Unique George Washington letter written in 1777 in which he says God and Heaven back American independence emerges for sale for the first time

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  • Letter written by George Washington successful 1777, thought lost, goes up for sale
  • Letter is only Washington missive from Revolutionary War mentioning 'Heaven'
  • It has been weighted astatine $275,000 by auction location Raab Collection successful Philadelphia 

By Miriam Kuepper and Jacob Judah

Published: 12:48 EDT, 28 September 2023 | Updated: 12:48 EDT, 28 September 2023

A unsocial missive written by George Washington successful which he says that God and Heaven supported American independency has gone connected sale, aft historians thought it lost.

Written successful October 1777, soon aft Washington heard astir nan first triumph complete British troops during nan Revolutionary War, went connected waste successful Philadelphia yesterday.

The auction house, Raab Collection, acquired it from descendants of its recipient Brigadier General James Potter.

It had been successful nan possession of Potter’s descendants for astir 250 years and is weighted astatine $275,000. Potter was a assemblage and revolutionary-era leader from Pennsylvania, that assumed important commands during nan Revolutionary War.

This missive is unsocial arsenic it is nan only 1 successful which Washington is known to person mentioned ‘Heaven’ during nan war.

This missive is unsocial arsenic it is nan only 1 successful which Washington is known to person mentioned ‘Heaven’ during nan war

It was written successful October 1777, soon aft Washington heard astir nan first triumph complete British troops during nan Revolutionary War

The Battle of Saratoga, New York, was nan first by revolutionary troops complete nan British

Washington put pen-to-paper soon aft proceeding astir nan result of nan Battle of Saratoga, successful October 1777, nan first triumph of revolutionary troops complete nan British.

Jubilant, Washington wrote that ‘this singular favour of Providence is to beryllium received pinch thankfulness and nan happy infinitesimal which Heaven has pointed retired for nan patient constitution of American Liberty.’

While nan contents of nan missive had been known to scholars, nan original archive was thought lost.

Washington urged his chap Americans to support independency successful nan letter, which was sent from adjacent Philadelphia connected October 18, 1777.

'This letter, successful its beauty, draws together galore of nan threads of American experience: God, patriotism, victory, destiny,' said Nathan Raab, main astatine The Raab Collection and writer of The Hunt for History.

'Its find is exciting, and impervious that Washington's words proceed to inspire,’ he added.

Written successful October 1777, soon aft Washington recovered retired astir nan result of nan Battle of Saratoga, makes clear that he understood its importance

The Raab Collection was incapable to find immoderate different specified missive of Washington from that time arsenic having.

It was written soon aft Washington was defeated by British troops astatine nan Battle of Germantown, adjacent Philadelphia. His dejected temper was raised by accusation from Saratoga.

Many historians see nan Battle of Saratoga a turning constituent successful nan war, and nan connection successful nan missive indicates that its value was clear to Washington astatine nan time.

Beyond celebrating nan conflict and nan revolutionary cause, Washington instructed Potter to proceed moving to disrupt British proviso lines.

The missive successful full 

Sir, I congratulate you upon nan glorious successes of our Arms successful nan north, an relationship of which is inclosed - This singular favour of Providence is to beryllium received pinch thankfulness and nan happy infinitesimal which Heaven has pointed retired for nan patient constitution of American Liberty ought to beryllium embraced pinch becoming tone - it is incumbent upon each man of power successful his Country to prevail upon nan Militia to return nan section pinch that power which nan coming situation evidently demands. 

I person nary uncertainty of your exerting yourself successful this measurement – In nan Post which you now inhabit you whitethorn render nan astir important Services by cutting disconnected nan Enemies Convoys and Communications pinch their Fleet, for this intent you should strain each nerve. 

There is different point which I would propose and time off you to judge of nan practicability of it – I deliberation that you mightiness harass nan parties of nan Enemy connected Province Island successful specified a mode arsenic to nutrient a awesome Diversion successful favour of Fort Mifflin – Let maine again entreat you and done your intends each 1 of immoderate power among nan Militia, to exert it to nan utmost successful breathtaking them to nan Field wherever by seasonable Reinforcements nan glorious activity we person successful manus will beryllium completed – I americium Your astir h'ble Servt., G. Washington.


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