June 26, 1782

Written by James from West Point

The letters James Davenport wrote from West Point in May and June of 1782 were just over a month apart, suggesting that he probably wrote more letters home than survive in this set. Little had changed in his circumstances, however, and the soldiers still had “Plenty of duty & Little Provision & less money.” Davenport’s humor comes through in this letter, and it includes facetious remarks about the quality of his paper, young women at home, and the oppressive summer weather.

Transcription PDF
"Repenting it fett"

The meaning of this phrase is unclear.

James Davenport's Siblings

James Davenport had thirteen siblings. When he wrote this letter, Josiah, Hannah, Lydia, and Sarah were living in Warwick, Massachusetts, and Joseph and Isaac Howe had died fighting in the war. The other seven were living at home with his parents, Isaac and Mary Davenport: Samuel, Mary, Ephraim, Ebenezer, John, Daniel, and Esther.

"Molls & Jos"

These are slang terms for young, single women and men.

Who is Sam?

Samuel Davenport, the brother to whom James wrote his letters.

"I schall mett the watch"

This appears to be a euphemism for being nearly ready to pawn his watch in exchange for a cold drink of grog.