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Harmar family collection


Held at: Chestnut Hill Historical Society [Contact Us]8708 Germantown Ave., Philadelphia, PA, 19118

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Chestnut Hill Historical Society. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

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"General Josiah Harmar (1753-1813) owes his place in diplomatic history to his role in the exchange of ratifications of the Treaty of Paris (Cat. No. 267). Ratification was required from the legislatures of nine states represented by the Continental Congress. The long process was not completed until mid- January 1784; the deadline for receipt of the ratification in Paris was March 3. Harmar, recently made Colonel, was appointed a bearer of dispatch to deliver the ratification. Winter storms delayed the Atlantic crossing and Harmar placed the document in the hands of Benjamin Franklin on March 29, nearly four weeks late, but the British raised no objections.

"On August 12 of the same year, Harmar was appointed commander of "the first national peacetime military force in American history, the progenitor and lineal ancestor of the establishment that has continued until the present. "[3] His small regiment was dispatched to Ohio in a largely unsuccessful attempt to protect the settlements there while driving illegal squatters out of the Northwest Territory. Harmar was brevetted Brigadier General in 1787, and he holds (with Governor Arthur St. Clair) the dubious distinction of waging the first official federal campaign against the Indians (October 1790). In a matter of weeks, he was forced to retreat from the Maumee Valley to Fort Washington (Cincinnati), a substantial setback. "Our loss is heavy, heavy indeed," wrote Harmar. Although he was officially absolved, his reputation was severely damaged and he resigned at the end of 1791."


US Department of State. "General Josiah Harmar - Item Detail - Diplomatic Reception Rooms," Accessed January 11, 2012.

Collection of photographs, newspaper clippings, genealogical material and other items related to the Harmar family sent via Mr. Francis J. Dallett.

Gift of Elizabeth G. Warwick, 2007.

Chestnut Hill Historical Society
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Finding aid prepared by staff of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories using data provided by the Chestnut Hill Historical Society.
This preliminary finding aid was created as part of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories. The HCI-PSAR project was made possible by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
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