MIDDLETON, Arthur, Signer, (South Carolina). Autograph letter signed ("AM") TO CHARLES PINCKNEY, Baltimore, 29 October 1782. 3 full pages, folio, 327 x 200 mm. (12.13/16 x 7.7/8in.), cleanly separated at center fold, autograph address panel. Fine.
MIDDLETON ON JOHN HANCOCK
A fine war-date letter of Middleton (1742-1787), whose letters are extremely rare (many of his surviving war-date letters are signed with pseudonyms or unsigned). The present unusually long and informative letter describes in detail the rigors of his homeward journey from Philadelphia, where he had attended Congress since September 1781. His trip was fraught with "bad weather, Thumps, Stones, craggy hills &c....Upon this, as upon all similar Occasions, I recommended Patience, & we now have nothing to do but to think and talk of our Friends, to laugh at our difficulties...I inclose you a Letter to Mr. Hancock; he was a very benevolent worthy man...I make no doubt he Continues the same unless his government may have soured his Temper, which is not very probable as Dignities confered upon a Man of Sense, generally tend to humanize, & I hope you will find it so." He writes with pleasurable anticipation of seeing friends, and asks Pinckney to "remember me affectionately to the Major & his family...Dont forget to acquaint Mrs Moreton (the fat Housekeeper) if she should call, that the first money I can...scrape together after I get home shall be forwarded to her." He concludes "I know your father will expect to see you before you embark for Europe, & under that idea, I make sure of seeing you in Carolinas as soon as you have sown a few more of your wild oats..." Both Middleton and Pinckney had been taken prisoner at Charleston in May 1780 and were later exchanged. Middleton is usually considered the third rarest Signer. J. Fields, "The Autographs of Arthur Middleton," in Manuscripts: The First Twenty Years, pp.85-104, listing the present letter as no.30.