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At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 70,000 items cover five hundred years of American history, from Columbus’s 1493 letter describing the New World to soldiers’ letters from World War II and Vietnam. Explore primary sources, visit exhibitions in person or online, or bring your class on a field trip.

Ellery, William (1727-1820) to George Wanton Ellery

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02300.12 Author/Creator: Ellery, William (1727-1820) Place Written: Newport, Rhode Island Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 4 October 1805 Pagination: 2 p. 21 x 17 cm

Written to his son at Captain Barney's School in Wickford, Rhode Island. Mentions positive reports concerning his son's progress in mathematics and also his improved health. Notes that his own skin disorder, identified as "ascorbatic Erysipelas, or St. Anthony's fire," may not improve as easily. A postscript indicates how to fold letters so that the seal does not cover the writing. A Member of the Continental Congress from 1776 until 1785, William Ellery was a signer of the Declaration of Independence. He was Collector of the Port of Newport from 1790 until 1820.

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