Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Military Documents in the Grems-Doolittle Library

The library's collection of military documents, part of our historic manuscripts collection, includes military commissions, bounty and pension documentation, enlistment and discharge papers, receipts, orders, correspondence, muster rolls, notes, articles, petitions, and lists. The collection includes documents from 1690 through World War II. A complete list of documents in the collection can be found here. Scroll down to see a few highlights from this collection.

If you're interested in military history related to the Schenectady area, or want to find information about the military service of a local ancestor, we also have in our holdings books, photographs, clipping files, and documents that may be of interest to you -- stop in to the library, give us a call, or send us an email to learn more.

Mil 236 - Dutch-language note stating advice from the people of Schenectady as to what ought to be done against the French. A translation of the Dutch, made in 1980 by Ferdinand Jantzen, reads:

"Schenectady, April 9, 1690

Advice from the inhabitants of the village of Schenectady and its dependent areas concerning the common wealth of this land.

Firstly, that it is advisable to march to Canada with six hundred or more christians and as many savages as may be obtained, together with appropriate war ammunition and provisions, and this as soon as possible in order to do much damage to the enemy as possible.

If there is occasion and feasibility, six guns together with cannon balls and other materials, and hand grenades to be taken along. In order to bring this design into effect it is also very much required to have six well equipped ships for establishing the main locations, also very soon.

That it will also be necessary to erect near the lakes a (rendezvous) small fort (fortified log cabin?) for helping those who arrive (recruits?) That also at this location it is very necessary to have a small barrel with powder and three to four guns.

Advised by those from
quod attestur
Ludovicus Cobes clerk"

Mil 545 - Certification that William Childers, "a colored recruit," mustered into the Union army and was credited to the 5th Ward of the city of Schenectady. Childers served with Company F of the 26th Regiment, U.S. Colored Infantry. He later returned to Schenectady and worked as a hostler until his death in 1890 at the age of 49. He is buried at Vale Cemetery. His name is included on the African American Civil War Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Mil 325 - Original order to Ryer Schermerhorn to furnish garrison at Schenectady with firewood for the winter of 1700, signed and sealed by the Earl of Bellomont, Governor of the Province of New York (Richard Coote).

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