George Washington (1732–1799) earliest known autograph (PF5)
Believed to be the earliest known George Washington autograph in private hands.
Dated March 23, 1750-51 this is a handwritten land survey for 730 acres owned by a gentleman called John Grub.
What is remarkable about the survey is that it bears the surveyor's signature on the front and rear - the surveyor being an eighteen-year-old George Washington.
The survey contains detailed notes of the exact layout of the land, as well as a crisply penned survey map of the tract of land.
In addition to Washington's signature on the front, the document also bears a docket on the reverse in Washington's more familiar later hand "Surveyor's fee not paid to Go; Washington"
Interestingly this exact document is reproduced in facsimile in the 1930 reference work Word Shadows of the Great: The Lure of Autograph Collecting by Thomas F. Madigan.
Madigan comments: "Original survey and plat made by George Washington in his eighteenth year. The entire document, including the map or plat, is in Washington's handwriting, the early form of which differs considerably from the familiar hand of his later years".
A copy of Madigan's book is included in the sale.
The document is in fine condition, with professional reinforcement and small repairs to horizontal folds, as to be expected with an item of this age.
While handwritten Washington surveys, which provide such an evocative and immediate window into the great statesman's early career are uncommon, examples of this extremely early date (March 23, 1750-51) are of the greatest scarcity.
We only know of one earlier signature, and that is held in a museum.
As such this is believed to be one of the earliest known George Washington signature available in private hands making it a treasure of supreme historic interest.
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For further information please contact Adrian Roose @ email@example.com or telephone +44 (0) 117 933 9503