An important George Washington signed letter has sold with impressive results as part of a New York auction of rare books and manuscripts on November 5.
The United States' first president is still proving his popularity at auction, with the letter selling 262.5% above its $100,000 estimate for $362,500. Washington memorabilia has had an outstanding year in 2012, following the sale of his personal copy of the Acts of Congress.
The letter in the present sale was addressed to Washington's wartime aide James McHenry, and dated December 10, 1783. The letter sees Washington describing the British leaving New York and his intention to become a "private citizen".
The Treaty of Paris, which effectively ended the American revolution, was signed in September 1783 and the British finally evacuated New York on November 25. Washington watched them leave from New Jersey, before entering the city and leading a parade down Broadway.
With Washington intending to resign his position as commander in chief, he wrote: "On Monday next I expect to leave the city, and by slow traveling arrive at Baltimore on Wednesday, where I will spend one day and then proceed to Annapolis and get translated into a private Citizen."
Washington did indeed retire, but was requested to attend the Constitutional Congress in Philadelphia in 1787. He was then elected president in 1789 and served two terms, before finally being able to retire in 1797. He returned to his beloved Mount Vernon, where he died in 1799.
Join the thriving market for Washington memorabilia with Paul Fraser Collectibles' autographed lottery ticket, which was signed in 1768. We also have authentic strands of the president's hair currently available.
The auction also featured a superb piece of correspondence between Lady Hamilton and her lover, Lord Nelson.