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Lot 1015: George Ross

American Revolutionary War Collection of Richard Newell

by RR Auction

December 15, 2012

Amherst, NH, USA

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  • George Ross
  • George Ross
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Description: Signer of the Declaration of Independence from Pennsylvania (1730-1779). Rare ALS, signed, "Geo: Ross," one page, both sides, 7.5 x 11.75, no date, no place, to his brother Getty in his hometown of New Castle, Delaware. Ross writes a jovial letter to his brother, poking fun at an obese relative, and even invoking a mild racial slur, referring to his brother and a friend as "Creowls" and asking them not to take offense. Ross writes, in full, "It was with the greatest concern I received the account of your illness and had I not been ill of this Govt. at Philada. would have visited you at New Castle as I ever had so shall I forever continue to preserve the most sincere & Brotherly affection for you, and though it is our fate to be settled at a distance from each other yet distance & absence which sometimes lessens the affections will never give the least abatement to mine. I long to see you & my dear little nephew and also to have the pleasure of Mr. Tills company for whom I always had a particular Esteem & am much concerned to hear of his Indisposition[.] I fear the country you live in will shorten all your lives and even render them almost burdensome while you continue what I call Just to breath & not to live I should be very glad[.] It would suit Mr Till & you to come up here & spend some time in our fine wholesome air[.] I am sure it would be for the advantage of you both. Neither of you ought to return this spring to Sussex [County, Delaware] but play & recruit for by what I hear you are almost two Creowls. Now don't you or Till be affronted at this-Nancy wanted much to have gone to New Castle from Philad[elphi]a to see you but the Weather was to[o] severe a great way round home & very bad entertainment on the road-She & Mrs Lawler Joins with me in their love to you Mr: Till your little boy Sercky[?] Caty & all other Friends at New Castle[.] We all wish yours & Caty's speedy recovery she must take a little more of your Fatt[e]ning air-I suppose such is a bluff as ever her good nature keeps her laughing she fattens on it[.] I rec'd her letter and would have wrote to her but the bearer is just going & I have not time-I will not line[?] your patience but conclude my dear Getty with Assuring you that I am." Professionally inlaid into a slightly larger sheet and in very good condition, with intersecting folds, scattered overall soiling and toning, and old repairs to tiny areas of paper loss. Ross, a successful attorney in Lancaster, was elected to the First Continental Congress in 1774, and was active in government and the law until his death in 1779. What Ross meant by the "Govt. at Philada." is not known, but we presume he meant the Pennsylvania Provincial Assembly where he served from 1768 to 1776. Examples of Ross in ALS format are rare. American Book Prices Current identifies only three examples selling at auction since 1975.

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