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M-042: Harrison, Benjamin

DATE: 10 May 1789

CREATOR: Harrison V, Benjamin (April 5, 1726 – April 24, 1791), Virginia delegate to the Continental Congress and signer of the Declaration of Independence. 

SCOPE: This is based upon a personal handwritten letter by the eighteenth century Virginia planter and politician Benjamin Harrison (1726-1801) to another prominent Virginian, Colonel William Hunter, Esq. Mayor of Alexandria VA, concerning the sending of freight by water. The contents of this file includes:
  1. a) An embedded photo copy of the Harrison letter in his hand
    b) A transcription of the letter and cover mailing envelope
    c) A short history illuminating Benjamin Harrison and his correspondent William Hunter

EXTENT: 1 letter, dated, autographed letter signed. Accompanying transcription and mailing envelope. Short history with context of letter.


Richmond 10th May, 1789 

William Hunter Esq

Dear Sir

Enclosed you have a memorandum of which Mr. Gifford (who lives with me) tells me you brought me some time ago from Col Allison of your town. I shall be obliged to you to have the ___tings(?) sent here by water on the best terms that you can and I will bream(?) an I___erable(?) for the F___igate(freight?) and the money due to Col Allison, I will pay(?) on demand.

I am Dear Sir with regard

your most obed ser

Benjamin Harrison Esq 

Cover stamp: Richmond May, 11, 1789
Cover Addressee: William Hunter Esq

Benjamin Harrison
10 May 1789       

HISTORY: - Benjamin Harrison (V) (1726-1801) was born on April 5, 1726 at Berkeley Plantation, the eldest son of Benjamin Harrison IV. Berkeley Plantation is still situated on the James River. Benjamin's mother, Ann Carter, was the daughter of Robert “King” Carter whose family like the Harrison’s was a force in Virginia and American politics.

Eight of the Harrison’s children survived to adulthood. Their most famous son was William Henry Harrison, the American general in the victory over the Indians at Tippecanoe, and who was elected President of the United States in 1840. Their great-grandson, Benjamin Harrison, a Civil War general, was also elected President, in 1888.

For an extended history on the subjects of this letter, please click here to view a PDF document.

Keywords from this document include Benjamin Harrison, Berkley Plantation, William Henry Harrison, Civil War, Virginia, Declaration of Independence, William Hunter Jr., John Allison, Thomas Jefferson, Masonic Lodge

ACCESS: Due to rarity and condition, access to this collection is limited. Please contact the staff in advance of your visit to coordinate access to these materials for research purposes.

For an extended history on the subjects of this letter, please click here to view a PDF document.

When available, this collection is available for on-site use only in the Rare Book and Manuscripts Reading Room. Some of the material in Special Collection M-042 may be photocopied, digitally scanned or photographed, subject to condition. For collections marked limited access, researchers are advised to contact the library at least three business days in advance of their visit to submit a request to view the physical material.

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Preferred Citation: When citing the material from this collection, the preferred citation is: From the Special Collections of the St. Louis Mercantile Library at the University of Missouri – St. Louis.