Description

    Thomas Jefferson 1780 Letter Signed "Th. Jefferson" as governor of Virginia, mentions "Genl Washington." One page, plain sheet, 6.25" x 8", Richmond, September 14, 1780, to an unknown correspondent concerning forage for the "Convention Troops". In full: "Sir. Mr. Tate informs me you are now in condition to pay up the arrearages of animal food due to the Convention Troops, but that he supposes they would not receive them. If you be really in such condition I should be glad to have the arrearages tendered, and if refused, a proper certificate of the fact, that I may transmit it to Genl Washington and prevent any disagreeable consequences from the representations already forwarded to him. I am with great respect Sir your most obedt. servt." The "Convention Troops" mentioned was an army of British and German troops captured at the Battle of Saratoga by American General Horatio Gates. The Convention of Saratoga specified that the troops would be paroled and sent back to Britain if they would not fight again in North America. The Continental Congress ordered British General John Burgoyne to provide a list of all officers to ensure they would not return. When he refused, Congress revoked the terns of the Convention. The Convention Army was marched 700 miles south to Charlottesville, Virginia where they were held at the Albemarle Barracks prisoner-of-war camp until 1781. Actually, some of the high-ranking officers were paroled and allowed to live in Richmond where they were sought as guests on the local social scene. As this letter illustrates, feeding and housing these men proved an enormous burden on Virginias already stretched resources. Jefferson letters written during the American Revolution are quite scarce relative to the extant correspondence during his presidency making this a particularly desirable piece. Light creases, one weak horizontal fold partly separated, else fine condition.

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    Auction Dates
    April, 2007
    16th-17th Monday-Tuesday
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