Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice

    Description

    Nathaniel Woodhull Letter Signed "Nathel Woodhull Presidt". One page, 8.75" x 14.5", New York, March 4, 1776. American Revolution general who led the militia in the Battle of Long Island. The letter is written on plain paper, and reads: "Sir, We have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of yours of the 21st & 28th ult. with a list of such officers as have served in the last campaign. We fear from a want of proper information and the necessity we are under of immediately completing the four Regiments ordered to be raised for the defense of this Colony, some Gentlemen now absent may be neglected whose merits ought to be considered - in our confused state we shall endeavor to do Justice to individuals as far as is consistent with the public service; in this arrangement Mr. Pain's merit will be considered. In the appointment of the Captains to our four Battalions we have thro' mistake omitted Captain Wynkoop whose services during the last Summer justly merit the attention of the public. We could wish Sir it was in your power to provide for him on the Lake as we are informed he is well qualified for service in that Department - but if it should not be in your power to provide for him, we beg to have the earliest notice, that we may appoint him to the first vacancy. We have ordered Six hundred fathom of tanned rope two fishing nets & ropes for four, to be sent to Mr. Commissary Livingston at Albany to whom we have also ordered the quantity of Pitch & Tar, you formerly wrote for to be sent. You will receive by this conveyance blank Commission for Col. Van Schaicks Regiment. We are sir with esteem Your most Obed't humble servants by Order..."

    Woodhull was appointed brigadier general of the militia for Suffolk and Queens counties. He knew he was overmatched to the British in arms and number, as he writes in his journal. In August of 1776, he was captured by the British dragoons at his headquarters, where he surrendered his sword upon request, and instructed to say "God save the King". His reply was "God save us all." He was then wounded about ten times with his own sword, including two that nearly severed his arm, and three serious head wounds. He was taken to a church being used as a British prison, where he languished. When the British were certain of his impending death, he was moved to the De Sille house, adjacent to the prison, and his wife was allowed to care for him. His last request was for her to supply other American prisoners with money and provisions. It is said that one of the British battalions that was employed in this area was commanded by Major Crewe, a distant relative of Woodhull's, and that when he came to be apprised of the circumstances of the case, he was so disgusted that he either resigned his commission and quit the service, or obtained permission to leave the army and returned to England. A similar letter, the only one sold at major auction in the last 25 years, fetched over $2,500 at Sotheby's in 1987. Very fine condition, with wonderful display appeal.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2006
    12th-13th Thursday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 549

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $9) per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    VIEW BENEFITS
    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
      winnings 
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2020 September 17 The Otto Penzler Collection of Mystery Fiction, Part IV Featuring The Otto Penzler Collection of Mystery Fiction, Part IV 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,
    AZ
    View More Testimonials

    HA.com receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source: Similarweb.com)

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2019 December 14 Historic Flags of World War II Signature Auction - Dallas
    2019 December 14 Historic Flags of World War II Signature Auction - Dallas
    REALIZED $1,016,674