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Lot #202
Benedict Arnold

From one of Benedict Arnold’s legal entanglements—what finally drove him back to Britain

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From one of Benedict Arnold’s legal entanglements—what finally drove him back to Britain

Manuscript DS, signed “B. Arnold,” one page, 7 x 8, October 5, 1790. A legal document in which “Benedict Arnold the plaintiff in this cause maketh oath that Freeman Hughes…is justly and truly indebted to this deponent in the…sum of one hundred thirty seven pounds, ten shillings and sixpence.” Signed at the conclusion by Arnold and countersigned by Joshua Upham, a judge in the Supreme Court of New Brunswick, Canada. In fine condition, with intersecting folds (a horizontal fold passing through the signature), some light dampstaining, and show-through from docketing to reverse. Arnold moved to Saint John, New Brunswick, in 1785, where he established a business doing trade with the West Indies; he became thoroughly disliked in the area due to a series of bad business deals and legal battles—this document certainly pertaining to one. Both Loyalists and Americans turned against him, and after winning a slander suit against a former business partner, the townspeople burned him in effigy in front of his house as his family watched. After six years of controversy and resentment, Arnold returned to London in December 1791. Benedict Arnold documents are scarce and always desirable, this example being especially so as it relates to his sordid legacy in the Americas. Pre-certified John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Rare Manuscript, Document & Autograph
  • Dates: #436 - Ended September 10, 2014

This item is Pre-Certified by PSA/DNA
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