William Henry Harrison signed document makes $75,000

An 1841 document signed by US president William Henry Harrison has sold for $75,000.

It provided one of the top lots of the Charles A Siegty collection at Christie's New York on June 12.

William Harrison signature
William Harrison spent just 32 days in office in 1841

Harrison is the shortest serving US president in history. He spent just 32 days in office before dying suddenly.

The (probably apocryphal) story surrounding his death was that he had caught pneumonia after he insisted on delivering an 8,000-word speech on his inauguration day in the freezing cold without a hat or coat.

However, it seems more likely that he died of typhoid as a result of the poor sewerage conditions of the time.

This early exit means that Harrison's is that despite his relative obscurity, his is the rarest presidential autograph and achieves significant sums at auction.

Christie's comments that "only 20 examples have appeared at auction since 1974; only 4 in the last 10 years."

A manuscript document featuring five signatures from founding father Benjamin Franklin made $37,500.

The lot dates to between 1732 and 1741, meaning that Franklin was just 26 when he signed the first signature in the book. This places it among the earliest known Franklin autographs.

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