TALBOT, Silas, 1751-1813


Guide to Research Collections

Mystic Seaport Museum
G.W. Blunt White Library
Mystic, CT
Papers: ca. 1767-1867, 3000 items.
Correspondence, accounts, account books, bills, receipts, genealogical notes, and printed material reflecting Silas Talbot’s career, especially his command of the U.S.S. Constitution (1798-1801). Other subjects include the impressment of American sailors by the British Navy; activities as U.S. agent in the West Indies assisting American seamen; captain of the privateer ship General Washington (1780), and his supervision of the outfitting of the sloop Hawk (1778), the U.S.S. Constitution (1798, 1800), and the ship George Washington (1798) which was purchased by the U.S. Navy and under the Talbot’s authority converted into a sloop which was used during the quasi-war with France (1797-1801). Printed materials include a preliminary printing of ”Rules for the Regulation of the Navy of the United Colonies”, thought to be a draft version of the rules adopted by the Continental Congress (1775 Nov. 18) and two broadsides relating to uniforms for the U.S. Navy (1797, 1798). Correspondents include Benjamin Bourne, Isaac Hull, Timothy Pickering, Robert Morris, Benjamin Stoddert, George Washington Talbot, and Stephen Higginson & Co. A finding aid is available in the repository.

Papers: In the Talbot Family Papers, ca. 1775-1927, approximately 1500 items.
Persons represented include Silas Talbot.


Boston Public Library
Boston, MA
Papers: 1 document.


Harvard University
Houghton Library
Cambridge, MA
Papers: 1778-1806, 0.3 linear foot.
The papers of Silas Talbot contain correspondence, the bulk pertaining to Talbot’s naval career. Includes letters he wrote while on board the U.S. frigate Constitution, 1799-1801, cruising in the West Indies. One, 1799, to John Adams, contains Talbot’s summary of his services during the Revolution. Also includes manuscript agreements, 1780?, between the owner and the company of the privateer ship General Washington which Talbot commanded.


Marine Historical Association
Mystic, CT
Papers: 1767-1867. ca. 3,000 items.
In part photocopies of originals in other repositories. Correspondence, financial papers, genealogical notes, and printed matter relating to his career, especially his command of the U.S.S. Constitution. Published inventory. Restricted.


New York State Library
Albany, NY
Papers: 1791-1794, 3 items.
Three autograph signed letters of Silas Talbot: 1) 2 March 1791 addressed to William Channing, prominent Rhode Island attorney, concerning the best means of collecting money from a certain Mr. Matthewson. 2) 15 December 1792 addressed to Rev. Enos Hitchcock regarding the results of New York gubernatorial election of 1792 between George Clinton and John Jay. 3) 4 March 1794 addressed to John Porteous concerning Citizen (Edmond Charles) Genet’s proposed expedition against Spanish settlements in Louisiana.


Rhode Island Historical Society
Providence, RI
Papers: In the John Andrews Papers, 1761-1837, 1 linear foot.
Correspondents include Silas Talbot.

Papers: In the Benjamin Bourne Papers, 1774-1843, approximately 300 items.
Correspondents include Silas Talbot.

Papers: In the Jeremiah Olney Papers, 1775-1826, 1.5 linear feet.
Correspondents include Silas Talbot.


United States Naval Academy Museum
Annapolis, MD
Papers: March 17, 1792-December 31, 1803. 13 letters.
To Benjamin Bourne of Rhode Island, a legal advisor. Finding aid in repository.