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    Broadside Report of the Most Celebrated Maneuver of the American Revolution.

    General George Washington's "Christmas Miracle": Crossing the Delaware and the Stunning Victory at Trenton. One of only three [3] copies believed extant. [AMERICAN REVOLUTION]. Broadside hand-bill, "Fresh Advices from the Westward..." [Sunday]
    January 5, 1777. Providence, R.I. [office of The Providence Gazette]: J.[John] Carter. Two columns on 1 p., 9 x 7 in.

    Historically, eighteenth-century American newspapers did not print on Sundays because of the Sabbath: the magnitude of the news reported here allowed a very rare exception to the rule. There are only two other copies of this broadside known: one at the Rhode Island Historical Society, and the
    other at the American Antiquarian Society. This is evidently the only copy to ever sell publicly, appearing in the American Art Association's 1921 sale, Americana Rarissima: A Notable Selection of Books, Broadsides, Letters. Partial Transcript:

    "Providence, January 5, 1777. Fresh Advices from the Westward,
    Extracted from a New-London Paper of Friday last [January 3rd]. New-London, Jan. 3, 1777. Yesterday, about 1 o'clock, the flag of truce mentioned in our last to have sailed from this port for New-York, returned from thence with 40 prisoners (seamen only) in exchange for a number of British prisoners carried from hence; they chiefly belong to the State of Rhode-Island.... An express arrived on Wednesday, with the following interesting and important intelligence, sent by express from General Washington to General Heath...New-Haven, Jan. 1. This moment an express arrived from the westward, with the following
    interesting intelligence, viz. That early on the 26th of December General Washington, with about 3000 men, crossed the Delaware, and at eight o'clock in the morning engaged the enemy at Trenton, who were about 1600 in number, and in 35 minutes routed the whole, taking 919 prisoners, exclusive of killed and wounded, viz. 1 Colonel, 2 Lieutenant-Colonels, 3 Majors, 4 Captains, 8
    Lieutenants, 12 Ensigns, 1 Judge-Advocate, 2 Surgeons-Mates, 92 Sergeants, 20 Drummers, 9 Musicians, 25 officer's servants, 740 rank and file, 919 total, exclusive of killed and wounded; together with six brass pieces, 2 of which were 12-pounders, 1200 small arms, 4 standards, 12 brass drums, a number of trumpets, &c. 6 wagons with swords, &c. a number of horses &c."

    By the winter of 1776, American troops were dispirited and in full retreat after the defeats on Long Island and Manhattan, and the complete loss of New York. Crossing the Delaware River into Pennsylvania offered the Continentals their only refuge from Cornwallis's advance. George Washington's troops lacked food and supplies, and disease, desertion and expiring tours of duty had thinned the ranks. In an attempt to hold his ragtag army together and retain command, Washington planned a surprise assault on Trenton, New Jersey, nine miles away. An American double agent informed Washington that Cornwallis's forces had returned to winter quarters on Manhattan and Staten Island while Hessian mercenaries remained at Trenton. Upon his return, the patriot spy told Hessian commander Colonel Johann Gottlieb Rall that morale was so low among Washington's troops that they would be incapable of launching any attacks. It was at this time that Thomas Paine's clarion call to American patriots, American Crisis, No. I, was circulating. ("These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.") First published in Philadelphia
    on December 19, 1776, Washington was so impressed with Paine's American Crisis that he ordered his commanders to read it to their troops before crossing the Delaware River to attack Trenton on December 25, 1776. The Continental Army, which had been on the verge of disbanding, was inspired. The successful attack reaffirmed Washington's command, bolstered American morale, spurred
    reenlistments and laid the groundwork for another successful attack on Princeton on January 3.

    Condition: very good, [removed from board; light wash]; original untrimmed edges; one small wormhole; old smoothed folds.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    May, 2019
    4th-5th Saturday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 5
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