21
21
Arnold, Benedict, Continental General and Traitor
Estimate
25,00035,000
LOT SOLD. 53,125 USD
JUMP TO LOT
21
Arnold, Benedict, Continental General and Traitor
Estimate
25,00035,000
LOT SOLD. 53,125 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

The JAMES S. COPLEY LIBRARY: MAGNIFICENT AMERICAN HISTORICAL DOCUMENTS: FIRST SELECTION

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New York

Arnold, Benedict, Continental General and Traitor
Autograph letter signed ("Benedict Arnold Collo"), one page (13 x 7 15/16 in.; 330 x 200 mm), Williamstown, Massachusetts, 7 May 1775, to the Committee of Safety at Albany, requesting provisions to be sent to Lake George for his men, now marching toward Fort Ticonderoga, integral address leaf and docket; laid down on another sheet of paper (but revealing address leaf and docket), light browning, several closed marginal and fold tears (one tear touching two words).  Blue cloth folding-case, blue morocco spine; spine lightly sunned.
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Literature

Published in Randall, Benedict Arnold. Patriot and Traitor (1990), p. 88

Catalogue Note

The trek of America's Hannibal to capture Ticonderoga. To the Albany Committee of Safety, the newly commissioned Colonel Arnold writes: "Being appointed, by the Congress of the Province of Massachusetts Bay, Commander of a Number of Troops, Now on their March, for the Reduction of the Fort at Ticonderoga, & having Directions, & Authority from the Committee of Safety to supply the Troops with Provisions &c. I now take the Liberty to Request you to forward [to] Lake George, Twenty Barrells Pork, Forty Hundred Good Bisquet. If not to be procured imediately Flower in Lieu therof. also, One Hogshead Rum—& that you will give Directions in Case we Succeed in the Reduction of the Place, to have a sufficient Number of Carriages ready at Fort George, to Transport Thirty Pieces of Cannon of 18 lbs & 24 lbs to Albany, which will be of the utmost Consequence to the Army at Cambridge, & for which I have [the] General's Particular Authority."

On 3 May, Arnold persuaded the Massachusetts Committee of Safety to let him lead an expedition against Ticonderoga and seize the cannon and ordnance stored there.  He was commissioned a colonel and authorized to raise 400 men. Before leaving Williamstown, Arnold learned that Ethan Allen and a force of  about 150 men were heading toward Lake Champlain without waiting for their rations of biscuits and salt pork, whence the need for Arnold to order a ten-day supply of provisions ordered be sent on to Lake George. On the evening of 9 May, Arnold reached Allen and claimed command. Allen's Green Mountain Boys refused to follow Arnold and threatened to return home.  A scheme of joint command was parlayed. At about 4 o'clock in the morning on 10 May, Arnold and Allen, with only a third of their men, seized the commandant of the garrison, Captain Delaplace, without so much as firing a shot. Allen's boastful account of the attack did not include Arnold as a participant. It was one of the first of many slights that Arnold would suffer before finally trading his American commission in for a British one.

 

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

|
New York