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Lot 4: ARNOLD, BENEDICT. Autograph Letter Signed, "B Arnold," to Prime Minister William Pitt the Younger,


Platinum House

by Swann Auction Galleries

April 17, 2012

New York, NY, USA

Live Auction
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Description: FROM THE WILLIAM RANDOLPH HEARST COLLECTION ARNOLD, BENEDICT. Autograph Letter Signed, "B Arnold," to Prime Minister William Pitt the Younger, retained draft, requesting payment for his claims from the West Indies. 1 page, folio; edges reinforced on verso, early ink note on verso. Gloucester Place [London], [8] August 1800

Notes: Two decades after abandoning the American cause, and a year before his death, Arnold is not getting what he feels is the proper respect from the British Prime Minister: "Having had the honor of addressing you so late as the 13 May last on the subject of my claims on government for cash advanced for the public service in the Wt. Indies more than seven years ago, I had hoped from the sacrifices I have made and the services I have rendered to the public, that some attention would have been thought due. . . . Were my finances such that I could with justice to my family make a further sacrifice of this money to the public, I should not again trouble you." Arnold had served on a privateer in the West Indies during the French Revolution, and narrowly escaped being hung. Provenance: Parke-Bernet's William Randolph Hearst sale,16 November 1938, lot 12.

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