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Manuscripts and Special Collections

Rufus McIntire and the War of 1812

Portrait of Rufus McIntireRufus McIntire was born on December 19, 1784, in York County, Maine. He graduated from Dartmouth College in 1809 and then took up the study of law. Entering into military service during the War of 1812, he was commissioned as captain of a company in the 3rd United States Army Artillery Regiment. He served for eighteen months, based mainly at Sackets Harbor, a center for naval shipbuilding in northern New York.

The thirteen letters (one with a sketch of the cantonment at Plattsburgh) in this collection date from McIntire's service during the War of 1812, providing a unique, first-hand account of this turbulent time in New York and U.S. history.

After the war, Rufus McIntire returned his home in Parsonsfield, Maine to resume his law practice and also became active in politics and government, at both the state and federal level. He was involved in efforts that led to Maine becoming a state in 1820, and served as one of its first state legislators. From 1827 to 1835, he served as a representative in the United States Congress. In 1840 McIntire was appointed a U.S. Marshal by President James K. Polk.

Image Source: A History of the First Century of the Town of Parsonsfield, Maine, Incorporated Aug. 29, 1785, and Celebrated with Impressive Ceremonies, at North Parsonsfield, August 29, 1885 (Portland, Maine: Brown Thurston & Company, 1888)

Letters of Rufus McIntire (1813-1815)

Other Resources

A map of Sacketts Harbour: with explanatory notes / by Patrick May, who was a soldier in that place for 2 years

Selected Primary Documents on the War of 1812 -- Information about selected primary source materials in the NYS Library's collections that relate to the War of 1812, including diaries, letters, orderly books, pension claim documents, personal papers, broadsides, maps, printed ballads and songbooks, prints, and newspapers, as well as contemporary published memoirs and histories of the conflict.

Multiple Perspectives on the War of 1812external link (PBS Learning Media) - Six-part video and lesson plan about the War of 1812.

Last Updated: March 26, 2021