Description

    1795 Letters From General Washington to Several of his Friends, (Philadelphia: Federal Press, 1795), 44 pages, disbound, 5.5" x 9". The complete title is: Letters From General Washington To Several of His Friends In Which Is Set Forth, An Interesting View Of American Politics. The preface begins: "The public will naturally be inquisitive as to the authenticity of the following letters. For every thing else, they will speak for themselves: and for their genuiness, the Editor conceives himself concerned to give only such vouchers as he himself has received...". The rest of the preface tells the story of how a former slave of Washington gave a bundle of material - including an almanac - to a friend of the editor, and it is from this account that the printed letters in this edition allegedly were issued. Pages 8 and 9 have penciled notations describing these letters as being "forged". The letters are addressed to Lund Washington, and one to John Parke Custis; they describe a worrisome side to George Washington, in part one reads: "I have never hesitated to lay my heart bare and open to thy inspections; tell me then, am I , do you think, more subject to fear than other men?..."

    This is an historic text with much controversy behind it. It is composed of falsified letters, as indicated by a very early inked inscription on the front title page which reads "commencement of a pack of infernal Lies from a Tory Press.". According to Evans: "These are the same spurious letters which were industriously circulated in 1778 by James Rivington, and which Washington then declared to be forgeries, and were now republished because of this attitude on Jay's Treaty. The supposed author of the letters is said to be John Randolf." The booklet is in fine condition; several pages have chipped corners, the last page being the most severe; disbound; moderate edge wear; lightsoiling visible.


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    Auction Dates
    October, 2006
    12th-13th Thursday-Friday
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