Description

    Governor William Burnett Document Signed "W Burnett - God Save the King". One page, Fort George, New York Province, November 30, 1721. This original proclamation features an embossed wax seal in the upper left and docketing on the verso. Lavishly signed in large lettering, 1" high and nearly 3" across. The ornate preamble reads: "By his Excellency William Burnett Esq. Captain General and Governor in Chief of New York New Jersey and Territories thereon depending in America and Vice Admiral of the same &c. - A Proclamation - Whereas the general Assembly of the Province of New York Stands Adjourned until Tuesday the fifth Day of December next; I have thought fit for his Majesties Service, And by Virtue of the Powers and Authority to me Given by His Majesties Letters patent under the Seal of Great Britain further to Adjourn the said General Assembly until the First Tuesday in February next. And do hereby accordingly adjourn the said general Assembly until the first Tuesday of February next. Of which all his majesties Subjects are to take Notice and Govern themselves accordingly. Given under my Hand and Seal at Arms at Fort George in New York the Thirtieth Day of November in the Eight Year of his Majesties Reign Anno Domini 1721." Burnett was known as a man of ability, and at the time of his proclamation he was advocating involving the English in the fur trade in order to reduce the French influence among native tribes. His Indian policy angered the British traders and their backers in the provincial assembly. The Loyalist Legislative Council of New York passed acts in 1720-1722, forbidding New York merchants from supplying Canada with goods for the fur trade. The sale of these goods, it was argued, had enabled France to control the trade of the West, and to hem in the British colonies. This document dates from that crucial period of British colonial expansion. Burnett drove the aristocracy; the assembly led the opposition. This proclamation seems to delay the assembly's actions. But, conflict continued with powerful mercantile forces, which cared more for profit than for patriotic benefit. Burnett's struggle with certain mercantile groups and with the Assembly became increasingly bitter. This document helps detail key events in New York's early Colonial history. The document is in very fine condition, with overall minor wear, a few trivial edge splits along the horizontal folds, and minor edge wear.

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