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    Captain Lee requests the loan of a theodolite

    Robert E. Lee Autograph Letter Signed. One page, 7.75" x 6". Fort Hamilton in Brooklyn, New York; May 31, 1841. Lee writes while a captain in the U.S. Army and serving as the fort's post engineer, to the New York firm of E. & G. W. Blunt, makers of scientific instruments, requesting a loan of a theodolite, an instrument that measured horizontal and vertical angles and used primarily in surveying.
    In full: "Please send by the Bearer the levels of any theodolite if repaired. If they are not repaired. I must ask you to loan me a theodolite as I can wait no longer for mine... I will use it carefully & return it as soon as I have laid off some work." At the bottom of the letter is a note stating that the instrument "was sent over June 1st, German Theodolite No 3 striped." Addressed on the verso in Lee's hand.

    In 1840 the U.S. government allocated $20,000 to improve Fort Hamilton's armaments and Captain Robert E. Lee was assigned to oversee the improvements of the fort's defenses as well as those of other military installations in the area. He served as the fort's post engineer from 1841 to 1846.

    E. & G. W. Blunt operated in New York City from 1811 to 1866, then changed its name to Blunt & Company, a name that ceased to exist in 1872.

    Condition: Evenly toned with light soiling and ink smears occurring at the time the letter is written.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2015
    4th-5th Wednesday-Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 6
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 803

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