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Collection Overview

Sitgreaves, Samuel, 1764-1827
Jay's Treaty Collection
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
1 box and 0.4 linear feet
Storage Note:
  • Firestone Library (scamss): Box 1


Samuel Sitgreaves was a Philadelphia lawyer and one of the American commissioners charged with sorting out financial claims made against Americans by British creditors, including Loyalists, under Article Six of Jay's Treaty (1794). Consists of Samuel Sitgreaves's collection of original manuscripts relating to an Anglo-American commission created by Jay's Treaty between the United States and England, as well as two printed works (1799) about prominent cases considered by the commission, one of which is annotated by Sitgreaves.

Collection Description & Creator Information

Collection Creator Biography:

Sitgreaves, Samuel, 1764-1827

Samuel Sitgreaves was a Philadelphia lawyer and one of the American commissioners charged with sorting out financial claims made against Americans by British creditors, including Loyalists, under Article Six of Jay's Treaty.

The second American treaty with England, "Jay's Treaty" was negotiated by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Jay in 1794. The treaty sought to resolve diplomatic issues arising out of the 1783 peace treaty that ended the American Revolution, settle commercial problems, and address neutral shipping rights issues. By Jay's treaty, England agreed to withdraw from frontier posts in the Ohio country which the Americans felt to be clearly in U.S. territory, and the Americans agreed to settle pre-Revolutionary debts and delineate the northeastern boundary with Canada. The British searches and seizures of American shipping, which were the cause of so much anger in the United States in the 1790s, were not addressed. The treaty provoked much hostile reaction in the U.S., and it was only the prestige of George Washington, who felt the measure necessary, that it was passed by the Congress. Two significant commissions were established by the Treaty, and each was made up of a five-member committee of American and British commissioners. Article Six of the Jay Treaty addressed the issue of American debts owed to British creditors, creating the "Debt Commission," and Article Seven gave American shippers and merchants whose vessels had been seized or sunk by the British the opportunity to file claims for remuneration via a "Seizure Commission." The Seizure Commission made good progress in settling American claims in the late 1790s, but the Debt Commission, with which the present collection of papers is concerned, became mired in conflict and acrimony over the difficult subjects it had to consider.

Collection History


Purchased from William Reese Co. in 2012 (AM2012-69).

Custodial History

From the personal papers of Samuel Sitgreaves.


No appraisal information is available.

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:

Jay's Treaty 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