Description

    Rare Sir William Johnson Autograph Letter Signed "Wm Johnson" as Superintendent of Indian Affairs, two pages, recto and verso, 7.25" x 12", Johnson Hall, October 17, 1762. To Captain Joseph Schlosser of His Majesty's Royal American Regiment of Foot - for whom Fort Schlosser was named. As a merchant, land speculator and the royal official among the Iroquois Indians, Johnson lived high; he built several mansions, maintained a grand style, and lavished hospitality on visitors. His whole career was directed at amassing wealth, no less an authority than the A.N.B. informs, and creating a feudal estate embracing both European tenants and a retinue of Iroquois warriors. But in this long letter to his trusted subaltern about his affairs, he confesses he is, in fact, cash poor. In part: "Since my letter to you with the boundaries of the Land... I am sorry you should meet with any delay or disappointment in the execution of your design and intentions. I believe that Lieut. Carr had purchased Captain Clau's commission... As to the Plantation, you may recollect that I told you I had let it... for a year, at the same rent... paid for many years, viz., thirty five skipples of wheat per annum, which, allowing wheat at 4 cents per skipple, would make only interest of one Hundred Pounds a year, so that there would be interest of Eight Hundred Pounds behind, which would be too much for me to lose... I should have interest for that Sum to Secure you... The only hardship upon me at present is the want of the Money which I declare to you distresses me a good deal, having so many calls upon me for Cash, otherwise I would not mention a word about it... which I hope to God will plead my excuse..." Accompanied by a full typed transcription. In very fine condition, with minor traces of tipping at left margin and a pencil note concerning provenance at bottom, neither affecting text. From theHenry E. Luhrs Collection.

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    Auction Dates
    October, 2006
    12th-13th Thursday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
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