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INV-20987.99 GEORGE WASHINGTON Autograph Letter Signed, to James McHenry. August 15, 1782. Newburgh, N.Y. 2 pp., including integral address leaf. 7 x 11 in. 1782-08-15

“I was in pain … resolving (like a man in the last agony) not to follow the trade & occupation of a G---- [General] any more.… Do not my dear Doctor tease your Mistress in this manner – much less your Wife, when you get one.”

In this highly personal letter, Washington offers a glimpse of the man behind the otherwise stolid image. After victory at Yorktown, Americans were awaiting news of a final peace treaty from Paris. Washington remained head of the Continental Army, and warily watched British General Sir Henry Clinton’s army in New York City. For all its friendly tone and nebulous phrases, Washington and McHenry are actually discussing the very serious business of funding and maintaining troop levels to discourage future British actions.

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