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James Patton Preston Letter

Identifier: SC 01771

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Content Description

A three page letter sent from James Patton Preston to his brother. In the letter, Preston complains that he has been ordered by Colonel Parker to stay and recruit men for the 12th and 20th regiments, a task he finds "vastly troublesome." Preston follows this by mentioning two men with whom his brother is acquainted are traveling under secrecy, and that the news Preston and his brother delivered earlier has proven to be true. News he states is "destroying the confidence of men in the integrity of their officers." It is theorized by previous owners of this document that he was referring to surrender of General William Hull to the British at Fort Detroit a month prior, but there is no solid evidence in the letter itself.

After writing of his military activities, Preston moves on to personal matters. He asks his brother to write him, and says that a Mr. Bennet Taylor visited after hearing about the death of another of Preston's siblings. The deceased brother left behind a widow and children. Mr. Taylor was going to take the woman home to stay her sister for the winter. Preston writes that he hopes the widow will consider himself as a match, as he finds her amiable and her children endearing, and he endeavors to make her happy.


  • Creation: September 15th, 1812


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The collection is open to all researchers. Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, such as the Virginia Public Records Act (Code of Virginia. § 42.1-76-91); and the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (Code of Virginia § 2.2-3705.5). Confidential material may include, but is not limited to, educational, medical, and personnel records. If sensitive material is found in this collection, please contact a staff member immediately. The disclosure of personally identifiable information pertaining to a living individual may have legal consequences for which the College of William and Mary assumes no responsibility.

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Before reproducing or quoting from any materials, in whole or in part, permission must be obtained from the Special Collections Research Center, and the holder of the copyright, if not Swem Library.


0.1 Linear Feet (One legal sized folder.)



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Part of the Special Collections Research Center Repository