Inventory of the James Abercromby Papers, 1674-1787

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Manuscripts Department
The Huntington Library
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, California 91108
Phone: (626) 405-2203
Fax: (626) 449-5720
© 1999
The Huntington Library. All rights reserved.

Inventory of the James Abercromby Papers, 1674-1787

The Huntington Library

San Marino, California

Contact Information

  • Manuscripts Department
  • The Huntington Library
  • 1151 Oxford Road
  • San Marino, California 91108
  • Phone: (626) 405-2203
  • Fax: (626) 449-5720
  • Email:
  • URL:
Processed by:
© 1999 The Huntington Library. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: James Abercromby Papers,
Date (inclusive): 1674-1787
Creator: Abercromby, James, 1706-1981
Extent: Number of pieces: approximately 1,000
Repository: The Huntington Library
San Marino, California 91108
Physical Desciption: Originals or copies: Letters, reports, returns, memorials, etc., addressed to Major General Aberoromby, are originals. Papers emanating from the commander in chief are, almost without exception, office copies written by secretaries.
Language: English.

Administrative Information


This collection was purchased from Lathrop C. Harper, New York dealer, in August, 1923. The Library has no record of previous owners.


Collection is open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information please go to following URL .

Publication Rights

In order to quote from, publish, or reproduce any of the manuscripts or visual materials, researchers must obtain formal permission from the office of the Library Director. In most instances, permission is given by the Huntington as owner of the physical property rights only, and researchers must also obtain permission from the holder of the literary rights. In some instances, the Huntington owns the literary rights, as well as the physical property rights. Researchers may contact the appropriate curator for further information.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], James Abercromby Papers, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.


James Abercromby (1706-81), British general, was a native of Banffshire, Scotland. He entered the army as a youth, and rose by degrees to be major general, in 1756. At this time, through the influence of the Earl of Loudoun, Abercromby was appointed his second in command in North America, and, in 1758, when Loudoun was recalled, succeeded him. It soon became apparent that Abercromby was unfitted for the supreme command, and he was replaced by Amherst within the year. Following his recall, he received the usual military promotion, and finally attained the rank of general in 1772.

Subject matter: Year 1758 of the Seven Years War in North America

A. The campaign of
Date: 1758:
orders and instructions
B. Embargo on colonial shipping,
Date: Mar. 14, 1758
C. Capitulation of Fort William Henry declared void by the English; complications relative to the exchange of prisoners of war
D. Surrender of Louisbourg
E. Expedition against Ticonderoga
  • 1. Defeat of Major General Abercromby
  • 2. Death of Lord Howe
F. Alarms up the Mohawk River; defenses at the Oneida Carrying Place
G. Reduction of Cadaraqui (Fort Frontenac) by Lieutenant Colonel John Bradstreet
H. Brigadier General John Forbes's march against Fort Duquesne
  • 1. Difficulties with the Indian allies
  • 2. Opening of roads and establishing of outposts
  • 3. Capture of Major Grant and party
  • 4. French evacuation of Fort Duquesne
I. Indian affairs
  • 1. Efforts to unite the northern and southern Indians to the English cause
  • 2. Gathering of the Cherokee Nation for the expedition to the Ohio, under Brigadier General Forbes
  • 3. Conferences called by Governor Denny, of Pennsylvania
J. Returns of troops, arms, provisions, etc.
K. Returns of the staff
L. Orders, warrants, appointments, etc., issued by the commander in chief
M. Recall of Major General Abercromby

Some important or interesting items:

  • Abercromby, James. An Examination Of the Acts of Parliament Relative To the Trade and the Government of our American Colonies. Also The Different Constitutions of Government in the Colonies Considered With Remarks By way of a Bill for Amendment of the Laws of this Kingdom in Relation to the Government and Trade of these Colonies... May, 1752
  • James Abercromby, a kinsman of the general, served as agent in England for the colonies of Virginia and the Carolinas, 1738-60.
  • Howe, George Augustus, 3d Viscount Howe. Two letters to Major General Abercromby reporting his preparations for the attack on Ticonderoga. May 28 and 30, 1758
  • Post, Christian Frederick. Journal of Frederick Post's Journey from Philadelphia to Wioming. June 20, 1758
  • Relation de L'affaire du 8 Julliet 1758. (Endorsed: A French Relation of the Affair of the 8th July, 1758, At Ticonderoga, found in the woods at Gaspe.)
  • Wolfe, James. Letter to Major General Abercromby, relating his activities following the surrender of Louisbourg until his departure for England. Sept. 30, 1758

Persons represented by ten or more pieces

Abercromby, James
446 pieces
Appy, John
28 pieces
Bradstreet, John
10 pieces
De Lancey, James
28 pieces
Denny, William
18 pieces
Forbes, John
25 pieces
Hancock, Thomas
16 pieces
Johnson, Sir William
29 pieces
Lawrence, Charles
15 pieces
Lyttelton, William Henry, 1st Baron Lyttelton of Frankley (second creation)
10 pieces
Montresor, James Gabriel
12 pieces
Pitt, William, 1st Earl of Chatham
20 pieces
Pownall, Thomas
36 pieces
Stanwix, John
22 pieces
Vaudreuil-Cavagnal, Pierre François de Rigaud, Marquis de
10 pieces