Goldberg Coins and Collectibles

Sale 86

Lot 285

Henry, Patrick (1736-1799) Revolutionary statesman and Virginia Governor; best remembered for his fiery speech in front of the House of Burgesses where he declared, "Give me liberty or give me death!"

Autograph letter signed, 2 full pages, 9 x 7½ in., Williamsburgh (Virginia), March 15, 1778. Written as Governor of Virginia to his brother, Henry. Letter has professional restorations; paper at right margin was replaced and missing words added. In this important and rare letter, the great patriot gives financial advice to his brother, as well as his opinion on the war: "Yours by Moody came both of them safe to hand may have a good bargain of D. Bottom as Money will still decrease in value. But I think you ought to give more to it, because it can't make any capitilization for the better in your affairs. Lay this down for about viz. not to remove without capitally benefiting yourself otherwise you'll be forever unsettled. The place we live at is certainly preferable on many accounts and has many advantages especially for the children who you know best….Don't go for Trifling Advantages- Besides Lomax has heard of much Land to sell in Henry…I've sent Jno. Payne to look and he has not returned. I know not the price…if I get a large Tract shall have my way altogether….I expect there is room…to have an end of uncertainty of abode. But I must wait. Will you risk me what my James River Land will fetch? I shall provide Greenless Money…fancy I must owe you. Pray write me…I shall go soon for I've not a moment to do it by this man. I don't believe that all [Daniel] Boon's party are lost - my dear wife says she has enquired for the Shoes but at present I do not hear of any but will secure them as soon as possible…I'm offered £4000 for some…and some Neg[roe]s but shall take no less than 5000. Negroes rise price with that fellows are £300. Most people talk of the war with England. The most wise proposal will be made to gain time & then attack them with great Reinforcements. Several ships arrive from France with goods which keep up yet. The News they bring us is important. The French are very friendly…"

In late 1777, the American defeated the British at Saratoga, convincing the French to enter the war to help America; by early 1778, their assistance had begun. Daniel Boone fought on the Western frontier and in 1778, was captured by the Shawnee and held captive for four months; Henry makes reference to this in this letter. Henry handwritten letters with content are extremely rare.
Estimated Value $6,000 - 7,000.
Scott Winslow, July 8, 1998, lot 296.

Realized $5,520

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