VERY FINE. A RARE REVOLUTIONARY WAR LETTER SIGNED BY GEORGE WASHINGTON AT WEST POINT IN 1779, DISCUSSING SENSITIVE INFORMATION RELATING TO MOVEMENT OF THE BRITISH FLEET. A WONDERFUL HISTORICAL ITEM.
George Washington considered West Point to be a strategically important location, from which the British could potentially control the Hudson River and split the colonies. In 1778 the Americans began building permanent fortifications. In June 1779, two smaller forts twelve miles away were overtaken by the British but were quickly recaptured.
The same day this letter was written, Washington wrote another to Congress (source: George Washington Papers, Series 3, Varick Transcripts, 1775-1785, Subseries 3A, Continental Congress, 1775-1783, Letterbook 5: Nov. 2, 1779 - Feb. 27, 1781). In that letter, Washington discusses Count D'Estaing and his hopes that operations to the south would have proceeded at a faster pace, allowing D'Estaing's fleet and forces to land to contribute to a possibly decisive victory. Washington also writes that it is getting too late in the season for a decisive victory, and he asks Congress to decide whether the cooperation should be abandoned. It is clear the letter to Congress was prompted by the information received on the 11th, to which the letter offered here was Washington's reply.
VERY FINE APPEARANCE. A RARE GEORGE WASHINGTON FREE FRANK AS COMMANDING GENERAL OF THE CONTINENTAL ARMY, SENT FROM WINTER ENCAMPMENT IN NEW JERSEY IN EARLY 1777.
Following the victories at the Battles of Trenton in December 1776 and Princeton in January 1777, Washington led his troops to nearby Morristown. The forces remained there for the duration of winter, from January until May 1777.
Captain and later Major Tallmadge is known for his service as an officer in the Continental Army during the War. He acted as leader of the Culper Ring, a celebrated network of spies in British-occupied New York, dramatized in the television series "Turn." He also led a successful raid across Long Island that culminated in the Battle of Fort St. George. Following the war, Tallmadge was elected to the United States House of Representatives as a member of the Federalist Party (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benjamin_Tallmadge).
FRESH AND VERY FINE JOHN ADAMS FREE FRANK, MAILED FIVE YEARS AFTER THE END OF HIS PRESIDENCY.
The Act of March 2, 1799, granted ex-Presidents free franking privileges. President Washington used this privilege for only a little more than nine months, until his death on December 14, 1799. When John Adams sent this letter, he was the only living ex-President.
Illustrated in Chronicle No. 264 (p. 324)
VERY FINE AND CHOICE JOHN ADAMS FREE FRANK.
The recipient, Jeremy Belknap, was an American clergyman and historian, known for his History of New Hampshire, which was published in three volumes between 1784 and 1792. This work is regarded as the first modern history written by an American, and embodied a new rigor in research, annotation, and reporting (source: Wikipedia). Belknap died in 1798, so this free frank could have been sent while Adams was President (or Vice President)
FINE COVER WITH A BOLD THOMAS JEFFERSON FREE FRANK.
Jefferson died on July 4, 1826, the same day that fellow founding father, long-time friend and one-time political enemy, John Adams died, and 50 years to the day after the celebrated "signing" of the Declaration of Independence
FRESH AND VERY FINE ABRAHAM LINCOLN FREE FRANK, SENT AS PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES TO A SENATE ALLY IN WASHINGTON.
Henry Bowen Anthony was a prominent Whig and later Republican politician, serving as Governor of Rhode Island, U.S. Senator and Senate President pro tempore. At the time of his death in 1884, he was one of the longest serving senators in history
VERY FINE. AN ATTRACTIVE NOTE WRITTEN, SIGNED AND DATED BY ABRAHAM LINCOLN SHORTLY AFTER HIS ELECTION TO A SECOND TERM.
The card is on paper (held in place with small slits so no residue or other evidence on card of mounting). Accompanied by two newspaper clippings noting Miss Mollie Rhodes of Fairfax C.H. Va. pushed her way past the guards and saw Lincoln. She told him the story of her family which left their plantation in Virginia to move north at the start of the war but were now destitute. He admired her spirit and wrote this note. She got the job and they let her keep the note.
VERY FINE. AN ATTRACTIVE EXAMPLE OF LINCOLN'S SIGNATURE WITH HIS NOTE INSTRUCTING THAT A REBEL SOLDIER BE DISCARGED UPON SWEARING AN OATH TO THE UNITED STATES. A WONDERFUL ARTIFACT.
On December 8, 1863 Lincoln issued a "Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction", which provided for a general pardon to soldiers and some officials in the Confederacy upon swearing an oath of allegiance to the United States. The Oath reads in part: "I, [name], do solemnly swear, in the presence of Almighty God, that I will henceforth faithfully support, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, and the union of states thereunder; and that I will, in like manner, abide and faithfully support all acts of Congress passed during the existing rebellion with reference to slaves...and that I will, in like manner, abide by and faithfully support all proclamations of the President made during the existing rebellion having reference to slaves...So help me God.” Lincoln signed a number of these notes in early 1865, before his assassination in April. They are very desirable artifacts of Civil War history.
VERY FINE. A RARE CALVIN COOLIDGE FRANKING SIGNATURE AS PRESIDENT.
Free franking privileges were no longer necessary for presidents after Ulysses Grant changed the system. Penalty envelopes took their place, and presidents were given the free franking privilege for life after they left office. Included in Stern's book
FRESH AND EXTREMELY FINE. AN EXCEEDINGLY RARE F.D.R. PRESIDENTIAL FREE FRANK. ONLY APPROXIMATELY HALF A DOZEN ARE KNOWN.
Presidents of the United States enjoyed the franking privilege until 1873, when it was abolished and the Executive Department Official stamps were issued (and later penalty envelopes). Although Congress has retained the free frank under various rules and regulations, it was never again granted to a sitting president of the United States. This free frank by President Roosevelt was technically a violation of the law