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    Description

    [John Rutledge and Air Balloons]. Thomas Hall Autograph Letter Signed. Four pages of a bifolium, 8" x 13", Charleston; April 1, 1784. Letter is addressed to an unknown recipient relating an altercation involving John Rutledge, then a former governor and not serving in any public office: "...You might have heard of one Capt. Thompson who challenged Governor Reed & now keeps the City Tavern in Charleston. John Rutledge Senr. sent his servant to the Tavern on some Business, the servant behaved insolently to Thompson, he ordered her out & abused her, she went home to Rutledge & informed him he was also abused by Thompson. Rutledge sent for Thompson to his house who being shewn up to a room where Mr. Rutledge was sitting, Mr Rutledge asked if he was the man who kept the City Tavern, Thompson said he was...R told him he sent for him to Chastise him for his insolence. T not recollecting what all this was for & not knowing it was Rutledge's servant demanded the reason. R then told what the reproached said of him which being denied by T, Mr R said he would believe the negro before T who being unused to such language went home & sent Mr. Rutledge a very severe letter finally leaving him the choice of three things, 1st Make acknowledgements before some Gentlemen 2nd Fight him or 3rd suffer himself to be Horse whipped. The assembly being setting at this time the letter was laid before them & Thompson being called on to ask Pardon of the House & Mr Rutledge, to the first he agreed saying no man would go farther to support the Liberty & Pride of that House but obstinately refused to comply with the Letter, he was then committed to the Gaol where he remained until Friday last when the assembly adjourned & I brought him out with attab' Corps. This affair has made a great deal of noise & perhaps you may hear much about it, but my information is literally true."

    Hall also shares news about discussion in Congress concerning the use of air balloons. Hall suggests to his friend that this mode of transport should be utilized for mail delivery, saying: "If you have any influence with the Post Master Gen. doo [sic] recommend air balloons for the conveyance of mails from state to state, I think they may be brought to that Perfection." The first mail to be delivered by air balloon would not be sent until 1859. From the Estate of Malcolm S. Forbes.

    Condition: Usual mail folds with light foxing and soiling. Weaknesses that have occurred at folds has caused some slight separation and paper loss; this does not affect the text.


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    Auction Dates
    April, 2018
    18th Wednesday
    Internet/Mail Bids: 6
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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