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.

Whipple, William (1730-1785) to John Langdon

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 #: GLC03185 Author/Creator: Whipple, William (1730-1785) Place Written: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 18 May 1776 Pagination: 1 p. : address : docket : free frank ; 20.6 x 16.3 cm.

Summary of Content: Written by New Hampshire Continental Congressman Whipple to New Hampshire Continental Congressman Langdon. Whipple signed the Declaration of Independence, but Langdon resigned his position in Congress in June 1776 to become agent for Continental prizes and superintendent of the construction of several ships of war. Says Colonel Josiah Bartlett, another New Hampshire Congressman, arrived yesterday. Encloses a resolution Whipple claims Langdon will like (not included here). Speaks of "a Confederation permanent and lasting [that] ought in my opinion to be the next thing, & I hope not far off." Hopes it will lead to foreign alliances that will bring ships to fill American ports from all parts of the world. Red wax seal is extent. Some text loss where seal was torn off. Free frank carries Whipple's signature.

Background Information: Langdon was a signer of the U.S. Constitution, a U.S. Senator from 1789-1800 (and the first president pro-tempore in 1789), and Governor of New Hampshire 1805-1808 and 1810-1811.


Historical Era: American Revolution, 1763-1783

Subjects: Government and CivicsArticles of ConfederationContinental CongressCongressDiplomacyMerchants and TradeCommerceGlobal History and US Foreign PolicyGlobal History and US Foreign Policy

Sub Era: The War for Independence

Order a Copy Citation Guidelines for Online Resources