RARE AND DESIRABLE 1776 LETTER SIGNED BY GEORGE WASHINGTON AS COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF OF THE CONTINENTAL ARMY JUST TWO MONTHS AFTER THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE, DISCUSSING THE NEW YORK MILITIA
WASHINGTON, George. Letter signed. Head Quarters, New York: September 6, 1776. One leaf of laid paper, measuring 7 by 11-1/4 inches, penned on recto for one page. Floated and framed with an engraved portrait of Washington, entire piece measures 18 by 19 inches. $35,000.
Exceptional one-page 1776 letter signed by George Washington as Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army, discussing the New York Militia during the darkest days of the Revolutionary War, penned just over two months after the Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence. Any letters signed by George Washington in 1776 are particularly desirable. Boldly signed.
The letter reads in full: "Sir: I have now before me your Letter of the 4th Instant, enclosing the report against ordering out any more of the Militia from the counties of Orange, Dutchess, Westchester or Ulster. The reasons alledged by the Committee, to whom this matter was referred, are entirely satisfactory to me, and therefore I do not expect a compliance with that part of my letter which respects this matter. I have the honor to be yr. most obedt. servt." The letter is signed "Go: Washington."
In the first 18 months of armed conflict with the British, Washington had begun to create an army and forced the British army in Boston to evacuate that city in March 1776. Due to its critical importance for both their north and south operations, Washington was almost certain the British would attack New York. The British fleet descended upon New York in August 1776 and, due to their vastly superior naval firepower, as well as some tactical mistakes made by Washington and his generals, the British prevailed in Long Island and Manhattan, and then the Continental Army was forced to retreat through New Jersey. At this time, Washington was continually concerned with problems of the militia, recruits, and deserters, and he constantly reminded Congress of the need for a standing professional army and a better system of supply.
Letter archivally silked on both sides. Fine condition, boldly signed.