Our Collection

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.

North, William (1755-1836) to unknown

High-resolution images are available to schools and libraries via subscription to American History, 1493-1943. Check to see if your school or library already has a subscription. Or click here for more information. You may also order a pdf of the image from us here.

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02341 Author/Creator: North, William (1755-1836) Place Written: New York, New York Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 26 December 1799 Pagination: 2 p. ; 25.2 x 20.4 cm.

Summary of Content: Appears to be a retained draft. Written by North as Adjutant General of the Provisional Army with the rank of brigadier general (a position he held 1798-1800) to an unknown recipient. Says if "you are too full, ask Mrs. Duane for a pail of butter." Mentions that he has a sleigh and horses at Duanesburgh doing nothing and that the recipient can use them. Says he is not settled in yet, but says they are doing well. Says they are planning a "great show here on the 31st - funeral honors to the memory of Gen. Washington" (who died on 14 December) on 31 December. Mentions other friends.

Background Information: North was an aide-de-camp to Baron Von Stueben during the Revolution and served as Senator from New York May 1798-August 1798.

Full Transcript: ...I really have not had time to write to you like this moment - When you come down if you are too full, ask Mrs Duane for a pail of ...butter, which I directed to be sent from Duanesburgh to her care - I have a slay & horses at Duanesburgh doing nothing - if you want them…bring them down - or do any thing else with them, - We are not yet settled, & can't expect to be as we would wish, as the thing is only for the winter, however we shall do pretty well, & when you &your wife comes you will make the best of its.
We make great show here on the 31[&]- - funeral honors to the memory of Gen Washington ...
See More


Historical Era: The New Nation, 1783-1815

Subjects: Quasi-warFranceGlobal History and US Foreign PolicyGlobal History and US Foreign PolicyMilitary HistoryRebellionDeathTransportation

Sub Era: The Early Republic

Order a Copy Citation Guidelines for Online Resources