1777 American Revolution, Long Island Letter Acquired

Assemblyman Steven Englebright and Maria Hoffman examining letter in Special Collections.

Assemblyman Steven Englebright and Maria Hoffman examining the letter in Special Collections.

Special Collections has acquired a Revolutionary War-era letter (1777) authored by Samuel Blachley Webb (1753-1807), an aide and secretary to George Washington. The acquisition was made possible through a grant awarded by Assemblyman Steven Englebright.

Days after this writing, Webb was captured by the British in Setauket and held for over three years. He served during the Battle of Setauket (August 1777), the Battle of Long Island (August 1776), and crossed the Delaware with Washington during the Christmas day battle in 1776. He also wrote Washington’s order to distribute the Declaration of Independence and held the Bible on which Washington took his first oath of office.

Written two weeks before the Continental Army’s encampment at Valley Forge, Webb gives thanks in the letter dated December 5 and 6, 1777, for his own winter supplies and discusses the failure, for want of troops, to take British-held Long Island. Learn more about this letter and more on the website for Special Collections and University Archives.

Samuel Blachley Webb Autographed Letter Signed, December 5, 1777.

Samuel Blachley Webb Autographed Letter Signed, December 5, 1777.

Posted in History, Special Collections & University Archives


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