John Peters, 1740-1788
Loyalist Claim Papers, 1777-1787

SC3569

Quantity: 1 box (0.25 cubic ft.)
Access: Open to research
Alternate Format: Also available on microfiche: MB/FF:973.314,P482,200-5101
Acquisition: Purchase; Henkels, January 1925
Provenance Note: Collation of single accessions 3569-3608; November, 2012
Processed By: Manuscripts and Special Collections, November 2012

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Biographical Note:

John Peters was born in 1740, in Hebron, Connecticut, and later settled in what was at that time Moorestown in Gloucester County, New York (today located in northeastern Vermont). He was a Judge of Probate for the Court of Common Pleas and a colonel of the Gloucester County Militia. He was appointed a member of Continental Congress in 1774, but refused to take the office’s oath of secrecy. In 1776, choosing to remain loyal to the British Crown, he fled to Canada, where he was appointed colonel of the Queen’s Loyal Rangers by Sir Guy Carleton. Subsequently, his troops participated in Burgoyne’s campaign and engaged in combat with the Continental Army during the Battle of Bennington. After the war, his property was confiscated as a consequence of his loyalist actions, so he and his family remained in Canada, having settled at Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. About 1785, he went to England to enter his claim for reimbursement for losses resulting from the confiscation of his property in the United States. He was still in England when he died in 1788. His case was not settled at the time of his death, so his uncle, Samuel Peters, continued to pursue the claim on behalf of the family.

Scope and Content Note:

This collection of letters and supporting documents was submitted by John Peters and his uncle, Samuel Peters, as part of their case to obtain reimbursement for losses resulting from the confiscation of their property. Included are letters and memoranda addressed to members of the House of Lords concerning Peters’ case to prove his loyal service on behalf of the Crown during the American Revolution; muster rolls and returns documenting his service with the Queen’s Loyal Rangers; correspondence with John Burgoyne regarding the case, and lists of men who served with Peters in the Saratoga campaign. Many of these returns indicate whether the men were killed, wounded or captured.

Additional information about these papers is found in A Guide to Revolutionary War Manuscripts in the New York State Library, Stefan Bielinski, ed. (Albany, N.Y.: New York State American Bicentennial Commission, 1979).

Inventory of Documents:

Folder Item Description
1 3569 Samuel Peters, Letter (A.L.S.) to Lord George Germaine, Bartletts Buildings No. 5, London, February 16, 1779. Letter indicates that John Peters was “one of the best patizans [sic] in America,” and could “produce one thousand men for his majesty’s service next campaign.”
1 3570 Samuel Peters, Draft of letter to Gen. John Burgoyne, Bartletts Building No. 2 [London], October 29, 1778. Letter requests that Burgoyne confirm the verbal appointment of John Peter as lieutenant colonel for the benefit of Gov. Guy Carleton and to attest to Peters’ good service.
1 3571 Samuel Peters, Letter (A.L.S.) to Lord [George] Germaine, Dyers Building No. 12 [London], July 5, 1779. Letter written on behalf of John Peters that describes a battle on Lake Champlain in which Peters fought against his father, who was serving with the American forces.
2 3572 John Peters, Letter (copy) to Gen. [John] Burgoyne, Charlotte Street No. 1, Pimlico, [London], July 4, 1786. Requests a written order for Col. Kingston to deliver his commission as lieutenant colonel.
2 3573 John Peters, Letter (A.L.S.) to the Commissioners on American Claims. Dacre Street No. 2, [Westminster, London], February 28, 1787. Requests again that the order be issued to deliver his commission.
2 3574 John Peters, Letter (A.L.S.) to Col. [Robert] Kingston, Dacre Street No. 2, Westminster, [London], February 28, 1787. Requests timely resolution of his case so he may return to his family at Cape Breton.
3 3575 Asa Porter, Letter (A.L.S.) to Col. John Peters, [c/o Rev. Samuel Peters in London], Haverhill, [Eng.], October 25, 1785. Says he will forward any proof of Peters’ military service to him.
4 3576 [John Peters], Memorial (Memorandum) to Lord Sidney, Sec’y State. No. 1 Charlotte Street, Pimlico, [London], September 6, 1785. Details his service with the militia and government offices held before the revolution; his flight from New York in 1776; his service under the command of Guy Carleton along Lake Champlain in 1776; his appointment as lieutenant colonel of the Queen’s Loyal Rangers; his experiences under the command of Gen. John Burgoyne during the campaign of 1777; his participation in combat action during the Battle of Bennington, and his subsequent escape to Canada. The report includes supporting affidavits from William Tryon, John Burgoyne, William Smith Jr., John T  Kempe, and William Grant.
5 3577 [John Peters], Monthly return of His Majesty’s Queens Loyal Rangers commanded by Lieut. Col. John Peters, and in Capt. Sherwood’s Company, [Battenkill Creek], August 23, 1777.
6 3578 John Peters, List of twenty men who joined Lieut. Col. John Peters from Stratford, Skenesborough (Whitehall), [N.Y.], July 1777.  The twenty men appear to have been Tories who escaped from Saratoga to Canada. Those escaping were James Pennock, Samuel Pennock, Jesse Pennock, Aaron Pennock, Peter Pennock, William Pennock, Oliver Pennock, Jeremiah Pennock, Alexander Pennock, Isaac Baldwin, Ezekiel Parish, Isaac Corwin, Elihu Northrop, Joseph Judge, Samuel Bliss, James Mun, Adenijah Fitch, Ely[?] Roberts, Heman [Herman?] Brown, and Peter Thomas.
6 3579 [John Peters], “Weekly state” of Lieut. Col. Peters’ corps of volunteers, Burgoyne’s campaign, Lachine, [Québec], December 8, 1777. N.S. Gersham French.
7 3580 [John Peters], Return of men who joined Lieut. Col. John Peters in the campaign commanded by Lieut. General John Burgoyne and not included in the provision or pay abstracts;  “The following men joined June 25 and left the corps August 24, 1777,” [Québec], [1777].
8 3581 [John Peters], Return of men who joined Lieut. Col. John Peters in the campaign commanded by Lieut. General John Burgoyne and not included in the provision or pay abstracts; joined August 16 and left, August 22, 1777.  These men were presumed to have been casualties of the war.
9 3582 [John Peters], Return of men enlisted in the Queen’s Loyal Rangers commanded by Lieut. Col. John Peters, July and August 1777, [Champlain Valley], July 23, 1777. Muster roll listing the name of soldiers.
10 3583 [John Peters], Return of the Queen’s Loyal Rangers commanded by Lieut. Col. John Peters; for 57 days, May 28-July 23, 1777, [Champlain Valley], [1777].
11 3584 [John Peters], Monthly return of the Queen’s Loyal Rangers commanded by  Lieut. Col. John Peters, Busherville, June 1, 1778; D.S. Jeremiah French, Capt., [Boucherville, Québec], August 22, 1778.
12 3585 [John Peters], Monthly return of the Queen’s Loyal Rangers commanded by  Lieut. Col. John Peters, Busherville, June 1, 1778; [Boucherville, Québec], August 22, 1778.
13 3586 [John Peters], Lists of men engaged by Lieut. Col. John Peters, John Peters, Jr., and Andrew Peters, Burgoyne’s campaign, 1777, River du Chine, [Québec], March 29, 1783.
14 3587 [John Peters], Monthly return of the Queen’s Loyal Rangers commanded by Lieut. Col. John Peters, LaChine, [Québec], April 1, 1778.
15 3588 [John Peters], “A List of a party of Loyalists commanded by John Peters, Esq., as they served [in] the campaign [of] 1777 under Lieut. General Burgoyne, [and] present in Canada the 3rd March 1780.”
16 3589 [John Peters], Monthly return of the Queen’s Loyal Rangers commanded by Lieut. Col. John Peters; “A true copy of the state of the corps of the Queen’s Loyal Rangers 7th August and the 2nd October 1777 return[ed] to me by Lieut General Burgoyne 3 April 1779.”
17 3590 [John Peters], Monthly return of the Queen’s Loyal Rangers commanded by Lieut. Col. John Peters, LaChine, [Québec], March 1, 1778.
18 3591 [John Peters], List of the seven companies of the Queen’s Loyal Rangers commanded by Lieut. Col. John Peters, 1777. Disposition list of 150 men of Queen’s Loyal Rangers; includes companies commanded by Lt. Col. John Peters, Maj. Zadock Wright, Capt. Justus Sherwood, Capt. Jeremiah French, Capt. David McCall, Capt. Simeon Covel, and Capt. Andrew Polmatear.
19 3592 [John Peters], Muster roll of the corps of royalists commanded by Lieut. Col. John Peters for 102 days from December 25, 1780 to June 25, 1781, Verchères, [Québec], July 14, 1781.
20 3593 [John Peters], Monthly return of the Queen’s Loyal Rangers commanded by Lieut. Col. John Peters, September 9, 1777.
21 3594 [John Peters], Monthly return of the Queen’s Loyal Rangers commanded by Lieut. Col. John Peters, Verchères, [Québec], November 25, 1781.
22 3595 [John Peters], Muster roll of the corps of royalists commanded by Lieut. Col. John Peters, for 183 days from June 24 [to] December 25, 1780, Verchères, [Québec], May 1, 1781. D.S., A. Campbell.
23 3596 [John Peters], Muster roll of His Majesty’s Queen’s Loyal Rangers commanded by Lieut. Col. John Peters, for 57 days, May 28-July 23, 1777, Skenesborough (Whitehall), [N.Y.], July 23, 1777.
24 3597 [John Peters], Muster roll of men in his majesty’s battalion of Queen’s Loyal Rangers commanded by Lieut. Col. John Peters, raised by order of his excellency, Sir Guy Carleton, [Champlain Valley], June 24, 1777.
25 3598 [John Peters], “Return of the corps of the Queen’s Loyal Rangers commanded by Lieut. Col. John Peters; including the officers and privates as they now stand, and free of all disputes and claims that may be made of them by any other corps,” Québec, December 14, 1780.
26 3599 [John Peters], Debit-credit account of the corps of the Queen’s Loyal Rangers commanded by Lieut. Col. John Peters with the Crown, October 22, 1777.
26 3600 [John Peters], Report of Capt. Justus Sherwood’s company, Camp Fort Edward, August 1, 1777. D.S., Garrett Miller, Q.M.
27 3601 [John Peters], Monthly return of the Queen’s Loyal Rangers commanded by Lieut. Col. John Peters, July 26. 1777.
27 3602 [John Peters], Monthly return of the Queen’s Loyal Rangers commanded by Lieut. Col. John Peters, May 26-July 23, 1777, Skenesborough (Whitehall), [N.Y.], July 23, 1777.
28 3603 [John Peters], List of 12 men that “came in” [enlisted] with Lieut. Reuben Hawley, 1777.
28 3604 [John Peters], List of Capt. Simeon Covel’s company as they served in General Burgoyne’s campaign, 1777, Ticonderoga, October 25, 1777.
28 3605 [John Peters], Subsistence needed for the Queen’s Loyal Rangers commanded by Lieut. Col. John Peters, June 25-October 24, 1777. Extract of general orders, Battenkill, August 24, 1777. (Incomplete?)
29 3606 John Peters, Copy of Mr. Geddes’ account of money given [to] Lieut. Col. John Peters by Mr. Gordan, P.M., Cambridge, March 25, 1778.
29 3607 [John Peters], Monthly return of the Queen’s Loyal Rangers commanded by Lieut. Col. John Peters, August 7 and October 2, 1777.
30 3608 John Peters, Letter (A.L.S.) to William Smith, Québec, August 28, 1782. Letter recounts how he was forced to flee to Canada.
Last Updated: January 8, 2013