Epistles Domestic, Confidential, and Official, from General Washington, George Washington.
Epistles Domestic, Confidential, and Official, from General Washington,

Epistles Domestic, Confidential, and Official, from General Washington,. Written about the Commencement of the American Contest, when He Entered on the Command of the Army of the United States...

New York: Printed by G. Robinson...and J. Bull...and sold by James Rivington, 1796. 1st Edition. Octavo, contemporary three-quarter green morocco gilt over marbled paper boards, raised bands.

First edition of this collection of Washington's correspondence with British and American dignitaries (including Admirals Arbuthnot and Digby, Henry Clinton, Cornwallis, Guy Carleton, Lafayette and Alexander Hamilton), written from 1779 to 1783, the latter part of his tenure as Commander in Chief of the Continental Army during the American Revolution. The collection, published as a supplement to Washington's Original Letters to the Congress (1795), which covered the years 1775-1778, is notable for containing seven "spurious letters" (pp. [4]-66), Tory forgeries that had previously circulated in which Washington appears to express doubts about the Revolution, and which he disavowed in a communication to Secretary of State Timothy Pickering, asserting "that he had never seen or heard of them until they appeared in print" (Evans 30392). Howes W133. Sabin 101742. Pages 206-208 misnumbered (as issued). Lacking frontispiece portrait and blank leaf following xiv (as is often the case). Also lacking is a printed leaf with Washington's statement regarding the forgeries, which was printed later and inserted into unsold copies. Early owner inscriptions to front free endpaper. Light foxing (somewhat heavier to preliminary leaves); light rubbing and shelfwear to boards. Withal, an excellent copy in contemporary binding. Item #597


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