Lot 1018: William Paca

RR Auction

December 15, 2012
Amherst, NH, US

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Description: Signer of the Declaration of Independence from Maryland (1740-1799). ALS, signed "Wm. Paca," as Governor of Maryland, one page, 7.25 x 9, March 7, 1783, Annapolis, "In Council," addressed in his hand on the transmittal panel to "The Honorable The Intendant," [Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer (1723-1790)]. Paca writes to Jenifer, the Intendant for Revenue for Maryland, concerning his inability to intervene in a case involving the confiscation of Loyalist property at the close of the Revolutionary War. Docketed in an unknown hand on verso, "Gov. & co. Mar. 7, 1783 about the Comms. for Confi[scate]d property." Paca writes, in full, "The Subject mentioned in yours of the 7th We conceived lies within the Department of the Commissioners for the Sale and Preservation of British Property over whom you only have the controlling Power; not being an Affair which can properly come before Us, and There being a Difference of Opinion between you and the Commissioners as to the Practicability and Policy of the Sale, We do not choose to interfere in the Matter, xxxxxxx especially as We have not a Competent knowledge of the Subject." Professionally inlaid into a slightly larger sheet and in very good condition, with intersecting folds (vertical fold passing through the signature), small area of repaired paper loss at left edge, and some bleeding to much of the text from onetime exposure to moisture (not affecting readability or the signature.At the close of the Revolutionary War, the states were burdened with the task of distributing property confiscated from Loyalist residents who had fled the country. Of the approximately 500,000 Loyalists in America in 1775, about a fifth left the country rather than swear allegiance to the United States. St. Thomas Jenifer was an important Maryland patriot serving as president of the state's council of safety from 1775 to 1777. He represented Maryland in the Continental Congress from 1778 to 1782. Dissatisfied with the Articles of Confederation, he attended the Mount Vernon Conference, a meeting that helped lead to the Philadelphia Convention of 1787. Letters and documents by Paca are quite scarce. American Book Prices Current cites only 13 examples selling at auction since 1976. .
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