[NATIVE AMERICAN & AMERICAN REVOLUTION] LACEY, Jr., JOHN. Manuscript describing Laceys 1773 expedition to the Delaware Indians...
. Original pale blue wrappers marked "Journals" in ink to the upper cover and "John Laceys Journal" in ink on the first leaf. 6 1/2 x 4 inches (17 x 10.5 cm); the laid-paper with a large and unusual watermark depicting a Native American holding a staff. An approximately 114 pp. manuscript comprising two distinct sections. The first section written in a very formal hand with drop-words as if being prepared for publication and with intermittent cross-outs and additions, possible copied from another journal; the second section in a more casual hand, recording in prose the dated day to day activities of Lacey during the Canadian Campaign. This section also possibly a fair copy of a previous journal. The first section: 36 pp; The second section: 78 pp. Upper cover detached, some stains and small losses, very legible throughout.
An early manuscript containing attempts at a memoir, likely executed around the time of the Revolution. The first section here describes Lacey's remarkable journey to Ohio to accompany his elderly uncle, the preacher Zebulon Hester, on missionary visit to the Delaware Indians in Ohio, a group he remembered from before their removal from South-Eastern Pennsylvania. The month long journey in the summer of 1773 was guided by notable Native Americans of the era such as Captain White Eyes and Indian Trader John Gibson. The journey also includes a run in with important Indian leader John Logan: "Logan & Gibson soon began to talk very loud Kiauta and all the other stood round them with their tomahawks in their hands..." Upon reaching the "Moravian Town" [Newcomerstown, Ohio] the group would meet John Kilbuck (Lenape/Delaware Chief Gelelemend) and vivid descriptions follow, including the meetings in which Hester would preach and the attack of Captain Thompson by a group of Mingo Indians. In Lacey's larger memoir (published in 1901 from his manuscript), he notes a previous journal, likely this lot: "Having kept a journal at the time of this tour I refer my friends to that, for the particulars of the expedition." This remarkable 18th century travel narrative is followed by a long and detailed report of Lacey's first service in the Revolutionary War.
The second manuscript in this journal describes Lacey's desire to join the cause despite the pacifist demands of his Quaker community which eventually excommunicated him. Lacey was first voted captain of a local Buck's County volunteer militia which disbanded upon pressure from the Quakers. In January 1776, Lacey was commissioned captain of the 4th Pennsylvania Regiment in the newly formed Continental Army, commanded by General "Mad" Anthony Wayne, with whom Lacey would have a complicated and tempestuous relationship which is very well described in this journal. Lacey would first butt heads with Wayne over the payment of several citizens in Chester, PA who had been underpaid by Wayne for the regiment's housing while en route to meet the army at New York. Lacey would return to Chester to settle the dispute, but upon his return found that Wayne had sent his company to Albany in support of the Canadian invasion. Once reaching Albany, Lacey again found his company was not present and was ordered by Wayne to await their return and act as a volunteer in the meantime. Described in detail is Lacey's assignment to deliver messages to Benedict Arnold at Montreal. Further descriptions of Lacey's unwarranted detainment by Wayne after a comment about Wayne may have been overheard while several men drank in Lacey's tent is also recorded. Court Martials threatened, Wayne and Lacey would eventually quiet the matter but not before Lacey's intention to resign his command was announced. Lacey would close the 1776 campaign at Fort Ticonderoga and would be sent home by Wayne in order to recruit more soldiers into the 4th Pennsylvania. Lacey used this opportunity to resign. He would fight as a volunteer in the Battle of Germantown before re-enlisting and being commissioned Brigadier General in January 1778 where he was instrumental in the protection of Washington's depleted troops at Valley Forge (see the next lot).
A remarkably rich narrative by a major Revolutionary War figure of which little is known. For Lacey's 1901 published memoir, from which this manuscript differs, see: The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography. Philadelphia: The Historical Society of Philadelphia, 1901. Vol. XXV, No. 1. See also: DAVIS, W.H.H. Sketch of the Life and Character of John Lacey, a Brigadier General in the Revolutionary Army. [Doylestown:] Privately Printed, 1868.
C Estate of Lacey B. Smith
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