Lot 75    

Revolutionary War-Era ALS, James Trimble for Timothy Matlack
3/3/2011 - ONLINE American History Timed Auction
2pp, 7 x 11.75 in., Philadelphia, 7 Sept. 1780. Signed by James Trimble for Timothy Matlack, Secretary. Council conclusions regarding payment of fines in the county militias. In March 1780, Pennsylvania passed a Militia Act requiring all white men between 18 and 53 to serve two months of militia duty on a rotating basis. Not serving resulted in fines, which were used to hire substitutes. This document clarifies some elements of this law, stating that the Lieutenants are to collect the fines, or deduct them from any advancement in pay, and the rate of the fines was to be the rate in place when the men were called out if the rate changed during their scheduled tour of duty, but the pay rate would change for men who answered the call for service when changes were made. These Lieutenants were civilian officers in each county responsible for determining who was eligible for service and making sure they showed up for military exercises, as well as collecting fines from those who did not. [Some information from the PA Historical & Museum Commission]

Timothy Matlack (ca 1730 - 1829) was a delegate to the Second Continental Congress from Pennsylvania, and emerged as an influential figure during the Revolutionary War era, although his is not a "household name." He also was one of the county Lieutenants in the PA militia, and became an overseer of provisions to Washington's Continental Army. What Matlack is best known for, however, is engrossing the Declaration of Independence while serving as clerk to the Secretary of the Continental Congress in 1776, the position held by Mr. Trimble in 1780. He also became a trustee of what is now the University of Pennsylvania, among many other notable affiliations.

James Trimble (1755-1837) became a clerk in the Land Office at the young age of 15 years. He was a clerk in the State Council by 1775, and eventually the first Deputy Secretary of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania under its new constitution in 1791.


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Moderately toned, with folds. Some separations along folds.
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