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John Glover (1732-1797) Papers

John Glover (1732-1797) Papers

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JOHN GLOVER (1732-1797) PAPERS, 1764-1792, 1860

Collection Summary

Repository:The Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum 132 Essex Street Salem, MA 01970 Phone: 978-745-9500 Fax: 978-531-1516
Creator:Glover, John, 1732-1797
Title:John Glover (1732-1797) Papers
Dates:1764/1792, 1860
Quantity:0.5 Linear feet (1 box)
Abstract:The papers of this Marblehead, Massachusetts, Revolutionary War general consist almost entirely of military materials.
Collection Number:MSS 314

Series List

SERIES I. Revolutionary War Orderly Books
A. Orderly Book #1
B. Orderly Book #2
C. Orderly Book #3
D. Orderly Book #4
E. Orderly Book #5
F. Orderly Book #6
SERIES II. Letterbook
SERIES III. Personal and Business Papers
SERIES IV. Memorial to John Glover and Nicholson Broughton

Scope and Content Note

The papers of this Marblehead, Massachusetts, Revolutionary War general consist almost entirely of military materials. They are organized into four series.

Series I. Revolutionary War Orderly Books consists of six orderly books kept for General Glover during the Revolutionary War from 1775 to 1781, with breaks. The orderly books contain such information as daily orders for the regiment commanded by Glover, results of courts martial, the dispersion of troops, problems with provisioning the troops, circumstances for the evacuation of Boston, and extracts from congressional resolutions and from General Washington's orders.

Series II. Letterbook contains copies of General Glover's letters to family members as well as military recipients, covering the period 16 September 1776 to 3 December 1777. Subject matter includes requests for provisions, condition of troops, information regarding strategy, and statistics of those killed, wounded, lost as prisoners of war, and enemy prisoners taken.

Series III. Personal and Business Papers is a very small collection of receipts and letters (original, typescript and photographic reproductions) for the period 1764-1792.

Series IV. Memorial to John Glover and Nicholson Broughton is an 1860 memorial to these two men by Glover Broughton, grandson of General John Glover and son of Commodore Nicholson Broughton. The section relating to John Glover is titled: "Extracts Relating to General John Glover of the Continental Army." The material related to Glover covers the period 22 April 1785 to 16 March 1792. The content of the copied letters is of a business nature and deal with his financial difficulties concerning the payment of debts owed, primarily securing enough fish to pay his creditors, and the collection of a debt for a piece of land from his late brother's heirs. The location of the original letters transcribed here is unknown. The material concerning Nicholson Broughton was copied from the Essex County Mercury, 23 July 1856.

Biographical Sketch

John Glover was a fisherman, merchant, and military leader from Marblehead, Massachusetts, who served as a Brigadier General in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War. Glover was born in Salem, Massachusetts on 5 November 1732 (baptized 26 November 1732), the son of Jonathan and Tabitha (Bacon) Glover. His father died when he was four years old, and shortly thereafter his family moved to the nearby town of Marblehead. As a young man, Glover became a cordwainer and rum trader and eventually a ship owner and merchant.

He first married Hannah Gale of Marblehead (baptized 17 June 1733; died 13 Nov 1778), daughter of John and Susan(na) (Dennis) Gale, on 30 October 1754. They were married by the Rev. Simon Bradstreet.

John and Hannah had eleven children, all born in Marblehead: John, baptized 23 March 1755; Hannah, baptized 15 May 1757; Daniel, baptized 8 April 1759; Hannah, baptized 19 April 1761; Samuel, baptized 19 December 1762; Jonas, baptized 1 April 1764; Tabitha, baptized 8 December 1765; Susannah, baptized 28 March 1767; Mary, 8 January 1769; Sarah, baptized 10 March 1771; and Jonathan, baptized 9 May 1773.

Glover was active in the militia for many years before the Revolution, with his earliest service dating back to 1759. In 1775 he was elected lieutenant colonel of the 21st Massachusetts Regiment from Marblehead, and became commander of the unit after the death of Colonel Jeremiah Lee in April 1775. Glover marched his regiment to join the siege of Boston in June 1775. The Marblehead militia or "Glover's Regiment" became the 14th Continental Regiment. This regiment became known as the "amphibious regiment" for their vital nautical skills. It was composed almost entirely of fishermen.

In 1776 Glover went home to tend to his sick wife and look to business affairs. He turned down a promotion to brigadier general in February 1777, but rejoined the war after a personal appeal from General Washington. He served in the successful Saratoga campaign in 1777 and the failed Battle of Rhode Island in 1778. He was stationed along the Hudson River for the remainder of the war, guarding against British moves up the river from New York City. After his first wife's death in 1778, Glover married Mrs. Frances (Hichborn) Fosdick of Boston, the widow of Thomas Fosdick, on 1 March 1781.

He retired from the Army in 1782 in poor health. Failing to secure a job with the U.S. federal government, he served in various local offices in his remaining years. He died on 30 January 1797 at age 64 in Marblehead, Massachusetts, after contracting hepatitis and was buried in Old Burial Hill (Marblehead, Massachusetts).

Index Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in Philcat. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons, or places should search the catalog using these headings.

Broughton, Glover, 1796-1869
Broughton, Nicholson
Lincoln, Benjamin, 1733-1810
Pickering, Timothy, 1745-1829
Schuyler, Philip John, 1733-1804
Warren, James, 1726-1808
Washington, George, 1732-1799
United States. Continental Army--History
Armed Forces
Courts-martial and courts of inquiry
Military offenses
Military supplies
Prisoners of war
War--Casualties (Statistics)
Boston (Mass.)--History--Revolution, 1775-1783
Marblehead (Mass.)
United States--History--Revolution, 1775-1783
United States--History--Revolution, 1775-1783--American forces


Restrictions on Access

This collection is open for research use.

Administrative Information


Requests for permission to publish material from the collection must be submitted in writing to the Manuscript Librarian in the Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum.

Preferred Citation

John Glover (1732-1797) Papers, MSS 314, Phillips Library, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Mass.


The orderly books were donated to the Essex Institute by a grandson of General Glover, circa 1863. The letterbook was donated to the Essex Institute by a great-grandnephew of General Glover, circa 1863. The 1792 receipt (B1 F6) was donated on 29 February 1928. The 1781 Glover letter (B1 F6) was donated in 1900. The material in Folders 7 and 8 was donated on 17 January 1967.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Robert F. Craig, August 2001. Updated by Tamara Gaydos, August 2017.

Related Material

Allen Johnson and Dumas Malone, eds., Dictionary of American Biography, Vol. 7, New York: Charles Schribner's Sons, 1926-1936, pp. 331-32.

Knight, Russell W., ed., "General John Glover's Letter book," Essex Institute Historical Collections, 112 (1976): i-viii, 1-55. This article includes all the text of the letterbook with annotations, footnotes, and an excellent bibliography.

Upham, William P., "A Memoir of Gen. John Glover of Marblehead," Essex Institute Historical Collections, 5 (1863): 49-72, 97-130. This contains excerpts from the orderly books and letterbook, as well as an outline of General Glover's military career. Additionally, Upham gives a synopsis of the donation of this collection to the Essex Institute. This article was published in booklet form under the same title, with additions, in Salem, Mass. by Charles W. Swasey, 1863.

Vital Records of Marblehead, Massachusetts. Salem, Mass.: Essex Institute, 1903, 1904.

"John Glover (general)." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 21 Apr. 2014. Web. 25 Apr. 2014.

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