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Auction Description for RR Auction: Rare Manuscript, Document, and Autograph Auction
Viewing Notes:
Headquartered in Amherst, NH, RR Auction is globally recognized as the trusted source for authentic autographed memorabilia and rare signed documents. Since its inception in 1976, the firm has published close to 360 consecutive monthly autograph catalogs, which are distributed internationally. The firm recently auctioned the autographed photo of Albert Einstein with his tongue wagging for a record $74,340 and the check astronaut Neil Armstrong signed the day he left for the moon for $27,350.

Rare Manuscript, Document, and Autograph Auction

(1855 Lots)

by RR Auction

1,855 lots with images

June 19, 2013

5 Route 101A, Suite 5

Amherst, NH, 03031 USA

Phone: +1 (603) 732-4280

Fax: +1 (603) 732-4288


George Washington

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Description: Beautifully penned and highly desirable ALS as president, signed "Go: Washington," one page, 7.25 x 7, Philadelphia, June 16, 1793. Letter to Miles Merwin. In full: "Your letter of the 13th inst. came duly to hand. I thank you for making a tender of your services to me to supply the place of Mr. Lear. At present I have no intention of adding any one to my family for this purpose. I am-Sir, Your very Hble Servt." In fine condition, with intersecting folds, slightly trimmed edges (impinging on one word of text and the tail of Washington's signature), and light show-through from a docketing notation on reverse, done in an unknown hand.Having served as Washington's personal secretary and right-hand man since 1784, Tobias Lear decided to leave his post at the beginning of the president's second term in 1793. He started T. Lear & Company, focused on land speculation in Washington, DC, and the promotion of river traffic to the soon-to-be nation's capitol with Washington's Potomac Company; unfortunately, the venture quickly proved unsuccessful, leading to immense financial difficulties that would continue to plague Lear for the remainder of his life. When Miles Merwin, former teacher at the Friends' Latin School in Philadelphia and instructor of Martha's grandson George Washington Parke Custis, wrote to Washington offering his " supply the place of Mr. Lear," the president showed his loyalty to his former secretary, rejecting the offer with this letter-he left the position open, and Lear returned the following year, remaining until Washington's death in 1797. An incredibly scarce and beautifully penned letter from the hand of the America's first president, holding a place for his much-beloved Mr. Lear.

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Thomas Jefferson

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Description: Ink franking signature as president, "Free, Th: Jefferson, Pr. US," on an off-white 2.5 x 1 slip clipped from a free frank. Mounted to a slightly larger slip, then matted and framed with an engraved portrait to an overall size of 11.75 x 17. In very good condition, with intersecting folds, one vertical fold passing through a single letter of the signature, and some scattered toning and soiling, slightly affecting the beginning of the signature.

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Thomas Jefferson

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Description: Boldly penned ALS signed "Th: Jefferson," one page, 7.75 x 3.5, Monticello, February 15, 1820. Letter to John Vaughan. In full: "I yesterday took the liberty of inclosing a draft for 400.D. with a request to remit it to Mr Appleton, and promised by the ensuing mail to send the letters of advice for him as to it's [sic] disposition. This I now do, and therefore pray you to forward them to him with the remittance, and repeat to you my affectionate and respectful salutations." Reverse is docketed and bears a partial cut-off franking signature to lower right. Intersecting folds, show-through from docketing on reverse, and light toning to borders, otherwise fine condition.Looking for sculptors to carve the Ionic and Corinthian capitals for the construction of the University of Virginia campus, Jefferson consulted with Thomas Appleton, the U.S. Consul General in Leghorn, Italy. Appleton recommended two sculptors: Michele and Giacomo Raggi. They arrived in 1819 on a three-year contract. 'The two Raggis are now at work with us,' wrote Jefferson to Appleton. 'They could not in the beginning break themselves at once to the great differences of habits-manners, living, & language here from those to which they had been habituated all their lives,' but were now 'much more contented' only that they missed their wives. Here, Jefferson sends four hundred dollars to Appleton via Vaughn 'for the purpose of bringing their wives over.' After the women declined to make the journey, the sculptors wished to back out of their contract. Displeased, Jefferson wrote a pointed letter to Michele, writing that after 15 months 'we have nothing to shew but a single Ionic capitel [sic], and an unfinished Corinthian.' A fine letter epitomizing Jefferson's love of architecture and commitment to the University of Virginia.

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Thomas Jefferson

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Description: Superbly signed LS, as secretary of state, signed "Th: Jefferson," one page, 7 x 8, Philadelphia, March 4, 1791. Letter appointing a supervisor for the District of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations on behalf of President George Washington. In full: "The President of the United States desiring to avail the public of your services as Supervisor for the District of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, I have now the honor of enclosing you the Commission, and of expressing to you the sentiments of perfect esteem which I am, Sir, Your most obedient and most humble Servant." In fine condition, with central horizontal and vertical folds, with a slight separation along one edge of horizontal fold, and some mild edge toning.John Singer Dexter (not addressed by name in this letter) was appointed Supervisor for the District of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations by President Washington at a crucial time in the new nation's history. The day prior to his appointment, March 3, 1791, Congress passed the Excise Act-also known as the Whisky Tax-imposing substantial duties on domestically distilled spirits. As Supervisor, one of Dexter's main responsibilities would be to oversee the collection of this tax, a task that would prove quite difficult. This was the first time that the federal government had levied a tax on a domestic product, and naturally faced immediate resistance. Over the next three years, outbreaks of opposition increased, culminating in the Whisky Rebellion in 1794 during which Washington quickly raised an army to march on a violent insurrection, successfully ending it and demonstrating that the new government had both the willingness and ability to suppress violent resistance to its laws. Along with its relevance to a historic and controversial piece of legislation, this letter holds one of the finest Jefferson signatures we have seen-crisp and bold, a highly desirable piece!

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James Monroe

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Description: Partly-printed DS as president, one page, 15.5 x 9.5, April 10, 1824. President Monroe grants Pascal P. Enos 80 acres of land in Illinois. Signed at the conclusion by Monroe and countersigned by Commissioner of the General Land Office George Graham. In very good condition, with five vertical folds, one through a single letter of signature, handwritten portions a shade or two light, and some light toning along folds. The white wafer seal is worn, but intact.

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