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Daniel Bissell Papers

Identifier: A0127

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of original and photostatic copies of correspondence, vouchers, clippings, receipts, deeds, and Lieutenant Bissell's General Order books, 1792-1795. The collection includes a series of letters from the United States War Department relating to Bissell's involvement in the building of the cantonment of Bellefontaine in 1805 and correspondence between Daniel Bissell and Secretary of War Henry Dearborn concerning the whereabouts of Aaron Burr; the War of 1812; the council meeting at Portage du Sioux, June 24, 1815. The correspondence also includes discussion of the evacuation of Forts Osage, Madison, and St. Charles in New Orleans. The papers also include material regarding the set of charges and speculations against Brigadier General Bissell by Major General Andrew Jackson, and Bissell's defense (1816). Later correspondence and certificates related to the New Madrid land claims made by the Bissell family in relation to lands damaged during the 1811 earthquake. Letters between family members discuss farm matters and the family's slaves. The remaining material includes clippings about the Bissell home in North St. Louis County.


  • 1770-1962


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

For permission to publish, quote from, or reproduce material in this collection, please contact the Archives Reference Desk at Copyright restrictions may apply. The researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming to the laws of copyright. Selected photostatic copies are the property of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania (see label on reverse) and permission from that institution is required before publication.

Biographical Sketches

Daniel Bissell was born in 1768 at Windsor, Connecticut. He was the son of Captain Ozias Bissell. In 1777, Bissell joined the 8th Regiment under Colonels Bradley and Swift and served as orderly sergeant. He continued his service in the regular army as a sergeant after the Revolutionary War and participated in battles on the western frontier under General St. Clair. He married Deborah Seba of Middletown, Conn., in 1793; they had six children, one dying in infancy. He was in command at Fort Massac on the Ohio River at the time of the Louisiana Purchase, and was sent to the Missouri Territory where he was appointed military commander of the territory. By government order, he built Fort Bellefontaine and for several years (1809 1813) was its commandant. While at Fort Bellefontaine, he was appointed justice of the peace for St. Ferdinand Township by Frederick Bates. He served in the War of 1812 on the northern frontier under General James Wilkinson and General George Izard and was rewarded with the brevet of brigadier general following his outstanding conduct at the battle of Lyon's Creek, October 19, 1814. Bissell spent his last years of military service at southern posts and was mustered out of service in 1821 at Baton Rouge. Bissell spent the remaining years of his life attempting to prove that his discharge had been unjustified. After 1821 Bissell retired to his estate on Bellefontaine Road. In 1825, he served as chairman of the committee to make arrangements for General Lafayette's visit to St. Louis. He died of pneumonia at his home in December 1833. His wife died November 15, 1843. James Russell Bissell (1808-1887) was the only surviving son of Daniel Bissell. James studied law at Transylvania University, Lexington, Kentucky, before returning to St. Louis to take over the Bissell farm upon his father's death in 1833. He married Anna Haight Christopher (1822-1905) on March 7, 1849. They had seven children. James died at the Bissell homestead in 1887.


1.5 Cubic Feet ( (2 boxes; 5 volumes; 4 oversize folders))

Language of Materials



The collection is arranged chronologically.

Physical and Technical Requirements

There are no physical or technical restrictions.

Donor Information

Many items in the collection were donated by Mrs. Renwick B. Dimond in 1965.

Separated Materials

An 1817 map of the Illinois Territory was transferred to the Library Department (see Lib333).

Processing Information

Completed by Christopher Gordon, March 2003.

Inventory of Daniel Bissell Papers
EAD by Jaime Bourassa using ArchivesSpace
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Missouri Historical Society Library and Research Center Repository

225 S. Skinker Blvd.
St. Louis MO 63105 United States