Colonel Clement Biddle Military Content Manuscript Letter regarding Equipping Troops with Tents, Repairing Guns, etc.
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(CLEMENT BIDDLE) (1740-1814). Revolutionary War soldier, fought at the Battles of Princeton, Brandywine, Germantown, and Monmouth; Commissary General at Valley Forge under George Washington. In 1781 Quartermaster General for Pennsylvania troops; after the Revolutionary War, Appointed by George Washington as the first U.S. Marshal for Pennsylvania, serving 1789-1793.
August 6, 1776-Dated Revolutionary War, Historic Content Manuscript Letter, Written by Colonel Clement Biddle (1740-1814), not signed yet identified and named, regarding the desperate need for arms and supplies for the troops, Fine. This original Revolutionary War date Military Content Field-written Manuscript Letter is written in the hand of Colonel Clement Biddle, being 2 pages, measuring 7.5” x 8.75”, Perth Amboy, PA. Here, Col. Biddle writes to John Shaw, the Continental Army Assistant Quarter Master General at Trenton, NJ. This Letter by Col. Biddle is not signed, however the Docketing on the partial remaining portion of the Integral Address Panel identifies the writer specifically to be "Col. Biddle" (this example is also from a series of letters written by Clement Biddle at Perth Amboy in the Summer of 1776 to John Shaw.
Several such letters were sold by Siegel Auction Galleries for their rare postal markings. Another is listed in the holdings of the Rutgers University Library, being a right-hand portion of a letter to John Shaw regarding provisions for the Army and describing the local military situation, Perth Amboy, N.J., July 20, 1776, with similar content. This Letter contains superb Revolutionary War military content, written from the American army camp at Perth Amboy, concerning equipping troops with tents, repairing guns, and more. This historic Letter reads, in full:
"Dear Shaw, -- Perth Amboy 6 Aug(ust) 1776 --- I really have little time to write. Many things are come to hand - much wanted. I will find you some money when an opportunity offers. I have pd. some waggons. You ordered me not to pay, but of course they will have no Certificates. Don't advance Anderson any more money. I wish never to see him in the employ of us, can do without him. I expect 20 Companies today - some are Jersey month men. I would have you deliver as little as possible to any of the Troops - indeed I wish none to the Militia but what I deliver. My plan is to furnish in preference to all the 5 month men for the flying Camp. The Militia 2 month men are wanting to return before they are of use (tho' many of the Militia deserve praise)... shall never I fear get back what they have received - indeed I see a field of confusion. I am sadly alarmed. I shall write to Congress on this weighty subject. --
Respecting the repairs of guns, I would have all the accts. pass through my own hands as I shall dock or refuse many of them. I will come to Trenton. ---
Tell Mr. Tucker when I left Philad'a I had no tents or but little stuff for tents on his order. I will deliver a part of those that are come on to the Troops he orders here - say 100 when I have them. It is a large proportion. They must pay for them when Pickering(?) can make the amt. -- Tell him I don't know what he means by my making use of them. I had not the stuff nor money for near the number I mention, but wish to do all in my power to serve him or the Province. --
I will not agree either to send forward any unreasonable - after baggage for Officers or men & on no acct. take any charge on you of anything of this sort as tis very troublesome. The Guns are Col. [Pernell]'s - he takes them. I wish we had part of them [Pernell]? but in."
Overall, boldly handwritten in rich brown ink on watermarked “VANDER LEY” laid period paper. There are some trivial small ink scattered erosion holes and in the dateline, with old fiber tape reinforcement from behind on the 2nd page. Only a 2.5” wide portion of the original Integral 2nd sheet which had the Address Leaf (which itself is no longer present) is attached along the chipping spine edge with archival tape at the right edge of the 2nd page of the letter partially covering the docket yet seen through. This portion of the original address leaf has the recipient's Docket with the date, and "from Col. Biddle", reading in full: “Perth Amboy Augst. 6, 1776 from Col. Biddle”. CLEMENT BIDDLE (1740-1814) was born in Philadelphia; Revolutionary War soldier, fought at the Battles of Princeton, Brandywine, Germantown, and Monmouth; Commissary General at Valley Forge under George Washington.
Biddle resigned from the Continental Army in 1780, and in 1781 was made Quartermaster General for Pennsylvania troops; After the Revolutionary War, Biddle was appointed by George Washington as the first U.S. Marshal for Pennsylvania, serving 1789-1793.