Bloomfield-Pike letterbook  1812-1813
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Collection Scope and Content Note

The Bloomfield-Pike letterbook contains copies of outgoing correspondence from two important American generals in the northern theater during the War of 1812. It documents two months of Joseph Bloomfield's command at Plattsburg, September-November, 1812, and the last two months of Zebulon Montgomery Pike's life, while commanding American forces at Saranac and Sackett's Harbor, N.Y. This letterbook contains no letters written after the departure of American forces from Sackett's Harbor during the assault on York, Ontario.

Given its two-part nature, the letterbook presents a minor problem regarding its origin and provenance. It appears first to have been used by a member of Bloomfield's staff. Memoranda were entered at the front of the letterbook in a section reserved for them, and copies of outgoing letters were recorded further back in chronological order. When the book came into Pike's use, a member of his staff entered copies of letters in two different places: sometimes in the first available blank pages (pp. 1-36) and sometimes at the end of where the Bloomfield letters had left off (p. 123). Both sections are in chronological order, but the dates of letters overlap. How, precisely, the book went from recording orders issued by Bloomfield to orders issued by Pike has not been determined, but it may have been the property of a officer under Bloomfield's command who was transferred under Pike near the end of the year, 1812.

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