Seth Kaller, Inc.

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See our current Revolutionary War catalog, including rare printed documents from 1774-1776 that lead up to Independence.


George Washington Asks His Spymaster Benjamin Tallmadge About British Movements in New York

Benjamin Tallmadge had formed the Culper Spy Ring in 1778 to observe British activities during their occupation of New York City. His spies, merchants Abraham Woodhull and Robert Townsend using the aliases Samuel Culper (Sr. and Jr.) lived on Long Island and made frequent visits to New York City, where they mingled among British officers.

Just weeks after the discovery of the treason of Benedict Arnold and the hanging of his accomplice John André as a spy, General Washington on October 20 sent a letter to to his chief of intelligence asking for detailed reports. Having not heard back two weeks later, Washington sent this important letter to Tallmadge, from Washington’s headquarters in Wayne, New Jersey, 20 miles northwest of New York City. 

Inventory #26256


John Hancock Proclaims Independence:
Exceedingly Rare and Important Letter Sending
the Declaration of Independence to Georgia

Congress have judged it necessary to dissolve all Connection between Great Britain & the American Colonies, and to declare them free and independent States....

Of the thirteen similar letters Hancock sent to the states, only five can be located today, three of which are in institutional collections.

The important Consequences to the American States from this Declaration of Independence, considered as the Ground & Foundation of a future Government, will naturally suggest the Propriety of proclaiming it in such a Manner, that the People may be universally informed of it.

The Declaration copies that Hancock sent with these letters are known as Dunlap Broadsides, after John Dunlap, who spent the night of July 4-5 printing them. The broadsides – single pages with all the information printed on one side – were all unsigned. Even so, the last Dunlap to change hands reportedly sold for $23 million.

JOHN HANCOCK. Letter Signed, text in a secretarial hand (likely Jacob Rust), to the Convention of Georgia [Council of Safety], Philadelphia, July 8, 1776, 2 pages, 8 x 12-5/8 in. on the first leaf of a bifolium. Inventory #26034

Note that we will offer a generous discount to any buyer willing to bring the letter back to Georgia, or to place it in an appropriate museum or library.

 

 
History You Can Own

We can help you enjoy an inspirational connection to your favorite historic figure, event, or idea.

Important documents and artifacts can be loaned, placed on deposit, or donated to ensure their survival for generations to come. Seth Kaller, Inc. can coordinate all aspects of collection-building, including acquisition, authentication, appraisal, conservation, framing, insurance, and recognition for your family, your company, or your foundation.

Items presented here are drawn from our broad inventory. We have many more original documents and collections, ranging from $100 to millions of dollars, please contact us if you have specific interests.

Authenticity Guaranteed

We unconditionally guarantee the authenticity of our documents. We verify authenticity through our own expertise and archival research, as well as in consultation with independent experts and institutions. Client references furnished on request.


Seth Kaller is a leading expert in acquiring, authenticating, and appraising rare historic documents and artifacts. Kaller has built museum-quality collections for individuals and institutions, as well as legacy collections for philanthropists to donate. He has handled important manuscripts, documents and rare books relating to the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution; leaves from George Washington’s draft of his inaugural address; Abraham Lincoln’s “House Divided” manuscript and signed copies of the Thirteenth Amendment and the Emancipation Proclamation; and Robert E. Lee’s farewell to his troops.

We are members of the Professional Autograph Dealers Association (PADA), Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America (ABAA) and the Manuscript Society.

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