Lot 1717

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(1732 - 1799) First President of the United States and commander of the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. ALSO SIGNED BY WAR HERO GEN. WILLIAM SCOTT An excellent content partly-printed D.S. as Commander in Chief of the Continental Army, 1p. 6 x 12.75 in. (sight), 'Headquarters', June 6, 1783, reading in part: 'THESE are to CERTIFY that the Bearer hereof Richard Presby Sergeant in the [1st] N[ew] H[ampshire] Battalion, having faithfully served the United States for Eight Years and being inlisted for the War only, is hereby DISCHARGED from the American Army...' Nicely signed by Washington, also signed by JONATHAN TRUMBULL, JR. (1740–1809), aide-de-camp to Washington from 1781 to the end of the war, and later Governor of Connecticut. At bottom, Presby is awarded a Badge of Merit for his eight years of service by his commander, Major WILLIAM SCOTT (1743-1815). Scott could have been one of the bravest and most colorful officers to ever serve Washington. Severely wounded at Bunker Hill, he was nevertheless sent to Breed's Hill to assist in the construction of the redoubt. Early in the action his leg was broken by a grape shot, but he continued to fight, and encourage his men, and when he could stand no longer, sat on the ground and pared bullets to fit the guns of his soldiers. When the enemy were within a few feet of him he attempted to retreat, but getting hit by four more balls in his body and limbs, he fainted from loss of blood, was taken prisoner and carried to Boston. When the British evacuated the city in March 1776, he was placed in irons, taken to Halifax and thrust into jail. In July, with several of his companions, he broke jail by digging out under the walls. He rejoined the Continental Army near New York City. He was part of the garrison of Fort Washington when it was taken. Fleeing, he tied his sword to his neck and his watch to his hatband and swam nearly a mile and a half to Fort Lee, across the Hudson. After the war he settled in New York, a farmer but crippled from his wounds...and a member of the Society of the Cincinnati. Worn folds, two bisecting but barely affecting Washington signature, a split bisecting Scott's signature but repaired over a hundred years ago with cotton stitching, small amount of paper loss at folds from the document being carried by its owner - still overall very good.

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August 26, 2021 10:00 AM EDT
Chesapeake City, MD, US

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