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    (Nicholas Biddle) William Scull, Philadelphia mapmaker, Autograph Manuscript Signed, "Wm Scull" one page, 7.25" x 12.25", no place, no date. A poem entitled "Verses to the Memory of my beloved cousin Capt. Nic[ola]s Biddle of the Randolph frigate of 36 guns blown up in an Engagement with the Yarmouth British man of War of 64 guns." The poem reads in part: "What dread Explosion rends the distant Skies | What sulphirous [sic] flames in Spiral Volumes rise | The Randolph Swims No More, Modest and brave | The Virtious Biddle finds an early grave | ... Such was thy wish, Mysterious heaven deny'd | Deserved success to Crown thy Noble pride | Oer power'd by double force, the Trembling Main | Beheld thy Ship the Unequal fight Sustain | Amaz'd behl'd the British bands retire ... Confess'd thy Naval Skill and thundering Power | ... all haste to bind the Youthfull [sic] Wariors [sic] brow | With Wreaths Whose Verdure Shall forever glow" Nicholas Biddle (1750-1778) was one of the first five captains of the Continental Navy. He spent much of 1775 off the coast of Newfoundland capturing British merchant ships. In June, 1776 Congress gave him command of the 32-gun Frigate Randolph, built in Philadelphia and launched in early 1777. On March 7, 1777 the Randolph encountered the 64-gun Ship HMS Yarmouth. Instead of fleeing in the face of a superior foe, Biddle chose to fight. After a twenty-minute engagement, the Randolph exploded killing all but four of the 310 men aboard. This proved to be a serious blow to the fledgling Continental Navy. William Scull was a third-generation mapmaker, who during the American Revolution served in the Geographical department of the Continental Army. Slight partial fold separations, a few minor soiled spots, else fine condition. A touching, evocative tribute to one of this country's first fallen heroes. From the Henry E. Luhrs Collection. Accompanied by LOA from PSA/DNA.

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    Auction Dates
    February, 2006
    20th-21st Monday-Tuesday
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