BOSTON, MA.- RR Auction
's July Fine Autographs and Artifacts sale brings the Revolutionary War to the forefront in celebration of the Fourth of July. These historic items include significant autograph letters by John Hancock, including an emotional and heartfelt correspondence to his wife, Dolly Hancock, dated March 10 and 11, 1777. The missive discusses the state of the war, the health of their family, and the arrival of Martha Washington. The letter not only reveals the sacrifices and pain of separation but also captures the familial strain experienced by the founding fathers during this critical period in American history. Hancock letters to his beloved wife, Dolly, rarely appear at auction, representing one of the best we have seen. (Estimate: $25,000+)
A George Washington, one-page signed letter dated November 22, 1780, in which he discusses plans for an attack on British-held Manhattan during the Revolutionary War. In the letter, Washington instructs Brigadier General Henry Knox to prepare artillery pieces and a troop of horses to annoy shipping and cover the crossing of troops across a river. The attack was part of a larger plan to surprise British posts at Kingsbridge and northern parts of Manhattan. However, the operation was ultimately aborted due to the unexpected presence of British vessels. The letter, which is in restored condition, offers valuable insights into Washington's military strategies during this period. (Estimate: $15,000+)
A John Adams letter, dated January 23, 1788, captures Adams' anticipation of the ratification of the US Constitution and reflects on his final days as the first US Minister to Great Britain. Addressed to his nephew, William Cranch, Adams expresses gratitude for his letters and acknowledges the wise choice of delegates from Braintree for the Convention. He mentions his upcoming departure from England in March and hopes for a positive outcome from the Massachusetts Convention. Adams also remarks on the improved opportunities for studying law compared to his own time, expressing his blessings and anticipation of seeing his nephew and assisting him in his honorable pursuits. A fantastic letter from a landmark moment in American history. (Estimate: $10,000+)
And a Thomas Paine signed letter showcasing his personal intervention on behalf of his best friend, Colonel Joseph Kirkbride, as he seeks a financial favor from Thomas Willing, the president of the Bank of North America. Dated March 20, 1787, the letter requests a loan for a period of 6 or 7 months, using Kirkbride's bond with Richard Penn as collateral. Paine expresses his desire to help his friend and mentions his willingness to promote Kirkbride's convenience by providing security for a larger amount. The letter sheds light on Paine's personal relationships and financial struggles during this period. It also highlights his support for the Bank of North America and his connection to the political struggles surrounding its recharter. Overall, this rare signed letter offers a fascinating glimpse into the personal and financial circumstances of one of America's influential Founding Fathers. (Estimate: $25,000+)
Also featured are important documents signed by Alexander Hamilton, including a one-page manuscript by Hamilton, circa March 1787, which provides a glimpse into his draft for "An Act Raising Certain Yearly Taxes within This State" in New York. The manuscript contains text from pages 21-22 of Hamilton's third draft and discusses the responsibilities of assessors in notifying landowners of their tax amounts and the payment deadlines. It was retained by Hamilton's descendants until 2017 and offers valuable insight into Hamilton's work on taxation during his term in the New York State Assembly. While the final act passed differed from this manuscript, this document highlights Hamilton's commitment to achieving greater equality and certainty in the tax system. (Estimate: $15,000+)
And a Benjamin Franklin six-page manuscript signed document from 1764 approving funds for the Commissioners for Indian Affairs. As the Speaker of the Pennsylvania Assembly, Franklin urges the commissioners to convert goods into money. The document is a supplement to an act that grants funds for the defense and protection of the province. Franklin emphasizes the need for the commissioners to sell the goods in their possession, purchased with borrowed money, within a specific time frame and settle their accounts with the provincial treasurer. However, due to remaining goods at Fort Pitt and the prospect of better sales opportunities, the document extends the time limit for sales and final settlement.
In addition to a wealth of sought-after Paul Revere engravings, among other rare autographs and colonial ephemera.
Among other stand-out lots is an Abigail Adams eight-page handwritten letter that captures her personal life and the political landscape of the late 18th century. Dated July 16, 1787, and addressed to her sister, Mary Smith Cranch, the letter covers various topics, including the visit of Thomas Jefferson's daughter and Sally Hemings to London, the aspirations of their son John Quincy Adams, and Abigail's observations on English society. Through eloquent prose, Abigail expresses her pride in JQA's achievements and hopes for their nation's brighter future. She also reveals her health struggles, interactions with influential individuals, and emotional connection with Polly, Jefferson's daughter. Exceptionally long and filled with extraordinary content, this is one of the finest Abigail Adams letters we have ever encountered. (Estimate: $6,000+)
Other highlights include an incredible archive of love letters by Emperor Alexander II of Russia, a complete set of presidential autographs from Washington to Clinton, and a superb autographed scientific manuscript by Albert Einstein.
The Fine Autograph and Artifacts featuring Revolutionary War auction by RR Auction will conclude on July 12.