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    Amos Stoddard Autograph Letters (4) Signed, dated between 1810 and 1813 and containing reports on James Wilkinson's court inquiries (Wilkinson was an accomplice in Aaron Burr's western conspiracy), and machinations concerning the defense of New York Harbor, as well as news of Stoddard's journey to join General William Henry Harrison in Ohio. All letters are written to Colonel Henry Burbeck (two are written from Fort Columbus in the New York Harbor).

    While stationed at Fort Columbus, Major Stoddard reports in a one-page letter written on February 15, 1810, on news of James Wilkinson, who had recently been accused of being involved in Aaron Burr's conspiracy to set up a new nation in the American west ("General Wilkinson is at present at Natchez; he is expected here [Fort Columbus] the last of this month on his way to New Orleans; it is rumored that he does not intend visiting Washington at present." Stoddard mentions others involved in the inquiries ("Capt. Cross . . . Lieut. Newman . . . Capt. Armistead . . . Lt. Col. Freeman . . . General Hampton").

    One month later (March 8), Stoddard reports on Fort Columbus' preparations for the arrival of fresh recruits: "It is a heavy job to dig and stone the cellars, and to lay the foundation of the new barracks. This part of the work is nearly done - and the Quarters (calculated in my opinion for not more than 5 companies) will probably be finished the last of next month. . . . I am determined that nothing on my part shall be wanting to expedite the public works." The major also makes known his "dread" at the impending arrival of the 6th Regiment. He informs Burbeck of a "strange idea [that] has just come into my head to avoid the misfortune." This "idea", which he outlines in the letter, would bring to Fort Columbus more desirable "old officers" who "would be of more real use than ten times the number from the 6th Regt." He further writes, "This arrangement would probably keep me in command as long as I remain here."

    In late 1812, Stoddard was sent to the Northwest Territory to join General William Henry Harrison who, two years after his famous victory at Tippecanoe, was in command of the Army of the Northwest and was constructing defenses against his overwhelming British and Indian foes. While passing through Cleveland, Ohio, on his journey to join Harrison, Stoddard wrote on January 14, 1813, "I am . . . on my way to Genl. Harrison, who is yet at upper Sandusky. I have wallowed in the mud and water from Pittsburgh to this place. The roads, however, are getting good. The snow is now three feet deep, and teams are hourly starting for the army. I shall pursue them as soon as I can get my horses shod. What Genl. Harrison will be able to do this winter is mere conjecture with me, but from what I see here, I apprehend that army supplies will be scarce. I believe the country produces supplies of every kind in abundance, but they are much scattered, and those employed to collect them, appear to be diliatory [sic] than the nature of the service will admit." Stoddard ends his letter, "If you take the trouble of writing me, send your letter under cover to Genl. Harrison, of whose family I am about to become a member." The major was placed in command of the artillery at Fort Meigs, which was still under construction when he arrived. As the British besieged the fort four months after writing this letter, Stoddard was struck by shrapnel. He died of tetanus on May 11. All letters are in fine condition. From the Papers of General Henry Burbeck.


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    Auction Dates
    February, 2010
    11th-12th Thursday-Friday
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