A Guide to the
John A. Sawhill Collection, 1756-1848
Compiled by: Marcus Hubbard and Chris Bolgiano
Updated: January 2009
Repository: Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University
Title: John A. Sawhill Collection, 1756-1848
Creator: John A. Sawhill
Collection No.: SC# 1765
Extent: 1 oversized flat folder containing 7 items
The John A. Sawhill Collection, 1756-1848, contains seven miscellaneous documents of American and British origin.
[Identification of Item], The John A. Sawhill Collection, 1756-1848, SC# 1765, Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA.
Items were recieved from the James Madison University Foundation in September 2000 under the authority of Dr. Ray Sonner, the executor of the estate and a James Madison University administrator.
Provenance: Part of the larger John A. Sawhill estate containing coins, music, and other materials bequeathed to James Madison Univeristy in 1976.
Processing Information: Large documents that had been folded were flattened and transferred into an oversize flat folder.
Born in Colorado in 1892, John Alexander Sawhill was educated at Princeton University and later wounded during his military service during World War I. He came to James Madison University (then known as the State Teachers College and later as Madison College) in 1927 and taught Latin, Greek, and German there until 1957. An avid traveler and collector, Sawhill journeyed many times to the Middle East. He acquired thousands of items, including books, documents, recordings, coins, and works of art over the years. Though married twice, Sawhill outlived both of his wives and had no children. He passed away in 1976 and bequeathed his extensive collection to the James Madison University Foundation.
Scope and Content
The John A. Sawhill Collection, 1756-1848, consists of seven documents housed in one oversized flat folder. It includes two issues of the London newspaper the Whitehall Evening Post from the years 1756 and 1775, which reflect the prevailing British perspective on world events at the time. The 1756 issue includes 'curious' local news (robberies, etc.) and various cure-all advertisements. The 1775 issue includes references to the Spanish armament in Gibraltar and various news frorm America, including a report of a military engagement with three hundred "provincials" at Boston [Bunker Hill?] where thirty-two Americans were killed. References are also made to General Gage, the British commander, and to the arrival of British troops in Boston, "the event of which, it is thought, will put an end to the present quarrel by concessions or submission". The American seizure of Fort Ticonderoga is also mentioned. Also included in the collection are two Justice of the Peace commissions for three Franklin County, Virginia, residents; a Land Office Treasury Warrant; and two land grants pertaining to land in Bath County, Augusta County, and Henry County, Virginia.
The collection is organized into one oversized flat folder.
- Whitehall Evening Post, September 23, 1756 (with apparent dealer's note and 1936 value)
- Whitehall Evening Post, July 15, 1775 (with envelope containing apparent dealer's description and 1937 value)
- Commission of Robert N. Dickinson to Justice of the Peace; Franklin County, Virginia; September 1, 1815
- Commission of William Peter Martin, Thomas Thompson, and Samuel Harston to Justices of the Peace; Franklin County, Virginia; November 29, 1796
- Land grant to George Steard; Henry County, Virginia; signed November 10, 1799 (poor condition; signature torn)
- Land grant of 144 acres to William Allison; Augusta County, Virginia; signed April 21, 1798
- Land Office Treasury Warrant No. 16, 196 to Adam G. Cleek for 86 acres; Bath County, Virginia; signed February 29, 1848