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Elkanah Watson memoir transcription

 Collection — Folder: S1916
Identifier: S1916

Scope and Contents

This collection includes an undated, handwritten transcription of the last paragraph of chapter 1 and most of chapter 2 of Elkanah Watson's published memoirs Men and Times of the Revolution; or, Memoirs of Elkanah Watson, Including Journals of Travels in Europe and America, from 1777 to 1842, with His Correspondence with Public Men and Reminiscences and Incidents of the Revolution (1856). Written on three sheets of paper, originally folded with 12 sides of text, the author of the transcription is unknown. Two of the sheets of paper have small embossed images of the U.S. Capital building with "Congress" above it.


  • 19th century-20th century


Conditions Governing Use

Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Biographical note

Elkanah Watson was born on January 22, 1758 in Plymouth, Massachussetts, the son of Elkanah and Patience (Mendon) Watson. In 1773, he was apprenticed to a Providence, Rhode Island merchant John Brown, the founder of Brown University. During the Revolutionary War, Watson served as a courier for George Washington and traveled up and down the Atlantic coast. He married Rachel Smith of Norton, Massachusetts in March 1789. He suffered business failures in France and North Carolina before becoming one of the founders of the Bank of Albany (New York) and was one of the originators of the plan to build the Erie Canal. He later moved to a farm in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, raised Merino sheep and promoted county agricultural fairs. He died at the age of 84 on December 5, 1842.


Bielinski, Stefan. "Elkanah Watson." New York State Museum. Accessed August 27, 2020. "Elkanah Watson." Fin a Grave Memorial no. 19520806. Accessed August 27, 2020.

Lakes to Locks Passage. "Champions of the Canal: Elkanah Watson and Philip Schuyler." Accessed August 27, 2020.


0.01 Cubic Feet (1 folder)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged chronologically.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a donation.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing completed 2020/08/27 by Laura Eliason. EAD finding aid created 2020/08/27 by Laura Eliason.
Elkanah Watson memoir transcription
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
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Repository Details

Part of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository

140 North Senate Avenue
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204 U.S.A.