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Chauncey Whittelsey Papers

Identifier: Midwest-MS-Whittelsey

Scope and Content of the Collection

Collection of 412 items in two boxes, consisting of land grants, town receipts, commercial accounts, business letters, etc., relating to the commercial activities of Chauncey Whittelsey. The bulk of the material is between 1731 and 1811, with much dating 1779 and 1780 when Whittelsey was the clothing purchasing agent for the Continental Army in Connecticut.

There are 180 receipts issued to him by authorities of Connecticut towns which document the contributions from around the state for army clothing; 150 letters, accounts and receipts pertaining to his clothing business; and 20 items relating to his administration of the James Jauncey confiscated properties. Earlier items in this collection (1731-1758) include 31 deeds for land granted to Seth Wetmore. Also there are documents containing the autographs of Jonathan Trumbull and Roger Sherman, 22-23 July 1779; a receipt signed by Jedediah Huntington, 16 October 1799; and a short business letter from Isaac Sears, 29 March 1771.

One apparently unrelated item is in the collection: a land grant issued by the United States General Land Office, 9 October 1852, to Constant B. Jones, veteran of the War of 1812. The property, approximately 158 acres, was located in what is now known as Grandview, Edgar County, Illinois.

Also in the collection are the extensive research notes of the donor, Charles H. Good, which include transcriptions of the town receipts and a bibliography of his source materials.


  • Creation: 1707-1852
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1731 - 1811



Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The Chauncey Whittelsey Papers are open for research in the Special Collections Reading Room; 1 box at a time (Priority III).

Ownership and Literary Rights

The Chauncey Whittelsey Papers are the physical property of the Newberry Library. Copyright may belong to the authors or their legal heirs or assigns. For permission to publish or reproduce any materials from this collection, contact the Roger and Julie Baskes Department of Special Collections.

Biography of Chauncey Whittelsey

Eighteenth-century Connecticut businessman and Continental Army purchasing agent.

Born in 1746, son of Chauncey Whittelsey, pastor of the First church of New Haven, Chauncey Whittelsey graduated from Yale in 1764 and became a minister in Middletown, Connecticut. He was married to Lucy Wetmore (1748-1826) daughter of Seth Wetmore. After two years in the ministry, Whittelsey resigned from his church and began a life of commercial activities in the clothing business. During the Revolution he was a purchasing agent for the Continental Army in Connecticut and after the War, through the 1790s, he continued as an Army supplier to the United States 2nd Regiment.

Whittelsey achieved some status in the community, serving as Middletown alderman, representative to the Connecticut State Legislature (1809-1811) and Collector of the Port (1797-1801), besides being a deacon of the Congregational Church for twenty-three years. In 1783, he was appointed as administrator of the confiscated properties of James Jauncey (d. 1790) a Loyalist of New York. Whittelsey died in 1812.


0.8 Linear Feet (2 boxes)


Papers of Chauncey Whittelsey (1746-1812) of Middletown, Connecticut, relating to his clothing business, civic duties and activities as Army supplier during the Revolution and into the 1790s. Includes numerous land deeds to his father-in-law, Seth Wetmore.


Arranged chronologically.

Collection Stack Location

1 36 2


Gift of Charles H. Good, 1975.

Processed by

Diana Haskell, 1975.

Inventory of the Chauncey Whittelsey Papers, 1707-1852, bulk 1731-1811
Diana Haskell
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the The Newberry Library - Modern Manuscripts and Archives Repository

60 West Walton Street
Chicago Illinois 60610 United States