An autographed manuscript from revolutionary Thomas Paine is the lead lot in Profiles in History's December 19 auction of Property of a Distinguished American Private Collector Pt 3.
The lot is actually three individual manuscripts, each written in Paine's hand. It will sell with a $40,000-60,000 estimate.
Thomas Paine (1737-1809) was an English political activist, best known for his part in the American revolution, having created two influential pamphlets that inspired the struggle for independence. He went on to write Rights of Man and The Age of Reason, both highly controversial texts promoting revolution and freethinking.
The second manuscript is the most important of the three: a six page signed draft of Samuel Adams' letter criticising Paine's Age of Reason, and Paine's subsequent response to the letter.
Also featuring in the auction is a 1798 two-page letter signed by George Washington. Described as "undoubtedly one of the finest autograph letters by George Washington in existence", it sees the former president and commander-in-chief declaring:
"Peace, with all the world is my sincere wish. I am sure it is our true policy. - and am persuaded it is the ardent desire of the Government."
The letter was written to Reverend Jonathon Boucher, who had sent Washington a copy of his book, View of the causes and consequences of the American Revolution. It is expected to sell for $40,000-60,000.
Washington goes on to state: "There is no man in either country, more zealously devoted to Peace and a good understanding between the two Nations than I am - nor one who is more disposed to bury in oblivion all animosities which have subsisted between them & the Individuals of each".
The former president said this while waging an undeclared naval war with the French.
Paul Fraser Collectibles has a superb selection of signed books and manuscripts for sale, including examples from Henry VIII, Mark Twain and a rare copy of the Declaration of Independence.