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ROCKINGHAM CO., SHENANDOAH VALLEY OF VIRGINIA DECORATED STONEWARE JAR, salt-glazed, approximately three-gallon capacity, bold ovoid form with grooved arched handles, heavy beaded neck ring, and a medium collar with plain rim. Brushed and slip-trailed cobalt four-bloom floral spray decoration on each side, squiggle line to collar, and additional cobalt at handle terminals. Probably Andrew Coffman (1795-1853) or one of his sons, or John D. Heatwole (1826-1907), at Coffman's Beldor pottery site. 

Dimensions: 13.5" H, 9.75" D rim.

Date: Circa 1850.

Condition: Undamaged except for a small chip to exterior of rim. Outstanding color and contrast.

Literature: Form parallels Evans/Suter - Great Deal of Stone & Earthen Ware, p. 54, fig. 68. Decoration parallels ibid., p. 37, fig. 19, p. 39, fig. 24, and p. 77, fig. 129.

Sold at Jeffrey S Evans Auctions June 23, 2018.


Price Realized: $2,457

STAMPED "J.MILLER", ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA OR GEORGETOWN, DC DECORATED STONEWARE PITCHER, salt-glazed, approximately one gallon capacity, finely potted ovoid form with incised ring on shoulder and below rim, strap handle with light medial groove, straight cut-off lines under base. Brushed cobalt horizontal floral decoration to front, additional cobalt encircling the handles. James Miller (active 1797-1827), Georgetown, DC or Alexandria, VA.

Dimensions: 10.5" H, 5,375" D rim, 5.5" D base.

Date: 1820-1826.

Condition: Undamaged except for a minor chip to outer edge of rim and a light Y-shape hairline to base.

Literature: Parallels Wilder - Alexandria, Virginia Pottery, p. 63, fig. JM004. Mark as ibid., p. 318, Mk. II. Decoration parallels Hunter (ed.) - Ceramics in America 2004, p. 258, fig, 7, "James Miller, Lost Potter of Alexandria, Virginia" by Brandt Zipp and Mark Zipp.

Provenance: Recently discovered in southern Pennsylvania.

Notes: Signed James Miller vessels are extremely rare. The late Eddie Wilder recorded only two additional examples without the Alexandria stamp. This is only the second pitcher recorded with the "J. Miller" stamp.

Sold at Jeffrey S Evans Auctions June 23, 2018.


Price Realized: $3,276

RARE AND HISTORICALLY IMPORTANT AMERICAN ANTI-SLAVERY FLAG BANNER, cotton, powerful flag form, canton with stenciled eagle retaining penciled outlining, "NO UNION WITH SLAVERY" motto, and 23 stars (excluding Secessionist states at the time), fly with six black and seven white stripes, sewn hoist sleeve with likely original cord. Archivally mounted in a custom frame. Reserve.

Dimensions: 60" x 106" object, 71" x 116.25" OA.

Date: Circa 1861.

Condition: Scattered minor to moderate staining/discoloration. Small tears and losses. Not examined out of frame.

Provenance: From an important Virginia private collection. Cowan's Auctions, 11/18/05, lot 1601.

Notes: Featured on the PBS show, "History Detectives" (Episode 3, 2004), this rare artifact from the eve of the Civil War descended in the family of William Henry Duff, an Irish immigrant who is thought to have lived in Rochester, NY, in the early 1860's. Research suggests that the present banner may have been used at an Abolitionist convention held on January 11, 1861 at Corinthian Hall in Rochester, a noted center of anti-slavery activity at the time. Likely inspired by William Lloyd Garrison's "No Union with Slaveholders" motto, this banner radiates graphic power through the inclusion of the stenciled eagle, the stark palette, and the direct force of its simple four-word slogan. An important survival from a turbulent period of our country's past, the appearance of the present banner on the open market represents a rare opportunity to own an iconic piece of American history.

Sold at Jeffrey S Evans Auctions June 23, 2018.


Price Realized: $46,800

1844 HENRY CLAY PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN FLAG BANNER, printed cotton, a rare and exceedingly large example, retaining two original ties. Archivally mounted in a custom frame. Reserve.

Dimensions: 27.25" x 54.5" object, 35.75" x 63.75" OA.

Date: 1844.

Condition: Fine overall condition with minor areas of discoloration, small repair lower right corner. Not examined out of frame.

Literature: See Collins - Threads of History, p. 119 for similar examples.

Provenance: From an important Virginia private collection.

Notes: Produced for Delaware constituents in 1844, the present flag banner includes mention of Whig Party candidates Thomas Stockton, who would serve as the state's Governor, 1845-1846, and John Houston, U. S. Representative for Delaware, 1845-1851.

Sold at Jeffrey S Evans Auctions June 23, 2018.


Price Realized: $26,910

STIREWALT FAMILY, SHENANDOAH VALLEY OF VIRGINIA, PAINT-DECORATED YELLOW PINE DIMINUTIVE BOX, the hinged rectangular lid (retaining remnants of original leather hinges) over a rectangular case of dovetailed construction with original lock in place, raised on four turned and ebonized feet mortised through the bottom of the case, the edges of both lid and bottom exhibit a mid-ridge profile which extends slightly beyond the parameters of the case. Retains dry, original yellow, black, red, and white stenciled decoration against a deep green ground, design featuring characteristic eight-pointed "Virginia" stars and opposing geese. Attributed to Jacob Stirewalt (1805-1869) and/or John N. Stirewalt (1802-1836), New Market, VA.

Dimensions: 6.75" H, 10.375" W, 6" D.

Date: Circa 1840.

Condition: Very good overall condition with minor wear and discoloration, slightly heavier to lid. Hinges are historical brass replacements added adjacent to the original leather hinges.

Literature: See Moore and Goodman, "Painted Boxes and Miniature Chests from Shenandoah County, Virginia: The Stirewalt Group", The Magazine Antiques, September 2007, pp. 76-83 for similar examples and a discussion of the group.

Provenance: Property of a descendent of the original owner. Descended in the Helsley/Roller family of Shenandoah/Rockingham Counties.

Notes: This chest is one of an important group attributed to the Stirewalt family of New Market, Shenandoah Co., VA that are all linked by parallels in construction, materials, and decoration. The present box was originally owned by Joseph Helsley (1806-1869) or his wife Jemima of Conicville, located to the west of New Market. The Helselys were members of the Lutheran Church as were the Stirewalt family. The box descended to Joseph's son Jacob (1847-1915), then to his daughter Gourney (1883-1937) who married Luther Roller (1881-1951) of Mt. Crawford, VA. It was then inherited by their daughter Elizabeth Virginia Roller Anderson (1916-2004), from whom it passed to the current owner. The Roller homestead in Mt. Crawford was also the source of the Peter Bernhart fraktur/

Sold at Jeffrey S Evans Auctions June 23, 2018.


Price Realized: $38,025

MICAH WILLIAMS (AMERICAN, 1783-1837), ATTRIBUTED, FOLK ART PORTRAIT OF A MAN, oil on canvas, figure in a late Windsor side chair, seated at a table with book in hand, no signature located. Housed in an old molded-wood frame.

Dimensions: 27.5" x 25.5" sight, 33.625" x 31.625" OA.

Date: Circa 1810.

Condition: Good visual condition with scattered inpainting to figure's face (eye, lips, cheek, forehead), shoulders, arms, and hands, as well as books and background. Frame with minor wear.

Provenance: From a Chattanooga., TN collection. Descended in the Sullivan, Ditmus, and Talmadge families of New York.

Notes: A rare example in oil by an artist who typically worked in pastel.

Sold at Jeffrey S Evans Auctions June 23, 2018.


Price Realized: $4.972.50

AMERICAN SCHOOL (19TH CENTURY) FOLK ART PORTRAIT OF AN ARTIST, watercolor and pencil on laid paper, vibrant depiction, possibly a self portrait, of a young man holding an artist's brush and seated in a blue fancy chair in a room with paint-decorated wall treatment, no signature located, old backing board inscribed "James Moorfield (self portrait) / Limner & Chair decorator / C. 1820". Housed under glass in a 19th-century figured maple frame. Discovered in Kentucky.

Dimensions: 9.375" x 7.375" object, 11.75" x 9.75" OA.

Date: Circa 1820.

Condition: Very good visual condition with minor toning and discoloration. Frame with wear and losses.

Provenance: From a Cincinnati, OH private collector.

Sold at Jeffrey S Evans Auctions June 23, 2018.


Price Realized: $5,850

AMERICAN SCHOOL (18TH CENTURY) PORTRAIT OF A GENTLEMAN, oil on canvas, according to family tradition, the subject is Joseph Kellogg (New York/Massachusetts, 1691-1756), no signature located. Housed in an early painted frame with gilt molded-composition ornament.

Dimensions: 32" x 24" sight, 41.5" x 33.5" OA.

Date: Circa 1730.

Condition: (UPDATED 6/18/18) Portrait in good visual condition with moderate craquelure, lined with significant inpainting to background, sitter's visible hand and clothing. Old repair to canvas above sitter's head. Frame with minor wear and losses


Provenance: Property from the estate of Spencer Kellogg Neale, Gordonsville, VA. Descended in the Kellogg family of "Lockhaven", Buffalo, NY.

Notes: According to family tradition, the subject of the present portrait is Joseph Kellogg (1691-1756), an important settler, trader, merchant, and interpreter amongst Native American tribes of the Colonial period in New England and Canada. As a teenager, Kellogg was taken captive during the 1704 raid at Deerfield but escaped shortly thereafter. The present portrait purportedly refers to this captivity with the inclusion of the figures in the canoe in the background.

Sold at Jeffrey S Evans Auctions June 23, 2018.


Price Realized: $8,190

JOSEPH IVES (AMERICAN, 1782-1862) MIRROR MAHOGANY WALL CLOCK, rectangular inlaid walnut case having broken-arch pediment centering brass ball finial, with matching brass finials to corners, above hinged front divided into three sections, the uppermost having reverse-painted scenic decoration and gilt-painted foliate border framing an unpainted section revealing the dial, above the mirror middle section, and the lowest section having reverse-painted scenic decoration with central gilt-painted border framing unpainted section for observing pendulum when operating, the upper reverse-painted section flanked by serpentine columns, set atop reeded border flanking the lower two sections, all above faux bracket-shelf drop terminating in acorn-form finial, retains likely early surface; smoke-decorated interior, painted iron dial with Roman numerals, and lettered "JOSEPH IVES / BROOKLYN, N.Y". Retains likely original pendulum, key, and movement, lacking weights.

Dimensions: 65.5" HOA, 20" W.

Date: Circa 1825.

Condition: Case in excellent condition overall, brass ball finials with some denting, reverse-painted decoration with some flaking and losses, but overall intact, dial with expected craquelure, some flaking to painted surface between the XI and II numerals, including above and below the chapter ring. Unknown working condition, lacking weights, as described (see Catalogue Guarantee)


Provenance: Property from the estate of Spencer Kellogg Neale, Gordonsville, VA.

Sold at Jeffrey S Evans Auctions June 23, 2018.


Price Realized: $17,550

ENGLISH PEARLWARE PAINTED CERAMIC SOUP PLATE, having bright polychrome painted floral design. Unmarked.

Dimensions: 9.875" D.

Date: First quarter 19th century.

Condition: Undamaged.

Sold at Jeffrey S Evans Auctions June 23, 2018.


Price Realized: $819

BOUDINOT, ELIAS, PARTLY PRINTED VELLUM DOCUMENT SIGNED, as President of Continental Congress, military commission issued to patriot spy Caleb Brewster. Countersigned by Secretary of War Benjamin Lincoln. 1 page, 7x11.25 inches, bearing a paper seal; manuscript completions somewhat faded, Boudinot signature and seal slightly truncated at left edge, laid down on backing paper. Philadelphia, 28 April 1783.

This commission was issued to Caleb Brewster (1747-1827) of Setauket, NY, who was a central figure in Long Island's famous Culper spy ring and was recently dramatized in the television series Turn. Here he receives an appointment as a "Captain Lieutenant in the New York Regiment of Artillery."

Sold at Revolutionary and Presidential Americana from the Collection of William Wheeler III, Swann Auction Galleries, June 21, 2018.

Estimate: $2,500-3,500

Price Realized: $4,750

"LET ALL THE . . . MILITIA KEEP THEIR ARMS READY" HENRY, PATRICK. AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED, "P. Henry," as Governor, to Colonel William Fleming, anticipating the possibility of Indian attack in Montgomery County and requesting that the militia be made ready. 1 page, small 4to; remnants of prior mounting at all corners recto and at upper edge verso, faint scattered staining, faint marginal discoloration from prior matting, docketing verso, folds. Williamsburg, 17 May 1778.

"The exposed & weak situation of Montgomery County makes me dread an attack there from the Indians. I desire that you will so order matters as that speedy relief may be sent there in case the commanding officer shall call for it on an attack. For this purpose, let all the most convenient militia keep their arms ready, with every other thing necessary for acting with quickness & effect in chastizing the enemy if they visit Montgomery."

Sold at Revolutionary and Presidential Americana from the Collection of William Wheeler III, Swann Auction Galleries, June 21, 2018.

Estimate: $4,000-6,000

Price Realized: $16,250
TO IRA, BROTHER OF ETHAN ALLEN PAINE, THOMAS, BRIEF AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED, to Ira Allen ("Dear Citizen"): "I called at the Caffe Boston today, where I dined, but you were not at home,--will you call on me tomorrow morning, at 12 OClock." 1 page, oblong 8vo; remnants of prior mounting at upper edge verso, small hole from seal tear at lower center, faint scattered staining, minor bleedthrough from holograph address on verso ("Le General Allen / Americain"). [Paris], "4 Vendeimaire" [26 September] 1790s.

In 1792, the publisher of Paine's work, Rights of Man, was prosecuted by the British government for seditious libel, driving Paine to France at a time of great political foment. In 1793, his sympathies with the moderate views of the Girondin group at a time when more radical views held sway landed Paine in prison for nearly a year, where he continued writing controversial essays including Age of Reason (1794), not returning to America until 1802. 

In 1796, Ira Allen traveled to Paris and persuaded the French Directory to supply him with arms to stimulate a democratic revolution in British Canada, but his ship, Olive Branch, which carried the weapons, was captured by a British warship, and Allen spent the next year in England appealing to the government for their return. In 1798, Allen went again to France in an effort to obtain documents for his appeal, but his actions aroused the suspicion of the Directory, which had him imprisoned for almost a year, after which he returned to America.

Café Boston in Paris was an establishment frequented by English speakers critical of the French government. A police report from December 30, 1802, mentions the café: "Some middle class English people often meet at the café Boston on Vivienne Street. They speak only in their own language; our government is always the subject of their conversions, and they say nothing but bad things about it. They take great care not to be overheard" (François Victor Alphonse Aulard, Paris sous le consulat vol. III, Paris, 1906, p. 522).

Sold at Revolutionary and Presidential Americana from the Collection of William Wheeler III, Swann Auction Galleries, June 21, 2018.

Estimate: $10,000-15,000

Price Realized: $10,000
PINCKNEY LEARNS OF WASHINGTON'S DEATH PINCKNEY, CHARLES COATESWORTH, AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED, to Washington's personal secretary Tobias Lear, sending his condolences to [Washington's step-granddaughter Eleanor Parke Custis] Lewis and Mrs. Washington. 1 page, folio, with integral address leaf; faint scattered foxing, remnants of prior mounting along center vertical fold on terminal page, addressed in his hand, docketing written below address panel. "Cantonment at Harper's Ferry [VA]," 17 December 1799.

"I have this moment met your servant with a letter at this place informing me of our irreparable loss. I shall not attempt to express my feelings on this occasion: language cannot describe them. In him I have lost a friend & father. Say everything proper for me to Mrs. Washington & Mrs. Lewis. I cannot console them; but I can weep with them."

Sold at Revolutionary and Presidential Americana from the Collection of William Wheeler III, Swann Auction Galleries, June 21, 2018.

Estimate: $7,000-10,000

Price Realized: $16,250
CERTIFYING DISCHARGE OF SOLDIER FROM REVERE'S REGIMENT REVERE, PAUL, AUTOGRAPH DOCUMENT SIGNED: "I certify that Capt Philip Marett was discharged from the State Regiment of Artillery the 30th day of last Jan'y by Order of the Hon'ble Council." 1 page, 3.5 x 8.25 inches; bleedthrough from docketing affecting last few letters of signature, moderate edge toning, inkburn affecting few scattered letters, remnants of prior mounting at upper edge verso. Boston, 15 May 1779.

Philip Marett (1737-1799) was a sea captain and merchant, who, during the Revolutionary War, served as captain in the Massachusetts regiment of artillery commanded by Colonel Thomas Craft. Paul Revere served in the same regiment, first as major in May of 1776, then as lieutenant colonel beginning in November of the same year. In 1778, Revere was given command of the fortification on Castle Island in Boston harbor until September of 1779, when he was relieved of command because of allegations of misconduct during the Penobscot Expedition, July-August 1779. Revere was granted his petition for a court martial and, in 1782, he was acquitted of all charges.

Sold at Revolutionary and Presidential Americana from the Collection of William Wheeler III, Swann Auction Galleries, June 21, 2018.

Estimate: $12,000-18,000

Price Realized: $10,625
"MIDNIGHT RIDE" FOR MASSACHUSETTS (AMERICAN REVOLUTION.) PAY ORDER to express rider Jonathan Park "to enable him to defrey his Expences going express to Philadelphia." Partly-printed Document Signed by Deputy Secretary Perez Morton, Treasurer Henry Gardner, and 15 members of the Massachusetts House of Representatives. 1 page, 8.25 x 6.5 inches; moderate wear to edges, docketing and Park's receipt signature verso, folds. In a box with copious research notes. Council Chamber, 3 May 1776.

Offered here is the pay order for an express rider from Massachusetts to the Continental Congress, carrying vital military intelligence--and possibly news of the Massachusetts Declaration of Independence.

On 3 May 1776, the Massachusetts legislature reported: "A letter from the Committee of Salem, by Express, informing the Court that they had received Intelligence that a Fleet of sixty Sail Transports under Command of Lord Howe, having on Board 12,000 Hessians, together with twenty-seven Commissioners, were spoke with at Sea, and bound to Boston; and that General Burgoyne, with four Thousand Hanovarians, was going to Quebec." Recognizing the importance of this news, they immediately ordered the news sent to the Continental Congress, as well as neighboring governors and General Washington, and decided "to employ Express to carry such Letters." That day, the present order was signed to pay Jonathan Park £12 "to enable him to defrey his Expences going express to Philadelphia." 

Other express riders took about 5 days to complete the Boston-Philadelphia route, so Park was probably at Congress with his news by 9 May. His news of Hessian troops may have influenced the 15 May "Resolution on Independent Governments," an important step toward the national Declaration of Independence: "The whole force of that kingdom, aided by foreign mercenaries, is to be exerted for the destruction of the good people of these colonies." We have proof that Park reached Philadelphia before May 16, 1776. On that date, we know John Hancock wrote a response to the Massachusetts Assembly, responding to their war news with his own rumors gathered in Philadelphia: "The British nation have proceeded to the last extremity, and have actually taken into pay a large number of foreign troops." He concluded his letter with a postscript: "I have advanc'd Mr. Jona. Park the Express Twelve dollars, which I have charg'd to the province." 

The week of Jonathan Park's ride to Washington was momentous in the history of the Revolution. On 1 May, just two days before his ride, the Massachusetts council passed a de facto declaration of independence, removing the King's name from its official documents. We don't know how the news of this momentous decision made its way to Philadelphia. If it hadn't already gone out by the continental post or by another express rider, it's quite possible Park might have also carried his news to the Continental Congress as well.

This document, completed on a printed form for the "Colony of Massachusetts-Bay," was signed by several notable early patriots. Perez Morton (1751-1837) later served for many years as the state's Attorney General. Among the representatives who also signed this document were James Otis Sr. (1702-1778), future governor James Bowdoin (1726-1790), Harvard professor John Winthrop (1714-1779), and future Congressman Samuel Holten (1738-1816).

with--a printed volume containing the legislature's order to send an express rider: A Journal of the Honorable House of Representatives . . . of Massachusetts-Bay. 322; 200, 221-277 pages as issued. 2 volumes in one. 4to, modern small folio (11x8 inches); first 6 leaves defective with loss of a few words and conserved, intermittent dampstaining and foxing, intermittent worming (heavy in second volume). [Watertown and Boston, MA: Benjamin Edes, 1776]. The first volume begins during the Siege of Boston, with very frequent mention of General Washington and other military matters. The British evacuated Boston on March 17, 1776. Two days later, the House passed an order to secure a list of Loyalists remaining in the town, and the next day they addressed the Boston's smallpox epidemic. Paul Revere is mentioned at least twice, once with his appointment as major on page II:106, and the other when he was replaced on page 275. Most notably, it contains the documentation of the express ride to Philadelphia on pages II:238-9, quoted above.

Sold at Revolutionary and Presidential Americana from the Collection of William Wheeler III, Swann Auction Galleries, June 21, 2018.

Estimate: $20,000-30,000

Price Realized: $13,750
SENDING SON TO CARE FOR GRIEVING AND AILING SLAVES JACKSON, ANDREW, AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED, as President, to his adoptive son Andrew Jackson, Jr., relaying a report from [Jackson's nephew Andrew Jackson] Donelson that the corn and cotton crop yield is good and that negroes at the Hermitage have died or are ailing, requesting that he go to the Hermitage to care for them, and inquiring about the check Andrew J. Crawford issued to pay for a colt. 2 1/2 pages, 4to, written on a folded sheet; loss to lower portion of terminal page (not affecting text), faint scattered dampstaining, expert repair to complete closed separation at horizontal fold on terminal page, moderate toning to upper and side edges. Washington, 2 September 1833.

"Major Donelson returned late last night, and from his report, I think it will be well, for you to visit the Hermitage as early as your convenience, & the season will permit. The Major says, two of your young negroes died whilst he was there, but does not know their ages or names--that Lindy, and Alabama Sally, were sick, and Hanna, Dicks eldest daughter was still confined with her hip--he says that the negroes appear as they were entirely abandoned by their owners, and in a state of despair. These considerations will make it necessary, as I cannot go, that you should, and remain at least a while, to encourage & convince them that we are constantly watching over them, and their good treatment, and will not permit them to be ill treated or misused. 

"Major Donelson informs that our crop is good, the corn good, and the cotton supposed to average 800 to the acre--this, if it can be taken in early, well handled and sold at the present price, will produce at our landing seven thousand dollars. . . . 

"It appears that Mr. Andrew J. Crawford has sold to Major Henry Rutledge a tract of land for his son upon his paying us $600 for the third colt. Mr. Rutledge has sent on a check for the amount . . . ."

Sold at Revolutionary and Presidential Americana from the Collection of William Wheeler III, Swann Auction Galleries, June 21, 2018.

Estimate: $3,500-5,000

Price Realized: $9,375
WASHINGTON, GEORGE. FRANKING SIGNATURE, "G:Washington," as Commander-in-Chief, on an address leaf addressed to Governor Caesar Rodney in an unknown hand. Docketing at lower edge, written vertically, in Rodney's hand: "West Point / Sept. 1779 / Army likely to want flour & on the subject of officers who have broken their Paroles." 7.25 x11.75 inches; holes at 4 fold intersections, loss from seal tear at lower edge, irregular upper edge, faint scattered foxing and soiling. [West Point, 1779].

On August 26, 1779, Washington wrote from West Point to Rodney regarding officers in Delaware violating parole.

Sold at Revolutionary and Presidential Americana from the Collection of William Wheeler III, Swann Auction Galleries, June 21, 2018.

Estimate: $4,000-6,000

Price Realized: $13,750

ANS, 6 x 7.25 in., Ticonderoga, August 18, 1775. Signed "Richd. Montgomery, Brig. Genl." Addressed to Major Elmore or Officer Commanding Crown Point.

You will please to order the sloop to sail immediately with Majr. Brown & John Baptiste Fere(?) if the wind permit - if not - Majr. Brown is to be furnished with a boat & such party as he requires. I am Sr. Your most obt. Srvt. Richd. Montgomery, Brig. Genl.

After the appointment of George Washington to lead the Continental Army, Congress commissioned Philip Schuyler as Major General and Richard Montgomery as a Brigadier and deputy to Schuyler. The two were given the goal of invading Canada. Troops began assembling at Fort Ticonderoga.

Schuyler decided to petition the Six Nations (Iroquois) to remain neutral during the military operations. On 27 August 1775, Schuyler wrote to George Washington: "I left Ticonderoga on thursday the 17th Instant and hoped to have returned in four days, but on my arrival at Saratoga I received Information that a large body of Indians of the Six nations were to be here as on tuesday last, And that my presence was Indispensibly necessary....

"I thank your Excellency for the honor you have done me in communicating me your plan for an Expedition Into Canada. The Inclosed Information of Fere's which Corroborates not only the Information of Major Brown, that Contained in the two Affiidavits of Duguid & Sharford, but Every other we have had leaves not a trace of doubt on my mind as to the propriety of going into Canada... And I have Accordingly since my Arrival here, requested Gen: Montgomery to get every thing in the best readiness he could, for that I would move Immediately...."

Clearly this communication is part of that process, as Montgomery is getting Fere and Brown in place. This note was written the day after Schuyler left for Saratoga. Brown had been spying in Canada, and on September 17th with 80 men he attacked Fort St. John, but was driven back. He had, however, destroyed a key bridge and captured supplies intended for the fort, so it was not totally unsuccessful. A month later, with a larger force that included 300 Canadians, Brown laid siege to Fort Chambly. The second action was successful, and Fort St. John followed shortly after.

The Americans then attacked Montreal and it, too, fell. The Continentals then turned their attention to Quebec, but it was getting late in the year, the army was ill-prepared for winter, and many men returned home to wait for better conditions. Many more had enlistments that expired in the new year. So on New Year's Eve, December 31, Brown made a diversionary attack on the upper city while Montgomery, along with Benedict Arnold, attacked the lower town. Montgomery was killed in the first volley from the walled town. Arnold was wounded, Brown failed, handing the Continentals their first major defeat of the Revolutionary War.

John Brown of Pittsfield (1744-1780) was also a Massachusetts judge and legislator, as well as an Army officer. He participated later in Burgoyne's invasion of the United States. He later was the first to bring charges against Benedict Arnold.

Richard Montgomery (1736-1775) was born in Ireland. After attending Trinity College, where he earned a reputation as being very studious, spending much of his time in the library. He enlisted in the British army after Trinity, and came with his regiment to North America during the French and Indian War. He returned to England in 1765, but after leaving service in 1772, he came to America to settle.

Condition: Scattered foxing, old folds. Generally good condition.

Sold at Cowan's Auction June 22, 2018.

Price Realized: $11,070

UNIQUE FOLK ART CARVED WOODEN RELIC, in the form of a large handled instrument with wooden and metal tines, 13.25 in. ln. An anchor surrounded by leaves as well as the following name is carved in low relief along the top of the handle: "Captain Mitford. Royal Navy." The underside of the handle features a highly detailed carving of a seahorse, with intricate, low relief carvings below the seahorse's head, including arms holding up a boar's head on a dagger, a shield decorated with turtles, and floral and leaf motifs. The date "1810" is carved below the seahorse's long tail. The following phrases are carved along each side of the top of the handle's thin rim, one side carved in the French language, with translations included: "Cut by Henrion Whilst Prisoner on the Island of Cabrera / Grotto"; and "Hannibals Espoir [Hope] / La Misere est la Mere de L'Industrie [Misery is the Mother of Industry]." With the words "Jilblas" and "Santillan" carved along each side of the curved end of the fork-like portion of the instrument. This may be a reference to L'Histoire de Gil Blas de Santillane, a picaresque novel by Alain-René Lesage published between 1715 and 1735.

The name "Captain Mitford," likely refers to John, or Jack, Mitford, (1782-1831) a British naval officer, poet, and journalist who is best known for writing the book, The Adventures of Johnny Newcome in the Navy. He served with the Royal Navy from 1795-1811, participating in both the French Revolutionary Wars as well as the Napoleonic Wars. In 1810, the date referenced on the carved instrument, Mitford served as acting-master of the brig Philomel in the Mediterranean.

While no further information has been discovered regarding the carver, "Henrion," he was almost certainly one of the 9,000+ French prisoners of war that were exiled to the bleak Island of Cabrera in the Mediterranean following their surrender to Spanish forces at the Battle of Bailen. This was the first ever open field defeat of the Napoleonic army that occurred in July 1808. By the time the prisoners were repatriated to France after Napoleon’s defeat five years later, their number had dwindled to approximately 2,500.

Provenance: Property of N. Flayderman & Co. 

Condition: Flayderman inventory number inked on underside of fork-like carving. With some tarnish to metal, few spots on fork-like carving. Few minor chips in carving.

Sold at Cowan's Auction June 22, 2018.

Price Realized: $1,320

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