Description

    William Whipple (1730-1785), Signer of the Declaration of Independence, Autograph Letter Signed "Wm Whipple", three pages, 7.75" x 9.5", Portsmouth, [New Hampshire], August 13, 1775. This letter is to his brother and reports on current developments including the arrival of Washington at Cambridge, the invasion of Canada, as well as Indian negotiations.

    "...John Langdon arrived yesterday from Philadelphia the Congress is adjourned to the 5th Sept. to meet at Phi[ladelphi]a. again from every apearence [sic] at present there is no man[n]er of danger from the Indians, I am inclin'd to think those companies order'd on the frontiers off this Province will be disbanded when the Provincial Congress meets five Indians of the St Francis Tribe (one of them the Chief) passed thro' this town two days ago for the Camp to offer the service of that tribe, the Congress have received Talks from the several Tribes from South Carolina to Canada & before their adjournment prepaired [sic] Talks to return in answer they are well assur'd there is no danger. The Army at Ticonderoga under the Command of Genl. Schuyler are prepared to take possession of Canada which will be done if the Pesentry [sic] of that Contry [sic] desire it which is very Probably in that case the frontiers will be much more secure then the sea Coast. The Army before Boston since the arrival of the new General [Washington] makes an appearance to the admiration of every body. Many of the cutters have been taken & Privatiers [sic] are fiti[t]ng out at Rhoad [sic] Island & all the southern Colonies for the Protection of our trade notwithstand[ing] the men of war. One thousand rifle men are arriv'd at the Camp from the Southward & two Companies more Expected dailey [sic], considerable Quantities of Powder are arriv'd & dayly [sic] arriving in the Southern Colonies, & the powder mills in York Phia. &c are fully emply'd, so that we may expect a full supply of that article very soon for any matter, for which it may be wanted, we have no certain accco[un]ts from England, how the news of the Lexington affair was received there, but no doubt that and other matters which have since happened will very much confound administration & strengthen the American party on that side the Atlantek [sic], on the whole every appearance at present is in our favor even beyond what we have reason to expect..."

    Whipple then turns to more personal matters, but notes that "...Garrison is arriv'd from the west Indies with a load of Salt he was luckely [sic] directed in to York by a boat who shake with him on the Coast otherwise he must have fallen [sic] into the hands of the Man of war who is order'd take all vessels with salt or molasses..."

    A wonderful content-filled letter illustrating the early optimism at the start of the American Revolution. The riflemen that Whipple reports on are likely the companies under Daniel Morgan. His optimism about news from Lexington and Concord strengthening the position of America's friends in Parliament was completely unfounded. Open hostilities only strengthened the resolve of many in Parliament to bring the colonies to obedience. Ironically, it was Britain's optimism that it could easily accomplish this feat that resulted in an underestimation of the strength of the rebellion -- leading to their ultimate defeat. Silked to repair fold separations, second page mounted to a larger sheet bearing an engraved portrait of Whipple, a few minor marginal chips, light toning, else very good. An important missive. 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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