Apr 27, 2017 - Sale 2444

Sale 2444 - Lot 43

Price Realized: $ 1,500
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 500 - $ 750
(AMERICAN REVOLUTION--1782.) Sullivan, James. A Boston judge defends his feud with an "idol to the Tories" at the close of the war. Autograph Letter Signed to General Benjamin Lincoln. 3 pages, 12 1/4 x 7 3/4 inches, on one folding sheet, with docketing on the final blank; minor wear with the loss of one word, 1-inch repaired closed tear. Boston, 18 November 1782

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James Sullivan (1744-1808) was at this point a judge on the Massachusetts Superior Court; he later served a term as governor. With the fighting part of the Revolution concluded, this letter discusses a variety of state political matters, including the "sufferers" at Nantucket and tax debates in the legislature. The last half of the letter defends Sullivan's feud with Sir John Temple (1732-1798), a Boston Tory who had spent most of the war in England, and returned to Boston in 1781 amidst deep suspicion of his motives. Sullivan asserts that his hostility toward Temple came "from the same motive which induced me to be on the side of my country in the day of her danger. I believed T to be a man in the mercenary imploy of our enemies and therefore opposed his having given here by the General Court the character of a first patriot. . . . He is a kind of idol to the Tories, gives dark hints against our allies." Published in Amory's 1859 Life of James Sullivan, pages 386-8.