Lot 1008: Samuel Huntington

RR Auction

December 15, 2012
Amherst, NH, US

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Description: Signer of the Declaration of Independence from Connecticut (1731-1796). President of the Continental Congress (1779-1781) and Governor of Connecticut (1786-1796). Fine content war-dated LS, signed "Sam. Huntington President," as President of the Continental Congress, one page, both sides, 7.25 x 9, May 24, 1781, Philadelphia. Written to Major General Nathanael Greene (1742-1786) commanding the Southern Department advising him of appointments for Greene's medical staff-many of whom were in captivity, taken at Charleston in 1780. Huntington writes, in full, "You will receive enclosed the Copy of a Resolution of the 15th Instant [not present] containing the Appointment of the Principal Officers in the medical Department for the southern Army. You will observe that all such Officers of the medical Department appointed under the former Directorship of Doctor Oliphant [sic, Olyphant] who are now in Captivity in South Carolina and Georgia and have the Charge of the Sick in those States are continued in their respective Offices &c but to extend no farther than to the Troops & Hospitals within the Enemies Lines. Your dispatches of the 22nd & 24th of April have been viewed." Professionally inlaid into a slightly larger sheet and in fine condition, with scattered faint toning and writing lightly showing through from opposing sides.At the time of writing, Greene was capitalizing on the strategic success of Guilford Court House, which, despite being a tactical American loss, forced Cornwallis to retreat to the coast. This allowed Greene to push into South Carolina and force occupying British forces to retreat toward the relative safety of Charleston. David Olyphant (1720-1805) was a Scottish-born physician who escaped to South Carolina after fighting at Culloden in 1745. Congress commissioned him Director-General of the Southern Hospitals in 1776. Olyphant was taken prisoner at the surrender of Charleston in 1780, receiving treatment from the British that elicited a formal protest from General William Moultie. Following the war, his health failing, he moved to Rhode Island where he spent the remainder of his life practicing medicine.
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