Lot 242: Continental Army officer (1743–1827) who saw action at Bunker Hill and White Plains, and wintered with George Washington at Valley Forge; he was later a member of the Society of Cincinnati. Scarce Revolutionary War–dated ALS, two pages, 8.25 x 13, June 26, 1777. Letter to General Benjamin Lincoln. In full: "Received yours dated Mount Pleasant June 6, 1777 which confirmed my opinion concerning the disposition of the army—it gave one as sensible pains that a gentleman, whom I must revere, should have the least cause of complaint, as it did pleasure to receive a line from your honor. The State of the Massachusetts Bay, after confirming with General Heath, by a committee as I understand, did agree to raise two Battalions for one year. I don't know the names of the officers that were appointed for them excepting of Colonel Robinson of Concord, I believe, this I know I was not one, although Colonel Lovell mentioned my name to Mr. Partridge the chairman of the committee for that purpose. Most of the recruits for the several regiments raised here are marched excepting Colonel Lee's & Jackson's which I am informed are to Tarry here at present & who recruit very slow. The mercantile interest seems to have gotten into the hands of strangers here, or rather, we have griping peddlers instead of honest merchants; The civil authority weak; & policy mostly confined to particular interests. I am now in Colonel Greaton regiment, which I hear is at Fort Constitution near Peekskill, where I expect to be in fifteen days; should be glad they were at head quarters. As soon as I get home from the Jerseys, Colonel Crane asked me to take the Lieutenant Colonelcy in his regiment, which was agreeable to me; & the whole corps of officers were contenting, & which place I am yet fond of filling; but it seems it would not answer whether my incapacity or bad service were the reasons, I cannot tell. Colonel Crane is determined if possible, that I shall come in yet, to whom I must refer your honor, for more particulars in this affair, & shall thank you sir if you think I shall serve my country in that place as well as another, to give him your influence & support. I must ask forgiveness for taking up too much of your time about myself. I only crave the exercise of that candor which is so eminent in General Lincoln." In very good condition, with a dark stain to the upper left corner, scattered toning and light foxing, and a repaired tear and small area of paper loss to the left margin from seal removal. Popkin was aide to General Lincoln at Saratoga and, shortly after writing this letter, was indeed commissioned lieutenant-colonel of Crane's artillery regiment on July 15, 1777. An uncommon autograph enhanced by its excellent content.
RR Auction's Fine Autographs and Artifacts Auction 467
Wednesday, 13th January 2016
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