c1810s HANDWRITTEN COPIES OF LETTERS AND STATEMENTS MADE BY A NOTED NEW YORK CONGRESSMAN ON THE WAR OF 1812, INCLUDING THE DRAMATIC BURNING OF WASHINGTON, AS WELL AS THE SORRY STATE OF GREED AND MONEY IN AMERICAN POLITICS

By: EBENEZER SAGE

Price: $3,055.99

Quantity: 1 available


On offer is a collection of copied letters of and statements by Ebenezer Sage, a United States Representative from New York, all dealing with the War of 1812 and the state of American politics at that crucial time. The 22 page, handwritten gathering appears to have been taken out of a much larger manuscript dealing exclusively with the War of 1812, its lead up, and its aftermath. There are three letters by Sage to friends, and a collection of written statements made by him. The first letter is described as a “Copy of a letter written to Ebenezer Sage, M.C., 12th Congress of Sag Harbor, N.Y. to Dr. William Crawford of Gettysburg, Pa. July 24th, 1814.” It begins, “Dear friend. You must pay a pistareen to the Revenue for this letter, which is in greater want of the money than you are. I therefore ta you that sum pro bono publico, and as it respects yourself, I shall indeveour to give you the worth of the money in news.” His letter, he writes, concerns “the movements of the British squadron, their acts and doings.” “Yesterday the squadron consisted of 5 ships to day only two. Their boats are every night out in all directions in pursuit of coasters, trade & plunder. Yesterday two deserters were here from the Superb. They took a boat from one of the ship's tenders, and lands about 20 miles from this, travelled nearly all the distance without entering a house, being told on board the ship, that the American government had agreed to send all deserters back to be hanged, one of them a frenchman by birth but brought up in Ireland, the other a prussian, both young + intelligent...They report that the talk on board the fleet is, that they expect every day a fleet of 16 men of war + Wellington's Army to come into the found, land upon Long Island and take N. York.” He then speaks of a man named “Joshua Penny” an American who was “a desperado” who was “15 years an imprisoned seamon on board the British fleet, from which he made his escape + lived three years among the Hottentots, where he made his escape, his adventures during those years, beat Robinson Crusoe all to nothing.” It seems that Penny managed to procured a torpedo boat by which he was attacking the British fleet with a number of other non-military men. He then speaks of the British fleets attack of Long Island, opening up “a most tremendous fire upon good old deacon Mulford’s house” and then landed 100 soldiers and marines, “who soon drove about a dozen Militants who had been firing at them into the woods” and then robbing the Deacon’s house of “2 or 300 $ in clothing, breaking the clock + looking glass, destroying the furniture, door + windows” and then “proceeded to make war upon his sheep, poultry + pigs.” The letter is full of short stories like this of the people fighting off the invading British fleet. He then writes “Inter nos [between us], for it is to be kept a profound secret.” He implores his friend to “retreat among the glens of Adams County, secure in peace + plenty, while I am doomed to this sandbank in continental alarm.” He finishes the first letter, “but what is all this compared to the greatest part of Europe, devastated, brutalized and laid waste with fire and sword, by a few titled scoundrels human butchers + incendiaries. There is sure a state beyond this where such monsters will receive their punishment - Pardon me for this long scroll + with a kind remembrance to Mrs. Crawford, believe me your friend. E.S. P.S. My health is bad but a little better than last summer. Mrs. S. not so well generally. M children in good health + spirits.” So the first letter of this collection ends. There are two more letters, as well as “Selections from Dr. Ebenezer Sage’s letters copied from Miss Mulford’s pamphlet. The two letters are from September 23rd, 1814 (addressed to William Crawford again), and then May 10th, 1812 (addressed to Henry P. Dering, Esq. Sag Harbor, New York). The letter from Sept. 23rd briefly concerns Sage’s time in the 12th United States Congress, but mostly reports on the Battle of Bladensburg (one of the most famous defeats in American history) and its aftermath. The defeat allowed to British to capture and then burn Washington D.C.: “Our Army consisted of about 7000 men, Regulars, Marines and Militia, 6000 of whom never saw the enemy or fired a gun.” He describes how the Army retreated from the British but, he writes, “had the noble General Winder gave the word Fire instead of Retreat, it is believed by everybody a British soldier would not have found his way into the city.” He then describes the burning of Washington: “I have viewed the ruins of Public and private buildings. They are destroyed beyond any possibility of repair, especially those constructed of stone...The pillars which supported the dome in the house of representatives, and which of their base were as large as a barrel, are reduced to the size of a foot diameter, and in many places less.” He comments on the anger of his peers and says that Washington “is full of precious anecdotes and the indignation of the people is so great against Armstrong and Winder that I doubt whether either of them could appear here in safety.” The last letter describes Sage’s anger with the money in politics at the time (May 10th, 1812). He writes from Manhattan: “this is a disgusting subject, and particularly here the great reservoir into which are emptied all the dirty bills of filth from all quarters of the union but more from the State of the Manhattoes than all the others. For three or four years past, politics is altogether a matter of bargain + sale, with them like their mercantile speculations. Give me offices and I will give you votes, help out our bank, or set types for us + we will give you Stock money + jobs, scratch my back + I will scratch your elbow.” The rest of the letter describes his time in Manhattan, travelling back to Washington, having dinner with President James Madison, his wife Dolly and “Mr. Secretary, not of foreign but hom relations.” He finishes by talking of his time in numerous dinner parties in Washington, discussing both current affairs and gossip with fellow congressmen. The last pages of the collection is an Index, confirming that these letters are from a much larger book on the War of 1812. There are over 100 entries in the index, in alphabetical order, and showing the page numbers at which the index entries appear. The handwriting is small but easily readable. Each page of the 22 page gathering, except the last two, are filled with writing. The pages show some wear from age and use, with the most discoloration on the front and back page from a liquid stain, though this does not impede reading the words under the stain at all.

Title: c1810s HANDWRITTEN COPIES OF LETTERS AND STATEMENTS MADE BY A NOTED NEW YORK CONGRESSMAN ON THE WAR OF 1812, INCLUDING THE DRAMATIC BURNING OF WASHINGTON, AS WELL AS THE SORRY STATE OF GREED AND MONEY IN AMERICAN POLITICS

Author Name: EBENEZER SAGE

Categories: 19th Century Ephemera, 19th Century Manuscript, Books and Manuscripts General Overview,

Publisher: BAR HARBOR SAG HARBOR NEW YORK LONG ISLAND,

Book Condition: Good

Type: Manuscript

Size: Folio - over 12" - 15" tall

Seller ID: 0009041

Keywords: KEYWORDS: HISTORY OF, EBENEZER SAGE, DR. WILLIAM CRAWFORD, MEMBER OF CONGRESS, UNITED STATES REPRESENTATIVE, SAG HARBOR, NEW YORK, WAR OF 1812, STATE OF AMERICAN POLITICS, 12TH CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, BATTLE OF BLADENSBURG, BURNING OF WASHINGTON, DESTRUCTION OF THE WHITE HOUSE, NATIONAL HUMILIATION, JOSHUA PENNY, TORPEDO BOAT, DESPERADO, CORRUPTION, GRAFT, GREED, MONEY IN POLITICS, 1ST HUNDRED YEARS OF AMERICA, PRESIDENT JAMES MADISON, DOLLEY MADISON, EARLY 19TH CENTURY, ENGLISH INVASION, FACSIMILE, AMERICANA, HANDWRITTEN, MANUSCRIPT, DOCUMENT, LETTER, AUTOGRAPH, WRITER, HAND WRITTEN, DOCUMENTS, SIGNED, LETTERS, MANUSCRIPTS, HISTORICAL, HOLOGRAPH, WRITERS, AUTOGRAPHS, PERSONAL, MEMOIR, MEMORIAL, ANTIQUITÉ, CONTRAT, VÉLIN, DOCUMENT, MANUSCRIT, PAPIER ANTIKE, BRIEF, PERGAMENT, DOKUMENT, MANUSKRIPT, PAPIER OGGETTO D’ANTIQUARIATO, ATTO, VELINA, DOCUMENTO, MANOSCRITTO, CARTA ANTIGÜEDAD, HECHO, VITELA, DOCUMENTO, MANUSCRITO, PAPEL