Our Collection

At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 70,000 items cover five hundred years of American history, from Columbus’s 1493 letter describing the New World to soldiers’ letters from World War II and Vietnam. Explore primary sources, visit exhibitions in person or online, or bring your class on a field trip.

Metcalf, John (fl. 1783) to Jonathan Metcalf

High-resolution images are available to schools and libraries via subscription to American History, 1493-1943. Check to see if your school or library already has a subscription. Or click here for more information. You may also request a pdf of the image from us here.

Log in
or
subscribe to see this thumbnail image

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC01412.01 Author/Creator: Metcalf, John (fl. 1783) Place Written: New York, New York Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 14 March 1783 Pagination: 1 p. : address : docket ; 23 x 18.5 cm.

Summary of Content: Written by Metcalf, a captured Continental soldier on the prison ship Jersey in New York Harbor, to his father in Dedham, Massachusetts. Says he enjoys "tollerable good health" and was assisted by a Dr. Bacon of Salem, Massachusetts. Tells his father he has been there a month and sees no prospect for a quick release. Says conditions on the ship are "horrid beyond Description." During the first part of the winter he claimed 10, 15, or 20 prisoners died a day. Says health is better on the ship since there are fewer people on board.

People: Metcalf, John fl. 1783

Historical Era: American Revolution, 1763-1783

Subjects: Military HistoryRevolutionary WarContinental ArmyPrison CampPrisoner of WarMaritimeNavyGlobal History and US Foreign PolicyGlobal History and US Foreign PolicyHealth and MedicalDeathAtrocity

Sub Era: The War for Independence

Order a Copy Citation Guidelines for Online Resources