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Guide to the Naval History Society Collection
1721-1995 (bulk 1781-1936)
  MS 439

New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West
New York, NY 10024
Phone: (212) 873-3400


New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Processed by Celia Hartmann.

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit on May 29, 2018
Description is in English.

Container List

Series 39. G. B. Rodney (1779-1782)

Scope and Content

The series consists of four volumes of official outgoing letters and orders of Admiral George B. Rodney while commander-in-chief of British vessels in the West Indies during the American War of Independence and during his visit to New York City (October-November 1780). Volume 3 includes an index. Volume 1 was kept by Admiral Rodney aboard RMS Sandwich and RMS  Princess Royal, mostly while in the West Indies, but it also includes some New York orders. The volumes provide details of the administration and outfitting of ships at war, discipline, weather, and personalities.

Historical Note

The overwhelming majority of materials in the Naval History Society Collection pertain to American naval and maritime ships, personalities, and events. Because of Rodney's role as Admiral of British forces in the West Indies during the Revolution, however, his materials were of profound interest to the Society. These volumes were purchased with monies in the Naval History Society Fund, administered by the New-York Historical Society after it subsumed the Naval History Society in 1925, and added to the Naval History Society's collections.

Related Materials at The New-York Historical Society

The "Collections of the New York Historical Society for the year 1932-33. The John Watts DePeyster publication fund series. 65-66" is a two-volume printing of the Rodney letters, published as the 12th and 13th volume of the Society's publications. Volume I includes Letter-books, July 6, 1780-February 4, 1781, December 10, 1781-September 21, 1782; Volume II includes Order-book, July, 1781, November 27, 1781-September 21, 1782 and an index to both volumes. Its introduction provides details of the provenance of the originals and about related materials in the Admiralty's records that were used to inform their publication.

Container 1     Title Date
Volume: 1 Orders
1779 December 5 - 1781 February 11
Volume: 2 Letters
1780 July 16 - 1781 February 4
Volume: 3 Orders
1781 Nov 27 - 1782 September 21
Volume: 4 Letters
1781 December 10 - 1782 September 21

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