George F. Bailey, Somers

Photograph by Gray Williams

The Mcdonald Papers Index

The McDonald Papers are comprised of over 1000 pages of reminiscences about the American Revolution. Compiled between 1844 and 1851, they record the interviews of 241 elderly men and women who had been living in Westchester County during the war. This valuable resource was the work of Judge James MacLean Macdonald, a Westchester attorney who, because of illness, had to give up his law practice. Although he was partially paralyzed, he determined to record the recollections of the war of the remaining people in the county who had lived through it. The result of Macdonald's efforts is a rich and personal picture of the hardships of Westchester residents, living in the "Neutral Ground" between 1776 and 1783. The index was prepared by Richard M. Lederer, Jr.

When Macdonald completed the interviews, he wrote a series of lectures which were delivered in 1855 at meetings of the New-York Historical Society. These lectures were published by WCHS in 1927 in two volumes titled The McDonald Papers. Although he spelled his name Macdonald, the interviews have always been known as the McDonald Papers.

Photocopies may be requested by mail. The charge is $2.50 plus $.50 per page, which includes handling and postage costs.

Note: When a person/place is listed in the Index, there may be information on that person/place in the entire interview, not just the page that is recorded. Therefore, it may be useful to request the entire interview (accessible on the Interview Index) to gather surrounding information.