66
66
Gerry, Elbridge, Signer of the Declaration of Independence from Massachusetts
Estimate
4,0006,000
LOT SOLD. 10,000 USD
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66
Gerry, Elbridge, Signer of the Declaration of Independence from Massachusetts
Estimate
4,0006,000
LOT SOLD. 10,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

The JAMES S. COPLEY LIBRARY: MAGNIFICENT AMERICAN HISTORICAL DOCUMENTS: FIRST SELECTION

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New York

Gerry, Elbridge, Signer of the Declaration of Independence from Massachusetts
Autograph letter signed ("E Gerry"), 4 pages (8 x 6 1/4 in.; 204 x 158 mm), Philadelphia, 27 June 1777, to John Wendell (in Portsmouth, New Hampshire); formerly folded, a few tiny spots at edge. Red half-morocco drop-box, gilt-stamped title on spine.
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Literature

Letters of Delegates to Congress, vol. 7, p. 258

Catalogue Note

Gerry anticipates the entry of France into the war and an attack on Ticonderoga.

Writing to his friend John Wendell (1731–1808), a real estate lawyer, "Your suggestions relative to ye Friendship of France are undoubtedly well grounded, & if policy of that Court induces her to avoid a Declaration of War as long as possible, well knowing that whilst G. Britain is daily exhausting her resources & growing feeble, France is increasing in Strength & will be more able to give a severe blow. But her measures of late have been so unreserved, that the british court cannot avoid a declaration of War, if they possess a Shadow of that Spirit to which they have made such pretentions."

Gerry expects that Spain and Portugal would, in that event, enter on the side of France, and the Ottoman Empire ("ye porte") and Russia, already in dispute, will join "which will make ye War general. This at present is but Speculation..."

He is pleased with Washington's tactics with respect to the force of General Howe: "The spirit shown by ye Jersey Militia upon ye Movement of General Howe is a favorable Circumstance to our affairs, & greatly tends to intimidate our Enemies. He marched with but part of his Army to Somerset Court House, about ten miles from Brunswick in hopes of tempting our General to immediate action: but this being avoided, untill a body of Troops that were posted at Peeks Kill could reinforce our Army & ye Militia be collected, Mr. Howe then thot [sic] it not for his Interest to risque a Battle, & retired to Amboy." He praises Washington's forbearance as an immediate attack might have given Howe a chance to join additional troops in Brunswick.

Finally, Gerry addresses his friend as a son of New Hampshire: "An attack may be expected on Tyconderoga: I hope ye Newhampshire Battalions have their complement of men, or that their Deficiency is supplyed with Militia, as ye carrying that post may give spirit to ye Enemy & bring War nearer to our Door."

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

|
New York