James F. Mercer papers

Finding aid prepared by Brooke M. Black.
The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens
Manuscripts Department
The Huntington Library
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, California 91108
Phone: (626) 405-2191
Email: reference@huntington.org
URL: http://www.huntington.org
© June 2018
The Huntington Library. All rights reserved.


Descriptive Summary

Title: James F. Mercer papers
Inclusive Dates: 1735-1872
Bulk Dates: 1735-1763
Collection Number: mssMercer
Creator OR Collector: Mercer, James Francis, -1756
Extent: 3 boxes
Repository: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Manuscripts Department
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, California 91108
Phone: (626) 405-2191
Email: reference@huntington.org
URL: http://www.huntington.org
Abstract: The collection consists of over 120 letters, manuscripts and documents related to James F. Mercer and his death at Fort Oswego, New York, in 1756 and the settling of his estate after his death.
Language of Material: The materials is in English.

Administration Information

Access

Open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, contact Reader Services.

Publication Rights

The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], James F. Mercer papers, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

Acquisition Information

Purchased by the Library Collectors' Council from William Reese Company, January 20, 2018. The letters were preserved by William Mercer's grandson, son of George Depster Mercer, the Treasurer of Hong Kong, a member of the Asiatic Society, and a minor author. It was then acquired by Eric C. Caren.

Biographical Note

James F. Mercer was Colonel of William Pepperell's 51st Regiment of Royal Americans, commanding Fort Oswego (Oswego, N.Y.). On August 11, 1756, French commander Louis-Joseph de Montcalm besieged the fort with 3,000 men, most of whom were Canadian militiamen and Indigenous people warriors. Mercer was killed on August 14 by a French cannonball, and the garrison quickly surrendered after his death. When the soldiers left the fort, the French-allied Indigenous peoples attacked them. The defeat for England became a subject of inquiry conducted by John Campbell, the 4th Earl of Loudoun, who had arrived just three weeks prior to the battle.

Arrangement

The collection is arranged chronologically. It is housed in three boxes.

Scope and Content

A collection of over 120 letters, manuscripts, and documents (previously bound in three-quarter calf and paper-covered boards by "Seton Bookbinder Edinburgh" (Robert Seton III, 1844-1905)). The collection includes James F. Mercer's letters written during his travels in Europe, Jamaica, and North America (1736-1755). This includes five letters by Mercer from Fort Oswego (1755-1756). The collection also includes approximately 70 letters written in the aftermath of Mercer's death, including correspondence of Mercer's brother, William Mercer, friend James Grahame, and Grahame's 13-page account of the Battle of Oswego. Other authors include: Andrew Douglass, Joseph Austin, Colin Drummond, Charles Craven, Francis Lewis, James Robertson, and Stephen Sayre.
Collection includes several documents regarding James F. Mercer's finances and belongings after his death. Also included is a copy of Papers relating to the first settlement and capture of Fort Oswego, 1727-1756 [Albany: Weed, Parsons & Co., 1849], with Mercer escutcheon pasted on the front inner cover.

Indexing Terms

Personal Names

Craven, Charles
Grahame, James, -1760
Lewis, Francis, 1713-1802
Mercer, James Francis, -1756
Mercer, William, 1717-1786
Robertson, James, 1717-1788
Sayre, Stephen, 1736-1818
Shirley, William, 1694-1771

Subjects

Families -- Scotland -- History -- 18th century
Girls -- Education -- Great Britain
Scots -- America -- History
Scots -- Great Britain -- Colonies -- History
Seven Years' War, 1756-1763

Geographic Areas

Flanders (Belgium) -- Description and travel
Fort Oswego (Oswego, N.Y.) -- Capture, 1756
France -- Foreign relations -- Great Britain
Great Britain -- History -- George II, 1727-1760 -- Sources
Great Britain -- History, Military -- 18th century
Great Britain -- Colonies -- History -- 18th century
Great Britain -- Foreign relations -- 1727-1760
Great Britain -- Foreign relations -- France
Perth (Scotland) -- History -- 18th century -- Sources
United States -- History -- French and Indian War, 1754-1763

Genre

Accounts -- Great Britain -- 18th century
Letters (correspondence) -- Great Britain -- 18th century
Letters (correspondence) -- Great Britain -- 19th century
Letters (correspondence) -- United States -- 18th century
Manuscripts -- Great Britain -- 18th century
Manuscripts -- Great Britain -- 19th century


Container List

Box 1

1736-1756

Folder  1

Mercer, James Francis, -1756. Letter to William Mercer, 1717-1786 (1736, Sep. 17)

Bergen, Belgium.
Folder  2

Mercer, James Francis, -1756. Letter to Jean Lindsey Mercer (1742, Mar. 7)

Kingston, Jamaica.
Folder  3

Mercer, James Francis, -1756. Letter to Jean Lindsey Mercer (1742, Aug 9)

Kingston, Jamaica.
Folder  4

Mercer, James Francis, -1756. Letter to William Mercer, 1717-1786 (1749, Oct. 12)

London, England. Torn; fragile.
Folder  5

Mercer, James Francis, -1756. Letter to William Mercer, 1717-1786 (1751, Apr. 16)

London, England.
Folder  6

Mercer, James Francis, -1756. Letter to William Mercer, 1717-1786 (1752, Jan. 16)

London, England.
Folder  7

Mercer, James Francis, -1756. Letter to William Mercer, 1717-1786 (1752, Jan. 25)

London, England.
Folder  8

Mercer, James Francis, -1756. Letter to [William Mercer, 1717-1786] (1752, [Nov. 30])

London, England.
Folder  9

Mercer, James Francis, -1756. Letter to William Mercer, 1717-1786 (1752, Dec. 30)

London, England.
Folder  10

Mercer, James Francis, -1756. Letter to [William Mercer, 1717-1786] (1753, Mar. 10)

London, England.
Folder  11

Mercer, James Francis, -1756. Letter to William Mercer, 1717-1786 (1753, Apr. 10)

London, England.
Folder  12

Mercer, James Francis, -1756. Letter to [William Mercer, 1717-1786] (1753, Apr. 26)

London, England.
Folder  13

Mercer, James Francis, -1756. Letter to [William Mercer, 1717-1786] (1754, Apr. 23)

London, England.
Folder  14

Mercer, James Francis, -1756. Letter to William Mercer, 1717-1786 [1754, Apr.]

London, England.
Folder  15

Mercer, James Francis, -1756. Letter to William Mercer, 1717-1786 (1754, May 7)

London, England.
Folder  16

Mercer, James Francis, -1756. Letter to [William Mercer, 1717-1786] (1754, June 4)

London, England.
Folder  17

Mercer, James Francis, -1756. Letter to William Mercer, 1717-1786 (1754, Aug. 12)

Paris, France.
Folder  18

Grahame, James, -1760. Letter to William Mercer, 1717-1786 (1754, Aug. 20)

London, England. Damaged.
Folder  19

Grahame, James, -1760. Letter to William Mercer, 1717-1786 (1754, Sep. 7)

London, England. Damaged.
Folder  20

Mercer, James Francis, -1756. Letter to William Mercer, 1717-1786 (1754, Oct. 10)

London, England.
Folder  21

Mercer, James Francis, -1756. Letter to [William Mercer, 1717-1786] (1754, Oct. 12)

London, England.
Folder  22

Mercer, James Francis, -1756. Letter to William Mercer, 1717-1786 (1754, Oct. 29)

London, England.
Folder  23

Mercer, James Francis, -1756. Letter to William Mercer, 1717-1786 (1754, Nov. 2)

[London, England.]
Folder  24

Mercer, James Francis, -1756. Letter to William Mercer, 1717-1786 (1754, Nov. 5)

[London, England.]
Folder  25

Mercer, James Francis, -1756. Letter to William Mercer, 1717-1786 (1754, Nov. 9)

Portsmouth, England. Damaged.
Folder  26

Grahame, James, -1760. Letter to William Mercer, 1717-1786 (1754, Nov 12)

London, England.
Folder  27

Grahame, James, -1760. Letter to William Mercer, 1717-1786 (1754, Nov. 19)

London, England.
Folder  28

Mercer, James Francis, -1756. Letter to William Mercer, 1717-1786 (1755, Jan. 10)

York, Va.
Folder  29

Mercer, James Francis, -1756. Letter to William Mercer, 1717-1786 (1755, Feb. 18)

Boston, Mass.
Folder  30

Grahame, James, -1760. Letter to [William Mercer, 1717-1786] (1755, Mar. 10)

London, England.
Folder  31

Grahame, James, -1760. Letter to [William Mercer, 1717-1786] (1755, Mar. 25)

London, England.
Folder  32

Grahame, James, -1760. Letter to [William Mercer, 1717-1786] (1755, Apr. 29)

London, England.
Folder  33

Grahame, James, -1760. Letter to [William Mercer, 1717-1786] (1755, May 15)

London, England. With stub.
Folder  34

Mercer, James Francis, -1756. Letter to James Grahame, -1760 (1755, June 9)

New York, N.Y. Damaged.
Folder  35

Mercer, James Francis, -1756. Letter to William Mercer, 1717-1786 (1755, June 9)

New York, N.Y. With stub.
Folder  36

Grahame, James, -1760. Letter to William Mercer, 1717-1786 (1755, July 22)

London, England.
Folder  37

Mercer, James Francis, -1756. Letter to William Mercer, 1717-1786 (1755, Aug. 20)

Oneida, N.Y. Damaged.
Folder  38

Mercer, James Francis, -1756. Letter to William Mercer, 1717-1786 (1755, Sep. 10)

Oswego, N.Y.
Folder  39

Kotson (?), M (?) Letter to William Mercer, 1717-1786 (1755, Sep. 22)

Folder  40

Grahame, James, -1760. Letter to William Mercer, 1717-1786 (1755, Nov. 15)

London, England.
Folder  41

Grahame, James, -1760. Letter to William Mercer, 1717-1786 (1755, Dec. 20)

London, England. With stub.
Folder  42

Grahame, James, -1760. Letter to [James Francis Mercer, -1756] (1756, Jan. 13)

London, England.
Folder  43

Mercer, James Francis, -1756. Letter to William Mercer, 1717-1786 (1756, Jan. 24)

Oswego, N.Y.
Folder  44

Grahame, James, -1760. Letter to [William Mercer, 1717-1786] (1756, Feb. 14)

London, England.
Folder  45

Mercer, James Francis, -1756. Letter to James Grahame, -1760 (1756, Feb. 24)

Oswego, N.Y.
Folder  46

Mercer, James Francis, -1756. Letter to William Mercer, 1717-1786 (1756, Mar. 14)

Oswego, N.Y. Damaged.
Folder  47

Grahame, James, -1760. Letter to [William Mercer, 1717-1786] (1756, Mar. 16)

London, England.
Folder  48

Grahame, James, -1760. Letter to William Mercer, 1717-1786 (1756, Apr. 29)

London, England.
Folder  49

Grahame, James, -1760. Letter to William Mercer, 1717-1786 (1756, May 13)

London, England.
Folder  50

Grahame, James, -1760. Letter to [William Mercer, 1717-1786] (1756, May 26)

London, England. On verso: accounts.
Folder  51

Mercer, James Francis, -1756. Letter to William Mercer, 1717-1786 (1756, July 8)

[Oswego, N.Y.] Damaged.
Folder  52

Grahame, James, -1760. Letter to [William Mercer, 1717-1786] (1756, Sep. 7)

London, England.
Folder  53

[Unknown author]. Document re: James Francis Mercer's leaving all of his effects to James Robinson, his servant (1756, Sep. 27).

Québec, Québec. Signed by five witnesses.
Folder  54

Robertson, James, 1717-1788. Letter to [William Mercer, 1717-1786] (1756, Sep. 30)

Albany, N.Y.
Folder  55

Grahame, James, -1760. Letter to [William Mercer, 1717-1786] (1756, Nov. 9)

London, England. With stub.
Folder  56

Grahame, James, -1760. Letter to [William Mercer, 1717-1786] (1756, Nov. 13)

London, England. With note.
Folder  57

Austin, Joseph. Letter to Colin Drummond (1756, Nov. 17)

Plymouth, England.
Folder  58

Drummond, Colin. Letter to William Mercer, 1717-1786 (1756, Nov. 19)

Megginch Castle, Perthshire, England.
Folder  59

Robertson, James, 1717-1788. Letter to William Mercer, 1717-1786 (1756, Nov. 26)

Totnes, England.
Folder  60

Drummond, Colin. Letter to William Mercer, 1717-1786 [1756, Nov.]

Folder  61

Grahame, James, -1760. Letter to William Mercer, 1717-1786 (1756, Dec. 14)

London, England.
Folder  62

[Austin, Joseph]. Letter to Colin Drummond [1756]

Damaged.
Folder  63

[Austin, Joseph]. Document re: effects left at New York by James Francis Mercer [1756]

With stub. On verso: note.
Folder  64

Grahame, James, -1760. Account of the Capture of Oswego, 14 August 1756: manuscript [after 1756]

Box 2

1757-1872 and undated

Folder  1

Grahame, James, -1760. Letter to [William Mercer, 1717-1786] (1757, Jan. 15)

London, England.
Folder  2

Lewis, Francis, 1713-1802. Letter to G. Graham (1757, Feb. 22)

London, England.
Folder  3

Grahame, James, -1760. Letter to [William Mercer, 1717-1786] (1757, Feb. 26)

London, England. With cover sheet with note
Folder  4

Grahame, James, -1760. Letter to [William Mercer, 1717-1786] (1757, Apr. 9)

Folder  5

Grahame, James, -1760. Letter to William Mercer, 1717-1786 (1757, July 9)

London, England.
Folder  6

Grahame, James, -1760. Letter to [William Mercer, 1717-1786] (1757, Aug. 25)

London, England.
Folder  7

Grahame, James, -1760. Letter to [William Mercer, 1717-1786] (1757, Dec. 20)

London, England.
Folder  8

Grahame, James, -1760. Letter to [William Mercer, 1717-1786] (1758, Mar. 18)

London, England.
Folder  9

Grahame, James, -1760. Letter to [William Mercer, 1717-1786] (1758, May 23)

London, England.
Folder  10

Grahame, James, -1760. Letter to [William Mercer, 1717-1786] (1758, July 27)

London, England.
Folder  11

Grahame, James, -1760. Letter to [William Mercer, 1717-1786] (1758, Aug. 15)

London, England. Attached: accounts.
Folder  12

Grahame, James, -1760. Letter to William Mercer, 1717-1786 (1758, Sep. 5)

London, England.
Folder  13

Grahame, James, -1760. Letter to [William Mercer, 1717-1786] (1759, Jan. 2)

London, England. Attached: notes re: Sir William Douglas and family.
Folder  14

Douglass, Andrew. Letter to William Mercer, 1717-1786 (1760, June 3)

London, England.
Folder  15

Shyne (?), Robert. Letter to William Mercer, 1717-1786 (1760, June 12)

London, England.
Folder  16

Douglass, Andrew. Letter to William Mercer, 1717-1786 (1760, June 17)

London, England. Attached: accounts and letter by George Mercer Henderson (?) to "My dear Sir," 1864, July 7.
Folder  17

Douglass, Andrew. Letter to William Mercer, 1717-1786 (1760, June 18)

London, England.
Folder  18

Douglass, Andrew. Letter to William Mercer, 1717-1786 (1760, June 28)

London, England. Attached: accounts.
Folder  19

Douglass, Andrew. Letter to William Mercer, 1717-1786 (1760, July 10)

London, England.
Folder  20

Douglass, Andrew. Letter to William Mercer, 1717-1786 (1760, July 17)

London, England. Attached: accounts.
Folder  21

Douglass, Andrew. Letter to [William Mercer, 1717-1786] (1760, Dec. 20)

London, England. Torn.
Folder  22

Douglass, Andrew. Letter to [William Mercer, 1717-1786] [1760]

Folder  23

Douglass, Andrew. Letter to William Mercer, 1717-1786 (1761, Aug. 27)

London, England. Damaged; with repairs.
Folder  24

Douglass, Andrew. Letter to [William Mercer, 1717-1786] (1762, May 25)

London, England. Following the above is a copy of a letter to Andrew Douglass re: James Francis Mercer, -1756 and copy of reply of William Mercer, 1717-1786.
Folder  25

Craven, Charles. Letter to William Mercer, 1717-1786 (1762, Nov. 2)

London, England. Damaged.
Folder  26

Craven, Charles. Letter to Andrew Douglass (1762, Nov. 16)

London, England.
Folder  27

Douglass, Andrew. Letter to [William Mercer, 1717-1786] (1762, Nov. 23)

London, England.
Folder  28

Sayre, Stephen, 1736-1818. Letter to Andrew Douglass (1762, Dec. 14)

London, England. Attached: letter by Stephen Sayre, 1736-1818 to Andrew Douglass, Mar. 7. Included: copy of a paragraphy from a letter by Francis Lewis, 1713-1802 to Stephen Sayre, 1736-1818
Folder  29

Sayre, Stephen, 1736-1818. Letter to Andrew Douglass [approximately 1762]

Damaged.
Folder  30

[Unknown author]. Document re: James Francis Mercer, -1756 and Charles Craven [1762]

Folder  31

Sayre, Stephen, 1736-1818. Letter to Andrew Douglass (1763, July 12)

Damaged.
Folder  32

Douglass, Andrew. Letter to William Mercer, 1717-1786 (1763, July 26)

London, England. Attached: letter, with accounts, by Robert Olyphant to Andrew Douglass, 1763, June 14.
Folder  33

Douglass, Andrew. Letter to [William Mercer, 1717-1786] (1763, July 28)

London, England. Attached: receipt and account for James Francis Mercer, -1756, 1762, Dec. 2
Folder  34

Douglass, Andrew. Letter to [William Mercer, 1717-1786] (1763, Aug.)

Attached: letter to Andrew Douglass, 1763, Aug. 13)
Folder  35

Harrison, Humphrey. Letter to William Mercer, 1717-1786 (1763, Oct. 26)

Dunkeld, Scotland.
Folder  36

Murray, John. Letter to William Mercer, 1717-1786 (1763, Oct. 29)

Edinburgh, Scotland.
Folder  37

Douglass, Andrew. Letter to [William Mercer, 1717-1786] (1763, Nov. 5)

London, England.
Folder  38

Murray, John. Letter to [William Mercer, 1717-1786] (1763, Nov. 10)

London, England.
Folder  39

Murray, John. Letter to William Mercer, 1717-1786 (1763, Nov. 22)

London, England.
Folder  40

Murray, John. Letter to [William Mercer, 1717-1786] (1763, Dec. 15)

London, England.
Folder  41

Murray, John. Letter to [William Mercer, 1717-1786] (1763, Dec. 31)

Dunkeld, Scotland.
Folder  42

[Unknown author]. Accounts of James Francis Mercer, -1756 [after 1763]

Folder  43

Powell, Matt. Letter to William Mercer, 1717-1786 (1766, Jan. 7)

London, England. Attached: letter by Andrew Douglass, 1766, Jan. 2.
Folder  44

Douglass, Andrew. Letter to William Mercer, 1717-1786 (1766, June 20)

Damaged.
Folder  45

Gheene (?), John Canni. Letter to Graeme Mercer (1867, Nov. 1)

Crieff, Scotland.
Folder  46

[Unknown author]. Notes on Mercer family [approximately 1872]

On verso: printed item: "Royal Masonic Institution for Boys," 1872, Apr.
Folder  47

[Unknown author]. Index of Letters [undated]

Not a complete list of letters.
Folder  48

[Unknown author]. Index of Letters [undated]

Not a complete list of letters.
Folder  49

[Unknown author]. Notes on Mercer family [undated]

Folder  50

[Unknown author]. Fragment re: Oswego [undated]

1 fragment. On verso: printed item.
Folder  51

[Unknown author]. Loose fragment re: Hector Monro [undated]

1 fragment.
Folder  52

Front flyleaves [undated]

Folder  53

Back flyleaves, supports, threads and endbands [undated]

Box 3

Papers relating to the first settlement and capture of Fort Oswego, 1727-1756

Albany: Weed, Parsons & Co., 1849. Bound volume with Mercer escutcheon pasted on the front inner cover.