Lot #509
Richard Montgomery Autograph Letter Signed

Richard Montgomery, a "Citizen reduced to the melancholy necessity of taking up arms for the publick safety," assumes his place as the Continental Army's second-ranking brigadier general in 1775
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Estimate: $12000+

Description

Richard Montgomery, a "Citizen reduced to the melancholy necessity of taking up arms for the publick safety," assumes his place as the Continental Army's second-ranking brigadier general in 1775

Career soldier (1738-1775) who served as a general in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War, most famous for leading the unsuccessful 1775 invasion of Quebec, where he was killed in action. Extremely rare Revolutionary War-dated ALS signed “R. M.,” one page, 7.5 x 9.5, [docketed July 21, 1775 on the reverse]. Handwritten letter to Continental Congressman James Duane, in full: "I have been favoured with your letter of 21st inst. My acknowledgments are due for the attention shewn me by Congress. I submit with great chearfulness to any regulation they in their prudence shall judge expedient—laying aside the punctilio of the Soldier, I shall endeavour to discharge my duty to Society considering myself only as the Citizen reduced to the melancholy necessity of taking up arms for the publick safety." In very good to fine condition, with a chip to the bottom edge, some scattered staining, and professional restoration to areas of paper loss. Ex. The James S. Copley Library, Sotheby's, April 2010.

The New York Provincial Congress commissioned Montgomery as a brigadier general on June 7, 1775, and the Continental Congress approved the nomination on June 22nd. Though an experienced professional soldier, Montgomery was reluctant to serve; he wrote to Robert Livingston: 'The Continental Congress have done me the melancholy honour of appointing me a brigadier. I am most truly at the public service, but could have wished to have served in a private capacity.' Duane had written to Montgomery to explain why, despite being the most qualified of all candidates, he was given the second-ranking brigadier general's position rather than the first—assuring him that it was chiefly a political matter, not a personal rebuff. Called to serve the patriot cause, Montgomery modestly obliged. A rare and significant autograph letter from the outset of the Revolutionary War.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Fine Autograph and Artifacts, Ft. Revolutionary War
  • Dates: #612 - Ended July 14, 2021





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