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Fine Books and Manuscripts (465 Lots)
465 lots with images
April 10, 2013
Chicago, IL, USA
Description: WASHINGTON, GEORGE War-date letter signed ("Geo. Washington") as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army, 3 1/2 pages, on a bifolium, the body of the letter in the hand of Washington's Aide-de-Camp, Head Quarters, Newburgh, July 30, 1782. To late New York Governor George Clinton regarding Marinus Willett's command of militias in the Mohawk Valley and his concern for the British-held Fort Ontario at Oswego. The New York frontier was the site of numerous skirmishes between Loyalists and American allies between 1780-1782. Because of the continuing Loyalist raids in the Mohawk valley, Governor George Clinton gave Marinus Willett command of the militia to defend the region. The present letter underlines Washington's concern for the defences of the Mohawk Valley, a strategic and vulnerable point on the Revolutionary War battle lines, and his hesitation to act quickly or send additional troops without careful consideration of proper military strategy. Washington states: "How far it may be expedient to call forth an additional aid of militia, I shall submit to your Excellency's judgement, as you are better acquainted with the circumstances of the frontier, the strength of Willet's [sic] command, and probably the state of the enemy at Oswego, than I am. In the meantime, I wish to be informed as far as may be in your power of the force of Willet's [sic] corps now assembled on the Mohawk, also the strength of the enemy at Oswego, of which I have as yet had only vague and unsatisfactory accounts." Fort Ontario on the Oswego River had been occupied by the British Troops and Washington planned to send Willett on a secret expedition to recapture it. The expedition would later fail and the British held Fort Ontario until 1796, thirteen years after the end of the American Revolution. His tone projects his pessimism as he continues: "I cannot but hope that corps [underlined], in conjunction with the Continental regiment stationed in that quarter, will be able to give a better protection to the country than has lately been the case, and to chastise the insolence of the enemy in any future incursion..." Double-sided frame; matted; with a reproduction photograph. Very fine, with only a slight hint of dampstaining to the lower right corner. 18 x 26 inches.
Condition Report: Washington's letter to Clinton reads in full: "I have been honored with your excellency's favor of the 24th enclosing the copy of a letter from Col. [Marinus] Willet: From which I have learnt with great concern the repeated depredations that have been comitted on your Western frontiers, and should be extremely happy (were it in my power consigned with the general state of affairs) to afford a sufficient detachment from this army to cover the whole country; though I dare say you must be sensible - this is not the case." How far it may be expedient to call forth an additional aid of militia, I shall submit to your Excellency's judgement, as you are better acquainted with the circumstances of the frontier, the strength of Willet's command, and probably the state of the enemy at Oswego, than I am. In the meantime, I wish to be informed as far as may be in your power of the force of Willet's corps now assembled on the Mohawk, also the strength of the enemy at Oswego, of which I have as yet had only vague and unsatisfactory accounts. "Since the date of Col. Willet's letter, he has, I suppose, received four hundred cartridge boxes, in which article his most deficiency consisted; in consequence of which I cannot but hope that corps [underlined], in conjunction with the Continental regiement stationed in that quarter will be able to give a better protection to the country than has lately been the case, and to chastise the insolence of the enemy in any future incursion, especially since they are now likely to be supplied with hard bread and salted meat - of which articles, however, I apprehend there will not at present be such quantities accumulated, but that they may be preserved from spoiling by temporary sheds, or cellars covered with good thatch, or substantial well-wrought shade of boughs, which may be constructed by a little care and attention of the officers and labour of the soldiers. This is upon the supposition that the publick will not be enabled to erect stores for the purpose; for notwithstanding the order I have some time since given to the Quarter Master to furnish materials for the buildings necessary at the progress of the Mohawk, I fear he will not have it in his power to do it for want of money. I have the honor to be, with great respect, your Excelleny's most obediant servant. Geo. Washington."View additional info and full condition report
Description: JEFFERSON, THOMAS Autographed letter signed ("Th. Jefferson") as President, one page, Washington, July 18, 1803. Letter of introduction for John Barnes, a Philadelphia tea merchant and grocer. Jefferson writes to General Muhlenberg, "This will be delivered to you by Mr. Barnes, who being personally unknown to you, has asked of me a letter of introduction, as he proposes before I return to the seat of government, to visit Philadelphia, with a view to his removal there. He has been so long an inhabitant of that place that he can hardly live elsewhere. As he has been the subject of two former letters, I will add only that he is one of those gratefull [sic] & correct men for whom one never reports of having done any thing. Accept my friendly salutations and great esteem. Th. Jefferson." Jefferson's Calendar of Correspondence records three letters to Muhlenberg referring to John Barnes in 1802-1803. Brown stains at center obscuring a portion of the text; lightly creased. Framed and matted with a reproduction portrait. 21 x 14 1/2 inches.
Condition Report: Size of sheet: 9 3/4 x 8 1/4 inches.View additional info
Description: JEFFERSON, THOMAS Partially printed document signed ("Th. Jefferson") as President, one page, on vellum with scalloped top, July 28, 1804. Countersigned by Secretary of State James Madison. Ship passport, No. 1, for the Ship Alknomac, John Hildreth, Master or Commander of the burthen of 258 and 21/95 tons, mounted with no guns, navigated with 21 men. Sag Harbor, New York. Together with an engraved portrait. Seal faded; light toning to edges. 15 1/4 x 10 1/4 inches.View additional info
Description: MONROE, JAMES Document signed ("James Monroe") as President, four pages, November 18, 1818, folio, on vellum. Letters patent to Abraham Taylor for "a mode of propelling Boats, called the Columbian Principle." Countersigned by Secretary of State John Quincy Adams and Attorney General William Wirt. Attached by silk thread, comprising one partially printed official document signed, followed by four leaves of manuscript (front/back, six pages total) explaining the principle and signed by Abraham Taylor and witnesses. 19 1/2 x 16 1/4 inches.
Condition Report: Size of sheet: 14 1/2 x 10 3/4 inches.View additional info
Description: MARSHALL, JOHN, Chief Justice Autographed document signed twice in text ("John Marshall") as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, one page, n.d. [c. 1806]. Marshall summarizes the legal actions he has taken in regard to his claim to a tract of land on New Creek, and requests that the court make Philip Martin a part of the suit so that he may testify to the validity of Marshall's claim. Framed and matted with portrait. 15 1/4 x 21 inches.
Condition Report: Size of sheet: 8 1/4 x 8 inches.View additional info