September 26, 2018 O'Connor's Americana Collection
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 9/26/2018
ROGERS, Robert (1731-1795), autograph letter signed as governor of Michilimackinac, to Sir William Johnson at Johnson Hall, dated 23 September 1766. 2 pages, folio, with free franked cover "On His Majestys Service". Light toning and some separating at the folds. In 1765 famous American partisan Robert Rogers, formerly major-commandant of His Majesty's Corps of Rangers during the French & Indian War and now a half-pay captain, voyaged to England to obtain pay for his services during the French & Indian War and the late, so-called Pontiac Conspiracy (1763-1764). He hoped to capitalize on his celebrity, converting his fame as a frontier partisan (rejuvenated by recent publication of both his Journals and A Concise Account of North America) into some prestigious and lucrative appointment in North America. While in London seeking patronage and position, he wrote the play Ponteach: or the Savages of America, significant as an early American drama and for its sympathetic portrayal of American Indians. His publications enjoyed moderate success, as did his presence about town and he was able to gain an audience with King George III, where he successfully lobbied to obtain appointment to the governorship of Michilimackinac, at the juncture of Lakes Michigan and Huron, as well as a captain's commission on active service. Rogers and his wife Elizabeth undertook the harrowing travel west, arriving at Michilimackinac on 10 August 1766. He immediately immersed himself in his new duties with considerable zeal, especially with regard to native American relations. In this important letter, possibly the first report relating to his administration of Indian affairs to Johnson, he acknowledges yesterday's receipt of Johnson's letter of July 25th, congratulating him "that the Treaty with M. Ponteac &c. has ended so much to your Satisfaction--certain I am that this Treaty prevented an Indian War" He notes that the "Indians hereabouts have mostly all visited me, and it gives me no Small Concern that I have been under an unavoidable necessity of giving them so much, but really I have not given them a Sixpence but what I Judged and the Officers here concurred with me absolutely requisite for the good of the Service, for which reason I doubt not you will excuse the Largeness of the Account....The Indians are mostly gone to their Wintering in good Temper & well Satisfied." However, he notes that there are "Belts coming daily among them from the Spaniards, some of which are delivered to me... and once more beg leave to mention that an uneasiness too visible in the the sole Occasion of the Accompts being Swelled to such a Pitch, and that the Occasion has been such that I have been rather Sparing than Lavish in my Donations as the numbers that have resorted to me have been very great." He sends Mrs. Rogers regards to Sir William and notes that "I have a peaceable Garrison and a good understanding with the Officers as well as the Indians, and I am daily more & more delighted with this Country (not mentioned to Johnson was the fact that the new governor had dispatched an expedition to search for the Northwest Passage only a week earlier). Rogers closes with a flattering plea "for the Continuance of your good Offices to me at Home...." An important, unpublished letter by Rogers at a point in time when it appeared that the world was his oyster, just before a series of events that would ruin him, it is also the first ALS by Rogers to appear at auction since 1949.

Item Dimensions: 17" x 14 - 1/2".
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $12,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium: $33,600.00
Estimate: $35,000 - $45,000
Number Bids: 17
Auction closed on Wednesday, September 26, 2018.
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