1788 Letter By Joseph Angell - General George Washington - Ship Federalist For Sale

This rare and very interesting letter written by Joseph Angell of Baltimore, Maryland appears to have been addressed to Mrs. Whitmanwho I belive is his sister inProvidence, Rhode Island. The letter was sentvia Captain Wheaton. The letter dated July 24th, 1788 has some great content including some interesting news about Captain Joshua Barney andGeneral George Washington. Angell writes "Miss Barneys father died before the war he was a man of property and much respected, leaving a disconsolate widow (who departs this life .... I have been here as you see her character in ......) and four children, Capt. Joshua Barney that brave officer, who took the ship General Monk in the Delaware in the late War, and had the honor of delivering the ship Federalist to Gen. Washington from the merchants of this town a few weeks since is her brother, with whom he at present resides, she has another brother that lives in Hartford County, her sister married M Stenson a mercht. formerly of this town, but know retired from business..." Another very interesting part of the letter is Angell's account of a terrible Hurricane that "happpened on a Sunday afternoon". He describes the hurricane in detail and the aftermath, including a description of some of the dead that he found including an elderly lady, her son and daughter. He writes "Houses were blown down, some unroofed, vessels were drove fom thier anchors, boats overturned and trees torn up by thier roots." He also writes among all the damaged houses was a small two story brick building that came through the storm unscathed, the house belonged to the "Ladies of Pleasure" .It is interesting to note (however, it is not in the letter) that the ship "Federlist" that was presented toGeneral Washington sunk during the hurricane!He also writes abouthis concern for his wife and daughterin Providence. The letter is signed "Jos. Angell". This 225 year old letteris written in ink on hand laid paper. Each page measures 7 1/2 x 12 1/2 inches. There is some foxing on the folds but overall this rare18th century is in very good condition! !

The merchants of Baltimore celebrated Maryland's ratification of the United States Constitution on April 28, 1788, by building a 15-foot (4.6m) miniature ship called Federalist.[1] The ship was designed by Joshua Barney, a native of Baltimore and commodore in the United States Navy.[2] Federalist was the centerpiece of a parade in Baltimore before being sailed by Barney down the Chesapeake Bay and up the Potomac River to Mount Vernon to be presented as a gift to George Washington.[3] According to Washington's diary, Barney arrived on June 8, 1788.[4] Regrettably, Federalist sank in a "hurricane" on July 24.[5]

In April 2010, a partnership between the Mount Vernon Archaeology Department, the Lighthouse Archaeological Maritime Program, the Institute of Maritime History, the Maryland Historical Trust, and the Virginia Department of Historic Resources conducted an archaeological survey of the Potomac River near Mount Vernon. One of the project's goals was to locate the Federalist wreck.[6] In October 2010, it was reported that the surveyors "... found sonar signals that may indicate that a boat of the Federalist['s] size is present."[7] The wreck had not been positively identified as of November 2010.

July 23-24, 1788 (George Washington's Hurricane): This storm originated near Bermuda on the 19th before making landfall in Virginia. It passed directly over the Lower Chesapeake Bay and Mount Vernon, the home of George Washington. This track is very similar to the track of the Chesapeake-Potomac hurricane of 1933. At Norfolk, winds increased at 5 p.m. on the 23rd with the wind originating from the northeast. At 12:30 a.m., the wind suddenly shifted to the south and "blew a perfect hurricane, tearing down chimneys, fences"...some corn was also leveled. In addition, large trees were uprooted and houses were moved from their foundations.

Port Royal and Hobb's Hole experienced a violent northeast gale which drove several vessels ashore. In Fredricksburg, great quantities of corn, tobacco, and fruit were destroyed. Houses and trees fell in great numbers across Northumberland, Lancaster, Richmond, and Westmoreland counties. Crops were destroyed and many livestock perished in Lower Mathews county. Many plantations saw their houses leveled. Homes were flooded with water six feet deep... several inhabitants drowned. Gloucester county was inundated, $400,000 in damage was incurred.

Historical figures of the time logged the storm's antics. George Washington noted the sinking of the small ship Federalist and uprooted trees. Colonel James Madison, father of the future president, experienced the passing of great winds and rains near Orange. In Alexandria, damage to wheat, tobacco, and corn was "beyond description" (Ludlum).

The schooner Patriot was stranded and bilged near Portsmouth. The schooner Serenity was driven aground at the Portsmouth distillery, proving a total loss. A newly constructed brig, most likely the Neptune, was lifted up from here moorings and left in the main street of town. The Mermaid was dismasted. The Favorite was completely destroyed at Hampton Roads...only two ships in Hampton Roads escaped the hurricane. Many small craft were "torn to pieces".

July 23-24, 1788 (George Washington's Hurricane): This storm originated near Bermuda on the 19th before making landfall in Virginia. It passed directly over the Lower Chesapeake Bay and Mount Vernon, the home of George Washington. This track is very similar to the track of the Chesapeake-Potomac hurricane of 1933. At Norfolk, winds increased at 5 p.m. on the 23rd with the wind originating from the northeast. At 12:30 a.m., the wind suddenly shifted to the south and "blew a perfect hurricane, tearing down chimneys, fences"...some corn was also leveled. In addition, large trees were uprooted and houses were moved from their foundations.

Port Royal and Hobb's Hole experienced a violent northeast gale which drove several vessels ashore. In Fredricksburg, great quantities of corn, tobacco, and fruit were destroyed. Houses and trees fell in great numbers across Northumberland, Lancaster, Richmond, and Westmoreland counties. Crops were destroyed and many livestock perished in Lower Mathews county. Many plantations saw their houses leveled. Homes were flooded with water six feet deep... several inhabitants drowned. Gloucester county was inundated, $400,000 in damage was incurred.

Historical figures of the time logged the storm's antics. George Washington noted the sinking of the small ship Federalist and uprooted trees. Colonel James Madison, father of the future president, experienced the passing of great winds and rains near Orange. In Alexandria, damage to wheat, tobacco, and corn was "beyond description" (Ludlum).

The schooner Patriot was stranded and bilged near Portsmouth. The schooner Serenity was driven aground at the Portsmouth distillery, proving a total loss. A newly constructed brig, most likely the Neptune, was lifted up from here moorings and left in the main street of town. The Mermaid was dismasted. The Favorite was completely destroyed at Hampton Roads...only two ships in Hampton Roads escaped the hurricane. Many small craft were "torn to pieces".


1788 Letter By Joseph Angell - General George Washington  - Ship Federalist

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