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George Washington
George Washington

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Honoring Washington and Quoting His Farewell Address (Drafted by Hamilton)

GEORGE WASHINGTON, A rare glazed cotton kerchief printed in black bearing a full length portrait of George Washington and a portion of his Farewell Address. Germantown Print Works, c. 1806.

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The central image has a full length Standing Portrait of George Washington as President with his sword, after the original painting by Gilbert Stuart painted for William Constable, better known as the “Landsdowne Portrait.” Washington’s portrait is framed by a portion of his farewell address on the left, and his epitaph on the right. The bottom bears three panels, including the Great Seal of the United States, a sailing ship scene labeled “Commercial Union,” and “The British Lion.”

Item #24700, $2,850

General Washington Orders Declaration of Independence Read to Army in New York

[DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE], Manuscript Orderly Book. Headquarters [New York City], [July 8, 1776 – August 21, 1776]. Containing two overlapping sequences in different hands: one 145-page sequence runs from July [9], 1776 to August 21, 1776, and another 13-page segment (written from the other end of the book) runs from July 8-13, 1776. 158 pp. 7½ x 6 in. Both versions vary slightly from the published text of Washington’s General Orders of July 9. This volume, with Brigade and Regimental orders, was either kept by battalion adjutant Aaron Comstock or an orderly sergeant in one of Gold S. Silliman’s eight companies enlisted in Connecticut shortly before. This is likely the battalion’s first orderly book after arriving in New York with approximately 415 men.

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the Honble Continental Congress … haveing been plead to Desolve Connection Between this country & great Britain & to declare the united Colonys of North America free & Independent States the Several Brigades are to be Drawn us [up] this Evening on their Respective Parades at 6 oclock when the Deleration of Congress Shewing the grounds & Reasons of the Measures to be Read with Laudable [audible] Voice the genl [George Washington] Hopes that this important Point will serve as a fresh incentive to Every officer and soldier to act with fidelity & courage as knowing that now the Peace and Safety of this country Depends under god solely on the success of our arms....” (July 9, 1776)

the gel being informed to his great surprize that a Report prevails & Industrously spread far and wide that Lord how [British General Lord William Howe] has made <145> Propositions of Peace Calculated by disguiseing Persons most Probably To Lull us into a fatal Security his Duty obliges him to Declare that No such offer has been made by Lord how but on the Contrarary from the Best inteligence he can Procure the army may Expect atack as soon as the wind and tide proves favorable He hopes theirfore every mans mind & arms may be Prepared for action and when caled to it shew our enemies & the whole world that free men Contendin for their own Land are Superior to any Mercenaries on Earth.... (August 20th 1776)

Remarkable manuscript book containing two separate versions of Washington’s General Orders of July 9, 1776, announcing to the Continental Army in New York that Congress had formally declared the 13 colonies to be independent of Great Britain. Of course, Washington’s name is notably absent on the Declaration of Independence, as he was in New York preparing to face the music of the inevitable British invasion.

Item #21461.99, $115,000

George Washington to the Jewish Masons
of Newport, Rhode Island

[GEORGE WASHINGTON], Newspaper. Gazette of the United States. September 11, 1790. New York, John Fenno. 4pp. The letter of the Masons to Washington, and Washington’s letter of August 18, 1790[1] in response, printed in full on page 4. This issue also includes a piece on the “Character of Dr. Franklin.” (p. 2, col. 1).

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“Being persuaded that a just application of the principles, on which the masonic fraternity is founded, must be promotive of private virtue and public prosperity, I shall always be happy to advance the interests of the Society, and to be considered by them a deserving Brother.”

Item #30022.06, $2,500

George Washington’s Second Thanksgiving Proclamation, Sent to American Consuls

EDMUND RANDOLPH, Printed Document Signed, as Secretary of State, this copy sent to Nathaniel Cutting, American Consul at Havre de Grace, France, December 31, 1794, 3 pp and blank on one integral leaf. Randolph’s circular on page one notes that he is attaching a reprint of Thomas Jefferson’s August 26, 1790 letter to our Consuls, and an extract of Jefferson’s May 31, 1792 letter calling attention to a part of the Act of Congress governing the security that consuls have to give to insure they can meet obligations they take on for the United States. He then attaches the full text of Washington’s Second Presidential Thanksgiving Proclamation, which was publicly issued a day later, on January 1, 1795. 15½ x 12⅞ in.

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When we review the calamities which afflict so many other nations, the present condition of the United States affords much matter of consolation and satisfaction.

A day before it is publicly issued, Secretary of State Edmund Randolph Sends Washington’s Proclamation to all American Consuls, as “a better comment upon the general prosperity of our affairs than any which I can make.” According to the President, “the present condition of the United States affords much matter of consolation and satisfaction. Our exemption hitherto from foreign war; and increasing prospect of the continuance of that exemption; the great degree of internal tranquility we have enjoyed…Deeply penetrated with this sentiment, I GEORGE WASHINGTON, President of the United States, do recommend to all Religious Societies and Denominations, and to all Persons whomsoever within the United States, to set apart and observe Thursday the nineteenth day of February next, as a Day of Public Thanksgiving and Prayer…to beseech the Kind Author of these blessings…to impart all the blessings we possess, or ask for ourselves, to the whole family of mankind.

Item #24141, $19,000

Manuscript Eulogy to George Washington Penned by R.I. Senator Foster During Senate Session

[GEORGE WASHINGTON]. THEODORE FOSTER, Newspaper. United States Chronicle, Providence, Rhode Island, January 23, 1800. 4 pp., 11½ x 17¾ in. Inscribed: Hon. Theodore Foster, Senator from R.I / Senate Chamber. With autograph manuscript verses by Foster, [Philadelphia, late January 1800].

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Issued five weeks after Washington’s death, this newspaper includes the handwritten reflections of a sitting Senator on the loss of the nation’s first President. It is clear from his words that the people of the nation he helped create—and individual Senators—are still struggling with Washington’s death.

Item #24369, $12,000

George Washington Signed Ship’s Passport (SOLD)

GEORGE WASHINGTON, Partially Printed Document Signed as President, counter-signed by Secretary of State Timothy Pickering and Customs District Collector Francis Cook. New York, N.Y. and Wiscasset, Maine, November 12, 1796. 1 p., folio, with paper Great Seal of the United States. Strong, large Washington and Pickering signatures.

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A three-language ship’s passport, in French, English and Dutch, for Captain Spencer Tinkham of the Astrea, out of Wiscasset, Maine bound for Liverpool. The Astrea was pictured on a Liverpool Jug, likely right after this voyage. It was lost at sea six years later.

Item #23998, SOLD — please inquire about other items

AN EXTRAORDINARY RARITY!
Leaves From George Washington’s Own Draft of His First Inaugural Address

GEORGE WASHINGTON, Autograph Manuscript, Pages 27-28, 35-36, and 47-48 of Washington's own draft of his undelivered inaugural address. [written ca. January 1789]. 6 pp. on 3 leaves, 7 x 9 in.

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“This Constitution, is really in its formation a government of the people”

George Washington understood that the new government’s success, as had the Constitutional Convention’s, rested squarely on his shoulders. He also knew that everything he did as the first president would set precedents for future generations. He wrote privately about the promise, ambiguity, and tension of high office, and these same themes are woven throughout his original, undelivered inaugural address. Would the government work as intended, or suffer death from a thousand cuts? Still, the former Commander in Chief recognized the nation’s potential, as well as the honorable men who had come together to build the Constitution.

The three unique leaves—six pages—offered here are written entirely in Washington’s hand. They include assertions that government power is derived from the people, and a highly significant section of the Address explicitly arguing that the Constitution is subject to amendment and, by implication, advocating the adoption of the Bill of Rights. They also include the oratorical climax of the address—arguably the most visionary and impassioned passage of the address.

Item #24818, PRICE ON REQUEST

Washington’s First Presidential Thanksgiving Proclamation, The Bill of Rights, and Establishment of Treasury Department (SOLD)

[GEORGE WASHINGTON], Newspaper. The United States Chronicle. Providence, R.I.: Bennett Wheeler, October 22, 1789. 4 pp., 10 ½ x 17 in. With masthead featuring the seal of the United States and the fouled anchor “Hope” device of the state of Rhode Island.

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“for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness... for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge”

On October 3, 1789, the day after sending engrossed copies of the 12 Constitutional amendments passed by Congress out to the states for ratification, Washington issued America’s first Presidential Thanksgiving Proclamation. Both the Thanksgiving Proclamation and the Bill of Rights are printed here on the front page. This exceptional paper also includes a complete printing of “An Act to establish the Treasury Department” [p.1-2], and a September 10 report from North Carolina supporting the ratification of the Constitution now that passage of a bill of rights seemed likely: “The amendments... will undoubtedly satisfy the minds of all its [the Constitution’s] enemies. Not a door is left open for complaint....It is an almost unparalleled instance of a public body possessed of power abridging it, and fully contradicts the grand argument of the opponents of the Constitution, that, ‘if Congress are once possessed of the power vested in the Constitution, they never will relinquish or amend it conformable to our wishes’.”  [p. 2 col. 1]. The Chronicle also reports from New York that President Washington was about to embark on his famous tour of New England [p. 2, col. 3].

Item #23813, SOLD — please inquire about other items

George Washington as a Mason

CURRIER & IVES. [GEORGE WASHINGTON], Print. Washington as a Mason. Small folio lithograph, 12 x 16 in. (sheet), 1868. Black & white.

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Item #23708, $850

George Washington’s Thanksgiving Proclamation (SOLD)

GEORGE WASHINGTON, Manuscript Document Signed as President. Proclaiming “Thursday the 26th day of November” as “a day of thanksgiving and prayer.” New York, N.Y., October 3, 1789. 1 p., 9⅝ x 14⅝. The text of this, and the other known copy (acquired by the Library of Congress in 1921) was penned by William Jackson, a personal secretary to the president and previously the secretary to the Constitutional Convention.

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Washington issues the first Thanksgiving proclamation under the new Federal Constitution, one of only two known copies, and the only one in private hands.

“for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness... for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge”

On September 25, 1789, as the momentous first Federal Congress drew to its close in New York, the new national capital, Representative Elias Boudinot introduced a resolution calling on President Washington to “recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer . . .  acknowledging, with grateful hearts, the many signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.” 

A leading opponent of the resolution, Thomas Tudor Tucker, asked, “Why should the President direct the people to do what, perhaps, they have no mind to do?” The skeptical Congressman noted that the people “may not be inclined to return thanks for a Constitution until they have experienced that it promotes their safety and happiness.” He also argued that it was a religious matter and thus proscribed to the new government. Regardless, the House passed the resolution — one of their last pieces of business before completing the proposed Bill of Rights. The Senate concurred three days later, and a delegation was sent to meet the President. George Washington, who had in fact anticipated the question in a letter to James Madison a month earlier, readily agreed. 

On October 3, George Washington signed the document offered here, America’s first Presidential Thanksgiving Proclamation. Washington employed the exact language of the resolution to begin his proclamation, though he went further, giving thanks for “tranquility, union, and plenty” and asking the Almighty to guide the new nation’s leaders and government. He used the same approach a year later when he wrote what is now one of his most celebrated letters: “For happily the Government of the United States gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, [and] requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens, in giving it on all occasions their effectual support.” Washington willingly echoed Moses Seixas’s stance on tolerance and added to it, just as he did in his Thanksgiving Proclamation when asking the Almighty “To render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and Constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed.”

Item #23201, SOLD — please inquire about other items

Major Washington Serves Notice to the French that They Were Encroaching on Crown Property (SOLD)

[GEORGE WASHINGTON], Newspaper. Maryland Gazette. January 23, 1755, Annapolis, Md. Jonas Green. 4 pp. (complete), 9½ x 14½ in.

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The Maryland Gazette took a particular interest in Washington, being the first to publish his Journal describing his expedition to the Ohio.

Item #21557.06, SOLD — please inquire about other items

Miniature Portrait of George Washington (SOLD)

[GEORGE WASHINGTON], Painting. George Washington miniature. ca. 19th century. Approx. 2½ x 3¼ in. overall, signed “Beck,” in 4½ x 6⅛ in. hardwood frame.

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Demonstrating the lasting appeal of Washington in the decorative arts, this nineteenth-century miniature on ivory in a later, early 20th century frame, is a fine example of the style. Acquired in Scotland.

Item #22317.01, SOLD — please inquire about other items

The Declaration of Independence:
The First Newspaper Printing, the Second Publication in Any Form and the First to Closely Follow Thomas Jefferson’s Style (SOLD)

[DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE], Newspaper. The Pennsylvania Evening Post, Saturday, July 6, 1776, Philadelphia: Benjamin Towne, 4 pages (8½ x 10 in.)

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Item #DOI - 7-6-1776, SOLD — please inquire about other items

George Washington’s Funeral - Full Page Report of the First President’s Actual Interment a Week before the Nation’s Official Mourning (SOLD)

[GEORGE WASHINGTON], Newspaper. The True American Commercial Advertiser, Philadelphia, Pa., Samuel Bradford, December 24, 1799. 4 pp., 12¾ x 20 in. On blue-rag paper.

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Printed within a black mourning border, news headed “Sacred to the Memory of Gen. George Washington” begins a nearly full-page description of Washington’s funeral, including a diagram of the procession, statements of Congress and of President Adams, and a resolution to erect a monument. The nation’s first president had died on December 14, 1799, and was interred at Mount Vernon by his family four days later. This newspaper reports the proceedings of a private funeral that included clergy, Masonic brothers, and local citizens. As the president was laid to rest in the family’s receiving vault, vessels in the Potomac River fired a final salute to the commander in chief.

News reached Philadelphia, then the seat of the federal government, on the day of his burial. Congress and President Adams immediately began planning an official mourning procession for December 26, and this paper of December 24 notes that Richard Henry Lee had been chosen to deliver the official eulogy.

Item #23417, SOLD — please inquire about other items

A New York Newspaper Printing of George Washington’s
First Thanksgiving Proclamation (SOLD)

[GEORGE WASHINGTON], Newspaper. Gazette of the United States. New York, N.Y., October 7, 1789. 4 pp., 9½ x 14¾ in. Disbound, with the two leaves separated, but complete and otherwise fine.

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On September 28, 1789, just before the closing of the First Federal Congress, the Senate added its assent to a House resolution requesting that George Washington be asked to call for a day of public thanksgiving and prayer. Later that day, Congress ratified the Bill of Rights to be sent to the states for their ratification, and on the next day the first session of the first Federal Congress was adjourned. On October 3, George Washington issued America’s first presidential Thanksgiving Proclamation and the Gazette printed it in full in the next edition of the newspaper.

Item #23257, SOLD — please inquire about other items

President Washington Signs a Land Patent
for “The Hero of Saratoga,” Conway Cabal Plotter
Major General Horatio Gates (SOLD)

GEORGE WASHINGTON, Document Signed as President, Philadelphia, Pa., September 17, 1796. Countersigned by Secretary of State Timothy Pickering; with September 15, 1796 Endorsement Signed by Secretary of War James McHenry on verso. Engraved broadside on vellum, being a patent for Virginia Line land awarded to Major General Horatio Gates. With embossed paper seal of the United States. 14¾ in. x 12⅜ in.

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Gates is rewarded for his military service, the highlight of which was his leading America's Northern Army to defeat British general John Burgoyne at the Battle of Saratoga in October, 1777. The victory turned the Revolutionary War in favor of the Americans, and convinced France to enter the war on the side of the United States.

Signed by the president during the last full year of his second term in office, this land patent brings Washington together with one of his most famous Revolutionary War rivals. Washington, who believed Gates had plotted to usurp his command as part of the 1777-1778 Conway Cabal, later characterized the general as having “an air of design, a want of candor…and even of politeness,” complaining that “this Gentleman does not scruple to take the most unfair advantages of me.”[1]

Item #23197, SOLD — please inquire about other items

Rhode Island Printing of George Washington’s Will -
Freeing His Slaves Upon the Death of Martha (SOLD)

[GEORGE WASHINGTON], Pair of Newspapers. “Interesting Extracts from the WILL of Gen. George Washington,” United States Chronicle, Providence, R.I., February 20 and 27, 1800. Each 4 pp. Washington’s will begins on p. 2 of the February 20 issue and concludes on p. 1 of the February 27 issue.

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Item #22858, SOLD — please inquire about other items

Washington’s Whiskey Rebellion Proclamation (SOLD)

[GEORGE WASHGINGTON], Newspaper. The New York Journal & Patriotic Register, New York, N.Y., September 29, 1792. Signed in type by both Geo. Washington and Th. Jefferson. 4 pp., disbound.

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Item #22707, SOLD — please inquire about other items

One Day Before Marching to Yorktown,
Washington Adds Troops in Virginia (SOLD)

GEORGE WASHINGTON, Letter Signed, to George Weedon. “Head Quarters” [Williamsburg, Va.], September 27, 1781. 1 p., 11½ x 7½ in. Text in David Humphreys’s hand. Washington’s signature is fine, but the text of the letter is significantly faded and priced accordingly.

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After the Comte de Grasse’s fleet arrives in Virginia, Washington requests troops to aid the combined militia and French force during the Siege of Yorktown. Washington and Virginia militia Brigadier General George Weedon had been corresponding for several weeks regarding the arrival of the Duc de Lauzun’s legion in Virginia, and Washington’s concerns that Weedon pay the Frenchman the respect appropriate to his rank.

Item #22783.01, SOLD — please inquire about other items

Ben Franklin's The Way to Wealth, printed in a Self-help Book Endorsed by George Washington (SOLD)

[BENJAMIN FRANKLIN], Book. The Immortal Mentor, or Man’s Unerring Guide to a Healthy, Wealthy, and Happy Life. With Washington’s printed endorsement. First edition. Philadelphia, Pa., Rev. Mason L. Weems, 1796. Ownerships signature “J.W. Spencer Feb 1847” on free front endpaper, later bookplate on front pastedown. Austin 1011; Evans 30282.

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“Listen to the instructions of Dr. Franklin, and let the words of his mouth sink deep into your heart...”(p. 105)

In the year of his death, the “Father of the Country” heaped praises upon this compilation of advice from early advocates of clean living and ethical behavior Luigi Cornaro, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Scott.

Item #23649, SOLD — please inquire about other items
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