Lot 276

Militia Veteran Signs Receipt for Providing Rye and Buckwheat to Continental Army at Newburgh

Previous image preload Next image preload

Militia Veteran Signs Receipt for Providing Rye and Buckwheat to Continental Army at Newburgh

Estimate: $300 - $400

Current Bid: $120

(2 Bids)

February 1, 2023 11:00 AM EST
Live Auction
Wilton, CT, US


Militia Veteran Signs Receipt for Providing Rye and Buckwheat to Continental Army at Newburgh

In this receipt, Christoffel Ostrander of Ulster County, New York, acknowledged receipt of $7 75/90 from Quartermaster General Timothy Pickering for providing rye and buckwheat, likely used for bread for the Continental Army. The receipt is in Pickering's hand and includes his signature in the text.

Fewer than two months later, an unsigned letter began circulating in the army camp at Newburgh calling for a meeting to send Congress an ultimatum regarding their pay. General George Washington squelched the "Newburgh Conspiracy" with a personal appeal to the officers for patience.

[REVOLUTIONARY WAR.] Timothy Pickering, Autograph Document, Signed in Text, Receipt to Timothy Pickering, January 25, 1783, [Newburgh, New York]. 1 p., 8" x 3.25". Trimmed irregularly; very good.

Complete Transcript
No. 370 January 25, 1783 Received of Timy Pickering QMG ⅌ D. Wolfe Seven dollars and Seventy five ninetieths in full for Rye & buckwheat d'd as ⅌ voucher having signed duplicate receipts.
[Christoufful?] Ostrandur
7 75/90 Doll

Historical Background
Late in 1782, approximately 10,000 soldiers of the Continental Army were encamped in and around Newburgh, New York, from which they kept a wary watch over the British in New York City, fifty miles down the Hudson River. The officers under General George Washington's command were sullen and angry. While many civilians remained home, they camped in the snow. When civilians provided goods and services, as William Barnes did, they received prompt payment, while the officers awaited long-promised compensation.

By March 1783, soldiers and officers were unhappy that they had not been paid for some time and that promised pensions remained unfunded. On March 10, an anonymous letter began circulating in the army camp at Newburgh, calling for a meeting to send Congress an ultimatum. There was also an anonymous call for a meeting of all field officers on March 11. Washington responded to the call by calling it "disorderly" and "irregular" and called for a meeting of the officers on March 15, presided over by the senior officer present, and asked for a report of the meeting. When the officers gathered, Major General Horatio Gates opened the meeting. Then, Washington surprised all present by entering the building and asking to speak. A stunned Gates stood aside, and Washington gave a short, passionate address, counseling patience and asking the officers to stand by Congress. When he opened a letter from a member of Congress, he took a pair of reading glasses from his pocket. Few of the men present had seen him wear glasses. Washington said, "Gentlemen, you will permit me to put on my spectacles, for I have not only grown gray but almost blind in the service of my country," an acknowledgment that moved many of the officers to tears. The "Newburgh Conspiracy" collapsed, and the officers passed resolutions reaffirming their loyalty and condemning the anonymous proposals. The only voice raised in opposition was that of Colonel and Quartermaster General Timothy Pickering, who criticized his fellow officers for hypocrisy in condemning the anonymous letters that days earlier they had praised.

Congress passed an act for five years' full pay instead of a lifetime half-pay pension originally promised, but the new government redeemed the government bonds at full value in 1790. On April 19, 1783, Washington declared an end to hostilities against Great Britain in his General Orders of the day, and Congress ordered him to disband the army. Most of the Continental Army was furloughed over the next several months and formally disbanded in November 1783.

Christoffel Ostrander (1737-1813) was born in Ulster County, New York. He married Aaltje Romeyn in 1761, and they had eleven children. In 1771, he was one of the subscribers to build a new church at New Paltz, Ulster County. During the Revolutionary War, he served in the 4th Regiment of Ulster County militia, under the command of Colonel Johannis Hardenburgh. His name later appears as Christopher in claiming bounty land for Revolutionary War service.

Timothy Pickering (1745-1829) was born in Massachusetts and graduated from Harvard College in 1763. He represented Salem in the Massachusetts General Court and served as a justice in the County Court of Common Pleas. After leading a regiment early in the Revolutionary War, Pickering accepted George Washington's request to become adjutant general of the Continental Army in 1777. In 1780, the Continental Congress elected Pickering Quartermaster General. After the war, he tried several business ventures without much success. In 1787, he was a member of the Pennsylvania convention that ratified the U.S. Constitution. In 1791, President Washington appointed Pickering as Postmaster General. In 1795, he was made Secretary of War for a brief time, and then Secretary of State from 1795 to 1800. After Pickering objected to plans to make peace with France, President Adams dismissed him in May 1800. A passionate Federalist, Pickering represented Massachusetts in the U.S. Senate from 1803 to 1811 and in the House of Representatives from 1813 to 1817. Charged with reading confidential documents in an open Senate session, Pickering was censured by the Senate in January 1811. Failing to win re-election, Pickering retired to his farm in Salem, Massachusetts.

This item comes with a Certificate from John Reznikoff, a premier authenticator for both major 3rd party authentication services, PSA and JSA (James Spence Authentications), as well as numerous auction houses.


Accepted Forms of Payment:

American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Money Order / Cashiers Check, Paypal, Personal Check, Visa, Wire Transfer


Unless otherwise indicated, we do our own in-house worldwide shipping!

Applicable shipping and handling charges will be added to the invoice. We offer several shipping options, and remain one of the few auction houses who proudly provides professional in-house shipping as an option to our clients. All items will ship with signature required, and full insurance. Most items are sent via Federal Express, with P. O. Box addresses being sent through USPS. We insure through Berkley Asset Protection with rates of $.70 per $100 of value, among the lowest insurance rates in the industry. Our shipping department cameras document every package, both outgoing and incoming, for maximum security. In addition, we compare our shipping and handling rates against those of other auction houses, to ensure that our charges are among the lowest in the trade.

Upon winning your item(s), you will receive an invoice with our in-house shipping and handling fees included. ***We will ship to the address as it appears on your invoice. If any changes to the shipping address need to be made, you must inform us immediately.***

International shipments: In order to comply with our insurance provider, all international shipments will be sent via Fed Ex and customs paperwork will show a value of $1.00. International buyers should contact our office directly with any questions regarding this policy.

Third Party Shipping Option: If a third party shipper is preferred, the buyer is responsible for contacting them directly to make shipping arrangements. For your convenience, we have provided some recommended shippers. For your protection, we will require a signed release from you, confirming your authorization for us to release your lots to your specified third party Please copy and paste this following link into your browser: http://universityarchives.com/UserFiles/ShippingInfo.pdf. At that point, our responsibility and insurance coverage for your item(s) ceases. Items picked up by third party shippers are required to pay Connecticut sales tax. Items requiring third party shipping due to being oversized, fragile or bulky will be denoted in the item description.

Please see our full terms and conditions for names of suggested third party shippers.

After payment has been made in full, University Archives will ship your purchase within 10 business days following receipt of full payment for item.

Please remember that the buyer is responsible for all shipping costs from University Archives' offices in Wilton, CT to the buyer's door. Please see full Terms and Conditions of Sale.

University Archives

You agree to pay a buyer's premium of up to 25% and any applicable taxes and shipping.

View full terms and conditions

Bid Increments
From: To: Increments:
$0 $99 $10
$100 $299 $20
$300 $499 $25
$500 $999 $50
$1,000 $1,999 $100
$2,000 $2,999 $200
$3,000 $4,999 $250
$5,000 $9,999 $500
$10,000 $19,999 $1,000
$20,000 $49,999 $2,500
$50,000 + $5,000