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As Secretary of War (1810), he signs an autograph letter to Col. Burbeck, instructing him to insure war readiness of artillery in New York Harbor.
Autograph Letter signed: "W. Eustis". 1 page, 8x10. Washington, 1810 October 29. To Col. Burbeck, marked "Private". Docketed on verso. In full: "Before you leave New York have all the guns mounted which the works will receive and give particular directions to Major Stoddard for the execution of such operations as may be carried on in the course of the winter, and for the government and care of the several parts & of the public property. My wish is that the batteries may be fit for action, as far as is practicable before your departure, and that afterwards proper care be taken of them and that all expenditures in case the laboratory may close for the winter. You must bring with you the systems of exercise of the artillery completed." WILLIAM EUSTIS (1753-1825), a surgeon during the Revolutionary war, represented Massachusetts in Congress (1801-1805) and was one of the managers appointed by the House of Representatives to conduct impeachment proceedings against John Pickering. Eustis served as Madison's Secretary of War from 1809-1812, U.S. Minister to the Netherlands (1814-1818), U.S. Congressman (1820-1823) and Governor of Massachusetts from 1823 until his death in 1825. As this 1810 letter shows, Eustis was fully aware of the danger of war with Britain and was attempting to prepare US forces for it. During the war, however, he was criticized for its conduct and obliged to resign in January 1813. From the papers of General HENRY BURBECK (1754-1848), a veteran of key battles of the Revolutionary War. He was chief of the Artillery Corps when he received these orders. Promoted to Brigadier General, he commanded the Connecticut State Militia during the War of 1812. Edges chipped at fold creases. Lower edge creased and soiled. Toned.

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Born: June 10, 1753 in Cambridge, Massachusetts
Died: February 6, 1825 in Boston, Massachusetts

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