Winchester family papers 1799-1847 (bulk 1810-1818)
Collection Scope and Content Note
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The Winchester family papers contain correspondence and one document related to the family of John and Nancy Winchester of Groton, Connecticut. Their son William, a sailor during and after the War of 1812, wrote most of the letters. In his brief letters to his mother Nancy, William reported on his health and recent assignments and voyages, and requested news of his brothers and of life at home. He composed several of the letters while serving in the Navy during the War of 1812. In one letter, he reported having heard the news of the death of one of his brothers, and implored his mother to tell him which brother had died (May 11, 1814); most likely Elias. Other letters in the collection include correspondence from William's brothers, John and Alden, who, like William, gave their mother brief updates on their own travels at sea and of their employment, In her letter of February 18, 1814, Nancy sent news about the ill health of Elias. Also of interest within the collection is the official discharge form relieving the senior John Winchester from duty as a drummer in the Second Regiment of Artillery and Engineers, signed by Secretary of War James McHenry (November 30, 1799).