National Historical Publications & Records Commission

Horatio Gates Papers

(Microfilm Edition)

New York Historical Society

Additional information at

Horatio Lloyd Gates (1727 –1806) was a retired British soldier who served as an American general during the Revolutionary War. On Washington's recommendation, the Continental Congress made Gates the Adjutant General of the Continental Army in 1775. He was assigned command of Fort Ticonderoga in 1776 and command of the Northern Department in 1777. Shortly after Gates took charge of the Northern Department, the Continental Army defeated the British at the crucial Battles of Saratoga. After the battle, some members of Congress considered replacing Washington with Gates, but Washington ultimately retained his position as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army. Gates has been described as "one of the Revolution's most controversial military figures" because of his role in the Conway Cabal, which attempted to discredit and replace George Washington. Transferred in June 1780, Gates was disastrously defeated by Lord Cornwallis at the Battle of Camden, South Carolina, on August 16. After the war Gates freed his slaves, moved to New York, and served one term in the state legislature. This collection contains correspondence and military records of the 18th century, documenting life during the French and Indian War, the American Revolution, and the early years of the Republic.

20 reels, 212-page guide


refer to caption


Horatio Gates (detail), by Gilbert Stuart. Metropolitan Museum of Art


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