DescriptionTory Letter Archive. Six letters written relating to Tory activities. The letters range in size from approximately 6" x 8" to 8.5" x 12", in and around what is today known as Hoboken, New York, ca. May 1783. Lot contains two letters by "Agent" Cornelius Harring; one is an ALS dated May 3, 1783, and penned in an "English Neighborhood," the other is a copy of a Harring letter (transcribed by William Bayard) dated May 28, 1783. Lot also includes a Thomas Knox Autograph Letter Signed (May 14, 1783); an Abraham Ogden Autograph Letter Signed (New York, May 20, 1783); a Daniel Smith Autograph Letter Signed ("Hobuck," May 14, 1783), and a William Bayard Autograph Letter Signed (New York, May 1783).
Tories, also known as Loyalists or King's Men, were American colonists who remained loyal to the Kingdom of Great Britain and the British monarchy during and after the Revolutionary War. These letters reveal intrigues of people being ordered from their homes and seeking either legal or practical assistance. Excerpts (errors intact): "In consequence of your Illegale proceedings relative to my Estate at Hoobock, I made application to this Parcel. Sir Guy Carleton, the Com.dg. in Chief here, Who in consequence thereof immediately dispatched an Express to his Excelly. Governor Lovington. . . . There Comes to Let You know that Mr. Romine has been down to Hoobach and Demanded His possession of the house Which was Refused by Mr. Smith. Upon Which he Return'd with his family and two Waggons Which he Broght to Bear his goods and Said he would go to Mr. Herring to know the Reson Why he cold not have possestion."
Cornelius Harring was a suspected Tory; he was arrested and tried, but acquitted. Tory William Bayard was a successful New York/Hoboken area merchant who found living in an America without British rule unacceptable and returned to England. Patriot Abraham Ogden was a lawyer and politician who served as U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey from 1791 to 1798 who negotiated the Treaty of New York in 1796. Letters are lightly toned.
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