Description

    1791 Receipt for Exotic Winter Oranges and Limes Shipped to Mount Vernon. One page, 7.5" x 4", Philadelphia, December 22, 1791. Original receipt for oranges and limes shipped to Philadelphia for eating at the president's home at Mt. Vernon for Christmas Dinner; payment by Mr. Francis to Jonathan Coupins for various amounts of the exotic fruits. This receipt has been docketed on the verso, "Rec. For Fruit - Jany. 6th, 1792 - £2. 0.3.". While the manuscript has somewhat faded over time, it is still beautifully written and easy to read. According to the experts at Mt. Vernon, the "Mr Francis" on this receipt was likely Samuel Fraunces, who was a steward of George Washington's during his early presidential years in New York. He is also cited in Washington's writing in 1792 and 1793 and most listings for Washington at that time were written at either Mt. Vernon or Philadelphia, as the presidency moved from New York to Philadelphia in the fall of 1790. One can only imagine the excitement of receiving a shipment including hundreds of oranges and limes during the frozen dead of winter. No doubt this shipment proved to be a wonderful and exotic healthy treat for George and Martha Washington and their family, most likely in time for Christmas dinner at Mt. Vernon! Another interesting fact about Fraunces was that he was the proprietor of the historic Fraunces Tavern in New York City. This building at the corner of Broad and Pearl Streets was the De Lancey mansion before he purchased it in 1762 and opened it as the Queen's Head Tavern. It became famous for its wines and food and was a gathering place for the Sons of Liberty and other organizations before the American Revolution and for British officers during their occupation of the city. The document is in fine condition, with staining along the top horizontal fold, the right side of the document has become soiled and dark over time, and the corners and edges show some light wear.

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    Auction Dates
    October, 2006
    12th-13th Thursday-Friday
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