June 24 & 25, 2022: 42nd Semi-Annual Premier Americana Auction
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 6/25/2022
GEORGE WASHINGTON REVOLUTIONARY WAR DOUBLE SIGNED LETTER FROM VALLEY FORGE, one page on bifolium stationery with integral address leaf addressed to Col. Alex. McLanachan [sic], 7th Virginia Regt., near Staunton, Augusta, franked "Go Washington" lower left edge, the letter written from Headquarters, Valley Forge, 25th March 1778, reads "Sir, As the time for which you had leave of absence must have expired, I desire that you will immediately on the receipt of this repair to your respective Regt in camp. But should Governor Henry have requested you to undertake the direction of forwarding the drafts & others coming from the State or have given you any orders of that kind, I wish you to pay the strictest attention to them & in that case desire you will inform me by letter without loss of time, I am sir, your mo. Obet. Servt, (signed) Go. Washington", retains original red wax seal in two parts on address fold. Conservation framed under glass in 1998. Reserve.

Condition : Flattened mail folds, with light toning and minor foxing, paper loss where the seal was broken, not affecting the text, some chipping to upper edge of address panel, not affecting text. 1998 conservation report from Susan L. Duhl accompanies lot.

Circa : 1778.

Item Dimensions: 9 1/4" x 15 1/4" sheet.

Provenance : From the collection of H. C. Stuart and Emily Cochran, Stuart House, Staunton, VA. Property descended in the family of Archibald Stuart (1757-1832).

Estimate : 20000 - 30000

Catalog Note : Catalogue Note: The present letter stands as an important document from a critical moment in the nation's early history. The letter's recipient, Alexander McClanahan (abt. 1732-1797), was an Irish immigrant whose family settled in Augusta Co., Virginia in the 1740s. McLanahan served in numerous engagements during the French and Indian War and was intimately involved in the military affairs of western Virginia at the start of the Revolution, even rising to the rank of Colonel by 1777. In the present letter, Washington implores him to return to camp and resume his duties at Valley Forge, unless Governor Henry, who was related to McLanahan's wife, has instructed him otherwise. Despite Washington's urging, McLanahan resigned his commission a month later, citing bad health as cause. Demonstrating Washington's exceptional skills as a writer, this simple message to return to duty is issued with laser clarity while imbued with a gentlemanly tone. Likely penned at a psychological turning point for the nation's leading military figure, when the army under his command was beginning to take on a more modern form, under new authority issued by the Continental Congress and with the able assistance of Frederich Wilhelm Von Stueben (1730-1794) in the Valley Forge encampment, this brief missive written at a time of deep uncertainty nonetheless conveys confidence. Signed twice and retaining portions of its original seal with text that refers to then-Governor Patrick Henry, this newly discovered letter, completely fresh to the market, is an incredibly rare document from the hand of this nation's first leader, issued at a time when the fate of the very nation itself was in doubt.
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Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $10,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium: $43,400.00
Estimate: $20,000.00 - $30,000.00
Number Bids:17