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    John Stark Manuscript Letter Signed to New York Governor George Clinton, two pages, 8" x 12", front and verso. Albany, September 4, 1781. As Northern (New York) Department Commander, General Stark begins his letter to Governor Clinton by informing him that "An instance that I think somewhat alarming has lately intervened in this departmt & which I think is a design of no less consequence than the dissolution of the Army. The plan seems to be to try the superior force of the Civil Government over the Military in seizing, imprisoning, and detaining a Soldier from his duty..." It seems that a man named "Haas a soldier in the Massachusetts line (but detained here on the usefull work of an Armourer), he was seized on a pretended dept [sic, debt] of about six pounds that it was said he owed a tavernkeeper as a Tavern bill, the tavernkeeper took the advice of a young fribble of a lawyer who willing to undertake anything that would make him popular in knavery, and perhaps possessed of some glimmering hopes of future favours from the Torys Sovereign, fir the bold & daring attempt, readily engaged in the design, granted a writ, by force of which he now lies in jail. I need not relate to your excellency the fatal consequences resulting from such a procedure...Pray Sir tell me what shall hinder a number of Enemies to this Country to either trust or pretend to trust Soldiers and then commence actions against them? The answer to it lies 'they are immediately laid in jail' And the same authority that puts one in can put a Brigade in & if a Brigade goes, I know nothing to prevent this Army from sharing the same fate - And further Sir, I am fully confident that George the third of Great Britain has many subjects in this City who would willingly lay down half nay even the whole of their fortunes in this Service, and trust to his Royal Clemency for the repayment of money laid out so much to his advantage..." Integral leaf, separated from the letter, is addressed to "His Excellency Governor Clinton/State of New York/at/Poughkeepsie." The letter is frayed at the edges with partial tears at the folds. Some letters at the end of lines on the second page are missing, not materially affecting the text. An important letter written by General Stark less than seven weeks before Cornwallis surrendered to Washington at Yorktown, ending the Revolutionary War. Stark, who fought at Bunker Hill, had defeated two detachments of General Burgoyne's army in the Battle of Bennington in 1777. The first major defeat of a British General, that battle is considered by many as the turning of the war, the action which convinced the French to send military aid. Ex. Henry E. Luhrs Collection.

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    Auction Dates
    October, 2007
    25th-26th Thursday-Friday
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