Two autographed letters from President Andrew Jackson (1767-1845) provided some of the highest bids in Heritage Auctions' April 11 Manuscripts Signature Auction.
The letters realised $77,675 and $65,725, beating the prices achieved by other US presidents such as George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.
The first and most valuable letter sees Jackson, who was well-known for his explosive temper and aggressiveness, challenging the governor of Tennessee to a duel in 1803 - 26 years before Jackson became president. The disagreement between he and John Sevier, a revolutionary war hero, stemmed from Jackson's loss of an election to become major general of a militia.
Jackson was convinced that Sevier was behind his loss, and was adamant that the governor was trying to injure his reputation. The two had exchanged words and come to blows the day before in Knoxville, each firing his weapon but missing before being restrained.
The following day Jackson sent the letter to Sevier, it reads in part:
"The ungentlemanly expressions and gasgonading [gasconading] conduct of yours relative to me yesterday was in true character of your self, and unmasks you to the world, and plainly shews [sic] that they were the ebulitions [sic] of a base mind goaded with stubborn prooffs [sic] of fraud."
The second letter was signed by Jackson as major general in May 1814, following his successful defence of Mobile, Alabama against the British in the war of 1812. The British had just burned both the White House and Capitol Building, and were about to move on New Orleans.
In his writing, Jackson makes a passionate speech about defending the US. He would then take over the defence of New Orleans and successfully defeat the British.
Paul Fraser Collectibles has a superb selection of presidential memorabilia for sale, including a fantastic lottery ticket from George Washington - a piece which features a brilliant example of the first US president's florid signature.