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Home » About » Blog » Jonathan Chase Papers Transcriptions and New Volunteer Opportunity

The William L. Clements Library would like to extend its sincere thanks to the Sarah Caswell Angell Chapter of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR) for volunteering to transcribe the Revolutionary War papers of Col. Jonathan Chase, of the 13th and 15th Regiments of the New Hampshire Militia.

The letters and documents that make up Col. Chase’s papers provide a vivid picture of military supplies, expenses, and recruitment, with regimental returns and other lists of soldiers, including returns for soldiers who marched with Chase to Ticonderoga (1776) and Saratoga (1777).

The digitized Jonathan Chase Papers are accessible at Researchers are now able to search the full text of the collection and view the transcriptions below each digital image. For more information about the transcription process, please visit our previous blog post.

The Chase papers contain erratic and phonetic spelling throughout, so full-text keyword searching will be less effective for this collection. The same word may be spelled four ways in a single document, none of which match modern standardized spelling. However, the transcriptions will be immensely useful to anyone trying to puzzle through the sometimes-challenging handwriting and abbreviations within the documents. We appreciate the diligent transcription work provided by members of the Sara Caswell Angell Chapter to make these materials more accessible to modern readers.

[Jonathan Chase] ADf. List, November 18, 1776, pertinent to the 13th New Hampshire Militia’s march to Ticonderoga. The transcription provided by the Sarah Caswell Angell Chapter, NSDAR, is accessible below the page image and downloadable via a link to the right of the viewer.

Thanks also go to the Digital Content & Collections team at the U-M Library, who host all of our digital collections and integrate the transcriptions into the collections when they are completed. 

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Interested in joining our next transcription projects? We are currently accepting new volunteers to help us transcribe more historical documents from the Clements Library collections. If you have an interest in American history and an aptitude for reading cursive handwriting, please consider joining us. These projects offer a great way to stay immersed in the manuscript collections of the Clements Library while we are all still at home.

We are currently working to transcribe two collections: the Samuel Latham Mitchill Papers and the German Auxiliaries Muster Rolls. The Mitchill papers consist largely of letters from U.S Congressman Samuel Latham Mitchill to his wife, Catharine Akerly Cock Mitchill, from 1801 to 1829. Mitchill’s lengthy and detailed letters touch on a variety of fascinating topics, including domestic politics and foreign affairs; relations with European powers; the Barbary Wars and other naval matters; the Aaron Burr conspiracy; Washington, D. C., society; Mitchill’s scientific endeavors and sample collection; and his family life and travel plans.

For those willing to tackle a particularly challenging project, the German Auxiliaries Muster Rolls will offer a rewarding opportunity. This collection, written in French, English, and German, comprises seventy muster rolls and 15 additional letters and documents of the German regiments employed by the British to fight in the American Revolutionary War. While rich in historical information, the muster rolls pose additional challenges to transcribers, who must become familiar with encoding tabular data as well as puzzling through 18th century French, German, and English spellings. Searchable transcriptions of these muster rolls will be an invaluable resource for those seeking information on Hessian soldiers of the American Revolution.

Learn more about the Clements Library transcription project or find the link to sign up on our project page.

— Cheney Schopieray, Curator of Manuscripts

— Emiko Hastings, Curator of Books and Digital Projects Librarian