Description

    Handwritten Journal of Samuel Preston, Along with a Thomas Mifflin Signed Document Appointing him a Justice of the County Court. A manuscript journal, 56 pages, 4" x 6" leather soft-bound notebook, spanning Feb. 11 through March 1, 1788, and titled by Preston "Minuites [sic] of a Journey to the Westward for John Field Beginning Feb. 11th 1788" on the first page. The diary relates Preston's travels westward from Philadelphia through Pennsylvania to the frontiers of recently settled Western Maryland and Virginia. Although he is collecting money as an agent of John Field, it is not clear if the monies owed are for rent or merchandise. Preston's prose is well versed and descriptive as he relates the trials of collecting from folk with little means of paying. In very small part: "19th [Feb.] & 3rd of the week...Started for Hagentown...all the way the snow rather shallower. Crossed the Mason & Dixon line, it is almost grown up on entering Maryland I plainly perceived it was inhabited by Germans by their Barns which is a rarity to see a Barn in Maryland. However the land here is much better than I ever saw in Maryland before... 26th 3rd of the week... as I rode along the way I had some thoughts on the propriety or Safety of trading People in Virginia where Money by Law is so difficult to obtain yet as that large state have no Sea Port town of much consequence, it is necessary for the country Storekeepers to make chief of the purchases in Baltimore & Philadelphia. Money in Virginia by Law can only recover 5 per Cent Interest that it is necessary for the Merchant trusting his money there to lay more on his goods than if sold in Pennsylvania or Maryland... Certainly the Pennsylvania & Maryland merchants trading to the state of Virginia are all much interested in promoting the new form of Government or something like it that may render the Laws of the different States more upon an equality in regard to trade, Commerce & the recovery of just debt... " Much more excellent and detailed content about economic and social life in the early Federal era, including many references to the use of slave labor and its role in the economy. The second part of the journal is in an unidentified hand and tells of a trip to Carlisle, Pa. during June 24 through July 27 of 1788. Accompanied by a Thomas Mifflin DS, 15.75" x 13.5", Philadelphia, April 12, 1790, appointing Samuel Preston, esquire of Northamtpon, "one of the Justices of the county court..." Document has a blind embossed paper seal affixed, with a few minor separations at folds. Journal pages have a small tear appearing at top of most pages, but writing is bold and very legible. Near fine condition, and should be read for content as the quantity and quality is extraordinary. Provenance Goodspeed's of Boston. Ex. Henry E. Luhrs Collection.

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    Auction Dates
    February, 2008
    21st-22nd Thursday-Friday
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