George Washington signed letter achieves growth of 4.5% per annum

A 1782 handwritten signed letter from George Washington was the star lot of an online sale at RR Auction that closed on March 9.

The lot realised $119,216, 24.7% than its last sale price of $95,600 - which was set at Heritage Auctions in 2010.

George Washington Asgill
The Asgill Affair threatened the fragile post-war peace

That equates to growth of 4.5% per annum, indicating the fantastic returns that high end collectibles can offer.

The letter is written to Washington's friend General Benjamin Lincoln in reference to the Asgill Affair of 1782, which threatened to break the fragile peace that followed the American revolutionary war.

The events came about after the killing of loyalist officer Philip White while in rebel custody. In retaliation loyalists (under the command of a Captain Lippincott) hanged rebel prisoner Captain Jack Huddy.

Washington selected a prisoner, Captain Asgill to be executed unless the loyalists handed over Lippincott.

In the letter Washington agonises over the decision to execute Asgill, writing: "Colo. Hazen's sending an officer under the capitulation of Yorktown for the purpose of retaliation has distressed me exceedingly .

"Will you be so good as to give me your opinion of the propriety of doing this upon Captain Asgill should we be driven to it for want of an unconditional prisoner…

"I write to you in exceedingly great haste, but beg your sentiments may be transmitted as soon as possible (by express) as I may be forced to a decision in the course of a few days."

In the end Asgill was spared by the intervention of the king of France.

We have this George Washington signed lottery ticket for sale.  

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