Category Archives: George Washington

George Washington Partial self-contained ADS signed in full

Partial self-contained ADS, signed in full, “George Washington,” 3 x 2.5, dated December 16, 1797. Beginning portion of a larger document reads, in full: “Copy, Deed of Trust, 16th December 1797. From James Welch to George Washington.” Reverse bears an additional 14 full and partial words in Washington’s hand, including “herin,” “demise,” “hereby,” “do in,”and “which.” Beautifully double-matted and framed (so both sides may be viewed) with a color portrait of Washington, a small plaque, and a facsimile signature to an overall size of 13.25 x 21. In fine condition, with just a bit of slight show-through from writing on reverse. A simply beautiful example signed only months after retiring to his Mount Vernon estate—one of the finest we have seen.

After leaving presidential office earlier in 1797, Washington leased four tracts of his land along the Great Kanhawa River to Welch, who agreed to find subtenants willing to settle and make improvements. Despite the arrangement, Welch never paid Washington anything, and later wrote that he was in debt. Most of Washington’s lands were never leased or sold. In his will, Washington listed 23,341 acres on the Great Kanhawa River, of which he said, ‘there is no richer, or more valuable land in all that Region.’ In all, at his death, Washington owned 9,744 acres on the Ohio River and another 27,000 acres of land in Virginia, Maryland, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, New York, and the Northwest Territory. Pre-certified John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.


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Five volumes from George Washington’s personal library

Magnificent five-volume set from the library of George Washington entitled “Family Secrets: By Mr. Pratt. In Five Volumes. Carefully Revised,” London, Paternoster Row, 1798, with each hardcover volume measuring 4 x 6.75. Each volume has clipped words in Washington’s hand affixed to an opening page or front pastedown. Words are: Volume I, “[de]grees east eight”; Volume II, “hundred poles”; Volume III, “with the said”; Volume IV, “ridge to a”; and Volume V, “sugar tree.” Ornately bordered personal bookplates of Benjamin Lincoln Lear are affixed to the front pastedowns of the first four volumes. Books are in overall good condition, bound in full calf. Exteriors significantly worn, with small bumps, chips, and tears along edges, several tears in leather over spines, and expected soiling. Interiors exhibit minor discoloration and scattered foxing but are overall clean. Rear board of Volume I is missing, front board is attached by a few threads, and there is a small pencil notation to the front free endpaper. Volume IV is missing both boards, and Volume V’s boards are both hanging on by a few threads. Set is housed in a stunning custom-made clamshell box with two red spine labels gilt lettered, “Pratt’s Family Secrets / 1798” and “From the library of George Washington.” These books were originally part of an auction that included items from the Tobias Lear family. Lear was Washington’s closest confidant and personal secretary, serving Washington from 1784–1799. Accompanied by color photocopies of the first page of a list titled “Catalogue of Books received from Washington,” with a second page starting with “Pratt Family Secrets.” An extraordinary collection boasting five examples in Washington’s hand. RR Auction COA.


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RR Auction George Washington Beautiful and Highly Desirable Handwritten Letter

RR Auctions George WashingtonBeautiful and highly desirable ALS signed “Go: Washington,” one page, 8 x 8.75, September 11, 1799. Letter to William Thornton Esquire. In full: “The 20th of this month when Mr. Blagden would require an advance of a thousand dollars—being near at hand—and Mr. Peter affording a good and safe opportunity to remit it, I enclose for this purpose, a check on the Bank of Alexandria to that amount. Mr. Peter informs me that his brother _______ has ironmongry of a good quality which he wants to dispose of, and would sell cheap. I pray you therefore to inform Mr. Blagden of this circumstance, request him to examine it, and if of the kind & quality he requires it to be had on good terms to supply himself therefrom and at the hand of the invoice to draw upon me for the amount, which shall be immediately paid. With great esteem and regard, I am Dear Sir Your Most Obed. ‘Serv.’” In fine, clean condition, with intersecting mailing folds, one passing through a single letter of signature, well-done professional repair to paper loss along left edge, and a uniform shade of light toning. Despite the new city’s reputation as a bad investment, local landowners convinced Washington that investing in the construction of rental housing for Congressional members could be profitable. The general provided substantial financing to fund the project and again turned to Thornton who supervised the work of George Blagden, the leading building contractor for Federal City. A well-preserved Washington letter concerning the building of Federal City. Pre-certified John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.

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Posted by on December 25, 2012 in George Washington


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