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WASHINGTON, GEORGE. 1732-1799. Letter Signed (Go Washington), image 1
WASHINGTON, GEORGE. 1732-1799. Letter Signed (Go Washington), image 2
Thumbnail of WASHINGTON, GEORGE. 1732-1799. Letter Signed (Go Washington), image 1
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Lot 137
WASHINGTON, GEORGE. 1732-1799.
Letter Signed ("Go: Washington"),
9 December 2015, 13:00 EST
New York

Sold for US$11,875 inc. premium

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WASHINGTON, GEORGE. 1732-1799.

Letter Signed ("Go: Washington"), 1 3/4 pp recto and verso, folio, Head Quarters, Philadelphia, March 1, 1782, to Colonel ELIAS DAYTON, body of the letter in the hand of David Humphreys, small repairs to folds or rubs with loss of 6 letters, a little dampstaining touching signature.

WAR-DATE LETTER: WASHINGTON RELUCTANTLY APPROVES THE DEATH SENTENCE FOR A DESERTER AND SPECULATES ON THE MOVEMENT OF BRITISH VESSELS. Colonel Dayton had reported to Washington the previous week that the death sentence had been passed on the deserter James Fury ("a very bad fellow"). Here Washington approves the sentence, but declines to appoint the time of the execution, in effect requiring Dayton to make a separate request for a warrant only if and when the timing seems right to make an example of Fury, "otherwise the punishment may still be remitted." The eventual fate of Fury, who was captured with a party of British sailors, is unknown. It seems most likely he was remitted as Washington usually abstained from enforcing the death penalty on deserters.
Washington continues by corroborating the likelihood that the British are sending troop reinforcements to Charleston by sea. Published in The Writings of George Washington, vol 24, p 33.

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