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    Eleazer Williams Autograph Letter Signed one page, 8" x 10", [n.p.], January 12, 1853, to Senator Charles Sumner (misspelled Summer) regarding a claim made by Mary Ann Williams. In part: "The claim of Mary Ann Williams which I stated yesterday to your Honor, is still, as I understand, in the hands of the Committe Committeeouse of representatives. In March 3d, 1851, The Committee on Indian affairs made a report, which was accompanied with a bill, but it is said for want of time, it was not acted on. I am interested in the bill, and I write to ask respectfully (if you think it right on examination) you will be so good as to help forward the claim..." Although research could not unearth information on the claim made by Mary Ann Williams, nor the bill referenced, inquiry into the circumstances of Eleazer Williams' life yielded many curious facts that only raise more questions about the content of this letter. Williams was born a Mohawk Indian, the son of Mary Ann. He was raised a Protestant and attended the missionary school that would become Dartmouth college. He spent most of his life ostensibly both as a missionary and a charlatan, at one time even renouncing his natural mother and claiming to be the son of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. This letter was written after his public denunciation of his birth mother in the form of documentation stating that she had adopted him. Ironically, Williams would spend that last years of his life as a roving missionary among the Indians also receiving donations from the European aristocracy, some of whom were convinced of his being the rightful heir to the throne of France. A fun piece of Americana documenting the conflicted mind of an Anglicized Indian, and worthy of further research! Usual mail folds, with a few creases; clean paper and bold ink.

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    Auction Dates
    February, 2008
    21st-22nd Thursday-Friday
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