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INV-26256 GEORGE WASHINGTON Autograph Letter Signed, to Benjamin Tallmadge, November 4, 1780, Headquarters [Wayne, New Jersey]. Endorsement at the bottom of the second page by the recipientís son, Frederick A. Tallmadge. 2 pp., 7Ĺ x 8⅞ in. 1780-11-04

Benjamin Tallmadge had formed the Culper Spy Ring in 1778 to observe British activities during their occupation of New York City. His spies, merchants Abraham Woodhull and Robert Townsend using the aliases Samuel Culper (Sr. and Jr.) lived on Long Island and made frequent visits to New York City, where they mingled among British officers.

Just weeks after the discovery of the treason of Benedict Arnold and the hanging of his accomplice John André as a spy, General Washington on October 20 sent a letter to to his chief of intelligence asking for detailed reports. Having not heard back two weeks later, Washington sent this important letter to Tallmadge, from Washington’s headquarters in Wayne, New Jersey, 20 miles northwest of New York City.

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