Revolutionary War

Rev War letter by officer Henry Glen sees to the supplies of Ft. Schuyler "at the particular request of General Clinton ...the approach of the Enemy has at present prevented us ..."

Revolutionary War letter by distinguished officer


1p ALS inscribed overall and 2x signed by Continental Army quartermaster Henry Glen (1739-1814) as "H. Glen", once at the bottom of the letter and once in the postscript. Written in Schenectady, New York on January 13, 1781. In very good condition, with expected paper folds, chipped edges, and a tiny hole at center. Isolated discoloration throughout does not affect legibility. The page measures 8.125" x 10.25".


With original spelling.




13th Janry 1781 -


Dear Sir,


Yours I have received and am happy in its contents, I send you by the bearer thirty more empty flour barrels, and at the particular request of General Clinton I must beg of you to expedite the filling of these 30 barrels to be ready along with the other {hole} in a few days, to go to Fort Schuyler with another convoy from this place with an escort and Col. Cortlandt in person from this. This matter I must beg of you to expedite for the good of Fort Schuyler in particular.


I send by the bearer six more empty bags please direct them to be filled & let him bring those six together with the nine sent you by Tole full of brand with him - my best respects to Mrs. Yates & family, old Mrs. Frey; the Major & his wife -


I am Dr Sir Yours truly


H. Glen


{Major Yates}


Mrs. Glen & self intended to pay you a visit for a night or two but the approach of the Enemy has at present prevented us -


H. Glen."


This war dated letter from the New York frontier illustrates the strategic importance of outposts like Schenectady. British and American forces fought for control of this region, called the Northern Theater, between 1777-1782. Combatants included British, Loyalists, Hessian mercenaries, Americans, and Indian allies of either side. Glen's ominous postscript, that the "approach of the Enemy" prevented his visit to Yates, underscored the constant danger and instability found in this region.


An army runs on its stomach, and provisioning troops was of paramount importance. Glen's letter demonstrates the scale of such provisioning, where 30+ barrels and 15 bags of flour were necessary for the immediate victualing of Fort Schuyler. The identity of Fort Schuyler is somewhat in question. During the Revolutionary War, Fort Schuyler could have referred to a fortification in modern day Utica, New York, located approximately 77 bird's eye miles northwest of Schenectady, or Fort Stanwix (sometimes also called Fort Schuyler) in Rome, New York, a further 20 miles northwest of Schenectady. Regardless of its exact location, we know that the fort was located deep within central New York.


Henry Glen was an early settler of Schenectady and a successful Indian trader and land speculator. During the Revolutionary War, he served as Assistant Deputy and Deputy Quarter Master General. He used his business connections with local Indians as Commissioner of Indian Affairs, and served as Schenectady Town Clerk between 1767-1809.


Glen's correspondent was Christopher Yates (1737-1785), then Quarter Master General of the Continental Army. Yates was a surveyor and French & Indian War veteran from an old Schenectady family. Throughout most of the Revolutionary War, he was stationed at Saratoga and other frontier outposts. His papers can be viewed in the Special Collections of the Syracuse University Library.


James Clinton (1736-1812), mentioned in this letter as "General Clinton", was a French & Indian War veteran who served in the Northern Department during the Revolutionary War. He was promoted to Brigadier General of the Continental Army in 1776.



Item: 64348

Price: $750.00
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Revolutionary War
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