[DUDLEY SALTONSTALL; REVOLUTIONARY WAR]; SALTONSTALL, CATHERINE
Title AUTOGRAPH LETTER, SIGNED, FROM 10 YEAR OLD CATHERINE (CATY) SALTONSTALL TO HER FATHER, DUDLEY SALTONSTALL, CAPT., FMR CDRE CONTINENTAL NAVY
Book Condition near fine
Publisher New London August 18th, 1784
Seller ID 1887
Folio (8½” x 14¾”). pp. On paper watermarked with a crown over the initials G R for Georgius Rex, referring to King George III; with integral address leaf addressed in Caty Satonstall's hand. Original mailing folds and minor marginal paper loss from opening of the wax seal. Framed between two pieces of glass, such that both sides of the letter are visible. A charming letter from a young girl to her father just 1 year following the conclusion of the American Revolution (letter transcribed with original spelling and punctuation) :"Honored Papa | Mama and all the | family that can write have | ben employing thare pen | in your service your Daught | er Caty wishes to show her | respects among the rest and | Doubts not her good Papa | wil put the best construction upon | her feble eforts to pleas him | who has don so much for | his Dutiful and ever affection | ate Daughter | Caty Salton | stall".Dudley Saltonstall (1738–1796), brother-in-law to Silas Deane, was a Commodore in the Continental Navy during the American Revolution who commanded the naval forces of the 1779 Penobscot Expedition, whose goal was to reclaim control of what is now mid-coast Maine from the British who had seized it a month earlier and renamed it New Ireland. It was the largest American expedition of the war, and it ended in complete disaster, with all ships lost. Although Saltonstall did bear part of the blame for the failure, it is now thought that the colony of Massachusetts framed Saltonstall entirely for the defeat so that the Continental Congress would be liable for all losses since Saltonstall was the under the command of the Continental Congress, while the commanders of the land forces were all under the control of the State of Massachusetts.1, 2 Van Vlack stated that "If he [Saltonstall],and friends and family had known the injustice done him, the combined Massachusetts and Connecticut Saltonstall family branches would probably have had enough political power to challenge any Massachusetts Charges".3At the time this letter was written and likely received, Saltonstall was the Captain of a slave ship, and was at that time on the Gold Coast (now Ghana)4. While there not only did he engage in the slave trade, but carried his continued disgust with the British to new levels, by hypocritically "instilling into them (the African natives) that Spirit of Republican Freedom and Independence, which they (the Americans) through Rebellion have established for themselves."5 The Africans on the Gold Coast understood and agreed with Saltonstall's message regardless of the spirit in which it was provided, since 4 years later the Africans were still discussing the "Principles of Liberty" Saltonstall had communicated to them, and based on them, threatened the British with rebellion rather than submit to them.6Catherine (Caty) Saltonstall (between 1773 and 1775 - ?). One of Dudley and Frances Nancy (Babcock) Saltonstall's 7 children. 7, 8 Little is known of Caty other than her approximate birth date and the love and duty she bore for her father as evidenced by the present letter. 1. Van Vlack, Milton. Silas Deane, Revolutionary War Diplomat and Politician (2013). Jefferson: McFarland and Co., p. 1732. Norton, Louis Arthur. The Penobscot Expedition: A Tale of Two Indicted Patriots. In The Northern Mariner (2006). Ottawa: Canadian Nautical Research Society p. 24.3. Van Vlack, p. 173.4. Sparks, Randy J. Where the Negroes Are Masters (2014). Cambridge: Harvard University Press, p. 181.5. Ibid, p. 182.6. Ibid, p. 183.7. Saltonstall, Leverett. Ancestry and Descendants of Sir Richard Saltonstall (1897). Cambridge: The Riverside Press, p.368. Catherine Saltonstall in MyHeritage (https://www.myheritage.com/names/catherine_saltonstall) accessed 02.13.18.