DescriptionBattle of Long Island: William Vernon Jr. Autograph Letters (2) Signed. Written to Vernon Jr.'s father, the well-known patriot and slave trader from Newport, Rhode Island, William Vernon Sr. Three pages, 6.5" x 8.25", Nassau Hall [Princeton], September 26, 1776. Only one month after the Battle of Long Island, Vernon Jr., a student at Princeton, writes in part, "I cannot but admire how you are deceived at Newport by the Account of the battle on L. Island, having heard that two thirds more of our Soldiers were killed than were in the engagement, from the best account we learn that there were but five Battalions in it, and that we lost but between 48 & 500 Men killed and wounded, and that the enemy lost two to one. We have lately had another engagement above York, in which we drove them two miles, kill between 38 & 400 with the loss of about a hundred of our own Men." The battle, fought two months earlier, was the first major engagement of the newly independent colonies. The outcome, though, was less than desirable for the Continental Army. Matters got worse when the defeated General Washington was soon driven out of New York by General Howe and into New Jersey. There, two months after this letter was written, Washington and his Continental Army defeated Howe and the British at the Battle of Princeton.
Also included, another Vernon Jr. ALS (one page, 6.25" x 7.5", Nassau Hall, Princeton, August 23, 1773) written shortly after the young Rhode Islander began his studies at Princeton. In this letter, he asks his father for "English books to read in my leisure hours." Both letters are toned with folds and minor damage from the original unsealing; one has tape repairs on the address leaf. From the Papers of William Vernon.
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