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American Revolutionary War Major General John Sullivan's

Continental Congress Expenses as Acting Delegate for New Hampshire
JOHN SULLIVAN (1740-1795). American General during the Revolutionary War, Delegate in the Continental Congress and state assembly, and served as speaker of the house. He led the drive in New Hampshire that led to ratification of the United States Constitution on June 21, 1788. He was elected President of New Hampshire (now Governor) in 1786, 1787 and 1789; led to ratification of the United States Constitution on June 21, 1788, and later appointed by George Washington as a the first United States Federal Judge for NH.
c. 1780-81 American Revolutionary War Period (undated), Manuscript Document Signed, "Jn. Sullivan", 4 pages, measuring 4.75" x 15", Choice Very Fine. It is written upon clean, crisp period laid paper that has been folded to present single columns per page. The rich brown handwriting is very easy to read, the paper with some minor splits at the folds. It provides a highly informative treasure of information regarding General John Sullivan's travel, expenses, and lifestyle.

This unique, boldly written original Document is his accounting of various direct expenditures made by, and due to, John Sullivan,this list headed as: "The State of New Hampshire to John Sullivan." This listing appears to be in chronological order. It notes his travel, scheduled stops and various expendictures on his mission. The listing begins: "To a Journey to Exeter (New Hampshire) to secure (sic) on the Committee of Safety; days there; Some of the items listed are; mending a carriage, paying a washerwoman, port wine, paying his barber, mending pistols. He also seeks reimbursement for buying oysters, 2 dozen bottles of Clarett, fruit, etc. The list continues listing his further travels, various towns he stopped in during his journey and his expenses due for reimbursement. The final dates noted for, "To Extra expenses... from May 1st to 16th of July."

As relations between Britain and America eroded, Sullivan joined the ranks of the dissidents. On July 21, 1774, the First Provincial Congress of New Hampshire met in Exeter, New Hampshire. Sullivan was a delegate to the First Continental Congress in Philadelphia. While there, Sullivan enjoyed Philadelphia's ebulent upper class. He also became involved in many issues, generally aligning himself with the radicals from Massachusetts.

Sullivan joined the Seacoast New Hampshire uprising at Fort William and Mary in 1774, then served in many failed battles. Early in 1775, Sullivan was elected to the Second Continental Congress. At Philadelphia, the delegates voted to take on the regulation of the army and chose Sullivan as their seventh Brigadier General.

Years later, the New Hampshire legislature again selected him as a delegate to the Continental Congress for one year to start in November 1780. He accepted the position in order that New Hampshire be represented in the controversy concerning claims to Vermont under the New Hampshire Grants. In the absence of other delegates from New Hampshire, except the soon to depart Nathaniel Folsom, Sullivan was seated early, on September 11, 1780.

In late 1780 or early 1781, Sullivan, who often claimed to be in financial straits, borrowed money from the French Minister to Congress, Chevalier de la Luzerne, probably with no intent or expectation of repayment. Sullivan already supported positions favorable to the French in Congress, but historian Charles Whittemore described Sullivan's conduct as "ethically obtuse" and as tarnishing his reputation. Yet, Sullivan worked to help the country and government on several matters such as seeking French financial support for the United States.

Later in the year, Sullivan worked to get people appointed as Peace Negotiators, especially Benjamin Franklin, who were favored by the French. One of Sullivan's last acts was to vote for Robert Livingston for appointment to the position of United States Secretary of Foreign Affairs. Having been seated early, and having dealt with the matters he believed he was required to deal with, Sullivan resigned from the Congress and departed from Philadelphia on August 11, 1781, a month before the expiration of the one-year term from the date he was seated. Some of the dated notations and travel in this expense listing are as follows:

March 11th to May 1st.

Some towns of note include: Newbury, Ipswich, Salem Village, Boston, Dedham, Newport, then taking a boat passage from Providence to Philadelphia. Sullivan notes: "To paid for 24 Days horse keeping while at the French Ministers". He mentions repayment of certain funds to "Hull" while at the French Ministers, some of his payments being made in "Old Continental Dollars" while others are noted as "Pennsylvania Currency". He travels to Germantown about the 27th of December. Then to: Chester (PA.), Trenton (NJ.), then Home. General Sullivan lived quite well when traveling and away from home. Many bills were for wine, oysters, housekeeping and keeping his clothes, boots and sword in good condition. Boldly signed "Jno. Sullivan" with his flurish below, measuring a large 2.25" long at the conclusion.
The American soldier and political leader John Sullivan was born in Somersworth, New Hampshire, on the 18th of February 1740. He studied law in Portsmouth, NH., and practiced at Berwick, Maine, and at Durham, NH. He was a member of the New Hampshire Provincial Assembly in 1774, and in 1774-75 was a delegate to the Continental Congress.

In 1772 he had been commissioned a major of New Hampshire militia, and on the 15th of December 1774 he and John Langdon led an expedition which captured Fort William and Mary at New Castle. Sullivan was appointed a brigadier-general in the Continental Army in June 1775 and a major-general in August 1776. He commanded a brigade in the siege of Boston.

In June 1776 he took command of the American army in Canada and after an unsuccessful skirmish with the British at Three Rivers (June 8) retreated to Crown Point. Rejoining George Washington's army, he served under General Israel Putnam in the battle of Long Island (August 27) and was taken prisoner. Released on parole, he bore a verbal message from Lord Howe to the Continental Congress, which led to the fruitless conference on Staten Island. In December he was exchanged, succeeded General Charles Lee in command of the right wing of Washington's army, in the battle of Trenton led an attack on the Hessians, and led a night attack against British and Loyalists on Staten Island, on the 22nd of August 1777.

In the battle of Brandywine (Sept. 11, 1777) he again commanded the American right; he took part in the battle of Germantown (Oct. 4, 1777); in March 1778 he was placed in command in Rhode Island, and in the following summer plans were made for his cooperation with the French fleet under Count d'Estaing in an attack on Newport, which came to nothing. Sullivan after a brief engagement (Aug. 29) at Quaker Hill, at the north end of the island of Rhode Island, was obliged to retreat.

In 1779 Sullivan, with about 4000 men, defeated the Iroquois and their Loyalist allies at Newtown (now Elmira), New York, on the 29th of August, burned their villages, and destroyed their orchards and crops. Although severely criticised for his conduct of the expedition, he received, in October 1779, the thanks of Congress. In November he resigned from the army.

Sullivan was again a delegate to the Continental Congress in 1780-1781 and, having accepted a loan from the French minister, Chevalier de la Luzerne, he was charged with being influenced by the French in voting not to make the right to the north-east fisheries a condition of peace.

From 1782 to 1785 he was Attorney General of New Hampshire. He was president of the state in 1786-87 and in 1789, and in 1786 suppressed an insurrection at Exeter immediately preceding the Shays Rebellion in Massachusetts.

He presided over the New Hampshire convention which ratified the Federal constitution in June 1788. From 1789 until his death at Durham, on the 23rd of January 1795, he was United States District Judge for New Hampshire.
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