Guide to the Microfilm Edition

Collection Summary


This collection consists of correspondence and other papers of Caleb Strong, lawyer of Northampton, Mass., U.S. senator, and Massachusetts governor, as well as Strong family papers.

Biographical Sketch

Caleb Strong (1745-1819) of Northampton, Mass. was a lawyer, Federalist statesman, U.S. senator from Massachusetts (1789-1796), governor of Massachusetts (1800-1807, 1812-1816), and descendant of Elder John Strong (1605-1699), who settled at Northampton about 1660.

Collection Description

This collection contains Strong family papers, including deeds for property at Northampton, Mass., 1660-1710, owned by John Strong and his son Ebenezer (1643-1729). Other papers of John Strong include bonds from his children Samuel and Jerijah; a portion of a letter written to him by Rev. Solomon Stoddard, 7 Feb. 1672, accepting the invitation to become minister at Northampton; his will, 14 Feb. 1696; and documents related to the settlement of his estate (1699-1702).

Papers of Ebenezer Strong (1643-1729) include deeds; legal papers related to his father's estate, 1699, and the guardianship of Josiah Clark, 1715; and an inventory of his estate, 1729. Papers of his son Jonathan (b. 1683) include deeds to land at Northampton, bonds, and receipts. 1708-1761. Papers of Caleb (b. 1710), son of Jonathan, include land deeds at Northampton and Housatonuck, 1744-1745, and his will, 10 Nov. 1769. Other Northampton property deeds include deeds from Thomas Lyman to his son, 1724, and from Elias Strong, 1746-1756, and John Hancock, 1768. The collection also contains a deed for land in Hampshire County from Abraham Lincoln of Scituate, Mass., 1762, and at Wethersfield, Conn., as well as deeds from David Wooster to Benjamin Sheldon, 1773.

Papers of Caleb Strong, 1777-1818, include correspondence, 1788-1818; genealogies of the Strong, Clark, and Bliss families of Northampton; drafts by Strong of histories of Northampton and the vicinity, in particular an account of the Indian attack on Paskomuck, 1704; and a deed to property at Northampton from his mother Phoebe Lyman Strong, 1779. Letters of an official nature include notices of the convening of the Senate from John Hancock, 12 May 1788, George Washington, 1 Mar. 1791, and John Adams, 17 Nov. 1794. Several letters from George Cabot in 1796 deal with legislative matters. A letter from Samuel Dexter, 26 Apr. 1799, requests a list of officers from Hampshire to be requisitioned in case of war.

Letters from Jonathan Trumbull (1740-1809), 1801-1803, deal with state matters between Connecticut and Massachusetts. Included are letters concerning the distribution of volumes of federal and state laws, 1801-1806, from Jonathan Trumbull and John Dexter, 1801, Isaac Tichenor, 1803, James Madison, 1804, and John Quincy Adams, 1806. Letters from federal officials on government matters include those from Theodore Sedgwick, 17 Dec. 1800, about negotiations with the French; from Timothy Pickering, 1806, on commerce with St. Domingo and Randolph's denunciation of Jefferson; and a run of letters in January 1815 on banking and conscription bills before Congress, as well as the British threat to New Orleans and the American West. The collection also contains a letter from John Jay critical of Elbridge Gerry's official actions, 29 May 1812; letters from Christopher Gore, 1813-1815, about his involvement in taxation measures before the legislature, his views on the war, and his concerns over the peace treaty; and a letter from William Jones about legislative matters, 15 Feb. 1815.

Papers concerning Massachusetts military affairs include letters from Jonathan Mason and Henry Dearborn, 1801-1802, about federal reimbursement for military stores at Castle Island, and from John Brooks, 1813-1815, on ordnance and the militia, as well as a letter from James Monroe, 1 Dec. 1814, about the expedition to Maine under Gen. King. Other correspondence on state affairs includes letters from Dwight Foster, 1803, about federal accounts with individual states; Loammi Baldwin, 1806, with detailed accounts of the completion of the Middlesex Canal; and Paul Hamilton, 1806, asking for advice on the establishment of a state penal institution. The collection also contains petitions and recommendations to Strong for state offices, letters asking for his intervention in cases before the courts, and letters of introduction, some with drafts of Strong's replies.

Among Strong's correspondents on personal matters are James Hillhouse, 1796, and Timothy Dwight on Yale College; Oliver Phelps, 1797, and Pierpont Edwards, 1798, on investments and land titles; George Cabot inviting him to visit his home; and John Eliot informing him of his election to the Massachusetts Historical Society, 1800.

Acquisition Information

Deposited by the estate of Martha Strong Smith, Washington, D.C., November 1967. Made a gift in 1970 and 1971 from the estate of Martha Strong Smith through her husband Howard Leland Smith.

Other Formats

Black and white digital images of this collection--produced from the microfilm edition--are available as part of History Vault: Revolutionary War and Early America, a digital resource from ProQuest. This resource is available at subscribing libraries; speak to your local librarian to determine if your library has access. The MHS also provides access onsite to the Society's contributions to this resource; see a reference librarian for more information.

Reel List to the Collection

Reel 1
Caleb Strong papers, 1657-1818

Preferred Citation

Caleb Strong papers, Massachusetts Historical Society.

Access Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in ABIGAIL, the online catalog of the Massachusetts Historical Society. Researchers desiring materials about related persons, organizations, or subjects should search the catalog using these headings.


Adams, John, 1735-1826.
Adams, John Quincy, 1767-1848.
Baldwin, Loammi, 1780-1838.
Dearborn, Henry, 1751-1829.
Gore, Christopher, 1758-1827.
Hancock, John, 1737-1793.
Jay, John, 1745-1829.
Madison, James, 1751-1836.
Mason, Jonathan, 1756-1831.
Monroe, James, 1758-1831.
Pickering, Timothy, 1745-1829.
Sedgwick, Theodore, 1746-1813.
Strong, Caleb, 1710-
Strong, Ebenezer, 1643-1729.
Strong family.
Strong, John, 1605-1699.
Strong, Jonathan, 1683-
Trumbull, Jonathan, 1740-1809.
Washington, George, 1732-1799.


Massachusetts. Governor (1800-1807 : Strong).
Massachusetts. Governor (1812-1816 : Strong).


Inventories of decedents' estates.
Massachusetts--Politics and government--1775-1865.
Real property--Massachusetts--Northampton.