Lot #91
Benjamin Franklin Document Signed

Boldly signed 1787 bankruptcy document, issued during the Constitutional Convention
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Estimate: $15000+


Boldly signed 1787 bankruptcy document, issued during the Constitutional Convention

Manuscript DS, signed “B. Franklin Presid't,” one page, 7.25 x 8.5, June 26, 1787. Official bankruptcy document headed, "In the matter of John Witmer," in part: "Henry Witmer of Lampeter Township Lancastr County being conscientiously scrupulous of taking an Oath solemnly affirms that John Witmer late of the City of Philadelphia Dealer and Chapman is justly and truly indebted to this Deponent in the Sum of three hundred pounds and upwards for money lent and money laid out and expended…he further says that the said John is become a Bankrupt within the true intent and meaning of some or one of the Statutes against Bankrupts as he hath been informed and believes." Signed at the conclusion by the deponent, Henry Witmer, and boldly signed by Benjamin Franklin as president of Pennsylvania. Blindstamped with a seal in the lower right. In fine condition, with trimmed edges.

The Constitutional Convention was taking place in Philadelphia at the time Franklin signed this document, and on this June 26th date the framers made two key decisions about the organization of the Senate: establishing the term of office of six years, and deciding upon the source of compensation for its members. Franklin's inclination was to have senators draw no salary, forcing the chamber to be comprised only of America's wealthy elite—certainly free of any 'Bankrupts' like the subject of this document. Despite fairly broad support, Franklin's proposal failed, and it was decided that senators would be paid out of the national treasury. An excellent document from this momentous period of American history boasting a choice example of Franklin's signature.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Fine Autograph and Artifacts, Ft. Science & Tech
  • Dates: #622 - Ended December 08, 2021

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