American Revolutionary War, 1775-1783

Book cover from New York in the Revolution, showing a drawing of a soldier in uniform.
Cover from "New York in the Revolution."

The New York State Library holds an extensive collection of material on the American Revolutionary War in print, microform, and online formats. This material consists of troop rosters and other details extracted from muster and pay rolls, Loyalist records, colonial New York State history documents, military bounty land records, diaries, orderly books, personal papers of participants and broadsides.  The New York State Library is also a depository for several record series compiled by New York State Chapters of the Daughters of the American Revolution, including grave locations of Revolutionary soldiers and their immediate family members buried in New York State.

Listed below are publications that have been digitized from items/volumes in the New York State Library’s collection.  As the State Library digitizes other Revolutionary War materials, links to the digital copy will be added to this list.  The titles listed below are also available in print copy at the NYSL for use onsite.  Additional materials relating to the American Revolutionary War can be found by searching the NYSL online catalog or the Finding Aids to Special Collections.

For more information, contact the Reference Desk at 518-474-5355 or via email, or see the Digital Collections FAQ.

The Balloting Book and Other Documents Relating to Military Bounty Lands in the State of New York: This book contains copies of several acts relative to Revolutionary War bounty lands and the payment given to officers and soldiers for service in the War. An alphabetical listing of the names of soldiers and officers in each regiment is provided and includes the rank and company of the soldier, the township number, the lot number, the acreage, and date of patent. Dead and miscellaneous persons laying claim to land are also listed. The book also contains Lieutenant Michael Connolly's return of names from Continental Army muster rolls and an accompanying list of names from the return of Colonel John Lamb.  Another section of the book provides the number and names of townships in the military tract.  The final section lists the names and lots of Canadian and Nova-Scotia refugees.

Benedict Arnold at Saratoga: This pamphlet by Issac N. Arnold is a reprint from the United Service, September 1880 and is a "reply to John Austin Stevens, and new evidence of Mr. Bancroft's error."

The Border Warfare of New York During the Revolution; or, the Annals of Tryon County: Tryon County comprised the entire province west of the counties on the west bank of the Hudson. This volume by William W. Campbell was published in 1849. First edition of this book was published in 1831 under following title: Annals of Tryon County; or, the Border Warfare of New York, During the Revolution.

Diary and Orderly Book of Sergeant Jonathan Burton, of Wilton, N.H….: This volume compiled and edited by Issac W. Hammond is the diary and order book of Sergeant Jonathan Burton while he was in service in the Army on Winter Hill from December 10, 1775 – January 26, 1776. The volume also contains Lieutenant Jonathan Burton's diary and orderly book while he took part in the Canada expedition at Mount Independence from August 1, 1776 - November 29, 1776.

Dr. Auchmuty's Letter to Capt. Montresor: This broadside contains text of a letter written on April 19, 1775, by Reverend Samuel Auchmuty in New York to Captain John Montresor in Boston. The letter includes extracts from an earlier letter dated London March 4, 1775, concerning the unrest in the American colonies.

In Congress, October 4, 1777: This broadside contains abstracts of minutes from Congress including the text of some resolutions adopted on October 4, 1777 and October 6, 1777.  The topic of the abstracts relates to the appointments and responsibilities of the Commissionaires General of Purchases, their deputies, assistants and clerks.  This broadside was printed in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. in October 1777

In Provincial Congress, New York, September 1, 1775: The subject of the broadside is a resolution from the Provincial Congress dealing with inhabitants of the colony who assist and aid the "ministerial army and navy" and their punishment.  The resolution is signed by Robert Benson, Secretary of the Provincial Congress.  This broadside was printed in New York. 

In the House of Representatives, September 17, 1776: This broadside includes the text of a resolution that provides a process for developing and approving a constitution and form of government for the state of Massachusetts. The resolution was to be printed as "hand-bills" and sent to the selectmen of each town.  Note: Town meetings have played – and still play - an important role in Massachusetts government.  For more information on this topic, see the Massachusetts Citizen's Guide to Town Meetingsexternal link.

New York in the Revolution as Colony and State: This publication is a compilation of papers located in the NYS Comptroller's Department that was arranged and classified by James A. Roberts, Comptroller.  The papers included in the volume relate to the services performed by New York in the Revolutionary War, including muster and pay rolls of men serving in the Line, Levies, Militia, and Navy (Privateers).  A personal name index and indexes to "sundry persons", pensioners and applicants for pensions, and commanding officers are included in the volume.  This 2nd edition was published in 1898.

  1. Part 1 - pp. 1-96: The Line; the Levies (includes map of eastern New York counties and drawings of Governor George Clinton, Colonel Philip Van Cortlandt, Brigadier General Peter Gansevoort, Brigadier General James Clinton, Captain Alexander Hamilton, and Colonel Marinus Willet)
  2. Part 2 - pp. 97-267: The Militia (includes drawings of Major General Philip Schuyler, Brigadier General Nicholas Herkimer, and Major General Richard Montgomery)
  3. Part 3 - pp. 268-534: Naval Service (Lists and Indexes)

New York in the Revolution as Colony and State: Supplement: This supplement is a compilation of papers located in the NYS Comptroller's Department related to the participation of New York State in the Revolutionary War.  Included in this supplement is information on aspects of the military and naval service during the War including Courts-Martial, deserters, pay, bounties, pensions, American prisoners of war, hospitals, Indians, fortifications, military roads, military stores, clothing, provisions, privateers, and ships.  The volume also includes information on the civil service during the War including the judiciary, the legislature, and the executive and executive bodies. This supplement was printed in 1901.

Revolutionary War Manuscripts in the New York State Library: This publication, edited by Stefan Bielinski, lists and describes the State Library’s holdings relating to the American Revolution that were accessioned as of April 1, 1975.  Included are manuscripts and documents referring to the genesis of the revolutionary movement, the winning of independence on both the battlefields and on the home fronts, the establishment of New York State and the US, and the various reactions to each of these.

State of Massachusetts-Bay: in the House of Representatives, Feb. 5, 1777:  This broadside is a proclamation prohibiting the export of "rum, molasses, and sundry other articles" which are "all needed for the supply of the Army and the Inhabitants of this State."

Sullivan's Campaign in New York, 1779: The text of this pamphlet by Simon L. Adler was read before the Rochester Historical Society on January 14, 1898.

A Representation of Major John André, Adjutant General to the Kings Forces in North America, Going From the Vulture Sloop of War to the Shore of Havershaw [sic] Bay in Hudsons [sic] River the Night of the 23d. of September 1780, in a Boat Which Was Sent For Him [...]: This is a digital copy of an engraving of a drawing sketched by Major André in the morning on which he was to have been executed.  Major André’s servant found the drawing the next day and gave it to Lieutenant Colonel Crosbie of the 22nd regiment. Crosbie had the engraving made from the original sometime between 1780 and 1788 in New York. The engraving is signed "J.A., scc." The State Library's copy bears the following inscription: "Admiral Sir Edmund Affleck Bart. with Colonel Crosbies compliments."

Last Updated: February 26, 2014