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    Description

    Alexander Hamilton Autograph Letter Signed. One page with integral address cover, 13" x 8.25" (open, as displayed), Headquarters [Whitpain Township, Pennsylvania], October 24, 1777. A letter to Colonel Charles Stewart, Commissary General of Issues, on behalf of General George Washington, concerning intelligence Crawford had previously transmitted in two letters to Washington.
    In full: "His Excellency desires me to acknowledge the Receipt of yours of yesterday, and thank you for the intelligence contained in it. He hopes you will soon be able to send him a confirmation with more certain particulars. I am Dr Sir Your most Obedt / A Hamilton."

    The integral address cover includes the words in the hand of Timothy Pickering "Head Quarters, October 24, 1777. Let the Bearer pass. Tim. Pickering Adgt. Genl."

    Colonel Stewart had written two letters to Washington on October 22, 1777, one from Haddonfield, New Jersey, in the morning, and one from Burlington, New Jersey, later in the day. The first letter informed Washington of Hessian movements crossing the Delaware River on October 21 and moving toward Haddonfield. Stewart estimated the Hessians numbered between 3,000 and 4,000 soldiers and was informed they were planning to attack Fort Mercer. Stewart's second letter of October 22 passed on information he received from a man who served as a guide to the enemy, which consisted of 2,500 troops, mostly Hessians. He assured Washington that Fort Mercer would be well supplied to withstand an attack.

    The Hessian attack on Fort Mercer, located on the New Jersey side of the Delaware River just south of Philadelphia, took place on October 22 and was repulsed by a much smaller force of American soldiers. The victory delayed British plans to consolidate their hold of Philadelphia and relieved pressure on Washington's army north of the city. British forces did take Fort Mercer a month later, however.

    Alexander Hamilton, the future secretary of the treasury under President George Washington, was at this time serving as Washington's chief staff aide, with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, a position he would hold for four years. In this capacity, Hamilton handled much of Washington's correspondence with Congress, state governors, and generals in the Continental Army. He drafted many of Washington's orders and letters at Washington's direction.

    The letter is framed and on the back of the frame is a typed note stating that "Colonel Stewart was my mother's great great grandfather. In my mother's possession at the present time. W. Lee Gwynne - 1933." Below this note is the following written in pen "Direct descendant - Gwendolyn Gwynne de Clairville 1968." Offered at auction for the first time.

    Condition: The letter has been laid down for the purpose of matting and framing. A small engraving of Hamilton is affixed directly to the letter. The letter has scattered foxing. A portion of the cover has been cut away not affecting any text. Matted in a 1-inch-deep mat to an overall size of 15" x 10.25"


    More Information:

    Charles Stewart (1729-1800) was born in Ireland and immigrated to the American colonies in 1750 and took up farming. He served in the Provincial Congress of New Jersey (1775-1776). When the Revolutionary War commenced, Stewart was appointed Commissary General of Issues by the Continental Congress in June of 1777. He subsequently served New Jersey as a delegate to the Continental Congress (1784-1785).

     

    Timothy Pickering (1745-1829) served as the nation's third secretary of state under presidents Washington and John Adams. He was appointed adjutant general by Washington in 1777.





    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2016
    19th Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 13
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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