1776 Revolutionary War Continental Navy Rel. ALS - JOHN COLLINS to ESEK HOPKINS For Sale
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1776 Revolutionary War Continental Navy Rel. ALS - JOHN COLLINS to ESEK HOPKINS:
1776 Revolutionary War Continental Navy Rel. ALS - JOHN COLLINS to ESEK HOPKINS “1776” Revolutionary War Continental Content Navy Letter to First Navy Commodore & Commander in Chief Esek Hopkins
JOHN COLLINS (1717-1795). 3rd Governor of the State of Rhode Island, serving from 1786 to 1790, Represented Rhode Island in the Second Continental Congress 1778-1781 & 1782-1783, his own Vote swayed R.I. to vote in favor of the U.S. Constitution which they signed in 1790.
April 9th, 1776-Dated Revolutionary War Period Autogaph Letter Signed, “John Collins” with Integral Address Leaf to Esek Hopkins as America’s First Navy Commander in Chief, Choice Very Fine. Dated written on April 9th, 1776, this important historic content Revolutionary War Continental Navy related Letter is 1 page, measures 6.25” x 7.75” with its Integral Address Leaf, all being boldly and clearly written in rich brown and easily readable on period laid paper. There are normal transmittal folds and some minor paper loss with deft repair in the area of its original red wax seal being opened, affecting some text where conserved and a tiny earlier collection number in red along the back page corner edge. The Integral Address Leaf reads: “To - Esek Hopkins Esqr - Adml (Admiral) of the Continental Fleet - New London” (Connecticut).This Letter is written by John Collins (1717-1795) who was to become the 3rd Governor of the State of Rhode Island, serving from 1786 to 1790. Collins was a staunch advocate of the Independence and an admirer of General George Washington, John Collins himself was selected by the acting Governor of Rhode Island in 1776 to carry an important letter to George Washington, informing Washington of the wartime conditions in the Colony of Rhode Island, and soliciting Washington’s counsel upon the best method to prepare for its defense.In this Letter which John Collins addressed directly to Esek Hopkins, Collins writes to “congratulate” Esek Hopkins upon his Official Appointment in becoming Commander in Chief of the American Continental Navy only four months after receiving his position from the Continental Congress! Hopkins had accepted the command as First Commodore on December 22, 1775 of the First Continental Naval Fleet, then outfitting at Philadelphia. Collins expresses high hopes for the future, and provides thanks for prior assistance that Esek Hopkins had earlier provided to assist Rhode Island. In this Letter, John Collins writes, in full:“Newport - April 9th, 1776 --- I Congratulate you on the Success of your Casis (sic) with the Continental fleet, and hope may Expect to see the day when the American fleets will give laws on the atlantick [sic] ocean, it will give me great pleasure to see your fleet Rideing [sic] in the harbour of Newport, the present motions i(n) this Town I make no doubt you are well, info(rm) of we Recieved with joy the ten Cannon you (sent) us, and expect to get them mounted before (the) week is out, in proper forts & Baterys (sic), we (have) ten of our old 24 & 18 pounders mounted & two that you sent us, and hope you will send us as many more as you conveniently can. --- I am with greate Regard your humbl. Servt. -- (Signed) John Collins”.Docket reads: Newport April 20th - from John Collins”.Esek Hopkins proved unable to accomplish the difficult task of developing an effective challenge to the imposing, vastly superior British fleet and was suspended from command in March of 1777. A great content 1776 dated original Revolutionary War letter regarding the early Continental Navy and its first commander.
John Collins stood forth as a staunch advocate of the Independence of the Thirteen Colonies. An admirer of General George Washington, Collins was selected by the then acting Governor of Rhode Island in 1776 to carry an important letter to General Washington, informing him of the wartime condition of the Colony and soliciting Washington’s counsel upon the best method to adopt for Rhode Island’s defense against the British Army and Navy.In 1782 John Collins was made the bearer, to the President of Congress, of a statement of Rhode Island's reasons for rejecting the “Impost Act.” During the American Revolution, Rhode Island was for the most part an agricultural area and as such opposed the restrictions of a national government.In 1778, John Collins represented Rhode Island in the Second Continental Congress, he served until May 1781 when he was superseded by R.I. Signer of the Declaration of Independence William Ellery. However, Collins was re-elected in 1782, and held the position until 1783.When George Washington was Inaugurated President on April 30, 1789, Rhode Island was one of only two of the Thirteen original States (along with North Carolina), not to have ratified the United States Constitution and therefore was (technically speaking), an independent nation, with then acting Governor John Collins as it Chief of State.Within the state the agricultural interests vigorously advocated a paper currency. Collins espoused their cause and in 1786 was elected governor. During his term in office the issuance of paper money, which had been ceased at intervals since 1750, was resumed. It was provided by law that should any creditor refuse to accept the bills of the state the debtor might secure a discharge by depositing the amount of his debt with one of the judges of the state superior court or the court of common pleas. This law led to the suit of Trevett vs. Weeden, which resulted in a decision looking toward the right of courts to declare legislative enactments unconstitutional.In 1786 Collins was elected governor of Rhode Island and took office on May 3, 1786.Anti-Federalist elements in Rhode Island, up to 1790, vigorously fought against the calling of a convention to decide upon entering the Federal Union, but in that year, on January 17th, R.I. gave its sanction to such a call by a majority of one vote in the General Assembly. This historic vote was cast by John Collins, who had come to realize the importance of a Federal Government. However, his vote cost him his popularity, and the Governorship, leaving the office of Governor on May 5, 1790. The Rhode Island General Assembly then Ratified the United States Constitution on May 29, 1790.Later in 1790 Collins was elected to the 1st Congress but did not take his seat. The Rhode Island Society of the Sons of the Revolution holds an annual observance of Rhode Island Independence Day (May 4th) at Governor Collins' grave.ESEK HOPKINS (born April 26, 1718, Providence, R.I.-died Feb. 26, 1802, Providence, R.I.), First Commodore of the United States Navy in the period of the American Revolution (1775-83).Hopkins, who went to sea at the age of 20, proving his ability as a seaman and trader, and a marriage into wealth put him at the head of a large merchant fleet prior to the French and Indian War (1754-63). By privateering during that war, he added to his fortune and won a considerable naval reputation.Rhode Island named him a Brigadier General of its land forces at the outbreak of the Revolution, but a call from the Continental Congress, where his brother was chairman of the naval committee, induced him to forsake the army and accept the command on Dec. 22, 1775 of the First Continental Naval Fleet, then outfitting at Philadelphia.He was instructed to attack the British fleet under John Murray, 4th earl of Dunmore, in Chesapeake Bay, Hopkins considered his orders discretionary, and the enemy too strong. He therefore sailed his fleet of eight armed vessels to the Bahamas, captured considerable war matriel at New Providence Island, and upon his return fought an inconclusive action with the British ship “Glasgow” (April 1776).Dissatisfaction with the achievements of the fleet and its subsequent inactivity in Rhode Island led to an investigation by Congress. Censured for disobedience of orders, Hopkins returned to the fleet, but his continued inactivity and quarrels with his officers induced Congress to suspend him from his command in March 1777. He was dismissed from the navy in 1778 and thereafter played a prominent part in Rhode Island politics.
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