May 04, 2017 - Sale 2446

Sale 2446 - Lot 24

Estimate: $ 2,000 - $ 3,000
NEWS OF BRITISH SUCCESSES IN NY WEEKS BEFORE BURGOYNE'S SURRENDER (AMERICAN REVOLUTION.) CUMBERLAND, RICHARD. Lengthy Autograph Letter Signed, "Rich'd Cum'd," to the Editor of the Morning Chronicle ("Dear Sir"), conveying news of General John Burgoyne's advance toward Albany and complaining of the unfairness of publishing negative reviews of a theatrical production before the play is published. 7 pages, small 4to, written on rectos and versos of two folded sheets; separations at center vertical folds repaired with paper, loose sheets glued together along center vertical folds, few small scattered repairs with paper, faint scattered foxing. (MRS) Petworth, 18 September [1777: from docketing]

Additional Details

"I had last night a Letter by Express from Mr. Secretary Heron at Dublin Castle; there is advice that 'Captain Fisher of the Favourite Transport, having left Quebec ye 14th of Aug'st in company with 16 Sail of Victuellers, had arrived at Corke; that two days before he left Quebec, Advice had been rec'd from Gen. Burgoyne, that He had possess'd himself of Fort Edward with all its artillery & stores, ye Rebels having abandoned it and fled by different ways; that Gen. Schuyler had left ye Army, which had melted away to about 1800 men; Gen. Burgoyne had been joined by many friends to Government, particularly by a party from Albany; that when the Express left ye Army, it was ready to march to Albany; The forts of Ticonderoga & Crown Point were garrison'd by Brunswickers and Canadians . . . . The Commodore of this fleet has dispatches for Government, & ye whole is bound to London.'
". . . [T]his Intelligence . . . is so pleasing a contradiction to all the stuff with which the disaffected Papers have of late been filled, particularly ye London Evening of last night, gleaned from Rebel prints . . . .
"I have long . . . predicted that Mr. Burgoyne is gone to gather all the laurels of the War, and it is well if there shall be a sprig left for the Brothers of N'York. . . .
". . . In . . . the Choleric Man I expended much more pains and upon a much better plan than any of the former; . . . men whose judgment I most respect gave it much praise; no sooner however had it appear'd on the Stage, than out came a thundering anathema against it in the Morning Chronicle with ridicule & invective enough to damn it in all your Readers opinions . . . . I determined never to write another Scene of Comedy so long as I shall live. . . . The Reason I have troubled you with this idle recital is simply to hope that from my example you will spare others . . . ."