110
110
Kosciuszko, Thaddeus, as Continental Colonel
Estimate
7,00010,000
LOT SOLD. 6,250 USD
JUMP TO LOT
110
Kosciuszko, Thaddeus, as Continental Colonel
Estimate
7,00010,000
LOT SOLD. 6,250 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

The JAMES S. COPLEY LIBRARY: MAGNIFICENT AMERICAN HISTORICAL DOCUMENTS: FIRST SELECTION

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New York

Kosciuszko, Thaddeus, as Continental Colonel
Autograph letter signed ("Thad. Kosciuszko"), 3 pages on a bifolium (8 1/4 x 6 3/4 in.; 210 x 172 mm), [Charleston, South Carolina], 3 October 1782, to Major General Nathanael Greene, with integral address leaf docketed "from Col. Kosciuszko, Oct. 3d. 1782", red wax seal; second leaf inlaid, a few original inkspots. Light blue half morocco drop-box, gilt-stamped title on spine.
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Literature

See A. Storozynski, The Polish Prince (2009), pp. 107-109

Catalogue Note

Vivid insight into the siege of Charleston and the last days of the war.

Kosciuszko was only one of many American officers whose charm and education made him popular among the ladies of South Carolina. Many of the Polish patriot's letters to Greene detail the dalliances of American officers'  with the fair sex during this period of stifling weather and a lull in the fighting. The death of his friend Colonel Laurens on 27 August created an opening for a field commander, and Kosciuskzo was given the command of Ashley Ferry, about nine miles north of Charleston. His mission was to keep watch over this last British stronghold. As a native of the area, Laurens had developed a network of spies who informed him of British activities. Kosciusko's rapport with slaves allowed him to use Laurens' black liaisons to shuttle information between Charleston and the rebel camp at Ashley Ferry, allowing them to set traps and ambushes for British forces.

In the letter, the Colonel begins with medical advice for Greene who suffered from asthma: "Supose you should trye pilles made of the Barck of White Warnut, I am been told yet in Europe by famous Doctor that the use of them every now and then will prevent the fret of Asthma. It is true, very difficult to find here, but Sir I should send forty, sixty mill to conserve the health, I am sure can be found at Santee."

He then goes on to report his latest observations: "This Afternoon at the Cut I saw the relieve coming to the Work of about forty men British, to the next work about twenty and to the nixt to this about twelve. In the Hessiens redoubt I saw about six Hessiens and no canon, at the Landing very few men and five bagage, no negros no women two boats started from there to go to town with Refugee, one Shloop also was at the head of them ... higher up of the landing was two Shloops and the men were busy, but at My approach, the Signal was given from different places with the Musket and I saw in one minute total inaction even the Boats and Shloop was stop'd that I saw them before going to town at Charles Town ..."

The JAMES S. COPLEY LIBRARY: MAGNIFICENT AMERICAN HISTORICAL DOCUMENTS: FIRST SELECTION

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New York