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Lot 47: 1781 Historic Draft SAMUEL HUNTINGTON Unsigned Revolutionary War Letter
Historic Autographs, Civil War Encased Postage Stamps, Colonial, Revolutionary War, Federal Era, Coins, Currency, Medals
December 10, 2016
Rancho Santa Fe, CA, USALive Auction
1781 Important Historic Draft by Declaration Signer (SAMUEL HUNTINGTON) Unsigned Revolutionary War Letter Congratulates the French Foreign Minister on "the Important Glorious success of our Combined Forces on the compleat capture of Ld Cornwallis and all his Army"
(SAMUEL HUNTINGTON) Signer of the Declaration of Independence and Articles of Confederation, President of the Continental Congress serving from September 28, 1779 until July 9, 1781. Governor of Connecticut. Because Huntington was the President of the Continental Congress when the Articles of Confederation were ratified, some unconventional biographers and civic groups in Connecticut claim that Huntington was actually the first President of the United States!
November 7, 1781-Dated Revolutionary War Period, Historic Handwritten Draft Letter by (Samuel Huntington), Unsigned, with Docket also by Huntington reading, "Copy of letter to / the Minister of France / Novr 7th 1781.", 2 pages, measuring 8" x 13.25", Norwich (CT), Very Fine. Expected light folds, a very thin (easily removeable) prior paper mounting strip along the vertical right edge on the second page with minor ink errosion where Huntington has struck through "the Chesapeake" resulting in minor paper loss and some show-through, minor reinforcement of some edge fold splits. Below the Docket is written "Samuel Huntington" which appears to be in another contemporary hand. Overall in nice condition.
When Ex: President of Congress John Jay left America to become the United States Minister to Spain, on September 28, 1779 Samuel Huntington was elected to succeed him as the next President of the Continental Congress. As acting President of Congress, it did require Huntington to handle a good deal of correspondence and sign official documents. He spent his time as President urging the States and their legislatures to support the levies for men, supplies, and money needed to continue fighting the Revolutionary War. The Articles of Confederation were also ratified during his term. Huntington remained as President of Congress until July 9, 1781, when ill health forced him to resign and return to Connecticut. He returned to the Congress as a delegate from Connecticut for the 1783 session to see the success of the American Revolution embodied in the signing of Treaty of Paris. This historic Draft Letter is by the Signer of the Declaration of Independence and as the immediate past President of the United States Continental Congress Assembled, who here congratulates the French Foreign Minister on, "the Important Glorious success of our Combined Forces on the compleat capture of Ld Cornwallis and all his Army."
Three weeks earlier, British Major Commanding General Lord Cornwallis had surrendered his command to General George Washington at Yorktown, Virginia, effectively ending the Revolutionary War. This Draft Letter is Hand Docketed by Huntington, "Copy of letter to / the Minister of France / Novr 7th 1781." This Draft Letter also contains his scattered corrections and additions. It reads (words being crossed out are in brackets), in full:
"I cannot deny myself the pleasure of Congratulating you on the Important Glorious Success of our Combined Forces in the compleat Capture of Ld Cornwallis and all his Army.
"[I am truly charmed with] The conduct of Count de Grasse so far as [it] hath come to m knowledge charms me; his drupping the British fleet sufficient to [Convince] teach them [they might not & could] to keep at due distance & not [until the Chesapeake or] again attempt to interrupt the siege, & at the same time not Suffering himself to be too far diverted from his first main object, Evinces that he possesd Tallents accomplisments equal to his Station worth of so Important Command in the Navy. May our Successes this Campaign be in proportion to the Generous imparralled aids [which these United States have] received from his most Christian and proved Eventually productive of the happiest Consequences to [France and America] the perpetual advantage of both nations. -- I have the honour to be etc".
Because Samuel Huntington was the President of the Continental Congress when the Articles of Confederation were ratified, some unconventional biographers and civic groups in Connecticut claim that Huntington was actually the first President of the United States!
Samuel Huntington (1731-1796) was a jurist, statesman, and Patriot in the American Revolution from Connecticut. As a delegate to the Continental Congress, he Signed the Declaration of Independence and the Articles of Confederation.
He also served as President of the Continental Congress from 1779 to 1781, President of the United States in Congress Assembled in 1781, chief justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court from 1784 to 1785, and the 18th Governor of Connecticut from 1786 until his death. Because Huntington was the President of the Continental Congress when the Articles of Confederation were ratified, some unconventional biographers and civic groups in Connecticut claim that Huntington was actually the first President of the United States