Goldberg Coins and Collectibles

Sale 86

Lot 294

Paca, William (1740-1799) Signer of the Declaration of Independence from Maryland. Paca was elected to the First Continental Congress in 1774 and served until 1778, when he was appointed Chief Justice of Maryland. In mid-May of 1776, the people of Maryland passed a resolution prohibiting their delegates from voting for independence; however, the restrictions were withdrawn in June and Paca and the other delegates from Maryland voted for the Declaration of Independence. Paca is rare.

Autograph letter signed ("Wm Paca"), 2 pages (single sheet), 9¼ x 7¾ in., no place, April 20, 1784. To General Smallwood, Mattawoman (Maryland), regarding attending the first meeting of the Society of the Cincinnati and other news. Moderate soiling and scuffing; some fading to ink, not affecting legibility. Paca writes, in part: "I am just now obliged with your's notifying the first Monday in May for the Meeting of the Society of the Cincinnati and I hope I shall have the pleasure of accompanying you to Philadelphia on that Business….You have heard I presume of the affair of Sir Robt Eden's signing clandestinely a number of Patents affixing the Seale to some of those….The offense is a very serious one & for which he will certainly be prosecuted…. I was rejoiced to read your letter as it assures me that you are not dead; for so you have been reported…."

Sir Robert Eden (1741-1784) was the last Royal Governor of Maryland. William Smallwood (1732-1792) was a Major General in the American Revolutiuon. He joined Washington's Army (July 10, 1776) in New York, as commander of the Maryland Battalion; actively engaged in the battles of Brooklyn Heights and white Plains, after which Congress appointed him Brigadier General for his gallantry. Smallwood won new laurels for action at Camden, receiving the thanks of Congress. In September, 1780, he was appointed Major General, but after the removal of General Horatio Gates, he refused to serve under Baron von Steuben.

The Society of the Cincinnati was organized May 10, 1783, before the Treaty of Peace was signed and before the British evacuated New York. The Society was established with a charter stating three purposes: to preserve the rights and liberties for which its founders had fought, to promote the national honor and "dignity of the American Empire," and to reinforce the "cordial affection" among its members by providing aid and assistance to them and their families when in need. The first military beneficial society, The Cincinnati worked to influence Congress for pensions for surviving Revolutionary veterans. Original membership was limited to those officers who had served a minimum period with the regular (Line) American Army or Navy; or with the French forces under Rochambeau or deGrasse; those who had served to the end of the War as a Line Officer, resigned with honor after at least three years of service, and/or had been rendered supernumerary, or honorably discharged after three years of service (today, descendants of original members may also become members). George Washington served as The Cincinnati's President General from its inception until his death in 1799.
Estimated Value $2,000 - 3,000.
Remember When Auctions, July 18, 1998, lot 47; personal papers of William Smallwood.

Realized $5,520

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