American Manuscripts in the Gage Papers : 1731 - 1874.

Call Number: HIL-MICL FC LFR .A4G3P3
Category: Family
Description: 3 microfilm textual records () ; 35 mm
            The manuscripts which have been microfilmed with the name, Gage Papers, concern for the most part, the affairs of Vice-Admiral Sir Peter Warren (1703-1752) and his heirs. 

They form one part, but are separate from the much larger Gage Papers sold in 1930 to the William L. Clements Library at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. That collection consists, principally, of the papers of General Thomas Gage (1719-1787), the British Commander-in-Chief in North America until 1775. In addition to the Gage Papers, the Clements Library holds five boxes of Warren manuscripts which, if possible, should be used in conjunction with the American Manuscripts in the Gage Papers. The Warren manuscripts in this collection passed into the Gage family through the marriage in 1789 of Susanna Maria Skinner, Sir Peter Warren's granddaughter, to Major Henry Gage (1761-1808), son of General Thomas Gage, and later third Viscount Gage; her father, Lt. General William Skinner, was a brother of General Cortlandt Skinner. Henry Gage's mother was Margaret, the daughter of Peter Kemble (1704-1789), a well-known New Jersey Loyalist. Between 1958 and 1965 the present Viscount Gage deposited the Gage Papers in the Sussex Archaeological Society, Lewes, Sussex, England.

Peter Warren was the son of Michael Warren of Warrenstown, County Meath, Ireland. His mother, Catherine, was the sister of Matthew, Lord Aylmer, one of the lords of the admiralty and Commander-in-Chief of the fleet. Peter Warren's sister Anne (Warren) Johnson was the mother of Sir William Johnson (c.1715-1774), who came as a young man to America to oversee his uncle's affairs in the Mohawk Valley of New York, and with financial assistance from his uncle, eventually acquired one of the largest fortunes in America. Sir William Johnson is best known for his position as Superintendent of Indian Affairs and for his association with the Six Nations Indians.

Peter Warren entered the navy at age twelve as a midshipman, but by 1730 he had risen to captain and established his residence in New York City. From there he began acquiring large parcels of land, and in 1731 married Susannah DeLancey (d.1771), elder daughter of Stephen DeLancey (a wealthy New York merchant) and Anne VanCortland, and the sister of James and Oliver DeLancey.

From 1718 until 1746 Warren commanded a number of ships on the North American coast and in the West Indies, including postings in Florida, Jamaica, and Antigua, and was part of the force that captured Louisbourg in 1745. With Sir William Pepperrell, the commander of the British squadron, he supervised the fort until he was appointed Governor of Louisbourg and Cape Breton. He was replaced as Governor by Charles Knowles in May 1746 and moved to Boston until November 1746 when he returned to England where he was knighted, elected to parliament, and promoted to the rank of Vice-Admiral.

He retired in 1748 and died suddenly in Dublin in 1752. A monument was erected to him in Westminster Abbey. Of his six children, three reached adulthood, including Susannah, who married her cousin Colonel William Skinner of Perth Amboy, New Jersey.

The Warren/DeLancey estates survived the American Revolution without confiscation as did the property inherited by Viscount Gage from General Thomas Gage.

            The collection largely relates to the personal affairs of Admiral Sir Peter Warren and his heirs, as well as to his official role as administrator at Louisbourg, Cape Breton Island; and to a lesser extent to the American interests of Colonel William Skinner (died 1780), Warren's son-in-law.  The manuscripts contain a wide variety of documents as the following examples will show: cash books and account books; records of loans; mortgages; letter books; lists of deeds, real estate, debts, securities, papers, and properties; bonds; indentures; Warren-Skinner marriage settlement; bank books; legal opinions; investment records; bills; receipts; and a voluminous amount of correspondence. General subject areas covered include the British Royal Navy, colonial government of New England and Nova Scotia, personal finance and investments, real property - South Carolina and New York State, family connections, French relations, military strategy, maritime history, and inheritance and succession.

Major-General Henry Gage, inherited through his wife, Susanna Warren, a substantial portion of the American estate of Sir Peter Warren. This collection is a record of the administration of these properties and other investments by agents who were relatives of the heirs, principally Oliver DeLancey. The interwoven family relationships in the Gage Papers are complicated, yet must be understood to fully appreciate the content of the papers and their historical significance
Detailed Contents: Some specific subjects covered in his letters include personal finances--rents, bonds, stocks, debts, bills, mortgages, property, investments; slavery--buying and selling; political and naval commissions; health--Warren's scorbutic disorder; Louisbourg, Nova Scotia; Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia; Cape Sambro, Nova Scotia; Warrenstown, Ireland; East India trade; wine trade; importation of seeds and berries; water navigation and pilots; privateering, prizes, and prize money; naval court-martials; British garrisons in Nova Scotia; military intelligence and scouts; war ship maintenance; Native alliances and the Six Nations; colonial militia (Nova Scotia); colonial government; the Congress of Breda; Siege of Genoa (1746); and Palantine settlers.  Warren also regularly lobbied for governmental and military positions for relatives as well as for personal advancement. 

Correspondents include Boston merchants and traders (such as Charles Apthorp, Thomas Hancock, and Christopher Kilby); Caribbean traders (Gidney Clark of Barbados); high-ranking British naval officers (such as Admiral George Anson, James Douglas, Captain Richard Spry, Admiral Isaac Townsend, and Sir John Norris); significant British politicians including John Montague, Earl of Sandwich and Thomas Pelham-Holles, Duke of Newcastle; Thomas Corbett, Joint Secretary to the Admiralty; colonial governors (George Clinton, Governor of the Province of New York and Charles Knowles, Governor of Louisbourg); and Warren's agents in London (Samuel and William Baker).  

There is a letter book containing Sir Peter Warren's private letters, 1746-1747, written just after he stepped down as Governor of Louisbourg, Cape Breton, and was residing in Boston.  Many of the letters concern the war with France in North America and the role of the Royal Navy along with Warren's personal financial interests on both sides of the Atlantic.

Account books covering Warren's time in North America make up a portion of the papers.  Years covered by various account books include 1731 to 1737 detailing land purchases in New York, including the Mohawk frontier and settlement of Palantine settlers, property in Carolina and Ireland, and the sale of slaves.  The account book covering 1733 to 1738 also included entries on property and money in Ireland, general financial matters, a list of black slaves and white indentured servants, and notes made by Warren in New York.  The account book from 1735 to 1741 lists bills, a will, and other financial matters.  A "Miscellaneous Account Book" (1740-41) covers his short time in Jamaica in 1740 and 1741 (2pp).

Other letters contain accounts of political and economic situations, land speculation, investments, and estate affairs. The principal correspondents are Sir Peter Warren, Oliver DeLancey, William Skinner, Henry Gage, Peter Kemble, John Watts, Stephen Skinner, and William Kemble. The collection also includes many documents pertaining to Lady Warren after her husband's death.

Arrangement: There are three main sections: volumes 1-338, Additional I and II, and Miscellaneous. Correspondence within each section is mostly in a chronological order; some documents have been transcribed and typed on Reel 3 (asterisk in finding aid denotes a transcription available). 

G/Am/1-66: Sir Peter Warren's Papers, 1729-1751, concerning administration of his affairs in New York, New England, and South Carolina. Includes cash books, account books, a letter book, and other papers. Summaries of content topics available for: items 1 (Warren's account book, 1735-41), item 6 (Warren's letter book, 1746-47), item 7 (3 letters from Misters Baker to Warren, 1745), item 11 (Warren's miscellaneous account book, 1740, 1744, 1747), item 12 (Warren's account book, 1731-1737), and item 13 (Warren's account book, 1733-1738); see Electronic Finding Aid section.

G/Am/67-94: Lady Warren's Papers, 1752-1772. Mostly concerning the settlement of Sir Peter's estate. Many from her brother Oliver DeLancey. Includes her bank books and some household accounts.

*G/Am/95-113: Sir Peter Warren's Estate Settlement, 1756-1772: accounts of American holdings, particularly in New York; also some information about Irish property. His daughters married Willoughby Bertie, Earl of Abingdon; Charles Fitzroy, Baron Southampton; and Colonel (later Lt. General) Willaim Skinner.

*G/Am/114-203: American Estate Affairs, from Relatives and Agents, 1768-1790. Mostly correspondence between Olliver DeLancey and the Warren heirs (Abdingdon, Fitzroy, Skinner). Also correspondence between the Kembles and Henry Gage. Peter Kemble was an uncle of Gage, and also related to the Delanceys.

*G/Am/204-338: American Estate Affairs between Gage and Kemble Families, 1791-1870. Letters between two generations of these families (3rd and 4th Viscount Gage, Peter and William Kemble). The letters discuss American politics, finances, and investment prospects, and include some personal information as well. Land sales, land speculation, banking stock, railway investments - he investments changed over the years.

GA/833-849, 1295, 1305, 1307-8, 1339: Additions to Papers from the Gage collection, I

GA/1164, 1201: Additions to Papers from the Gage collection, II

G/Ir/l: Miscellaneous

G/Ha/43: Miscellaneous            
Originals: The original records are held by the Sussex Archaeological Society, Lewes, Sussex.
Archival Ref. No.: Sussex Archaeological Society. G/AM/1 - G/AM/288; G/AM/288 - G/HA/43-5.
Finding Aids:
            The accompanying finding aid includes an Introduction by Julian Gwyn, and a listing of each of the documents.  Each reference includes the classification designation, a brief content statement, and the date/dates; the listing of letters show the correspondents only and date.  One hundred and seventy items marked with an (*) asterisk have been transcribed and typed copies are located in Reel 3.  The introduction ends with a bibliography of works relating to the Collection. This is available in print with The Loyalist Collection red binders.

Electronic: Volumes 1, 6-7, 11-13. A select finding aid has been created with volume and document numbers, correspondents, dates, and notations for Warren's letter book (1746/1747) and summaries of his account books from the 1730s and 1740s. See Electronic Finding Aid section.

Electronic Finding Aid Record: Gage Papers Shelf List.pdf
Select Gage Papers Finding Aid .pdf
Notes: The American Manuscripts in the Gage Papers : 1731-1874 is one of several titles in the series British Records Relating to America in Microform which are published under the auspices of the British Association for American Studies by Microform Limited.

Related Material: The New-York Historical Society holds "Papers and Deeds, 1639-1795" for Sir Peter Warren and the Massachusetts Historical Society holds the "Louisboug Expedition records, 1744-1758", "Thomas Saunders papers, 1732-1828", and "William Pepperrell Papers, 1664-1782" in each of which Warren is considered and additional creator.

Selections of Henry Warren's papers, including G/Am 6 held by the Sussex Archeological Society, are available in book form in "The Royal Navy and North America: The Warren Papers, 1736-1752" edited by Julian Gwen, Naval Records Society, 1975, HIL-STACKS E 198 .W3.

The background material provided by the author of the Introduction has been the source of much useful information in the preparation of this Inventory description along with the "Dictionary of Canadian Biography".

Some transcription errors are present in the typed content on Reel 3.

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