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144   Henry 'Light Horse' Lee Autographed Letter Signed  $200 Unopened $200 0 You must login to place a bid.
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#144 - Henry 'Light Horse' Lee Autographed Letter Signed Estimate: $2,500+

"Whether I shall be employed in the war is unknown to me...If however a resort to arms be unavoidable & myself called to the field I shall be happy in manifesting my respect to y'r principles & Zeal"

Nicknamed 'Light-Horse Harry,' Lee (1756-1818) was a Revolutionary War hero who captured British posts in New York and in the South; he later served as governor of Virginia and as a US congressman, and was the father of Robert E. Lee. ALS signed “Henry Lee,” one page both sides, 8.25 x 12.75, August 15, 1807. Letter to Colonel John Tayloe III, a wealthy landowner and member of the Virginia Governor's Council. In full: "Lt. Ball presented me with the dispatch entrusted to him this morning soon after I had a conference with the Governor & have the pleasure to transmit herewith commissions for yourself & officers. I have placed y'r troops under the law of Congress requiring 30,000 volunteers for one year. It is very probable that the troops under y'r command will be first from the State in that line. You ought to procure a beugle horn & beugler instead of a French horn. Both are to be met with in Philada. I am compelled to proceed to Yorktown tomorrow in prosecution of my plan for giving volunteers only out of my division, where in case further instructions from me should be necessary y'r letter will find me for a few more days. Thence I go to the lower country of the northern neck if requisite. Lt. Ball has my orders to call on Lt. Col. Smith to notify him of my acceptance of y'r troops in part of the Cavalry to be furnished by the 14th brigade. You must lose no time in sending a formal report of y'r troops to the Lt. Col. Whether I shall be employed in the war is unknown to me. I anxiously hope that the rupture may be closed by a mutual & just explanation of all difficulties. If however a resort to arms be unavoidable & myself called to the field I shall be happy in manifesting my respect to y'r principles & Zeal. I thank you for y'r offer of service & beg you to present me to Mrs. Tayloe." In very good to fine condition, with a tear to the top edge, an old mounting strip along the left edge, and a block of toning to the first page.

Revered as one of America's military heroes, Lee came out of retirement at the request of President Thomas Jefferson when the Chesapeake-Leopard affair made war with Great Britain seem imminent. The June 1807 seizure of an American frigate put the two countries once again on the precipice of war and raised concern over the fledgling nation's lack of military preparedness. Jefferson sought to use diplomacy and economic pressures to rectify the situation, namely through the Embargo Act of 1807. Although immediate war was averted, the Chesapeake-Leopard affair was one of the events that contributed to the War of 1812.

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