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    General John Burgoyne Excellent Autograph Letter Signed with Political Content. British general in the Revolutionary War who captured Fort Ticonderoga but later due to lack of support from the Commander in Chief, Lord Howe, Had to surrender to Gates at Saratoga, one of the greatest American victories, and perhaps the turning point of the war. Autograph Letter Signed, 5 pages 4to, London, June 9, 1769 to George Townshend, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, giving him many reasons why he should be appointed as Townshend's principal secretary. "The very obliging sentiments your Excellency expressed towards me in the letter you honoured me with last winter make an apology unnecessary for resuming the same subject. I hope it will be likewise unnecessary to apologise for my silence after receiving so interesting a declaration of your Excellency's friendship, for it would be a great injustice to your candour and to my own gratitude to suppose any formal professions were required by the one or could convey any proper idea of the other. My reflections upon your Excellency's measures or instructions. Nor is the very arduous task in which your Excellency is engaged the least discouragement to my ambition...I do then understand that Sir James gray has wished to relinquish the Embassy in Spain...and that Sir George Mccartney is very desirous to succeed to that employment, that Lord Wegmouth has not any engagement to any other person that will prevent his accommodating any arrangement the Duke of Grafton would propose upon this opening, and that His Grace has friendship enough with me to wish to see me, with your Excellency's approbation, in Sir George's place...Thus my Lord I thought myself fully authorised to presume upon your answer to my last application; and I found further hopes of success upon the persuasion that an English Secretary, unconnected with any factious parties in Ireland or England, and consequently odious to none; professing ingenuousness of character; unsuspected of rapacious designs; and and proposed of a social disposition, would be more likely to negotiate your Excellency's measures successfully, and to contribute to your tranquility, than a man of the most superior talents who united with reputation of parts the ideas and prejudices which the Irish are so apt to enterprise against even their own countrymen upon the subject of connection, private policy, and self interest...To this free and confidential communication of of my mind I shall only add a request of secrecy and an assurance of fulfilling most vigilantly and faithfully any trust wherein I can be made useful to your Excellency whether relative to the great point of my solicitation or unconnected with it..." Very good condition to fine condition, the writing dark and bold. Burgoyne had seen action in the French and Indian War, where Townshend had also seen duty and took much of the credit for Wolfe's victory at Quebec, and for over a year at this time had been in Parliament, where he greatly distinguished himself in the debates and the proceedings over colonial control of India. After his capture at Saratoga in 1777 he was sent back to England, returned to politics and became commander-in-chief of Ireland, succeeding finally in getting a position in that country, as this letter had apparently no effect. He was also a prolific playwright, and his play "the heiress" was a tremendous success in England and the continent. Burgoyne letters are amongst the scarcest of important Revolutionary War generals, and this is an extraordinarily fine one with wonderful political content. Accompanied by LOA from PSA/DNA.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    February, 2006
    20th-21st Monday-Tuesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 5
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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