Exquisite ink signature as president, “Go: Washington,” on an off-white 4.5 x 4.5 vellum slip clipped from a document, also signed by Secretary of State Timothy Pickering and dated 1796. Also includes five strands of Washington’s hair in a clear envelope affixed to a certificate of authenticity from Charles Hamilton. In fine condition, with a vertical fold passing through a single letter of Washington’s signature. Additional accompaniments are a 1776 Connecticut six-pence banknote, and a manuscript pay order document for Nathaniel Brown, a soldier in the Connecticut line of the Continental Army, dated 1781. Pre-certified John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.
Category Archives: George Washington
Partly-printed vellum DS as president, signed “G:o Washington,” one page, 7.5 x 3.5, December 20, 1796. Conclusion of a presidential document. In full: “Given under my Hand and the Seal of the United States of America, the twentieth day of December in the year of our Lord one [thou]sand seven hundred and ninety six.” In very good condition, with intersecting folds (one vertical fold passing through a single letter of the signature), scattered foxing, and a charred left side (affecting a few words of the document’s text but not the signature). This document was issued at the end of Washington’s presidency as he was preparing to retire to Mount Vernon, with Vice President John Adams succeeding him as the nation’s leader. It was during this period that he issued his tremendously influential farewell address—first published three months before this document—in which he focused on the importance of national unity, Constitutional law, and isolationism. Despite the damage to the left, the signature area is crisp and clean, presenting a fine example of Washington’s presidential autograph. Pre-certified John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.
Rare hand-drawn land survey conducted by Washington, signed with his initials within the text, “GW,” one page, 5.25 x 9, no date but circa 1785. Washington draws the plat of land on the western edge of his Four Mile Run property in Alexandria, Virginia, about 12 miles north of his famous Mount Vernon estate. At the bottom of the survey, Washington sketches the stream his property was named for, labeling it “Four Mile Run” and “Course laid down by guess.” Perpendicular to the stream he writes, “Where GW comes to the run,” presumably marking the end of his land at the edge of the stream. On a dotted line extending from the center of the river, lengthily describing it: “Course of this line is no. 43½ E[as]t & the reverse So 43½ W[es]t. This dotted line from the hiccory to the run gives and takes about 5½ acres of land.” A solid jagged line drawn through the middle labels various landmarks, including “fallen & rotten hiccory,” “stump within the inclosure,” “red oak,” and “no tree marked.” Intersecting folds and mild overall staining, otherwise fine condition. The 1932 ‘George Washington Atlas’ reproduces Washington’s much broader survey of the entire property he prepared in 1799, the last year of his life, and includes the section detailed in this plat.
Revolutionary War–dated partly-printed DS, signed “Go: Washington,” one page, 9.5 x 7, December 31, 1782. A discharge issued from Washington’s headquarters at Newburgh, New York. In full: “By His Excellency General Washington, Commander in Chief of the Armies of the United States, &c. John McKinnie of the Regiment of Invalids having been certifyed by a Board of Officers appointed for the Examination of the Invalids of the Army, as unfit for any further Duty either in the Field or Garrison, Reduced by long sickness is hereby discharged from the Service of the United States.” Handsomely archivally double-matted and framed with an engraved portrait to an overall size of 23.5 x 14.5. In very good condition, with separated intersecting folds (one vertical fold passing through the “W” in his signature), various small areas of paper loss, small tears to edges, and a few stains; the document has been professionally restored and reinforced with a backing of archival tissue. The Continental Congress established the Invalid Corps in 1777, composed of veterans who had become unfit for field duty but could still usefully serve as guards for magazines, hospitals, and similar installations. An extraordinarily desirable piece from Washington’s famed military career. RR Auction COA.
Fantastic display consisting of a scarce full ink signature, “George Washington,” on an off-white 3 x 1 slip clipped from a larger document. Signature was part of a large March 17, 1769, indenture between Washington and Robert Thompson. Also included are a .5 x .5 swatch of Washington’s cloak from the family of Colonel Tobias Lear, Washington’s personal secretary and good friend; and six strands of Washington’s hair from the Custis-Powell family. All three items are nicely cloth-matted and framed with a color portrait of Washington and a descriptive plaque to an overall size of 14.75 x 15.25. In fine condition, with a uniform shade of mild toning. Accompanied by a copy of the document from which the signature was taken, and also accompanied by an 8.5 x 11 photocopied presentation sheet with an image of Washington, bearing a printed signature of Charles Hamilton stating that the hair was probably first owned by Martha Washington’s granddaughter. Complete Washington signatures are highly sought after. Pre-certified John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.
Partly-printed DS as president, signed “Go: Washington,” one page, 12.75 x 15.5, October 25, 1794. Three-language ship’s papers, in French, English, and Dutch, issued to “Elias Nordbery master and commander of the Ship called Dispatch…lying at present in the port of Boston bound for North West Coast of America & China and laden with Sundry Articles of Merchandise to depart and proceed with his said Ship having been visited, and the said Elias Nordbery having made oath before the proper officer, that the said Ship belongs to one or more of the citizens of the United States of America, and to him or them only.” Signed in the middle panel by Washington, and countersigned by Secretary of State Edmund Randolph, Deputy Collector Benjamin Weld, and Judge Samuel Barrett. Document has been professionally repaired on the reverse, with some backing and paper replacement along folds, and has been removably encapsulated in acid-free Mylar. In good to very good condition, with aforementioned repairs and strengthening, scattered toning and foxing, and intersecting folds through two letters of signature. The two white wafer seals are intact.
Departing from Boston Harbor on October 29, 1794, the Dispatch sailed to the northwest coast of America, where it caught and skinned seals and otters and carried out trade with nearby Indian tribes. From there, it headed east for China, where it exchanged the furs for tea, silk, and other sought-after exports, which it then returned to New England and sold for huge profits. Signed by President Washington and Secretary of State Edmund Randolph in Philadelphia and sent to the Port of Boston to be filled out, this is an attractive example of the crucial ship’s papers that enabled Americans to safely travel the seas, boosting international trade during the country’s early years. Pre-certified John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.
An exceptional collection of all 44 presidents from George Washington through Barack Obama consisting of signatures, letters, documents, photos, a book, and engravings. All of the items (with the exception of the signed photos) are accompanied by portraits of the respective president, and the entire collection is housed in an attractive black document preservation portfolio made by Cohasco.
Unsigned, boldly penned partial manuscript document in Washington’s hand, consisting of approximately 30 words on an irregular 4 x 3 segment clipped from a survey, no date. In part: “his heirs…upon Elk…and boarded as for…the south bank of Elk…the counties of Harrison…same, thence up the…miles, thence with a line…line which decides the….” Reinforced by expert archival mounting to a larger slip. Irregular edges and mounting as noted, otherwise fine, bright, and visually appealing condition. Pre-certified John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.
A collection of several strands of George Washington’s hair, neatly tied together and affixed by its string with a red wax seal to a handwritten note from James A. Hamilton, lawyer and US Secretary of State from March 4–27, 1829, and son of Alexander Hamilton from whose estate he inherited the hair, one page, 4.5 x 3, dated September 17, 1870. Note reads, “The above is the hair of General George Washington ‘The Foremost man of all the world.’ Presented to Mr. Charles I. Illious by James A. Hamilton.” Also accompanied by a short note of provevance from Anne H. Wharton, author and founder of the Colonial Dames of America, dated November 1919. Mrs. Wharton writes:This lock of General Washington’s hair came to me from my aunt, Mrs. Charles Illius, prior to 1900.” Matted and framed with an engraved portrait of Washington to an overall size of 12 x 20. A supreme example, and highly uncommon as it came from the estate of his protégé, Alexander Hamilton, who served under him during the American Revolution and went on to become the First Secretary of State in Washington’s Administration. It can be surmised that this lock of hair was a gift from Washington to Hamilton, making it a stellar association piece. RR Auction COA.
Remarkable and very early ADS in Washington’s hand, signed “G. Washington,” two pages on two adjoining sheets, 12 x 7.25, April 3, 1752. A handwritten land survey for 400 acres of land undertaken by Washington with the assistance of John Johnston and James McCormick (chainmen) and Benjamin Pearson (markman). In part: “Pursuant to a Warrant from the Proprieter’s Office to the directed I have Surveyed for Mrs. Mary Johnston a certain tract of waste land situate in the Barrens between Bullskin and Long Marsh…400 acres.” Washington provides a very detailed account of the exact layout of the land, adding a precise and crisply-penned survey map of the tract he surveyed. Reverse is also docketed in Washington’s hand, “Mrs. Mary Johnston’s Plat for 400 acres.” Small separations along hinge and central vertical folds, and some scattered light toning and soiling, otherwise fine, clean condition.
In July 1749, at the young age of 17, Washington was appointed official surveyor for the newly-created Culpeper County in northern Virginia, a relatively well-paid and prestigious position. He continued to work as a surveyor until November 1752, when he was appointed adjutant in the Virginia colonial militia. Records indicate that during his time as surveyor, Washington conducted 199 land surveys, of which fewer than 75 are known extant—and many of those are confined to institutions. What is most notable about this particular piece, however, is that the plot of land surveyed is apparently adjacent to Washington’s own property.
Using money from his surveying job, Washington purchased his first plot of land in 1750—nearly 500 acres near Bullskin Creek. At the time he conducted this survey, he had amassed over 2,000 acres of surrounding land that he referred to as “my Bullskin Plantation.” He had developed a full-scale plantation on the premises known as Rock Hall by 1755, which he maintained ownership of for the rest of his life, though purely as an investment property—he leased it out to tenants and remained inactive in its management. An extraordinarily impressive document, made especially desirable by its significance with respect to Washington’s life and military career—he used skills learned during his time as a surveyor to plan troop movements and attacks that helped him to defeat the much larger British army during the Revolutionary War. Pre-certified John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.