The Quassaick Chapter, NSDAR, and the Moffat Library of Washingtonville, NY, both located in Orange County, recently completed a year-long project to preserve and digitize a set of four letters belonging to the Caldwell family of Blooming Grove from the War of 1812 era.
The library has other letters from the family that had been previously transcribed by the Blooming Grove Town Historian, but these are the first letters to be digitized and put online for public view.
The letters relate to Captain Richard Caldwell, who died at Plattsburgh during the early months of the War of 1812. The collection includes his officer’s commission from John Chrystie, requesting him to raise a company of men from Blooming Grove, NY, to serve in the 25th U.S. Regiment.
There is a poignant letter from his brother Andrew to Ensign George McChain, 25th U.S., inquiring into the circumstances and final moments of his brother’s death. The final two letters from William Caldwell, and Andrew J. Caldwell relate to the retrieving Richard’s possessions and transferring power of attorney following his death. The collection also contained a collection of newspapers that featured articles about the descendants of the Caldwell family and their legacy in Orange County.
In March 2017, Matthew Thorenz, head of Reference and Adult Services of the Moffat Library, and Jill Moore, the Quassaick Chapter’s Public Relations chair, transferred the collection into new acid-free preservation sleeves and boxes that the Chapter had provided through a grant.
The digitization process began in April 2017 through Hudson Archival in Port Ewan and transcription was provided by Jill Moore in January.
The letters and their transcriptions are hosted by the Hudson River Valley Heritage, and can be viewed on the Hudson River Valley Heritage website.
Photo of Matthew Thorenz and Jill Moore during the transfer of the documents to archival storage provided.