Silas Talbot Papers
Military officer of Rhode Island and New York
Size: .25 ft.
Catalog number: MSS 747
Processed by: Elizabeth Delmage, July 2005
©Rhode Island Historical Society
Captain Silas Talbot (1751-1813) was the ninth child born to Benjamin and Rebecca (Allen) Talbot on January 11, 1751 in Dighton, Massachusetts. By the time Talbot turned twelve, both of his parents had died and he was left to provide for himself. He had been apprenticed as a stone-mason, but was instead drawn to the sea and worked as a cabin boy. Talbot steadily rose through the ranks on the ships and soon became a captain and moved to Providence, RI.
As Talbot became successful trading along the seas, the American colonies were beginning to fight for their independence from Great Britain. In 1775, Talbot volunteered his services in Rhode Island where he was named captain of the 9th Company of the R.I. Regiment. Talbot prospered as a self made American officer and was a great leader in both the army and the navy and was commended for his bravery by many of the celebrated political figures of the time. After the Revolutionary War (1775-1783), Talbot continued to work in the navy under President John Adams and was the Commander of the U.S.S. Constitution and the Santo Domingo Station during the Quasi War with France (1791-1800). Talbot retired from the navy in 1801 and spent the rest of his life on his farm in Johnston, Fulton County, New York.
Silas Talbot had married three times during his lifetime. His first marriage was March 1, 1772 to Anna Richmond (c.1750-1781), the daughter of Col. Barzillai and Sarah (Knight) Richmond of Providence. Together the couple had six children, two of which did not survive past infancy. Their four children were George Washington, Cyrus, Eliza, and Theodore Foster. On May 10, 1787 Talbot married his second wife, Rebecca Morris of Philadelphia, who died in 1803. Talbot's third wife is known as Madame Pintard, the two were separated at the time of his death. Captain Silas Talbot died June 30, 1813 and was buried in Trinity Churchyard in New York City.
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Scope and content:
This collection consists of Captain Talbot's correspondence during the Revolutionary War (1775-1783) and his career in the navy following the war. Also included are five commissions Talbot received during his military career.
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This collection was donated in 1852, but it is unknown whether all documents included within the collection were accessioned at that time. It is probable that some of the papers were accessioned at a later date, but there is no known documentation to prove this.
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Many documents within this collection were previously bound in volumes as part of the Rhode Island Manuscripts Collection (MSS 9004) as scrapbook volumes. These documents are identifiable by a pink stamp, that reads: 'Rhode Island Historical Society Manuscripts' and were numbered. These documents had been removed from MSS 9004 at an unknown date and placed in MSS 747. This collection was rehoused in July 2005 into archival boxes and folders. All oversized materials were placed in a separate box.
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Box 1, Folder 1. List of Contents for the Silas Talbot Papers
Box 2, Folder 4. Letter from Lafayette 3 Sep 1778
Box 1, Folder 2. Letter from William Longborn 4 Nov 1778
Box 1, Folder 3. Letter from Horatio Gates 15 Jun 1779
Box 1, Folder 4. Letter from Horatio Gates 10 Jul 1779
Box 1, Folder 5. Letter from Henry Marchant 9 Aug 1779
Box 1, Folder 6. Letter from Henry Marchant 31 Aug 1779
Box 1, Folder 7. Letter from Horatio Gates 12 Sep 1779
Box 1, Folder 8. Letter from John Jay 18 Sep 1779
Box 1, Folder 9. Letter from Horatio Gates 21 Oct 1779
Box 1, Folder 10. Letter from Horatio Gates 22 Oct 1779
Box 1, Folder 11. Instructions from the Assembly for Dec 1779
Capt. Talbot onboard the Argo
Box 1, Folder 12. Letter from John Jay 14 Jul 1781
Box 1, Folder 13. Letter from George Washington 13 Aug 1782
Box 1, Folder 14. Testimony by Horatio Gates of 17 Jul 1783
Capt. Silas Talbot
Box 2, Folder 5. Letter from Horatio Gates 17 Jul 1783
Box 1, Folder 15. Letter from John Jay 1 Nov 1786
Box 1, Folder 16. Letter from Henry Knox 24 Nov 1787
Box 1, Folder 17. Letter from Henry Laurens 17 Nov 1778
Box 2, Folder 6. Letter to Theodore Foster 26 May 1788
Box 1, Folder 18. Letter to Benjamin Bourn 7 Jan 1792
Box 2, Folder 7. Letter from James Monroe 5 Aug 1796
Box 1, Folder 19. Letter from Henry Knox 8 Jun 1799
Box 1, Folder 20. Letter from John Adams 1 Jul 1799
Box 1, Folder 21. Letter from John Adams 1 Jul 1799
Box 1, Folder 22. Letter to John Adams (Copy) 3 Jul 1799
Box 1, Folder 23 Letter to John Adams (Copy) 3 Jul 1799
Box 1, Folder 24. Letter from John Adams 8 Jul 1799
Box 1, Folder 25. Letter to the President 9 Jul 1799
[John Adams] (Copy)
Box 1, Folder 26. Letter to John Adams (Copy) 12 Jul 1799
Box 1, Folder 27. Letter from John Adams 12 Jul 1799
Box 1, Folder 28. Letter from John Adams 13 Jul 1799
Box 1, Folder 29. Letter to John Adams (Copy) 13 Jul 1799
Box 1, Folder 30. Letter to George W. Talbot 1 Feb 1800
Box 1, Folder 31. Letter from Toussaint Louventure 21 Mar 1800
Box 1, Folder 32. Letter from Toussaint Louventure 16 Apr 1800
Box 1, Folder 33. Letter from Sir Peter Parker, Admiral 29 May 1800
of British Navy
Box 1, Folder 34. Letter from Toussaint Louventure 10 Jul 1800
Box 1, Folder 35. Letter from Toussaint Louventure 22 Jul 1800
Box 1, Folder 36. Letter from Sir Peter Parker, 23 Jul 1800
Admiral of Bristish Navy
Box 1, Folder 37. Letter from Isaac Hull 28 Oct 1800
Box 1, Folder 38. Letter to Benjamin Bourn (Copy) 13 Dec 1805
Box 1, Folder 39. Copy of part of a letter to President n.d.
Appointments, Commissions, and Miscellaneous:
Box 1, Folder 40. Appointment as Captain of the 9th Co. 28 Jun 1775
of the R.I. Regiment
Box 2, Folder 1. Commission as Captain of the 1 Jul 1775
Box 2, Folder 2. Appointment as Captain of the 1 Jan 1776
Box 2, Folder 3. Appointment as Agent of the 10 Jun 1776
Box 1, Folder 41. Congress Resolution to promote Talbot 10 Oct 1777
to a Major in the U.S. Army
Box 1, Folder 42. Commission as Major of the U.S. Army 10 Oct 1777
Box 1, Folder 43. Appointment as Captain of a R.I. regiment 5 Jan 1778
in the U.S. Army
Box 1, Folder 44. Congress Resolution to promote Talbot 14 Nov 1778
to Lieutenant Colonel of U.S. Army
Box 1, Folder 45. Appointment as Lieutenant Colonel 14 Nov 1778
of the U.S. Army
Box 1, Folder 46. Copies of the Congress Resolutions 1777-1779
Box 2, Folder 9. Copies of the Congress Resolutions 1777-1779
Box 2, Folder 8. Commission as Captain of U.S. Navy 25 Jun 1799
Box 1, Folder 47. Commission as Commander of the 14 Apr 1780
Box 1, Folder 48. Transcription of Talbot's Last Will 18 Jan 1813
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Adams, John, 1735-1826.
Foster, Theodore, 1752-1828.
Gates, Horatio, 1728-1806.
Hull, Isaac, 1773-1843.
Jay, John, 1745-1829.
Knox, Henry, 1750-1806.
Marchant, Henry, 1741-1796.
Monroe, James, 1758-1831.
Parker, Peter, Sir, 1721-1811.
Talbot, Silas, 1751-1813.
Toussaint Louverture, 1743?-1803.
United States - History - Revolution, 1775-1783.
United States. Navy.
Washington, George, 1732-1799.
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