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    Thomas McKean (1735-1817) Partly-printed Document Signed "Thos McKean" as Governor of Pennsylvania, one page, 15" x 13" with an additional thirty-four attached pages of manuscript documents, Philadelphia, July 25, 1806. McKean, Signer of the Declaration of Independence, commissions Joseph B. McKean, Joseph Reed, and Charles Erdmann to administer the bankruptcy of merchant Herman Bake. In the attached documents, Bake petitions the state for protection under the newly enacted bankruptcy laws. Bake provides a "...list of his Creditors... and the nature of their debts... [and] prays the benefit of an act of Assembly of Pennsylvania entitled an act providing that the person of a debtor shall not be liable to imprisonment for debt after delivering up his estate real and personal for the benefit of his creditors..." The debts are categorized as "Debtors and Creditors" and "Doubtful Debtors", the latter noting interest for several cargoes lost to French privateers. Other attached documents include a copy of Bake's father's will, dated Amsterdam, 1783 with translations from the original Dutch to English. Bankruptcy legislation was only in its infancy, and at this time only available for merchants and other business owners, not the common working person. Only a few years previous, the passage of a federal bankruptcy act allowed Robert Morris to leave debtor's prison after his speculations in western lands caused his financial empire to collapse. Usual folds, paper seals intact, a few toned spots, otherwise fine 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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