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Papers of John Langdon

Finding aid (PDF)

Biographical Note

John Langdon, 1739-1819, was a leading merchant and privateer owner from Portsmouth, New Hampshire. A delegate to the Continental Congress, he resigned from that office in June 1776 to become the Continental Navy Agent in Portsmouth. He later became a signer of the Constitution of the United States, a U.S. Senator, and governor of New Hampshire. As Navy Agent, he procured supplies to build and fit out warships for the Continental Navy.

The Continental Navy Board of the Eastern Department, which usually met in Boston, acted for the Continental Congress's Marine Committee in administering the affairs of the Continental Navy in New England. The Board's responsibilities ranged from obtaining ships, men, and supplies, to selecting and removing officers and issuing sailing orders.

Scope and Content Note

This collection consists of correspondence of John Langdon. Eleven of the 16 manuscripts are letters sent to Langdon by the Continental Navy Board of the Eastern Department, each signed by on or more board members, John Deshon, William Vernon, and James Warren. Four of the manuscripts are letters by Continental Navy captains concerning inquires into the performance of their duties, including John B. Hopkins and Thomas Thompson.

The correspondence is arranged chronologically, and a typewritten transcript accompanies each letter.

Restrictions Note

Reference copies have been made and are to be used by all researchers.

Related Collections

John Langdon Papers at the Portsmouth Athenaeum 

Preferred Citation

This collection should be cited as Papers of John Langdon, Archives Branch, Naval History and Heritage Command, Washington, D.C.

Subject Headings (LCSH)

United States. Continental Navy.
United States. Navy--History--Revolution, 1775-1783.
United States--History--Revolution, 1775-1783--Naval Operations.
United States. Navy--History--Sources.


0.1 cubic feet


Published: Thu Aug 05 14:12:11 EDT 2021