Apr 17, 2012 - Sale 2276

Sale 2276 - Lot 144

Price Realized: $ 14,400
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 5,000 - $ 7,500
"THE WHOLE SALVATION OF OWR CONTREY UNDER GOD DEPENDS ON OWRE INDUSTREY" (BOSTON, SIEGE OF.) HALE, NATHAN. Group of 6 Autograph Letters Signed from a New Hampshire minuteman captain to his wife Abigail. Various sizes and conditions; most worn and stabilized with early repairs. Winter Hill [Charlestown, MA], July 1775 to January 1776

Additional Details

a minuteman welcomes general washington's arrival in boston. Nathan Hale (1743-1780) was a farmer and merchant from Rindge, NH. When the American Revolution broke out, he joined the New Hampshire Minutemen as a captain. He was not closely related to the more famous patriotic martyr Nathan Hale (1755-1776), though he also gave his life for his country.
The first letter in this group was written just two weeks after Bunker Hill. Hale expresses his patriotism plainly, and with phonetic spelling that makes his New England accent jump off the page. Hale describes the siege and the arrival of General Washington to command the troops: "Wee are a bulding foarts and entrenchements as farst as we can on all the large hills that are conveniet nere Boston & Charlestowne in order to defend the contrey as well as posebell. We expect the reglears out evry day but how soon we cannot tell, but we are redey for to give them battel if thay come to day. We have two generals come this weeke from Vejaney to take the command of our armey (viz) Genreal Washington, Commander in Chiefe of our armey & & Janrel Lee the third in command. . . . We think Washington & Lee are very abel Janrels indeed. . . . Am very well contented knowing that the whole salvation of owr contrey under God depends on owre industrey and being fathfull." Describing the young army: "Thare niver was an armey of so large a number that was more fathful and true to thare contrey then this is. Thare is sum cowards, now doubt. If it hed not bin so at the battel in Charlestown, thare is no dought but we should have carried a complet victry, but old Gorith and Calender ware afraid to showe thare hed."
Hale remained at Winter Hill through January. The remaining five letters are full of family news and queries, with the occasional military skirmish thrown in. On 9 January, he reported: "Jenrel Putnam with a detachment of men went larst night over the mill dam at Charlestown & set a number of howses on fire & took seven or eight prisnors & met with littel dameg, onley hed 2 or 3 men wounded slightley." He reports on prizes taken by American privateers, hopes to be home soon, and expresses high hopes for the revolution: "Providence seemes to smile on these coloneys in all owre undertakings." A more detailed summary of the letters is available upon request. For later letters written by Hale from the Ticonderoga theater, see lot 154.