"the many heavy losses . . . are all but Triffles, if we finally obtain our Liberty from the British Yokes"William Vernon Sr. Autograph Letter Signed. Two pages, 7.25" x 9", Boston, June 2, 1777, to his son, William ("Billy") Vernon Jr. containing content regarding American sacrifices to "obtain our Liberty"; the aftermath of the Battle of Princeton; and Nathanael Greene and Timothy Pickering.
A slave trader and merchant from Newport, Rhode Island, Vernon Sr. writes to his son, a student at Princeton who had witnessed the Battle of Princeton earlier in January. In part as written, "Two or Three days ago I rec'd yours of the 2nd of April, being the first Letter that I have received since your escape from Princeton on the 12th Dec. Last. You can have no Idea, what Pleasure it gave me upon hearing of your being well in health, as to the loss of your Cloths and baggage, its nothing to the many heavy Losses that our unnatural & Savage cruel Enemies have occasioned to me; yet they are all but Triffles, if we finally obtain our Liberty from the British Yokes, and moreover if we enjoy health & freedom it's a Blessing of more worth than the Treasure of the Indies."
"I have wrote you Two Letters within four or five days, one by the Post, the other went by Genl. [Nathanael] Green[e]s Lady whom I hope you will have the pleasure of waiting on if she is within Ten miles of you. She will be, I am persuaded, extreem glad to see you. This goes by a Friend and particular acquaintance Col. [Timothy] Pickering of this State who is appointed Adjutant General to the Army by Genl. Washington. He set out for head Quarters in the Morning and will do the honor of calling upon you if he goes to Princeton, behaive[?] with[?] politeness to him & he is a Worthy Gentleman and will do you any favor in his power."
Both Nathanael Greene (one of General Washington's most talented officers) and his "Lady", Catherine Littlefield Greene, were residents of Rhode Island, which explains their association with the Vernons. Vernon Sr. wrote this letter from Boston, where he had fled prior to the British invasion of Newport in December 1776, which explains his acquaintance with Adjutant General Pickering "of this State". Vernon Sr. was appointed by the Continental Congress in 1777 to the Eastern Naval Board. This letter exhibits minor holes at fold intersections and slight edge tears on the address panel. The seal is still affixed. From the Papers of William Vernon.
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