Elias Boudinot

Elias Boudinot, Revolutionary War Dated ALS



Elias Boudinot, Revolutionary War Dated ALS

 

Autograph letter signed, written on recto and verso, 7.5" x 9.25". Dated "February 24, 1779" and signed by Boudinot as "Elias Boudinot".  Partial separations to horizontal folds, scattered toning and staining, and areas of paper loss to integral second page, otherwise very good condition

 

American lawyer and statesman (1740–1821) who served as President of the Continental Congress from 1782 to 1783 and later became a US Representative from New Jersey and director of the United States Mint. Revolutionary War-dated ALS to Elizabeth Ferguson. In part: “After being detained at Princeton till Saturday last by my want of Health, I arrived in the City last Evening being disappointed in my intention of visiting Graham Parke by an accident. I have a very particular Pleasure in requainting[sic] my worthy friend, that Mr. Ferguson found the Vessel he had taken passage on Board, sailed on his arrival at New York, but had the good fortune to overtake her at the Hook and sailed with a fine wind, by this accident he had not time to write a Single Line, but sent this information by a British Officer, who was his friend and I believe accompanied him to the Hook.”

 

Boudinot became a prominent lawyer and his practice prospered. As the revolution drew near, he aligned with the Whigs, and was elected to the New Jersey provincial assembly in 1775. In the early stages of the Revolutionary War, he was active in promoting enlistment; several times he loaned money to field commanders to purchase supplies. Boudinot helped support the activities of rebel spies. After the British occupation of New York City, spies were sent to Staten Island and Long Island, New York to observe and report on movements of specific British garrisons and regiments. On May 5, 1777, General George Washington asked Boudinot to be appointed as commissary general for prisoners. Congress through the board of war concurred. Boudinot was commissioned as a colonel in the Continental Army for this work. He served until July 1778, when competing responsibilities forced him to resign. The commissary managed enemy prisoners, and also was responsible for supplying American prisoners who were held by the British.

In November 1777, the New Jersey legislature named Boudinot as one of their delegates to the Second Continental Congress. His duties as Commissary prevented his attendance, so in May 1778 he resigned. By early July he had been replaced and attended his first meeting of the Congress on July 7, 1778. As a delegate, he still continued his concerns for the welfare of prisoners of war. His first term ended that year.

 

 

In 1781, Boudinot returned to the Congress, for a term lasting through 1783. In November 1782, he was elected as President of the Continental Congress, a mostly ceremonial position with no real authority, but the office did require him to handle a good deal of correspondence and sign official documents. On April 15, 1783 he signed the Preliminary Articles of Peace. When the United States (US) government was formed in 1789, Boudinot was elected from New Jersey to the US House of Representatives. He was elected to the second and third congresses as well, where he generally supported the administration. He refused to join the expansion of affiliated groups that formed formal political parties. In 1794, he declined to serve another term, and left Congress in early 1795. In October 1795, President George Washington appointed him as Director of the United States Mint, a position he held through succeeding administrations until he retired in 1805.



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Item: 65904

Price: $1,600.00
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Elias Boudinot
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