Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Henry Burbeck Military Archive Sold for $95,000

Portrait of Henry Burbeck
An online auction house recently sold the military archive of my ancestor Henry Burbeck (of my grandmother Beatrice Burbeck's family) for the price of $95,000. The archive spans the years 1763 to 1839 and consist of hand-drawn maps, military documents, letters, notebooks and military reports.

Henry Burbeck was the son of William Burbeck, a Lieutenant Colonel in the Revolutionary War. Henry Burbeck served in the United States army for more than 40 years and fought in the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. Burbeck enlisted in the army in May of 1775 after escaping the siege of Boston in disguise and following his father to Cambridge. He eventually rose to the rank of Brigadier General before retiring from the army in 1815.

Most of the documents in the archives date between 1800 and 1812. Included in the archives are not only letters from three secretaries of war, army officers, U.S. Representatives and various military personnel but also Burbeck's own personal letters. In one letter, Burbeck describes his father's decision to turn down the job of commander of the Massachusetts regiment of artillery.
Henry Burbeck Archive

"The Regt. of Artillery raised in 1775 under the command of Col Gredley who declined being too old of which my father was Lt. Col expired on the 31 Decbr. A New Regt. was be raised which was offred to Him. He declind and recommended Henry Knox to be the Colonel. Genl Knox felt very delicate on the on the subject but my Father insisted. He knew Knox some years before this - When the Troops marched from Cambridge my Father resinged being 60 years of age. I knew Genl. Knox when he opened a Book Store and stationary the largest in N. England. It was a great resort for the British Officers and Tory Ladies."

The archive also includes personal documents such as his marriage certificate to his first wife Abigail Webb in 1790 as well as an 1853 document discussing his second wife, Lucy Rudd's, widow pension. After Burbeck died in 1848, Lucy Rudd was the last widow in the United States to receive a pension from the Revolutionary War.


Live Auctioneers: General Henry Burbeck Military Archive

"Chapter Sketches: Connecticut Daughters of the American Revolution”; Connecticut Daughters of the American Revolution; 1904

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