Description

    Extremely Important Bound Collection of Letters and Documents Signed by all 55 Delegates to the Federal Constitutional Convention of 1787.

    Autographs of the Members of the Federal Constitutional Convention. It became increasingly apparent after the Revolutionary War that an enduring United States of America would require the establishment of a centralized government with legally defined powers and responsibilities. To achieve this lofty goal, delegates from each of the thirteen states met in convention at Philadelphia on May 25, 1787. The attendees, although exclusively prominent white male citizens, embodied a wide range of professions, religions and sectional interests. Their combined efforts to craft a viable government over the long summer of 1787 resulted in, by September 17, the United States Constitution and earned them lasting recognition as this nation's "Founding Fathers." The drafting of the Constitution was seen as a watershed accomplishment in Western History from the outset. That the Constitution went on to survive the nation's trials of the 19th century served only to enhance its mystique and generate sober reflection upon its unique character and the great minds which conceived it. 1887 marked the Centennial of the Constitutional Convention, a commemorative event that was likely the catalyst behind the remarkable collection offered here. All 55 delegates to the convention are represented by their signatures on manuscripts which are mostly either Autographed Letters Signed or Documents Signed. These are all neatly tipped-in on pages housed in a custom pair of large folio volumes, 11.5" x 14.75". The albums, circa 1890, each have an illuminated title page and are bound with exquisite gold tooled red morocco covers and spines protecting a combined total of 246 internal leaves on heavy stock. A facsimile of the Constitution accompanies text from Hamilton L. Carson's Biographies of Members of the Federal Convention, which is strategically placed throughout both volumes with engraved portraits of the delegates as a means of giving additional substance to the autographs. Carson (1852-1929) was a Philadelphia attorney who had served as Secretary of the Constitutional Centennial Commission. It is entirely possible that he assembled this collection. Red cloth slipcases incorporating sturdy board and leather-rimmed openings complete the package. The manuscripts in the collection are outlined in order of placement as follows:

    George Washington of Virginia ANS, one page, 7.0" x 3.25", Mt. Vernon, VA, January 1, 1786. A receipt in General Washington's hand for an illiterate farmer, this reads, " Received from George Washington the sum of twenty six pounds seventeen shillings for two hundred and sixty eight and a half bushels of oats". Washington served as the Convention's President. His name is underscored in a fine line of red ink, else Very Fine condition;
    John Langdon of New Hampshire ALS, " J W Langdon", 3 pages, 8.0" x 10.0", Portsmouth, NH, March 2, 1803 to J. Worthington, Chillocothe, Ohio. A scarce letter to the Northwest discussing a forged deed. Stains, else Fine condition;
    Nicholas Gilman of New Hampshire ALS , " Nich. Gilman", 2 pages, 8.0" x 10.0", Exeter, NH, May 29, 1810 to J.H. Hoac. A business letter regarding a shipment of goods. Light stains, else Fine condition;
    Nathaniel Gorham of Massachusetts ALS, " Nath Gorham", One page, 7.0" x 9.75", Concord, MA, March 19, 1792 to Rebecca Gorham, Charlestown, MA. Gorham asks his wife to ...look on the desk and find a letter for Mr. McBond and send it on up...". Isolated browning, else Fine condition;
    Rufus King of Massachusetts ALS, 2 pages, 7.5" x 9.5", New York, February 18, 1811 to Col. Benjamin Walker, Utica, NY. King asks Walker to at least pay interest on monies owed. Very Fine condition;
    William Samuel Johnson of Connecticut ALS, " Wm Sam'l Johnson", One page, 7.0" x 8.0", New York, April 4, 1785 to Col. Wadsworth. Treaties with Barbary pirates are discussed. Possibly a manuscript copy for Johnson's records given docketing on the verso. Very Fine condition;
    Roger Sherman of Connecticut ANS, One page, 7.75" x 5.0", New Haven, CT, April 15, 1785 to John Lawrence, Treasurer. The recipient is asked to provide a Mr. Tilly with a tax credit. Sherman's constitutional legacy remains as he was behind the notion of proportional Congressional representation based upon a District's population. Very Fine condition;
    Alexander Hamilton of New York ALS, . One page, 8.75" x 9.0", Treasury Department, May 26, 1791. Although in letter form, "Circular" appears at the top of the manuscript. It reads " Enclosed you will find for your information, generally, and government, in certain particulars, certain explanations and instructions concerning the two Acts, severally entitled 'An Act repealing after the last day of June next, the duties heretofore laid upon distilled spirits imported from abroad and laying others in their stead; and also upon spirits distilled within the United States and for appropriating to 'same'; and 'an Act' making further provision for the collection of the duties by law imposed on Teas, and to prolong the term for the payment of duties on wines". Large, bold signature, Very Fine condition;
    William Livingston of New Jersey DS, " Wm Livingston", One page, 6.5" x 8.25", March 14, 1777. An affidavit attesting to the military oath of one Charles Pettett. Very Fine condition;
    David Brearly of New Jersey DS, " Dav'd Brearly", One page with docketing, 8.0" x 12.25", Monmouth, NJ, June 22, 1774. Brearly is one of five signatories on a legal document. Browning and fading, Fine condition;
    William Patterson of New Jersey ANS, " Wm Patterson", One page, 8.0" x 10.0", January 17, 1803 to Andrew Bayard. Payment instructions to the Bank of The United States. Fine condition;
    Jonathan Dayton of New Jersey ALS, " Jona Dayton of New Jersey", 2 pages, 8.0" x 10.0", Washington, March 31, 1802 to Elias Boudinot. Land parcels, likely in Ohio, are discussed. Very Fine condition;
    Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania DS, "B Franklin Penna", one page, 8.5" x 7.25". This undated partial legal document concerns a bankruptcy case, likely pre-Revolutionary. Franklin, born in 1706, was the oldest delegate to the convention. Very Fine condition:
    Thomas Mifflin of Pennsylvania DS, " Tho Mifflin", one page with docketing, 9.75" x 15.0", Philadelphia, May 9, 1791. Mifflin signs this legal document as Governor of Pennsylvania. Archival repairs on folds, some stains. Very Good condition;
    Robert Morris of Pennsylvania ALS, " Rob Morris", One page, 4.75" x 7.5", June 29, 1796 to William Tilghman. Morris inquires after a colleague's ill health. Very Fine condition;
    George Clymer of Pennsylvania ALS, " Geo Clymer", One pa From the Henry E. Luhrs Collection.ge, 7.5" x 9.5", 1790s, to Tench Coxe, Commissioner of Revenue. It partially reads, "...the distillers...to pay by the month according to the capacity - or to pay by the gallon on what shall be distilled...". This letter is probably from the prelude leading to 1794's Whiskey Rebellion when farmers of Western Pennsylvania rose up over the Government's uppity decision to tax liquor. Coxe was Revenue Commissioner from 1792-1797, making this note fit in with the "Rebellion" timeline. Very Fine condition;
    Thomas Fitzsimmons of Pennsylvania ALS, " Thos Fitzsimmons", 2 pages, 7.5" x 9.25", Philadelphia, June 19, 1798 to Mssrs. Le Roy and Bayard. A business letter regarding pricing and ships. Very Fine condition;
    Jared Ingersoll of Pennsylvania ALS, " J Ingersoll", One page with docketing, 8.0" x 10.0", September 7, 1805. A copy, this letter begs some more time to repay a $400 debt. Very Fine;
    James Wilson of Pennsylvania DS " James Wilson", 2 pages, 8.0" x 12.25", Philadelphia, January 27, 1794. A manuscript legal document detailing a financial arrangement between lawyer Wilson and a gentleman named Jesse James! Light soiling, Fine condition;
    Gouverneur Morris of Pennsylvania ALS, " Gouv Morris", 2 pages with address panel, Morrisania, February 4, 1809 to William Tilgham, Chief Justice of Pennsylvania. Morris, after an absence, sends updates regarding the legal affairs of an estate. Very Fine condition;
    George Read of Delaware ALS, " R Read", 2 pages, 8.0" x 10.25", New Castle, DE, September 19 (1798 or before) to Malcolm Bidgeby. Read writes of legal matters. Most likely a draft letter. Light soiling, Fine condition;
    Gunning Bedford, Jr. of Delaware ADS, " Gunning Bedford, Jr.", one page with docketing, 7.5" x 6.25", Kent County, DE, May 14, 1786. Bedford avers in this affidavit that one " Ebenezer Griffin...did commit fornication with Hannah Spear and a female bastard child on the body of the sd Hannah...". Some fading, else Fine condition;
    John Dickinson of Delaware ADS, " John Dickinson", one page, 8.0" x 12.5", September 1, 1784 to Momar Porter, Philadelphia. Given the numerous lines scratched out and replaced, this letter appears to be a draft. Dickinson writes as regards a prisoner transfer from Maryland. Browning, else Fine condition;
    Richard Bassett of Delaware ADS, " Richard Bassett", One page with verso docketing, 8.0" x 13.0", Kent County, DE, August 1, 1772. A property settlement document. Fine condition;
    Jacob Broom of Delaware ALS, " Jacob Broom", One page, 7.0" x 6.25", Wilmington, DE, November 3, 1794 to "James". Broom's signature is perhaps the hardest to acquire. This very rare letter reads, " I rec'd your letter of the 26th ulto. but not until yesterday and have now lsent you 7/6 more by bearer. I hope to be in N Castle some time this week when I will bring the other things written for. I hope you apply yourself closely. I have been unwell for some time. I should have been at Mrs. Hayens funeral had i been able to ride.". Small split on lower crease archivally repaired. Fine condition;
    James McHenry of Maryland ALS, " James McHenry", One page, 8.0" x 10.0", War Department, December 1, 1798 to Thomas Marshall. This letter, written by McHenry as Secretary of War, reads partially, "...I directed a flag and flagpole to be procured...I also directed as many guns to be carried into the works as can be usefully employed in their defenses and such repairs made as shall be found absolutely neccessary...".War with France was a distinct possibility when this was written. Some minor ink smears, else very Fine condition;
    Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer of Maryland ALS, " Daniel of St Thos Jenifer", 3 pages, 7.25" x 9.0", March 7, 1783. This letter from the " Intendant's Office" and is likely a true copy for files and is addressed to the " Commrs of the Sale of Confiscated Lands". Given the date, such lands were probably those siezed from Loyalists during the Revolution. Very Fine condition;
    Daniel Carroll of Maryland ALS, " D. Carroll, 2 pages, 7.0" x 9.0", Baltimore, September 4, 1782. This letter to an anonymous recipient reads partially " ...I now find myself on the mending and when i good the news and when I got to town I saw the very agreeable news of the Arrival of the French Fleet in our Bay...I have not bought any Tobacco as yet..". Fine to Very Fine condition;
    John Blair of Virginia DS, " John Blair P.", 2 pages, 7.25" x 12.0", probably Williamsburg, circa 1760. Written in a beautiful secretarial hand, this colonial court document considers a financial dispute and names Blair as "...president of his Majesty's Council and Commissioner in Chief of the Colony and Dominion of Virginia..". Very Fine condition;
    William Blount of North Carolina ALS, "Wm Blount", 2 pages, 8.0" x 10.0", " near Nashville",November 27, 1816 to the "Senator & Representative of Tennessee". A letter introducing a Dr. Larry H. Bryan. Tiny archival repair to crease split on bottom margin, else Very Fine condition. also included is a loose legal DS, "Wm. Blount", One page with verso docketing, 8.0" x 13.0", Knoxville, TN, August 8, 1795. Blount, in his capacity as "Governor in and over the Territory of the United States, south of the rover Ohio", orders War Department agent David Henly to allocate funds to an infantry company. Huge, bold signature. Browning with an archival repair on one crease, else Fine condition;
    Richard Dobbs Spaight of North Carolina DS, " Rich'd Dobbs Spaight", One page, 8.0" x 9.75", " North Carolina in Senate", December 29, 1785. A resolution stating that clerk's must have assembly approval before being employed by the government. Very Fine condition;
    Hugh Williamson ALS, " Hu Williamson" and again on address panel, 3 pages, 6.5" x 8.0", Charleston, SC, July 9, 1781 to John Mease, Philadelphia. This rare wartime letter reads partially, "...I have sent a chest of captured dry g(oods)...Whether I shall leave this (city) by water or land is yet uncertain...If you should hear of my falling into the hands of the enemy, sell the medicines immediately...". An exceptional letter which had to have run a dicey gauntlet in order to reach its destination. Very Fine condition;
    John Rutledge of South Carolina ALS, " J. Rutledge", One page, 8.0" x 9.75", Charleston, SC, April 8, 1800. This letter, written to an unknown recipient, imparts a bit of political advice to an aspiring candidate for office. Very Fine condition;
    James Madison ALS, " James Madison", 2 pages, 8.0" x 10.0", May 10, 1802, Washington, D.C., to William Eaton, Consul at Tunis. Madison was serving as Thomas Jefferson's Secretary of State when the nation's tribute-driven relations with the Barbary Pirates wer e breaking down. This very rare lett From the Henry E. Luhrs Collection.er is important both to the history of the U.S. Navy and the history of American foreign policy. It partially reads, " ...In order to make a due impression on the Bashaw of Tripoli, the Frigates in the Mediterranean are to rendezvous before that place; and W Carthcart will attend, in order to take advantage of that impression, to meet the Bashaw in recognition for putting an end to war. This information will, the President trusts, lead you to favor the object as far as circumstances will enable you and particularly to exert yourself, if neccessary, in keeping the Bey of Tunis in proper temper towards the United States during the Crisis...". Possibly a draft saved as a copy given several manuscript revisions within the text. Very Fine condition;
    Charles Cotesworth Pinckney of South Carolina ALS, " Charles Cotesworth Pinckney", One page, 7.5" x 12.0", The Hague, July 7, 1797 to John Lusac, Leyden. This personal letter tells a French friend that some American newspapers are being sent to him. Pinckney had recently served as minister to France and was in the prices of returning to the United States when he composed this letter. Very Fine condition;
    Charles Pinckney of South Carolina ALS, " Charles Pinckney", 2 pages, 7.5" x 9.0", Madrid, November 26, 1804, to William Lee, Bordeaux. Pinckney, serving as U.S. minister to Spain inquires here as to when Monroe might be be arriving. Light stains, else Very Fine condition;
    Pierce Butler of South Carolina ALS, " P. Bultler", One page, 7.75" x 9.75", New York, October 4-5, 1787 to unknown recipient. Travel arrangements via ship and, upon arrival, phaeton, are discussed. Very Fine condition;
    William Few of Georgia ALS, " W. Few", One page, 8.0" x 9.5", August 31, 1804, to John Macintosh. Few records a slave purchase. The letter reads, " Please pay unto Edward Telfair Esquire Three Hundred Dollars, it being the sum that was adjudged and awarded to be paid by you for the Negroe Woman Genny now in your possession and his receipt shall be your discharge in full for the same. from your ob'dt serv't ". Very Fine condition;
    Abraham Baldwin of Georgia ALS, " Abr Baldwin", 3 pages, 8.0" x 9.5", Philadelphia, April 11, 1800, to Territorial Governor Thomas Worthington, Chilicothe, Ohio. Baldwin requests that his Ohio properties be examined should Worthington find himself in the neighborhood. Very Fine condition;
    William Jackson of Pennsylvania ALS, " W Jackson", One page, 8.0" x 10.0", Philadelphia, March 16, 1802 to unknown recipient. Jackson, Secretary of the Constitutional Convention, tells of a meeting of the Society of the Cincinnati to be held in Washington. This organization was composed of former Continental officers. Very Fine condition;
    Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts ALS, " E. Gerry", One page, 8.0" x 9.0", Cambridge, July 31, 1811 to Jospeh Story. Here Gerry sends seven dollars to aid fire victims in Newburyport. Gerry, a perrenial politician, proposed re-drawing his state's map of voting districts. As a result of his scheming, the verb "gerrymander" was born. This letter is slightly brown on one edge, else Very Fine condition;
    Edmund Randolph of Virginia ALS, " Edmn: Randolph", One page, 7.5" x 8.5", Richmond, May 10, 1788. This financial letter addresses monies owed by a client. Very Fine condition;
    George Mason of Virginia ALS, " G Mason", 2 pages, 6.0" x 7.5", Gunston Hall, August 1, 1785 to a Mr. De Neusville in Alexandria, VA. A desirable letter in that datelined from Mason's fabulous Fairfax County estate. It partially read, "..I hoped to have had the pleasure of seeing you here, in order to settle our Account, and to pay you the ballance [sic] due to your house for the goods formerly shipped me by the ship General Washington...but hearing that you are now in Alexandria, on your way to the northward, I have got the honour of the bearer, Mr. George Richards, to present you with a Copy of my Acct...". Signed a second time on the address panel. Light soiling, else Very Fine condition;
    Caleb Strong of Massachusetts ALS, " Caleb Strong", One page, 7.5" x 9.0", Boston, June 13, 1804, to Robert Parker. Strong accepts the presidency of the Agricultural Society. Very Fine condition;
    Oliver Ellsworth of Connecticut DS, " Oliver Ellsworth", One page with verso docketing, 8.0" x 13.0", Connecticut, January 7, 1781. a partially printed copy of a deed to one Samuel Turner, Soiling, archival repairs. Very Good condition;
    William C. Houston of New Jersey DS, " William C. Houston", One page, 9.5" x 6.5", September 9, 1777 with one page postal cover sheet, 7.0" x 3.5", addressed to Patrick Henry as Virginia's Governor, Williamsburg. This brief letter reads, " The Hon'ble Delegates of the Commonwealth of Virginia have received your of 29 ult'o on Consequence am directed by the Hon'ble the Congress to transmit you the enclosed...". archival repairs to creases, Fine condition;
    John Francis Mercer of Maryland ALS, " John F. Mercer", 2 pages, 7.5" x 9.5", Baltimore, September 19, 1784, to unknown recipient. This letter, written en route to Philadelphia discusses personal financial matters. Wax seal stain, tiny area of paper loss bordering one word. Overall Very Good condition;
    Luther Martin of Maryland ALS, " Luther Martin", One page, 6.5" x 8.0", Baltimore, July 26, 1815, to Jonathan Merdedith. Financial matters are discussed here. Very Fine condition;
    George Wythe of Virginia DS. Wythe's signature appears in full on the 1760s John Blair legal document previously listed;
    James McClurg of Virginia ALS, " James McClurg", One page, 8.0" x 10.0", January 4, 1801, Richmond, to George Simpson, Bank of the United States. McClurg requests bank dividends be withdrawn from his account. Very Fine condition;
    Alexander Martin of North Carolina DS, " Alex. Martin", One page, 8.0" x 13.5", July 15, 1781. Martin signs off on this fine Revolutionary War pay summary from the State of North Carolina. As a Colonel, he was due the princely balance of $12,975. Fine - Very Fine condition;
    William R. Davie of North Carolina ALS, " Wm. R. Davie", 3 pages, 8.5" x 10.0", Paris, France, September 13, 1800, to a Mr. Peymenneau. This was penned while Davie served as a United States Envoy to France. Written during a time of painfully strained relations with France, this letter is composed in careful, caged language. It reads in small part, "...We have agreed to commit the despatches to our government to your care, we have no doubt of your prudence and discretion...". Very Fine condition;
    William Pierce of Georgia DS, " Wm. Pierce Jr.". 2 pages, 9.25" x 14.2", July 5, 1784. A legal document in which Pierce, described as a merchant, signs a long list of his obligations to other parties. A few isolated stains and some fading, else F From the Henry E. Luhrs Collection.ine condition;
    William Houston of Georgia ALS, " Wm Houston", One page, 7.0" x 9.0", Augusta, May 13, 1798, to Governor Edward Telfair in Augusta. Houston asks for monies due. Very Fine condition;
    John Lansing, Jr of New York. ALS, " John Lansing Jun.", One page, 7.0" x 12.0", Albany, March 13, 1790, to Egbert Benson. Lansing tells Benson of other letters enclosed. The address panel carries an incredibly bold Albany handstamped cancelation. Archival repair to crease lines, else Fine condition;
    Robert Yates of New York ANS, "Robert Yates", One page, 7.5" x 4.75", Albany, September 22, 1794, to Gerard Barker, New York Treasurer. A request that funds be deposited in his account. Fine condition.

    The collection concludes with the Robert Yates ANS described above, which is followed by several blank leaves.The prospective bidder should note that there are no clipped signatures or horribly discolored partial documents included here. The overall interesting content and high state of preservation characteristic of these manuscripts reflects the fact that they were gathered with purpose at a time when some of them were less than a century old. 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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