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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 (scamss): 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

Scope and Contents

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 copies may be made for research purposes. To cite or publish quotations that fall within Fair Use, as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission is required. For instances beyond Fair Use, it is the responsibility of the researcher to determine whether any permissions related to copyright, privacy, publicity, or any other rights are necessary for their intended use of the Library's materials, and to obtain all required permissions from any existing rights holders, if they have not already done so. Princeton University Library's Special Collections does not charge any permission or use fees for the publication of images of materials from our collections, nor does it require researchers to obtain its permission for said use. The department does request that its collections be properly cited and images credited. More detailed information can be found on the Copyright, Credit and Citations Guidelines page on our website. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us through the Ask Us! form.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

For preservation reasons, original analog and digital media may not be read or played back in the reading room. Users may visually inspect physical media but may not remove it from its enclosure. All analog audiovisual media must be digitized to preservation-quality standards prior to use. Audiovisual digitization requests are processed by an approved third-party vendor. Please note, the transfer time required can be as little as several weeks to as long as several months and there may be financial costs associated with the process. Requests should be directed through the Ask Us Form.

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 (scamss): Box 1-2