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.

Clift, Samuel (fl. 1777) to Sally Clift

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC05307 Author/Creator: Clift, Samuel (fl. 1777) Place Written: Yorktown, Virginia Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 8 October 1781 Pagination: 2 p. : address ; 29 x 18.7 cm.

Clift, a captain in the Continental Army from Connecticut, writes to his wife describing preparations for siege of Yorktown: "till night before last we erected our first parallel within 600 Yards of the Enemies Lines, we shall continue to approach nearer & nearer till the Enemy fall into our hands." Also mentions casualties, his good health, and missing her.

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