Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice

    Description

    1775 Letter Describes Important Aspects of the Beginning of the Revolutionary War

    [Revolutionary War] Jesse Lukens Important Content Autograph Letter Signed. Two pages with integral address leaf, fine laid paper, 7.5" x 8.75", Prospect Hill, October 4, 1775, written to his father, "John Lukens, Esqr., Market Street, Philadelphia". Lukens writes, in full: "Hon'd Sir, I am to return to you my poor thanks for yours by Dick and Mr. Clymer delivered to me a day or two ago. I hope my dear Tacy is restored to your arms in health, and that I shall have the pleasure of embracing you all ab't the 20th of this month. Our intelligence here (tho' not grounded on the best foundation, being as I am informed a letter from Boston) says that General Gage is superseded in his command by Lord Howe & that Gen'l Gage returns to England tomorrow and that General Burgoyne is fully authorized to repair to Philadelphia & treat with the Congress &c. Should this be the case, a suspension of arms will no doubt be demanded by Lord Howe, w'ch I am pretty certain will be refused by our commander here, unless ordered otherwise by the Congress - how far it might be proper to accede to such a proposal I cannot pretend to judge, as it is pretty certain our ministerial tools are in a very uncomfortable situation at present & that on the approach of Winter they cannot possibly subsist, as this Coast is extremely dangerous for navigators at that Season & they cannot expect any supplies for near 3 months. On the other hand the Nominal Army here is a down right cheat & robbers of the public, notwithstanding all the efforts of The General Officers to keep them to their duty - but near one third of the numbers in our musters are so lost to all sense of shame, that they eat the Continental Bread & receive pay without rendering any service. I could name particulars but that might rather look like prejudice as the Yankees would fall under the censure. I mean the Massachusetts Bay forces. Perhaps I have already said too much. Doctor Church, one of the High Sons of Liberty & a flaming patriot hath been defected in a correspondence with our enemies & is now under Guard in close confinement. Capt. Cross who will do me the Honor to hand you this can inform you of the particulars - he was Director General of our Hospital. I must beg my best compliments to my dear Momma & Sisters - I remain your most obliged and affectionate son..."

    This exceptional letter describes every important aspect of the beginning months of the Revolutionary War with details of Howe, Gage and Burgoyne. It describes the conditions of the Army and makes a quite early reference to the term "Yankees." Most importantly, a fine reference to traitorous Dr. Benjamin Church: "...Dr. Church, one of the high sons of Liberty... hath been defected in a correspondence with our enemies..." Document has some minor folds and a tear in the last page where the seal would have been, thought it does not affect the text of the document, else fine.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    February, 2008
    21st-22nd Thursday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,064

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $9) per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    VIEW BENEFITS
    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
      winnings 
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2020 March 4 Rare Books Signature Auction Books Signature Auction - New York .

    Learn about consigning with us

    I don’t often do testimonials but in this case I felt truly obligated to thank Heritage Auctions for the extremely professional job your organization did for me.
    Charlie K.,
    Pittsburgh, PA
    View More Testimonials

    HA.com receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source: Similarweb.com)

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2019 November 14-16 Space Exploration Auction Featuring The Armstrong Family Collection Part IV - Dallas
    2019 November 14-16 Space Exploration Auction Featuring The Armstrong Family Collection Part IV - Dallas
    REALIZED SO FAR $2,569,038