John Burgoyne's Ethan Allen letter achieves 25% increase on estimate

A letter from British general John Burgoyne relating to the release of US patriot Ethan Allen (1738-1789) has sold for $30,000 at Early American History Auctions.

It achieved an increase of 25% on a $24,000 high estimate.

Ethan Allen
Burgoyne wrote the letter while Allen was imprisoned in Pendennis Castle

Allen played a significant role in the early days of the revolutionary war as the leader of Vermont's Green Mountain Boys, a militia that formed to protect locals from land encroachment from settlers from the neighbouring state of New York.

He was instrumental in the capture of Fort Ticonderoga in May 1775, but was taken prisoner during an attack on Montreal in September.

He spent the next three years imprisoned in Pendennis Castle in Cornwall, UK.

Burgoyne addresses the letter to American leader general Horatio Gates. It reads in part: "Sir, As your letter of the 28th past did not require an immediate answer I deferred troubling you till the return of Cornet Graffe�Ǫ

"If you are inclined, Sir, to make any exchange of Officers or men taken by the Armies under our immediate respective commands, I shall be ready to treat with you."

We have this signed lottery ticket from leader of the American forces and future president of the newly formed United States, George Washington.

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