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Sale 38 Lot 19

RICHARD BUTLER (d. 1791) Pennsylvania officer in the American Revolution serving with Morgan's Rifles. Following the war, he became an Indian agent, negotiating the treaties at Fort Stanwix (1784) and Fort McIntosh (1785). Serving as a major general, he commanded the right wing at St. Clair's defeat at the Wabash, and was mortally wounded there on Nov. 4, 1791. Very fine content A.L.S. 2pp. legal folio with integral address leaf, Carlisle [Penn.] July 3, 1784 to General Edward Hand concerning preparations for his mission, together with Oliver Wolcott and Arthur Lee, to negotiate with the Six Nations in what would become the second Treaty of Fort Stanwix (1784). "...I was honor'd with polite letter of the 11th June from Lancaster with copys [sic] of Resolves of Congress of 16th Apr & 30 June for which trouble I beg leave to appologize [sic] at the same time I return thanks...I have yet no Acct. from my Colleague Mr. Lee who promis'd to call this day the first week in this month to proceed to Philada together should he not come before Wednesday next I shall take up my line of march on Thursday - I have wrote Mr Wolcott & am in hopes he will meet me at Philada for many good reasons should he not think yrs sufficiently potent will have to go to N. York which I think a wrong place being far from the Financier [Robert Morris] & other Public Officers with whom we have business & I wish to know if our Assembly will take up this part of the business with spirit - Mr Montgomery has had some talk on the topicks [sic] we convers'd on at Annapolis [then the current seat of the Continental Congress] he thinks some writing should be drawn on the affair & sign'd before I set out by the whole, this I think may be well as we should really know our dependence should you agree...I shall take the liberty to drop you a line frequently to inform how matters go on & shall (if we get out) be punctual & particular in the grand affair - I have some thought it will be late but still am determined if my influence will have any weight not to be stop[p]ed by trifles & request you & all your friends influence with the Assembly to forward the business...". The "Resolves of Congress" of which Butler speaks here, concerned the mission of the commissioners. On April 16, "On the report of a committee, consisting of Mr. [Edward] Hand, Mr. [Hugh] Williamson and Mr. [David] Howell, to whom was referred a motion of Mr. [Edward] Hand...[it was] Resolved, That the commissioners for treating with the Indian nations be informed that as Congress are desirous of having that important business effected with the utmost dispatch and at as little expence [sic] as possible, the fifth article of their instructions so far as it enjoins the holding of separate and distinct treaties with the several nations is dispensed with, and that they the said commissioners are hereby authorised [sic] to treat with the said several nations of Indians collectively or at different times and places as they shall find most conducive to the Interest of the United States". The Treaty of Fort Stanwix of 1784 served as a formal peace treaty between the United States and the Six Nations (Iroquois) who had sided with the British Empire during the Revolutionary War. The Iroquois delegation was initially led by Joseph Brandt who had arrived with instructions to cede no land. However, Brandt soon had to leave the conference for a planned visit to England, and the delegation, now led by Cornplanter and Captain Acorn Hill agreed to rescind claims to the Ohio Country. The treaty was soon rejected by most of the Iroquois Confederacy, as did the actual residents of the region: the Shawnee, Delaware and Mingo, necessitating a new round of negotiations and land purchases that would continue for the next two decades. A superb letter. Usual folds, integral address panel laid into a larger sheet, some minor losses from seal tear repaired with period paper, biography affixed to rear of address panel, else fine condition.
Estimate $ 800-1,000

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