George Washington's estate hosts $38m library

It is great news that an unprecedented $38m will be donated to George Washington's Mount Vernon for it to establish a library dedicated to scholarship on the first US President.

In the days of George Washington, there were no presidential libraries - so today his writings are scattered around the world, with many lost forever.

His wife, Martha, is known to have burned all the letters in her collection, prior to his death.

So any increase in demand for these rarities is sure to increase prices.

The new library will be looking to purchase unqiue Washington documents, so our advice is simple... buy now.

The museum will promote Washington's
legacy as a military general and
18th century entrepreneur

Promoting and preserving Washington's legacy is the museum's goal; not only for the benefit of scholars and academics but also for the public and future generations.

Content in the library will focus not only on Washington's presidency, but also his significant contributions as a military general and as an 18th century entrepreneur.

The Fred W Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington, situated on Washington's estate off the grounds of the Potomac River, is expected to open in 2012.

Thankfully, it isn't just the museum that is dedicated to preserving and looking-after Washington's vital legacy - collectors worldwide have also been doing their bit.

For instance, Paul Fraser Collectibles recently had the privilege of selling the earliest known Washington signature in private hands.

The document featured the first US President's signature on a handwritten land survey, inked when he was just 18-years-old.

Many George Washington letters have been lost, making the preservation
work of collectors and museums even more vital

On the reverse is his more familiar later hand, reading: "Surveyor's fee not paid to Go; Washington."

While that document provided an evocative window into the Washington's early life and career, others manuscripts offer unique and precious historical insight.

For example, a letter written by Washington to his nephew Bushrod, in November 1787, included his endorsement of the then-pending United States Constitution.

"No man is a warmer advocate for proper restraints, and wholesome checks in every department of government than I am," writes Washington.

"...but neither my reasoning, nor my experience, has yet been able to discover the propriety of preventing men from doing good, because there is a possibility of their doing evil."

The letter sold at Christie's for an incredible $3.2m, far exceeding the $1.5 - $2.5m estimate.


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