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    [Revolutionary War]. Prisoner of War Nathan Goodwin Autograph Letter Signed with content on the surrender of Cornwallis. Two integral pages, 8.25" x 12.75", Forton Prison [England], December 4, 1781, to his brother while confined to the prison ship Fortune [Forton]. The ship was used for a short time as a hospital, but was converted in the 1720s to house French prisoners and later, during the Revolution, American prisoners.

    He begins his story, in part: "This being the first oppertunity [sic] I have had of Writing to you I joyfully Imbrace [sic] it to Let you Know my misfortune [sic] for the 21st of November 1780. On our passage from the Westindes [sic]...we [were] captured by an English man of war Who Carred [sic] us into St. Luce and after keeping us About three months onbord [sic] then put us onbord [sic] a prison Ship where we was very Closly [sic] Confined For two months the was Sent...to this unhappy place and was Commited [sic] To this prison."

    Life in prison is deplorable, but "I have Recovered my health Again in a Great Measure...you know what I must Suffer in this cold prison where we want for Every Necessery [sic] of Life. And when I Shall have releas [sic] I know not."

    But there is some hope, however, as news of Cornwallis' surrender has reached London. "...trust God for a Speedy Deliverince [sic] for the Unwelcom [sic] news of Cornwallises being Captured and All his army having just reached the parliaments Ear it Seems to Put them in a great Confusion and Causes Great Debats [sic] in the house. The majority is for Settling with America on any terms...This you must think gives us Great Joye to hear of our Countrys Success."

    Moderately toned. Ink has faded with age, but is still wholly legible. Separation along the folds on page two and light staining obscures some text with little loss of paper. Remnant of red wax seal on front. A fantastic content letter from the perspective of an American in England at the time of the surrender of the leading British general.


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    Auction Dates
    April, 2012
    11th-12th Wednesday-Thursday
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