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Lot #292
Horatio Gates

An olive branch? “Present my compliments ... particularly to the House of Washington”

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An olive branch? “Present my compliments ... particularly to the House of Washington”

Brigadier general in the Continental Army (1726–1806) who proved himself a capable administrator and who played a major role in the American victory at Saratoga in 1777. In 1778, he permitted his name to be associated with the “Conway Cabal,” a plot to have Gates supplant Washington as commander in chief; though not formally implicated, Gates never truly regained Washington’s friendship or trust, and his role in the war was thereafter greatly reduced. He retired to his Virginia plantation in 1783. ALS, one page, 8 x 9.75, January 11, 1796. Gates writes from New York to James Wormley. In full: “I received your obliging letter from the hands of Mr. Strickland, who fully answered every encomium you introduced him with. I was well acquainted with some of his intimate friends in Yorkshire, he possesses so little time in New York that I could never find him sufficiently disengaged to dine at Rose Hill though I did all in my power to induce it; we frequently met and once we dined together at a Club, which is held every Saturday near my house. I have been looking out for you and Mrs. Wormley, as you said you should be on your way to Boston this fall. Present my compliments to Mrs. Wormley, and say that I wish to hear her melodious voice at Rose Hill. I have read with attention Mr. Randolph’s Pamphlet & from so able a defence, I am convinced he had most degrading and most undeserved treatment, & this, I trust will be the sentiment of every impartial Judge—& every Friend of this Country—I write by this conveyance to your Brother John….” After signing, Gates adds a postscript: “When you see them present my compliments to all old friends, & neighbors; and particularly to the House of Washington.” In very good condition, with letter and cover hinged along one edge to album page, intersecting folds (very slightly touching first letter of signature), mild scattered soiling with a few faint spots of foxing, and expertly repaired tear to left edge touching a few words. The signature is dark, clear, and otherwise unaffected. Auction LOA John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA and R&R COA.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title:
  • Dates: #333 - Ended May 14, 2008