Capt. John Green (1736-1796), was commissioned in the Pennsylvania State Navy in October of 1776 and commanded the ship Nesbitt. He was later commissioned into the Continental Navy and was captured by the British and imprisoned in the Mill Prison near Plymouth, England in 1779. The last naval engagement of the American Revolution took place in place 1783 between Captains John Green of New York on the ship Duc De Lauzon and John Barry of Philadelphia on the Alliance and the British frigates Alarm and Sybil. In 1784, Green was the captain of Empress of China, the first American ship to sail to Canton, China for trade purposes.
This is a collection of papers of John Green. Materials include: a letterbook of John Green, 1781-1783 and letters from 1782. Most of the letters were written during Green’s imprisonment at Mill Prison in Plymouth, England. There are also several incoming letters; a log book of the Empress of China, 1784-1785 and ledger of the China voyage, 1784. The log book notes daily position, weather, and shipboard activities from the beginning of the voyage until the ship reached the lower end of the Malayan peninsula (last entry is January 12, 1785). The ledger records sales and purchases of merchandise in Canton, listed by merchant. Other items in the collection include: a copy of the manifest of the Empress of China; certificates of permission to depart and of safe conduct for the Empress of China, 1784; a patent granting John Green land in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania; 1801 passport for John Green, signed by Rufus King; a manuscript document of Proceedings and Court Decision of April 1, 1799 in the matter of American ship, Pegou, Captain John Green, Master, with a typescript of this document in French and an English translation. The collection also has typed transcriptions of papers of John Green, including the letterbook and letters from this collection and letters and other documents held by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, the American Philosophical Society, and other repositories.
- Empress of China (Ship)
- Ledgers (account books)
- Legal documents
- Ships’ logs
- Winterthur: John Green: manifests of cargo and extracts from invoice book of Empress of China, 1784-85 — on microfilm
- China Trade