Item #63128 Letter (text in the hand of aide-de-camp Tench Tilghman) signed (“Go. Washington”), as commander-in-chief of the American Army, to General David Forman, Head Quarters, Bergen County, 4 September 1780; additionally signed by Washington on the address leaf, on the verso of an otherwise blank integral leaf. commander of American armies in the Revolutionary War, first President of the United States.

Letter (text in the hand of aide-de-camp Tench Tilghman) signed (“Go. Washington”), as commander-in-chief of the American Army, to General David Forman, Head Quarters, Bergen County, 4 September 1780; additionally signed by Washington on the address leaf, on the verso of an otherwise blank integral leaf.

Head Quarters, Bergen County, (NJ): 1780. Folio, one page, approximately 125 words, in part: “I perceive … that you had collected about two hundred Cattle more, and that a further number might be obtained … I cannot of right command the services of the militia … let the commanding officers know how distressed the Army has been and is likely to be for provisions, and that it will be rendering splendid service to us, and distressing the enemy to remove the Cattle from those parts of the Coast which furnish the [New] York Markets.” Very good. Browned, one small piece detached (one word of text, easily repaired). Item #63128

After Washington’s victory at Monmouth (June, 1778), during which battle Forman had served as an advisor to Charles Lee, the war settled into stalemate with Washington’s army in New Jersey and the British forces content to remain in New York, both sides keeping an eye on each other while trying to provide for their soldiers, the American forces suffering deprivation similar to that of Valley Forge. Meanwhile, on the day this letter was written, word reached Washington of the complete rout of Horatio Gates and his troops at Camden, South Carolina, opening Virginia to British invasion from the South. Bolstered by American victories at Kings Mountain (Oct., 1780) and Cowpens (Jan., 1781), and the depletion of Cornwallis’s army at its victory over Nathaniel Green at Guilford Court House, Washington, in conjunction with his French allies, moved south to envelop Yorktown, earning the British surrender in October, 1781, effectively ending the war. General David Forman (1745-1797), born and raised in Monmouth County, New Jersey, was appointed colonel of a New Jersey regiment that reinforced Washington at New York in June, 1776. After suppressing a loyalist uprising later that year, during which time he earned the nickname “Devil David,” he was chosen to lead a regiment in the Continental army and in 1777 was commissioned brigadier general to lead the New Jersey militia, commanding that force in the battle of Germantown (Oct., 1777). Disagreements with the New Jersey legislature led to his resignation from that command and he spent the rest of the war running listening posts, especially along the coast of New Jersey, providing Washington with intelligence on the movements of the British fleet and army, a service he was providing at the time of this letter. (see DAB) Tench Tilghman (1744-1786), born and raised in Talbot County, Maryland, graduated from the precursor to the University of Pennsylvania in 1761, taking up a mercantile business until the outbreak of the revolution. After serving briefly as a captain in the army, he joined Washington as a volunteer and served continuously as an aide-de-camp to the general for the balance of the war. “The amount of secretarial work, in addition to military duties, that he performed for Washington was prodigious” (DAB) and he was granted a regular commission of lieutenant-colonel in 1781. After the victory at Yorktown, Tilghman was chosen by Washington to carry the announcement of the surrender of Cornwallis to the Continental Congress. Provenance: When recently purchased, the letter was in an old frame and removal revealed an autograph note inside the backing [included here], as follows: “This letter was bought by me about 1860 of Miss Brown residing at 92 Columbus Street Albany [New York]. She was a sister of an old minister of St. Peters Church. This Miss Brown was a client of Orlando Meads and myself and found this letter in a barrel in the garret of the home occupied by her sister at Manalapan New Jersey formerly owned by General David Forman. [signed] Dexter Reynolds / Albany Sept. 7, 1902. Presented to my son Marcus T. Reynolds.” A newly discovered Washington letter, shedding light on the general’s relationship to state militias and his concerns for providing for his troops while disrupting the supply lines of the British. Not in Fitzgerald or the Founders Online from the National Archives (which lists 57 other Washington letters to Forman, 1777-1782, showing a gap from 24 July 1780 to 17 May 1781, and two others post-war). (9836).

Price: $35,000.00