Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    "The popular clamor against the general [George Washington] has subsided"

    Captain William King Autograph Letter Signed "W: King." One and one-quarter pages, Camp Roxbury [Massachusetts], July 11th, 1775, to Captain Truman Wheler (or Wheeler) at Great Barrington, Massachusetts. Captain King, also of Great Barrington, informs Captain Wheler about American soldiers' suspicions of "the general"-likely the newly-appointed commander in chief, George Washington. King also writes of British troop efforts to capture Roxbury near Boston only twenty-four days after the Battle of Bunker Hill.

    General George Washington, appointed commander in chief of the Continental Army by the Second Continental Congress less than one month before King wrote this letter, had arrived at his new headquarters in Cambridge, seven miles north or Roxbury, on July 2. He was there on the 11th when King informed Wheler that the Continental Army soldiers' suspicions of the "the general" were subsiding: "Our works go on with great rapidity. The men work with great alacrity. The popular clamor against the general has subsided. By the conduct of the regulars 'tis evident they feel intimidated." New Englanders comprised most of the Continental Army at the time, and Washington reciprocated their suspicion. Five days later, the general, toured Camp Roxbury's new breastworks being constructed by King and others to deter a British attack during the prolonged Siege of Boston.

    Regarding nearby British troop activity, King writes, "Last night the last of Brown's buildings on the Neck was burned down. The regulars give us no disturbance since Last Saturday morning, which was occasioned by driving off their guard, & burning three of Brown's buildings, the same morning, effected after the appearance of daylight. The Enemy are now intrenching this side their old works. Their design probably is to gain ground by degree, & in the end get possession of Roxbury."

    King ends his letter describing compromising actions by Lieutenant Silas Goodrich, a neighbor to Wheler and King in Great Barrington. Goodrich's actions, King deduces, showed his possible Tory sympathies: "Mr. Adjutant Bement[?] informs us that Lieut. Goodrich has wrote a Letter home in which he gives a very bad account of affairs here. I should esteem it a favor if his Letter would be produced here in order that the matter might be known by those who have a right to enquire in to the affair. Mr. Goodrich's conduct has been such in times past & indeed at all times that he ought never to have had a commission. We hear that he gave Col. Williams Liberty to . . . [illegible] the Town, how that is do not know; nor is it any of my concern, yet if he did so, it shews his attachment to the Tory interest."

    This toned and slightly stained letter exhibits weakness, as well as some separations, along folds. The left edge of the fourth integral page has been removed. Fraying along the upper edge.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2013
    17th-18th Thursday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 566

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    25% on the first $100,000 (minimum $14), plus 20% of any amount between $100,000 and $1,000,000, plus 12% of any amount over $1,000,000 per lot.

    Sold on Oct 18, 2013 for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
    Track Item

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    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
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2022 February 19 Americana & Political Signature Auction - Dallas.

    Learn about consigning with us

    The pre and post sales experience was wonderful and flawless. Heritage has the best in-house operation I have ever seen and their people are not only professional but fun to work with, especially Steve C.

    As for Heritage's online system… Yes the interface is more complex than what we are used to with SAN but what is behind that interface is amazing for sellers and buyers alike. It is real time and for a real serious auction buyer there is nothing better in the auction industry, bar none.
    Ron Cipolla,
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search