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Item 215 - Benjamin Franklin Catalog 475 (May 2016)

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(we are no longer accepting bids on this item)
Minimum Bid: $1,000.00
Sold Price: $13,614.65 (includes buyer's premium)


LS signed “B. Franklin,” one page, 7.25 x 9, February 13, 1787. Letter to General Arthur St. Clair, president of the Continental Congress, written from Philadelphia, in full: “Permit me to introduce you to your Excellency the Baron M. De Chaumont who has some Business at N. York. I have long known this Gentleman and can assure you he is well deserving any Notice or Civilities you may please to show him.” In fine condition, with a few faint spots of foxing, and some light toning to lower corners.

This is most likely an introductory letter for Le Ray de Chaumont, the son of noted ‘Father of the American Revolution’ Jacques-Donatien Le Ray de Chaumont. The elder de Chaumont first became acquainted with Franklin when the latter was sent to Paris on a mission to gather aid in the war for independence. On the strength of their friendship, Franklin not only remained in Passy for several years but de Chaumont became an invaluable ally in attaining French fiscal and military support. His son traveled to the newborn America in 1785, where he settled in Otsego County, New York. Known in America as James Le Ray, he became a citizen in 1790; he acquired much property in the area, and today two towns in New York and one in Pennsylvania are named after him. The recipient, St. Clair, was elected as president of the Continental Congress on February 2, 1787, less than two weeks before this letter was written. A fantastic letter with great historical associations. Pre-certified PSA/DNA.

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