To Major General Benjamin Lincoln
Valley-forge May 7th 1778.
My dear Sir,
A Gentleman of France having, obligingly, sent me three setts of Epaulets & Sword knotts, two of them professedly to be disposed of to any friend,1 I should choose I take the liberty of presenting them to you, and Genl Arnold, as a testimony of my sincere regard, and approbation of your conduct.2
Nothing would give me more pleasure than to hear of your perfect recovery, as I am with the most affecte esteem & regard Dr Sir Yr Obedt
ALS, sold by Sotheby’s, New York, item no. 115, June 1996. A copy of a letter from GW to Lincoln, said to be in Alexander Hamilton’s writing and dated from Valley Forge on 20 June 1778 (obviously a misdate, since GW was no longer at Valley Forge on that date), was sold by George H. Richmond (1907), Washington-Lincoln letters, 15–16. It may in fact have been a copy of this letter.
2. The first paragraph of GW’s letter of this date to Maj. Gen. Benedict Arnold is identical to this letter to Lincoln, except that “Lincoln” appears in the text instead of “Arnold.” The second paragraph of GW’s letter to Arnold reads: “I have been informed, by a brigade-major of General Huntington’s, of your intention of repairing to camp shortly; but, notwithstanding my wish to see you, I must beg that you will run no hazard by coming out too soon” (Sparks, Writings description begins Jared Sparks, ed. The Writings of George Washington; Being His Correspondence, Addresses, Messages, and Other Papers, Official and Private, Selected and Published from the Original Manuscripts. 12 vols. Boston, 1833–37. description ends , 5:361).