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Lot #177
George Washington

Presidential free frank to Baltimore’s famously ousted female postmaster

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Presidential free frank to Baltimore’s famously ousted female postmaster

Franking signature as President, “President, U.S.,” on a 6.5 x 3 postal cover addressed in another hand to Miss Catharine Goddard in Baltimore, postmarked New York, January 7 [circa 1790]. Goddard (1738–1816), a printer, publisher, and postal employee, earned a footnote in American history in January 1777 as the printer of the first copy of the Declaration of Independence to include the names of all the signers. In 1775, she had become Postmaster of Baltimore, the first woman to hold such a position in the American colonies. In 1789, despite having held the post for 14 years, Goddard was ousted following the objections of more than 200 businessmen who signed a petition and directly appealled to Washington. The removal was a stark demonstration of the prevailing attitude toward the abilities of women at the time. The lower flap bears a black wax seal with a heraldic device. In very good condition, with seal-related losses and tears to blank flaps (a few tiny tears just extending into margins of address panel), mild soiling, and handling wear. The signature is dark, distinct, and unaffected. Pre-certified John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA and RRAuction COA.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title:
  • Dates: #356 - Ended April 14, 2010