Lot 61: 1781 Rare General BENJAMIN LINCOLN Signed Revolutionary War Manuscript Letter
October 29, 2016
Rancho Santa Fe, CA, USALive Auction
First "Secretary of War" Major General Benjamin Lincoln Content Mentioning "His Excellency General Washington"
GENERAL BENJAMIN LINCOLN (1733-1810). American Revolutionary War Major General of the Continental Army, notable for overseeing the largest American surrender of the war at Siege of Charleston, and for being the officer who formally Accepted the British Surrender at Yorktown. Lincoln served as the First "Secretary of War" (1781 to 1783).
January 19, 1781-Dated Revolutionary War Period, Manuscript Letter Signed, "B Lincoln," at Boston, 4 pages with 3 written, legal folio, measuring 8" x 13.25" on period laid paper, Choice Very Fine. Written to Col. William Shepard, Lincoln nominates Shepard as "Superintendent of the Recruits." This historic content Revolutionary War Letter is indeed extensively concerning recruits and supplies. It reads, in part:
"Dear Sir, -- His Excellency General Washington having requested me to nominate a Gentleman of the Army, in this quarter, Superintendent of the Recruits - and at the same time intimated that you wish to be employed somewhere near home until Spring - I am happy in having it at once in my power to comply with your wishes, and to benefit the service by appointing you to that office. ..."
Excellent Revolutionary War content including mentions of George Washington and General Heath. Some trivial paper loss at folds and light tone spots, well written having a large signature "B. Lincoln" measuring 2.5" long at the conclusion. Docket on verso reads: "Gen. Lincoln to Col. Shepard - Jan 19th 1781".
Benjamin Lincoln (1733 - 1810), was an American army officer. He served as a Major General in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War. He is notable for being present at three major surrenders during the war:
1. He attended John Burgoyne's surrender of a British army after the Battles of Saratoga.
2. He oversaw the largest American surrender of the war at the 1780 Siege of Charleston, SC.
3. He formally accepted the British Army surrender by Corwallis at Yorktown.