17
17
Allen, Ethan, Revolutionary Soldier
Estimate
40,00060,000
LOT SOLD. 32,500 USD
JUMP TO LOT
17
Allen, Ethan, Revolutionary Soldier
Estimate
40,00060,000
LOT SOLD. 32,500 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

The JAMES S. COPLEY LIBRARY: MAGNIFICENT AMERICAN HISTORICAL DOCUMENTS: FIRST SELECTION

|
New York

Allen, Ethan, Revolutionary Soldier
Official manuscript Council of War letter sent over Allen's name, written in a clear clerical hand, 1 page (12 1/4 x 7 1/8 in. 310 x 182 mm) on a bifolium (watermarked English arms | crowned gr), with autograph heading by Allen, "Ticonderoga in the Evening of the 12th of May AD 1775," to the Committee of Safety, or, Correspondence at Albany, address panel and reception docket on verso of second leaf; some browning and staining, some marginal chipping and tears, staining and paper weakness from early transparent tape repair. Half blue morocco folding-case gilt.
Read Condition Report Read Condition Report

Provenance

Miss Catharine Van Cortlandt Mathews (Parke-Bernet, 11 February 1941, lot 2; then described as an autograph letter signed)

Literature

John Pell, Ethan Allen (1929), pp. 93–94

Catalogue Note

Two days after capturing Fort Ticonderoga "In the name of the Great Jehovah and the Continental Congress," Ethan Allen, here styled "Commander at this Place," urgently requests relief from the Albany Committee of Safety: "we are In Want of Almost Every Necessary (Courage Excepted)."

Seth Warner had been in command of the rear quard during the attack on Ticonderoga. He quit that place almost immediately after its capture to lead an expedition against Crown Point. Allen here reports his success: "This Moment an Express has Arrived From Crownpoint with Letters From Captain Seth Warner Giving an Account of the Surrender of that Place to him and his Command without the Loss of Blood, together with a Large Quantity of Cannon the Particulars of which Cannot at Present be Assertain'd."

Despite the euphoria felt by the Green Mountain Boys (who had been shadowed on their advance by Benedict Arnold), Allen describes their present situation in desparate terms. "Provision and Ammunition Very Short—of the Former Only Sufficient for Four days—Cannon Not Mounted, Carriages out of Repair and Many Irreparable, nor Workmen to Repair or build Anew, Our Troops Few in No. & do not Exceed the No. of 150 or Thereabouts, Great Part of (on Acct. of their Peculiar Circumstances) Would Willingly be relieved as Soon as May be—The News of the Reduction of these Fortresses have Gone to Quebec and Doubtless will be Forwarded with Great Expedition—We are in a Defenseles Estate at Present, and Much Fatigu'd with Our Late Forced March thro. The Wilderness and Laying the best Plans in our Powrs for the Safety of the Prizes we have made ourselves Masters of—

"As we are In Want of Almost Every Necessary (Courage Excepted) We Earnestly Request Your Immediate Relief By Troops, Provision, Arms, and Ammunition &c as Your Wisdom May direct—We Send this Evening an Express thro. The N. Hampshire Grants which is to go as Far as Connecticut on the Same Request—have wrote you before Relative to this Subject In past—"

When word of the capture of Fort Ti reached Congress, it ordered the fort abandoned and all military supplies removed. Protests from New York and several New England states forced Congress to reconsider, however, and on 31 May Ticonderoga was ordered to be held. Benedict Arnold found himself left in temporary command of the garrison since Allen had already grown impatient and was organizing his men for a march to Montreal.

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

|
New York