George Washington leads the way once more at Maryland manuscripts sale

As we've reported, Matthew Bennett International of Maryland is offering an exciting sale of US Historical Documents, US & Worldwide Stamps & Postal History early next month.

Whilst the auction is dominated by stamps, there is an impressive section of autographs and free franks including US Presidents, notably George Washington, which would make excellent investments.

There is a free frank as President, "President U.S." on the front only, addressed in his hand to David Stuart, in Fairfax County, Virginia, with a partial datestamp and clear "FREE", front with edge tears & nicks, none affecting frank or address, minor toning, otherwise it is in fine condition and expected to bring $2,000-3,000.

The most exciting lot is a document Washington signed as President, measuring 13" x 16", on May 8, 1795: a three language ship's paper for the Brig Fairy, commanded by Stephen Snett, carrying rice and tobacco, bound for Bordeaux.

George Washington letter
George Washington signed document

It is countersigned by Edm(und) Randolph, Secretary of State. Bearing the usual splitting along file folds, it is reinforced with archival tape, and has light toning around edges, but is overall fresh, the seal of the United States is intact, and Washington's signature is bold and clear.

This is listed at $10,000-15,000, as is a signed document which attests to the character of Nathaniel Ramsay, to whom Washington gave the appointment of U.S. Marshall for Baltimore. Ramsay served at this post from 1790 until his death in 1798.

 

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