151
151
Rutledge, Edward, Signer of the Declaration of Independence from South Carolina
Estimate
8,00012,000
LOT SOLD. 23,750 USD
JUMP TO LOT
151
Rutledge, Edward, Signer of the Declaration of Independence from South Carolina
Estimate
8,00012,000
LOT SOLD. 23,750 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

The JAMES S. COPLEY LIBRARY: MAGNIFICENT AMERICAN HISTORICAL DOCUMENTS: FIRST SELECTION

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New York

Rutledge, Edward, Signer of the Declaration of Independence from South Carolina
Autograph letter signed ("Edward Rutledge"), 3 pages on a bifolium (12 5/8 x 7 7/8 in.; 320 x 200 mm), Philadelphia, 23 November 1776, to Robert [Livingston, in New York], docketed on verso of second leaf "from Edw Rutledge Esq 23d Novmr 1776"; formerly folded, guarded with three small tears at fold. In a light blue half-morocco drop-box containing a portrait engraving.
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Provenance

James R. Keane (sale, American Art Association 25 January 1918, lot 100)

Literature

Smith, P.H., ed., Letters of Delegates to Congress, vol. 5, pp. 532–533

Catalogue Note

"May you be able to establish the independence of these states upon a firm and lasting foundation!"

Rutledge (1749–1800), as a South Carolina representative to the Continental Congress, gives his friend Livingston (a New York representative recalled by the state) an account of Howe's movements and his own intention to join the army in active service: "The movements of the Enemy being entirely changed, and having great Reason to believe that ten thousand of General Howe's Army will in a few days bend their way to South Carolina, I have determined to proceed to my native Home with all possible Expedition: to render my Country that Assistance in the Field which she will have a right to expect. The Reverse of our Affairs within the few Days last past, would have taught us, had we been ignorant of it, that the Fortune of War is precarious indeed!"

Smarting from the disastrous retreat from Canada, the Congress wished to consult with Philip Schuyler: "As the Enemy have removed their Forces into Canada & every Reason to fear a junction of the two Armies, or an Attack from the North is not at an End, I wish you would immediately prevail upon Schuyler to come down to Congress. After embracing the first opportunity which may offer to clear up his character, he will proceed to explain to the House the Steps which are necessary for preventing Carlton from making any Impression from Canada; & having obtained full powers for that purpose let him return to his command to carry those measures into Execution. By all means obstruct the Navigation of Hudson's River, it surely may be done by the Forts in the Highlands — if it is not, your Country will be lost, if it is, it will be safe." Rutledge advises Livingston to return to Congress, either alone or with John Jay, and closes "Adieu my dear Robert & believe me to be your affectionate Friend."

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

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New York