Lot 1023: (William Howe)

RR Auction

December 15, 2012, 1:00 PM EST
Amherst, NH, US
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Description: Commander-In-Chief of British Forces in America during the American Revolution (1775-1778). Fascinating manuscript DS, "William Henry Gibson Not Pub," three pages on two adjoining 8 x 12.75 sheets, March 8, 1796, no place. A notarized copy (not signed by Howe) of an affidavit concerning his assertions in which Howe affirms that a large quantity of whale oil and ox hides had been found abandoned when he captured New York City in 1776. The text of Howe's statement reads: "I The Right Honorable Sir William Howe Knight of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, General and late Commander in Chief of His Majesty's Forces in North America &c &c &c Do hereby Certify that in The year one thousand seven hundred and seventy six, when His Majesty's Forces under my Command took possession of the Town of New York, there were found amongst other stores which were abandoned by the Americans, Four thousand Raw Ox Hides and one hundred Barrels of whale oil, and as no person either on behalf of himself or others, did lay Claim to such property, It was by my Orders put under Charge of the Quarter Master Generals Department to be used in His Majesty's Service..." A few spots of foxing to the third page, and a light circular stain on the second page from offsetting of the still-intact white wafer seal, otherwise fine condition.Why Howe was compelled to give this statement is unknown. It may have been that an exiled loyalist had claimed the abandoned property and was attempting to recover some compensation from Howe personally. The British controlled New York City from the fall of 1776 through the spring of 1783.
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