Collection ID: LMC 2439
Printable View Printable View

Collection context


The War of 1812 mss., 1776-1879, consists of individual items acquired separately either as a gift or purchase from a variety of sources, relating to the War of 1812.
12 Boxes (12 standard) and 15 bound
Materials are in English .
Preferred citation:

[Item], War of 1812 mss., Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana.


Biographical / Historical:

The War of 1812 began on June 18th, 1812 when the United States formally declared war on Great Britain, and it lasted until February 1815. Sometimes referred to as "the second war of American independence," the War of 1812 had a number of political, ideological, and economic causes. The British conscription of sailors from American ships, a practice known as "impressment," was one of the chief offenses that led to the United States declaring war. Many Americans also saw the war as an opportunity to conquer neighboring territories and continue the settlement of the continent. The British, on the other hand, viewed the war as a way to reclaim colonies lost in the American Revolutionary War.

The War of 1812 was not definitively won by either side, but it did play a large role in the development of ideas of nationhood in both the U.S. and Canada. It also resulted in a new relationship between the states and the federal government and the development of the United States military. Its most lasting effects for American citizens were the origin of the United States' national anthem and a generation of political leaders who rose to prominence during the war. For Native Americans, the war hastened the end of their resistance to the westward expansion of white Americans. For Canadians, the War of 1812 was seen as an invasion by a hostile neighbor, heroically repelled by Canadian forces.

Scope and Content:

The War of 1812 mss. collection consists of materials dating from 1776 to 1879 relating to the War of 1812. It includes correspondence, log books, legal documents, diaries, speeches, letter copybooks, orderly books, and receipts.

The materials in the collection were acquired principally during the period 1942 to 1969 from a variety of sources through the cooperative efforts of historians, librarians, and booksellers. Indiana University history professors Logan Esarey, R.C. Buley, Donald F. Carmony, Chase C. Mooney, and O.O. Winther all supported the acquisition of books and manuscripts that would create an in-depth collection to support serious scholarship. With their librarian colleagues Cecil K. Byrd and Geneva Warner, they scanned book catalogues, sent out inquiries, and followed up on leads to manuscript collections. The bookseller partners in the development of the War of 1812 collections included John S. Van E. Kohn and Wright Howes, but one man deserves special credit for his ongoing engagement in the building of the collection: the Crawfordsville, Indiana, bookman R. E. Banta. Of particular note, Banta orchestrated the acquisition in 1943 of the important collection of manuscripts assembled by Forest G. Sweet.

The manuscripts described here are one part of a larger body of materials that make up the War of 1812 collections at the Lilly Library which includes books, broadsides, prints, periodicals, newspapers, and other manuscript collections. Highlights of the books and manuscripts are described in the exhibition catalogue, An exhibit to commemorate the one hundred fiftieth anniversary of the beginning of the War of 1812, published by the library in 1962.

Note on Indexing Term - "International relations": Many items document the foreign relations between the U.S., England and France during this period of conflict.

Acquisition information:
Received from numerous sources at various times. Accession information is given for the majority of entries.

This collection is arranged chronologically. Undated items are arranged alphabetically at the end of the series. Each item is described separately. Descriptions include indexing terms; names are often followed by occupation.

Physical location:
Lilly - Stacks

Indexed Terms

Baltimore, Battle of, Baltimore, Md., 1814.
Bladensburg, Battle of, Bladensburg, Md., 1814.
Chippewa, Battle of, Ont., 1814.
Fort Dearborn Massacre, Chicago, Ill., 1812.
Lake Champlain, Battle of, N.Y., 1814.
Lake Erie, Battle of, 1813.
Lundy's Lane, Battle of, Ont., 1814.
New Orleans, Battle of, New Orleans, La., 1815.
Peninsular War, 1807-1814.
Queenston Heights, Battle of, Ont., 1812.
River Raisin, Battle of the, Monroe, Mich., 1813.
Tippecanoe, Battle of, Ind., 1811.
York, Battle of, Toronto, Ont., 1813.
Waterloo, Battle of, Waterloo, Belgium, 1815.
International relations
Voyages and travels
Ariel (Ship : 1819-1828).
Enterprise (Schooner : 1799-1811).
Guerriere (Frigate).
Macedonian (Frigate : 1810-1828).
Patriot (Schooner).
Shannon (Frigate : 1813).
Statira (Ship).
Adams, John, 1735-1826
Armstrong, John, 1758-1843
Austin, Loring, 1790-1827
Boyd, John Parker, 1764-1830
Burr, Aaron, 1756-1836
Brown, Jacob, 1775-1828
Buchanan, James, 1791-1868
Calhoun, John C. (John Caldwell), 1782-1850
Chandler, John, 1762-1841
Chipman, Ward, 1754-1824
Clay, Green, 1757-1826
Cochrane, Alexander Forrester Inglis, Sir, 1758-1832
Dallas, Alexander James, 1759-1817
Davis, Samuel Boyer, 1766-1854
Dearborn, Henry, 1751-1829
Drummond, Gordon, Sir, 1772-1854
Eustis, William, 1753-1825
Gaines, Edmund Pendleton, 1777-1849
Gelston, David.
Harrison, William Henry, 1773-1841
Hull, William, 1753-1825
Jackson, Andrew, 1767-1845
Jefferson, Thomas, 1743-1826
Johnson, Richard M. (Richard Mentor), 1780-1850
Little Turtle, 1747?-1812.
Macomb, Alexander, 1782-1841
Madison, James, 1751-1836
McArthur, Duncan, 1772-1839
McHenry, James, 1753-1816
Meigs, Return Jonathan, 1764-1825
Melville, Robert Saunders Dundas, Viscount, 1771-1851
Monroe, James, 1758-1831
Red Jacket (Seneca chief), ca. 1756-1830.
Scott, Winfield, 1786-1866
Tallmadge, Benjamin, 1754-1835
Taylor, Waller, -1826
Taylor, Zachary, 1784-1850
Tazewell, Littleton Waller, 1774-1860
Tompkins, Daniel D., 1774-1825
Wilkinson, James, 1757-1825.
Winchester, James, 1752-1826.
Connecticut--History--War of 1812.
Florida--History--War of 1812.
Illinois--History--War of 1812.
Kentucky--History--War of 1812.
Georgia--History--War of 1812.
Louisiana--History--War of 1812.
Maine--History--War of 1812.
Maryland--History--War of 1812.
Michigan--History--War of 1812.
New Jersey--History--War of 1812.
New York (State)--History--War of 1812.
Ohio--History--War of 1812.
Ontario--History--War of 1812.
Pennsylvania--History--War of 1812.
Tennessee--History--War of 1812.
United States--History--War of 1812--Blacks.
United States--History--War of 1812--Blockades.
United States--History--War of 1812--Campaigns.
United States--History--War of 1812--Causes.
United States--History--War of 1812--Claims.
United States--History--War of 1812--Confiscations and contributions.
United States--History--War of 1812--Destruction and pillage.
United States--History--War of 1812--Equipment and supplies.
United States--History--War of 1812--Finance.
United States--History--War of 1812--Medical care.
United States--History--War of 1812--Naval operations.
United States--History--War of 1812--Personal narratives.
United States--History--War of 1812--Prisoners and prisons.
United States--History--War of 1812--Prizes, etc.
United States--History--War of 1812--Regimental histories.
United States--History--War of 1812--Registers.
United States--History--War of 1812--Supplies and stores.

Online content



This collection is open for research.

Many collections are housed offsite; retrieval requires advance notice. Please make an appointment a minimum of one week in advance of your visit.


Photography and digitization may be restricted for some collections. Copyright restrictions may apply. Before publishing, researchers are responsible for securing permission from all applicable rights holders, then filling out the Permission to Publish form.


[Item], War of 1812 mss., Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana.

Indiana University Bloomington
1200 East Seventh Street
Bloomington, Indiana 47405-5500, USA
Indiana University Bloomington
(812) 855-2452