Our Collection

At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 65,000 items cover five hundred years of American history, from Columbus’s 1493 letter describing the New World to soldiers’ letters from World War II and Vietnam. Explore primary sources, visit exhibitions in person or online, or bring your class on a field trip.

Barwood, James (fl. 1863-1870) [Collection of Barwood James]

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC09358 Author/Creator: Barwood, James (fl. 1863-1870) Place Written: s.l. Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 1863-1870 Pagination: 1

Summary of Content: Three letters, two of war date, from a British-born American seaman. One written during the siege of Charleston, South Carolina, in 1863. He offers fine detail on life aboard Civil War naval vessels, as well as the conflicted attitudes of many northern seamen and soldiers on war aims and race relations. He was skeptical about abolition, as seen in the question he raises with his friend, "Are we wronging 10,000,000 whites to right 4,000,000 Blacks who will never benefit by the righting?"


Historical Era: Civil War and Reconstruction, 1861-1877

Keywords/Subjects: Military History, Immigration and Migration, Navy, African American History, Abolition, Slavery, Battle of Charleston Harbor

Sub Era: The American Civil War