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Collection Overview

Tallmadge, Benjamin, 1754-1835
Benjamin Tallmadge Collection
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
2 boxes and 1.6 linear feet
Storage Note:
Firestone Library (mss): Box 1-2


Consists mostly of papers from a family album of American Revolutionary intelligence officer Benjamin Tallmadge (1754-1835) relating to his Revolutionary War experience.

Collection Description & Creator Information


The collection consists mostly of Tallmadge's papers relating to the Revolutionary War, including correspondence with George Washington during his involvement in the secret service, a photostat of his code used then, letters to David Humphreys, Timothy Pickering, and William B. Sprague, and letters and newspaper extracts dealing with the Major Andre affair. Also present are family letters, a deed signed by William Floyd (a signer of the Declaration of Independence), documents signed by Alexander Hamilton, Tallmadge's will, a diary of his journey to Marietta in 1795, photographs of family portraits, and miscellaneous material.

Collection Creator Biography:

Tallmadge, Benjamin, 1754-1835

A graduate of Yale College in 1773, Benjamin Tallmadge was a classmate of American Revolutionary War patriot Nathan Hale. Tallmadge was a major in the 2nd Continental Light Dragoons, and he eventually became the chief intelligence officer for George Washington. After the war, he settled in Litchfield, Connecticut, and served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1801 till 1817.

Collection History


The collection was donated by Emily Blakiston Wilkins, a descendant of Tallmadge, in 1962, in memory of her friend, Edith Bolling Wilson (AM 17840).

Custodial History

The Tallmadge materials were part of a family album.


No appraisal information is available.

Processing Information

Folder Inventory added by Hilde Creager (2015) in 2012.

In 2022, restrictions on George Washington letters where researchers were required to use surrogates were lifted as part of a restrictions review project.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. No further photoduplication of copies of material in the collection can be made when Princeton University Library does not own the original. Inquiries regarding publishing material from the collection should be directed to RBSC Public Services staff through the Ask Us! form. The library has no information on the status of literary rights in the collection and researchers are responsible for determining any questions of copyright.

Credit this material:

Benjamin Tallmadge Collection; Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Permanent URL:
Firestone Library
One Washington Road
Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
(609) 258-3184
Storage Note:
Firestone Library (mss): Box 1-2