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Cornwallis surrenders at Yorktown... Reported in a British newspaper...



Item # 604567

December 22, 1781

THE LEICESTER & NOTTINGHAM JOURNAL, England, December 22, 1781 

* Cornwallis surrenders at Yorktown
* Revolutionary War ending
* Historic item


This issue contains one of the most historically significant letters from the Revolutionary War, being Cornwallis' official announcement of his surrender to Washington at the Battle of Yorktown.
The report is on page 2 and has a prefacing paragraph noting in part: "...This letter is dated at New York the 13th of November in which Gen. Clinton informs his Lordship that his fears respecting the southern army were but too well founded, & encloses a letter which he had received from Earl Cornwallis dated at York Town, Oct. 20, giving an account of his surrender..." with a bit more (see). The very famous letter is headed: "Copy of a Letter from Earl Cornwallis to Sir Henry Clinton, dated York Town, Virginia, Oct. 20" and begins with the very famous first sentence: "I have the mortification to inform your excellency that I have been forced to give up the posts of York and Gloucester, and to surrender the troops under my command, by capitulation, on the 19th inst. as prisoners of war, to the combined forces of America and France..." with much more. This letter continues to take two columns & is signed in type: CORNWALLIS.
Following this letter is the letter from Cornwallis to General Washington dated Oct. 17--also exceedingly historic--in which he announces: "I propose a cessation of hostilities for 24 hours; & that two officers may be appointed...to meet...to settle terms for the surrender of the posts of York and Gloucester." signed: Cornwallis. And following it is Washington's reply, signed: Geo. Washington (see), then followed by another letter from Cornwallis, and in turn a lengthier letter signed: Geo Washington concerning details on surrender terms. Finally there is the letter from Cornwallis formalizing the surrender, beginning: "I agree to open a treaty of capitulation upon the basis of the garrison's of York and Gloucester, including seamen, being prisoners of war..." with more, signed: Cornwallis. Immediately following this is the: "Return of the Killed, Wounded & Missing" from the battle (see). 
An extremely historic issue not only containing Cornwallis' official surrender announcement, but including many correspondences between Cornwallis and Washington preparing for the surrender. And particularly significant to have this rather scarce, folio-size British newspaper.
Four pages, folio size, archivally rejoined at the spine, various tattering at the blank spine margins not affecting any text, some browning in the upper left corner does not deter readability.

Category: Revolutionary War

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