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Samuel Benjamin papers

Call Number: MS 75

Scope and Contents

This collection contains approximately 100 items in one box and one item relating to Lieutenant Samuel Benjamin of Waltham, Massachusettes, and Livermore, Maine, covering the years 1775-1845, but primarily the period 1775-1782. Samuel Benjamin, 1753-1824, fought at the battle of Lexington on April 19, 1775. Enlisting in Captain Daniel Whiting's Company, he served as a sergeant at Bunker Hill and after the British evacuated Boston was in the garrison of Fort Ticonderoga in New York. On January 1, 1777, Congress commissioned him an Ensign in Captain Ebenezer Cleavelands' Company of Colonel Michael Jackson's Regiment of the Massachusetts Continental Line. On October 7, 1777, he was commissioned a Lieutenant of the same Company and for a while in 1778 served as adjutant for Colonel Scammel's Massachusetts regiment. He was at Valley Forge, Saratoga, Monmouth, West Point, Stony Point, Paulus' Hook, and Yorktown. He married Tabitha Livermore of Waltham and had ten children. After his separation from the Continental Army on August 6, 1782, Benjamin bought land in Cumberland County, Massachesetts, now Maine. Mrs. Benjamin died in 1837, and these papers from the Revolutionary War became the property of Mrs. Benjamin Lindsay of Milwaukee, whose son donated the collection to Yale.

Of interest in this collection are four small paper booklets. One is a diary of Lt. Benjamin from January 20, 1781, to December 17, 1781. The early pages describe maneuvers around West Point, New York. Then comes a description of the march and voyage to Yorktown, and Benjamin's trip home to Waltham for a well-earned furlough. The few remaining pages of this book contain lists of Bible passage by chapter and verse, and financial accounts.

The second booklet contains a variety of notes and accounts, 1776-1780. There is also a prayer, a reply to a challenge to duel, the roll of Captain Whiting's Company in 1776, brief accounts, and a sketch of a camp. The book also contains four rhymed poems, one a pastoral, and three addressed to "Kate, the captains's lady".

A third booklet is an order book, October 4, 1781, to November 1, 1781, at Yorktown. Some of the pages are devoted to financial accounts, 1782-1788, and a few pages define the game of "Rickett," a close copy of cricket.

The fourth booklet is a printed version of Benjamin's brief diary, 1778-1780, with the longer account of the Yorktown campaign. A brief introduction supplied the biographical data on Benjamin.

The rest of the collection is in manuscript sheets arranged chronologically in ten folders with a map of a township, undated (in CF5).


  • 1775-1845
  • Majority of material found within 1775 - 1782


Conditions Governing Access

The entire collection is available on microfilm. Patrons must use HM 147 instead of the originals

Existence and Location of Copies

Entire collection available on microfilm (355 frames on 1 reel, 35mm.) from Manuscripts and Archives, Yale University Library, at cost. Order no. HM147.

Conditions Governing Use

Unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by the creator(s) of this collection are in the public domain. There are no restrictions on use. Copyright status for other collection materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Mrs. A.D. Lindsay, 1939.


0.25 Linear Feet

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL


The papers consist of correspondence, diaries, poems, orders and receipts concerning Samuel Benjamin's service in the Massachusetts infantry during the Revolutionary War. Included also is a printed version of Benjamin's diaries (1778-1780) describing maneuvers around West Point, New York and the Yorktown campaign.

Biographical / Historical

Samuel Benjamin fought at the Battle of Lexington in 1775. He enlisted in Captain Daniel Whiting's company and served as a sergeant at the Battle of Bunker Hill. After the British evacuated Boston, Benjamin was in the garrison at Fort Ticonderoga. He was commissioned as an ensign in the Massachusetts Continental Line, and commissioned as lieutenant in the same company. Benjamin served at Valley Forge, Saratoga, Monmouth, and Yorktown.

Guide to the Samuel Benjamin Papers
Under Revision
compiled by Staff of Manuscripts and Archives
August 1982
Description rules
Finding Aid Created In Accordance With Manuscripts And Archives Processing Manual
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

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