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Lot 1005: William Ellery

American Revolutionary War Collection of Richard Newell

by RR Auction

December 15, 2012

Amherst, NH, USA

Live Auction
Past Lot
  • William Ellery
  • William Ellery
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Description: Signer of the Declaration of Independence from Rhode Island (1727-1820). ALS, "Wm Ellery," one page, 7.75 x 9.5, March 23, 1815, Worcester. Addressed in his hand on the integral transmittal panel to "Miss Philadelphia Ellery Care of Charles Dyer Merchant Providence R: Island &c." A warm personal letter to a young relation, in the wake of the end of the War of 1812. Ellery writes, in part, "I...am glad to find that Belinda is willing to perform her promise to live with us when peace shall take place...the weather has been so cold since you wrote your letter and the roads so bad, and made worse by the snow that fell last night, that it is impossible for me to fix upon the time when I shall be at Providence....Your brother W., and wife and daughter attended by Edward Channing arrived at Newport last Saturday...Be yourself at Providence as soon as you conveniently can." After news of family members, who are coming to Newport, Ellery notes that "Mr. Timmy has gone again to Hartford, and does not mean to live at Newport, the air there not suiting his health so well as that of the country." In very good condition, with intersecting folds, small restored area of seal-related loss at left edge, and the once-removed signature and sentiment now skillfully replaced (along with a square area of paper to its immediate right).Ellery replaced Samuel Ward as the Rhode Island delegate to the Continental Congress in 1776. During the War, his home and lands were plundered by the British. Following the Revolution, Ellery served a brief stint as Chief Justice of the Rhode Island Supreme Court (1785-1786). In 1790 President George Washington appointed Ellery as Collector of Customs for the District of Newport, a position he held for three decades. Though he was a staunch Federalist, the Jeffersonian Republicans chose to retain his post when they assumed power in 1800.

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