Description

    (Robert Morris) (1734-1806) Financier of the American Revolution, printed broadside, 8.5" x 13.25", Philadelphia, March 8, 1792. Entitled "Plan of Association of the Pennsylvania Population Company." The Pennsylvania Population Company was established by Robert Morris' associate John Nicholson, a shady businessman who eventually found himself in debtor's prison (together with Morris!) due to reckless investments in western land. Their company was set up primarily to aid Dutch investors interested in purchasing property in western Pennsylvania. The document reads in small part: "Whereas the forming settlements on the Western Boundary of Pennsylvania will establish a barrier to the frontiers and enable the settlement of the other lands to be made in safety, and will promote and expedite the population of the same, and therefore promises of the same, and therefore promises great public utility; and whereas it is expected such settlements may be formed by an association so as to reward the undertakers of so useful a work..." Included on the broadside is the text of an act by the Pennsylvania House of Representatives specifically written to allow non-resident aliens the right to hold property in that state. A similar concern, The Holland Company, was established to act as a trustee for a group of Dutch investors to purchase property in western New York -- up to then not allowed to own property in that state. Over the course of the 1790s, speculation in these lands would run wild. The only problem? Speculation far outstripped the actual purchase of lands by settlers -- arriving much slower than anticipated. Morris and Nicholson could not hold on long enough for the property to be fully valued. The Dutch investors, however, had better resources and managed to see an eventual return on their purchase. They held their lands through the 1840s when the area had been thickly settled. A fascinating and scarce document. Light scattered foxing and creases, else very good condition. From the Henry E. Luhrs Collection. Accompanied by LOA from PSA/DNA.

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    Auction Dates
    February, 2006
    20th-21st Monday-Tuesday
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