu

Access and Use

Acquisition Information

1959-1962. M-1095, M-1152, M-1220.

Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Copyright

Copyright status is unknown

Processing Information

Cataloging funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the "We the People" project.

Preferred Citation

Jonathan Chase Papers, James S. Schoff Revolutionary War Collection, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan

Arrangement

This collection is organized into three series:
  • Series I: Correspondence
  • Series II: Letterbook
  • Series III: Documents and Financial Records

The series are organized chronologically with undated items at the end.

Biography

Revolutionary War officer Jonathan Chase (1732-1800), was born in Sutton, Massachusetts, to Mary Dudley and Samuel Chase. Chase settled in Cornish, New Hampshire, where he met and married Thankful Sherman in 1759; they had three children. After Thankful's death in 1765, Chase married Sarah Hall in 1770; they had six children. Before Chase entered the military, he was a farmer and prominent businessman.

In 1775, Chase was appointed colonel of the 13th New Hampshire Militia regiment from Cornish, and led the regiment in the Battle of Fort Ticonderoga (1776) and in the Saratoga campaign (1777). He led the 15th New Hampshire Militia regiment in the defense of Vermont in the Royalton Raid (1780). He was promoted to brigadier general of the New Hampshire State Militia in 1786. Chase died in Cornish, New Hampshire, in 1800.

Collection Scope and Content Note

The Jonathan Chase papers (74 items) in the Schoff Revolutionary War Collection contain 39 letters, 1 letterbook, and 34 documents and financial records (including receipts, soldier rolls, and commissions) relating to the services of Colonel Jonathan Chase, of the 13th and 15th New Hampshire Militia regiments, during the Revolutionary War. Chase was actively involved in recruiting soldiers and in providing supplies for the army during the war. This collection documents his part in these efforts and includes several wartime letters that depict the military situation in New England.

The Correspondence series contains 39 items, all of which are related to the Revolutionary War. Frequent correspondents include Benjamin Giles, a New Hampshire officer stationed in Charlestown, Massachusetts; Meshech Weare, President of New Hampshire; Major Jonathan Child; Major General Nathaniel Fulsom; and Jacob Bayley. The earliest letters are requests from officers at Charlestown, Massachusetts, with orders for Chase to send flour and meat to feed their troops. Meshech Weare wrote 10 letters on behalf of the Committee of Safety for New Hampshire, headquartered in Exeter. These dealt with military matters, informing Chase of the structure of the militia (July 18, 1777) and calling for him to draft a certain number of men from his militia units to fill a quota mandated by the Continental Congress. Weare specifically recommended that Chase must not trust prisoners of war or enemy deserters (March 9, 1778).

Other notable items include letters dealing with military matters such as deserters (July 23, 1779 and May 27, 1781), and pay incentives for enlisted soldiers (June 20, 1779). A report issued by the New Hampshire House of Representatives, dated April 15, 1781, outlined plans for the defense of the western New Hampshire frontier. One of several letters from Jacob Bayley warned of a possible attack near Otter Creek in Vermont and advised that "each man would equip himself with snow-shoes &c" (February 8, 1780). In an urgent letter, General Peter Olcott advised Chase to have his men ready "to march at a minutes warning to the relief of any quarter which may be invaded" (October 15, 1781). Post-war items, in both the Correspondence and Documents and Financial Records series concern reimbursements from the United States government for expenses incurred during the war. Though most of the items in the collection are official in nature, one letter reveals personal struggles during the war: Elisha Payne, in a letter dated May 12, 1777, explained to Jonathan Chase that he cannot stay with the militia because he must tend to his wife and many small children, and can find no one to take care of his land while he is away; also, he is unsure his health can take the strain.

The 14-page Letterbook contains 34 numbered letters. While the letterbook is largely comprised of copies of records dealing with supplies, food, and money, it also contains letters from Chase, Moses Hazen, Major Jonathan Childs, Jacob Bailey, and Horatio Gates. These describe troop missions and news about the war. Of note are two letters: one is from Moses Hazen mentioning that the French fleet is to be expected to arrive at the end of June, 1780 (p. 9, June [14], 1780); and the other is 1778 letter to the Chairman of the Committee of Bennington discussing the sending the 15th New Hampshire regiment to defend Vermont (p.12-13, [1780]).

The Documents and Financial Records series (34 items) contains lists of officers and soldiers recruited and dispatched by Chase, records of military expenses kept by Chase, and 3 printed items appointing Chase to various official positions. Nine items are regimental returns and other lists of soldiers, including returns for soldiers who marched with Chase to Ticonderoga and Saratoga. One document, of June 10, 1777, lists men under guard, with their infractions. The series contains 12 military records of payments for food, supplies, and soldiers pay. Two of these are post-war accounts kept by Jonathan Child and Jonathan Chase, documenting expenses incurred on behalf of the United States during the war, with calculations of interest up to December 13, 1786, and March 1, 1791.

The collection contains 3 printed military certificates:
  • May 8, 1781, Jonathan Chase's appointment as "Colonel of the first Regiment in the 3rd Brigade & third Regiment of the Militia of this State [of Vermont]," signed by Thomas Chittenden
  • December 25, 1784, Jonathan Chase's appointment as "Colonel of the Fifteenth Regiment of Militia, in the said State of New-Hampshire." signed by Meshech Weare
  • September 13, 1786, Jonathan Chase's appointment as "a Brigadier General of the Militia, in the said State of New-Hampshire." signed by John Sullivan and Joseph Pearson. A note on the document, dated June 9, 1791, and signed by Josiah Bartlett, grants Jonathan Chase "leave to resign his Commission as a Brigadier General of the militia."

Subject Terms

Subjects:
  • Cornish (N.H. : Town)
  • New Hampshire. Committee of Safety.
  • New Hampshire. Militia--Accounting.
  • New Hampshire. Militia--Appointment and retirements.
  • New Hampshire. Militia--Equipment and supplies.
  • New Hampshire. Militia--Pay, allowances, etc.
  • New Hampshire. Militia--Recruiting, enlistment, etc.
  • New Hampshire. Militia--Registers.
  • New Hampshire. Militia--Regulations.
  • New Hampshire. Militia. Regiment, 13th.
  • New Hampshire. Militia. Regiment, 15th.
  • New Hampsire--History--Revolution, 1775-1783.
  • United States. Continental Army--Accounting.
  • United States. Continental Army--Appointments and retirements.
  • United States. Continental Army--Equipment and supplies.
  • United States. Continental Army--Pay, allowances, etc.
  • United States. Continental Army--Recruiting, enlistment, etc.
  • United States. Continental Army--Registers.
  • United States--History--Revolution, 1775-1783.
Contributors:
  • Bayley, Jacob, 1726-1815.
  • Folsom, Nathaniel, 1726-1790.
  • Gates, Horatio, 1728-1806.
  • Giles, Benjamin.
  • Hazen, Moses, 1733-1803.
  • Payne, Elisha, 1731-1807.
  • Weare, Meshech, 1713-1786.
Genre Terms:
  • Financial records.
  • Letters (correspondence)
  • Letterbooks.
  • Orders (military records)

Contents List (Request Materials)

Request materials for use in the Clements Library
Container / Location Title
Box   1  
Correspondence, 1776-1797 [series]
Folder   1  
John Newton ALS to Jonathan Chase, January 23, 1776 [View Digital Surrogate]
 
Benj[ami]n Giles ALS to Jonathan Chase, July 15, 1776 [View Digital Surrogate]
 
Benj[ami]n Giles ALS to Jonathan Chase, July 16, 1776 [View Digital Surrogate]
 
J[ohn?] Hurd ALS to Jona[than] Chase, July 18, 1776 [View Digital Surrogate]
Folder   2  
Benj[ami]n Giles ALS to Jonathan Chase, July 20, 1776 [View Digital Surrogate]
 
Joseph Gilbert ALS to Jonathan C[h]ase, July 23, 1776 [View Digital Surrogate]
 
Edward Everett ALS, November 24, 1776 [View Digital Surrogate]
 
Nath[aniel] Folsom DS to Jonathan Chase, December 10, 1776 [View Digital Surrogate]
 
Jona[than] Child ALS to Jona[than] Chase, January 23, 1777 [View Digital Surrogate]
 
Nath[aniel] Folsom DS to Jonathan Chase, March 20, 1777 [View Digital Surrogate]
Folder   3  
Abel Marsh and John Griswould Manuscript Address to Cornish (N.H.). Committee, March 29, 1777 [View Digital Surrogate]
 
Elisha Payne ALS to Jonathan Chase, May 12, 1777 [View Digital Surrogate]
 
M[eshech] Weare LS to Jonathan Chase, July 18, 1777 [View Digital Surrogate]
 
John Scofield ALS to [Jonathan] Chase, February 11, 1778 [View Digital Surrogate]
 
M[eshech] Weare LS to Jonathan Chase, March 27, 1778 [View Digital Surrogate]
 
[Nathaniel] Folsom Document to Jonathan Chase, May 29, 1778
Copy signed Nath[anie]l Peabody, N.H. Militia Adjutant General. [View Digital Surrogate]
Folder   4  
M[eshech] Weare, [Committee of Safety] ALS to Jonathan Chase, January 9, 1779 [View Digital Surrogate]
 
Jon[athan] Child ADS to Jon[athan] Chase, March 14, 1779
With receipt information on verso. [View Digital Surrogate]
 
Jon[athan] Child ADS to Jon[athan] Chase, March 19, 1779
With receipt information on verso. [View Digital Surrogate]
 
M[eshech] Weare, [Committee of Safety] LS to Jonathan Chase, April 8, 1779 [View Digital Surrogate]
 
M[eshech] Weare, [Committee of Safety] LS to Jonathan Chase, June 8, 1779 [View Digital Surrogate]
Folder   5  
Nath[aniel] Folsom, [State of New Hampshire] LS to Jonathan Chase, June 26, 1779 [View Digital Surrogate]
 
M[eshech] Weare, [Committee of Safety] LS to Jonathan Chase, July 23, 1779 [View Digital Surrogate]
 
Jon[athan] Child ALS to [Jonathan] Chase, August 31, 1779 [View Digital Surrogate]
 
Jon[athan] Child ADS to [Jonathan] Chase, September 10, 1779 [View Digital Surrogate]
Folder   6  
Jon[athan] Child ALS to [Jonathan] Chase, November 12, 1779 [View Digital Surrogate]
 
Jacob Bailey [Jacob Bayley] ALS Copy to Jonathan Chase and Ebenezer Brewster, February 8, 1780
Copy of letter from Jacob Bailey to Jonathan Chase, sent to Ebenezer Brewster [View Digital Surrogate]
 
M[eshech] Weare, [Committee of Safety] ALS Copy to Jonathan Chase, May 12, 1780 [View Digital Surrogate]
 
M[eshech] Weare, [Committee of Safety] ALS to Jonathan Chase, June 16, 1780 [View Digital Surrogate]
Folder   7  
M[eshech] Weare, [Committee of Safety] ALS to Jonathan Chase, June 27, 1780 [View Digital Surrogate]
 
Jona[than] Child ALS to [Jonathan] Chase, October 17, 1780 [View Digital Surrogate]
 
Jacob Bayley ALS to Jonathan Chase, October 26, 1780 [View Digital Surrogate]
 
Jacob Bayley ALS to Jonathan Chase, May 27, 1781 [View Digital Surrogate]
Folder   8  
Oliver Ashley ALS to Jon[athan] Chase, August 22, 1781 [View Digital Surrogate]
 
Peter Olcott ALS to Jonathan Chase, September 17, 1781 [View Digital Surrogate]
 
Peter Olcott ALS to Jona[than] Chase, October 15, 1781 [View Digital Surrogate]
 
William Page ALS to Jonathan Chase, December 1, 1781 [View Digital Surrogate]
Folder   9  
M[eshech] Weare LS Copy to Jonathan Chase, June 27, 1782 [View Digital Surrogate]
 
[Jonathan Chase] LS Copy to Jeremiah Smith, November 5, 1791 [View Digital Surrogate]
 
Jona[than] Chase ADfS to New Hampshire General Assembly, June 1797 [View Digital Surrogate]
 
Letterbook, 1775-1779 [series]
Folder   10  
Jonathan Chase Letterbook, December 9, 1775 - October 18, 1780 [View Digital Surrogate]
 
Documents and Financial Records, 1776-1792 [series]
Folder   11  
Sam[u]el Stone, et al. Ms. Receipts to Jon[a]th[an] Chase, June 27, 1776 - July 15, 1776     Located in Oversize Manuscripts (see below) 
 
[Jonathan Chase] Ms. Receipt to Joseph Gilbert, August 22, 1776
Receipt for funds received. [View Digital Surrogate]
 
[Jonathan Chase] ADf. List, November 18, 1776
List of men's names who marched with Jonathan Chase to Ticonderoga. [View Digital Surrogate]
 
[Jonathan Chase] Ms. List, November 18, 1776
List of men's names who marched for Jonathan Chase to Ticonderoga. [View Digital Surrogate]
 
E. Thompson, [Committee of Safety] DS to Jonathan Chase, January 29, 1777 [View Digital Surrogate]
 
Moses Moody, et al. Ms. Petition to Massachusetts Bay House of Representatives, March 25, 1777 [View Digital Surrogate]
Folder   12  
Jon[a]th[an] Chase DS, June 7, 1777
Return. [View Digital Surrogate]
 
Jon[a]th[an] Chase DS, June 10, 1777 [View Digital Surrogate]
 
Daniel Waldo DS, September 21, 1777 [View Digital Surrogate]
 
[Jonathan Chase] Ms. Payroll, September 1777
Pay roll of Cornish company. [View Digital Surrogate]
Folder   13  
Edmund Freeman and Nathaniel Wright, [Committee & Selectmen of Hanover] DS to [Jonathan Chase], January 20, 1778
Committee of Hanover Return. [View Digital Surrogate]
 
Document [Return of Soldiers], March 23, 1778     Located in Oversize Manuscripts (see below) 
 
Samuel Paine DS, February 6, 1779
Return of men engaged in the Continental Service. [View Digital Surrogate]
 
Jona[than] Childs Ms. Account to Jona[than] Chase, November 23, 1779     Located in Oversize Manuscripts (see below) 
 
Isaac Tichenor Ms. Account to Jonathan Chase, November 22, 1780
Account for the purchase of goods, April 26, 1779-November 25, 1779. [View Digital Surrogate]
 
Sam[ue]l Chase DS, February 22, 1781
Orders for Chase and Morey to raise a scouting party. [View Digital Surrogate]
 
W[illia]m Whipple and E. Thompson DS Copy, April 5, 1781
New Hampshire. House of Representatives. Report from the committee to consider "what is Necessary to be done for the Defence of the Western Frontiers of this State." [View Digital Surrogate]
Folder   14  
Tho[ma]s Chittenden Partially Printed DS to Jonathan Chase, May 8, 1781
Appointment of Jonathan Chase to Colonel in the 3rd Regiment and 1st Regiment in the 3rd Brigade, Vermont militia. [View Digital Surrogate]
 
Ms. List of Officers, 1781
List of officers in the 3rd Regiment and 1st Regiment in the 3rd Brigade, Vermont militia. [View Digital Surrogate]
 
M[eshech] Weare and E. Thompson Partially Printed DS to Jonathan Chase, December 25, 1784     Located in Oversize Manuscripts (see below) 
 
John Langdon LS, June 16, 1786
New Hampshire. House of Representatives. Appointment of men to a committee considering Jonathan Chase's petition. [View Digital Surrogate]
Folder   15  
Jno. Sullivan [John Sullivan] and Joseph Pearson Partially Printed DS to Jonathan Chase, September 13, 1786     Located in Oversize Manuscripts (see below) 
 
Jon[a]th[an] Chase DS to United States, May 6, 1791
Jonathan Chase's accounts with the United States, sworn by Justice of the Peace Wm. Ripley. [View Digital Surrogate]
 
Jona[than] Chase DS Copy to United States, May 6, 1791
True copy, by Nathl. Hall, May 7, 1791. Jonathan Chase's accounts with the United States, sworn by Justice of the Peace Wm. Ripley. [View Digital Surrogate]
 
Isaac Tichenor DS Copy, [before December 12, 1792]
True copy, by Nathl. Hall, December 12, 1792. Liquidation of Jonathan Chase's accounts with the United States. Appended Jona[than] Child ALS to Col. Smith, explaining the account. [View Digital Surrogate]
Folder   16  
Ms. List of Names of Men in Jonathan Chase's Regiment, Undated
List of Men's Names in Col. Chase's Regiment. [View Digital Surrogate]
 
New Hampshire Ms. Account to Jonathan Chase, Undated
Account with the State of New Hampshire, December 10, 1775-March 1780. [View Digital Surrogate]
 
New Hampshire Ms. Account to Jonathan Chase, Undated
Account with the State of New Hampshire, 1776-March 1780. [View Digital Surrogate]
 
New Hampshire Ms. Account to Jonathan Chase, Undated
Account with the State of New Hampshire, April 26, 1779-March 1780. [View Digital Surrogate]
Folder   17  
United States Ms. Account to Jonathan Chase, Undated
Account with the United States, December 10, 1775-April 27, 1779. [View Digital Surrogate]
 
[United States] Ms. Account to [Jonathan] Chase, Undated
Copy of account sent to Congress, covering April 26-September 24, 1779. [View Digital Surrogate]
 
Isaac Tichenor Ms. Account to Jona[than] Chase, Undated
Account with Isaac Tichenor, May 25-September 24, 1779. [View Digital Surrogate]
 
New Hampshire Ms. Account to Jonathan Chase, Undated
Account with the State of New Hampshire, 1776-March 21, 1780. [View Digital Surrogate]
Folder   : Oversize Manuscripts  
Sam[u]el Stone, et al. Ms. Receipts to Jon[a]th[an] Chase, June 27, 1776 - July 15, 1776
Sixteen receipts on a single sheet for the movement of ordnance stores, June 27, 1776-July 15, 1776. [View Digital Surrogate]
 
Document [Return of Soldiers], March 23, 1778
A Return of Soldiers Enlisted out of Colo. Jonathan Chases Regiment Into the Continental Service... [View Digital Surrogate]
 
Jona[than] Childs Ms. Account to Jona[than] Chase, November 23, 1779
Jonathan Chase's account with Maj. Jonathan Childs. [View Digital Surrogate]
 
M[eshech] Weare and E. Thompson Partially Printed DS to Jonathan Chase, December 25, 1784
Appointment of Jonathan Chase as Colonel of the 15th Regiment of Militia. [View Digital Surrogate]
 
Jno. Sullivan [John Sullivan] and Joseph Pearson Partially Printed DS to Jonathan Chase, September 13, 1786
Appointment of Jonathan Chase as Brigadier General of the New Hampshire Militia. Bearing also a Josiah Bartlett ANS, June 9, 1791. Concord. Respecting Chase's resignation. [View Digital Surrogate]

Additional Descriptive Data

Related Materials

The Schoff Revolutionary War Collection contains a letter from Whipple to Jonathan Chase, September 23, 1777.

The New Hampshire Historical Society has a portrait of Jonathan Chase, as well as two collections of related manuscripts:
  • Papers of Jonathan Chase, 1774-1779
  • A selection of Jonathan Chase's papers has been published as General Jonathan Chase (1732-1800) of Cornish, New Hampshire: His Papers. Cornish, N.H.: Cornish Bicentennial Commission, 1977.