Manuscripts Division William L. Clements Library University of Michigan
Finding aid for John Adlum Papers, 1794-1808
James S. Schoff Collection
Finding aid created by Robert S. Cox; re-processed by Philip Heslip, August 2009
Title: John Adlum papers Creator: Adlum, John, 1759-1836 Inclusive dates: 1794-1808 Extent: 16 letters, 9 volumes, and 1 publication Abstract:
The Schoff Revolutionary War Collection contains the papers of John Adlum, private in the Revolutionary War, Major in the Provisional Army, Brigadier General in the Pennsylvania Militia, surveyor, and viticulturalist. The collection includes 16 items written between 1773 and 1784, and 2 drafts of his memoirs, 1773-1784.
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
Donated by James S. Schoff, 1961. M-1168.
The collection is open for research.
Copyright status is unknown
Cataloging funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the "We the People" project.
John Adlum Papers, James S. Schoff Revolutionary War Collection, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan
The correspondence series is organized chronologically.
This collection has been processed according to minimum processing standards and may be expanded or updated in the future.
John Adlum (April 29, 1759-March 14, 1836) was born in York, Pennsylvania, to Joseph and Catherine Adlum. Adlum volunteered for service in the Pennsylvania militia at the beginning of the American Revolution, and joined Washington's forces near New York. The main body of Washington's troops withdrew, however, leaving Adlum's regiment among those left to defend Fort Washington against superior British forces. After the British captured Ft. Washington, Adlum was taken as a prisoner of war and held in New York City for over a year. Upon his release, he worked as a surveyor in central and northern Pennsylvania, and later reentered the Army to become a major in the Provisional Army and Brigadier General in the Pennsylvania Militia. Later in life, Adlum also became a well known viticulturist and author on winemaking.
Collection Scope and Content Note
The Schoff Revolutionary War Collection contains the papers of John Adlum, private in the Revolutionary War, Major in the Provisional Army, Brigadier General in the Pennsylvania Militia, surveyor, and viticulturalist. The collection includes 16 items written between 1794 and 1808, and 2 drafts of his memoirs, 1773-1784.
Of the letters, three deal with Adlum's activities surveying the upper Susquehanna River in 1794. The ten items from 1799 relate primarily to his service with the Provisional Army, 11th Regiment. In these letters, Adlum describes his meetings with the Seneca Chief, Cornplanter, who insisted that if the Seneca did not receive annuity payments due them, they would have to resort to hostilities. The 1807 and 1808 items are personal letters from Abel Marple and the undated/unidentified letter discusses relations between whites and Indians.
The memoirs, composed during and shortly after the Revolutionary War, are an account of Adlum's early years and of the period during which he was an active soldier in the war. Writing as a young private taken prisoner at the fall of Fort Washington, he describes British-held New York City from November 1776, until his parole in late 1777. The memoirs also offer glimpses of Nathanael Greene, George Washington, Wilhelm Knyphausen, Ethan Allen, and Hugh Gaine.
Cornplanter, Seneca chief, 1732?-1836.
New York (City)--History--Revolutionary War, 1775-1783.
Seneca Indians--New York (State)
United States--History--Revolutionary War, 1775-1783--Personal narratives.
United States--History--Revolutionary War, 1775-1783--Prisoners and prisons.