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William Donnison Signed Letter to Major General Goodwin

WILLIAM DONNISON (c. 1757-1834). Revolutionary War Continental Army Officer, serving at various times as an Aid to Governor Hancock, Adjutant General of the Massachusetts Militia, and a Judge of Common Pleas, he also uncovered a major political scandal during the Federalists and Anti-federalists debates over the ratification of the United States Constitution.

September 18, 1790-Dated, Manuscript Letter Signed, "Lieutenant Wm. Donnison," at Boston, Fine. This original Signed Manuscript Letter measures 9" x 7.25", 1 page, from Lieutenant Wm. Donnison to General Goodwin. It is regarding Military Commissions for General Goodwin's Brigade. General Goodwin was a Major-General of the Militia of Maine (then still part of Massachusetts) from 1783 to 1815. This historic Signed Letter has some outer margin chipping with some loss to the period laid watermarked period paper, slightly affecting the boldly written, clear deep brown ink text as shown. It reads, in full:

"Boston Septr. 10, 1790 - General Goodwin --

I must ask your excuse for delaying to answer you until this day - the reason is I could not procure the Commissions for your Brigade until yesterday when General Cobb received them from my office and proposes sending them by Mr. Robins. With regard to Inspection Rolls I will observe - It was not my plan to have any, for the reason I will mention - It will take one half of our Militia Captains half a day to fill up one of them on the field, and when done be very liable to error - I have therefore decided that every Captain bring a Roll of his train band men and deliver it to the Inspector - and have directed the Inspector in the mode of taking the slate of the Arms to himself the adjutant can examine and count the war Rank while the Inspector does the same with the first and the Inspector will put the whole down in a book I have sent for that purpose, properly ruled --- Yr. Hubl. Servant Wm. Donnison"

Docket on reverse reads: Genl. Donnison Letter - Sept. 18, 1790 - abt. Commission etc"



Additional Information:

William Donnison was Adjutant General of Massachusetts in the 1790's and early 1800's. John Hancock was Governor of Massachusetts during1780-1785, and again from 1787 to 1793. This document was sent to him in April 1793, just six months before his death. Benjamin Lincoln (1733"1810) served under Horatio Gates in the Saratoga campaign during the Revolutionary War before becoming (1778) commander in the South. Lincoln later participated in the Yorktown campaign and received General Cornwallis's sword at the surrender. From 1781 to 1783 he was Secretary of War. In 1787 he commanded the Massachusetts state militia that helped suppress Shays' Rebellion.
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