Goldberg Coins and Collectibles

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Coins, Manuscript and Collectibles Auction

Early Americana
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Lot 1
  The Miracle at Philadelphia - A Complete Set of Signers of the Constitution. Patrick Henry fumed that he would not be a delegate to the Philadelphia Convention to frame a binding constitution for the thirteen disparate states because he "smelled a rat." With the anti-Federalist views of Governor Clinton spearheading the opposition, sentiment in New York for a strong national government was sharply divided. Many were fearful of creating a "despotism of centralized power" and were perfectly content to allow each state to issue its currency, collect its own taxes, be free to exclude commerce from other states.

Nevertheless, since the beginning, the country had inched toward a grand national experiment, toward self-government, toward union.

The spirit behind the Federal Convention, historian Catharine Drinker Bowen tells us, was the spirit of compromise - not the ugly kind signifying a pact with the devil, a chipping off the best to appease the worst; rather the spirit of compromise "reigned in grace and glory." Call back the voices: James Wilson's "cold, cutting logic;" Governor Morris's "easy ironic flow," Roger Sherman's "drawling Yankee common sense;" Madison's "quiet, extraordinary performance" day in and day out.

Originally scheduled to begin May 14, 1787, the Convention did not get under way until eleven days later, as few of the delegates had yet arrived in Philadelphia. Finally, on May 25, the meetings formally opened in Independence Hall. Twelve states had responded to the call for the convention, Rhode Island refusing to send delegates because it did not want a national government interfering in its affairs, period.

Throughout the long hot summer, in the dark meeting rooms in Philadelphia's Independence Hall, the delegates argued and shouted, demanded and cajoled, persuaded, debated, insisted, resisted, doubted, threatened, philosophized and questioned, redesigned and rewrote the seven Articles of what would become the great document as best they could, coming and going as personal needs demanded, until, finally, in mid-September, 1787, they reached agreement.

The document they worked all that summer to frame sets forth our nation's fundamental laws, establishes the forms of government we use, lists the aims of that government and the methods of achieving them, and defines the rights and liberties of the American people. After nearly 600 separate votes on individual points, the members of the Constitutional Convention settled on a final draft of the Constitution and signed it on September 17, 1787.

Offered here is a prime collection of letters and documents from each of the delegates of 1787 who signed the Constitution of the United States that day. Each item has been majestically presented in its own leather-bound tri-fold display, measuring 11¼" x 16¼" (folded), and is accompanied by a complete transcription of the letter or document enclosed. In all cases in these descriptions, original spelling and punctuation errors have been left intact.

BALDWIN, ABRAHAM (1754 - 1807)
Delegate from Georgia to the Constitutional Convention. Baldwin material of any kind is extremely scarce and he is considered one of the rarest of the Signers.

Document Signed, one page, oblong octavo, n.p., August 23, 1794. Being a receipt for payment, reads in full:

"No. 390 received 23 August 1794 His Excellency the Governors Draft on the Treasurer for Twenty three pounds fifteen schilling specie being for part of a Special Appropriation of the year 1791 to be provided for out of the Monies arising from Interest on funded Certif.s chargable to Special appropriation of 1791. £23.15 Specie Abr. Baldwin."

The lower left corner of the document has been torn away (not affecting any text or signature), and document bears considerable bleed-through of ink from a similar receipt which has been penned on verso. Baldwin's signature, however, is not affected by the bleed-through and is sharp and clean.

BASSET, RICHARD (1745 - 1815)
Delaware member of the Constitutional Convention. Basset is nearly as rare as Baldwin.

Autograph Document Signed, one leaf, two-sided, folio, Kent County, Delaware, "May Term 1787".

In his capacity as a lawyer, Basset drew up this document which states that Jonathan Wallace is indebted to Stephen and Zauheus Collins "… in the sum of four hundred and Six pounds, in Spanish minted Dollars…" The Collinses bring a claim of damage in the amount of £500. Signed on verso by Basset. Almost immediately after serving these papers, Basset left for Philadelphia to join his companions to begin work on the new Constitution. Minor overall age-toning, a few weakened folds.

BEDFORD, GUNNING, JR. (1747 - 1812)
Delegate to the Congress of the Confederation (1785 and 1786); the Annapolis Convention (1786); and a Delaware representative to the Constitutional Convention. Perhaps the rarest of the Signers.

Autograph Letters Signed and Letters Signed are of extreme scarcity. His Autograph Documents Signed, in the form of checks, appear on the market only on occasion. Documents Signed are also scarce. Not to be confused with his cousin, Gunning Bedford Sr. (1742 - 1797), who served as Governor of Delaware (1796 - 1797).

Document Signed in Text, one page, approximately 6 1/4" x 2", n.p., May 24, 1794.

In full: "Rec.d May 24th '94, of Gunning Bedford junior, the sum of Forty Dollars on account of a note of I. U. Watonought due me; Rec.d of me & to be credited said note." Lower portion of document has several ink smears, none affecting signature, however.

BLAIR, JOHN (1732 - 1800)
Virginia delegate to the Constitutional Convention. Associate Justice of the Supreme Court (1789 - 1796). Blair's Autograph Letters Signed are extremely scarce. Occasionally turns up on Virginia currency which he has signed. Not to be confused with others of the same name.

Autograph Document Signed, one leaf, two-sided, oblong small octavo, Philadelphia, April 26, 1792.

Penned boldly to the Treasurer of the United States, the document reads in full: "Sir, Please to pay to Mr. John Barnes, or order, three hundred & thirty-three Dollars & one third of a dollar, & charge the same to my account, as part of my salary for the quarter ending the 31st of last month - John Blair." On the verso, Barnes has attested that he has received the sum mentioned by Blair. Document is in Fine condition.

BLOUNT, WILLIAM (1749 - 1800)
North Carolina Signer of the Constitution; appointed Governor of the territory south of the Ohio (1790); U.S. Senator from Tennessee (1796) but was expelled in July 1797 for being involved in a conspiracy to deliver New Orleans to Great Britain. Blount Autograph Letters Signed and Letters Signed are definitely scarce, though his Documents Signed do turn up on occasion.

Document Signed as Governor of Territory South of the Ohio River, one page, folio, Knoxville [in what would later become Tennessee], August 8, 1795.

Military pay directive which reads in part: "To David Henley Esquire Agent for the Department of War. Pay to William Richard Pay-Master pro-tem to the Troops in the Territory aforesaid out of the monies in your hands appropriated for the pay of the Army three hundred and fifty nine dollars for the pay of a Company of Infantry of the 3.d Sub Legion of the United States, under the command of Lieutenant William Richard to the thirty first of May 1795 agreeably to payroll and your report thereon of this date for which this shall be your warrant." Boldly signed (signature measures approximately 4" x 1¼"). Docketed on verso by Richard. Document shows minor overall age-toning, weakened folds.

BREARLEY, DAVID (1745 - 1790)
A New Jersey delegate to the Constitutional Convention. Brearley's signature is scarce in every form. Very few Autograph Letters Signed, Letters Signed or Documents Signed have been brought to the market.

Autograph Letter Signed, one page, octavo, Trenton, New Jersey, March 30, 1768, addressed to Micajah How. High Sheriff of the County of Hunterdon, letter concerns the estate of one John Ely, deceased.

In part: "Please to take notice that intend to execute a writ of inquiry of damages in the above case, on Saturday the twenty third day of April next, at the House of Rensellier Williams in Trenton in the Country of Hunterdon/Innholder at two of the clock in the afternoon of the same day, from yr. Hble. Servt. D. Brearley, Atty for pltf." Paper loss at extreme upper right corner (professionally restored), not affecting any text. Docketed on verso, light age-toning.

BROOM, JACOB (1752 - 1810)
Signer of the Constitution for the state of Delaware. Broom signatures are very scarce in all forms, and Broom is considered one of the rarest of the Signers.

Document Signed Twice, one leaf, two-sided, quarto, Newcastle County, Delaware, April 30, 1794.

With this document, "Thomas Magens of the Kindred and County of Newcastle…" appoints "…Dr. Henry Latimer … my true & lawfull attorney for me & in my name to receive the interest due & to grow due on Stock standing in my name in the Books of the Commissioners of Loans for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, with power, also any Attorney or Attorneys under him for that purpose…" Notarized by Broom and signed by him on verso: "Be it known that on the thirteenth day of April one thousand seven hundred and ninety four Before me Jacob Broom, Notary … Public for the said State; the above Letter of Attorney was duly executed according to Law. In Testimony whereof I have hereunto … affixed my Notarial Seal … Jacob Broom." Document is pristine with Broom's seal intact.

BUTLER, PIERCE (1744 - 1822)
Delegate from South Carolina at the Constitutional Convention. Butler is fairly scarce in all forms and is considered one of the rarest of the Signers.

Autograph Letter Signed, two pages (including integral address leaf),
two-sided, quarto, Philadelphia, July 12, 1795.

Letter from Butler to Eldridge Gerry, another Signer of the Constitution, in which Butler discusses at length the newly-signed Jay's Treaty. In part: "You have seen the much spoke of Treaty; and, if I know you at all, I think it has not your approbation … This Treaty is not only without reciprocity, the spiritt of all proper Treaties, but it infringes on our sovereignty; and cramps us in future negotiations with other powers. What have we left to offer to France, Spain, Portugal or the other European Powers!" A significant letter illuminating Butler's dissatisfaction with Jay's Treaty, which, in very simple terms, gave Britain concessions in trade with the U.S., provided Britain removed her troops from American soil. Weakened seals have been expertly strengthened. Letter bears a small paper loss from a seal tear (affecting both pages, eight words).

CARROLL, DANIEL (1730 - 1796)
Maryland delegate to the Constitutional Convention. Carroll is extremely scarce in any form. Not to be confused with his nephew, Daniel Carroll of Duddington Manor.

Autograph Letter Signed, two pages (including integral address leaf), two-sided, quarto, Baltimore, Maryland, October 15, 1778.

Carroll writes to Colonel John Fitzgerald in Alexandria, Virginia, regarding their mutual investments and commercial interest. In part: "I never rec.d any money from Wm. Hammond until this morning I got £2000 from him … I am very sorry and it was not in my power to get it for you ere this. He promises to pay me the balance next week, as soon as I rec. it I shall wate on you. I hope you will make Minson pay you the profit we could make on the 300 bushells sold by him in this town … I do assure you money is very scarce here at present…" Small seal tear (not affecting text or signature), light overall age-toning and slight ink-bleedthrough.

CLYMER, GEORGE (1739 - 1813)
Pennsylvania Signer of both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Clymer's letters of Revolutionary date are quite scarce, but those written after the Revolution are available.

Letter Signed, one page, quarto, Philadelphia, June 25, 1780.

Clymer and his associate John Nixon write to Eldridge Gerry and Azor Orne, instructing them to forward their mail care of Robert Morris. In full: "Sirs as you will have occasion to write us frequently on the business of the Bank & no opportunity may offer but the Post, the expence may become too great. We therefore request you would send all letters you intend for us Under Cover & directed to Rob.t Morris Esq.r Superintendent of Finance, 'Philadelphia;' and no Cost will Follow. We are Sirs Your most humble serv.ts Geo Clymer John Nixon." A very attractive letter with only very faint foxing.

DAYTON, JONATHAN (1760 - 1824)
At the age of 28, the youngest Signer of the Constitution (New Jersey delegate). Dayton is scarce in Revolutionary Autograph Letters Signed, but his late letters are fairly common, as are his signatures in other forms.

Autograph Document Signed, one leaf, two-sided, folio, Elizabeth, New Jersey, October 1, 1794.

Attractive document giving Dayton's power of attorney to Joseph Howell (then the accountant for the War Department). Signed "Jonathan Dayton" in text and "Jona: Dayton" at the end of the document. Also signed by his father, Ellias Dayton, as Recorder of the borough of Elizabeth and a member of the Court of Common Pleas. Seals of both Daytons are intact, docketed on verso. Fine condition.

DICKENSON, JOHN (1732 - 1808)
Served in the Delaware and Pennsylvania Assemblies, the Stamp Act Congress and the Continental Congress. Chief author of the first draft of the Articles of Confederation. As a delegate from Delaware, he also helped draft the Constitution but was not present when the document was signed (he asked George Read to sign for him). Dickenson Autograph Letters Signed are quite scarce, but Documents Signed are occasionally available.

Partly Printed Document Signed, one page, oblong octavo, Philadelphia, June 27, 1784.

Dickenson has signed this pay order for a Revolutionary officer's pension, totaling £22.15. Signature is a bit light but very legible. Document is in Fine condition.

FEW, WILLIAM (1748 - 1828)
Georgia representative at the Constitutional Convention; delegate to the Continental Congress. Autograph Letters Signed during the time Few lived in Georgia are of extreme scarcity. Some have appeared from the time he lived in New York, but little has come on the market.

Autograph Letter Signed. One page, oblong octavo, n.p., January 12, 1793. This letter, directed to Captain Meriwether (apparently an officer of a bank), orders the payment of a debt "…out of the money I deposited with you…" Very boldly signed "W Few." Light age-toning, docketing on verso.

FITZSIMONS, THOMAS (1741 - 1811)
Served in the Congress of the Confederation (1782 and 1783); Pennsylvania delegate to the Constitutional Convention.

Autograph Letter Signed, with Free Frank on integral address leaf. Two pages (including integral address leaf), two-sided. New York, July 1790.

Interesting letter to Benjamin Rush about the attempt to place the federal capital at Philadelphia. In part: "If I am to believe reports, our people have already evidenced their disposition to take advantage of the removal. The rent of some houses applied for have in the first instance been nearly doubled … Whether removal at the end of the year may or may not take place can only be presumed … Mr. Jefferson has made an estimate of the expenditure at this time … and makes it two hundred thousand pounds, sterling…" Center fold has separated, and has been professionally restored.

FRANKLIN, BENJAMIN (1706 - 1790)
American patriot, inventor, writer/publisher, diplomat, scientist, Pennsylvania delegate to the Constitutional Convention.

Franklin Autograph Letters Signed have not been scarce, but in recent years they have been absorbed so rapidly by institutions that they are becoming more so. Documents Signed, once extremely common, are becoming comparatively scarce.

Document Signed as Supreme Executive of Pennsylvania, one page, oblong folio, on vellum, Philadelphia, May 7, 1787.

Handsome document granting "…George Bortner A Certain Tract of Land called 'Borneo' Situated on a branch of Codorus Creek in Codorus Township York County…" Franklin's signature is large and bold at left center. Above his signature, a "starburst" embossed wafer seal of the state of Pennsylvania (possible the finest embossed seal ever seen on any document) affixed with red wax. A few petals of the starburst seal are torn but intact, light age-toning at folds and at extreme borders. Docketed on verso with a second embossed wafer seal, this one of the Enrollment Office. An exceptional Franklin document.

GILMAN, NICHOLAS (1755 - 1814)
New Hampshire delegate to the Constitutional Convention. Served in the Congress of the Confederation (1786-88); U.S. Representative (1789-97); U.S. Senator (1805-14).

Autograph Letters Signed of Gilman are extremely scarce and Autograph Documents Signed and Documents Signed are uncommon. Not to be confused with his father, of the same name.

Autograph Document Signed, one page, oblong octavo, Philadelphia, January 7, 1795.

Gilman penned this order to pay to his brother, John T. Gilman (who was at the time Governor of New Hampshire), the sum of $54. Docketed on verso. Document is in Fine condition and quite attractive.

GORHAM, NATHANIEL (1738 - 1796)
Member of the Continental Congress, acting President of the Congress of the Confederation in 1786 and 1787; Massachusetts delegate to the Constitutional Convention. Autograph Letters Signed by Gorham have never been scarce, although Letters Signed are rarely encountered. Autograph Documents Signed and Documents Signed do appear on the market occasionally.

Autograph Letter Signed, one page (including integral address leaf), folio, Charlestown, Massachusetts, September 23, 1771.

Gorham writes to Messrs. Rynell & Coates, in part: "…I shipt you 3 bags pepper as I invoice below which I desire you would sell to Certain advantage & place the nett proceeds to my credit. I wish by Church for 50 barrills flour, desiring you to send it by the first vessel…" Signed "Nath Gorham." Small seal stain and seal tear (not affecting any text or signature), else Fine.

HAMILTON, ALEXANDER (1757 - 1804).
Secretary and Aide-de-Camp to General Washington (1777-81); member of the Continental Congress (1782, 1783, 1787, 1788); New York delegate to the Constitutional Convention; first U.S. Secretary of the Treasury (1789-95).

Autograph material of Hamilton in any form is much in demand and is becoming scarcer and more difficult to acquire. Items of Revolutionary date are rare.

Letter Signed, one page, folio, New York, September 21, 1799.

As Inspector General of the Army, Hamilton sent this letter to "Col Ogden" (probably Aaron Ogden, who was at this time Lieutenant-Colonel Commandant of the 11th U.S. Infantry) concerning a furlough for Major Adlum, in part: "The enclosed letter from Major Adlum contains a request for a furlough. I have no objections to the thing as far as relates to the command on which you are the proper judge, and it is referred to you for determination." Separation of folds has been repaired.

INGERSOLL, JARED (1742 - 1822)
Served in the Continental Congress (1780 and 1781); Pennsylvania delegate to the Constitutional Convention.

Autograph Letter Signed, one page (including integral address leaf), quarto, n.p., June 20, 1795.

Addressed to John Nicholson, in full: "I hope you will not think me too importunate but as I am going out of town, I am anxious about the payment of Bills and therefore would acknowledge it as a favour if you could send Mrs. Ingersoll the paper as you express it. Please to direct your Letter to her, otherwise she will not open it. Yours, J. Ingersoll." Boldly penned and in Fine condition.

JENIFER, DANIEL of St. Thomas (1723 - 1790)
Maryland delegate to the Continental Congress (1778-82) and to the Constitutional Convention. Letters Signed are rarely seen.

Autograph Letter Signed, one page, quarto. "Intendant's office, Oct. 5th, 1784." Jenifer writes to "The Commissioners for the Sales of Confiscated property." In part: "It will be necessary before you close your books as Commissioners for confiscated property that you charge each estate sold with all the expenses of Surveying Commissions etc., otherwise the State may loose [sic] in many instances…" Creamy age-toning.

Member of the Congress of the Confederation (1784-86); Connecticut delegate to the Constitutional Convention; one of the first two U.S. Senators from Connecticut (1789-91); President of Columbia College in NYC (1787-1800).

Autograph Letters Signed and Letters Signed are very scarce, although Documents Signed do come onto the market on occasion.

Autograph Letter Signed, one page, quarto, Philadelphia, March 5, 1791.

Being Johnson's historic letter of resignation from Congress, addressed to Governor Huntington of Connecticut. In part: "I enclose you a copy of the resignation I have found it necessary to make of my Seat in Congress as a Senator from the State of Connecticut. It is unnecessary to trouble you with a particular detail of the reasons which have induced me to take this resolution which I hope will not be disagreeable to the good Peoples of Connecticut for whom I have the highest regard." Johnson's unstated reason for resigning his seat in Congress was to devote his entire time to the discharge of his duties as President of Columbia College. Letter is boldly penned and in Fine condition.

KING, RUFUS (1755 - 1827)
Member of the Continental Congress (1784-87); Massachusetts delegate to the Constitutional Convention.

Autograph Letter Signed, one page, quarto, London, July 23, 1800.

A cryptic letter reading in part: "I yesterday rec.d your letter … I remain precisely in the same situation, as when you left England, but I think I may input the decision of our Gov.t in the course of a fortnight or three weeks - having but a moment while Mr. Torman waits & who will take charge of your American Letters … I will write to you again in a day or two under cover to Bours."

King was this country's plenipotentiary to Great Britain and issues of a critical nature were arising almost daily between the two nations. King, by firm yet tactful diplomacy managed to avert any open breach.

Large, bold signature. Letter is in fine condition.

LANGDON, JOHN (1741 - 1819)
Member of the Continental Congress; of the Congress of the Confederation; New Hampshire delegate to the Constitutional Convention. Letters Signed are rarely encountered. Often mistaken with two other contemporaries of the same name.

Autograph Document Signed in Text, one page, oblong octavo, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, June 8, 1779.

Prior to becoming politically involved, Langdon was a successful merchant in Portsmouth. Our document is a receipt for cloth purchased by William Vernon. In part: "Bought of John Langdon 3 yds Supl. London Brown Broad Cloth … for a suit of Cloaths…" Attractively penned and in fine condition.

First Governor of New Jersey (term began 1776 and lasted the rest of his life). Represented New Jersey at the First and Second Continental Congresses and at the Constitutional Convention. Fairly scarce in Autograph Letters Signed.

Document Signed, one page, oblong octavo, n.p., August 30, 1788.

Livingston has signed a certificate of attendance at a legislative meeting. In full: "These are to verify that the honorable John Peek Esquire has attended on Privy Council four days in the months of June and July last including traveling days. Given under my hand the 30th day of August 1788. Wil. Livingston." Light age-toning.

MADISON, JAMES (1751 - 1836)
Fourth President of the United States (1809-19). Member of the Virginian Convention (1776); of the Continental Congress (1788); of the Legislature of Virginia (1784); and a Virginia delegate to the Constitutional Convention; Secretary of State (1801).

Autograph Letters Signed have become scarce.

Autograph Letter Signed, one page, two-sided, quarto, Philadelphia, November 30, 1788.

Agronomic letter to unknown addressee, in which Madison quotes General Washington in regard to some seeds that were sent to him. In part: "I have rec.d the answer from General Washington on the subject of your recommendation to me, which I cannot so well communicate as in his own words - 'With respect to the Sulla … I must request the favor of you to apologise for me to Mr. St. John for not having acknowledged the receipt of it … In my room at Mr. Morris's (where papers were generally laid) I one day found a bundle containing the seed in question, unaccompanied by a letter, card, or slice of information to direct my acknowledgement of the receipt … I am sorry to add that this plant for want perhaps of knowing its nature, etc., came to nothing. The seed vegetated partially, and not being able to find the name in any botanical list in my possession … it was neglected afterwards." Madison goes on to say that he received from the addressee a "…memorandum on the subject of the deed of conveyance, and I have taken the proper steps for obtaining the necessary information…" Text of letter and signature are somewhat light, but legible.

McHENRY, JAMES (1758 - 1816)
Served in the Congress of the Confederation (1783-86); represented Maryland at the Constitutional Convention; Secretary of War (1796 - 1800).

Letter Signed as Secretary of War, one page, quarto, "War Office," January 5, 1797.

McHenry sends a message to Samuel Hodgdon, Esq., in full: "As one wagon, from your representation of this morning, will not be sufficient to transport the baggage of the Indian Chiefs to Knoxville, I request that you will be pleased to provide another immediately, so that they may be enabled to commence their journey without further delay. The three horses you have received from the Indians you will also please to return to them. I am Sir, respectfully, your ob.t Serv.t James McHenry." Letter is fine, with a tiny smudge in the "J" of McHenry's signature.

MIFFLIN, THOMAS (1744 - 1800)
A member of the First Continental Congress (1774). Served in the Congress of the Confederation (1782-84); represented Pennsylvania at the Constitutional Convention; Chief Executive of Pennsylvania (1788-99). Mifflin's Autograph Letters Signed are somewhat uncommon.

Autograph Letter Signed, two pages (including integral address leaf), two-sided, small quarto, Paris, May 26, 1764.

As a young man, Mifflin traveled in Europe for a year, at which time he wrote this letter to his uncle. In part: "Honoured Uncle We had been in London about 4 weeks when J.G. & I sett off for Paris. After spending 3 weeks here I formed a resolution of entering an academy to learn the French language … at last determined to wait here two or three months where I could live much cheaper and to more advantage than in England…" Mifflin goes on to provide details of his life in Paris and asks his uncle to give his respects to his friends and family. Minor seal tear and paper loss at one corner of address leaf (not affecting text or signature).

MORRIS, GOUVERNEUR (1732 - 1816)
Delegate to the Revolutionary Congress of New York in 1775; served as a leading member of the New York Continental Convention (1776); member of the Continental Congress (1778-79); Pennsylvania delegate at the Constitutional Convention. Letters Signed are difficult to locate.

Autograph Letter Signed, two pages (including integral address leaf), quarto, Philadelphia, September 22, 1783.

Morris writes to attorney Samuel Jones of New York, concerning a pending lawsuit. In part: "Mr. Joseph Wharton, whom I formerly mentioned to you, tells me you want to know whether any Suit is commenced in The Supreme Court against his Lands. I think you had better write a line of enquiry to Mr. McKesson, the clerk of the Supreme Court…" Signed "Gouv Morris." Letter bears a moderate waterstain affecting the first two lines of the letter. Light age-toning throughout.

MORRIS, ROBERT (1734 - 1806)
Pennsylvania Signer of both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution; served in the Continental Congress (1776-78); American Superintendent of Finance (1781-84); known as the "Financier of the American Revolution." Elected Senator from Pennsylvania to the First U.S. Congress (1789-95).

Autograph Letter Signed, two pages (including integral address leaf), two-sided, quarto, Philadelphia, June 27, 1796.

Morris writes this letter to Thomas Davis, Treasurer of the state of Massachusetts, concerning a debt. In part: "Having written to Messrs. Stephen Higginson & Co. … requesting them to take measures for the payment of my Bond … I waited to know which was likely to be done, before I replyed … I have requested them to consult with you as to the best mode of Effecting a Sale of so much of the deferred debt as will enable them to discharge the Bond, in which I pray the favour that you will aid, assist & Cooperate with them…" Boldly penned and signed. Light age-toning overall.

PATERSON, WILLIAM (1745 - 1806)
New Jersey Signer of the Constitution; U.S. Senator from New Jersey (1789-90); New Jersey Governor (1790-93); appointed a Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (1793) where he served until his death. Paterson is extremely scarce in Autograph Letters Signed, fairly scarce in Autograph Documents Signed and Documents Signed. Rarely seen in Letters Signed. Often confused with others of the same name.

Autograph Letter Signed, two pages (including integral address leaf), large quarto, n.p., April 15, 1788.

Addressed to Robert Watts in New York, in part: "Wm. Stevens was with me a few days after you left me and has acceded to your proposal of £80 hard for every £100 paper on my promising, that he should have at least two months to affect the Exchange … On the 5th instant he was with me at Trenton … and paid me about £100 hard Money. The sooner you send for it the better…" Letter is moderately age-toned.

PINCKNEY, CHARLES (1757 - 1824)
Delegate to the Congress of the Confederation (1784-87); delegate from South Carolina at the Constitutional Convention; Governor of South Carolina four times, U.S. Senator (1798-1801). Pickney's Autograph Letters Signed are definitely scarce. Letters Signed are rarely seen. Documents Signed are occasionally available.

Partly Printed Document Signed as Governor, two pages (one oblong folio leaf and one two-sided large octavo leaf), Charleston, South Carolina, November 30, 1791.

Attractive and unusual land grant, which includes not only a description of the land, but contains a detailed sketch of the 110 acres in question. In part: "Know Ye, That for an in consideration of Five Schillings & three Pence Sterling money, paid by William Buford … We have granted … a plantation or tract of land containing one Hundred and ten Acres Surveyed the 13th Feby 1790 … Situate in the District of Georgetown on at Wadbeacan Creek a Branch of Santee River…" Pickney has boldly signed at the bottom of the document, the lower edge of which has been folded up and is bound by a ribbon to the second leaf bearing the map of the land granted to William Buford. Pinckney has again signed on the folded-up portion of the larger document. A few weakened folds have been professionally repaired, creamy age-toning. A very handsome piece.

South Carolina delegate to the Constitutional Convention.

Document Signed, one page, small quarto, n.p., "November Term 1785."

In 1782, after being held as a prisoner of war for two years, Pinckney returned to his law practice, in which he won great reputation and large profits. The document offered here bears Pinckney's signature as a lawyer from this period in his life. In part: "We consent to the examination of all witnesses on each side and to thorough examination … Charles Cotesworth Pinckney for the Pltfs. John J. Pringle for the Defendants." Light age-toning. Pickney's signature is light but easily discerned.

READ, GEORGE (1738 - 1798)
Signer of the Declaration of Independence and of the Constitution from Delaware. Served in the Continental Congress (1774-77). Read has always been scarce in Autograph Letters Signed, Letters Signed and Autograph Documents Signed.

Autograph Document Signed, one page, oblong octavo, n.p., May 18, 1782.

Document penned and signed by Read, requiring the court to "Issue the following subpoenas … on Thursday the 23d instant at 10 O'Clock in the forenoon ag.t [against] the following persons that they appear to testify for Pltf [plaintiff]…" In the case of William Camblin very scarce. Francis Wade. In Fine condition.

RUTLEDGE, JOHN (1739 - 1800)
Represented South Carolina at the Stamp Act Congress (1765), and twice in the Continental Congress. South Carolina's first president (1776-78); Governor (1779-82); representative at the Constitutional Convention for South Carolina. Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (1790-91). Rutledge is one of the very scarce Signers with Autograph Letters Signed being extremely rare. Letters Signed are rarely seen but a few Autograph Documents Signed have come to the market.

Autograph Letter Signed, one page (including integral address leaf), quarto, Charleston, South Carolina, July 31, 1777.

Rutledge penned this letter to "The Delegates for No. Carolina at the [Continental] Congress." In part: "I have this day drawn a Lott of Bill on you, in favour of Dr. Farar, for fourteen Thousand & ninety Two Dollars, he having paid Twenty two Thousand nine hundred Pounds, into our Treasury, for them, which I doubt not will be duly honoured." Light age-toning, water stain at left center of letter (not affecting signature).

SHERMAN, ROGER (1721 - 1793)
The only man to sign the Articles of Association (1774), the Declaration of Independence (1776), the Articles of Confederation (1777) and the U.S. Constitution (1787). Autograph Letters Signed by Sherman have been very scarce.

Autograph Document Signed, one page, folio, New Haven, CT, August ? 1769. Being the deposition of one Phineas Bradley, Jr., concerning the training of a young painter's apprentice named John Peck.

In part: "Question Did you ever hear s.d [said] Peck … complain that s.d Painter was not willing faithfull to touch and instruct him in any or all the rules of joynery work or that s.d Painter neglected to learn him to make such window frames, door cases, casements and the like. Answer Not that I remember … Question Did s.d Peck appear to have a predeges [prejudice] against s.d Painter. Answer he did and the Reason he gave me for it was that s.d Painter did not give him Lybarty [liberty] Enough." Document is boldly penned, docketing on verso, in Fine condition.

North Carolina Signer of the Constitution. Delegate to the Congress of the Confederation (1783-85). Spaight has always been of utmost rarity, although some Documents Signed as Governor have turned up in recent years.

Autograph Letter Signed as Governor, one page, quarto, "State of North Carolina 1st Aug.t 1793."

Spaight writes to Colonel Abraham Thomas on the subject of an officer's pension. In part: "You will be pleased to relinquish the claim of this State to the final settlement certificates, of the late L. Colonel Gideon Lamb, which have been claimed & stopped by you, in the Treasury office of the United States, on behalf of this State." Signed "Rich.d Dobbs Spaight." In fine condition.

WASHINGTON, GEORGE (1732 - 1799)
First President of the United States (1789-97) and Virginia delegate to the Constitutional Convention. Autograph Letters Signed are common, those with Revolutionary content or as President being higher in price. Letters Signed are fairly common, but less so than Autograph Letters Signed. Documents Signed are becoming more difficult to find as demand is strong and they are lower priced than other Washington material.

Cut Signature and Accompanying Letter from Jared Sparks. In July 1851, George Gardner wrote to historian and Washington biographer Jared Sparks, to request an autograph of Washington. On January 3, 1852, Sparks replied with this letter.

"Your letter of the 16th of July was mislaid, and overlooked till recently. I enclose an autograph signature of Washington, which is the only contribution I can make to your collection. Respectfully yours, Jared Sparks."

Accompanying Sparks' letter was the cut signature offered here, taken from a 1768 lottery ticket (approximately 4" x 1"). A few months after writing this letter, Sparks would be publicly criticized for taking liberties with passages from Washington's letters and for misrepresenting Washington in his biographical work on the President. Both letter and cut signature have been inlaid to a larger sheet. Fine.

WILLIAMSON, HUGH (1735 - 1819)
North Carolina Signer of the Constitution. Served in Congress (1790-93). Anything signed or written by Williamson is quite rare.

Autograph Letter Signed, one page, two-sided, quarto, New York, October 20, 1796.

Historically important letter to compatriot James McHenry, concerning who will become the second President. In part: "Who is to be our next President? Has been the universal question ever since the Presidents Resolution was published of not serving again. I have uniformly ventured to predict & have been ready to support my opinion in the true English made by a bet - that John Adams will out poll Mr. Jefferson at 7 to 5 nearly and that he will be chosen by the Electors. Great pleasure has been expressed by many people on hearing so clear & positive a prediction, and they have given as a reason … that they conceived that my very extensive acquaintance through the country gave me good means of forming a well founded opinion … Col. Burr was in Boston when I left it & his informants … had induced him to conclude that the votes would be nearly equal … How is it that from the same informant we draw different conclusions? … what is doing in Philadelphia or in the seat of gov.t I have heard as little as concerning the gov.t of Persia…."

At the time this flash of instant history was written, McHenry was serving as Secretary of War in Washington's cabinet, a post he would hold until 1801. Letter shows light ink bleed-through.

WILSON, JAMES (1742 - 1798)
Pennsylvania Signer of the Declaration of Independence and of the Constitution; Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (1789-98). His war-dated Autograph Letters Signed are scarce.

Autograph Letter Signed, two pages (including integral address leaf), small quarto, Philadelphia, September 28, 1782.

Brief letter to Jasper Yeates (who would later become Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania), in part: "I was favored with your letter, and will observe your direction as to Long. You may depend on my punctuality on the first of November. I have not forgot how much you obliged me…" Large, bold signature. Weakened folds have been professionally strengthened, slight paper loss from seal tear.

The miraculous parchment document that has guided our destiny for over two hundred years was witnessed and subscribed to by George Washington as President of the Constitutional Convention, attested to by William Jackson as Secretary, and unanimously consented to by the 38 delegates present (from 12 of the 13 states) who framed the Constitution on "the Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven and of the Independence of the United States of America the Twelfth."

Estimated Value $60,000 - 80,000.
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Lot 2
  Signers of the First Congress - First Session. FIRST CONGRESS

FIRST SESSION: Convened March 4, 1789

Neither a quorum of the Senate nor of the House of Representatives appeared in their respective chambers on Wednesday March 4th, 1789 but 8 Senators appeared and the minority adjourned from day to day until Monday April 6th when a quorum of the Senate was first present. 13 members of the House of Representatives appeared on March 4th and a quorum was not present until April 6th, when the body proceeded to the transaction of business. When both houses were organized on April 6th they met in joint convention in the hall of the Senate and proceeded to open and count the electoral vote for President and Vice-President. George Washington, of course, was elected President and John Adams, the Vice-President elect, appeared in the Senate chamber and assumed the duties of the Chair on Tuesday, April 21, 1789.

Washington had been a delegate to, and president of, the National Convention which met in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in May 1787 and adopted the new Constitution. Charles Thompson, the Secretary of the last Congress, was appointed by the Senate of the United States to carry to General Washington the official information of his unanimous election to the office of President of the United States of America and on 14 April 1789 he arrived at Mount Vernon to communicate the following words: "Sir: the President of the Senate chosen for the special purpose, having opened and counted the votes of the electors in presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, I was honored with the command of the Senate to wait upon Your Excellency with the information of your being elected to the office of President of the United States of America…"

To which General Washington replied: "Sir: I have been accustomed to pay so much respect to the opinion of my fellow citizens that the knowledge of their having given their unanimous suffrages in my favor scarcely leaves me the alternative for an option. I can not, I believe, give a greater evidence of my sensibility of the honor they have done me than by accepting the appointment…"

That same day, Washington wrote from Mount Vernon to the Honorable John Langdon, President Pro Tem of the Senate of the United States: "…Having concluded to obey the importance and flattering call of my country, and having been impressed with an idea of the expediency of my being with Congress at as early a period as possible, I propose to commence my journey on Thursday morning, which will be the day after tomorrow…"

The next day, the House of Representatives made an arrangement to meet Washington part way, and passed the following resolution: "That it will be most eligible, in the first instance, that a committee of three members of the Senate and five members from the House of Representatives, to be appointed by the Houses respectively, attend to receive the President at such place as he shall embark from New Jersey for this city [i.e. New York], and conduct him without form to the house lately occupied by the President of Congress, and that at such time thereafter as the President may signify, he be formally received by both Houses…"

By April 20, Elizabeth Town had been chosen as the appropriate meeting place. Writing from Philadelphia, Washington informed the Congress: "…Tomorrow evening I propose to be at Trenton, the night following at Brunswick, I hope to have the pleasure of meeting you at Elizabeth Town Point on Thursday at twelve o'clock."

On Wednesday evening, April 23rd, Elias Boudinot, a newly elected representative from New Jersey, was ready to receive Washington "… at my house as soon as you can arrive here tomorrow morning … If you, Sir, will honor us with your company at breakfast, it will give us great pleasure. We will wait Your Excellency's arrival in hopes of that gratification. You can have a room to dress in, if you should think it necessary, as convenient as you can have it in town…"

These amenities thus disposed of, all that remained was for the Houses to arrange an escort and establish a protocol for the presidential reception. On April 25th, a committee appointed to consider time, place and procedure reported out the following: "…That the President hath been pleased to signify to them that any time or place with which both Houses may think proper to appoint in any manner which shall appear most eligible to them will be convenient and acceptable to him; that requisite preparations can not probably be made before Thursday next, that the President be on that date formally received in the Senate chamber by both Houses; that the Representatives' chamber, being capable of receiving the greater number of persons, that therefore the President do take the oath in that place in presence of both Houses; that after the formal reception of the President in the Senate chamber he be attended by both Houses to the Representatives' chamber, and that the oath be administered by the Chancellor of this state."

On April 30, 1789 in the city of New York, George Washington delivered his first inaugural address, and under the auspices of JOHN ADAMS of Massachusetts as the Vice President of the United States, JOHN LANGDON of New Hampshire, President Pro Tempore of the Senate, SAMUEL A. OTIS of Massachusetts as Secretary of the Senate, FREDERICK A. C. MUHLENBERG of Pennsylvania as the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and JOHN BECKLEY of Virginia as Clerk of the House, the United States Congress began meeting in force for the first time.


What we have here are original documents from the hands of 35 of these newly-elected Senators and Representatives from the 13 original states that were signatories to the Constitution present at these ground breaking events.


SHERMAN, ROGER (1721-1793)
Signer of the Declaration of Independence.

Autograph Note Signed. No place, no date, 3" x 7".

Signature at the bottom of a receipt of some sort which is separated at the center vertical fold (not affecting signature). Small (size of a thumbnail) chip missing at tip.

TRUMBULL, JONATHAN (1740 - 1809)
Member U.S. House of Representatives; Speaker of the House; U.S. Senator; Governor of Connecticut.

Partially Printed Document Signed,accomplished in manuscript and signed by Trumbull as Commander of His Majesty's Colony of Connecticut. One page, oblong Folio, New Haven, 19 December, 1775. Remnants of wax seal left of center, of which about 3/4 survives, foxing throughout giving the document a lovely patina of age.

The document promotes Joseph Elliss to Lieutenant and puts him in charge of a company of soldiers.


VINING, JOHN (1758 - 1802)
Senator; member Continental Congress; elected to the First Federal Congress as the only representative from Delaware, then re-elected, and later sent to the U.S. Senate

Autograph Receipt Signed. One page, oblong Octavo, 21 December 1767, 2½" x 10".

Payment is for portion of a mortgage. In Fine condition.


FEW, WILLIAM (1748 - 1828)
Senator; delegate to the Continental Congress and to the Convention that framed the Federal Constitution; elected one of the first two Senators from Georgia 4 March 1789. His autograph is rare in any form.

Autograph Letter Signed. One page, Quarto, 10" x 7½", United States Loan Office, New York, 10 August 1809, to Gabriel Duvall, Esq.

Execssively Rare. Right vertical edge ragged, cutting into 4 words, a triangular portion of the lower left corner has vanished, affecting no text, but the letter is bold and clean and quite attractive.

"In answer to your letter of the 4th inst. I have to observe that Richard J. Tucker, the surety to the enclosed bond, is still living and that his general reputation … induces me to believe his security to be sufficient…"

Accordingly, Few elects to conclude the transaction favorably.


ASHE, JOHN BAPTISTA (1748 - 1802)
Soldier and later member of the first and second Congresses, 1789-96.

Autograph Letter Signed. One page, Quarto, 9" x 7", 11 March 1778, to Governor Caswell.

Discusses troop movements, wagons and supplies.


FITZSIMONS, THOMAS (1741 - 1811)
Merchant and statesman; from 1789 till 1795 he sat in the National Congress.

Autograph Letter Signed. One page, Quarto, a bit ragged along the right vertical edge affecting no text, browned on top and two sides along edges and horizontal folds, small hole along the top horizontal fold affecting no words, 9½" x 7 3/4", Philadelphia, 3 August 1785, to Mr. Law.

Letter announces the enclosure of certain certificates from the Customs House in order to facilitate the shipping of some goods.

HARTLEY, THOMAS (1748 - 1800)
Soldier, later a lawyer; served in the National House of Representatives by continuous re-election from 4 March 1789 to 1800.

Document Signed. One page, Octavo, 6½" x 8", York, 21 May 1787, in fine condition.

A receipt for some 200 Pounds from one John Garber as part payment against 500 Pounds, agreed to in the defense of a legal matter.

Member of Continental Congress and U.S. House of Representatives and first Speaker.

Document Signed. One page, to the State Treasurer, David Rittenhouse, Philadelphia, 6 March 1781, unevenly cut along 3 sides, with a single tape splice affecting one word, 6" x 8".

The document is in order to pay approximately 25 Pounds of state money to one James Cowden. It is signed by Muhlenberg as Speaker of the House.

Member U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate.

Partially Printed Document Signed. Accomplished in manuscript, One page, oblong Quarto, Philadelphia, 10 April 1805, 3 3/4" x 10".

An acknowledgement of a shipment of tea. Muhlenberg signs as Collector for the Port of Philadelphia.

WYNKOOP, HENRY (1737 - 1816)
Member Continental Congress; elected to the First Congress of the United States, serving till 1791.

Autograph Endorsement Signed. One page, elephant Folio, Pennsylvania, 12 April 1807, faded, but legible, scalloped on the top, overall size approximately 12" x 16" but it is unevenly trimmed on both the right and the left sides.

Wynkoop's holograph portion takes up about 1½" x 9" of the lower quadrant.

Wynkoop's response is signed as President of the Court of Common Pleas and is found on the bottom of an elephant folio vellum indenture dated 5 April 1787 between Richard Leedom and Thomas Tyson. The document transfers a tract of land said to be the same tract which the Commonwealth "by their letters of patent under the hand of the Honorable Benjamin Franklin … granted unto Richard Leedom…" and bears two seals as well as additional Leedom family signatures.


BOURN[E], BENJAMIN (1755 - 1808)
American jurist; elected first representative to Congress from Rhode Island after the adoption of the Constitution.

Autograph Letter Signed. One page, Quarto, 20 May 1796, Philadelphia, with ith integral address leaf, addressed to Mrs. Bourn[e].
9" x 7¼", seal remnants on integral address leaf causing usual tear, folded, else fine.

"Congress is still in session & will continue so, in my opinion, until the first of June…"

There follows news of a friend's visit, the disposition of his trunk, and some silk work for a neighbor.


SUMTER, THOMAS (1734 - 1832)
American Revolutionary officer; member U.S. Representatives and U.S. Senate.

Autograph Endorsement Signed. On the bottom of Two pages, recto/verso, Quarto letter written to Sumter by a Mr. Butler, Stateburgh, 17 July 1808, 10" x 8", the piece is ragged on the right vertical edge affecting one or two words, else fine.

Sumter has apparently directed a communication to the secretary of War which is passed through the hands of Butler. Butler tells Sumter that he (Butler) has "… said all I thought necessary & proper - & I may add all I think you want to have wished said on the occasion, your success probably will depend on the recommendation of the delegation of the State of Tennessee - as that is the channel from whence information is sought … in this case. The hope of avoiding war seems to increase … internal commotion is greatly to be feared … the course of conduct seemingly determined by the legislature of the State of Massachusetts…"

Sumter responds as follows: "Mr. Sumter receives Mr. Butler's polite attention with great pleasure, & reciprocates them with affection."

Following the complimentary close, Sumter signs "Th. L. Sumter"


WALKER, JOHN (1744 - 1809)
Senator; aide to George Washington, later appointed by the governor U.S. Senator in place of William Grayson, who died 4 May 1780.

Autograph Letter Signed. One page, small Quarto, 9¼" x 7½", Belvoir, 26 July 1791, to James Brown, Esq. in Richmond.

The letter has been cleaned and smoothed. There is some ink bleeding but the overall appearance is excellent. The address leaf is on the verso with typical seal remnants.

Walker orders some goods for his wife and gives instructions for the shipment of other items.

BROWN, JOHN (1757 - 1837)
Lawyer from 1782 on; Delegate to the Continental Congress 1787-88; prominent role in admission of Kentucky into the Union.

Autograph Receipt Signed. One page, Octavo, "1785", between Brown and one Robert Carter, Esq. for a quantity of goods, 3" x 6¼", unevenly trimmed, else fine.

LEE, RICHARD BLAND (1761 - 1827)
Planter; statesman; brother of Henry, "Light-Horse Harry" and Charles Lee, an ardent Federalist, he served in Congress until 1785.

Autograph Letter Signed. One page, Quarto, 8¼" x 7½", Philadelphia, 17 January 1792.

Lee, on behalf of "the merchants of Alexandria urges upon the recipient the notion of establishing a branch of the national bank at that place."

PAGE, JOHN (1743 - 1808)
American Revolutionary leader; member U.S. House of Representatives; Governor of Virginia.

Autograph Letter Signed. One page, Quarto, Richmond, 24 May 1804, 10¼" x 8¼".

Right margin reinforced with tape on verso, as is a hole affecting a couple of words. There is scattered ink smudging of a minor nature. The overall appearance of the letter is very good.

Page writes to settle a score of a recently deceased relative for whom he simultaneously did work and owed money to. His proposition is to have the debt cancelled by some deed he performed for his late relative.


Autograph Letter Signed. One page, Quarto, 9 3/4" x 8", written from the Falls of Schuyekill, 8 August 1802, addressed to Nicholas Low, Esq. of New York on the integral address leaf which bears the usual seal stains and tearing. Some browning along the right edge and the horizontal folds.

General letter of introduction of an agreeable family of friends on whom Griffin bestows great admiration.



American Revolutionary leader; member of Continental Congress; Signer of the Declaration of Independence; U.S. Senator.

Partial Autograph Letter Signed. Fragment of the bottom portion of an Autograph Letter Signed, One page, Octavo, 3½" x 7", n.p., 6 December 1828.

There are 5 surviving lines of text whose content is unknowable, but the signature is large and bold save for a light transfer stain that partially effaces it.


OTIS, SAMUEL ALLEYNE (1740 - 1814)
Statesman; studied law then went into mercantile business; one of the Commissioners sent to negotiate with Daniel Shays and his insurgents; delegate to the Continental Congress, later became Secretary of the U.S. Senate

Autograph Letter Signed. One page, Quarto, 10" x 8", Washington, 12 December 1801.

Letter encloses a draft for $100 to be deposited in Otis' account.

STRONG, CALEB (1745 - 1819)
Member of Constitutional Convention; U.S. Senator; Governor of Massachusetts

Letter Signed. One page, Quarto, 9 1/2" x 7 3/4", Boston, 11 October 1814, to His Excellency the Governor of the State of Maryland.

Strengthened on the verso in several places with tape, some slight staining upper quadrant not affecting text. In full:

"I enclose copies of votes of the Senate and the House of Representatives of this state, respecting an amendment of the Constitution of the United States proposed by the Legislatures of the States of Pennsylvania and Tennessee; and have the honor to be…"

AMES, FISHER (1758 - 1808)
American statesman; member U.S. House of Representatives

Partial Autograph Letter Signed. Incomplete bottom fragment of an Autograph Letter Signed, no place, no date, unevenly trimmed to 5" x 7". Occasional stains, with some pencil underlining.

14 lines discussing the possibility of war with England and the embargo.

GERRY, ELBRIDGE (1744 - 1814)
Member of Continental Congress; Signer of the Declaration of Independence and the Articles of Confederation; Governor of Massachusetts; Vice President of the United States; member of the Constitutional Convention, but refused to sign

Autograph Letter Signed. One page, Quarto, 9 1/4" x 7 1/2", Cambridge, 16 March 1805, faded in parts and badly stained with erosion along two folds and at several intersections. Signature itself is light.

To "Honorable Mr. [Josiah] Bartlett"
Letter deals with some lands and some monies involved in a transaction relating to the land.

GOODHUE, BENJAMIN (1748 - 1814)
Senator; elected to the first Congress and served until 1795; elected U.S. Senate till 1800; specialized in business affairs

Autograph Letter Signed. Two pages, recto/verso, large Quarto, 10" x 8," Salem, 12 April 1799.

Written from Salem, addressed to the Honorable James McHenry, Secretary of War, in Philadelphia on integral address leaf.

The usual seal staining and damage, however a mouse has additionally gnawed through a portion of the seal area, affecting 4 words of text and a bit of the docketing on the address leaf. None of this mischief, however, detracts from the overall pleasing look of the piece.

The subject of our letter generally is the question of how to raise an army to defend the country without knowing something of the means of supporting that army financially, and the quality of the persons who will be asked to serve. It is a lengthy, thoughtful piece of which the following quotation is typical:

"… It appears to me the subject as stated by you is solved in great difficulties, for it's hardly to be presumed the consent of many can be obtained to fill an office in the army when it may so happen that it may never be raised, or if raised no assurance we can give them can make it certain they shall obtain - men who are now in possession of or in the prospect of any comfortable means of subsistence would I should suppose be loathe to listen to such contingent propositions - pardon me, but I am strongly of the opinion that the measure of raising the army contemplated ought well to be considered … before any measure is taken …I am sensible there is a delicacy in such a business and there is also a delicacy to asking man to name suitable characters and afterwards pay no attention to his recommendations … I mention this to show you how Mr. Dexter and myself are placed in this business…"

The Mr. Dexter that Goodhue mentions is of course the Sam Dexter to whom a second letter enclosed is attached. Dated the same day, the letter to Dexter is an unsigned autograph copy in the hand of Goodhue, and addresses the same subject and reflects some of the same concerns he shared with McHenry.

SEDGWICK, THEODORE (1746 - 1813)
American Jurist; member Continental Congress; member U.S. House of Representatives; Speaker; U.S. Senator; Justice, Massachusetts Supreme Court.

Autograph Letter Signed. Two pages, recto/verso folio, to The Honorable Benjamin Bourne, Stockbridge, 5 February 1792, 13" x 7½", integral address leaf with the usual seal damage, a bit of ink smudge on the second page, else fine.

Sedgwick quickly disposes of a minor irritation regarding the lack of postage on recent communications to him from Bourne, then launches into the main thrust of his letter which has to do with legislative affairs. To wit:
"…I should probably was I there add one to the minority on the bill supporting Indian affairs - I always believed that much must have been done of injustice or enmity to induce the Indians to [suffer] the events of war. The nations in all ages of the world who have called themselves civilized have held too cheap the rights of those whom they have designated savage. In this country, in almost every instance, the aggression has been on the part of the whites…"

THACHER, GEORGE (1754 - 1824)
Jurist; delegate from Massachusetts to Continental Congress from 4 March 1789 to 1801; represented the Maine District of Massachusetts in Congress.

Autograph Letter Signed. Two pages, recto/verso, Philadelphia, 23 April 1792, to Captain Ebenezer Storer, 9" x 6 3/4", light foxing and some ink staining, mostly on recto.

The letter concerns a memorial to be created on behalf of certain Massachusetts regiments of which Thacher was a member.

"… Some time ago the Governor of Massachusetts transmitted … a memorial of the two houses in behalf of the agents of the late Massachusetts regiments of whom you are one, requesting Congress to take their circumstances into consideration … This memorial … was some days ago presented to the Senate & read, and then referred to the Secretary of War to examine and report…"


LANGDON, JOHN (1741 - 1819)
American Revolutionary leader; member Continental Congress; Governor of New Hampshire; U.S. Senator; first Pro Tempore President of the U.S. Senate

Autograph Receipt Signed. One page, oblong Octavo, 30 August 1804, 3½" x 7¼", minor foxing, else fine, to reflect a payment from one L. Stansburg for $12.00.

WINGATE, PAINE (1739 - 1838)
Senator; studied theology, became an ordained minister, later became a farmer, then a delegate of the Continental Congress and on 4 March 1789 a U.S. Senator from New Hampshire.

Autograph Document Signed. Four pages, Octavo, 7½ x 6," recto/verso, written from Stratham, 26 April 1784. Some slight show-through, else in Fine condition.

Document is a columnar list of debts standing against the town and monies due to the town. Prepared by Wingate as a member of a committee for the purpose of ascertaining the monies due or owed and is additionally signed by two other members of the committee. A cursory examination suggests that the town has run up more debts than it can reasonably expect to cover with the anticipated incoming revenue.

LIVERMORE, SAMUEL (1732 - 1803)
Appointed King's attorney in 1769; delegate to the Continental Congress, a member of the convention that adopted the Federal Constitution; representative from New Hampshire to the first and second Congresses, serving from 4 March 1789 to 1793.

Manuscript Document Signed. One page, Folio, docketed on the verso,
12" x 7½", Boston, 9 November 1801.

The instrument is a deed conveying a sizeable farm to Livermore's son for one dollar.


ELMER, JONATHAN (1745 - 1807)
American jurist; graduated in medicine at the University of Pennsylvania; member of the American Philosophical Society; chosen to represent the state as a Federalist in the U.S. Senate in 1789.

Autograph Letter Signed. Two pages, recto/verso, 26 November 1803, written from Bridgeton and addressed to Governor Bloomfield, 6½" x 8", fine condition.

At the time of our letter, Elmer is serving on the Orphans' Court. His term has apparently expired, however, and his suggested replacement has met with stiff opposition. Accordingly, Elmer now writes to his friend the Governor suggesting that he, Elmer, remain in his position:

"Your friends here as well as mine will be highly gratified … that I should remain in office, & the judges of the Orphans' Court, who are mostly new hands, are pleased to say that my knowledge & long experience will be highly serviceable to them, and therefore they are very desirous I should not be removed…"

Elmer of course hopes the Governor will agree with Elmer's wishes.

BOUDINOT, ELIAS (1740 - 1821)
American Revolutionary patriot and philanthropist; member Continental Congress; member U.S. House of Representatives; director of the U.S. Mint.

Autograph Receipt Signed. One page, oblong Octavo, 4 February 1767, 4" x 7½", Fine.

In the matter of John Manly very scarce. William Richards, Boudinot fashions a receipt from one John Stockton for "the sum of Three Pounds in full for the above action."

SCHUREMAN, JAMES (1757 - 1824)
Patriot; delegate to the Continental Congress; later elected to the First Congress as a Federalist, serving from 4 March 1789 to 1791; chosen U.S. Senator in place of John Rutherford, serving from 3 December 1799

Partially Printed Document Signed. Accomplished in manuscript, One page, elephant Folio, New Jersey, 1 April 1784, 12½" x 16", Fine.

Document also signed by Abraham Schuyler as Sheriff and Peter Ten Eick, Jr. The document has been archivally strengthened on the verso at the folds. Several minor holes have similarly been patched. Some words are affected, but not seriously. The ink is a bit light but the signatures are bold. On the verso the document has been docketed at least four times, thus creating an elaborate trail of recording activity.

The document pursues certain levies that have been made upon the estate of Philip French, late of New Brunswick, and permits Schuyler the Sheriff to dispose of any real property in satisfaction of the debt. To that end, the document sets forth certain assets that are being sold at auction and being acquired by Peter Ten Eick, Jr.


KING, RUFUS (1755 - 1827)
Member Continental Congress; U.S. Senator; U.S. Minister to Great Britain

Letter Signed. Two pages, Quarto, to Nicholas Low, Esq. of New York, 23 July 1801, London, marked "duplicate", recto/verso, with integral address leaf, 9 3/4" x 8".

Some darkening along one horizontal fold and a portion of the address leaf torn away by red wax seal.

Long letter discussing the possibility of developing houses on a property in New York that King owns on Maiden Lane, the issue being whether to build houses himself or to allow a tenant with a long lease to build similar structures on the property. In conclusion he leaves all such decisions to the recipient, Mr. Low.

SCHUYLER, PHILIP (1733 - 1804)
American statesman; member Continental Congress; U.S. Senator

Autograph Letter Signed. One page, docketed on verso, Albany, 26 May 1794, to Nicholas Low, Esq. 7 3/4 x 6¼." Fine condition.

Letter authorizes payment to Rens. Schuyler on order of $250.

BENSON, EGBERT (1746 - 1833)
Distinguished for legal learning; first Attorney General of New York; Member of the Continental Congress; served in the first two sessions of the Federal Congress and was active in deliberations

Autograph Letter Signed. Two pages, small Quarto, 8 " x 6½", recto/verso with integral address leaf (portion removed from ceiling wax), to Nicholas Low, Esq. 28 November 1794, Poughkeepsie, fine.

A thoughtful, philosophical discussion of marital vows in relationship to the perfection of the bride as it applies to the spouse. Included is a discussion of text between the Dutch and Episcopal forms of matrimony.

LAWRANCE, JOHN (1750 - 1810)
Lawyer; ardent patriot; aide-de-camp to General Washington, later a state Senator; the first Representative from New York City in the first U.S. Congress

Autograph Letter Signed. One page, seven lines on a Folio sheet, 11½" x 7¼", addressed on the verso to Nicholas Low, no place, but dated Monday, 26 December 1785.

There is a dark stain the size of a pencil eraser head in a blank portion of the letter's center. There is also a chunk removed from the left edge as a result of a seal tear. The letter is somewhat browned but nevertheless quite attractive.

The letter instructs the recipient to arrange a special bail price with one of the judges of the Supreme Court in a cause obviously known to Low but not revealed to us.

Estimated Value $8,000 - 12,000.
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Lot 3
  African-American Revolutionary War Soldier. Includes a complimentary copy of David O. White's book, "Connecticut's Black Soldiers, 1775- 1783". Partly Printed Document Signed. One page, 8 x 4", 1782, State of Connecticut Pay Order for "Jack Little" of New Haven, a black soldier who served with the 6th Connecticut Regiment from 1777 through the duration of the war, signed by "J. Lawrence" as Treasurer, and endorsed by Little on the verso with his mark. The 6th Comm Regt was active in fighting the British at Fort Montgomery, and spent the winter of 1777-78 at West Point, building permanent fortifications. Hole cancellation, some fold repair on verso, and average soiling. Very Good.
Estimated Value $500 - 750.
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Lot 4
  African-American Soldiers in the Revolutionary War. There are several black soldiers with this name, therefore we are unable to attribute his service record. What is unique about this item, is that this is a treasury certificate, issued for money loaned to the State, i.e. the original War Bond! During the Revolutionary War, African-American soldiers played a much larger role than most people realize. It was extremely difficult for towns to fill the mandated quotas for enlistments into the Continental Army, which required a three year commitment. Towns not meeting their quota were often fined by the State. White slave owners, substituting their slaves to fulfill their obligation, is well documented. The soldier featured in this lot is officially recorded in history, both in William C. Nell's list compiled in 1855, and David O. White's book, "Connecticut's Black Soldiers, 1775- 1783".

Partly Printed Document Signed One page, 7 x 4", 1781, Connecticut Treasury Certificate, Includes original wrapper itemizing this and another note as the property of Ebenezer Spencer of Somers. Vertical fold repairs on verso and average soiling.
Includes a complimentary copy of David O. White's book, "Connecticut's Black Soldiers, 1775- 1783".

Issued to "Cezar Nigro of East Windsor" payable "in Spanish Milled Dollars… or other Gold or Silver… One Year after the expiration of the present War… " Endorsed on the verso "Caesar Negro" and "Ebenezer Spencer".

Very Good.
Estimated Value $500 - 750.
This document is rare proof of financial support of the Revolutionary cause by an African American.

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Lot 5
  [Barbary Pirates]. Holograph List of "Gifts". One page, Small Quarto, circa 1795, n.p. This list of "presents", ranging from precious metals to naval supplies, is believed to be in the hand of Joel Barlow, U.S. Consul to Algiers. This was an altruistic maneuver on the part of the diplomat. (1), it bought the freedom of 119 Americans held captive by the Bey of Algiers and (2), it assured a peace treaty with the three Barbary states whose pirates had been wrecking havoc on American trade in that area for some time.
Estimated Value $500 - 1,000.
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Lot 6
  Bartlett, Josiah (1729- 1795) American physician and Revolutionary leader. New Hampshire delegate to the Continental Congress (1775-76, 1778-79); Signer of the Declaration; Associate Justice (1782-88) and Chief Justice (1788-90) of the Superior Court of NH; and its first Governor (1793-94).

Document Signed One page, Quarto, Rockingham, April 17, 1779. Legal document which has been very boldly signed by Bartlett at the lower left in large script. Minor waterstaining, else attractive. Fine.
Estimated Value $450 - 650.
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Lot 7
  Burr, Aaron. The "copy" mentioned in the letter is on the first two integral pages of the letter in a clerical hand, and concerns the upcoming marriage of Elizabeth Eden to Isadore Guillet of Paris and Burr's control of Elizabeth's estate. Also included is a four-page folio document in a clerical hand concerning an indenture of some land that belonged to Miss Eden's father, Medcef Eden the Younger.
History is no stranger to the Medcef Eden case, the absorbing occupation of Burr's life for many years after his return from Europe (1812). His management of the case was so remarkable and characteristic, that an outline of its history was set forth in Parton's favorable biography of Burr in 1893: "Medcef Eden was a New York brewer who made a great fortune, and, dying in 1798, left his two sons a large amount of real estate upon the island of Manhattan. The two sons were to share the property equally, and if either died childless the survivor was to inherit the deceased's share. These young men, partly through their own extravagance, but chiefly through the dishonest sharpness of creditors, ran through their property in two or three years, and becoming bankrupts, were reduced to utter poverty. Their case was submitted afterward to the two leaders of the New York bar, Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr, and the question was proposed, whether the estate could be recovered. Hamilton said it could not; Burr was of the opinion that it could. Hamilton's opinion was adopted: no proceedings were attempted; the matter was forgotten; and the Edens lived on in poverty. A year after Burr's return, he was reminded of the case by hearing of the death of one of the brothers. Meanwhile, the estate had enormously increased in value. Inquiring for the surviving brother, he found him Westchester county, immersed in debt, and residing within debtors' 'limits.' The result was, that Burr, moneyless and in debt as he was, undertook to recover the estate, Eden agreeing to follow his advice in all things--to be, in fact, a passive instrument in his hands. Eden, his wife, and two daughters, Burr brought to the city, established them in his own house, sent the daughters to school, and amused his leisure hours, for ten years, by laboring with the same assiduity for their mental improvement as he had done in former times for Theodosia's. / He went to work craftily. The valuable parts of the estate lay in the city itself, several lots being held by banks and other wealthy corporations. He let those alone, for a while, and confined his first efforts to the recovery of a small farm in the upper in the upper part of the island, his object being to get the principle quietly established, upon which to found the more important suits. The owner of the farm was informed of this intention, and it was further intimated to him, that if he would not too seriously contest and prolong the suit, he should be allowed to buy back his farm on his own terms. Burr won the suit. The case was appealed. He was again successful. Then he came down upon the holders of the city lots with a pelting storm of writs of ejectment--to their equal surprise and alarm. The litigation was then fairly begun, and the courts were kept busy at it for many years." A most interesting Burr gathering. Vice President, shot Alexander Hamilton in a duel.

Autograph Letter Signed. One page, Folio with integral leaf, New York, Dec. 27 (1828?), to John Lyde Wilson, former Gov. of South Carolina, now a State Senator; addressed, with interesting postal markings, on the verso. Arron Burr writes:

"Your kind letter announcing the fate of our dear Elizabeth was rec'd on Sunday. Her friends have much to regret--She, nothing, in leaving a world in which she [had] not a hope of happiness or comfort. I wrote R. a few lines last night. It is only a few minutes before the closing of the mail that it has occurred to me that you ought to be forthwith possesed of the instrument of which a copy is on the preceding pages. You will see that Is. [adore Guillet] has no claim to any part of E's property. Let no article nor any paper of any kind go out of your possession till you shall hear further from, your friend, A. Burr."

Estimated Value $2,000-UP.
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Lot 8
  [Early America]. Collection of approximately twenty-five documents and letters, 1733-1851, mostly centered around one Connecticut family. Includes: indentures; estate settlements, land surveys; military orders; financial notes; bills; lottery ticket; deeds; tax receipts; invoices; court documents; a lengthy booklet of handwritten poems; etc.
Condition varies from Poor to Very Good.
Estimated Value $500-UP.
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Lot 9
  Hart, John and John Morton. All age-toned. John Hart (1771-79) American Revolutionary leader. Member New Jersey Provincial Assembly; Congess; NJ delegate of the Continental Congress; Signer of Declaration; and Chairman of the New Jersey Council of Safety.

John Morton (1724-77) Member of the Pennsylvania Assembly; Penn. delegate to the Stamp Act Congress; member of the Continental Congress; and Signer of the Declaration.

A. New Jersey Currency.Two Pieces. Approx. 4x 2", printed currency for the colony of New Jersey, March 25, 1776. Just prior to the drafting, acceptance and announcement of the Declaration of Independence, John Hart signed "This Bill of One Shilling," as the New Jersey delegate to the Continental Congress. Three and a half months later, he would affix his signature to the Declaration.

B. Pennsylvania Currency. Aprox. 3 1/2 x 3", printed currency for the colony of Pennsylvania, April 3, 1772. President Judge of the Court of Common Pleas, associate judge of the Court of the province, Penn. delagte to the Stamp Act Congress, Continental Congress, etc. Currency also signed by Charles Humphreys. Good.
Estimated Value $300 - 500.
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Lot 10
  Gerry, Elbridge. In 1813, America was still involved in the War of 1812, and the Revenue Act was a way to raise money to support the troops. The Mexican mission may have been a failed peace negotiation, leading up to the successful Treaty of Ghent. (1744-1814) American politician. Massachusetts member of the Continental Congress (1776-81, 1783-85); Signer of the Declaration of Independence and of the Articles of Confederation; Member of the US House of Representatives (1789-93); Governor of Massachusetts (1810-11); Vice President of the United States (1813-14).

Autograph Letter Signed as Vice President Two pages, recto & verso, Quarto, Washington DC, July 12, 1813. Gerry, as Vice President of the United States and President of the Senate, writes to the Honorable Mr. Plumer (most likely William Plumer, a Senator from New Hampshire), in part:

"… My private opinion regards to the Mexican mission, is, that it will not be productive of peace. It is I believe the unanimous opinion of the friends of Government, that there exists an indispensable necessity for passing at this session the revenue acts. Such as are printed are enclosed in this or another packet. The Senate are now in session, & I embrace the opportunity for addressing them, afforded by the third reading of the first revenue act… E. Gerry".

Estimated Value $1,000 - 1,500.
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Lot 11
  Harrison, Benjamin. Despite the condition, this document could be brought back nicely with proper restoration. (1726- 1791) American Revolutionary Leader. Member of the Virgina Legislature (1749-75); Virgina delegate to Continental Congress (1774-78); Signer of the Declaration; Governor of the State of Virgina (1782- 84).

Manuscript Document Signed as Governor One page, Folio, September 1, 1783. Richmond, V.A. Crudely taped on verso, divided into eight sections, separated at most folds with paper loss at intersections, but few words are affected. Nice seal and very readable.

In it Harrison grants John Green"… 400 acres of land… beginning on the beach on the banks of the Buffalo river… ".

Very Good.
Estimated Value $400 - 600.
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Lot 12
  Heyward, Thomas Jr (1746- 1809) American patriot, statesman, soldier and judge. South Carolina Signer of the Declaration of Independance. Served in the South Carolina Provincial Congresses (1774, 1775); Delegate to the Continental Congress (1776-78).

Manuscript Document Signed. One page, Small Oblong Folio, South Carolina, May 31, 1788. Signed petition ordering a defendant to appear in a legal matter. A pleading by the attorney for the petitioner, Michael Harmon. Very Good.
Estimated Value $250 - 350.
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Lot 13
  Huntington, Samuel (1731- 1796) American Revolutionary politcian. Connecticut member of the Continental Congress (1776-84), its President (1779-81, 1783) and Signer of the Declaration of Independance; Governor of Connecticut (1786-96).

Document Signed as Lieutenant Governor. One page, Octavo, New Haven, CT, October 2, 1784.
Document makes official Huntington's pay for one half year's duty as Lieutenant Governor of Connecticut. Endorsed on verso by Huntington with a large, bold signature.
Document is clean and crisp.
Estimated Value $600 - 800.
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Lot 14
  Huntington, Samuel. Slight foxing along one side not affecting document. (1731-1796) American Revolutionary politician. Connecticut member of Constitutional Congress, Signer of the Declaration and Governor of Connecticut (1786-96).

Document Signed as Governor One page, 8 x 8", recto, New London [Ct.] July 1790. Huntington's response to the detainment of one Ellice Stocking. The citation is also written and signed on verso by Elijah Staples and B. Huntington, Justice of the Peace. Fine.
Estimated Value $200 - 400.
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Lot 15
  Lafayette, Marquis de. Age-toning throughout, with two very minor ink smudges, and some wear on the address leaf, where the letter seems to have been sealed. Still, the letter is Fine, and Lafayette's signature is very clear. Framed with incidental photographs and a brief biography of Lafayette. Overall size 28½ x 21½." (1757-1834). French statesman and soldier who championed the American Revolution; a general in the Continental Army; aide to General George Washington.

Autograph Letter Signed, in French. One page, Octavo, La Grange, June 29, 1824. Addressed to "Monsieur Duclos [?]" on the integral address leaf. This curious letter concerns a mutual lady friend who may have been swindled out of some property. Lafayette, writing to his friend, acts as counselor, and gives the formerly propertied lady advice concerning her predicament.
Estimated Value $1,500 - 2,000.
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Lot 16
  Lee, Henry. Some ink fading, and a very slight tear at top of center fold, but the signature is bold, and the document Fine. Framed with an image of Lee together with a biographical sheet in a gold filigree braid design to an overall size of 21½ x 27½." (1756-1818). Revolutionary War leader, American Soldier and Statesman. Governor of Virginia, Congressman, father of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. His success as a scout and in making lightning raids won him the nickname "Light-Horse Harry".

Partially Printed Document Signed As Governor. One page, elephant Folio, on parchment, accomplished in manuscript, Virginia, April 6, 1793. Being a Land Grant confering 1000 acres in the County of Randolph to one Richard Syouos, assignee of Henry Banks. The document is boldly signed by Lee acting as governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, and has a white wafer seal at lower left.
Estimated Value $1,000 - 1,500.
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Lot 17
  McKean, Thomas. Pennsylvania Signer of the Declaration of Independence.

Document Signed One page, Oblong Folio, on Vellum, signed as Governor, 1806. Land grant, partly printed. Large paper star seal. Signed by Timothy Matlack, on verso. Large blind embossed seal with "Liberty" - foot on back of Lion - "Both Can't Survive". #1801 Issued to Alexander Baring (British banker), et al. Fine.
Estimated Value $400 - 600.
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Lot 18
  McKean, Thomas (1734- 1817) American Revolutionary politician and jurist. Delaware member of the Continental Congress and the Congress of the Confederation (1774- 83) and its President (1781); Signer of the Declaration of Independence; Chief Justice of Pennsylvania (1777- 99); Governor of Pennsylvannia (1799-1801).

Document Signed as Governor of Pennsylvania. One page, oblong folio, Philadelphia, July 13, 1804. Land Grant naming "Josiah Heives and Myers Fisher" a certain tract of land called "Chefter."
Signature in upper right along with seal, plus docketing on verso with additional seal.
Fold creases and some foxing along the edges. Fine.
Estimated Value $300 - 450.
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Lot 19
  Robert Morris goes to Debtors' Prison. Irregularly trimmed at top and bottom edges, and overall age toning. A remarkable document. (1734-1806) Revolutionary patriot and Signer of the Declaration of Independence. Helped finance the American Revolution.

WARRANT FOR THE ARREST OF ROBERT MORRIS. Partially Printed Document, accomplished in manuscript, One page, oblong Octavo, approximately 3½ x 13," Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, December 30, 1797. Issued by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for Morris' arrest on charges of "non-performance of a certain promise and assumption by the said Robert Morris to the said Blair McClenachan, made, as for his costs and charges by him about his suit in that behalf expended, whereof the said Robert Morris is convict as appears of record." After retiring from public office, having served as the Continental Congress' Superintendent of Finance and member of the Pennsylvania legislature and U.S. Senate, Morris' business ventures in East India and America ultimately failed, and he spent several years in the Prane Street debtor's prison at Philadelphia, where he was often visited by George Washington, whose Revolutionary Army he had supplied with arms. Morris was imprisioned from 1798 until the passage of the National Bankruptcy Act, enacted specifically to allow Morris' release in 1802. Though Morris did sign his name to the Declaration of Independence, he is known for having initially been opposed to separation from Britain. Morris and his wife remained close personal friends of George and Martha Washington.
Estimated Value $3,000-UP.
Ex Superior Gallery's Feb. 3, 1991, Auction, Lot #343.

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Lot 20
  Morris, Robert (1734-1806) Revolutionary patriot and Signer of both the Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution (1734-1806). Pennsylvania member of the Continental Congress (1775-1778). Arranged financing the purchase of supplies for Washington's armies (1776-78). Superintendent of Finance under the Articles of Confederation (1781-84). Founded and organized the Bank of North America (1782). Pennsylvania delegate to the Constitutional Convention ((1787). U.S. Senator. Known as the Financier of the American Revolution. Morris's signature is the first one to appear, below John Hancock's, on the Declaration of Independence.

Autograph Letter Signed. Three pages, Quarto, "The Hills" (Morris' country estate on the Schuylkill River), January 2, 1797. To his partner, John Nicholson, and identified as "No. 1," the first of several letters Morris would pen that day. Some show-through, as usual; otherwise in fine condition.

Robert Morris spent much of 1797 constructing a palatial marble mansion in Philadelphia, designed by L'Enfant, architect of the Federal City; but by February of the next year he was living in "Prane Street," Philadelphia's debtors prision, wallowing in misery while a devastating yellow fever epidemic raged without. Morris would remain in Prane Street for three years, six months, and ten days. When his ordeal finally ended, he was broken in body and spirit, a nearly forgotten man. What was it that brought the chief financier of the American Revolution to this sorry end? Our letter captures many of the elements of the drama, and bears witness to the beginning of the end.

Morris was offered and declined the position of Secretary of the Treasury in Washington's first Cabinet. He was too deeply involved in land speculation to be distracted by public office. The potential value of the undeveloped lands west of the New Republic's settled areas blinded him to the economic realities that would lead to his downfall. With the War ended, the new nation was sliding into recession. Morris failed to foresee the Napoleonic Wars and the ensuing paralysis of Europe. Land values slumped when the expected flood of immigrants failed to materialize. Morris' empire began to collapse for want of buyers to acquire his vast tracts of land in Western New York and elsewhere.

On the day of our letter, Morris had retreated to his country home to sort out his difficulties. The letter is part of that sorting process: "Ben. Harrison,"he tells his partner, John Nickleson, " means Charles Lee the Atty. Genl. to draw our answer to Moore's [probably Senator Alfred Moore (1755-1810)]…Bill. He is the fittest person here for it & I believe you do injustice in your doubts of his of his Law knowledge. Mr. James Marshall [John Marhall's brother] is in Virginia and will not be here 'til March and Ju. Marshall is in France…" Morris' and Nicholson's concern about the Marshall brothers' whereabouts no doubt has to do with their involvement in a syndicate to buy up the large Fairfax estates in Virginia, which ultimately floundered upon Morris' bankruptcy.

Morris moves on to the subject of Nicholson taking advantage of a "generous" offer by one of Morris' creditors to discount a debt and retire it: "The plan…ought to be instantly adopted both by you & me, but for one to do it alone, would bring all your debts to be answered by me…Already that is so much the case that I cannot be worse of[f] and I am sorry there is so much truth in the answer. To look back is useless but if we look forward I see no prospect of rest…"
The stakes had been high; the prize had been great wealth and power. But right now, Morris is worried about where he will hang his hat: "…if my furniture is sold I shall think harder of it than of all the rest…I find M. Moulder differs from Major Hopkins in his opinion of Prane Street accomodations an[d] I think they occupied one and the same apartment." His tone is rueful, and as it turned out, prophetic. Soon his land will be gone and with it, his last hope of succor: "Mr. Tilghman & Co. sold my lands last night for half a dollar an acre [there] being no bidders but themselves, thus you see our property and honours vanish together…"

A month later a small creditor had Morris hauled off to the "Prane Street" prison.
Estimated Value $1,500-UP.
Ex Superior Gallery's April 26/27 Auction, Lot # 1020.

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Lot 21
  Morris, Robert (1734-1806) Revolutionary patriot and Signer of the Declaration of Independence. Helped finance the American Revolution.

Autograph Letter Signed and Two Documents. Framed collection of three Robert Morris items, which tell the story of this Revolutionary financier's fall from grace.

A. Autograph Letter Signed. One page, octavo, The Hills (Morris' country estate on the Schuylkill River), February 5, 1798. Written to his business partner in the North American Land Company, John Nicholson, a few weeks before Morris was arrested and brought before the Justices of the Supreme Court at Philadelphia in March of that same year, this arresting, simply-worded letter shows Morris at the end of his rope, paralyzed by despair. He writes, in full: "If writing notes could relieve me you would do it sooner than any man in the world but all you have said in those now before me No. 5 to 9 inclusive [the two businessmen numbered their correspondence] amount -- when summed up To Nothing. My money is gone. My furniture is to be sold. I am to go to prison & my Family to starve. Good Night. Robt. Morris." His land speculation schemes gone awry, his money gone, his family helpless by his side, Morris can only surrender to the Deputies he knows will soon come knocking on his door. Slightly stained and folded.

B. Document Signed ("Robt. Morris"), as President of the North American Land Company. Partially printed, accomplished in manuscript. One page, large oblong Quarto, Philadelphia, February 20, 1795. Countersigned by James Marshall, brother of John Marshall, who was the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Some wear at edges, and the left edge appears to have been trimmed, not affecting the text. This document certifies that "Dr. Enoch Edwards is entitled to one Share in the entire property of the North American Land Company; the Dividend thereof shall not be less than Six Dollars on one Share Annually…" Morris' business venture failed, and he was eventually bankrupted by land speculation, which resulted in his being hauled off to Prane Street debtor's prison.

C. Promissory Note Endorsed on Verso. One page, approximately 7 x 4", Philadelphia, April 20, 1795. Partially printed document accomplished in manuscript, in which one W. Nicholson lends Morris $3,000. Some age toning, with slight ink erosion from the endorsement on verso, which is probably Morris'.

The Autograph Letter, and the Two Documents, are archivally framed with a becoming steel engraving of Morris in his study, and a Bronze plaque bearing the inscription, "Robert Morris, 1734-1806, Financier of the American Revolution." Overall Size is 29"x33". Also included is a printed facsimile booklet entitled "Plan of Assiociation Of The North American Land Company," which describes the company's holdings, and includes biographical and historical material on Morris and his checkered career.
Estimated Value $1,500-UP.
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Lot 22
  Morris, Robert. With a postscript in his hand, initialed "R.M.," April 20, regarding the purchase of land from William Paca, Maryland Signer of the Declaration of Independence. Paca wanted "…fifteen thousand pounds of the money for his land paid in Baltimore in ten days." Some ink smearing, and a slight water stain at the bottom, otherwise Fine condition. (1734-1806) Revolutionary patriot and Signer of the Declaration of Independence. Helped finance the American Revolution.

Autograph Letter Signed. Two pages, Quarto, April 19, 1799. A business-like Morris writes "To Messrs. Jonathan Hudson & Co., Merchants, Baltimore" about the price of tobacco, admonishing the firm for overcharging:

"Yours of the 17th is before me and I cannot help repeating that you overcharge the Tobacco both by Capt Bell & Capt Tripp [.] Lb 14 & 6 is the very best price for the best Tobo in Maryland and you must not go higher. It might be obtained for Lb 12 - 10 even at this day Therefore you may rest well content with that price & my partners in those concerns will complain if it be charged higher. I will speak to Mr. Brown about a Miller & see what can be done. My last [letter] informed you of the purchase of Mr. Paca's land…"

Estimated Value $1,200-UP.
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Lot 23
  Read, George. Foxed, but bold with vertical and horizontal folds strengthed on verso with tape, several holes at various intersections of the folds--affecting one word. (1733- 1798) American lawyer and Revolutionary leader. Delaware member of the Continental Congress (1774-77) and Signer of the Declaration; Presiding officer, Delaware Constitutional Convention (1776); Judge, US Court of Appeals in admiralty cases (1782-86); delegate to Constitutional Convention (1787); instrumental in causing Delaware to be the first state to ratify the Constituation; US Senator (1789-93); Chief Justice of Delaware (1793-98).

Autograph Notes, not signed One page, Quarto, n.p., n.d. Read herein lists a set of instructions to help him unravel some legal matters. First off, there are 5 inquiries to be made: (1) regarding the number of children Bob Hutchunson left at his death (2) regarding the marital status of one Mary Williams (3) the number of children John Richardson had by "Hanna". (4) Read then reminds himself to inform "Mr. Cock or Peter Morton" that the appointment of certain men who have been selected "to divide the lands" should be opposed. (5) and finally, Read wants to know whether Hutchinson had a will.
Age-yellowing and tape on verso to repair fold creases. Good.
Estimated Value $150 - 250.
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Lot 24
  [Revolutionary War]. Collection of Five items: Military disability discharge, 1814, signed by Thomas Kittredge (1746-1818), surgeon, at battle of Bunker Hill; John Armstrong (1725-95), Am Brigadier General, A.L.S., one page, December 6, 1775, re financial matters (split folds); A.L.S., by William McIntosh, one page, May 7, 1777, Needham, Mass, good war content, re-examining the strength of the Massachusetts Militia, under orders from General Warren; Letter to Elias Boudinout (1740- 1821), one + pages, 1785, re a land question & Walter Stewart (1756-96), Brevet Brigadier General, A.L.S., one & 1/2 pages, April 18, 1783, Camp at New Haven, friendly content (split folds). Conditions varies from Fair to Very Good.
Estimated Value $400 - 600.
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Lot 25
  [Revolutionary War]. Document Signed by Benjamin Lincoln and James Lovell One page, Oblong Folio, NY, June 25, 1806. A customs declaration for the schooner Julian arrived from Boston, with completed manifest on verso listing merchandise including brimstone, wine and paper. Signed by two Prominent figures during the War of Independence

Benjamin Lincoln (1733- 1810), Continental Army general captured with his army in Charleston, SC and exchanged; participated in battle of Yorktown and was appointed by Washington to receive Cornwallis' sword. He was appointed Secretary of War by Congress in 1781.

James Lovell (1737- 1814), a patriot taken prisoner by the British and later released, elected a member of the Continental Congress, where he led blistering attacks against Washington's leadership of the Army. Signed as "Naval-Officer" on recto in space provided.

Small fold separation without paper loss; tape reinforcement of weak fold on verso; light marginal soiling; Lovell signature a little light.

Very Good.
Estimated Value $300 - 400.
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Lot 26
  Ross, George (1730- 1779) American lawyer, jurist and patriot. Member of the Pennsylvania Assembly (1768-70); Pennsylvania member of the Continental Congress (1774-77) and Signer of the Declaration of Independence; Judge of the Court of Admiralty (1779).

Manuscript Document Signed One page, Small Oblong Folio, recto & verso (separated at the folds). Pennsylvania, February, 1757. Signed receipt for lawful goods. Written in alternating light and dark ink, rendering parts difficult to read.
Signature is unaffected and clear.
Estimated Value $150 - 250.
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Lot 27
  Rutledge, Edward (1749- 1800) Signer of the Declaration of Independence.

Docement Signed. Two pages, recto & verso, Folio, South Carolina, [September], 1792. Being an appointment of Robert Harlehurst as Rutledge's attorney. Separated at folds. Fair.
Estimated Value $150 - 250.
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Lot 28
  Serra, Father Junipero. Anything from the hand of Father Junipero Serra is a legendary rarity. Franciscan priest and the Apostle of California for his missionary efforts in the New World.

Extremely Rare Document (Signed Twice). One page, Two-sides, Large Quarto, San Gabriel Mission (Mission of the Arch-Angel San Gabriel de los Temblores, November 19, 1778. This document grants asylum to four soldiers at the Mission of San Gabriel. Inculded is a full translation of the document. A second signature of Father Junipero Serra appears in the first line of text.

The true significance of this document lies in that it clearly established the hands-on authority of Father Serra's day-to-day management of the mission as the focus of his concerns. As a mission builder, his life demanded careful attention to the Indians, soldiers, colonists, crops, buildings, mules, supply ships from Mexico. During this critical mission-formation period between 1770 and 1775, relations between Spain's military and its religious authority in California were frequently at ends. The goal of both, of course, was the colonization of the country through Christianization of the natives. This had been Spain's method in the New World through some three centuries of missionary activity. However, as far as Serra, the padre presidente was concerned, the military commander and his soldiers were merely policemen to guard and assist the mission padres. Whereas, the military commander believed that it was his orders that ruled the territory. Accordingly, succeeding military commanders rationed the Indians food supplies diverted the Indians from mission labors to become servants for the soldiers. Serra became more and more insistent that soldiers with families, especially Indian wives, should be replaced and allowed to remain as settlers. He wanted to purge the priapic soldiers and encourage permanentt residency. This explains the importance of this document as it represents the very heart and soul of Serra's missionary zeal to establish Christian roots among the local inhabitants. By the year of 1774, Father Junipero Serra had taken his place among the ranks of our founding fathers, from Cortes to Washington, to Lewis and Clark; all of whom played decisive roles in the European settlement of the New World.

Fine. Accompanied by a certification of authenticity by Charles Hamilton, Feb. 6, 1996.
Estimated Value $12,500 - 17,500.
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Lot 29
  (Serra, Father Junipero). Letters by Capt. Moncada are rare, especially when addressed to Father Serra, who brought Christianity to California. The Spanish Military Commander of California, Captain Rivera y Moncada (the first Military Commander of California and discovered San Francisco Bay) Autograph Letter Signed. Docketed at top by Father Junipero Serra as "Letter #1". Three pages, Monterey Bay (Spanish California) October 23, 1775.

An excellent letter to Father Serra at his mission in Carmel concerning food shortages for the missions. Although Rivera y Moncada and Father Serra had a long relationship, the dissension between the military commander and the religious leader culminated in Father Serra excommunicating Capt. Moncada shortly after this letter in 1776.

Estimated Value $3,000 - 4,000.
Ex Eberstadt, Jenkins, Larson Collections.

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Lot 30
  Williams, William (1731- 1811) Signer of the Declaration of Independance.

Letter Signed. One page, large oblong octavo, Lebanon, Connecticut, February 22, 1796. To Andrew Kingsbury, Esquire, being a note payable. Very Good.
Estimated Value $200 - 300.
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Lot 31
  Wolcott, Oliver (1726- 1797) American patriot and soldier. Connecticut member of the Continental Congress (1775-78, 1780-84) and a Signer of the Declaration of Independence; commander of Connecticut militia (1776) and as a Major General (1779) provided defense of Connecticut coast; Lieutenant Governor of Connecticut (1787-96) and Governor (1796-97).

Autograph Document Signed Twice. One page, Two-sided, Small Quarto, n.d., n.p. [1769-70] The document bears thirty-eight lines of writing by Wolcott, penned at the time that he was the executor of an estate, being a page of accounts from "… the estate of Friend Grant late of Litchfield, Deceased… " Wolcott has signed once in the text, which lists his services and fees, and once at the end of the document.
Estimated Value $250 - 350.
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Lot 32
  Wolcott, Oliver (1726- 1797) American patriot and soldier. Connecticut member of the Continental Congress (1775-78, 1780-84) and a Signer of the Declaration of Independence; commander of Connecticut militia (1776), as a Major General (1779) provided defense of Connecticut coast; Lieutenant Governor of Connecticut (1787-96) and Governor (1796-97).

Manuscript Document Signed One page, recto & verso, small quarto. Redding, CT. May, 1779. A State Treasury pay voucher to the Selectmen of Redding. Wolcott has diagonally endorsed with a large, bold signature across the face. Minor ink splotching otherwise. Fine.
Estimated Value $200 - 300.
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