Partly-printed DS, signed “B. Franklin,” one page, 15 x 11.75, February 15, 1787. A land grant issued “for consideration of services rendered by Jonathan Adams Dragoon in the late army of the United States” a tract of land in Westmoreland County “in the seventh district of donation,” described as running from a maple tree to a white oak to a beech tree and back to the maple, totaling 200 acres. Signed in the left border by Franklin as president of the Supreme Council of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Intersecting folds, one through a single letter of signature, scattered moderate toning and soiling, expected wrinkling, and a few small pin-size holes, otherwise very good condition. The eight-point star seal is worn and creased, with two missing points, and one other missing point tip.
One of the most strategic and beneficial decisions made by the government during the Revolutionary War was to offer land bounties as a reward for military service, simultaneously encouraging enlistment and paving the way for westward expansion. By populating the frontier with military veterans able to defend against Indian incursions, they enticed new settlers to follow and buy land, helping to reduce Revolutionary War debts. Serving as President of Pennsylvania in 1787, Franklin granted this large plot in Western Pennsylvania to Johnathan Adams, a Dragoon in the army. An important piece of early American history, this rare grant holds a prominent example of the Founding Father’s highly sought-after autograph. Pre-certified John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.