Our Collection

At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 65,000 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.

Chew, Joseph (fl. 1780) [Joseph Chew's discussion of a letter from Benedict Arnold]

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC05533.02 Author/Creator: Chew, Joseph (fl. 1780) Place Written: s.l. Type: Autograph note signed Date: 2 October 1780 Pagination: 1

Summary of Content: The note, signed by Chew, explains how the accompanying letter (no longer present) was kept undercover, "This Letter was delivered as a Blank Sheet of Paper put over one or two newspapers - which by wetting with a Proper Composition made it Legible." Also describes the writer of the letter and how he has been persecuted, claiming, "... the writer was a Colo. in his Majestys Service during the War that Ended in 1763... Since which he has been thoroughly persecuted." Benedict Arnold, who served in the French and Indian War, may have been the writer Chew was referring to. The date is written in pencil, probably not contemporary and possibly inaccurate.

People: Chew, Joseph, fl. 1780.
Andr\E9, John, 1751-1780.
Arnold, Benedict, 1741-1801.

Historical Era: American Revolution, 1763-1783

Keywords/Subjects: Revolutionary War, Military History, Spying, Codes and Signals, French and Indian War

Sub Era: The War for Independence