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George Washington
George Washington

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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 #23845-47, $1,200,000

George Washington on the Impending Execution of Charles Asgill: “The Enemy ought to have learnt before this, that my Resolutions are not to be trifled with.”

GEORGE WASHINGTON, Letter Signed, as Commander-in-Chief, Continental Army, to Elias Dayton, Headquarters, [Newburgh, N.Y.], June 11, 1782. 3 pp., with free frank signed on address panel on verso of 3rd page. 9 x 14 in.

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In the summer of 1782, following America’s victory at Yorktown the previous September, peace negotiations were just getting underway in Paris between the United States and Britain. With their outcome uncertain, desperate Loyalists here sought to strengthen the British hold on New York, undermine America’s vulnerable financial system, and exact revenge for their own losses. Spies were everywhere.

In this powerful letter about two major cases, Washington supports civilian authority, shows frustration over his troops’ handling of captured spies – especially a delay in following a habeas corpus ruling – and expresses steely anger over the British response to the pending execution of young Charles Asgill in retaliation for the murder of American captain Joshua Huddy.

Item #23811, $52,500

George Washington as a Mason

CURRIER & IVES. [GEORGE WASHINGTON], George Washington as a Mason. Small folio lithograph, 1868. Black & white.

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Item #23708, $850

George Washington’s Rare Anti-Catholic Test Oath, Taken before being Appointed Colonel and Commander in Chief of all Virginia Forces

GEORGE WASHINGTON, Document Signed. A list of subscribers to the declaration denying Catholic doctrines. Washington’s signature is the 9th in the second column below the declaration. May 22, 1754 – July 17, 1755.

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“there is no Transubstantiation in the sacrament of the Lords supper or in the elements of Bread and wine...”

Item #23200, PRICE ON REQUEST

An Address to the Inhabitants of Great Britain – July 1775 Print of Message that went with the Olive Branch Petition

[REVOLUTIONARY WAR], Newspaper. Rivington’s New York Gazetteer...and Weekly Advertiser, New York, N.Y., July 21, 1775. 4 pp., 11½ x 18 in.

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While 1776 will remain the most memorable year in American history, 1775 actually marks the moment when the colonists became Americans. Hostilities had already begun, yet the delegates of the Continental Congress still sought to avoid war. On July 8, the Continental Congress approved and sent the Olive Branch Petition to King George III. At the same time, they sent an appeal stating the case directly to the British people. Both attempts failed, and we have found no evidence that the address was even published in England. Here, in Rivington’s New York paper, it is published in the first two columns of page one, and the first column of page two.

Item #23544, $12,500

George Washington’s First Thanksgiving Proclamation as President

[GEORGE WASHINGTON], Newspaper. Massachusetts Centinel. Boston, Mass. Benjamin Russell, October 14, 1789. 4 pp. (33-36), 9½ x 14¾ in. Disbound, trimmed a little close at top.

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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 Centinal reported the news 11 days later, only four days after the New York newspaper Gazette of the United States, essentially an arm of Washington’s Federalist Party, printed the proclamation.

Item #23459, $11,500

Miniature Portrait of George Washington

[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, $995

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

[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, $2,950

Lady Washington’s Reception Engraving

[MARTHA WASHINGTON], “Lady Washington’s Reception./ From the original Picture in the possession of A. T. Stewart, Esq.” Engraving by Alexander Hay Ritchie, after a painting by Daniel Huntington. New York, Emil Seitz, 1865. 37 x 25 in.

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Item #23068, $4,500

A Front Page Printing of Washington’s
Second State-of-the-Union Address

[GEORGE WASHINGTON], Newspaper. Columbian Centinel, Boston, Mass., December 22, 1790. 4 pp., disbound.

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Item #30001.22, $1,450

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

[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, $1,250

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

[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, $1,450

Open Rebellion:
Town Meeting Defying the Tyranny of the Intolerable Acts

NATHANIEL S. PRENTICE, Autograph Document Signed. Grafton, Mass. September 5, 1774. 4 pp. 8¼ x 13¼ in.

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“Resolved that it is the Indispensable duty of the Inhabitants of this County … to prevent the sitting of the Respective court…the Inhabitants of this County will attend in person the next inferior court of common pleas and general session…properly Armed to repel any hostile force which may be employed…”

This document embodies one of the first instances of open rebellion against the Crown, and records a critical step in the formation of an independent government. Parts of it are written and signed by Major Nathaniel Sartell Prentice, who fought at the Battle of Lexington, less than a year later.

The manuscript starts with a copy of resolves issued on August 31, 1774, in response to one of the Intolerable Acts, by a convention of the Worcester County Committees of Correspondence. The Intolerable Act barred the commonwealth from holding town meetings. Delegates conclude that the act rendered the royal charter “null and void,” and they resolve that the various towns should take over the function of the British-run court system. They ask citizens to select their own town officials, choose representatives for a Provincial Convention, and take action to prevent the courts from sitting under the new system. One resolve specifies that citizens attend the upcoming court session “properly Armed to repel any hostile force” sent by the governor, and another votes to send “Letters by Post to other Committees” should an invasion appear imminent.

Item #20993.06, $12,000

Quartermaster’s Accounts, 1781

[NICHOLAS QUACKENBUSH], Manuscript Document consisting of four string-bound double folio (36 x 26 in.) sheets folded to folio size, 6 pp. filled in, Albany, March to May 1781 document in great detail “Articles delivered.”

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A fascinating set of ledger sheets retained by Nicholas Quackenbush. They note the date, the voucher number, “To Whom Delivered” and “By whose order” and then provide a long set of columns to account for almost every conceivable article, ranging from horses to pikes, a wide variety of tools, all types of lumber, as well as foodstuffs.

Item #21007.09, $3,500

Banned in Boston: Barring the Return of Tories
“Declared Traitors to Their Country”

[SAMUEL ADAMS], Manuscript Document. Resolve by the Town of Boston, bearing a clerical copy of the signature of William Cooper, Town Clerk. Boston, Mass., April 10, 1783. Followed by: NATHANIEL BARBER. Letter Signed, to “the Committee of Correspondence &c or the Selectmen of the Town or plantation of [blank] to be Communicated to the Town or Plantation.” Boston, Mass., April 17, 1783. 3 pp., 8¼ x 12¾ in.

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“after So wicked a Conspiracy…by certain Ingrates…declared Traitors to their Country it is the Opinion of this Town that they ought never to be Suffered to return.”

This document links two Boston patriots, Samuel Adams and Nathaniel Barber, over a contentious issue at war’s end – what to do with the Loyalists? The two-part manuscript comprises a 1783 Town of Boston resolve and a corresponding cover letter from the Boston Committee of Correspondence. The letter is signed by chairman Nathaniel Barber, a participant in the Boston Tea Party.

The Boston town resolve was created by a committee of three: Samuel Adams, James Otis, and Joseph Greenleaf. Though their names do not appear in the text, Adams biographers specifically credit him as the author. With the Revolutionary War over, and the definitive Treaty of Peace under final negotiation, Adams was lobbying hard against the return of unrepentant Tories. They were a threat to national security: “The British King cannot have more Subservient Tools and Emissaries amongst us for the purpose of Sowing the Seeds of Dissention in this infant Nation….” Barber’s accompanying letter echoes that sentiment.

The texts of both documents were subsequently printed as a two-leaved broadside and sent to towns throughout the state. It was also printed in newspapers in other states, who saw it as a model for their own consideration of Tory property issues.

This draft version was preserved in the papers of Luke Drury of Grafton. Ironically, Drury, a former captain of Minutemen would be imprisoned four years later during a home-grown Massachusetts conspiracy – Shays’ Rebellion.

Item #20638, $10,000

Jefferys’s 1776 American Atlas: The Best of the Century

THOMAS JEFFERYS, Atlas. The American Atlas; or, a Geographical Description of the Whole Continent of America; Wherein are Delineated at Large its Several Regions, Countries, States, and Islands; and Chiefly the British Colonies.... London: Robert Sayer and John Bennett, 1776. 22 engraved maps, on 29 sheets, all with original outline color, expertly bound to style in 18th-century diced Russian gilt leather. A very fine and complete copy. The book with maps folded, 15¾ x 22¼ in.

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Item #20862.99, $146,000

1776 “Holster Atlas” -
Used by British Officers in the Revolution

[REVOLUTIONARY WAR] [ROBERT SAYER AND JOHN BENNETT], The American Military Pocket Atlas; Being an Approved Collection of Correct Maps, Both General and Particular, of the British Colonies; Especially Those Which Now Are, or Probably May Be the Theatre of War…. London, [1776].

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This atlas, designed for British officers to use in the field, includes the “maps that the British high command regarded as providing essential topographical information in the most convenient form” (Schwartz & Ehrenberg).  The publishers claimed that their work would fit into an officer’s pocket, but it was more often carried in a holster. The present copy was bound in a more easily managed size with the maps cut, mounted on linen, and folded into a quarto-sized binding.

Item #20869.99, $25,000

The Senate Records The Votes Electing Washington President in 1789

[GEORGE WASHINGTON], Newspaper. Gazette of the United States, Philadelphia, Pa., October 17, 1789. 4 pp., 10 x 16 ¼ in.

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Item #22631, $2,400

John Marshall’s “Life of George Washington”
and Companion Atlas with Hand-colored Maps

JOHN MARSHALL. [GEORGE WASHINGTON], Books, The Life of George Washington Commander in Chief of the American Forces, During the War which Established the Independence of his Country and First President of the United States, Compiled Under the Inspection of the Honourable Bushrod Washington, From Original Papers Bequeathed to him by his Deceased Relative, 2nd edition, in two volumes. Philadelphia: James Crissy and Thomas Cowperthwait, 1840. 982 pp. plus index, 5½ x 9 in. Both have pencil inscription on blank fly leaf “A. Seeley 1851 Presented by T.C. Gladding.” Rebound; very good, some foxing toward the front. OCLC 183328030. With: Atlas to Marshall’s Life of Washington, Philadelphia: J. Crissy, [1832], 10 hand-colored maps. Ex-Grand Lodge A.F. & A.M. of Massachusetts bookplate on front paste-down. Black cloth spine and corners, original green boards with label. Internally fine. OCLC 191237946.

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Chief Justice John Marshall’s magisterial biography of George Washington was originally a five-volume set. This 1840 publication, revised and issued in two volumes, also includes the 1832 companion atlas of maps relating to the Revolutionary War.

Item #22477, $1,250

George Washington’s Inaugural Journey,
Essays on Religious Toleration and Taxes

[GEORGE WASHINGTON], Gazette of the United States. April 25-29, 1789. New York: John Fenno. Issue # V. 4 pp.

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Several columns describing the processions through Philadelphia & Trenton and laudatory addresses in his honor, such as: “How different is power when derived from its only just source, viz. The People, from that which is derived from conquest, or hereditary succession !  – The first magistrate of the nations of Europe assume the titles of Gods, and treat their subjects like an inferior race of animals.  Our beloved magistrate delights to show, upon all occasions, that he is a man – and instead of assuming the pomp of master, acts as if he considered himself the Father – the Friend – and the Servant of the People.”  [Washington arrived in NY on April 23 and was inaugurated on April 30].  Also, an essay, ‘On Religious Toleration,’ by the Earl of Chatham.

Item #21555.09, $1,800
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