• Benedict Arnold, Horatio Gates Aide Thomas Seymour Helped Bring About British Gen. Burgoyne's Saratoga Surrender

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    THOMAS YOUNGS SEYMOUR (1757-1811) graduated from Yale in 1777.  In September of that year, with the rank of Captain, he became an aide to Generals Horatio Gates and Benedict Arnold at the Battle of Freeman’s Farm and at Saratoga.  He appears on horseback at the left side of the mural entitled, “Burgoyne’s Surrender at Saratoga” (handsome swordsman) displayed in the U.S. Capitol building (copy included).  British General John Burgoyne’s surrender on October 17, 1777, followed battles with Gates.  Burgoyne’s surrender was a major turning point in the Revolutionary War as it prevented the British from dividing New England from the remaining colonies and it was a deciding factor in bringing active French support to the American cause.


    Seymour communicated directly with General George Washington along the way.  In one letter, he provides reconnaissance regarding two ships near Long-Island shore in New York (a photo copy of the text is included). 


    Following the Revolutionary War, Seymour began a successful law practice, first in Philadelphia and later in Hartford, CT. 


    Offering two items, an ALS by Seymour to his son Henry with the address leaf noting that the letter had been hand delivered by Major Wyllys. One-page, 8 x 12 ¾, April 21, 1785. 


    “This only serves to tell you and Sister Julia that we have concluded to send for her by the first week in may at same time with Miss Harnath & Miss Trumbull. Of course one of your brothers…will be down with Martin Dan’l Wadsworth to attend the young Ladies on their return.  Let Julia…get her new gown made. Col. Stevens arrived here late last evening, haven’t seen him yet.  He brought me [a] letter from Doctor Lidyard saying he would replace the money lent him in your hands…Your Father T Seymour”


    Second items is an ADS by Seymour, being a promissory note, dated Hartford, December 6th, 1787, and the debt release on the verso.   “I Thomas Seymour of Hartford for value and promise to pay John Porter of West Springfield the sum of fifty three pounds, three shillings & four pence lawful money within two months with interest till paid.”  The note is also signed by EPHRAIM ROOT, who was a member of the Connecticut convention that voted in favor of adopting the U.S. Constitution.


    The verso contains a release of debt for Seymour, nothing that on March 1, 1788, that he paid the note in full “& all demands that the within named John Porter ever had against Wm Seymour of Hartford in whose favour this note was given for a Judgment of Court.”  JESSE ROOT has signed as attorney for Porter.  Root (1736-1822) was an American minister and lawyer from Coventry, CT. During the Revolutionary War, he served on the Connecticut Council of Safety and the Connecticut militia.  He was originally appointed as a lieutenant colonel in Peekskill in 1777 and rose to the rank of Adjutant-General. He was a delegate to the Connecticut Constitutional Convention and a member of the First Company, Governor’s Foot Guard, serving as its commandant between May 1798 and October 1802.


    Expected folds, toning.  Seal tear to the letter, touching the outer edge of one letter of Seymour’s signature.  A total of four Seymour signatures and a great piece of early Americana involving important subjects of the Revolutionary War.  Images are from the internet and will be included.


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