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Criticizing Washington for his positive spin on his defeat at Germantown...



Item # 617100

January 21, 1778

THE PENNSYLVANIA LEDGER OR THE WEEKLY ADVERTISER, Philadelphia, Jan. 21, 1778 

* Battle of Germantown, Pennsylvania
* General George Washington defeat
* Revolutionary War


This was a Tory newspaper published in Philadelphia when the British occupied the city. It began in 1775 and ended when the British evacuated the city in May of 1778. Not surprisingly, the masthead features an engraving of the Royal coat-of-arms.
Over one-third of the front page is taken up with three "Proclamations" by Sir William Howe, one concerning keeping Philadelphia clean, another concerning crossing the Delaware River into New Jersey, and the other concerning the need for all wood in the vicinity to be used by the military & not for use by the inhabitants (see).
The ftpg. also has a terrific letter to the editor beginning: "Mr. Washington's letter to Congress dated from camp...Oct. 5, 1777 [which concerned his putting a positive spin on his loss at the battle of Germantown] is, perhaps, the most extravagant piece of Jusuistical quackery that has been exhibited during the present rebellion. This heroic epistle abounds in deception & incongruous contradiction in the extreme...this military quack informs Congress, 'That in the midst of the most promising appearances, when every thing gave the most flattering hopes of victory, the troops began suddenly to retreat & entirely left the field..." with much more. Further on, and carrying over to page 2, is the somewhat famous phrase by Washington concerning the battle: "...Upon the whole, it may be said, the day was rather unfortunate than injurious.' What a delicate and nice distinction here is held forth!..." with more criticism levied against Washington (see).
Page 2 includes a letter noting a naval encounter between the British ship Centaur and the American schooner Betsey. Several other war-related reports inside, including: "We are told that the French officers taking leave of the Rebel Army, their scarcity of cloathing and the loss of Philadelphia have put the heads of the faction to a very serious way of thinking...that their affairs had a bad aspect." See photos for other reports too lengthy to list here, including a "Proclamation" by Sir William Howe as well as two notable letters on the back page, signed in type by General Parsons and General Tryon.
Four pages, numeric notations in margins next to ads (this was the editor's copy), generally very nice condition.

Category: American

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