Benjamin Lincoln

Rare Benjamin Lincoln Order to Henry Jackson to Prepare for Reclamation of Boston Harbor from British During Revolutionary War



Rare Benjamin Lincoln Order to Henry Jackson to Prepare for Reclamation of Boston Harbor from British During Revolutionary War

Major General in the Continental Army (1733-1810) during the American Revolutionary War, known as the officer who formally accepted the British surrender at Yorktown. War-dated ALS signed "Benj Lincoln," one page, 7.25" x 4.75", June 12, 1776. From Boston, Lincoln writes Henry Jackson.

The Order reads:

"To Mr. Henry Jackson,

You are destined by the committee for fortifying the harbour of Boston to take ye Over sight and instruciton of all ye movements on ye Water this night in the harbor aforesaid you will endeavor to procure so many men as a guard on ye Several Wharves, & Shores as to prevent any Boat from leaving town on any pretense whatever.

Benj Lincoln"

In very good condition, with intersecting folds, one through a single letter of signature, scattered toning and soiling, light show-through from docketing on reverse, and a thin mounting remnant to left edge.

One day after the Committee of Five--Jefferson, Franklin, Adams, Sherman, and Livingston--were appointed by the Continental Congress to draft the Declaration of Independence, General Benjamin Lincoln penned this message to soon-to-be General Henry Jackson with instructions to secure Boston Harbor. Although the British had evacuated Boston in March of 1776 under pressure from George Washington's forces, Several of their ships remained in the outer harbor. The following morning, June 13th, Lincoln ordered the Continental batteries to open fire on the remaining British fleet, driving them off once and for all, and inspiring Lincoln to say, 'thus is the port of Boston again opened by our own authority after having been closed during two years by virtue of the British Parlaiment.' An outstanding war-dated letter with incredible battle-related content, penned on the eve of the reclamation of the Boston Harbor. 

With the passage of the Stamp Act, Lincoln began a progressively more radical course in his life as a representative to the General Court and Provincial Congress from Hingham. In January 1774, he was elected as Chairman of the Hingham Committee of Correspondence. In September of that year he was elected to serve in the Massachusetts General Court. When British Governor Gage dissolved the General Court in October 1774, the representatives declared themselves in defiance a Provincial Congress, of which Lincoln was elected Secretary from September 1774 - July 1775. He served on the permanent standing Committee (and all other Committees) charged with the reorganization and supply of the militia, from which this Order is made. The Committee was responsible for procuring cannons, small arms, and ammunition and their safe deposit. After Lexington and Concord, Lincolnwas made muster master of the Militia and appointed to the Committee of Safety and other committees pertaining to supply and organization. In June 1775, he served as acting President of the Provincial Congress. In July of that year, Massachusetts House of Representatives was constiuted the lawful government of Massachusetts Bay; that body elected a council of 28 members on July 28, 1775. Lincoln was busy during the 1775-1776 period procuring and organizing militia supplies, ships to act as privateers, and "on another committee he took [into consideration] which harbours in Massachusetts Bay would be defended by the State and which would by the Continental army." Mattern, Benjamin Lincoln and the American Revolution at 22. 

Thereafter, "On the night of 13 June 1776 a combined force of Continentals and militiamen erected batteries on Long and Paddocks Islands and Nantasket Head. The next morning their artillery drove the remaining British warships from the harbor" Mattern at 25-26.

In January of 1776, Lincoln had been made a Brigadier General under Hancock, Warren, and Orne, who were made Major Generals in the Continental Army. In September, Warren declined the Major Generalship in the Continental Army, and the Massachusetts House of Representatives selected Lincoln to command Massachusetts forces as a Major General that was sent to New York. Thereafter, he was active in the War. Lincoln is known as the only person to officiate in three Revolutionary War surrenders: as winner at Saratoga, captive in Charleston, and as victor at Yorktown (taking the sword of surrender at Washington's insistence, as second in command, offered not by Cornwallis, but his second, Brig. General Charles O'Hara). 

Lincoln was the first Secretary of War (1781-1783) and was one of 10 men who received electoral votes to be the first President of the United States (Lincoln received one Georgia vote from an uncommitted elector out of the 138 votes cast; Washington had 69 and Adams 34).


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Item: 65279

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