Title George Washington
Number 59899
Size 8" x 12.75"
Date [August 2, 1778]
Place [White Plains]
Category Presidential
Revolutionary War
Price $32,500.00
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George Washington, amassing troops to fight the Battle of Rhode Island recommends that the Massachusetts militia join the brigade headed by General John Glover, who ferried Washington Across the Delaware in 1776.

Important Letter Signed, "Go: Washington," as Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army, 1 page, 8" x 12.75", [n.p., n.d., but White Plains, August 2, 1778]. An important letter, accomplished in the hand of aide Robert Hanson Harrison, written to Massachusetts Council President Jeremiah D. Powell. Light to moderate toning, minor glassine remnants at top margin, loss at top right infilled on verso, horizontal fold separation repaired with archival tissue, else very good.

Washington makes arrangements to augment the Continental brigade commanded by General John Glover (then en route to Rhode Island) with Massachusetts militia, writing in full: "Sir As General Glover's brigade has been detached to Rhode Island, and is intended to form a part of the Troops—which are to operate in that Quarter, I take the liberty to request, that such of the recruits of your State as have not actually marched, may proceed and join him. This will not only place them in a way of rendering immediate service; but will prevent them the trouble of a long and fatiguing march at this season. Your recruits now here will join the Massachusetts [sic] Brigades—which compose a part of this Army."

Washington was sending Glover's brigade from the main army in White Plains to reinforce General James Sullivan's army near Newport, Rhode Island that culminated in the Battle of Rhode Island (also known as the Battle of Quaker Hill or the Siege of Newport) on August 29, 1778. Glover's brigade joined that of James Mitchell Varnum, both under the leadership of the Marquis de Lafayette in the march to Rhode Island. Powell did indeed send Massachusetts militiamen directly to Rhode Island, though it took more time than expected to organize them. The battle was one of the first attempts at collaboration between French and Continental forces, but resulted in an American loss due to poor communication between the two armies, and a large hurricane that scattered the French fleet—forcing them to sail to Boston for repairs.

Provenance: Given to director Michael Curtiz (1886-1962) in 1945 during a broadcast of Vox Pop, a popular radio show of the period. This particular episode was dedicated to the promotion of the Motion Picture Relief Fund, and featured Curtiz, the stars of his most recent film Mildred Pierce (including Joan Crawford and Jack Carson), and Jack Warner. A copy of the radio show will be made available to the buyer.

Published in Fitzpatrick, Writings, 12:261.

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