Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
Moses Warren, Jr. Letters

Finding aid created by
Shannon Wait, June 2010

Summary Information
Title: Moses Warren, Jr., letters
Creator: Warren, Moses, Jr., 1762-1835
Inclusive dates: 1796-1797
Extent: 12 items
The Moses Warren, Jr., letters document Warren's travels through New York and the Western Reserve with the Connecticut Land Company.
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:

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

1972. M-1612.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.


Copyright status is unknown

Processing Information:

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

Preferred Citation:

Moses Warren, Jr. Letters, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


The letters are arranged chronologically.


Moses Warren, Jr., was born September 5, 1762, in Fairfield, Connecticut, the son of Moses Warren and Judith Bailey. Like his father, who was captain of the second alarm company of Lyme in 1777, the younger Warren fought in the Revolutionary War. On January 18, 1784, he married Mehitabel Raymond (b. 1763) and they settled in Lyme, Connecticut. Warren began working as a surveyor and mapmaker, and in 1796 was made deputy land surveyor of Connecticut. In 1796-1797, he surveyed modern-day Ohio with the Connecticut Land Company, and assisted General Moses Cleveland in laying out the city of Cleveland, Ohio. Thereafter, he and his wife settled in New London, Connecticut, and Warren continued his cartographical work, and published several influential maps with George Gillet. Warren died in 1835.

In order to terminate land claims of Connecticut based upon its colonial charter, Congress in 1786 granted the state a sizeable territory along Lake Erie, just west of Pennsylvania, which became known as the Western Reserve. General Anthony Wayne's successful campaign against the Indians in 1794 made settlement feasible, and in 1796 the state sold the vast portion east of the Cuyahoga River to the Connecticut Land Company.

Collection Scope and Content Note

The Moses Warren, Jr., letters contain 12 letters written by Warren to his wife, Mehitabel, in 1796-1797, with a gap from August 1796 to March 1797. Warren wrote the first letter while onboard the Lark on May 4, 1796, and the rest while traveling around upstate New York and eastern Ohio with a group of surveyors for the Connecticut Land Company. In his correspondence, he described his work and colleagues, interactions with Native Americans, and the difficulties of surveying, including bad weather and illness.

In several of his letters, Warren made observations about Native Americans. On July 9, 1796, he recounted signing a treaty and smoking a peace pipe with Prince Cato and the Missisago Indians at "Port Independence." In the same letter, he also listed the gifts exchanged, and compared the Missisago language to that of the Mohegan. While in Youngstown, Ohio, he noted the scarcity of Native Americans, whom he believed were avoiding his party out of fear, and described the initial wariness of the "Tawa" (Ottawa) men (July 31, 1797).

In other correspondence, he described the men of his party, who were "very active & well informed, except 3 or 4" (May 8, 1797), and gave details about their health and tasks. Of his own work, he noted an assignment to "run the 5th East & West line to Pennsylvania" (June 18, 1797). At times, weather and accidents interfered with the group's progress: a "deluge" of rain near Buffalo Creek in New York caused delays (May 25, 1797) and a man drowned while accompanying a horse across a river (June 18, 1797). Warren also frequently described illnesses, such as dysentery and ague, which struck many of them while traveling.

Subject Terms

    • Cleveland (Ohio)
    • Connecticut Land Company.
    • Description and travel--New York (State)
    • Description and travel--Ohio.
    • Frontier and pioneer life--New York (State)
    • Frontier and pioneer life--Ohio.
    • Indians of North America--Ohio.
    • Missisauga Indians.
    • Ottawa Indians.
    • Surveying--Ohio.
    • Surveyors--Ohio.
    • Western Reserve (Ohio)
    Genre Terms:
    • Correspondence.
    Contents List
    Container / Location Title
    Box   1  
    Moses Warren, Jr. letters,   May 4, 1796-November 28, 1797 [series] (12 folders)
    Additional Descriptive Data
    Related Materials

    Warren, Moses, and George Gillet. Connecticut, From Actual Survey, Made In 1811 . Hartford: Hudson & Goodwin, 1812.

    The Clements Library holds a selection of significant maps of the Western Reserve, including:

    Heckewelder, John Gottlieb Ernestus. [Map of Northeastern Ohio, 1796 ], 1796.

    Porter, Augustus. A plan of the survey made by, & under the direction of Augustus Porter upon the Connecticut Reserve for the Connecticut Land Company in the year 1796 .