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.

Arnold, Benedict (1741-1801) to Joseph Trumbull

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02451 Author/Creator: Arnold, Benedict (1741-1801) Place Written: Newburyport, Massachusetts Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 19 September 1775 Pagination: 1

Summary of Content: Written by General Arnold as commander of one of the two columns marching on Canada (General Philip Schuyler's forces in New York being the other) to Trumbull as Commissary General of Purchases to George Washington's army at Cambridge. In August 1775 Arnold had convinced Washington to give him a command to march through the Maine wilderness to Quebec. This letter references the good weather at the start of his journey northward, by ship, from the coastal town of Newburyport to Maine. Thanks him for his letter he sent by Mr. Thomas. Says he has added to his army's provisions. Wishes him success and happiness in his post. Arnold reached Quebec on 8 November 1775 and after being joined by forces under General Richard Montgomery, he attacked Quebec on 31 December 1775. During the failed assault Montgomery was killed and Arnold was seriously wounded in the leg. The army held on around Quebec until May 1776, when the spring weather allowed British ships to bring reinforcements. Document is pasted to a piece of cardboard, but only at the top, and a partial tear from the seal has been repaired.

People: Arnold, Benedict, 1741-1801.

Historical Era: American Revolution, 1763-1783

Keywords/Subjects: Revolutionary War, Revolutionary War General, Canada, Military History, Global History and US Foreign Policy, Global History and US Foreign Policy, Continental Congress, Travel, Maritime, Military Provisions

Sub Era: The War for Independence