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At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 85,000 items cover five hundred years of American history, from Columbus’s 1493 letter describing the New World through the end of the twentieth century.

Bauman, Sebastian (1739-1803) to Samuel Shaw

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02437.01145 Author/Creator: Bauman, Sebastian (1739-1803) Place Written: Wall Kill, New York Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 20 August 1781 Pagination: 1 p. : address ; 22.5 x 16 cm. Order a Copy

An angry letter written by Major Bauman, commander of artillery at West Point, to Major Shaw, aide-de-camp to Brigadier General Henry Knox. Says "You will please to inform the general that it is moral[ly] impossible for me to join the party at New Windsor to morrow, agreeable to the promptery orders I Received, Except it is meant to destroy me, and what little I have left in this ungrateful Service." In an earlier letter, Knox gave permission to Bauman to take a few days to deal with family matters, and this letter seems to be a backlash against the revoking of that permission. Bauman says he needs time to bring "my property into a manner of security." Says he only planned to be away 8 days and that he has not been absent from West Point since his family moved from there. Says he cannot comply with orders because of a situation that "requires my care, and stay, untill Thursday next, without matters are so pressing, that I must sacrifice all." Written in response to GLC02437.01146.

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