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VARICK, Richard. Two draft autograph letters signed ("Richd. Varick") to Frederick A. Packard of Philadelphia, New York, 6 and 16 November 1829. Together 5½ pages, folio, retained copies, closely written. In very fine condition.
VARICK, Richard. Two draft autograph letters signed ("Richd. Varick") to Frederick A. Packard of Philadelphia, New York, 6 and 16 November 1829. Together 5½ pages, folio, retained copies, closely written. In very fine condition.

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VARICK, Richard. Two draft autograph letters signed ("Richd. Varick") to Frederick A. Packard of Philadelphia, New York, 6 and 16 November 1829. Together 5½ pages, folio, retained copies, closely written. In very fine condition.

RECOLLECTIONS OF GENERAL WASHINGTON, BENEDICT ARNOLD'S TREASON AND THE "VARICK TRANSCRIPTS." The elderly patriot, who supervised the preparation of the invaluable "Varick Transcripts" (44 folio volumes of Washington's wartime correspondence), thanks Packard for a biography of Washington that "reminded me of many facts and incidents...in the critical moments...during the Revolutionary War"; he is pleased the author "had full access to original papers which have passed through my hands & were read by me, while in the General's service...." He politely declines to furnish anecdotes, "to be treated as Chit Chat," concerning "so exalted a character as...my old and greatly revered Friend & Revolutionary protector and patron." Varick's "first knowledge of the General was in June 1775...as a private militia soldier in the New York Fusiliers, standing as a sentinel at the door of his quarters at the City Tavern, when on his way to Cambridge." Varick narrates at length his career during the Revolution, including a 1776 trip to Ticonderoga as secretary to Alexander McDougall, rejoining Washington's army at White Plains, and service as muster master.

"In August 1780 I was solicited by the late Major General Arnold (now of infamous memory)...who had just then been appointed to the command in the High Lands on the Hudson, to join his military family & aid him in the capacity of military secretary. That invitation I accepted: but...I was attacked by bilious fever, and lay sick at the Robinson's House [the Beverely Robinson house, Arnold's Headwuarters]...until the memorable day of the defection & desertion to the enemy of General Arnold...." That "memorable day" 25 September 1780, "Washington had arrived from Wethersfield [Connecticut]...and I had the distressing misfortune of being arrested by his Excellency, in his usual gentlemanly manner, in person, ex majori cautela, for 'high treason,' for supposed privity to Arnold's reasonable and infamous practices." Released a few hours later by Washington, Varick recalls that he was "triumphantly acquitted...of any participation in Arnold's treachery...."

He then describes his appointment as Washington's recording secretary, in May 1781: "all his papers to be arranged by myself; & to be recorded"; in which task he served "in the confidence of my General and friend, until...he quit the city of New York, for Annapolis in Maryland, & there surrendered to Congress the important trusts confided in him." He again declines to supply anecdotes, as "secrecy & perfect confidence were the orders imparted to me nearly half a century ago," by General Washington.

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