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    George Washington War-Dated Pay Warrant Signed. Partly printed document, one page, 8" x 13", n.p. [New Windsor, NY], May 1, 1781. Being a warrant ordering payment be made to Lt. Col. Marinus Willett in the amount of $2,219.

    Marinus Willett was an American soldier, patriot, and political leader from New York. He was characterized by historian Mark M. Boatner as "one of the truly outstanding American leaders of the Revolution." Willett served in the militia during the French and Indian War, and commanded and fought bravely in numerous Revolutionary War battles, including the Battle of Oriskany, the Battle of Monmouth, the attack on Onondaga, the Sullivan Campaign, the Battle of Sharon Springs, and the Battle of Johnstown.

    In September of 1780, Willett was one of three officers of the New York Line who presented grievances to the New York legislature, complaining that they had not been paid since January and asking for compensation in the form of land. The New York legislature took its time making a decision on the case. Finally, eight months after Willett made his plea, the case was settled in his favor. By that time, General Washington was headquartered at New Windsor, NY, at the home of William Ellison, a large landholder and merchant, and issued the following warrant:

    "To John Pierce Esq; Pay-Master General of the Forces of the United States of America, Pay to Lt. Col. Marinus Willet for pay & Sub[sistence] as Lt. Col. Of the 3d Regt. New York from the 1st of May to the last of July. Also Extra Pay & Sub[sistence] as Lt. Col. Com.dr of the 5th Regt. From the 22 Decem. To the Last of July 1780 - in the Old Emission - the Sum of Two thousand two hundred nineteen Dollars, and ­­­­­______ nineteenth parts of a Dollar, agreeable to the account certified to me by the Auditors of accounts, and charge the same to the account of the United States, for which this shall be your warrant. Given at Head-Quarters, this 1st day of May A.D. 1781. By His Excellency's command: G:Washington."

    Beneath this is the signature of Tench Tilghman, General Washington's Aide de Camp, followed by: "This may certify, that this Warrant has been entered in our books, and the Accounts and Vouchers returned into this Office. Ja.s Johnson, Auditors."

    After the war, Willett accepted several public service appointments. He was elected to the New York State Assembly for the terms 1780-1784. The following year he was appointed sheriff of New York City, serving in that capacity from 1784-1787 and again from 1791-1795. In 1801, Willett was appointed superintendent of construction of the fortifications of New York. Following his success in this position, he served as Mayor of New York (1807-1808), upon De Witt Clinton's removal from office.

    This historic and highly desirable item bears light age toning, and faint bleedthrough of ink from docketing on verso. It has been professionally strengthened at fold edges and is in fine condition. Matted and framed to an overall size of 14.25" 19.25". A remarkable item connecting two remarkable men!

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    March, 2009
    6th-7th Friday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 10
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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