o:Washington") to Joseph Webb, "HdQrs near Dobbs Ferry," 26 July 1781. 2 pages, 4to, minor staining along left margin and folds, boldly written, fine." /> WASHINGTON, George. Autograph letter signed ("G<V>o:Washington") to Joseph Webb, "H<V>dQ<V>r<V>s near Dobbs Ferry," 26 July 1781. <I>2 pages, 4to, minor staining along left margin and folds</I>, boldly written, fine. | Christie's
  • Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 9652

    Printed Books and Manuscripts including Americana

    New York

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    22 May 2001

  • Lot 169

    WASHINGTON, George. Autograph letter signed (''Go:Washington'') to Joseph Webb, ''HdQrs near Dobbs Ferry,'' 26 July 1781. 2 pages, 4to, minor staining along left margin and folds, boldly written, fine.

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    WASHINGTON, George. Autograph letter signed ("Go:Washington") to Joseph Webb, "HdQrs near Dobbs Ferry," 26 July 1781. 2 pages, 4to, minor staining along left margin and folds, boldly written, fine.

    WASHINGTON'S SEARCH FOR COMFORTABLE FOOTWEAR FOR THE YORKTOWN CAMPAIGN

    On active campaign, three months before Cornwallis's surrender at Yorktown, Washington receives new boots and shoes: "Colo Wadsworth delivered me your favor of the 30th ult. and a few days afterwards the boots came safe. I thank you for your care & attention in forwarding them." The boots arrived in response to Washington's request in a June 17th letter "for a pair of draw-Boots, Horse Skin to be made of the Leather manufactured at your works" (Writings, vol 22, p. 230). Washington assesses his new boots, "The shoe of the boot is sufficiently large and the whole answers very well, but might have been closer drawn as they slip on very easy." Washington also received shoes, but not from Webb; "I received a neat pair of shoes from Mr. Roger Brown of Weathersfield but as they came without letter or acct, & the card on the package was much defaced I must request the favor of you to ask the price."

    Martha visited Washington at camp in 1781, but became ill with what the General described as jaundice. For a time, she was too sick to endure the rigors of travel, but when Washington writes she has begun her journey home: "I thank you & Mrs Webb in a particular manner for your kind invitation to spend her time at Weathersfield. As soon as she was able to bear the journey, she left New Windsor for Philadelphia, from whence, by this time, she will have set out for Virginia." Finally, Washington discusses a book he has not yet received: "The Stoater book, mentioned in the P.S. to your letter, is not yet come to hand, nor am I in any hurry.."

    Standing 6 foot 3 inches in height and weighing 200 pounds, Washington was large in comparison to many of his contemporaries. In 1760, Captain George Mercer gave a detailed description, noting "His bones and joints are large, as are his hands and feet" (Brookhiser, Founding Father, pp. 107-108). Proper fitting boots were an obvious concern for a man with large features, yet, Washington also recognized the importance of stylish clothing to the prominent man; "nothing adds more to the Appearance of a man, than dress" (The Smithsonian Institution, Go:Washington: A Figure upon the Stage, p. 176).
    Not in Writings, ed. J.C. Fitzpatrick.

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